Collage of Fr. Bryan Massingale and panel respondents

Past Events


Prayer service for immigration reform - June 5, 2013

On June 5, the Archdiocese of New Orleans held a prayer service in support of comprehensive immigration reform, as Congress works to fix our nation’s broken system. During the service, a number of immigrant families shared their stories and Archbishop Aymond called on all Catholics to work for reform that protects families and the common good. The service was sponsored by the Archidiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities New Orleans, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute. To read more about the service in the Clarian Herald click here.

To learn more about the Church's position on immigration reform click here.

hyperincarceration nation: who are we really locking up - April 10, 2013

JSRI, the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, and the Department of Sociology at Loyola University sponsored a panel discussion of the book The Scandal of White Complicity in U.S. Hyper-incarceration: A Nonviolent Spirituality of White Resistance by authors

- Alex Mikulich, Ph.D., Jesuit Social Research Institute, Loyola University New Orleans

- Laurie Cassidy, Ph.D., Religious Studies, Marywood University

- Margaret Pfeil, Ph.D., Center for Social Concerns, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

"The Scandal of White Complicity and U.S. Hyper-incarceration is a groundbreaking exploration of the moral role of white people in the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans and Latinos in the United States. Alex Mikulich, Laurie Cassidy, and Margaret Pfeil are white Catholic theologians developing understanding of how whiteness operates in the U.S. system of incarceration and witnessing to a Christian nonviolent way for whites to subvert our oppression of brothers and sisters of color."

To read a review of the book in America Magazine click here.

an evening with sr. helen prejean: Christians as Catalysts against the Death Penalty - January 22, 2013

St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and JSRI sponsored a lecture by Sr. Helen Prejean in which she spoke about her book Dead Man Walking and emphasized how Christians are key to bringing an end to the death penalty in the U.S. Read more about the event here.


Preventing Human Trafficking at the Super Bowl and Beyond: mobilizing the New Orleans community to prevent and end trafficking in our midst - October 24 & 27, 2012

JSRI cosponsored a two day in New Orleans focused on educating the public about human trafficking and mobilizing to prevent and end human trafficking in the region. The conference included presentations by local and national nonprofits and law enforcement, break out sessions, a screening of the award winning documentary "Not My Life," and opportunities to become involved in stopping human trafficking the local community.

To view a copy of the program click here.

Financial sponsors included: Sisters of St. Joseph of the Founding Congregation of Medaille; Platinum - Carmelite NGO, Congregation of St. Joseph, Department of Sociology, Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, Leadership Conference of Women Religious Region 5, Marianites of the Holy Cross, University Honors Program, Women's Resource Center; Gold - Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Silver - JSRI, Joseph R. Cannon (in memory of Mickey Shunick), New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus, Sisters of the Holy Faith, Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice; Bronze - Baptist Friendship House, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Studies, Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, Dominican Sisters of Peace, Matthew Evans, Pat Evans, Healing Place Serve, Kristin Palmer, Sisters of Charity of New York, Sisters of the Holy Family, Women's Studies

Election 2012: With Liberty & Justice for Some? Race, Poverty, and catholic social thought - Biever guest lecture series - September 26, 2012

JSRI, the Biever Guest Lecture Series, the Office of Mission and Ministry, the Department of Political Science, the Loyola University Community Action Program (LUCAP), and the Black Student Union presented a lecture by Rev. Bryan Massingale, Professor of Theology at Marquette University. Panelists included Dr. Peter Burns with the Department of Political Science at Loyola University and María Pabón López, Dean of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

In his lecture, Rev. Massingale explored the intersections of race, religion, and politics --- looking specifically at how the overlapping realities of racism and poverty continue to undermine our common life and the common good. Catholic Social Teaching champions a social vision of the common good, where society's resources are summoned to enhance the well-being of all its members. Rev. Massingale also focused on Election 2012 and the challenge of promoting inclusive justice during a time of polarized public discourse.


Imprisoned, Forgotten, and Deported: Immigration Detention, Advocacy, and the Faith Community—October 13-14, 2011

Loyola University College of Law

JSRI, the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies and Institute for Immigration, Religion, and Social Change, the Tulane University Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and the Loyola University Immigration Law Clinic and Social Justice Center co-sponsored a conference on Immigration Detention in the South.

The conference was held at the Loyola University College of Law. Its purposes were:

  • Help more people to become aware of the detention reality in the South and understand its major elements.
  • Engage scholars and the university communities more deeply in the detention reality in the South (possibly affecting attention in research and in the curricula in the future).
  • With regard to the religious community (churches, ministers, theologians, etc.):
    • Assess the impact of detention on faith communities and their role(s) in responding to detention; and
    • Develop a more comprehensive faith/theological framework for looking at and responding to detention.
  • Expand advocacy strategies for dealing with detention (such as the responsible corporate investor approach) and explore alternatives to detention.
  • Re-frame “detention” towards change in public thinking and, ultimately, public policy regarding detention.

Building the City of God: Catholic Perspectives on Life in Louisiana

St. Joseph Spirituality Center—Baton Rouge—Saturday, September 17, 2011

Father Fred Kammer, SJ, addressed attendees on Building the City of God: Catholic Perspectives on Life in Louisiana. In this morning of reflection participants looked at the 2009 Human Development report on Louisiana and its implications for living an integral and responsible Christian life.

The Social Action Summer Institute [SASI]--July 10-13, 2011

See program here

From July 10-13, 2011, JSRI co-sponsored the Social Action Summer Institute [SASI] of the Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and JustFaith Ministries.  This national institute, held on the Loyola campus this summer, is dedicated to the education and professional development of diocesan and parish social actioin directors in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching as well as to the provision of a forum for directors to explore social issues in the light of Scripture, Church teaching, and theology.  JSRI presented and co-presented on Catholic Social Teaching, racism, state anti-immigrant legislation, and linking human life and human dignity. See photo collage here



Post-Katrina New Orleans: A Welcoming Community?--September 11, 2010

Fall 2010 Conference Report

September 11, 2010
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Our fall 2010 conference looked at how well residents and newcomers alike have been welcomed back in the last five years and what still needs to be done. The keynote addresses by Dr. Allison Plyer of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center and Mr. Jarvis DeBerry of The Times-Picayune can be found here.


People on the Move and the Common Good: Migration, Poverty, and Racism, Converging Concerns for Our Future
Fall 2009 Conference Report [see conference flyer here]

Over 500 individuals participated in one or another of the events in our fall conference, People on the Move, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Our conference began with the experience of the internally displaced people of Katrina’s New Orleans in the first week and then moved to the migrating peoples of the South in the second to the plight of immigrant peoples of the United States in the third and to the world’s displaced in the last week. Major components were a documentary film and three major addresses open to the public and daytime activities involving students, faculty, and community members as well.

Keynote speakers also met with classes in global sociology, Latin American studies, and migration. They engaged in meetings with undergraduate faculty and with law faculty and students. JSRI staff also produced and distributed at all events an eight page conference booklet on migration facts, opportunities for immigration advocacy, books and media resources on migration, and Catholic social teaching and migration.

Major events were:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009--"Trouble the Waters"
7:30-9:30 p.m.--Nunemaker Hall:

Academy Award Nominated film-Trouble the Water – viewing and discussion with Kimberly Rivers Roberts and Scott Roberts, whose footage and stories were featured in this film about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in the lives of displaced people.

Three major addresses followed--7:30-9:00 p.m--St. Charles Room, Danna Center:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Migration in the South:
Emerging Trends and Critical Issues

by Dr. Manuel Vasquez, University of Florida

A selection from Dr. Vasquez's presentation was included in the Spring 2010 edition of the JustSouth Quarterly. Here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Workers on the Move: Immigration and Economic Justice in the United States
by Ms. Kim Bobo, Director, Interfaith Worker Justice

For PDF of text of presentation, click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Refugees and Asylum-Seekers:
International Human Rights and Catholic Social Teaching

by Dr. Katrine Camilleri, Assistant Director, Jesuit Refugee Service, Malta


Midday panels explored related themes:

November 3: Katrina’s Internally Displaced People: The Stats and the Stories


  • Allison Plyer, Greater New Orleans Community Data Center
  • Liz McCartney, St. Bernard Project
  • Kimble Wright, Loyola University Student, Junior
  • Macede Jackson, Loyola University Student, Junior

November 10: Local Opportunities for Accompanying Migrants


  • Martin Gutierrez, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • Anna Chavez, JSRI Migration Specialist, Justice for Immigrants Campus Campaign


A “DREAM ACT STORY” from THIS AMERICAN LIFE (an audio-interview by reporter Douglas McGray); and Loyola student Molly Thomas spoke on Dream Act legislative advocacy.

November 17: Coming Face-to-Face with the Stranger: Experiences of Service and Immersion


  • Fr. Tom Greene, SJ, Loyola Sociology Department, JSRI Associate for Migration
  • Justine Diamond, Loyola alumna (’06) currently working with the Hispanic Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • Loyola Center for International Education – Opportunities for Study Abroad AND Service to Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Josh Daly, University Ministry and Ignacio Volunteers


Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility--October 1, 2008

On October 1, 2008, the Jesuit Social Research Institute collaborated with the Loyola University President, Fr. Kevin Wildes, S.J., in presenting a Presidential Forum on the 2008 elections.  The Keynote speaker was John Carr, Director, Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Panel discussants were Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Sister/Doctor Jamie Phelps, O.P., and Loyola Law Dean Brian Bromberger.