The Jesuits of Canada and the United States launched the Ignatian Media Lab (IML) earlier this year, asking those who had digital media ideas to help promote the Jesuit mission to apply. Many did, and now we invite you to meet the IML participants and learn about their projects as they work to launch them with support from the Jesuit Conference Office of Communications and Vocation Promotion.
The IML also connects members with each other in a cohort for mutual support and feedback during the creative process. By the end of the nine-month IML period, participants will have released their project into the world. Read on to learn about the projects and participants.
Online Library of Ignatian Reflections
The team will create an online library of over 30 Ignatian guided prayer reflections in English, written by and recorded by women. These will be available for free and accessible to all on the web and possibly available through a podcast. It will include audio and video reflections to teach and guide people through the prayer methods of Ignatian contemplation, Lectio Divina, colloquy and the Examen, with a primary audience of lay ministry leaders, Catholic faculty and arch/diocesan staff, who are not familiar with Ignatian spirituality.
Becky Eldredge is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and author of two books: “The Inner Chapel” (Loyola Press, April 2020) and “Busy Lives & Restless Souls” (Loyola Press, 2017). She leads a ministry that offers spiritual direction, resources and retreats (virtual and in-person) rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Passionate about Ignatian spirituality and teaching people how to pray and discern, Becky draws from over 20 years of ministry experience to help people make room for God in the busyness and invite them deeper in their walk with Christ. She holds a master’s in pastoral studies from Loyola University New Orleans and a master’s in education from Louisiana State University.
Kathy Powell, a passionate nonprofit and faith-based communications professional, has over 15 years of experience furthering the missions of human service, educational and ministry organizations. She has a broad range of expertise in instructional design, graphic design, fundraising/development, writing and crafting messaging, communication planning and strategy and social media best practices. Kathy holds a B.A. in Spanish with a concentration in multilingual/multicultural education from Florida State University. She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and three children.
Charlotte Phillips has experience in youth ministry, campus ministry, faith formation and as a high school theology teacher. She has worked in numerous parishes and schools along the Gulf Coast and in the Diocese of Rockford. She holds a B.A. in theology and master’s in pastoral studies from Spring Hill College. Charlotte and her husband live in New Orleans with their four young children.
Our Stories: Experiences of Students of Color at Jesuit High Schools
This series will provide an opportunity to listen to the testimonies of students of color at Jesuits schools as they share their experiences navigating predominantly white institutions. Through podcasts and short video clips, themes such as identity development, belonging, firsthand experiences with implicit and explicit bias and prejudice as well as the graces of being immersed in Ignatian pedagogy and charism will be explored.
Carlos Jiménez is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Bellarmine College Prep in San José. Carlos has more than 15 years of experience in education as a teacher, equity practitioner and advocate for underrepresented students and parents. Originally from Guadalajara, México, Carlos has extensive experience with Jesuit education as a student and educator at the secondary and post-secondary level in the United States and Latin America.
Seeing God Podcast
The Seeing God with Maddie and Queenie podcast will highlight the journey of a high school teen, Maddie, and her mother, Queenie, as they discuss their connection and how they see God in each other. The duo will invite others from their community and audience to nominate a special person in their life in whom they see God. Episodes will feature both the nominator and nominee in interviews with Maddie and Queenie. This podcast is supported by the Center for FaithJustice (CFJ). Maddie and Queenie are connected to CFJ through its newest initiative, NeXt Level, which empowers youth in parishes across the greater New Jersey region.
Madison Reda (left) is a freshman at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Her parish and (and previous school) is St. Augustine of Canterbury, in Kendal Park, New Jersey, where the love for her faith was founded. She has a passion for music, art and writing. Mental health is extremely important to Maddie, so it is with great pride that she gets to work alongside youth and adults in her parish to help bring awareness and education to a larger audience through her involvement with NeXt Level, which focuses on empowering youth, developing intergenerational relationships and living out the Gospel through youth-led parish-wide campaigns.
Queenie Reda (right) holds a MSW and is a licensed social worker in New Jersey. She is employed as a health educator in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where she educates others on the history of opioid use and works closely with individuals with substance use disorders. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Raritan Valley Community College teaching pre-social work courses. Queenie serves as a mentor for NeXt Level teens at St. Augustine of Canterbury.
Podcast on Global Perspectives in Jesuit Education
Educating students to be global citizens is one of the most exciting components of Jesuit education today. The goal with this podcast is to spark conversations that bring to light how faculty, staff and administrators across different disciplines and geographical areas in the Jesuit Schools Network (JSN) incorporate global perspectives into their local contexts. The hope is that listeners will continue these conversations in their own schools, and ultimately, bring their passion for this topic to our shared work through the JSN.
Thomas Powers (right) is a teacher of Spanish and the outgoing Director of Global Initiatives at Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey. As Tom is moving up to Massachusetts with his family, Salvatore Veniero (left), a teacher of German and Italian, will assume the director role in the Global Initiatives office. As colleagues and friends who are passionate about developing intercultural competence in students and who have worked together maintaining and developing their partnerships with schools in seven different countries, they are excited about this project that should help us in their own transition and hopefully inspire others interested in this work.
The project will include both a short, shareable animation based on the illustrations in the children’s book “Audacious Ignatius” that introduces a foundational principle of Ignatian spirituality and a subtly animated read aloud video of “Audacious Ignatius.”
Katie Broussard is the illustrator of “Audacious Ignatius,” “I’m a Saint in the Making,” and the forthcoming “Sorin Starts a School” (available June 2021). Katie is a mom and has many years of experience as a Jesuit educator. She loves illustrating stories that are inspiring for both kids and parents and encouraging people of all ages in their creative pursuits.
Learn to Pray the Ignatian Way Podcast
A team from Montreal Directed Retreats will work on creating podcasts out of their daily Zoom offerings. The group recognized that people needed spiritual support during the pandemic, and they presented on more than 60 topics related to Ignatian prayer over Zoom. At the request of their participants, who come in from all over the world, they decided to make podcasts of some of the recordings so that individuals can access them at any time.
(Clockwise from top left) Elizabeth Koessler, Catherine Cherry, Pat O’Neill, Dina Amicone, Raj Vijayakumar and Suzanne Gregory are a group of Ignatian trained spiritual directors from Montreal Directed Retreats who have provided yearlong daily prayer and teaching on Ignatian topics on Zoom.
Catholic Social Teaching Videos
The project will create infographic videos focused on Catholic social teaching as it relates to poverty/economic justice, racism/racial justice and immigration/immigrant justice. These videos will be accompanied by visual one sheets as well.
Kelsey McLaughlin is the office manager for the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans and is also pursuing a Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling at Loyola. Originally from the Seattle area, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps brought her to New Orleans 9 years ago.