A Message from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. – Notre Dame Forum

Author: Emily Hildebrandt


August 30, 2022

Dear Members of the Notre Dame Community,

Each year since 2005, it has been our custom to choose a central theme of particular importance to the University, the nation, and the larger world, and to address this theme from multiple perspectives through the Notre Dame Forum. I write to announce that the theme for the 2022-23 Notre Dame Forum will be War and Peace.

Globally, conflict and violence are on the rise according to the United Nations, which has warned that peace is more under threat around the world than it has been since World War II. Two billion people—a quarter of the entire global population—live in conflict-affected areas. Last year, 84 million people were forcibly displaced because of conflict, violence, and human rights violations, and this year, an estimated 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance due to conflict, according to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. 

As we contemplate the theme of War and Peace this year, we can be guided by Pope Francis’ words from Against War: Building a Culture of Peace: “And together we must commit ourselves to building a world that is more peaceful because it is more just, where peace triumphs, not the folly of war; justice, not the injustice of war; mutual forgiveness, not the hatred that divides and makes us see an enemy in the other, in those who are different from us.”

During the 2022-23 academic year, we will engage with these important issues as a University community. More information about the Notre Dame Forum keynote events that my office will host will follow in the coming weeks; in planning these events, I’m grateful for the partnership and wise counsel of an advisory committee comprised of some of our distinguished faculty and staff who work on issues on war and peace. 

I also want to extend a special invitation to each of you to consider how to engage with the theme of the Forum, perhaps by attending one or more of our keynote events, or by working with your department, unit or student organization to plan a related event or discussion. Our goal is to extend the dialogue into our classrooms, labs, studios, workplaces, dining halls, and residence halls and thus transform the Forum into a true campus-wide conversation. If you or your department or organization are planning events that relate to the Forum, I invite you to send that information to us at forum@nd.edu so that we may include it on our Forum website.

As we begin this new academic year, know of my prayers and best wishes.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.