150th Anniversary Sesquicentennial Prayer

We are called

As we celebrate our enduring legacy, we look toward our future

From its humble beginnings in 1870, Loyola University Chicago has grown into a leading academic institution that lives its Jesuit, Catholic mission. As the University approaches the 150th anniversary of its founding, we celebrate not only what we have accomplished but the many ways we will continue to evolve and grow. Members of our community—faculty, staff, and students across all three of our Chicagoland campuses—came together to join in the words of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt's prayer for Loyola's anniversary, "We Are Called." 


The full text of Sister Jean's prayer follows below.

Sister Jean's prayer for Loyola's 150th anniversary

Good and gracious God, like many other things in life our beginnings were small, located in an area from which we moved to our present campuses. 

We are grateful for the move, O God. 

As a campus, we have grown over the years, and as we gaze through our Loyola lens, we acknowledge the accomplishments of our Jesuit presidents and note some of these successful plans:

  • revision of the curriculum to meet the needs of the times and of our students; 
  • the establishment of various schools and the construction of buildings locally and abroad to accommodate learning and living experiences; 
  • the founding of Arrupe College; 
  • the furthering of study abroad programs;
  • an initiation of a better understanding of law, medicine, and sustainability; 
  • a greater appreciation for diversity; 
  • a greater commitment to the fine arts and athletics; 
  • a continued dedication to Jesuit values and to Ignatiaspirituality.  

For all of these, we are grateful to you, O God. 

And now WE ARE CALLED where we know there is no magical formula; no distinct path to follow. What we do know is that you will be with us, O God, in the decision-making process as we respond to our callour call 

  • to walk the new path, to create the new programs; 
  • to research medical issues that need our attention; 
  • to hire new faculty who believe in our values; 
  • to continue to be Chicago’s Jesuit, Catholic University; 
  • to seek new ways to be of further assistance to the Archdiocese of Chicago; 
  • to explore new partnerships in the local and state area 
  • to strengthen our University by fulfilling the recommendations of the Mission Integration Visitors’ Committee.  

In all of the above mentioned, O God, what is ahead for us is not clear; we may not see immediate resolutions to dilemmas; some plans may not seem possible; we may be pulled in different directionsso you see, O God, that we do need you with us, so that all we do will be for your greater honor and glory. Amen. 


And now I would like to conclude with the first stanza of the Slow Work of God by Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. 

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. 

We are quite naturally impatient 

In everything to reach the end without delay. 

We should like to skip the intermediate stages. 

We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown; 

Something new. 

Yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through 

Some stages of instability and that it may take a very long time. 

And, so I think it is with you 

Your ideas mature graduallylet them grow; 

Let them shape themselves without due haste.

— Amen. God bless you.

Join us in celebrating 150 years of Jesuit education in Chicago

Loyola University Chicago’s sesquicentennial celebration runs from January 2020 through Commencement Week, May 10-14, 2021. Over these 18 months, the University will honor and celebrate significant historic milestones and events that marked the founding of the institution and drove its growth from a commuter school to an international university. Across our schools, campuses, departments, and disciplines, the Loyola community will come together in lectures, events, and exhibits to reflect upon the ways Loyola has made a lasting impact on the city, the region, and the world—and to envision where we might go next. MORE