Ignatian Week Celebrates Jesuit History



Religion journalist Jack Jenkins, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and theology professor, Kathryn Reklis and LA-based Jesuit screenwriter Jim McDermott all spoke at the At the “Jedi and Jesuits” event during Ignatian Week


Fordham’s Campus Ministry hosted its annual Ignatian Week at both the Lincoln Center (LC) and Rose Hill (RH) campuses from Oct. 19 to Oct. 26. Ignatian Week is an opportunity to learn about the identity and tradition of what it means to be a Jesuit, as described by Associate Director of Campus Ministry and Director of Ignatian Initiatives Erin Hoffman. 

Hoffman wanted to focus this year on incorporating their events with other departments at LC as well as RH. The week began on Saturday in the Bronx with a day of service in collaboration with Bronx is Blooming, a community group that works on upkeep in parks in the area. Masses on Sunday at both campuses honored St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Coincidentally, the theology department was hosting a panel on women deacons in the Catholic Church the same week on Tuesday, so Campus Ministry agreed to promote it with the rest of the Ignatian Week events they were planning. 

There was a panel of three people: commissioner on women deacons for Pope Francis Dr. Phyllis Zagano, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’03, Catholic feminist theologian Dr. Meghan Clark and theology professor Dr. George Demacopoulos. The majority of the attendees were alumni who were interested in hearing an update about this relevant topic. 

Students celebrated St. Ignatius’ 528th birthday with a party in McMahon 109 on Wednesday night. Three teams competed in “Jesuit Jeopardy” with Jesuit and Fordham-related trivia. Students were able to enjoy food while they played games and cake, after they sang happy birthday of course. 

Thursday night, Campus Ministry collaborated with the Center on Religion and Culture to host a panel entitled “Jedi and Jesuits.” Religion journalist Jack Jenkins, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and theology professor Kathryn Reklis and LA-based Jesuit screenwriter Jim McDermott all seemed very eager to discuss the topic at hand. Before the discussion started, the event opened with a Star Wars Kahoot. The winner received a gift card to go see the new Star Wars movie, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” set to debut Dec. 20.

The panel was full of Star Wars puns, insightful thoughts and jabs at the prequel trilogy. “I really enjoyed listening to the different perspectives of each panelist. Each had a unique and important contribution to make about religion’s role in Star Wars,” Kathryn Echele, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’23, said. The event ended with a raffle for Star Wars augmented reality equipment.

The week closed out on Saturday with a Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build in Queens. 

“One group worked together as a team to frame and raise three external and two internal walls. The other group strengthened existing walls with internal supports. Throughout the whole day, the two supervisors were super helpful with teaching us how to actually do the work. Seth and Rob were patient and let us make mistakes and learn about the entire process. It was a really amazing experience,” Emma Dileas, FCLC ’23 said. 

“My hope for everyone in the Fordham community is that they have the opportunity to engage in some way; all of us are a part of the Ignatian community and that’s what makes Fordham distinct,” Hoffman said.