Jesuit Identity Initiative at Wheeling Jesuit University Proves Popular with Employees
Tags: higher education, Jesuit, jesuits, Society of Jesus, Wheeling Jesuit University
Two years ago Wheeling Jesuit University created a Jesuit Identity Team; today it has proved itself as a popular among university employees.
“The purpose was to raise awareness among employees about our Jesuit mission and identity. The idea was to help everyone to understand our common goals and history, especially new employees and those not aware of the mission,” said Jamey Brogan (pictured), Director of Campus Ministry.
Highlights have included lunchtime meetings on a variety of topics like “Being Jewish on a Jesuit Campus” or “More Than a Job,” drawn from articles in Conversations and other Jesuit magazines. Another employee offering was a “Retreat in the Real World,” an Ignatian-style retreat, based on the Spiritual Exercises, for people working and carrying out their regular professional duties.
Employees appreciated the program and felt it built community, according to one of the facilitators, Jesuit Father Harry Geib. “The retreat was structured to purposely mix up groups of employees with Jesuits, faculty and other staff that they would normally not be involved with,” said Fr. Geib. For many, this was their first exposure to Ignatian prayer.
This past summer a Jesuit Saturdays book club was held weekly on the campus. The summer meetings were offered to all employees as they read the popular book of the same title written by Jesuit Father William Byron.
Greg Sheperd, who works in the university’s Information Technology department, is convinced the Mission and Identity team is a key component to employee participation in the campus community.
“We work in an institution that teaches the importance of life-long learning,” said Shepard. “Whether we are new employees or seasoned veterans, we are all still growing as individuals, and as a community. This team provides a channel for that growth while at the same time keeping us all focused on the Wheeling Jesuit mission.” [AJCU Connections]