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Students Advocate for Change Using Catholic Social Teaching

Christian Service and Theology banded together to take a group of students to the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice (IFTJ) in late October, a conference focused on both education of and advocating for social justice issues. The students spent time learning from presenters followed by a day advocating on Capitol Hill.

The small group presentations on different issues and Catholic Social Teaching (CST) were especially impactful to Rachel Lumor ‘24. “There are active ways to participate and make a change at any age,” she said on her takeaways. 

“The weekend was so rewarding,” said Maria Farren ‘25. “It’s one thing to learn about God’s love and CST from a classroom, it’s a completely different experience to see it at work in the world.”

The most exciting part of the conference for both Maria and Rachel was being an active advocate for issues. As a first-generation American, Rachel is passionate about immigration.

“By getting to advocate to representatives and senators through IFTJ, I was able to use my servant’s heart to make future immigrants’ journeys easier. That ties into caring for God’s Creation and loving our neighbor as ourselves as God has called each of us to do,” said Rachel.

“When advocating for two immigration bills to a representative from Senator Van Hollen, the representative told us she had not been aware of the bills, and was very excited about them,” said Maria. “It was an incredibly surreal moment seeing how capable we were to directly advocate for human rights with CST.”