Monthly Archives: August 2011

WTC Block Party

Come celebrate the beginning of a new school year. Come celebrate with friends old and new.

Thursday, September 15, 2011, from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, the Water Tower Campus will celebrate the start of the school year with the annual Fall Block Party. Admission is free with your LUC ID.   Location (at this time) is the Terry Student Center on Pearson Street between Wabash and State.  Pray for good weather!

IPS Welcomes Kate Lassiter as Visiting Instructor

I am very excited to be at IPS as a visiting instructor this academic year.  I come to IPS in my final year as a Ph.D. student in a program that examines the ways that religion, psychology, and culture operate in the world, and as a fellow in the theology and practice program at Vanderbilt University.  I am teaching Foundations of Social Justice in fall and Diversity and Equity in the spring.

My academic research and writing focus on practical matters of care and justice, especially in light of theological ideas and practices in Catholicism, and, more broadly, in Christianity.  I am also interested in how these ideas and practices are put into action in communities, as well as how to look for them, measure them, assess them, and how they are revised in light of concrete experiences that show where our theories and practices of theological justice-making and care-making are limited.

My interest in these kinds of questions began after I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Theology at DeSales University, (I switched after a short-lived 3 semesters in the pre-med track) and found myself working a job in non-profit social services, offering care and support to six men with developmental disabilities in a residential facility.  I was overwhelmed by the work–responding to and overseeing medical needs, social supports, educational goals, family, psychological and social services, Medicaid and Medicare; overseeing the physical upkeep of the home; and staffing for 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  But more than this, I was bedeviled by the vast array of responses to the men and to me with them in the public sphere.  Most responses were of an infantilizing nature: kind and ‘cute’ (It’s shocking how often a 48 year old man with Down’s syndrome can be cute, but never handsome) and child-like with me as a mother-stand-in, of sorts (Although the men were twice my age).  When they showed parts of their personality, they were deemed weird, a little strange, not normal.

I returned to graduate school as a Master’s student in Theological Studies at the University of Dayton.  In the biopic movie-version of my life, trees with bare branches reaching high ensconce me as I walk across the National Mall headed towards the Capitol, with a close companion, ruminating over questions of Othering, the justness of care for persons with disabilities in political, social, and ecclesial spheres, and theological anthropology, as I consider returning to school.  However, in the reality-tv version of my life, you’d be more likely to see me cleaning various body fluids from floors and bathrooms, getting punched in the face by a consumer (what the non-profit agencies called a person who lived at the residential facility), and struggling to staff the house.  This was the formative experience that started me thinking about psychology, social-political systems, who counts as a person and as a citizen, Othering, the Church, and practices of care and justice, especially those practices self-identified as ministries.  I seem to come back to the intersection of these questions, even when the topics seem so radically different.

In the years since, I’ve been given the opportunity to walk with and learn from persons in a variety of pastoral, social justice, higher education, and non-profit settings: teaching undergraduate and graduate students in theology and ministry, doing practical theological research, pastoral counseling, campus and prison ministry, supporting youth in crisis, working in student affairs initiating service-learning opportunities and advising student organizations, co-founding an urban farm for environmental education and food justice, and supporting Jesuit volunteers during their year of service.  I am looking forward to teaching and accompanying students in their journeys this year as we consider what justice is and examine specific topics and movements in social justice, as well as immersing myself in Chicago, its neighborhoods, and its people.

IPS Welcomes Research Faculty Member, Fr. William Clark, SJ

Fr. Bill Clark, SJ

Fr. William Clark, SJ, is a member of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus and an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He entered the Jesuits in 1982 and was ordained a priest in 1993, after studies that included an M.A. in philosophy from Loyola Chicago (1984-1986).  Following ordination, after serving for several years as a parish priest in Kingston, Jamaica, Bill returned to the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts (now part of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) to complete doctoral studies in systematic theology.  He specialized in the role of local communities in Catholic ecclesiology, and completed the degree in 2001 with a dissertation that was later revised and published as A Voice of Their Own: The Authority of the Local Parish (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2005).  Since joining the faculty at Holy Cross, Bill has continued to focus his scholarly work on the theology of parish, and has authored various conference papers and articles related to that theme.

Bill is originally from Fairfield, Maine, and still visits family and friends there regularly, as well as continuing a variety of pastoral contacts in the Diocese of Portland.  He has assisted in a number of parishes in Maine and elsewhere, has presented parish retreats and workshops, and has annually directed eight-day Ignatian retreats at a retreat center near his hometown.  He also regularly directs retreats at facilities run by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Oslo and near Copenhagen.  Bill is also an avid singer and folk guitarist, and has done some song-writing and recording.

This year, in addition to teaching one course each semester in IPS, Bill will continue ongoing research on the theology of parish in the INSPIRE program.

abUSed The Postville Raid

Three years ago, Postville, Iowa was the scene of one of the nation’s largest immigration raids.  

Plan on coming to a showing of Luis Argueta’s powerful documentary on what has happened from the Postville Raid to today.  A screening will take place on Thursday September 15th at 7:00 PM.  Join us in Beane Hall (13th Floor of Lewis Towers) for pizza and discussion.  All are welcome.  RSVP to Susann Ozuk at 312-915-7400 or by e-mail at