Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Loyola University New Orleans President Receives MLK Jr. Jazz Award

Loyola University New Orleans President Jesuit Father Kevin Wildes and six members of the New Orleans community were recently recognized as exemplifying the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision, receiving the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz Award.

In addition to Wildes, Sunday’s ceremony recognized Marlin Gusman, Orleans Parish sheriff; Wm. Raymond Manning, president and CEO of Manning Architects; Bill Summers, master percussionist; Jim Singleton, chairman of the Dryades YMCA; Dwight Payne, director of VIP Services for the House of Blues; and Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz Award honors individuals who have contributed to enriching their community, advancing cultural awareness through music and art, and furthering economic opportunity while adhering to the principles of non-violence.

Fr. Wildes, was appointed in July to the New Orleans Civil Service Commission. This appointment continues Fr. Wildes’ long-time record of service for the city. Following Hurricane Katrina, he played a key role in establishing the city’s Ethics Review Board and in setting up an independent Office of the Inspector General. Wildes currently sits on the Public Belt Railroad Commission.

“While I believe public service is always important, the challenges for post-Katrina New Orleans make public service even more vital today,” said Wildes. “New Orleans citizens are demanding, and rightly so, to live within a city government that functions transparently, efficiently and justly. I am honored to be able to assist in this effort.”

Jesuit to Serve New Orleans on Civil Service Commission

JJesuit Father Kevin Wildesesuit Father Kevin Wildes, president of Loyola University New Orleans, will be serving the city of New Orleans as the newest member of the Civil Service Commission, after his nomination was approved in July.

This appointment continues Fr. Wildes’ long-time record of service for the city. Following Hurricane Katrina, he played a key role in establishing the city’s Ethics Review Board and in setting up an independent Office of the Inspector General. Wildes currently sits on the Public Belt Railroad Commission.

“While I believe public service is always important, the challenges for post-Katrina New Orleans make public service even more vital today,” said Wildes. “New Orleans citizens are demanding, and rightly so, to live within a city government that functions transparently, efficiently and justly. I am honored to be able to assist in this effort.”

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was supportive of Wildes’ nomination, explaining that reforming the civil service system is critical to improving the quality of service for the residents of New Orleans.

“Fr. Wildes has a distinguished record of service in the faith-based and academic communities and has taken on numerous positive reforms locally post-Katrina. I appreciate his willingness to help improve city government,” said Landrieu.

For more on Wildes’ new appointment, visit the Loyola University New Orleans website.

Five Years After Hurricane Katrina, Jesuits Continue to Help Rebuild New Orleans

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On August 29, 2005, New Orleans experienced one of the worse natural disasters in U.S. history. While the city escaped a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina, the rising waters breached the levees that surround the city, leaving 80 percent of New Orleans under water. Five years later, New Orleans is a city rebuilding.

There has been a strong Jesuit presence in New Orleans from the days of the city’s founding over 300 years ago. The Jesuits have been in New Orleans in times of crisis like typhoid and yellow fever outbreaks at the turn of the 19th century and when the city flooded previously in the 1920s. Jesuit works like Good Shepherd Nativity School, which provides educational opportunities to disadvantaged children in the city, and Café Reconcile, a youth training program that provides on the job training in its restaurant, continue to help the city look toward a vibrant future. Schools like Loyola University and Jesuit High School continue to provide top notch education opportunities, while the Harry Thompson Center, a day shelter for the city’s homeless, reach out to the city’s most vulnerable. Today, the Jesuits continue to serve the spiritual needs of people of New Orleans and will continue be there for the city as it rebuilds and recovers.

National Jesuit News highlights the outreach and the dedication of the New Orleans Jesuits in the video piece below and provides a comprehensive overview of the Jesuit works in New Orleans five years after Katrina in the article following the video below.

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