A Global Partnership Initiative of the Jesuit Schools Network
Dear Global Companions: 

Hemispheres is designed to inspire, to transport the reader outside of our own halls, classrooms, and perspectives and to remind us that as Ignatian Educators we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Everyone is so busy these days, and taking a moment to regularly read and contribute content to Hemispheres is a wonderful reminder of the power of participating in the common good of sharing our worlds across the many contexts of our schools. In these virtual-heavy days where we cannot be together in-person as much as we would like, this is more important than ever. 

There are 85 schools in the Jesuit Schools Network; 34 have contributed to Hemispheres in the last two years. If you would like to share an activity, lesson plan, initiative, reflection or action that speaks to how your school puts into practice what it means to be an Ignatian educator and a global citizen in today’s complex world please contact me at csteffens@jesuits.org. Hemispheres sees this work as collaborative sharing that originates from all facets of your school community including: Ecology and Sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Campus Ministry | Mission and Identity, Service and Justice work, and Immersions and Exchanges! We encourage everyone in the JSN to shine a light on the good work you are engaged in by contributing as you can to Hemispheres.

To see a listing of the JSN medley of all-boy, co-ed, Cristo Rey, and Nativity schools click here. Or to check out the span of the 839 Jesuit and Ignatian schools worldwide click here. This October issue begins with a sharing from our JSN school in Belize, St. John’s College, and then travels north to Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota. Enjoy! 
"To act as a universal body with a universal mission" GC35, D.2 #20
Catharine Steffens
Director of Global Partnerships
Jesuit Schools Network
On our campuses...
A Renewed St. John’s College High School 
The first day of classes is an important rite of passage for students in Belize. Every September, a myriad of pictures from proud parents and students invades social media.  Importantly at St. John’s College High School, first day of classes for freshmen is symbolic of tradition; it encompasses special accomplishments of fathers who were once freshmen in our beloved school and are now passing on the baton to their sons.  
 
This academic year, St. John’s College High School left an imprinted memory in the lives of our beloved freshmen and their families.  In the midst of the global pandemic, St. John’s College High School welcomed all freshmen and their families with an innovative, impressive and high-energy festivity.  On this day, the school pride shined brightly as students wore their navy blue pants and white shirt attesting their induction to their new family.  There were so many smiling faces, so much positivity and good will from all.  Along with the freshmen were the parents and sibling who drove relentlessly through the school campus leading the freshmen to become “Men for Others”.  It was an absolute joy to meet the families who will share learning with us, and at the same time, we all felt the collective excitement of this wonderful beginning. In addition, the students were immensely happy to have met the academic staff who would be responsible for educating them to the very best levels possible over the next year and beyond.  These aforementioned experiences bode well for the development of an excellent school community. 

Undoubtedly, the call to be “Men for Others” has special resonance for everyone at St. John’s College High School this academic year 2020 - 2021.  The new academic year requires everyone at St. John’s College High School to bring our learning community together in inspiring ways and to re-imagine new possibilities, new approaches, new ways of thinking, and new solutions – testament of these fundamental principles of the new normal is the Freshmen Orientation Drive Through we had for our beloved students.   
Red Cloud School Farmers Market - Care for our Common Home
This year at Red Cloud we have begun hosting a weekly seasonal Farmers Market. It has been a beautiful opportunity to visibly invite food systems into our community and education space. As conversations around foodshed resilience in the face of COVID-19 (in South Dakota I think of the recent Smithfield outbreak—as worker injustices were brought to light and animals euthanized and discarded—a commodified, broken food system was exposed) commingle with concern about climate change as wildfires spread in the U.S., particularly along the west coast, we find ourselves in a moment that brings unprecedented attention to the urgency of caring for our earth and building sustainable, localized food systems. 

Every Friday, a combination of local producers, The Heritage Center, our Farm to School Program, and emerging student entrepreneurs gather to vend products including from locally raised pork and poultry, eggs, fresh produce, traditional medicines (such as sage, bear root, and sweetgrass), and homemade favorites like salsa, pickles, and zucchini bread along a sidewalk at the school. In the midst of the pandemic, even as we have had to implement safety protocols that impart a tone of sterility, a feeling of connectedness and gratefulness arises

In his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Sí, Pope Francis says “[n]ew forms of cooperation and community organization can be encouraged in order to defend the interests of small producers and preserve local ecosystems from destruction” (p 53.) In this sense, buying pork from a local producer or a homemade jar of pickles from a high schooler is a radical act. Though our market is small and is only a supplement to the greater local supply chain, it is a step toward a necessary future. When I see a fourth-grader pasture raising hens and selling the eggs, I have hope and am encouraged. It is a learning opportunity for young people; as we support our local producers we also foster our generation of young people who, whether as future producers or consumers, will know how their choices and actions are in a relationship with the earth. 

As a Jesuit school, we seek to nourish the minds, spirits, and bodies of our youth—cura personalis. The goal of our Farm to School Initiative is to connect our students with the food system and build a healthier community—the farmers market is part of that effort. The by-product of that is that we cannot be healthy while we are exploiting the earth or supporting systems of injustice—we are all related, as taught by the Lakota teaching of mitákuye oyás’iŋ. We support the development of a food system that cares for our common home and its inhabitants. These times are uncertain, but the need for action—even in little ways—is more certain than ever. While we have only just concluded our first market season, much has been learned along the way in terms of logistics and considerations; included is a resource to help guide any schools who are also looking to set up a farmers market in the future.
In a Spirit of Encounter
Pope Francis has spoken a lot about the encounter in recent years. He says “We must strive and ask for the grace to create a culture of encounter, of a fruitful encounter, of an encounter that restores to each person his or her own dignity as a child of God, the dignity of a living person.”

In Jesuit-speak, we call this cura personalis and we spend the lion’s share of our energy focused on how we form our students to leave our walls with this imprinted on their hearts. But if this is a formation goal that we have for our students, we must also do the work of forming our faculty. Whether an adult in our community has been with us for 3 months or for 30 years, their formation is crucial to our mission and it goes beyond “professional development.” Allowing them the opportunity for times of encounter themselves helps open them to the empathy needed to have a genuine encounter with our students in which the “heart speaks to heart” as Pope Francis articulates.

This year at Regis Jesuit, instead of beginning our conversations with a professional development focus of “disrupting racism in education” or “becoming an anti-racist educator,” we started with the idea of encounter. We challenged our entire community to stop talking about the theory, to walk away from the articles and books, to end their philosophizing and to settle in for the uncomfortable reflections and shared time when “heart speaks to heart.” We asked them to think about, and more importantly share aloud with their colleagues, their own racial journey and their experiences as a racial being. For many of us, this feels all the more uncomfortable because it doesn’t feel like we are doing anything. We are just encountering each other. 
This is great, but this is not the time. Not during a pandemic.”

Then when is the time? For our students of color it is ALWAYS the time. The truth is that this is something that people of color cannot escape. To understand the situation our students of color experience, to empathize with their struggle – is this not the perfect time? During this time when we are learning a new way of teaching, a new way of meeting our students where they are, should we not also take the time to open our minds and our hearts in a new way to encounter each other? If you don’t know how others see the world, how can you understand? If you don’t name how you see the world, how can you understand? This process helps us to encounter the dignity of each person as a child of God by starting with ourselves. 

In all my years at RJ I don’t remember being so moved. There is anger, frustration and yet it feels like we are moving to a good place. All of the things that I am hearing in these conversations make me really think about what I am doing and saying to my students, all of them, but specifically those of color, and hearing some of it through a different lens than I have ever heard it through before.” Not many organizations are asking their employees to do the work of looking at yourself in order to grow and become more in tune to those around you. I am excited and humbled by the fact that ours is.
Blended Learning Environments: the Bridges Project 
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the classroom teacher into new and sometimes uncomfortable areas; however, it is not true that these areas are altogether uncharted. While the Zoom meeting and remote classes have caused their fair share of consternation amongst many an educator, a small group of teachers have years ago trampled clear and dependable pathways around the pitfalls of this daunting format—the same pitfalls that seem to entrap contemporary classroom teachers by the dozens these days. I can remember as far back as 2010, I fulfilled my English-Literature M.A. electives with a couple of Ph.D. level education courses in which I encountered overwhelming arguments in favor of a blended learning model over traditional face-to-face meetings, masterful techniques for remote teaching and learning, and even templates for teacher-less courses in which the students teach and assess themselves with only a facilitator’s guidance. These books and studies, to my surprise, often sported copyrights from the mid-seventies and—in the case of Joseph Jacotot, the facilitator I mentioned and my educational idol—as early as 1823. Not exactly new. The pandemic has pushed us out of our comfort zones, but realizing the work of these educational pioneers can help us recalibrate our compasses and wend confidently ahead where we must grapple with the fact that some of what we encounter—however forced upon us, however inconvenient—is better than what we had before and, as much as we may want to protect the sanctity of the traditional classroom experience, it is our job as teachers to recognize these advantages and leverage them as we navigate these ominous waters and dock the boat regardless. And when we do dock the boat and things return to normal next year or the year after that, we must admit what we’ve learned into our traditional classrooms or else miss an opportunity to improve amidst the trying circumstances. 

Shortly before the pandemic I accepted a job as the Arrupe Virtual Learning Institute’s Director of Collaborative Programming where I will help build and administer the innovative Bridges project through which students will experience much of what I talk about in this article. The goal: to create classes comprised of students from two separate Catholic high schools; one course with one instructor; a blended learning environment accentuating the strengths of two disparate learning communities and amalgamating the magic of two distinct classroom structures: face-to-face synchronous and remote asynchronous. I have found the building process so far thought-provoking and invigorating as asks me to deconstruct our habits in course-building and usage of class time, to knock it all down, ditch what we don’t need, and build from the ground up, stacking atop fresh foundations and cornerstones only the pieces that hold weight. What we have built so far is an unprecedented combination of understanding course material and then using it to affect our world, not after college, but now, during class, as part of class, with the guidance of the instructor. Knowledge and then action. We will lead our students into the uncertainty of their futures the same way the educational trailblazers of yesteryear do for us today.

If you have any questions on any of the above or would like more information on either AVLI or the Bridges project, please email me at ndressler@arrupevirtual.org or visit us at arrupevirtual.org.
Brophy / Xavier Advocacy Club
The Brophy/Xavier Advocacy Club is a project that grew out of years of students, faculty, and staff attending the Ignatian Family Teach-In (any person or community can join this year digitally!) hosted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, each fall. A central question of the teach-in and of Ignatian Spirituality is: “Given what we have learned, witnessed, and experienced, how are we called to respond now?”. Over time, that response has manifested itself in youth organizing on campus and in the larger community through the Advocacy Club, and many other places on campus. Over the last few years, students have publicly shared their stories, knowledge, and perspectives with their peers, community, and lawmakers. This process has actively worked to make space for each of us as individuals and as a community to “transform private shame into public pain” leveraging and demonstrating the power that we hold drawn from our lived experiences and shared values. Through a number of different public campaigns, students have claimed power publicly to create and work for social change. Some of the work that we are most proud of is our Dream On Campain focused on supporting undocumented students and mixed-status families, and our Hope For Hospitality campaign working to raise awareness around homelessness.  
 
As we continued in this work and gained momentum into the spring semester, Covid-19 hit, drastically changing life as we know it. As our school and community transitioned into a new reality of living online, our students- Gen Z - didn’t miss a beat. In a matter of two months, the students moved their entire platform online, through Instagram, a Google site, and Snapchat. This was a humbling moment and experience for me as a moderator, they lead the way and taught us how to imagine a new way of being. Simultaneously they have led us to face America’s constant pandemic, racial injustice. As the summer has unfolded and the new school year has begun, A-Club students are pushing our community to consider what it means to shout “Black Lives Matter” as a community, as a school, and a Church. As we move into this new phase of humanity, youth are teaching us that holding onto the past- out of fear - is not what this world needs, rather, bold, courageous, and creative ways to build community in radically inclusive ways.  
 
Personally, working with the Advocacy Club, and youth, has shown me that the most effective way to teach and learn about justice is by doing it together. Faith-based community organizing has been the framework that we have found most useful in helping shape and form our students for this work. This pedagogical model flattens the hierarchy of teacher-student and allows for us to be co-creators in the kingdom, walking forward together as we work for justice. Continually placing students at the center of this work, especially those most impacted, has given us direction, energy, and strength. We aren’t sure what this year holds, but it is sure to be beautiful.  
And beyond...
#JSNGlobal
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Strengthening Our Global Ties And Programs Through Virtual Exchange
At St. Louis University High School, in late January of 2020, as we excitedly welcomed home our seniors just finishing their month-long service projects in Russia, Taiwan, Guatemala, China, and Papua New Guinea, we also nervously monitored the concerning spread of the coronavirus. In the coming months, as we painfully cancelled a robust curriculum of spring break and summer service, exchange, and educational travel programs, we couldn't help but worry about the short and long term effects that this global shutdown might have on our global education program. How would we maintain our partnerships? Cultivate the new partnerships still in development? How would we keep global education relevant in the minds of our students and faculty? The answer to all of those questions for us has been an exciting new component of our overall program- virtual exchanges.

As the school year wound down, after gaining some valuable training and expertise from Global Education Benchmark Group, the first group of SLUH Arabic students were set to participate in a two-week virtual exchange with other US schools and Morrocan peers. After the overwhelming success of this first experience, my colleague and I, Asst. Director of Global Education, Maria Paz Campos, were inspired to organize an exchange of our own, inviting our partner schools from all over the globe to engage in conversations on the pandemic. Again, another resounding success that brought about meaningful exchange and discussion for both students and faculty. With the school year approaching we shifted our focus to our foreign language curriculum. Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian have all been able to implement regular exchanges between our students and our partner schools in Taiwan, Egypt, Russia, Chile, Colombia, and Spain as part of our daily classes. There are upcoming virtual group visits to the Missouri History Museum and a larger series of discussions sponsored by GEBG that we have been able to include our partner schools in as well as a large number of our own students. The possibilities are endless, and Fine Arts and STEM-based projects are among the many initiatives currently in development. 

In short, while we feared that this waiting period when travel programs weren't feasible would greatly reduce the momentum in our global education initiatives, it has actually been the catalyst for an innovative, promising new approach. Virtual exchanges have not only strengthened the relationships between SLUH and our partners, but they have made our global curriculum more accessible to a larger number of students and faculty. No longer do you need a passport, a plane ticket, advanced language proficiency or teach in a globally-minded academic department to reap the rewards of a global experience. A laptop, decent wifi, and an openness to growth are enough in 2020. 

Feel free to reach out to me, Rob Chura, SLUH Director of Global Education, if you are interested in partnering on or discussing a project of any type.
Faith in Action Virtual Immersion with El Salvador and Rwanda
With the cancellation of service-learning and cultural immersion programs in our schools due to COVID-19, we wanted to find a way to offer an experience of virtual encounter focused on issues of service and justice to our students. Through the facilitation of Annie Fox, Jesuits West Provincial Assistant for Social Ministry Organizing, we connected with Faith in Action International. We met with community organizers from Faith in Action’s affiliates in El Salvador and Rwanda, along with Faith in Action founder Fr. John Bauman, S.J. and Ron Snyder, Director of Organizing. 
 
Students first learned about basic principles of community organizing and then got to hear first-hand from organizers in El Salvador who are working to address issues of access to clean, affordable water. We then heard from organizers in Rwanda who reviewed the many facets of their work, including the development of health clinics in rural areas.

In shifting to a virtual platform, we were able to make more accessible the “immersion” opportunity--the only cost involved was a fee we collected to compensate presenters for their time. We were also able to make this opportunity available to students across the Jesuits West Province. Ultimately, 24 students from Jesuit High School (Sacramento), Jesuit High School (Portland), and Brophy College Preparatory participated. As an educator concerned about justice, addressing the ways that service programming and immersions, especially, reinforce stereotypes or position our students as saviors is a concern. While something is certainly lost in not being able to offer in-person interaction and encounter, this virtual arrangement made clear that our speakers from El Salvador and Rwanda were the experts and teachers. Our students were invited to support their work--by sharing about it or offering material support, if possible--and engage in it in their communities with their local faith-based organizing groups. But in engaging these experiences from home and highlighting the robust work already taking place in El Salvador and Rwanda served as a small antidote to the saviorism often implicit in-service taking place in Jesuit prep schools.
Four Key Practices in Ignatian Spirituality Course
~Brendan O'Kane 
“The laborers in the Lord’s vineyard should have one foot on the ground, and the other raised to proceed on their journey.” – Ignatius
 
Following in the footsteps of our founder, Ignatius of Loyola the pilgrim, Gellért Merza, Mission and Identity Facilitator for Educate Magis, Bob Stephan (facilitator), Director for Ignatian Formation Adult Spirituality at Loyola High School of Los Angeles and Brendan O’Kane (co-facilitator) Director of Ignatian Mission and Identity at Loyola Blakefield, called out with a simple, yet powerful invitation – focus. Highlighting four key practices in Ignatian Spirituality, a group of us, from Los Angeles to Ireland, journeyed with Ignatius of Loyola. With a combination of spiritual and intellectual depth, we engaged with the examen, spiritual conversationIgnatian discernment and the call to be contemplatives in action. The Universal Apostolic Preferences challenge us to prayerfully proceed with actions– showjourneywalkcare. To best do this, we must focus and unite in embracing our foundation - this program will be essential for our way of proceeding and will be available through Educate Magis. As we embrace our mission of reconciliation and justice, we proceed with this Ignatian inspiration thanks to our founder Ignatius who embodied this call to focus, to be a contemplative in action.
November 14, 2020 is JRS Day
Join JRS/USA in recognizing this day by participating in our three actions of praying in solidarity, sharing the story, and supporting the mission. You can visit our JRS Day landing page to learn more. Any action big or small will be much appreciated as JRS seeks to raise awareness of the stories of refugees and displaced people across our globe. 
 
As part of the JRS Day commemoration, be sure to check out this Fr. Pedro Arrupe prayer card featuring artwork by Kelly Latimore. Reach out to Josh Utter if you’d like paper copies.
My Return to School Under Covid-19. Cora Antonio from Bellarmine College Prep in the United States and Maria Oliva Garcia de Cassasola from Colegio San José de Villafranca in Spain invite everyone to join “Part II” of their initial project, as a way to “journey with the youth” during these troubled times. Click here to see how to participate.

Early October Educate Magis presented the Infographic “Our Global Dimension” to all Education Delegates from the JECSE region! This JSN project initiated to support an idea of putting together a infographic that could be included in materials for parents – showing what possibilities await their children – through Jesuit schools, with Educate Magis and in particular the global community. It was a collaborative effort worked together with Mike, Brian, and Paul, three Admission Directors from three Jesuit schools in the US. There are two editable versions to adapt to your school context, a “roll up banner” and an “interactive High Definition” version. To see and download these click here.
Hemispheres' article goes global!
Check out Jamal Adams' article recently published on the international site
Jesuit Networking, an international initiative to support the emergence of collaborative bottom-up innovation for the universal Mission within the Jesuit apostolic body.
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The Jesuit Schools Network promotes the educational ministry of the Society of Jesus in service to the Catholic Church by strengthening Jesuit schools for the mission of Jesus Christ.