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The Acton Institute has been, since its founding, grounded in certain core principles. Chief among them is that of the dignity of the human person. This person, created in the image of God, is unique, rational and responsible. When this person freely employs their gifts according to a rightly formed conscience in service to their responsibilities to God and neighbor, they truly become who they are, who they were made by God to be. That understanding is at the core of our mission to build a free and virtuous society.

This person, created in the image of God, is unique, rational and responsible.

In this issue of Acton Notes, you will read about some of our recent events, programs and initiatives. At the end of January, I had the pleasure of speaking with my friend of many years Ricardo Ball live from the streets of Caracas about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. Our conversation on the tragic case of Venezuela, one in the seemingly endless series of failures of socialism, was livestreamed to audiences around the world.

Here in Grand Rapids, Acton will be co-sponsoring a Liberty and Markets conference with Liberty Fund titled Evaluating the Idea of Social Justice. At the Acton Building we have been hosting our ongoing Acton Lecture Series and across the country our Toward a Free and Virtuous Society Conferences, which bring the Acton Institute’s unique vision of the free society to a broad range of religious and community leaders.

Humorist and best-selling author P.J. O’Rourke gave us an evening filled with his characteristic wit and humor during an Acton-hosted dinner in Chicago. If you were not able to attend the March 7 event, please listen to P.J.’s recent interview with Acton Senior Research Fellow Jordan Ballor on the Acton Line podcast.

I would like to close by thanking all our readers. Your attention is a gift and we hope that through our work we are able to help equip you to bring about a freer society grounded in the spirit of truth. Thank you especially to those whose financial gifts make this work possible. And to those of you who have not donated to Acton before, please prayerfully consider doing so.

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Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London.  During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems.  As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.