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2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress

2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress
John Carroll University
June 28-July 2, 2017

The World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA), founded in 1956, holds an international Congress every four years to gather Jesuit friends and alumni-from as many as 50 countries representing a global network of Jesuit ministries-to build international networks and affirm Jesuit centric values for a greater good.

From June 28-July 2, 2017, WUJA met for the first time ever in North America, at John Carroll University, in Cleveland, Ohio. WUJA 2017 gathered renowned, world-class speakers committed to Uniting Our Jesuit Frontiers in the arts, business, science, law, spirituality, theology, faith and leadership, service, and justice.

WUJA - World Union of Jesuit Alumni

30 countries were represented at this year's event including: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Columbia, Congo, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Lithuania, Mexico, Panama, Rwanda, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela.

The 2017 Congress featured a three-day program with some 60 speakers and 30 breakout sessions. Among the keynote speakers were: 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; Rev. James Martin, S.J., author and editor-at-large of America magazine; 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, S.J., director of Jesuit Worldwide Learning, a collaborative 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, participated via video feed from Rome.

NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.

Watching Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J.

Watching Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J.

Watching Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J.


Karl Ertle, President of Walsh Jesuit High School (a private, Jesuit Catholic co-educational college preparatory high school located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) was the MC for the opening event of the 2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress.



Karl Ertle

Karl Ertle

Karl thanked the leadership, board and sponsors for bringing WUJA to John Carroll University.



Jeanne Colleran, interim president of John Carroll University, welcomed the attendees to the 2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress. This was the first WUJA Congress in North America. She gave a history of John Carroll University and some of the current statistics.

Jeanne Colleran

Jeanne Colleran



Jeanne Colleran introduced Alain Deneef, a Belgium-based entrepreneur and president of WUJA, to the 2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress. Mr. Deneef gave his vision for the Congress.

Alain Deneef

Alain Deneef



Alain Deneef

Alain Deneef


Christopher Lowney chairs the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare/hospital systems with some $ 19 billion in assets. He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian who later served as a Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London until leaving the firm in 2001. He gave the keynote address Wednesday evening titled "Dirty Laundry, Dusty Shoes and a thorn in the side: Leadership Thoughts for WUJA."

Photos and videos of the Chris Lowney keynote

Chris Lowney keynote

Chris Lowney keynote


After the opening session, sisters (from Lithuania) Ieva and Mariya Dudaite performed a few songs.

Ieva and Mariya Dudaite perform at WUJA event at John Carroll University in Cleveland

Ieva and Mariya Dudaite perform at WUJA event
at John Carroll University in Cleveland


Photos and videos of the Dudaite Sisters performance


Numerous breakout sessions on specific topics were also held including a presentation by Rev. Ryan Duns, S.J., also known as the Tin Whistle Priest.

His topic was We need all the notes to play: How Irish Music can shape Jesuit Education.

Rev. Ryan Duns S.J.

Rev. Ryan Duns S.J.


Photos and videos of Father Duns presentation


The Jesuit Ministries Fair was open throughout the event and included numerous organizations of interest such as the Ignatian Solidarity Network, Fr. Don Doll S.J., Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, Jesuit Refugee Service, International Samaritan, The Cana Institute, Loyola Press and more.

Loyola Press at WUJA Jesuit Ministries Fair

Photos and video interviews with some of the Jesuit Ministries Fair exhibitors.


Of course, a lot of the fun (and value) of the event was meeting the people in the beautiful setting of John Carroll University.

2017 WUJA attendees


See some photos of people and scenes from WUJA at John Carroll University


David Vitatoe is Executive Director of Alumni Relations at John Carroll University and serves as Vice-Chair of the 2017 WUJA (World Union of Jesuit Alumni) Congress. David explained WUJA and how the 550 attendees from 30 countries came to be at John Carroll University.



Congratulations to John Carroll University and the host committee and the participants of WUJA for a fantastic Congress.


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