Jesuit Service Month – Fairfield University

Answering Fr General’s call for ministries to work together

Five years ago, Pope Francis missioned the Society of Jesus with the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), a set of four ministerial “accents” for the Society to serve the needs of the Church over the following ten years. At the halfway point in the implementation of the UAPs, Fr General reissued that mission, but with a specific message to Jesuits and colleagues around the world: ‘Our ministries may accomplish good works alone, but we can do great works together.’

One Jesuit work that has answered that call is Fairfield University in Connecticut, in the United States. Each year the university holds the “National Jesuit Service Month”, an initiative to have Jesuits, students and alumni come together and collaborate with other people of good will, across works and ministries, in a way that reflects core Jesuit values of spirituality, compassion, conversion and social responsibility. During the month of April, The Fairfield Alumni Association encouraged its various chapters across the country to choose concrete ways to collaborate with other ministries and non-profit organizations that serve their local communities.


In Washington DC, alumni partnered with “Honor Flight”, a program that honors veterans by coordinating trips to visit memorials in the nation’s capital. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, Jesuits and alumni joined Fairfield University staff to volunteer with “Connecticut Foodshare” by sorting and packaging thousands of pounds of food destined for pantries, soup kitchens, and organizations serving those most in need throughout the state.

Services and activities vary across the country, depending on what is most needed by each local community, but they all share the requirement of working outside the typical ministry of the University. The Fairfield University Student Association collaborated with the “Alumni of Color Network” and the “Center for Family Justice” to provide menstrual and hygiene supplies to women who can’t afford them. In Long Island, alumni volunteered at “Cove Animal Rescue”, while the San Francisco chapter served food for the needy at “Glide Memorial Church”. In Boston, the alumni volunteered with “Cradles to Crayons” to provide basic supplies for disadvantaged children.

These aren’t just volunteer opportunities, or community service outlets, but rather they embody what the Holy Father, Fr General and the UAPs have called for in all of the Society of Jesus’ ministries: a more holistic view of the good that our works can do once they reach beyond the silos of their original mission.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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