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Pedro Arrupe Project

This week the school gathered for the launch of the Pedro Arrupe Outreach Project. Named after the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Arrupe was a man of great spiritual depth who was deeply committed to social justice. As a westerner he was temporarily imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II under suspicion of espionage. Stationed as novice master outside Hiroshima in 1945, Arrupe used his medical background as a first responder to the atomic bombing of the city. He turned his parish into a makeshift hospital while going into the destruction each day to gather any infirmed survivors he could find. His advocacy of the poor as Superior General led to the commissioning of the global Jesuit Refugee Service who accompanies, serves, and advocates for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

There is a wonderful story told of Pedro when he was once visiting Latin America. A young boy off the streets came up and asked Pedro if he could shine his shoes. For us in the West, shoe shinning is a very demeaning occupation. We might rightly feel embarrassed that a destitute person should have to clean our shoes to survive. But Pedro spoke quietly to the boy and then agreed. The boy cleaned Pedro's shoes only then to reverse the roles, where Pedro knelt down to clean the boy's shoes in return. Arrupe was a leader who could love and could serve.

This program will provide students with an opportunity to live out the Ignatian Virtues and Catholic Social Teachings by serving those in the community to promote solidarity, with particular attention given to vulnerable groups. This calls and promotes for persons educated in faith and justice who have a powerful and ever-growing sense of how they can be effective advocates, agents and models of God's justice, love, and peace.

This outreach project will be mobilised through class or year level co-ordination as students work together to decide on a charity they wish to support. Staff and students will work together, committed to the Christian vision of the dignity and potential of each person. Through this program students will be challenged to understand and make sense of the world. It will foster a sense of generosity, allowing them to experience the joy of giving oneself for the benefit of others. Our Ignatian model of formation is to empower students to act in the world for peace and justice with direction, meaning and hope as they engage with local and broader communities.

By helping our young women and men to first ignite their own hearts with compassion and their minds with possibility, they can then go and spark the fires of change in their communities and the world - Ite, inflammate omnia, Go, set the world alight.

Mr Nic Boys
Head of Junior School

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