Monthly Archives: June 2012

Dr. Robert Ludwig ends his tenure as IPS Director

Bob and Kathy Ludwig
Kathy and Bob Ludwig

Greetings and good wishes in this exceptionally warm summer! 

Effective today, I will be stepping down from my role as Director of IPS.

My decision to step down after two terms and eight years is based on a pretty good sense of myself.  I’ve loved being director of IPS.  I had high expectations coming in, and the opportunities have exceeded my hopes and expectations.  I’ve loved serving in this capacity.  Nonetheless, the chronological clock ticks.  I turned 68 a few weeks ago, and I have been running something (at Loyola New Orleans, DePaul, and now IPS) for thirty years.  That’s a long time to be on-call 24/7/365 and basically the place where the buck stops.  I don’t have the drive or the energy that I had eight years ago, and I really want to return to full-time teaching and do some important writing projects. 

I want to continue to provide advice and counsel to IPS as needed or desired, but I’m delighted that Dr. Brian Schmisek will be joining the IPS community as director beginning next week. Brian comes to us from the University of Dallas and is uniquely prepared to confidently lead IPS into a thriving future.

My health is good (thank God), and I have no plans to abandon Chicago and Loyola at present.  Down the road, Kathy and I may decide that it’s time for me to retire completely—but that time is not now.  I thank you again for your work with IPS and want to continue to connect with many of you as we go forward.

                                                                                    With every good wish,


                                                                                    Robert Ludwig, Director

Student shares reflection on her journey to Kenya

Connie Johnson

Entry #1

May 26, 2012 8:37am Amsterdam Airport

As I sit at  gate F6 awaiting to board the second and final flight to Nairobi I am reminded of a question. While in line to check in at Chicago O’Hare I became engaged with a tall, cultured woman wearing a pink silk blouse. She asked the normal questions a fellow traveler would ask, What is your destination?, What is the reason for your trip?, How long will you be visiting? Our conversation was pretty standard for two complete strangers when it suddenly took a turn that took me by surprise. The information the woman gathered from her friendly but brief interrogation reminded her of her own journeys to Northern Africa. She shared a little about her experiences and then it happened. She asked a question so profound that I couldn’t give her an honest answer. She looked me square in the eyes and said “Are you ready for the poverty?” I tried my best to process the question and give her a scholarly answer,since I am a graduate student. But I could only come with “I don’t know.” Over the past few days several people have inquired about my feelings towards this trip. The standard questions were Are you ready?, Are you excited?, Do you have everything you need? But no one asked neither did I consider the question, Are you ready for the poverty? It never dawned on me that Kenyan poverty will probably look much different from American poverty, of which I am quite familiar with. I never considered that I could possibly, for once be considered a “have” in a land of extreme “have nots”. I walk into this experience as a blank canvas waiting for an inspired artists to skillfully cover me with brilliant, vibrant strokes of self discovery.

An Experiment in Career Opportunities

A note regarding a career opportunity from Dr. Eileen Daily:

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry (OFCYM) is located at the Cardinal Meyer Center at 35th Street and S. Lake Park Avenue. In other words it is a bit off the beaten path for most busy IPS students. Kristen Hempsted McGann, OFCYM Associate Director, is conscious of the busy lives of IPS students and alums and is doing something to make life a tad easier. On Thursday, June 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. she will be conducting interviews at IPS. OFCYM is both hiring directly (see the job description at and assisting parishes in making their selection. Parish employment opportunities are available full- or part-time. If you would like to be considered for an interview, please send an email with time availability information and a resume to Even if you aren’t ready to work right now, the OFCYM is always looking for qualified candidates that might be interested down the road.

If this works out, we would like to make this an event that occurs 2 or 3 times per year. In the future, we might even induce the Diocese of Joliet to conduct interviews at IPS on the same day and make a mini-career-fair of sorts. If you have thoughts about the idea of organizations conducting interviews at IPS, please comment below.

Cecilia Escajadillo Prayer Service and Memorial Service

Dear IPS Faculty and Students,

            Cecilia Escajadillo will be remembered in prayer tonight (Monday, June 18) at a candle-light vigil in Madonna Della Strada Chapel on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The memorial service will be held at 5 PM.  All are welcome. 

            Her remains will be cremated and returned to her family in Lima, Peru.

            This coming Thursday, June 21, IPS will sponsor another memorial service at the Water Tower Campus.  We will be hosting a ceremony and luncheon in memory of Cecilia in the Terry Center (3rd floor, Wabash & Pearson).  The memorial will take place in All Saints Chapel at 11:30 am with lunch following.  Please RSVP to Randy Gibbons if you can attend.

            The suddenness of this tragedy is mellowed by our faith that Cecilia is with God, with the martyrs and saints, and with those who have gone before her.  We pray for her mourning family and that she rest in eternal peace.  I hope you can join us in prayer either this evening or on Thursday.   


                                                                                   Robert A. Ludwig, Director

IPS Students Return from Kenya Trip

From L-R: Dennis Erwin, Connie Johnson, Alexa Jordan, Kim Riley, Virginia Rivera, Erin Kane, Brittany Barton, Jen Morales-Crye, Jennifer Haworth, Dr. Heidi Russell, and Dr. Bob O'Gorman with some of their Kenyan hosts.

Recently a group of  eight IPS students and two IPS faculty members returned from a 2 week trip to Kenya. 

The Social Justice and East Africa course offered its participants an opportunity for personal and educational interactions with communities of folks in local schools, churches and hospitals, women’s cooperatives, AIDS support organizations, homes for orphans, and cultural centers of East Africa.

Themes of the course included geography and history, racism and the effects of colonialism, African Christianity and inculturation, and social justice practices. A focus on African issues of social justice explored areas such as the effects of HIV/AIDS on community life in East Africa and the need for empowerment of disadvantaged groups and communities.

Catholic University of Eastern Africa’s Center for Social Justice and Ethics served as the group’s academic and residential base. The group also visited urban Nairobi and in rural Naivasha, in addition to observing the wildlife at Lake Nakuru National Park.  

Brittany Barton, MASJ alumna, created a powerful video documenting her experience on the trip. You can view it here:

Ignatian Service Day Information

There are a number of events this summer scheduled for faculty and staff to engage in the mission of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and to honor his Feast Day of July 31.  Please consider participating.

Ignatian Service Project: Friday, July 20
Loyola staff, faculty, and retirees will volunteer at Misericordia, in Rogers Park, and at St. Procopius Parish, a Jesuit-sponsored institution in Pilsen, on Friday, July 20. Full details on the service projects, departure times, and transportation are available now at the registration page. Registration is open through Friday, July 13.

Collection boxes will be available at all campuses gathering the materials listed below for St. Procopius. Food pantries often run lowest in their supplies during the summer months, so please consider being generous in all of these categories:

  • July 2–6: School Supplies (copy paper, crayons, pencils, construction paper, arts and crafts materials)
  • July 9–13: Clothing (especially work wear for men)
  • July 16–19: Food (especially staples such as rice, beans, and pasta)

Mass and Picnic: Friday, July 27
On Friday, July 27, we will celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola with a Mass in Madonna della Strada Chapel at 11 a.m., and our annual picnic on the East Quad, beginning at 12:15 p.m. All are welcome. For those interested in singing in the choir at Mass, please contact Steven Betancourt at Rehearsal will begin at 10 a.m. on July 27 in the MDS Chapel.

IPS Center for Parish Leadership and Mission Approved!

Loyola University Chicago President Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ has approved a proposal to develop a new Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) Center for Parish Leadership and Mission. The Center will begin operating sometime during 2013, and will be the first of its kind in the United States. It will be dedicated to organizing and relating research on the leadership of vital parish communities to services of consultation and education. The Center will maintain a strong partnership relationship with the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Center’s design is a product of learning from INSPIRE, a nine-year Lilly Endowment, Inc., Sustaining Pastoral Excellence project at Loyola and the Archdiocese. INSPIRE’s Lead Team–comprised of Institute of Pastoral Studies faculty and Archdiocesan Directors–will develop the Center to sponsor research on parish vitality and mission, identify pastoral leadership education programs, and offer consultation services to Catholic pastors, their staffs, and parishioner leaders. The Center aspires to serve parish life the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Eileen Daily, IPS Faculty Member, Featured in National Catholic Reporter

Dr. Eileen Daily, Director of our Master of Arts in Religious Education program is featured in the June 8 edition of the National Catholic Reporter! Eileen created an android/iPhone app called art/y/fact.Xn. It helps users analyze Christian Art. Way to go, Eileen! Here is the story behind the story:

To access the full article, you must be a NCR subscriber. If you get the chance, stop by the IPS office where we will have several copies of the feature story! Also, don’t forget that you can purchase art/y/fact.Xn in your App Store for only $1.99!