The Feast of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, brought an end of our Ignatian Year on July 31. Over the past 15 months, we have celebrated two important events for the global Ignatian Family: 500 years since Ignatius’ encounter with a cannonball, and the 400th anniversary of his canonization.
This Ignatian Year has impressed itself on the many diverse offerings of the Faber Center, Campus Ministry, and the Office of Mission and Ministry. It has served as an inspiration and thematic unity for retreats, homilies, conversation groups, Ignatian Moments and so much more throughout the year.
Perhaps the most moving part of our creative efforts in this Ignatian Year have been the Cannonball Moments. We have been invited to reflect on life-changing experiences that have reoriented our perspectives and set us on a new life path. Some of our cannonball moments have been, like that of Ignatius, painful, upsetting, disruptive in ways we did not want at the time.
But out of their disorientation, new life has emerged. The loss of a friendship, confrontation with one’s own limitations, the death of a loved one are among those cannonball moments that some have shared during this year. Others have been happier, like falling in love with your partner for life, discovering your calling, changing careers or holding your newborn child for the first time.
Each of these experiences—and so many more—have provided us with the opportunity during this Ignatian Year to reflect on the graces leading each of us to where we are today and to share something of our story with others.
As we bring this Ignatian Year to its official close, let us all think back with gratitude for the gifts of this past year. Let us savor those graces and seek within them the inspiration, energy and hopefulness to sustain us as our new academic year begins.
May God Bless you as we prepare to welcome our students once again.
Rev. Jim Voiss, S.J.
Vice president for mission and ministry