Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC)

LANACC serves as a bridge between the Church and the academy by promoting the bilateral exchange of ideas and practices between North America and Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular, LANACC fosters pastoral bonds between the churches of the Americas.  

Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC) serves as a bridge between the Church and the academy by promoting the bilateral exchange of ideas and practices between North America and Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular, LANACC fosters pastoral bonds between the churches of the Americas.  

LANACC interprets the Catholicism of Latin Americans to their fellow communicants in North America; promotes fraternity and unity between faith communities throughout our hemisphere, and encourages greater involvement of US churches in the ongoing quest for the peace, socioeconomic justice, and universal human dignity mandated by Jesus Christ.

Of particular note, LANACC has championed the scholarship and cause for canonization of St. Óscar Romero through annual Romero Days events that explore and celebrate the saint's legacy. Read more about Archbishop Óscar Romero here and view the panel discussion in celebration of his canonization here.

LANACC was founded in 1985 by Faculty Fellow Rev. Robert S. Pelton, CSC, who retired in 2015.


‘A New Social Justice Agenda for the Present’
April 28, 2021
A Kellogg-supported book project that got its start during the coronavirus pandemic argues that St. Óscar Romero’s contributions to the theological understanding of Catholic social teaching have been overlooked. The contributors are developing the book through virtual sessions in a model that may be adopted for future projects.

Report on Ecclesia in America International SeminarOctober 16 -18, Rio de Janeiro

LANACC Announces Pelton Essay Contest Winners
April 22, 2019

Romero Canonized, Called ‘A Wonderful Pastoral Example to the World’
October 15, 2018
LANACC founder and Romero scholar Rev. Robert Pelton, CSC, 96, has spent his career studying Romero and traveled to Rome for the canonization. “I’m surprised how long it took to finally get to the truth about him,” he told The Guardian.

In the Media  
LANACC founder and Romero scholar Rev. Robert Pelton, CSC, traveled to Rome for the canonization of Archbishop Óscar Romero which took place on Sunday, October 14. Several media outlets quoted him in their coverage of the events:
"Salvadoran priest Óscar Romero to be declared saint by Pope Francis" by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, October 11, 2018
"Interview: 'May Pope Francis Promote Romero as a Pastoral Model of Leadership for the Entire Church'" by Deborah Castellano Lubov, Zenit, October 11, 2018
"Archbishop Óscar Romero and Pope Paul VI Are Made Saints" by Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, October 14, 2018

Alvernia lecture offers insights on Pope Francis
April 13, 2018
Faculty Fellow and Director of LANACC Peter Casarella says pontiff has struck emotional chord with many.

Conferencia “Romero Days,” un puente hacia el futuro
Super Martyrio - April 3, 2018

Romero Days 2018 wraps up
March 27, 2018
Dozens of participants took part March 23 and 24 in the annual Romero Days conference at the University of Notre Dame, hosted by Latin American/North American Church Concerns and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. The theme of this year’s conference was “Memorializing Martyrdom: Romero’s Beatification and Our Task Today.”

Romero Days Conference Honors Legacy of Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero
by Lucy Lynch
The Observer - March 23, 2018

A Conversation with Fr. Robert Pelton
March 21, 2018
Conversations and conversions: The Bob Pelton interviews, by Peter Cajka

In the Media: Archiving, Witnessing, and Discerning: The Task of the Theologian Today
March 21, 2018
Faculty Fellow and Director of LANACC Peter Casarella has written a blog for the Association of Theological Schools entitled "Archiving, Witnessing, and Discerning: The Task of the Theologian Today," where he discusses his journey as a Catholic lay theologian, his observations of Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP on a similar path, and thoughts for others in the field today. He encourages readers to consider, "How do your job and your vocation relate to and/or complement one another? What does your apostolado universitario look like? Is there any trace of una teología del apostolado?"

A Church that Goes Forth: From Mexico City to Tepeyac
February 21, 2018
As part of his role as part in promoting the collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM), LANACC director Peter Casarella attended the installation of Carlos Cardinal Aguiar Retes as the 35th bishop of the Archdiocese of Mexico City on February 5, 2018. In this reflection, Casarella writes about the experience, its place in history, and its meaning for the wider Church. 

Spring 2021
February 2021

WED, FEB 24, 2021
Romero and Catholic Social Teaching: Romero and Solidarity (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
Meghan ClarkElizabeth O’Donnell GandolfoTodd Walatka

WED, FEB 3, 2021
Romero and Catholic Social Teaching: Romero and the Common Good (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
Nichole M. FloresStephen J. PopeTodd Walatka

January 2021

WED, JAN 13, 2021
Romero and Catholic Social Teaching Session 5 (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
David M. LantiguaMargaret PfeilTodd Walatka

Fall 2020
December 2020

WED, DEC 9, 2020
Romero and Catholic Social Teaching (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
Edgardo Colón-EmericLeonel GuardadoTodd Walatka

November 2020

THU, NOV 19, 2020
Romero and the Practice of Catholic Social Teaching (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
Rubén Rosario RodríguezTodd WalatkaMatthew Philipp Whelan

October 2020

WED, OCT 28, 2020
Romero and Catholic Social Teaching: Romero and Peace (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
Kevin J. BurkeJosé HenriquezTodd Walatka

September 2020

WED, SEP 30, 2020
Romero in Context (VIRTUAL)
Romero Work-in-Progress
Michael E. LeeSr. Ana María Pineda, RSM, STDTodd Walatka


Rev. Robert S. Pelton, CSC Memorial Essay Contest - (Closed)
Award winners announced

Romero Days 2020 Conference: Romero and Catholic Social Teaching

St. Romero Martyrdom Anniversary Mass
Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame
5:15pm, Tuesday, March 24, 2020  POSTPONED, NEW DATE TO BE DETERMINED


20th Anniversary of Ecclesia in America: A North-South Dialogue on Church Reform, Global Politics, and Local Engagement
Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
4:00pm Reception
4:30pm Panel Discussion featuring Michael L. Budde, Depaul University, and María Clara Bingemer, Pontifical Catholic University, Río de Janeiro
Location: Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Auditorium

Pope John Paul II promulgated Ecclesia in America on January 22, 1999. Notre Dame celebrated the event with an international conference that fall of 1999. This May we recall both events. In both cases, we are recalling the vision of one Church for all the Americas, extending from Canada to Tierra del Fuego. The vision of Ecclesia in America goes directly to the mission of LANACC since its founding and is a call to renew the bonds of solidarity between North and South. Both CELAM (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have met every two years, but these meetings of bishops do not get to the underlying theology or the need to renew the original vision in an academic and lay setting. In the fall of 2019, Maria Clara Bingemer and Peter Casarella will hold a meeting of Latino theologians and Latin American theologians in Brazil. This May 1st event will be a preview of that larger encounter and call to action for all Catholic universities to renew the hope inspired in 1999 by Saint John Paul II.

Romero Anniversary Vigil Mass
Presider and Homilist, Fr. Juan Molina, OSST, San Antonio Archdiocese
March 23, 2019 

Romero Days 2019 - Belonging: The Church of Romero and the Gangs
March 18-20, 2019

Considine Award
Deadline: Monday, March 18, 2019

LANACC Reading Group Spring 2019
Discussions on Decoloniality and Theology
Friday, February 1, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room 234)
Friday, February 22, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room 234)
Friday, March 8, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room 234)
Tuesday, March 19, 2:00-3:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room C103)
For the pre-circulated readings and to attend, register with lanacc@nd.edu.Rev. Robert S. Pelton, CSC, Annual Essay Contest
Deadline for submissions: March 8, 2019

FALL 2018

Lecture: “The Poetic Construction of the Sacred in Pablo Neruda’s Poetry
Dr. Roberto Onell, Pontificia Universidad Católica
Religion & Literature conference room, McKenna Hall basement 024
Monday, December 10th, 2018
5:00PM –  6:30PM

Co-sponsored by Religion and Literature and Latin American North American Church Concerns

LANACC Panel Discussion: Celebrating the Canonization of Saint Archbishop Óscar Romero
Wednesday, October 24
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Jenkins Nanovic Halls Room 1030

LANACC Reading Group Fall 2018
Discussions on the conclusions and position papers of the Second General Conference of Latin American Bishops that took place in Medellín, Colombia, 1968
Friday, Oct. 12, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room C104/105)
Friday, Sept. 28, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room C104/105)
Friday, Sept. 14, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room C104/105)
Friday, August 31, 12-1:15pm (Hesburgh Center, Room C104/105)


China and Latin America: New Approaches and Interaction for a Growing Cooperation
May 11-12, 2018
Recordings of key sessions

Ana Maria Bidegain, Department of Religious Studies, Florida International University
April 6, 2018
3:00pm Reception
Hesburgh Center Great Hall
4:00pm LectureOpportunities and Challenges in the Advancement of Women in the Latin American Church
Hesburgh Center C103
Ana María Bidegain, Florida International University
Brief welcome by Jaime Pensado
Moderator: Peter Casarella

Beatification Mass for Fr. Stanley Rother
Live Broadcast from Oklahoma City 
Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Bruised Peacemaker: The Pope in Colombia
September 18, 2017

Casarella Leads Digital Library Project Documenting Rise of Contemporary Latin American Church
August 29, 2017

LANACC Director, Peter Casarella, takes part in the 30th SOTER International Congress
"30º Congreso de la SOTER: la teología del pueblo no rechaza la teología de la liberación"

Vida Nueva - July 2017

Fr. Robert Pelton's Service in Chile: "Truth to Power"
Notre Dame Magazine (Spring 2017 issue)

Eileen Markey—A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura
Book Discussion and Luncheon

109 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Friday, April 21, 2017

Cardinals Bookend “Romero Days”
March 30, 2017
The 30th annual “Romero Days” took the form of an international conference on Christian discipleship, with scholars, clergy—including two cardinals—and lay people from around the world taking part.

Romero Days Keynote by Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga Now Available
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Romero Days 2017
Christian Discipleship: The Witness of Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero

March 24-28, 2017
University of Notre Dame

Rev. Robert S. Pelton, C.S.C. Inaugural Essay Contest
Deadline: March 7, 2017

Rev. Robert Pelton, C.S.C. wins the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley - Award of the Year 2016

The Primacy of Relation and the Challenge of the Migrant
— a LANACC conference in Rome

February 6, 2017

The Primacy of Relationship and the Challenge of the Migrant
El Primato della Relazione e la Sfida del Migrante

International Conference
University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway , January 11-13, 2017

"Theology from the Margins: The Chilean Contribution to Vatican II"
Sandra Arenas
Assistant Professor of Theology, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Kellogg Institute Visiting Scholar
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“Arzobispo Marcos McGrath, CSC: un pastor según el corazón del Concilio Vaticano II”
“Archbishop Marcos McGrath, CSC: A Pastor at the Heart of the Second Vatican Council”
(Lecture in Spanish with English translation)
Cardinal José Luis Lacunza, OAR
Bishop of David, Panama
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pelton Receives Honorary Doctorate
May 4, 2016
Faculty Fellow Rev. Robert Pelton, CSC, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Portland in recognition of his exemplary career as a “noted filmmaker, scholar, author, theology professor, and globetrotter” and lifelong commitment of service to Latin America and the Latin American Church.

Romero Days 2016
March 31 - April 1, 2016

Los Estados Unidos en espera del Papa argentino
Peter Casarella

Romero Days 2015 - LANACC Launches New Volume on Archbishop Romero
Latin American/North American Church Concerns
(LANACC) will host a panel discussion to celebrate Archbishop Romero and Spiritual Leadership in the Modern World, edited by Faculty Fellow Rev. Robert Pelton, CSC. The book grew out of a 2014 Kellogg conference.

International Conference on Archbishop Oscar Romero
September 25 - 28, 2014

Fr. Pelton’s Romero Film Honored by LASA
Monseñor, the Last Journey of Óscar Romero received top honors at the 2012 Film Festival of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).


LANACC Highlights & News

News and related information about Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC). Serving as a bridge between the Church and the academy, LANACC promotes the bilateral exchange of ideas and practices between North America and Latin America and the Caribbean.