2013-2014 Religious Life Lecture Series


Inspire | inäspir | verb [ with obj. ]1 fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: [ with obj. and infinitive ] : his passion for romantic literature inspired him to begin writing. • create (a feeling,  esp. a positive one) in a person: their past record does not inspire confidence. • (inspire someone with) animate someone with (such a feeling) : she inspired her students with a vision of freedom. • give rise to : the movie was successful enough to inspire a sequel. 2 breathe in (air); inhale. DERIVATIVES inspirer noun ORIGIN Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare ‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.’ The Spirit of God blows where she wills but it is the Spirit’s work that brings new life and transforms minds and hearts. Join us as we welcome artists, authors, preachers, theologians and activists whose life and work inspires and motivates us all to greater heights.

King’s at Western University is a Catholic University College committed to the ongoing creation of a vital academic community animated by a Christian love of learning and the pursuit of the truth. The Religious Life Lecture Series encourages and supports open inquiry in all areas of religious life. Through this series, the College endeavours to foster such learning by gathering together scholars, artists and activists who support and challenge our assumptions about religious life in the 21st century. In particular, this series strives to develop links with the larger community by offering an accessible series of enlightening and enriching lectures.

All lectures will be held in the new Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre - 7:30 p.m.
Free parking and admission | Wheelchair accessible

Reverend Stephen N. KatsourosThursday, September 19, 2013

Due to delays in construction, this evenings lecture will take place in “The Chapel” at Windermere on The Mount (Mount St. Joseph), 1486 Richmond Street.

Heading west on Epworth Avenue, turn north on Richmond Street. The facility is immediately after the bridge on the right. Parking is available on the left and in the rear of the facility.


Reverend Stephen N. Katsouros, S.J. Ed. D.
Director, Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership – San Francisco, CA


Overlaps can be detected between current leadership literature and contemporary spirituality. Katsouros will present on leadership theory and apply theory to praxis in the Catholic context. Reference will be made to the governance research of Richard Chait, Thomas Holland, and Barbara Taylor, to Daniel Pink’s theories of leadership as seen through the lens of Catholic spirituality and in light of Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises and the work of Jesuit James Hanvey. The gifts of the Spirit as advocate, reconciler, and consoler will be connected to Pink’s theories on mastery, autonomy and purpose.

Sponsored by the London District Catholic School Board

Reverend Stephen Katsouros has a strong background in private and Jesuit education and served as president of New York’s Loyola School for nine years. He has taught at the middle school, high school, and college level and has worked in various administrative positions. He earned his M.A. in administration at Harvard University and his PhD. in education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University where his research focused on the characteristics of effective high-performing boards of trustees.

Rabbi Burton L. VisotzkyThursday, October 3, 2013

Due to delays in construction, this evenings lecture will take place in “The Chapel” at Windermere on The Mount (Mount St. Joseph), 1486 Richmond Street.

Heading west on Epworth Avenue, turn north on Richmond Street. The facility is immediately after the bridge on the right. Parking is available on the left and in the rear of the facility.


Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky
Professor of Midrash and Interreligious
Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary – New York, NY


This lecture will touch on Jewish-Muslim engagement on the local, national, and international scene. He will survey where we have come since 9/11 and offer some assessment for the future of Jewish-Muslim cooperation.

Sponsored by the Centre for Jewish- Catholic-Muslim Learning

Burton Visotzky serves as Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies and the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, charged with programs on public policy. Professor Visotzky holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Harvard University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Visotzky has been visiting faculty at Oxford; Cambridge; Princeton, the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow; and served as the Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He will be teaching at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in  Rome in Spring, 2014.

Shelagh RogersWednesday, October 23, 2013

Due to delays in construction, this evenings lecture will take place in “The Chapel” at Windermere on The Mount (Mount St. Joseph), 1486 Richmond Street.

Shelagh Rogers
Journalist and Broadcaster – Vancouver, BC


For decades, Shelagh Rogers suffered from long periods of lethargy and emptiness, periods of time when she didn’t want to see anyone or do anything. She thought it was a moral failing until one day, when she was interviewing former NHL’er Ron Ellis about this long struggle with depression. She told him she had a “friend” who was going through something similar and had been for years. Mr. Ellis suggested her “friend” seek help. Shelagh did seek help, and was diagnosed with depression. She feels that day was like a second birthday – the start of a whole new life where she knew what she was dealing with and what she could do about it.

Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada

Over the years as a journalist on flagship programs such as “Morningside,” “Sounds Like Canada” and “This Morning,” Shelagh Rogers has traveled the length and breadth of this country, interviewing thousands of Canadians and collecting their stories. That’s her passion and she believes sharing our stories enlarges our understanding of each other. She is currently the host and a producer of the CBC Radio program “The Next Chapter,” devoted to Canadian writers and songwriters. She has received many awards for speaking publicly about a private story: a decades long battle with depression. Shelagh holds honorary doctorates from the University of Western Ontario (2002), Mount Allison University (2011) in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Memorial University (2012). In September 2011, Shelagh was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Annual Christ the King Lecture

Reverend Christopher DillonThursday, November 21, 2013

Due to delays in construction, this evenings lecture will take place in “The Chapel” at Windermere on The Mount (Mount St. Joseph), 1486 Richmond Street.

Reverend Christopher Dillon, OSB – Glenstal Abbey, Ireland


Always have your answer ready for the people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have.    (1Pet.3,15)

The Christian monastic phenomenon, dating back to the third century, is double-faceted; it is essentially personal and individual; and, at the same time, it is profoundly, but derivatively, social in its effect. This lecture will seek to show how the Rule of St Benedict, which dates from the sixth century, addresses this dual function not just within the monastery,  but within contemporary society.

Reverend Christopher Dillon is a Benedictine monk from Glenstal Abbey in Limerick Ireland. He was educated at Ampleforth College in England, obtained his B.A. from University College in Dublin and completed graduate studies in medieval history at Corpus Christi, Cambridge University in England. In 1970 he entered monastic life at Glenstal  Abbey. Later he attended Sant’ Anselmo’s University in Rome where he studied theology at the undergraduate level with special studies in classical Greek. He then taught Latin, Greek, and French at Glenstal Abbey’s high school. He  served as Novice Master from 1985-1989, and Novice Master and teacher of Fundamental Theology in the communities Nigerian monastic foundation from 1990-1992. From August to December of 1992 he was appointed  Prior of Glenstal Abbey and in that same year was elected Abbot; a position which he held for the next sixteen years.

Dr. Michael HigginsWednesday, November 27, 2013

Due to delays in construction, this evenings lecture will take place in “The Chapel” at Windermere on The Mount (Mount St. Joseph), 1486 Richmond Street.

Dr. Michael Higgins, PhD.
Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity,
Sacred Heart University – Connecticut


Merton and Nouwen are ideal models for post-conciliar spirituality. Although Merton— monk, poet, essayist, and diarist par excellence—anticipated the Council (1962- 1965),  his work on returning to the sources (monastic and biblical), as well as his exploration of ecumenical, and interfaith points of convergence established him as a figure easily validated by the Council and its insights. Nouwen —psychologist, professor and spiritual writer—was very much a product of the Council, shaped by its teaching and custom-changing dynamic. We will explore some of the commonalities to be found in their work as spiritual diarists, honest chroniclers of the soul’s progress, and pioneers of the heart’s horizons.

Michael W. Higgins is past President of two Canadian Catholic universities and currently Vice-President of Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is the author and co-author of over a dozen books including two bestsellers—Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads and Stalking the  Holy: In Pursuit of Saint-Making—and two award winners—Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton and Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal. His most recent work is Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen. Higgins is a columnist for the Telegraph-Journal, the Irish Catholic, a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail, and Commonweal and a CBC documentarist.

Dr. Izzeldin AbuelaishThursday, January 16, 2014

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Global Health – University of Toronto, ON


Tragically, on January 16th, 2009 Dr. Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and a niece  when Israeli tank shells shattered his house in the Jabalia camp. In the face of this horrific personal tragedy, he has continued to advocate for peace and harmonious coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis. This lecture will address the universal language of hope and  compassion; qualities desperately needed in order to restore the world’s sense of harmony and connectedness.

Sponsored by the Centre for Jewish-Catholic-Muslim Learning

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian medical doctor who was born and raised in Jabalia Refugee Camp  in the Gaza Strip. He is a passionate and eloquent proponent of peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and has  dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace. He has received numerous awards including the Stavros Niarchos Prize for Survivorship, and was the first recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize.

Margaret PfeilThursday, March 6, 2014

Margaret Pfeil, Assistant Professor of Theology – University of Notre Dame, Indiana


This talk will invite exploration of food security from the perspective of the marginalized. What might food justice mean to farmers without local venues for their goods and urban dwellers unable to afford healthy, locally grown food? Some  insight emerges at the intersection of liturgy, ethics, and a cooperative vision of the local economy.

Professor Margaret Pfeil received both a PhD. in Moral Theology/Christian Ethics in 2000 from the University of Notre Dame and an M.T.S. in Moral Theology, with Distinction from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 1994. Her research  and teaching interests include Catholic Social Thought; Fundamental Moral Theology; Peace Studies; Spirituality and  Environmental Ethics; Liberation Theology and Racial Justice. She was recognized with the Greenville Clark Award in  May 2012. Recent publications include “Sharing Peace: Mennonites and Catholics in Conversation,” co-edited with Gerald Schlabach, Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press (2012), and “Violence, Transformation, and the Sacred: They Shall Be Called Children of God,” co-edited with Tobias Winright. Maryknoll: Orbis Books (2012).

Linn MaxwellThursday, March 27, 2014

Linn Maxwell, Mezzo Soprano – Grand Rapids, Michigan


In this one-woman show, international mezzo soprano Linn Maxwell embodies the extraordinary life of 12th century  German prophetess, healer, and composer, Hildegard of Bingen. Way ahead of her time and in a male-dominated  world, Hildegard challenged the established authority of the Church, both philosophically and musically. Accompanying herself on authentic medieval instruments including psaltery, organistrum and harp, Linn performs  seven of Hildegard's original songs, and through the mystic's actual letters and writings transports us to the turbulent  times of the Crusades in Western Europe. Hildegard's timeless universal message of spiritual truth, holistic healing  and caring for the earth is more urgent today than ever.

Linn Maxwell enjoys a rich and varied career that has taken her to the stages of major orchestras, opera companies  and recital halls across the U.S. and throughout 245 countries. The founder of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Ms.   Maxwell has also appeared with the Oratorio Society of Washington and the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.D., the  Pro Arte Chorale at New York’s Carnegie Hall and with Musica Sacra at New York City’s famed Lincoln Centre. She is  also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Grant.