Advent | What Are We Waiting For?
As we turn from the Thanksgiving holiday, we face both endings and beginnings. Fall semester and fall quarter are closing with a flurry of exams, papers, and preparing for Christmas break. The major new beginning for the Catholic community is Advent at the start of the liturgical year. Even if you’re not steeped in the meaning of Advent, you have by now heard expressions of ‘joyful hope’ and ‘waiting.’
What precisely do we hope will happen? We can ask ourselves: What are we waiting for? The content of our shared hope, at least at SCU, might be spoken of as ‘a more humane, just, and sustainable world.’ We hope for safety and security, like no more mass shootings. Maybe we wait for lawmakers to protect our environment or to provide for those who are poor or without homes. Perhaps we anticipate a powerful coalition to stand against human exploitation; or protestors to overthrow authoritarian regimes.
The next question digs more deeply and personally: What are we waiting for? This question’s emphasis challenges us not to wait but, instead, to get going. Justice doesn’t just happen; care doesn’t materialize abstractly; and only long term projects and practices of wellbeing and respect foster safety in our communities. Why are we waiting, instead of acting for the change we desire?
As the adage goes: WE are the ones we are waiting for. We talk a lot about ‘mission’ at SCU, often without being specific. Consider this: SCU’s mission, as a community and as individuals, is to take seriously the challenge ‘to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.’ The long project of justice arrives only through the innumerable small actions of a whole community. When people in the community act with compassion, respect, and generosity, these values become the habits of our hearts and our culture. What if we acted as if our mission, vision, and values mattered?
May we be people for and with others in this Advent season. May our lives usher in the eagerly awaited Beloved Community that finds its ultimate promise in God’s love. By our actions, let us reveal what mission looks like at SCU.
Arrupe Engagement | Creating a Lasting Impact
Christine Frea '12 fondly remembers her experience as an SCU student fullfilling her Experiential Learning for Social Justice (ELSJ) requirement. As the principal at St. Lawrence Elementary & Middle School, a new Arrupe Engagement community partner, she is able to experience the program from the partner perspective. In both cases, the impact of the program proves to have a lasting impact on participants.
Read Christine's story
As we wrap up the Fall quarter, we acknowledge the impact of Arrupe Engagement. Over the course of the Fall quarter, we placed 383 SCU students from 13 different SCU courses, with 41 community partners, providing 6,128 hours of engagement.