Becoming a Church of the Poor: The Vincentian Charism and Reform

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Becoming a Church of the Poor: The Vincentian Charism and Reform

How can the Vincentian charism contribute to the reform process Pope Francis has begun & help make the Church more open to God and the poor?

By Center for World Catholicism at DePaul University

When and where

Date and time

April 13 · 2:30pm - April 15 · 5pm CDT


John T. Richardson Library at DePaul University 2350 N. Kenmore Ave. Rm. 103 Chicago, IL 60614

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About this event

  • 2 days 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Conference website:

PLEASE NOTE: This is a hybrid event, with all but 2 sessions being offered both in person and online. The only 2 sessions that won't be livestreamed are

  • the Thursday pre-conference session
  • the Saturday closing Mass


Each year, World Catholicism Week gathers scholars and practitioners from around the world to reflect on a theme. The 2023 global gathering will address how the Vincentian charism can contribute to the process of reform that Pope Francis has inaugurated: What is the Vincentian vision for making the Church more open to God and to the poor? How does the Church need to reform, and what kinds of internal and external resistance does it face? How is a reforming Church simultaneously a Church dedicated to the transformation of the world, addressing pressing concerns of economic, political, and environmental justice?

Join speakers from the Philippines, Chile, Haiti, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Nigeria, ​Argentina, the U.S., and Europe—including the Vincentian Superior General, Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM—to discuss the following topics: ​

  • Historical perspectives on reform in the lives of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and Vincentian communities worldwide
  • The changing concept of “the poor” and the theme of marginality
  • The internal reform of the Church, including the roles of laity and women
  • Becoming an outward-facing Church dedicated to transforming the world

"Becoming a Church of the Poor: The Vincentian Charism and Reform" is the 14th annual World Catholicism Week conference organized by DePaul University's Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology (CWCIT), and we're very grateful to our cosponsors this year here at DePaul:

:: About the cover photo :: In Midjivin, Cameroon, Daughter of Charity Sr. Lorraine Toko serves the elderly poor as part of a Projets Rosalie initiative.


Tomaž Mavrič, CM—Superior General, Congregation of the Mission and Company of the Daughters of Charity (Rome, Italy)

Daniel F. Pilario, CM—Associate Professor, St. Vincent School of Theology, and pastoral minister at a Payatas dumpsite parish (Quezon City, Philippines)

Quentin Wodon—Director, UNESCO's International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

View complete list of all conference speakers, their bios, and descriptions of their conference topics.

Conference Schedule

THURSDAY, April 13

2:30-4:00pm Special Pre-Conference Undergraduate Research Poster Session, featuring DePaul undergraduates and 3 of our conference speakers as respondents. (PLEASE NOTE: This will not be livestreamed, due to its interactive nature. Please stay tuned for more details!)

4:00-4:15pm Short break

4:15-5:00pm Opening keynote address by Tomaž Mavrič, CM

5:00-6:30pm Break for dinner (on your own)

6:30-8:30pm Roundtable—The Historical Vision of Reform in the Vincentian Charism

  • Alison Forrestal—Ways of Knowing: The Laity in Early Vincentian Practices of Reform
  • John Rybolt, CM—Vincent de Paul: A Reformer? Two Cases—The Salon of Mme. Acarie and the Council of Conscience
  • Raymond Sickinger—To Become a Church of the Poor: Frédéric Ozanam's Lay Vision of Reform & Transformation

FRIDAY, April 14

10:00am-12:00pm Roundtable—Marginality: The Evolution of the Concept of the Poor

  • Jorge Costadoat, SJ—The Poor as Theologians
  • Theresa Eke, DC—Beyond Charity: Evolution of the Mission of the Daughters of Charity in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Dominque Iyolo, CM—The Vincentian Charism: An Invitation to the Church's Bold Reform Today

12:00-1:30pm Break for lunch (on your own)

1:30-3:30pm Roundtable—The Reform of the Church

  • Carlos Schickendantz—Church Reforms and Synodality
  • Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée—Do We Invent the Saints We Need? Pope Francis, the Saints "Next Door," and Lay Vincentians
  • Guillermo Campuzano, CM—A New Way of Being Church: A New Way of the Vincentian Charism

3:30-4:00pm Break

4:00-5:30pm Keynote address by Daniel F. Pilario, CM—Repair My House: Empowering a Church of the Poor through the Eyes of St. Vincent

SATURDAY, April 15

10:00am-12:00pm Roundtable—The Transformation of Society

  • Renato Lima de Oliveira—The Society of St. Vincent de Paul: 190 Years of Love, Empathy, and Hope for Those in Need
  • Yasmine Cajuste—The Encounter with Those Experiencing Poverty for the Transformation of Society
  • Franciscus Armada Riyanto, CM—The Formation of the Laity & Seminarians for an Outward-Facing Church: A Vincentian Contribution to the Reform of the Catholic Church in Indonesia

12:00-1:30pm Break for lunch (on your own)

1:30-3:00pm Keynote address by Quentin Wodon—Education, Integral Human Development, and Faith: Challenges and Opportunities

3:00-3:15pm Short break

3:15-3:45pm Conference wrap-up discussion

3:45-4:00pm Short break

4:00-5:00pm Closing Mass for in-person attendees (PLEASE NOTE: This will not be livestreamed.)


How can I contact the organizer with questions? You can reach the staff of CWCIT at

Can I update/change my registration information? Yes—to review or change any of your registration info, please simply follow the instructions given here.

What if something comes up and I'm not able to attend? You can cancel your free registration by following the instructions given here.

Whom should I contact if I have questions about disability accommodations? If you have a disability that may require reasonable accommodations in order to facilitate your participation in this or other CWCIT events, please contact us at to further discuss accommodation options.

About the organizer

The Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology (CWCIT) is a leading center of research and reflection on the Church in the global South--Asia, Africa, and Latin America. CWCIT seeks to be at the forefront of the discussion about the relationship between globalization and the Catholic Church's future as a truly worldwide Church.