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All Things Jesuit

All Things Jesuit connects faculty and staff with current news about Jesuit education, as well several resources for understanding the Ignatian tradition.

A collaboration between The Commons and the Center for Jesuit Education, this section covers Jesuit initiatives on SU's campus as well as news and information from the wider community of Jesuit higher education.

The mystery of the Epiphany

January 17, 2019

On Jan. 6, Catholics worldwide gathered for the Feast of the Epiphany. Commemorating the visit of the Magi—the Three Kings or Three Wise Men—to the newborn Jesus, the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Jesus as the Son of God. 

At Mass that day, Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of the Jesuit Community at Seattle University (right), delved into the mystery of the Epiphany and the gifts of the Magi to reveal the healing balm of God’s mercy and love poured out for all—especially during times of trial, upheaval and sorrow. As he shared in his homily: 

“This moment in the life of our society, our church, and in the life of nations, is a time of Myrrh. ‘Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying’ we sing in ‘We Three Kings.’ In the past months we have experienced that in the shame we as Catholics have been forced to face anew. There is so much that needs to die away: cultures of privilege and carelessness, of self-interest and self-protection. Those cultures need to be laid to rest. And there are wounds self-inflicted and inflicted by others, sorrows and wounds that still desperately need to be healed. We need this gift of myrrh, this medicine whose bitterness is also strangely sweet. We need to acknowledge and own and confront death and diminishment around us in our church, in our society, and apply the healing poultice of bittersweet repentance and forgiveness.” 

You can read the full text of Fr. Lucas’s homily at Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture.

Men’s Basketball, the Seattle U-Jesuit Way

December 7, 2018

By Jim Hayford and Pat Kelly, S.J.

A note to readers: Soon after Coach Jim Hayford arrived at SU, the men’s basketball coaching staff has been meeting regularly with Pat Kelly, S.J., associate professor of theology and religious studies, to talk about the meaning of the work they do as coaches – to have what Jesuits have traditionally called “spiritual conversation.” Over this time they have discussed the flow psychology theory, the Ignatian examen of consciousness, Phil Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior and Villanova coach Jay Wright’s book Attitude. They also had a Skype session with Villanova basketball chaplain Fr. Rob Hagan, OSA about the values and culture of the Villanova program, which provided them with the opportunity to articulate their own values and the kind of culture they want to develop at Seattle University as a Catholic, Jesuit university.

The article below is an articulation by Coach Hayford of the meaning or significance of basketball and its relation to the Jesuit educational mission at SU, woven together with reflections from Fr. Kelly.

Basketball is fun, first of all. At Seattle University, we play a style of basketball that is fun to coach, fun to play and fun to watch. It is important that our players continue to love the game, and have a passion for it. Enjoyment and excellence are not opposed, as the flow theory and other recent psychological studies make clear. People who excel in their fields love what they do. This is the reason they go beyond minimal requirements and end up breaking new ground. For us as well, it is fun to go beyond where we were, to be getting better, individually and as a team. We tell every player we recruit, “We will coach you to be your best and we will be consistent in asking you for your best every day at practice.” It is our hope that the games are also fun for students, faculty, administrators and alumni to watch. After all, a Catholic, Jesuit university campus that does not have joy is missing something fundamental to human life and the Christian life.

A person who enjoys what they do has to be disciplined and practice their craft over many years in order to develop the skills needed to excel.  In order to develop the individual and team skills needed to be successful at the Division 1 level, we continually remind our players that such discipline is required – and, of course, practice. In contrast to the internet age young people have grown up in, where what they want is available quickly and there is little waiting, real growth or progress in basketball – as in life – does not always come quickly. And there are no shortcuts. Players have to take one step at a time to improve. Sometimes they have to develop the virtue of patience and learn to wait for their turn to play a particular role on the team. The most rewarding part of coaching/teaching is when players apply themselves and commit to the process and attain substantial skill development. Conversely the most heart-breaking part of coaching/teaching is when players fail to trust the process and submit to the discipline necessary to grow as players and reach their long term goals.

One of the greatest services we provide our players is that we tell them the truth to the best of our ability. In our context, student athletes often get a lot of attention even before they arrive at college. They may have a distorted sense of their own abilities, and therefore the truth sometimes can be hard to hear. The kind of player we attempt to recruit has to have the humility to be able to hear the truth about himself, and to work on the weak areas of his game. We are very transparent about this in the recruiting process and in some cases it might mean we do not get the player. We also sometimes successfully recruit a player who says he wants this but once he gets into the process he finds it too demanding and he decides not to stay with it. Having the humility to hear the truth about oneself is a quality that can also be important in the classroom, as the young man will be able to receive feedback from professors about how he can improve as a student. Of course, at a Catholic, Jesuit school, “living in the truth” should be a priority.

Because basketball is a team sport, good relationships among the members of the team are crucial to playing well. This is why we often speak of a “brotherhood” on the team. We gather every day prior to practice at the center circle of the court so that each person in the program has to look every other player in the eye. Our process for conflict resolution in our team/community is to not let problems linger but to work them out so that when we “meet in the middle” of the court each day we have found a middle place of agreement on the issue where there was conflict.

Our players are from different countries and of different racial and socio-economic backgrounds. Living, traveling and playing with players from different backgrounds from one’s own is an invaluable learning experience. Indeed, such an experience can introduce the players to the notion of the common good, which has to do with the conditions that allow for the possibility for all persons in society to flourish. This type of learning was evident last year in that our players decided to wear warmups for the National Anthem with the quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Sports can be one way to build community at the university as well. They are one setting where students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators and people of all ages from the community come together to enjoy a common experience. Having such moments for the building of community is very important in a Catholic, Jesuit university. As Pope Francis recently put it, sports are “a catalyst for experiences of community, of the human family,” a “place of unity and encounter between people.” Community is so important because, as Francis put it, “We reach great results, in sports as in life, together as a team!”

Love is a word that is heard a great deal in the locker room and in the gym in our program. We love our players and we do the best we can to let them know, by word and deed. One of the great joys of coaching is to see the players become comfortable with the meaning and value of love, and even their own need for love and to watch as they grow in their ability to verbally express this to other members of the program. Of course, love wants what is best for the other person. And we know that what is best for our players is that they earn a college degree and have a meaningful and transforming experience at SU as students. This is an important time when they can discover what they are passionate about and what their skills are in the classroom and beyond and begin to discern their vocation in life. In this way, their time at SU can lead them to a joy that can last the rest of their lives.

But basketball, too, can be a part of their education. As Pope John Paul II put it: “Athletic activity, in fact, highlights not only the person’s valuable physical abilities, but also his intellectual and spiritual capacities. It is not just physical strength and muscular efficiency, but it also has a soul and must show its complete face.” We hope that, in addition to taking note of the number of wins men’s basketball at SU is compiling this year, you also see a “soul” in our program. That soul is manifest in that while they are playing basketball, our players are also being educated as whole persons and empowered to be leaders for a just and humane world. In this way, the classroom of the basketball floor becomes an extension of the profound learning students are experiencing in the classrooms of the university.

About the co-authors: Jim Hayford is in his second year as the head basketball coach at Seattle University. Fr. Patrick Kelly, SJ is associate professor of theology and religious studies and has published widely on sport and theology.  He was one of the experts who helped to write the first ever Vatican document about sport, “Giving the Best of Yourself” (June 2018).

America magazine highlights SU’s decision to divest

November 29, 2018

The latest issue of America highlights SU’s leadership in fossil fuel divestment. The story—“Seattle University plans fossil fuel divestment: Will other Jesuit schools follow its lead?”—references the university’s commitment to divest, which President Stephen Sundborg announced in September

As Sundborg wrote then, the university’s Board of Trustees adopted recommendations from the Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) Advisory Working Group to fully divest the marketable portion of the endowment from any investments in companies owning fossil fuel reserves by June 30, 2023; and to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the exposure to companies owning fossil fuel reserves in the marketable portion of the endowment portfolio by Dec. 31, 2020. 

Based in New York, America is the national weekly magazine published by the Jesuits of the U.S. 

In Divestment Q&A, Phil Thompson, director of the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, discusses the university’s decision and what’s next in the university’s efforts to decrease its carbon footprint and become even greener.

"Discipleship at the Crossroads"

November 13, 2018

A delegation of Seattle University students participated in the 21st annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, which was held Nov. 3-5 in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Va. Organized by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, the gathering drew nearly 2,000 attendees from more than 125 institutions. 

This year’s theme, “Discipleship at the Crossroads,” was inspired by Pope Francis’ call “to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas” to better journey together “towards the Good.” 

Two of students representing SU, Karina Comes and Rika Ilagan, got up on stage to sing a song they created with the Peace Poets, which you can watch here at about the 34-minute mark: 

Their performance was well received. “Folks I know from other schools were texting me from IFTJ to say how awesome our students are,” said JoAnn Lopez of Campus Ministry. 

Visit Ignatian Solidarity Network for a recap of the Teach-In.

Emergency Scholarship Assistance: A Call to Support SU’s Sister Jesuit School in Nicaragua

October 29, 2018

Since April, the Nicaraguan government has undertaken repressive measures against its own citizens, resulting in 500 deaths and an additional 4,000 injured. Situated at the heart of the conflict, SU’s sister Jesuit institution in Managua, the University of Central America (UCA), has been particularly impacted by the violence and unrest. 

In a letter recently circulated to the Jesuit higher education network, SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., explains: “Since July, there have been cuts and delays in the financial support the Nicaraguan government provides to the UCA. This, combined with the economic hardships that the families of UCA students are facing, has made scholarship assistance even more necessary.” 

Led by President Chepe Idiaquez, S.J., UCA is forging ahead to provide online courses to their students (the safest way to continue with teaching and learning in this period), but they have now lost those scholarship funds for thousands of students. The SU community is encouraged to support an emergency scholarship fund established for the students of UCA. At this link you can make a tax-deductible donation, learn more about the situation in Nicaragua and at UCA. 

“Your gift is a great expression of hope and solidarity with the UCA in Nicaragua and the young people they serve, and it will strengthen our colleagues in their continued effort to live out their Jesuit educational mission in a critical time in the life of their country,” Father Sundborg writes. 

Seattle University has shared a special connection with the UCA that spans more than two decades, as formalized in an official partnership in 2014. This collaboration has included student and faculty exchanges, joint research and a variety of collaborative projects. Visit SU’s Central America Initiative to learn more.

Mass of the Holy Spirit

October 2, 2018

UPDATE: Click here for the full text of the homily Lucas Sharma, S.J., delivered at the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Oct. 4. 

Seattle University's annual Mass of the Holy Spirit will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Immaculate Conception Church (820 18th Ave.–18th and E. Marion). Students, faculty and staff of all faith backgrounds are encouraged to attend.

A longstanding tradition at Catholic universities around the world, the Mass of the Holy Spirit is an opportunity to ask the Spirit of God to bless us as we start a new year of learning and discovery. Classes are cancelled between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to make it possible for all to participate. Following are additional details.

Robing and Procession | Faculty and staff are invited to robe and join in the academic procession. The basement of the church will be open for robing at 10 a.m. Please be ready to form the faculty and staff procession at 10:15 a.m. (Note: It is recommended that you not leave any items, especially valuables or money, in the robing hall during Mass.)

Transportation |
For those who would like a van ride, beginning at 9:30 a.m., shuttles will depart from the university seal (11th and E. Marion St.) and proceed to Immaculate Conception Church. (Van rides are also available back to campus following Mass.) If you require an accessible ride, please contact Public Safety at 206-296-5990.

After Mass Celebration | Immediately after Mass, students, faculty and staff will process together down the hill and back to campus for light refreshments on the plaza in front of the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons. Rain location: Student Center 160.

Come help us mark this new beginning of an academic year as a campus community!

For more information, or to volunteer to serve at the Mass, contact JoAnn Lopez, Campus Minister for Liturgy,

Father Leigh marks 50 years as a priest

September 20, 2018

David Leigh, S.J., a longtime member of SU’s Jesuit community, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest this year. (Pat O'Leary, S.J., who spent many years at SU before moving to Spokane in 2016, is celebrating his 70th anniversary of entering the Society of Jesus.)

Reflecting on his 50th anniversary as a priest, Father Leigh recalls, “The most memorable parts of that day on June 15, 1968 were being in St. James Cathedral for ordination to the priesthood after 13 years of training as a Jesuit and seeing all my family (my brother has seven children) and lots of old friends and former students. A day of strong remembrances, thanks and grace.”

Since then, Father Leigh has served in myriad roles—and touched many lives.

At SU alone, Father Leigh has worn many a hat, including director of the Honors Program for 10 years (1983-93), director of the Core Curriculum for a decade (1990-2000) and chair of the English Department (six years).

In his “spare time,” Father Leigh has taken on numerous other responsibilities on campus and beyond. He has also enjoyed offering Mass in parishes, schools, homes and other places, especially for students he has taught at Gonzaga U and Seattle U and many parishes in Seattle (including his home parish of Christ the King in the North End). And he has led retreats and alumni seminars, taught overseas, presented social justice workshops and projects in the Northwest and has been involved with peace and ecology movements.

Then there’s his research and writing. A noted and prolific scholar who was honored as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Father James B. McGoldrick Fellowship, Father Leigh has authored two books, Modern Spiritual Autobiographies and Apocalypse in 20th Century Fiction, as well as 50-some articles.

What Father Leigh values most in looking back on his 50 years and counting as a priest are the relationships he has formed with the people he has gotten to know. “I most enjoy working with faculty and staff in retreats, workshops, personal relations, friendships and work for ‘faith and justice,’ the Jesuit goal in all our activities. I also enjoy teaching and working with students, especially in English and Theology classes, retreats and workshops, living in the dorms, and helping them with grad school and job transitions, as well as helping some with their spiritual growth and lives.

“I find joy in seeing people I have taught or worked with as a priest find happiness and peace in their own lives through my teaching, preaching, sacraments (and other activities).”

Cosgrove on Emigration

September 14, 2018

“I never set out to be an expert on immigration, nor do I have a track record of scholarship on the topic,” writes Serena Cosgrove, faculty coordinator of SU’s Central America Initiative, in an article for Connections, the monthly publication of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). 

In the article, “For Many Nicaraguans, Emigration is an Escape Valve,” Cosgrove goes on to explain how her longstanding collaborations with colleagues at the Jesuit sister school Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua led to ongoing research on emigration. While her scholarship on the topic was initially focused on emigration motivated by economic factors (and its impact on those left behind), recent unrest in Nicaragua has forced thousands to flee the country for safety—and reoriented Cosgrove's focus. 

“This politically motivated emigration—versus the economic migration we’ve been researching these past few years—has transformed the SU-UCA partnership into one of solidarity and advocacy,” writes Cosgrove. “SU is raising awareness about the situation in Nicaragua by recommending actions of solidarity; raising scholarship funds for UCA students; and helping place students who have had to leave the country.” 

Read Cosgrove’s full article at AJCU.

Strengthening the Bond

August 13, 2018

Last month, during a gathering in Bilbao, Spain, representatives from more than 200 Jesuit institutions and organizations around the world—including President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and three other delegates from SU—signed onto a charter establishing the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU). The signing fittingly took place July 11 at the Basilica in Loyola, where Saint Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, was born, about an hour's drive from Bilbao. 

With universities in nearly 50 countries, the scale and reach of Jesuit schools is unrivaled—not only within the realm of higher education, but in other sectors, too. Signed by Arturo Sosa, S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus, the charter formalizes as never before this network of institutions of Jesuit higher education, setting the stage for new and deepened collaborations among universities worldwide.   

IAJU is organized into six regions—Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America—and leverages the work already being done by those region’s Jesuit bodies such as the United States’ Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). 

Father Sosa met with met with each regional delegation during the meeting, and spoke about the university as “a source of reconciled life”: 

“Through its commitment to the university, the Society seeks to contribute to turn the word of Jesus into a historical truth: ...I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Reconciliation is possible when there is life. Life produces reconciliation, which in turn makes life full. Reconciliation is a way of returning to life and making it grow toward fullness. A full life entails a kind of love capable of giving one’s life so that all may have life. The growing commitment of the Society of Jesus within the university’s endeavor takes on its meaning through the desire to effectively contribute to enabling a dignified full life for each and every human being, both in the present and in the future.” 

Many who participated in the gathering were moved by the unifying power of Jesuit education. “It was clear that (the attendees) shared a mission, values and a common purpose, regardless of their language or continent,” said SU’s Executive Vice President Tim Leary, who attended the gathering. 

It was also clear to Leary and others that Jesuit universities are shaped largely by their diverse socioeconomic contexts. “When Jesuit institutions in the U.S. talk about social justice,” Leary said, “we talk about service and other issues such as sustainability and divestment, and these are legitimate. But for Jesuit universities in (other parts of the world), social justice is about how the university can stay afloat and help people develop as human beings at the most basic level. It’s a real challenge for many of the universities in North America to see the vision and mission (of Jesuit education) through the eyes of people living on the margins.” 

So what’s next for the nascent association? To a large extent, IAJU will come to be what its members make of it. Its charter does provide a broad framework of the association’s identity, mission and purposes, as well as details on governance and the general assemblies (to be held every three years). The association’s six working groups give a sense of what sorts of issues it will take up. These are: 

  • Civic and Political Leadership Formation
  • Education for Marginalized and Refugees
  • Environmental and Economic Justice
  • Inter-Religious Dialogue/Understanding
  • Leadership in an Ignatian Way of Proceeding
  • Peace and Reconciliation 

Joe Orlando, director of the Center for Jesuit Education was part of an eight-person North American delegation that helped plan the Bilbao meeting and served as an SU delegate (as did Erin Swezey, faculty member in the College of Education’s Student Development Administration program). Orlando sees IAJU as unlocking many new opportunities for Jesuit universities throughout the world. “(Those of us in Jesuit education) have always had a presumed sense of being in a global network,” he said. Now, he adds, with a formal charter, “the door is there” for more robust collaborations. “We can now move forward together in more practical ways.” 

In this regard, the delegates wasted no time. During the Bilbao gathering, they approved a statement in support of University of Central America (UCA), a sister Jesuit school in Managua, Nicaragua, which is at the center of a violent repression being undertaken by the government. 

“When the Nicaraguan contingent told us about the need to get behind UCA,” Leary said, “No vote was taken; no vote was needed. The whole group stood and applauded. It was a very powerful moment.” 

And perhaps a glimpse of what might be possible when faculty and staff at Jesuit universities throughout the world come together behind a common purpose. 

You can learn more about IAJU here.

(Photo: University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain)

Stop, Look, Listen

July 31, 2018

Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of Arrupe Jesuit Community (right), delivered the following homily at Mass today in SU's chapel on the Feast of St. Ignatius.

I learned what has proven to be the most valuable lesson of my life immediately after my mom got done spanking me. The spanking was the earned result of my first bona fide sin, the first transgression I can ever remember having committed. 

We lived on a country road outside our small town of Placerville, “Old Hangtown,” in northern California. The rules were clear. I could go anywhere in the yard that surrounded the house, but I had to stay within the confines of the split rail fence. It was April, and big lush weeds had sprouted around the telephone pole, on the side of the road, just outside the fence. They deserved a look, as beautiful and alluring as Eve’s apple. So over the split rail fence I went in my little red cowboy boots, cap pistol on my hip. This was, still, the Wild West. 

After the spanking, which was minor, my mom took me by the shoulders, looked me straight in the eye and asked me what was the rule. “Stay inside the fence,” I said. “And what you do if you have to cross the road?” she asked. I hated this part. I had to repeat, not once but twice, the Golden Rule of Rural Life. “Stop. Look. Listen.”  Stop, Look, Listen. Then, and only then, act. Act, then Stop, Look, Listen. Then Act. Then stop, look, listen again. 

On a hot April morning in Placerville in 1956, the hermeneutical circle of discernment was laid out perfectly for me. 

In the summer of 1522, another adventurer—clad in shattered armor, not little red cowboy boots—was carried home to die in a strong house in northern Spain. Iñigo Lopez de Loyola was a soldier of fortune, a gallant, a courtier, a man who was popular, successful, aimless. His leg was shattered by a cannonball in an inconsequential battle. He didn’t die, though he suffered gravely, physically and emotionally. His life was as shattered as his leg was shattered. 

You’ve probably heard this story before. No trashy novels to read during his painful convalescence, only the story of Christ and the lives of the saints. He found calm and lasting consolation when he considered focusing his life as the saints had; a momentary pleasure, then nothing but emptiness when he dreamed of returning to his old life. He stopped, looked and listened. For a long time. Then he acted. 

He left home, he gave away his rich clothes, left his sword before Our Lady of Montserrat. He stopped, looked listened again. He found God and what he thought was God’s will for him. He embarked on crazy travels, an abortive trip to the Holy Land influenced by his chivalric mindset. When that didn’t work out, he stopped, looked, listened again. He put his experience up against the horizon of meaning he was leaning towards, changed his path, went back to grammar school. He calmed down and started helping others to find their own way. Stop, look, listen. After he was twice hauled in by the Spanish Inquisition, he stopped, looked, listened again. Then, only then, he moved on, to Paris; he found companions. Together, they stopped, looked, listened. Eventually they joined together in Venice and then Rome, and then made the world their cloister. 

We’re here today in this university chapel (that bears Ignatius' name) because the good citizens of Messina came to Ignatius in the mid 1540s, begging him to send some of his men to start a school for their sons. He stopped, looked and listened. He examined their context. He looked at the possibilities. He listened to their appeal for help. The first Jesuits had no intention to start schools. But they stopped, looked, listened, then acted; And here we are today, in the middle of an important, burgeoning city, sitting in a chapel dedicated to Ignatius, doing the same thing. 

Our paradigm of Ignatian education follows the same pattern that Ignatius laid out in all the adventures of his life. He stopped. He studied the signs of the times, engaging the world he knew and learned what he needed to learn, exploring his context. He reflected on what he needed to do, what the world needed of him and his friends, reflected on those imperatives against the horizon of meaning they found in the life of Jesus of Nazareth and then they acted in a bewildering variety of ways. 

Over and again, they stopped. Studied. Reflected. Acted. Evaluated. Stopped. Studied. Reflected. Acted. Evaluated. Even in the last years of his life that ended on July 31, 1556, when Ignatius was confined to limping around four small rooms in Rome in his worn bedroom slippers, he applied discerning freedom and transformed it into action for the glory of God and the good of his sisters and brothers. 

As we face our world with all its ambiguities, conflicts and broken promises, and as we look to a future full of uncertainties and hope, we strive to follow same paradigm, that same pattern of learning, discernment, action and evaluation that Ignatius and his friends described years ago. Following that design, we know, will send us on strange adventures, to places we never expected to know and to people who will be challenges and graces to us. 

We may wear Birkenstocks, flip flops or Nikes instead of worn bedroom slippers or red cowboy boots. Yet we still need to remember my mom’s admonition, and Ignatius’ fundamental instruction. Stop. Look. Listen. Then Act. And then begin the process again and again. For the glory of God and the salvation of our world.

Read more here on the Feast of St. Ignatius.

From cannonball to canonization

July 13, 2018

Seattle University will join other Jesuit institutions worldwide in celebrating the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola on Tuesday, July 31. 

Honoring the founder of the Society of Jesus (a.k.a. the Jesuits), the feast day will include a special Mass on campus at 12:30 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Ignatius. Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community will preside; all are invited to attend. Earlier in the morning, faculty and staff will gather for a continental breakfast hosted by the Jesuits at the Arrupe Residence. 

Feast days are typically celebrated on the dates of saints’ deaths. St. Ignatius passed away July 31, 1556. He was canonized—that is, made a saint—by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. 

Born in 1491, in today’s Basque Country, Spain, Ignatius embarked on a spiritual journey after being injured by a cannonball in battle, eventually forming the Jesuits. Today, he is known for the international educational system the Jesuits founded, The Spiritual Exercises he authored and much more. 

The Jesuits’ website refers to Ignatius as “a different kind of saint,” quoting noted Jesuit historian John O’Malley, S.J.: “Ignatius redefined the traditional basis of saintliness” in making sure the early Jesuits were getting out into the world, including secular spaces such as classrooms. 

An overview of St. Ignatius by James Martin, S.J., can be found here.

(Pictured: Icons depicting the life of St. Ignatius as installed in the chapel bearing his name on SU's campus.)

Summer Retreat for Faculty and Staff

June 28, 2018

Looking for spiritual renewal this summer? Consider a weekend retreat hosted by Seattle University’s partner, the Ignatian Spirituality Center. The retreat will be held at the same center in Federal Way that is used for SU’s annual retreat for faculty and staff and will follow a similar pattern in the use of silence, spiritual direction and thematic presentations. The Center for Jesuit Education will provide $100 toward the full cost of the retreat. 

For more information and to register, click here and let the Center for Jesuit Education know you are registering by sending an e-mail to so they can arrange for the subsidy.

(Photo from Ignatian Spirituality Center)