LIM visits Africa to further developmental efforts

Dr. Thomas Ryan poses in Africa with locals. Photo credit: Loyola University New Orleans

Dr. Thomas Ryan poses in Africa with locals. Photo credit: Loyola University New Orleans

Leah Banks

The director of the Loyola Institute of Ministry traveled to Africa to further increase sustainability and international ministry.

Thomas Ryan traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to further the development efforts in health and education with the world’s poorest and most marginalized populations, including children affected by HIV/AIDS, the homeless and people affected by disasters or unsafe water. These relief efforts were begun by the Catholic Sisters Initiative of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the African Sisters Education Collaborative.

The conference Ryan participated in was “Catholic Sisters: Champions of Sustainable Development in Africa.” More than 100 religious sisters from 10 African countries attended the conference.

“I am pleased to have been able to make this trip and to contribute to Catholic sisters’ work of sustainable development in Africa. It also allowed me to meet some of our Tanzanian, Kenyan and Ugandan students,” said Ryan.

The Loyola Institute for Ministry has a long history of educating Catholic sisters. The insitute currently counts over 40 Catholic sisters, over half from Africa, among its students.

“In its efforts to support the education of Catholic sisters in Africa in particular, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation sought to draw on Loyola and LIM’s long experience in this area,” said Ryan.

The purpose of the conference was to develop a foundation for the Catholic sisters’ work in Africa as advancing the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. Each of the goals are directed toward the world’s most important problems as they relate to the poor and most vulnerable.

“The goals are ambitious, as is their timeline. They seek to end poverty and hunger, to promote access to quality education for all and to combat climate change — all this and much more by 2030,” said Ryan.

These goals are also in keeping with the aims of Loyola Institute of Ministry, which has given a transformative religious education experience to many graduates around the world through its pastoral education courses and programs offered on campus, online and through many other outlets.

“I am grateful for my time in Kenya and Uganda, for the witness I encountered and for the hospitality I received. I also value the SDGs as a frame for apostolic work. It can get those who address them there cognition and resources that so often go wanting,” said Ryan.