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Jesuit Heritage Week Expands to Include Qatar Campus

Jesuit Heritage Week 2014 Photo

January 23, 2014 – For the first time, Georgetown will expand its annual Jesuit Heritage Week to the university’s School of Foreign Service campus in Doha, Qatar.

The celebration of Jesuit heritage at the university, now in its 14th year, takes place Jan. 26-Feb. 1.

“The Jesuits are a universal order of priests and from the beginning our mission has been global,” explains Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry. “This extension of celebrating the week in Doha reflects our global commitments today, and it shows that Jesuits and Jesuit universities are active in all parts of the world.”

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


An opening Mass will take place on Jan. 26 at the SFS-Qatar campus with Rev. Tom Michel, S.J., senior fellow, Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Woodstock Theological Center. The Mass is followed by an Inaugural Interfaith Prayer on Faith and Justice.

Rev. Bambang Sipayung, S.J., director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Asia Pacific, will serve as the Doha campus keynote speaker on Jan. 27, and Jan. 30 will feature a session for students to participate in activities with Best Buddies from the Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs.

The nondenominational ESCAPE retreat for first-year SFS-Q students will take place Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Sealine Beach Resort in the Arabian desert. 


Events on the Main Campus include a Hindu prayer service, an opening Mass and reception events on Sunday, followed by a Jan. 27 "D.C.-Doha Dialogue" featuring members of the Society of Jesus and students in Washington, D.C., and Qatar talking through telepresence technology about the meaning of a Jesuit education.

As in previous years, English Professor John Glavin will lead a Main Campus tour of Jesuit iconography (Jan. 27) and the Spike-A-Jesuit volleyball game pitting Jesuits against students will take place on Jan. 29.

Numerous meditation sessions are held throughout the week, and students and Jesuits will also compete against each other during halftime at the Georgetown vs. Villanova men's basketball game at the Verizon Center on Jan. 27.

The week on Main Campus closes out Feb. 1 with an evening of stories from Georgetown Jesuits for students and their families.

Homeboy Impact

Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J., author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, will serve as this year’s Main Campus invited speaker on Jan. 28.

Boyle’s book recalls his more than 20 years of helping young men and women in Los Angeles barrios to avoid gang life through his Homeboy Industries, and how these individuals positively affected his own faith.

“Father Boyle is a remarkable Jesuit and human being,” O’Brien says. “He is deeply committed to the poor and marginalized in Los Angeles.”

Homeboy Industries, which Boyle established in 1988, is considered the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the United States.

“Father Boyle’s commitment to these young people is inspiring," O’Brien adds. "Homeboy Industries is now a multifaceted enterprise that has given new hope to these former gang members and has literally saved some of their lives.”

Restoration Celebration

Georgetown also will mark the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus with a Jan. 27 presentation of articles and historic materials held by the University Library and Special Collections Research Center.

In 1773, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuit order, and Pope Pius VII didn’t restore it until 1814. A large number of Jesuit colleges and universities were established in the period following the restoration.

“We’re celebrating that 200th anniversary along with Jesuit universities around the world this year... not only to celebrate the restoration, but to look at the role of Jesuits today,” O’Brien says. “Our hope every year is that our community appreciates the breadth and depth of the Jesuit tradition in education, spirituality and social justice, so each person can try to translate that tradition into their own life’s work while here at Georgetown.

For a complete list of the week's events visit the website.

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