"Integral Human Development through a Leadership of Care": Keeley Vatican Lecture with Sister Raffaella Petrini, Secretary General of the Vatican City State


Location: McKenna Hall Auditorium (View on map )

At the heart of the Church’s social teaching lies the so-called "social question," which has evolved over time under the effects of cultural, social, political, and economic transformations. As Pope Benedict XVI clearly stated, today the social question has become "a radically anthropological question," touching upon the way human life is manipulated and transformed by technology. This renewed emphasis on the anthropological nature of the social question, strongly reaffirmed by Pope Francis, brings back to one’s attention the deeper meaning of human development, its evolution, and its ultimate end as a social value. Within ecclesial and non-ecclesial organizations, leadership that intends to contribute to integral human development must preserve both the socio-relational and spiritual dimensions of human existence. This leadership style must be combined with management models that are essentially human-centered, oriented to fostering the development of both the organizational structure and the people who work in it. Here some basic principles are identified as necessary conditions for exercising a leadership of care, overcoming a traditionally rigid separation between the personal and the professional domain, driven by a primary concern for the well-being of the people within the organization.


About the Speaker

Sister Raffaella Petrini, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, was appointed as Secretary-General of the Governorate of Vatican City State by Pope Francis in November 2021.

A native of Rome, Italy, Sr. Petrini holds a degree in political science from the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS), a Master of Organizational Behavior degree from the University of Hartford, and a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum), where she taught Welfare Economics and Sociology of Economic Processes at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She has served as an official at the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since 2005 and as a member of the Dicastery for Bishops and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) since 2022.

About the Lecture

The Nanovic Institute deepens Notre Dame’s connection to the Holy See by bringing distinguished representatives from the Vatican to Notre Dame to explore questions involving Notre Dame’s Catholic mission through the Keeley Vatican Lecture series. 

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Related Reading

Raffaella Petrini, number two at the Vatican, explains the role of women in the Church, ewtnvatican.com