Today’s worries, those things that can move us away from light or order, have an added dimension not present before. Parents face decisions about sending their children back to school. Many families will navigate at least one semester of home schooling or monitoring online classes for their children while juggling their own jobs and doing it all from within the four walls of their home. The usual ups and downs of family life are intensified when children, parents, pets and sometimes grandparents share living space that is also a work space and a classroom in a time when all are advised to keep a low profile due to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile washing machines break down and cars needs tires. Mortgage or rent payments are due and unemployment checks run out. An elderly aunt or an ageing parent need attention that in normal times would be easy to give but in this time of uncertainty patience runs low. Some wonder how their marriage will survive or if their children will succeed given their behavior. Little things turn into big things.
How we balance the joys of life, the birth of a baby, an engagement announcement, a graduation or wedding or a significant birthday celebration amidst the darkness or disorder that inevitably occur and are magnified in this coronavirus era, determines the quality of our lives.
The human spirit is a remarkable thing. It often allows us to recognize joy even when surrounded by darkness or disorder. How to continue to do this over a lifetime is a question worth pursuing. The answer might be in living each moment fully. Feeling the feelings, those of joy and those of sadness, acknowledging the experience no matter what it is and finding someone who will listen when you need to talk. There is grace and discovery in sharing your story.
Ignatians West Board of Directors
María Behm graduated with an Accounting degree from Canisius College in Buffalo NY and was employed by State Street Bank in Boston and Manufacturers & Hanover Bank in New York City for the 1st stage of her business career. In 1994, LMU hired her in the Athletics Department as the Business and Finance Director. She oversees all business, finance and budget functions in her department, and supervises the Women’s Soccer, and Men’s and Women’s Tennis programs. She serves on the Division of Student Affairs Management Team and the West Coast Conference Executive Council Basketball Cabinet.
At LMU, María served on the Student Affairs Mission & Identity committee for eight years, was a six year member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Ignatian Spirituality and served as Chair of the Board for three years.
María is a member of Visitation Parish in Westchester and serves as a Eucharist Minister. She has three adult children and enjoys cooking, gardening, biking and hiking in her free time.
Roger Burg has been on the board for Ignatians West for three years, currently serving as its Treasurer. He is also Business Manager at Christ the King Parish and School in Los Angeles. Roger was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. He moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Loyola University of New Orleans. He had a long career as a media executive in business-to-business publishing and trade shows. He transitioned into non-profit work about four years ago. Roger is married with two children, an 18 year old daughter at Loyola University Chicago and a 17 year old son at Loyola High School here in Los Angeles. Being the only family member outside of Jesuit schooling, Roger’s wife is a teacher at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles.
Ignatians West Volunteer Stories
Making Sure Everyone Counts
Christine is currently working the 2020 Census, counting some of the poorest and most vulnerable people —the homeless in encampments around Los Angeles. She feels that although she is being paid for her work, it is social justice work. She understands that if people are not counted the funds so desperately needed to help those who need it will diminish. This volunteer also brings food along for those who are hungry. She is gratified by the kindness shown to her by those being counted.
Defending Evicted Tenants
Bob, a retired judge, is volunteering at Inner City Law Center (ICLC) assisting ICLC recruit pro bono attorneys to defend indigent tenants in eviction cases. He asks law firms to lend attorneys to the cause: “I hope you will find it in your heart to have one or more attorneys in your firm volunteer. No prior courtroom experience is required. Your attorney will get all the training, advice and support he or she needs”. This effort will make a difference for many families.