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Release:Oct. 22, 2001

New UI lecture series explores Catholic faith

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Many people have been reexamining their faith since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. A new lecture series at the University of Iowa might help them on their journey by exploring important religious concerns and issues.

The Journeys of Faith Speakers' Forum will kick off its series 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 in the Pappajohn Business Building's Buchanan Auditorium with guest speaker the Rev. Lawrence C. Smith, parochial vicar at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Clinton. Smith will speak on "The Roman Catholic in Modern America: Bearing Witness to What?" The event is open to the public.

The forum, sponsored by the Newman Catholic Students' Center and University Counseling Services, was designed by UI students and staff to explore issues of Catholic faith and doctrine. It is an extension of the weekly discussion and support group Journeys in Faith, which meets 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Newman Center, 104 E. Jefferson St. Organizers hope to offer a lecture once each semester.

On Nov. 9, Smith will offer his thoughts on current Catholic issues and discuss how the church can help modern Americans.

An essayist, poet, musician and philosopher, Smith's work has been published in Lyric Iowa, Gilbert magazine, Suggested Readings, the Iowa City Press Citizen and the Clinton Herald. His work can also be found online at

Originally from Davenport, Smith earned a bachelor's degree in music education from DePaul University in Chicago and a master's of divinity from the Kenrick School of Theology in St. Louis. He was ordained a priest in May 1997. He served as an adjunct faculty member at Mount St. Clare College in Clinton and as a guest lecturer at St. Meinrard Seminary in Indiana. He has delivered numerous baccalaureate addresses and parish missions, and served as the assistant master of ceremonies for Pope John Paul II's visit to St. Louis in 1999. He helped found the C.S. Lewis Society for the study of Lewis' works while living in Iowa City.

For more information on the forum or the Journeys in Faith discussion group at the Newman Center, contact Kathie Staley, Ph.D., at (319) 335-7294.