Two conferences here this week are unified by the theme ‘Women and the Recovery of Culture’

Two conferences, unified under a common theme, ‘Women and the Recovery of Culture,’ will be held at the University of St. Thomas this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 22, 23 and 24.

The combined three days of forums and lectures that are listed below are free and open to the public. In addition, an invitation-only academic conference will take place on Thursday, Oct. 23. For a schedule and background information about the speakers and topics, and registration information, visit the Murphy Institute Web site or contact Dr. Deborah Savage at (651) 962-5061.

The programs will examine the influence that women have on establishing a culture of life, especially their role in the home and in the world through parenting, education, scholarship and ethical leadership.

Some parts of the series deal with the concept of "feminine genius" and the apostolic letter that Pope John Paul II wrote 20 years ago "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women," or Mulieris Dignitatem. In it, he emphasizes the complimentarity of women and men and discusses the feminine genius, that unique capacity that women bring to all areas of life.

The programs on Wednesday and Thursday will be held on the university’s St. Paul campus and are hosted by the Siena Symposium, an interdisciplinary faculty group pursuing the development of a new feminism called for by Pope John Paul II in his Evangelium Vitae.

The Wednesday and Thursday conference, titled "Mulieris Dignitatem and the Church’s Social Vision: The Feminine Genius in the Pursuit of the Common Good," is sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office for Marriage, Family and Life; the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity; Murphy Institute for Law and Public Policy; Center for Catholic Studies; John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought; College of Arts and Sciences; and departments of Philosophy and Theology.

The Friday conference, titled "Visions of Women’s Leadership," will be held at the Opus College of Business in Minneapolis and is sponsored by the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, School of Law, Opus College of Business, Center for Ethical Business Cultures and Medtronic.

The programs, speakers, times and locations are:

  • A public forum on "The Feminine Genius at Work in the Word" will be led by Mary Beth Bonacci at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus. Bonacci is the founder of Real Love Inc. and internationally known for her talks and writing on the topics of love, chastity and sexuality.
  • A keynote address on " Aquinas and the Feminine Genius" will be given at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the McNeely Hall Great Room on the St. Paul campus. The speaker, Dr. Pia Francesca de Solenni, is the CEO of Diotima Consulting of Seattle and received the 2001 Pontifical Prize of the Academics by Pope John Paul II.
  • A keynote address on "John Paul II and the Feminine Genius" will be given at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the McNeely Hall Great Room. The speaker, Dr. Anne Maloney, is a professor of philosophy at the College of St. Catherine.
  • A public forum on "Girl Genius: Illuminating the Feminine Genius Through Education," will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium. Gina Bauer will moderate a panel consisting of Michele Forshaw, president of Parent Network of Catholic High Schools, St. Louis; Kathleen Nicholas, campus minister at Louisville High School in Woodland Hills. Calif., and Terry Polakovic, executive director of ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women), Denver.
  • Keynote address by Mary Pawlenty, former judge and wife of the governor of Minnesota, at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in Schulze Auditorium, Opus College of Business.
  • A panel on women in law, with Judge Diana Murphy, Mary Cullen Yeager, Sonia Miller-Van Ort and Julie Oseid, at 10:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in Schulze Auditorium, Opus College of Business.
  • Keynote address by Jill Wine-Banks at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in Schulze Auditorium, Opus College of Business. Wine-Banks is chief officer for Education to Careers in the Chicago Public Schools.

More information about the Friday program is available at the School of Law Web site.


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