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The Aquilian

    Students further a connection with God at the Arrupe Summit

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    (Photo by: Ignatian Solidarity Network

    During the last weekend of February, six of Gonzaga’s students participated in the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Arrupe Summit. A gathering of student leaders across other Jesuit high schools in the country focused on developing their Ignatian-inspired leadership skills. The students who attended spanned across all grades and consisted of men who desired to deepen their faith through the Summit. 

    The participants this year included E.J. Anders, junior, Alec Easter, junior, James Gnecco, senior, Tyler Kaczmarek, sophomore, Quinn Kirchner, sophomore and Jack Wood, senior. The weekend consisted of meaningful and fruitful discussions that fostered their understanding of Arrupe’s life and leadership and how they could address social justice issues both abroad and our community. 

    “I saw a lot of community across schools from across the country. Even though Gonzaga is the only school with a homeless shelter, a lot of other schools are just as if not more driven to help the homeless as we are,” Gnecco said, explaining what he thought was impactful from the Summit. 

    The Arrupe Summit collaborated with other Jesuit schools from all across the country. The Summit students learned about Father Pedro Arrupe and how he could model how student leaders can practice a faith that practices justice. Students learned how other schools dealt with social justice issues throughout the weekend. Gonzaga students shared their feelings and the initiative they created to fight social injustice in our community. 

    Typically, the Arrupe Summit is held regionally across the United States; however, this year, the Arrupe Summit was held over two virtual summits through Zoom due to the pandemic. This year students had the opportunity to connect with students across the country in a meaningful way that would not usually have been possible. The Summit was held over two days, from Friday, Feb. 26 to Saturday, Feb. 27. Students had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers and lead discussion groups with their peers. 

     

    “As a representative of Gonzaga, I shared with how our school is engaged in issues-particularly homelessness and movements like BLM and BHM,” Wood said, explaining what he shared within the Arrupe Summit’s discussion block. 

    Students engaged in powerful conversations and were allowed to craft their experiences through interaction. 

    “It was interesting to see what other schools are doing and to see what programs they were putting in place and what conversations they are having with each other. That part, in particular, stood out to me,” said Mr. Michael Libunao-Macalintal, assistant director of campus ministry, on what stood out to him from the Arrupe Summit.

    Mr. Michael Libunao-Macalintal holds a post-summit meeting with students to discuss their reactions to the event.
    (Photo Credit by Mr. Michael Libunao-Macalintal)

    Gonzaga students shared their thoughts and beliefs and ways to better their community, both at Gonzaga and outside of campus. Through the Summit, these leaders improved their connection with God and the community as a whole as they began to dive deeper into what are some of the “roots” of the issues that Gonzaga faces. 

    “We have students who I think, and now I know who are committed to transforming this community in a truly loving way. Through a desire for it to be different, and through a desire to make a change that doesn’t come out of a place of anger, but rather through a deep sense of love for the community,” Mr. Libunao-Macalintal said.

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