When Kamil Salame was a student at Georgetown, his favorite class was The Problem of God with Rev. William O’Malley, S.J.
“At Georgetown, values are an integral part of each intellectual challenge… Being at Georgetown I was able to engage with and grow in my faith. I hope this giftwill bring profoundly positive spiritual moments to others.”
“He ended every class by saying ‘If the Gospel doesn’t bother you, you haven’t really heard it.’ That was our call-to-action,” recalls Salame, who graduated from the business school in 1990.
“I loved the way Georgetown provided me with both an intellectual and moral challenge, but it wasn’t until I went to Columbia University for my MBA and J.D. that I realized how very unique Georgetown is,” shares Salame. “At Georgetown, values are an integral part of each intellectual challenge.”
Salame had been a regular at Rev. Thomas M. King, S.J.’s “legendary” Sunday night Mass, during which he learned more about the university’s mission. In 2010, he endowed a fund to support Georgetown’s faculty and staff Ignatian retreats because he wanted others to have that same transformative experience.
“Being at Georgetown I was able to engage with and grow in my faith. I hope this gift will bring profoundly positive spiritual moments to others.”
The Kamil M. Salame Endowed Program Fund helped establish a year-long faculty and staff retreat focused on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Participants— who come from every corner of the university including the law center and medical center— commit to 30 minutes of daily prayer, weekly meetings with a spiritual director, and monthly dinner discussions.
Through this important ministry, Georgetown faculty and staff experience a transformation that has a profound effect on their personal lives as well as the ways in which they teach and minister to students. “I teach differently now,”shares one anonymous participant. “I feel more in touch with my students.”
The popularity of the retreat, now run by Rev. Jerry Hayes, S.J., has created a richer spiritual community on campus. Past participants stay in contact with one another and take part in such follow-up retreats as Living the Ignatian Charism and the Weekend Ignatian Retreat. Rev. Howard Gray, S.J., Rev. Brian McDermott, S.J., and Rev. Joseph Lingan, S.J., also served as spiritual directors last year.
“Our Jesuit retreats, made possible by Kamil Salame’s philanthropy, teach you how to be contemplative in everything you do, whether it’s running a service project or cooking dinner,” explains Father Hayes. “You learn about your inner self and you carry that forward as a contemplative-in-action.”