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Dorothy Stang: Sustainable Justice

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CCSJ Student Coordinator Rachael Schwartz reflecting on Dorothy Stang

In honor of Dorothy Stang’s life and martyrdom (remembered on on February 12), Student Coordinator Rachael Schwartz reflects on Dorothy’s commitment to sustainable justice.

Dorothy Stang is a woman all justice workers and people should strive to be like.  She decided to devote her life to God as a sister of Notre Dame de Namur.  When I read her story, I was impressed by both her versatility, as well as her persistence.

Originally wanting to do missionary work in China, Dorothy found herself traveling to Brazil to do charitable works there instead.  The Amazon Rainforest is the lungs for the earth and also home to some twenty million people.  Dorothy was angry to see it constantly pillaged and becoming destroyed by ranchers and other exploiters.  She took it upon herself to protect these lands.

As a result, Dorothy was put on the “kill list” for environmentalists and advocates for the forest.  Two men gunned her down as she was their prime target. Dorothy was chosen to be killed because she put together self-sustaining programs in communities committed to their own independence and the sustenance of the rainforest.

Dorothy worked for justice until she was literally taken from this earth; that is what I strive to do. To be so selfless is amazing and I cannot begin to know where to start.  However, instead of getting overwhelmed, I will start with a single act for justice every day and gradually increase it.  No person is too small to make a difference.

 

 

Rachael Schwartz
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Class of 2017

 

 

 

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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Seeds: The Service & Justice Trips Story

This Fall Break the CCSJ sent photo journalism senior Nico Sandi and Graduate Assistant Mike Rios on a trip to get footage of our students at their host sites across the country. The two had the chance to interview participants, community partners, and program alumni alike and have put together a mini-documentary about the Service & Justice Trips in hopes to tell the story of the program and its impact over the years.

The full mini-documentary, featured below, premiered on campus on February 22nd bringing over 100 participants, alumni, and supporters together to celebrate this program and its lasting impact.

A 2 minute Seeds trailer:

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Videos from IFTJ 2014

You can watch all of the speeches and presentations from the most recent Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8gmypLzMXIIGRgHDiv7csMICH3RGhdi_

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Weekly Update: February 6-13

Friday, February 6

Ignatian Retreat for Faculty in the Health Professions
This is a silent retreat in the Ignatian tradition that will be held at the CU Retreat Center in Griswold, IA. Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ and Fr. Greg Carlson will be leading this retreat, with brief presentations throughout the weekend. Meals and housing provided. Participants are required to attend the full retreat. Contact your school Chaplain if you are interested in attending. The retreat will take place at the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa from Friday at 6:00pm through Sunday at 1:00pm. Please contact Diane Jorgensen with any questions.

Saturday, February 7

Catholicism in Dialogue: Relating to Other Believers
The Legacy of Vatican II continues with a lecture on: Unitatis Redintegratio, the decree on Ecumenism. The keynote speakers are Dr. Steven R. Harmon – Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Dr. William G. Rusch – Yale Divinity School, and Fr. John Crossin, OSFS – Secretariat for Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. These speakers will address the importance of the document in spurring a vision for ecumenism within their denominations and Christianity as a whole. After lunch the speakers will be joined by local ecumenical leaders for conversation and Q&A. These panelists are Gary Eller (Westminster Presbyterian), Jane Florence (First United Methodist) and Scott Jones (First Central Congregational Church). All lectures are free and open to the public. A complimentary lunch is provided. The event will take place in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom from 8:30am – 3:00pm. To learn more, please visit the website or contact Carol Krajicek with any questions.

February 7

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation services to people who make less than $53,000 a year. This service is offered by IRS-certified volunteers to students and the community. Please bring all relevant tax documents when you come. The dates and times are located below. This event will take place from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the Harper Center Ballroom. For more information, please contact Fang Zheng or Brian Kuehner.

Tuesday, February 10

Spirit Plus Lent: The History of CU’s Courageous Students & The DePorres Club
From 1947 to 1960 an interracial group of Creighton students, led by Fr. John Marcoe, S.J., worked for justice in the earliest days of the Civil Rights Movement. Author, Matthew Holland, traces the club’s evolution and tells the story in his new book “Ahead of Their Time.” The event will take place in the Skutt Student Center, Room 105 from 12:00-1:15pm. Lunch will be served. Please contact Maureen Waldron with any questions.

Friday, February 13

CCSJ’s Annual Soup Luncheon and Auctions
This Friday, February 13, is our Annual Soup Luncheon and Auctions to support the Service and Justice Trips program. The silent auction will begin at 11 am (Ends at 12:00 pm), lunch will be served at 11:30 am, and the Oral Auction begins at 12:10 pm. Click here to check out the silent and oral auction items. Tickets & Reservations: A limited number of individual tickets are available for $20 each. Check with your area to see if they have a table and open seats Please contact Wendy Maliszewski with questions about tables and individual tickets.

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, February, 17

Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha DePorres Club- Book Club
In the 1940s and 1950s Omaha was sometimes called the “Birmingham of the North” because of the racial discrimination its minority citizens faced. Fr. John Marcoe, S.J., a Jesuit priest at Creighton, inspired a group of students to start a club to do something about civil rights – many years before the Civil Rights movement really began. The DePorres Club was an interracial group of young people who used non-violent methods to confront and change discriminatory policies in stores, factories and businesses who refused to serve minorities. The riveting story has been told in a new book Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha DePorres Club by Omaha author Matt Holland, whose father was the student leader of the club. The book will be discussed at either breakfast or lunch three Tuesdays in Lent: February 17 and March 3 and 17. Breakfast groups meet in Harper 3027 from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Lunch groups meet in Skutt Student Center Ballroom East from 11:30 – 12:45. To confirm your place for all three gatherings of the Breakfast group, register here by Wednesday, Feb. 11. To confirm for all three gatherings of the Lunch group, register here by Wednesday, Feb. 11. The books will be available at the Creighton Book Store on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Thursday, February, 19

Symposium on Religion and Identity
This symposium will bring together scholars from Creighton and around the country to address the many ways in which religion and identity interact, whether it be the formation of a specific religious identity, or the many ways in which religion contributes to or is shaped by Identity. The symposium will take place in the Harper Center, Room 3029 from 8:30am-5:30pm. Please contact Colleen Hastings with any questions.

Events to be included in the Weekly Update must be received by the Wednesday of the week prior to the event. All events should relate to service or justice and should include name, date, time, and a short description. The selection of events is limited by space and the discretion of the CCSJ. Please, send to ccsj@creighton.edu with “Weekly Update” in the subject line.

A 20 minute training on Creighton’s Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is now required of all student doing community service with our office or on your own. Please click here to find an upcoming training that works for you.

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Pedro Arrupe: An Exemplar We Can Relate To

pedro instaPedro Arrupe is the Jesuit that I know most about, thanks to Dr. Bergman, social justice exemplar himself. Arrupe’s relationship with God, and his relationship with people, is something that everyone can aspire to. Oftentimes social justice exemplars serve as these sort of out-of-this-world moral standards that are so obviously unachievable by the average person, but Arrupe is so much more human than that.

He suffered when those he was with suffered, he remained in solidarity to the fullest extent–to his fullest extent. Pedro Arrupe served some of his time Japan, which coincided with the beginning of World War II. He was accused of being a spy and thrown in jail. He witnessed an atomic bomb explosion and performed medical services on those injured during this attack. He saw the devastation humans were capable of committing, and in turn, committed himself to being a presence of light among those that were suffering.

Arrupe did all this in an extraordinarily relatable way–searching for the good in everyone and each moment, and keeping up a steady conversation with God. In reading excerpts about him–of which there are plenty- he remains an example easy to follow. A relatable social justice exemplar if there ever was one, placed in unexpected circumstances and delivering through prayer, patience and love–how easy is that?

 

Sage Ezell
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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In October of 2014, the CCSJ sent Graduate Assistant Mike Rios and Senior Nico Sandi on a journey to capture the story of the Creighton Center for Service and Justice‘s Service and Justice Trips Program. On Sunday, February 22nd at 3:30PM in the Harper Auditorium we will be premiering a mini-documentary entitled “Seeds,” the fruit of that project. We invite all who have ever been a part of this journey, near and far – participants, alumni, and supporters alike – to join us at the showing, with a reception to follow.

A very special thanks to all of those whose voices and stories that helped make this project happen, captured or not.

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