St. Ignatius of Loyola challenged a university student by the name of Francis Xavier with Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:26: “For what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?”
Francis responded by becoming one of St. Ignatius’ first companions in forming what would become the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. Before embarking on a trip to bring the Gospel to Asia, St. Ignatius challenged Francis to “Go set the world ablaze.”
For the next 500 plus years, the Jesuits evangelized the world for Christ. Just one of the many legacies of their evangelical zeal are the 28 universities and colleges in the United States. Loyola Marymount University (LMU), founded in 1911, is one of the institutions which hails from this proud past.
Sadly, like many Catholic higher educational institutions, LMU’s Catholic identity has diminished in recent decades. This change is evidenced by:
1. The decline in the number of Jesuits and Jesuit faculty on campus.
2. The formation of student groups opposed to the Church’s moral teaching and approval of these groups by LMU’s administration.
3. The hiring and place of prominence given to professors whose scholarship consistently opposes Church moral teaching.
4. The sponsoring and promotion of on-campus activities that contradict Church teaching.
5. The platform given to pro-abortion speakers at commencement exercises and at other on-campus events.
There are a variety of reasons why LMU has experienced this secularization. Regardless, one wonders whether the Trustees are paying attention, or whether they care.
RenewLMU is an alliance of students, alumni, faculty, donors, and other LMU supporters who seek to strengthen LMU’s Catholic mission and identity. LMU’s motto is “For the Greater Glory of God.” The mission and the activities of LMU, its administration, faculty, students, and staff should be centered around this very noble principle. Together, we can help to preserve LMU’s proud Catholic and Jesuit tradition…its very soul.
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