2017 Ignatius Award Recipients

Saint Ignatius Award Photo

The inscription on the reverse of the medallion reads:

TAKE, LORD, AND RECEIVE ALL MY
LIBERTY, MY MEMORY, MY
UNDERSTANDING AND MY ENTIRE
WILL. ALL THAT I HAVE AND POSSESS,
YOU HAVE GIVEN ME TO YOU, O LORD,
I RETURN IT. ALL IS YOURS, DISPOSE OF IT
WHOLLY ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL. GIVE ME
YOUR LOVE AND YOUR GRACE, FOR THIS IS
SUFFICIENT FOR ME.

ST. IGNATIUS

The award was presented at the President's Convocation, February 7, 2017.

Dr. Roger Bergman

Department of Cultural and Social Studies

Ignatian Award Citation

 

Catholic Social teaching means little without ways of bringing these ideas into life. Dr. Roger Bergman lives these ideas and helps students to see the world's need for peace and justice.  Roger brings students to confront the world's injustices and then guides them through hope-filled reflection.  This personal virtue of hope allows Roger to read extensively and intelligently through political, international and economic conflicts without disabling pessimism.

Roger's teaching method involves helping students to experience social issues personally -- not only as problems but as opportunities.  Can they grapple with real social conditions and then apply Gospel-based Catholic teachings about God's creation and God's Kingdom?  For Roger, campus life is necessarily a participation in the world around us, including influences working to distract us from awareness and interaction.  His classes create bridges between campus and world, head and heart, talking and walking, thinking and doing.

Colleagues unite in acclaiming Roger's work.  One points out "For many years Roger has organized the Ethics section of the ROTC where seniors examine just-war issues and Catholic teachings on war and peace."  Another writes "Students moved by Semestre Dominicano or other immersion trips learn in Roger's classes how to identify and analyze systems of oppression. These students gain inspiration by Roger's stories of remarkable persons who have answered the 'call.'  That call in turn has inspired many of Roger's students to their own inspiring adventures."  Another colleague comments tersely "Look at our graduates who live the faith that does justice and you will find those whose imaginations caught fire from Roger's classes."

Recently Roger created a program explaining Pope Francis' Laudato Si, which he has presented especially at many parishes.  Within the emotionally-charged arena of politics and the Church, Roger faces opposition and controversy with his usual calm exterior and his reverence for other positions. His students, family and friends know of the ferocity of his own commitment, regularly well hidden by his calm and welcoming exterior.

Yet another colleague mentions that "For years, Roger's column in the Omaha Archdiocesan paper The Catholic Voice educated and challenged his readers." Since 1994 he has organized the annual Marcoe-DePorres Social Justice Lecture. Besides bringing outstanding speakers to campus, this series champions a forgotten chapter in local Omaha history where Creighton people confronted racism long before the Civil Rights movement was well-known. 

This man of faith and justice is a man for others.  He helps those others to become women and men aware of the injustices which force people to suffer.  A last colleague sums up the comments of others: "As I write this nomination I am amazed that Roger has not been honored with this Spirit of St. Ignatius Award years ago. Now is certainly the time." With gratitude to God for his many gifts shared here at Creighton and in the wider community, it is definitely the time for the Deglman Center to celebrate, with the St. Ignatius Award, Dr. Roger Bergman.

 

 

 

Marianne Clark

Creighton EDGE Program

Ignatian Award Citation

 

 

The spirit of Ignatius Loyola lives personally at Creighton University.  Many faculty and staff make this spirit tangible in their ways of welcoming students and getting involved in students' lives. One such person known for her ways of being involved deeply in the lives of her department and students is Marianne Clark, Receptionist and Administrative Assistant in Creighton's Edge Program.  Her living of Creighton's mission extends way beyond a job description.  Her desk overlooks the hallway connecting Reinert Alumni Library with the Eppley Building, but Marianne herself overlooks no person in the hallway or the office. Her involvement begins even before a student may make his or her first deposit.  It continues as she interrupts a campus-admission tour to introduce not just herself but Creighton and its profound spirit of personal interest and care.  Her involvement then keeps going well after a student has made Creighton home.

Marianne Clark offers an effusive Creighton embrace as she welcomes parents and students during their first contact with us.  They love to take advantage of her ever-available bowl of candy.  Welcome turns easily into ongoing interest in the lives, both academic and personal, of these students on the way to becoming friends.  Students frequently stop in just to check up and relate to Marianne all that has been going on in their classes and beyond. She becomes a "Mother Confessor" dealing with home-sickness, plans for study abroad, and professional school applications.  In one case she helped in purchasing a used car for an international student.

Her sense of mission carries her beyond desk, department and campus.  Marianne writes notes and phones parents of prospective students in Creighton's Family Calling Initiative.  The Jesuit Academy, where students affectionately call her Grandma, regularly experiences her kindly concern. Photos of her students there populate her desk and any conversation about that school will include the remark, "I just love those boys." Through all that Marianne does she embodies humor, care for others, and simple humility.  She models for us all an attitude of how to live life well.

To know Marianne Clarke is to know something of the spirit of St. Ignatius thriving in our midst.  One colleague writes "I think all of us in the Edge have a sense of what it would be like to have St. Ignatius greeting us every morning as we enter the office." 

With gratitude to God for sharing her with Creighton University's family, the Deglman Center extends this year's Spirit of Ignatius Award to Ms. Marianne Clark.