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Near and Far
50 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Jodi Mikalachki on Fraternity, Peace, and the 40 Young Martyrs of Buta Seminary, Burundi
Jodi Mikalachki is associate professor of English at the University of Burundi’s Institute of Applied Pedagogy in Bujumbura. She has written extensively on gender and nationalism. Her current project focuses on nonviolent responses to grief and loss in post–independence Burundi. Her essay, “Narrating Violence in Burundian Genocide and Civil War Literature: Pacifique Irankunda’s Playing at Violence,” appeared in ~Emerging Trends in Eastern African Literatures and Cultures~ (Galda Verlag, 2020). She has also translated two Burundian works engaging with the nation’s cycles of political violence: Zacharie Bukuru’s ~We Are All Children of God: The Forty Young Martyrs of Buta—Burundi~ (Paulines Africa, 2015) and Antoine Kaburahe, ~Hutsi: In the Name of Us All~ (Iwacu, 2019).
52 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Jakob Egeris Thorsen on Being Maya & Christian in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
Jakob Egeris Thorsen joins CWCIT's Bill Cavanaugh to talk about the complex relationships among traditional Mayan Catholics, mainstream Catholics, and Protestants in the Guatemalan town of Santiago Atitlán. A Catholic theologian at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Prof. Thorsen is married to a Guatemalan woman and has spent years in Guatemala researching the effects of modernization on traditional cultures there. He is particularly interested in the tensions between Catholics who maintain many traditional Mayan practices and other Catholics and Protestants who consider those practices heterodox, syncretistic, and pagan. Prof. Thorsen is interested in approaches to inculturation that respect and preserve local indigenous culture, which is threatened by modernization, while also maintaining the integrity of the Catholic theological tradition.
43 minutes | Feb 23, 2022
Sr. Maria Vasantha, MD: Practicing Eastern and Western Medicine (and the Catholic Faith) in India
In this podcast, CWCIT's Karen Kraft speaks with Sr. Dr. Maria Vasantha about her life as both a religious sister and medical doctor who is skilled in both Western and traditional Indian medicine. Sr. Dr. Vasantha discusses her involvement with the Sister Doctors Forum of India, her medical work in the impoverished Tamil Nadu state, and the Catholic Church in India's support and promotion of traditional Indian medicine, through the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), for example. Drawing on her own personal experience as well as what she has seen in her patients, she also describes specific instances in which Indian traditional medicine has succeeded where Western medicine has not. Sr. Maria Vasantha, MD (or Sr. Dr. Maria Vasantha)belongs to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod, popularly known as the Holy Cross Sisters, and holds numerous positions at Leonard Hospital in the town of Batlagundu in India’s Tamil Nadu State including that of director, consultant, and surgeon within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Proficient in the practice of contemplative and Zen meditation, she is also certified in Bach flower medicine, reflexology, and yoga. She follows an integrative approach to women’s health, using a balance of Western science and alternative and spiritual therapies of Eastern science. Her passion is to bring the healing touch of Christ to everyone she meets, particularly the indigenous poor.
50 minutes | Nov 17, 2021
African--or Public--Theology? A Conversation with Scholar Paul Gifford
CWCIT director Bill Cavanaugh speaks with Paul Gifford, emeritus professor of the study of religions at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, about contemporary Catholicism on the African continent. Among the topics they cover are the Catholic Church in Africa's huge involvement with development, its relative lack of interest in ecumenism, and its vulnerability in the face of the recent “Pentecostal” explosion. Paul Gifford is CWCIT's fall 2021 visiting research fellow. He has been living on the African continent for several decades and is the author of numerous books, including "Christianity, Modernity, and Development in Africa" (Hurst, 2015) and "Ghana's New Christianity: Pentecostalism in a Globalizing African Economy" (Hurst, 2003).
46 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Kochurani Abraham on Gender Equality in India
In this podcast with CWCIT's Stan Chu Ilo, Dr. Kochurani Abraham discusses her advocacy for gender equality in India and her ecumenical leadership in holding churches to account in India in the fight against rape, and other forms of gender violence against women. She also speaks of where she sees signs of hope for women and her prophetic witnessing in bringing about signs of hope in the lives of wounded and broken women in the Church and the wider society in India. Dr. Abraham is a feminist theologian, gender researcher, and trainer from Kerala, India. She has a masters in child development from Kerala University, a licentiate in systematic theology from Pontifical University of Comillas, Madrid, and a PhD in feminist theology from the University of Madras, India. Currently, she serves as regional coordinator of the Indian Christian Women’s Movement for Kerala and vice president of the Indian Theological Association.
28 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Ministry and Advocacy in South Sudan: An Interview with Sr. Joan Mumaw, IHM
Sr. Joan Mumaw, IHM, joins CWCIT's Stan Chu Ilo to talk about her advocacy work for South Sudan, especially through the nonprofit that she directs, Friends in Solidarity. They discuss the nonprofit's many accomplishments, the various violent situations and challenges that women religious face in South Sudan, and how the Church can aid in the complex political situation with de-escalation efforts and reconciliation. Wrapping up the podcast, Sr. Joan shares some lessons she learned while working with the poor in conflict zones, as well as her hopes for the future of South Sudan. Friends in Solidarity is a collaborative nonprofit ministry initiated by Institutes of Women and Men Religious in the U.S. and supporting the people of Africa, especially South Sudan, through capacity building initiatives that include the training of teachers, health care professionals and pastoral teams. Learn more about it at http://www.FriendsInSolidarity.org.
56 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
Award-Winning Journalist, David Cayley, on the Revolutionary Priest & Cultural Critic, Ivan Illich
CWCIT’s Bill Cavanaugh talks to David Cayley about Ivan Illich, the brilliant, idiosyncratic, and revolutionary Catholic priest and cultural critic. Cayley is an award-winning journalist and author who became good friends with Illich and has written several important books with and about him. In this interview, David and Bill concentrate on Illich's critique of the Western medical establishment and the way we have been alienated from our own bodies. They also discuss what Illich would have thought about our reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.
65 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
Brazilian Bioethicist & Theologian, Alex Martins, on Liberation Theology & Health Care Ethics
Alexandre Martins is a young theologian and bioethicist from Brazil who teaches at Marquette University. In this interview, Alex and CWCIT's Bill Cavanaugh discuss his work bringing together liberation theology and health care ethics, examining the way that medicine for profit distorts the true care of the body and soul. Among other topics, they discuss Dr. Martins work with indigenous communities in Brazil and what they have to teach us about health care.
37 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
Project DREAM: A Vincentian Response to HIV/AIDS in Africa (Sr. Catherine Mulligan, DC)
A CWCIT interview with Sr. Catherine Mulligan, DC, regional coordinator for 13 years of the Daughters of Charity’s Kenya mission, which includes projects like Project DREAM. An extraordinarily successful, innovative health care model launched in Nairobi, DREAM now provides free state-of-the-art, holistic treatment for HIV/AIDS in 6 sub-Saharan countries: Mozambique, Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Kenya. A collaboration between the Daughters of Charity and the Community of Sant’Egidio, DREAM stands for "Drug Resource Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition" and has a special focus on the care of pregnant women and their children. Learn more about Project DREAM at http://www.daughtersips.org/hivaids. A native of Ireland trained as a nurse/midwife, Sr. Mulligan has 14 years of experience in different medical disciplines, including psychiatry and hospital administration. She was the DCs' provincial leader in Ireland when her province was invited in 2001 to open a new mission in Kenya.
59 minutes | Mar 2, 2020
Harvesting Hope in Panama: The Prophetic Witness of the Indigenous Ngäbe People (Joe Fitzgerald, CM)
A CWCIT interview with Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald, CM, a Vincentian priest who has served in Panama since 2005, shortly after being ordained. In 2007, he began serving at the Vincentian mission in Soloy, traveling to 50+ villages throughout the mountains, often on foot or horseback, to work with and minister to the Ngäbe people, who are Panama's largest indigenous group and among the poorest. In addition to sacramental ministry and agricultural and artisan projects, a significant part of the Vincentians' ministry has been accompanying them in their struggle to maintain their cultural identity and values, as well as their lands, which have been increasingly threatened by mega-projects such as open-pit mineral mines and dams. Fr. Fitzgerald holds an MA in global development and social justice (St. John's University, New York) and a PhD in theology (Pontifical Bolivarian University, Bogotá). Since 2016, he has served as executive secretary of the National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry (CONAPI) of the Panamanian Bishops' Conference. And in 2019, he published a book in Spanish, "Danza en la casa de Ngöbo: Resiliencia de la 'Vida Plena' Ngäbe frente al neoliberalismo" (To Dance in Ngöbo's [God's] House: The Resilience of the Ngäbe 'Full Life' in the Face of Neoliberalism).
39 minutes | Nov 11, 2019
A Voice of the Vincentian Laity: The Haiti Initiative and FamVin Homeless Alliance (Yasmine Cajuste)
A CWCIT interview with Yasmine Cajuste, project development manager for the FamVin Homeless Alliance (FHA) and former education coordinator for the Vincentian Haiti Initiative. A native Haitian who has been active in the International Vincentian Family since high school, Yasmine is also a wife, mom, and graduate of DePaul University where she earned her MA in educational leadership. (Learn more about the FamVin Homeless Alliance here: https://vfhomelessalliance.org) In this interview, she speaks, among other things, about her own personal story and what attracted her as a lay person to the international mission and work of the Vincentians...what she has learned through her role with FHA about homelessness—and the efforts to reduce it—across so many different parts of the world (FHA works on 6 continents)...how she and others in the Vincentian community support each other and "keep on keeping on" in work that seems, at times, overwhelmingly daunting.
51 minutes | Jun 18, 2019
The Catholic Church's Role in the Struggle against Metal Mining in El Salvador (Andrés McKinley)
A CWCIT interview with Andrés McKinley, a mining and water specialist at San Salvador's Central American University (UCA). In March 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metal mining, safeguarding its natural resources and its people's health. Leading the push was the Catholic Church and key to the effort was McKinley. Born in the U.S., McKinley has lived in Central America since 1977 and holds a master's in health administration. According to the organization, Global Witness, environmental activists are being murdered at an increasingly alarming rate worldwide. The deadliest year on record was 2017; 207 people were killed, nearly 4 a week, and 60% of recorded killings were in Latin America.* People working on land, water and mining issues are among the most vulnerable worldwide, which makes the saga of mining politics in El Salvador all the more remarkable. With important roles played by local citizen activists, an array of indigenous and other communities, and with contributions from the Church, something surprising is unfolding in this small country of 6.4 million people. *Reference: https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/deadliest-year-record-land-and-environmental-defenders-agribusiness-shown-be-industry-most-linked-killings/
49 minutes | May 16, 2019
Comforting the Afflicted—and Accused: Witchcraft & Demons in a World of Plural Beliefs
A CWCIT interview with Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven, SMA, a longtime missionary in Zambia. Fr. Udelhoven holds an MA in social anthropology (SOAS University of London) and has 20 years' experience in mediating witchcraft-related disputes in Zambia. For CWCIT's 2018-19 Spiritual Works of Mercy lecture series, Fr. Udelhoven gave a talk at DePaul University on the topic of this podcast's title. In the West, witchcraft and demons are typically the stuff of fiction. But in Zambia, these are real issues that affect real people. Those who have occult experiences, feel afflicted by demons, or stand accused of witchcraft are ostracized, even by their own families, often with threats to their very lives. Fr. Udelhoven's "Fingers of Thomas" support group offers them comfort. Its culturally-sensitive approach takes seriously people's fears yet also pursues justice for those who are victims of moral panics and minority demonization. (Learn more about the "Fingers of Thomas" here: https://www.fenza.org/fingers-of-thomas.html)
36 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
Liturgy for the Church as a Field Hospital (Fr. Patrick Chibuko)
A CWCIT interview with Fr. Patrick Chibuko, professor of sacred liturgy at the Catholic Institute of West Africa in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He discusses Pope Francis’ ecclesiological paradigm, or model, of the Church as a “field hospital.” And he argues that this new model needs to be ritualized and cemented into the sacramental and pastoral life of parishes through appropriate, corresponding liturgical celebrations. Doing this, he says—that is, ritualizing the idea of the church as a field hospital—can inspire social ministries in parishes. It will also inspire theological developments among Catholic scholars, particularly in Africa, so that theology can meet, at the practical level, the challenging social realities of God’s people, especially those who are wounded and feeling very distant from God and from love.
35 minutes | Oct 2, 2018
Putting Laudato Si’ into Action in Uganda (Fr. Emmanuel Katongole)
A CWCIT interview with Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a professor at the University of Notre Dame and a co-founder of the Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in Uganda. BLI was inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, and born as a response to three interrelated problems: food insecurity, deforestation, and land depletion in Uganda. BLI is an educational program dedicated to forming the poor and excluded in rural Africa in the practices, lifestyle, and spirituality of sustainable land care, food production, and economic expertise. And it does this through the Caretaker Program, an intensive 2-year residential program where students (called Caretakers) receive hands-on training in farming, agro-business, and personal formation. Learn more about BLI on its website: https://bethanylandinstitute.org
35 minutes | Jul 11, 2018
Visiting the Sick: From Liberation Theology to Health Care—Lessons Learned in Rural Ecuador
A CWCIT interview with David Gaus, MD, an American physician and public health expert who is the founder/CEO of Andean Health & Development (AHD), a nonprofit that provides high-quality, sustainable health care in rural Ecuador and operates a residency program for local family physicians. For CWCIT's 2017-18 Corporal Works of Mercy lecture series, Dr. Gaus gave a talk at DePaul University on the topic of this podcast's title, the connection between missionary medicine's evolution and liberation theology. This interview addresses that topic as well as related aspects of Dr. Gaus' 20 years of work in rural Ecuador. Learn more about Andean Health & Development here: https://www.andeanhealth.org
43 minutes | Jul 11, 2018
Feeding the Hungry/Giving Drink to the Thirsty: The Challenges in Haiti and South Sudan
A CWCIT interview with Chris Herlinger, author of "Food Fight: Struggling for Justice in a Hungry World" and an international correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report, covering the U.N. and humanitarian challenges in South Sudan, Bangladesh, Haiti, and the Middle East. For CWCIT's 2017-19 Corporal Works of Mercy series, Herlinger gave a talk at DePaul University on the topic of this podcast's title. This interview addresses that topic as well as related aspects of Herlinger's work.
33 minutes | Jun 4, 2018
Burying the Dead: Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines and the Catholic Church's Response
A CWCIT interview with Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR, a Filipino Catholic priest, human rights & peace advocate, and former spokesperson for the Coalition Against Summary Execution (Davao, Philippines) and for the Network Against Killings in the Philippines. For CWCIT's 2017-18 Corporal Works of Mercy lecture series, Fr. Picardal gave a talk at DePaul University on the topic of this podcast's title. This interview addresses that topic as well as related aspects of Fr. Picardal's work.
38 minutes | Jun 4, 2018
Welcoming the Stranger: In a Throwaway Culture, "Turning Away" People? (Kevin Clarke)
A CWCIT interview with Kevin Clarke, senior editor & chief correspondent for "America" magazine. For CWCIT's 2017-18 Corporal Works of Mercy series, Clarke gave a talk at DePaul University on the international refugee crisis and the Catholic response, particularly in the U.S.; this interview addresses that topic and related aspects of his work.
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