Network Gathering Prayers

In The Spirit

Let us take a moment to collect ourselves, center ourselves, ground ourselves.
As partners in mission, and in the spirit of the Jesuit identity we share, let us pray:

In the spirit of "seeking God in all things," may we

-pause for a moment of contemplation by taking a long, loving look at the real - to recognize and honor the goodness in us and around us
-recognize the presence and power of God in our midst
-savor the consolation in our lives, including in being together this weekend
-learn from the desolation in the world as we call to mind the suffering and sin of so many, including ourselves
-be attentive and responsive to who God is calling and empowering us to be and to do
-creatively, compassionately, and courageously imagine that more is possible

In the spirit of Cura Personalis, may we

-be tender with ourselves and with each other, bringing respect to every encounter
-affirm the wisdom we have gleaned through our experiences, and generously share and receive that wisdom this weekend
-give ourselves 'margins for error' and not be afraid to speak because we 'might say something wrong'
-listen deeply, especially to views and voices that differ from my own, in seeking empathy and understanding as well as appreciation for diversity and inclusion

In the spirit of "Women and Men for and with Others," may we

-see ourselves as bridge builders, ambassadors of reconciliation, and peace-makers, especially in the face of so many hurtful divisions and unequal inequalities
-overcome the globalization of indifference by drawing near to others, doing our part to restore dignity, unmask racism, sexism, homophobia and every form of discrimination, violence, and injustice, and build partnerships marked by mutual honesty and trust
-work toward ever more inclusive solidarity and kinship

In the spirit of Magis, may we

-be enkindled by the fire - as Pope Francis defines Magis - "the fervor in action, awakening those who have become dormant" to shed ourselves of complacency and comfort, in order to recommit ourselves to the service of faith and the promotion of justice
-grow in affection for God, seek union with God, and deepen our devotion to what God desires for each one of us and for all creation
-develop prophetic imagination, practice prophetic discourse, and adopt the kind of actions - guided by goals and strategies that will foster agreement and accountability - that will inspire us to embrace prophetic leadership on our campuses and in our communities and homes
-in the face of so many reasons to be tired, distracted, overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, or tempted to despair, may we choose to be witnesses of faith, hope, and love

May we do all of this as sisters and brothers united by love and justice A.M.D.G., for the greater glory of God.

- Written and offered by Dr. Marcus Mescher at the annual AJCU Faculty Conversations Conference at Xavier University, 2018.

The Places We Come From

Let's pause for a moment and recall that we are in God's presence.

God of all places,
You have gathered us together here in this place from across the heartland of our great nation.
From the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi Delta,
you have called us to share our stories, our experiences, our successes and, yes, our failures, as we seek to learn from one another, and through one another from You, how better to foster the mission of our institutions.

For though the places we come from are several and diverse, we are united by a common mission: to form our students to be men and women for and with others.
So we pray that you infuse our conversations with the spirit of your wisdom.
Fill us with a deep and constant gratitude for this group and for the many gifts you have bestowed upon it through the talents with which you have blessed each one of us.
And grant that, inspired by the magis, we may strive always to seek your greater glory in all of our colleges and universities.

- Offered by John T. Sebastian, Ph.D., 2015

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O' Holy One,
On this beautiful day
We thank you for this gathering of leaders--dedicated to higher education in the Jesuit tradition
We are comforted in your presence in our reflection, dialogue, companionship and networking, and
We are grateful for your blessings upon the food we are about to eat, those who prepared it and those who serve it.

- Offered by Debra Mooney, Ph.D., 2015

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