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Jesuit Heritage Week Includes Faith, Academics, Music and More

Jesuit Heritage Week 2013

January 25, 2013 – Georgetown will celebrate its 13th annual Jesuit Heritage Week (JHW) Jan. 27-Feb. 2 with academic, musical, interfaith, service and social events designed for the mind, body and spirit.

The week, organized by a committee of students with help from the Office of Mission and Ministry, allows the university community to reflect on the Georgetown’s Jesuit identity and the Ignatian values upon which it was founded.

“We live out our Jesuit tradition every day, but just like birthdays and anniversaries, we need to be very intentional about celebrating our traditions so that we don’t forget them,” says Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., Georgetown’s vice president of mission and ministry.

Faith, Hope and Love

Mark Shriver, senior vice president for Save the Children’s U.S. Programs, will visit campus Jan. 28 to participate in the week’s events. The Jesuit-educated author of A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver will talk about how his late father taught him about faith, hope and love.

“The Shriver and Kennedy family have long had an association with Georgetown … so we’re glad to welcome him on campus,” says O’Brien.

The author’s late parents, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver provided support for the university’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and his siblings – Maria Shriver (C’77) and Anthony Shriver (C’88) – are Georgetown alumni.

Jesuit Principles

Throughout the week Jesuits will attend prayer services of other faiths on campus to talk about Ignatian values. Panel discussions on the impact of Jesuits in Asia and the value of a Jesuit education are also among the week’s activities.

“I very purposefully chose to come to Georgetown because it was a Jesuit school,” says Georgetown senior Marya Pulaski (C’13), who leads the JHW student committee with John Collins (C’14).

“Georgetown, with its innumerable strengths, attracts students for a whole variety of reasons,” she says. “I’d like to think that Georgetown’s Jesuit principles permeate all aspects of life here even beyond the classroom or [social justice] programming.”

Expression Through Art, Music

Rev. John O’Malley, S.J., a university professor at Georgetown, will talk about the history of early Jesuits and the arts and Rev. Frank Kennedy, S.J., a professor at Boston College, will speak on his research on Jesuit contributions to opera.

Other musical events include the JHW Jam, featuring performances Rev. Patrick Rogers, S.J., and student musicians. Georgetown’s Friday Music Series will feature Musica Jesuitica, performed by the Modern Musick ensemble, as part of the week’s events.

“We’re trying to blend the intellectual, the artistic and the spiritual, which are all expressions of our Jesuit tradition,” O’Brien says.  

Service and Community

Popular JHW events, such as Spike-A-Jesuit and the Lives of Georgetown Jesuits will return this year.

The Jan. 29 Spike-a-Jesuit competition will once again pit students against a team of Jesuits in a game of volleyball.

A new event added this year will have students and Jesuits competing on the basketball court on Jan. 30. The halftime show for the Georgetown vs. Seton Hall game at the Verizon Center on Jan. 30 will feature a Jesuit-student basketball-shooting contest.

The week closes out Feb. 2 with a service project at Nativity Shelter for Women in the Brightwood section of Washington, D.C. Later that day members of the university’s Jesuit community will talk about their experiences within the Society of Jesus during the Lives of Georgetown Jesuits discussion.

“Part of being at a Jesuit school is about educating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. As a Jesuit university we seek to bring together learning, faith and service,” says O’Brien. “We’re about integrating learning, which is what universities do; faith, which is what Catholic or religiously based institutions do; and service, which is what Jesuit universities add to the mix.”

For a complete list of JHW events visit the website.

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