In 1969, Jesuit Brother Jim Small came to Loyola Academy in Chicago’s northern suburb of Wilmette, Ill. to work as its resident carpenter, but it’s been a different kind of work and use of his talents that has benefited the Jesuit college preparatory high school the most.
After serving in the Navy during World War II followed by a stint as a Chicago police officer, Br. Small entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1952 at Milford, Ohio. When he came to Loyola Academy, Br. Small picked up a paintbrush and returned to a hobby he’d enjoyed since his childhood – painting. During the school’s first fundraiser in 1970, Br. Small included 36 of his original pieces, all of which were quickly purchased. Since then, he contributes between 60 to 100 paintings each year to Loyola Academy’s fundraiser and raises upwards of $45,000 annually for the school. The funds from the sale of his artwork are used to endow a scholarship fund for students in need.
While Br. Small’s work as a carpenter and an artist has done much for Loyola Academy, few would say those are his most important contributions. He’s known by students, alumni, staff, parents and coaches as a true man for others – someone with a generous spirit who humbly attributes his abilities to God’s grace. It is his generosity that most would say is his great contribution to Loyola Academy.
Find out more about Br. Jim Small and his artistic talents in the Ignatian News Network video below: