office of faith and justice

In the footsteps of Jesuits: Finding God Throughout the World and In All Things

Since the founding of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits have been missionaries, spreading the message of God’s love throughout the world and living in solidarity with those they encountered. In similar Ignatian fashion, each year the Office of Faith and Justice offers students the opportunity to apply for one or more of about 20 immersion experiences around the country and the world. These trips build community and solidarity with those living in much different circumstances than what our students have experienced; they encourage our young men to move out of their comfort zones; and they promote global citizenship.

For the summer trips to Peru, El Salvador and Spain, students maintain a blog. Some photos and reflections…

Peru

“Being in Peru for almost a month has greatly impacted our lives and the other lives of those in Peru. Whether or not anyone on this trip is religious, all were greatly affected by this experience and our time here.

Photo: Richard Cordova

“We came here the first week not knowing much about the culture and how we would be influenced by the beautiful people here. Seeing the living situations of the people is what greatly affected us on this trip. We spent multiple days painting churches and houses, but the day that impacted us was when we painted a house in the Casitas. There was no easy clean, accessible drinking water, very little access to electricity, and no easy access to daily hygiene like in the United States. After painting all day, we took a trip to one of the schools in the Casitas, where we walked up many tiring steps to get to the school to play soccer with the kids there. “Thankfully, we were fortunate enough to take a bus to the school, but it was eye-opening to realize that every day these young kids walked many miles to get to school and were still filled with joy and love. This trip has allowed us to understand one of the main Jesuit principles of walking with others, which has allowed us to experience a different culture more personally than a typical tourist. This trip has also brought a group of young men who were strangers before the trip to creating life-lasting relationships. In this trip, incorporating reflection time has allowed us to form trust between each other and a closer relationship with God. After being in Peru for a month, I believe I have seen Jesus in every person living here.” (Reflection by Joe Mansour ’25 and Hunter Pozen ’25)

El Salvador

El Salvador 2

Photos: Courtesy of Dominika Deline

“Junquillo made me find me. Whenever I was walking in this community, I felt at home, I always had a smile, I always was laughing, and I always showed confidence. I found the true me from this incredible community and I found how one place can change your entire scope of the world, of people, and of yourself. I love El Salvador and the communities in the department (or province) of Morazán, and I am extremely grateful for this place. It has given me things I never knew I could have and it gave me confidence to do the things I love.” (Reflection by Luke Burns ’24)

El Camino

El Camino 3

Photos: Courtesy of Ian Munro

“The last two days of the Camino were the most special to me. During these days I felt God’s presence in nature all around me as we hiked to Montserrat then down to Manresa. While we were on the side of the mountain the peaks of Montserrat towered over us. The next morning, we woke up to a fog that engulfed the entire scenery. As the day progressed the clouds cleared and revealed the beautiful cliffs. The moment I clearly remember was when I turned around after an hour of hiking and was in awe at what my eyes saw. From a distance I could see the sun beaming on the mountains and I was speechless. This image is left embedded in my mind and made my whole trip. These different perspectives of the peaks of Montserrat truly opened my eyes to God’s creation. I would hike as many miles as needed in order to experience it again.” (Reflection by Jackson Pohlad ’24)

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam