Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President


Celebrating Ignatian Heritage Month

October 29, 2020

“We want to accompany people as they discern complex choices in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. We will help to create environments that favor free personal processes, independent of social or ethnic pressure.” 

Dear Loyola Community,

The Jesuit notion of “accompaniment” may not always be as tangible in our current, largely virtual environment. Yet the idea that we accompany and support each other through life and difficult times has never been more important or comforting. Accompaniment is connecting with each other in mission, heart and mind, helping to discern right actions and greater good. We move forward to deeper understanding of the world and ourselves and to deeper service as persons for and with others.

Every November at Loyola University Chicago, we come together in prayer, discussion, and reflection on our foundational values. The theme for this year’s Ignatian Heritage Month is Discernment. We can use the gift of discernment to help us identify how Jesuit values and methods can guide our work, comfort us personally, help us evolve as individuals and as communities, and develop our path forward in addressing our current challenges. I invite you to join with Loyola colleagues in celebrating Ignatian Heritage Month to explore Loyola’s Jesuit, Catholic heritage, remember those who struggle for justice, and energize our aspirations for a more equitable and sustainable world.

As much as a celebration of our past, Ignatian Heritage Month is an embrace of our present and an exploration of our future. We honor those who embody the Jesuit mission and we reflect together on the best ways to deepen that mission in addressing the complex scientific, educational, and societal problems before us.

Ignatian Heritage Month includes a range of activities and commemorations that explore the many aspects of our Jesuit legacy and our ongoing work. We will celebrate and honor the work and people of the past, present, and future. I encourage all to join in these conversations. This kind of community reflection, dialogue, and action is the essence of our heritage; it helps assure that we continue to adapt and evolve.

I have never been more grateful for your accompaniment—the work you do every day on behalf of students, faculty, our partners, and our community. I hope you will connect with others in the Loyola family this month as we engage with one another to celebrate, investigate, discuss, and deepen the powerful educational legacy of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Yours in Loyola,


Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD