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December 11, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 22Oakland, CA

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Jesuits bring 3,000 youth to Columbus for annual ‘Teach-in’

Madison bishop
elected chair of
board of visitors
for Army school

Symbolic step toward Catholic-Orthodox unity

A basic guide to understanding elements of Islam

Step up efforts for peace in Lebanon, bishop urges Rice

Israeli Catholic scientist wins grant for devices to find cancer

Bishop clarifies plans for new high school

St. Bernard school receives early Christmas blessings

Father Jose Leon honored for
co-founding leadership of COR

SJND principal
to retire in June

Catholic Channel debuts on Sirius Radio

For the grieving, Christmas is a difficult time

Tips for coping during
the holiday season

Consider the Fair Trade option
when buying holiday gifts

Booklet takes the young back to Mary’s time

EWTN will broadcast Pope’s Christmas Mass

‘Picturing Mary’ documentary
debuts on public television

475th anniversary of apparition of
Our Lady of
Guadalupe

 

COMMENTARY
Separation wall is causing extreme hardship in Holy Land

Christians demoralized by Israelis continue to leave Bethlehem area

Poverty never takes a holiday, neither can our commitment

 

OBITUARIES
Sister Rita Moore, OP

Sister Mary Louise Williams, SNDdeN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesuits bring 3,000 youth to
Columbus for annual ‘Teach-in’

COLUMBUS, GA. -- For the past several years, “the Jesuit tent” has been a treasured rallying spot and teach-in space for young people from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes across the United States who meet each November to learn about social justice issues and to participate in the School of the Americas Watch vigil at Ft. Benning.

The SOA Watch, which includes teach-ins of its own, is an annual two-day event which brings thousands of people to Columbus to press for the closing of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The institute was established in 2001 as a successor to the 55-year-old School of the Americas, whose graduates have been implicated in human rights violations.

This year the popular Jesuit headquarters was not available for the Nov. 17-19 event because the City of Columbus had cordoned off the tent site for a municipal construction project. When Berkeley Jesuit scholastic Joseph Carver learned that the young people’s favorite gathering spot had been moved to the downtown Convention Center, he worried. “My God, what are we going to do without a tent?”

But as he walked into the center to present a scheduled talk, he felt the palpable energy of 3,000 cheering young people, and he knew that physical structures don’t really matter.

 

Participants carry mock coffins during the procession to the gates of Ft. Benning.
LORETTA EDMONSON PHOTO


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“I realize that you are the spirit of that tent,” he told his fired-up listeners.

Their amassed energy had begun to spark the evening before, when they arrived to take part in the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s annual Teach-in for Justice. The Teach-in presents Gospel-based social issues which embrace a variety of justice causes in addition to calling for the closing of the Ft. Benning military school, explained Ann Magovern, executive director of the San Francisco-based network.

“We started organizing (this event) with 15 Jesuits and former Jesuits who had responded to the murders of their colleagues in San Salvador" on Nov. 16, 1989, said Magovern.

The group wanted to inspire young people to put their faith into action, through learning and networking.

This year’s agenda focused on nonviolence, and “what it means to be living in a country at war,” said Magovern. Sessions emphasized Catholic social teachings, the just war theory, U.S. foreign policy, fair trade and sweat shop issues. They were open to non-Jesuit-affiliated SOAW participants, as well.

Carver, a student at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, challenged his listeners to aspire to “holy boldness,” which he said is “the call to resist the social sin of our world.
“We have all gotten really good at pretending that there is no connection between what we do and what we believe.

"I don’t have to tell you that the prevailing culture of America subtly and not so subtly whispers into our ears: tone down this religious thing. Don’t rock the secular boat.”
“That’s a totally different message from holy boldness which is about telling the truth about what I know to be just…and what I know to be wrong,” he said.

Carver related the tragic story of Maria Eugenia, “a Guatemalan who will forever bear scars on her body from cigar burns she received as she fought off repeated rapes from soldiers who had killed her husband and two-year-old son in front of her – soldiers involved in a war against their own people, soldiers trained right here.”

 

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