Monthly Archives: November 2016

An Advent Reflection

Advent is the liturgical period leading up to the feast of Christmas.

A driving dynamic of Advent is hope.  If we had nothing to hope for,
there would be no point to this season.  The original hope was for a
child to be born who would bring justice and peace to the world and
who would heal the rift between humanity and God.  But that larger
hope is filled with smaller ones—daily hopes that can shape us as people.

Some hopes will shape our relationships.  The Christ Child grew to be a
man who embodied forgiveness and generosity.  A life of hope sees
the good in others, is patient with their shortcomings, and tenaciously
envisions them at their best.

Some hopes will shape our work.  The promised Messiah proclaimed
God’s realm of justice and mercy.  No matter what jobs we do or work
positions we hold, as hopeful people we maintain fairness and integrity
as short-term and long-term goals.  We make our work matter for the
common good.

Some hopes will shape our character.  Jesus exemplified hope that cultivates
true freedom.  A hopeful person cannot continue in anxiety, grasping,
need for control, and habitual anger.

How is hope visible in your life?
Where has it failed?


– Vinita Hampton Wright, IPS Student, Loyola Press Blogs

IPS Damen Award nominations

Dear IPS Alumni,

It is our sincere hope that this letter finds you well.  We are contacting you as fellow Loyola University Chicago alumni and members of the Development Committee of the Institute of Pastoral Studies Advisory Council.  In brief, we are seeking your assistance in identifying outstanding IPS alumni as candidates for the Damen Award.

The Damen Award is an annual award, named for Arnold J. Damen, S.J., one of the founders of Loyola University Chicago.  It is bestowed on alumni from every school and college at LUC to recognize their exemplary leadership and service to others.  The most recent Institute of Pastoral Studies honoree for 2016 was Sr. Norma S. Pimentel (MA’95), a sister with the Missionaries of Jesus and executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.  Sr. Pimentel’s ministry has been devoted to serving people in need and advocating for justice in social structures.  Pope Francis has praised her ministry to immigrants and refugees on the U.S. southern border.  Click here or see below to learn more about past nominees.

Loyola’s IPS has been educating students for ministry for more than 50 years and alumni are geographically scattered near and far.  As a result, many IPS alumni, along with their ministry and accomplishments, are unknown to us or current faculty and staff.  We need you to raise our awareness of inspiring alumni whose commitment and service deserve recognition and honor.  A likely candidate is someone who graduated from an IPS program more than a few years ago and has shown outstanding ministerial leadership and service to Church and beyond.

We invite you to nominate IPS alumni for the 2017 Damen Award by completing this short form online with the name, a description of their work and accomplishments, and why you think they deserve this award.  Deadline is November 29, 2016.

Thank you, in advance, for participating in this search and nomination process.  Through the Damen Award, IPS’ outstanding alumni will be recognized for their leadership and service, and the honor they bring to their alma mater.  We look forward to learning from you and celebrating the extraordinary lives and service of our fellow alumni.

Peace and Blessings,


The Development Committee of the Institute of Pastoral Studies Advisory Council

Nancy Braund Boruch (MBA ’79, MPS ’02)
Donna Gawlas (BS ’75, MPS ’88)
Laura Howard (MPS ’01, MDiv ’07)
Meredith Onion (MSIR ’87, MDiv ’13)
Beth Reece (MDiv ’10)


Institute of Pastoral Studies Damen Awardees

2008 – Dr. Terrance P. McGuire, MPS ‘02
2009 – Rich F. Clark, MRE ’78
2010 – Ms. Shirley A. Giacomi, MPS ’98, MDiv ‘ 02
2011 – Sr. Maura Twohig, MA ’95
2011 – Sr. Mary M. Daly, MA ’95
2012 – Joseph Paprocki, BA ’81, MPS ’85
2013 – Rev. Jimmie L. Flewellen, MPS ‘83
2014 – Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson, MPS ‘82
2015 – Pam Coster, MRE ’02
2016 – Sr. Norma Pimentel, MAPC ’95

Election Statement from IPS

Dear Students,

Today marks one week since our nation’s historic election. Thoughtful and informed statements have been issued by Loyola’s new President Dr. Rooney, our Vice President for Student Development and President of Student Government, our Archbishop, and countless others calling for harmony in working for the common good, mutual respect and dialogue, and care for one another based in our Jesuit sense of cura personalis. I echo and endorse these sentiments and add this short note to the IPS community.

This campaign was perhaps the most divisive in living memory and many people feel hurt, marginalized, and demeaned while some are feeling empowered, emboldened, and hopeful. We have seen racial and other intimidation and even violence erupt this week in direct response to the election. Some have likened the feelings provoked by the election results to that of 9/11 and that comparison itself is uncomfortable for others.

This tumultuous week calls to mind our own IPS mission statement, which says in part that we are developing “diverse and dynamic leaders for creative, compassionate, and courageous service to church and society.”

The day after the election our IPS faculty came together and discussed what it will mean to live our mission as we move forward. We are firmly rooted in our Jesuit values, particularly solidarity with the poor and the marginalized; and we uphold the American ideal of “liberty and justice for all.” Creative, compassionate, and courageous service has been at the heart of IPS and each of us are dedicated to that. In the days and weeks ahead we encourage you to speak with one another, including your faculty and colleagues, to provide mutual understanding and support based on our common mission, as we adapt to the “rapidly changing religious and social landscapes” in which we find ourselves.

Brian Schmisek, Ph.D.
Director, Institute of Pastoral Studies
Loyola University Chicago