We recently held the Ignite conference for the six Jesuit Preparatory schools in the British Province. This year it was a virtual conference. The theme was taken from Fratelli Tutti– The stranger on the road. On the first day each school researched their local neighbourhood and made a connection with a support group that helps a particular group. Then in the afternoon we met virtually on Zoom and each school presented their project to the other schools. Visitors for the local charity groups joined us and listened to the presentations and were then available for questions. The children then had some time to reflect on the Starfish Story by Lorien Eisely. This provoked some wonderful sharing of thoughts and ideas.
The second day saw us cast our nets wider to the global neighbourhood. Projects in Guyana, Vietnam, Kerala, Malawi and Oregon were researched as well as the forthcoming Cop 26 meeting in Glasgow, UK. Again, in the afternoon we were so thankful that visitors from around the world could join us on Zoom to listen to the children presentations and answer their questions.
We closed the conference with prayer and a quote from Fratelli Tutti: Sooner or later, we will encounter a person who is suffering. Each day we have to decide whether to be Good Samaritans or indifferent bystanders.