On Nov. 12-14, a Campus Ministry delegation of more than 20 students and staff from Saint Louis University will join more than 1,000 students, teachers, parish members and others passionate about faith-inspired social justice at the 14th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) in Washington, D.C.
The Teach-In, sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, is an opportunity for members of Jesuit institutions and partners to gather for learning, prayer, networking and legislative advocacy on Capitol Hill. Teach-In attendees represent 28 Jesuit universities and more than 25 Jesuit high schools, Jesuit parishes, Jesuit Volunteer (JVC) communities and many other Catholic institutions and organizations.
Started in 1997, in Columbus, Ga., the IFTJ takes place in mid-November to remember the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. The six Jesuit priests and their companions were murdered on Nov. 16, 1989, for their work advocating on behalf of the economically poor of El Salvador. In 2010, the IFTJ moved from Georgia to Washington, D.C. in response to the growing interest in integrating legislative advocacy into the teach-in experience.
This year's theme is "The Gritty Reality: Feel It, Think It, Engage It," derived from a speech given by former Jesuit Superior General, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., in 2000. During the speech, titled, "The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education," Kolvenbach stated, "Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively."