I was born and raised in New York City. I grew up on the border of Spanish Harlem and Harlem and then in the Bronx. At that time, those neighborhoods were primarily made up of low-income people of color, so my working-class white family stuck out a bit. Seeing the different way our family was treated, and even the different opportunities available to me through “gifted” (meaning wealthier and whiter) education is what got me thinking about social justice in the first place.
You are an IPS alumnus, what was your major and when did you graduate?
I majored in Social Justice and Community Development and graduated in 2010. I was a part-time student since I was already organizing full time at that point, but I really enjoyed the time in class as a way to step back from the day to day grind of organizing and reflect on the big picture.
What made you choose that path?
After witnessing so much injustice firsthand, from educational disparity to police harassment of my friends, to the rampant homelessness of the late Reagan and early Bush I administrations, I knew I wanted to make a change. But I also knew that I didn’t want to make that change from a position of an elite – a lawyer or “expert” of some kind. Most of the people I had learned the most from and respected the most didn’t occupy fancy offices and places of authority. That’s what led me to organizing, I wanted to work with people to build mutual power and create change together.
You have a book out what is it about?
Yes, I do! It’s entitled Seeds of Justice: Organizing Your Church to Transform the World. I think of it as a guidebook for people of faith who want to make change, and really want their church to be an effective agent of change, but don’t know how to do it or where to start. I believe that the church should be the most vital force for justice in our world, but, sadly, most of our congregations have either forgotten, or chosen to ignore the social Gospel, or they are really ineffective at impacting the powers and principalities. Over the course of my career, I think I’ve learned a lot about how churches can transform themselves, and become healthier congregations in the process, so I wanted to share those lessons.
What inspired you to write it?
Actually, I was pushed into doing it. A number of different community leaders have told me that I should write a book over the years. I knew that churches needed these tools – I saw it all the time – but I didn’t think I was the messenger and I didn’t think of myself as a writer. But finally, after leading a training at a church, I got a call from one of the attendees who actually worked for a publisher and they asked me to sit down and talk about writing a book. That was the push I needed to finally start writing.
How is the knowledge you gained during your time at IPS helping you in your career?
For me, IPS helped in two ways. First, my coursework there really helped me refine my theological understanding of my work as well as some of the theoretical frameworks to think about justice issues. Secondly, some of the hands-on courses offered me some hands-on skills that I ended up using in one way or the other. I’m thinking here specifically about the Leadership in Social Justice Organizations course and a course in Restorative Justice that were really helpful.
Any word of advice for current and future IPS students on surviving grad school and/or getting a job doing great work?
That’s a tough one. I think I would say that the most important
thing is building relationships with the folx who are doing the work you want
to do and to use the time at IPS to really challenge yourself to grow, see new
perspectives, and be uncomfortable.
Ana, tell us a little bit about yourself. You just graduated from IPS and I hear you are planning on continuing your studies. What is next? How has your time at IPS helped you in your ministry?
I am from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital
city of Chiapas, Mexico, and I am 30 years old. I have a Bachelor’s in
Financial Management with a concentration in Financial Analysis and Investment
Management from a prestigious university in Mexico, the Monterrey Institute of
Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), where I graduated with honors. I have
experience as a Portfolio Manager with the Mexican Stock Exchange. I have also
worked as a Purchasing Manager in Libertad Creativa S.A. de C.V., and as the
General Manager of Win Land. Hence, my focus was on business and money.
However, in 2012, everything began to
change when I initiated my catechesis for the sacrament of Confirmation in the
Catholic Church. Without any doubt, this sacrament was the one that changed my
life and personal goals. Soon after, I started to participate in the Catholic Charismatic
Renewal Movement, where I began to know God. With the desire to know Him more,
I enrolled myself in the Bachelor’s in Theology with Pastoral emphasis at one
of the Catholic universities in my hometown. I studied this degree for three
years, but I could not finish it for several reasons, one of them was my
My mother passed away in May 2015 due to
suicide. It was the most challenging experience I have had. Nevertheless, it
led me to the best of my life, my ministry, and my renewed relationship with
After my mother died, I had tremendous painful experiences, one after another. I felt like Job in the Bible, losing everything I owned and believed. As a result, I was suffering from depression. I did not think I could make it, but God never left me. He was with me during the darkest period of my life. Deep inside, I had one tiny sparkle, a light of hope, the desire to continue studying. I wanted a master’s degree in something related to God. Thus, by searching for it on the Internet, I found (curiously the first link) Loyola University Chicago. By reading the academic offer, I decided to apply to the Master’s in Christian Spirituality, Spiritual Direction concentration.
The day after I applied, I received an email from the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) welcoming me to the program! You cannot imagine the joy and hope I felt! This news changed my darkness into light. It was not only the news but the entire experience of moving to Chicago and studying for my master’s program in the United States. The IPS faculty, my classmates, the Contextual Education program, the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, my spiritual director… everything and everyone contributed to the healing of my heart and soul. It was a process of purification. It was not easy, but it was worth the effort. On the day of my graduation, I recapitulated my time at IPS with verse 6 of Psalm 126: “Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves” (NABRE). When I arrived at IPS, I was heartbroken. When I left, I cried with joy! Furthermore, I proclaimed with Job: “By hearsay, I had heard of you, but now my eye has seen you” (Job 42:5, NABRE).
By becoming a spiritual director, I
encountered myself and God. Before my master’s degree, I had lost sight of who
I was and most importantly, who I was in God’s sight and love. However, through
the program and the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises, I gained a new
sight of myself and God. This experience of God’s love is the one that I try to
hand down to my directees now that I am back in my hometown.
The Integration Project of my master’s
degree became real when I opened the retreat house called El Cireneo, Hogar de
Esperanza (The Cyrenian, House of Hope) in my hometown. Thanks to the personal
and academic growth from my mother’s death, my own recovery process from
depression, and my education, I was able to intertwine them, and the result was
the healing program of the retreat house for patients suffering from
depression. With the valuable help of my then Academic Advisor and Faculty
Reader Jean-Pierre Fortin, Ph.D., I discerned that the goal of the retreat
house and its holistic program (physical health, emotional well-being, and
spiritual renewal) is to lower the rate of suicide, by enabling individuals
suffering from depression to process their suffering.
I finished my Integration Project on June
23rd and one month later, I was opening the retreat house in the same place where
my mother committed suicide. This house is now a place where people find
healing, peace, hope, and life! I know this is only the beginning. There are
more things I need to learn and do. For these reasons, I want to continue my
studies. I have been in touch with the dean of the Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
program at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. I hope to apply
for the doctorate program this year. As an online program, I will only have to
travel there twice a year. Hence, it will not overlap with my time at the
retreat house. I hope this degree helps me to gain a deeper understanding of
ministry to enhance my role at the retreat house and develop more programs to
stand in solidarity with those vulnerable in my state and country. And why not?
Maybe worldwide. So, please, pray for me!
Any word of advice for
current and future IPS students on surviving grad school and/or finding their
path after grad school?
remember during our welcoming session, the dean told us: “Be aware that all the
structures you bring to IPS are going to be changed. You are not going to leave
IPS being the same person.” This statement was completely true for my
classmates and I. Thus, be open to allow the fresh air to blow in your life and
ministry. Let yourself be surprised by God’s love and wisdom that you will gain
through the courses and IPS faculty. If you do not know the path, He will guide
you through every reading and experience within the classrooms. He is with you
and will never abandon you!
is the story behind El Cireneo?
When my mother passed away, I inherited
the house where she committed suicide. It was hard for me to be around the
house in the beginning. I thought I would never be able to emotionally heal and
return. Thus, almost one and a half years later, I decided to lease the house,
even though the process of emptying it and removing her belongings was
extremely painful. The house had been occupied for almost two years when I had
realized what God wanted for my life. No longer leasing it out, I remodeled it
to what it is now, the retreat house.
It was last Holy Thursday when God told me
to renew the house into a place where people could find Him. I went to the Last
Supper celebration at the Madonna della Strada Chapel, at the Lake Shore
Campus, where I then participated in the tradition of Seven Churches Visit,
organized by Loyola University Campus Ministry. We were at the second church
praying before the Blessed Sacrament when I listened to God’s voice telling me
to transform my mother’s home into a retreat house. Soon after, I heard God
revealing the name for it: “El Cireneo, Hogar de Esperanza” (The Cyrenian,
House of Hope). I was amazed and said to Him: “What? Wait a minute! I just came
here to pray, not to talk about the retreat house.” I have to admit I did not have
any intentions to talk about the house. Nonetheless, for God, it was the proper
time. He knew I was ready to move forward.
Hence, I asked Him: “¿por qué El Cireneo?”
(why The Cyrenian?). Then, I remembered the Scripture passage about Simon of
Cyrene (cf. Matthew 27:32). God allowed me to discern that I was going to
become Simon of Cyrene, helping the suffering Christ (manifested in my
directees) to carry the cross. In other words, God allowed me to understand
that I was going to help my directees to carry their cross, depression. But
this cross has a promise: a resurrected life. I learned from my mother’s death
and my own experience of recovering from depression that there is no cross
It was during that same evening, on Holy
Thursday, when God reminded me: “I came so that they might have life and have
it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NABRE). For this reason, when patients arrive
at the retreat house, the first sight they can appreciate is the name of the
house and this Biblical passage, John 10:10.
Jesus came so each of my
directees/patients can have life and have it more abundantly. The staff and I
try to bring them relief, reassurance, and consolation by being their Simon of
Cyrene in their journey to a resurrected life in Christ.
Tell us a little about treatment
at El Cireneo, Hogar de Esperanza.
As I mentioned before, thanks to the
personal and academic growth from my mother’s death, my own recovery process
from depression, and my education, I was able to intertwine them, and the
result was the healing program of the retreat house for patients suffering from
depression. In fact, the healing program reflects my own recovery process from
depression in a holistic manner: physical health, emotional well-being, and
Physical health: when a patient arrives asking for help, he/she is interviewed
by the psychologist. He is the one who gives the preliminary diagnosis. If the
patient is diagnosed with depression, we ask them to undergo testing at a
laboratory by the request of the neurologist to rule out physical diseases
causing depression (e.g. hypothyroidism). The neurologist determines if the
patient needs to be medicated and/or referred to psychiatry. Additionally,
there is a nutritionist helping patients improve their diet with the purpose to
increase their physical energy.
Emotional well-being: the patient meets with the psychologist every week to
process his/ her suffering and acquire tools to manage his/her emotions.
Spiritual renewal: through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of
Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The directee meets with me (the spiritual director)
weekly to talk about his/her process throughout the retreat. We listen and
discern God’s voice in his/her life. I help him/her to contemplate his/her life
through God’s love, mercy, beauty, and wisdom. It is important to mention that
we have monthly therapeutic and spiritual direction meetings with all the
patients, so they can create a sense of community. They realize that they are
not walking alone trying to overcome depression. They help each other by
sharing their stories.
Because poverty is the main cause of
depression in Chiapas, the program is free of charge. We only require patients
to commit themselves to their recovery process.
1.) Samantha, tell us a
little bit about yourself (where you are from, undergrad, previous work).
I was technically born in southern California, outside of LA, but I grew up in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. There are pieces of my life and personality strewn across every part of this country it seems from moving so much. So, when asked, “Where are you from?” or “where is home?” I have no idea how to answer that question. Sometimes my heart skips a beat when I fly home to Philadelphia see the, “Welcome to Philadelphia. Home of the Philadelphia Eagles,” sign at Philadelphia International. When I lived on the East Coast or even in Chicago, I found myself craving the mountains, the intoxicating smell of the ancient Redwoods, and the chill of the Pacific Ocean.
I earned my bachelor’s at a small, liberal arts school in Pennsylvania. I studied English, theater, and art history. Passionate about the Arts, I was determined to be a writer and desired to work in theater that spoke to the injustices of the world. My career took me on a vastly different journey than what I originally conceived for myself as a twenty-something. I taught ESL in the Czech Republic, worked in an after-school program in Philadelphia, served the homeless population in Philadelphia, provided direct support to those in the disability community in San Francisco, and ran a literacy program for immigrant families in Chicago. While at IPS, I did CPE at Rush Memorial Hospital, Contextual Education at the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Human Dignity and Solidarity, and worked the American Library Association. In between all of that, I did freelance writing and even taught a few acting classes here and there.
2.) You just graduated from IPS
what was your major?
I earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Social Justice.
3.) What made you choose that
While in San Francisco, I was working with aging adults with developmental disabilities. Learning about gerontology and the aging process, particularly as it connected with the clientele I was serving, I became fascinated with how the brain works and decided to study psychology. I earned a Master’s of Science in psychology and was discerning doctorate programs in clinical psychology, when my spiritual director at St. Ignatius parish in San Francisco asked me, “Samantha, have you ever thought of an M.Div.?”
After that spiritual direction session, I went home and entered into Google, “M.Div. social justice. Jesuit” and Loyola’s dual program popped up. Reading about the program, it became very clear to me that this was the path that I had been craving my entire life.
4.) You are currently in
Seattle doing some amazing things. Where are you working and what is your job?
I currently work as the Justice Educator for Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center (IPJC) in Seattle, WA.
First, I facilitate our Justice Café program geared towards young adults in their 20s and 30s to build community, deepen spirituality, and act for justice. I create host kits that go out to the café “hosts” or leader of the group ( campus minister, young adult minister, volunteer in intentional community, etc.) to lead a gathering in café, pub, coffee shop to talk about social justice concerns. This fall, we covered Root Causes of Migration and the Feminization of poverty.
Second, I am also the editor of our quarterly publication called A Matter of Spirit which combines critical analysis, theological reflection, and action on justice issues. Our most recent issue tackles the complexities of childhood today under the backdrop of pervasive violence.
Third, I give presentations, talks, and webinars for parishes and schools on human trafficking.
Additionally, I support our organization through advocacy efforts and collaborate with members from partnering organizations and ministries on an array of social justice issues.
5.) How is the knowledge you gained
during your time at IPS helping you in your job?
Much of what I have learned at IPS has been very helpful in the work I do.
With collaborative efforts, having practical knowledge from some of my assignments has really paid off. For example, I took the Religious Education Class with timone davis and she had us create a nine-month plan for a ministry. I just sent that project off to the Director of Young Adult Ministries for the Archdiocese of Seattle to review for programming ideas for YA ministry. Other times, I need to write, lead, or create a prayer reflection and I have had to that for several past classes. Our use of technology and presentations at IPS developed a very necessary skill set for the work I do. I lead editorial board meetings in which some of our members are remote and having had the hybrid learning experience from IPS, I can easily navigate my way around the digital communication piece. Whenever I assemble host kits for our Justice Cafes, I am constantly recalling things I learned from the Catholic social ethics course with Peter Jones or Global Economics and Politics with Dan Rhodes.
Other little surprises that have popped up for me has been in networking. One day I might be writing an email and it could be to a former IPS graduate or someone from Catholic Worker, L ’Arche, JVC, etc. and I get the privilege of asking, “do you know x person, we studied together.” Also, Jesuits West is one of our sponsoring communities and I am never far away from those Jesuit roots!
1-22-2020|Comments Off on Meet Samantha, former IPS student who decided to “Go forth and set the world on fire (St. Ignatius).
Long-time Adjunct Faculty member Michel Bland has recently been promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor.
Dr. Bland is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and works as an educator, therapist, a consultant, and a psychometrician. Dr. Bland has a wide-range of experience in providing direct clinical services to adolescents and adults with post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, as well as individuals dealing with identity issues, life changes, including vocational, employment, relational issues, grief/loss, and geriatric issues in various clinical settings. Dr. Bland also has provided outreach to victims of sexual abuse including providing individual counseling and group therapy for victims and their families.
We recently asked Professor Bland to share with the IPS community.
How long have you
been affiliated with IPS? In what
am completing the end of my tenth year.
Are you currently involved in other formal pursuits, other than IPS?I have a private practice on the north side of Chicago.
What classes are you currently teaching this semester?This semester I am teaching: IPS 512: Ethics for Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction, IPS 520: Testing, Measurement & Assessment, and in the fall, I will be teaching IPS 509: Psychopathology.
What continues to draw you to IPS?After being invited as a guest speaker a few times, I quickly found the spirit and mission of IPS to be very attractive, and in the Spring of 2009, I was asked to teach Psychopathology. I remain because of that same spirit, ministry, and passion. I enjoy the community and the diversity of the student population.
Can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?I find it important for me to take quiet time for myself to be able to find my foundation and center. I also enjoy having Labrador Retrievers as they remind me to relax, enjoy and walk! Walking them a few miles a day forces me to enjoy the outdoors as well as my time with them!
We congratulate Professor Bland on his recent promotion and hope that he continues to be part of the formation of IPS students.
Earlier this semester, IPS Associate Dean Peter Jones introduced Mariclare, writing “Mariclare comes to IPS with a range of experiences that will no doubt enable her to succeed in this role. A graduate of Marquette with a degree in education and an appreciation for the Jesuit mission, she is also bilingual, having lived and studied in Spain for two years. Mariclare was most recently a teacher at St Matthias School here in Chicago (teaching Spanish and also religion courses).”
We recently sat down with Mariclare to learn more about our new enrollment advisor.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Grew up where, family, etc.) I grew up in Glenview, IL, a bit north of Chicago, with my parents, older brother, two younger sisters, and our dog. We all attended elementary school, high school, and college together (yes, all four of us, by choice!) and afterward went our separate ways. My parents still live in Glenview and after a few years of all working and living in different states and countries, we are all back in Chicago within a few miles of one another. My family is the most important part of my life!
What is your current role at IPS? I am the Enrollment Advisor for IPS. I work with prospective students and applicants of our programs as they determine which areas match their interests, how they are going to finance their education, and I try my best to be as supportive as possible as these candidates take a very important step in their personal and educational journey. I offer personalized conversation by e-mail, and encourage students to sign up for a one-on-one appointment with me to take the time to walk through all of their questions. That’s my favorite part of my role! I love getting to know the people interested in IPS programming and helping find solutions to questions, problems, or worries with the help of the IPS and GPEM staff. A one-on-one meeting can take place over the phone, over an online face-to-face program called Zoom, or in my office here at Chicago’s Water Tower Campus. Interested students can sign up for a meeting on the Enrollment Advisor Appointment Page!
What were you involved in prior to working at IPS? Before joining IPS in January, I had been a classroom teacher for 8 years. I taught middle school in Milwaukee, Spain, and Chicago – they continue to be some of the best years and most inspiring moments of my life. I have a passion for educating, caring, and understanding, and am a big supporter of teachers, adolescents, and parents everywhere. Outside of the classroom I taught yoga – I specialized in hot power yoga and yin restorative yoga; while I don’t currently teach, I still practice as often as I can!
How did you discern IPS to be a next step? I mentioned earlier that my siblings and I all attended the same schools, and both our high school and our university were Jesuit. I saw what an impact Jesuit education had on our character formation, and wanted to stay connected. Loyola University had always been a dream for me, and I felt that my background and skill set as a teacher would be helpful in the role as the Enrollment Advisor at IPS. I feel truly blessed to be here and continue to learn and grow surrounded by the teams and communities in which I work.
Are you currently involved in other formal pursuits, other than IPS?I am pursuing my MA in Community Counseling, another goal of mine.
What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits? I love to walk around the city and enjoy the life and architecture, but not during winter! Chicago has a wealth of wonderful restaurants that I like to try, and discovering new places with culture and history is one of my favorite parts of this city.
Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?Yoga and meditation are part of my self-care practice. Clearing my mind and ensuring I am available to meet others’ needs was a necessity as a teacher, and it has become a part of my standard restoration practice. There are plenty of apps and tutorials if anyone is interested in trying something new!
We want to thank Mariclare for sharing with us, and we wish her all the best in this new life chapter.
Finally, to view a video of Mariclare prepared by Loyola Chicago’s Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management team, click here.
This agreement will be in effect for six years, after which time it may be renewed.
Of this recent development, IPS Dean Schmisek says, “This past August when Fr. Sosa [Father General of the Society of Jesus] encouraged Jesuit universities to work together, share resources, and collaborate, we immediately though of our MA in Christian Spirituality and the Diploma in Ignatian Spirituality offered at the Greg. Then last month, the Society named “Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises” as one of its four priorities [universal apostolic preferences] in the coming years. So this agreement comes at an opportune time, especially when so many are looking to the resources of Ignatian Spirituality for the modern world.”
Fr. James Grummer, SJ, the superior of the Pontifical Gregorian University Jesuit Community in Rome and director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center at PGU, adds, “The diploma program we offer at the Gregorian allows students to learn a great deal about Ignatian spirituality in an exceptional atmosphere. Since our teachers and students come from all over the world, they have a unique opportunity to learn with one another. The different experiences and perspectives they bring to class illuminate the breadth and depth of the Ignatian tradition in ways that transform the participants academically, professionally, and personally.”
Which is right for me? Spiritual Direction and/or Pastoral Counseling?
This is a really good question and one that comes up often. So let’s start by defining terms. First, spiritual direction, as the name implies, is primarily about the spiritual life: our relationship with God and the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is also involved in fostering personal growth in and deeper intimacy with God (as experienced in prayer and lived out in discipleship).
Counseling and psychotherapy are different. These terms are often used interchangeably so I’d like to make a distinction here as well. Counseling helps us to work through and resolve problems in our lives and relationships. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, goes deeper and is primarily focused on the emotional life and helps us to heal past hurts and to look at and resolve unhealthy patterns in our lives.
When should you pursue counseling/therapy vs. spiritual direction?
If you are struggling with emotional pain and negative patterns of behavior in your life, dealing with depression or mood disorders, anxiety, addictions or other diagnosable conditions, psychotherapy is your best option. Do you need guidance and support sorting out your life and your relationships? Counseling would be the way to go.
Are you trying to grow in your relationship with God and discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life? Then, spiritual direction is what you should pursue.
Keep in mind that each discipline is not mutually exclusive and you can participate in spiritual direction along with therapy and counseling.
(Adapted excerpt from: Spiritualdirection.com – Catholic Spiritual Direction – What is the Difference between Counseling and Spiritual Direction?)
“Pastoral counselors hold a unique position in the field of counseling. With their combination of theological training and advanced education in the behavioral sciences, they are poised to provide effective mental health counseling that is capable of respectfully integrating religious and spiritual components.”
(The Misunderstood Pastoral Counselor: Knowledge and Religiosity as Factors Affecting a Client’s Choice, Walker, et. al., Paper based on a program presented at the 2012 American Counseling Association Annual Conference and Exposition, San Francisco, CA, March 23-25,)
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards to God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10
Spiritual formation requires taking not only the inward journey to the heart, but also the outward journey from the heart to the community and ministry. Christian spirituality is essentially communal. Spiritual formation is formation in community. In community, we learn what it means to confess our weakness and to forgive each other. In community, we discover our own woundedness but also a place of healing. In community, we learn true humility. Without community, we become individualistic and egocentric. Therefore, spiritual formation always includes formation to life in community.
(Henri Nouwen, Following the Movements of the Spirit, Spiritual Formation with Christensen, M. J. & Laird, R. J.)
IPS is excited to announce that Adjunct Instructor Bill Huebsch will be teaching a new class in the Fall of 2019 entitled “Introduction to the New Pastoral Theology Emerging in the Era of Pope Francis”.
We recently reached out to Bill to find out more on this new IPS course offering.
Can you provide details of your class? How did it come about? What are your hopes/objectives with this class? This class will trace pastoral theology directly from the life and ministry of Jesus into the early church, and from there we’ll consider how it has come down through the ages to the present time. The core of the class will be to study the principles that guide pastoral theology and ministry, especially the set of questions (or hermeneutic) we bring (1) to our way of scrutinizing the signs of the times and (2) to how we articulate for others and ourselves the call to holiness. We will also examine the conciliar and post-conciliar development of pastoral theology and focus especially on two recent apostolic exhortations of Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel and the Joy of Love.
This is a practical, hands-on course which will ground each student’s self-understanding of his or her ministry with a solid and continual theological reflection. It’s a “personal course” inasmuch as students will be expected to connect the theology to their real, concrete situations in life and ministry. And it will also be a lot of fun! I think this kind of study is essential for those who plan to work in parish ministry.
What work are you currently involved in? Over the past five or six years I have been working to present the teaching of the church in plain English so that people can apprehend it and live according to it. Toward this end, I’ve published several booklets that provide recent papal documents in a plain English study guide format. These have included, among others: Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), and The Art of Accompaniment. (All from: New London, CT: 23rd Publications.) Besides teaching here at IPS, I also maintain a busy international lecture schedule and this winter, am spending ten weeks in Guatemala, learning Spanish and helping the “least among his sisters and brothers” gain a foothold in today’s culture and economy.
How long have you been affiliated with IPS? In what capacity? I have been on the adjunct faculty here at IPS for several years. Last year I taught the course on The Story and Promise of Vatican II. I’ve also been deeply involved in the expansion of IPS’s presence in the North of England where a new pastoral ministry certificate is now being offered. I also teach in that program for IPS.
What draws you to IPS? I see IPS as a training center for the leaders of the church. It offers students excellent academics set amid the Ignatian genius for discernment and prayer. It’s a practical school, one that knows the culture in which its graduates will work. The leadership of IPS is solid and well-planned, looking to the future without fear and responding to the changing ministry needs we see before us. I like that.
Can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit? My daily prayer has led me to be something of a busy, urban contemplative. I find a surprising amount of quiet, reflective prayer in my daily life. And even when a day here or there doesn’t allow for it, I soon find myself turning my heart once again to speak with and listen to the Lord, whose voice echoes in my depths, as the CCC says in article 1776.
IPS students can begin to enroll via LOCUSfor Fall 2019 classes starting on April 11th.
A video tribute honoring Rev. Jimmie Flewellen was presented at the Founders’ Dinner on Saturday, June 8, 2013.
Rev. Jimmie was the first African-American Catholic chaplain for the United States Justice Department, along with being one of the first deacons in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He remained an active member of the IPS community for years, serving as a member of the IPS Advisory Council.
To view the 2013 video tribute to Rev. Jimmie, click here.
Retirement is a new vocational moment; it is an invitation to a wisdom transition to engage proactively the leadership challenges of aging, meaningfully. This program has a trident strategy of attending to the personal journey, examining the past to turn experience into wisdom for legacy planning. The program integrates the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as a tool for discerning vocational choices and decision making. The second prong of the trident strategy embraces a twenty-five-person cohort that will accompany each other on this year-long journey and engage in leadership dialogues about their new or evolving roles while becoming an encore learning community for the long term. The last prong of this trident process is engagement with significant mission driven institutions and ministries of the Society of Jesus.
Through the year, these fellows will involve the institutional leaders in real leadership conversations, listening to the challenges of running mission-driven, nonprofit, values-based organizations within the largest global educational network of universities and high schools. Thus one discovers that this is not a residential university program, but a spirited, Jesuit collaborative program on the move.
This Ignatian Fellows’ three continent journey will begin with a four-day residency hosted by the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola in September, 2019, then continue in November, 2019 with a four day residency hosted by the Jesuit School of Theology and Ministry at Santa Clara University. In January, 2020, the cohort will experience a four day social immersion in Lima, Peru, followed by a March, 2020 four day residency hosted by the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. The cohort will then meet for a four-day residency hosted by the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and finally a ten day excursion to Spain and concluding in Rome with a leadership conversation with the Jesuit Global Higher Education leadership team and the sharing of insights and observations from their year together. Between sessions there will be assigned reading and opportunities to dialogue using the Ignatian Colleagues Program and platform. Ultimately, this inaugural group of Ignatian Legacy Fellows will become Founders of the Ignatian Society of Fellows, an alumni community that will continue to convene around leadership conversations to foster the work of the Society of Jesus.
Contacts: John Fontana, Co-Director, 847-703-5836, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mariann M. Salisbury, Co-Director, 301-807-5369, Msalisbury1@luc.edu