Last week, Assistant Dean for Continuing Education Mariana Miller, Interim Dean Peter Jones, and Assistant Professor Mike Canaris hosted the IPS annual “Breakfast With The Bishops” during their national meetings at the USCCB November General Assembly. As in past years, the breakfast was a chance to have an extended and intimate conversation about current and future IPS priorities, and where our mission of forming professional ministers, social justice advocates, and persons for others can best align with needs and challenges on the ground. To do this effectively, both institutes of academic formation and credentialing, and institutional representatives of ecclesial leadership need open and frank conversations. This is one small element in remaining committed to exactly this exchange. It also allows IPS community members to meet with former colleagues and graduates serving in various capacities around the country. Emily Kane, the current assistant director for social justice at Loyola University Maryland joined our faculty and staff this year to share her experiences and values with the participating bishops. She told us the experience was valuable and enjoyable.
“I appreciated having the space within the USCCB conference to engage with bishops about the intersection of their work and the work of IPS. Particularly as a woman within the Catholic Church, it felt significant to be able to share my experience directly with those who are a part of making formative decisions about the direction of the Church. It was also fascinating to see the perceived needs of the Church from both a clergy and lay perspective, and to brainstorm collaboratively about how IPS can play a role in formation both locally in Chicago, as well as globally.”