By Eduardo Landa, Staff Writer
Verbum Dei High School will send a contingent of three juniors to the Ignatian Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C. from November 15 to November 18, 2019. Adrian Belisle, Jordan Simms, and Christian Ibarra will be represent VDHS while learning of social justice issues of our day and becoming informed of how they personally might create change in their communities.
“[The Teach-In for Justice] is an annual gathering for members of the Ignatian family (Jesuit institutions and larger church) to gather in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together,” according to the website of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “It is a place where people are empowered, re-energized, inspired, challenged, and supported by a community that sees faith and justice integrally linked.”
Molly Fruland, Campus Ministry/ College Guidance Assistant, and Ricky Lopez, sophomore math teacher, will accompany the juniors as chaperones. They are determined to encourage the students to be open to the possibility of seeing life from different perspectives.
“This trip is an opportunity for young adults to learn how to make change in their communities through social justice,” said Lopez. “I love any opportunity to contribute to spiritual development.”
“[This] event is about teaching high school and college students about the social issues in society,” said Fruland. “The main focuses include immigration and mass incarceration. It is a three daylong conference that includes key note speakers, breakout sessions, and liturgy.”
This event will be a great opportunity for the juniors to develop their faith and interact with new communities in Washington D.C. The wisdom and knowledge that these young Verb Eagles will gain will help them understand the importance of social justice and how it can be incorporated both in their individual faith practice and at Verbum Dei High School.
“I am very excited,” said Ibarra. “I honestly cannot wait to go to Washington and represent Verb. I can’t wait to take the wisdom this trip [will] give me, and spread it among my brothers.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity to learn how to be an advocate for social justice issues, especially when it [hits] home whether it be family or friends,” said Belisle.