- Mission Week celebration starts today
- Emmy Award winner kicks off Mission Week celebration
- Celebrate Mission Week Mass with Father Wild on Sunday
- Ethical Dilemmas on Film start Sunday
- Hear Dr. Michael Switzenbaum’s "Hardest Choice He Ever Made”
- A daily reflection: In good company
1. Mission Week celebration starts today
Marquette's annual Mission Week celebration kicks off today, Friday, Feb. 2. Watch for daily News Brief e-mails highlighting Mission Week activities and events, as well as a daily Mission Week reflection.
For a schedule of all Mission Week activities, go online.
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2. Emmy Award winner kicks off Mission Week celebration
Alex Gibney, Emmy award winner and Academy Award nominee, will speak tonight, Feb. 2, as Mission Week gets underway. His talk will follow a 7 p.m. showing of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the documentary he wrote, directed and produced about Enron. The documentary illustrates the maneuvers of Enron executives who were involved in the downfall of Enron and the effect of the company’s deceptive practices on thousands of people.
The showing, speech and talkback will take place at the Varsity Theatre. Cost is $2 with an MUID and $3 for others. The talkback will be facilitated by Dr. John Pauly, dean of the Diederich College of Communication, which is sponsoring the presentation. The film is also being shown tomorrow, Saturday, at 6 and 9 p.m.
3. Celebrate Mission Week Mass with Father Wild on Sunday
Join Marquette President Robert A. Wild, S.J., in a prayerful, spirited launch to Mission Week at Mission Week Mass, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, at Gesu Church. The Liturgical Choir will participate and Tim Kummer, a senior in the College of Nursing, will provide a Communion reflection. Sponsored by University Ministry.
4. Ethical Dilemmas on Film start Sunday
Marquette’s Channel 95 is broadcasting a series of films that reflect the Mission Week theme of “Challenged to Choose: the Courage to Act,” including The Constant Gardener, Erin Brockovich, Good Night and Good Luck, North Country, and Tears of the Sun. Broadcasts are at 9 p.m. Feb. 4–8. Sponsored by the Office of Residence Life.
5. Hear Dr. Michael Switzenbaum’s "Hardest Choice He Ever Made”
How have some faculty faced tough decisions in their own lives? Attend the first of three daily lunchtime conversations with faculty, “The Hardest Choice I Ever Had to Make.” Dr. Michael Switzenbaum, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will discuss how he dealt with a difficult decision on Monday, Feb. 5, from noon to 12:40 p.m., in Haggerty Engineering, 160. The talk will be moderated by Rev. D. Edward Mathie, S.J., director of University Ministry, which is sponsoring the program. Refreshments will be served.
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6. A daily reflection: "In good company"
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “You are the company you keep.” Old, surely, but there’s something to it.
Imagine this: It’s the first day of class. You’re sitting in a classroom, and you look around and realize you don’t know anyone in the classroom. The teacher begins reading the requirements from the syllabus. It’s a challenging course, and as the teacher goes on, telling you what you have to do all semester, you feel more and more daunted, more and more dispirited and confused. You begin to think about maybe dropping the course.
Now imagine this: The same classroom, the same course, the same teacher reading from the same syllabus, giving exactly the same talk, even with the same tonal inflections. But this time, your best friend is in the class sitting nearby, just across the aisle. Now how do you feel? A few exchanged glances, a few rolled eyes, and everything looks different, feels different. Even the dynamic of your decision whether or not to drop the course will be different.
And that experience, it seems to me, points to one of the central spiritual insights of St. Ignatius. There’s a story that when Ignatius and his group first pulled into a particular city, they began right away to work with the lepers. And the same group was also seen preaching in the streets. And the same group was seen teaching in the universities. And the same group was also seen trying to find homes and food and work for prostitutes. “Who are you guys?” people wanted to know, “What are you doing?” And Ignatius was supposed to have told his friends, “If they ask, tell them ‘I’m in the company of Jesus.’”
And Ignatius meant “in the company” just the way you and your best friend are in each other’s company, going through good and bad and difficult times together.
Through his Spiritual Exercises, through his “examen,” Ignatius found ways to make us a little more aware, a little more conscious of the constant companionship of Jesus in our lives. And so I would like to ask you to imagine one more time: what would it feel like to look over, and see Jesus nearby? The one who loves you more than anyone. Would you feel more courageous, less fearful, more able to make right choices? As it says in the Psalms, “I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand, I shall never be moved.” What would it be like if every day — even several times a day — you looked at yourself, and found His Spirit within you, “welling up to everlasting life?” What would your actions and reactions be?
I think you might already know. You’d start acting as Jesus did in the Gospels — feeding the hungry, healing the sick, visiting prisoners, loving and forgiving your enemies instead of killing them, standing up for truth, challenging religious and political authorities that want to oppress the people …
And if folks begin to ask you, “Who do you think you are? Why are you doing these things?” You can just tell them, “I’m in the company of Jesus.”
— G. Simon Harak, S.J.
Lecturer, Department of Theology
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