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Oblate Spirituality & Social Justice Institute – César Chávez: Faith Seeking Justice

September 21 @ 6:00 pm - September 22 @ 6:00 pm


The Spirituality and Social Justice Institute at Oblate School of Theology invites you to a special symposium dedicated to César Chávez, exploring the deep connections between his faith and his pursuit of social justice. Keynote speakers will highlight his spirituality, family memories, and major influence on the development of Mexican American movements for social justice. Breakout workshops will discuss the interrelated themes of immigration, labor, ecumenical participation in the UFW movement, and non-violence.


Mario T. Garcia, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor of Chicano Studies and History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in History at UC San Diego. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of twenty books in Chicano history. These include The Gospel of César Chávez: My Faith In Action (2007); Católicos: Resistance and Affirmation in Chicano Catholic History (2008); The Latino Generation: Voices of the New America (2014) and The Chicano Generation: Testimonios of the Movement (2015). He is working on a biography of Father Luis Olivares and the sanctuary movement in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of several book awards and is the 2016 recipient of the Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Annual Award.

Rev. Paul T. Barton, Ph.D.  joined the seminary faculty in the fall of 1999, following the completion of his Ph.D. studies at Southern Methodist University. The heart of his MDIV program at Perkins School of Theology and his doctoral studies at SMU was the historical, cultural and theological investigation of Latino/a Christianity. His book, Hispanic Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists in Texas, was published in 2006. Professor Barton is writing two books on the history of Hispanic Christianity in North America. He brings his Latino perspective to bear on the courses he teaches in U.S. Church History and Hispanic Church Studies and Missiology. A second generation Mexican-American, he is an ordained elder in the Rio Grande Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Professor Barton was pastor of three Latino/a congregations and a campus minister after completing his MDiv degree.

Rebecca Flores was the Texas Director of United Farm Workers, 1975-2005, who worked on changing the living and working conditions of the men, women and children who harvest the food that comes to your table three times a day. As a retired Director of UFW she continues to be a strong activist for immigrants and women of domestic violence.

The Rev. Ann Helmke is the Community Faith-Based Liaison for the City of San Antonio. Rev. Helmke is an ordained Lutheran (ELCA) minister who has been serving in San Antonio community for almost 30 years. She has served in a congregational setting but her real contributions to the greater good are the net-workings between many congregations and many faiths with an emphasis on civic engagement. Ann is one of the co-founders of the San Antonio peaceCENTER, where she continues to serve in this all volunteer and interfaith organization as the animating director for over 20 years. For the past seven years she faithfully served as the first Director of Spiritual Services at Haven for Hope, a unique transformational center that directly serves in helping people transition from being without permanent shelter to a sustainable home in their lives, including a faith and spiritual home. Ann has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of the Incarnate Word and Texas Lutheran University, teaching prayer and spirituality. Her life expresses a commitment to an activated spirituality, the living dynamic between action and contemplation. Blessings in her life include two beautiful daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, with one vivacious little granddaughter, and the most recent arrival of her grandson!

A member of the César Chávez family will also be joining us as a presenter for this conference

Pay What you Can

In the spirit of social justice and inclusivity, so that all might attend regardless of means, registration for this conference will be based on what you can afford. To cover costs, the suggested payment is $60. If you cannot pay $60, then pay whatever is within your means. If you are blessed with abundance, please consider paying more to offset those who cannot pay the suggested rate.

For information or to register by phone, contact Noemy at (210) 341-1366 EXT 212  All refunds subject to 10% processing fee.


September 21 @ 6:00 pm
September 22 @ 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Oblate School of Theology


Oblate School of Theology, Whitley Theological Center
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, TX 78216 United States
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