Mission Week begins

The 2004 Mission Week began Monday and will end Sunday, with two additional events slated for Feb. 28 and March 2.

T-shirts, tickets to a March 2 speech by Nobel laureate Lech Walsea and a sculpture composed entirely of non-perishable food items are among the events scheduled as part of Mission Week. All events are free and open to Marquette students, faculty and staff and some events are open to the public.

Mission Week intends to celebrate the university's mission to excellence, faith, leadership and service through its theme of "Hope and Freedom." According to Stephanie Russell, executive director of the Office of University Mission and Identity, the theme revolves around central themes of Jesuit spirituality and education.

Russell thinks Mission Week is important to the campus.

"Marquette tries to attend to our mission all year but Mission Week offers us an opportunity to reflect more intentionally on the Catholic Jesuit heritage of the university," Russell said. "It's very important that Mission Week engages all members of the university community."

According to Susan Mountin, director of the Manresa Project, three important events of Mission Week are Cedric Jenning's talk on Tuesday, Peter Steinfel's speech on Wednesday and Lech Walesa's visit, March 2.

A special Mission Week committee headed by Russell organized this event. However, individual groups, organizations and departments such as Marquette University Teachers for Social Justice, Marquette University Players Society and the Manresa Project offer many of the programs.

University Ministry Assistant Director Rachelle Kramer finds special significance in Mission Week.

"I think Mission Week is a really positive and central event that happens on campus," Kramer said.

Assistant Director of University Ministry the Rev. Patrick Dorsey led the first of four mini-retreats in the Chapel of the Holy Family yesterday. Jim Forest, a journalist and activist, opened Mission Week with his talk "Becoming Peacemakers in our Everyday Lives" in the Raynor Library conference rooms.

Week long events include available tickets for Lech Walesa's speech on March 2 at the Brooks Lounge.

Cedric Jennings, the protagonist in this year's Manresa Project's book, that was assigned to every freshmen, will reflect on "A Hope in the Unseen" at the Weasler Auditorium this Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. The Mission Building for Hunger will exhibit small sculptures in AMU Ballroom E on Thursday.

Extended Mission Week events are the College of Professional Studies' dialogue on Feb. 28 and Lech Walesa's appearance on March 2. Walsea was involved with "Solidarity," a Polish labor movement credited with bringing democracy to the former Soviet satellite.