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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette celebrates its annual Mission Week

Marquette’s mission week theme was “act with kindness.”

Walking around Marquette University’s campus last week, one may have run into guest speakers, free luncheons and prayer discussions. 

In celebration of the mission that St. Ignatius of Loyola set the foundation for over 500 years ago, Marquette hosted its annual Mission Week. Historically, the week has served as a time to reflect upon the Jesuit values that Marquette seeks to uphold. Only this year, the university decided to look at the meaning behind this week through a new lens. 

Brigid Kinsella-Alba, assistant director of mission engagement, said that in the past, Mission Week was something that Marquette has participated in, along with other Jesuit universities across the country, as a call for students and faculty to examine their inner selves. 

“For the last four years, we centered Mission Week around our ‘Open to …’ series,” Kinsella-Alba said. “This meant that we wanted everyone to look internally and discover for themselves how to be open to their life’s purpose or to hope.” 

However, this year, Mission Week officially marked the start of a new series for the movement. Specifically, 2023’s Mission Week followed the theme of “Act with Kindness.”

“Starting this year, we are moving into a series called ‘Act with …’, which asks us to find ways in which we can actively help out and support one another,” Kinsella-Alba said. “Instead of putting the focus on ourselves, we want to take a look at how we should be treating those around us.”

Throughout the week, the Alumni Memorial Union welcomed various guest speakers, including several Marquette faculty members, who spoke about their vocations and how they seek to live out Marquette’s mission in their own lives. 

In addition, the weekdays consisted of free take-out lunches for anyone passing through the Alumni Memorial Union. Each day, the luncheons were inspired by a different country, in order to pay tribute to St. Ignatius’ worldwide ministries. 

While enjoying her lunch, Rhea Thomas, a second-year physical therapy student, said that she appreciates all the members of the Marquette community who are actively living out the week’s theme by making Mission Week happen. 

“It’s so nice to see that even on a stressful week on campus with students, there are people willing to spread their kindness and be there for students, by giving them a little break to wind down and enjoy some food,” Thomas said.

After their meals were finished, Kinsella-Alba said that all students and visitors were provided the opportunity to show gratitude for the little acts of kindness that they may have not had the chance to acknowledge yet. 

“During the lunches, we’ve been handing out these heart post-it notes that people can write what acts of kindness they’ve received or given on,” Kinsella-Alba said. “Just walking around and looking at 150 post-it notes, you can really feel the goodness.”

In regards to how Mission Week was honored inside the classroom, the Rev. James Voiss, vice president for mission and ministry, said that this week was a time for students to discuss what Marquette really means by the slogan “Be the Difference.”

“During Mission Week, we draw on connections between classroom content and real-life experiences that engage students with the reality of both acts of injustice and systemic injustice in our world,” Voiss said in an email. “We especially try to promote ways of moving toward healing of ruptured relationships and finding reconciliation.”

Even though Mission Week has reached its conclusion, Voiss said that he is looking forward to the potential lasting impact that the week will have on Marquette. 

“It is my hope that Mission Week is something that will have touched the hearts and minds in ways that can generate energy for the mission we share,” Voiss said. “I hope this week will leave everyone feeling renewed and inspired.” 

This story was written by Erin Howard. She can be reached at e[email protected]

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Erin Howard
Erin Howard, Copy Editor
Erin Howard is a sophomore from Clarendon Hills, Illinois and is studying journalism. This year, Erin will serve on the Marquette Wire as a Copy Editor. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys running and listening to music. Erin is very excited to get to know more people on each branch of the Wire and share the important stories happening around campus.

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