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Mass and reception celebrate the life of the Rev. Louis Twomey, S.J.

October 2, 2009

The life and legacy of social justice pioneer the Rev. Louis Twomey, S.J., will be celebrated on the 40th anniversary of his death, Sunday Oct. 11, with Mass in his honor at the Loyola University New Orleans Ignatius Chapel in Bobet Hall. Mass begins at 10:30 a.m., and is followed by a reception in the Diboll Gallery in the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library, hosted by the 10:30 Ignatius Chapel Mass community, the Jesuit Social Research Institute and the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice.

Twomey was a Jesuit priest and social activist who came to Loyola University in 1947, after serving as principal of Tampa Jesuit High School. He was tasked with educating other Jesuits on Catholic social teaching and founding the Institute of Industrial Relations for the Southern Jesuit Province to encourage economic justice in the workplace. As his work at Loyola progressed, Twomey became the preeminent southern Jesuit crusader for racial and economic justice.

In the 1950s, Twomey published a monthly newsletter, “Christ’s Blueprint for the South,” which examined social issues in the South and how Jesuits could address them. He produced teaching guides to help fellow Jesuits integrate the social message of the Gospel into their classes, and he assisted Archbishop Joseph Rummel in desegregating the city’s Catholic schools.

In the ‘60s, the institute changed its name to the Institute of Human Relations to reflect its expanded role, and in 1991, it was renamed the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice in his honor. Today the Twomey Center, JSRI and the Loyola University Community Action Program are some of the many entities on Loyola’s campus that strive to model Twomey’s zeal for social justice. His monthly newsletter lives on as the Twomey Center periodical “Blueprint for Social Justice.”

For more information on the Mass in celebration of the Rev. Louis Twomey, S.J., contact Chris Wiseman in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 504-861-5499 or cwiseman@loyno.edu.

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