Building Bridges: Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice 2015

Maureen O'Connell, image courtesy Ignatian Solidarity Network
Maureen O'Connell, image courtesy Ignatian Solidarity Network

This weekend, almost 1,700 people gathered at a conference center just outside of Washington, D.C. for the 18th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, organized by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. The theme this year is simply one word: Bridges.

Delegates, mostly from Jesuit high schools and universities, were treated to keynote addresses and breakout workshops on a broad variety of issues centered on the theme of building bridges that connect people in solidarity. We heard from Sr. Helen Prejean on connecting with people on death row and from Fr. Alejandro Olayo, SJ on the walls on our border that stands in the way of bridge building. We heard the powerful witness of a young black man from St. Louis University High School who lives in Ferguson, and we heard about how one theology student at Boston College School of Theology & Ministry bridges her identity as a gay Catholic.

One of the most powerful keynotes at this conference came from La Salle University professor of ethics Maureen O’Connell. Maureen called on Catholics to address racism in our culture and in our Church. Since most of our readers couldn’t be there to hear the whole thing, we’d like to share a few salient quotes from the live-tweeting of her talk at #IFTJ15.

Maureen started out by recognizing the difficulties presented by racism and that it isn’t an easy issue to try and address:

Maureen named some of the people who have died as a result of racism in just the last couple of years:

She called out our own Ignatian family for failing to address racism among our own brothers and sisters:

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