Former Vatican Amb., Dante Scholar & Noted Author among Speakers at Catholic Schooling & the Liberal Arts Event

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Introductory remarks from world-renowned NYC-based Catholic priest

BOSTON – Pioneer Institute will hold a forum on the current status of K-12 Catholic education in America and the role of classical liberal arts learning for all, on Monday, November 14 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. at the Omni Parker House hotel in downtown Boston.

UPDATE: Watch Livestream Recording Here (Scroll to 14:00):

“The Life You Save: Catholic Schooling & the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century,” will feature keynote addresses by the translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy, and an expert on the lives of 20th century American Catholic writers, as well as a panel discussion moderated by a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

Introductory remarks will be delivered by Father George W. Rutler.  He is pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City and the author of 21 books, including Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943, Hints of Heaven, and his latest, He Spoke to Us.  Since 1988, his weekly television program has been broadcast on EWTN.

One keynote will be delivered by Paul Elie, a senior fellow with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and director of the American Pilgrimage Project, a university partnership with StoryCorps based in the Berkley Center.  He is the author of two books, The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage and Reinventing Bach.

Providence College Professor of English Literature Anthony Esolen will also deliver a keynote address.  In addition to Dante’s Divine Comedy, he is the editor and translator of Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things and Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered.  In addition, he has published a volume of his own poetry, Peppers, and several other books.

Harvard University Learned Hand Professor of Law Mary Ann Glendon will moderate a panel discussion.  She is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and currently serves as a member of the Board of Supervisors of the Institute of Religious Works (Vatican Bank) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Professor Glendon is also the author of several books.

Panelists will include Karen Bohlin, Head of Montrose School, and Senior Scholar, Boston University Center for Character and Social Responsibility; Kathleen Mears, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Boston; Kevin Ryan, Founder & Director Emeritus of the Center for Character & Social Responsibility and Professor Emeritus at the Boston University School of Education; and Patrick Wolf, Distinguished Professor and 21st Century Chair in School Choice, University of Arkansas.

Welcoming remarks will be delivered by Pioneer Institute’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Education and former Massachusetts Senate President Tom Birmingham, who co-authored the commonwealth’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act. He is a Rhodes Scholar.

There will be time for audience questions and answers after the keynote addresses and at the end of the event.  Speakers will be available after the forum to sign copies of their books. This event will be available for live, online viewing. 

“The Life You Save: Catholic Schooling & the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century” is co-sponsored by the American Principles Project, the Center for Education Reform, The Catholic Schools Foundation, EdChoice and the Program on Education Policy & Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School.


Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.