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SVC theology professor publishes book on Laudato si’

SVC theology professor publishes book on Laudato si’

by Public Relations | February 22, 2023

LATROBE, PA—Dr. Lucas Briola, Assistant Professor of Theology in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Saint Vincent College, has recently published a new book entitled “The Eucharistic Vision of Laudato si’: Praise, Conversion, and Integral Ecology” (Catholic University of America Press).

The first book-length study that explains the eucharistic nature of Laudato si’, Briola’s book uses Bernard Lonegran’s theology of history to unearth the doxological, eucharistic vision that shapes the encyclical’s integral presentation of social and ecological conversion.

In celebration of the publication of the book, the Saint Vincent College Theology Department and the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture will be hosting a launch party on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fred M. Rogers Center on the College’s campus. Briola will present a short book talk, with a question-and-answer session to follow.

The event is free and open to the public; no prior registration is required. The book can be purchased through Catholic University of America Press and through online book retailers.


No other encyclical has generated as much conversation—both Catholic and non-Catholic—as Laudato si’. Often forgotten in these conversations is the theological heart and eucharistic vision of the encyclical and its integral ecology. Even the title of Laudato si’—"Praised be!"—signals the centrality of right praise in caring for our common home. 


In drawing out the eucharistic vision of Laudato si’, the book accomplishes several feats for the reader. It roots the eucharistic dimensions of the encyclical in the writings of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, showing how Pope Francis develops their thought in notable ways. It introduces Bernard Lonergan’s theology of history, showing how his framework can capture the eucharistic contours of caring for our common home; so too, in light of Laudato si’, does the book expand his theology of history to incorporate both ecological concern and the doxological, eucharistic essence of the church. The book assembles a liturgically shaped, systematic account of the church’s social mission. It joins poles otherwise sundered in a polarized church and world: between worship and justice, between concerns for human life and concerns for the natural world. Realizing the eucharistic vision of Laudato si’ promises much for our contemporary moment.

Pope Francis recently observed that the integral ecology of Laudato si’ holds the key for the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Catholic Bishops recently launched a Eucharistic Revival that aims to rekindle eucharistic devotion and praxis. “The Eucharistic Vision of Laudato Si’: Praise, Conversion, and Integral Ecology” supplies a timely study that helps fulfill these intertwined calls.


A Pittsburgh native, Dr. Lucas Briola graduated from Saint Vincent College, double majoring in theology and history. He earned an M.T.S. from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. In addition to authoring “The Eucharistic Vision of Laudato Si’: Praise, Conversion, and Integral Ecology,” Dr. Briola co-edited with Joseph Ogbonnaya “Everything Is Interconnected: Towards a Globalization with a Human Face and an Integral Ecology” (Marquette University Press). His essay, “Praise Rather Than Solving Problems: Understanding the Doxological Turn of Laudato Si’ Through Lonergan” (Theological Studies) won the 2021 Award for Best Article of the Year from the College Theology Society. His essays have also appeared in “New Blackfriars,” “The Lonergan Review,” the “Journal of Moral Theology” and the “Downside Review.” Prior to teaching, he performed parish work in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.


Dr. Briola facilitates theology student internships at Saint Vincent; sites have included Holy Family Parish (Latrobe, PA), Saint Vincent Basilica Parish and St. Barbara Parish (Harrison City, PA). In 2020, he helped launch the Rev. Nathan Munsch, O.S.B., Scholarship Fund for junior and senior theology majors at Saint Vincent College. Theology Fellow for the Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture (CCTC), he has organized several faculty and student reading groups in addition to serving as the managing editor of “Conversatio,” a Saint Vincent in-house academic journal published by CCTC. His wife, Catherine, also teaches theology at Saint Vincent; they have one son.