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Pedro Arrupe Volunteers

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Put your faith into action by volunteering in our community!

During the continuing Covid 19 crises, the five boroughs of NYC and the Bronx County in particular, have been exceptionally impacted by underlying systemic issues that existed before the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the University Neighborhood Housing Program Blog 6/2/20 Bronx reality before Covid is manifesting Deadly and Devastating Results

The Bronx “has the highest proportion of racial/ethnic minorities, the most persons living in poverty, and the lowest levels of educational attainment” of the five boroughs.

Some of the issues Bronxites are struggling with are: crowded living conditions (number of people in a dwelling), household incomes are very low while household rent is relatively high (median rent increased more than twice the amount of median household income from 2010 - 2018), occupational exposures, comorbid illnesses and unequal access to healthcare, and race-based structural inequalities. Since many are essential or face-to-face workers, there has been a higher rate of Coronavirus infection and also of job loss in Bronx County.

For more detailed information about the impact of the pandemic in the Bronx, University Neighborhood Housing Program

There are two main components of the Pedro Arrupe Volunteers - direct service and engagement with our neighbors and community partners and educating for a faith that does justice through our Common Grounds Conversations speaker series exploring the impact of Covid-19 on marginalized populations, faithful citizenship and the election, racism, humane migration, mass incarceration, access inequality and environmental justice issues. 

Last year PAV adapted our programming to continue to support our community partners as they addressed the immediate needs caused by the pandemic.  On campus in person projects included preparing toiletry kits, meal kits, Easter baskets for children in foster care, and gratitude bags for healthcare heroes in local emergency rooms.  Our community partners developed remote operations and volunteer opportunities such as early literacy programs, tax prep, citizenship and ESL classes.  

Common Ground Conversations addressed access inequality with speakers discussing healthcare, migration, housing environmental racism, and voting rights by zoom.

This year, PAV will adopt a flexible hybrid program of on-campus, remote, and on-site volunteer opportunities in collaboration with our community partners. 

 

Who are we?

PAV is a multifaith and interfaith student-led community with the mission to accompany our Bronx and greater NYC area neighbors in prayer, service, solidarity, and reflection.

Our community welcomes you to join us as we engage with the struggle for justice with our neighbors through a variety of service opportunities. Our ultimate goal is community engagement; nurturing and sustaining relationships between the Fordham community and our neighbors in the Bronx and NYC.

There are two main components of the Pedro Arrupe Volunteers - direct service and engagement with our neighbors and community partners and educating for a faith that does justice through our Common Grounds Conversations speaker series exploring the impact of Covid19 on marginalized populations, faithful citizenship and the election, racism, humane migration, mass incarceration, access inequality and environmental justice issues. 

“Through our service programs we can learn more about ourselves and how we relate or do not relate to others, about our fears and biases, about our hidden strengths and unexpected tenderness...we help, not as superior to other persons, but as brothers or sisters. It is graceful to take time to see; it Is even more graceful to take time to let our hearts be touched, to enter into the world of another person."

What do we do?

We provide opportunities for short term engagement with our community through direct service and exploration of current issues through our Conversations speaker and discussion series.  Due to the social distancing and quarantine requirements of Covid 19, we are developing remote service opportunities with our community partners and will provide more information as those details are finalized. 

We work with churches and other organizations in our Bronx and Lincoln Center communities, and some of our former projects include:

The level of commitment ranges from participating in one or more projects to joining the Pedro Arrupe Leadership Council and helping to determine and lead our projects.

We value the relationships we have made with our community. If you commit to volunteering on a particular day, we trust that you’ll be there. Please let us know as soon as possible if you will no longer be able to attend a project.

How do we build community?

We build a community with fellow project volunteers and our neighbors in the Bronx by immersing ourselves in service opportunities, prayer, reflection, and discussions during our Common Grounds Conversation speaker series. 

We challenge volunteers to lean into discomfort--we encourage open minds in order to best feed our souls!
 

Why do we pray and reflect?

We are present in our own faith backgrounds, with an openness to meet our neighbors wherever they are. We seek to share in meaningful experience with all those we encounter and to acknowledge our shared human dignity.

Reflection and prayer are about journeying through life with some guides and maps; about letting God find a home in us. But prayer and reflection are also about our pain, our losses, and our failures...the human heart can soar but it can also break. Sometimes, too, prayer and reflection can lead us to outrage at the evil people inflict on one another—like racism, sexism, economic tyranny, and political oppression.  It can lead us to mourn or protest the contradiction between God's design and the kind of world in which we currently live.

On service programs, the idea of reflection is to bring the lived experience of the day into dialogue with something larger than the self. Reflection is the human ability to search for meaning in all life's events. Prayer is that same human reflection but done in the company of God.  

We encourage you to reflect on your experiences allowing intentional thought as you are present in service.

We are people of many different faiths, in service with others.
 

Who is Pedro Arrupe, SJ?

"To be just, is not enough to refrain from injustice. One must go further and refuse to play its game, substituting love for self interest as the driving force of society." - Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

Pedro Arrupe, S.J., served as Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983. He is remembered for his commitment to social justice and serving the needs of the poor. Our community emulates Fr. Arrupe's example of love for "the least of our neighbors" and his call to "proclaim the Gospel" that demands of us "a commitment to promote justice and enter into solidarity with the voiceless and the powerless."

During his time with the Jesuits, Fr. Arrupe was especially supportive of those who worked with the poo in Central and South America. Fr. Arrupe was as well a great advocate for liberation theology which he taught as the suffering endured by the victims of war and poverty with Christ’s compassion and that alleviating the one through justice was honoring the other in faith. He was described by many as “a second Ignatius” and practiced Zen meditation daily as well as social justice advocacy.  

How can I get involved?

We have adopted a flexible, hybrid program in collabortion with our community partners.  Current remote projects include Reading Buddies, helping to file housing applications, ESL and Citizenship classes, and administrative support for organizations. On-campus opportunities such as preparing toiletry kits, or meals and on-site engagement with the Bronx is Blooming, Midnight Run, Creston Avenue Soup Kitchen, Church of St. Paul the Apostle are scheduled. 

To advance a faith that does justice, PAV will promote encounters and conversations that challenge the reduction of persons to abstractions where “there are no citizens, only votes; no poor, only thresholds of poverty; no migrants, only quotas; no workers, only economic markers” (Pope Francis) through our Common Grounds Conversation series.

Sign up Here for upcoming volunteer projects

Common Grounds Conversations

Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice 2020

Be part of the largest annual Catholic/Jesuit social justice gathering in the United States! IFTJ is an opportunity for members of Jesuit schools and organizations to come together in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together in Washington DC.  IFTJ is grounded in a rich history of honoring the Jesuits and their companions who were martyred in El Salvador in 1989, and has focused on social justice themes such as immigration reform, environmental justice, racial justice, and many others.

This year there is a virtual and in person IFTJ conference.

The virtual IFTJ conference will take place on October 16 from 12-6 pm. Participants will view breakout sessions by zoom, at an in person gathering on campus.

The In-person conference will take place from November 6 - 8 and applications will be available for students who want to participate.

For more information about the Teach-in: https://ignatiansolidarity.net/iftj/

Campus Ministry has purchased the tickets to the virtual conference so there is NO COST to student to attend the Virtual IFTJ this year, but spaces are limited.  

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Fordham's delegation is hosted by a collaborative effort between Campus Ministry and the Center for Community Engaged Learning within the division of Mission Integration and Planning.  If you have any questions, please contact Carol Gibney (cgibney@fordham.edu)

All are welcome!