Social Justice

“Today our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and his Christ – for the God-man who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.”

-Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., twenty-eighth Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Part of our mission is inspiring young men to “a lifelong commitment to justice.” We seek to make students aware of important social issues and how they can respond. We educate students about the different types of injustices in the world and what should be the Catholic, Ignatian response. The heart of this work is to make sure the human dignity of all people is fully recognized by a faith that does justice.

Social Justice Clubs

Named for Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., twenty-eighth Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the Arrupe Society is the focal point for all social justice activities. Fr. Arrupe famously challenged Jesuit students to be “men and women for and with others.” Arrupe Societies, named in his honor, in secondary schools, colleges, and universities around the world have been formed to carry out Jesus’ message.

The purpose of the Black Student Union, Mosaic Club, He For She, and Pride Alliance is to foster a culture where every member of the McQuaid community feels valued, supported, and inspired to achieve individual and common goals with an uncommon will. This includes providing opportunity and education for all people across differences of race, age, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, migratory status, disability/abilities, political affiliation, veteran status, and socioeconomic background.

The Knights for Life are McQuaid’s focal point for all life issues. The Catholic Church teaches that all human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. To support this position, educate their peers, and promote advocacy, the group sponsors various events for the school community.


Donation Drives and Fundraisers

We use our strong connections to the local nonprofit community to address the most pressing material needs of the marginalized. Throughout the year we hold donation drives benefiting different causes and local charities.

  • The Middle School Walk for Justice collects donations of clothing and personal hygiene supplies to support the homeless at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality.
  • The whole school takes part in our Thanksgiving Food Drive collecting canned goods to benefit House of Mercy and St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality.
  • McQuaid gets in the Christmas spirit through our Christmas Blessings Project. Starting in early December, this project raises donations for some of the most needy members of the Rochester community.
  • During the Lenten season the Middle School Campus Ministry participates in Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowls program. Students collect money to send to CRS to support its development programs across the globe.

Xavier Week

Saint Francis Xavier was one of Saint Ignatius Loyola’s first companions. The two met as students at the University of Paris where, in the midst of their studies, Ignatius shared with Xavier the Spiritual Exercises. Moved by this experience, Xavier joined Ignatius and five others, and founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Together, these first “companions” courageously ventured into the world with the words of Jesus sending them forth to “set fire upon the earth.”

Inspired by Xavier’s extraordinary example of encountering the world, preaching the gospel, and working for a more just society, the McQuaid Jesuit community annually celebrates our patron saint through the recognition of “Xavier Week,” formerly “Xavier Day.” In March 2019, we transitioned from a one-day event to a full week, giving students more opportunities to examine and reflect on the year’s topic. The Feast of the Canonization of Saint Francis Xavier is March 12, and Xavier Week is typically held during the week prior to this special feast.

The philosophy of Xavier Week is rooted in the experience of the saint. While we cannot all go to Japan or India as Xavier did, we can challenge our students to stretch themselves and expand their understandings of their world. Students are encouraged to explore and go beyond the frontiers of their knowledge of crucial topics that shape the world they live in.

The program for Xavier Week has been modeled on the Jesuit high school “social justice summit” experience. Jesuit high schools across the country sponsor similar opportunities, and these play an important role in achieving the goals set forth for Jesuit high school graduates: open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving and committed to doing justice.