Campus Community / People of SU

A different kind of celebration in an extraordinary year

August 10, 2020

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Every year, the Seattle University community gathers on or around July 31 to celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits. The celebration typically involves an open house hosted by the Arrupe Jesuit Community in the morning and a 12:30 p.m. mass at our campus chapel that bears Ignatius’ name.

But 2020 has been no ordinary year. For months, the campus has been largely unpopulated as we grapple with COVID-19, and in recent weeks, an even more persistent pandemic—that of racial inequality—has gripped our nation and university community in the wake of the brutal murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

It was clear that if the Feast of St. Ignatius were to be celebrated this year, the event would take place virtually. But Arturo Araujo, S.J., rector of Arrupe Jesuit Community at Seattle U, recognized an opportunity to broaden the celebration beyond Seattle U and, working with the Center for Jesuit Education, invited members from other Jesuit institutions and organizations in the Puget Sound area to participate in and attend the event. Representing a variety of Jesuit ministries, panelists shared how they are creatively continuing their work under these unique and challenging times. Following and linked here is a full video of the gathering.

Father Araujo set the context for the celebration, saying, “As people of faith, we can and must emerge from this pandemic more empathetic to the reality of loneliness that so many experience each day…more empathetic to those who don't bear our social economical and racial privileges. What we now feel must serve as a spark needed to light the flame of desire to do more and better, and to be present to those among us who are suffering.

“Today we want to celebrate the feast of Ignatius of Loyola. We want to honor the spirit that God gave us through him. A spirit that is alive in the middle of this crisis more than ever. We feel the compelling desire to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the Ignatian family, and reaffirm through testimonies and prayer that God is doing great things for us.”