A Light to the Nations Conference

A Light to the Nations: Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Church's Global Commitment to the Poor. January 12-14, 2011

Thank you to everyone who attended A Light to the Nations, Celebration's third annual conference on effective liturgy. Below you will find video of conference presentations, photos and information about our speakers.

For more information on immigration issues, visit the
Immigration and the Church blog at NCRonline.org/immigration.
download speaker presentations

What can the Church contribute to the national debate about immigration reform?

This Celebration conference looked at how the essential elements of worship and preaching influence this crucial conversation and how liturgy unites voices passionate for global justice, due process, human rights and compassion within a framework that respects the law, acknowledges national borders and promotes economic growth for all.

Together we gained new insights into liturgy as the public expression of the church's life, her values and priorities. We examined how effective worship and preaching help prepare the Catholic community to engage in the challenges of social and economic transformation at the heart of the immigration crisis.


The Cry of the Poor: Why They Come
— Dean Brackley, SJ
Professor at the University of Central America in San Salvador, where he moved in 1990 to help replace the six Jesuits murdered in November, 1989, during El Salvador’s civil war.

Dean Brackley, SJ

Welcoming Table: Liturgy as Model for Globalization
— Jake Empereur, SJ
Liturgical theologian, former vicar and liturgist at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, co-author of Liturgy That Does Justice and author of La Vida Sacra: Hispanic Sacramental Theology

Jake Empereur, SJ

Latina Magnificat: Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Call to Justice
— Jeanette Rodriguez
Professor of theology and religious studies, Seattle University, an internationally known expert on Latin American theology and religion, gender and cultural diversity

Jeanette Rodriguez

Pilgrim Church: History as Migration toward the Beloved Community
— Dan Groody, CSC
Holy Cross priest, assistant professor of theology at Notre Dame, director of Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture, author and documentary film producer on border and migration themes

Dan Groody, CSC

The Postville Raid: What Mother Church Can Do
— Mary McCauley, BVM
A member of the Sisters of Charity, BVM, of Dubuque, Iowa, she was serving as pastoral administrator, St. Bridget’s Church, Postville, IA, during the 2008 ICE raid

Mary McCauley, BVM

Eucharist without Borders: The Church's vision for Immigration Reform
— Bishop Ricardo Ramirez
Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, former chair of Campaign for Human Development and currently on U.S. Bishops Conference committees for The Catholic Common Ground Initiative and Hispanic Affairs

Bishop Ricardo Ramirez


Parishioners of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Tucson, AZ performed “Line in the Sand,” a theatrical production based on real interviews with individuals affected by immigration. Learn more