216. The word “culture” points to something deeply embedded within a people, its most cherished convictions and its way of life. A people’s “culture” is more than an abstract idea. It has to do with their desires, their interests and ultimately the way they live their lives. To speak of a “culture of encounter” means that we, as a people, should be passionate about meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning a project that includes everyone. This becomes an aspiration and a style of life. The subject of this culture is the people, not simply one part of society that would pacify the rest with the help of professional and media resources. – Fratelli Tutti
Padres Latinos Unidos de Brophy Provides Outreach and Community to Latino Families at Brophy College Preparatory
Padres Latinos Unidos de Brophy, or PLUB, has become not only an active and important parent organization, but a community stalwart that enriches parent and student life for the entire Brophy community. Established in 2012 with the goal of providing support to Latino families – especially those dealing with a language barrier, migrant status or other issues that might prevent a feeling of being fully included in the Brophy experience – PLUB has become a lifeline to those families, and so much more. With PLUB’s support, more Latino families have applied to Brophy where, currently, one-quarter of our student body identify as Hispanic or Latino.
We thank PLUB for the annual Posada; for celebrations of El Día de Families, El Día del Niño, and Dia de las Muertas; for their involvement in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with the Taquiza Tailgate celebration; for their support of Hermanos Unidos de Brophy, one of the largest and most active student groups; and most of all, for their outreach to families who might at first feel reticent to get involved, until PLUB opens doors and paves pathways.
Hispanic Ministry at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
For nearly three decades, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School has served as a pillar of the Hispanic, Catholic community of Chicago’s southwest side.
Cristo Rey Jesuit was founded in 1996 to advance the human and intellectual capacities, as well as the religious and cultural heritage, of the immigrant families it serves. Through its Corporate Work Study Program, faith-based college preparatory education, and Spanish heritage language curriculum, the goal is to prepare students to succeed in college and to assume leadership roles in the civic, religious, business, and cultural life of our city and nation.
Serving as a trusted institution for the holistic development of young people, the mission of Cristo Rey Jesuit is not only to provide a college preparatory education to its 540 students, but to also provide Catholic formation through a unique Hispanic Ministry program during the student’s high school career.
According to America Magazine, 40% of Catholics are Hispanic, a stat also reflected within Chicagoland, where 42% of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago are Spanish-language speakers.
Cristo Rey Jesuit serves the Catholic Hispanic young adult population, with 100% Spanish-speaking students, 99% who identify as Hispanic/Latinx, and 97% who identify as Catholic.
Cristo Rey Jesuit takes a culturally sensitive approach to the way in which they minister and walk with their students. Everything at Cristo Rey Jesuit is informed by the students’ cultural and faith heritage. For the holistic development of the student, and for their sense of belonging as students, and as Catholics, Cristo Rey Jesuit provides the opportunity to practice their faith in their home language and culture.
These efforts include a Dia de Los Muertos ofrenda, grade level retreats at culturally-relevant locations, a culminating Kairos retreat, four years of religion classes, monthly school masses in Spanish, and novenas and devotions in partnership with the Parents Club (Asamblea de Padres). Held every December 12, Cristo Rey Jesuit’s Our Lady of Guadalupe mass and celebration (pictured, Tricia Koning Photography) is one of the most anticipated days of the year. Members of the Cristo Rey senior class reenact the story of the Virgin Guadalupe appearing to Juan Diego in 1531 during mass, followed by a celebration with food, music, and dancing, as well as mariachi and ballet folklorico performances.
Cristo Rey Jesuit is committed to forming the present and future Hispanic youth by strengthening the students’ spiritual lives and allowing the space for them to practice their faith and grow as leaders.
Migrant, Immigrant, and Refugee Advocacy at Jesuit High School
Jesuit High School handles the immigration status of our families with utmost confidentiality and respect for their stories. Support for immigrant and mixed-status families is led by each student’s school counselor, college advisor, or support staff (ex. DEI office, Spanish Language Support team) on a case-by-case basis.
Jesuit creates programming that brings awareness to the migrant, immigrant, and refugee experience through immersion programs (Kino Border Initiative and Ignite) and course content. The school team provides access to resources and opportunities for immigrant families and as a result, students have shared their own experience and engaged in advocacy work.
"Stories" byAlondra Nieves Alvez
This year, Jesuit students formed an Immigration Coalition Advocacy student club, advocated for immigration reform at the Ignatian Family Teach-In, created artwork and hosted an art exhibition about migrant stories, wrote poetry encapsulating family history, and presented workshops during Social Justice Week that focused on how the ecological crisis impacts migration.
Art I students created personal symbols based on interviewing their oldest (or most knowledgeable) family member about their diverse history, ancestry, and challenges in how their families came to be in the United States. They shared their personal stories of origin through conversation, writings, and their visual artwork.
Hear students share tidbits of their own stories on our instagram @jhsartpdx. The following is an excerpt from a student's writing, as well as his hand-colored, linoleum block print (pictured, bottom right).
"I learned my genetic background comes from Persia/Pakistan, Ireland, and Iceland. My linocut has a significant meaning. The three circles with symbols inside of them represent my siblings and how we are all connected. The center part of it is just to represent the tight connection between us. The crescent moon and star outside of my print represent Pakistan's flag, the star represents the American flag. This is what my linoleum block print means to me."
Jesuit High School's Arrupe Center and freshman World History teachers led the freshman class through the JRS Refugee Simulation Experience. We invite you to utilize the following lesson plans and materials from the experience.
We were a little nervous as we first walked into Holy Trinity Hall to serve at the 2022 Holiday Migrant Fiesta. It was the first in-person event for the newly founded Georgetown Prep Refugee Action Team. But our nerves soon melted away as we played with the kids, shared a potluck dinner with the migrant Familia, and even danced a little. Each time our team participates in activities like this, our understanding of community expands.
For one particular team member, a conversation with a Nicaraguan parolee ignited a passion which drove a transformation from a reluctant volunteer searching for service hours to our most dedicated member. Now he is a leader in organizing events and establishing greater collaboration with Trinity’s migrant community.
At a Jesuit school, we are often told of the importance of service to others. Our experiences with the GP Refugee Action Team have impressed on us and our members the critical importance of direct service for and with marginalized communities beyond the way any words could, and we look forward to where it will go in the future.
Veronica Paredes, a religion teacher at Instituto Leone XIII in Milan, Italy, and participant of Educate Magis' Ignatian Intercultural Communication Global Cohort, shares her experience of welcoming immigrants to the school and walking with them to achieve not only a healthy integration into a new culture and society, but also to encourage them to offer the richness of their own cultural heritage.
“He is my guest. Get out of our town!” – Mohammad Gulab said.
“Do you want to die for an American soldier?” – a Taliban dared Muhammad.
“Why are you doing this for me?” – Marcus asked unable to understand what was going on.
(From the movie “Lone Survivor” based on a true story, 2013)
This scene of the movie really surprised me. How come a man, a father, a husband, a member of a tribe could dare to do so? How could Muhammad protect an American soldier in the middle of Taliban territory in Afghanistan? The answer was at the end of the movie:
“The Afghan villagers who protected Marcus did so due to their 2,000-year-old code of honor, known as Pashtunwali. Pashtunwali requires a tribe to undertake the responsibility of safeguarding an individual against his enemies and protecting him at all costs."
Marcus was the only survivor of “Operation Red Wings” in Afghanistan…
Being an immigrant is really hard. Thanks to the stereotypes, people believe immigrants are dangerous simply because foreigners have different cultures, customs, and perspectives that “force” local people to move out of their “comfort zone."
JSN Educators Forming Men and Women as Global Citizens
Nine St. Xavier High School students were awarded the Jesuit Schools Network Ignatian Global Scholar certificate after successfully completing the required components of the two-year program. The JSN forms men and women to be global citizens "who continuously seek to deepen their awareness of their place and responsibility in an increasingly interconnected world, both locally and globally; those who stand in solidarity with others in the pursuit of a sustainable earth and a more humane world as true companions in the mission of reconciliation and justice."
📸 Photo submitted by Therese Bower,
English Teacher and Global Education Coordinator, St. Xavier High School
At last year's JSN Colloquium, Joanna Williams, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, offered a keynote address on UAP 2 - Walking With The Excluded.
Based on her experiences of accompaniment, and those of her team, she invited listeners to join her in recognizing our wrongs and our complicity with injustice and practice a ministry of presence and listening, especially amidst overwhelming suffering that doesn't have clear solutions. From that space of conversion and compassion, Joanna encourages us to commit to taking risks to promote creative and lasting hospitality.
From May 7-15, ISN invited the Jesuit network to pray a Novena to Renew Our Asylum Promises. Just as we renew our baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil, so we call on our country and countries around the world to renew their asylum promises to offer respite to those fleeing situations of violence.
Are you passionate about ecological issues and working at a high school in the Midwest? This June 13-15, join our inaugural Summit to network with and learn from fellow educators and experience renewal around ecological justice. Sign up today!
IFTJ (Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice)
Register today for the largest annual Catholic social justice conference in the United States: the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice from October 28 to 30! You’ll be challenged and inspired by our internationally-renowned keynotes, attend breakouts from over 40 organizations, network with fellow faith advocates, and engage in advocacy on Capitol Hill.