Harvesting Hope in Panama: The Prophetic Witness of the Indigenous Ngäbe People

Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald, a Vincentian missionary, gives this 3rd talk in the 2019-20 lecture series, "Poverty: Vincentian Responses around the World," hosted by the Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology in collaboration with the inaugural Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, Chair of Vincentian Studies, Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée.

Traveling on foot or horseback through the mountains of Panama to 50+ villages, Vincentian missionaries have been ministering since the 1980s to the Ngäbe, the most populous of the country’s seven indigenous peoples and among the poorest. Along with the sacraments, artisan and agricultural projects, the Vincentians focus much of their time working with the youth (organizing the first-ever World Indigenous Youth Day in 2019, as a prelude to World Youth Day) and accompanying the Ngäbe in defending the rights to their lands, which are increasingly threatened by mega-mines and dams. In this talk, Fr. Fitzgerald shares what he has learned from the example of the Ngäbe's faith in the face of crises...and the importance of their example, their prophetic witness, for all of us.

About the Speaker
Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald was ordained a Vincentian here in the U.S. in 2005 and has served at the Vincentian Mission in Soloy, Panama, since 2007. He holds a PhD in theology from the Pontifical Bolivarian University (Medellín, Colombia) and, since 2016, has served as executive secretary of the National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry of the Panamanian Bishops’ Conference.

About the 2019-20 Lecture Series,
"Poverty: Vincentian Responses around the World"

St. Vincent de Paul said, “Go to the poor: you will find God.” This charism is lived out across the globe in the work done by the hundreds of groups—both lay and religious—that comprise the International Vincentian Family. This lecture series brings to DePaul different members of the global Vincentian Family to share the ways they are serving and encountering the poor, and God, in their part of the world.


Please contact CWCIT at cwcit@depaul.edu or 773.325.4158.


Parking at DePaul
Street parking (both free & metered) is sometimes available on campus, but there are also 2 parking garages available for visitors**:

~ Sheffield Parking Garage (2331 N. Sheffield Ave.)
~ Clifton Parking Deck (2330 N. Clifton Ave.)

**For a discounted rate, please ask for validation at the event's information table. Discounted rates are as follows:

Entrance before 4:00pm = $10.00
Entrance after 4:00pm = $8.00

Thursday, January 30 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Student Center (Lincoln Park), 314B
2250 N Sheffield Ave

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