By Ilana Blattner
Hello! I hope that everyone reading this has had a wonderful summer! I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to campus, either for the first time or on your return!
My name is Ilana Blattner. I’m a junior, and I am the new Social Justice and Advocacy Coordinator in Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) this year. I am so eager to take up this position, and I want to share why that is with you.
On my first day of school at DePaul, I was invited by CCM student leaders (who I didn’t even know then) into the CCM office take a Polaroid picture with the Pope and to attend CCM’s annual Welcome Back Party. Their invitations ushered me into a warm, loving community in which I’ve made amazing friends and fostered a deeper, more passionate faith in God than I’ve ever had before. I now serve as one of CCM’s student leaders; I now have the chance to share this community with others, and this means everything to me.
As CCM’s Social Justice and Advocacy Coordinator, I hope to promote a type of social justice work that everyone can participate in. Our longing for a better world is rooted in faith and it is put into action through advocacy. I aim to educate as well as advocate through the pillars of Catholic Social Teaching. A pillar close to my heart is Life and Dignity of the Human Person. In Romans 12, we are instructed to “love one another … contribute to the needs of others … [and] live peaceably with all.” Recognizing that every person is sacred and deserves a happy and dignified life is integral to our belief as Catholics. This core belief and mission informs all other advocacy work we could possibly do, and it must be front and center moving forward. And when we feel discouraged by our progress, it is important to remember that advocacy work is a marathon and not a sprint, and every little bit we contribute aids the overall cause.
To promote growth and purpose for the upcoming quarter, I would like to end in prayer:
Lord, please watch over our ministry as we start this new school year.
Help us not only to welcome students, new and old, to our office,
but to give them a space to be involved in promoting love and justice.
May our advocacy work focus on changing the systems and structures that perpetuate injustice, and may we look to Jesus’ work as a liberator for inspiration and guidance.
I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.