Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies


  • Monthly speakers’ bureau workshops for parish staff and leadership
    • At Loyola’s Lakeside campuses
    • On-site at parishes and diocesan centers
  • Customized staff networking days and retreat events

As part of a new Speaker’s Bureau series, events offering the opportunity for learning, community-building, and inter-parish networking are held on Loyola University Chicago campuses, and at sites across the Chicagoland area.

For more information, or to inquire about how the Institute of Pastoral Studies might help fulfill a particular need in your organization, please contact Mark Bersano, the Coordinator of Parish Leadership and Management Programs.

Speakers Bureau Explores Hospitality in the Church

One of the biggest factors that affect a person’s experience of a church is whether or not they feel welcomed. But what does it truly mean to be welcoming, and what difference does hospitality really make? Loyola IPS explored answers to those questions and more during its Speakers Bureau Workshop Series event held on September 25, 2014.

Carol Knoerzer, director of liturgy at Mary Seat of Wisdom parish, came to the event to acquire new ideas on how to improve her parish’s usher and greeter ministry. “The workshop was just terrific on many counts,” proclaimed Knoerzer. “The presenters… were full of ideas, enthusiasm, energy and successful stories.” When asked what she will bring back with her to Mary Seat of Wisdom, Knoerzer said she learned the importance of making good eye contact and asking newcomers to help with tasks or inviting them to a parish event. In addition, she noted that it is good sit in different pews to encounter new people and be aware of those standing by themselves, so someone can reach out to them.

Loyola IPS is both proud and grateful to be able to create these events as platforms for parishioners to learn how they can continue improving the church community experience. There were more than 50 attendees representing 16 different parishes and diocesan organizations who were able to bring back new ideas and thought-provoking dialogue back to their community. Here at Loyola IPS, we believe that it is important to provide innovative learning experiences in leadership, outreach and inter-parish discussion. The IPS Speakers Bureau Workshop Series certainly fills those criteria.

Christina Bax, pastoral associate for Saint Clement Parish, and Tim Weiske, chair of the Stewardship Council and co-chair to the Young Adult Community Board in Saint Clement Parish, facilitated the evening with their effective and knowledgeable presentations.