The first day's events will include a talk on spirituality and social action by Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, executive director of Cultural Diversity in the Church for the USCCB, and an opening Mass celebrated by Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
On February 8, John Carr, executive director of the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, will offer a reflection on the common work of Catholic social ministry, especially in light of Pope Benedict's latest encyclical. The Domestic Issues Plenary speaker, Ray Boshara, vice-president and senior fellow at New America Foundation and consultant to the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, will speak on reducing poverty in America.
The International Issues Plenary speaker will be Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor in the Department of Politics of The Catholic University of America and a consultant to the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace. She will address how the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI impact the international mission of the U.S. Church and both affirm and challenge U.S. foreign policy.
On February 9, attendees will break into state delegations and visit their U.S. Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill to discuss immigration reform, health care reform, job creation and policies that uphold the life and dignity of human life and pursue justice and peace worldwide.
The gathering's closing luncheon will feature David Brooks and Mark Shields of NewsHour on PBS offering commentary on how politics shape issues of human life and dignity and justice and peace.