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Loyola Jesuits honored during Feast of St. Ignatius

Loyola press release - July 29, 2011

On Sunday, July 31, Jesuits around the world celebrate the feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Loyola University New Orleans, one of 28 Jesuit institutions of higher education in the U.S., joins in this celebration.

Several members of the Loyola University Jesuit community, including President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., will be honored this weekend at a special Mass commemorating milestones of service to the Society of Jesus and the Catholic Church. The Mass takes place this Sunday, the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Jesuits of the New Orleans Province will gather for the Jesuit Jubilee Mass at 3 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church. After Mass, the celebration will continue with a reception at The Roosevelt featuring live jazz and a menu of favorite southern dishes and drinks.

The Rev. Roland J. Lesseps, S.J., emeritus professor of biological sciences, will be honored for 60 years of service to the Society of Jesus.

The Rev. Stephen C. Rowntree, S.J., Ph.D., philosophy professor, and the Rev. Edward B. Arroyo, S.J., Ph.D., research associate with the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola and rector at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., will both be recognized for their 50 years of service to the Society of Jesus.

The Rev. Leo A. Nicoll, S.J., associate professor emeritus of history at Loyola, and the Rev. Robert J. Ratchford, S.J., former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola, will be recognized for their 50 years as priests.

President Wildes will be honored for his 25 years of priesthood, and the Rev. R. Bentley Anderson, S.J., Ph.D., a Loyola Board of Trustees member and associate professor at Fordham University, will be honored for his 25 years of service to the Society of Jesus.

Lesseps is a native New Orleanian and Jesuit High School alumnus. For many years, he was a missionary at the University of Zambia and worked as a professor of biology and agriculture at Kasisi Agricultural Training Center in Lusaka. Before moving there, he was a professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Loyola. He is currently a member of the Ignatius Residence community where he is assigned to pray for the Church and Society.


Rowntree
was ordained in 1975 and began his full-time teaching career at Loyola in 1976 as assistant professor. From 1981 to 1992, he directed the Jesuit Center for Academic Formation, which coordinated the studies of Jesuit Scholastics and Brothers attending Loyola. In 1993, he answered a call for volunteers and began a four-year integrated program of philosophy, humanities and religious studies for English-speaking African Jesuit seminarians.


Arroyo
is originally from New Orleans and an alumnus of Jesuit High School. He holds a doctorate in sociology from Duke University and a Master of Divinity degree from Woodstock College, and has taught at Spring Hill College and Loyola. He has also served the province as superior of the House of Studies at Loyola, rector of its community, and as provincial.


Nicoll
, a native of Galveston, Texas, entered the Society in 1948. He has since taught at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., St. Charles College in Maryland, and at Spring Hill College. For the last 40 years, he has taught history at Loyola, where he was once assistant dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently an associate professor emeritus of history at Loyola.


Ratchford
entered the Society after serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He worked for many years at Loyola as a chemistry professor, academic vice president and as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. After his tenure at Loyola, he assisted in various capacities at the province office and is currently treasurer for Ignatius Residence.


Wildes
is president of Loyola University and is a member of the Department of Philosophy and teaches undergraduate and law students each year. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1976 after graduating from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Penn., with a bachelor’s degree in theology. He holds advanced degrees in theology and philosophy, and received his doctorate in bioethics from Rice University in 1993. He is originally from Pitman, N.J.


Anderson
served as a captain in the U.S. Army after which he earned a master’s degree in history from Monmouth College, a Master of Divinity degree from Regis College and a doctorate in history from Boston College. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1986. Since then, he has worked as a professor of history at Saint Louis University, and is currently associate professor in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Fordham University.