Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice

by Dennis Coday

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NCR has Cole Stangler, a Georgetown University student, covering the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice 2010, being held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Nov. 13-15. The weekend of study is to culminate Monday with a day of action on Capitol Hill.

Here's a recap of the events so far:

Organized by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, an organization promoting advocacy among students and alumni from Jesuit schools and ministries, this year’s Teach-in is the first to held in Washington D.C.

After years of holding the Teach-in at the School of the Americans in Fort Benning, Ga., ISN hopes to take advantage of this year’s location to engage in direct advocacy with Congress and other policymakers. The weekend’s theme is “Prophetic Lives: Caminando Juntos,” drawing inspiration from the Jesuit martyrs killed for their social justice work in El Salvador on Nov. 16, 1989.

The opening ceremonies and prayers got under way Saturday afternoon to a packed ballroom at the Georgetown University Conference Center. The hallway outside the ballroom was filled with dozens of Jesuit-affiliated organizations dedicated to a diverse slate of causes -- from the Catholic Mobilizing Network and Rostro de Cristo to Ignatian Pro Life -- tabling and talking to interested passersby.

“We must embrace the idea of being with others in kinship and in solidarity,” said Caroline Stickhell of Xavier College Prep High School, who along with other volunteers traveled this summer into East Los Angeles to share food and stories with the homeless and working poor. “You cannot be for others until you have been with them,” she said.

Stickhell was one of five student speakers to address the audience and share impactful experiences from their summers. The students urged the crowd to get involved in their communities and seize opportunities to make change.

Later, conference attendees were asked to choose from a wide variety of breakout sessions before reconvening for keynote speeches by Sr. Diana Ortiz, OSU and Sr. Helen Prejean. CSJ.

1,200 people are expected to attend this weekends’ events, according to Ann Magovern, executive director of ISN.

       --Cole Stangler

Watch NCRonline.org for more coverage of the the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice 2010

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