New statue of St. Ignatius installed, blessed outside Chapel of the Holy Family

Marquette University leaders officially welcomed the newest member of the campus community this week — an engaging statue of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus.

The Jesuit community and Marquette staff gathered together beside the statue, located in the heart of campus outside the Chapel of the Holy Family and across from Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall.

Rev. John Thiede, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry, led the blessing alongside the statue’s generous donor, David Krill (BusAd ’64). The ceremony took place on May 20 — the anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion, when he was struck by a cannonball more than 500 years ago and began his transformation from a soldier into Ignatius the pilgrim.

“It has been a journey,” Krill said. “I’m very, very happy with the results. It has been a truly joyful experience.” Krill said he was inspired to make the gift after going on his own journey six years ago to trace the footsteps of St. Ignatius.

“I visited his Loyola home and sat in the bedroom where he recuperated from the cannonball injury and read the Bible and ‘Lives of the Saints,’” Krill said. “During that time, he decided to transform his life.”  Krill said his journey in 2018 went on to include Montserrat, Manresa and Barcelona, Spain — all Ignatian sites where the spiritual exercises were written and the Society of Jesus was conceived. 

Krill and campus partners, including Marquette’s facilities management team, collaborated with art directors Gianfranco Tassara and Gino Tassara on the statue.

“We are blessed today in the full sense of the word, in the spirit of the Beatitudes,” Thiede said. “St. Ignatius is gesturing forward, inviting Marquette students, staff, faculty and alumni to go forth and set the world aflame.”