Thank you for visiting Loyola Blakefield.

Dear Blakefield Community,

I am often reminded of one of the principles at the heart of Ignatian Pedagogy: reflection. Whether enduring a quiet moment, during a lunch break on the job, in the car during our commute, or hopefully while dipping toes into the surf, we may be able to find an extra moment or two to reflect. However, finding the time is only part of the challenge. The next step is deciding what to reflect upon.

One of the many aspects I appreciate about life at Loyola is the Daily Examen. Everything stops, and for several minutes the community takes part in a guided reflection period. However, when left to our own devices, how do we focus our periods of reflection? Looking to the Ignatian model of education again, the focus prior to reflection is experience. We are called not just to find time when we are willing to stop and clear our minds, which in itself is a valuable exercise of meditation, but we are also challenged to focus that time examining a specific experience and questioning it. How did the experience impact me? How did I impact it? What could have been done differently? What can I do differently?  Where did I find joy? When did I do well? When should I have, but didn’t?

I encourage you to reflect upon your experience with Loyola. Whether you have just enrolled or graduated decades ago. Whether you are a parent, a veteran employee, or, like me, brand new to the community, think upon your experience. Question your role in the life of the institution and the institution’s role in your life.

If we continue to follow the Ignatian Pedagogical model, the next step is action. It is up to you what that action looks like, but I encourage you to look to the school’s mission for guidance. As I reflect upon my arrival at Loyola, my actions are beginning to take shape: to look, to listen, and to learn. As you examine your relationship with Loyola, I invite you to share your experiences, reflections, and thoughts about your actions with me.

I look forward to hearing from you.


John F. Marinacci