Saint John Paul II Lecture Series

Previous Lectures

Great English Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton wrote about everything – including history. His marvelous insight and correctives are as important today as they ever were. He has a special gift for turning commonly accepted notions on their head, especially about the Catholic Church and its history.

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, “We will not walk in it.” – Jeremiah 6:16


Dale Ahlquist is President of the Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. He is the creator and host of the EWTN television series, “The Apostle of Common Sense.” He is the author of five books, the editor of eleven more books, and Publisher of Gilbert Magazine. He is a Senior Fellow of the Chesterton Library at Oxford. After helping launch the original Chesterton Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which was named one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in America, he is now the President of the growing Chesterton Schools Network, which includes 20 schools in the U.S., Canada, and Italy.



Douthat is a regular blogger and columnist for The New York Times. In April 2009, he became the youngest regular op-ed writer in The New York Times after replacing Bill Kristol as a conservative voice on the Times editorial page.

Before joining The New York Times, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic. His published books are Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (2012), Grand New Party (2008) with Reihan Salam, and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (2005). He frequently appeared on the video debate site until 2012.



Fr. Peter Cameron, O.P., is the founding editor-in-chief of Magnificat, where he worked from 1998-2018. He taught homiletics for twenty-four years at St. Joseph’s Seminary – Dunwoodie, NY, and at three other seminaries. Fr. Cameron is the author of ten books. He is the founder and artistic director of Blackfrairs Repertory Theatre in New York City. Fr. Cameron serves as the director of formation for Hard As Nails Ministries.

“The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds…He calls each by name.” Psalm 147 “3-4




Mrs. Kimberly Hahn has been married to Dr. Scott Hahn since 1979. They met at Grove City College, where Kimberly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts, magna cum laude. While Scott studied to be a pastor, Kimberly earned a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the same school, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, graduating in May, 1982, magna cum laude. They have six children, three are married with fifteen grandchildren.

Kimberly became a Catholic at the Easter Vigil of 1990 in Joliet, Illinois, after a difficult struggle during the four years following Scott’s entrance into the Catholic Church. She completed a book with Scott on their journey into the Catholic Church entitled Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism, which has been translated into more than twenty languages, including Spanish, French, Czech, Polish, Chinese, Italian, German, and Dutch.

In addition to Rome Sweet Home, Kimberly’s other books include Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage, and a 4-part series on the Proverbs 31 woman: Chosen and Cherished; Graced and Gifted; Beloved and Blessed; and Legacy of Love. She has also contributed chapters to each of the four volumes of Catholic for a Reason, as well as The Gift of Femininity and The Fabric of Life. She co-authored a book on Catholic home education with Mary Hasson entitled, Catholic Education – Homeward Bound: A Guide to Home Schooling.

Kimberly has enjoyed homeschooling her children for the last twenty-six years and has only recently retired. What was she to do with her new free time? Her husband Scott suggested, “Maybe it’s time for politics?” And with that her campaign was launched. Kimberly has just been elected for a four-year term on Steubenville, Ohio’s City Council as Councilwoman-at-Large.



The parish from the organizational point of view is the basic evangelizing unit in the Church. The main actors for evangelization in the parish are the pastor, the other priests in residence at the parish, the religious brothers and sisters within the parish and the lay faithful who form 99.9% of the universal Church. Each of these actors should be on fire to spread the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. The role of each category is irreplaceable.


Francis Cardinal Arinze was born November 1, 1932 in Eziowelle in the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria. He was ordained a priest at Urban College in Rome on November 23, 1958, then ordained Coadjutor Bishop of Onitsha on August 29, 1965. He attended the final Session of the Second Vatican Council and was made Archbishop of Onitsha in June 1967. Later, he was elected President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria until St. Pope John Paul II called him to Rome in 1984, where he served as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from 1984 to 2002 and Perfect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 to 2008. He is currently retired and resides in Vatican City. He has written quite a number of books, his latest of which is titled The Evangelizing Parish.



Mark Regnerus is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. His research is in the areas of sexual behavior, family, marriage and religion. Mark is the author of a 2012 study appearing in Social Science Research on the comparatively optimal outcomes of young adults from stably-married families. He and his wife have three children.



Carter Snead is the Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture and Professor of law at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Snead is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics – – the governance of science, medicine, and technology in the name of ethical goods. He has published over forty journal articles, book chapters, and essays on abortion, embryo research, neuroethics, assisted reproduction, end-of-life decision-making, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.



Women, wrote Pope St. John Paul II, are called to shape “the moral dimension of culture,” creating “a culture worthy of the person.” Today, when moral relativism comes disguised as tolerance and cultural outrage masquerades as the conviction of conscience, this task is more challenging and more compelling than ever. This talk considers the reasons why.



March 21, 2017FrPaulScalia_round

The Word of the Lord Came to Me…

Reverend Paul Scalia

A consideration of the increasing importance of prophetic Catholic witness in the culture today; how our society both needs and desires to encounter such witness.

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations…”  Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.” (Jer 1:4-5, 9)

Father Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington.  Ordained in 1996 he has served in parishes and in the diocesan curia.  He founded the Arlington Diocese chapter of Courage and serves also as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Courage, International.



February 7, 2017


From Catholic to Evangelical and Back Again: Reflections of a Catholic Revert 10 Years Late

Francis Beckwith 

In 2007, philosopher and Baylor professor Francis Beckwith resigned his post as President of the Evangelical Theological Society a week after returning to the Catholic Church of his youth. In this lecture, Professor Beckwith tells the story of his reversion and what he has learned over the past decade about being a follower of Christ in a culture increasingly hostile to the Church.




November 2, 2016Pia round

Called to Be Saints: Living Out a Discipleship as Unique as Yourself

Pia de Solenni

What does the Church teach us about whit means to live as disciples? Dr. de Solenni will share her insights about what this looks like for a married woman and a scholar.



August 31, 2016

Anderson round

Living as an Authentic Disciple in the Public Square

Ryan T. Anderson

Dr. Ryan Anderson discusses why being involved in the public square matters, how he approaches that task through faith and reason, the challenges that come along with it, and what Catholics in America need to do now




May 9, 2016

The Father of Mercies: Understanding the Relationship Between Mercy and Justice

Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott, Author and Father Michael Scanlan TOR Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, presented the final lectureDr.-Scott-Hahn-1

In this Year of Mercy, there are many who think there is an opposition or tension between mercy and justice, but this is a misunderstanding. Dr. Hahn will show that mercy goes beyond justice, but not against it. Throughout salvation history, but most fully at the cross, God gradually reveals his mercy. We take it for granted, but the fact is that God’s fatherhood is the single most revolutionary concept of the faith and the everlasting source of mercy.

Listen to the talks from the 2015 – 2016 Archbishop’s Lecture Series



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February 23, 2015

Mercy: An Invitation to encounter Jesus Christ

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., Superior General, Sisters of Life

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V.

Many struggle to believe that God is for them, and therefore remain far from God and His Church.  Merciful love simultaneously reveals to the one loved their worth and dignity, and the Heart of Jesus Christ.  The works of mercy are the most effective apologetic for the sacredness of life and human love; topics essential to the success of the Church’s new evangelization.  The effective evangelist is one aware that s/he has been rescued by Mercy and “knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven.” (Pope Francis, Sept. 23, 2015)



Listen to the 2014-2015 talks

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