ASC XIII (2021-22)

Will Vincent ’17 | Loyola University Chicago '21

The heart of my experience with Jesuit education in high school and college has been Ignatian spirituality, especially its call to find God in all things. I have found Jesuit’s environment and culture very conducive to this call. In addition, my spiritual development has benefited from prayer services, Masses, retreats, daily examinations and other opportunities at Jesuit. Additionally, the service we do in the ASC program takes many different forms: one day it’s chaperoning various service sites and retreats, the next it’s carrying 200 bagels for food rescue but, through the lens of Ignatian spirituality, every job is an opportunity to grow in closer union with God. James Martin, SJ talks about the idea of incarnational spirituality in his book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. He defines incarnational spirituality as the belief that God is found in everyday events in our daily lives or, as Father Martin states, “God is not just out there, God is right here, too”. Thus, teaching SJPP classes, helping a student with work in the Learning Resource Center, or even carrying bagels are all ways to experience God and His love in our lives. One of the most rewarding opportunities the ASC program has provided me, and my personal favorite, has without a doubt been participating in Kairos retreats as a faculty leader. The opportunity to go back and not only to improve my spiritual life but to also help foster the spiritual development of the students has helped shift my view of spirituality being a solely personal experience to realizing it is also a community experience.

Will Aberger '17 | University of Notre Dame '21

Transitioning from college to the professional world, ASC members no longer have to worry about completing homework or studying for tests. Simultaneously, we also lack some of the traditional responsibilities of adults, such as paying bills or taking care of a family. With this extra time and decreased stress, we can direct our attention to the things that matter most to us. For me, that means focusing on my health, becoming more conscious of what I am eating and how often I exercise. Similarly, living simply has encouraged me to place more emphasis on my relationships, not only cultivating new friendships with my fellow ASC members but also strengthening old ones with my family. Recognizing that I will not have this much free time again in my life, I have become committed to living in the moment, valuing the simplest of day-to-day interactions or even the 5-minute walk from the ASC house to work each morning. I strive to continue building upon these healthy practices long after this year of simplicity.

Dean Eikenberg '17 | Baylor University '21

The most important aspect of Jesuit Dallas that I have encountered since 2013 is the community. As a student, I was able to experience this with my classmates and my teammates, forming some of my most cherished lifelong friendships. Since joining the ASC program, I have felt this on an even more significant level, by engaging with students as a faculty member, but also by working closely with my fellow faculty in a number of capacities. In just one semester, I have been able to work with students as an SJPP teacher, a football coach, a retreat leader, and a service project chaperone, interacting with students of all grade levels and interests. Seeing the students grow as individuals is very gratifying as I can see myself in them, having been in their position not too long ago and acting as a mentor to them, similar to the mentors I had during my time at Jesuit. Further, one of the most substantial forms of community within the program is that of my own household. By living with the other two ASC members, we have quickly become very good friends as we navigate this new experience in a similar setting together. It is relieving to know that after a long day of work there are people I can turn to who are going through the same experiences as me. As we have each discovered in a matter of months, the Alumni Service Corps program, at its heart, is not only the three of us dedicating a year of service to Jesuit, but also that community taking steps to give back to us in many ways.