Jesuit Teachers Return for Faculty In-service
On August 9, the Jesuit faculty returned to Carrollton & Banks after summer break. The morning began with Mass in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs celebrated by Jesuit president Fr. John Brown, S.J., and concelebrated by Fr. Stephan Kramer, S.J., and Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J., Jesuit’s chaplain. The choir of faculty members was led by new arrival Jeff Miraflor, S.J.
After breakfast in the commons provided by Pigéon Catering, which recently took over student dining services, faculty members proceeded to the auditorium for several sessions. The first two sessions focused on the Ignatian Year—celebrating the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’s cannonball injury—and faculty reflected on the contemporary relevance of Ignatius’s injury and convalescence.
Fr. Kramer reminded the faculty about Ignatius’s conversion.
“This was the beginning of Ignatian discernment,” he said, referencing the balancing of reason and imagination that Ignatius struck while convalescing. “The question of finding God in all things is not so much ‘can you find God in a mosquito.’ It is about finding God in every moment of every day, finding God acting in all things.”
“Any time you are moving towards God,” he continued, “you are in consolation. Any time you are moving away from God, you are in desolation. Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises, in one sense, to teach people how to do this: to hear God’s voice directing you yourself.”
The morning included faculty speeches including one from theology department head Christopher LaMothe, who detailed his own “cannonball moment.” LeMothe transitioned some 30 years ago from a successful career in financial advising to his current career as a theology teacher.
In the final after-lunch sessions in both the auditorium and in small groups in classrooms, the faculty workshopped concrete ways in which the school community could draw inspiration from the Ignatian Year celebration and from Ignatius’s example. Terry Ursin ’93 wrapped up the day by encouraging teachers to develop their own personal mission statement as Ignatian educators.