Commission on Catholic Social Teaching: Meet the Commission Members

In 2020 Bishop Earl Boyea established a Commission on Catholic Social Teaching. The commission assists the bishop in his ministry to catechize all the faithful in the diocese on the principles of Catholic social teaching, advance human dignity and promote the common good of society. It advises him in determining the diocesan response to important social issues, including poverty, the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the person, marriage and family, solidarity and care for creation. Members serve for a period of three years, and come from parishes from all over the Diocese.

Kishore Jayabalan

Kishore Jayabalan, chair of the Diocesan Commission on Catholic Social Teaching, grew up in the Flint area, attending St. Mary Queen of Angels parish school in Swartz Creek and Flint Powers Catholic High School before studying political science and economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He worked as an economist for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC before receiving a MA in political science at the University of Toronto. In 1996, he was received into the Church by Pope John Paul II, and served at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican. He was director of the Acton Institute’s Rome office for fifteen years. He has spent most of his professional life promoting Catholic social teaching around the world. He recently returned to Flint and attends Mass at St. Matthew.

Moira Cullen

Moira Cullen, vice-chair of the Diocesan Commission on Catholic Social Teaching, is a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She has been married to John for 22 years and they are in various stages of raising and educating their 6 children, ages 5 to 20.  She has served at St. Thomas on the Parish Council and Beautification Committee. She studied Philosophy, Theology and Great Books at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, taught Theology at the High School level and began a Chastity program dedicated to sharing the good news about the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage in 1998.  This work led to her testifying before Congress on the issue of abstinence education and continues to drive her in her passion to support parents in the education and formation of their own children.  She loves to write about Catholic family life in her free time and is looking forward to serving the diocese in this important work.

Michael Andrews

Michael Andrews, Chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, member ex officio, serves as the bishop’s liaison to the commission. He holds a master’s degree in theology from Mount Saint Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland and a bachelor’s in philosophy from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia. He joined the Diocese of Lansing as Director of Catechesis in August 2005 and served as Director of the Office of Worship from 2014 to 2018. He is an adjunct faculty member in the Program of Theological Studies at Siena Heights University, and serves as an instructor in Catholic social teaching for the diocesan formation program for deacon candidates. He and his wife, Susana, have two daughters, and are parishioners at St. Mary, Williamston. 

Lisa Briggs, Coming Soon: Biography

Patricia Ellison, is a member of St. Patrick Parish, Brighton, where she served for four years as Christian Service Coordinator. A native of Colombia, Patricia holds a degree in systems and computer engineering from the University of Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. She has extensive experience promoting the dignity of the human person as a hospice volunteer as well as through her leadership in founding and coordinating the Witness to Life Ministry, a movement encompassing over twenty parishes in southern California, as well as the Respect Life and the Walking with Moms in Need ministries at St Patrick Parish. She is currently a member of the Life Committee at Livingston County Catholic Charities. She and her husband Bob have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Dcn. Jim Kasprzak

Dcn Jim Kasprzak, was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, graduating from St. Catherine of Sienna Parish School and Toledo Central Catholic High School. He earned BA and MA degrees in Economics at the University of Toledo. In 1970, he came to East Lansing to work on a doctorate in Economics at MSU. That same year, he joined St. John Church and Student Center. He began working for the State of Michigan in 1972, serving in three major state departments doing budget, financial management and public policy work in human services and environmental programs. He retired from state government in early 2015. Jim is now serving as the Director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Lansing.

Deacon Jim married his wife Karen at St. John August 18, 1973, with Fr. Tom McDevitt presiding. In 1976, Jim and Karen joined St. Thomas Aquinas (STA) Parish following the birth of their first child. He and Karen have four grown children who are alumni of St. Thomas Aquinas School and Lansing Catholic High School. Deacon Jim was ordained on May 16, 2009, earning an MA degree in Theology along the way. He has used his musical talents both in liturgies at SJCSC and at STA and in community ensembles. His wife Karen taught Religion in the middle school at STA School for 19 years, retiring in June 2015. Deacon Jim and Karen serve in several ares of ministry, including on the RCIA Team and the Adult Faith Formation Team and in Marriage Ministry including marriage preparation for engaged couples.

Nathan Schleuter

Nathan Schleuter, is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Hillsdale College, where he directs the pre-law program and teaches courses in social and political philosophy, ethical theory, and philosophy and literature. He is a recipient of Hillsdale College’s “Daugherty Award for Teaching Excellence” and the teacher of the popular online course “Introduction to Western Philosophy.”

Nathan has a B.A. in History from Miami University of Ohio (1993) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas (1999).

He is the author of One Dream or Two? Justice in America and in the Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Lexington Books, 2002), The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry, edited with Mark Mitchell (ISI Books, 2011), and co-author, with Nikolai Wenzel, of Selfish Libertarians and Socialist Conservatives: The Foundations of the Libertarian-Conservative Debate (Stanford University Press, 2017). His articles have appeared in First Things, Touchstone, Logos, Communio, Public Discourse and Perspectives in Political Science.

Nathan has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities (2005) and Princeton University’s James Madison Program (2011). He is currently working on his next book Playing with Fire: The Peril and Promise of the Utopian Imagination. 

He and his wife Elizabeth, who is a homemaker and homeschooler, have nine children.

Dr. Eric Scorsone

Dr. Eric Scorsone, was born and raised in Saginaw, MI and attended St. Thomas Elementary and Middle School. He attended Loyola University Chicago and majored in Economics, Michigan State University for a master's degree in Agricultural and Environmental Economics and a doctoral degree at Colorado State University with a focus on state and local public finance. Dr. Scorsone is a member of the St. Jude Catholic Community in DeWitt. His interest in Catholic social teaching is focused on the areas of a just wage, worker rights, income distribution and care for the environment.