Catholic Charities' Al Barber, former CNBC President, to be keynote speaker at Fairfield University's communion breakfast for business professionals on February 11

Image: Fr RyscavageRev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., Ph.D., director of Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life, will celebrate a Mass for business professionals and leaders at 9 a.m. on Sunday, February 11, in Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, located on the Fairfield campus. The Mass will be immediately followed by a communion breakfast at the adjacent John A. Barone Campus Center Oak Room.

Al Barber, President and Chief Operating Officer of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Bridgeport, and former President of CNBC and Chief Financial Officer of NBC, will be the event speaker. He spent 27 years working for General Electric. Three years ago, he was called by a "higher power" to fix and run the largest social service provider in Fairfield County. Catholic Charities agencies, located throughout the country, aim to strengthen communities by providing services and programs that their particular communities need, while empowering people. They help families and individuals overcome tragedy, poverty, and other life challenges. Mr. Barber's topic, "From Corporate America to the Non-Profit World: Challenges, Frustrations, and Rewards," will examine the differences in culture and decision-making in both worlds based on Catholic Social Teaching (CST).

The event is being co-sponsored by the Center for Faith and Public Life and the Fairfield County Chapter of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP), a lay-led Vatican organization founded by Pope John Paul II for education about Catholic social doctrine through business, professional and academic leaders. Seating is limited. Tickets are $30 per person, and couples welcome. For additional information please contact Carolyn Arnold at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3415 or

The mission of both organizations is to increase the awareness, understanding and implementation of Catholic Social Teaching so participants in the public arena are well prepared to engage in an active and constructive dialogue about important issues of the day.

Catholic Social Teaching, considered by some to be one of the best kept secrets in the Church, is a set of principles for reflection to evaluate the framework of society and to provide criteria for prudential judgment and direction for current policy and action. The primary cornerstones are the inherent Dignity of the Human Person, Solidarity and Subsidiarity. Responding to the growing global awareness of the influence of religion on public affairs and fostering its Jesuit philosophy, Fairfield University created the Center for Faith and Public Life in November 2005, naming Fr. Ryscavage as director. The Center sponsors a cross-disciplinary forum for students, scholars, policy makers, religious and community members to converse and reflect on the many issues where religion intersects with civic life. The Center acts as a focal point where local, national, and international activities that link faith and public life may be addressed, including such eminent issues as immigration, politics and religion, and civic engagement.

Last year, Fr. Ryscavage was invited by the Vatican to become a member of the official delegation of the Holy See to the 61st session of the UN General Assembly in New York. His work as a member of the Holy See's UN delegation fits in well with the Center for Faith and Public Life's goal of responding to the growing global awareness of the influence of religion on public affairs.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726,

Posted on January 11, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 122

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