Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Fr. John Dear to Speak at USF

March 1, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

The University of St. Francis (USF) welcomes author John Dear to campus on Thursday, April 5, 2018 to discuss his new book, “They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change” as part of the university’s annual Green Month celebration.

In his presentation, the author, activist and Nobel peace prize nominee will connect the way active nonviolence leads to oneness with Creation, and demonstrates how our global epidemic of violence and war could only lead to catastrophic climate change. He cites Jesus’ third Beatitude as the basis for his meditation: “Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.” Dear will reflect on Jesus’ own practice of nonviolence and how we can seek to do the same.

Dear will also share his own personal journey from life in the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the high desert of New Mexico where he lives off the grid on a remote mesa. This journey has led him to experience serving as a pastor in the mission church at Yosemite; encounters with indigenous New Mexican women who live as one with the earth; solidarity with those at Standing Rock in North Dakota; reflections on the work of the environmental leader Bill McKibben and Pope Francis’ monumental encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si.” He completes the presentation with suggestions for moving forward into conscious, mindful solidarity with all creature and Mother Earth through active, steadfast nonviolence.

“Father Dear has a keen sense of justice and a desire for peace in the world, as does our sponsoring congregation,” remarked Vice President for Mission Integration, Sr. Mary Imler. “The university mission also states that we engage in reverence for creation and peace making. Father Dear’s book and life are an excellent example of making our mission real on a daily basis and will challenge all of us to work together to care for the future of our planet.”

Father Dear’s book speaks to Catholic Social Teaching including care for all of creation which we strive to model at the University of St. Francis, notes Director for Accreditation and Compliance, Janine Hicks. The university has a strong commitment to sustainability, as outlined in their campus sustainability statement.

The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in San Damiano Hall, 603 Taylor St. on the main campus in Joliet. Books will be available for purchase and a signing will take place after the presentation is complete. Admission is complimentary and open to the public but donations are encouraged. To RSVP, please contact Janine Hicks at or 815-740-3807.

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are more than 48,000 USF alumni across the globe.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.