Two keynote presentations will be given by nationally renowned scholars Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez and Dr. Cecilia González-Andrieu. Dr. González-Andrieu will be in conversation with artist John August Swanson whose visual parables “reflect the strong heritage of storytelling inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father.”

The Rev. Dr. Eddie De León, CMF is the presider and principal homilist for the opening and closing liturgies.

Rev. Dr. Eddie De León, CMF

Father Eddie De León is a Claretian Missionary priest and professor of Pastoral Ministry and Preaching at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Department of Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry. He earned his Doctor of Ministry in Preaching at Aquinas Institute of Theology. He has also studied art and archeology in Pompeii, Italy; Montignac, France; and Oxford, England. Fr. De León specializes in street art as narrative text for preaching and pastoral ministry.

Dr. Cecilia González-Andrieu

Cecilia González-Andrieu is professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University, where she also works on multiple initiatives to serve the Latinx community, especially undocumented students. A graduate of LMU and the Graduate Theological Union through the consortium of the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and the University of California Berkeley, she is a contributing writer for America Magazine and publishes widely as a public theologian. She is a member of the board of directors of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. A respected international lecturer on issues of political theology, theological aesthetics, and Latino theology she is the author of the book Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty, co-editor of Teaching Global Theologies: Power and Praxis, and a contributor to many other publications, including Go Into the Streets: The Welcoming Church of Pope FrancisShe participated in a conversation about the arts and Latinx beauty with Tony Alonso, by Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts

La doctora Cecilia González-Andrieu es profesora de teología en Loyola Marymount University, donde también se dedica a servir a la comunidad Latina de muchas formas, especialmente los asuntos de estudiantes indocumentados e inmigrantes y la defensa de los derechos de los trabajadores. Es también reconocida ensayista para la revista católica, America (un ministerio de los Jesuitas) y miembro de la mesa directiva del Ignatian Solidarity Network (la red de solidaridad Ignaciana), dedicada a trabajar con la comunidad y entrenar a los jóvenes para vivir “una fe que hace justicia.”  Es la autora del libro  Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty, co editora de  Teaching Global Theologies: Power and Praxis, y a contribuido a muchas otras publicaciones, entre ellas el libro  Go Into the Streets: The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis.  Participó en una conversación sobre las artes y la belleza latina con Tony Alonso patronicado por Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (la conversación está en inglés).

Jeanette Rodriguez, PhD

Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
STM Couple's and Family Therapy, Approved AAMFT Supervisor
Director, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture
Jeanette Rodriguez is a professor at Seattle University and teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Women Studies, and the Couples and Family Therapy Graduate Program. She serves as Director of the Institute for Thought and Culture and holds the Malcolm and Mari Stamper Endowed Chair in Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Traditions. Rodriguez is the author of several books and articles concentrated in the areas of U.S. Hispanic theology, theologies of liberation, peacebuilding, and women’s spirituality. Her works include Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican American Women (1994); Cuentos Que Vivimos; Stories We Live (1996); co-editor with Dr. Maria Pilar Aquino and Dr. Daisy Machado of A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology (2002); co-authored with Dr. Ted Fortier on Cultural Memory: Resistance, Faith and Identity (2007); and A Clan Mother’s Call: Reconstructing Haudenosaunee Cultural Memory (2017); co-authored The Catholic Experience of Small Christian Communities. She has served as board member for the Academy of Hispanic Theologians in the United States, and as Vice Chair for Pax Christi USA. Rodriguez holds a PhD in Religion and the Personality Sciences from the Graduate Theological Union (1990), Berkeley, California.

John August Swanson

John August Swanson is an artist from Los Angeles, California. He paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media, and he is an independent printmaker of limited edition archival art prints, serigraphs, lithographs, giclées and etchings. His art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. Swanson’s narrative is direct and addresses our cultural roots, in his quest for self-discovery through visual images. He reaffirms universal human values, such as: caring for each other, acting as peacemakers, and something as simple as listening to others. From his representations of Bible stories to his urban scenes of everyday life, as well as his circus and music works, he uses his visual gift to share our stories, and to show us that which brings us together. Read Theological Aesthetics and the Art of John August Swanson, a special edition in the ARTS Journal. (pdf opens in new window)

The images I make are not for “art’s sake,” nor are they for pure self-expression. I want to speak to you in everyday terms as if you were sitting beside me.  Making art has called me to growth, and helped me to understand my journey.  When I create art, I realize the images and ideas I have struggled with are not mine alone; but are common to all. When we are together, physically present or through art, we are in conversation with each other, with our history, and with all humanity.
–John August Swanson

Special Session: Dialogue among Teams from Catholic, Hispanic-Serving Institutions with Dr. Gina Ann Garcia

Dr. Gina Ann Garcia is an associate professor in the department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research centers on issues of equity and justice in higher education with an emphasis on understanding how Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) embrace and enact an organizational identity for serving minoritized populations. She also seeks to understand the experiences of administrators, faculty and staff within HSIs and the outcomes and experiences of students attending these institutions. Finally, her research looks at the ways that race and racism have shaped the experiences of minoritized groups in higher education.

Dr. Garcia has made numerous presentations at national conferences and co-authored multiple publications in top journals. She was awarded a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in 2016 and a National Academy of Education/Spencer postdoctoral fellowship in 2017. She is the author of Becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Opportunities for Colleges & Universities, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, for which she won the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Book of the Year Award in 2020.

Optional Session: Springtide Research Institute

Springtide Research Institute has collected over 20,000 surveys and hundreds of interviews with young people in the past two years about their religious beliefs, longings and belongings. This presentation is an analysis of a subsection of Springtide’s data focusing on 18-22 year-old, Hispanic college students in order to better understand the unique needs and identities of this important group. Specifically, we will focus on whether the belonging process we identified in our original analysis needs to be amended for specific cultural backgrounds. The data presented are exploratory and the presentation is conversational as we share what we’ve learned thus far and invite feedback for future directions.

  • Josh Packard, Ph.D., Executive Director, Springtide Research Institute
  • Nabil Tueme, MA, 2021–2022 Springtide Research Institute BIPOC Research Fellow

Springtide Research Institute (Springtide) is a research institute dedicated to the religious and spiritual lives of young people (ages 13–25) both in and outside of religious institutions. Springtide is committed to diversity of thought and expression, and traverses particular religious expressions and confessional institutions. We believe no young person should have to navigate life’s most important questions alone, so we conduct actionable research at the intersection of young people’s religious and daily lives to help those who care about young people, care better.

Author Reading: I am the Brown Church, by Dr. Robert Chao Romero

Rev. Dr. Robert Chao Romero is "Asian-Latino," and has been a professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA since 2005. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American History and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley, and is also an attorney.  Romero has published 15 academic books and articles on issues of race, immigration, history, education, and religion. The Chinese in Mexico received the Latina/o Studies book award from the Latin American Studies Association and Brown Church received the InterVarsity Press Readers’ Choice Award for best academic title. Romero is a former Ford Foundation and U.C. President's Postdoctoral Fellow, as well as a recipient of the Louisville Institute's Sabbatical Grant for Researchers. 

Romero is an ordained pastor. Together with his wife Erica, he is the co-founder of Jesus 4 Revolutionaries, a Christian ministry to activists, as well as the co-chair of the Matthew 25 Movement in Southern California. The Matthew 25 Movement stands with, and defends the immigrant community in the name of Jesus. The Matthew 25 / Mateo 25 Movement is a broad coalition of national faith-based groups, local churches, clergy associations, grassroots activists, heads of denominations, seminaries, Christian colleges, and more.