We Are SI
Campus Ministry's Mystery Man
Jacqueline Boland "14
Think you know the magical spiritual forces behind the bottomless bowl of Jolly Ranchers that seems to refill itself in Campus Ministry? Think again. In your mind, the figure of a certain native Nebraskan should start to form until it resembles non other than Mr. Patrick Lynch, our Assistant Principal for Campus Ministry.
Mr. Lynch grew up in Nebraska and attended Creighton Prep, a Jesuit high school whose faculty inspired him to pursue Ignatian Spirituality. Mr. Lynch described himself as an agnostic in high school, before taking a course in prayer Senior year that changed his perspective. A teacher asked the class, “Who are the people you respect most in your life and what do they believe in?” Mr. Lynch thought of the adults he admired most — those that worked at the Jesuit community center for which he answered phones and said, “The common denominator in all the people I respected was that they were all people of faith.”
Mr. Lynch joined the Jesuits in 1989, when six Jesuits were killed in El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War. He wanted to join the fight for justice. The Jesuits sent Mr. Lynch to work on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He recalls the experience as a “chance to make relationships and get involved in native ministry.” One of Mr. Lynch’s favorite phrases comes from the Lakota people: “Ikceya” is valuing someone’s ability to be a “common man,” choosing passion over recognition and being the first to suffer and last to leave. This is humility in its finest form, without the martyr-complex.
Mr. Lynch decided to leave the Jesuits in 2002 because he felt as if God was pushing him towards some- thing else — having a wife and family. When Fr. Joaquin “Boom” Martinez invited Patrick Lynch to become part of a Campus Ministry team at St. Ignatius College Prep, Mr. Lynch knew he wanted to join a community that valued Ignatian Spirituality. “For me, Ignatian Spirtuality provides the greatest breadth and depth...it’s compatible with modern science, yet is supportive of traditional religious experiences.” Mr. Lynch commented that S.I. is “the longest I’ve been in one place, ever.”
What is on this mysterious man’s life “bucket list”? Mr. Lynch aspires to: “Play the piano; learn to surf well enough to surf Ocean Beach; most importantly, to make a major contribution to social justice efforts in the form of renewable energy or afford- able housing in the Bay Area.”
A younger Mr. Lynch and his daughter.
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