LMU Reminds Community of Kwanzaa, but not the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

On December 7th, Marketing and Communications sent out an email to the LMU community inviting them to celebrate Kwanzaa the next day, but did not post a similar advertisement to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary the next day. You might think that an institution named Loyola Marymount might have a particular interest in promoting a celebration of the woman called by Wordsworth ‘our tainted nature’s solitary boast.’ You might think that President Snyder would send a special invitation to attend Mass, but his email communications are more often about his own political opinions which he feels compelled to share with the entire community, inevitably highlighting his woke bona fides. Maybe next year the LMU community will get an email reminding them to celebrate the great mother of God Mary most holy.  Or maybe status quo LMU will continue.

LMU’s Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination Loses the Catholic Part: A Petition President Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

The Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination at LMU is supposed to be “a community of scholars who work in dialogue with the Catholic intellectual tradition by developing, critically examining, communicating, or otherwise engaging the rich resources of Catholic thought and imagination, especially as it is informed by Jesuit and Ignatian vision.” It was set up under your predecessor President David Burcham in response to concerns from alumni that LMU was losing its Catholic identity. 

Given this history and mission, it is surprising to read the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination’s current “Message from the Director”, a screen shot of which you can find below. It reads, 

“The future is interdisciplinary. As a community, we are asked to embrace and promote a new surge of creativity in the sciences and the arts, so that this surge may extend into all areas of human activity. Not only the sciences and the arts are sacramental but also, they share a common creative process. Everything is in a constant process of evolution and change. The developments that are made in one area may sometimes have serious consequences for the foundations of theories and concepts in other areas. Each problem produces an energy that seeks to be solved with a new idea. But rather than looking for something truly fundamental, we often attempt to modify a problem without disturbing the underlying infrastructure. ACTI looks to promote unforeseen collaborations and unexpected ideas in new common grounds, like in a vibrant Academy of the Core. Such is our challenge in times of major distress but also of great opportunity.”

You’ll note that this message, aside from the word ‘sacramental’, has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Catholic. Likewise, the programming this semester (see screenshot below) entitled “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” has nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism.  

All this is less surprising, when you look at the Director of the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination’s curriculum vitae which I have attached for your convenience to this message.  The word “Catholic” appears nowhere in his 11 page CV.

Just to be clear, for all we know, the Director of the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination may be a daily communicant who always carries a rosary in his pocket. He may have the charity of St. Francis of Assisi, the missionary zeal of St. Francis Xavier, and the corporal works of mercy of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  Our complaint is not about his personal practice (or lack of practice) as a Catholic. Indeed, we don’t even know if he is a Catholic. But what is clear from his CV and his fall programing is that he is utterly unsuited to be the Director of the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination.

Your appointment of this Director is yet one more example of mission drift, lack of due attention to identity issues, or maybe even deliberate derailing of LMU’s institutional commitment to Roman Catholicism. 

We respectfully request that someone who is well-versed in the Catholic intellectual tradition and who will provide programming with actual Catholic content be appointed immediately as the Director of the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination. 


Pedro Diaz-Rubin, LMU Alum 1994

To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775

Two Year Anniversary of the Death of a Jesuit Giant: Fr. Terrance L. Mahan S.J.

To admit that you made a mistake is to declare you are wiser now than you were before. In not giving due notice of the death of this LMU Jesuit giant, we are sorry not to have posted something about this kind, wise, and generous man in a more timely way. But the greatness of his character merits mention, especially on the eve of the two year anniversary of his death.

These words from the obituary of Jesuits West capture only a tiny fraction of all he did for people at LMU and for so many others:

Father Terrance Leon Mahan, SJ, university teacher, administrator and former provincial of the California Province, died of natural causes December 8, 2020, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 96 years of age and had been a Jesuit for 79 years, the most senior member of the Jesuits West Province in terms of years of service.

Fr. Mahan was born in Los Angeles on July 11, 1924, the son of Albert L. Mahan and Gertrude Tintle Mahan. He attended Loyola High School, and after graduating, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos on August 14, 1941. Training took him to Gonzaga University for a philosophy degree, to the University of San Francisco for an MA in history, to Santa Clara University for a theology degree and finally, to the University of Wisconsin for a PhD in American history (1960). Along the way, he taught Latin at Loyola High School of Los Angeles (1948-49) and philosophy at Santa Clara University (1949-50). He was ordained a priest on June 12, 1954, in San Francisco.

Assigned to Loyola [Marymount] University in 1960, Fr. Mahan was in the classroom for only a years before being named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1961-69). He returned to the history classroom briefly before being named rector of the Jesuit Community (1973-76). He was named provincial of the California Province Jesuits for a term (1976-1982), overseeing the men and works of the Society in five states.

Upon completion of his term, Fr. Mahan became superior of Manresa Retreat House in Azusa, California, directing the staff and offering laymen’s retreats to hundreds of Southern Californians a year (1983-1990). After a year as assistant to the provincial, Fr. Mahan returned to the history classroom at Loyola Marymount University in 1991 and also served in Jesuit community administration. From 2007 to 2012 he was a popular spiritual director. In retirement at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Fr. Mahan was a kind and gentle presence in the community and his inspirational warmth, kindness and humor will be long remembered.


Evening Student Protest of President Snyder

Readers of these musings might like to know that another protest against President Sndyer was scheduled in the evening. The Board of Trustees meeting place was scheduled to be in University Hall. Following the meeting concluding at 5:00 p.m., the board members were scheduled to head up to the Jesuit community for a reception. Some students planned to protest President Snyder by having signs ready for the board members to see as they walked up to the Jesuit community.

Well, President Snyder got wind of this plan, and so at the last minute, had the Board of Trustees meeting moved to St. Robert’s Hall. The plan of the students got thwarted.

Fortunately, the students have friends in high places, learned of the new location, and moved the protest next to St. Robert’s in front of the Jesuit community. After the meeting concluded, President Snyder and all the Board members walked right by the students with their signs reading, “Stop Religious Discrimination at LMU” “Is LMU Catholic or Not?” “Does ‘Inclusivity’ include Catholics?” and “Everyone Deserves Respect.”

Some of the board members were smiling and friendly, saying things like “God bless you.” Some board members were less than fully pleased to see the students protesting President Snyder. But all the students were absolutely delighted.

Protest of President Snyder

We are grateful to the folks who braved the early morning weather to join us in protesting the failures of President Snyder in terms of Catholic identity. The Board of Trustees is getting the message that there is a serious problem of mission and identity at LMU. To all who joined us, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Protest President Snyder: Monday Morning 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 am on LMU Drive and Lincoln Blvd.

President Timothy Law Snyder has failed LMU. He has damaged its Catholic identity. We are having a rally to protest what President Snyder has done and what he has failed to do on Monday morning December 6th between 7-9 a.m. on the corner of Lincoln Blvd and LMU Drive near the LMU fountain. The LMU Board of Trustees is meeting that morning, and as they drive by us into LMU, we need to make them aware of the many failures of leadership in the administration of President Snyder.  (Some of you may want to stand outside the other entrance to LMU at the gate at the corner of Loyola Blvd and 80th near the LMU sign on Monday morning December 6th between 7-9 a.m.. That entrance may be used by a few board members.) We hope that the media will cover this event.

Please feel free to make and bring signs to protest President Snyder. Here are some ideas. “President Snyder, Renew LMU”  “Snyder Restore St Serra”  “Snyder Stop Religious Discrimination at LMU” “Snyder Restore Mission in BCLA” “Snyder Stop Pronoun Policing” “Snyder Needs to Stop Student Cyberbullying” “Tim, does ‘inclusivity’ include Catholics?”

Please tell your friends and bring your friends. We will see you by the fountain.

Entrance to Loyola-Marymount University at Lincoln Blvd in Westchester District

Mom Decries Harassment and Cyber Bullying of her Child at LMU: President Snyder Ignores Her Letter of Concern

Catholic students on campus have been bullied, harassed, and even sent messages like, “we hope you die.” For example, consider the following post “Everyone bully the LMU republicans Instagram page pls [please]” from one LMU student against another group of LMU students:

The mother of two current LMU students wrote to President Synder about the harassment and bullying. President Synder ignored her concerns and did not reply to her letter. Maybe his version of “inclusivity” does not include faithful Catholics. Please find her letter below.

Dear President Snyder,

As the mother of two current students at Loyola Marymount University, I am appalled at the cyber-bullying that occurred toward a group of pro-life LMU students. In opposition to the Planned Parenthood fundraiser, a small group of pro-life LMU students chose to table on campus a few days before the event. A photo of the group was posted on Instagram by a comedic account which harshly ridiculed the group of pro-life students. What followed were over 200 comments on this photo from LMU students. A number of the comments were vile and hateful in content, some even ridiculing the appearance of the pro-life students and mocking them. This is cyber-bullying. Pro-life students are already a minority on campus. Should Catholic and pro-life students be afraid to share their personal views?

Your office was made aware of this incident through our previous letter, but we received no response.

LMU students should be held to a level of decorum which respects free speech and insists on acting civilly and respectfully. We understand disagreement and debate, for these are fundamental aspects of free speech, especially on a college campus. However the ridicule and cruelty which occurred through this Instagram post is unacceptable. Our children that attend LMU have a personal attachment to the pro-life issue as children of an adopted mother. They have been raised in Catholic doctrine to respect life from conception to natural death.  As a Catholic university, LMU must protect its Catholic students just like any other students, and in this egregious example LMU has not protected these students. 

How will the administration respond to this instance of vile and hateful ridicule against Catholic pro-life students? We implore the administration to stand with its Ignatian values and protect students of all beliefs. This protection must extend to those with beliefs in the minority. Only then will the university’s mission statement be achieved. In closing, LMU is a Catholic university. Do Catholic students receive the same protection as other students at LMU? We pray that they do. We hope moving forward that the administration takes action to ensure that all students, yes even Catholic pro-life students, are protected, respected, and considered a viable part of this Catholic university.


A Highly Concerned LMU Mom (name withheld to prevent further bullying of her children currently at LMU)

To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775

Jesuit Fr. William J. Fulco, S.J. RIP

LMU has announced the death of Fr. Bill Fulco:

[T]he Rev. William J. Fulco, S.J., a Jesuit priest and the retired National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, passed away on Nov. 28, 2021, of a longtime illness at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 85 years old.

Father Fulco joined LMU in August 1998, and through his retirement in 2019, he established himself as a scholar, teacher, curator, mentor, and raconteur. A popular teacher, Father Fulco’s courses covered an impressive range of topics: “God and the World of Ancient Israel”; ancient religions; music culture in ancient Palestine; ancient Near Eastern languages; Near Eastern archaeology; biblical archaeology and Old Testament studies; and classical numismatics. He traveled the world exploring those subjects, and he made archeological travel available for LMU students, annually sponsoring digs across the globe through his NEH funding. In 2007, LMU recognized him with the President’s Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty by the university.

Father Fulco founded LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts’ Archaeology Center to study and display the collected and preserved museum-quality artifacts he acquired during his travels. His scholarship in the Aramaic language led him to be the advisor for the film “The Passion of the Christ.” 

William J. Fulco - IMDb

He also advised on the films “The Nativity Story” (2006) and “Jesus VR: The Story of Christ” (2016), and the television documentary series “Ancient Aliens” (2010-13). Father Fulco worked extensively with the Pontifical Biblical Institute Museum in Jerusalem and made a transformative impact through his work with Alcoholics Anonymous, speaking at retreats across the United States.

He was the classic Jesuit academic, equally at home on an archeological dig as in the classroom. Father Fulco embraced, with his characteristic animated joy, whatever project lay in front of him. He was a devoted member of LMU’s Jesuit Community, a highly engaged faculty advisor, and he remained connected with his former students over the years, always present to celebrate sacraments and offer advice. His contributions and impact inspired the formation of the Father Fulco Balanced Living Scholarship, reflecting his work over the years with Sigma Phi Epsilon and benefiting first-year students.

A native Angeleno, Father Fulco was born in the Leimert Park area, graduated from Loyola High School and joined the Society of Jesus in 1954. He was ordained in 1966. Father Fulco earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and literatures from Yale University. He earned his B.A. at Santa Clara University and his M.A. at Gonzaga University. He also held a Licentiate of Sacred Theology and Master of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.