The Role of the Laity in the Reform of the Church: A modest but urgent proposal

Join Dr. Michael Higgins and panelists Sr. Sue Mosteller, Dr. Angus Reid, Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, and Dr. Lynda Robitaille for an evening of dialogue on how the laity can shape church leadership.

John Henry Cardinal Newman provides a marvelous foundation for considering and valuing the role of the laity in the life—and yes, teachings—of the church. How do we use some of Newman’s insights for our modern predicament? How do we move forward as a church ever reforming? Dr. Michael Higgins will explore one vital direction whereby the laity can influence and shape credible and meaningful spiritual leadership for our time.

Date and Time: Monday, May 27, 2019 – 7:00

Location: University of British Columbia – Wesbrook Room 100, 6174 University Boulevard, Vancouver

Cost: Free

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Dr. Michael Higgins – Distinguished Professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University


Sr. Sue Mosteller – Leader of the International Federation of L’Arche and a Sister of St. Joseph

Dr. Angus Reid – Canada's best-known and longest practicing pollster and Chairman of the Angus Reid Institute

Dr. Lynda Robitaille - Canon lawyer and Dean of Theology at St. Mark's College

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser
– Internationally renowned speaker, spiritual writer and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

More about the Speakers

More about the Speakers

Dr. Michael W. Higgins

Michael W. Higgins, a native Torontonian, is an author, scholar, Vatican Affairs Specialist for The Globe and Mail, Papal Commentator for the CTV Network, educator, CBC Radio documentarian, columnist, and former senior academic administrator.

He has served as President and Vice-Chancellor of two Canadian Catholic universities, St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, and as Vice-President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

He is currently Distinguished Professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University.
He has edited, co-authored and authored scores of books including The Jesuit Mystique, Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads, Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton, The Muted Voice: Religion and the Media, Stalking the Holy: The Pursuit of Saint-Making, Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry Into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal, Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Unquiet Monk: Thomas Merton’s Questing Faith, Jean Vanier: Logician of the Heart. Several of these books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, many have won awards and been national bestsellers.

Sr. Sue Mosteller

Sue Mosteller is a Sister of St. Joseph, who for forty years lived and worked with people
with disabilities in the L’Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto. She served as leader
of the International Federation of L’Arche, working with Jean Vanier, and has had a wide
experience with different cultures and different religious traditions. Sue was a close
friend and confidant of the late Fr. Henri Nouwen during the ten years he was pastor at
Daybreak prior to his death. Henri named her to become Literary Executor of his Estate
after his death. Today Sue lives in Toronto, is retired and works with Henri’s spiritual
legacy, giving retreats and workshops in Canada and elsewhere in the world. She
authored three books, the latest being Light Through the Crack, Life After Loss.

Dr. Angus Reid

Angus Reid has spent more than four decades asking people what they think about top social, governance, and economic issues. He is currently Chairman of the Angus Reid Institute.

From 1979 to 2001, Angus Reid was founder and CEO of Angus Reid Group, which grew into the largest research firm in Canada, with revenues of $60 million. It was sold to Ipsos SA in 2000. In 2003 he joined his son Andrew’s research software start up, Vision Critical, as CEO. When he retired as executive chair in 2014 Vision Critical had 600 employees worldwide and revenues over $100 million.

Angus has written numerous columns on economic, social and governance issues and well as the best-seller; “Shakedown: How the New Economy is Changing our Lives” (1996). He has a B.A. and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Manitoba, and in 1974 he received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa.

He is the recipient of a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship, the Entrepreneur of the Year award, and was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends (2010).
In 2017, Dr. Angus Reid was invited to give the annual Carr Leture at St. Mark’s College. The lecture, “Faith and Society” explored how the forces of a new era will reshape individual and collective religious experience in Canada.

Dr. Lynda Robitaille

Lynda Robitaille has been teaching canon law since 1993 at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Seattle University, the Katholieke Universiteit (Catholic University) of Leuven, Belgium, and St. Mark’s College. Her areas of speciality are marriage and procedural law, as well as the role of the baptized in the Church.

She continues to practice canon law while serving as Dean of Theology at St. Mark’s College.

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser

Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He is a community-builder, lecturer, and writer. His books are popular throughout the English-speaking world and have now been translated into many languages. His weekly column is carried by more than 80 newspapers worldwide. Prior to this present position, he taught theology and philosophy at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta, for 16 years, served as Provincial Superior of his Oblate Province for six years, and served on the General Council for the Oblates in Rome for six years. He has been at Oblate School of theology since 2005. 


For more information, please contact Yujin Han.

E: [email protected]

T: 604-822-5358

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