APRIL 2, 2011

Cosponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry and Paulist Reconciliation Ministries, this conference provided the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics dealing with communal healing, as well as practical skills for working toward healing within faith communities. Selected presentations were taped.


Restoring Trust - Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, codirector, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture

Years of disagreement within the Catholic Church, plus an outsized scandal, have eroded episcopal credibility. Restoring trust requires unprecedented truth-telling by Church leaders and greater accuracy in reporting by the media. Will that be enough for ordinary Catholics and their fellow Americans?


Healing: An Interfaith Perspective  - Rodney L. Petersen, executive director, Boston Theological Institute

Forgiveness, an essential element of personal and social healing, has been said to be a hardwired aspect of human nature that has been shaped and practiced in important ways in different religions and cultures.  This presentation offers a typology of forgiveness perspectives toward the end of personal and social health.


Understanding and Managing Difficult Conversations - Robert C. Bordone, Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and director, Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program

This presentation examines the underlying structure of difficult conversations and offers practical tips on how we can engage such conversations with greater skill, honesty, and gentleness, both for ourselves and for the other we encounter at home, at work, or in our faith communities.


Focusing: Listening to Your Own Deep Knowing - H. John McDargh, associate professor, Boston College Theology Department, and director, Center for Psychotherapy and Spirituality, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

This experiential workshop introduces participants to the focusing process, developed by Eugene Gendlin, to help a person listen to their own embodied “felt sense” of a situation, relationship, or unfolding decision, and thus find their way through mental and emotional blocks to self-knowledge and effective action.  Emphasis is on companioning others in this process of deep knowing.


Integrative Process and Remarks  - Thomas H. Groome, STM professor of theology and religious education, and chair, Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry

Dr. Groome offers a summary of salient points of the conference as well as his own remarks on the challenge of healing.