CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One year after successfully hosting an estimated 50,000 visitors from around the world at the 2016 Republican National Presidential Convention, the city of Cleveland will welcome another, albeit smaller, worldwide event this summer.
The World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) will hold its quadrennial international Congress at John Carroll University in suburban University Heights, Ohio, from June 28–July 2. It will be the first-ever WUJA conference in North America. Past events have been in Rome, Versailles, Sydney, Kolkata, Bujumbura and Medellin.
WUJA is an international organization founded in 1956 to support the mission and ideals of the Society of Jesus. Every four years, WUJA convenes alumni of Jesuit schools—elementary, high schools, colleges and universities—from throughout the world to celebrate Jesuit education and Ignatian spirituality.
“We are delighted to bring the WUJA Congress to North America for the first time in the organization’s 60-year history,” said Alain Deneef, a Belgium-based entrepreneur and president of WUJA. “Jesuit alumni and friends from all over the world will gather for what promises to be a great Congress, and a moment of true friendship between men and women for and with others.”
“John Carroll University is proud to serve as the 2017 host for this amazing event,” said Rev. Robert L. Niehoff, SJ, president of John Carroll. “The Cleveland area's strong network of Jesuit alumni and institutions—John Carroll, St. Ignatius High School, Walsh Jesuit High School, St. Martin de Porres High School, Gesu Parish and the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma—contributed to the city’s selection four years ago at the 2013 Congress in Medellin.”
The 2017 event will feature a diverse three-day program of renowned speakers in the arts, business, science, law, spirituality, theology, faith and leadership, service, and justice. The program will offer 28 individual sessions in a concurrent track format so that attendees can select sessions of interest to them.
Keynote speakers include: the Very Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States; Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of the social enterprise Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles; Chris Lowney, best-selling author and current board chair of Catholic Health Initiatives; Katherine Marshall, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and Rev. Peter Balleis, SJ, director of Jesuit Worldwide Learning–Higher Education at the Margins (JWL), a collaborative global initiative that provides certificate and diploma programs to those who live in refugee camps and in other places where higher learning is out of reach.
Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., the new Superior General of the Jesuits, will participate via live video feed from Rome.
“In addition to an incredible speaker program, the event will also provide unique opportunities for attendees to connect, learn and celebrate,” said WUJA Congress 2017 Chair Frank Brady, a retired Detroit business executive and John Carroll alumnus. “I expect each attendee will walk away with new friends and wonderful memories.”
Evening activities include a reception at Cleveland’s famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; a professional baseball game with the Cleveland Indians’ minor-league affiliate Lake County Captains; a choral and chamber orchestra performance of a classical piece dedicated to the Congress at the new Maltz Performing Arts Center; and a Saturday liturgy service.
For more information about WUJA Congress 2017, including registration, keynote speakers and participants, travel and accommodations, and program updates, visit https://www.wujacongress2017.org/