This past summer, three of our current Grade 11 students attended the Be The Light Institute at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After attending the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s 2018 Arrupe Lecture in Maryland last March, Maggie M ’20, Zoe BP ’20 and Jessica C ’20 jumped at the chance to attend the immersion program at Canisius College. For one week, they stayed on campus at Canisius and participated in classes paired with immersion service learning in Buffalo communities. Information about the program can be found here. Below is a reflection written by Jessica C ’20 on her experience:
“In July of 2018, I went to the Be The Light Institute at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Over the course of the program, I was able to further my understanding of a faith that does justice.
Be The Light is a theology institute where students can learn more about social justice. We had daily reflections and courses on philosophy, justice, ethics and advocacy. We made trips into Buffalo for service work where we met a woman who had been in ICE detention for two and a half years, worked in a homeless shelter for families, spent time with immigrants and refugees, and much more. We were surrounded by other students who were passionate about justice, politics and creating social change. We were able to understand issues in our world today through a Jesuit perspective. We discussed how the Bible teaches us to help and protect foreigners, in conjunction with accepting and supporting immigrants. We discussed everything from unconditional love to the way the Church has affected the lives of LGBT people and how we can improve that in the future. We learned about the lives of refugees, people experiencing homelessness, housing inequality and gentrification.
After attending Be The Light, I’m focusing on social justice initiatives that are important to me, and making positive change with the SBC Social Justice Club. I feel more capable to work for this change after learning with people of ambition, faith and unwavering hope for the future.”