Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice – happening now!

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, an annual gathering of Jesuit schools, began in Washington, DC over the weekend and continues today with advocacy sessions on Capitol Hill. Foremost in participants’ minds is the 25th anniversary of the death of six Jesuit priests and two lay women, who were killed in El Salvador during their civil war. The Teach-In hopes to educate tomorrow’s leaders on their role in the world and their Catholic call to fight the many forms of injustice.


National Catholic Social Justice Conference to Draw Over 1,300 for Learning, Prayer, Network and Legislative Advocacy on Capitol Hill

Jesuit Martyrs (Artist: Mary Pimmel)

WASHINGTON, DC – Over 1,300 individuals affiliated with Jesuit institutions and the larger Catholic Church will converge at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ)November 15-17 in Washington, D.C. The 17th annual Teach-In will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the murders of six Jesuit priests, killed in El Salvador on November 16, 1989, by Salvadoran military for their defense of the economically poor.

The IFTJ is a nationwide social justice conference sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national lay-led, faith-based, social justice organization that works to mobilize Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and ministries and the larger church throughout the United States in order to effect positive social change on critical issues facing the world.

Keynote speakers include Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International; Michael Lee, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology at Fordham University; Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J., a Honduran human rights activist; Caroline Brennan, Senior Communications Officer at Catholic Relief Services; Fr. James Martin, S.J., editor-at-large at America Magazine; Fr. Tom Reese, S.J., columnist atNational Catholic Reporter; and Daniel Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant.

This year’s Teach-In includes the national premiere of a documentary depicting the story and legacy of the Jesuit murders in El Salvador. Entitled “Blood in the Backyard,” the approximately 30-minute documentary produced by Loyola Productions includes interviews with Rep. Jim McGovern, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador William Walker, and Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J.

Teach-In attendees will also have access to the first-ever print edition of The Jesuit Post (TJP), which will include posts by young Jesuits as well as specially invited lay women and men writers. Using a variety of digital media, TJPoffers a Jesuit and Catholic perspective on the contemporary world. Posts focus on both sacred and secular issues, and everything in between and can be found at: https://thejesuitpost.org.

In addition to the workshops, keynote addresses, and policy discussions, participants will rally on Capitol Hill on Monday, November 17, before collectively meeting with more than 100+ Congressional offices. Advocates will visit with their respective lawmakers to urge Congress to pass humane comprehensive immigration reform, support human rights oriented policies in Central America, and respond to climate change and effects marginalizing the economically poor.

The IFTJ started in 1997 in conjunction with the School of the Americas Watch movement to close the former U.S. Army School of the Americas. In 2010, the IFTJ moved from Georgia to Washington, D.C., to more directly impact public policy with legislative advocacy.

“Not only will IFTJ participants commemorate the lives of the martyrs and encounter powerful keynote speakers, but their advocacy will make a critical and timely impact on Capitol Hill,” said Christopher Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Kerr continued, “This is a critical time for faith-based advocates to be calling on our leaders to act on important issues like immigration reform, climate change, and human rights in Central America.”

Teach-In attendees represent over sixty Catholic institutions in twenty-three states. Participants include representatives from twenty-eight Jesuit universities and approximately twenty-five Jesuit high schools, in addition to Jesuit parish members, Jesuit Volunteer Corps communities and former volunteers.

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is sponsored by: Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Maryland, University of San Francisco, Xavier University, America Magazine, Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, Bread for the World, Fairfield University, U.S. Jesuits National Advocacy Office, John Carroll University, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, Loyola Press, Oxfam America, and Villanova University.


Saturday, November 15, 2014
Crystal Gateway Marriott, Ballroom and Adjacent Breakout Rooms
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington, VA 22202
5 PM – 10 PM

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Crystal Gateway Marriott, Ballroom and Adjacent Breakout Rooms
8:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Monday, November 17, 2014
U.S. Capitol Building
Rally – 9 AM – 9:45 AM (corner of Independence & First St., across the street from the National Archives)
Advocacy Day – 10:00 AM (Advocacy will proceed after the public witness)
Click here to view the full schedule of events.

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