Worries like these are being shared around many kitchen tables as we move into the sixth month of life so different from what it was prior to the coronavirus. We do not know what the future holds. Who might lose their life to this virus or their livelihood, their home, or a significant relationship? The stress of living under the cloud of the virus manifests itself in many areas of life.
We are people in need of hope. For people of faith, or people seeking faith, a thread of hope can be found in today’s readings. Isaiah reminds us that despite our worries God says, “Come to me…listen that you may have life.” The psalm repeats the God is near, ready to listen. Paul lists all sorts of afflictions and convincingly shares his deep belief that the love of God, manifested through Jesus, is with us always, in the good times and in the bad times.
And, then, beautifully written, we see the apostles worried about a large crowd of women, men, and children gathered to listen to Jesus who had to summon great inner strength, no doubt, as he had just learned that John the Baptist had been murdered. The apostles worried that those gathered needed dinner and they wanted Jesus to conclude his teaching and send the people to town to buy food. I imagine Jesus smiling to himself, glad his apostles are such caring people, but knowing he has a deeper message to impart. He then takes care of dinner. He models care for others.
Dark as the clouds become, difficult as life sometimes is, God is present. How do I know this? I don’t. I feel it. The sky may be falling in, some things or maybe everything is upsetting and frightening, yet God is with us. We see it in the hydrangeas blooming, the patches of blue sky that emerge when we take the time to look for them, and in each other as we do what we can to navigate difficult times together.
There was a line in the newspaper yesterday that caught my eye. It was in the real estate section: “For those who seek an exceptional life,” alongside pictures of multi-million-dollar homes. Based on current events, I think we might agree that an exceptional life is not found in real estate, cars, or any of the material things that appear to make for a good existence. An exceptional life is found in the love of God and service to others.
Ignatians West Board of Directors
After many years of catechetical and parish ministry, Ann Holmquist became a high school teacher, first at St. Bonaventure in Ventura, then as campus minister, and faculty member at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Cañada, where she now serves on their Board of Directors. For the past eleven years, Ann has been at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, where she currently serves as Vice President for Mission; a role that allows her to collaborate in local, provincial, and national endeavors aimed at building communities of reconciliation, justice, and hope.
Ann holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Theology and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. Ann and her husband Robert, whom she met, and married at LMU in 1979, have four adult children and are grandparents of six grandsons.
Ann has proudly served on the Ignatians West Board since 2009.
Joel Andryc is a Los Angeles based executive producer with decades of TV programming and production experience. His leadership overseeing network programming helped drive growth and success at cable outlets like the Fox Family Channel and ABC Family Channel (aka: Freeform). Before retirement, Joel served as the Managing Director at the Saban Capital Group, overseeing strategic investments in the entertainment sector for his longtime boss of over 30 years, Haim Saban. In addition to his duties as managing director, Joel recently served as an Executive Producer of Lionsgate’s feature film, “The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”
Joel actively supports students who are looking to pursue careers in LA after college graduation. He serves as a committee chair for Marquette’s Comprehensive Campaign Initiative.
Additionally, Joel has helped conceive and build the Marquette Entertainment and Communications Alumni group (MECA), a networking and mentorship program based in Los Angeles. Joel also sits on another board, The Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center, a nonprofit organization which supports and promotes the fine arts, concerts and other productions at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Joel recently become active in Broadway theatre, investing in shows which include "Be More Chill," "Moulin Rouge," and "Jagged Little Pill."
Joel and his wife, Nancy, met during their junior year at Marquette University, and have two adult children, Nicholas and Samantha.
'Virtual' Ignatians West Volunteers Available
As expected, the majority of our volunteers have had to give up their on-site volunteer work due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, many have expressed an interest in continuing to offer their assistance to organizations in need of their expertise. Any nonprofit organization serving the community, requiring professional skills that can be provided while adhering to current physical distancing requirements (online, phone, or postal mail), please contact our Executive Director Anne Hansen firstname.lastname@example.org.