Newman Lecture

The Irony of Modern Catholic History

CoSponsored by the Newman Centre and
the kennedy smith chair in catholic studies

Distinguished Senior Fellow and
William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies
Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC

Thursday, 9 November 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Newman Centre (3484 Peel Street, north of Sherbrooke Street)
Reception and book signing to follow

Seating is limited. RSVP requested. Tel. 514-398-4106. Email:

From 1989 through June 1996, Mr. Weigel was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he led a wide-ranging, ecumenical and inter-religious program of research and publication on foreign and domestic policy issues. From June 1996, as a Senior Fellow, Mr. Weigel prepared a major study of the life, thought, and action of Pope John Paul II. Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II was published to international acclaim in the fall of 1999, and has since been translated into twelve languages, with a Chinese edition currently in progress.

Mr. Weigel is the author or editor of some twenty other books, including The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (Doubleday, 2010); Practicing Catholic: Essays Historical, Literary, Sporting, and Elegiac (Crossroad, 2012); Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church (Basic, 2013); Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (Basic, 2013) and City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II’s Kraków (Image, 2015). His essays, op-ed columns, and reviews appear regularly in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States. A frequent guest on television and radio, he is also Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to eighty-five newspapers and magazines in seven countries.

Mr. Weigel received a B.A. from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and an M.A. from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto. He is the recipient of eighteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science.

Mr. Weigel’s 2017 Newman Lecture will explore how the Catholic Church’s confrontation with modernity resulted in the Church’s rediscovery of its evangelical and missionary nature, as told by the biographer of Saint John Paul II. Reception and book signing to follow.

The History of the Newman Lecture

The Newman Lecture was first delivered at McGill University in 1989 by the renowned literary critic Northrop Frye (1912-1991) . Since its inception, its purpose has been to explore the role of the secular university in the modern world and the place of faith within that context. It has done so either by presenting themes and ideas from the writings of John Henry Newman, author of The Idea of a University (first published in 1852), or by exploring particular facets of Catholic philosophy, theology, and culture as they relate to the academic vocation and disciplined scholarship. The Newman Lecture is overseen by an academic committee and is sponsored principally by the Newman Association of Montreal Inc. Nearing its 30th anniversary, it continues to offer fresh perspectives on the academic vocation, the role of the university, and the Christian intellectual tradition.

Select Newman Lectures: