Social Action Summer Institute (SASI)

Screen Shot 2018 02 14 at 4.29.40 PMPhiladelphia, 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 can 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 can be utilized? SASI 2018 will look to provide 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.


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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.




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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.




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 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 five-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 Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA. Recent topics covered at SASI have included Supporting Workers Today, Peacebuilding for the 21st Century, Economic Justice, and Racial Reconciliation, and numerous skills-building workshops.

Thank you to our generous sponsors who work to make this event possible!

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2016: Chicago, Illinois – The Archdiocese of Chicago was pleased to host the 30th annual Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) at St. Xavier University in July 2016. The five-day national conference was organized by the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Justice, Peace, & Human Development, and in partnership with Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services and JustFaith Ministries.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors, who chose the timely theme of: Who is My Neighbor? Discipleship in the Year of Mercy. Chicago offered a unique and timely contribution regarding the most pressing justice issues we face. SASI included a combination of presentations by national leaders, and sessions and immersion experiences connected with Chicago’s frontline efforts in racial, social, criminal and economic justice, while offering education, professional development and advocacy training for diocesan and parish social action ministers. 

Thank you for joining us in Chicago for SASI 2016!