About Lane Center

The Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Social Thought and the Ignatian Tradition advances the scholarship and application of the Catholic intellectual and Ignatian traditions in the church and society with an emphasis on social concerns. Drawing upon the rich diversity of the university, the San Francisco Bay Area and the international Society of Jesus, we support research, teaching and action to promote and engage Catholic social thought especially in response to contemporary issues.

Exploring Intersections of Faith and Social Justice 

We coordinate roundtable discussions that bridge the academy, church and society.  We offer public lectures and publish a book series featuring the latest scholarship on Catholic social thought.

The Lo Schiavo Chair in Catholic Studies and Social Thought, faculty colloquia, and visiting scholars provide the USF and Bay Area community with opportunities to study the intersection of Catholic social thought and pressing issues of our time from the context of Jesuit education.


Erin Cline, author of A World on Fire: Sharing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with Other Religions, will be coming to USF on September 10.  Join Graduate Jesuit Fellow Barwende Sane, SJ for a discussion about how members of different religions can learn from each other not just at the level of theological reflection, political negotiation, or peace-building, but at the level of spirituality. This book club, which will meet three times, is a unique opportunity for faith sharing, open to any seeker of the highest imaginable purpose for life. 

1. Why should Ignatian Spirituality be shared with other religions? 
Thursday, March 5 (11 AM – 12 PM)

2. What would it mean for non-Christians to ‘share’ the Exercises or to make particular dynamics of the Exercises their own?
Friday, March 20 (11 AM – 12 PM)

3. Who is ready to do the Spiritual Exercises and let them transform their life?
Thursday, April 9 (11 AM – 12 PM), join via Zoom

Up to twelve people can join, and books will be provided.


Past Events

Black Lives do Matter: What prophetic voice does the Black Catholic experience in this country have to offer Christianity and US culture at this time?

5–7 p.m.  |  Nov. 14, 2019
Lone Mountain (LM) 270 - Del Santo Reading Room

Does the notion of #BlackLivesMatter have any theological relevance for the Church today? If so, why does it seem like Church leaders are so silent about what catalyzed this movement in the first place? In honor of Black Catholic History Month, Dr. Shawnee Daniels-Sykes addressed these questions. Watch the recording: https://youtu.be/S4mcw2qDwiw

3rd Annual Women Shaping the Catholic Social Tradition Speaking Series

5:30–7 p.m.  |  Friday, Nov. 15
Fromm 120 (Xavier Auditorium)

Kerry Robinson, global ambassador for the Leadership Roundtable, is passionate about fostering gender equity in the Church and reimagining structures to promote inclusive participation and transparent leadership. Kerry spoke on the topic of Women and the Church. Watch the recording: https://youtu.be/N8t8GIVS8AI  

Beyond Borders: Book Discussion and Reflections from the Kino Border Initiative 

September 25, 2019

  • 5:15 pm - 6:00 pm, Reception and Beyond Borders Book Launch in Fromm Hall - 114 - Robert E. Fordham Atrium
  • 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Encounter, Reflection, Analysis: A Panel Featuring USF Faculty and Staff on Migration in Fromm Hall - 115 - Berman Room

This event featured reflections and research on migration from USF faculty and staff committed to solidarity across borders. We celebrated the Lane Center’s newest volume, Beyond Borders: Reflections on the Resistance and Resilience Among Immigrant Youth & Families, which captures testimonies, best practices, and methods on how to respond to the realities of global migration. We also heard from a recent delegation of nine USF faculty and staff who visited the US/Mexico border through the Kino Border Initiative. Watch the recording: https://youtu.be/VpqyCTqxrJ0

Roundtable on Economic Justice and the Economy

The International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) has identified six priorities for discernment, collaboration, and action. Among them is the promotion of environmental and economic justice as interconnected ethical challenges. The Lane Center held a roundtable discussion on May 1, 2019 that brought together scholars of different disciplines, along with community leaders working for justice, to take up these challenges. To view recordings of the scholars’ presentations, visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/USFLaneCenter/videos/ 

2nd Annual Women Shaping the Catholic Social Tradition Speaking Series 

This annual event honors the memory of Sr. Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U., Sr. Ita Ford, M.M., Sr. Maura Clarke, M.M., and lay missionary, Jean Donovan – four Catholic women murdered on December 2, 1980 in El Salvador. By exercising an uncompromising commitment to the poor during the Salvadoran civil war, these women embody a radical commitment to faith and social justice. This series commemorates their witness and lifts up the Catholic sisters and lay women who continue to shape the Catholic social tradition. Sr. Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, was the keynote speaker for this event on November 29, 2018. Watch the recording below:

Summit for Social Research 

Lane Center held a Summit for Social Research from October 26 – October 28, 2018 with the goal of strengthening partnerships between Jesuit universities and Jesuit social and pastoral ministries and to promote socially-engaged scholarship and action. Participants expressed an interest in developing a repository of Jesuit works, research questions, and opportunities for faculty engagement and articulating the methodology for social research in the Ignatian tradition.

Global Catholic Climate Movement 

On September 14, 2018, Lane Center partnered with the Global Catholic Climate Movement to organize an event called Living Laudato Si' Through Climate Action. Learn more about the event from the Ignatian Solidary Network article