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Seattle University

All Things Jesuit

Celebrating our shared mission

July 14, 2014

By Pat O'Leary, S.J.

Seattle University faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, with two events on Thursday, July 31: a continental breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Arrupe Jesuit Residence and a mass at 12:30 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Ignatius, with Rector Tom Lucas, S.J., as the presider. The Commons asked Pat O'Leary, S.J., (left) chaplain for faculty and staff-who has been known to play the role of St. Ignatius from time to time-to reflect on the Feast of St. Ignatius and what it means for our university and shared educational mission. Here's what he shared.

It has been a tradition at Seattle University that we celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius on July 31 st  with an "open house" at the Jesuit residence named after the former Superior General, Pedro Arrupe.

Fr. Arrupe is considered by post Vatican II Jesuits as a kind of second founder. Arrupe in his personal witness, his ways of proceeding, his humble and courageous leadership embodied the spirit of


This year’s Feast of St. Ignatius is additionally significant for SU as that’s the day Scott Santarosa, S.J., takes over as provincial for the Oregon Province. There’s a nice profile of Father Santarosa at SU’s Pat Howell, S.J., tells us that Pat Lee, S.J., who has served as provincial since 2008, has been appointed Jesuit superior of the Biblicum Institute in Jerusalem, a role he will take on in January after a brief sabbatical.

Ignatius. His articulation of that spirit in his letters to the Society prior to his debilitating stroke in 1980 focused on the interior freedom of Ignatius, his capacity to find and be found by God in all things, and his radical grounding in the Love that is God. Freedom in Ignatius, Arrupe observed, manifested itself in a discerning mind and heart profoundly open and available to the invitations of Word and empowering Spirit. His capacity to find and be found sustained an abiding intimacy with God in being and acting. Intimacy itself resulted in assimilation to the self-giving, vulnerable Love of God made manifest in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. 

In addition to Arrupe, this year's celebration offers another prism through which we glimpse Ignatius' spirit and vision in service-the surprising, unexpected phenomenon of Pope Francis. Like Ignatius before him Jorge Mario Bergoglio was deeply inspired by the little poor man from Assisi. When asked what it means to have a Jesuit pope his reply was whole hearted and immediate: "Discernment!" In Arrupe's reflection we encounter what it is to "be" discerning; Pope Francis gives us a sense of the "definition" in action.  Coming together to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius we rejoice in the ways Ignatius' spirit and vision animate our own shared mission.