A place where deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet
Nora Kearney, ’13, reflects on the impact of her Jesuit education
The first time I stepped on to the Evergreen campus—on a cold, miserable, and rainy Thursday afternoon—I knew that Loyola University Maryland was the right school for me.
I wanted to be part of the community that students had created.
When I arrived on campus, I loved the level of student involvement. There seemed to be something for everyone, and for me it was The Evergreens: the orientation staff that worked with first year students. I loved sharing my passion for Loyola with incoming students and their parents and being a resource for students as they transitioned to college life.
What started as one activity rapidly grew into many as I became more involved. Singing with the Chapel Choir, participating in one-time service opportunities, going on retreats (and later leading them)—my days were jam packed, and I loved every minute of it.
As senior year rolled around, and I began to think about life after Loyola, I decided that a year of service would be my next step. I had been involved with the Center for Community Service in Justice, but never had the time to make a commitment to a single service placement. I worried it would hurt my application. A great mentor pointed out that while I may not have been serving the greater Baltimore community as much as I would have liked, I was serving a different community all the time: my Loyola community.
At Loyola, and at many other Jesuit institutions, students are called to be men and women for others. While serving outside the Loyola community has a deep value, I think we are also called to serve one another in our everyday campus lives. The Loyola community draws strength from students’ commitment to being present and investing in the well-being of one another.
Frederick Buecnher wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
I believe that God called me to Loyola to serve the campus community and to go on and devote a year of my life to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Even now I feel called to continue working in Catholic higher education as I pursue my master’s degree at Boston College.
Loyola University Maryland gave me a first-class education, incredible friendships and mentors, a chance to travel the world, an opportunity to discover myself, and a place to call home. My Jesuit education taught me to find God in all things, to discern critically and to always strive for the magis: the more. Most importantly, Loyola taught me to live a life rich in service—to be a woman for others.