Editor's Note

Opening Up

At the end of May, I had the extraordinary opportunity to go on the Ignatian Pilgrimage with 22 colleagues from Holy Cross, Xavier University, Loyola University Maryland, Marquette University and The University of Scranton. We visited the important sites in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, traveling through the lush mountains and plains of northern Spain, then flying to Rome for the last three days of the 12-day journey. 

Our stops included Loyola Castle (right), the site of Ignatius’ birth and conversion, and the cave at Manresa where he dwelled for nearly a year, praying and practicing what would become his Spiritual Exercises. In Rome, we visited the apartments of St. Ignatius, the Jesuit Curia, the Vatican Museum and the sites of other early Jesuit ministries.

In the past decade, dozens of Holy Cross faculty, adminstrators and staff have gone on this pilgrimage, and they seem to agree that each traveler returns with a unique, personal “take away.” For me, seeing the rugged terrain and learning about the hardships that Ignatius endured (some by his own design as he made his conversion from privileged soldier to servant of God), brought to mind the idea that one must be open to change and opportunity. For Ignatius and his first companions in the Society of Jesus, that openness gave them a physical, psychological and spiritual freedom to pursue God’s mission. In turn, this helped the Society spread from Ignatius’ Spanish home and become the global presence it is to this day. 

Back on campus in June, having successfully overcome jet lag and mild traveler’s remorse (“Why didn’t I take more pictures!?”), I found it was not long before the concept of spiritual openness I had contemplated on the trip became evident in the daily life of Holy Cross. Students from the Class of 2018, for example, streamed onto campus with their parents for Gateways Orientation. Their nervous energy and excitement were palpable, as was their openness to the new lives they will start here in the fall. It is that willingness to clear away the mental hurdles we all set up that will allow these fresh new faces to experience fully the expansive liberal arts offerings of our Jesuit institution. And I daresay, that’s just how “Iggy,” as some of my Jesuit school colleagues cheekily call the Society’s founder, would have wanted it. 

I highly recommend that you read the blog that Holy Cross President Rev. Philip. L. Boroughs, S.J., has written about the Ignatian Pilgrimage. You’ll find it at holycross.edu/hcm/pilgrimage. Fr. Boroughs and members of the Board of Trustees went on the journey just a week after our group returned. His observations (and photographs) of Ignatius’ path are inspiring. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of your alumni magazine. Please let us hear from you with thoughts about the stories inside.

All the best from Mount St. James,

Suzanne Morrissey, hcmag@holycross.edu

 

CAPTION: Xavier Castle, the birthplace of St. Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits, was a highlight of our Pilgrimage. At a small church on the grounds of the castle, our religiously diverse group gathered for one of several Masses we would share during this beautiful trip, organized and led by Thomas M. Landy, director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at Holy Cross.