In May, Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago celebrated the success of its first graduating class completing their bachelor’s degrees at universities and colleges across the nation. Launched in 2015, Arrupe College is a two-year associate’s degree program that provides a rigorous liberal arts education to motivated students with limited financial resources with an interest in attending a four-year institution.
This spring, 47 percent of Arrupe’s first class of graduates earned their bachelor’s degree in four years—two years after they received their associate’s at the inaugural commencement and two years ahead of the national average. By the end of the calendar year, 84 percent of Arrupe’s first graduating class will have bachelor’s degrees.
Alumni received their bachelor’s degrees from a variety of institutions this spring, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Regis University, DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago, and Dominican University.
“I am in awe of what our students have accomplished and am so proud to see them participating in graduations around the country wearing our Arrupe College stoles. We are blessed to already have a network of alumni who are setting an inspiring pace for our current students,” said Fr. Stephen Katsouros, SJ, dean and executive director of Arrupe College.
Chicago resident and Christ the King Jesuit College Prep alumna Mya Peters was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright Grant by the U.S. Department of State, as part of the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program. This program places Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to local teachers. ETAs teach English as a second language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.
After undergoing a rigorous and selective six-month application process, Peters was selected to teach in Thailand starting this fall, as part of a 12-month assignment. She will be part of an ETA cohort of 15 there.
Peters, the first in her family to attend college, graduated from Trinity College in 2018 with her bachelor’s in psychology. While at Trinity, Peters spent her junior year studying abroad: in Argentina her fall semester and in India, South Africa, and Brazil during the spring. Those experiences helped trigger her interest in living and working in a foreign country and applying for the Fulbright Grant.
“I am excited for the opportunity to teach, coach, and empower people from other backgrounds. I believe the ETA experience in Thailand will help prepare me for an eventual career in international consulting, with an emphasis on inclusion and diversity in the workplace,” said Peters.
Learn more about Mya’s story here.
After nearly two years of discernment by Jesuits all over the world and receiving approval and confirmation from Pope Francis, Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ, announced this February that the Society has chosen four new “Universal Apostolic Preferences” (UAPs) to guide the lives, missions, and ministries of Jesuits over the next decade. The worldwide discernment process leading to the update focused on three main questions: “Where do we hear the call of Jesus today as He carries His cross in the world?”, “What is the Church asking of us?”, and “Where are we most needed?”
The UAPs are titled as such because they are not simply “goals,” but rather preferences for discernment. When deciding between good options, all other things being equal, we should “prefer” to do to one thing over another. Aiming to address four areas that are vital in our world today, the preferences are: promoting discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; walking with the excluded; caring for our common home; and journeying with youth.
The Society is committing to engaging in reflection and studying these issues, which will allow Jesuits to strengthen their identity as a part of a Church that is called to go beyond itself. Moreover, every Jesuit and Jesuit community must determine how to apply these themes in practical and concrete ways across their areas of work.
Click here to learn more about the UAPs.
In his new book, Can Francis Change the Church?: How American Catholics Are Responding to His Leadership, Fr. Thomas P. Sweetser, SJ, details how he spent seven years interviewing Catholics of all ages across the country—both practicing and non-practicing—about their relationship with the Church, talking to the same people before and after Pope Francis was elected. Touching on various hot button issues, Fr. Sweetser’s before and after interviews provide insight into how attitudes have evolved with the new papacy, offering new perspectives on how the laity is experiencing the Catholic Church at this moment in time and their desire for authentic spirituality.
Father Sweetser is the founder and current director of the Parish Evaluation Project. He has taught at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, the University of Dayton in Ohio, Boston College, University of Seattle, Retreats International, and Loyola University New Orleans. He is the author of numerous books, and his articles have appeared in America, National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal, Chicago Studies, Today’s Parish, Human Development, Review of Ignatian Spirituality, and Church.
Click here for more information on how to purchase this book.