Sharing Gifts With the World
December 12, 2018
Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
Throughout the holiday season, the blessings of kindness, service, friendship, and family take on special meaning. As we in the Catholic tradition with our special Jesuit mission celebrate the birth of Christ, we acknowledge and honor the many traditions and cultures that make up Loyola. We bring these gifts to each other.
The story of Jesus’ birth is a story of finding a home, and what happens when we extend compassion and love to others. In the story, hospitality, generosity and the recognition of God create the conditions for miracles. Our Jesuit tradition is about aspiring actively to “magis”, to work continually toward the greater good, toward being a better person, and especially a better person for others. These themes resonate across many traditions that find a home at Loyola. We see this in the warmth and respect we show each other in civil discourse around hot-button issues, in our service and advocacy on behalf of the poor and marginalized, DACA students and immigrants and refugees.
There are many examples of how the gifts you bring to this work extend well beyond campus. We recently profiled some young alumni who are using their gifts to build a better Chicago. Wintrust recently dedicated a prominent Kennedy expressway mural to Arrupe College, a beacon for talent from all Chicago neighborhoods.
Once again this year, Loyola students will spend more than 100,000 hours in service and learning with more than 300 community partners across Chicago through our Center for Experiential Learning. In programs like our Center for Community and Global Health and Ignatian Service Immersion our students, faculty, and staff go to the margins around the world to provide essential services to those most in need. Currently and closer to home, dozens of University departments and the Jesuit Community have contributed thousands of much-needed items for more than 60 families in Chicagoland through Campus Ministry’s Loyola Gives program. We are grateful to all who gave, and we give special thanks to the dedicated volunteers who make it all happen.
We are excited to share the gift of extra time during this holiday season to step away from our daily work. Loyola will be closed during Christmas Week, December 24 through the 28, and will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.
On behalf of our community, I extend best wishes and special prayers for a warm and wondrous holiday season. Thank you for the gifts you bring to us, to one another and to our broader community. Thank you for being a part of our Loyola family.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
Dr. Jo Ann Rooney