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Director of Loyola Institute for Ministry Travels to Africa to Further Sustainable Development Efforts

Loyola press release - October 28, 2016

Catholic Sisters Initiative of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, together with the Loyola Institute for Ministry, a Hilton grantee, help to advance U.N. sustainable development goals

Director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry Dr. Thomas Ryan furthered Loyola University New Orleans’ commitment to sustainability and international ministry education by participating in “Catholic Sisters: Champions of Sustainable Development in Africa,” a conference that took place from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18 and brought Dr. Ryan to Nairobi, Kenya.

This event was sponsored by the Catholic Sisters Initiative of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC). More than 100 religious sisters from 10 African countries attended.

“I am pleased to have been able to make this trip and to contribute to Catholic sisters’ work of sustainable development in Africa. It also allowed me to meet some of our Tanzanian, Kenyan, and Ugandan students,” said Dr. Ryan. “The Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) has a long history of educating Catholic sisters. LIM currently counts over 40 Catholic sisters, over half from Africa, among its students. In its efforts to support the education of Catholic sisters in Africa in particular, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation sought to draw on Loyola and LIM’s long experience in this area.”

The purpose of the conference was to frame Catholic sisters’ work in Africa as advancing the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. These goals are centered around our world’s most pressing problems, as they relate to the poor and most vulnerable. Catholic sisters have always addressed such needs, and this conference gave them a new language to speak about their efforts. This meeting also helped congregations of nuns from around Africa to collaborate and leverage their resources in support of making the world a more just and peaceful place.

These goals are in keeping with the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola and Loyola University New Orleans’ Jesuit Catholic mission, which places emphasis on care for the poor and vulnerable, care for the environment/world around us and the pursuit of social justice. These goals are thus also in keeping with the aims of the Loyola Institute for Ministry, which has since 1968 provided a transformative religious education experience for thousands of graduates around the world through its pastoral education courses and programs offered on campus, online, and through its extension program, LIMEX.