Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fr. Timothy Lannon SJ

I did a little research on Fr. Timothy Lannon SJ starting, of course, with Wikipedia. I won’t lay all of those details out for you – it’s pretty easy to find here.

This information stood out: “As an undergraduate, he received Creighton’s highest student honor, the Spirit of Creighton Award, in 1973.” 

The Spirit of Creighton Award, what is that? I asked Google.
It responded via the Creighton University web site:

The Spirit of Creighton Award is conferred annually…on an outstanding male and female student who embody the Creighton Credo.

Hmm. The internet being an easy place to spend hours asking and answering questions, I had to ask Creighton’s search engine, What is the Creighton credo? To which it replied:

Creighton, a Jesuit University, is convinced that the hope of humanity is the ability of men and women to seek the truths and values essential to human life. It aims to lead all its members in discovering and embracing the challenging responsibilities of their intelligence, freedom, and value as persons.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Fr. Timothy Lannon S.J. was honored for exemplifying this creed. He is currently the president of Creighton University. As such, he is charged to navigate the university’s path to include advancing the mission both as an organization as well as empowering each student.

Whew, that was a mouthful, especially considering all I really thought next was – That mission is an awful lot like the Madonna School mission.  Seriously, the intention of each school is interchangeable. Allow me to paraphrase: We understand all people have value. We honor human life. We strive to enable our students to meet their greatest potential.”


So with this in mind, it’s not surprising that Fr. Lannon understands the benefits of the Madonna School to our community and its mission to serve special needs students.

The first thing that he believes “Makes the school so marvelous” is the Madonna program focuses on every student’s potential to become as independent as possible and to be active members in the community. “Graduates will be productive in their lives and this adds back to the community,” said Fr. Lannon. He believes this is one of the top “compelling reasons for support.”

Of course, another parallel of the Madonna School to Creighton University is the dedication to educating the whole student. As stated on the Creighton Mission page:

Creighton's education embraces several colleges and professional schools and is directed to the intellectual, social, spiritual, physical, and recreational aspects of students' lives and to the promotion of justice.

As you follow or explore this blogsite, you can see the varied therapies and opportunities for enrichment that the Madonna School program offers its students. Of course, there is also the spiritual component that make it unique to the city of Omaha by serving students with cognitive and developmental disabilities in a safe and loving Christian environment.

Fr. Lannon’s career has been dedicated to the advancement of students through faith-based education programs. In fact, his original association with the Madonna School and its students was while he was president at Creighton Prep High School. At that time, Creighton Prep students worked with Madonna Students via the YMCA in physical education and wellness programs.

He asserts that “Men and women can, through their experience and growth at the Madonna School, be in a position to contribute to the faith community, whatever form that may take,” in his or her lifetime.

It was my pleasure to talk to Fr. Lannon about the positive impact that the Madonna School makes on our community by providing an environment of dignity while teaching the necessary academic, job, and life skills necessary to enable each student to become an active and contributing member of society.  Wow, another mouthful. 

But why, you may be thinking, did you have this conversation? Well, good question and you just may love the answer. Fr. Lannon has generously offered to donate a dinner for eight with him at Creighton University as a live auction item at the Celebration event August 25 at the Mutual of Omaha Dome. So you, yes you, can bid to have a whole evening enjoying the wisdom and wit of Fr. Timothy Lannon and you can win it while being helpful to a very important cause. 

The Madonna School has no direct parish support and tuition covers only a fraction of the costs necessary for the specialized programs which are necessary to the students in our region that rely upon the Madonna program. You can order your tickets here or contact the Madonna School for more information about its programs and the event.

“Madonna School’s mission to educate special needs children is a unique and important asset to the Omaha community. I believe in the school’s work and hope you will support them.” - Fr. Timothy Lannon SJ. 


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