Mission Week keynote will explore deepening Creighton’s efforts
As the Creighton community explores the theme of Mission Week 2021, “Expanding Our Circle of Compassion,” it will learn how to be with and for those on the margins of society, partnering with them in building a more compassionate world.
The keynote address by Creighton’s own the Rev. Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, PhD, PhD, will build upon the many efforts already underway at Creighton by showing how those efforts provide a platform for expanding and deepening the University’s desire and ability to walk with the excluded and marginalized.
Fr. FitzGerald will give the address Sept. 1 on the Omaha campus and Sept. 8 on the Phoenix campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend, and the talk is open to the public. Under Creighton’s COVID-19 protocols, those attending are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
His talk, “Walking with the Excluded: The significance of the Creighton approach to integrating the humanities with science and health care,” focuses on the second of four Universal Apostolic Preferences, which animate the work of the Jesuits worldwide. Fr. FitzGerald says the preferences especially enrich the education of health professions students by empowering them to care for all the human dimensions of their patients.
In fulfilling a quest inspired by the superior general of the Society of Jesus, the Rev. Arturo Sosa, SJ, the Jesuits came up with the preferences, including No. 2, which calls for walking with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.
In a 2019 letter to the Jesuits, Fr. Sosa stated: “The Society of Jesus wanted to find the best way to collaborate in the Lord's mission, the best way to serve the Church at this time, the best contribution we can make with what we are and have, seeking to do what is for the greater divine service and the more universal good.”
“Being a Jesuit and Catholic university, Creighton has embraced the Universal Apostolic Preferences,” Fr. FitzGerald says, “and addressing goal No. 2 ‘requires us to improve our studies, our analysis, and our reflection in order to understand in depth the economic, political and social processes that generate such great injustice. We must also contribute to the elaboration of alternative models.’”
Fr. FitzGerald is the John A. Creighton University Professor, associate professor of medicine, chair of the Department of Medical Humanities, and interim dean of the Graduate School. He holds PhDs in both molecular biology and bioethics from Georgetown University. His research focuses on the investigation of abnormal gene expression in cancer; ethical issues in biomedical research and medical genomics; and integration of the humanities into health professions education.
Fr. FitzGerald’s Mission Week keynote address takes place at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday, Sept. 1, in the Skutt Student Center, Mutual of Omaha Ballroom, on the Omaha campus; and at 5:30 p.m. (MST) Wednesday, Sept. 8, in the Doris S. Norton Ballroom on the first floor of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Health Sciences Building in Phoenix.