"Only by assuming a non-polemic role of tranquility in the center will it be possible to assume genuine responsibility for the whole." 

- The Mission of Communio

In the mission statement for Communio: International Catholic Review, Hans Urs von Balthasar set forth a vision that he and the other founders hoped would inform a print journal and give shape to a theological movement born from the heart of the Church. For Balthasar, Communio set out to “fight at all costs against the deadly polarization brought on by the fervor displayed by traditionalists and modernists alike” and “to perceive of the Church as a central communion, a community that originated from communion with Christ, who presented himself as a gift to the Church; as a communion that will enable us to share our hearts, thoughts, and blessings.”

Given the persistent relevance of this mission, the upcoming anniversary seems an appropriate moment to consider the theological and cultural engagement of a journal that is now realized in 14 language-editions around the world.

The purpose of the conference is three-fold:

  1. To understand and appreciate the contribution of Communio to the Church over the past fifty years
  2. To continue and further the trajectories of theological and cultural engagement present in the pages of Communio
  3. To ponder the same questions posed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1992 after Communio's first twenty years: "Have we been courageous enough? ...Have we really spoken the Word of faith intelligibly and reached the hearts of a hungering world?"


Jean Duchesne, Ph.D.


Jean Duchesne is co-founder of the Editorial Board of the International Catholic journal Communio, the editorial advisor of Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, and the literary executor of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger and Father Louis Bouyer. He is part of the Oasis Scientific Committee and of the Observatory for Faith and Culture of the Episcopal Conference of France. He directs the Catholic Academy of France. Among his publications, the most recent are: Retrouver le mystère. Plaidoyer pour les rites et la liturgie (2004); Petite histoire d’Anglo-Saxonnie (2007); Histoire sainte racontée à mes petits-enfants (2008); Histoire de Jésus et de ses apôtres racontée à mes petits-enfants (2010); La pensée de Louis Bouyer (2011); Incurable romantisme? (2013).

 Jean-Luc Marion, Ph.D.

Jean-Luc Marion works at the intersection of contemporary phenomenology, the history of philosophy, and Christian theology. In Reduction and Givenness, Being Given, In Excess, Givenness and Hermeneutics, and most recently Reprise du donné among other works, he has presented and developed a phenomenology of givenness. In more directly historical work Marion has published several studies reading philosophy through a phenomenological lens, particularly Descartes. Full-length works include Sur l'ontologie grise de Descartes, Sur la théologie blanche de Descartes, Descartes' Metaphysical Prism, and most recently Sur la pensée passive de Descartes. In theology and the history of Christian thought Marion wrote The Idol and Distance and God Without Being on the question of God and metaphysics, and more recently he has written books on Augustine (In the Self’s Place) and on the concept of revelation (Givenness and Revelation). He has also worked in Greek and Latin patristics and in medieval thought. His most recent title is Brève apologie pour un moment catholique. In 2017 a collection of short pieces and a collection of interviews with Dan Arbib will be published in translation (Believing in Order to See and The Rigor of Things).

 Tracey Rowland, Ph.D.

Tracey Rowland holds the St. John Paul II Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Australia. She has published eight books: Culture and the Thomist Tradition (London: Routledge, 2003), Ratzinger's Faith: The Theology of Benedict XI (Oxford University Press, 2008), Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Bloomsbury, 2010), Catholic Theology (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), The Culture of the Incarnation: Essays in Catholic Theology (Steubenville: Emmaus Academic, 2017), Portraits of Spiritual Nobility (New York: Angelico, 2019), Beyond Kant and Nietzsche: The Munich Defence of Christian Humanism (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), and Despre Permanenta Adevărului şi alte eseuri (Bihor: Ratio et Revelatio, 2021). The latter is a collection of her essays first published in the English language edition of Communio: International Catholic Review and translated into Romanian. She has also edited the collection Anglican Patrimony in Catholic Communion (London: Bloomsbury, 2021) and co-edited Chiesa Sotto Accusa (Cantagalli, 2020) with Don Livio Melina, also published in Spanish as La Iglesia en el Banquillo (Madrid: Didaskalos, 2021). She is a member of the editorial board of Communio: International Catholic Review and was appointed to the 9th International Theological Commission in 2014. In 2009 she was awarded the Archbishop Michael J. Miller Award for the Promotion of Faith and Culture by the University of St. Thomas in Houston and in 2010 she was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. In 2020 she won the Ratzinger Prize for theology.

Rev. Jacques Servais, S.J., Ph.D.

Fr. Jacques serves as the Director of the Casa Balthasar and is the current President of the Balthasar-Speyr-Lubac Association. He has been intimately involved with the house since its original inception in 1991. Since 1985 he has lived in Rome, teaching systematic spiritual theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and working under then-Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Now retired from his work at the Gregorian and the CDF, Fr. Jacques is dedicated entirely to his role at the Casa Balthasar where he offers spiritual direction to the residents and guests making the Spiritual Exercises. Additionally, he makes himself available to researchers interested in our authors of reference. Fr. Jacques has published various works and articles on H. U. von Balthasar and the spiritual sources of his thought, in particular St. Ignatius of Loyola and A. von Speyr, but also J. H. Newman, M. Blondel, and F. Ulrich.

Other Presenters Include:

Melanie Susan Barrett
Mark A. Banga
Anne M. Carpenter
Michael Ceragioli
Kevin Clarke
Rev. Thomas Dailey
Daniel Drain
Thomas Esposito, O.Cist.
Peter Gavin-Griffin
T. Alexander Giltner
Gill Goulding
Jordan Haddad
Nicholas J. Healy
Rodney Howsare
Roch Kereszty, O.Cist.
Matthew Kuhner
Travis Lacy
Apolonio Latar III
Keith Lemna
Lisa Lickona
Dwight A. Lindley
Jennifer Newsome Martin
Margaret Harper McCarthy
J. Richard Middleton
Kevin E. Miller
Taylor Patrick O'Neill
J. Leavitt Pearl
Matthew Pietropaoli
Patricia Pintado
Matthew Ramage
Rev. Benjamin A. Roberts
Alessandro Rovati
Eugene R. Schlesinger
Marco Stango
Michael Dominic Taylor
Joseph Terry
Erik Van Versendaal
Nathan Bradford Williams
Trevor B. Williams

The full list of conference presenters and papers can be found here: List of Conference Presenters.pdf

Conference Details:

When: 7:00pm EST Friday, September 30th - 1pm EST Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Where: St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry, Rochester, NY 

Location Information

  • St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry
  • 120 French Road, Rochester, NY, 14618 US

Friday, September 30th, 2022

5:00pm - 7:00 pm ESTCheck-In and Registration

7:00pm - 9:00pmKeynote Panel #1

Fr. Jacques Servais, SJ, “Communio at 50: A Mission in Retrospect”

9:00pm - 10:00pmEvening Reception


Saturday, October 1st, 2022

7:30am- 9:00am ESTContinental Breakfast

8:30amMorning Prayer

9:00am - 10:30amSession #1 Presenters

11:00am - 12:30pmSession #2 Presenters

1:00pm - 2:15pmLunch

2:30pm - 4:00pm:Session #3 Presenters

4:30pm - 5:15pmVigil Mass

5:30pm - 7:30pmKeynote Panel #2

Jean-Luc Marion, “From Confession of Faith to Christian Hermeneutics of the World: The Consistency and Evolution of Communio in France”

Jean Duchesne, Ph.D., “Challenges and Expectations in France in the 1970’s”

7:30pm - 9:00pmDinner and Reception

9:00pm - 9:20pmCompline

9:30pmEvening Reception

Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

7:30am- 9:00am ESTContinental Breakfast

8:30amMorning Prayer

9:00am - 10:30amSession #4 Presenters

11am - 1:00pmKeynote Panel #3

Tracey Rowland, “From Extrinsicism to a World that Denies both Nature and Grace: a Polyphonic Analysis of Contemporary Western Culture”

1:00pmBoxed Lunch

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