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Milestone for the Loyola Institute

This year marked the first graduation of students from the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin. In October 2017 four students were awarded BA’s in Catholic Theology. Earlier in the year a PhD was conferred on Mary Stefanazzi for her work at the Loyola Institute on The Narrative of Human Flourishing: A study of the dialogue between Victor White and Carl Jung on the frontier between theology and psychology. She is pictured here with Bob Geldof, who received an honorary degree for his “contribution to society” at the same conferring ceremony. Currently the Loyola Institute has eight students working on research degrees at doctoral level.

“A truly historic occasion” – these were the words used by Patrick Prendergast, the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, at the launch of the Loyola Institute in November 2012. On that occasion Dr Con Casey, the inaugural director of the Loyola Institute, said “our aim ultimately is to build this institute to be a world class centre of Catholic Theological studies.”

Slowly but surely this ambitious vision is being brought to life, says Dr Casey, adding, “After five years of hard work by the small Loyola Institute academic team, supported energetically and financially by the Jesuits and seven other religious congregations (who form a part of the Loyola Trust), the Loyola Institute has seen its first graduates.”

Dr Casey says the institute inaugurated An MPhil programme inaugurated in September of this year. “There are eleven students in the first intake, including students from the UK and the US,” he said, adding, that the Loyola team were also”delighted to have British Jesuit Michael Kerwin SJ join them as a Visiting Professor in Systematic Theology.”

Speaking of these milestones the Director of the Loyola Institute Dr Fáinche Ryan said that “while still small I consider the Institute to be a valuable exercise for building theological literacy, perhaps an indispensable gift to the church of our times.”

Trinity College has recognised the contribution of the Loyola Institute and the importance of Theological studies in the prestigious Provosts Review published this month. This is an overview of what Trinity has accomplished throughout the past academic year, focusing on our achievements in global relations, education, research, innovation, public engagement, student experience, sporting activities, visitors and much more.

Each year it highlights the work of 12 researchers working within the University, inviting them to write a short paper on the importance of their research. This year the research of Dr Fáinche Ryan work is featured under a contribution entitled The Importance of Truth Telling for the Health of Society.