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USTMAX Center Luminary Lecture to Engage & Contain “Surprises” from Dr. Stuart Squires

Dr. Stuart SquiresAttendees might be in for some surprises at the USTMAX Center’s next Luminary Lecture titled “A Catholic Vision of Economics.” This Feb. 7 presentation by Dr. Stuart Squires is expected to engage a broad audience and be enjoyed even by participants who don’t particularly understand economics.

Notice the Parallels to Today

The Associate Director of UST’s Nesti Center for Faith and Culture will draw from the late 19th Century encyclical letter by Pope Leo XIII called Rerum Novarum (New Things). “New things”  references radical social changes. Event attendees may notice present-day parallels. For instance, the Pope’s letter talks about a vast expansion of industrial pursuits, marvelous scientific discoveries, changed relationships between masters and workers, enormous fortunes of a few individuals, utter poverty of the masses, increased self-reliance and closer mutual combination of the working classes, and a prevailing moral degeneracy.


Modern capitalism was on the rise, as was “socialism.” But Squires says we would call it “communism.”

“Many Catholics were dismayed by the destitution brought on by unrestricted free-market capitalism,” Squires said. “And they turned toward communism as a utopian ideal that would usher in a sort of material salvation.”

Leo’s Letter Responded with Theological Perspective

We learn from Squires that Pope Leo XIII took action as he saw many Catholics abandoning the Church over the situation. He offered a theological perspective rather than an economic analysis. Within the letter, he noted the specific flaws of communism even as he criticized unrestricted free-market capitalism.

Who Should Attend this Luminary Lecture

Squires said, “I hope all kinds of people attend the lecture: young, old, Catholics, non-Catholics, people who have a variety of different economic beliefs. Of course, some of Pope Leo XIII’s thoughts might surprise some attendees. But I hope that my audience will not only learn a great deal but will be transformed by the Catholic vision of a rightly ordered economic system…and then go out into the world and be a prophetic voice to our culture by implementing these Catholic principles.”

When & Where

Date: Monday, February 7, 2022
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Location: Sacred Heart Catholic Church - St. Theresa Room in Parish Life Center
704 Old Montgomery Rd. Conroe, TX 77301
Free event. Light Refreshments will be served.

This event marks the first Luminary Lecture of the New Year from the USTMAX Center.

USTMAX Center Senior Director Dr. Carla E. Alsandor said, “We are pleased to partner with Sacred Heart once again and, at their request, to offer this Luminary Lecture during the afternoon hours at their Parish Life Center.  USTMAX is committed to providing high-quality enrichment opportunities such as this one, and we want to make them accessible to all who are interested in attending.”