Dr. Carolyn Woo to Give the André Lecture

February 1, 2016


Dr. Carolyn Woo

On Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Martin Institute, Stonehill will welcome Dr. Carolyn Woo, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services, who will explore climate change in the context of the recent papal encyclical Laudato Si: On the Care of our Common Home.

Titled “I am Climate Change,” Dr. Woo’s presentation, which is part of the College’s Saint André Lecture and is co-sponsored by the Holy Cross Family Ministries, is free and open to the public.

“With this encyclical, Pope Francis reminds us that we are all called to be stewards of creation and that caring for the environment means caring for each other, especially the poor and the vulnerable. In her remarks, Dr. Woo will discuss how we can all be better stewards of our common home and why we must find new ways of ensuring peace, justice and sustainability,” said Rev. James Lies, C.S.C., vice president for mission, whose division hosts the Saint André Lecture.

After a distinguished academic career at both the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University, Dr. Woo, an immigrant from Hong Kong, joined Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Dr. Woo was one of five presenters in Rome at the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment in June 2015. Her faith journey and work at CRS are recounted in her book, Working for a Better World, published in 2015 by Our Sunday Visitor.

Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1948, Stonehill launched its annual Saint André Lecture Series in 2011 in honor of Saint André Bessette, a Holy Cross brother who was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 2010.

The first saint of the Congregation of Holy Cross, an order primarily devoted to the work of education, André was minimally educated. From early childhood, his poor health limited the kind of work he could do. In his role as a doorkeeper, however, he developed a reputation for hospitality and warmth as he welcomed guests to Notre Dame College, the Congregation's school in Montreal. Throughout his life, he was credited with many reported miraculous healings. The ongoing theme for the lecture series is Welcoming the Other in tribute to André’s example of welcome, inclusivity and acceptance.

Last year, Stonehill joined other Catholic colleges and universities world-wide in responding to the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, which represents a call to action in addressing the climate and justice crises threatening the world today. The College signed a statement in solidarity with the encyclical. In 2012, Stonehill also signed the Pledge of Saint Francis.

For more information, contact Director of Communications and Media Relations Martin McGovern  at 508-565-1070 or email mmcgovern@stonehill.edu.