The pre-conference sessions offer IFTJ participants an opportunity to extend their Teach-In experience and deepen their knowledge of social justice issues, connect with spirituality, and network with the Ignatian family. IFTJ pre-sessions are free unless noted, but require registration.
PRE-SESSION #1 (11/3, 3:00-4:10)
Reflecting on their Legacy and What It Means to Us Today I
Presenter: Francisco Mena Ugarte, Executive Director, CRISPAZ, El Salvador
Nearly twenty-seven years ago six Jesuits and two lay women were murdered at the Jesuit university in San Salvador, El Salvador. These eight martyrs were just a few of the 70,000 innocent civilians killed during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. What happened that night in 1989? How has it impacted El Salvador, the Catholic Church, Jesuit institutions? What can the martyrs teach us about how to respond to injustice today?
NOTE: This session is specifically geared toward high school students who are seeking to familiarize themselves with the story of the Jesuit martyrs.
About the Presenter
Francisco Mena Uguarte is the Executive Director of CRISPAZ in El Salvador.
Getting to Know the UCA Martyrs and a Salvadoran Massacre Survivor
Presenters: Bob Lassalle-Klein, Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Holy Names University
Barbara Zavala, Salvadoran Massacre Survivor
Barbara Zavala is a Salvadoran refugee, torture survivor, and follower of Archbishop Romero (now a saint!), who will share her story and recollections of his ministry. Come to this workshop with Bob, Barbara, and other members of the Oakland Catholic Worker to hear recollections about the UCA Martyrs and Archbishop Oscar Romero as signs of the mysterious presence of God speaking to El Salvador and U.S citizens today.
NOTE: This session is specifically geared toward college-level students and above who are seeking to familiarize themselves with the story of the Jesuit martyrs.
About the Presenter
Bob Lassalle-Klein is the co-founder of the Oakland Catholic Worker, and the author of Blood and Ink: Ignacio Ellacuria, Jon Sobrino, and the Jesuit Martyrs of the University of Central America (2015), and Jon Sobrino: Spiritual Writings (2018). Fr. Sobrino, SJ, survivor of the 1989 Jesuit massacre, says Bob’s books call us “to take the crucified peoples down from the cross.”
Barbara Zavala is a Salvadoran refugee, torture survivor, and follower of Archbishop Romero (now a saint!), who will share her story and
recollections of his ministry.
Presenter: NETWORK: Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Want to feel prepared for Monday, and understand how to organize an in-district lobby visit once you return home? This training will go over the essential elements of an effective lobby visit. You will learn how to set up a meeting, how to build your meeting agenda, and how to do follow-up. This session is best for folks who have never attended a lobby visit before and might want a little practice before Monday, or for folks who want to take a bigger role in meeting with elected officials at home.
Skill Training for Interpersonal Conflicts: Nonviolent Communication
DC Peace Team and CMSM
In order to journey to the intersections, we will learn and practice essential skills to become better at engaging conflicts with people coming from different perspectives and experiences. We will elicit some troubling and destructive conflicts in our experience, learn about the importance of identifying needs and feelings, and practice the basic skills of nonviolent or compassionate communication to transform our conflicts and better build community. This method has proven effective in a wide range of situations, communities, and cultures. We will end with some time to name possible next steps as a community and as persons.
Please note: this session runs from 3:00-5:00 pm.
About the Presenters
The DC Peace Team empowers ordinary civilians to increasingly serve their communities as nonviolent peacemakers. CMSM serves the leaders of U.S. Catholic religious orders and institutes.
Ignatian Yoga: An Embodied Practice of Prayer & Reflection
Pat Cassidy, Ignatian Yoga
Join Pat Cassidy of Ignatian Yoga to explore the integration of Ignatian Spirituality and yoga through an embodied practice of prayer and reflection. As we enter into a weekend of learning, sharing, and taking action, let us first pause to take a look within to see how we are being called to live in this world. Yoga and Ignatian Spirituality offer us the opportunity to connect with ourselves, others, and the Divine in a holistic manner which then allows us to be present and active in our days. Join us as we explore movement with our bodies, stillness with our minds, and growth within our beings. All are welcome to join for this all-levels yoga session.
Empowered and Emboldened: Death Penalty Discussion
Catholic Mobilizing Network
Join Catholic Mobilizing Network for a powerful film preview of clips from “Where There is Darkness”, a new film focused on the death penalty. A dynamic discussion will follow highlighting how the recent revision to the Catholic Catechism on capital punishment emboldens our local efforts to engage in ending this practice.
Pre-Session #2 (11/3, 4:30-5:40)
Young Alumni Happy Hour Q&A
Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Emcee: James Martin, S.J.
Young alumni (ages 21-35), as well as current and former Jesuit Volunteers, are invited to attend a Q&A with Joan Rosenhauer with special guest emcee James Martin, SJ. The price includes one drink ticket and light appetizers.
This is a 21+ event; no undergraduate students will be permitted. Please note, this event starts at 4:15pm.
Answering the Call: Discipleship at the Intersection of Faith and Justice.
Jesuit School of Theology
Join us for a panel discussion with current Jesuit School of Theology (JST) students who will reflect upon God’s call in their lives. Panelists will invite attendees to consider how their faith may lead them to act in the world. Additionally, the session will provide resources and ideas that may help participants discern their own call.
Art and Beauty as Protest
Claudia Olivos, MFA, will help lead small group discussions on art as protest. Creating any type of beauty anywhere helps tip the scales toward Truth and the Infinite. Claudia specializes in Sacred Feminine painting, and will also lead a short meditation/prayer on our Sacred Mother. She originates from Chile, but has made her home in DC, using art to work with troubled youth and bring the face of women into Sacred Art. Hosted by Joy Dale and Denise Travers of Contemplative Rebellion: Joy and Denise will also say a few words about CR and how they use design to communicate support for social justice issues.
Making the Covenant
Rev. Terrance McKinley, Sojourners
Strategies and Coalition Building to Address Police Violence Against African American Men and Women
Faith, Culture and the News: America Media in Your Classroom and Office
Eric Sundrop, S.J., America Media
America Media is partnering with schools across the country to deliver our award-winning content in new ways that are tailored to the needs of the classroom and your campus ministry office. America provides a smart, Catholic take on faith, culture and the news. Stop by to learn more about these exciting new programs and receive free materials for your school.
High School Networking Sessions
A casual space for high school students and staff to get to know fellow high school delegations at the Teach-In. Facilitators will provide prompts for both small and large group conversations that open up reflection on the IFTJ theme and participants’ passions. Rooms will be capped at 40 participants to promote greater interaction.
T-Shirt Swap (11/3, 9:30-10:30pm)
You’re invited to the annual IFTJ t-shirt swap, a fun element that challenges people to interact with each other. This year the “Swap” will incorporate social-responsibility—where WERE those t-shirts made, and what are conditions like for workers in those countries? How can you help make sure your school is buying ethically, according to our best values, to integrate faith and justice? Bring a t-shirt representing your institution (or a Jesuit/Catholic institution you are connected with, an alumnus of, etc.) that is gently used to trade with someone from another institution. The “Swap” will happen on Saturday night after closing prayer.
This event is open to everyone; no RSVP required. Just bring yourself and a T-shirt to swap!