McGrath Institute for Church Life hosts Symposium on “Teaching Life and Human Dignity”

Mcgrath Institute

One of the bedrocks of Catholic teaching states that human life in all forms is sacred. But modern society’s acceptance of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and the death penalty are at odds with Catholic beliefs, as are certain judgments that people are only valuable for what they contribute to society. For those charged with educating young people on the Church’s values, it can be challenging to tackle such complex and controversial topics.

As one of its summer offerings, from June 30-July 3, 2019, the Office of Life and Human Dignity in the McGrath Institute for Church Life hosted a symposium titled “Teaching Life and Human Dignity.” The gathering aimed to equip Catholic leaders to effectively teach and empower young people to defend human life and dignity.

“Educators and ministers are seeking the resources and skills to engage young adults in critical conversations about the value of human life, regardless of size, age, race, gender, or income,” said Jessica Keating, program director for the Office of Life and Human Dignity in the McGrath Institute.

Post Baccalaureate Plans

Percent of post-baccalaureate plans, self-reported by graduating seniors (First Destination Data Collection)

Mcgrath Graph
Note: Due to rounding, the sum of sub-elements may not equal 100%

The symposium featured speakers from Notre Dame, University of Michigan, Catholic University of America, and Fordham University who shared their expertise pertaining to the dignity of life. Symposium participants were also invited into conversations about the Catholic intellectual tradition with their peers.

The Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity aims to form the next generation of pro-life leaders. To do so, it provides education, research, and pastoral guidance about Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life to those who minister to young people. In addition to the symposium, the Office also offers an annual Human Dignity Lecture and a Teaching Human Dignity Resource Series which includes lesson plans, curriculum resources, worksheets, and videos for those who wish to better incorporate human dignity into their teaching.

The McGrath Institute will once again hold the symposium during the summer of 2020.