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Vatican-Led Conference In Modesto Tackles Racism, Immigration, Land Use

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Central Catholic High School in Modesto is the setting for a Vatican-led conference, which kicked off Feb. 16, 2017.

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

A four-day convening of faith and social justice led by the Vatican got underway Thursday in Modesto.

Forty Catholic bishops are among the 600 people who are meeting on the campus of Central Catholic High School in Modesto.

The goal is to take up the plight of the marginalized and the oppressed.

Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire says the issues that will be discussed are many.

“Land and labor, and lodging and racism and migration. This will create a new solidarity,” says Blaire.

Bishop Blaire says the hope is to take these ideas home to communities to make a difference.

Central Catholic President Jim Pecchenino says the Central Valley is the ideal place for this discussion.

“To be able to bring people together about these important issues, one only has to pick up the paper to know those are important topics, not just regionally but nationally,” he says.