Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

Easter 2021: Faith and Renewal

March 26, 2021

Dear Loyolans,

So much has happened in our lives since Easter time 2020, yet it also feels as though the pandemic has forced so much to remain the same. A sense of optimism and hopefulness, however, seems stronger this spring than even just a few months ago.

For Christians, the celebration of Easter is recognition that nothing we do–or do not do–will separate us from God’s mercy and love. Not even death. Many in our community and in our families have had to cope with mourning the passing of loved ones from COVID-19 and other illnesses over the past year, often suffering and grieving their losses in isolation. One prayer for all who have lost a loved one is that you are able to take some solace in the belief that death is not the end of life, but a change in life.

I am grateful for my faith and the faith of members of the Loyola University Chicago community from so many rich traditions. Most of our world religions align spring with a season of renewal, rebirth, and transformation. Passover begins this weekend as does Holy Week; Ramadan follows in the second week of April, and then Eastern Orthodox Easter is celebrated in early May. We join with our Jewish, Muslim, and Orthodox brothers and sisters in prayer during this holy season. This is a brief list of the many religious affiliations represented at Loyola that enrich our community. Through this diversity, we are even stronger and more resilient, particularly when faced with daunting challenges and difficult situations. Our call to embrace a mission of social justice is one firmly grounded in faith that distinguishes our calling.

In this season, we gain a sense of renewal and hope. In the coming weeks, we look forward to celebrating the achievements of so many of our students, especially those counting the days until graduation. Our traditions and rituals will look different, again, this year. However, our joy and gratitude will still be expressed with energy and exuberance. I look forward to seeing more people on our campuses in the weeks and months ahead, and hopefully, soon, being able to greet each other in person without having to wear a mask!

Happy Easter!

In prayer and gratitude,

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD