Fifty-five student leaders and faculty mentors from Catholic high schools across the country converged on Los Gatos for the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Arrupe Leaders Summit from January 18-20. The summit invited emerging student leaders for social justice to spend a weekend strengthening their capacity to effect positive social change while deepening their understanding of the relationship between faith and justice emphasized in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.
Throughout the three-day program, students explored The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders through the lens of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.’s life. Fr. Arrupe, a former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, is known for his strong leadership of the Jesuits during a tumultuous period in global history and a time of great transition for the Catholic Church and the Jesuits. In addition, the program included opportunities for faculty mentors to discuss student leadership for social justice and the Ignatian education pedagogical model.
Students and faculty from Bellarmine College Prepatory (San Jose), Jesuit High School (Sacramento), Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.), Mercy High School (Burlingame), Notre Dame High School (San Jose), Regis Jesuit High School (Denver), St. Ignatius College Preparatory (San Francisco), and verbum Dei High School (Los Angeles) attended the summit.
ISN Program Director Kim Miller reflected on the program’s intentions. “ISN is committed to developing emerging leaders for solidarity and justice. Fr. Arrupe provides a strong example of leadership for social justice grounded in strong Christian faith. I am excited for all the students will do with their new skills and sense of empowerment.”
The summit was led by a diverse team of facilitators that began planning in the fall. The leadership team was comprised of: Adam Baber, assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Canisius High School and doctoral candidate at Stanford University; Mark Potter, provincial assistant for social and international ministries at the California province for the Society of Jesus; and Natalie Terry, a graduate of John Carroll University and a current graduate student at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University.
Julia Dowd, director of university ministry at the University of San Francisco, offered the closing keynote address to the group. Faculty sessions were led by Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) promotes leadership and advocacy among students, alumni, and other emerging leaders from Jesuit schools, parishes, and ministries by educating its members on social justice issues, by mobilizing a national network to address those issues, and by encouraging a life-long commitment to the “service of faith and the promotion of justice.” ISN is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Additional information can be found at: www.ignatiansolidarity.net