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Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, sought and saw God in all things and believed himself called to be a co-laborer with God. His vision of the world lies at the heart of the Jesuit method of teaching, research and service.

Saint Louis University’s Office of Mission and Identity invites you to discover what it means to work at a Jesuit university and the difference it makes to your profession and field of study.

Introduction to the Spiritual Exercises 

St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, recognized that just as we need physical exercise for health of body, we also need spiritual exercise for our spiritual health. The Spiritual Exercises help a retreatant deepen the experience of God in everyday life.

For north campus faculty and staff, Christopher Collins, S.J., will present during four brown bag lunch sessions at noon in Jesuit Hall, 3601 Lindell Blvd., on the following Wednesdays:

  • September 11, 2019
  • September 18, 2019
  • September 25, 2019
  • October 9, 2019

For our south campus colleagues, Sr. Virginia Herbers, A.S.C.J., will present over four brown bag lunch sessions at 11:30 a.m. in Room 108 of the Learning Resources Center (LRC), 3544 Hickory Street, on the following Tuesdays:

  • September 24, 2019
  • October 1, 2019
  • October 8, 2019
  • October 15, 2019

Each session will last approximately one hour and there will be opportunities to talk briefly with the speakers after the presentation's conclusion. Coffee and cookies will be provided. Please let us know if you plan on attending. Registration is requested but walk-ins are always welcome. To register, please complete this form.  Visit our Facebook page for event updates.

Pop-up Pilgrimage

Though SLU faculty and staff are surrounded by our great Jesuit, Catholic heritage, the sights and places that mean so much to our history and spirituality are often overlooked or forgotten during our busy work days. Our series of mini-pilgrimages seeks reminding community members about SLU's fascinating mission and identity as well as the fact that our journey through life is an ongoing pilgrimage.

Faculty and staff should regularly check Newslink and our Facebook page for announcements about Pop-up Pilgrimage experiences. Pilgrims are led by David Suwalsky, S.J.

Past pilgrimage sites include:

  • St. Francis Xavier College Church belltower, choir loft, and gallery walkway.
  • Cupples House
  • Fusz Hall and Museum of Contemporary Religious Art 

First Friday Mass and Speaker Series

Join the Office of Mission and Identity and the Catholic Studies program for Mass, a light lunch, and an in-depth discussion of academics and the Jesuit tradition. Each event begins at noon on the first Friday of every month at Boileau Hall.

Attendees are invited to bring a friend to this spiritually and intellectually stimulating afternoon.  RSVP at and visit our Facebook page for more information and updates.

A selection of First Friday talks will be posted for viewing on our Mission and Identity playlist on the Saint Louis University YouTube channel. Please check periodically for new videos.

The fall 2019 series features the following speakers and talks:

  • September 6: Christopher Duncan, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences, Individualism, Personalism, the Common Good, and America
  • October 4: David Brown, S.J., Vatican Observatory, The Catholic Church and the Vatican: A Long Tradition of Astronomy 
  • November 1: Petruta Lipan, Ph.D., SLU Museums and Galleries, Why Art Matters 
  • December 6: Ronny O'Dwyer, S.J., Billiken Teacher Corps, To Teach as Jesus Did: Reflections from the Catholic School Vineyard

Recent speakers and topics include:

  • Molly Schaller, Ph.D., School of Education, The College Student Experience: Why the SOPHOMORE Year May Be So Important
  • Craig Adams, Ph.D., Parks College of Engineering, Billikens for Clean Water - Belize
  • Matthew Broom, M.D., School of Medicine, Pediatrics: Community Engagement in an Academic Health Center
  • Sara L. Coffin, Ph.D., College for Public Health and Social Justice, Urban Planning - Why Planning Matters: The Role of Citizens in Promoting a Just Community
  • Claire Gilbert, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences, Early Jesuit Missions to Islamic and Eastern Christian Lands

Ignatian Lunch

Each semester, the Office of Mission and Identity invites members of the University community to deepen their understanding of SLU's Ignatian vision and their commitment to its Jesuit mission by attending the Ignatian Lunch.  Guest speakers will present on a topic as it relates to the Jesuit mission while attendees enjoy fellowship and a meal. Please send questions to

  • Tuesday, November 5, 2019Jesuits and the Sciences.  David Brown, S.J., astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, will present in the Ballroom of St. Francis Xavier College Church. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed by the talk and discussion. SLU faculty and staff are asked to please reserve a place by completing this form.


Throughout the year, the Office of Mission and Identity celebrates Mass for a selection of Holy Days and special dates on the Jesuit or University calendar. All members of the SLU community are invited to join us for the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, Founders Day, and many other special occasions.

  • Monday, November 4, 2019: All Souls' Day Mass, St. Francis Xavier College Church, 12 p.m. In this Mass we honor the memory of all people, especially loved ones, who have died.
  • Friday, November 15, 2019: Founders Day Mass, St. Francis Xavier College Church, 12 p.m. The first day of class at Saint Louis University occurred in November 1818 and we celebrate Mass to honor that historic moment. Mass will be followed by a luncheon in the Ballroom of St. Francis Xavier College Church.

Conversations Roundtable

The magazine Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education examines issues related to life and teaching on the campuses of the 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Each semester, faculty and staff gather for roundtable discussion sessions, facilitated by SLU colleagues.

The sessions are co-sponsored by the Office of Mission and Identity and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Read the current issue of Conversations


Retreats provide an opportunity to deepen your awareness of yourself, other people and the world around you. They enable the process of clarifying what is essential in your life from what is merely "the business of living.” The Office of Mission and Identity provides retreats for faculty and staff each semester. Please send questions to

  • Advent Twilight Retreat: A December 2019 date and details will be announced soon. The retreat will be led by Sr. Virginia Herbers, A.S.C.J., and it will take place at the Manresa Center.
  • Short Guided-Retreats: Coming in Lent 2020, short-guided retreats based on the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola will be offered. Over the course of six to eight weeks, spiritual directors will guide participants in one-on-one meetings that will deepen the experience and understanding of the Lenten season. More details to come.

Mission and Identity Book Club

The fall 2019 Book Club selection is Abide in the Heart of Christ: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St Ignatius of Loyola by Joe Laramie, S.J. A member of SLU's Campus Ministry staff, Father Laramie created this work to provide readers with transformative, practical spiritual wisdom based on Jesuit spirituality in a format that fits into busy lives. 

The Office of Mission and Identity will provide a copy of the book to faculty and staff wishing to participate. Participants can form their own group or register as an individual and be connected with others who are interested in forming a group. Discussion groups can meet every other week or whenever individual groups decide. The Book Club kicks off with our opening luncheon and comes to a conclusion with our closing luncheon.

SLU faculty and staff can sign up for the Book Club and reserve a place at the Opening Luncheon by completing this form.

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019, Book Club Opening Luncheon, 12 p.m. in Boileau Hall.
  • Tuesday December 17, 2019, Book Club Closing Luncheon, 12 p.m. in Boileau Hall.

For more information about Book Club participation, please send a message to

New Employee Orientation Presentation

During the monthly New Employee Orientation provided by SLU Human Resources, a member of the Mission and Identity staff introduces new community members to Ignatian spirituality, the history of the Society of Jesus, and the Jesuit educational mission. This presentation seeks helping new employees understand how their individual role helps carry out SLU's mission while also ensuring a personal formative experience during their service.