This year’s Arrupe Series was like no other! Responding to the moment we focused on Public Health and how this critical issue speaks to our faith. The Arrupe Planning Committee demonstrated an incredible amount of flexibility and creativity in providing our usual quality Arrupe programming under very different circumstances. You can find a summary of events below.

Guest Speakers: Because we couldn’t hold our usual assemblies or day of breakout speakers this year, we focused on quality over quantity and invited four excellent guests to speak to our community via Zoom, each Wednesday of the month. Students were required to go to one speaker, but many students took the opportunity to attend multiple speakers, and we got great feedback (both by word of mouth and the written reflections students submitted afterwards). Additionally, we held four on-campus “watch parties” for seniors, with small group reflections afterwards. Those conversations were a highlight of the series for me, personally, so I want to thank all of our seniors who joined us! A brief review of our speakers:

  • Fr. Michael Rozier, S.J., Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy at St. Louis University, spoke to us about the social justice dimensions of COVID.
  • Joshua Utter, Outreach Coordinator for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, reflected on how the pandemic has impacted refugees, and how JRS has gotten creative in serving this vulnerable population. Watch a recording of his presentation here.
  • Fr. George Williams, S.J., Pastor at St. Agnes Parish in San Francisco and founder of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative, spoke about his time as a prison chaplain and the impact of COVID on the criminal justice system. Watch a recording of his presentation here.
  • Dr. Amesh Adalja, MD, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, explained coronaviruses, how they become a pandemic-level threat, and ways to predict (and hopefully prevent) a future pandemic. Watch a recording of his presentation here.

Parent Events: We held three evening events open to parents and families. On March 11 and 25, we hosted virtual workshops with HealthierJC, a coalition within the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services, who discussed how the pandemic has impacted issues of public health, immigration, food insecurity, and other important topics. You can connect with them and get involved with some of the great work they do hereOn March 18 we hosted a virtual movie night, watching How to Survive a Plague (2012) a documentary about the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s, and how LGBTQ+ activists fought to connect people with treatments and to change public health policy, in the face of discrimination and indifference. Thank you to all of the parents who joined us for these events, asked great questions, and offered insights!

Follow Up: We are working with HealthierJC to plan some local service opportunities that will be open to students and parents. Stay tuned for more information after Easter! We also recommend checking the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Coronavirus Resources Page, which is regularly updated with ways you can get involved with advocating for more just public health policy (right now there’s an action alert calling on President Biden to grant greater global access to vaccine formulas, taking advantage of a proposed emergency waiver to WTO intellectual property rights rules).

The Arrupe Series is named for Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the late superior general of the Jesuits.  Arrupe charged the religious order with its modern mission of forming “men and women for and with others.”  The summit includes a community mass, a keynote address, a day of breakout presenters, curricular activities, field trips, and other opportunities to engage more deeply with the theme topic.

“Our Catholic, Jesuit faith challenges us to reflect on matters of injustice in our world and the response required from us as Catholics,” said John Dougherty, Prep’s Director of Campus Ministry. “The goal of the Arrupe Series is to bring a specific issue of injustice to the forefront and encourage our community to engage it and to act.”

Now in its 22nd year, the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Lecture Series has hosted, among others, noted peace activist Dan Berrigan, S.J.; death penalty activist Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ; Greg Boyle, S.J., of the successful anti-gang initiative Homeboy Industries; Sean Carroll, S.J. of the Kino Border Initiative; Mr. Jim Keady of Team Sweat; Dr. Michael Kimmel, sociologist and author of Guyland; Sr. Peggy O’Neill, S.C., director of Centro Arte para La Paz in El Salvador; Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, of the Harvard Kennedy School; and Fr. Daniel Corrou, S.J. who worked with Jesuit Refugee Services in the Middle East.

Arrupe Week Resources

Past Speakers: A list of all Arrupe Week keynote speakers, some with audio included!

Advocacy Resources: See how we’ve followed up on previous Arrupe Weeks!