Loyola University Maryland

Office of Mission Integration

Campus Quad

Dinner with Elise Keaton

As an integral part of Loyola's "No Impact Week," Elise Keaton’s talk “Mountain Betrayal - The Extreme Extraction of Appalachian Communities"  will be at 8 PM on October 21 in the Reading Room.  The dinner with students is at 6:15 PM also in the Reading Room.

Elise Keaton

Elise Keaton grew up in Southern West Virginia just outside of Hinton. After graduating from Summers County High School, she attended Virginia Tech where she earned a degree in Political Science. Through her studies there she met Larry Gibson in 1999. Elise began working with Larry and the Stanley Heirs Foundation through the Service Learning Center at Virginia Tech where she coordinated student tours and volunteer activities on Kayford Mountain. She went on to earn a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2005 where she continued to educate her peers and colleagues about the devastating effects of Mountaintop Removal. Elise returned to West Virginia in 2011 and began as the Fundraising Director for The Keeper of The Mountains Foundation in November 2012.

Mission Integration: The People's Pope

A Gift and a Challenge for the Academic World

By: Patrick Howell, S.J.

Pope Francis

An inspiration and an agenda for Jesuit universities and colleges

It would be a mistake for Jesuit institutions to reduce the lifestyle and teaching of Pope Francis to a programmatic imitation. His example far exceeds organizational boxes. Jesuit institutions need to embrace dimensions of his lifestyle- reaching out to the poor, embracing the disenfranchised, welcoming all with the love of God- no matter creed, marriage status, sexual orientation, nationality, or origins. All are children of God. 

Even so, Jesuit colleges and universities would do well to pursue certain themes that emerge from reflection on his life and a deeper discernment of the energies arising from God's presence in his life:

  • His transparency, warmth, and hospitality are immensely energizing to young people. Perhaps this could be a first principle for administrators, faculty, staff, and students: people are more important than agenda.
  • He has opened up a broad highway for a deeper reflection by theologians on the very nature of the church, the People of God on a pilgrimage together. What are the accretions, the superfluous additions, which have accumulated over the ages and can now readily be shed so that the message of Jesus stands out in its pristine attractiveness?
  • The new pope has set an agenda for greater transparency in finances in the Vatican Bank (the Institute for the Works of Religion). Might universities do the same for all their constituencies: faculty, staff, and students, not just board members? What are the sources of funding, and how are they allocated? If you want to know what an institution's priorities are, "follow the money."
  • The Vatican curia is top-heavy with prestigious trappings and titles, which the pope has commissioned eight cardinals to assist him in reforming. What kind of university/college consultation might result in greater grassroots resources for students and academics and a more parsimonious approach to "overhead"?
  • The pope speaks of the need for a new theology of women. Thoughtful Catholic women, however, say that what's needed is a more adequate, deeper, more inclusive theology of the human person. Likewise, the pope seems to have not yet found language to express mutuality in dialogue with Hindus, Buddhists, and some of the other great religions. How might theologians in Jesuit Universities suggest creative alternatives?
  • Until now it has been forbidden to talk about sexual morality, celibacy, and homosexuality. Theologians and priests who did not conform were censured. Jesuit universities have already, rather freely, pursued these topics but often enough by way of negative criticism. Could they now shift gears and provide more positive avenues of reform for the Church to pursue?
  • Pope Francis has repeated the challenge of Pope Benedict to Jesuits to go out to the periphery, to be on the frontier, where the Church would otherwise not be. A similar mandate could be given to Jesuit universities and colleges. What are the new frontiers? What would that look like?


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