In a collaborative effort across major Campus Ministry groups, "F.A.S.T. Week," which stands for “Faith, Action, and Solidarity Today,” will take place this week, Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22.
Coordinated by 4Boston, Appalachia Volunteers, the Arrupe International Immersion Program, Jamaica Magis, and the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, this groundbreaking initiative will feature 10 events that provide a place to respond to and bring awareness to the collective service-immersion experiences acquired throughout this year by each of the programs. The idea was born in Campus Ministry as various program directors saw similarities between their experiences and wanted to bring their student groups together to explore difficult questions and learn from one another.
"So many of the service programs at BC share an overarching experience when [students] return from their trip or finish their program," said Maggie Moran, LSOE '16 and one of the organizers for the week. "Many students are grappling with: What do we do now that we have had this experience? How do we explore the questions and injustices raised by service? How do we honor the experience and the people we met? Does anyone else care?"
Moran says that the week's tagline, "Live the questions now," reflects its mission to stimulate exploring these various questions in the present so that students can integrate them into their daily lives, both at BC and after graduation. "We hope that students take the opportunity to continue these conversations and learn from others who may not even be a part of their organization, but are feeling some of the same emotions and grappling with the same questions," she said.
In addition to providing a space for closure coming back from immersion trips, the week will bring awareness to topics that participants, as well as non-participating students, have encountered in the real world, such as gang violence, healthcare inequality, fair trade practices and immigration injustice.
The week's keystone event will take place on Wednesday, March 18, as Homeboy Industries founder and “Tattoos on the Heart” author Father Gregory Boyle, SJ, will be speaking at St. Ignatius Church. Boyle’s work with the Dolores Mission Parish and community in Los Angeles, specifically his efforts to reintegrate former gang members into the world through employment opportunities and life skills workshops at Homeboy Industries, has brought him national attention and makes him a prime example of how to live out one’s faith in solidarity with the marginalized.
F.A.S.T. Week kicks off tonight, March 16 at 7 p.m. in Gasson 305, as Boston College alumni will speak on their experiences in service-learning and living out their commitment to faith and service after graduation.
For a full schedule of events, check out “F.A.S.T. Week 2015” on Facebook or go to the Boston College Campus Ministry website.