Conference on the Labor Movement and Catholic Social Thought to be Held at SMC

MORAGA, CA (Oct. 21, 2004) -- The John F. Henning Institute at Saint Mary's College of California will hold a conference to explore labor and immigration issues in the context of Catholic social thought. The conference is called "Partners in a Sacred Trust: The Church and the Worker in the Modern World."

Against the backdrop of the ongoing labor dispute between workers and San Francisco hotels, Maria Elena Durazo ('75) will talk about labor organizing in the service economy in a speech titled "Living a Commitment to the Worker." Durazo is the president of Local 11 of Unite Here, the Los Angeles branch of the labor union representing the San Francisco hotel workers.

The conference also includes academic presentations in the morning, an afternoon discussion of Saint Mary's living wage and fair trade coffee policies, and a concluding mass with Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire and music by Coro Hispano de San Francisco musical group. (Please see the schedule of presentations below.)

The John F. Henning Institute is inspired by the life and work of John F. Henning, a Saint Mary's College graduate and former U.S. undersecretary of labor who also served for 26 years as the executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. The conference includes a luncheon tribute to Mr. Henning.

When: Saturday, October 30, 9:45 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. (buffet lunch provided)
Where: Soda Activity Center, Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Rd., Moraga

Fifth John F. Henning Conference
Partners in a Sacred Trust: The Church and the Worker in the Modern World

Saturday, October 30, 2004
Soda Activity Center, Saint Mary's College of California
9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Registration & Coffee
9:45 – 10:00 a.m. Welcome & Invocation
* Stephen Woolpert, Dean, School of Liberal Arts, Saint Mary's College
* Most Reverend John S. Cummins, DD, Bishop Emeritus of Oakland
* Brother Michael Meister, FSC, Master of Ceremonies
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Does Labor Still Have Priority in Catholic Social Thought?
* Robert Kennedy - Co-director, Terrence J. Murphy Center for Catholic Thought, Law and Policy; University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

Inhabiting the Land: The Right to Emigrate in Catholic Social Thought
* Andrew Yeungert - President, Association of Christian Economists

12:15 a.m – 1:45 p.m. Buffet Luncheon / Tribute to John F. Henning - Ernest S. Pierucci, Esq., Archie Green, Folklorist, Mr. Patrick Henning
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Catholic Institutions & Organized Labor Today
* Panel: Responding to Workers' Needs at Saint Mary's College
* Chair: Roy E. Allen, Dean, School of Economics & Business Administration, SMC

Personal Reflections on the Migrant Ministry of the Church
* Most Reverend Stephen Blaire, Bishop of Stockton

Culture Wars and the Organizing of Catholic Latinos
* Fr. George Schultze-Grijalva, SJ

3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Living a Commitment to the Worker - Maria Elena Durazo - President, UNITE HERE, Local 11, AFL-CIO
4:15 – 4:30 p.m. Closing - Henning Institute Award for Distinguished Service - Maria Elena Durazo
5:15 p.m. Mass - Saint Mary's College Chapel - Most Reverend Stephen Blaire, Principal Celebrant - Coro Hispano de San Francisco, Directed by Juan Pedro Gaffney

For more information or to make reservations, please contact Please RSVP to Sally Jamison at (925) 631-4406 or


Saint Mary's College of California, founded in 1863, is a residential learning community based in the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. An outstanding faculty brings these traditions to life. The College enrolls 2,440 traditional undergraduates and more than 2,000 students in adult education and graduate programs. The Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guides the academic growth and spiritual character of the school. Saint Mary's is located in Moraga, 20 miles east of San Francisco.