Canisius College is one of twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States of America, and one of over two hundred worldwide! There is power but also a sense of family in this Ignatian network.

Two thousand members of Jesuit institutions gathered on November 3-5 for the 21st annual Ignatian Family Teach-in, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the gathering is to come together in the spirit of our mutual Catholic, Jesuit mission to educate, listen, and advocate for those most on the margins.

Canisius College sent a delegation of ten students, led by seniors Toby Patrick and Margaret Treichler, and associate campus minister, Kaitlyn Buehlmann. The student group included members of the Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC), Undergraduate Student Association (USA), Women and Gender Studies, Peace Action Canisius, and Unity. The Teach-in is a three-day experience that includes hearing from a variety of nationally-known speakers, workshops, prayers, and advocacy training. It culminates with delegates visiting their federal representatives on Capitol Hill to talk about priority issues. This year’s focus was humane immigration and criminal justice reforms.

Kaitlyn Buehlmann ’14 described seeing the changes in the delegation: “People feel like their voice matters. Participants are nervous, then empowered, and feel like they can continue their advocacy work. There’s this power of connection—it is so impactful to meet thousands of other people committed to these issues. They are part of an Ignatian Family that meets at the intersection of a faith that does justice.”

Toby Patrick ’19 experienced the Teach-in for the second time. He appreciated the networking between students from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities, post-graduate volunteer programs, and other -ministries. Toby said, “At the Teach-in, you’re becoming a contemplative in action.”

Margaret Treichler ’19, presented a workshop on intersectional feminism during her third Teach-in. She reflected that the Teach-in “is the embodiment of the Canisius education. We spend four years learning about Jesuit values, but it’s hard to be a college student and know how to put this into action. This is an outlet to do, express, and feel empowered…and know your college stands for.”

To deepen your connection with the Ignatian Family, check out the Ignatian Solidarity Network (https://ignatiansolidarity.net/), the organizers of the Ignatian Family Teach-ins and many other programs, resources, and workshops.