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Ignatius Heritage Circle donor shares passion for mission

Ignatius Heritage Circle donor shares passion for mission

Michela Montante, Ph.D., taught Italian language, Renaissance Realism and Neo-Realism in the department of Foreign Languages at Marquette University from 1974 to 2004.

During that time, her affinity for the Jesuits – particularly those who served at Gesu Church – grew. “I feel grateful to them because they provided me with spiritual help during my almost thirty years in Milwaukee,” she says. “They are intelligent, hard-working men who minister to all people regardless of their class and race.”

Michela’s connection to the Jesuits dates further back than her time at Marquette, however. A native of Italy, she says, “I have known and appreciated the spirituality of the Jesuits since my childhood.”

In fact, she continues, “Since 1959, I have belonged to the Teresian Association, an international lay organization that shares with the Jesuits Christ’s Mission. For many years I have experienced what Fr. General Nicolas recently said to the Jesuits during his visit to the United States: ‘The mission in which we are involved is not ‘Our’ mission in an exclusive sense (only Jesuits), but it is Christ’s mission and therefore belongs to everyone who cares about Christ.’”

In anticipation of retiring in Italy, to be close to family, Michela needed to consolidate her assets. These included an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) – which she generously donated to the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus in March.

“I wanted to help provide for the retired Jesuits who had worked at the Gesu Church and now live at St. Camillus,” she says. “It was my hope to do something nice for them.”


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Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House is located on 80 acres of gently rolling meadows and wooded countryside just 35 miles northwest of Chicago.