Theology Department Pushes Priestly Ordination of Women: A Petition to President Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

We are disappointed that members of the Department of Theological Studies continue to act in contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Not only do they penalize students for calling God Father, not only do they push gender theory via pronoun policing, but now they have an upcoming event on April 7th, 2022 promoting women’s ordination. 

The advertising for the event (see below) claims that Diane Smith Whalen is a “Roman Catholic Woman Priest.” In fact, Diane Smith Whalen’s claim to be a Roman Catholic priest has as much validity as the claim of David Allen Bawden who styles himself Pope Michael to be the current Roman Pontiff. He isn’t the pope, and she isn’t a priest. 

The Church does not “forbid” women’s ordination as if it were banning bingo in the parish hall during Lent. Rather, as Pope St. John Paul II pointed out, the Church teaches that she is not authorized to admit women to priestly ordination because the sacraments were instituted by Jesus himself. No pope can authorize baptism with sand, the holy Eucharist with sausage, or the ordination to priesthood with females. The advertisement for this event suggests a “priesthood redefined” away from fidelity to what Christ established. Jesus, although he regularly broke with Jewish custom, retained the distinctively Jewish male priesthood unlike the pagan religions of the time which had female priests. 

We want events that support rather than tear down the Church. We want a theology of faith rather than an ideology of secularism. We want LMU to be institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism rather than to radical feminism. 


Laura Remington, LMU Alum, Class of 1996 and M.Ed. 2000

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

Fr. Richard Rolfs S.J. Rest in Peace

LMU has announced the death of another beloved Jesuit professor:

Rev. Richard Rolfs, S.J., former LMU dean of students, emeritus professor of history, and Faculty Hall of Fame member, passed away on March 7, 2022, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 98 years old. 

Father Rolfs joined Loyola University in 1968 as an instructor in political science. He became an assistant professor of European history in 1974, an associate professor in 1980, and was promoted to the rank of professor in 1997. Father Rolfs retired in 2005 and was awarded emeritus status, continuing to teach in a part-time capacity until 2012. An esteemed scholar, Father Rolfs was an expert on the history of Germany’s Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the roots of anti-Semitism. 

His legacy is reflected in the generations of students and colleagues he impacted throughout his service to LMU. Father Rolfs was dean of students from 1964-70, president of the Academic Assembly from 1978-79, and chair of the Department of History from 1978-86. He also served as a trustee from 1978-86, where he was a member of the Executive Committee, the Facilities and Long-Range Planning Committee, the Committee for Academic Affairs, and the Student Affairs Committee. 

Father Rolfs attended Loyola University from 1946-48. He earned an A.B. in philosophy, an M.A. in history, and an M.A. in philosophy from Gonzaga University, and his Ph.D. from the UC Santa Barbara. He also earned a Licentiate in Theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Father Rolfs began his teaching career at Loyola High School in 1955. 

Father Rolfs entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 14, 1948, was ordained on 
July 26, 1961, and professed his final vows on March 19, 1977. 

We thank God for the gift of Fr. Rolfs, for his teaching so many generations of LMU students, and for his faithful ministry as a priest. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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 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