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United States Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, alumnus of Canisius High School, spoke to the Jesuit Alumni and Friends of Chicago on June 30, 2016, at the Union League Club in Chicago.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez Speaks to Jesuit Alumni and Friends of Chicago
United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez spoke to the Jesuit Alumni and Friends of Chicago on Thursday, June 30, 2016, at the Union League Club. The son of Dominican immigrants and a product of Jesuit education — he is a 1979 graduate of Canisius High School in Buffalo, N.Y. — Secretary Perez highlighted the important role the Jesuits have played in his family and life. His wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, is a former Jesuit Volunteer and the niece of Fr. John Staudenmaier, SJ, assistant to the president for mission and identity at the University of Detroit Mercy. 

"I learned so much from my Jesuit education. I learned about JUG quite a bit," Secretary Perez joked about his time in detention. "I don't know if that was true for anyone else who was Jesuit educated. It often didn't feel like it was justice under God, and there were no appellate rights under the JUG system."

The Jesuits continued to shape Secretary Perez as he pursued a legal career with an emphasis on civil and labor rights. Even today, the Jesuit charism influences his work in the Department of Labor.

"For me, the intersection of labor rights and civil rights has been remarkable, and it's been such a privilege to do all of this," he said. "And it's so frequently been informed by my faith."

To listen to Secretary Perez's remarks, please click the audio player above.



U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, with students from
Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago and Fr. Jim Prehn, SJ



The Jesuit Alumni and Friends of Chicago gathers Jesuit alums and friends for fellowship and inspiration. For more information, please contact jesuitclubchicago@gmail.com.



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The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.