Do You Walk Ignatian? A Compilation of Jesuit and Ignatian Values Expressed in the Work Day
Aug 2012 1000 RPI Debra K. Mooney, PhD Editor | Xavier University
Center for mission and identity
Copyright ÂŠ2012 by Debra K. Mooney, Editor Fourth edition For additional copies and other resources: www.JesuitResource.org firstname.lastname@example.org Cover Photo: Shoes ÂŠ2010 by Holly A. Schapker From her collection ADSUM: Contemporary Paintings on Ignatian Spirituality on display in the Center for Mission and Identity at Xavier University. For more information: www.hollyschapker.com
Introduction Serving at this Jesuit Catholic university is more than simply “working at a university.” You are part of a network of 28 American colleges and universities, a community of over 160 university facilities worldwide, a heritage dating back to 1548.
You are part of the excellence in Jesuit higher education. This compendium of Ignatian values expressed in the everyday is a follow-up to Do You Speak Ignatian?: A Glossary of Terms Used in Ignatian and Jesuit Circles by George Traub, S.J. In colloquial terms, after “talking the talk” we see how we “walk the walk.” While the identity (the uniqueness) and mission (the values and purpose) of Jesuit education are grand, even overwhelming, by doing your work with excellence, professionalism and reverence you are preserving and promoting Jesuit ideals. Moreover, walking Ignatian, or striving to act in a way that honors Ignatius of Loyola, does not have to be a mystery or a daunting and daring feat. In fact, you may be surprised to discover that you already, and quite naturally, serve in a manner that reflects Jesuit traditions.
Debra K. Mooney Chief Mission Officer
Cura Cura Personalis Personalis Latin for â€œcare of the (whole, individual) person.â€? Do you attend to your physical, emotional and social well-being, recognizing that they are interconnected? Do you consider the moral implications of decisions? Do you believe that who you are is more than what you know? Do you believe that professional productivity and satisfaction are related to emotional, spiritual and physical well-being? Do you take time to reflect, ponder, meditate or pray? Do you balance home and work responsibilities? Do you consider both the in-classroom and out-of-classroom needs of the students you serve? Do you attend to the priorities in your life despite the hectic pace of daily responsibilities? Do you serve as a mentor to students and new colleagues? Do you develop personal relationships with students and draw them toward personal initiative and responsibility for learning? Do you appreciate how your lifestyle and values can be inspirational to others?
How else do you care for your whole self and the whole selves of others?
If you want to grow, you must be willing to stretch. Anonymous
We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings. Abraham Maslow
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Stephen Covey
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. G. K. Chesterton
Life is too important to be taken seriously. Oscar Wilde
Cura Person Reflections
Cura Personalis is the walk I take everyday. I’m not sure when I began my walk. Actually it is best to say I am not sure how long I had progressed down the path before I recognized the walk I was taking. It is not just a daily walk, but a lifetime journey. No one individual has a mono-existence. We all have multiple existences. I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, confidante, co-worker, etc. I have multiple jobs. I am a parent, graphic specialist, student, campus companion, mentor, etc. Each of these existences have their own set of priorities and responsibilities. At times, a simple balancing act becomes the art of juggling as these responsibilities overlap. Looking at the big picture would be too overwhelming for me at times. I have to take moments to reflect as I list them one by one. “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success” (Proverbs 3:6). Keeping that verse in mind helps me maintain a proper perspective on not only what is important, but what I am capable of doing. Creating the list helps me prioritize my projects by assessing my physical, emotional and social well-being. Most important, it helps me by separating the overwhelming picture into manageable pieces. Accomplishing these pieces helps to crown my efforts with success. Feeling a sense of accomplishment simultaneously enhances my emotional, spiritual and physical well-being. Each successful accomplishment fuels me to complete the next one. Just as over-burdening one area of well-being has adverse affect on the others, uplifting one area in my life has a direct positive affect on the others. It is the smile that comes after a job well-done.
Not only at work, but in all aspects of my life, I walk cura personalis. As a parent I have found cura personalis to be a very effective parenting tool. I care not only for my son’s physical needs, but his mental, social and spiritual needs. Sometimes his misbehavior is an indication of a deficiency in another area. His emotional well-being is interwoven with his physical and social well-being. I believe that is why smiles and kind words can brighten someone’s day. Just as much as I believe it is the reason that a hug followed by a kiss on a bump or bruise makes everything okay. Taking the time to care for him as a whole person is symbiotic for me, because I am simultaneously caring for my “whole” self. Being a summer mentor is more than answering questions about work and campus. It is caring for the whole individual and providing support, lending an ear, offering advice and fellowship with my mentee. “Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart” (Proverbs 3:3). Caring for the individual extends beyond myself to caring for those around me. Being a listening ear, sharing stories, offering advice, brightening a day with words or a kind gesture also attend to my well-being and those I fellowship with. Stress is the usurper of my well-being; it drains me emotionally, spiritually and physically. Having faith helps alleviate my stress. Ten years ago I was introduced to a verse that over the years has become my creed. It helps me in all areas and all situations. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything and do not forget to thank him for his answers.” (Philippians 4:6).
Audrey Calloway Graphic designer
As a nurse, teacher, woman, wife and mother, I am fully aware that life can be crazy. But there is solace and truth in the Ignatian value that if one does not care for oneself, one cannot care for others. The new emphasis and direction that society is taking is shifting toward the almost 500-year-old Ignatian value of cura personalis: care of the whole individual. The holistic focus of caring for one’s body, mind and spirit is essential to achieve a life of health and happiness. Our students are, no doubt, very busy. They spend time preparing for classes, participating in clubs and activities on campus, working full- or part-time jobs, as well as having myriad other obligations. The students exert considerable energy when they participate in all of these events. They often forget to leave any time for themselves. They need to be reminded to take a moment to renew themselves in order to be more successful students and friends. Early in my nursing courses, I spend time discussing how important it is to be good to yourself without losing sight of academic goals. It is vital to find balance between work and relaxation. When discussing nursing content, I find it is easy to talk about the need for the teacher, students and patients to pray, meditate, relax and find time for oneself in order to continue with a healthy life. I have offered a variety of relaxation strategies, tips about nutrition as well as frequent reminders to take care of oneself in order to be a better person and nurse for others. The importance of finding time for oneself—that is, recharging time—is discussed while I try to find out what each student is doing and what stressors he or she is experiencing. With this information, I hope to point out what each student can do to follow through with cura personalis. When deadlines are all around me, I find it can be very difficult to become centered and balanced. When I become overwhelmed, I try to schedule a time-out when it won’t interfere with any commitments. I have learned to avoid becoming over committed by saying “NO!” The positive effects of saying “NO!” have afforded me many enjoyable occasions to give to others and feel energized.
eflections The opportunities I have had in discussing Ignatian history and pedagogy while participating in the spiritual exercises with others has redirected me to a better balanced life. I am more keenly aware of the beauty of the environment and how energizing the vision of that beauty is to my whole self. Aware of the impact of aesthetics on my energy level, I have developed my own peaceful environment by creating a backyard retreat incorporating a large fishpond surrounded by flowers and trees. Observing the sights and sounds of my surroundings reinvigorates me. In the fall, I do a mini redesign of this calming environment inside my house. Each individual needs to find what works best for him or her. When they do, they will find harmony and balance, enabling them to be good to themselves and others. Take care of yourself so you can grow and be of service to others.
Margaret O’Brien King
Professor of nursing
discernment discernment A process for making choices between several possible courses of action all of which are potentially good . Do you take time to “listen” to your intuition? When reading something “deep,” do you allow yourself to be touched emotionally as well as intellectually? Do you reflect upon the memories and emotions that are evoked in specific circumstances? Do you appreciate the uniqueness of others’ ideas or opinions before making judgments? Do you notice Gods presence in the events of your day? Do you engage in an activity that is meaningful to you and not tied to any “goals” or “profit?” Do you feel passionate or have strong emotions about some things? Do you notice changes in your thoughts, feelings and moods throughout the day? Do you recognize how past decisions and situations affect responses to current planning and situations? Do you notice your reactions to people, ideas and events? Do you listen–really listen–to others? How else might you make choices?
It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means. Frank Lloyd Wright
There is more to life than increasing its speed. Mahatma Gandhi
Be fully in the moment, open yourself to the powerful energies dancing around you. Ernest Hemingway
There are certain emotions which can find expression only in silence. Victor Hugo
You never know how far-reaching something you may think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow. B.J. Palmer
Discernment: A reconciliation between external observation and internal dialogue; the act of prayerful perception beyond the most immediate level of engagement in order to understand or illumine God’s meaning. Because I am a musician, I derive my own definition of discernment (above) as it relates to how I teach. When I am conducting a choir, I am engaged in three different levels of activity: physical, intellectual and emotional. My physical gestures convey to the choir information regarding phrasing, entrances, articulation and style. My intellect is constantly analyzing the sound the choir produces and asking questions. Are they in tune? Are they singing and phrasing together? Are they singing the correct pitches and pronouncing the words properly? I also listen to make certain they portray the emotion of the text and music. You may have wondered exactly what a conductor does in front of an ensemble other than wave one’s hands–now you know a bit about what we do. There is another step in this evaluative process that supersedes or even envelops the three activities above. I call it “listening above.” Often I will have a student conductor rehearse the choir on a piece so I can literally step back and only listen–to separate myself from the rigor of constant evaluation in order to see if the choir is “getting it.” For me, this is the essence of discernment. To step back or outside the contextual meaning in order to more fully understand spiritual truth beyond the immediate. It requires prayerful consideration, and the result of the discernment process often comes neither quickly nor easily. Rather, it is a process of understanding that may take minutes, days or a lifetime. To discern is to learn to make one good choice among many; to “listen above” so that God’s will may bring peace and joy in the act of understanding and action. Tom Merrill Chair, Associate Professor of Music
nment Discernment is a time process for me Time is my friend. If I take time to read how Jesus lived, take time to reflect on my living, take time to talk with others about my living, take time to be quiet and let the Spirit be with me, and then, take time to trust peace is with me and I know all is well.
eflections Sharon Merrill
Director of Special Education
finding god finding god in all things in all thin Ignatian spirituality invites a person to search for and find God in every circumstance of life. Does your scholarship further an understanding of our reality? Do you view your intellectual insights and inspirations as spiritual encounters? Do you take the time to understand your thoughts and feelings about what you do professionally? Do you consider all that you have as gifts from God calling forth wonder? Do you consider your interests, hopes and intentions to be spiritual insights? Do you attend art showings, plays or musical performances? Do you consider yourself to be â€œan optimist?â€? Are you naturally inquisitive and curious? Do you take delight in the diversity of people and ideas? Do you have natural talents? Have you ever been inspired or felt impassioned about something? Have you ever been enthralled by the weather, architecture and landscapes or other surroundings? Have you ever been awestruck?
How else might you find God in every circumstance of life?
Wonder is born of ignorance, and is mother of knowledge. Metastasio
The best things in life aren’t things. Linda Ellerbee
I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet simple things of life which are the real ones after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder
When the solution is simple, God is answering. Albert Einstein
Nobody sees a flower, really–it is so small–we haven’t time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keefe
Simplicity is the new competitive advantage. Bill Jenson
finding in all t Reflections
When I first heard the statement “Finding God In All Things,” I knew it was something that resonated with my own spiritual experience. It made sense to me that the loving relational Creator would be totally integrated into life. Rather than limit my interaction with God to one day a week or to only my prayer time, it focused on experiencing God in every moment of all my days. I found that to be comforting, exciting and challenging. It is comforting because no matter what life brings, I am confident that God is part of it. I know I am never alone. I look for God expecting to see. It is exciting because the Divine is pure Beauty. Human beings radiate the Divine in their joy, struggles, pain and everyday-ness; in the life experiences that show on an old face; in the refreshing innocence on a young one and in all the mixtures of those between. Nature never ceases to amaze me with its beauty, its simplicity and its complexity. Given both my confidence and excitement striving to find God in all things, I still find it challenging. When I am bored, angry, disgusted or afraid, I have to stop and ask myself where can I find God in this? It’s not always easy, and I’m not always very good at it, but many times I find that question softens my hardened heart. It encourages me to be open to joy I may be missing and to love I may be withholding. Ignatian spirituality continues to challenge me to watch for God in every moment of every day. But I can’t imagine a more fulfilling way to live.
Sheila Doran Academic Staff, Mathematics
god hings Control: “To check, to restrain, to regulate, to govern, to verify by comparison” (Webster’s New Century Dictionary, 2001). The most challenging obstacle I encounter when seeking to find God in all of life’s circumstances is a natural, human tendency to intellectualize how things “must be” to have fulfillment. Events of the past and hopes for the future become so much the focus of my life that I sometimes lose sight of the present. It is so easy to fall into a “poor me” or “what did I do to deserve this?” frame of mind. In reality, the most uncertain, chaotic and painful experiences in my life garner the most potential for growth and depth of understanding. Trust: “Firm belief in the truth, faith, confidence” (Webster’s New Century Dictionary, 2001). No matter the differences in my vision of a higher power to that of others, fundamental to religious thought is the concept of trust in that higher power. Finding God in all things presupposes that a person develops a relationship and trust beyond one’s individual circumstances and life’s experiences. To find God in all things, I look for God in all things. Rather than focusing on and attempting to control my life’s circumstances, I reach below the surface of challenges and problems to identify the positive outcomes. I ask self-reflective questions to come to a realization of the ways and means through which God is ever-present in my life. For example: What have I learned as a result of the experience? How has my relationship with God and others changed? What positive by-products have resulted by having had the experience? Where have my experiences led me (what might have initially been considered negative as well as positive)? By relinquishing control and employing trust, I find God in all things.
eflections Luther G. Smith
office of the provost
ignatian ignatian pedagogy pedagogy A teaching model that seeks to develop students of competence and compassion. (Recognizing that everyone, in some capacity, serves as a teacher and mentor.) Do you believe your work is a service to others? Is your teaching goal to develop lifelong independent learners? Do you challenge students and encourage responsibility? Do you consider yourself a “teacher” outside of the classroom? Is your style flexible so that it affects students in an individualized way? Do you ask questions that have no “right” answer? Do you consider novel teaching methods and techniques as they arise? Do you facilitate students’ understanding of information in a personally relevant manner (above and beyond raw acquisition of knowledge)? Do you help students to see the world from perspectives other than that of the dominant American culture, such as of the poor and marginalized? Do you value the five educational principles comprising the Ignatian pedagogical pradigm: Context (understanding student life and culture), experience (providing intellectual and affective learning opportunties, reflection of meaning for self and others, action (the eternal expression of learned content) and evaluation of student growth.
How else might you demonstrate mission-conscious teaching styles and methods?
Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire. W.B. Yeats
Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers. Josef Albers
To teach is to learn twice. Joseph Joubert
I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. Socrates
Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges. Joyce A. Myers
Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday. Zen proverb
ignatia pedago Reflections
Often during the course of a meeting, I ask myself which hat am I wearing now? In my twenty-five years in Jesuit Catholic education, I have worn manyâ€“teacher, advisor, committee member, Scholars Director, and Chair of Faculty Committee. Although all my hats enable me to serve my department, college, and university more effectively, the first two are the most important to me. Teaching brings me closer to students because it takes place both in the classroom and in my office as we review papers and discuss how to improve their writing and analytic thinking. I count as one of the best times in teaching the occasions when, in class, students engage in informed, analytic discussion of a topic and all I have to do is keep track of which one goes next. Observing students discovering that they can effectively master material far more complex and difficult than they could have imagined before entering my classroom provides other moments of great satisfaction. Since I believe that as a discipline, history provides students with exciting opportunities to explore cultures and societies not their own using rigorous analysis and creative imagination, it gives me great delight to watch how amazed they are when they succeed. Good academic advising goes hand-in-hand with effective teaching. As a University Scholars advisor for the past twenty years, I have learned that one of the most important functions I can perform is to encourage students to study the subjects they love, because in doing so they will acquire the skills they need to fulfill almost any ambition. It means asking questions about what majors they think they might like to pursue and exploring with them how to go about it while also preparing for the next step, employment, graduate and/or professional school. My favorite advising moments occur when a student who entered my office convinced that some aspect of our requirements prevented his or her fulfilling an ambition, learns that just the opposite is true. Good advising consists not just of seeing to it that students fulfill their requirements, it is using those requirements to allow them to explore their interests and human potential. Our core curriculum provides extensive opportunities to do exactly that when a pre-med discovers an elective that permits exploring the connection between science and philosophy or a history major finds a math course that explores creating codes or game theory. Sometimes good advising permits me to create a tutorial with a student to examine how a service learning experience or an interest in a particular historical problem helped to change the way he or she understood the world. When former students, advisees and majors, return as adults who have used their education to become women and men for others, we often recall the day we figured out together that a course or a major might open a new direction. There are few professions which allow their practitioners to have such a positive impact on the lives of others, not because we tell students what to do, but rather help them discover the doors that they can open into themselves and into the world that they did not know existed.
Our mission promises that each student she will emerge with a rigorous educational experience that prepares the individual for a life of commitment to others. That daunting assignment goes to all of us, but to the faculty most of all. Good teaching and academic advising provide the keys to that achievement and it our task as teachers and advisors to help each student find out which door each key fits in his or her life. Thatâ€™s why my teaching and advising hats mean so much to me and I take great pride in wearing them well.
an ogy Iâ€™ve been convinced since becoming a resident assistant that I learned more outside of the classroom than I learned in one. In my position, a daily challenge is to make that come true for the resident assistants and students who live in on-campus housing. The challenge is to meet each student wherever he or she is and offer attractive opportunities that encourage personal growth through wellness programming, training and personal contact. In some, the growth is apparent, while in others the seed that has been planted takes longer to grow. Several times a year a current or former resident assistant tells me how much this position impacted them personally. Those are the moments that let me know we are all teachers, and we are all making a difference as a part of the university community.
eflections Lori Lambert
Director for Residence Life
magis magis Latin for “more”; suggesting a spirit of excellence for the Greater Glory of God Are you interested in learning and expanding your knowledge? Do you set realistic and high standards for yourself? Do you welcome “healthy” challenges? Do you seek opportunities for professional development, for example, by attending seminars, workshops or scholarly conferences? Do you have a passion for quality? Do you seek out novel ways to serve students and the university community? Do you use feedback and evaluations as guides for professional development? Do you work to improve your familiarity and understanding of the mission and distinctive identity of Jesuit universities? Are you open to new experiences? Are your leadership qualities reflected in your professional, campus and community roles? Do you attend campus lectures, presentations and colloquia that are sponsored by departments and divisions other than your own? Do you try new things?
How else might you strive for excellence?
Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it. Margaret Thatcher
Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. Live bravely, excitedly and imaginatively. Eleanor Roosevelt
Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. Peter Marshall
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau
Too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. Martin Luther King Jr.
Our collective mission includes the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service to others. Consequently, it is not surprising to witness faculty members’ scholarly diligence, creativity, passion for the pursuit of knowledge and desire to contribute to the human spirit through service and outreach to others. I feel blessed that I work in an environment in which the pursuit of excellence is valued. I am surrounded daily by faculty, staff and students who are connected around the common goal expressed in magis. To allow ourselves to strive for excellence, however, also means to permit ourselves to fail. It means allowing ourselves to dream and to want, at the risk of experiencing ourselves as “less than.” There are times in our lives when we may feel more able to openly pursue excellence and other times when we may feel more fragile and we may shy away from challenges. We often imagine how we will experience and feel about ourselves when we risk something new and excel … or do not. As a psychologist, I am reminded that striving for excellence does not mean needing perfection. As human beings, perfection is unattainable and, therefore, often creates the “imposter syndrome” in which we have to appear perfect to others yet live with the knowledge that we are not and cannot be such. Trying to be perfect in our endeavors becomes all encompassing such that our spirit is dampened and we become disconnected from ourselves. In working with colleagues who represent different phases of adulthood, I try to keep in mind that the pursuit of excellence may be filtered through a different lens over the course of one’s lifetime. I try to respect that the ways in which this spirit of excellence is expressed by colleagues may or may not be congruent with my plans, but rather may be consistent with their dreams. By our nature, it seems that we need to focus our energies so that the process of “more” does not become directionless. During the early adulthood years, there seems to be a “busy-ness” associated with establishing commitments to relationships and careers: managing graduate school and financial debt, landing that first career-related position, creating a family, working toward tenure, “prepping” classes, finding our place among colleagues. This seems to flow into the middle adulthood years characterized by inner directedness, personal reflection and the need for “generativity.” Mentoring students, parenting our children, caring for our own parents, creating a new training center for graduate students and spending more time writing and reflecting may all be foci through which we express that need for excellence in the midlife years. I anticipate that the focus of energy in older adulthood will again change, perhaps to a way of life that is less centered on a structured job and career. Reflecting on the integrity and meaning of life as it has unfolded and continues to unfold, within the context of important relationships, will more likely be the focus of the passion for excellence.
I have learned that, for some people, it is more difficult to hear the “beat of their drum” and carve out their path toward excellence. For others, the music is much more vibrant and accessible. I think that we can all find this passion within ourselves if we feel safe enough to look. As part of my role at this Jesuit university, I feel a need to help create an environment for our students in which they can free this spirit and risk excellence. Whether in the classroom, in research endeavors or in reaching out to others, we need to collectively create and accept healthy challenges, new ideas and novel approaches… to “reach for the stars.”
Christine Dacey Professor of Psychology
My position in grant services continually pushes me to learn more about the university’s diverse range of activities and programs. Formulating grant projects and writing proposals requires knowledge of the programs you’re trying to fund. Even relatively simple proposals–ones that request funding for scholarship dollars, for example– require an understanding of the needs that are being addressed. Scholarship dollars might enable students with financial aid to attend our university, and they also might attract students to careers, such as nursing, that are facing critical shortages right now. Finding information about these needs sometimes means poring through enrollment and financial aid data, but it also means talking to the people involved in the disciplines and programs, trying to get a sense of what they would like to accomplish. Brainstorming, seeking creative solutions for addressing needs, is often the most rewarding part of my job. What I’ve learned also convinces me that higher education at its best is always governed by a sense of magis. The faculty and staff who work on grant projects often demonstrate this ideal. Grants typically fund new projects that require the faculty and staff who participate in them to go beyond their normal job responsibilities. Magis, for example, is the faculty member who conceptualizes a more effective teaching methodology for a course, then is willing to write a proposal and carry out the project if it receives funding. Magis is also the staff member who tries to improve services to students by proposing a new support program. Such initiative shows a strong commitment to our university and its students–and demonstrates, for me, the Ignatian value of magis.
eflections Mary Kochlefl
Executive Director for Grant Services
the service of the service faith & promotion social justice of of faith & To grow in faith and to have that faith reflected in action to change unjust social structures. Do you seize opportunities to grow in both faith and knowledge? Do you consider the viewpoint of the poor or less fortunate when making decisions? Does your research, teaching and/or service relate to issues such as poverty, privilege, war, hunger, oppression or discrimination? When serving on a hiring committee, do you welcome the diversity of race/ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation or gender that comes with a candidateâ€™s professional excellence and competence? Does your research, teaching and/or service focus attention on personal and professional integrity, ethics and values? Do you use the pronoun â€œsheâ€? when referring to a generic professor or other professionals? Does your research, teaching and/or service focus on injustices as they relate to your field? Do you help students and colleagues reach their academic, professional and life goals? Does your research, teaching and/or service assist our local community?
How else might you show your faithfulness and sensitivity to suffering and the marginalized?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Practical prayer is harder on the soles of your shoes than on the knees of your trousers. Austin O’Malley
The great end of life is not knowledge but action. Thomas Henry Huxley
We can do no great things–only small things with great love. Mother Teresa
It is not enough to be busy; so are ants. The question is: What are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau
It’s important that people know what you stand for. It’s equally important that they know what you won’t stand for. Mary Waldrop
he service Reflections promotion ocial justi Every generation faces new and complex challenges. Our task is to prepare students to overcome them. I believe that this goal can only be accomplished if we form students “intellectually, morally and spiritually, with rigor and compassion toward lives of solidarity and service”. It is, of course, the intellectual development that will allow our students to invent new technologies, dream up innovative ideas, and create social policy that will help better the human condition. But our students must recognize that most often, those technologies, ideas and policies will come with a social cost. It is therefore imperative that they have the moral framework to ensure that their actions, even if intended for the greater good, are also just. In many cases, the challenges that our students will face are inherent to a culturally diverse, economically stratified world. Meeting those challenges will require them to properly balance their selfinterests with a compassion based on social and global justice. And what of spiritual development? It is, after all, the spirit that moves us! It gives us a sense of purpose and nourishes our desire to help those in need, to seek out the mysteries of nature, or to create great works of art. Whether rooted in a religious belief or a personal quest, it is our spirit that compels us toward a life of solidarity and service. Our mission requires an integrated learning environment. A liberal arts education, served by disciplines in all colleges, provides our students with the broad intellectual and moral development that they will need to succeed as they enter an increasingly complex, interconnected world. But most of their moral and spiritual growth will occur outside of the classroom, under social pressures, and with consequences that will ultimately shape how they see their role in that world. It is imperative, then, that we integrate structured and supportive experiences into our student’s lives – be they through clubs, activities, ministry or outreach programs. So what is my role in this effort? As a faculty member in the sciences, my primary responsibility is to the intellectual development of our students. But my commitment to our mission requires me to go beyond teaching physics majors about existing theories and experimental techniques. Recognizing that our majors will one day help solve complex problems, I involve them in research efforts that foster their ability to discover and invent. Because they will work with others towards those solutions, I demand that they become effective communicators. And because what they seek to invent and discover will have social and economic consequences, I stress upon them the importance of the liberal arts education that will help them decide how to use their knowledge. Of course, all of our students, be they science majors or not, will one day have to weigh the rewards of scientific progress against a moral conflict or a personal belief. I therefore design my core courses to contrast the scientific method with other modes of knowing, thereby allowing students to recognize both the strengths and limitations of science. And because science is a human endeavor with social and religious implications, I team teach a course titled “Cosmology in Science and Religion” that explores the tension that has arisen between science and religion and considers attempts at their reconciliation. Students at this Jesuit Catholic university are blessed with the potential to make a difference in the world. Perhaps my most important role is to enhance their spirit to do so.
e of faith n of ce In my 35 years in the field of alumni relations, I have learned a great deal about building relationships and, in many ways, understanding how individuals respond to lifeâ€™s joys and sorrows. One cannot devote his or her life to this type of work without having a profound appreciation for the inherent goodness in all people. Sometimes this is tested in a variety of ways, which gives one pause. But, ultimately, people desire to serve their faith and are concerned with the promotion of social justice and human rights. I look for ways to treat all individuals with respect, kindness and compassion. Responding to needs through programs, services and benefits is one way to effectively serve our alumni. However, I believe it may be more important to challenge our alumni to deeply examine what they may do to more actively promote the service of faith and promotion of justice on a local, regional and national basis. I believe we should provide alumni with a variety of opportunities to engage in religious dialogue and discussion with people of all faiths; in addition we invite active participation in community service projects related to such issues as poverty, war, hunger, oppression and discrimination. I have also learned a great deal about myself and others in my journey; certain issues and life itself are much more complex then I would ever have imagined. The issues we are confronted with on a daily basis require discernment as well as action. Action must encompass passion, tolerance and a serious reflection on the journey Jesus took and what that means as we confront the issues of our time. I know, sometimes, as I arrive at various conclusions I am not at all certain I have arrived at an absolute truth, but I have faith in the process and I begin to understand itâ€™s about the journey and not the destination. As I continue on my professional journey, I want to engage our alumni so that every individual has an opportunity to grow in faith and have that faith be reflected in action. This certainly transcends the scope of traditional alumni programming, but I believe is far more important.
eflections In all this, I thank God and our university for the opportunity to play an important role in the service of faith and the promotion of social justice.
Director for the National alumni association
women and men for ot women and men for others/whole persons of solidarity for the real world Generously serving our neighbors.
Do you volunteer in your community (for your church/synagogue/mosque, hospital, P.T.A., senior citizens center or recreation program) recognizing that your time may be more valuable than financial donations? Do you care for children, elderly parents or grandparents? Do you serve on committees or working groups? Do you collaborate with colleagues? Do you show that you care for the students you serve? Do you believe that your work is more than a job or a profession, that itâ€™s a vocation? Do you welcome and support new colleagues? Do you maintain optimism when faced with professional and organizational challenges? Do you help to preserve the environment by, for example, recycling paper and aluminum or conserving electricity and water? Do you offer your professional services to your community?
How else might you show your care and generosity for others?
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. Loretta Scott
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Howard Hendricks
Talk whispers; actions thunder. Proverb
Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. Martin Luther King Jr
There’s no better exercise for strengthening the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. Lawrence B. Hicks
women and me whole Reflections person for the real w I have worked in the “green industry” for the past 25 years and take my job very seriously. Our job is to maintain the campus in such a manner that it is a safe and beautiful environment for the students, staff, faculty and community to enjoy. In many ways, the grounds crew is responsible for the first impression visitors have of the campus. Our work helps people determine if this is a place where they want to be.
I really enjoy doing what I do. It is my hobby as well as my way of giving back to the community. I belong to the Boone County Urban Forestry Commission. We make decisions that will make our community a more beautiful place to live. I’m also a member of the Professional Grounds Management Society, which has opened the door to meeting new people all over the country and given me the opportunity to visit other campuses around the country. Over the years, I have found that the greatest challenge I face in my work is not in the ground that I tend, but in the people I encounter. I do not claim to know all the answers when it comes to overcoming those challenges, but I work to find the right answers. I try to understand that everyone is different and we all have our own problems, large or small. Part of my job involves hiring members of the ground crew. The decisions we make and what we do have such an impact on the lives of others. I’ve been in the situation where I’ve hired someone with little experience on grounds, but a strong work ethic. In one case, the individual almost tries too hard and ends up doing the wrong thing. My natural reaction is to get angry when mistakes are made, and I work hard to catch myself because of the good intentions of the person involved. For many years, it was rare to see women in the landscaping profession. As that has begun to change, I very much wanted to hire a woman to work on the crew. It just seems that we needed a “woman’s touch” to maintain and take care of our flowerbeds. We finally hired Rachel. Working on a grounds crew can sometimes be pretty tough. The language is rough; we’re hot, sweaty, dirty, but that’s our job. Our office is outside. Having Rachel on our crew has broadened our perspective and added something that was lacking. Walter Bonvell Horticulturist
en for others/ ns of solidarity world Thirty years after joining this university, I now reflect on what I have become and how I have influenced the lives of my colleagues, students, and community. Having only attended public institutions for my academic career preparation, I soon discovered that a Jesuit Catholic university was different from what I had known. The culture of the campus was obvious; members of the community honestly cared for each other, student, staff, faculty alike, and this feeling of caring was contagious. I began my career in Jesuit education in the role of MBA Director and instructor of Information Systems. Through advising and teaching, I felt an emergent desire to help students get in touch with the whole person. My wish was to help them develop not only their talents but also an awareness of how they might influence their environment and enrich the world. Advising and teaching students to appreciate the Ignatian concept of developing the â€˜head, heart, handâ€™, and engaging them to shape their lives intellectually, morally and spiritually, quickly became my vocation. It was easy to become so engaged. This engagement has resulted in a strong commitment to service learning. As a former chair of the MIS department, I encourage faculty to integrate service learning projects in their classes. With faculty committed to the Jesuit model this is an easy appeal. My faculty colleagues believe that a fulfilling life is one where the individual can live a life committed to others. Through these class-based service learning projects, we have developed numerous databases for local United Way organizations, developed websites for non-profit community agencies, and regularly counsel our students to donate time interacting with youth at local community centers and through service projects. My most personally fulfilling service project was leading a group of students on a threemonth service learning journey to India. This journey emphasized to me, and the students in my charge, the importance of fostering human dignity, inclusiveness and justice in the world. Three months of living with the people of India and working with the poor and disadvantaged in Delhi left us acutely aware of how small and vulnerable this world truly is and how very important it is to be committed to each other and the earth itself. We emerged from this experience with a strong sense of solidarity. I came to realize that solidarity is most effectively reached through contact with others since this contact brings to life those intellectual concepts we teach. Living with those who live, think and believe differently transforms us for the better and forever influences our lives. In the business school we strive to help our students see the value of Jesuit tradition -- of being men and women for others.
eflections Thirty years after entering the doors of a Jesuit university, I realize that, having helped students appreciate the value of this tradition, I have come to appreciate and live it myself.
Professor, Management Information Systems
Do You Walk Ignatian? A Compilation of Jesuit and Ignatian Values Expressed in the Work Day
Aug 2012 1000 RPI Debra K. Mooney, PhD Editor | Xavier University
Center for mission and identity