Blueprint documents social awareness


When the Rev. David Boileau took over as editor in 1970, the monthly became more and more a source for documentation of the explosion in social awareness taking place in the Catholic Church at that time. It was in the Boileau years (1970 - 80) that Blueprint opened its doors to a wider readership and no longer was restricted to a Jesuit-only circulation. In these years Blueprint became increasingly a resource for use in classrooms, not only an "in the family" Jesuit consciousness-raiser. For example, three large tabloid editions of Blueprint provided a wealth of materials for Loyola "teach ins" on women's rights, the world food problem, Appalachia, and even a 76-page tabloid on the full range of "life" issues from womb to tomb which accompanied an impressive series of university lectures on each of these topics.

Under the Rev. George Lundy, S.J.'s leadership (1980 - 84), the Rev. John Mawhinney, S.J., focused Blueprint on providing "a critical perspective on the structure of our economy" (May 1980, p. 3). Capital punishment and nuclear disarmament were hot topics in the church and the nation at that time, and Blueprint entered these debates with many articles on these issues.

When Robert Udick took over as Blueprint's first lay editor in 1984, he gathered around him a board of advisors indicating his priorities for the publication: international justice, organized labor, criminal justice, war and peace, and social justice.

From 1987 until 1991 Jim Gallese and Jody Miller Shearer collaborated on Blueprint in continuity with these themes and also increased the treatment of Central America, environmental, and health care issues. The year 1991 saw Ted Quant take over as director of the newly re-named Twomey Center for Peace through Justice, and new editor Richard McCarthy added his own gift for graphics and photography to his broadening the authorship of Blueprint articles treating many of these issues. McCarthy's personal expertise in micro-economics and community gardening has led into so many developing directions - including the development of Loyola's ECOnomics Institute and the formation of the Crescent City Farmers Market.

Currently, Blueprint for Social Justice focuses on 1) faith leading to 2) social justice, 3) reverence for diverse cultures, and 4) inter-religious dialogue. With such a "platform", Blueprint has a challenging mandate for the future.