History

 

 

Mission

 The mission of the Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network (JFAN) is to gather those who share a fidelity to the Jesuit mission and a desire for the spirituality of Saint Ignatius to inspire their lives. The various JFAN clubs encourage those shaped by experiences with Jesuit institutions and ministries to answer the call to be men and women for and with others.

The JFAN model

  • Clubs, on a city and/or regional level, meet on a regular basis to foster community, deepen participants relationship with God through Ignatian Spirituality, and serve those in need.
  • Programs typically features food, fellowship, and inspiration.
  • Welcomes alumni of Jesuit colleges, universities, high schools, and elementary schools. alumni of Nativity and Cristo Rey schools, and friends of the Jesuits (Jesuit volunteers, parents and friends of alumni, employees of Jesuit churches, schools, universities, retreat houses, non-profits, Jesuit parishioners, retreatants).
  • Events are typically held in a central location to encourage attendance
  • Information on other formation experiences such as Ignatian retreats, service opportunities, and other Jesuit focused events
  • Professional networking among those Jesuit educated and like­minded

 Terminology

 Jesuits: The Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and others in 1534, to do missionary work.

JFAN: Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network, founded in 2012, comprised of local clubs that meet on a regular basis to foster community, deepen participants relationship with God through Ignatian Spirituality, and serve those in need. Local clubs include: Detroit, Grand Traverse (MI), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Vancouver.

Loyola Club: Another name for some JFAN groups, more specifically in the cities of Cleveland and Washington, D.C, founded in 2006.

Loyola Club Young Alumni: A JFAN group that welcomes young adults (20’s and 30’s), more specifically in the Cleveland area.

Jesuit Connections: A JFAN group that welcomes young adults (20’s and 30’s) who have either graduated from Jesuit institutions or have other experiences with Jesuit teachings and values, currently in the cities of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco-Bay Area.

Ignatian Spirituality: An approach to spirituality based on the teachings of St. Ignatius and is rooted in the conviction that God is active, personal, and—above all—present to us in all things.

Province/Provincial: A geographic region of the Society of Jesuits, headed by a provincial superior appointed by the Superior General in Rome.

WUJA: World Union of Jesuit Alumni: An international organization that brings together former pupils or students of Jesuit schools and universities in the world.

History of JFAN

The Cleveland Loyola Club started in November of 2006 when a small group of graduates from Jesuit institutions decided to organize a luncheon speaker program. For ease of convenience a downtown location was chosen, namely The City Club. Attendees would gather from 11:30 to 12 to network and then at noon an MC would gather the guests to the round luncheon tables. The format consisted of a welcome and then an invocation prayer, after which guests would begin eating. At about 12:30, the speaker was introduced. The speaker addressed the guest for about 20­30 minutes followed by 10­15 minutes of questions as time allowed. The MC would then thank the speaker and provide an appropriate gift, and in some cases, a stipend check. The date and speaker for the next luncheon was announced, concluding with a closing prayer. From the beginning the strategy was to secure table sponsors which in time developed into a core of regulars. Most of the promotion for luncheon came from personal contact. In time there was some success in developing relations with Jesuit institutions which agreed to promote The JFAN luncheons to their alums. As Fr. Bichl, SJ at one meeting stated, “Loyola Club is about ‘friend­raising’ not ‘fundraising.’” JFAN clubs were replicated in: Detroit, Grand Traverse (MI), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and Washington D.C. In addition, Jesuit Connection(s) efforts, focusing on young adults in their 20’s and 30’s, were started in Boston, followed by Chicago, and then San Francisco.

World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA)

The JFAN Network is the United States member of the World Union of Jesuit Alumni. WUJA, on a regional level, brings together former pupils or students of Jesuit schools and universities throughout the world in order to build international relationships between these people, to contribute to the mission of the Society of Jesus, and to promote the universal dynamic of Jesuit education. For these purposes, WUJA organizes world meetings of Alumni around themes related to the commitment in the world and the society in the perspective of Christian and humanistic values, as practiced and promoted by the Society of Jesus in its educational work. In 2017, the world meeting, or Congress, was held in North America (USA) for the first time. WUJA is interested in developing a world-wide community to federate and mobilize as many Alumni as possible who are sensitive to this dimension of their education and interested in this global dynamic, by reaching them among others via the Alumni associations in the Jesuit schools and universities worldwide and the national structures or local groups of Jesuit Alumni.

The United States has two distinctions from other nations related to WUJA. First, most, if not all, alumni associations in the US are institutionally based, so there are no regional or national alumni associations. Second, JFAN clubs are comprised of friends, not only alumni, of the Jesuits. JFAN’s commonality with WUJA is that members of local clubs often are alumni from a variety of different locations around the United States. 

Directors and Officers

The Board of Directors of JFAN shall consist of four (4) permanent members plus up to an additional three (3) rotating members. The three (3) rotating directors shall be decided upon by the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of JFAN who are not already permanent members of the Board, unless the permanent members decide otherwise.

The officers of the Club shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer all of whom shall be elected by the permanent members of the Board and shall hold office for two (2) years (July 1 – June 30th) or until removed by the permanent members of the Board.

The Board also shall establish a Steering Committee of persons supportive of JFAN to help keep JFAN running smoothly and to serve as a source for officers and directors.

The officers shall perform the following duties with oversight and direction provided by the Board of Directors, plus such duties as may be assigned to them from time to time by the Board of Directors:

  • The Chair shall lead the Club and preside at all meetings.
  • The Vice-Chair shall support the Chair.
  • The Secretary shall keep minutes of meetings and provide such other support as requested by the Chair.
  • The Treasurer shall assist with any financial questions and provide such other support as requested by the Chair.

The Board of Directors may delegate the duties of any officer to any person at any time.

No officer or director or Steering Committee Member shall receive, directly or indirectly, any salary, compensation or emolument from the Club.

Meetings

JFAN meetings shall be held at such time and place as shall be designated by the Chair or the Board of Directors.

National Steering Committee

In 2012 a JFAN National Steering Committee (NSC) was formed to explore the idea of expanding JFAN clubs to other cities. Conference calls are conducted on a quarterly basis to facilitate discussions. The steering committee grew to about a dozen members representing various constituencies related to Jesuit institutions and initiatives, and representatives from various JFAN, Loyola, and Jesuit Connection Clubs are invited to join the conference calls.

The NSC continues to meet on a quarterly basis via telephone in order to:

  1. To create a connectivity from club to club
  2. To be a resource for club organizers
  3. To be a framework for clubs for guidance towards Jesuit Mission
  4. To be a point of contact / information
  5. To gather Jesuit oriented of minds for input and decisions,
  6. To gather of individuals who work and / or are networked within the Jesuit world
  7. To be a conduit to the World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA)

Jesuit Friends & Alumni Network Club Toolbox

Model and Guidelines

Note: These guidelines are provided as a resource for individuals interested in starting a new club.

Mission

The mission of the Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network (JFAN) is to gather those who share a fidelity to the Jesuit mission and a desire for the spirituality of Saint Ignatius to inspire their lives. The various JFAN clubs encourage those shaped by experiences with Jesuit institutions and ministries to answer the call to be men and women for and with others.

The JFAN model

  • Clubs, on a city and/or regional level, meet on a regular basis to foster community, deepen participants relationship with God through Ignatian Spirituality, and serve those in need.
  • Programs typically features food, fellowship, and inspiration.
  • Open to alumni of Jesuit colleges, universities, high schools, and elementary schools as well as alumni of Nativity and Cristo Rey schools
  • Open to friends of the Jesuits, e.g. Jesuit volunteers, parents of alumni, employees of Jesuit churches, schools, universities, retreat houses, non-profits, Jesuit parishioners, retreatants.
  • Information on other formation experiences such as Ignatian retreats, service opportunities, and other Jesuit focused events
  • Professional networking among those Jesuit educated and like­minded

Clubs of JFAN shall

  • Represent the ideals of the Jesuit education in all programming
  • Call their Club Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network of ______________(city/region name) OR Jesuit Connections___________(city/region name)
  • Focus on the JFAN mission when planning club programs
  • Conduct business in a way that reflects favorably upon the club, JFAN, and the Jesuit community
  • Properly promote the image of JFAN clubs
  • Not sell or share the database of JFAN clubs
  • Refrain from fundraising for themselves or any other organization
  • Avoid political advocacy or commercial programming
  • Use JFAN images with permission
  • Notify the National Steering Committee of major events and projects

Communication

In general, each JFAN club is responsible for communicating club events and news to its constituents. Each club is asked to either call themselves Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network of_______(city or region name) or Jesuit Connections (city or region name). Each club should strongly consider having a website or other central online portal.

A conference call is held on a quarterly basis in which all JFAN clubs are invited to join. It is highly encouraged that leadership team members of clubs communicate with other clubs.

Said club of Jesuit Friends & Alumni Network agrees to be active, the club shall:
● Annually elect (3-4) officers
● Have at least an additional (2-3) Steering Committee members
● Send an annual report to the JFAN National Committee
● Maintain liaison and communication with the JFAN National Committee
● Shall adhere to the following model and guidelines

Relationship with Jesuit Provincial Office and Local Jesuit Communities
Communication with the local provincial office is important as a club is looking to begin.
JFAN Club ought to have a local Jesuit contact person. The words “Society of Jesus” & “Jesuit” have copyright protection.  The use of these words by JFAN Clubs is granted by the approval of the Charter.  All club activities including speakers,
publicity, etc.  must conform to the lived spirit of the Jesuits.

Local Steering Committee
It is recommended that the Steering Committees ought to have a chair, vice-chair, secretary & treasurer. Terms of office are normally one or two years with the possibility of renewal. Gender, race, age, size and
association with Jesuit institutions or initiatives ought to be given appropriate consideration. At a minimum, steering committee meetings occur at least once prior to an event.

Meeting Logistics
What makes for a good location? The experience of many clubs has been that
a convenient downtown location with relative ease of transportation facilitates a JFAN Club
luncheon or other events. A fixed menu at a reasonable cost is provided. An information table can be used to publicize up­coming events and provide resource materials regarding Jesuit institutions and
initiatives. If possible, video capability ought to be secured.

Feedback
An appropriate method of receiving feedback on the event and speaker ought to be
determined.  A brief survey card at every guest’s seat is one way of handling this especially if
the MC requests guests to take two minutes to fill it out.

Speakers:  Selection and Preparation
A primary responsibility of the Steering Committee is the selection of the speakers. Committees
can review the list of speakers from other clubs for some ideas and possible candidates.
Clubs ought to seek a balance in their selection of speakers. Jesuit and lay speakers should be
utilized. Ideally at least one member of the steering committee ought to have a conversation with the speaker regarding the content of the talk. Sharing a few guiding questions that speak to the issue of Ignatian Spirituality can help focus the speaker’s remarks. Talks lasting around twenty minutes with questions to follow have been well received. A small gift (book, cup, etc) is a great way to acknowledge/thank the speaker.

Reservations & Pricing (individual and Table), Publicity, Finances
Publicity is done through social media, word of mouth, and a website.  In some cases, Jesuit institutions
are emailing their alums information about the luncheons. The treasurer of the club usually handles bills and contacts.
Jesuit Friends & Alumni Network Club Toolbox

Helpful Considerations for JFAN Leadership Team Members

I. Speaker Selection
a. Speaker Talent (Ongoing Need)
i. Identify, Recruit & Schedule – coordinate with Detroit Province
ii. Communicate through e-mail
iii. Ideally schedule program year in advance
b. Flier and Website
i. Picture and Bio
ii. Proof check flier record number versions 4
iii. Seek consensus and approval for website and flier
c. Mass distribution (8 to 6 weeks in advance)

II. Reservations
a. Table Sponsors
i. Regulars
ii. Recruit New Table Sponsors
b. Payment
i. Advanced Payment – Preferred
ii. Day of Payments –
iii. Arrange Discounts for certain non­profits, CYO
III. Luncheon
a. Facility
i. Menu
1. Selections City Club very helpful
ii. Seating Arrangement
1. Arrange Room with City Club
b. Program
i. Supporting Speakers (Designed to get multiple individuals involved)
1. Welcome Speaker & Pledge of Allegiance
2. Opening Prayer (one Jesuit institution)
3. Speaker Introducer (Appropriate relation)
4. Q & A Moderator (Someone who can engage crowd)
5. Closing Prayer (another Jesuit institution)
ii. Program Booklet
1. List Sponsors
2. Coordinate Printing & Graphics
3. Fold and Distribute to tables
IV. Steering Group
a. Pre­Luncheon Meeting (4 weeks Prior)
i. Review Table Reservations Strategy
1. Current target is 20 capacity is 25 tables
2. Additional Email blasts, News paper publications
3. Consider annual table subscription – Benefit front row
Jesuit Friends & Alumni Network Club Toolbox

ii. Review Finances
1. Speaker stipend and expenses loose ends
2. Review Speaker Selection Progress or Lack of ( )
3. Ideally complete following years speakers during current year
b. Post­Luncheon (4 weeks after)
i. Review Speaker Feedback
ii. Treasurer, review bills, stipend, revenue, account balance
iii. Speaker Selection Progress
iv. Next Luncheon
1. Title, Review Flier might be missing the Title,
2. Identify Supporting Speakers
c. Ongoing Development
i. Review connections with other Jesuit institutions, Provinces
1. Creating other Clubs to establish larger network
ii. Website Development
1. Highlight other Jesuit institutions
2. Drive traffic to Website
3. Create a network relation using “Lind In”

Summary Statement:

As Fr. Bichl, SJ at one meeting stated, “Loyola Club is about ‘friend­raising’ not ‘fundraising’”. Conceivably, JFAN clubs are duplicated throughout many cities to create networks of Jesuit friends. An expanding network of clubs throughout the nation hopefully maintains friendships that were cemented while in the shadows of Loyola’s legacy, and introduces new friendships. An expanding network allows new graduates to associate with an active Jesuit community of alums and friends in their hometown or new town.

To formalize JFAN’s process with hopes that years from now, when current alums and friends have come and gone, we have new alums and friends fostering this natural network, seeking to continue being Men and Women for Others.