By Gordon Bess
On Monday, May 9, seven Loyola juniors were interviewed by the Ireland-based Catholic textbook company, Veritas, about their trip to Washington, D.C. last November, for the national Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) Family Teach-In for Justice conference.
Veritas has been conducting interviews about social justice work at high schools across the United States.
Theology teacher Thomas Cendejas, who led the trip, notified the company about Loyola’s participation in the ISN conference.
The video interviews that Veritas conducted at other high schools are primarily concerned with students and their specific community service projects, according to Cendejas. The Ignatian Solidarity Network conference that Loyola students travelled to specifically focused on “changing social structure as a whole,” said Cendejas.
“I don’t know that many schools encourage their students to do the other foot of social justice, which is to advocate for a change in social structure,” Cendejas said.
In addition to meeting Supreme Court Justice Soñia Sotomayor, the Loyola students met with students from other Jesuit high schools and universities from across the country to lobby Congress members.
Cendejas said, “I think it’s a positive [thing]for Loyola because we are seen as a school that’s engaged in all aspects of Catholic Social Teaching.”
Students who went on the trip to Washington were selected to talk to Veritas in Ruppert Hall about their individual experience on the ISN trip.
The videos that Veritas put together will include both the student talking and pictures from the trip.
Cendejas said that he believes the Loyola trip gained interest originally because of how the students were able to “honor the Jesuit martyrs by learning about Catholic social teaching, and then continue the work of the martyrs by going to Congress, dressing up, and lobbying Congress for the poor.”