On Friday, 12 students and 3 teachers from our Gonzaga Prep community will travel to Washington, DC to the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Every year, Jesuit high schools, universities, and ministries throughout the US come together for this gathering to be empowered, re-energized, inspired, challenged, and supported by a community that sees faith and justice integrally linked. This GPrep group will learn, pray, and advocate for environmental justice and humane migration; they will meet with the offices of our senator, Patty Murray, and our Representative, Cathy McMorris Rodgers; and they will meet with students from other Jesuit schools around the country who are similarly committed to being leaders for social justice. I want to give you a quick introduction to how this Teach-In began.
The first Teach-In was 25 years ago and began as a gathering commemorating and honoring the Jesuit martyrs and their companions in El Salvador who were brutally murdered by the Salvadoran military for standing with the marginalized of El Salvador and for speaking out against the injustices perpetrated by the government and military. The deaths of these Jesuits sparked international outrage and pressure upon the Salvadoran government to negotiate an end to their Civil War, and it helped to uncover the role of the United States military in training the Salvadoran soldiers who committed these atrocities and others throughout South America.
So we gather in Washington, DC in solidarity with all who have committed themselves to the work of justice. Since 2010 when the Teach-In moved from Georgia to Washington DC to allow for advocacy on Capitol Hill, over 10,000 participants of the Teach-In have gathered in the halls of Congress to advocate for justice issues including immigration reform, criminal justice reform, ecology, and more. We gather with the acknowledgment that this work is never done and that we are called, as Pope Francis reminds us, to continually reach higher in pursuit of a more just church and world.
At Mass on Thursday, the Gonzaga Prep community blessed the students and teachers who are traveling to the Ignatian Family Teach-in For Justice in Washington, D.C. Pray with us for their thoughtful engagement, advocacy, and desire to seek justice for our common home and all those at the margins.
Teachers attending: Karen Round `91, Krista Frankovic `04, and Liz Slamkowski.
Students attending: Seniors: Bianca Frank, Andrew Happy, Reagan Jones, Lucas Manfred, Emily McCulloh, Neharika Sharma. Juniors: Nicholas Capri, Madelyn Ellingson, Colby Kelly, Jenna Round, Cree Williams. Sophomore: Caroline Saint James.