John Paul II Student Discussion Group

The group originated at the Princeton University Catholic ministry in 2008.Organized by Dr. Marzenna James and Dr. Elżbieta Napierała, it is an opportunity to engage in a discussion of encyclicals focused on the relationship between faith and reason, and the role of intellectual inquiry in the life of faith.

The group meets at 4:30 pm on the first Saturday of each month of the academic year in the St. Paul Spiritual Center (downstairs) of St. Paul Church. Anyone interested in academic discussion is welcome to join.

2019-2020 Academic Year

October 5:

The encyclical letter by Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 1979; available at the Vatican website or from
Presenter: Elżbieta Napierała, professor of mathematics (ret.).

December 7:

The encyclical letter by Pope John Paul II, Slavorum Apostoli, 1985; available at the Vatican website or from
Presenter: John Chepega, longtime Boy Scouts and Catholic youth mentor in NJ

February 1:

The encyclical letter by Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, Charity in Truth, 2009.
Presenter: Charles Balestri, professor of  English literature (ret.)

April 4:

Message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day, January 24 2018,
Presenter: Robert Orlando, the president of Nexus Media, an award-winning writer and filmmaker with over twenty years' experience as a storyteller across mediums, including (2018) documentary about John Paul II The Divine Plan, and 2014 book Apostle Paul. Copresenter: Marzenna James, lecturer in politics at Princeton University, author of a book chapter on Pope John Paul II encyclical Laborem Exercens (in Giovanni Francesco Calabrese et. al., edts., La Chiesa a servizio dell’uomo e della società tra la guerra e la pace (2017)


Dr. Marzenna James
Lecturer in Public and International Affairs
Department of Politics and Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton University