For the first time in its history Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, will this week host the General Assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities.
This, the 26th General Assembly, will take place from 23 until 27 July in Saint Patrick’s College on the theme ‘Catholic Universities, Working in Solidarity as Responsible Agents from the Local to the Global’. As host, the President of the College, Reverend Professor Michael Mullaney, will welcome over 200 university presidents, vice-presidents and international development officers.
The Assembly will seek to bring Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter of 2015, Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, into the very heart of this global network of third level institutions by addressing issues linked to the social responsibility of Catholic universities.
Mass to open the General Assembly will be celebrated this afternoon in the College Chapel (built between 1875 and 1891) of Saint Patrick’s College. Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, will preside at the Mass and Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, will preach the homily. Read Archbishop Eamon’s Full homily here.
The General Assembly will provide an opportunity for the heads of third-level institutions in Ireland to meet and forge links with academic leaders from around the world. Many of the universities represented are among the premier universities in their respective countries.
Ahead of the opening of the General Assembly Professor Mullaney said, “It is a great honour that Saint Patrick’s College has been chosen to host this four day event. This is a major academic conference and will be reported on throughout the world. Our deliberations will seek to explain how the cause of the human person is truly served if knowledge is joined to conscience. This unity of knowledge and conscience is what drives Catholic universities. Our shared task is to be responsible and ethical actors in addressing the contemporary challenges to human dignity, justice, environment, climate change, migration, economy and politics to create a more humane world and protecting our shared planet.”
Professor Mullaney continued, “the complexities of globalisation and the global problems of poverty, the ecological crisis and climate change, require sophisticated analysis for ethical solutions. Catholic universities must play an increasing role in the development of these solutions and in equipping graduates to take their place in the promotion of the human dignity of every person and the common good of all.”