New student group ‘Faith that Does Justice’ seeks to live out Catholic social teachings


Photo by Andrew HImmelberg

Faith That Does Justice plans to participate in issues involving justice in the Milwaukee area and on campus.

Faith That Does Justice, which held its first meeting Sept. 29, is a new student organization that focuses on social justice from a faith and value-based outlook.

Gerald Fischer, associate director of Campus Ministry, said the group was created because there are a lot of Catholic social teachings to be learned from, and he wanted to take some ideas in social justice from a faith perspective.

“We are a Catholic Jesuit university, and the Jesuit community has a very strong focus on justice, and a lot of times students do not realize that. As long as students are here, I think it would be helpful for them to know how much the Jesuit community has been focused on justice, especially since the ’60s. It is a part of (the Jesuits’) general constitution,” Fischer said. 

Fischer was previously the advisor for Jesuit University Students Together In Concerned Empowerment. Fischer said the group was strong, but there were challenges with leadership. The group was not cultivating young leaders, which caused it to scramble for new leaders, he said.

“After a few years, there were a lot of people who wanted to focus on a specific issue rather than just general justice and would start a different group for that. It was hard to maintain a group that was focused on just general justice,” Fischer said.

Eventually JUSTICE could no longer operate as a group, but Fischer said he felt it was still important to have a group on campus that was paying attention to social issues and responding. Therefore, he made the group Faith That Does Justice.

“Faith That Does Justice is a great opportunity to take a renewed look at issues that are blasted in the news but have deeper meaning when looked at with Ignatian values in mind,” said Claire Stanley, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and member of Faith that Does Justice. “I think it’s really interesting to look at it differently than how you hear about it on Twitter, Snapchat or through your everyday news outlets.” 

Faith That Does Justice is planning to participate in the Ignatian Family Teach-In For Justice solidarity network from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C. This is a national conference for students from Jesuit schools to learn, network and advocate for social justice issues. It includes keynote speakers and advocacy meetings as well as other events and activities.

Claire Austin, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and member of Faith That Does Justice, said she wants to have the opportunity to talk to other people who are passionate about social justice. She also wants to learn more about topics and initiatives happening around the country at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.

“I can bring this information back to campus and spread awareness and advocate for the causes I learn about,” Austin said. 

Fischer said Faith That Does Justice plans to stay connected with other Jesuit schools and participate in issues involving justice in the Milwaukee area and on campus.

Faith That Does Justice meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Olin Engineering 170.