Social Action Summer Institute (SASI)

Thank you for your participation at SASI 2019!  Please complete your evaluation now!

Screen Shot 2018 02 14 at 4.29.40 PM

Salt Lake City, UT - Two Feet, One Voice: Building a Home for All was the theme for the 2019 Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) that was held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT from July 25 - 28, 2019. SASI 2019’s theme reflected this year’s emphasis on giving voice and fostering systemic change for people experiencing homelessness or statelessness. 

Bishop Oscar Solis from the Diocese of Salt Lake City welcomed participants at the opening Mass stating, "We come here in response to the mandate of Christ to put our faith into action according to the spirit of the Gospel.  We are aware of the sacred responsiblity to promote, protect, and uphold the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until death."  Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande, Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ was awarded as this year's Harry A. Fagan Roundtable Award Winner for her efforts promoting the dignity of every human person at the border through her efforts at Catholic Charities.  Read more about Sr. Norma and SASI 2019 coverage from Internmountain Catholic and Crux

On behalf of Roundtable, we are grateful to everyone's participation and ask that participants please complete their evaluation as soon as possible, so that we can take into consideration all of your feedback as we begin preparations for next year's event.


Check out the 2019 pdfschedule, xlsxparticipant list and more!

Presenter: Jose Aguto, Catholic Climate Covenant
Title: Implementing Laudto Si: Practical Approaches for Any Catholic Organization

Presenter: Scott Hurd, Catholic Charities USA
Title: pdfUsing Social Enterprise to Address Poverty Locally and Globally

Presenter: Dr. Mary Beth Vogel-Gerguson
Title: pdfTrauma 101: Taking the BS (Blamd and Shame) Out of Trauma

Presenter: Matt Wazenek, Toastmaster's International
Title: FUNdamentals of Public Speaking

Presenter: Kat Doyle, Archdiocese of Atlanta
Title: Building a Diocesan Campaign to Fight Human Trafficking


Philadelphia, PA - Cultivating Creativity in Social Justice Ministry: 'Love requires a concrete, creative response' -Pope Francis was the theme for the 2018 Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) that was held at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA from July 15 -19, 2018. The theme was inspired by a Tweet from Pope Francis: "Love requires a creative, concrete response. Good intentions are not enough. The other is not a statistic, but a person to take care of."

Social justice ministry is dedicated to serving those individuals on the margins of society and within our Church, yet the way in which we minister must evolve. How do social action directors fully embrace the Holy Father's call to missionary discipleship in order to advance God's kingdom of peace and justice? What creative, new methods, new visions are being utilized? SASI 2018 provided new ideas and new ways for social ministers to bring back to their respective diocese or parish.

Check out the 2018 pdfschedule, participant pdflist, photo album and more! 

Steve Prince 300Steve Prince, assistant professor of art at Wayne State University in Detroit, printmaker, sculptor, and graphite artist was the opening keynote for SASI 2018!  Prince takes his message to the streets by using black and white language to preach and teach an original and innovative vision. He spreads a message of hope and renewal to the global community through the cathartic funerary tradition from New Orleans called the Dirge and Second Line. For more information about his work, please visit One Fish Studio.



brother mickeyBr. Mickey McGrath, OSFS is a gifted storyteller and has furthered his art education in the context of social justice and finding beauty in the margins. He was one of the talented speakers featured in the 2018 SASI program where he shared stories about many of his beautiful works of art.  For more information about his work, please visit Bee Still Studio



Screen Shot 2018 02 14 at 4.34.32 PMKate Hennessy, Servant of God Dorothy Day's granddaughter and author of Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty, was a featured SASI presenter, and she discussed how her grandmother's vision of a more just world radically challenged the status quo. Ms. Hennessy signed copies of her book, which were made available to participants. Check out some of those pictures below.


Screen Shot 2018 04 28 at 1.41.23 PM

The Most Rev. Jaime Soto has served as bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento since 2008 and the former chairman of the USCCB Sub-Committee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. He shared his thoughts on the creativity within human ecology and the connection to Laudato Si, which you can read more about here




 St. Peters PortraitRev. Roger Landry from the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations discussed the work of the Holy See at the United Nations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees. His presentation focused on the diplomacy of the Holy See, the vigorous advocacy of Pope Francis, and the context of the world of the Catholic Church throughout the globe can be accessed pdfhere

Screen Shot 2018 04 28 at 1.59.56 PMCaroline Brennan is a Senior Communications Officer for Catholic Relief Services Global Humanitarian Response Team. She has worked across four continents and in 18 countries documenting people’s pursuits to overcome adversity and lead empowered lives—from Haiti to Ethiopia, from Afghanistan to Indonesia. Her travels allow her the opportunity to meet people where they are at in an effort to share their stories upon her return home in an effort to raise awareness of our global Church. Her presentation focused on effective messaging and storytelling and can be accessed here



Genevieve Jordan Laskey HeadshotGenevieve Jordan Laskey HeadshotGenevieve Jordan Laskey HeadshotGenevieve Laskey, CRS; Scott Hurd, CCUSA; and Jill Rauh, USCCB-JPHD facilitated a planning analysis where participatns were able to work through specific opportunities or challenges in sharing the Church's social mission. In this presentation, tips on resources and creative approaches were shared and can be accessed pdfhere.  


EmmaTacke CMNEmmaTacke CMNCaitlin Morneau and Emma Tacke of Catholic Mobilizing Network invited participants to cultivate moral imagination and consider creative approaches to transforming our broken criminal justice system- changes that are grounded in the present realities of harm and violence, while bringing about the God’s vision for reconciliation. Their presentation can be found here.




Screen Shot 2018 08 10 at 4.01.51 PMScreen Shot 2018 08 10 at 4.01.51 PMScreen Shot 2018 08 10 at 4.01.51 PM
In their presentation, the Anti-Trafficking staff for the USCCB's Office on Migration and Refugee Services gave an overview of the scope and prevalence of human trafficking. Their workshop offered practical examples from parishes around the county who embraced creative responses to effecively combat human trafficking.  Learn more pdfhere.




Screen Shot 2018 08 10 at 4.08.23 PMScreen Shot 2018 08 10 at 4.08.23 PM

 Effective advocacy has become even more critical. This workshop examined how advocacy is a key part of our Catholic faith tradition and how we must harness the influence of our Catholic and faith-centered networks. Kim Mazyck, CCUSA and Cheryl Mrazik, CRS presented research on Congrress to help demystify advocacy efforts and enabled participants to create or enhance their own advocacy strategy. pdfPowerPoint and pdfhandout are available for use.




Overview - This three day program offers first-time participants grounding in Catholic social teaching, biblical theology, and the spirituality of social justice. Returning attendees take part in an advanced program focused on particular areas of social action ministry. SASI is planned jointly with national collaborators from the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, and national partners at Bread for the World, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Relief Services. Recent topics covered at SASI have included Homelessness and Statelessness, Supporting Workers Today, Peacebuilding for the 21st Century, Economic Justice, and Racial Reconciliation, and numerous skills-building workshops.

Annual Symposium

Each February, as a joint meeting with the larger Catholic Social Ministry Gathering at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, the Roundtable conducts a Symposium through which its members, with the help of resource persons, share their understanding and approach to social justice issues and diocesan social action ministry. The event also includes the Roundtable annual Membership Meeting. Topics at recent Symposia have included Food Justice, Faithful Citizenship, and Privatization of Prisons.