Pat Howell, S.J., has been named interim executive director of Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS) in Orange, Calif. His appointment begins Aug. 21 and will conclude July 1 of the following year when a permanent director is expected to start. Father Howell will then return to Seattle University, where he currently serves as Distinguished Professor in the Institute of Catholic Thought and Culture.
LIS offers formation and grounding in Ignatian Spirituality to train and empower religious leaders and lay ministers throughout Southern California and beyond.
Michael F. Weiler, S.J., provincial of the California Province, and Jerry Thode, LIS board chair, jointly announced Father Howell’s appointment, writing, “(He) will bring a wealth of experience to this year with the Loyola Institute” and will help “with visioning and review of programming as LIS celebrates 20 years of ministry to Orange County and beyond.”
Father Howell has held a number of leadership roles at Seattle U, including dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, vice president for Mission and Ministry and rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community.
He is a prolific author whose writings include two books, Reducing the Storm to a Whisper: the Story of a Breakdown (1985; 2001), and As Sure as the Dawn: A Spiritguide through Times of Darkness (1996). Father Howell wrote a regular column for The Seattle Times from 2005 to 2014; much of his recent scholarship has focused on Pope Francis.
“The need and then the appointment certainly came as a surprise to me,” Father Howell admitted. “The two provincials—Fr. Weiler and Fr. Scott Santarosa—were looking for someone with executive experience with a background in spirituality, so the vectors landed on me. It will be a welcomed challenge for advancing the ministry of Ignatian spirituality, but even more welcomed will be my return to Seattle U next year.”