I am inspired by all of the Jesuit ministries, particularly social ministries that promote justice and equality, such as direct service, social research, and advocacy for social change.
Jesuit Connections: Mikayla Lofton

Name: Mikayla Lofton
Hometown: St. Paul, MN (currently resides in Chicago, IL)
Schools Attended: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Profession: Grants Program Manager, Cristo Rey Network

How did you get involved with the Jesuits?
You could argue I have been involved with the Jesuits since birth. My Dad was working in student affairs and residence life after completing his master’s at Marquette University when I was born. Shortly thereafter, I was baptized at the Chapel of the Holy Family. Growing up in Saint Paul, my family attended the Jesuit parish of the Twin Cities, IHM-St. Luke’s Parish, now St. Thomas More. I was an active participant in the parish starting at a young age, first as an altar server, then as a Eucharistic minister. After completing my undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I entered into a year of service through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where I was placed at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School for the year. This past June, after three years at Cristo Rey Atlanta—one as a JV and two as a full-time staff member, I relocated to Chicago to work for the Cristo Rey Network, the national office that oversees and supports all 35 Cristo Rey schools throughout the country.

Tell a story about how a specific Jesuit(s) has impacted your life.
Last year, I had the privilege of making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius through the 19th Annotation—an opportunity to engage daily in prayer, reading, and meditation. Father Todd Kenny, SJ, vice president for mission and identity at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit, generously provided this opportunity to all who were willing to commit to the several-month experience. I wanted to challenge myself and signed up to participate. The experience was exceptionally rewarding and taught me several very important lessons. Bi-weekly meetings reaffirmed my daily practice and challenged me to go deeper into the experience. It was through Fr. Todd’s guidance and support that I was able to have such a fruitful experience with the Exercises. 

How do you bring Jesuit values into the workplace?
I aspire to be a woman for and with others each day through my work at the Cristo Rey Network. Whether interacting with coworkers or meeting with donors, I treat everyone with respect and great care. The Cristo Rey Network embodies countless Jesuit values, namely putting the needs of the vulnerable first and providing students with a rigorous Catholic education that forever changes the trajectory of their lives.

Can you talk about the Midwest Jesuit ministries you find inspiring?
Naturally, I’m partial to the Midwest Jesuits work in education, specifically their efforts to revitalize the Church’s commitment to serving the urban poor through Catholic education. That being said, I am inspired by all of the Jesuit ministries, particularly social ministries that promote justice and equality, such as direct service, social research, and advocacy for social change.

What would you like your legacy to be?
No matter where life takes me, I want to be a leader committed to faith in action. 

What prompted you to support the Province?
As a non-profit fundraiser, I recognize that the work of Jesuits is comprehensive and takes a village of supporters to accomplish. The Province’s work through schools, retreat centers, parishes, social ministries, and internationally is critical to serving the Catholic Church for the greater glory of God. The Jesuits have had such a profound impact on my life so supporting the Province financially is a no-brainer!

Return to the Jesuits Magazine Spring 2019 Magazine Index

Recent News

May 28, 2020 — The global pandemic has forced everyone to go digital. Spiritual direction — confidential, guided discernment of God — has not stopped. Rather, just like the persons who employ the Exercises, spiritual direction has pivoted online.

May 25, 2020 — In two of the more memorable and simple ceremonies in recent history, one Jesuit was ordained a priest and five Jesuits were ordained deacons on May 23.

May 21, 2020 — The sterling efforts of the Patna Jesuits in responding to the situation arising out of the country-wide lock-down in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis are an image of hope in the midst of several resistances to outreach to the least, the last, and the lost (Matthew 25).

The Spring 2020 issue of Jesuits Magazine is now online. The cover story details the Invisible Infrastructure that is the underpinning of the Midwest Province's purpose and function. Plus, news from the frontiers, Jesuits on the Move, and more!

May 19, 2020 — A group of Ignatian colleagues in northeast Ohio are dedicated to sharing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. They developed a unique Ignatian Spirituality Collaborative to strengthen their practice and impact in the region.

May 18, 2020 — May marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’. Through this landmark encyclical, Pope Francis called the Church and all people to transform our relationship with creation.

May 18, 2020 — Fr. Garanzini succeeds Fr. Michael J. Sheeran, SJ, beginning July 1.

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Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.