Loyola welcomed Rev. William Rickle S.J., '70, in the summer of 2022 to serve as alumni chaplain. Fr. Rickle offers his introduction and how his role as chaplain can serve our alumni community below.
During this Advent season of 2023, Fr. Rickle is posting his homilies for the Loyola alumni community. These homilies will be published the Saturday before the first three Sundays of Advent. We invite you contact Fr. Rickle for reflection and discussion.
Well, fellow Greyhounds, here I am, back at the Evergreen campus. I am a Baltimore native from the first graduating class of Cardinal Gibbons High School. I left Baltimore when I graduated from Loyola College in 1970 to join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) as a callow novice.
Looking back, the teachers and administrators at Loyola exercised what we now call cura personalis toward me at critical times. In retrospect, they were my inspiration. I'm grateful for a college with the heart and flexibility to help me through tough times. Somewhere along the line, I learned both the basic human and the technical skills that began a Jesuit journey that has taken me into academe, to social and Hispanic ministries, to administration at parish, diocesan, Jesuit local and provincial, and university levels.
"What or who is an Alumni Chaplain?" you ask. Part of my official job description says that I am to:
- Develop relationships with alumni to build community through worship, dialogue, service, outreach, prayer, ecumenism, and the integration of service, faith, and social responsibility.
- Support the spiritual needs of the alumni community through attendance at Masses, funerals, and other events and ceremonies.
- Reach out to alumni and provide one-on-one ministerial support to alumni, their families, and communities.
That is a broad canvas. More concretely, I would say that I am to be at your service in almost any way you think I might be helpful to accompany you in your life journey toward our fulfillment in God's plan for us.
Spirituality writ large
In short, I'm here to help us all come to a deeper appreciation and experience of what I call "Spirituality writ large." I see it as trying to put into practice St. Ignatius' maxim, to Find God in all Things. Unless we are attentive to those "things," both the ordinary and extraordinary events and people in our lives, we tend to miss God's loving, forgiving, and animating presence for each of us.
That attentiveness can help us move beyond the obvious blessings we normally count to the more hidden and perhaps deeper gifts that sustain us and our families in difficult and challenging times.
I am eager to work with the Alumni Association to develop programs and activities which can sustain us to live our Loyola motto more fully; "Strong Truths, Well Lived" more deeply. We span ages from early twenties to near infinity (just kidding.) So not one size will fit all. In that light, we ask for your ideas as to how we might be of assistance to you and your families.
Bill Rickle, S.J.
Fr. Rickle serves the Loyola University Maryland community as alumni chaplain, collaborating with the office of alumni engagement. Please contact Fr. Rickle here. He can usually be found with his camera at events across campus—check out his photography blog.
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