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Women Leaders in the Ignatian Family

Joellyn Cicciarelli

Institution: Loyola Press

Title: President/Publisher

Location: Chicago

Do you have any other Jesuit institutional connections?

  • Alumna of AJCU Ignatian Colleagues Program: Cohort 7

What does your job entail?
I lead the development and execution of short- and long-term strategies for Loyola Press, a Chicago-based publishing ministry of the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus. The mission of Loyola Press is the following: In the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who points us always to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and in response to those we serve, we create books and multimedia products that facilitate transformative experiences of God so that people of all ages can lead holy and purposeful lives with and for others. Loyola Press has two divisions: curriculum (which focuses on PreK-12 religious education and language arts) and trade (which focuses on individual works for all ages — infant through adult).

What is your favorite part of your job?
When I joined Loyola Press in 2008, I was initially captivated by the Jesuits’ sense of mission and their dedication to quality, integrity and innovation. My enthusiasm has only grown since. It’s a joy to lead Loyola Press in the quest to provide the finest learning materials for children and the most inspiring, relevant Ignatian and Catholic writing and resources for individuals. It’s refreshing to work for an organization that executes its mission so intentionally — and serves that mission in ways that are creative, engaging, accessible and effective.

What is one of the challenges you’re facing right now?
The decline in those who identify as Catholic and/or those who regularly practice their faith (and subsequently the decline in baptisms and other sacraments, enrollment in religious education and Catholic schools, and so on) provide a big challenge for Loyola Press. Despite the challenge, we are working diligently to enter into new mission-aligned markets so we can reach wider audiences while continuing to serve those who remain engaged in the life of the church. Our emphasis on Ignatian spirituality for adults (a big tent!) and social-emotional learning for children in trade, as well as an expansion of offerings in curriculum for English language arts and faith formation for individuals with disabilities, will help us meet this challenge and keep us relevant in the future.

What’s one of your favorite quotes about leadership or the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?
My favorite quote is from “Heroic Leadership” by Chris Lowney (a Loyola Press book!). They are words to live and lead by:

“Jesuits became leaders by

  • understanding their strengths, weaknesses, values, and worldview
  • confidently innovating and adapting to embrace a changing world
  • engaging others with a positive, loving attitude
  • energizing themselves and others through heroic ambitions.”