Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, prayed tirelessly for Christian unity and to realize Jesus’ prayer that “all may be one.”

Father Paul, the founder of the Society of the Atonement, devoted his life to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, a mission the Friars continue to carry out today. The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement sponsor an annual talk centered around ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, conducted in Father Paul’s name.

The fourth annual Paul Wattson Lecture will take place on Monday, October 10 at the James and Catherine Denny Center at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. The theme of this year’s lecture is “The Intersection Between Ecumenism and Justice.”

The lecture will be presented by His Eminence, Archbishop Donald Bolen, of the Diocese of Regina, Saskatchewan. Among the positions he’s held during his ministry, Archbishop Bolen was appointed to work at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity. In that role, he served the Catholic Church’s international dialogues with Anglicans and Methodists. He was named Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon in 2010, and appointed Archbishop of Regina by Pope Francis six years later.

Archbishop Bolen has been active in ecumenical and justice work, while being heavily involved in Indigenous relations, responding to the Calls of Action of Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

These annual lectures feature national and international leaders in the fields of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue who speak on current topics of interest. Initiated in 1974 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, the series was expanded in 1980 to the University of San Francisco.

In 1995, the lecture series reached the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, and in 1996, the Toronto School of Theology. In 1998, it was added to the ministry of the Friars at their Centro Pro Unione in Rome honoring not only Father Paul, but also Mother Lurana White, S.A., founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement. In 2017, the first Paul Wattson Lecture in Chicago took place at the Catholic Theological Union.

Click here to register for this year’s lecture and for more information.