Message from the Director

 September 7, 2014 


Dear Members of the Prep Community,
 
In his famous 1973 address, “Men and Women for Others,” Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, stated:
 
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 ...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.
Since the moment Fr. Arrupe spoke those words to the alumni of Jesuit schools sitting before him, they have redefined the goals of our Jesuit schools. It is from this that we take our theme for the 2014-15 school year: “Becoming Men for Others.”  

The phrase “men for others” is something we say so often, yet I sometimes fear we don’t stop to reflect on its true meaning. We let ourselves believe that all one needs to do to be a man for others is to walk through those doors on Warren St. when, truly, the focus of this year’s theme should be on “becoming.” Each person in the Prep community, from the youngest freshmen to the most esteemed member of the faculty, has an obligation to continually reflect on how they are being called by God to love the least of our neighbors. This is a task that, if we are honest with ourselves, is never truly finished.

The theme for our school year also speaks to our Arrupe Week theme this year: masculinity. Since announcing this theme late last year, the response from many has been one of intrigue, or from some, even confusion. Many people seem excited to address this topic as a school community, but others have asked me, “Why is this a justice issue?” My answer has been twofold. First, I hope we will explore the privileges men hold in our society and the ways they affect our students. Part of issuing justice for others is recognizing one’s own privilege. As Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM said, “Men must recognize and critique their own power with regard to women, minorities and the poor, and use their power for justice in the world.”
 
The other part of this justice issue that we hope to explore this year is the pressure that young men feel to “be a man.” What does that mean and how is that meaning portrayed to us by the media, our families, and our schools? Do Prep men feel pressure to fit into a certain ideal of masculinity? And how is that image different for each of the 957 students who fill our classrooms each day?
 
We hope and pray that this year’s theme will challenge all of us - students, parents, and faculty alike - to consider how we live “for others” each day, and how support Prep men as they become the best men they can be.
 
God Bless,
 
Ms. Maura Toomb
Director of Campus Ministry
toombm@spprep.org

 

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