Loyola University Chicago has received much attention in the past day since the first Jesuit, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected as the new pope, Francis I.
The Rev. Michael Garanzini, president of Loyola University Chicago, released the following statement today:
Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
It was with great anticipation that we learned yesterday that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as our new pope, Pope Francis. His selection as the first Jesuit elected to that most holy of offices comes as a surprise to most Jesuits, who see ourselves as working for the Holy Father on the frontiers of knowledge and service to humanity, and most importantly to the poor and marginalized. Our work is most often in schools, parishes, refugee camps, and retreat houses, not usually in the halls of Church administration.
And yet, Pope Francis is very deeply rooted in his—our—tradition, which has been handed down and entrusted to us from our founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. Pope Francis was a professor and rector of a theological faculty. He is very familiar with academia and he taught literature, psychology, philosophy, and theology before becoming Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He is uniquely committed to social justice and the plight of the poor, and his worldview is most assuredly rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, of which he is a dedicated scholar and student.
Please join me in praying for Pope Francis and for our Church. It is our hope that together we can continue to inspire and engage women and men for lives of service to our communities and to the world.
The Rev. Michael Garanzini, S.J.
President and CEO of Loyola University Chicago