Members of the Loyola community share what it means to be Jesuit educated
January 6, 2016
When I moved 300 miles from home to a residence hall on a college campus in Baltimore, I didn’t know a soul. Not even my own. Not really.
I was 18 years old. I didn’t know what a Jesuit was. I had attended public schools my whole life and, though I was raised Catholic, I had come to dread the hard wooden pews and droning homilies I associated with faith.
Calling others, and young people especially, to strive to do more for His Greater Glory—as the Jesuits do—in their everyday tasks, in their interactions with others, and in their innermost thoughts and reflections, is a lofty goal. But when you become part of a community striving for this shared aspiration, you can’t help but set your sights on it. You are inspired. You are determined. Best of all, you are supported.
In this environment, the education I received at Loyola challenged me to pull everything I had come to know about myself, the world, and the person I wanted to be inside out, so that I could turn it on its head, question it, affirm or confront it with each new experience. I did this repeatedly during my four years at Loyola, as I considered both what I was learning in my classes and from conversations I was having with dedicated professors, with fellow students and, to my great surprise, with God. I did this while peeling potatoes in the crowded kitchen of a Baltimore shelter, hearing stories of those who had no place to call home. I did this in light of the joy and heartbreak that come with the profound relationships one makes in college. I did this as I practiced the art of reflection and came to think about how I might tackle the world going forward—a little stronger, a little kinder, a bit wiser, wholly affected.
Professionally, my Jesuit education has led me around the world—teaching, writing, experiencing the people and places of dozens of nations on five continents—and back to Baltimore, where today I have the distinct pleasure of witnessing and taking part in others’ Jesuit education.
The Jesuit education imparts values that become part of your fiber: to lead by example and to seek more from yourself and from others; to be passionate and convicted in all pursuits; and to be grateful for the opportunity, the experience, and the day that is bestowed on you.
I have my Jesuit education at Loyola to thank for giving these things a permanent place to grow and evolve with every experience I have and every person I meet along my journey.
Brigid Darragh Hamilton earned degrees in English and Spanish Language and Literature from Loyola in 2006. She lives in Baltimore and works at Loyola University Maryland as a writer and editor for Loyola’s office of marketing and communications.