Ignatius Chapel Community History

The Ignatius Chapel Community (ICC) has evolved slowly, simply and steadily over nearly forty years. The origin of the ICC can be traced to the introduction of a 10:30 am Mass in the early 1970’s for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. This liturgy began as Loyola was moving from an historically commuter school to one of regional and national scope as a result of the construction of dormitories for men and women and an outreach to a broader audience.

Very soon after its beginning, the 10:30 liturgy moved from the Audubon Room of the Danna Center to the new and current chapel located in Bobet Hall. After the move to the new chapel, the ICC continued to evolve without any definition of its unique existence.

It became obvious that, for the most part, the same men, women, and children, including nuns and priests, attended the 10:30 liturgy every Sunday. Over time, a new and more direct relationship began to develop between the Office of University Ministry and the members of the “10:30” community. In the 1990’s, the Dean of University Ministry suggested that the ICC form a leadership structure so that he and the Campus Ministry team could share mutual interests, concerns, and responsibilities with that representative ICC group.

The initiative led to the election by the community of a leadership committee of five. The establishment of this simple structure constituted a substantial step in the continuing evolution of the community. This move established, in a more formal sense, the community’s existence as unique and not merely a group of Sunday attendees. Post Katrina, the community quickly re-formed and held its liturgical celebration well before the University reopened.

In early May of 2006, discussion began within the community reflecting on who and what we are—a universal question many faced after Katrina. These discussions led to a day of discernment for the community, which occurred on September 16, 2006 and resulted in a written mission statement and the formal recognition of certain ministries.

 The mission statement reads:

"The Ignatius Chapel Community of Loyola University New Orleans, in association with University Ministry, is an intentional Catholic faith community in the Jesuit tradition of being men and women for others.  Through the Liturgy of the Word and Eucharist, we welcome all and support and nurture one another's spirituality, faith commitments, and ministries within our community and the other communities in which we live and work."

The operative word is "intentional" as it captures the essential recognition of the passage from an evolutionary nature of the community to its now distinctive existence.

 

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