Tribute to a beloved Ignatian educator


Photos courtesy of "The Cutlass"

Ms. Maureen Pryor, right, with Fr. Kevin Leidich, S.J. in grace court.

Ms. Maureen Pryor began her career in education after graduating from Loyola Marymount University in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, and at the conclusion of this school year, Ms. Pryor moved on to her well-deserved retirement.

Ms. Pryor started her teaching career in Seattle, helping to establish campus ministry programs at two different high schools. In 1985, she received a master’s degree in counseling from Seattle Pacific University.

She then moved to Minnesota, earning a master’s degree in theology at Saint John’s University in 1991. She would teach at SJU and at the College of Saint Benedict before moving back to California.

In California, Ms. Pryor served as Director of Campus Ministry at the University of San Francisco for 12 years.

In 2001, Ms. Pryor returned to Sacramento to take care of her parents and her aunt. She also went back to high school, teaching at her alma mater Loretto High School.

During this time Ms. Pryor received a doctorate in spirituality from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2003, something she had started while working at USF.

After eight years at Loretto, Ms. Pryor came to Jesuit High School Sacramento in 2009.

In her 11 years at Jesuit, Ms. Pryor always taught. While primarily being a freshman theology teacher, Ms. Pryor also worked in Christian Service for six years.

Director of Liturgy and Theology Teacher Ms. Charlene Cardenas regards Ms. Pryor as one of Jesuit’s most engaging teachers.

“Ms. Pryor is one of the best teachers I’ve known, and she is a real Ignatian educator,” Ms. Cardenas said. “That means that she always teaches with the experience of her students

in mind. And so, her approach to whatever subject matter she teaches has to relate to her students’ lives. They are always front and center in her classroom and one of her great joys was relating to her students during class. She didn’t lecture; she had dialogues!”

Besides inspiring her students, Ms. Pryor has also left a fundamental impact on Jesuit’s classes. Theology Department Chair Ms. Annie Crew-Renzo has known Ms. Pryor for eight years and commends her for her work on the freshman theology course.

“[Ms. Pryor’s] contribution to Jesuit is the solidity of the Theology 1 freshman course which she helped design,” Ms. Crew-Renzo said. “Her kindness lies in her willingness to return her deep understanding of Ignatian Spirituality.”

As Ms. Pryor’s career comes to a close, she is thankful for her many experiences.

“I’ve taught co-ed, all girls, and all boys. And I’ve loved it all,” Ms. Pryor said. “It has been [a] good life so far, I am grateful, and I look forward to whatever opportunities and challenges lie ahead.”

Ms. Pryor has left an undeniable impact on Jesuit’s community and the school as an institution. As Ms. Pryor moves on into the next chapter of her life, the Jesuit community is grateful for all the gifts and talents she shared with her students and colleagues. She will be missed.