Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President


Living Our Ignatian Heritage


October 30, 2018

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

The spiritual and educational practices developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Society of Jesus shape our University’s work today, almost 500 years after Ignatius’s death. Each November, Ramblers come together in a variety of settings to celebrate and reflect on how Jesuit values and methods have evolved and adapted, and how they continue to support our aspirations, enhance our academic and research goals, deepen our mission work, and broaden our social justice impact.

I hope you will join with your colleagues in celebrating Ignatian Heritage Month in November to explore our rich Jesuit, Catholic heritage and to remember those who, inspired by their faith, struggled for justice before us. This is a time to reflect and an opportunity to thoughtfully renew our efforts toward a more equitable and sustainable world. Ignatian Heritage Month, organized by the office of Mission and Identity, includes a range of dialogues, lectures, and events—including Hunger Week, a tradition at Loyola for more than 40 years.

I invite you to attend the presentation of the 2018 Martyrs Award, given annually as part of our celebration of Ignatian Heritage Month. The award honors a worthy faith-based organization or individual and carries a monetary award of $25,000 in commemoration of the Universidad Centroamericana martyrs in El Salvador and in support of the University’s commitment to social justice. This year we present the award to Damien House in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Damien House has had an immense positive impact upon the lives of people marginalized by Hansen’s disease, once known as leprosy.

The Martyrs Award is presented on Thursday, November 15, in a ceremony open to all members of our community. The award presentation will be held on the Lake Shore Campus beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a Mass at 5:15 p.m. in Madonna della Strada Chapel and a reception. The day’s events will conclude by 7 p.m.

This year, we seek to inquire more deeply into what our heritage means for those living the mission in this day and age—and in this time and place at Loyola University Chicago. Starting, appropriately enough, in November, many of you across all of our campuses will participate in a Mission Priority Examen being conducted by Jesuit universities across the United States. In this year-long community version of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, we look deeply within and around us to determine the ways in which we are fulfilling our mission, where there are opportunities to do more, where we are challenged to do things differently, and how our values are manifested in our actions.

Loyola is a community characterized by a global diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives, bound together in spirit by the Jesuit way of proceeding. I encourage everyone in our community to join in these conversations. This community reflection, dialogue, and action is the essence of our Ignatian heritage and helps ensure that our mission continues to adapt and evolve to serve others in the world and ground our strategic direction.

I look forward to seeing you at Ignatian Heritage Month events.


Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD