This is the theme of the Loyola Blakefield Justice Summit and will be our theme for the entire '20-'21 school year.

This presentation includes the following information:

What is the Justice Summit?

How does this work connect to our mission?

What is the origin of the theme?

What does this mean for us?

What is the Justice Summit?

As part of the Academic Strategic Plan, Loyola Blakefield hopes to expand education for Service and Justice and incorporate social justice across the curriculum.

Our annual Justice Summit provides increased awareness of a social justice topic for all members of the community by creating immersive educational experiences involving experiential learning, prayer & reflection, as well as service and advocacy. The Justice Summit promotes a greater connection for all students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni to engage local, national, and international partners and provide learning opportunities and resources with the express goal of learning more about the world and relevant social topics.

Inspired by our sisters and brothers in the Jesuit Schools Network, our first Justice Summit was in March of '19 and had the theme Hunger and in '20 - Care for Our Common Home - Waste and Pollution. Although our '20 was cancelled due to COVID-19, we will continue with our theme of Caring for Our Common Home with a focus on Challenging the Throwaway Culture.

How does this work connect to our mission?

To answer that question, let's take a look at who we are:

All of us here at Loyola Blakefield are a part of the global educational ministry of the Society of Jesus, in service of the Catholic Church.

We are all partners in mission and share a common Ignatian heritage. As you can see, our mission is inspired in a special way by the life and teachings of Ignatius and the subsequent leadership in the Society of Jesus.

Although we are part of different local communities, we are global citizens with a shared mission. One way we live this is by collaborating in caring for our common home.

What is the origin of our theme?

An “urgent challenge to protect our common home … to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change”

In May of 2015 Pope Francis published Laudato Si and it he sparked discussion and advocacy that have been an important part of our faith tradition but was again brought to the forefront.

What does Pope Francis mean by a throwaway culture?

It addresses our tendency to be wasteful for convenience. Our excessive consumerism leads to wastefulness. The pervasive attitude of taking what is easy and throwing away things that are no longer useful or can easily be replaced.

This attitude can manifest in how we treat people as commodities. We walk away from those that are unwanted or inconvenient – the poor, the elderly, those with disabilities, prisoners, the unborn, those of a different culture or race.

Is this where we get our theme from?:

Yes, but not only from Laudato Si. In 2019 when Society of Jesus concluded a sixteen month discernment process to identify God's will for the way of proceeding for the next ten years, again, care for our common home emerged as an essential touchstone of our global mission.

Fr. General Arturo Sosa, S.J. wrote:

We resolve, considering who we are and the means that we have, to collaborate with others in the construction of alternative models of life that are based on respect for creation and on a sustainable development capable of producing goods that, when justly distributed, ensure a decent life for all human beings on our planet.

What does this mean for us?

We are invited to collaborate and answer the call.

Fr. General has shared that if we were to look at the Universal Apostolic Preferences as a hand, the thumb would be collaboration. We cannot Show the Way to God, Walk with the Excluded, Journey with Youth and Care for Our Common Home without working together. Also, each one of the preferences cannot be addressed in isolation, which leads us to our theme for this year: Caring for Our Common Home - Challenging the Throwaway Culture. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis writes,

Human beings have inherent, irreducible value, but when a throwaway culture finds them inconvenient, it deems them “inefficient” or “burdensome”; and they are ignored, rejected or even disposed of.

In the 2020-2021 school year we will challenge this culture by addressing both how we treat creation - people and our planet - as we strive to live our mission to be dedicated to doing justice.

We will make an intentional connection to those in our society who have been overlooked, excluded and disregarded due to racism and discrimination.

The Loyola Blakefield graduate develops a compassionate understanding of the needs of his local and global community. He begins to understand that his Christian faith, Catholic responsibility, and Ignatian heritage call him to act ethically and to pursue justice. He understands that being a man for others is Christ-like and answers the challenge of St. Ignatius to a leadership of service Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, For the Greater Glory of God.

Be on the lookout for opportunities to get involved, whether they be in your classes or through opportunities organized by members of our community!

Our efforts will culminate in our Justice Summit in April.

"How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, "'forgive me!', 'forgive me, brothers and sisters!' Today's world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you!" - Pope Francis

We walk together, on a mission of reconciliation and justice.



Created with images by Scott Webb - "Bob Ross once said: If you learned how to make a cloud, your time is not wasted. I’d also say that taking time out of the day to watch the clouds, even for just a few minutes, is time well spent. Even better with a friend." • veeterzy - "Tree in forest of plants" • elizabeth lies - "Brown and green fields" • Adam Bouse - "Blue and white aerial view of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains" • Brian Yurasits - "A pile of plastic collected along a small stretch of beach on Long Island, NY. This beach didn't have garbage receptacles, so visitors frequently dump their trash behind with no regards for the local wildlife. If you visit a beach like this, make sure you pack out what you brought in! And use less plastic in the first place. Follow on Instagram @wildlife_by_yuri" • Evie S. - "untitled image" • Melchior Damu - "Hand" • Joris Beugels - "Mountain view - Slovenia"