The Crossroads Symposium

Sponsored by The MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series

St. Mary’s University’s Crossroads Symposium is a free, annual lecture series featuring men and women who have shaped the Catholic Intellectual Tradition — a tradition at the heart of the educational enterprises at St. Mary’s.

Speakers from various faith traditions are invited to speak to the University and San Antonio communities about such topics as Catholicism in a changing world, religion in a pluralistic society, and faith in areas such as art and science.

The symposium is one of the cornerstones of the recently established Center for Catholic Studies at St. Mary’s, which is a result of the University’s Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign.

2020: Faith and Politics — How Does Catholic Social Teaching Address the Issues of Today?

The 2020 Crossroads Symposium centered around Faith and Politics, focusing on the topics of voting, social injustice, systemic racism and COVID-19.


  • Shirley Gonzales, Council Woman, San Antonio District 5
  • Elizabeth LutzExecutive Director, The Health Collaborative
  • Brother Steve O’Neil, S.M., Marianist NGO representative at the United Nations and Marianist representative with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and former faculty member, St. Mary’s University
  • Rev. Donald A. Page, Pastor, Faith Community Baptist Church, San Antonio
  • Vincent D. Rougeau, Dean, Boston College Law School

2019: A Church in Crisis Moves to the Future

St. Mary’s inaugural Crossroads Symposium centered on the theme A Church in Crisis Moves to the Future, partnered with St. Mary’s MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture. As a Catholic and Marianist university, one of the roles of St. Mary’s Center for Catholic Studies is to lead conversations on difficult issues facing the Church, which is crucial so that we may be agents of change for healing and transformation.

The inaugural symposium offered exceptional speakers and panelists, many known across the nation, who addressed the crisis of sexual abuse in the clergy as well as other challenges in the Church. In addition, the symposium focused on opportunities that exist to re-engage Catholics in the Church, which is greatly needed.

Past Crossroads Symposia

Upcoming Symposium

Beyond the Pandemic: In the Light of Catholic Social Teaching
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021
7 to 9 p.m.
University Center, Conference Room A

Tom Mengler, the president of St. Mary’s University will moderate a panel of local religious, civic and academic leaders through a discussion about the future post-pandemic that advances our Catholic values in our local community. As leaders of the San Antonio community during the pandemic, the panelists have records of success in understanding and responding well to the needs of our community. With that experience, together they bring a unique perspective on our future and the challenges we face as we live beyond this pandemic.

  • Panelists

    Judge Nelson Wolff

    Judge Nelson Wolff, Pivoting featured image

    Nelson Wolff has represented Bexar County in various political offices since 1971, when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. After that he was elected to the Texas Senate in 1973, the San Antonio City Council in 1987 and he served as Mayor of San Antonio from 1991 to 1995.

    He currently serves as Bexar County Judge, a position he was appointed to in 2001 and has since been elected to five times, most recently in November 2018. He is only the second person in more than a century to serve as both Mayor of San Antonio and Bexar County Judge.

    Bishop Michael Boulette

    On March 10, 2005, Msgr. Michael Boulette was appointed chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II. He returned to Notre Dame Parish in Kerrville in 2010 as administrator pro tem, and also served in that capacity until just recently.

    Msgr. Boulette serves as dean of the Fredericksburg Deanery and a trustee of St. Peter upon the Water: A Center for Spiritual Direction and Formation. He also serves the archdiocese as a member of the Priests’ Personnel Board, the Presbyteral Council, and the College of Consultors to the archbishop. In addition, Msgr. Boulette is well-known throughout the archdiocese as a retreat presenter and parish mission speaker.

    Rowena Ortiz-Walters, Ph.D.

    Rowena Ortiz-Walters, Ph.D., serves as Dean of the Greehey School of Business and Professor of Management. Prior to joining the GSB, Dr. Ortiz-Walters served as Dean of the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh in NY for six years.

    As Dean, she was responsible for building and sustaining a culture that supports faculty and student success; strategic planning and creation of a shared vision for the school; maintenance of AACSB accreditation and high educational standards; innovative thinking and programming that meets market demands and student needs; and fostering partnerships with the external business community.

    Moderated by Thomas M. Mengler, St. Mary’s University President

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