Mission Statement

“For the Dignity of Work and the Worker”

The John F. Henning Institute is founded on the conviction that authentic philosophical discourse and scholarship are essential to the practical development of the common good.  The Institute seeks to contribute to that discourse and scholarship by promoting the scholarly exploration of Catholic Social Thought, as it is developed in the Papal Encyclicals from Rerum Novarum to present.

The Institute directs its efforts to all aspects of Catholic Social Thought, and promotes discourse between scholars and practitioners in labor relations, business, science and technology, the arts, the communications media, higher education, and other areas. The Institute is particularly attentive in all connections to the transcendent dignity of the human person and to the centrality of human work in the realization of the common good.

The Institute is inspired in its orientation and its efforts by the life and work of John F. Henning.  As labor leader, diplomat, statesman, educator and family man, John F. Henning has passionately pursued the common good in light of the principles of Catholic Social Thought.  He is a forceful advocate in the world of affairs who has always remembered that civil discourse at the level of first principles can transcend political and ideological differences to the benefit of all.

The John F. Henning Institute seeks to fulfill its mission in the following ways:

  • Encouraging and presenting scholarship in Catholic Social Thought through lectures, conferences and publications;
  • Facilitating a dialogue between scholars of Catholic social teaching and practitioners in labor, management, law, public policy, communications, higher education, and allied areas;
  • Exploring the relationship between the heritage of Saint John Baptist de la Salle and Catholic Social Thought; and
  • Establishing Saint Mary’s College of California as a center for Catholic Social Thought.