FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Interim Communications Manager
Ignatian Spirituality Project to Receive Loyola University Chicago’s
Annual Martyrs Award
Project offers victims of homelessness and those in recovery from addiction the opportunity to change their lives
CHICAGO, November 15, 2019 – Loyola University Chicago is pleased to announce the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) of Chicago as the winner of its fifth annual Martyrs Award. Located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, the organization provides retreats and spirituality resources to help community members lay a new foundation for their lives. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the project has grown to almost 30 cities across the U.S. and Canada and includes over 800 volunteers serving over 2,000 retreatants a year through over 200 retreats.
At the core of ISP’s mission is a commitment to nurture spirituality as a key source of recovery from the cycle of homelessness and addiction. The organization’s spiritual retreats and programs are designed to mend and build participants’ relationship with God, self, and others so that they are better able to address underlying issues that have contributed to their homelessness and addiction.
“Loyola University Chicago is honored to present the Martyrs Award to the Ignatian Spirituality Project for their deep and dedicated work,” said Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, president of Loyola. “The Ignatian Spirituality Project illustrates how our movement toward serving each other, and the active search for God in all of life, can create a space for healing and grace to enter.”
While there are many organizations that provide necessary material resources such as housing, employment, and drug treatment, the ISP program is predicated on the belief that there can be no real transition from chronic addiction and homelessness without the inner resources to make more positive life choices. The Project’s two decades of experience serving this population indicate that chief among these “inner resources’” is the opportunity to develop an authentic, lived spirituality. Though founded in the Christian context, ISP programs are available to men and women of all faiths and backgrounds and do not promote any particular religious dogma or creed.
ISP’s success over the past 21 years demonstrates that program participants go on to achieve positive life outcomes, including housing stability, ongoing sobriety, and increase in education and job attainment. This year, ISP plans to serve over 1,600 unique participants through nearly 250 retreats, including overnight and follow-up retreats, as well as hundreds of ongoing reflection sessions for alumni participants. In total, ISP will provide over 4,200 experiences of hope and healing to new and returning ISP participants this year.
Each November, Loyola recognizes a faith-based organization or individual with the award, as part of its annual Ignatian Heritage Month celebration. Now in its fifth year, the Martyrs Award honors the memory of eight Universidad Centroamericana martyrs, six of whom were Jesuit priests, who were murdered in 1989 for their commitment to social justice. The martyrs exemplify the Jesuit and Catholic ideals and values that Loyolans seek to emulate, and the $25,000 award demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to further the work of these Jesuit educators.
Past recipients of the award include Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, a Colombian organization that works with victims of human rights violations, and the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, a Chicago nonprofit that helps those caught in the immigration detention process.
The Ignatian Spirituality Project was presented with the Martyrs Award on Thursday, November 14, at Coffey Hall on the Lake Shore Campus. For more details on the award and Loyola’s Ignatian Heritage Month, visit LUC.edu/IHM .
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 14 schools, colleges, and institutes, including the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.