Veninga Lecture Series: A Call for Civic Responsibility

Sister Simone Campbell

The Pope’s recent Encyclical Letter, “On Care for Our Common Home,” (“Laudato Si’), has won international praise from both religious and nonreligious leaders and observers. It has been enthusiastically embraced by environmentalists who see its emphasis on stewardship for the planet as a call to action.

Others have also lauded the letter’s stand against rampant poverty and consumerism. Critics are concerned that anti-market sentiments are overstated and capitalist principles unfairly blamed for societal problems. One thing is for certain – no document in recent memory has captured such strong attention from both religious and political leaders.

Sister Simone Campbell, president of NETWORK and a nationally recognized social justice advocate, attorney and public policy speaker, will present her understanding of the Encyclical and the importance of its message in today’s complex world.

Jean Feraca, former host of “Here and Now” on Wisconsin Public Radio, will moderate the discussion. Both events are free to the public.

Sister Campbell became a national figure after her “Nuns on the Bus” tour in 2012 rallied support against Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal to cut social programs for the poor and middle class. She remains a driving force for programs and policies such as enacting a living wage, fixing the wealth gap and creating a national budget that benefits all Americans.

She has been a frequent guest on national media shows, including “60 Minutes,”The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

‘The Pope’s Encyclical: A Call for Civic Responsibility’
A Conversation with Sister Simone Campbell, moderated by Jean Feraca

Tuesday, March 15
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: UW Center for Civic Engagement
James F. Veninga Theater
625 Stewart Ave.
Wausau, WI

Wednesday, March 16
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: UW-Fox Valley
James W. Perry Hall
1478 Midway Rd.
Menasha, WI

This lecture series on religion and politics is named after James F. Veninga, former dean at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County. Veninga helped establish the UW Center for Civic Engagement, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) and the UW Colleges Religious Studies Program. Its intent is to honor Veninga’s work in finding innovative ways of connecting university resources to meet community needs, interests and issues. For more information, contact Connie Nikolai at 715-261-6368 or email