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Creighton University Celebration of Vatican II Continues with a Conference April 3-4

Three Internationally known theologians will speak at Creighton University’s “Legacy of Vatican II: Year II,” April 3 and 4 in the ballroom of the Harper Center on Creighton’s campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, with a presentation by Peter Phan, Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University in Washington, titled “Vatican II in Asia: Received, Reformed, Returned."

Phan is the founding director of the graduate studies program in Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown. He has earned three doctorates, one in Sacred Theology from the Universitas Pontificia Salesiana, Rome, and doctorates in Philosophy and Divinity, both from the University of London. Phan began his teaching career in philosophy at the age of 18 at Don Bosco College, Hong Kong. In the United States, he has taught at the University of Dallas; the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he held the Warren-Blanding Chair of Religion and Culture; Union Theological Seminary, New York; Elms College, Chicopee, Mass; and St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wis.

He is the first nonwhite to be elected president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. In 2010 he was awarded the John Courtney Murray Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic Theological Society of America for outstanding achievements in theology. His publications in theology are wide-ranging and his writings have received many awards from learned societies. He is the general editor of a multi-volume series titled Theology in Global Perspective for Orbis Books and a multi-volume series, Ethnic American Pastoral Spirituality for Paulist Press.

The conference resumes at noon on Friday, April 4, with a Mass at St. Johns Church in honor of Blessed John XXIII, with Archbishop George Lucas, presiding. Following the Mass a light lunch will be served in the ballroom of the Harper Center.

At 1:30 p.m., Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., will present a lecture titled “Vestiges and Legacies of Vatican II in the African Church.” Orobator is a Nigerian scholar currently serving in Kenya as the Provincial of the Eastern Africa Province of the Society of Jesus, a position he has held since 2009. An author, editor, and lecturer at Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya, Orobator specializes in ethics and theology in the church and religion in African society. He completed his doctorate in theology and religious studies in 2004 at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

His most recent work, Practising Reconciliation, Doing Justice, Building Peace: Conversations on Catholic Theological Ethics in Africa (Paulines, 2013), addresses the mission of the church in the context of Africa's present socioeconomic, political, and religious context. Forthcoming is a collection titled “Feminism: Conversations in the World Church,” coedited with Linda Hogan.

The Conference will conclude at 4 p.m. with a presentation by Stephen Judd, M.M., president of the Latin American Christopher Leadership Institute in Lima, Peru, titled “Collegiality at the Peripheral Crossroads: The Vatican II Spirit in the Renewal of the Church in Latin America.”A celebration of evening prayer and a reception will follow at 6:00 p.m.

Judd was born in Montana and served in the United States Air Force before joining the Maryknoll Fathers. He received his doctorate in the Sociology of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. He has served as a missionary and educator for more than 40 years in Latin America among the indigenous peoples of Peru and Bolivia, including very difficult times of revolution and conflict in those countries. Judd is also a published author and frequent speaker across the Western Hemisphere on various topics concerning the Latin American Catholic Church.

Each major address at the conference will be followed by response panels of Reardon Heaney Student Scholars, undergraduate and graduate students who have experience in one of the Continental Churches under discussion and/ or have done scholarship on the Church in those areas.

The Vatican II Legacy Series is sponsored by the Barbara Reardon Heaney Chair in Pastoral Liturgical Theology, the Center for Catholic Thought, the Amelia B. & Emil G. Graff Faculty Chair in Catholic Theological Studies and the John C. Kenefick Faculty Chair in the Humanities.

For more information, contact Colleen Hastings at (402) 280-2303 or or visit

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