St. Ignatius
Summer Reading Illustrated by an SI Artist

When SI's Religious Studies Department put together their summer reading assignment for the incoming Class of 2026, they turned to Thomas Fong ’23.

Teachers had noticed the rising senior's talent for drawing, so they asked Fong to illustrate "The Journey of Ignatius of Loyola," written by Kevin O'Brien, S.J. Their striking artwork helps dramatize the story of how Iñigo López de Loyola y Oñaz, a fiery Spanish soldier, reoriented his life to serve Christ.

"I have doodled for most of my life, as a side hobby," Fong said. "At SI, where we're required to have iPads, I got into digital art, and over quarantine, when I had a lot of spare time, I got serious about drawing. I spent a lot of my time during that period working on figure drawings. For this commission, I took inspiration from manga and went for a more painterly black and white style."

This experience, among others, has gotten them to think about pursuing visual art in college, but for now, they hope these illustrations help rising frosh engage with the story of St. Ignatius.

"I tried to effectively communicate what the text is trying to say," Fong said. "I really enjoyed learning about St. Ignatius, but also other topics in religious studies: Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospels. When I came here to SI, religious studies pleasantly surprised me. I'm an agnostic, but I think there are a lot of valuable lessons in the Bible and in St. Ignatius's life."

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