2019 Ignatius Award Recipient

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 4, 2020.

Colleen Chiacchere

Department of Education

Ignatian Award Citation

Actions speak louder than words, but what sometimes speaks loudest of all are actions accompanied by words of personal care. The spirit of Saint Ignatius takes bodily form and finds verbal expression in so many women and men here at Creighton.

For over ten years Colleen Chiacchere has been offering an engaging incarnation of that spirit seen and heard by those whom she encounters as Director of the Magis Catholic Teacher Core within the Department of Education.

Women are usually not accepted as members of the Jesuit Order.  Colleen would be a most welcomed member however, but for the understandable objections of her husband Jonathan and their three children: Ignatia, born on the feast of St. Ignatius six years ago, Xavier, and the most recent addition, Diego, all three named after great Jesuits. 

Before coming to Creighton, Colleen served for five years as an elementary teacher at Red Cloud School at the Jesuit mission of Holy Rosary on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Here she has participated in the Faculty Jesuit Seminar and has received the certificate in Ignatian Spirituality from the Christian Spirituality Program.

One associate writes "I am grateful that God made our paths cross more than a decade ago. I cannot think of anyone else who expresses commitment to others more than Colleen.  Ignatian Spirituality is evident both in her unabashed expression of God's goodness and the focus she maintains on being a person for and with others."  Colleen has a constant orientation of delight and positive possibility both for her Magis student-teachers and for others within the Department of Education.  She reveals a sense that God is working God's love even, as another colleague writes, "through the conflicts and tensions experienced within educational structures."  Still another colleague writes "She is a God-centered calming colleague who offers directions for our Education Department when cluttered details threaten to divert our path from the Magis and Justice ideals that guide our department's endeavors."  Colleen moves through conflicts with a spirit of personal care and creative insight encouraged by the Ignatian mission of Creighton University.

Colleen stays in care-filled contact with her students as they spend two years at various Catholic schools around the country. Many Catholic dioceses want Magis teachers. Colleen discerns where the greatest needs are, with a special care for the Catholic schools on the Pine Ridge and Winnebago Reservations which cannot compete financially with other schools. Her students find her a great support both professionally and spiritually as they face the challenges of their first teaching assignments. Colleen organizes their retreats and summer courses on campus. She suffers with them and celebrates their successes with peaceful confidence.

Colleen is a spirited educator and an inspiring companion. She is an encounter, a revelation of how God's goodness works within human struggles. We here at Creighton University are blest by many such women and men and their personal ways of living the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Today, with deep gratitude to God, we celebrate Colleen Chiacchere with the 2020 St. Ignatius Award.