In recognition and appreciation of his outstanding leadership, service and support, Seattle University is proud to confer its most prestigious and highest honor, the St. Ignatius Medal, to Fr. Pat O'Leary.
The St. Ignatius Medal was formally presented to Fr. O'Leary at the 29th Annual Seattle University Gala on November 3, 2012.
For those who have had the privilege of experiencing his legendary "My name is Iñigo Lopez de Loyola…" presentation, Pat O'Leary, S.J., is St. Ignatius, or at least as close as a person of the 21st century can be.
As a young Jesuit, Fr. O'Leary was immersed in academia, teaching philosophy and, then later, theology at Seattle University. In time, he would discover a deeper calling focused on Ignatian spirituality. As a spiritual director and retreat leader, he has guided countless seekers on their journeys—from Jesuit novices to the alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of Seattle University to many others in the various places he has ministered, such as Gonzaga University and St. Joseph parish.
A man of great humility, Fr. O'Leary has been instrumental in creating and contributing to many opportunities for people to experience the riches of Ignatian spirituality. His imprint can be found on Seattle University's Office of Jesuit Mission and Identity, the Spiritual Exercises in Every Day Life of Puget Sound (SEEL) , the Ignatian Spirituality Center and the Ignatian Pilgrimages he regularly leads to Spain and, occasionally, Rome.
We often think of deeply spiritual people as somehow being set apart, not quite fully of this world. Then there's Father O'Leary, a holy man to be sure, but also someone who welcomes you with warmth, availability and – yes – tremendous humor. A colleague could easily be speaking for multitudes of Fr. O'Leary's admirers when he says this: "Pat is just someone you want to be around. He is a true person of hope."