McGrath Institute to examine pandemic-related Church life renewal in virtual seminar series

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame is hosting a series of virtual seminars throughout summer 2020 aimed at empowering pastoral leaders and scholars for the work of renewing the Church. “Called & Co-Responsible: Summer Seminars for Church Life Renewal” builds upon the “Called & Co-Responsible” conference convened as part of the 2019-20 Notre Dame Forum series in March, which explored and promoted the shared responsibility of all the baptized for the evangelizing mission of the Church.

With special attention to how the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the typical rhythm of dioceses, parishes, schools and home life, this series will examine how the laity and the clergy might together commit to renewing the life of the Church. It will address a number of pastoral questions, including how to engage the liturgy in a virtual space, fostering community while physically distant, and strengthening the domestic church.

“In the past few months we suddenly found ourselves in a situation where fostering Church life required additional creativity and thoughtfulness, even as we’ve missed being able to gather together in parishes and receive the Eucharist,” said Leonard DeLorenzo, director of undergraduate studies at the McGrath Institute. “Perhaps we have glimpsed new forms of responsibility that might instruct us going forward, especially as we slowly resume more familiar routines.” 

One seminar will be hosted live from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. each Tuesday and Wednesday between May 27 and July 28. The series will be led by University of Notre Dame faculty and staff, alongside partners and collaborators from outside the University. Seminars will feature pastoral presentations, case studies of pastoral approaches and discussions among participants.

“In a space between reflection and projection, we hope this series will help us deepen our commitment to communion and better claim the responsibility that belongs to all the baptized for the Church’s mission of evangelization,” said DeLorenzo.

Registration is free and open to the public for individual seminars in the series. For more information, visit

Contact: Amy North, program director of communications, 574-631-2894,

Originally published by Anna Bradley at on May 12.