Rockhurst Celebrates Jesuit Legacy During Ignatian Heritage WeekSeptember 6, 2014

Though some four centuries removed from his own time, St. Ignatius of Loyola, now cast in bronze, still has a very visible place at Rockhurst University, overlooking Kinerk Commons.

Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, will be the center of a weeklong celebration on campus starting Sunday, Sept. 7.

The University’s third Ignatian Heritage Week will express the meaning and history of Ignatius and his teachings — teachings that are live on at Rockhurst and countless other Jesuit schools in the U.S. and across the globe.

“It’s both a celebration and education,” said the Rev. Bill Oulvey, mission office assistant.  “Our Ignatian heritage is incredibly important, but we want to present that heritage in a way that is accessible to the largest group of people imaginable.”

A student Mass kicks off the week’s events at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, at St. Francis Xavier Church. The Rev. Hung Pham, S.J., a Vietnamese Jesuit priest and expert on Ignatian spirituality, will lead that service. Pham will also speak on his personal interpretation of the Jesuit core value of cura personalis that the University has chosen as its theme for the academic year at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, in Mabee Chapel.

The Rockhurst community will gather at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in St. Francis Xavier, for a longtime University tradition, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, with a group picnic following on Kinerk Commons.

A highlight of the week’s events will be the opening reception for Adsum, an exhibit of contemporary paintings by Ohio based artist Holly Schapker. Schapker spent three years completing Ignatius’ spiritual exercises and the 2008 Ignatian Pilgrimage at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her paintings depict the history of Ignatius’ life and lessons. Hung and Schapker will also be visiting classes during the week.

Glenn Young, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology and religious studies, will lead Ignatian examen prayers at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Ignatius statue on Kinerk Commons.

Again this year, students are invited to celebrate “Iggy” in different contests: one where students write a six-word short story about Ignatius’ life and the dress Iggy contest, where organizations are invited to give the Ignatius statue a makeover and snap a photo.

In hosting fun and thoughtful events throughout the week, Fr. Oulvey and Ellen Spake, Ph.D., assistant to the president for mission and ministry, said they hope that students, faculty and staff come away with a better understanding of how vital the teachings of Ignatius remain today.

“It’s really the bedrock of all Jesuit schools,” Spake said. “Without the teachings of Ignatius, Rockhurst simply would not exist today.”

For a full schedule of events, visit

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