This panel will explore the “progressive” Catholic Church by focusing on its social programs and vision of community in Ecuador and Colombia. Each of the papers examines the role of the Catholic Church in the nation-building project and the development of unity and community. Peter Henderson’s paper will examine a group of politicians called the Progressives who offered a compromise between Liberals and Conservatives on the controversial issue of the role of the Catholic Church in Ecuador, particularly regarding its social policies that attempted to “civilize” Indians and bring them into the national fold. Franz Henzel will also consider the progressive and civilizing mission of the Church by focusing on its attempts at moral regeneration in turn of the century Colombia. Hayley Froysland’s paper will also explore the progressive social programs of the Church in Colombia aimed at creating a harmonious social order and the extent to which more traditional notions of charity were retained in the increasingly modern society. Brett Troyan’s paper will then round out the panel by carrying the discussion further into the twentieth century when the famous Catholic priest, Camilo Torres, reenvisioned the idea of community and challenged traditional notions of charity.