By Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU



We are in the midst of an exciting time of year, when we celebrate our Jesuit-educated graduates, who are preparing to depart our campuses and begin the next chapter of their lives. This year, commencement season also coincides with the Ignatian Year, which will officially begin tomorrow (Thursday, May 20).

What is the Ignatian Year? It is a fourteen-month commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the conversion of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at the Battle of Pamplona. After being wounded by a cannonball, Ignatius experienced a spiritual renewal in recovery, realizing a new purpose in life dedicated to teaching and missionary work. Five hundred years later, his Society of Jesus continues to influence lives across the world through colleges, universities, high schools, parishes, retreat centers, and mission-focused organizations.

A predominant theme being explored during this Ignatian Year is “Profession to Purpose.” How can we (particularly new graduates) look to Ignatius as a model for experiencing a greater sense of purpose in our lives? In this month’s issue of Connections, we feature many examples of students, graduates and administrators, who have found their calling through Jesuit colleges and universities. What do they all have in common? A commitment to justice, seeking the greater good, and being people for and with others.

At the end of another challenging academic year, we remain hopeful and optimistic for the months to come. We are particularly grateful for the 500-year legacy of St. Ignatius, and we congratulate this year’s graduates for their many accomplishments over such a trying period. We look forward to welcoming the next incoming class of Jesuit-educated students this fall.

We wish you a happy, healthy summer and will return with a new issue of Connections in September!