By Lucas Sharma, S.J.
Rough estimates suggest about 2,000 individuals gathered in Washington, D.C. at the 19th Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice from November 12-14. A significant portion of attendees were young people, ages 16-22, representing Jesuit and other Catholic institutions from across the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador.
The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is an annual gathering for members of the Ignatian family (Jesuit institutions and larger church) to come together in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together. They gather each year in the spirit of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, using their lives and ministry as inspiration for discovering the injustices of today and how we might engage in them.
To conclude the papal year of mercy, the Teach-In theme was “Mercy in Action.” Participants heard from a variety of keynote speakers including from Greg Boyle, S.J., Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, Norma Pimentel, M.J., Executive Director of Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley, and Lisa Sharon Harper, Author and Chief Church Engagement Officer at Sojourners as well as more than 50 breakout sessions on different topics from a collaborative Ignatian approach.
Charged with the call to do mercy in action, students from all over the country took what they learned to their Congressmen and women on Monday morning. Topics discussed with congressional leaders from across the country included racism and for comprehensive immigration reform.
IFTJ is organized by The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Click here to see these keynote speakers from the IFTJ. More information can be found about this year’s Teach-In by searching Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and by using the hashtag #IFTJ16.
Photos and videos courtesy of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
Lucas Sharma S.J. is a Jesuit in formation from the Jesuits West Province. He is currently studying philosophy at Fordham University, and is the Web Editor for Conversations in Jesuit Higher Education Magazine.