A Season of Gratitude and Hope
Dear Loyola Community,
The holiday season is a time when we look back in gratitude and forward in hope. We recommit ourselves to the work of building a more just and peaceful world, using our gifts to serve humanity and God’s creation. The blessings of compassion, companionship, and family take on special meaning. We honor the many traditions and cultures that make up Loyola University Chicago, for these are the gifts we bring to each other.
This month, Christians celebrate the birth of Christ in Christmas and our Jewish sisters and brothers commemorate the dedication of the temple and the miracle of the light in their celebration of Chanukah. In a season filled with joy and love, both traditions also remind us of the struggle and suffering of those without place or peace. The origin story of our Jesuit, Catholic tradition is of a pregnant woman and her husband searching for shelter, only to find closed doors in the shadow of persecution. The story of a family forced to abandon their home and find refuge in a foreign country is familiar today. In this holiday season and into the new year, may each of us resolve in our work and in our own way to open doors, to welcome the stranger, to accompany those in need.
We come from a multitude of traditions at Loyola, yet these values and faiths unite us. I am heartened daily by good works and good will in our community. Again this year, dozens of University departments and the Jesuit community contributed thousands of much-needed items for nearly 60 families in Chicagoland through Campus Ministry’s Loyola Gives program. We are grateful to the hundreds of faculty and staff who participated, with special thanks to staff and volunteers who spread the word, gathered and organized the gifts, and coordinated pickups. This Loyola labor of love and communal generosity truly makes a difference.
In giving of ourselves to each other and to those in need, we strengthen the shared bonds of our mission, our humanity, and our civility. We rekindle a spirit of hope and cooperation that helps illuminate the world and the future. As we head into the Christmas and holiday season, I find my thoughts turning most often to gratitude—gratitude for what each and every one of you contributes to our educational mission and gratitude for the many ways our institution is blessed.
Thank you for everything you do for Loyola and our students. I wish you a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a peaceful and healthy New Year.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD