Monthly Archives: October 2014

Student Feature: Meet Elizabeth

In addition to our Chicago campus, Loyola IPS offers students the opportunity to study both online and in Rome. Elizabeth is just one student taking advantage of our ever-expanding online program. Read below to learn a little more about an online student’s perspective of IPS.
Full Name: Elizabeth Callaghan

Nickname: Liz

Favorites: I follow Australian rules football and my team is Collingwood, known as the Magpies. I love reading Nordic crime thrillers. I also love going to Europe to look at modern art!

Hometown: Canberra, Australia

Previous education:
The last higher education study I undertook was a Masters in management and public policy at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

What were you doing before beginning your IPS journey?
I have worked for the past seven years at Catholic Health Australia as the Director of Strategic Policy. Catholic Health Australia is the peak body for all Catholic health, aged care and community services Australia wide. My areas of expertise are in strategic planning, health workforce planning, social determinants of health, catholic bioethics and palliative care. I am just leaving Catholic Health Australia to begin in the role of CEO for Palliative Care Australia, the peak organization for palliative care in Australia.

What made you decide to come to Loyola IPS?
I have always been interested in Ignatian spirituality and I intend to eventually return to the catholic sector. For this reason, I was looking for something that would provide me with not only solid grounding in theology, as well as meet my strong interests in bioethics and social justice, but also provide me with an internationally recognized qualification.

What are your studies focused on?
I am enrolled in the Masters of Mission and Health Leadership.

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing during your time at Loyola IPS and how does that relate to your future goals?
At this point in time, I am looking forward to just being able to keep up with the work as I have quite a busy job. I am hoping to be confident in understanding systematic theology and consolidating my knowledge in the area of bioethics. I think a bit of health leadership knowledge would not go astray as well, particularly for my new role!

Do you have a favorite class or one you look forward to taking?
Well, I have only experienced one class thus far, the theology and ministry introduction. I have to say, the lecturer Peter Jones is just terrific and makes everything so accessible and easy to understand. Quite frankly, I am enjoying hearing everyone speak with American accents! It’s amazing that we can connect from Australia to Chicago and hold a class for an hour in real-time. It has been really interesting observing the cultural differences between the two countries, even in the way language is used and how people write. Fascinating!

Do you see any challenges you will have to overcome during your time here? If so, what is one of them?
My main challenge is going to be keeping on top of the reading. Already with the change in this job I am two weeks behind. When I do have the time to read, I find myself enjoying the content so much. It provides for me a sanctuary to sit, reflect and think. It is a great change from the constancy of work, emails, Twitter, etc.

Do you have any recommendations for future students?
Make sure you have a spare eight hours in your week to devote to studies. It is too valuable an experience to try and skim over.

In what way will you go forth to “change the world?”
I don’t know. In a good way I hope. That is really in God’s hands.

Are you currently working on any projects that you wish to share?
I have recently developed two websites relating to advance care planning and perinatal palliative care. It has been fun developing the content, conducting the interviews and undertaking editing for the YouTube clips. The website addresses are and

What is a fun fact or story about you?
I am about to be the manager for a hockey team, the Green Lanterns, for the twilight season (it is moving into summer here in Australia). It’s not serious at all, and it seems a bunch of parents and their kids have all decided to play. There are 27 teams in the competition, which for Canberra is big!


For more exciting news and updates, follow @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! 

Happy 50th Birthday to IPS

This past weekend IPS celebrated its 50th Anniversary. It was a sold out event, filled with students, alumni, faculty members and friends. The energy in the room was palpable.

50th pan






Guests traveled back in time with a short video clip that featured a decade when The Beatles overtook the radio waves, a gallon of gas only cost $0.30, you could buy a family home for about $13,000 and the median income was around $6,000. Though for us, the most significant fact from the ’60s was the founding of IPS in 1964.

After a few remarks, guests then enjoyed the presentation of this video that showcases what IPS has accomplished in the last fifty years and what it plans to achieve in the future.

Later in the night, Peter Gilmour received the Aggiornamento Award, honoring his dedication to IPS throughout the years. His lifetime of service epitomizes the mission, values and the vision of IPS. Congratulations and thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the IPS community. Watch him fondly look back at his experience at IPS here.

Featured speaker, Sister Carol Keehan shared remarks that were both motivating and challenging. We will be sharing her keynote address in an upcoming blog, so those who missed the event can join us as we reflect on her thought-provoking sentiments.

From a summers-only program founded in 1964, to a degree-granting institute with nearly 300 students, we are well on our way to the next fifty years!

Thank you to all who attended and to all who helped execute this event!

Stay tuned for more photos and video from the celebration!


Join the conversation and follow @BrianSchmisek on Twitter
IPS also has an Instagram now: @LoyolaIPS

IPS Alumnus’s First Book Published: commends Loyola for help along the way

We would like to extend our congratulations to IPS Alumnus Michael Cahill on getting his first book published! Catholic Watershed is a compelling book that openly discusses the ever-changing Catholic Church and its hope for an even brighter future.


As a 1984 Loyola IPS graduate, Cahill commends the program for helping him keep in “touch with the importance of real people and their struggles to be faithful.”

As for his most memorable courses and professors at IPS, Cahill spoke fondly of Dick Westley and Jim Zullo. Westley taught “Form Me A People” and “Redemptive Intimacy,” two classes based on the work of Chicago priest Leo Mahon, one of Cahill’s true heroes. Zullo taught “Psychology of Young Adults” which meant a lot to Cahill, both academically and personally.

“This book focuses on the importance of the pastoral in relation to the doctrinal,” states Cahill, “or, another way of putting it, the Church as community in relation to the Church as institution. Much of that emphasis was stressed at IPS.”

About the Book 

Catholic Watershed provides readers with a close look at how the Catholic Church has changed since the Second Vatican Council.

In order to write the book, Cahill interviewed six priests who were ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1969. They opened up to Cahill about their seminary training, assignments, triumphs and disappointments.

Through interviewing these men, Cahill was able to write about topics that are rarely openly discussed within the church, especially by priests. These include:

  • Their personal spirituality
  • Their relationships with fellow priests and cardinal archbishops
  • Celibacy
  • The sexual abuse crisis

Cahill chose these six priests because they were classmates of one another and had good reputations. Moreover, he was aware that they’d likely be retired when the book was published and therefore, would be more frank about the topics at hand.

The motivation for writing this book came from his desire to explore what became of the Catholic Church he grew up admiring. Cahill struggled to feel comfortable in a Church that seemed to be rejecting much of what he learned from an entire generation of Catholic leaders.

It was with the loss of a dear friend, Father Bob “Red” McLaughlin, that gave him the final nudge to investigate these queries. Cahill realized now was the time to share the stories of priests who lived through three distinct periods of American Catholic history: the pre-Vatican II, Vatican II and post-Vatican II.

When asked if he thought the spirit of “aggiornamento” unleashed at Vatican II was still vibrant today, Cahill replied, “It is vibrant at the parish level and our Pope is bringing that vibrancy back for the universal Church. Faithful priests like these 6 men, as well as many great laypeople and religious, have kept the spirit alive, even in the face of much criticism.”

About The Author

Before beginning his journey at IPS, Cahill had been studying at Mundelein Seminary to become a priest. After deciding that priesthood was not for him, Cahill chose to continue his education at IPS.

“It was a happy time in the sense that it coincided with the period of my engagement and then wedding to Cathy O’Connell, herself a Loyola Grad.”

After IPS, Cahill worked as an alcoholism counselor for adolescents at St. Elizabeth Hospital for two years. With a growing family, Cahill then decided to become a financial planner, which has been his primary occupation for 27 years.

Regarding his first book, Cahill concludes, “It was a labor of love that I thoroughly enjoyed, especially having the privilege of interviewing these 6 good men.”

If interested, you can purchase the book here.


For more updates, follow @BrianSchmisek on Twitter! 

Speakers Bureau Workshop Series Continues Success

The latest event of the series, titled “When Task and Ministry Collide,” explored Western culture, along with the call of the Vatican II which describes the goal of communion for the Church.

Presenter: Carole Veronesi, IPS Parish Consultant (licensed organizational development professional)
Presenter: Carole Veronesi, IPS Parish Consultant (licensed organizational development professional)

During the workshop, the 150 plus attendees were given time to discuss issues and how they impact ministry. For instance, the participants:

  • Gained understanding about the culture of their teams
  • Identified the practices that get in the way of communion
  • Explored new ways of being with each other in order to fulfill the call to communion
Attendees discussing communion in the Church
Attendees discussing communion in the Church

Proving to be beneficial, the event created a platform for important discussions and critical thinking about communion in the Church. The workshop ended asking, “What can be done to more fully answer the call to communion?” Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

The IPS Speakers Bureau Workshop Series is presented through IPS Parish Leadership and Management Programs in service to the Church.

The next event will be “Administrando Resultados en un Mundo Diverso,” featuring a discussion in Spanish about managing results in a diverse world. It will be held on Saturday, November 8th at St. Donatus Parish. For more details or to register, contact Dina Carr at Hope to see you there!

Let’s Tweet! For more updates, follow @BrianSchmisek on Twitter!

Student Feature: Meet Daniel Guzman

Just from answering a few questions, it is evident that Guzman is the type of person to have a lasting, positive affect on people. With a personality that leaps off the page, Guzman would like to tell you a little more about himself:


Nickname: Guzy

A favorite thing: I’m a HUGE Golden State Warrior fan!!!

Hometown: Hayward, California

What is your previous education?
BA in Sociology: Concentration in Criminology from San Jose State University (SJSU)

What were you doing before beginning your IPS journey?
Teaching transformative learning practices in marginalized communities and traveling for leisure

What made you decide to come to Loyola IPS?
The city of Chicago and the opportunity to pursue a dual degree (M.A. in Social Justice and an M.S.W.) related to creating transformational change in both local and global communities propelled and motivated my decision to attend Loyola University.

What are your studies focused on?
My studies are concentrated on the criminalization of black and brown youth, restorative justice practices, community organizing, and critical pedagogy.

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing during your time here at Loyola IPS and how does that relate to your future goals?
Transformational growth, coupled with strengthening mind, body, and spirit during the next three years at Loyola will enable be to be a catalyst for change in any context or setting. My future goals include obtaining a PhD and starting my own business.

Do you have a favorite class or one you look forward to taking?
I am looking forward to taking IPS 635 (Community Organizing and Community Development) & IPS 660 (Leadership for Social Transformation).

Do you see any challenges you will have to overcome during your time here? Is so, what is one of them?
Anytime you transition to a new environment there are unexpected stressors you will inevitably encounter, however, I choose to focus on the positive rather than highlighting the negative, thus I see my experience at Loyola, as well as my transition to the city of Chicago as a beautiful struggle.

Do you have any recommendations for future students?
Come to graduate school with a purpose. Continually ask yourself self-reflective questions such as what am I working towards, and what do I hope to accomplish by the time I walk the stage with my diploma in hand? Keep an end goal in mind; otherwise you’re working hard and straining yourself without any clear direction. Figure out your why and represent a just cause!!

In what way will you go forth to “change the world?”
“I’m not saying I’m going to change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” -Tupac

What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a research paper studying the effects and correlation of gentrification and crime.

What is a fun fact or story about you?
I recently entered a hip-hop karaoke competition and won accolade from the crowd and a free t-shirt for my stellar performance.

Final thoughts to share:
In Lak’ Ech – an ancient Mayan concept that provides us with an alternative framework for doing social justice by relaying the message: you are my Other me


Follow me on Twitter @BrianSchmisek for more exciting news and updates! 

Alpha Sigma Nu Recognizes Extraordinary Loyola Student

This past Sunday, Alpha Sigma Nu held its annual Induction Ceremony to welcome new members and recognize the most outstanding new inductee with the Rev. Ronald J. Ferguson, S.J., Award.

This year, that honor went to Staycie Flint from IPS. Congratulations!

The award recognizes a student who has shown extraordinary commitment and care for his or her fellow students and the community as a whole. It is tradition for the Jesuit community to present this award in remembrance of Fr. Ferguson, S.J., who passed away in 2002. He left behind a legacy of loyalty, service and scholarship that will be honored for years to come.

We also would like to congratulate new Alpha Sigma Nu inductees from IPS:

  • Eric Lejeune
  • Rachel Lyons
  • Elizabeth Reardon
  • Denise Thompson

With over 68,000 members worldwide, Alpha Sigma Nu is the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education. It recognizes upperclassmen and graduate students who rank academically in the top 15 percent of their class and who have demonstrated service and loyalty to the Jesuit ideals.

Loyola IPS is proud to have students who continue to pursue scholarly goals and strive to better their community on a daily basis!


For more updates, follow @BrianSchmisek on Twitter! 

Student Feature: Meet Rebekah

Starting this week, IPS will feature a different student on our blog once a week.

It’s a chance to get to know our students better and for our students to connect with one another.

So without further ado…

Meet Rebekah.
Full name: Rebekah Turnbaugh

From: Sacramento, CA

What is your previous education?
I graduated in 2008 with a BA in Sociology from California State University, Stanislaus.

What were you doing before beginning your IPS journey?
Prior to moving to Chicago I was working at a statewide public policy and advocacy nonprofit organization called The Campaign for College Opportunity, which aims to ensure that all students in California have the opportunity to pursue and be successful in higher education.

What made you decide to come to Loyola IPS?
I decided to come to Loyola because of the MA in Social Justice degree program. I was drawn the unique blend of faith and social justice, as well as the openness of the program to welcome individuals of all faiths or of no articulated faith at all. For me, the potential for a diverse student body and being able to hear and learn from a plurality of perspectives was really appealing.

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing during your time here at Loyola IPS and how does that relate to your future goals?
I think one of my primary goals here is to have a better understanding of what I may be called to after graduation. I’m looking forward to exploring new issues, developing my own skills, and using both to inform my direction moving forward.

Do you have a favorite class or one you look forward to taking?
I am really looking forward to the Contextual Education class that I will take next year. I am excited to be able to work with a local organization and also have a place where I can engage in reflection about that experience and what I am learning about my own vocation.

Do you see any challenges you will have to overcome during your time here?
While I have an understanding of an issue [criminal justice] about which I am passionate, I think I will be challenged to discern how/if God is calling me to lend my voice to this realm.

In what way will you go forth to “change the world?”
With openness to the idea of this changing entirely while I am here, I have an interest in engaging in research and policy analysis around criminal justice issues, lending a voice of compassion and forgiveness to public discourse.

What is a fun fact/story about you?
I love the mishaps of travel. Once as an exchange student in Mexico, some friends and I took a weekend trip to Oaxaca. After driving most of the night, we decided to spend the night in Puebla. We had not made any hotel/motel reservations and simply assumed that we could easily find an inexpensive place to stay at any hour. This, however, was not as easy a task as presumed. We ended up finding a motel that would only rent rooms to us for four hours at a time. Ahem. They were gracious, however, and permitted us to stay for eight hours.

Some of her favorite booksLittle Women, Tattoos on the Heart, The Shack, The Autobiography of an Execution

Connect with her on Facebook:

Speakers Bureau Explores Hospitality in the Church

One of the biggest factors that affect a person’s experience of a church is whether or not they feel welcomed. But what does it truly mean to be welcoming, and what difference does hospitality really make?

Loyola IPS explored answers to those questions and more during its first Speakers Bureau Workshop Series event held last week.

Carol Knoerzer, director of liturgy at Mary Seat of Wisdom parish, came to the event to acquire new ideas on how to improve her parish’s usher and greeter ministry.

“The workshop was just terrific on many counts,” proclaimed Knoerzer. “The presenters… were full of ideas, enthusiasm, energy and successful stories.”

When asked what she will bring back with her to Mary Seat of Wisdom, Knoerzer said she learned the importance of making good eye contact and asking newcomers to help with tasks or inviting them to a parish event. In addition, she noted that it is good sit in different pews to encounter new people and be aware of those standing by themselves, so someone can reach out to them.

Loyola IPS is both proud and grateful to be able to create these events as platforms for parishioners to learn how they can continue improving the church community experience.

Hospitality2  Hospitality1
There were more than 50 attendees representing 16 different parishes and diocesan organizations who were able to bring back new ideas and thought-provoking dialogue back to their community.

Here at Loyola IPS, we believe that it is important to provide innovative learning experiences in leadership, outreach and inter-parish discussion. The IPS Speakers Bureau Workshop Series certainly fills those criteria.

Christina Bax, pastoral associate for Saint Clement Parish, and Tim Weiske, chair of the Stewardship Council and co-chair to the Young Adult Community Board in Saint Clement Parish, facilitated the evening with their effective and knowledgable presentations.


For more updates, follow me on Twitter @BrianSchmisek