The Chautauqua Catholic Community

at the

Chautauqua Institution

Welcome to the
Chautauqua Catholic Community Website
The various pages on this site will give you all the basic
information you will need to be informed about 
what we do at the CCC.

As the banner above proclaims, The Chautauqua Catholic Community
is sponsoring an important seminar dealing with the polarization within the Catholic Church. This phenomenon is occurring in other churches as well.
Catholic social worker Michael McGillicuddy will frame the issue and suggest some solutions in a special seminar to be held Monday, July 31st at 3:30 PM in the
Hall of Christ.
Scroll near the bottom of the page for a complete decription.



Father Patrick Zengierski 

Director of Campus Ministry

Seminar Talk:  "Praying Our Experiences"

Father Pat is a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, ordained in 1991. He has been involved in higher education for over thirty years, serving in both teaching and administrative positions at the University at Buffalo, Canisius College, the

     Univeristy of Virginia and Christ the King Seminary.

    Father Pat holds degrees in Spanish, Linguistics, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Higher Education Administration, as well as in theology. He taught and administered programs at the University of Virginia and the University at  Buffalo, as well as in Spain, prior to entering the Seminary. Ordained for the Diocese of Buffalo in 1991, he has served in suburban and city parishes.
     Father Pat holds degrees in Spanish, Linguistics, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Higher Education Administration, as well as in theology.
He’s been involved in higher education for over forty years now, and in campus ministry for nearly twenty years.  He also designed and implemented the Summer Program of Continuing Studies at Christ the King Seminary, which, during his tenure, hosted nationally-known authors as faculty.


       Father Robert Begin            

 Retired Pastor, St. Coleman Church Lakewood, Ohio 

Seminar Topic: "Listening to the Cry of the Poor"


Presentation Summary:

Polarization and the American Catholic Community:

Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal

Michael P. McGillicuddy, LCSW

 Chicago social worker Michael McGillicuddy is convinced that there is an accelerating crisis of polarization in American society. He notes that trust is eroding, lifelong friendships are fraying, and families are becoming estranged. “Good people wear masks to protect themselves from the derision they fear should they disclose their deepest convictions,” McGillicuddy argues. “It is almost as if we are detaching from our common roots, retreating into parallel universes, and speaking languages that are no longer mutually intelligible.”

     Faith traditions, too, are increasingly hobbled by polarization. 
Lutheran theologian Martin Marty has characterized church polarization as The Greatest Divide. “There, least of all, do people evidence openness, humility, and readiness to hear viewpoints with which they might disagree, even when these are voiced by fellow-believers.” There are few open conflicts between churchgoers of opposite persuasions, he writes, “for the simple reason that more and more congregants choose congregations that match their styles and ways of life, their secular tastes and commitments.” 

     At the invitation of the Chautauqua Catholic Community, Mr. McGillicuddy will speak from 3:30-4:30 pm at the Hall of Christ(time and place change) Monday July 31st.
He will invite participants to step outside of their comfort zones, explore contrasting world views with curiosity and humility, engage with the complex topic of polarization, and imagine transitioning from polarization to solidarity.  From his perspective as a clinical social worker, he names the wounds of polarization and examines various paths from polarization to solidarity. He concludes with five concrete recommendations for Catholics willing to renounce culture war and commit to culture peacemaking.  

     McGillicuddy holds a bachelors degree in theology and masters degrees in sociology, industrial relations and social work. He was instrumental in organizing a 2015 conference at Notre Dame entitled Polarization in the US Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal summarized in a 2016 Liturgical Press book of the same name.












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