Annual Mission Week Reinforces Jesuit Values


Mary Feeney, administrative assistant in biology, sorts donations at Cradles to Crayons during a previous Mission Week.

Each year, Saint Joseph's hosts a dedicated week of workshops, activities and discussions designed to encourage a deeper engagement with the University’s Jesuit goals. Rooted in the practice of the Examen, in which participants prayerfully think about their day and how to improve themselves for the next day, Mission Week seeks to help members of the University community grow in understanding, acceptance and hope.

Launched in 2015, Mission Week reinforces Saint Joseph’s mission statement by offering events that promote a lifelong commitment to critical thinking, making ethical decisions and pursuing social justice. The theme for the sixth annual Mission Week is “Thinking Anew, Acting Anew,” inspired by the University’s strategic plan of the same name.

“Our Ingatian values call us to care for the whole person, but in current times, we often falter in the way we treat ourselves, each other and the world at large,” says Daniel R. J. Joyce ’88, S.J., executive director of mission programs. “The events that we have arranged for this week will urge us to reconsider cura personalis [care for the entire person] and find new avenues of dialogue to engage with each other.”

Throughout the week, departments across campus will collect new, packaged socks and underwear for Cradles to Crayons , a nonprofit providing clothing and supplies to local children in need. The collected donations will be delivered to Cradles to Crayons’ warehouse in Philadelphia at the end of the week.

Two retreat experiences will precede the official kickoff to Mission Week. The first, open to all class years, uses art and creativity to immerse participants in prayer and spirituality. The second, designed for seniors, will focus on preparing for life after graduation. Both will be held at the Saint Raphaela Retreat House in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

The schedule for Mission Week is as follows:

Sunday, Feb. 16

Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society Inductions

Seventy-six students and members of our campus community will be inducted into the only international honor society that bears the name “Jesuit.” The ceremony will include special honors inductions for Catherine Collins, reference librarian; Cheryl A. McConnell, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs; Elaine Terry, Ph.D., assistant professor of math; Jeannine Shantz, academic computer services manager; and Mary-Elaine Perry, Ed.D., Title IX coordinator.

Chapel of Saint Joseph, 11 a.m.

Mission Week Opening Masses

A reflection will be offered at each service by Jessica Kerber, ACJ, Campus Minister.

Chapel of Saint Joseph, 7 and 9 p.m.

Monday Feb. 17

Mindful Mondays - Drop-in Mindful Meditation

Experienced meditation practitioners will provide a half-hour guided meditation session to faculty, staff and students.

Campion Student Center Sunroom 1, 11:30 a.m.

Advancing Pennsylvania’s “Greenness”

Amanda Lapham, a community organizer and "climate defender" for PennEnvironment, will discuss energy conservation, reducing plastic waste, and spreading awareness on climate change through connecting all sectors of society in Pennsylvania.

Campion Student Center Sunroom 1, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 18

Socks for Haiti

Socks featuring the likenesses of St. Ignatius, St. Patrick and St. Joseph will be on sale, with proceeds funding special education projects at Foi et Joi, a network of Jesuit schools in Haiti.

Campion Student Center, 11 a.m. ­– 1 p.m.

Panel Discussion on Border Immersion Experiences

Members of the SJU community who have participated in immersion trips to the U.S.-Mexico Border will share their experiences.

Campion Student Center, Presidents’ Lounge, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 19

Examen in Your Office, Hall or Home

Every department and student organization is encouraged to form a group to engage the Ignatian Examen. Margaret Scott, ACJ, of the Saint Raphaela Retreat House has created a guided Examen video that will lead participants through the process.

All Day

Mission Animation Guide for Institutional Strategies: Managing Through the Rapid Changes in Higher Education

Cheryl A. McConnell, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Timothy Swift, Ph.D., associate professor of management, will lead a discussion on the shifting higher education industry and ways that Saint Joseph’s can navigate the changes.

Mandeville Hall, Wolfington Teletorium, 3:30 p.m

#BeCivil Poster Series Showcase

Formed by the University Student Senate, #BeCivil is a campaign designed to promote open dialogue, action and education regarding the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion across campus.

Campion Student Center, North Lounge, 5 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 20

Luncheon Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador

Members of the University community will gather for a presentation over lunch to hear reflections about the SJU delegation's recent trip to El Salvador and how the martyrs' sacrifice continues to inspire the mission of Jesuit institutions today.

Campion Student Center, Doyle Banquet Hall South

Socks for Haiti

Socks featuring the likenesses of St. Ignatius, St. Patrick and St. Joseph will be on sale, with proceeds funding special education projects at Foi et Joi, a network of Jesuit schools in Haiti.

Campion Student Center, 11 a.m. ­– 1 p.m.

Day of Dialogue

Organized by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, this day is meant to build upon conversations that have already begun throughout the campus community by providing practical, participatory and action-oriented sessions. SJU community members are encouraged to participate in the full day experience; however, the program is organized so that participants can join sessions throughout the day as their schedule permits.

Various Locations, 12:30 – 6 p.m. | Full schedule and registration information available online .

Friday, Feb. 21

Cradles to Crayons Employee Service Immersion

Employees will spend part of the day working with Cradles to Crayon at their new location near East Falls, helping them send out love to children all over the city.

Shifts begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. | Signup required; form and more information available online .

African American Music in Philadelphia Symposium

Three eminent music historians will join a conversation with SJU students on music making in black communities in Philadelphia.

Cardinal Foley Center, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 22

Student Ignatian Leadership Conference

Students who are rising leaders on campus will gain insight and skills on how to grow as leaders at SJU. A keynote speech will be delivered by Rodolfo Casals, S.J., a vocation promoter for the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of Jesuits.

Mandeville Hall, Wolfington Teletorium, 9 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 23

Mission Week Closing Masses

Rodolfo Casals, S.J., will preside over the liturgies and offer a reflection.

Chapel of Saint Joseph, 7 and 9 p.m.

A full calendar of events can be found on the Mission Week website .