This month, Magis features three of five Freeburg family siblings: Jim Freeburg (Santa Clara University '03), Ben Freeburg (Gonzaga University '01) and Katrina Freeburg (Gonzaga University '98, JVC '99). Each embrace and share the values of Jesuit education with their friends, family, and community, and we are grateful for their perspective on how Jesuit-education has shaped them into being men and women for others:
We grew up with two other large Catholic families, a group someone affectionately named the "Catholic Triangle." Most of the parents and all of the kids graduated from a Catholic university - Gonzaga, Santa Clara or Notre Dame – so basketball season usually elicits some intense rivalries. We can play the seven-degrees-of-separation game in most situations and almost always find a friend. These networks became our communities away from home.
The Jesuit tradition started with our grandmother, Pat Warme, who attended Seattle College (before it became Seattle University) and has been a life-long member of the Peronteau and Xavier Clubs. With our mother as a Seattle U alumna; aunts, uncles and siblings who are Gonzaga, Bellarmine Prep or Georgetown alumni; a brother serving in Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW in Ashland, MT; and Jesuit friends in the Oregon and California Provinces, we are surrounded by lives of service, and men and women for others. Blessed with strong family support, friendships and excellent Jesuit educations, it became an unspoken family expectation that we would pay back our gifts to the wider community. We each defined our journeys though philanthropy, volunteerism and/or non-profit careers.
The three of us also served in year-long volunteer programs after graduation. Katrina was a case manager with Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Los Angeles; Ben worked for the Red Cross through AmeriCorps after the September 11th bombings; and Jim served as a Franciscans International volunteer at the United Nations in New York City. Katrina also taught for several years at Dolores Mission, a Jesuit parish school in East Los Angeles, hosting several of her brothers and their friends on immersion trips from Santa Clara University.
Because we've always had a strong community, we continue our Jesuit experience by building that community for others. We frequently invite current and former Jesuit Volunteers, and friends in the Jesuit and alumni network to join our circle of family and friends through weekends at our family cabin in the mountains, through a home Mass, or sharing a Seder supper. It's a blessing and a responsibility to be Jesuit-educated, and we embrace this role wholeheartedly.