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Loyola University New Orleans Announces New Partnership with Holy Name of Jesus School

By Loyola University on Tue, 01/11/2022 - 10:49

After more than 100 years of living side by side as neighbors, Loyola University New Orleans and Holy Name of Jesus Parish and School are taking their relationship to the next level. On Tuesday, the heads of all three institutions, together with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, announced via video a new partnership that will help students, families, faculty and staff to grow together in community, faith, learning, ministry and mission.

“For almost 500 years, the Jesuits have stood for excellence in education – in Europe and across the world, they helped create education as we know it,” said Loyola President Tania Tetlow. “We are excited to partner with an elementary school that is carved into our campus, to see the Holy Name students engage with our high-tech facilities and science labs.  There is nothing more inspiring sometimes than having really good questions from fourth-graders on a field trip to remind you why you love teaching.”

The strategic partnership began as a conversation several years ago, when Tetlow, a 1984 alumna, visited Holy Name of Jesus School at the invitation of the Rev. Mark Thibodeaux, S.J. and Principal Kirsch Wilberg, the new leaders of Holy Name of Jesus Parish and School. Together, the three executives instantly saw new possibilities for working together and began a process of exploration and discernment.

“Already, the two schools enjoyed a shared Jesuit mission—a mission to form men and women and boys and girls for others: a mission to help the next generation of New Orleanians become the Christian disciples and servant leaders that God is calling them to be,” said Thibodeaux. “We felt that there were fresh opportunities for partnering with one another in this common mission. Loyola University could share its rich resources in the areas of faculty-support, facilities, technology, physical education and more.  And Holy Name of Jesus School could provide for Loyola a hands-on training opportunity for its students.”

Over the course of the last three years, Loyola and Holy Name of Jesus School have implemented new programs that benefit students, families, faculty and staff. Holy Name absorbed the Whelan Center, a daycare formerly housed at Loyola, and incorporated it into a “Little Gators” program open to both institutions’ faculty and staff at a discounted rate. An inaugural summer camp at Holy Name enjoyed swimming and exercise at Loyola’s Recreational Sports Complex, as well as visits to STEM laboratories.  And professors at Loyola began visiting Holy Name classrooms, serving as guest speakers and helping elementary teachers consider their curriculums with an eye toward collaborations that would help to develop lifelong learners.

A primary benefit of the partnership lies in teaching, curriculum development and academic enrichment, Wilberg said. 

Already, Holy Name students have visited Loyola’s state-of-the-art communication studios and STEM labs, enjoyed concerts and performing arts presentations on campus and taken nature walks with faculty from Loyola’s Environment program. The hope is to continue collaborations that will help enrich teaching and learning opportunities at both institutions.

Faculty and staff benefit too. In addition to stretching their teaching capabilities and growing in community, Loyola faculty and staff can send their children to Holy Name to begin receiving a Jesuit education starting at age one. Likewise, Holy Name faculty and staff can pursue higher education at Loyola, both at exclusive tuition discounts.     

“…I am so excited to be here today with the leadership of Loyola University and Holy Name of Jesus Parish and School to announce this unique and one-of-a-kind partnership between these Catholic institutions,” said Dr. RaeNell Houston, director of the Dept of Catholic Education and Faith Formation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Superintendent of Catholic Schools.

“From this point forward, they will no longer just share geography, but truly be partners in ministry and mission. This is an extraordinary opportunity that will now be realized to benefit the faculties and students at both institutions in unique and creative ways both in and beyond the classroom.”

Archbishop Gregory Aymond gave the partnership his blessing.

“It is with great joy and hope for the future of Catholic education that we have shared this news of a formal partnership between Loyola University and Holy Name of Jesus School,” Aymond said in the video announcement. “I am grateful to Fr. Thibodeaux, President Tetlow, and Ms. Wilberg for the time and efforts they and their staffs have made to make this a reality. I believe this work is inspired by the Holy Spirit and will aid everyone involved in becoming lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ as they grow, learn, and are formed through the opportunities afforded by these two Catholic institutions coming together.”