Dear Colleagues in Mission,
We write with heavy hearts at the profoundly unsettling manifestations of systemic racism that have emerged over the past several weeks, continuing to reveal the consistent thread of racism and white supremacy embedded in our culture throughout our nation’s history.
We recognize that our Jesuit mission calls us to stand up, show up, and speak out against injustice and inequality and that at the heart of our mission is a Gospel that exhorts us to walk with those who are persecuted.
We acknowledge and honor the anger that so many of us are feeling about how deeply the killing of innocent black lives violate the Catholic principle of human dignity and the worth inherent in every individual.
We pray for the loved ones of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless others who have watched as the lives of their black and brown sons, daughters, siblings, colleagues, and friends have been taken from them.
We honor our colleagues of color who experience the effects of racism and white supremacy daily, even here at SU. We see you. We see your constant efforts, and we ask that you let us know what you need.
We also stand in solidarity and hope with members of our community who are undocumented as the Supreme Court makes its final decision about DACA in these weeks.
We invite our white colleagues to engage deeply to learn about the roots of racial injustice and to actively discern their role in the work of dismantling it. We ask that you let us know how we can support this ongoing discernment.
We refuse to take for granted today the breath that gives us life and which animates us to work for justice in the world; and we refuse to hide our faces from the many ways breath is stifled.
Below we share a letter from Fr. Arturo Araujo, SJ, Rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community on the challenge of this moment. We also offer a number of resources, including some that emerged from the Women in Mission Retreat this past weekend, when a virtual circle of women grieved and grappled together about Pentecost’s powerful images of breath and fire in inspiring us to respond to injustice in our world.
In peace and with a commitment to justice,
Jen, Joe and Eddie
Jen Tilghman-Havens, Joe Orlando, Eddie Salazar
Center for Jesuit Education
Dear Colleagues and Friends of Seattle University,
As Rector of the Jesuits at Seattle University, I want to manifest my indignation and heartbreak in solidarity with many others across our nation in condemnation of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and so many others before such as Eric Garner and Freddie Gray, which reveal a complete disregard for the lives and dignity of People of Color in our nation.
This time of pandemic has revealed the unjust structure of racism that is at the core of this recurring incidence of mutilation of human life. We are facing the bankruptcy of a society built upon the disregard of humanity we received equally from God.
On the Church’s feast of Pentecost, celebrated this year on May 31, we celebrate the Christian belief that the life-giving breath of God is in the air of this world. Sadly, two other forces in our world’s air at this time are death-dealing: the infection carried through the air by the Covid-19, and the racism that suffocates those who died crying out for air.
Pentecost is a reminder that the breath of God knocks on our doors, inviting us to assist in creating a healthier and safer world, more just and loving, and more able to receive God’s breath.
Fr. Arturo Araujo, SJ
Arrupe House, Jesuit Community
Resources for Reflection, Learning and Action
“how to breathe when you want to give up”
by cleo wade
today I am breathing through fatigue, fear, and
I breathe because when I breathe, I am
reminded that I’m alive
I am reminded that to fill my body with
air means that I have the ability to keep going.
I am reminded that my time on earth may be short
but it can be powerful if I dedicate it to love and fairness.
when I breathe
I am reminded of Mary Oliver when she wrote,
“tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one
wild and precious life?”
so I breathe
and let my breath
turn into a smile that says back to her,
“as much as I can.”
(image by Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS)
For white colleagues: European Dissent
Highly Recommended Books and Videos:
Anderson, C. (2016). White rage: The unspoken truth of our racial divide. Bloomsbury Publishing, USA
Coates, T. (2015). Between the world and me (First edition.). New York: Spiegel & Grau.
DiAngelo, R. (2018). White fragility: Why it’s so hard to talk to white people about racism. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Dyson, M. E. (2017). Tears we cannot stop: A sermon to white America. St. Martin's Press.
Hooks, B. (2014). Teaching to transgress. Routledge.
Kendi, I. X. (2017). Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America. Random House.
Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an antiracist. One World/Ballantine.
Bryan Massingale, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010.
Cura Personalis (care for the whole person) is an Ignatian term with a deep resonance and meaning in the Jesuit mission of Seattle University. It is the principle that underlies our commitment to “educating the whole person,” it echoes in our core values (“We put the good of students first”), and it even appears on the jackets of our Public Safety officers, guiding their approach to promoting health, safety and well-being.
While we often think of it as a way to care for others, Cura Personalis also includes an essential call to self-care. A holistic educational approach emerges from those who practice a holistic care for themselves.
In the midst of these stressful days, as we all juggle the pressures of work and home in a time of pandemic, we encourage each of you to pursue Cura Personalis grounded in self-care. We share a few resources below and invite you to take time to nourish your spirit, mind and body as you navigate these days.
Please know that our team is available to you to support your health and well-being in any way we can – feel free to email any of us to connect.
Below we also provide some updates and opportunities from the Center for Jesuit Education and our partners.
With gratitude for each of you, and prayers for your families,
The Center for Jesuit Education Staff
Music & Poetry Resources:
In this time of uncertainty, we are eager to connect with you and provide resources of hope. Throughout the past 500 years, Jesuit education has faced many opportunities to adapt to a changing world, and St. Ignatius believed strongly in flexibility as Jesuits embraced “the signs of the times.” Each of you is facing challenges you haven’t endured before, and as we enter into this new normal, we appreciate and affirm all that you continue to uphold and deepen our Jesuit mission in this new context.
In this newsletter, we provide CJE program updates, we remember Fr. Peter Ely, SJ, and we offer resources for Jesuit educators in a period of Covid-19.
Please continue to be in touch, and to share the ways that you are finding meaning and purpose, consolations and desolations in this time.
CJE Program Updates:
We remember with fondness our colleague Fr. Peter Ely, SJ, who passed away on Saturday, April 11th as he was returning to Campion Hall from a walk in the sunshine. Peter was a beloved teacher, retreat leader, spiritual director, mission leader and friend to all who knew him on our campus and beyond. While at Seattle University, Peter served as Rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community, Professor in THRS and Vice President for Mission and Ministry. His support and vision helped to create the Arrupe Seminar on the Foundations and Vision of Jesuit Higher Education, the Catholic Heritage Lectures, the Interreligious Dialogue Initiative, and the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. Peter leaves a great legacy that will live on and bring hope to many on our campus and beyond. He also leaves many of us with memories of his willingness to enter into conversation, his wit and laughter, his authenticity and his curiosity and wonder at the great questions of humankind.
Please visit the Gratefully Remembering Fr. Peter Ely page where you can send a rememberance
The First Spiritual Exercises
INNER PEACE IN THE SERVICE OF GOD
A GUIDED FOUR-WEEK RETREAT (PLUS CLOSING SESSION) BASED ON MICHAEL HANSEN SJ'S ADAPTATION OF THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS
MATT BARMORE, RETREAT GIVER
FIVE MONDAYS, MAY 4 - JUNE 1, 2020
6:45 - 8:15 PM (PST)
ONLINE VIA ZOOM
MATT BARMORE, RETREAT GIVER
Register HERE by April 29, 2020
Sheltering in Place: How I Find Stillness During Crisis - Yes Magazine
featuring the University of Scranton - Chronicle of Higher Education
As Covid-19 Erases Line Between Work and Home, Professors Learn to Teach Remotely While Watching Their Kids featuring St. Joseph University - Chronicle of Higher Education
All the best to you are your families and students,
Joe Orlando email@example.com
Jen Tilghman-Havens firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie Salazar email@example.com
Kristi Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Kay Brennan email@example.com
David Leigh, SJ firstname.lastname@example.org
In the midst of this unfamiliar, challenging time, the Center for Jesuit Education hopes to be a resource to you as we move forward as a physically distant but mission-connected community. Although we cannot gather in the presence of one another (and we are missing you greatly!), we hope to feel more connected virtually and will be reaching out on a regular basis.
We extend our gratitude to each of you as you invest your time, energy and creativity into online teaching, and in serving our students in new and imaginative ways using remote technology. We also offer a special thanks to those faculty and staff serving the university as essential personnel on campus in these days, especially members of Public Safety, Facilities, IT, Residence Life, and the Health Center. We are so grateful for your care of our physical campus and the 200 students who remain on campus during this time.
If you could use spiritual resources, here are a few we appreciate:
And this resource from Ignatian Solidarity Network has important articles on responding to social justice issues raised by the pandemic.
We strive to be a place where you can continue to share your inspirations or bring your concerns. Each of us are available for confidential conversation and connection via Zoom or phone, whether simply for connection, consultation or spiritual direction. Please feel free to email any of us at our email addresses below.
If you come upon a poem, video, image, or reflection that can help support and sustain our mission-inspired community during this time, please send it our way to email@example.com.
Below are some additional resources from our Jesuit tradition that you may find helpful.
With confidence in our resilient community, and with gratitude for all you are doing to keep SU’s mission, vision and values alive,
The CJE Team
The Center for Jesuit Education Staff
CJE Faculty Associates
CJE Jesuit Associates
Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ – Video Message in Response to the Pandemic
Ignatian Spirituality Center Spiritual Direction Connections:
The ISC has a spiritual director matching service and the spiritual directors are able to meet virtually.
The Novena of Grace (March 10-18) was recorded and can be accessed online!
Ignatian Spirituality Center’s Annual Novena of Grace: Turn to the Waters of Life:
Be inspired by the preaching of three presenters steeped in the Ignatian tradition and vision, offer up your deepest desires in prayer, and join a faith-filled community virtually. Pray with us any or all of the nine days to experience God’s abundant grace!
Did you know that you can take a virtual tour of the Chapel of St. Ignatius?
Jesuit Prayer Resources During the Coronavirus Pandemic