Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Blog Archive

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Carrying on a Legacy of Justice

IFTJ_DelegationThis past weekend, I was blessed to be able to make a 20 hour bus ride to Washington D.C. with 58 other members of the Creighton community to participate in the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). This was my second experience with the IFTJ and it is an event that has been very impactful and formative in my college career.

For those of you who do not know much about the IFTJ, it is a conference held every year to commemorate the six Jesuits, their house keeper, and her daughter who were martyred on November 16, 1989 at the University of Central America in El Salvador. The Jesuits were working to create a more just community for the marginalized groups in El Salvador and the government did not like that. Due to this, Salvadoran soldiers who were trained by the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia murdered the Jesuits in a rather horrific manner. Thousands of members of the Jesuit community, of Jesuit high schools and colleges and other Jesuit apostolates come out to support this event every year and it is truly beautiful.

​While my heart aches every time I hear about these events, I don’t think I was fully aware of the gravity of what the UCA martyrs did until this past weekend at the IFTJ. These men and women quite literally worked for justice until death. They were aware that they could die, but they did not let that stop them. They kept going. This hit me hard because I often question to what length I would go for justice.

Currently, I am weighing my post-graduate opportunities and I find myself saying things like, “I need a stipend” or, “I need help with loans,” and now I feel rather selfish. They were willing to give up their lives and I have only been willing to give my service conditionally when there shouldn’t be a condition placed on when justice for humanity is right. While I am still excited about post-graduate service, I now have a new framework for how I want to serve.

While on the IFTJ, I was able to attend many break-out sessions and advocate on Capitol Hill for issues that are important to me. I spent a lot of my time expanding my knowledge on issues relating to environmental justice and took that information to Senator Grassley’s office. I was advocating for the EPA power plan, which seeks to enforce carbon output regulations in order that only 30% of emissions will be carbon related by 2030. Naturally, Senator Grassley does not support this and I found myself having to bite my tongue in order to not become unprofessional. Overall it was a phenomenal learning experience and gives me more willpower to continue writing letters, making phone calls, and participating in visits with members of the House and Senate.

Overall, I still find the IFTJ to be beautiful. It provides an experience where I have never seen more passion, an experience where I can connect my faith to my passion, and an experience that gives vocational direction. I am proud to have gone, and I hope to rise up to the challenges I was given while there.

Sarah Kelly
Class of 2015
CCSJ Student Coordinator

 

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

 

 

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Men and Women for our World

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On February 5, we commemorate the death of Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Looking back at my Creighton experience, I see how we live out his famous words of “men and women for others” in every part of my collegiate life.

From classes, my time in the CCSJ and all of my extra activities, I see Pedro Arrupe’s words of “men and women for others” lived out. I especially see these words present in my work at the CCSJ. In my two years of working on the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice through the CCSJ, I found students and faculty not only being men and women for others in their Creighton community, but being men and women for others in our world as well. My first time at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C. was in 2010 when I was still a Senior in High School. That year I had my first legislative visit. I remember walking into my Congressman’s office and being so nervous about speaking to my Congressman and also scared that I would forget some of the information for my topic. When my meeting was done though, I was so relieved and excited for my next legislative visit. Since that first meeting four years ago I’ve done many legislative visits about different topics. Doing legislative visits is one of the many ways I see our Creighton community being men and women for our world.

This month, I find myself preparing again for legislative visits with our Nebraska legislators as a part of the Ignatian Advocacy Month. Feel free to drop by the CCSJ for more information or check out our website for more updates. For more information about the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice of Ignatian Advocacy Month feel free to check out the Ignatian Solidarity Network at ignatiansolidarity.net


Roselle Agdipa
Class of 2015
College of Arts and Sciences
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, Co-Chair

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Senator Mike Johanns Visit Photos

Check out our pictures from our visit with Senator Mike Johanns about comprehensive immigration reform. This visit was part of the Ignatian Family Advocacy Month, in conjunction with the Ignatian Family Teach-In.

For more information about the Ignatian Family Teach-In or the Ignatian Family Advocacy Month, click here.

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Something Bigger than Myself

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.~Norman Vincent Peale

It’s hard for me to believe that the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice trip is already only a few weeks away. I remember when our tiny core team of five was beginning to print posters advertising for the trip. I remember nervously scrambling to prepare myself for our information nights and sitting at a table out on the mall one afternoon, hoping to get people to sign up to go.

There were weeks that were much more stressful than others, weeks when it seemed like we would never get all the logistics figured out, weeks where I was only too aware of how soon our pre-trip retreat was coming up, a sign that departure day was near.

Despite the stress and the sometimes not knowing what I was doing or how I would get all my tasks done before the trip, the entire time I held onto the idea that I was a part of something so much bigger than myself. I couldn’t help but think of how great it would feel to come back from the IFTJ, look at my fellow core members, and think Wow, we pulled it off! What a success!

Before this semester, I’d never helped plan anything as big as our campus involvement in the IFTJ. My main job was planning and leading our pre-trip retreat. I had a vague idea of what I wanted the retreat to be like, but no clear way of how to lead it. And as the core team knows by now, I work better when I know exactly  what I’m doing, down to the last detail.

Now that we’re almost done planning and the trip is drawing near, I can see that being a part of the core team was an invitation to be a part of something bigger than myself.

I learned first hand what it’s like to have a goal, or idea for something, start almost completely from scratch, and turn it into a reality. When it seemed hard to take a vague idea and make it a clear plan, I learned how to stumble through the details with my team and work together until we knew exactly what we were doing.

Perhaps the most important lesson though, was knowing that this trip was bigger than anything I could do on my own, that it would take all five us helping each other out and working through the details together to make it a success.

In a way, that realization was reassuring. The trip didn’t hinge on my brilliant ideas or blind stumbling alone. It was our collaboration, determination, and desire to take part in something beyond ourselves that made us a team and pulled this trip together. And it’s that teamwork that will see it through.

 

Anna Ferguson
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Class of 2015

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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IFTJ: Use Your Voice for Change!

56 Creighton students attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C. the weekend of November 12th, and 13th. The Creighton delegation joined other Jesuit schools to discuss and find ways to work together for social change.  There were keynote speakers, break out sessions, and a beautiful mass. As a way to make the ideals of the conference a reality the Creighton delegation and many other delegations met with state representatives about different social issues.  The weekend was a great time of learning, reflection and action.  A way to bring the weekend back is through the different advocacy opportunities offered in the Creighton Center for Service and Justice.  Take action with us and use your voice for change!

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Invitation Accepted – IFTJ 2011

Two Creighton Students, Christine Bolas and Claire Bowens, share their experiences of receiving invitations at the Ignatian Family Teach-In For Justice 2011. They both share how they received, and acted upon, invitations to take their service experiences to a deeper level.

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