Statue dedication to kick off Ignatian Heritage Week at Fairfield University



Image: F ClooneySt. Ignatius Loyola was the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), a worldwide order of priests who live and teach by the motto: Be men and women for others. As a Jesuit institution, Fairfield University will kick off Ignatian Heritage Week with the dedication and blessing of a new bronze sculpture of St. Ignatius on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. at the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola plaza on campus. (View our campus map.)

The dedication, three lectures and two documentary film screenings marking the week are all free and open to the public.

The two-part sculpture of St. Ignatius is entitled "Examen." One of the prime components of St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, the Examen is St. Ignatius' cornerstone prayer for discerning God's presence in daily life. The commissioned statue invites all to his method for paying attention to divine presence in the world.

Jeremy Leichman and Joan Benefiel, the New York artists who designed the statue, will attend the unveiling and a screening of In His Image, a film about its creation, immediately following the dedication in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. Leichman and Benefiel won Fairfield University's art competition for emerging young artists to design and produce the statue.

"They struck just the right balance between canonical art history - exemplified in this case by the grand statuary of the Italian Baroque period - and 21st-century imagery," said Jill Deupi, Ph.D., director of Fairfield's Bellarmine Museum of Art, who was on the selection committee. "The result is a piece that is, by turns, aesthetically captivating, intellectually rigorous and spiritually moving. We could not have asked for more."

University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., and the acclaimed Fairfield University Glee Club will also participate in the ceremony. Sixty-five stamps honoring Jesuits from the personal collection of the Rev. Joe MacDonnell, S.J., professor emeritus and a longtime member of the math and computer science faculty until his death in 2005, will be on display.

The statue dedication kicks off a weeklong exploration of the University's Ignatian heritage, including a series of stimulating lectures by experts in the field.

Sunday, October 23
Votive Mass of the Feast of St. Ignatius
11 a.m. & 9 p.m. in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola
Glee Club Concert
12:30 p.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
The Glee Club, celebrating its 65th season, will present its annual Homecoming & Family Weekend Concert. Tickets are available at fairfield.edu/quick.

Image: O SoltesMonday, October 24
St. Ignatius, Jesuits, Spirituality and Art
7:30 p.m. in Gonzaga Auditorium
Ori Z. Soltes, Ph.D., the Goldman Professorial Lecturer in Theology and Fine Arts at Georgetown University
Co-sponsored by the Carl & Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies
The former director and curator of the B'nai B'rith Kutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C., Dr. Soltes has taught and lectured at 23 other universities and museums throughout the country. He is the author of more than 150 articles, exhibition catalogs, essays, and books on a wide range of topics, including Searching for Oneness: Mysticism in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Traditions (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), and Untangling the Tangled Web: Why the Middle East is a Mess (Bartleby Press, 2009). Dr. Soltes will consider the historical relationship between religion and the visual arts and how St. Ignatius - and his contemporary image in the new statue on campus - fits into the history of Catholicism.

Image: T WorcesterTuesday, October 25
What Matters Most About The Jesuits?
7:30 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room
The Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., associate professor at The College of the Holy Cross
Co-sponsored by the Center for Faith & Public Life
Fr. Worcester is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, a collection of more than 600 articles that explore the work of Jesuits as scholars, writers, preachers, scientists and missionaries. He will examine the cultural and religious significance of the Jesuits, from the time of their founding in 1540, through their suppression in 1773, their restoration in 1814 and their present-day life.

Wednesday, October 26
Beyond Ricci: Celebrating 400 Years of the Chinese Catholic Church
3:30 p.m. in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room
This film by the Rev. Jeremy Clarke, S.J., assistant professor of history, Boston College, celebrates Matteo Ricci, one of the first Jesuits in China. Fr. Ricci began his Jesuit duties in Macau in 1582 and journeyed through eight Chinese cities, honing his skills in cartography and translation as well as his knowledge of Chinese culture.

Thursday, October 27
Discerning Presence: An Ignatian Sense of God's Presence in Every Religion
7:30 p.m. in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room
The Rev. Francis Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School
Co-sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies
Fr. Clooney is the Parkman Professor of Divinity and a professor of comparative theology at Harvard. He is the author of several books, including Seeing Through Texts: Doing Theology Among the Srivaisnavas of South India, which was named Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies, 1994-1996, by the International Society for Hindu Christian Studies. His Divine Mother, Blessed Mother: Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary won the 2005 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award for Excellence in Theology. He will address the great truths of Christian faith and challenge the audience to discern Christ's present in every religion, never limiting the mystery of God.

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Posted on October 7, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 54