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Two prominent leaders in Jesuit, Catholic thought share views on faith

U.S. Representative Anh “Joseph” Cao, J.D.’00, of Louisiana’s second congressional district, and the Rev. Mark Massa, S.J., Ph.D., the Karl Rahner Professor of Theology and director of the Curran Center for Catholic studies at Fordham University, will be on Loyola University New Orleans’ main campus Monday, April 19, to deliver talks on Ignatian spirituality and Catholicism. Both talks take place in the Danna Student Center St. Charles Room and are free and open to the public.

Cao will present a lecture, "Ignatian Spirituality and Public Life," at 4 p.m., followed by a question and answer session and an opportunity for attendees to mingle with the congressman. Cao, a former philosophy instructor at Loyola, will talk about how his early career as a Jesuit seminarian and his formation in the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola continues to inform his work as an elected official, including his preparation for the difficult votes on health care reform.

The presentation will explore the implications of Loyola’s Jesuit mission and identity for those involved in formulating policy on pressing matters facing the nation today. It also will invite reflection on the role of faith in public life and the process by which someone can bring faith to bear on political decisions.

Cao’s talk is sponsored by the College of Social Sciences and the Office of Mission and Ministry. For additional information, contact Tom Ryan at 504-865-2069 or

At 7 p.m., Massa will present “A More Evangelical Catholicism: What the American Catholic Community Needs Now,” a look at how the church can be more transparent and accountable to its own adherents and more effective in passing on its faith to its young people.

Massa is the author of eight books, including “The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever,” “Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice?” and “Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day and the Notre Dame Football Team.”

Massa’s talk is sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Catholic Culture and Tradition at Loyola. For more information, contact professor Bernard Cook at 504-865-2564 or