A Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of the State of Washington
"Poverty has a face, and it also has a voice.
But that voice often does not penetrate the wall of fear, misconception and prejudice that can separate people who are poor from those of us who have what we need. The voice of poverty can be drowned out or ignored in the halls of government, where other legitimate demands for resources also resound.
In our listening sessions, we heard “the cry of poor” (Psalm 34). We are writing this pastoral letter to all people of good faith and to political leaders because we heard in the voices of people who are poor both a plea for mercy and a desire to participate fully in the life of their communities."
As Presidents of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities we feel spiritually and morally compelled to raise a collective voice confirming our values and commitments as Americans and educators. We represent colleges and universities from across our nation with more than 215,000 students and 21,000 faculty, and over 2 million living alumni.
Grounded in our Catholic and Jesuit mission, we are guided by our commitment to uphold the dignity of every person, to work for the common good of our nation, and to promote a living faith that works for justice. We see our work of teaching, scholarship and the formation of minds and spirits as a sacred trust.
That trust prompts us to labor for solidarity among all people, and especially with and for the poor and marginalized of our society. That trust calls us to embrace the entire human family, regardless of their immigration status (1) or religious allegiance. And experience has shown us that our communities are immeasurably enriched by the presence, intelligence, and committed contributions of undocumented students, as well as of faculty and staff of every color and from every faith tradition [...]
Teaching Together, Learning Together: The Encylical Comes to Life
In a new, team-taught course, THRS-3910-02 Earth Spirituality & Justice, students discuss Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis’ new encyclical, and its implications for our world today. To engage with scholarship and discussions beyond the classroom, students also attend the ICTC’s Catholic Heritage Lectures, tying the letter to questions of water access, indigenous peoples’ rights, cosmology, ecological sin, and globalism.
Co-taught by ICTC Director Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, Psychology Professor and Chair of Catholic Studies Le Xuan Hy, Associate Drean of Academic Affairs in the School of Theology and Ministry Faustino Cruz, and Campus Ministry for Liturgy Bob Stephan, SJ, the course has become a place for students to weigh diverse perspectives and some of today’s most pressing concerns.
"The course inspired me to change not only the way I approach religious dialogue, but also renewed my sense of oneness between all humans and the earth. I now confidently approach environmental and political differences with an open heart, and have begun to create ways we can heal the planet by healing ourselves."
—Ashley Haynes-Gibson, Class of 2016, Psychology
"This course has meant that I would have the ability to come together with a group of people diverse in age, area of study, and standpoint in life to speak of issues mentioned in the encyclical Laudato Si’, which not only addresses but affects every person in the planet. The opportunity to come together with such a diverse group […] has inspired me to seek this kind of dialogue with others so we may be more interconnected as the encyclical calls for."
"This course has inspired me to change my life in big ways, illustrating the tangible and concrete ways in which all things are profoundly connected, the ways individual small actions interact with the world, and the ways technology can interfere with that interaction. As a result, I've made a move to being more conscious of the ways that I use digital technology, with an aim of lessening my dependence upon it and perhaps inspiring others to desire the same."
—Fred Seymour, Class of 2018, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music Emphasis
Sr. Ilia Delio & Climate Change
Miss our Oct. 15 Catholic Heritage Lecture? Or want to learn more about Sr. Ilia Delio's perspectives on Laudato Si' and current conversations on ecological justice? Visit The Commons to read more.
Fr. Pat Howell's Reflection on Pope Francis' U.S. Visit
Fr. Pat Kelly, S.J., Editor of New Book on Sport & Spirituality
In this innovative look at the issues and opportunities facing young athletes and families, Fr. Pat Kelly brings together diverse Catholic perspectives and invites us to consider the developmental and spiritual dimensions of sport. Check out The Commons to read more.