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The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence...  Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which preceeds us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives.  Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us.


--Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei


The fundamental task of the evangelization of the culture is the challenge to make God visible in the human face of Jesus.


Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but about the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and decisive direction.


Therefore, let us pray to the Lord to enlighten us, so that, in our world, he will grant us the encounter with his presence, and thus give us a lively faith, an open heart, and great charity for all, capable of renewing the world.


--Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, various addresses

Lumen Civitatis sponsors opportunities which expose Memphians to the rich and life-giving heritage of Catholic teaching, through public events, guest speaker series, panel and roundtable discussions, campus ministry initiatives, and courses in Catholic Studies.  


Our areas of particular focus are:


  • The Catholic spiritual tradition

  • The classical Catholic moral vision of virtue, happiness, and freedom for excellence

  • Intellectual, magisterial, and pastoral contributions of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis

  • Catholic Social Doctrine and its practical implications in Memphis, in service to the common good

  • The role of art and beauty in the Christian life

  • Faith formation and leadership development among university students

Speaker Series


Building on the graces of the Magnificat Day of Joy and the inspiring keynote addresses given by Fr Robert Barron and Fr Peter John Cameron, OP, Lumen Civitatis has launched an exciting speaker series featuring highly regarded Catholic leaders, thinkers, and teachers, which we hope will have lasting and broad impact on the culture of faith in Memphis.  Our speakers give or participate in tailored presentations, in various venues, for both the general public and local clergy and other leaders.

Click here for our library of Video and Audio from our Speaker Series.




Courses in Catholic Studies







Lumen Civitatis' intital and ongoing project in Catholic education is supporting Fr Bruce Cinquegrani's role as Visiting Professor of Catholic Studies at Christian Brothers University.  








 Fellowship of Catholic University Students



In January 2015, Lumen Civitatis funded scholarships for 25 students from the University of Memphis, Rhodes College, and Christian Brothers University to attend SEEK2015, a Fellowship Of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) leadership conference, where the students worshipped, learned, and fellowshiped with about ten thousand other Catholic university students from around the United States.


Lumen Civitatis, in collaboration with the Diocese of Memphis, has spearheaded the effort to bring FOCUS to the University of Memphis. Three FOCUS missionaries arrived in August 2015 to begin their ministry among the students, and a fourth missionary will join them in early 2016. 



The main task for us all is that of a new evangelization aimed at helping younger generations to rediscover the true face of God, who is love.

--Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Message for World Youth Day, 2009

























Catholic Social Doctrine at the Service of the Common Good


Lumen Civitatis organizes and supports various efforts to explore and promote Catholic Social Doctrine and its practical implications in Memphis, giving particular emphasis to Pope Francis' constant call to seek out and serve those on "the peripheries".  Building on the principles of the dignity of the human person, subsidiarity, solidarity, and the common good, we focus on topics such as impact investing and enterprise solutions to poverty; business and theology, and the family. 



Love for the other, and in the first place love for the poor… is made concrete in the promotion of justice. Justice will never be fully attained unless people see in the poor person, who is asking for help in order to survive, not an annoyance or a burden, but an opportunity for showing kindness and a chance for greater enrichment. Only such an awareness can give the courage needed to face the risk and the change involved in every authentic attempt to come to the aid of another. It is not merely a matter of 'giving from one's surplus', but of helping entire peoples which are presently excluded or marginalised to enter into the sphere of economic and human development.


-- Pope St John Paul II, Centesimus Annus 58

Beauty and Culture


The heart of Lumen Civitatis' mission is to evangelize the culture by promoting the rich and life-giving teaching of the Catholic faith and encouraging the formation of the next generation of leaders, and by supporting initiatives that demonstrate and celebrate the beauty of Catholic culture in worship, the arts, and Christ-like lives.   With Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, we acknowledge that the experience of authentic beauty unlocks the yearning of the human heart, the profound desire to know, to love, to go towards the Other, to reach for the Beyond.


The experience of beauty, whether in the natural universe, in art, or in an encounter with a human person, helps to point us beyond ourselves, towards the transcendent source of all reality, towards the God who reveals himself in the human face of Jesus Christ.  Transformed and renewed by the encounter with the person of Christ, we in turn will be able to offer that transforming and renewing love and the hope that it imparts.     

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