In celebration of the Ignatian Year and to continuously grow faith-based programs at Marquette, the Office of Mission and Ministry recently launched several new programs and initiatives and hired a new assistant vice president who will help lead mission-based programming and work directly with faculty.
Rev. James Pribek, S.J., started in this role on July 12. He joins Marquette from Creighton University, where he served as an associate professor in the English department from 2018-21.
But Father Pribek isn’t a stranger to Wisconsin – he grew up spending summers on his uncle’s dairy farm near Kewaunee. And later, he entered the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus in 1987 and thus began his Jesuit training. It was his sister Molly who first introduced him to the religious order when she worked at Marquette.
In addition to his position as assistant vice president for mission and ministry, Father Pribek will also teach in the Department of English, building a further connection between the Office of Mission and Ministry and faculty colleagues. He will also work with Brigid Kinsella-Alba, assistant director of mission engagement, help to grow and further develop the Marquette Colleagues Program (MCP) and the Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) – two popular spiritual development programs for faculty and staff.
One recent new Mission and Ministry program that’s been well received among colleagues has been the book groups led by Rev. James Voiss, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry. The book, Ignatian Humanism: a Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century, invites participants into a deeper understanding of our Ignatian Heritage through reflection on the lives of Jesuits who have lived that heritage out in diverse conditions. It prompts exciting conversation about the implications of Ignatian Humanism for our personal lives and our mission at Marquette. Groups include a mix of faculty, staff, university leadership, trustees and members of the Marquette Jesuit community. Seven groups are currently under way. After the school year has begun and these groups have finished, new groups will be starting up. Stay tuned for the announcement!
Father Pribek will join Faither Voiss in leading future book group discussions.
In addition to the book groups, Father Voiss has been facilitating groups to help the Marquette community process the past 18 months and the trauma of the pandemic. These mini retreats, adapted to the needs of the group, open up space for sharing our experiences while also reconnecting with places of hope as we move forward. Groups interested in having such a gathering are encouraged to contact the Office of Mission and Ministry.
In a similar way, but on a much larger scale, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, all Marquette colleagues are invited to an all-day symposium which explores the impact of these past 18 months on us personally and on our campus culture. “Finding Our Future Together” will help us take stock of where we, where would like to be and what will help us to get there. Through sharing what this time has meant for us individually and for our Marquette culture, this will be an opportunity to begin some healing together. Learn more and register via Eventbrite by noon on Aug. 1.
May 20, 2021, began the “Ignatian Year,” a celebration which will conclude on July 31, 2022. This is the 500th anniversary of Ignatius of Loyola’s fateful encounter with a cannon ball at Pamplona—an event which set him on the spiritual journey which led to the formation of the Society of Jesus. This is also the 400th anniversary of the canonization of St. Ignatius and of St. Francis Xavier.
The Ignatian Year calls all members of the global Ignatian family to reflection and renewal and to a deeper integration of the Ignatian Spiritual Heritage into all Jesuit sponsored works. Michael Dante, director of Marquette’s Faber Center, and Brigid Kinsella-Alba have been working with colleagues across the campus to organize and implement events to celebrate this Ignatian Year. Learn more about ways to get involved and upcoming programming at marquette.edu/ignatian-year.
It is an exciting time to be involved with Mission and Ministry, as they prepare to host events to kick off the academic year. Mission Convocation, Mass of the Holy Spirit and Orientation Mass are just a few upcoming events that will set the tone of reflection and gratitude in faith for our Marquette community for the upcoming year.