Advocacy, Social Justice, and the Pope

Albertus Magnus College Hosts 10th Annual Aquinas Lecture Series: Thomas Talks

New Haven, Conn., November 9, 2021 Albertus Magnus College, a Catholic College in the Dominican Tradition since 1925, invites you to a free lecture.

Who: In-person Guest Presenter:  Rev. Thomas Massaro, S.J., Fordham University.

What: The Albert the Great Lecture:  Faith-Based Advocacy for Social Justice:  Lessons from Pope Francis.

When:  Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 5:15 pm.

Where: Behan Community Room at the Hubert Campus Center, 831 Winchester Avenue, New Haven, CT. (Seating is limited; proof of COVID vaccination or negative test and face mask required.  The event will also be live-streamed at

Pope Francis is well known for his bold advocacy for social justice in such areas as solidarity with refugees, protections for worker rights, peacemaking, promoting economic justice, and environmental activism. But beyond the content of his advocacy lies a rather specific style of conducting his efforts to forge a world of greater peace and justice.  This address will describe several key features of the distinctive dialogical style that Francis has exhibited in challenging and inspiring his global audience to support and enact urgent social change.  These wide-ranging efforts of Pope Francis include prudent theological analysis, savvy diplomacy, Vatican organizational reforms and creative public-relations strategies—all in service of an energetic and inclusive style of faith-based advocacy for social justice.

In pursuit of answers, Albertus Magnus College continues its annual St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture Series – now also known as Thomas Talks  -- named after the scholar and member of the Dominican order who challenged individuals to seek truth and knowledge and was a composer of liturgical hymns as well as a theologian.  Since its founding in 1925 by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, the College has cherished its heritage through the pursuit of truth in all its dimensions.  The College continues to use this lecture series as a lens to which it “responds to the academic needs of ethical challenges of its students and society.”

The presenter is the Rev. Thomas Massaro, S.J., a Professor of Moral Theology at Fordham University.  A Jesuit priest of the Northeast province, he served in the same capacity at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., at Boston College, and at Jesuit School of Theology in Santa Clara University, where he was also Dean.  

Fr. Massaro holds a doctorate in Christian social ethics from Emory University.  His nine books and more than 100 published articles are devoted to Catholic social teaching and its recommendations for public policies oriented to social justice, peace, worker rights, and poverty alleviation.  A former columnist for America magazine, he writes and lectures frequently on such topics as the ethics of globalization, peacemaking, environmental concern, and developing a spirituality of justice. His most recent book analyzes the social teachings of Pope Francis.

Besides teaching courses, he seeks to maintain a commitment to hands-on social activism.  He served a six-year term on the Peace Commission of the City of Cambridge and is a co-founder and national steering committee member of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice.

There are three presentations in the Thomas Talks series:  the St. Albert the Great Lecture (November 16), the St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture (January 26), and the St. Catherine of Siena Lecture (April 11).  The series is made possible through the generosity of the Marie Louise Bianchi ’31 Fund.

About Albertus Magnus College

About Albertus Magnus College: Albertus Magnus College, founded in 1925, is a Catholic College in the Dominican tradition. It is recognized by external rankings such as US News & World Report Best Colleges, Money Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The College has an enrollment of 1,500 students in its traditional undergraduate program, accelerated adult degree programs, and 12 graduate programs, including a new Master of Public Administration and the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program in Connecticut. In the last year, the College received two significant Federal grants in support of student success and well-being: a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice and a $1.9 million Title III grant from the Department of Education.