THE ABDELLA CENTER FOR ETHICS LECTURE SERIES
A Forum for Dialogue on Ethics at Saint John's High School
The Abdella Center for Ethics was established at Saint John's High School in 2003 by the Hon. Charles A. Abdella '60. The purpose of this annual lecture series is to encourage, promote and create a meaningful dialogue that appreciates the importance of individual ethical values in society, and provide a forum for the discussion, education and debate of ethical, philosophical and religious values in advancing social justice.
Admission to the annual Abdella lectures on the Saint John's campus in Shrewsbury is always free of charge, and all are invited.
Abdella lecturers in the past have come from the worlds of academia, finance, journalism and medicine. Each professional shares with the audience some of the
ethical challenges or questions he or she faces in his line of work or field of study.
Saint John's has been blessed to attract keenly sought lecturers over the years, including three who drew crowds well over 1,000 -- Holocaust historian and world peace advocate Elie Wiesel in 2005, developing world health care pioneer Paul Farmer in 2008, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Rohde in 2010.
Lecturers and Their Topics
2010: David Rohde, "Seeking Truth in an Age of Extremes."
2009: Robert Pozen, "Ethical Implications of the Current Financial Crisis."
2008: Dr. Paul Farmer, "Rethinking Health and Human Rights: Novel Strategies to Promote Health Equity."
2007: The Rev. Michael Himes, "Religious Belief in Secular Conversation."
2005: Prof. Elie Wiesel, "Confronting Injustice in an Indifferent World."
2004: The Rev. John Staudenmaier, S.J., "Phones, T.V. and the Web: How to Breathe in the Electronic Smog."
2003: The Rev. John Paris, S.J., "Dilemmas in Medical Ethics: From the Blastocyst to the Beyond."
George F. Abdella Memorial Trust
Judge Abdella created the George F. Abdella Memorial Trust, which supports the Abdella Center, in memory of his father's special inspiration, in tribute to his mother's unqualified sacrifices, and in gratitude for the values-based Xaverian education of excellence he received as a student at Saint John's. George Abdella died prematurely in 1960, just after his son graduated from Saint John's. He owned the Globe Press in Worcester and was involved in local political, civic and charitable organizations. He was a councilman from Ward 4, was secretary of the Syrian-Lebanese-American Association, and was active in the Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of Mercy Church, and the Pioneer Club of Saint John’s. He also served as a trustee of Worcester State Hospital and as secretary of the Hope Cemetery Commission.
“George Abdella was deeply committed to his family, community, and faith and instilled in his children his own love of learning and respect for a Xaverian Brothers education," remarked Headmaster Michael Welch '78. "Judge Abdella chose a fitting way to honor his father’s memory and the values he embraced. All of us at Saint John’s thank Judge Abdella for his exceptional generosity and consideration.”
About Judge Charles Abdella
The Hon. Charles A. Abdella '60 grew up on Grafton Hill, Worcester, and graduated from Saint John's, College of the Holy Cross and Boston College Law, beginning his practice in 1967. After 31 years in private practice and 11 years on the bench, he retired in 2009. He had been first justice of the Western Worcester District Court, sitting in East Brookfield, for a decade. He left a few years ahead of his mandatory retirement age "to enjoy the precious blessings of life. ... My wife Monica and I have three granddaughters and they are a thrill to us. You could say that granddaughters, alma maters and community involvement keep me busy."
In addition to founding the Abdella Center for Ethics, Judge Abdella spends time volunteering for Saint John's, the XBSS National Board, Holy Cross alumni activities and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, which supports a museum and library in Faneuil Hall. A jazz lover, he is on the board of WICN radio in Worcester. In good weather, he's often found planting vegetables and flowers, and landscaping.