Saint Joseph’s University Holds First Jesuit Appreciation Day
Tags: Jesuit, Jesuit Father Joseph Feeney, jesuits, Saint Joseph's University, Society of Jesus
Students at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia wanted to honor their school’s Jesuit heritage, so they organized the first annual Jesuit Appreciation Day in late January.
The day’s theme was “Leadership and Success: The Jesuit Impact through Education,” and it included lectures on leadership by six Jesuits and three lay colleagues, dinner and Mass.
The 150 students, faculty and alumni in attendance also had the opportunity to participate in discussion sessions on the principles of a Jesuit education and different aspects of Jesuit ideals. Topics included “What Would Ignatius Do?” and “The Renaissance Person.”
Jesuit Father Joseph Feeney, professor of English, offered an interactive discussion on dealing with his own personal faith crisis and the faith crises that affect today’s students. He explained how the Jesuit ideals of intellectual integrity helped him cope with the doubts he felt within his faith. He also described how discussion with the Jesuit teachers at his high school offered an honest perspective, which ultimately shaped his relationship with God.
Fr. Feeney’s advice was, “If you have a doubt, think of it as a difficulty of believing, not a removal of faith.”
“I think at the end of the day Ignatian ideals promote well-roundedness and cura personalis [care of the whole person],” said attendee Andrew Staub ’16. “There are certainly [parts of the world] that don’t practice these beliefs, so it’s important we learn to combine those beliefs in our everyday lives.”
“We often tend to undervalue the unique experience that a Jesuit education can award us,” said Nicholas Chingas, ’16, one of the event’s organizers. “The idea for Jesuit Appreciation Day came from an idea of thankfulness for the Jesuit community, and the hope that students would learn lessons on leadership and success from our revered Jesuit speakers. The first Jesuit Appreciation Day was a success, and I’m excited to see this tradition grow in the future.” [The Hawk]