Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and one of over 200 worldwide! There is tradition and breadth but also a sense of family in this Ignatian network. How do you continue to connect to our Ignatian family—locally, nationally, or globally? How can we continue to ask questions about justice, pray, reflect, and act?
Our Ignatian family continues to ask these important questions. On November 3-5, 2,000 students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Jesuit institutions gathered for the 21st annual Ignatian Family Teach-in in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the gathering is to come together in the spirit of our mutual Catholic, Jesuit mission to educate, listen, and advocate for those most on the margins. This year’s gathering focused on the theme “Discipleship at the Crossroads” and looked at how the different ways, ideas, and experiences of justice intersect.
Canisius College sent a delegation of 10 students, led by Toby Patrick '19, Margaret Treichler '19 and associate campus minister, Kaitlyn Buehlmann '14. The student group included members of the Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC), Undergraduate Student Association (USA), Women and Gender Studies, Peace Action Canisius, and Unity. The Teach-in is a three-day experience that includes hearing from a variety of nationally-known speakers, workshops, prayers, and advocacy training. It culminates with delegates visiting their federal representatives on Capitol Hill to talk about priority issues. This year’s focus was humane immigration and criminal justice reforms.
Buehlmann described seeing the changes in the delegation: “People feel like their voice matters. Participants are nervous, then empowered, and feel like they can continue their advocacy work. There’s this power of connection—it is so impactful to meet thousands of other people committed to these issues. They are part of an Ignatian Family that meets at the intersection of a faith that does justice.
Patrick experienced the Teach-in for the second time. He appreciated the networking between students from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities, post-graduate volunteer programs, and other ministries. He said, “At the Teach-in, you’re becoming a contemplative in action.”
Treichler presented a workshop on intersectional feminism during her third Teach-in. She reflected that the Teach-in “is the embodiment of a Canisius education. We spend four years learning about Jesuit values but it’s hard to be a college student and know how to put this into action. This is an outlet to do, express, and feel empowered…and know what your college stands for.”
For ways to deepen your connection to the Ignatian Family, check out the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), the organizers of the Ignatian Family Teach-in. The ISN offers many other programs, resources, and workshops for students, educators, and parishes.