Annual Summit to focus on democracy

By Alex Kirshner ’18

Every year the Office of Faith and Justice engages students for two weeks on a specific topic with the intention of addressing human rights issues that are prevalent both in America and throughout the world.

This year’s Summit on Human Dignity is entitled “We, the People: Inclusive and Faithful Citizenship in Modern Democracy,” and it intends to focus on democracy and how Catholics and people of other faiths can use democracy as a form of government, according to the Summit’s mission statement.

This year’s Summit will run from Feb. 27 to March 10.

Mr. Paul Fisko, who is the in charge of the Summit, said that it is not just about this election cycle, although it will be covered.

“It’s the Summit on Human Dignity,” Mr. Fisko said. “It’s not the Summit on whether you’re red or blue.”

Mr. Fisko said that the Summit will cover many aspects of democracy, including the Catholic perspective on democracy and how faith plays a role in the way people vote.

“The Catholic faith says that there are certain things that you can’t be too wishy-washy on,” he said. “So, listening to each other, but also being faithful to the things that really matter.”

Mr. Fisko said that the adult planning committee has met three times during the fall semester to write the Summit mission statement and decide what issues they want to focus on.

Ms. Kelly Guffey, who has been involved with the Summit since it’s inception, says that she became involved with the Summit because it is one of the best things that the school does.

“It’s very much like a college campus,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to enhance critical thinking and discussion amongst students in a topic that they don’t get to discuss every day.”

Ms. Susan Maynard, who has also served on the Summit committee since its inception, echoed Ms. Guffey’s statement.

“I really think it’s one of the best things Brophy does,” she said. “It feels like an offering on a college campus where you have this intense examination of a critical issue that affects human dignity.”

Ms. Guffey is an AP Government and Economics teacher, but she says that she would rather not lead a workshop.

“I usually try to find other voices in the community to do that,” she said. “Students have teachers and clubs and those things are great, but I want to try to get people who do this for a living.”

The topic of the Summit, We the People, was chosen before the election, according to Ms. Maynard.

“There was some concern that people may be burned out on talking about it, but I think that it’s more important than ever to keep the conversation going.”