Weston Youth Attends National Social Justice Conference

Thomas Russo of Weston, a senior at Boston College High School, together with 8 other BC High students and accompanied by Margaret Scanlon of the BC High Religious Education department and Father Ron Perry, SJ., Rector of BC High, joined more than 1,000 other attendees at the 16th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, DC, from November 16-18, 2013.

The Teach-In, a three day learning and prayer experience, is designed to connect students and faculty from Jesuit institutions around the U.S. to fight for and advocate on behalf of important social justice issues. This year, the conference focused on immigration reform. They met with Senators Markey and Warren, Congressman Kennedy, Representative McGovern, protesting immigration policies that often split up families. The students also advocated for fair wages, and access to food for low-income families through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Started in 1997, the Teach-in takes place in mid-November to commemorate the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. The six Jesuit priests and two companions were murdered on November 16, 1989, in El Salvador for their work advocating on behalf of the economically poor in that country.

Russo and the group gathered this year in the spirit of these Jesuit martyrs using their lives and ministry as inspiration for discovering the injustices of today and how to engage in them.  The Teach-In is a place where people are empowered, re-energized, inspired, challenged, and supported by a community that sees faith and justice integrally linked.

Boston College High School is a Jesuit, Catholic, college-preparatory school for young men founded in 1863.  The school enrolls approximately 1600 students from more than 100 communities in eastern Massachusetts. For more http://www.bchigh.edu

Isabella Jancourtz December 14, 2013 at 02:00 PM
I too am a Christian and an activist for justice and peace. I found this photo of a group of young white men marching around carrying white crosses to be very jarring. I know these BC High students stand for values in direct opposition to those of the KKK, but do they have to be quite so militant about expressing their beliefs? Have they considered what this "Onward Christian Soldiers" moment might mean to their fellow human beings who may not be Christians? On the other hand, I sincerely congratulate Tom Russo and the 1600 other students at the Teach-In for their work on the issues of immigration reform and economic justice.
William Burke December 14, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I am sorry that I didn't explain why the boys are holding white crosses. Each cross represents one of the six Jesuit priests and 2 house keepers martyred in El Salvador. They were not marching, they were standing in prayer. So I am sorry you were shocked by the photo, but there was no marching, no hoods, no "Onward Christian Soldiers". Just Tom and 8 other BCH boys praying to the 8 El Salvador martyrs.
Isabella Jancourtz December 15, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Thanks, William, I really appreciate that explanation.


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