Jesuits and Students Look Ahead to A New Year

Caleb Beck

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Entering 2016 with fresh resolve and compassion shows significance and a strong sense of spiritual renewal for the Jesuit congregation of the Catholic faith.

The Jesuit priests of Loyola University New Orleans recently weighed in with their take on what impact the social trend of setting New Year’s resolutions has on their lives, as well as how setting goals reconciles with their faith.

Resolutions are often marked by improvements to health or strides in achieving personal growth, but the Jesuits have clarified the spiritual component of delving into a New Year.

“There are an infinite number of possibilities: More time devoted to prayer, examination of conscience, community worship, deeper love of neighbor, more hours of volunteer time, a deeper understand of and respect for sexuality, and temperance in the use of food and drink,” Father James Carter, S.J. said.

In looking forward, the Jesuit priests also suggest reflection is key to reacquaint oneself with their Ignatian roots.

In a column recently submitted for the Loyola Alumni Association Newsletter, Father Ted Dziak, S.J. said, “Use Ignatian imagination to picture the faces of the loving people in your life – parents, siblings, family, close friends, neighbors, co-workers, community members.”

He identifies the coming year as a time of expressing gratitude.

“Think of all of the gifts God has blessed you – skills, talents, moments of joy and passion; thank God,” Dziak said.

Students are also assessing what the coming year holds for them.

Miko Tanco, Music Industry sophomore, said that one of his favorite things about entering the New Year is reminiscing on the previous one because you can see who you were and how you have grown.

Tanco pointed out that a New Year for him isn’t simply a time to start over.

“I don’t think of the New Year as a blank state so much as a constantly evolving canvas with a lot of blank space to fill with one’s action,” Tanco said.

The arrival of 2016 is an exciting time moving forward for the Jesuit community. Led by the first Jesuit Pope, Pope Francis, the Catholic faith has entered into the Jubillee Year of Mercy, which represents an age of faith, charity, and brotherly communion.

Edward Vacek, S.J., elaborated on why the Pope chose mercy as a driving focus for the church this year.

“Pope Francis, whose life and ministry embody mercy for those who are in need, has dedicated this year to Mercy, another name for that preferential option for the poor coined by the Jesuit superior in 1968,” Vacek said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email