BY ISN STAFF | October 29, 2015
In what is estimated to be the largest Catholic advocacy day of the year, more than 1,200 individuals will go to Capitol Hill on Monday, November 9 to urge members of Congress to address the moral issues raised by Pope Francis during his recent visit to the U.S., including climate change and immigration. The day of advocacy is part of the 18th Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) on November 7-9 in Washington, D.C., a national social justice gathering of predominately students and young adults affiliated with U.S. Jesuit institutions and the larger Catholic Church.
A record crowd of more than 1,600 people is expected at this year’s Teach-In in the wake of Francis’s September visit, during which he addressed U.S. Congress and the UN General Assembly. The Advocacy Day on November 9 begins at 9 a.m. with a rally on the Southwest Lawn of Capitol Hill, followed by meetings with Congressional offices beginning at 10 a.m. View the full schedule of events.
Teach-In attendees represent over 90 Catholic institutions in 25 states, Canada, El Salvador, and Mexico. They come from 27 Jesuit universities, over 30 Catholic high schools, parishes, and other Catholic universities.
Teach-In speakers will include:
- Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., anti-death penalty activist and NY Times bestselling author of “Dead Man Walking”
- Maureen O’Connell, Ph.D., associate professor of Christian ethics at LaSalle University
- Rudy Lopez, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice
- Sister Simone Campbell, S.S.S., executive director of NETWORK
- James Martin, S.J., bestselling author and editor-at-large at America Magazine
- Justice Janine Geske, director of Marquette University Law School’s Restorative Justice Initiative
- Hector Verdugo, associate executive director of Homeboy Industries
“The record crowd at IFTJ 2015 represents the impact of Pope Francis’s message of compassion, mercy, and solidarity,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “The 1,200+ who will visit Congress will share this message in relation to key issues facing our country and world today.”
The Ignatian Solidarity Network is a national lay-led, faith-based, social justice organization that works to mobilize Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and ministries and the larger church throughout the United States in order to effect positive social change on critical issues facing the world. More information can be found at: www.ignatiansolidarity.net.