April 2018: Finding God in All Things
Prayer Spaces on Jesuit Campuses
In this month’s issue of Connections, we invite you to explore the spaces at Jesuit colleges and universities where students, faculty, staff and administrators find opportunities for prayer or reflection. In addition to Catholic churches and chapels, these spaces include peace gardens, meditation rooms and retreat centers. At Jesuit institutions, our campuses are home to people of all faith traditions, as well as those who are not religious.
The recent passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of FY18 (Omnibus bill) was a welcome relief for the higher education community. The Omnibus bill passed just before the third Continuing Resolution (CR) was set to expire on March 23, thus avoiding a government shutdown. President Trump expressed his opposition to the bill, due to its lack of border wall funding; nevertheless, he signed it into passage.
In 1947, Rev. Raymond Schouten, S.J. became the 19th president of Canisius College. At that time, Canisius (located in Buffalo, NY) consisted of just three buildings. With Loyola Hall, the on-campus residence hall of the Jesuit priests, completed shortly before Christmas of 1949, Father Schouten (a 1927 graduate of the College) turned his attention to the spiritual needs of the Canisius community.
A few times each semester, I collaborate with my colleagues in Human Resources at the University of San Francisco (USF) to take a small group of faculty and staff on a tour through our campuses. As we walk familiar paths, past the buildings in which we work and teach every day, we talk about where we can find the sacred on our main campus, in the heart of San Francisco.
Twenty-one years ago, Seattle University’s Chapel of St. Ignatius opened its doors on Palm Sunday, providing a gathering place for prayer and liturgy. Since then, it has blossomed into an extraordinary place of worship—and developed into something much more, as the spiritual center of campus.
This academic year, students in my Exploring Living Religions class at Santa Clara University have been invited to be “field researchers” of the local religious landscape, both on campus and off. The class was informed by research showing that young adults today engage in learning by focusing on experience. What does something feel like? How does it relate to my own personal relationships?
Ornate wooden doors leading from a city street open to reveal natural light filtering in through the brilliant colors of stained glass windows in every direction. Passing the traditional baptismal font gives way to rows of pews punctuated with marble columns, leading to an ornate, exposed transept. Visitors walk around and behind the elevated altar, where they gaze intimately at enthroned statues of Christ and the saints. This is St. Francis Xavier College Church.
There are plenty of beautiful, serene places to pray on campus at the College of the Holy Cross. But the newest space is just a few miles away from campus, at the top of a hill in West Boylston, MA with a view of nearby Wachusett Reservoir and quintessential New England foliage as far as the eye can see.
AJCU Connections Archive
March 2018: Forming Ignatian Leaders on Jesuit Campuses
January 2018: Young Jesuits in Higher Education
December 2017: The Mission of Jesuit Medical & Nursing Programs
November 2017: Breakthroughs in Faculty Research
October 2017 Connections: Jesuit Business Education
September 2017 Connections: How Jesuit Institutions Serve Under-Served Populations
May 2017: Marketing the Mission of Jesuit Education
April 2017 Connections: Celebrating Student Scholarship at Jesuit Institutions
March 2017: Honors Programs at Jesuit Institutions
February 2017: Fostering Mission & Identity on Jesuit Campuses
January 2017: Social Innovation on Jesuit Campuses
December 2016: Impact of GC36 on Jesuit Education
November 2016: Distinguished Faculty on Jesuit Campuses
October 2016: Election 2016 on Jesuit Campuses
September 2016: Town & Gown Partnerships for Jesuit Schools
May 2016: How Jesuit Institutions Help Alumni Live the Mission
April 2016: Eco-Jesuit: Campus Responses to Laudato Si'
March 2016: The Jesuit Mission of Athletic Programs
February 2016: Diversity on Jesuit Campuses
January 2016: The Impact of STEM Programs on Jesuit Institutions
December 2015: Celebrating the Arts on Jesuit Campuses
November 2015: The Jesuit Mission of Graduate & Professional Programs
October 2015: 100th Anniversary of Alpha Sigma Nu
September 2015: The Impact of HEA Reauthorization on AJCU Campuses
May 2015: Fostering Vocations on Jesuit Campuses
April 2015: New International Collaborations Among Jesuit Institutions
March 2015: How Women Are Shaping Jesuit Institutions