Community Welcomes Xavier Day Keynote Speaker

Inspired by Saint Francis Xavier’s extraordinary example of encountering the world, preaching the gospel, and working for a more just society, since 2016 the McQuaid Jesuit community annually celebrates its patron saint through the recognition of Xavier Week. 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 understanding of their world. Xavier Week encourages students to explore and go beyond the frontiers of their knowledge of crucial topics that shape the world they live in.

As is the case with many things this year, the pandemic has impacted the scale of this year’s event, which featured a single presentation instead of multiple activities. On Friday, March 12, we welcomed Mr. Shane Wiegand, an elementary school teacher in the Rush-Henrietta school district who has developed an extensive anti-racism curriculum with a focus on policies that created the segregated region we live in today. He has presented in a number of local schools, adapting his presentation for different ages and audiences.

Mr. Wiegand spoke about the policies and laws that have resulted in de facto segregation that continues to this day and challenged us all to help build a more just and equitable community. His talk may be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

As a Jesuit school, we pride ourselves in forming young men who are loving, religious, open to growth, intellectually competent, and committed to justice. Mr. Wiegand’s presentation hit on all five of these categories. If we are to be committed to justice, we must face the injustices upon which our city is structured — injustices still persisting today. If we are to be intellectually competent, we must acknowledge the history of our city and think about how we might help remedy past sins in the future. If we are to be open to growth, we must be willing to learn from the stories of racism most troubling to hear in our communities.

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