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Mission
Inspire & Ignite Blog

LIVING IN THE MARGINS

Anthony Mattacchione
When our students return from Christmas Break, our juniors and seniors will spend two weeks immersed in direct service through Service Projects with the girls serving the first two weeks back and then the boys following them at the end of January. The purpose of Service Projects and all the efforts of the Regis Jesuit Ignatian Service and Immersion programs is to increase student awareness of the community they live in and the world beyond the brick and mortar of Campbell Campus. These opportunities encourage students to grow in solidarity with the people of their local community, especially the poor and those living on the margins of society. When developing and reviewing these programs, we hope our students will challenge themselves to live simply, value the relationships they form, seek for the truth behind the injustices, while living their faith and spirituality all for the greater glory of God.
When our students return from Christmas Break, our juniors and seniors will spend two weeks immersed in direct service through Service Projects with the girls serving the first two weeks back and then the boys following them at the end of January. The purpose of Service Projects and all the efforts of the Regis Jesuit Ignatian Service and Immersion programs is to increase student awareness of the community they live in and the world beyond the brick and mortar of Campbell Campus. These opportunities encourage students to grow in solidarity with the people of their local community, especially the poor and those living on the margins of society. When developing and reviewing these programs, we hope our students will challenge themselves to live simply, value the relationships they form, seek for the truth behind the injustices, while living their faith and spirituality all for the greater glory of God.

The manner of service and relationships we hope for our students to experience are best stated in Matthew 25:35-40:
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me. I assure you, as often as you did it for the least among you, you did it for me."

When we prepare and send forth our young men and women into society during Service Projects or on immersion trips, we send them to be companions with those on the margins of society—those people who live outside socially-accepted or expected norms. These include the impoverished, people in the penal system, those experiencing homelessness, the incurably mentally ill, those with intellectual or physical challenges and/or certain racial groups.

When counseling students on what they should be considering when choosing their site placement for Service Projects or an immersion trip, we often challenge them to rise above their intentions regarding whom, where and when they will serve. We want these young men and women to strive for the magis—that qualitative more—rather than choosing the easiest option for simply meeting a graduation requirement. We want them to be uncomfortable with the injustices they see, to look to the margins, to push themselves outside their comfort zone and to see the harshness of the lives of those they serve, becoming vulnerable alongside them and being present to God’s grace through companionship—to be true companions and walk with those living every moment of their lives in this uncomfortable, disquieting space.

When our students fully immerse themselves not only into the communities they are serving but also into the service of others, there is where authentic relationships take shape. In that moment when we give of ourselves freely, we receive not only the grace of God but also have our true talents and gifts revealed to us through interactions with strangers who can change our lives forever.
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Anthony Mattacchione is the Boys Ignatian Service Director and Head Boys and Girls Rugby Coach. He also teaches Human Geography this year. This is Anthony’s fourth year at Regis Jesuit and 21st overall working in Jesuit education. His wife, Kelli, also works at Regis Jesuit, teaching math and coaching rugby alongside him.
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