News
Bernadette Gillick, assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, works with stroke-impaired children.

Send a message
of congratulations to Bernadette

... Ignatian Spirituality has energized me. I rely on my faith and faith community for strength and so much more.
Bernadette Gillick - Living the Jesuit Mission


January 9, 2014 - Approximately one in 2,000 children has a stroke around the time of birth. And 25 percent of these strokes result in weakness on one side of the body (in some cases causing what is more widely known as cerebral palsy).

That’s a statistic on which Bernadette Gillick, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, hopes to make an impact.

Specifically, she’s utilizing 20 years in clinical work as a pediatric physical therapist and a PhD in rehabilitation science and neuroscience to identify and test new interventions designed to help stroke-impaired children increase their motor function.

These new interventions use electric and magnetic currents to stimulate brain cells in combination with behavioral therapies. The methods do not require surgery or even sedation.

The place this happens – the Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Research Lab – is funded by such prestigious sources as the National Institutes of Health, and is one of only two labs in the world doing this particular work.

Throughout Bernadette’s ground-breaking professional journey, she has found inspiration through the Jesuits. “I’ve had a wonderful career that has taken me to several different cities and, fortunately, I was able to find Jesuits everywhere I went – although it wasn’t even a conscious search,” she explains.

It all started when she was growing up. “I thought everyone had Jesuits coming to their house for dinner,” laughs this niece of Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ (today the director of the Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Creighton University).

Then, studying at Marquette University strengthened the bond – “through encouragement of service and theological challenge that was incorporated in being a student there,” she says. “It contributed to my feeling that I have gifts – like everyone does – and have an obligation to use those gifts to try to help other people.

”In education and work that followed – at Loyola (Chicago) and Seattle Universities – and volunteer roles with L’Arche and Creighton’s Institute for Latin American Concern in the Dominican Republic – she has continued to feel the Jesuit presence enriching her life.

The furthest her work has taken her – Alaska – also enabled a way to continue on this path, at the Holy Spirit Jesuit Retreat Center in Anchorage. “As it has elsewhere, Ignatian spirituality has energized me. I rely on my faith and faith community for strength and so much more,” she explains.

Today, Bernadette's work has brought her to the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where she became a member of the Jesuit Partnership Council in 2012.

“Participating on the Council has been a great experience,” she says. “This group gives me an opportunity to be surrounded by people who invigorate me and continue to develop my faith. Plus, we have a lot of fun.”

“Supporting the Jesuits is a given for me,” she continues. “Like most people, I have a specific line of work. I can’t be out there looking for all the possible opportunities to help people in poverty, or during a natural disaster, for example. I rely on the Jesuits to do that. They go into the difficult places, and I trust them to help people in ways that I can’t. So when I’m called to support them, I know it will be fruitful and appropriated in the best possible way.”

If you'd like to read about others who are Living the Jesuit Mission, please click here.










Recent News

May 6, 2019 - When I was in the third grade at a Catholic primary school in suburban Maryland, I happened upon a book about St. Isaac Jogues, the 17th century Jesuit missionary, getting flogged, flayed, and having his fingers chewed off on a mission to “New France.” At the time I couldn’t for the life of me understand why someone would choose to go through such an ordeal! Fast forward twenty-some years later, and I am a Jesuit brother living with Jesuits from India, Ecuador, Tanzania, and Wisconsin.

May 6, 2019 — The author found an unexpected encounter with grace when he attended Mass celebrated by Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ.

May 1, 2019 — Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, recently gave a speech about the collaboration between Jesuits with the laity.

April 29, 2019 — Ask someone who's benefited from a Jesuit education or ministry about the Jesuits’ contributions, and you’ll hear answers like “Jesuits form men and women for others,” “they help people discern God’s presence in their lives,” and "they serve God by caring for and seeking justice for people on the margins.” But we don’t always give thought to how the Jesuits themselves benefit from being in the Society.

April 23, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Theodore J. Hottinger, SJ, who died on April 22, 2019 at St. Camillus, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace.

April 21, 2019 — We turned to Twitter and challenged people to tell the story the resurrection of Jesus in exactly six words — no more. Boil the central truth of our faith down to its essence. What’s most important?

April 12, 2019 — In the final days of Lent, Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, provincial of the Midwest Jesuits, reflects on A Living Sacrifice of Praise.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2019

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2018

Jesuits Summer 2018



Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland
Nestled in the urban landscape of Parma, Ohio, the Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland is “a place of peace in the forest.”