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Uniting Jesuit Frontiers – WUJA 2017 Congress
While we gather as Jesuit alumni and friends, we will find God within and among each other.
And together, we will discern how to promote peace and justice in a global and sustainable world.
From June 28-July 2, 2017, the World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) met for the first time ever in North America, at John Carroll University, in Cleveland, Ohio. Past events have been in Rome, Versailles, Sydney, Kolkata, Bujumbura and Medellin.
The World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA), founded in 1956, holds an international Congress every four years to gather Jesuit friends and alumni—from as many as 50 countries representing a global network of Jesuit ministries—to build international networks and affirm Jesuit centric values for a greater good.
WUJA 2017 gathered renowned, world-class speakers committed to Uniting Our Jesuit Frontiers in the arts, business, science, law, spirituality, theology, faith and leadership, service, and justice. The program offered 28 individual sessions in a concurrent track format so that attendees could select sessions of interest to them.
Keynote speakers included: the Very Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States; Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of the social enterprise Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles; Chris Lowney, best-selling author and current board chair of Catholic Health Initiatives; Katherine Marshall, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and Rev. Peter Balleis, SJ, director of Jesuit Worldwide Learning–Higher Education at the Margins (JWL), a collaborative global initiative that provides certificate and diploma programs to those who live in refugee camps and in other places where higher learning is out of reach.
Attendees, made up of alumni and friends of Jesuit institutions, enjoyed countless opportunities to connect, learn and celebrate, providing a unique platform for participants to take shared experiences back to their country to help shape our society for the common good.
#WUJA2017 was used on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates of the event. Here are some of the highlights.
Alain Deneef, WUJA President
“Discernment, networking and collaboration are the three graces I would call upon us” articulated Alain Deneef, WUJA president in his welcome speech.
Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J. General of the Society of Jesus in his speech streamed from Rome, emphasised the importance of collaboration and networking in light of the last General Congregation (GC36). “Today we are more aware of the potential that we have if we work together. Our schools are attended by men and women from a great variety of socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. You have an incredible reach in the world and we can only dream of what you could do if the strong local associations were united at the level of strong national and regional associations that form an even stronger world association.” WE are pushing that! – said the General referring to the GC36 and invited the delegates to also think along these lines of collaboration.