Week Celebrates Jesuit Heritage
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 02:01
This week, it will not be uncommon to see a Jesuit spiking a volleyball in Yates Field House, playing guitar in McNeir Auditorium or leading a Hindu worship service.
These happenings are among the events of the 13th annual Jesuit Heritage Week, a celebration honoring the Jesuit tradition at Georgetown that began with an opening mass in Gaston Hall Sunday and will continue until Saturday.
“The goal is to help people understand the tradition of which they are a part, and its different aspects: academic, spiritual, artistic and social,” said Vice President for the Office of Mission and Ministry Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J.
Jesuit Heritage Week was founded in 2000 by students aiming to connect undergraduates with Jesuits. Most Jesuit universities in the United States have similar celebrations of their heritage.
O’Brien advised the Jesuit Heritage Week student committee, which was led by co-chairs Marya Pulaski (COL ’13) and John Collins (COL ’14).
“I chose [Pulaski and Collins] because they are deeply devoted to our Jesuit tradition,” O’Brien said. “They are very active in university life, creative and deeply committed to developing their faith life and putting it into action. They embody the spirit of Georgetown.”
This year, the planning committee reduced the number of events from 28 to 22 after finding that last year’s celebration lacked focus. Specific events included in the week-long celebration will be different this year, with new additions including a Jesuits vs. Students Shootout during the men’s basketball game against Seton Hall University Wednesday and a discussion of Jesuit values and LGBTQ identity.
The committee also increased the event’s social media presence by promoting the week’s events through Facebook and Twitter, as did University President John J. DeGioia, who sent a campus-wide email and mentioned the week’s events on his Facebook page.
Pulaski and Collins worked closely with other members of the Georgetown community, including the department of performing arts, Lauinger Library staff and non-Catholic religious groups.
Pulaski and Collins mentioned Lives of the Georgetown Jesuits, an event where Jesuits will share their stories with students and parents, and the Jesuit Heritage Week Jam, at which Fr. Patrick Rogers, S.J., will perform alongside students and members of Campus Ministry, as highlights.
Pulaski stressed that the Heritage Week is a representation of Georgetown’s core Jesuit values in action.
“I’d like to think that Jesuit values are lived out at Georgetown,” Pulaski said. “This is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the Jesuit values that we see on a daily basis but don’t always recognize. We can really see these values come alive in the student body.”