Ciszek Hall Jesuit Residential College
A key feature of the pilot program is the emphasis on praxis-based learning, understood as intellectual inquiry and moral reflection rooted in direct contact with innocent suffering and injustice with the aim of fostering a well-educated solidarity especially with the excluded and marginalized. Academic courses will connect intellectual inquiry with the questions and issues emerging in praxis placements. Praxis-based education employs a posture of ‘humble accompaniment.”
Based upon their academic backgrounds, personal interests, and vocational aspirations, students are paired with a classmate and connected to a praxis community partner here in the Bronx. Students spend a minimum of 8 hours per week walking with and learning from the people in these communities. Over the course of the first semester, students and praxis site partners discern and plan various community activities to be executed during the spring semester and summer.
Below are links to our partners along with a brief description of how we began each site.
- Part of the Solution (POTS): Students in this community learn about the history, mission, and overall culture of POTS. As students gain experience, they take on increased responsibility in a particular area (e.g., case management, workforce development).
- Thrive For Life (TFL): In addition to learning about the history, mission and overall culture of TFL, students participate on a team with lay colleagues and/or diocesan seminarians to help plan Ignatian retreats for incarcerated men.
- St. Ignatius (Nativity) School (SIS): Students in this community learn about the history, mission, and culture of SIS, a Nativity school located in the South Bronx. Students are exposed to the various dimensions of the school (teaching, administration, service learning, outreach to parents, etc.). Over time, students take on increased responsibilities in a particular area.
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel / ESL: Down the street from Ciszek is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, our local parish and a praxis community. This praxis experience has two dimensions. The first is accompanying people in the parish (e.g., youth, elderly, Latino groups). Students also help identify ways our Ciszek community can better connect with and engage the neighborhood (e.g., participate in local community garden). The second-dimension entails collaborating with Fordham University’s local ESL program. Students facilitate ESL conversation clubs for residents living in our neighborhood.
Each of the above descriptions provide general information about our initial praxis community partners and ideas about how we began engaging these communities. Our approach is one of humble accompaniment; therefore, specific activities and projects will evolve through ongoing conversations with students and our partners.
As the program grows, we will expand our network of community partners here in the Bronx. Currently, we are exploring partnerships for the fall 2022 and hope to connect with organizations focused on ecology, arts and youth.