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"Blessed are you poor..." What Does it Mean to be a Poor Church for the Poor?

Pope Francis has said, "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor." Poverty can be a blessing and a curse; a state in some ways to be cultivated and in others to be alleviated. Poverty exists in material, cultural, and spiritual forms. As part of the 2015 Convocation of the DSPT College of Fellows, a day-long symposium was held on narratives of poverty from the perspectives of a variety of disciplines in which we attempted to articulate together what is theoretically and practically necessary to help enable and advance the flourishing of the human person in the United States today. We are pleased to share with you presentations that stimulated our conversations; they are listed in the order that they were offered.

Learn more about DSPT and the College of Fellows at

  1. "Blessed are you poor..." What Does it Mean to be a Poor Church for the Poor? An Introduction by Michael Sweeney, OP

  2. An Ecclesial Perspective on What it Means to be a Poor Church for the Poor by Cardinal Levada

  3. Augustine Thompson, OP, on St. Francis and Poverty

  4. Kevin Starr on US Attitudes Towards Poverty

  5. Mary Hirschfeld on Economics, Theology, and the Poor

    Mary Hirschfeld is a member of the College of Fellows at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. To learn more, visit

  6. John Denniston on Business, the Impact Economy, and the Poor



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