On October 20 and 21, more than 700 Jesuit-educated alumni and friends of the Society gathered at 24 parishes and schools for the fourth annual Jesuit Friends and Alumni Sunday Masses. They joined the more than 2,000 men and women for others who have attended in previous years.
Jesuit Alumni Sunday was started four years ago as a way of bringing together alumni of Jesuit schools and friends of the Jesuits across the generations to rekindle their connection with the Society and each other. Liturgies are followed by receptions where participants can learn about the Ignatian programming in their area and meet program representatives.
More than 50 Jesuit institutions worldwide were represented at the Masses, including a number of apostolates well beyond the East Coast—from Jesuit High School in New Orleans, to Creighton University in Nebraska and Marquette University in Wisconsin.
At Loyola Jesuit Center, the Jesuit retreat house in Morristown, NJ, Fr. George Collins, SJ, presided and greeted some 50 attendees at the post-event reception, many whom had never been to the retreat house. “The reception was very special,” said Renee Owens, director of Loyola Jesuit Center. “Not only did we share information about the Jesuit ministries available, but we were also able to let guests learn more about the retreat programs here. So many were in awe of the beauty and the peace that they felt here and were thrilled to learn about this oasis that shares in the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises through retreats and prayer sessions.”
At St. Peter Church in Charlotte, NC, attendees proudly wore sweatshirts from their respective Jesuit universities. During the reception, they learned about Ignatian Spirituality programs offered in Charlotte and about the parish’s upcoming trip to the Kino Border Initiative this spring.