Event News

‘Friends of Francis’ Speakers Series

Dove and rainbowWashington, DC, April 15, 2015 — From April to August the Community of Sant’Egidio in Washington, DC will host a series of dynamic public events, touching on relevant topics of faith and public life in anticipation of Pope Francis’ visit this September.

The “Friends of Francis” series takes its cue from Pope Francis’ special request to the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic organization focused on service to the poor, prayer, peace-building, and interreligious dialogue.

“I entrust to you prayer: prayer for the poor and for peace,” Francis said during a meeting with the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome last June, where he called on the Community to share in his ministry.

Inspired by the Gospel, 60,000 lay members of the Community of Sant’Egidio meet regularly for prayer and service in 73 countries around world, including members of local chapters in Washington, DC, New York City, Boston, South Bend, Baltimore, and Minneapolis, to name some.

Catholic parishes, universities, students, diocesan groups, faith-based organizations in the metropolitan DC area, are invited to attend and share widely via social media and other networks information series, which includes expert speakers, reflection, and discussion. Topics include: friendship with the elderly, interreligious dialogue, a consistent ethic of life, and the Pope’s much anticipated encyclical on the environment. Events are free and open to the public. See the lineup below.

“Many of us seek a space in which to respond more fully to the Gospel. We in the Community of Sant’Egidio offer the ‘Friends of Francis,’ series — moments of shared prayer, discussion and reflection — to anyone interested in preparing more fully for the Pope’s visit, and more importantly, in the call to live in deeper solidarity with the poor in our own communities,” says Andrea Bartoli, founding member of the Community and Dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University.

For more information on the Friends of Francis series or for Community of Sant’Egidio media requests contact: Athena Mison Fulay at

Schedule of Events:

Wealth of Wisdom: Closeness with the Elderly in a Throw Away Culture with Mike Goggin, Ignatian Volunteer Corps
Saturday, April 25th
10:00am to 12:00pm

St. Anselm’s Abbey
4501 South Dakota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Mike Goggin is a lay religious leader with nearly 20 years experience in a parish setting, in the interfaith arena, and as director of a couple of national mission groups.

Walking Together: Promoting Dialogue, Understanding and Sense of Community Across Faith Traditions with Rev. Avelino Gonzalez, Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
Saturday, June 20th
10:00am to 12:00pm

St. Gabriel Church
26 Grant Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20011
Rev. Avelino González-Ferrer is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington currently serving as the Director of the Office for Ecumenism and Interfaith Affairs for the Archdiocese of Washington.

Consistent Ethic of Life: Palliative and End-of-Life Care with Richard Doerflinger, USCCB
Sunday, May 17th
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Holy Redeemer Parish
4902 Berwyn Rd
College Park, MD 20740
Richard M. Doerflinger is Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Among his duties is the preparation of policy statements and congressional testimony on abortion, euthanasia, conscience rights in health care, embryo research, and other medical-moral issues for the bishops’ conference.

Lords of Creation, Not Masters: Care for the Environment and Christian Identity
Saturday, July 18th
10:00am to 12:00pm

Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land
1400 Quincy St, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Featured Speaker: TBA