July 29, 2019
As I look forward to celebrating the Solemnity of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the noon Mass Wednesday at St. John’s Church with the new rector of our Jesuit community, the Rev. Nicholas Santos, SJ, PhD, I am reminded of, and grateful for, the many ways our campus community lives out the timeless, spiritually rich principles set forth by the founder of the Society of Jesus.
I invite you to join us Wednesday for the Mass and a social to follow on the mall, where corn dogs, hamburgers, fruit, and ice cream will be served. This is a good opportunity not only to celebrate our Ignatian heritage, but also to gather as a campus community prior to the start of the fall academic term and to meet our new rector, Fr. Santos.
A member of our Board of Trustees, Fr. Santos comes to Creighton from Marquette University and is also a new faculty member in the Heider College of Business. Fr. Santos and I worked together at Marquette, and I know you will find him to be a most welcome addition to our campus community. At the same time, I thank the Rev. Greg O’Meara, SJ, JD, professor of law, for his leadership and service as our Jesuit rector for the past six years.
As I mentioned, St. Ignatius’ spiritual principles are indeed timeless, and we see proof of that every day on our campus. The ideals he espoused have been continually reimagined and animated throughout the ages, including most recently in the four Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) the Society of Jesus has adopted as a framework to guide its worldwide mission over the next 10 years.
The preferences, or UAP, encompass:
- Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises
- Walking with the excluded
- Caring for our common home
- Journeying with youth
Here at Creighton, these four themes are fleshed out in many ways. Our campus touches on aspects of each of the themes, and in some we are leading the way.
In September, we will have a special opportunity to display and build upon our efforts to live out the call the UAP represent during our inaugural Mission Week, Sept. 9-13.
Mission Week is the result of the discernment and planning of the members of the Mission and Culture subcommittee of the University’s Strategic Plan, and the inaugural theme is “Imagine Our Magis.” More information is forthcoming, but the members of each school, college, and unit will have the opportunity to reflect on how their work enlivens Creighton’s mission.
I am very pleased that the keynote speaker to start off the week is the Rev. Greg Boyle, SJ, the charismatic founder of Homeboy Industries and author of Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir. I am thrilled that Fr. Boyle is returning to our campus to share his inspiration with us.
Prior to his address, all students, faculty, and staff are invited to Mission Week’s kickoff reception in the Skutt Student Center. Again, more information will be provided as the date approaches.
I know Mission Week will be a blessing and will provide a wonderful opportunity for us, along with our Omaha community partners, to come together to listen, learn, reflect, and explore how we can even more fully live out our Jesuit, Catholic mission as Creighton University.
I look forward to seeing you at the St. Ignatius Day Mass and Social on Wednesday.
Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD