Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community, delivered the following homily on the Feast of St. Ignatius, July 31.
At the beginning of this liturgy, and of the conference on Ignatian Leadership (sponsored by Magis) many of you are attending today, I had the pleasure of introducing Fr. Scott Santarosa, the Provincial of the Oregon-and soon to be entire west coast-Province. Hearkening back to too many hours of watching Rocky and Bullwinkle as a warped young child, I channeled Boris and Natasha when I called him our "fearless leader."
Today, on the context of the feast of St. Ignatius, it seems to me that fearless leadership is something we might continue to reflect upon. Oceans of ink and palavers of conferences have tried to understand the complex man who is the founder of our shared tradition.
Playboy. Courtier. Adverturer. Justice of the Peace. Soldier.
Invalid. Handicapped. Frustrated. Enlightened.
Road Warrior. Would-be heathen converter. Grammar schooler at 30.
Prisoner of the Inquisition. Twice. Divinity Student.
Magnetic pole attracting talented people.
Priest. Friend of the Poor. Reformer. Founder.
Administrator. Letter writer, Dreamer. Mystic.
Perhaps truest of all, Fearless Leader.
That Ignatius was fearless, there can be no doubt. We know about his exploits as a soldier, the gruesome surgeries he willingly underwent to straighten his deformed leg. Less evident, perhaps, was his fearless plunge into the dark, in his long convalescence at Loyola and at the Cave at Manresa. He went to places he had never known, never imagined: places where deep desire met a profound if unformed willingness to serve.
The process of he underwent, the formation of what that service would be appears to us like a reckless adventure: an abortive trip to the Holy Land, a humiliating return to elementary school, dust-ups with the Inquisition. Hobbling off from Spain to Paris, where studies were demanding, and friends, at least at first, were few. Yet companions were attracted to him, broke bread with him, and the desire began to take concrete form: let us work for the glory of God and the good of souls. Those who broke bread, companions, became a Company.
Tom Lucas, S.J., is rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community at Seattle University.
Coming to Rome, Ignatius and his priestly companions leapt into the belly of the unreformed beast. He proposed to the organizational church a radical new model of religious activity that flew in the face of a thousand years of tradition. No choir. No stability. No fixed incomes. Willing to try anything, to go anywhere, to risk everything, and to fail often, Ignatius and his companions, Jesuits and lay people both, were lit up by a Pentecostal fire that seems as reckless to us today as it appeared to much of the hierarchy of his own times.
So where did that fearlessness come from? Critics-there were, and are many-said it was arrogance. Way too smart for their own good, too crafty, too, dare I say it, too Jesuitical?
You can learn a lot from reading other people's mail. Over and again, in 6800 letters, in the midst of a million administrative details, the refrain sounds: let us work in love for the glory of God, the greater glory of God, and the good of souls. Let our way of proceeding be a way of service, rooted and grounded in love.
Ignatius experienced that love during his agonizing convalescence at Loyola, in the lucid vision of the mystery of God at Manresa and the confirming vision of Christ carrying his cross at La Storta. He experienced it at the altar, shedding floods of tears as he reflected on God's goodness and his own unworthiness. He experienced that love in the brothers and colleagues who surrounded him, challenged him, needed him to be that love for them. It isn't about learning, or administrative ability or cunning. It's all about the experience of the mercy of God, as Pope Francis never tires to reminding us, and the hope that mercy plants in our hearts.
Of the 6,800 letters of St. Ignatius, one stands out for me. Some six months before his death, Ignatius wrote to Francis Borgia in Spain Ignatius details a whole series of recent challenges and disasters he and the company have been experiencing. He ends: "Pazienza: patience. Because of the treasure of hopes we hold, everything is as nothing. God who has given us hope will not confound us."
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. "God who has given us hope will not confound us."
Leading, the Ignatian way
Sponsored by Magis: Alumni Living the Mission, the Ignatian Leadership Conference takes place Friday, July 31, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference is an opportunity to explore the concept of Ignatian leadership and how to apply and integrate Jesuit values and Ignatian practices into your personal and professional life. Scott Santarosa, S.J., provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus (
), will serve as keynote speaker. Following are some questions about the conference with answers provided by Maria Ochoa, assistant director of Magis.
Who would this conference appeal to?
The conference is for anyone interested in learning about Ignatian Leadership. It may be of interest to alumni who desire a fresh and integrated perspective on leadership; anyone who works in any type of Ignatian/Jesuit institution; someone who is in need of some spiritual tools for navigating a secular work environment; and/or a person who is looking for an integrated professional and spiritual development opportunity. All are welcome to attend!
About how many attendees are expected?
We are expecting 100-120 attendees.
Among those attendees who have already registered, what sorts of professions/walks of life are represented?
We have individuals from the following organizations represented: CARE USA, Spacelabs Healthcare, Seattle University, Starbucks, The Boeing Company, Providence Health & Services, Gonzaga University, Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, various local Catholic Schools and Parishes, WA Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Salal Credit Union, Limeade, Nordstrom, Seattle Police Department, City of Redmond, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation, and more.
What inspired the conference?
Over the last few years, Magis has been involved primarily in offering the Contemplative Leaders in Action alumni leadership program (CLA). This two-year, cohort based program has touched the lives of
more than 100 alumni and mentors by teaching and forming young adult leaders ages 25-39 the foundations and practices of Ignatian Leadership. We learned that many in the alumni community beyond CLA are also desiring a way to integrate their spirituality and faith into the professional and personal spheres of life. In response, we thought that by hosting a conference on the topic of Ignatian Leadership, we might provide an opportunity for the larger community to learn and practice this leadership approach.
In addition to the provincial's keynote address by the provincial, what other activities will be included?
The day will include table conversations, access to two workshops from a variety of Ignatian leaders, an optional mass celebrating the feast day of St. Ignatius being held at the Chapel of St. Ignatius-concelebrated by Fr. Santarosa and Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of the SU Jesuit Community-and a networking social hosted at the end of the day. The conference also includes continental breakfast, lunch, parking and materials.
Anything else we should know about the conference?
We are almost sold out, so register as soon as possible if you are interested! Clock hours will also be available through the Seattle U College of Education.
For more information about the conference, visit
One other note: Because of the conference and the absence of many Jesuits, the Arrupe House's annual Ignatius Day breakfast, ordinarily held on the Feast of St. Ignatius, will be postponed until fall quarter. Stay tuned for more information.
Father Ely reflects
As President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., announced in March, Peter Ely, S.J., will step down at the end of this month as vice president for Mission and Ministry.
"Peter has done a terrific job serving as vice president," Father Sundborg wrote. "Since 2009 he has led Mission and Ministry through a period of growth and positive change. Under his leadership, Seattle University has strengthened its commitment to its Jesuit Catholic character while at the same time fostering a deeper, more inclusive dialogue with other faith traditions. Most importantly, Peter has built a dedicated and talented team that plays a vital role in helping us carry out the mission."
Here, Father Ely shares his thoughts on his six years as vice president and what's next.
On stepping down as VP for Mission and Ministry:
In many ways I'm sorry to be leaving this position. It has been a good six years serving as coordinator of a wonderful team. But I'm eager to move toward a different kind of engagement with the university's mission, not as an administrator but as a teacher. Mission and Ministry is all about nourishing the roots of our mission. That means the Jesuit and Catholic roots. It also means appealing to the deep inspiration people bring to their work at the university from a variety of traditions. This is what Fr. Steve calls "the soul of the university." Everyone working in the university, all of our governing and advising boards, our benefactors and friends and our students-all of us together are responsible for the mission. We do it in different ways.
On what has brought him the most satisfaction in his six years as vice president:
Surely at the top of the list is working with such a committed team ser desire that our SU community has to enter more deeply into the roots of our mission. People from the outside observing us-including accreditation bodies which can be very critical-commend us for the widespread understanding and embrace of the University's mission. Because people embrace the mission they want to understand it more deeply. That is deeply satisfying to me.
On what he will be doing next:
I will teach half-time in the Theology and Religious Studies Department and continue to direct the Arrupe Seminar and the Interreligious Dialogue Initiative. I look forward also to increasing my time for deep reading and some scholarly research projects underway.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as vice president for Mission and Ministry. It is time to move on and be engaged in different ways. I move on with great confidence in Joe Orlando's ability to lead the division for this next year. Joe has been assistant vice president during my whole time as VP. He is ready to take over. I also have confidence in the people serving in Mission and Ministry. They are highly qualified professionals. They understand our mission from the inside and are committed to it.
A reception to thank Father Ely will be held 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, in Tekakwitha Collegium (Student Center, first floor).
Big meeting in Melbourne
This July President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., will join the presidents of Jesuit higher education institutions and the directors of other Jesuit institutions from around the world for a gathering titled "Expanding the Jesuit Higher Education Network: Collaborations for Social Justice."
Upwards of 300 leaders are expected at the three-day conference, which takes place at Catholic University of Australia in Melbourne. The lead organizer for the gathering is Michael Garanzini, S.J., secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus worldwide and outgoing Loyola University Chicago president.
The conference will focus on the Jesuit institutions' shared social justice mission, international Jesuit collaborations and future collaborative opportunities. Adolfo Nicolas, S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus, will deliver remarks by video.
The last time presidents and directors met like this was
in 2010 in Mexico City. The theme of that gathering was "Networking Jesuit Higher Education for the Globalizing World: Shaping the Future for a Humane, Just, Sustainable Globe."
You can learn more about the upcoming conference
Alpha Sigma Nu celebrates a century
Seattle University's newest Alpha Sigma Nu inductees were announced by President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., last week. Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. You can click on the video below for a nice history lesson on the organization.
Odds and Ends
There's lots of Jesuit stuff in the air these days. Here's just a few news items as well as some opportunities to engage with Jesuit higher education and Ignatian spirituality and service.
Intentional service! Are you over 50 years young and looking for a transformative way to engage in service? Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps (JV EnCorps), an ecumenical program of JVC Northwest, might be just what you're looking for. JVC EnCorps is a multifaceted opportunity for value-centered service, community and spiritual formation for older adults committed to social and ecological justice.
During their 10 months of part-time volunteer service, participants meet together regularly in community, deepen their spirituality and explore the values of simple living and social and ecological justice. The priority application deadline is June 30. For more information, call (206) 305-8911 or visit
For(e) the Greater Glory of God: There's your Jedi masters...and then there's your Jesuit-educated masters. Thanks to Pat Howell, S.J., distinguished professor in the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, for bringing it to our attention that 2015 Masters Champion Jordan Spieth is a graduate of Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas. Articles on Spieth's Jesuit connection can be found at
Catholic Register and
Jesuits in Ireland, the latter of which includes a handwritten note he wrote to a donor who provided funding for a scholarship Spieth received while attending the school.
Join the conversation. By now you should have received a copy of the latest "
Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education" magazine. The spring edition includes among other features an article by Tom Lucas, S.J., professor of art and rector of the Arrupe Jesuit community, on "The Spiritual Exercises and Art." Readers will also recognize the icon from our chapel that graces the magazine's cover.
The Office of Jesuit Mission and Identity is hosting a conversation on the magazine, "The Spirituality of a University: What Difference Does It Make?" from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Monday, May 4, noon-1:15 p.m., in Hunthausen 110. The discussion will include Darrell Goodwin, dean of students; Camille Kammer, Class of 2015 history major; Brooke Rufo-Hill, director of Magis: Alumni Living the Mission; and Christina Roberts, associate professor of English and director of Women and Gender Studies. A light lunch will be served. To RSVP, please e-mail
Day of Service: Seattle University's Alumni Association and Magis: Alumni Living the Mission invite you to serve in this year's fourth annual National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service on Saturday, April 25. Join Seattle University alumni and alumni of other Jesuit colleges and universities in fulfilling our shared Jesuit mission, which is rooted in service, by participating in a volunteer project at one of several service sites. Learn more and
In case you missed it…Our very own Dave Anderson, S.J., and Frank Case, S.J., who previously served in many capacities at SU, were
recently profiled for their respective roles as chaplains for the SU and Gonzaga men's basketball teams.
Wing and a prayer
A big thanks to Jerry Cobb, S.J., special assistant to the president, for sending in these shots taken in the Chapel of St. Ignatius last week. For Father Cobb, the ducks' appearance in the chapel made perfect sense. He explains:
"Steven Holl designed the Chapel of St Ignatius with the idea of 'aquaeous space,' so that the floor would appear to be water. He also designed the carpet with the blue of the 'River Cardoner' (a place of deep signficance in St. Ignatius' spiritual journey) flowing through the center of (it). To me it is amazing that our two ducks felt comfortable enough to leave the reflection pool and waddle into the chapel and plunk themselves down right on the blue painted part of the carpet!"
Holy Week at SU
Campus Ministry invites you to the following liturgies at the Chapel of St. Ignatius during Holy Week.
March 29, masses at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
April 2, 7:30 p.m.: Mass of the Lord's Supper, washing of feet, and silent prayer and vigil
April 3, 3 p.m.: Celebration of the Lord's Passion and Death, prayers of the people, veneration of the Cross and simple communion
April 4, 9:30 p.m.: The Great Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, storytelling, baptism, sharing of communion and the feast (First Eucharist of Easter)
April 5, 11 a.m.
Jesuit video series
The Office of Mission and Ministry, in collaboration with Xavier University and campus partners, has produced a series of videos on Jesuit education, Ignatian spirituality and other related topics. The videos are part of an online orientation program that's broken into seven sessions. The first video, "The Life of St. Ignatius," appears below. For all seven of the orientation sessions and videos, you can visit
Mission and Ministry. For each session you'll find a brief intro of the video, suggested companion reading and reflection questions. And you'll also notice many familiar faces among the narrators!