Two Wheeling Jesuit University Graduates to Present at this Year’s Ignatian Family Teach-In

  WJ News
  Thursday, November 2, 2017 10:22 AM
  WJU News, Academics, Alumni

Wheeling, WV

Group of WJU Students and Staff to Attend Event Once Again This Year

Two Wheeling Jesuit graduates will be presenters at this year’s Ignatian Family Teach-In Nov. 4-6, where nearly 2,000 individuals will gather for the 20th annual event in Washington, D.C.

The yearly gathering addresses social justice issues in the context of Catholic faith tradition—this year with a primary focus on racism and immigration. Known as the largest annual Catholic social justice gathering in the United States, the Teach-In attracts many young people who represent more than 120 Jesuit and other Catholic universities, high schools and parishes in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico and El Salvador.

Elizabeth Nawrocki, WJU class of 2016, former Jesuit volunteer, and current graduate student at Loyola University Maryland, will join a panel entitled Living Laudato Si’: Environmental Justice and the Jesuit Network. Michael Iafrate, who holds bachelors and graduate degrees from WJU, will serve as an Ignatian Network speaker. He will talk on the main stage on the topic Taking our Place in the New Appalachian Story. He will share the message of The Telling Takes Us Home as it relates to Laudato Si’ and the Jesuit mission, presenting a Catholic approach of caring for our common home by thinking globally and acting locally.

In addition, Wheeling Jesuit will have 17 students and staff once again participating at the Teach-In.

“Participating in the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is one of the best ways we form our students in WJU mission. Each year, we are excited to take our students to the Teach-In, because they leave with a unique understanding of what it means to have a Jesuit education. They learn how to advocate for issues they believe in, and they come back more informed and excited to make change in our local community. It is an awesome experience to see them learning to become men and women for others,” said Colleen Ryan-Mayrand, director of the Service for Social Action Center at WJU.

Those attending the Teach-In are: Maddie Davin, Faith Harris, Jacqualyn Glorioso, Tara Shaniah, Kailee Latocha, Stephen Gretchen, Candace Drizk, Melissa Rios, Caryce McGurn, Darla Yatilman, Azia Yalap, Jake Kim, Anntasia Arias, Sabrina Soriana, Genesis Ramirez, Jon Roque Castro and Jessica Holubeck from the admissions office and Ryan-Mayrand.

Initiated in 1997 in Columbus, Georgia, the Teach-In commences yearly in mid-November to commemorate the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador. The six Jesuit priests and their two companions were murdered on Nov. 16, 1989 for speaking out against the country’s tumultuous civil war. The Teach-In relocated from Georgia to Washington, D.C. in 2010 in response to the growing interest in legislative advocacy and accompanying educational opportunities.

On the morning of Monday, Nov 6, attendees will gather at Columbus Circle for a public witness, gathering with signs, banners and voices to pray, listen to active advocates, and recommit to work for justice. The Teach-In then culminates with what is estimated to be the largest Catholic advocacy day of the year. Nearly 1,400 individuals will proceed to legislative advocacy meetings with members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to enact immigration and criminal justice reform.

The Teach-In also offers more than 50 breakout sessions, presented by national and international speakers, including Rev. James Martin, S.J., bestselling author and editor-at-large at America Magazine; Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Joanna Williams, director of education and advocacy for Kino Border Initiative, and Maureen O’Connell, Ph.D., racial justice scholar, theology faculty at La Salle University, along with prominent student activists for immigration reform and racial justice.

Livestream coverage of the Teach-In is available at:


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