The 3rd annual Mission Week at SJU started on Sunday March 19 and ended Saturday March 25. Its website states that Mission Week is “an opportunity to come together as a community, to hold up our hope and ideals for all to see, to champion this vision that we have created together.” It honestly did just that.
The purpose behind this week is to celebrate the mission of Saint Joseph’s University; it was only right that the Feast of Saint Joseph was celebrated during this week as well! SJU “encourage[s] and model[s] lifelong commitment to thinking critically, making ethical decisions, pursuing social justice, and finding God in all things.” A wide range of activities and discussions fueled our exploration of our mission. There was an engaging movie and conversation, opportunities to give back to the community through serving others, and activities to build community and in oneself.
My friend attended the “Silence” movie and discussion on Monday in the Forum Theatre. Though it was a long movie, she was challenged to critically think about human nature and spirituality. It’s probably obvious, but this movie put the SJU mission into action. Simply talking about the movie with my friend pushed me to challenge my own self and remember the good that I can pursue.
Personally, I loved the Leadership Summit offered for students on the Saturday of Mission Week. Coach Phil Martelli spoke about the importance of relationships and how leadership requires the ability to learn from others. Though different than how we may often define leadership, the idea of leadership as learner reminds me of servant leadership; to be able to follow is a true indicator of being a leader. I also heard Fr. Daniel Joyce, S.J. speak about the necessity of self-reflection; it was great to practice thinking over the day through a guided examen.
There were multiple sessions, from learning about the 5 Love Languages to listening to an attorney explain how he sees leadership every day. Something that, I think, students forget about our education at SJU is that it is so unique. We are prepared for “personal excellence, professional success, and engaged citizenship;” if you question this part of SJU’s mission statement, I encourage you to reflect about your time at SJU, the conversations you’ve had with faculty, the clubs or trips you’ve been able to participate in. I’ll bet you can find more than one moment in which you’ve been prepared to be more engaged in the world, with others, and with yourself.
I’m extremely blessed to attend a university that cares so much to provide opportunities for students to grow. What’s even more amazing is that the opportunities are accompanied by a lifestyle, specifically this way of life to live beyond oneself whether in the classroom, the professional sphere, or just in our daily relationships. This is a week that should be experienced by every student, and it is a clear example of how (and why) students embody our University’s mission.
Luigi Nuñez is a Mathematics and Computer Science double major from Camden, NJ. He’s involved in Campus Ministry as the Intern of the Winter and Summer Immersion Programs. He’s also been involved in the retreats having participated, led, and coordinated. Luigi is also involved in Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. He enjoys long walks on the beach, intentional conversations, and spending quality time with quality people!