Archive for the ‘Colleges and Universities’ Category

Jesuit Adapts Ignatius’ Examen for a New Generation

Jesuit Father Rick Malloy Jesuit Father Rick Malloy doesn’t have to go far to get to his “mission territory:” he simply walks down the hall from where he lives in a college dorm at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. While the journey isn’t far, Fr. Malloy says it can be difficult to be noticed in the territory where he’s sent: the minds, hearts and imaginations of young adults.

As vice president for university ministries, Fr. Malloy searches for ways to get today’s young adults to be open to God’s action in their lives. He’s found that one way to get there is the short spiritual exercise made famous by St. Ignatius of Loyola: the Examen.

The Examen involves a review of one’s day, listening for where God was present and active. According to Fr. Malloy, University of Scranton students are finding the 10- to 15-minute Examen doable, transformative and comprehensible.

“St. Ignatius championed this form of prayer and counseled this was the one spiritual exercise that should never be left aside,” says Fr. Malloy. “In order to make this prayer even more accessible, I offer this description of the traditional five steps of the Examen: 1) the prayer to the Spirit for inspiration; 2) thanksgiving; 3) examination of consciousness; 4) firm resolve to improve; and 5) trust and hope for the future.”

Fr. Malloy says he is very aware that what he’s asking students to do—slow down, be attentive, be reflective—is alien to the culture in which they are immersed, with constant texting and tweeting, flashing images and video games. “The Examen can serve as an antidote to the spiritual maladies of our age,” he says.

Paralleling St. Ignatius’ five steps, Fr. Malloy has developed the five “P’s” of the Examen—presence, praise, process, penance, promise—in order to make this prayer even more accessible to young adults.

“There is no ‘proper’ way to practice the Examen,” says Fr. Malloy. “Some people like to sit in a chapel. Some turn off the radio and pray the Examen as they drive home from work. Some people pray the Examen in the shower. … However and wherever you pray the Examen, God will find you and guide you.”

To read more about Fr. Malloy’s five “P’s” of the Examen, visit the St. Anthony Messenger website.

One Jesuit’s Journey of Faith and Discovery through Formation

Jesuit John PeckFor the past two years, Jesuit John Peck has taught philosophy at Loyola University Maryland. Teaching there has been part of his formation as a Jesuit—it’s a stage called regency, in which most Jesuits work full-time for two or three years at a Jesuit ministry. Reflecting on this period, Peck says that he can summarize in a word what he’s gained: confidence.

“I now have greater confidence in the authenticity of my friendship with Jesus Christ. … Regency challenges a Jesuit in formation to assume added responsibility for his spiritual life. … With a full schedule of teaching, preparation, writing and other activities, I’ve had to work hard to stay nourished on a steady diet of the Word of God.”

With excellent mentoring from his colleagues, Peck says he’s also grown in the confidence that he can accomplish the work the Society of Jesus entrusts to him. “With each semester I’ve grown as a teacher. I’ve become more adept at designing courses and classes,” he writes. “My judgments about what students need and can receive have become sharper.”

As he completes regency, Peck says he’s also more confident that he can thrive in Jesuit community life. While his background differs from many of the Jesuits he lives with, he writes, “Representing myself truthfully and speaking up, I’ve learned that others find my experiences and points of view interesting. I’ve also found that men with whom I differ are often full of goodness and apostolic fervor. I’m confident that God will continue to give me joy with my Jesuit brothers.”

Living and working at Loyola have been “an experience of God’s providential care” for Peck. “[God] has enkindled my desire for him in prayer and nurtured me through the friendship of mentors and fellow Jesuits. I’m eager for the future and confident he will continue to provide.”

Read Peck’s full reflection in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of JESUITS magazine.

Jesuits-in-Residence Tradition Highlighted in Ignatian News Network Video

Jesuits-in-Residence videoJesuits living among students in college residence halls as “Jesuits-in-Residence” is a tradition the Society of Jesus has embraced across the United States since its earliest schools were founded. Today the tradition continues at many Jesuit colleges and universities, including Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Seattle University and Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

In a new video, the Ignatian News Network visited students and Jesuits-in-Residence living in community at Georgetown University. Jesuit Father Matthew Carnes explained his role as a Jesuit-in-Residence:

“It’s [about] being mentors, friends and colleagues [with students]. Being gentle correctors at times, but also being those people that can inspire and draw people into living as their better selves.”

According to Jesuit Father Christopher Steck, Jesuits-in-Residence serve their campus community in a unique way. “We’re there both as a witness to the academic enterprise, and we’re also there to say we care about your lives as social people, your lives as people trying to make hard decisions.”

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Announces Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran as President

SheeranMichael_portrait3

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), which serves the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S., has announced that Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran will begin his tenure as president on April 1. He succeeds Jesuit Father Gregory F. Lucey, who has served as president since 2011.

“It is a great privilege to lead the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. We will work to advance the mission of Jesuit higher education: to help students lead exemplary lives and grow in service, faith and justice,” said Fr. Sheeran.

Prior to his new post, Fr. Sheeran had been president of Regis University in Denver for 20 years. He also served as the university’s academic vice president and academic dean. Under Fr. Sheeran’s leadership, Regis University’s student enrollment doubled. He also oversaw the development of Regis’ online academic programs, established partnerships with international Jesuit institutions and hosted Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton on campus in 1993.

Fr. Sheeran entered the Society of Jesus in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1970. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught at Regis University, Saint Louis University and Regis Jesuit High School in Denver.

Jesuit Father Stephen V. Sundborg, AJCU Board of Directors Chair and president of Seattle University, said, “On behalf of the AJCU Board of Directors, I welcome Fr. Sheeran as the new president of AJCU and thank him for his service. We also thank Fr. Lucey for his outstanding leadership over the past two years, and we wish him well in his return to Spring Hill College as its chancellor.” [AJCU]

Wheeling Jesuit University Appoints Jesuit Father James Fleming as 10th President

Jesuit Father James J. FlemingWheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia has appointed Jesuit Father James J. Fleming, current executive vice president of the university, as its tenth president, effective July 1. Fr. Fleming will succeed current president Richard Beyer, who has been president since 2010 but has decided not to seek a second term.

“Wheeling Jesuit University is a great institution possessing even greater potential. I’m excited to work with our exceptional faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends for many years to come to realize this potential,” said Fr. Fleming. “It has been a great privilege to be a part of this community for the past three years and I thank the Board of Trustees for their confidence and the opportunity to continue moving the university forward.”

Chairman of the Wheeling Jesuit Board of Trustees Mimie Helm endorsed Fr. Fleming as an “obvious choice” for president. “Fr. Fleming is ideally suited to serve as president of the university. He is a dynamic and visionary leader who possesses a keen knowledge of the university and, obviously, the Jesuit values on which it was founded and continues to operate,” said Helm.

Fr. Fleming, 53, joined Wheeling Jesuit University in 2010 as the university’s first vice president for mission and identity. He next became chief of staff, and then executive vice president in 2012. He previously served as director of mission planning and assessment for Boston College and was a member of the faculty there from 2000 to 2010.

Fr. Fleming is the author of numerous articles and publications and holds a doctorate in education policy, organization, measurement and evaluation from the University of California, Berkeley. [Wheeling Jesuit University]