Emily McConville | January 26, 2017
The principles of Catholic Social Tradition (CST) are broad, encompassing such ideas as solidarity, care for creation and rights of workers.
Implementing those principles can be difficult, visiting professor of Catholic Social Tradition and community engagement Clemens Sedmack said.
Sedmack and Bill Purcell, an associate director in the Center for Social Concerns, began to develop the idea of a “CST research lab,” to investigate how CST can play out in the real world. A model was MIT’s Poverty Action Lab, which experiments with different ways to alleviate poverty.
“I thought that since poverty labs are a neat thing, and since one of the weaknesses of Catholic Social Tradition is abstractness, why don’t we think about establishing a CST research lab, experimenting with CST on the ground, exploring the question of what difference does CST make if you really implement in a particular context, be this an institution such as a hospital, be this a context like a parish, be this a structural question such as the structure of a diocese, things like that,” Sedmack said.
Using funds from a Global Collaboration Initiative grant from Notre Dame International, Sedmack and Purcell organized a conference at the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway to set up the lab and create a network of academics and practitioners of CST from schools in Europe and North and South America.