Saint Ursula Academy Students Attend Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice
By Jill Cahill
Six Saint Ursula Academy (SUA) students and two faculty members recently traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. This annual event connects Catholic faith and justice, addressing timely issues through two days of dynamic speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Known as the largest annual Catholic social justice gathering in the U.S., it attracts attendees from over 130 Catholic universities, high schools, parishes and organizations in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Spain and El Salvador.
As part of SUA’s “Year of the Thinker,” students are encouraged to think of ways they can effect change in the world. Eleanore Bender, Avilia Hyland, Anna Ehrsam, Kaya Stone, Abigail Gold and Charlotte Maliborski traveled to D.C. with SUA counselor Laura Roman and religion teacher Joanne Elsbrock for this special event that would challenge them to think about and take action, to promote initiatives that ensure justice for all people.
The 2019 theme, “Radical Hope, Prophetic Action,” is rooted in the legacy of Salvadoran martyrs – six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter, who were murdered on November 16, 1989, for speaking out against the country’s tumultuous civil war. They “stood with those at the margins of society at the cost of their lives, taking prophetic action that expressed God’s love for all people and all creation.”
Hyland said she learned and experienced a lot of amazing things, but had one big impression. “Overall, what I took away was that advocacy doesn’t have an age and that you can make change in even the smallest ways. I feel like I can now fight for the topics I can believe in and speak up for myself.”
Bender is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Teach-In and knows it will help her speak out for justice. “I learned to think about what I can do personally to affect my fellow
Americans nationally. I am so grateful for this experience, and I hope that the values and stories that I learned over the weekend will continue to help guide me to always do my best to help those treated unjustly.”