Jesuit Network Commits to Dreamers

On Tuesday, September 5 the Trump Administration announced that they are repealing the DACA program-which will affect 800,000 undocumented young people.

Standing with the Dreamers, Fr. Timothy Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, released a letter from the Jesuits regarding this decision to repeal DACA. He said that “now more than ever, we commit ourselves to living out God’s law, which calls on us to love the stranger, remembering that our ancestors in faith were once strangers in a foreign land.” The letter speaks of the ways that Dreamers have positively affected Jesuit institutions and how these institutions will continue to support comprehensive immigration reform.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities released a similar statement regarding the Jesuit mission to protect and commit to educating undocumented students.

Jesuit institutions across the nation have come together in solidarity with the Dreamers by hosting rallies and prayer vigils. Presidents of Jesuit universities have issued statements regarding DACA with many calling on Congress to act as soon as possible in order to provide a future for undocumented young persons.

To view the full article, click here.

Catholic College and University Presidents Sign Statement of Support for Undocumented Students

Over 100 Catholic college and university presidents have signed a statement of support of undocumented students. The statement, sponsored by ACCU, pledges support of students who have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and expresses hope that their studies will be allowed to continue uninterrupted. Those who signed “pledge to support these students – through our campus counseling and ministry support, through legal resources from those campuses with law schools and legal clinics, and through whatever other services we may have at our disposal.”

The statement reflects on Pope Francis’ commitment to immigrants and refugees, especially in his recent visit to the United States. The statement included signatures of presidents of Catholic colleges and universities from across the country. They find support in the long history of American Catholic higher education institutions educating students from diverse backgrounds and welcoming those on the margins.

Read the full statement on the ACCU website.

Loyola University Chicago Starts Magis Scholarship Fund for Undocumented Students

Loyola University Chicago recently announced a new scholarship offered to undocumented students.  Initiated by the University’s Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and the student government, the Magis Scholarship Fund was approved by the University board of trustees in December 2015.  The students involved in initiating the scholarship fund hope to alleviate some of the financial challenges undocumented students face, as well as encourage conversations about migration in and out of the classroom.

The Fund consists of a $2.50 student fee per semester and will raise about $50,000 a year. The funds will then be given to undocumented students approved for protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The renewable scholarship will help cover the cost of tuition, room and board, and student fees for a year for five students.

The word magis, meaning ‘more’ in Latin, is especially important to Loyola University Chicago as a Jesuit institution. In an interview with Fox News Latino Flavio Bravo, former president of the University’s student government, expressed that the decision to use magis in the name came from the fact that it is a “Jesuit tenet” which encourages all “to give and do more for the community.”

Peace & Justice in ACCU’s Spring Newsletter

Last week, ACCU released the Spring 2015 issue of Update, its quarterly newsletter. You can read it in its entirety here, but be sure to pay special attention to the sections devoted to peace and justice. These highlights include:

  • Scranton Students Learn Homelessness Firsthand by spending a day and night on the streets confronting similar challenges as those which persons experiencing homelessness may face.
  • Carlow Fights Hunger with Pottery by asking their art students to create clay bowls which patrons at a fundraising dinner use and then take home to remind them of the importance of fighting hunger.
  • Caldwell Students Serve in Belize and gain perspectives on poverty, priorities, and happiness.
  • Undocumented Students Appeal to Congress members who are alumni of Catholic colleges and universities by asking them to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
  • Mount Saint Vincent Students Engage the World by participating in international service learning.
  • ‘Compassionate Competitor’ leads Spalding University to log 1.6 million service hours and engage with their charism.
  • Manhattan Professor Teaches the Holocaust and Islam by portraying them both as stories of faith and catastrophe.

 To subscribe to Update, please email Paula Moore.