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  • Press Release: Theological Foundation of Sustainability

    For immediate release
    Date: May 12, 2009
    Contact: Aren Kaser (206) 255-6786

    SEATTLE – Paul J. Fitzgerald S.J., current Reverend William F. LeRoux Endowed Chair, will deliver a lecture covering religion and environmental sustainability on May 19, 7 p.m. in Seattle University's Wyckoff Auditorium. The lecture entitled “Finding God in all Things: An Ignatian Ethos for Sustainability,” is free and open to the public. Father Fitzgerald will explore calls to spiritual renewal in the cause of environmental sustainability as promoted by Popes Benedict and John Paul.

    In a greeting sent on World Environment Day to Italy's Chamber of Deputies, June 2007, Pope Benedict XVI invited the participants to "always respect creation and promote an environmental culture that is based on respect for ethical values, the protection of life, an economy of solidarity and sustainable development." Pope John Paul II in over 30 major teachings on the environment called people to the "ecological vocation" and to "ecological conversion." John Paul consistently linked environmentalism to integral human development in the best tradition of modern Catholic Social Teaching.

    “Father Fitzgerald’s lecture will bring the wisdom of the Ignatian tradition to bear on the central challenge of our time. The topic is critically important, and we are fortunate to have someone of Father Fitzgerald’s stature to share his insights with the community,” said Paulette Kidder, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

    Father Fitzgerald was born in Burbank, California. He received his BA in History from Santa Clara University, and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. After first vows, he earned a Ph.B. in Philosophy from the Hochschule für Philosophy, Munich before returning to the States for two years of high school teaching in Sacramento. Father Fitzgerald also holds M.Div. and S.T.L. degrees from the Weston School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts, a D.E.A. in the History of Religions, and a D. ès L. in the Sociology of Religion, and an S.T.D. in Ecclesiology from the Institut Catholique de Paris. He is currently a Senior Associate Dean at Santa Clara University as well as a visiting professor serving as the William F. LeRoux Endowed Chair in the Theology Department of the College of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University.

    The William F. LeRoux Endowed Chair was established in the honor of Father LeRoux, who served for 40 years at Seattle University. Father William F. LeRoux, SJ came to SU in 1958 as a professor in theology. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1977 to 1982 and from 1982 until his death in late 2004, Father LeRoux served as an assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement, where he remained a much beloved ambassador to alumni and friends.

    The lecture is sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences, Seattle University. For more information, visit http://www2.seattleu.edu/artsci/theology/leroux.aspx.

    Members of the media are invited to schedule interviews with Fr. Fitzgerald before the lecture. Please contact Aren Kaser, Director of Marketing and Communications of the College of Arts and Sciences, at kasera@seattleu.edu or (206) 255-6786 to make arrangements.

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    Seattle University, founded in 1891, is a Jesuit Catholic university located on 48 acres on Seattle's Capitol Hill. More than 7,500 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools. U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2008" ranks Seattle University among the top 10 universities in the West that offer a full range of masters and undergraduate programs.

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