Jesuits singing during mass.

The Jesuits at Loyola Marymount University are members of the worldwide Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola. Jesuits are trained in the asceticism of St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises and over the centuries have distinguished themselves as missionaries, pastors, scholars, artists, and educators. Some have become saints. They believe that God can be found in all things — including all areas of meaningful human endeavor — and that their efforts to link faith and culture are made more credible when those efforts help to create a just society.

Most Jesuits are priests, but their number includes religious brothers and seminarians. The Jesuits are not monks bound by the routines of cloistered life. Rather, they think of themselves as contemplatives who are simultaneously involved in the work of the world. Typically, they live in communities where the contours of their lives are shaped by their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Many Jesuits take an additional vow to accept special missions from the pope, but in ordinary practice the governance of the order is in the hands of the superior general in Rome, regional provincials, and local rectors or superiors. At Loyola Marymount University, the Jesuits' current rector is Father Allan Deck, S.J.

Intimately involved with the founding and history of the university, the Jesuit Community became a separate corporate entity in 1970. At that time, Jesuits working in the university began signing contracts and receiving salaries as do other faculty and staff members. Because of their religious vows, however, their salaries are not paid to them individually but to the community, which each year designates its surplus income for educational and charitable purposes. For the past 40 years the principal beneficiary of the community's surplus has been the university.

The Jesuit Community is composed of administrators, faculty, staff, and campus ministers. The remaining members are retired, working in other ministries, on sabbatical or involved in graduate work. Many Jesuits have weekend pastoral duties at Catholic parishes or local jails; on campus they take turns presiding at Sunday and daily Mass in Sacred Heart and Leavey chapels and in residence halls. Whatever their endeavors, Jesuits try to live by the Ignatian motto Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - everything for the greater glory of God.