Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing


Spiritual leader at Loyola Health Sciences Campus leaving for leadership role in Rome

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Sister Brenda Eagan, IBVM, D.Min., director of University Ministry for Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD), is leaving in December for an eight-year commitment as one of four Consultors to the Superior General of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She will be a part of a leadership group that will help to implement five major goals that will help meet needs through the world. This will include traveling to places around the world where the IBVM is ministering and working with the sisters in those areas to ensure they are supported and that the mission is being lived out. She also will be working with other religious groups in Rome and the United Nations to bring help and hope.

“We believe that Jesus is at the center of all our planning and actions. So we will do what He says as we make our way through these eight years, one day at a time,” said Sister Eagan.

An advocate for social justice

For more than 26 years she has been a leader for student advocacy and spurred many health professionals on in their pursuit for social justice in communities across Chicagoland and around the world.

“Sister Brenda has stitched into the fabric of our institution the notion that service, the gift of one’s self to another in need, is at the heart of our understanding of professional education, an education always directed toward the greater glory of God,” said John Hardt, PhD, vice president and associate provost, mission integration, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division.

She was a visionary for the HSD’s Center for Community and Global Health, which strives to prepare students in the Jesuit tradition of collaborative outreach and interdisciplinary research with a commitment to advocacy, solidarity and a passion for social justice. Under her leadership, the International Service Immersion trips have become a source for change in the lives of people in need around the world and have encouraged health professionals to become advocates for the marginalized and forgotten.

Happiness and unity

During her tenure, many initiatives for staff, students and faculty have flourished. The annual Thanksgiving basket drive has provided thousands of meals to local families who otherwise would go without. The drive also has brought happiness and unity to Loyola employees as they worked together to fill the baskets.

“Working with Brenda has been a joy. In the 12 years we’ve worked together she has been a colleague, motivator and friend. She will be sorely missed by our family,” said Cynthia Winters, administrative assistant, Student Ministry. “She is the kind of person who comes into your life that ministers to you and encourages you to become a better person. I am grateful for the times together and know that she will make as huge impact as she blazes a trail on her next journey. Look out Rome, an angelic voice is on her way and you’ll never be the same.”

This year, baskets will be collected at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine November 17-19. For more information on making a donation, call (708) 216-3245.

For media inquiries, contact Evie Polsley at epolsley@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-5313.