From Sept. 29 to Oct. 6, Fordham University launched its annual Ignatian Week, a series of events celebrating St. Ignatius and the formation of the Jesuit community at Fordham.
Ignatian Week opened with a mass at the Blessed Rupert Mayer Chapel at Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC). The chapel was full of students and staff alike.
Ignatian Week featured other events that tied the Jesuit messages spread by St. Ignatius to the daily concerns of students at the university. These included lunch with the topic “What Matters to Me and Why,” community engagement networking events and a very popular discussion titled “Religion and Resistance: Spirituality & Activism in the Trump Era.”
Erin Hoffman, director of Campus Ministry, said that the topic of this year’s Ignatian Week is “embracing solidarity.”
“The Creative Arts Festival is what I’m most excited for,” Hoffman said. “It is our first ever student film festival that we are also expanding to all varieties of art. Spoken word, film, dance and anything students want to perform.”
To Hoffman, embracing solidarity is about mutually walking with one another. “Solidarity is embracing one another’s stories and narratives in a way that isn’t just hearing and giving service,” she said. “If we are truly going to be in solidarity, it has to be a long-term commitment and not singular occurrences.”
Emma Quinn, Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’20 and a student employee at Campus Ministry, hung up posters last week laying out all of the events. “I think students will see the schedule and hopefully there are events that interest them, even if they are not a part of campus ministry,” Quinn said.
Fordham uses many of the Jesuit messages spread by St. Ignatius. For example, Magis, Cura Personalis and Men and Women for others are messages that everyone on campus is taught at one point attending Fordham, Quinn explained.
Julianne Holmquist, FCLC ’21, is a student Sacristan involved in Campus Ministry. Holmquist said she was excited for the resistance in the Trump era talk because “it is important to not ascribe religion to traditional Republicanism and instead see it as a place to help liberate society.”
Kyle Kilkenny, FCLC ’19, a peer minister and resident assistant, attended the Trump era talk. This was the event he most looked forward to. “I think spirituality could illuminate a way to bring communities together in a polarized nation.”
Not all students attended the events at Ignatian Week. Despite this, students still understood the Ignatian message the week intended to promote.
Maria Helena Carvallo, FCLC ’21 and a peer minister, did not attend many events during the week since she was busy with classes and clubs. “Even though I don’t attend every event from Ignatian Week, I still think that campus ministry is a place where I can be myself and share my perspective on life,” she said.
Jamie Tao, FCLC ’21, said she doesn’t plan on attending any events. She does, however, see the Jesuit message throughout Fordham’s curriculum.
“Fordham’s education helped me kickstart my internships last summer,” Tao said. “There was an internship class that sprinkled in a lot about not stressing yourself out at work and keeping life balanced. They talked about spiritual elements that help, like meditation and prayer.”