Welcome to This Ignatian Year, a series of conversations hosted by Seán Bray, Assistant Vice President for Mission and Dr. Paola Pascual-Ferrá, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland.
Episode 5: Let Us Break Bread Together (Interfaith Action in the Beloved Community)
In this episode we are joined by Rev. Scott Adams, Assistant Director for Interfaith and Ecumenical Ministries at Loyola University Maryland. He leads the university’s interfaith initiatives towards cultivating safe and empowering spaces of faith, educating the community around religious diversity, and acts as liaison between the university and faith communities in greater Baltimore. He also serves as the Senior Pastor of Heritage United Church of Christ, where he is committed to the mission of love, justice, liberation, and peace. Rev. Scott works every day with and for others to help bring about Dr. King's vision of the Beloved Community. We had the chance to ask him several questions, including, "Why is it important for Jesuit, Catholic higher education institutions to engage in interfaith work?," "What is the role of curiosity?," and "Is justice even possible if it's not interfaith?" We hope you enjoy this episode!
You can listen to our fourth episode via SoundCloud or watch it on YouTube (English captioning available).
1. What came up for you as you were listening to this conversation?
2. In your life, how has faith shaped your worldview?
3. By the same token, how have the values and beliefs from others’ faith traditions shaped how you relate with others and your own spiritual growth?
4. Are there things that hold you back from engaging with others from different faith traditions in a loving and respectful way?
5. How are you working in your own life to help create Dr. King’s Beloved Community?
1. “The Spiritual Exercises in a Pluralistic World” by William Reiser, S.J.
2. Ignatian Spirituality and Interreligious Dialogue: Reading Love’s Mystery by Michael Barnes, S.J.(also available via Amazon.com)
3. Loyola’s annual Hope and Renewal Interfaith Prayer Service (HARPS), scheduled for February 3, 2022.
Episode 4: Faith and Imagination (Christmas Episode)
In this episode we are joined by Dr. Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University Maryland. She has served at Loyola as program director, department chair, and then associate dean of the School of Education, as associate vice president for graduate academic affairs and diversity, and as the first chief equity and inclusion officer (CEIO). Dr. Moore-Thomas worked in public education as a classroom teacher, school counselor, and district level administrator before coming into higher education. She is a woman of deep faith who has had to reimagine herself continuously in the many different roles she has been called to serve in and, through those roles, inspire others to imagine all the possibilities as well. We had the chance to ask her several questions, including, "What role have faith and imagination played in your life and in your work in education?" and "How have these helped you reimagine the work of racial justice, equity and inclusion at Loyola as its inaugural CEIO?" This episode is dedicated to the memory of Fr. Gregory Lucey, S.J. who passed away on September 30, 2021 and who taught us that God is in relationship, and that we are loved into being. We hope you enjoy this episode!
You can listen to our fifth episode via Soundcloud or watch it on YouTube below (English captioning available).
1. What came up for you as you were listening to this conversation?
2. In your life, how are faith and imagination related?
3. What are the things that hold you back from having the freedom to dream the dream that God has for you?
4. Who are the people that are partnering with you to imagine your most authentic self?
5. Similarly, who are you partnering with to help them imagine their most authentic selves?
1. Pray with your imagination by David L. Fleming, S.J. (Ignatian Spirituality)
2. The Visitation: A Resource for Imaginative Prayer - We invite you to read Luke 1:39-44 and to imagine yourself in that scene. This resource uses the work of artists from around the world as they’ve imagined it. Consider different forms of imaginative prayer.
3. Imaginative Prayer (Additional resources from The Ignatian Journey)
Episode 3: Cultivating a Hope-Filled Future
In this episode we are joined by Dr. June Ellis, Professor of English and Chair of Loyola University Maryland's Commitment to Justice Committee. She has spent over two decades working and advocating for justice in Jesuit higher education. She is a source of inspiration to many of her colleagues and students and embodies qualities of joy and hope, so necessary in this work. We had the chance to ask her several questions about hope, including, "What does hope mean when we are in the midst of all these very monumental things going on in the world- climate change, mass incarceration, poverty, racism?" and "How do we hold on to and promote hope in our work for justice?" We hope you enjoy this episode!
You can listen to our third episode via SoundCloud or watch it on YouTube (English captioning available)
- What does hope mean to you in your own life and spiritual practice?
- Have there been times when you lost your grip on hope?
- How does attachment hinder our ability to hope?
- How do we nurture hope amid brokenness?
- How can we hold on to and promote hope in our work for justice in the face of increasing demands and taxing circumstances?
- Statement by Ms. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Civil Society Representative from the Marshall Islands at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit 2014
- Our Sea of Islands (Essay) by Epeli Hauʻofa
- Journeying with Youth, one of the four Universal Apostolic Preferences (2019-2029), Society of Jesus
We invite you to take a look at some of our programs focusing on Ignatian Spirituality.
At the end of our conversation, Seán offered the following prayer by SR Ita Ford:
I hope that you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you.
Something worth living for — may be even worth dying for –
something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead.
I can’t tell you what that might be – that’s for you to find, to choose, to love.
I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search.
Episode 2: Walking Together in Prayer
In this episode we are joined by Fr. Tim Brown, S.J., an Associate Professor of Law and Social Responsibility and Director of the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland. We asked him several important questions about the role of prayer: Is prayer the place we should enter into our Ignatian Year journey?In the midst of so much suffering going on in the world, what is the role of prayer? How do prayers influence actions? How is prayer tied to friendship, faithfulness, and fidelity?
You can listen to our second episode on SoundCloud or watch it on YouTube (English captioning available).
1. What does it mean to come into this Ignatian Year with a sense of faithfulness? With a sense of hope?
2. How do we come into this year with appreciation, care, and empathy for each other?
3. Have you considered saying “Thank You” as the simplest form of prayer?
4. Was there something in this conversation that was difficult?
5. What do you need to move forward with hope?
6. Where is it that God is speaking to you today?
Take a look at some of our programs focusing on Ignatian Spirituality (scroll to the bottom of the page).
In closing this episode, Fr. Brown offered us the following blessing:
Go forth in peace.
Hold on to what is good.
Return to no one evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted.
Support the weak.
Help the suffering.
Honor all men and women.
Rejoice in the power of the Holy Spirit;
And may almighty God bless us,
in the name of the Father, the+Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Episode 1: Welcome to this Ignatian Year
In our first episode we talk about what this Ignatian Year means, the healing power of spiritual conversations, and ways in which the life of Saint Ignatius has helped us navigate ‘cannonball moments’ in our own lives.
You can listen to our first episode on SoundCloud or watch it on YouTube (English captioning available).
- What was the fruit of this conversation for you?
- What consoles you from this conversation?
- Was there something in this conversation that was difficult?
- What do you need to move forward with hope?
- Where is it that God is speaking to you today?
Here are links to some of the references mentioned in this episode:
In closing, we offer a short prayer adapted from the film “A Limping Pilgrim” by Chamika Nipun, SJ:
Lord, through your mercy, set me free from my illusions
and purify my attachments so that I may experience
true freedom to live.