BY CHRIS KERR | July 26, 2011
Greetings from the Ignatian Solidarity Network!
As we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31st), we have a chance to pause and reflect on all the efforts for social justice that happen each day throughout our Ignatian family. Ignatius and those who have followed in his footsteps have taught us that our ongoing search for the presence of God’s love in our world cannot be separated from the harsh realities that exist, especially for our brothers and sisters who are most vulnerable.
Amidst the celebrations and struggles of our own lives, we know that throughout the world there is great injustice faced by God’s people – continued efforts for liberation in countries like Libya and Syria; ongoing battles against poverty and disease throughout the continent of Africa; and even the challenges that people in our own country face as the economic reality continue to cause great distress for neighbors and family alike. The spirituality of St. Ignatius calls us to seek God’s love through our response to these realities. Ignatius said:
“Love consists of sharing
what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
more than words.”
These words certainly ring true as we consider all the work for justice being acted out throughout the Ignatian family. Recently we have heard exciting news of many “deeds” that demonstrate the love Ignatius describes, including: Creighton University students working with the Catholic Network Social Justice Lobby in Washington DC; Loyola Academy students being mentioned in an article about advocacy efforts for the DREAM Act; and 600+ people who have already signed up for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Social Justice in November in Washington, DC.
The coming months will bring many more “deeds” that call us into a deeper understanding of God’s love – and for this we can be very grateful.
Thank you for continuing to be part of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Many blessings on this Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola!
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.