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Sirico Parables book

    Those present for my plenary speech at the 2018 Acton University (also available for viewing on the videos section at acton.org) witnessed the presentation of some amazing facts. Among those irrefutable nuggets of wisdom I was able to share was this: The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has grown from inauspicious beginnings into an international enterprise encompassing some of the greatest thinkers and hardest workers of our modern era.

    Every day I am both humbled and impressed by the great works performed by the men and women within and outside the immediate Acton orbit. These works are accomplished by not only those who write, publish and speak under the auspices of our little think tank in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but as well as those who work behind the scenes to ensure our daily operations and major annual events occur without a hitch.

    Suffice it to say, we have assembled a tremendous team of courteous and professional individuals. Their works and assistance over the past 28 years created our large archive of works both in print and other media that champions free markets and virtuous behavior. I must humbly assert that the library created by Acton and its associates is among the finest examples of academic research and writing intended for popular audiences.

    Without the tireless efforts of our staff and crew, we couldn’t boast of Acton’s international reach. The number of amazing people we have attracted from every habitable continent and dozens if not hundreds of countries is mindboggling to those of us who recall our early years when we employed only five individuals.

    We live in truly wonderful times. As I also noted in my AU speech, World Gross Domestic Product has soared in recent history. The total output of the world economy, adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2011 international dollars, is more than $100 trillion. Nearly all this advancement occurred during the past several decades. Imagine a graph documenting the spike in World GDP since the birth of Christ; somewhere after the mid-20th century the line shoots straight up until it truly and indisputably resembles a hockey stick.

    As I also noted last June, we’ve won some sort of lottery. Much of this is attributable to the advancement of human liberty, dignity and economic freedoms throughout the world. Before setting ourselves back to our daily tasks, I want us all to acknowledge that what we here at Acton are doing makes a tremendous difference to the world at large.

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    Rev. Robert A. Sirico is president emeritus and the co-founder of the Acton Institute. Hereceived 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.