Inaugural Mass – Terry Sawyer
October 11, 2022
As this afternoon’s Mass concludes, let us offer our new president, Terry Sawyer, our warmest congratulations and our prayerful best wishes. I also want to congratulate and thank your dear wife, Courtney and your family for being an integral part of this new adventure on which you have embarked. Our homilist, Father Tim Brown, has spoken of his friendship with you, Terry, but also of your vision, your commitment, and your deep competence to lead Loyola University of Baltimore, now and in the years that lie ahead.
With us are a goodly number of priests of the Society of Jesus. Your presence underlines the fact that Loyola University is a Jesuit institution of higher learning. This signals a commitment both to academic excellence and also to forming students to serve the needs of others. Loyola is committed to “magis”, a word that might mean “more”, “the best”, “the greatest” – helping your students not merely have more but to be and to become more as they dedicate their lives to seeking “the more universal good”.
Far from there being any conflict between this university’s Jesuit & Catholic identity, I would suggest that there is deep connection between the two. In fact, here at Loyola of Baltimore, as you continue a centuries-old tradition of Catholic intellectual inquiry, you have countless opportunities to demonstrate the convergences which the idea of a university that is both Catholic and Jesuit entails.
For the word “university” and the word “Catholic” mean the same thing: a desire to understand things “according to their whole”, to explore the deep connections among varied fields of inquiry, a connection we believe comes from the fact that God is the source of all truth. This too goes to the heart of “magis” – the seeking of the more universal good.
In an age of cultural and intellectual fragmentation, Loyola is poised to render still greater service, both to the Catholic intellectual tradition and to the wider culture, by helping us and our contemporaries to integrate faith and reason, and helping all of us to overcome dead-end, polarizing ideologies, of the right and of the left, ideologies that refuse to view reality through a broader lens, the lens of reason illumined by faith.
Such broad but integrated inquiry in a wide variety of fields equips Loyola to be an excellent partner with the City of Baltimore and its environs, and I daresay with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, including its parishes, schools, and charitable ministries.
I know, Terry, how these things resonate in your mind and heart and all of us look forward to working with you in the years ahead. May God bless your leadership and service of this great university, now and for many years to come. Congratulations and God’s blessings!