Gonzaga Celebrates Ignatian Heritage Day

On Wednesday, April 24th, the Gonzaga community came together for Ignatian Heritage Day, a day of service for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Over 700 students served throughout the DMV with various food pantries, community gardens, affordable housing complexes, schools, retirement homes, and more.

Seniors spent the day learning to be advocates for issues they care most about. They attended breakout sessions to learn about issues including immigration, climate justice, and homelessness, given by various speakers within our Jesuit Network and beyond. Two groups of seniors ended their day on Capitol Hill, meeting with staffers from the offices of Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

The theme for the day was “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly” (Micah 6:8), words that help us stay rooted in the Gospel as we answer the call to go to the margins. We were joined by Chris Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, who spoke to the student body about the spiritual and service journeys of seemingly ordinary men who became remarkable, including Saint Ignatius Loyola, Fr. Fernando Cardenal, and Fr. Pedro Arrupe, who advised, "Substituting love for self-interest is the driving force of society.”

Junior Kai Jones spoke of his service with Campus Kitchen, the Father McKenna Center and Unique Residential, where he helped a blind woman play bingo and developed a long-term friendship with her. During his McKenna immersion experience, Kai sketched portraits of the guests. “Connecting with different people made me see God in them,” he explained. “They deserve our service and our love.” Kai offered simple advice to those seeking to live out service: “Find that spark.”

Ignatian Heritage Service Day (2024)
Celebrating 200 Years of Jesuit Education in the Nation's Capital