Jesuit Father Patrick Howell, rector and professor at Seattle University, wrote recently how despite the fact that the university has relatively few Jesuits as teachers compared to the 1950s and ’60s, they still have a strong impact because they are in key positions, including president, chaplain for faculty and staff and campus ministry director.
Fr. Howell explained that the Jesuits’ focus has changed to adapt to the smaller numbers of Jesuits on campus: “Instead of being almost 100 percent devoted to students, Jesuits now assist lay faculty and staff in understanding, embracing and leading the Jesuit mission. In this age of the laity, Jesuits value collaboration in mission so that everyone here becomes devoted to a more articulate, better understanding of the Jesuit mission for the sake of students.”
While the old era where Jesuits lead every facet of the university may be over, he wrote, “The great gift that the Society of Jesus brings to this enterprise is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. At the heart of this spirituality is the desire to share the love of Christ with others.”
To read more of Howell’s article, visit the Seattle University Spectator.