Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought

The Lane Center engages students and others committed to integral human development, solidarity, and a preferential option for the poor with a vibrant and relevant church. Drawing upon the rich diversity of USF, the center sponsors academic programs, research, and public praxis that promotes Catholic social thought — specifically in response to contemporary issues — in order to fashion a more just and humane world.


The Lo Schiavo Chair in Catholic Studies and Social Thought, faculty colloquia, and visiting scholars provide the USF and Bay Area community with opportunities to study the intersection of Catholic social thought and pressing issues of our time from the context of Jesuit education.


Watch Council for Jesuit Mission: Encyclical on the Environment with Mary Evelyn Tucker.

Sign up now for the Lane Center's summer book club! This year, we will be reading:

The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church
by John Gehring

We invite you to explore the implications of this "radical Pope" on your work at USF.  We will meet on Wednesday, June 29th and Wednesday July 27th 12-1pm in Kalmanovitz Hall 265. Lunch will be provided.

The Lane Center will provide books for 15 participants.  By accepting the book, you agree to participate in both book discussions over the summer and attend the book talk by the author in October.

Sign up on myLearning or by emailing Jessi Havel at 

About the book:  The Francis Effect explores how a church once known as a towering force for social justice became known for a narrow agenda most closely aligned with one political party, and then looks at the opportunities for change in the “age of Francis.” Pope Francis has become an unlikely global star whose image has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Time, and even the nation’s oldest magazine for gays and lesbians. The first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit, and the first to take the name of a beloved saint of the poor, Francis is shaking up a church that has been mired in scandal and demoralized by devastating headlines. His bracing critique of an out-of-touch hierarchy, pastoral style when it comes to divisive issues, and humble gestures rejecting the trappings of papal power have changed the conversation about the world’s most powerful religious institution.

About the author: John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, an advocacy group in Washington, DC. His writing and analysis have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times,, Crux, and the National Catholic Reporter, among other outlets. He is a former associate director for media relations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and has been a staff writer at the Catholic Review, the Frederick Gazette, and Education Week. He is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. He lives in Washington, DC.