Today marks the sixth of eight days spanning Jesuit Heritage Week 2005 at Georgetown. Every year Jesuits, industrious students and administrators from various departments including Campus inistry, the Provost’s office and the President’s office come together to plan a variety of events to celebrate the men of the Society of Jesus that guide our university.

Far too often, people at Georgetown invoke our “Jesuit heritage” without fully understanding who the Jesuits are and what they believe. All members of the Georgetown community should embrace Jesuit Heritage Week as an opportunity to more fully grasp the guiding principles on which Georgetown rests.

Since the university’s inception, the Jesuits have played a crucial role on the Hilltop. Yet as the number of Jesuits among ranks of the active faculty continues to dwindle, events like those of Jesuit Heritage Week have become increasingly important. As a Jesuit institution, Georgetown’s students, professors and administrators must strive to incorporate the unique, Jesuit qualities of service, spirituality and reflection into their everyday lives.

In honoring the Jesuits, this week has taken a page right out of the Jesuit playbook – being active in all aspects of life. The planners of Jesuit Heritage Week have done a commendable job in arranging a week of activities that appeal to everyone in the campus community. This diverse series of events – ranging from a Jesuit cabaret tonight to a service project tomorrow morning to Wednesday’s “Spike a Jesuit” volleyball match – ensures that all students can find something that will both interest and enrich them.

Jesuits constantly surround and influence students’ lives on campus. From serving as chaplains in our residence halls to teaching our classes to leading our masses, the unique spirit of the Jesuits helps set Georgetown apart. As Jesuit Heritage Week comes to a close, we must all keep in mind that Jesuits and students do not interact solely during a one-week period every winter. Students and Jesuits should seek out other opportunities to interact throughout the year so that all students can build their understanding of this vibrant part of Georgetown’s heritage.

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