Friday, November 16, 2007

Ignatian Family Teach-In begins on anniversary of Jesuit martyrs deaths

The Ignatian Family Teach-In began tonight with song, school shout-outs, and speeches. It is a place where high school and college students can come together and learn about the SOA and other social justice issues.

The Teach-In is run by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, which is dedicated to helping connect social justice education and initiatives in Catholic schools, parishes, and other groups (mostly Jesuit, but also groups run by various orders of sisters).

ISN has held many Teach-Ins at the SOA, but this year for the first time, it held a spring teach-in. Students spoke tonight about their experience at that teach-in, held in New Orleans last spring. The benefit of teach-ins is that students both learn about and gain experience with the issue. The student speakers shared their experience cleaning out homes as well as learning about the existing forms of discrimination that made Hurricane Katrina such a disaster. In 2008, the topic is immigration and the spring Teach-In will be held at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, March 7-9.

From the Loyola group, Mary McEvoy also spoke tonight. She spoke about her experience working with survivors of torture, as she also did in the U.S. Catholic article. Since last year, she has also traveled to El Salvador. Through both of these formative experiences, she said tonight, she's learned that love can make life seem worth while, even when she was most frustrated.

After SOAW founder Father Roy Bourgeois gave a speech, the night ended with a ritual to remember the Jesuit martyrs and their two companions, who were killed in El Salvador on this night, Nov. 16, in 1989.

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