Prophetic Communities

In February 2023, IPJC, Jesuits West, and the University of San Francisco gathered folks from across the United States for “Prophetic Communities: Organizing as an Expression of Catholic Social Thought.” The conference was attended by academics, community organizers, social ministry directors, and others committed to growing the practice of community organizing in Catholic contexts. One of the gathering’s outgrowths was the Collaborative for Catholic Organizing, which IPJC will co-coordinate in partnership with NETWORK and Jesuits West. We hope that you will consider joining this shared project and community by learning more below.


Collaborative for Catholic Organizing

The Collaborative for Catholic Organizing exists to foster community, nourish spiritual development, and build power among organizers, theologians, and people of faith committed to community organizing within the Catholic context.

  1. Align: Deepen the connections among Catholic social teaching, liberation theology, and community organizing through resource development, sharing, and collaboration. 
  2. Build community: Foster deep relationships that build communities of resiliency and trust among organizers, major stakeholders, and justice builders working in Catholic spaces.
  3. Strategize: Intentionally collaborate and build power for social change through shared power analysis, movement alignment, and coordinated efforts to situate organizing within Catholic social teaching.
  4. Grow: Nurture people in both their organizing skills and spiritual depth in the work of organizing, especially in helping participants connect their work to the Catholic faith. Increase capacity to work in Catholic contexts and deepen spiritual sustainability.

  1. Attend quarterly community-wide meetings focused on deepening relationships, professional development, and capacity building.
  2. Attend individual events exploring issues related to community organizing in Catholic contexts.
  3. Participate in a working group:
    a. Ministerial, theological, and academic formation
    b. Synodal distillation group (Synodal process from “Prophetic Communities”)
    Prophetic Communities-Synodal Synthesis Report 2023
    Informe de Síntesis Sinodal 2023 (Spanish version)
    c. Power and network building
  4. Contribute to and utilize the growing resource library on the Collaborative’s website:
  5. Click Ask to Join group at the top the Collaborative’s website.


Prophetic Communitiea

University of San Francisco | February 9 – 11, 2023

A gathering for organizers, theologians, and all committed to social justice work to explore the intersection between Catholic Social Teaching and community organizing through panel conversations, workshops, guided discussions, and spiritual grounding.

The Experience


Spend time in intimate conversation focused on why organizing has been an important and ongoing expression of Catholic Social Teaching with folks passionately involved in organizing work.

Build Power

Create a network of academics and practitioners of Catholic community organizing who elevate and celebrate diverse voices and experiences.


Facilitate the creation of materials that help better explain community organizing as a part of the Catholic Church and its expression of Catholic Social Teaching.

The Speakers


Austen Ivereigh
Austen Ivereigh
Co-author of Let Us Dream: the Path to a Better Future with Pope Francis

Ogechi Akalegbere

Ogechi Akalegbere
Leader, Action in Montgomery

Ana Garcia Ashely

Ana Garcia-Ashley
Director, Gamelial National Network

Fr. John Baumann SJ

Fr. John Baumann, SJ
Founder, Faith in Action Network

Jeremy V. Cruz

Jeremy V. Cruz
Associate Professor of Theology, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Bob Fambrini SJ

Bob Fambrini, SJ
Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Parish; Member VIP, Board Member FIA

Cecilia Flores

Cecilia Flores
Sacramento ACT & Action Planning Chair, USCCB Journeying Together Initiative

Teresa Flores-Onofre

Teresa Flores-Onofre
Co-Director of Movement Development, Laudato Si’ Movement

Nicholas Hayes-Mota

Nicholas Hayes-Mota
Teaching Fellow, Boston College and Organizer, GBIO

Ken Holman

Ken Homan SJ
Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor

Fr. Clete Kiley

Fr. Clete Kiley
Chaplain Chicago Federation of Labor and Senior Adviser to the Unite Here Movement

Sister Cheryl  Liske, OP

Sister Cheryl Liske, OP
Gamaliel National Network

Ralph McCloud

Ralph McCloud
Executive Director Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Lorena Melgarejo

Lorena Melgarejo
Director Faith in Action Bay Area

Dan Misleh

Dan Misleh
Catholic Climate Covenant

Mary Novak

Mary Novak
Executive Director, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Tony Pizzo, OSA

Tony Pizzo, OSA
Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians

The Plenaries

  1. Why Organizing?
    Moderated by Tere Flores
    Guest Speakers: Sr. Cheryl Liske, OP, Nicholas Hayes-Mota, Bob Fambrini, SJ, Ogechi Akalegbere
  2. Organizing and Synodality
    Facilitated by Cecilia Flores
    Guest Speaker: Austin Ivereigh
  3. Organizing and Theology
    Guest Speakers: Lorena Melgarejo, Jeremy Cruz, Timothy McManus 
  4. Reflection Panel
    Fr. Tony Pizzo, OSA, Mary Novak, Ralph McCloud

The Workshops

  1. Organizing and Ministerial Formation
    Dan Harntnett, SJ, Mary Lim-Lampe, Rev. Ray Pickett
  2. Teaching Organizing Through a Catholic Lens
    Joseph Fleming, Ana Garcia-Ashley 
  3. Labor Organizing in Catholic Tradition
    Ken Homan, Clete Kiley
  4. Laudato Si’ as an Organizing Project
    Tere Flores, Dan Misleh
  5. Nonviolent Strategy
    Eli McCarthy


4:00 to 5:00pm Opening Reception
5:00 to 6:00pm Mass
6:00 to 7:00pm Plenary 1: Why Organizing?

9:00 to 10:00am Plenary 2: Organizing and Synodality
10:15 to 11:30am Breakout Conversations
11:30am to 1:30pm Lunch*
1:30 to 2:45pm Workshops
3:00 to 4:15pm Breakout Conversations
4:15 to 5:00pm Coffee Break
5:00 to 6:00pm Liturgy
6:00 to 7:00pm Plenary 3: A Conversation Between an
Organizer and Theologian

9:00 to 9:45am Plenary 4: Reflection Panel
9:45 to 11:30am Small Group Listening and Discernment
11:30am to 12:30pm Closing Liturgy

Event Location

University of San Francisco
McClaren Conference Complex
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94118

University of San Francisco Lane Center logo

Jesuits West logo

Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center logo

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