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Lectures & Events

The Salesian Center offers many opportunities for ongoing discussion and dialogue about matters at the intersection of faith and culture.  Including multiple programs that usually feature a single speaker on a given subject, followed by audience participation, programs that involve regular group meetings and/or occasional panel discussions, and programs that focus on "the arts" (film and drama) in terms of production, presentation, and discussion.

Salesian Dialogue Opportunities

  • Salesian Center Master Calendar

    2019-2020 Master Calendar

    AUGUST 2019

    21 - Feast of St. Jane de Chantal 

    Fri., 16 - Mural with Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS at 8:00 am, Dorothy Day Student Union

    Sun.- Tues. 18-20 - Freshmen Orientation at 4:30 pm, Dooling

    SEPTEMBER 2019

    Thurs., 5 - An Evening with Paul J. Kim (special event) at 7:00 pm, University Center

    Tues., 17 - DeSales Book Club at 12:30 pm, Salesian Center

    Thurs., 19 - Review Committee  (honors scholarship lists sent) via email             

    Thurs., 19 - Sarah Swafford (special event)  - Emotional Virtue for a Drama-Free Life (Teens and Adults) at 6:30 pm, St. Agnes Parish - Sellersville, PA

    Tues., 24 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting at 6:00 pm, University Center

    Sat., 28 - Ryan Leadership Institute – Alumni brunch at 10:00 am, Salesian Center

    OCTOBER 2019

    Tues., 15 - DeSales Book Club discussion at 12:30 pm,Salesian Center

    Tues., 15 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting at 6:00 pm,            University Center

    Sat., 19 - Salesian Retreat with visiting artist from 10 am – 2:00 pm, Gambet Center

    Thurs., 24 - Branch Rickey, special event, co-sponsored by BSU & DSU Baseball at 7:00 pm,               University Center

    NOVEMBER 2019

    Sat., 2 - Women’s Day Retreat – students from 10 am – 2 pm, Faculty Dining Room DUC

    Mon., 4 - FRHP new class dinner meeting at 6 pm, TBD 

    Wed., 13 - Reel to Real movie series – UNPLANNED – sponsored by the Pro-Life Club at 7 pm, Gambet Center Auditorium

    Tues., 19 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting at 6:00 pm,            University Center

    Tues., 19 - DeSales Book Club discussion at 12:30 pm, TBD

    Fri., 29 - Salesian Online Non-credit course for Advent begins (Online)  

    DECEMBER 2019

    Tues., 3 - TENTATIVE - Visiting Artist event at 7:00 pm, University Center

    Thurs. 5 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – breakfast meeting at 7:30 am, University Center

    JANUARY 2020

    Sat., 25 -  Salesian Retreat honoring our patron saint from 10 am – 2:00 pm,           Gambet Center

    Thurs.,  24 - Feast of St. Francis deSales 

    FEBRUARY 2020

    Tues. 4 - DeSales Book Club discussion at 12:30 pm, TBD

    Tues. 4 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting at 6:00 pm,              University Center

    Wed., 5 - Visiting Artist – Madonna’s of Color at 7:00 pm, University Center

    Thurs. 18 - Reel to REAL movie event BELLA - sponsored by the Pro-Life Club at 7:00 pm, Gambet Center

    Fri., 21 - Salesian Online Non-Credit Course for Lent begins  (Online)

    MARCH 2020

    Tues. 17 - DeSales Book Club discussion at 12:30 pm, TBD

    Tues., 17 -  Bro. Mickey McGrath webinar at 12:30 pm, One Touch Studio

    Tues. 17 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting  at 6:00 pm,               University Center

    Thurs., 19 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – breakfast meeting at 7:30 am, University Center

    Mon., 23 - Ryan Bomberger Student Special Event – sponsored  by Character U at 7:00 pm, University Center

    APRIL 2020

    Wed., 1 - Visiting Artist event at 7:00 pm, University Center

    Mon., 6 - Faith & Reason Honors Program – senior thesis submissions due

    Date ?? - JPII Arts & Culture series - Check with Steve Myers (?), TBD

    Mon., 20 - Review Committee meeting (Honors Thesis) at 12:30 pm, TBA          

    Sun. 26 - Faith & Reason Honors Program – annual Colloquium at 7:00 pm,                University Center

    MAY 2020

    Sat., 2  - Salesian Retreat w/ Bro. Mickey McGrath from 10 am – 2:00 pm,            Gambet Center

    Tues. 5 - DeSales Book Club discussion at 12:30 pm, TBD

    Tues. 12 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting at 6:00 pm,               University Center

    JUNE 2020

    Thurs. 4 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – breakfast meeting at 7:30 am, University Center

    Tues. 9 - Forum for Ethics in the Workplace – board meeting at 6:00 pm,               University Center

  • Annual Joan & R. Wayne Kraft Memorial Lecture

    The series honors Joan A. & Deacon R. Wayne Kraft. Deacon Kraft worked as an industrial engineer and was appointed professor of metallurgy and material science at Lehigh University. He was a specialist in the fields of physical metallurgy, X-ray diffraction, solidification and crystallography and systems philosophy. In this position he held two patents and authored more than 50 articles and reports in technical and professional journals.  As an adjunct professor in Philosophy at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (now DeSales University), Prof. Kraft lectured on, and wrote four books, about the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin. Kraft was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities degree in 1984 and received the DeSales Medal in 1988 for his work as a Catholic layman. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers for two years after graduating from Lehigh. Dr. Kraft was a board member of various organizations in the city of Bethlehem and several agencies of the diocese of Allentown, in which he also ministered as a permanent deacon. 

    Joan Kraft was a leader of song; one of the first women lectors; a Eucharistic Minister; a pioneer in church and civic affairs in the Bethlehem area; and served on the pastoral team of her parish. She also served on the parish council, was director of the RCIA program at St. Anne’s and helped found the bereavement committee.  Joan became the first Catholic woman to serve as a volunteer associate chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital, having obtained a degree in pastoral care. She ministered on the cardiac and oncology wards and helped train new chaplains. She taught CCD at St. Anne’s for many years, and was active in settling Vietnamese refugees hosted by the parish. Joan helped initiate St Anne's involvement with the ecumenical soup kitchen at New Bethany Ministries in South Bethlehem, coordinating volunteers from the parish every fourth Thursday. During her many years in Bethlehem, she was involved in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Pax Christi, the Green Circle, the Gourmet Club, the League of Women Voters, AAUW, the Jewish-Christian Dialogue and she served on the Board of the Catholic Social Agency and its Social Action Bureau for many years. In recognition of her many church and civic activities, Allentown College awarded Joan an honorary doctorate degree and also the DeSales Medal, and the Jesuit Center at Wernersville awarded her the Pilgrim Award. Joan passed away on December 23, 2015.

    the next Kraft lecture ... TBA
    featuring TBD

    5: 00 pm - Mass (Connelly Chapel) 

    6:00 p.m. - Reception (by invitation only) in the DeSales University Center

    7:00 p.m. - Lecture in the DeSales University Center 

    > campus map


  • Reel to Real Movie Series

    The Salesian Center for Faith & Culture sponsors special movie events to generate discussions on a particular topic of interest. Each film will be shown in the ** GAMBET CENTER AUDITORIUM at 7:00 p.m. 
    (** unless otherwise noted) 

    These events are FREE and open to the public. FREE POPCORN TOO!!!

    FALL 2019

    November 13, 2019 - a licensed showing of UNPLANNED with a Q & A session following the movie. Free pizza and soda for this event.

     SPRING 2020

    February 18, 2020 - we will be showing BELLA with a Q & A session following the movie.

    Campus Map



  • St. John Paul II Memorial Arts & Culture series

    In celebration of the life and legacy of Saint JOHN PAUL II (1920-2005), the Salesian Center sponsors an annual event focusing on the beauty of the arts (music, drama, poetry, literature, etc.). The memorial celebration is endowed by the Althea A. Livirrie and Joseph & Rose Livirrie Endowment for Arts & Culture.

    The event is held annually, on or around the April 2nd date of the pontiff's death.  All performances are free and open to the public.
    The next celebration takes place (date TBA)  at 7:00 p.m. in the DeSales University Center on the DeSales campus in Center Valley.

    The featured guest speaker/performer TBD.



    2019 - Favorite Poem Poetry Reading featuring faculty, staff and administrators of DeSales University 

    2018 - ‘The artist, image of God the Creator’ JPII. Singer, songwriter and musician Austin Nick Piel accompanied by Maddie Hallman 

    2017 - From Inspiration to Illumination The Saint John’s Bible A Handwritten Bible For the New Millennium

    2016 - Made for Greatness: a special presentation by Leah Darrow

    2015 - The Actor: A World Tour presentation by the Playwright Daniel McInerny

    2014 - Francis, The Pope from the New World: a special movie premiere featuring Q & A with Fr. David Vincent Meconi, S.J.

    2013 - Catholic singer/songwriter Ryan Tremblay

    2012 - The Gospel of Mark LIVE featuring Wayne Turney

    2011 - Before he was Pope: LOLEK the play

    2010 - Testimony (film): The Untold Story of John Paul II

    2009 - The Poetry of John Paul II featuring author Susan Provost Beller 

    2008 - Blessed Art Thou: an exploration of light & grace through art in the spirit of John Paul II’s “letter to artists” featuring artist Mickey McGrath, OSFS

    2007 - The Jeweler's Shop: a dramatic stage reading by members of Act 1 at DeSales University, directed by Anne Lewis

    2006 - Mark Mallett: renowned Canadian singer, songwriter and Catholic Missionary featuring music from his Song for Karol cd


  • The Hesburgh Lecture

    This series is sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of the Lehigh Valley and co-sponsored by the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture.

    These events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required for this event.

    Previous events:

    2019 featuring Thomas F.X. Noble, Ph.D.

    2018 featuring John C. Cavadini, Ph.D.

     2017  featuring James McKenna, Ph.D.

     2016  featuring Luis Ricardo Fraga, Ph.D.

     2015  featuring Gilberto Cardenas, Ph.D.

     2013  featuring Rev. David Link, J.D.

     2010  featuring Robert P. Schmuhl, Ph.D.

    2009  featuring Prof. Donald Kommers

  • DeSales Book Club - formerly lunch bunch

    The Salesian Center for Faith & Culture sponsors an informal discussion group for interested full-time faculty & staff at DSU who read a book of contemporary cultural concern and share their reviews of it. 

    Through a generous endowment, the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture provides the books to be read and a free lunch.  Participants need only provide their interest and their thoughts. 

    The group meets three times, at six-week intervals, in each of the Fall and Spring semesters.  Each meeting takes place on a Tuesday, from 12:30 to 1:30 PM, in the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture.

    (1)  Review the texts under consideration for the next semester from a list of potential books. (Book List being updated)

    (2)  Choose THREE (3) books and prioritize them according to your own interest (#1 being your first choice to read, #2 your second, #3 your third). 

    (3)  Send your priority list via email to Lore McFadden and indicate your interest in joining this year's group and your availability to do so ... this only works if everyone attends the discussions. 

    (4)  The sessions will begin each Fall & Spring of the academic year. .

    The PARTICIPANTS in the FALL 2019 Book Club are:

    Michael Gallagher - Assistant Professor and Department Chair / Division of Business
    Joseph Colosi - Associate Professor of Biology / Natural Science Department
    Bill Dwyer - (retired) Associate Professor / Division of Business
    Eric Hagan - Director / Distance Education and Instructional Technology
    Chris Hewatt - Instructional Designer / Distance Education and Instructional Technology
    Kathy Krause - Coordinator of Experiential Learning / Career Development Center
    Teresa Manion - Department Secretary / Division of Healthcare
    Lore McFadden - Director of Programs / Salesian Center for Faith & Culture
    Michele Mrazik - Public Services Librarian / Trexler Library
    Joseph Schodowski - General Maintenance / Campus Environment

    Lunch is provided and we will discuss the following books: 

    September 17, 2019 - Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman

    October 15, 2019 - Forty Reasons I Am a Catholic by Peter Kreeft

    November 19, 2019 -The Glass Castle: A Memoir 
    by Jeannette Walls




  • Ruggiero Lecture on Catholic Education

    Initially begun to commemorate the canonization of St. Leonie de Sales Aviat, this series was renamed in 2005 in memory of Anthony J. Ruggiero, an adjunct faculty member who taught the philosophy of education and helped supervise the student teacher program at DeSales University. 

    Mr. Ruggiero worked in the Bethlehem Area School District for 32 years, serving as a social studies teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Liberty High School.  He earned his master's in education from Lehigh University and completed post-graduate work at Georgetown University.

    Upon his death in 1994, he bequeathed to the college a significant gift, which now forms the bulk of the endowment for this lecture series.  The Ruggiero Lectures focus on topics in the realm of Catholic education. 
    These events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. 

    Previous events:

    2017 - Dr. William Thierfelder, President, Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina.

    2016 - Ryan Topping, D. Phil., Fellow at Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts in New Hampshire.

    2015 - Michele Quigley, creator of numerous tools and resources for Catholic homeschooling mothers, including the popular Catholic Daily Planner and Mater Amabilis, a rigorous, living books curriculum for home school education

    2014 -  Anthony Esolen, Professor of Renaissance English Literature at Providence College

    2013 - Samuel Casey Carter, Chief Executive Officer, Faith in the Future Foundation

    2012 - Rev. James Heft, S.M.., President of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies

    2011 - Dr. Anthony Cernera, President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities

    2010 - John T. James, Ed.D., Assistant professor and director of Catholic Leadership Programs at Saint Louis University

    2009 - John Staud, Ph.D., Director of the Alliance for Catholic Education University of Notre Dame

    2008 - Mother Françoise-Bernadette Beuzelin, O.S.F.S., Mother General of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales successor to St. Leonie de Sales Aviat

    2007 - Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, V.H.M.., President Emerita - Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School

    2006 - Dr. John J. Convey, Provost & St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Professor of Education - The Catholic University of America

    2005 - Michael Guerra, United Nations delegate - International Office of Catholic Education

    2004 -  Fr. Jack Podsiadlo, S.J..  Executive Director of the Nativity Network

    2003 - Sr. Rose Marie DeCarlo, I.H.M., General Superior of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

    2002 - James J. Cusimano, Esq., Secretary of Education (retired) - Diocese of Allentown, PA 

  • Pilgrimage

    Occasionally, the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture sponsors a sacred pilgrimage to places associated with the history of Salesian Spirituality. 

    2012 - pilgrimage to Troyes & Paris, France

    Pilgrimage 2012

    2007 - pilgrimage to the land of Savoy

    on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Florimontane Academy (1607-1610)

    Pilgrimage 2007



  • Salesian Center Special Events


    • March 23, 2020 - Ryan Bomberger (student) Special Event – sponsored  by Character U at 7:00 pm, University Center
    • November 2, 2019 - Women's Day Retreat - Free event for female students on Saturday, November 2 in the DeSales University Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring current student testimonies, conversation, reflection and prayer. Lunch ins included.
    • September 19, 2019 - Sarah Swafford -Emotional Virtue for a Drama-Free Life (Teens and Adults) at 6:30 pm, St. Agnes Parish - Sellersville, PA
    • September 5, 2019 - An Evening with Paul J. Kim - FREE event on September 5 at 7 PM, in the DeSales University Center, featuring one of the most sought after Catholic speakers in America. Paul utilizes music, beat boxing, comedy, and motivational talks to communicate the Gospel in a way that is engaging, entertaining, and altogether life-changing. 


    • January 21 - 24, 2019 - Visitation Sisters of Annecy, France Art Exhibit by Anne Goetze.
      Open daily 8 am to 8 pm in the DeSales University Center on the campus in Center Valley, PA.
    • January 24, 2019 - Lecture following Mass on the feast day of our patron saint, Francis de Sales. This lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The lecture begins at 6:00 pm in the DeSales University Center on the campus in Center Valley, PA.