The Catholic University of America



Who is this conference for?

Business executives, CEOs, Clergy & Religious leaders networking to promote business as a force for good.

Who is speaking?

This is the greatest gathering of Catholic business leaders in North America. Speakers vary from academics to business CEOs to Catholic Church leaders.

What they will benefit from?

The attendees will learn about Catholic social teachings and how to relate them to the business world. The three parts of the presentations are based on encyclicals by Pope Leo XIII, St. John Paul II and Pope Francis. The talks will cover human ecology and how to integrate ourselves to better serve our businesses and community. There is time for networking and getting to know the other attendees to help connect like-minded people to bring a community together. The most important part of the conference is the Eucharist and spirituality. There are daily masses offered, confession as well as spiritual direction available. It will be a great conference to learn from the speakers, get to know the attendees and spend some time self-reflecting.

About the Conference

Catholic teachings on the common good are comprehensive and universal. They communicate truths and principles which are relevant to every aspect of human flourishing. For the anniversaries of the great documents of Catholic social teaching Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus, and our newest addition to Catholic social teaching Laudato Si, CUA and The Napa Institute have convened a conference on Human Ecology that attempts to integrate and convey the wisdom of 125 years of the Catholic Church’ s social encyclicals and eternal teaching.

There is no question that our Catholic faith gives us strong moral motivations to help our neighbor, to help the poor, and to help the many charitable institutions that are run or inspired by the Church. One of the purposes of this conference is to extend our understanding of how our Catholic faith helps to build up a just and flourishing society, and how it may alleviate the material and spiritual poverty facing so many of our neighbors.

Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum wrote that the church’ s desire is that the poor should rise above poverty and they should better their condition in life. He believes that this promotion is most likely to occur through the virtues. Similarly, Pope St. John Paul II in Centesimus Annus notes that the poor are right to ask for a share in the material goods of the society and to make good use for their capacity to work. He notes that in order for this to be the case, certain economic conditions as well as political stability are required for human beings to make good use of their own labor.

Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium tells us that business is a vocation and a noble one, it is a vocation provided by God so that each person would be challenged by a greater meaning in life to serve the common good, by striving to increase the goods of this world and making them more accessible to all. In Laudato Si, our Holy Father also examines corporate social responsibility for the common good of an "integral ecology" and the “care for our common home."

What is required for a truly sustainable, widespread, and inclusive prosperity? What is the vocation of business leaders who are committed to their Catholic faith, to the common good, and to the life of virtue?

These are the fundamental questions that our Human Ecology conference will ask in order to spur us all, Church leaders, scholars, and business leaders, to the heights of our own capacities and gifts. 


Preliminary Schedule 

The schedule may be downloaded here.

Tuesday, March 15th

Time Event Location
9:00 pm Cigar Reception (for attendees who arrive early) Hotel Balcony 1142

Wednesday, March 16th

Time Event Location
8:00 am

Fr. Spitzer

Mass (Optional)

Hotel Meeting Room 2
9:00 am- 11:00 am Confessions Available Hotel
11:00 am Transportation from Hotel  
11:30 am Registration/ Lunch  Pryz Great Room A
12:45 pm

Dr. Brian Engelland

Interim Dean, School of Business and Economics

Tim Busch

Chairman, School of Business and Economics Board of Visitors and Chairman, Napa Institute (Welcoming)

Fr. Robert Spitzer

Opening Remarks

 Pryz Great Room B

Part 1:

Rerum Novarum: Foundations of Human Ecology

1:00 pm

Dr. Andrew Abela

Why human ecology?

Great Room B 
1:35 pm

Msgr. Martin Schlag

What is the impact of faith on capitalism?

Great Room B 
2:05 pm Break  
2:20 pm

Dr. Robert Kennedy

What are the links between virtue and prosperity?

Great Room B 
2:55 pm

Dr. Catherine Pakaluk

Leonine foundations of human ecology

 Great Room B
3:25 pm Break  
3:40 pm

Panel Discussion 

What are the implications of Rerum Novarum for business today?

Mr. WIlliam Bowman

Dr. Brian Engelland

Dr. Jonathan Reyes

Dr. Russell Ronald "Rusty" Reno

Great Room B 
4:40 pm Break/ Walk to Basilica   

5:00 pm


Opening mass at the Basilica
Celebrant: Cardinal Peter Turkson
Blessed Sacrament Chapel

6:00 pm

Transportation to Hotel  
6:30 pm Cocktail Reception Renissance Washington, DC Downtown
Pre Function Mt. Vernon Square
 7:30 pm


CUA President John Garvey (welcome)

Mr. George Weigel (Keynote Address: The Genesis of Catholic Social Doctrine)

Mt. Vernon Square 
 9:00 pm  Cigar Reception  Hotel Balcony 1128


 Thursday, March 17th

Time Event Location
8:00 am Transportation from Hotel  
8:30 am Mass
Celebrant: Fr. Arne Panula
Calwell Chapel
9:15 am Buffet Breakfast  Pryz Great Room A

Part 2:

Centesimus Annus: Implications for a Human Ecology


10:00 am

Amb. Michael Novak

What is the teaching of social justice?

 Great Room B
10:35 am

Mr. Christopher Wasserman

What is the role of gift and justice in economics and business?

Great Room B 
11:05 am Break  
11:20 am

Mr. Iqbal Quadir

How can technological innovation promote inclusion?

 Great Room B

Dr. Carl Scharmm

What does the Catholic Social Doctrine have to say about entrepreneurship?

 Great Room B
12:30 pm


Ms. Erika Bachiochi

Safeguarding the moral conditions for authentic human ecology

Great Room B 
1:30 pm

Ms. Mary Eberstadt

Fighting the good fight: religious liberty vs. the sexual revolution

 Great Room B
2:05 pm

Mr. Frank Hanna

What kind of virtuous relationships lead to prosperity?

Great Room B 
2:35 pm





Panel Discussion

How do we integrate people from the peripheries?

Dr. Nicola "Nick" Sanna

Mr. Michael Miller

Dr. Maximiliam Torres

Mr. Duncan Taylor

 Great Room B
 3:50 pm



Part 3:

Laudato Si and the Call to Personal Conversion

4:05 pm

Cardinal Peter Turkson

Is business to care for our common home?

Great Room B 
4:40 pm

Dr. Juan Jose Daboub

How do we integrate environment, business, and faith?

 Great Room B
5:10 pm Break  
5:20 pm Transportation to hotel  
5:45 pm Mass and Confessions (optional) Renissance Washington, DC Downtown 
Meeting Room 2
6:30 pm Cocktail Reception Pre-Function Mt. Vernon Square
7:30 pm Dinner  Mt. Vernon Square
9:00 pm Cigar Reception Hotel Balcony 1128


 Friday, March 18th

Time Event Location
8:00 am Transportation from Hotel  
8:30 am Mass
Celebrant: Fr. Arne Panula
Caldwell Chapel
9:15 am Buffet Breakfast  
10:00 am

Sister Cecile Renouard

Does integral ecology apply to business?

 Great Room B
10:35 am

Marcellino D'Ambrosio

Is Laudato Si calling us to personal conversion?

 Great Room B
11:05 am


11:20 am Panel Discussion


How does personal freedom relate to market freedom?

Dr. Martijn Cremers

Dr. Jan-Hein Cremers

Mr. Sean Fieler

Dr. Andrew Yuengert

Great Room B 
12:20 pm

Fr. Robert Spitzer

Closing Remarks

 Great Room B
12:20 pm


Great Room A 
1:30 pm Adjournment  



Full Conference

Clergy & Religious
(priests, deacons, sisters, religious sisters, religious brothers)
A limited number of scholarships are given to doctoral candidates in business disciplines, clergy and religious. To apply, please email
Register online here. For questions email Beatriz Lopez Bonetti at or call 202-319-5881.