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Fisher to Celebrate 10th Annual Philosophy Day


Fisher to Celebrate 10th Annual Philosophy Day

St. John Fisher College will celebrate its 10th Annual Philosophy Day on Wednesday, November 14, and Thursday, November 15. This year’s theme is “Philosophy and Social Justice,” and all sessions will be held in the Golisano Gateway Midlevel.

Philosophy Day, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Culture Organization (UNESCO), and held on the purported birthday of Socrates, is observed throughout the world as an occasion for people to reflect upon the importance of critical thinking, world peace, international cooperation, and the love of wisdom. Fisher is the only college in the United States to participate, along with colleges and organizations in Albania, Ghana, Iran, Ireland, Morocco, Slovenia, and 27 other countries.

The opening session will be on November 14 at 6:30 p.m. with an address given by Jack Balinsky, Director of the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Charities. He will present, “Social Justice and Catholic Charities: Helping the Poor in the Diocese of Rochester, 1910 to the Present,” which will offer a retrospective look at the work of the organization over the last 100 years.

Balinsky began his professional career working at the Huntington Family Center, an inner city settlement house in Syracuse.  Subsequently, he served as the Mayor’s Youth Coordinator, until starting his work with Catholic Charities in Syracuse on September 1, 1971. For the past forty years, he has continued his association with the organization in New York State, working for the New York State Catholic Conference of Bishops for six years prior to beginning his tenure with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

In 2010, Balinsky published a “History of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester 1910-2010” in recognition of its 100th anniversary. Balinsky was recognized in September 2010 by the organization and received a Catholic Charities USA Centennial Medal, which is given to 100 individuals or organizations who have contributed significantly to the work of the national organization in its 100-year history.  In March 2011, he received the J. Alan Davitt Exemplary Service Award by the Bishops of New York State in recognition of his many contributions to the New York State Catholic Conference.

On November 15, sessions will begin at 8 a.m. and are scheduled through 9 p.m. Topics to be discussed include “Social Justice in Action,” “Social Justice and Peace Activism,” “Theories of Social Justice,” “Fool for Christ: The Story of Dorothy Day,” “Social Justice and Education,” “Social Justice Past and Present,” and “Business Ethics and Moral Decision-Making.” Presenters include faculty and students from St. John Fisher College, and other colleges.

The closing session will feature Patrick Burke, President and Owner of the Burke Group, LLC in Rochester. He will present, “The Synthesis of Art and Innovation.”   

Philosophy Day is supported by the St. John Fisher College Department of Philosophy and Classical Studies, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs, the Office of Alumni Relations, the William and Helen Cavanaugh Chair of Catholic Studies, the Ethics Minor, and the Committee for the Saint Thomas More Center of Ethics.

All sessions are free and open to the public. For more information about Philosophy Day at St. John Fisher College, please contact Dr. Tim Madigan at (585) 385-5259 or

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