Sunday, September 30, 2007

Halifax Jesuit, "Humble Priest" Fifty Years Of Service

Leach played a big role at Saint Mary's University
2007 Hall of Fame inductee helped shape athletics at the school.

The Daily NewsSaint Mary's University's Sport Hall of Fame added three more student-athlete greats to its growing enrolment during last Saturday's 2007 induction ceremonies. Given their incredible records of performance at SMU, one might assume that basketball legends John Gallinaugh and Lee Thomas from the 1970s Huskies and celebrated multi-sport all-star of the 1950s Father George Leach were automatic choices. Who would dispute such impeccable credentials? Thomas, Leach and Gallinaugh were much more than extremely gifted athletes; they were leaders and role models who set personal standards and made a difference in their respective generations at Saint Mary's. Gallinaugh and Thomas were integral parts of the basketball Huskies dynasty from 1973 to 1976, which included the university's first national athletic championship months before the football Huskies matched the honour with their 1973 CIAU championship. The journey to that first hoops title and the roles that Thomas and Gallinaugh played in winning it was well documented in my colleague Alex J. Walling's personal recall of events in the Sept. 23 edition of The Sunday Daily News.Twenty years earlier, a young Dartmouthian named George Leach had a somewhat similar impact on a still developing Saint Mary's athletic program at a time when multi-sport participation was permitted. With a much smaller student body and shorter schedules in all disciplines, it was a major advantage to have good students with special skills to distribute among various sports. Leach fit the role like few others: top of the line academically and exceptional in football, hockey and basketball.As Saint Mary's High School quarterback, who shared fullback duties in the days of two-way football, Leach led the Saints, as they were then known, to the Nova Scotia title in 1954 before graduating to the varsity team in 1955 as part of the Canadian Junior Football League. By 1956, with Leach at the controls, SMU won every league game en route to the Maritime final in Fredericton and a Hail Mary touchdown pass by Leach in the last seconds pulled the Saints from behind to victory over the St. Thomas Tommies.That made it three in a row for the gridiron Santamarians and marked the end of a remarkable career at Saint Mary's.In 1957, George Leach left his engineering studies at the college to follow his heart into theology, and entered the Jesuit Order in Guelph, Ont., to make a much larger mark in a much larger world.His old Saint Mary's teammate, New Waterford native and retired Canadian diplomat Peter Fraser, came in from his Seattle home last weekend with fond remembrances to present his old friend for induction. "As teammates," he said, "we remember Father Leach as not only a gracious, humorous and humble priest of today, but also as a symbol of good amateur athleticism in the 1950s." During the 50 years of his distinguished priestly work that brought him back to his roots a decade ago, Leach has maintained the sense of teamwork that has allowed him to get things done in his field across Canada and beyond. His abilities to manage his time and bring people together in common purpose are most impressive.His work has largely focused on the humanities, creation of programs for adult faith development, service among the aboriginals of Northern Ontario and most recently being extremely active at Brunswick Street's Hope Cottage. Last fall, he returned to become more involved again with Saint Mary's athletic programs as chaplain for SMU students, the consummate role model for attaining higher purposes in life.Saint Mary's Sport Hall of Fame and Heritage Centre gained three more outstanding members with glittering personal credentials last weekend. It doesn't get any better than that. Link to original article (here)

Polish Jesuit Cardinal Adam Kozlowiecki Dead At 96

Polish missionary cardinal dead at 96
Lusaka, Sep. 28, 2007 ( Link (here)

Cardinal Adam Kozlowiecki, a Polish-born Jesuit missionary who spent most of his life in Africa, died on September 28 at the age of 96. Born in Huta Komorowska, Poland, Adam Kozlowiecki was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1937. During World War II he was imprisoned by the Nazi regime, spending time at both Dachau and Auschwitz. (At the latter concentration camp his fellow inmates included St. Maximillian Kolbe.) After the way he traveled to southern Africa as a missionary. In 1955 he was appointed apostolic administrator of Lusaka, Zambia, and in 1959, when Lusaka was raised to the status of an archdiocese, he became the first archbishop. He resigned that post in 1969, saying that a native African should take the post. (The results were unfortunate; he was succeeded in Lusaka by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, whose erratic behavior led to his own resignation in 1983 and his excommunication in September 2006.) In a message of condolence addressed the to current Archbishop of Lusaka, Telesphore Mpundu, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) described Cardinal Kozlowiecki as a "noble soul" who had proven his commitment in "selfless years of zealous episcopal and missionary service." With the death of Cardinal Kozlowiecki, there are now 181 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 104 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to participate in a papal conclave.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Philippino Jesuits, Media Ministry

The Garage Is At Your Service!
The Garage: JesCom Creative Technologies Center is the media, communications, and information technology training facility of the Jesuit Communications Foundation. We offer courses on topics such as word and data processing, desktop publishing, graphic design, web design, and video production and editing.

Holy Cross' Fr. McFarland, Works With Planned Parrenthood On New Initiative

Holy Cross College Hosts on-Campus Planned Parenthood Workshops,
Awards Pro-Abortion Governor
Yet another Jesuit run college violating Catholic Church teaching
By Peter J. Smith WORCHESTER, Massachusetts, September 28, 2007 ( - Jesuit-run Holy Cross, the oldest Catholic college in New England, is hosting the 2007 Teen Pregnancy Institute with Planned Parenthood promoting teenage contraception. The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy presents the conference every year, but by hosting the conference the Holy Cross Jesuits are sending the message that they have no qualms with its promotion of contraception and the presence of Planned Parenthood, which are intrinsically inimical to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.At this year's conference - scheduled October 24, from 8AM - 4 PM - "Messages that Matter: Strengthening Prevention and Supporting Young Families," Planned Parenthood is scheduled to give 3 "workshops"; one of which includes a seminar on how to "Learn the latest and greatest of protection methods." (see copy of brochure addition, pro-abortion Governor Deval L. Patrick will appear at the conference to receive a "Leadership Award" and speak to the conference attendees. Unfortunately Holy Cross has a history of tolerating vociferous promoters of abortion under its President, Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. In 2003, McFarland defended not only Holy Cross' invitation of pro-abortion political commentator, Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's "Hardball," to speak at that year's commencement, but also bestowed on him an honorary degree despite his univocal statements on several occasions "I am pro-choice." McFarland falsely stated Matthews's views were "a matter of practical judgment" and "allowable in Catholic thought," because he felt abortion was immoral, but disagreed that the government should stop it. Original article (here)

Fr. Drew Christiansen, S.J. Used In Iranian Propoganda Exploitation

U.S. religious leaders meet with Iran's president, stress diplomacy
By Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) --

U.S. religious leaders are "deeply concerned about the prospect of war with Iran," said a professor from a Catholic college who was part of an interfaith delegation that met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sept. 26 in New York. But Joseph Fahey, professor of religious studies at Manhattan College in Riverdale, said he left the meeting feeling hopeful because of statements Ahmadinejad made about the "renunciation of war and the quest for peace.""This meeting was an attempt to build bridges with Iran despite the generally hostile reception President Ahmadinejad received here in New York City," Fahey said in a statement issued after the meeting. "We strongly believe that only through formal and informal diplomacy and respect for international law can there be peace between Iran and the U.S."Protests greeted Ahmadinejad while he was in New York to address the U.N. Security Council Sept. 25. He spoke to an audience at Columbia University the same day.The Iranian president has been criticized for questioning whether the Holocaust and the extermination of 6 million Jews during World War II ever happened. He also has said Israel should not exist.In addition, his country's nuclear program has brought the threat of sanctions from the U.S., France and other countries who say Iran is enriching uranium for nuclear weapons, but Iranian officials say the program's goal is to produce energy. In his U.N. remarks Ahmadinejad said the nuclear issue is closed.The interfaith delegation had an hourlong meeting with the Iranian leader. The religious group -- made up of more than 100 faith representatives, including Catholics, United Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Unitarians -- stressed the need for diplomacy to prevent war.Organized by the Mennonite Central Committee, the meeting was held under tight security at the Church Center for the United Nations, across the street from U.N. headquarters. It was billed as a "time of dialogue and prayerful reflection among the children of Abraham." It was the third interfaith discussion focused on dialogue between the United States and Iran. The first discussion came during the Iranian president's visit to the U.N. last year; U.S. religious leaders met with him at his hotel. The second was this February, when a group of American religious leaders traveled to Iran to meet with political, academic and religious leaders.The meetings have included frank discussions on the Holocaust, nuclear weapons, the role of religion in peacemaking, Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the use of hostile rhetoric. The Catholic group that was part of the delegation was organized by Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement, and included theologians, clergy and religious, and leaders of national Catholic organizations."Our message today, both in our words and by our actions, is that our country and our political leaders need to engage Iran in respectful and meaningful dialogue in order to overcome the historical enmity that has existed between our two nations," said Dave Robinson, executive director of Pax Christi USA.Ahmadinejad responded to questions submitted by invited panelists who included Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor of the national Catholic magazine America; Karen A. Hamilton, a Canadian Anglican who is general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches; the Rev. Chris Ferguson, a Canadian who represents the World Council of Churches at the United Nations; and Glen Stassen, a professor of Christian ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical institution.The gathering closed with comments by Ahmadinejad and the gathering's moderator, Burt Lobe, interim executive director of the Mennonite Central Committee. Lobe described the dialogue as conversation that "occurred in sacred space.""We believe that it is conversation like this, conversation emanating from religious space and out of our particular Christian tradition that carries the voice and call to dialogue," he said. Original article (here)

The Devil Is Real

The Church must speak about the devil

By Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P. Issue: October 2007

Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P., while he was still the theologian to the Pontifical Household, wrote an introduction to the book Presidente degli EsorcistiEsperienze e Delucidazioni di Don Gabriele Amorth (in Italian only). Father Amorth is an exorcist of the Archdiocese of Rome and founder and honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists. The following is a translation of Cardinal Cottier’s introduction, which was posted at on January 22, 2006.The Church must speak about the devil. Though he sinned, the fallen angel has not lost all the power he had, in the governance of the world, according to God’s plan. Now he uses this power for evil. John’s Gospel calls him “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) and also in the First Letter of John, one reads: “The whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Paul speaks of our battle against spiritual powers (cf. Ephesians 6:10-17). We can also refer to Revelation.We must fight not only against the human, but also the superhuman, forces of evil in their origin and inspiration – suffice it to think of Auschwitz, of the massacres of entire peoples, of all the horrendous crimes that are committed, of the scandals of which little ones and the innocent are victims, of the success of the ideologies of death, etc.It is appropriate to recall some principles. The evil of sin is committed by a free will. Only God can penetrate the depth of a person’s heart; the devil does not have the power to enter that sanctuary. He acts only on the exterior, on the imagination and on feelings of a sentient origin. Moreover, his action is limited by the permission of Almighty God.The devil generally acts through temptation and deceit; he is a liar (cf. John 8:44). He can deceive, induce to error, cause illusion and, probably more than arouse vices, he can support the vices and the origins of the vices that are in us.In the Synoptic Gospels, the first apparition of the devil is the temptation in the desert, when he subjects Jesus to several incursions (cf. Matthew 4:11 and Luke 4:1-13). This event is of great importance.Jesus cured sicknesses and pathologies. Altogether, they refer to the devil, because all disorders afflicting humanity are reducible to sin, of which the devil is instigator. Among Jesus’s miracles are liberation from diabolical possessions, in the precise sense. We see in particular in Saint Luke that Jesus orders the devils who recognize him as Messiah.The devil is much more dangerous as tempter than through extraordinary signs or astonishing external manifestations, because the gravest evil is sin. It is no accident that we ask in the Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation.” Against sin, the Christian can fight victoriously with prayer, prudence, in humility knowing the fragility of human freedom, with recourse to the Sacraments, above all Reconciliation and the Eucharist. He must also ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment, knowing that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are received with the grace of Baptism.Saint Thomas and Saint John of the Cross affirm that one has three tempters: the devil, the world (we certainly recognize this in our society) and oneself; that is, self-love. Saint John of the Cross maintains that the most dangerous tempter is oneself, because we alone deceive ourselves. In the face of deceit, it is desirable that the Catholic faithful have an ever-more-profound knowledge of Christian doctrine. The apostolate must be promoted on behalf of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is of extraordinary usefulness to combat ignorance. The devil perhaps is instigator of this ignorance: he distracts man from God and it is a great loss that can be contained by promoting an adequate apostolate in the media, in particular television, considering the amount of time that many people spend watching television programs, often with contents that are culturally inconsistent and immoral.The action of the devil is also unleashed against the (priests) of the Church. In 1972, Pope Paul VI spoke of the “smoke of Satan that has entered the temple of God.” He was alluding to the sins of Christians, to the devaluation of the moral law, the growth of moral decadence (consider the history of the religious orders and congregations, in which the need for reform to react to decadence has always been noted), to yielding to the temptations in the pursuit of a career, of money and of wealth, in which members of the clergy themselves can participate, committing sins that cause scandal. The exorcist can be like a Good Samaritan — but he is not the Good Samaritan — as sin is a graver reality. A sinner who remains set in his sin is more wretched that one who is possessed. The conversion of heart is the most beautiful victory over the influence of Satan, against which the Sacrament of Reconciliation has an absolutely central importance, because in the mystery of the Redemption, God has liberated us from sin and gives us, when we have fallen, the restoration of his friendship.The Sacraments have a priority over the sacramentals, the category to which exorcisms belong; these are requested by the Church, but not as a priority. If this approach is not considered, the risk exists of disturbing the faithful. Exorcism cannot be considered as the only defence against the action of the devil, but as a necessary spiritual means in those cases where the existence of specific cases of diabolic possession have been confirmed.It seems that the possessed are more numerous in pagan countries, where the Gospel has not been disseminated and where magic practices are more widespread. In other places, a cultural element endures where Christians conserve an indulgent tendency in regard to ancient forms of superstition. Moreover, it must be considered that alleged cases of possession can be explained by present-day medicine and psychiatry and that the solution to certain phenomena may consist in good psychiatric treatment. When a difficult case is manifested in practice, it is necessary to get in contact with a psychologist and an exorcist; it is advisable to make use of psychiatrists of Catholic formation. A course on these topics has recently been instituted in the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum. It also seems opportune to include such formation in seminaries, in a balanced and wise dimension, avoiding excesses and constrictions. Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P., is the former Theologian to the Pontifical Household. Link to original article (here) Hat Tip to Spirit Daily

Fr. Fessio, S.J. Squares The Facts With Theologian Fr. Phan

Probe of theologian raises concerns
By ERIC GORSKI Associated Press 09/29/07

It's not easy being a Roman Catholic theologian these days. Trying to explain a centuries-old faith's place in modern times is hard enough. Now some Catholic thinkers worry the Vatican is more concerned with unity than messy debates that can lead to new ideas. The case of the Rev. Peter Phan is the latest example of the tension between church authorities and Catholic theologians. A 2004 book by Phan, a Georgetown University professor, has come under scrutiny for going beyond the Vatican's comfort zone in suggesting that other religions might have merit. "Individual theologians can be creative, or they can be irresponsible," said the Rev. James Heft, director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California. "The exercise of central authority can be overbearing, or it can be a necessary corrective. So it's a complex situation." American Catholics and the broader public have good reason to care about what may look like an intramural squabble", Heft said. Theologians often do the thinking that contributes to profound changes in Catholic teaching - on topics such as the church's relationship with Jews and other Christians, and the role of lay people. The conflict at the heart of the Phan case, he said, strikes at "one of the major questions of our time, especially in the coming decades: How we can speak of one faith expressed distinctively in a variety of cultures?" Over recent decades, the Vatican has clamped down on theologians who advocate fighting poverty and injustice through the social gospel and liberation theology. More recently, the focus has shifted to the nature of Jesus Christ and salvation, one of the defining concerns of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy and his previous work as a cardinal. Earlier this year, Benedict released a document reasserting the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, reiterating themes in the 2000 Vatican document Dominus Iesus. That document states non-Christians are "in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the church, have the fullness of the means of salvation." Phan explored salvation and other themes in his 2004 book, Being Religious Interreligiously, the focus of the Vatican inquiry. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the book is "notably confused on a number of points of Catholic doctrine and also contains serious ambiguities," according to the National Catholic Reporter. Among the chief concerns, said the independent Catholic weekly: that Phan's writings could be interpreted as saying non-Christian faiths "have a positive role in salvation history in their own right, and are not merely a preparation for the Christian Gospel." A committee of U.S. bishops is conducting a separate inquiry into Phan's work. The increasing diversity of Catholic theologians, Phan among them (he is Vietnamese-American), is greatly influencing the debate about Catholicism's place among other religions, said Terrence Tilley, chairman of the Fordham University theology department. "What we have in the last 20 years is a new development," said Tilley, president-elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America. "Discussions of the saving value of other faith traditions had been carried on in a European context by European theologians who had little deep and rich understanding of other religious traditions. Their conversations ran on some pretty clear rails. But the train these days is on a different set of tracks." A refugee from the Vietnam War, Phan is a priest of the Dallas Diocese and former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He was the first non-Caucasian to hold the post. Phan has declined to comment on the investigation. Officials at Georgetown, the nation's oldest Catholic university, issued a statement saying the Jesuit school "embraces academic freedom and supports the free exchange of ideas in order to foster dialogue on critical issues of the day, especially those related to faith, ethics and international affairs." The Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown, said the Vatican too often views the Catholic theologian as working in an echo chamber, repeating back church teachings and documents. The process of debating theology can be messy, but better to endure the messiness than stifle thought, said Reese, who was forced to resign as editor of America magazine after it published articles challenging church teaching. "If you knew a company where the executive leadership was not on speaking terms with the research division, would you invest in that company?" Reese said. "That's what we have in the Catholic Church today. The hierarchy is very suspicious of the theologians, and the theologians are very suspicious of the hierarchy. And that's a very unhealthy situation." The Rev. Joseph Fessio, a former doctoral student of Pope Benedict whose publishing house is the primary publisher of the pope's writings in English, said the Vatican is neither heavy-handed nor close-minded in weighing questionable theology. What often fails to be disclosed, he said, is the long process allowing all sides to be heard. "It's important for theologians to talk to each other, reflect and try to reformulate and understand more deeply what the church's belief is," Fessio said. "But if they move outside the realm of the church as soundly defined, then it's a sign that they have gone beyond their competence as a theologian. "You can boil it down pretty simply," Fessio said. "Who has the final say in on what Catholics must believe? The answer is, 'not the theologians.'"
The Curt Jestor finishes it up on this story.
"This is just not true that there exists a hierarchy against theologians mindset. Though there might be a progressive theologians against the magisterium mindset. Fr. Reese seems to think all theologians are in the same camp which is funny since previously in this article he complains about an echo chamber mentality in the Vatican. Just because the theologians he surrounds himself with all align together for the most part he seems to think this is the case with all of them."
From Jeffrey Miller's, Debating theology can be messy (here)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Georgetown Loosens Abortion Restrictions

GU Law Loosens Internship Policy School Reverses Abortion Rule By Courteney Lario Special to The Hoya
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Administrators at the university’s Law Center reversed earlier this month a policy prohibiting funding for students at summer internships at organizations that promote abortion rights, after a widely publicized case in the spring which drew protest from hundreds of students. Under the new policy, announced by Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff in a letter published in the Law Center’s student newspaper, the university will no longer consider the mission of each organization when determining grants provided by a student-run organization to students for summer internships. The student-run organization, the Equal Justice Foundation, provides money for some students who take unpaid summer internships, and receives funding from the Law Center. In March, the Law Center required that the group deny funding to Jenny Woodson (LAW ’09), who had applied for an internship at Planned Parenthood, a group that supports abortion rights. The Catholic Church opposes abortion rights. Woodson accepted the internship after members of the Law Center’s administration and faculty helped her raise money through the Women and Law in Public Policy Fellowship. In a letter published in the Sept. 11 edition of Law Weekly — the weekly, student-run newspaper for the Law Center — and dated Sept. 7, Aleinikoff announced that the policy had been changed. “In partnership with the Equal Justice Foundation, the Law Center will provide grants to all students who work on law-related issues at a public interest organization or government agency. … The program contributes in important ways to the Law Center’s academic program, both by expanding meaningful opportunities for students to engage in reflective experiential learning and by inculcating a commitment to public service,” he said in the letter. Aleinikoff could not be reached for comment for this report. Deborah Epstein, associate dean of clinical education and public interest and community service programs at the Law Center, attributed the decision, at least in part, to the outcry that resulted from the Woodson decision. “When this issue arose on campus last semester, we began to look at the EJF program in a broader context,” she said. After the incident became well-known, students from Georgetown’s Law Students for Choice circulated a petition that demanded that the Law Center alter their policy, issue an apology to Woodson and hold an open forum to discuss the issue. According to Joy Welan (LAW ’08), president of Georgetown’s Law Students for Choice, 360 students signed this petition. Welan said her group and Aleinikoff met several times over the summer to discuss the policy. “We think that this compromise is fantastic news, for students who are interested in pursuing careers in reproductive rights advocacy, and for all students, who will now be able to pursue public interest internships without worrying about finding funding,” Welan said. “The dean has taken a huge step forward in advancing Georgetown's commitment to public interest law, and we applaud him for it.” Daniel Hughes (LAW ’08), president of the Law Center’s Progressive Alliance for Life, a student group that opposes abortion rights, said he was disappointed in the policy reversal. “Aleinikoff has a radically secular, morally relativistic vision for the Law Center,” Hughes said in an e-mail. “He and other administrators have crafted a dishonest, legalistic ‘compromise’ that will allow students to gain assured, extensive Georgetown funding for pro-abortion legal work.” Epstein said law students applying to the EJF for internship funding must now write a paper and meet with a faculty member regarding their choice of an organization. “The paper will be a short reflective essay, designed to help participants maximize the learning they take away from their summer experiences,” Epstein said. “Students will have the opportunity to meet in groups with faculty members and discuss how their experiences relate to other curricular choices and to their career goals.” Link (here)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, S.J. Killed In Sri Lanka

Tamil Catholics and Sri Lankan Muslims involved in a civil war it is hard from these articles to find the truth.

"Acts of violence inflicting pain and loss to civilians should be condemned"- Archbishop
Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, was killed allegedly by LTTE in a claymore mine explosion on Wednesday (26) in non-liberated Malavi area in Wanni. Archbishop Oswald Gomis while expressing his deepest sympathies and condolence over the killing of Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, said that such acts of violence that inflicts pain and lost to the innocent civilians should be condemned by all possible means. "This incident and the incidents of this nature should prick our conscience to realize the gravity of this situation and the need to establish peace immediately", the Archbishop further added in his condolence message. Bishop's House Colombo said 40-year-old Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, who had been a priest for the past 10 years, was the Mannar district coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, the Mannar district coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), was killed allegedly by LTTE in a claymore mine explosion on Wednesday (26) in non-liberated Malavi area in Wanni. Archbishop Oswald Gomis has expressed his deepest sympathies and condolences to Bishop Rayappu Joseph and to clergy, members of the Diocese of Mannar and the grieving family. Archbishop Oswald Gomis' message: "We were deeply shocked to hear the tragic death of Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith killed in a claymore bomb explosion. We strongly condemn such acts of violence that inflicts pain and lost to the innocent civilians. We offer our deepest sympathies to His Lordship Bishop Rayappu Joseph, the Clergy and to the lay faithful of the Diocese of Mannar and especially to the members of the grieved family of Fr. Packiyaranjith. With grateful recognition of Fr. Packiyaranjith's selfless service, as a committed priest of the Lord for His people, we offer fervent prayers that God, the Father of mercies, will grant him Eternal Rest and every spiritual consolation to those who mourn his passing. This event brings us once more to the recognition that Peace is an urgent imperative. How long can this carnage continue? This incident and the incidents of this nature should prick our conscience to realize the gravity of this situation and the need to establish peace immediately. We pray that this incident will stir the peace process, so that he who has died, may not have died in vain." Link (here)
Related News >>>
Catholic priest feared kiledl by LTTE terrorists- Wanni

Catholic priest feared killed by LTTE terrorists- Wanni
Pro-LTTE websites this evening (September 26) announced that a Catholic priest working for an NGO had been killed in a bomb blast that took place deep inside the terrorists dominated territory in Wanni. These websites have already made their usual accusation that SL Army Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) is responsible for the killing. According to news reports, Reverend Father Nocholaspillai Packyyaranjith, Mannar District Coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was killed when his vehicle was caught in a claymore blast in the Mallavi area this evening. Another Catholic priest identified as Christopher Jujin was said to have suffered injuries in the incident. When inquired about the alleged accusation on DPU involvement in the said incident, the defence officials said it is a blatant lie as no DPU team can go such a distance behind the enemy lines under the present circumstances. "If the incident has happened in Mallavi as said, it means that it has happened at a location which is well over 60 Km from our Forward Defence Line (FDL)", a senior defence official said. "It is true that we have an excellent Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) team, but they are not like 'suicide' cadres in a terrorist outfit who are sent on 'never to return missions', he added. Explaining further, he said that the primary task of an LRRP team is to do reconnaissance or to gather information on enemy locations secretly, but not to expose their presence by carrying out bomb attacks in the enemy's areas. LTTE terrorists have stepped up their attacks at the security forces' FDL for the last two-three weeks and made several unsuccesful attempts to break the defence line at various locations. The defence officials noted that the first priority of the security forces at present is to strengthen and defend the FDL in Wanni than going into covert offensives. Also, intelligence reports have revealed that LTTE has deployed their fullest strength along its defence line West of Omanthai, fearing a security forces' onslaught in the area. Therefore, the officials pointed out there is not much of room left for LRRPs operate in enemy area as it is almost impossible for a covert unit to cross the enemy FDL. Meanwhile, defence observers pointed out that LTTE terrorists have demonstrated similar behaviour whenever the President or a Sri Lankan delegation is on an important official tour. Earlier too LTTE terrorists have carried out many crimes by killing innocent Tamil civilians, aid workers, or whoever whose killing that can draw the displeasure of the international community towards the government. LTTE is a ruthless terrorist organization which has been fighting since 1983 for an ethnically pure separate homeland for Tamils living in Sri Lanka. Two decades of the LTTE's terror campaign against Sri Lankan citizens has cost over 65,000 lives.

Jesuit Union, Ministry Or Just Plain Politics?

Workers not "raw resources", Jesuit tells WorkChoices protesters Jesuit Fr Peter Norden has told an anti-WorkChoices union rally in Melbourne that workers cannot be treated as "just another economic commodity". The Herald-Sun reports that Fr Nordern said such treatment "presents a barrier to starting a family"."With little bargaining power, you're forced to accept positions with lesser conditions," he said."How can a bloke be expected to support a family, to contribute to society, or to plan for the future?" Some media reports downplayed the numbers who turned out to the rally because Labor is perceived by some to have reneged on its promise to abolish WorkChoices. But Trades Hall secretary Brian Boyd insisted he was delighted with the turnout, claiming that up to 40,000 people had defied the Australian Building and Construction Commission, and attended. Link to full article (here)

Scorsese To Direct Japanese Jesuit Martyr Film Entitled "Silence"

Scorsese's next non-documentary directorial effort is a historical drama called Silence, following two Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan who witness the persecution of Japanese Christians by the Shogunate regime. Original article (here)

Jesuit History Book, The Cambridge Companion To The Jesuits

Jesuit History 101
Collection of essays on Jesuit history, edited by Holy Cross professor, brings together 15 international scholars

A forthcoming book titled The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (Cambridge University Press), edited by Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., associate professor of history at Holy Cross, will offer readers multiple points of view from experts in various academic fields on the Society of Jesus. Fr. Worcester is enthusiastic about the variety of contributors, including Jesuits from several countries. Fully half of the contributing scholars are not Jesuits, including three women.
“This is a book which should have a great deal of interest as cultural, intellectual, social, political, and religious history. It’s not just an insider book that will interest Jesuits only,” says Fr. Worcester, who wrote three of the essays.
One person who’s interested is Erin Folan ’09. An accounting major at Holy Cross, she is taking a course in Jesuit history this fall, a new class taught by Fr. Worcester. Her brother Peter Folan, 29, is a third-year Jesuit scholastic, finishing his last year of studies at Fordham University.
“I’ve received a brief overview of the history of the Jesuits from my brother. However, I felt I should know even more about the Jesuits since he is making this his life’s work and it is such a major part of who he is,” says Folan.
The book will be available to the public in March of next year, and Fr. Worcester is already using the essays in his class. Folan says she’s eager to learn more about Jesuit education.
“Although this is my first semester taking a class with a Jesuit, I think the foundation of Jesuit education is seen throughout the College. With the focus on men and women for others, many of my classes have taught me to think critically and uphold social justice. With common requirements in a variety of subjects there is a well-rounded education in subjects both in and out of one’s major allowing each student to enter the real world after college with a greater amount of knowledge and charism,” she says.
One thing that impressed Fr. Worcester while working on the book was the endurance of the Jesuits. “Since our foundation in 1540, even with all the changes in society and church, there are certain characteristics that stand out. We’re both adaptable and resilient. We’re very good at both of those things. Adaptation to cultures and circumstances was part of our charism from the beginning. Stability of staying in one place was never who we were. Ignatius wanted us to go where the needs were greatest. And that meant anywhere in the world,” he says. Among the international contributors to the book is Rev. Louis Caruana, S.J., senior lecturer in philosophy at Heythrop College, London, who will be speaking at Holy Cross on Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. in the Rehm Library. His talk is titled “Jesuit Styles of Scientific Thinking,” another example of how Jesuits are involved in many facets of life. “Jesuits are at the intersection of a lot of things. We’re perceived as men of the church in some ways close to or related to the papacy. In other ways we’re seen as cutting edge people in terms of education; as people who speak out for justice, people in the world. We’re not in a cloister — we’re in the world, we’re in contact and dialogue with an exceptional range of different people,” says Fr. Worcester.
Advance copies sent to reviewers have elicited positive feedback.
“The history of the Jesuits is as complex as it is fascinating. Worcester’s volume helps us sort it out through a judicious sampling of themes from the founding of the order in 1540 until the present. It will be valuable for both the novice and the specialist,” writes Rev. John O’Malley, S.J., university professor in the theology department at Georgetown University.
Fr. Worcester is already working on another book for Cambridge University Press, along with Rev. James Corkery, S.J., who was an international visiting fellow from Ireland last year at Holy Cross. The two scholars will serve as editors of The Papacy since 1500: From Italian Prince to Universal Pastor. It will contain some 12 essays and explore how the pope moved from being an Italian prince and patron to being a universal pastor.

Original Holy Cross article (here)

Fr. James Martin, S.J. On Confession

The church's sexual-abuse scandal has also taken its toll. Catholics felt that the bishops--many of them accused of enabling pedophile priests--were arrogantly evading the same kind of penance they demand from their flocks. "The very teachers of the sacrament of confession seemed to be ignoring a constitutive part of that sacrament," says the Rev. James Martin, associate editor of the Jesuit-run magazine America. "It made the confession crisis worse." Wuerl, who in fact was praised for taking a hard line on abusive priests, concedes that those are "significant issues." But he also believes that Catholics are tired enough of America's no-accountability culture to make the rite of owning up appealing again--as long as it involves, he adds, a "spirit of gentleness." A campaign Wuerl ran this past Lenten season--dubbed "The Light Is On for You"--made confessions available on Wednesday evenings as well as the traditional Saturday afternoons. Priests were instructed to create warm and well-lit atmospheres at their churches.
Link to original Time Magazine article (here)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Mother by St Aloysius Gonzaga

My Mother (Saint Aloysius Gonzaga)
Holy Mary, my Queen, I recommend myself to your blessed protection and special keeping, and to the bosom of your mercy, today and every day and at the hour of my death. My soul and my body I recommend to you. I entrust to you my hope and consolation, my distress and my misery, my life and its termination. Through your most holy intercession and through your merits may all my actions be directed according to your will and that of your Son.
From John Brown's Companion of Jesus site (here)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Former Jesuit's Wife, Now Heretical Woman Priest

After a decade in the convent, she left to try to figure out what God had in store for her. She met and fell in love with Don, a former Jesuit priest. The couple married, settled in town and started a family. Their lives were full: For three decades Don taught astronomy and was a counselor at West Valley College in Saratoga, while Juanita began her career as a teacher in the child development/education division at De Anza College in Cupertino. She also works as a nurse and Don serves on the board of trustees for the West Valley/Mission College District.
Ever committed to her faith, Cordero remained in close contact with clergy members from various religions. She even contemplated becoming an Episcopalian minister when that role became available to women. But, she says, "In my bones I'm Catholic, and the Lord kept calling me back to that faith." Then she attended a conference of Women's Ordination Worldwide, an international organization that advocates for the ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops. She met members of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, whose numbers included Bishop Patricia Fresen. Fresen had been ordained a priest in 2003 by three German bishops. The trio chose to hold Fresen's ordination ceremony aboard a boat on Germany's Danube River.
"Not only was this a symbol of 'baptism,' it also happened to be outside of the jurisdiction of other bishops who might try to put a stop to it," Cordero says with a laugh. But all three of the bishops were in good standing with the Vatican, which Cordero says is the key to the "validity" of Fresen's ordination. Fresen herself was then elevated to bishop two years later. Link (here)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Former Jesuit Dan Maguire And Marquette University

Blogger Dad 29, lets it all out regarding former Jesuit Dan Maguire, who is currently employed at the Jesuit Marquette University

Below we noted that Dan Maguire, ex-priest and heretic who teaches "theology" at Marquette University, authored a pack of lies sent to each Congressman. In this pack of lies, Maguire attempts to make the case that Homosex "marriage" is a grand old tradition, sometimes approved by the Church.Well, that's not a surprise to anyone who knows Maguire's history. The surprise and disappointment is that Marquette University insists on retaining this jackass on its payroll. Apparently Dan Maguire has sold his soul to some very influential friends:

Original blog post (here)

KC Mulville An Ex-Jesuit Explains Group Confession

Speaking as an ex-Jesuit …May 28, 2007 - 00:06 ET by KC Mulville
Speaking as an ex-Jesuit …
To understand the word ‘jesuitical,’ consider the following. The laws of the Catholic church demanded the sacrament of confession should always be received individually. However, there was a dispensation where the recipients were in “imminent danger of death.” The idea was to allow soldiers about to enter a battle to receive the sacrament in a group, so the squad wasn’t twiddling their thumbs waiting for the priest to finish each confession. Naturally, the Jesuits took that rule (“imminent danger of death”) whenever they wanted to have a group confession in peacetime. They justified it by arguing that since the congregation was likely to drive on public highways, they were in imminent danger of death. Jesuits didn’t create the dispensation, they were merely clever enough to use it.
Forgive my prejudice, but isn’t that head and shoulders above the embarrassing, “it depends on what the meaning of is is?” Original blog post (here)

Jesuits And Jena Six

Holy Spirit Mass meets social justice
Fr. Lawton delivers message of community
By: Danielle Corkhill
Posted: 9/24/07
A sea of black filled Sacred Heart Chapel this past Wednesday for the Mass of the Holy Spirit when LMU's mission for the promotion of justice met head on with its similarly proclaimed service of faith. While the purpose of the mass remained as it always has a blessing on the new academic year and a reflection of LMU's Catholic identity, this year's ceremony also shed light on the community's obligation to fight for justice in the world. The annual celebration corresponded with the nationwide protest in honor of the Jena 6, a civil rights case currently undergoing scrutiny in Louisiana. People were asked to wear black in support of the African American students on trial for what many are calling racially-motivated arrests. "The Church represents the cries for justice," said Fr. Robert Lawton, University President and presider of the mass, in his opening prayer. "Thank you to those representing the Jena 6 for reminding us of the greater world we struggle to serve." Student and faculty participants in the protest marched into the church together, sitting in a solid black block on the right side of Sacred Heart. LMU members who were also dressed in black were scattered throughout the pews, bonding together the community of the faithful."I felt very engaged in the mass this year because I felt both the presence of faith and justice," said Beth Shaw, a junior political science major and peace studies minor. "I marched from the Jena 6 protest up to mass, and to celebrate that in the context of Christ was very liberating. [The mass was] our fight for justice but also to celebrate the justice that already does exist." The notion of community was ephasized throughout the ceremony. Fr. Lawton stressed the need for both solitude and community in religion during his homily, as all of his Jesuit brothers listened patiently at the sides of the altar. The congregation of sharply dressed service organization members sat together behind the altar, facing the filled pews of attendees. The front seats were even occupied by leaders of differing faiths, reflecting their importance in our worldwide community. "The Mass of the Holy Spirit is really different from the regular Sunday mass because there were a lot more people who showed up, and there were a lot of people from other religions who were here," said freshman theology major Jose Martinez.The community also participated in the preparation and presentation of the mass. " I think it's a great opportunity that LMU allows students to be so active in Campus Ministry," said Adrian Cuevas, a junior political science and Spanish double major. Cuevas was the lector for the first reading. "It's a great feeling standing up there, seeing how many students do come to mass."Fr. Lawton's message to the University for this school year inspired many. He noted that throughout history, people go to hilltops to seek, speak and even struggle with God. "We," he said, "are that hilltop today."
© Copyright 2007 Los Angeles Loyolan Link (here)

Cleanse Me From My Hidden Ills, St. Robert Bellermine S.J.

Cleanse me from my hidden ills (Saint Robert Bellarmine)

All good, holy, wise, and powerful physician, cleanse me from my hidden ills! How many are there that I do not recall? May your grace with which to search my reins and heart be with me. Show me the evil desires and evil works that you see but I do not. Look down kindly and open a fountain of waters so that while there is time they may be washed away and blotted out by your grace. Amen.

Original Companion of Jesus post (here)

A Blog Post With The Subject A Jesuit, Oliver Stone And Ahmadinejad, "What A Combination!"

Lady Vorzheva blogging at Spanish Pundit, posts the world longest Blog heading,

Oliver Stone and Ahmadinejad, US fundamentalist Muslims, EU vs Italian Catholic Church, Father Khalil Samir on Conversions from Islam, Spanish new Internet law, China birth control policy, Pakistan and some prayers.

Here is a quote from the post.

One of the best islamologues the Catholic Church has is Father Samir Khalil Samir, sj (here in Spanish some interviews; in the latter he says: Europe is stupid if it does not take into account that Islam is using its tolerance to “Islamize” it). He is an Egyptian Jesuit and teacher of History of Arab Culture and of Islamology both in Beirut and Rome. He has written recently two very interesting articles for about an extraordinary case which is happening just now:

Polish Jesuits, Missionaries To Iran

During the eighteen century the Catholic clergy started to propagate the faith and they dispatched a group of Karemili and Jesuit missionaries to Iran. The most important missionary sent from Poland was Tadeusz Juda Krusinski whose sojourn in Isfahan coincided with the last days of declining Sultan Hussein of the Safavid Dynasty. He expired in the year 1756 in a town called Nietak at the age of 81. The Polish priest has left behind several books of which the most important is his treatise on the last revolution in Iran.
Read the complete and interesting article (here)
Catholics in Iran for two thousand years (here)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Legacy Of Mateo Ricci, Still A Force In China

China Catholics throng to church
By Michael Bristow BBC News, Beijing

Worshippers go to state-controlled as well as underground churchesBeijing's Southern Cathedral has the kind of congregation many Catholic churches in Europe can only dream of attracting. At Sunday morning Mass, the church is overflowing with worshippers. Those that cannot squeeze in sit on benches outside. There are no official ties between China and the Vatican, despite attempts by both sides over recent months to overcome their differences. But that does not seem to matter to the faithful at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to give the Beijing church its full name. The solid-looking brick cathedral, founded in 1605 by Jesuit Matteo Ricci, is the base of newly-appointed Beijing Bishop Father Joseph Li Shan. I know there are problems between underground and official churches but, as far as I'm concerned, I just believe in God Zhao XudongGraphic designer Father Joseph, whose appointment was approved by the Vatican, is in charge of one of China's main dioceses. It has a flock of at least 50,000 people. Hundreds of these worship at the elegant Southern Cathedral. Inside, it is lit by chandeliers and sunlight filtered through stained glass windows. From an office situated to one side of the cathedral, Sister Yu Shuqin told the BBC that the Catholic diocese had a vibrant congregation. Religion for visas? Although money now seems to be the new god in China, there are still those who seek spiritual salvation in the Catholic Church, she said, as the sound of singing drifted in through an open window. "The more money some people make, the emptier they feel about their lives. They feel life has no meaning," said Sister Yu, who works in the cathedral's foreign affairs office. The underground church is more traditional Zhu ZhijinTeacherThe diocese runs a total of 19 churches, a seminary, a convent, a clinic and a school. Its flock includes old and young, and is drawn from different social groups. Sister Yu said worshippers came to the church for a variety of reasons. Some of these are particular to China. "There are many Chinese people who are not Christians, but they go abroad and meet believers who they respect. When they return home they become Christians themselves," she said. There are also those that become Catholics because they believe it will help them get visas to travel abroad, added Sister Yu. She was reluctant to talk about the problems between China and the Vatican, which seem to centre on who has the authority to select bishops in China. But members of the cathedral congregation were more open. Message route Zhu Zhijin, originally from Chengde in nearby Hebei Province, was at the Southern Cathedral with two friends for morning Mass. The Chinese teacher said she also attends unofficial, underground Catholic churches in Beijing, often held in people's homes. Joseph Li Shan has a large congregation to look after Worshippers at these churches do not want to hear the word of God filtered through China's state-run churches, administered by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association since 1957. "This kind of church is government-controlled and has no power," said Ms Zhu, pointing to the Southern Cathedral's towering facade. "The underground church is more traditional." Still, the 24-year-old's views do not stop her attending Mass at state-run churches. Other Chinese worshippers at the cathedral, such as graphic designer Zhao Xudong, also try to keep politics out of religion. The 25-year-old, originally from Baotou in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, said he knew about underground churches - some of his friends attended - but he did not go himself. "I know there are problems between underground and official churches but, as far as I'm concerned, I just believe in God. It doesn't have anything to do with me." With that, Mr Zhao walked off to join three friends who were preparing to join hundreds more worshippers for the next Mass.
Original article (here)

Huh? Side By Side

Here is an article by Fr. Edward Boyle, SJ, called honest look at the current data on the performance of the economy and an honest look at the core values of our Christian faith. Looking first at the economy -- how would you rate its performance in regard to the average American? Good? So-so? Poor? How do you assess the evidence of the steady growth of the loss of decent well-paying jobs across the nation? The growing job insecurity among all levels of business? The massive unemployment among our young people, so vulnerable to escape into drugs and alcohol? The soaring costs of health care? The lack of affordable housing? One could go on and on. I presume your answer will be, “terrible.” Now we look at the values of the message of Christ. His special attention to the poor and ordinary, the attention to those without shelter or clothing. The need to be a participating member of the community and a sense of belonging, etc. The ultimate sacredness of each and every individual person. The question rings loud and clear. How can we as a Judeo-Christian country focus almost exclusively on the profits of Wall Street; the multi-billion dollar salaries of so many people (while their colleagues are raising families while earning $10, $12 or $14 dollars an hour, often required to work at least two jobs); the massive profits of our military/industrial complex, the construction of huge, expensive high rise condominiums in our central cities?

Here is an article by Kevin and Marilyn Ryan

..........One Sunday morning this fast-fading summer, we went to Mass in a nearby vacation state. The church, one of the newer types, modeled on the theatre-in-the-round, was packed with families decked out in shorts and sandals. What was most striking about the liturgy, however, was that, with the exception of the celebrant, the event was dominated by women and girls. The reader was a young woman. There were two altar girls. All five eucharistic ministers were women. The happy-clappy, Barry Manilow music, played on one of those plinky-plink portable pianos, was led by a woman with back-up of five teen-age girls. Even that last bastion of non-clerical male prerogative, the corps assigned to pass the collection basket, was composed mainly of the fairer sex. If anyone needed an existence proof of the feminization of the Catholic Church, it was on display that Sunday.In the years following WWII, Catholics were led by a legion of strong and often rigid priests. Authoritarian pastors ruled their parishes, throwing out a crumb of responsibility here to the parochial school’s nuns and a crumb there to the Ladies Altar and Rosary Society. At the same time, the Church loudly proclaimed the importance of the family and the centrality of the man as the head of the family. Words were backed up by real outreach to men, an outreach not lost on their sons. Strong men served proudly in the Knights of Columbus, and promised themselves to serve and support any widows of Knights who had died. Then there were monthly men’s club meetings, a staple of parish life. So, too, was the Communion Breakfast where after Sunday Mass, fathers and their sons feasted on pancakes and sausages and were enthralled by talks from the winning coach of the area’s winning football team or an inspiring address by a former Navy chaplain who in WWII had won the Silver Star. Two events during the 1960s diminished both the role of men in our Church and the Church’s impact on them. First, Vatican II seemed to soften the Church’s clear position on many things and to focus more on process and issues such as liturgy and women in the Church. While these issues are important, they don’t have the capacity to hold the male attention like a tight, fourth-quarter, game-winning spiral pass in the end zone, or a moving tale of battle, sacrifice and saving souls on a sinking air craft carrier.The other event was the sexual revolution. In a brief few years, the young Catholic male’s primary question, “Actually, how far can you go?” was replaced by “Be real with me Tiffany. Are you, like, ya know, protected?” Catholic fathers, too, were swept up in the new erotica. Defying Woody Allen’s recommendations that people should marry for life--like pigeons and Catholics, we began divorcing and leaving our children to the care of their mothers in the same high numbers as the rest of our countrymen. The American Church lost sight of its men, leaving Catholic young men with one of two options: 1) to take seriously their increasingly feminized Church with its “gender sensitive language” and vague, smarmy ecumenicalism or 2) kick back, join the guys, chug a few brews and spend their weekends channel surfing for sports and hunting for compliant Tiffanies and Jasmines.

These two articles in the same Catholic paper, in the same edition, show the gulf between the priesthood and the laity on where the direction of the Church should be headed.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quito And La Compania De Jesus

From a blog called Alicia's Wanderings, Alicia stumbled upon La Compania De Jesus.

I arrived to my cozy new Quito home, El Hotel Revolución, late in the evening. The place has a warm, comforting vibe, and although Señor Che Guevera’s photo is featured prominently in many rooms, there has not yet, despite the place’s name, been any mandatory donning of communist arm bands. The hotel has two unofficial mascots that add to the ambiance: a feral, un-named fluffy gray feline, and a golden springer spaniel, Shakira. I spent the first half of my first full day in Quito the way any eager, curious tourist would—unconscious. I finally managed to roust myself from the fog of jet lag around noon however, and headed out to explore Quito’s charming colonial-style Old Town—a maze of brightly painted buildings with flower-adorned white balconies sprinkled among pleasantly crowded town squares, and ornately decorated cathedrals.In the La Compañia de Jesús—a Jesuit church built in 1605, a volunteer guide showed me around the interior and the adjoining museum of religious paintings and artifacts. In the beautifully painted rotunda over the central altar, a ring of angels surrounded a ring of famous Jesuit priests, which surrounded an expansive, brilliantly colored sun—an example of the blending of indigenous celestial worship with the new-kid-in-town Catholicism religion. My guide was most excited, however, to show off the extensive collection of disturbingly realistically constructed crucifixes in the museum collection—each one appropriately titled “The Agony of Christ.” Each figure was more graphic than the next--looking less like the traditional aesthetic crucification victim, and more like the unlucky recipient of nasty bar fight. “Beautiful detail, no?” She said animatedly, pointing to a gash across the kidneys.

Read original blog post (here)

Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. " On The Outside, Looking In" With Bishop And Fellow Jesuit

Drawing on the works of the late Italian Jesuit scholar Felice Cappello, Archbishop Raymond Burke says that those ministers are “held, under pain of mortal sin, to deny the sacraments to the unworthy.” That argument could place Communion ministers on the front lines of the “wafer wars” as the 2008 presidential race heats up, and as bishops debate a document on “faithful citizenship.” “It is clear that church discipline places an obligation on the minister of Holy Communion to refuse Holy Communion to persons known, by the public, to be in mortal sin,” Burke writes in a new journal article. Burke lays out his case like a legal brief in Periodica de re Canonica, a prestigious journal widely read in seminaries and published by Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, an elite school for Catholic clergy. “No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices, and, at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teachings ring hollow,” Burke writes. A former top official in the Signatura, the Vatican’s high court, and a noted expert in canon law, Burke has previously started public debates over policing the communion rail. While he was the bishop of La Crosse, Wis., he ordered clergy to refuse to offer the sacrament to certain pro-abortion-rights politicians. In 2004, Burke and a handful of other bishops said that they would refuse communion to then presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Burke also said that Catholics who voted for such pro-abortion rights politicians as Kerry should refrain from taking the sacrament until they confessed their “mortal sin.”
In his new article, the archbishop explicitly criticizes his fellow bishops, the majority of whom voted in 2004 to leave the communion decision up to individual bishops. Burke retorts: “The question regarding the objective state of Catholic politicians who knowingly and willingly hold opinions contrary to natural moral law would hardly seem to change from place to place.”
The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, the editor of the influential conservative Catholic journal First Things, called Burke’s article “a scholarly tour de force.” “The (archbishop’s) concern is not a political concern,” Neuhaus said. “The article is about, how does the church preserve the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist?” But the article is ambiguous in some areas, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center. If Burke is calling on communion ministers to disobey their bishops and deny communion to Catholic politicians, it would be “revolutionary” and “encourage anarchy,” Reese said. “Most bishops do not want ministers of communion playing policeman at the communion rail,” he said. “This is a significant change in focus. Suddenly you’re going to have a few thousand decision-makers in parishes across the country.” Read the full article (here)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jesuit Priest And Sister Engaged In Lively Debates

Mary Maloney was steadfast in her religious faith
Teacher, mother, wife of state senator

MONTGOMERY - Mary Maloney, a high school math teacher who tutored hundreds of students after she retired, died Sept. 10 of complications of pancreatic cancer. She was 78.
Mrs. Maloney was married for 51 years to former Ohio Sen. Michael J. Maloney.
She was known to almost everyone as "Tickie." Her birth name was Mary Catherine Bollman, but when her older brother Bob said "Catherine" it sounded like "Tickie." The nickname stuck throughout her life. Mrs. Maloney grew up in St. Bernard, where she attended St. Clement School and Our Lady of Angels High School. She graduated from Edgecliff College and received a master's degree in education from Xavier University. She taught at Withrow High School and Our Lady of Angels before taking time off to raise a family of five children. She did that largely by herself because her husband spent four days a week working in Columbus, said her son, Richard Maloney of Springfield Township. Mrs. Maloney returned to teaching at Seton High School in the 1980s. She taught again at Our Lady of Angels before retiring from Mount Notre Dame High School in Reading in 1990. A devout Christian, she enjoyed debating about faith with her brother, a Jesuit priest. "She was the most faith-filled person I have ever known," her son said. "We used to kid that she was holier than the pope." To her 12 grandchildren she was "Mimi," the beloved grandma who gave great Christmas and birthday gifts. She also took them along on vacations to Michigan, where she climbed the Sleeping Bear Dunes with them the year before she was diagnosed with cancer in May 2005. "She remained positive until the end and was never afraid," said her son.
Mrs. Maloney was preceded in death by a 2-year-old son, Michael R. Maloney, in 1961.
In addition to her husband and son Richard, survivors include three other sons, Timothy of Hyde Park, Pat of Montgomery and Thomas of Salt Lake City; a daughter, Brigid Huber of Symmes Township; two brothers, Robert N. Bollman of Indian Hill and the Rev. Richard Bollman, pastor of Bellarmine Chapel at Xavier University; and 12 grandchildren.
Services have been held. Burial was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Memorial gifts are suggested to Hospice of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 633597, Cincinnati OH, 45263
Original article (here)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Feast Of The North American Martyrs

The adventures of Saint Isaac Jogues
The Feast of the North American Martyrs is September 26. This column has already made mention of the upcoming pilgrimage in honor of these saints, but what of their lives?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
By Brother Andre Marie

The Feast of the North American Martyrs is September 26. This column has already made mention of the upcoming pilgrimage in honor of these saints, but what of their lives? The following is a brief tribute to two of the martyrs, written in gratitude to the heroic men who offered the Most Holy Trinity “the first fruits of the Faith in the vast regions of North America” (Oration from the Roman Missal).

The North American Martyrs are collectively referred to as “Saint Isaac Jogues and Companions.” Of the eight, Saints Isaac Jogues, René Goupil, and John de LaLande were martyred on what is now the U.S. side of the Canadian border. Their bloody witness was given in New York, at a place called Auriesville, but known then as the village of Ossernenon. The rest of the martyrs suffered north of the border in Canada, where they are all collectively known — even those who died in New York — as the “Canadian Martyrs.” (The Canadians honor their patrons at “the Martyrs Shrine” in Midland, Ontario.)
For their efforts to convert America, the members of this martyr-band perfectly embody the virtue of zeal, “charity in action,” as that virtue is often called. All those currently interested in the conversion of America, who wish the Redemption of Christ’s Blood efficaciously applied to their fellow Americans, can take them as a model. The conviction that the Redemption won by Christ must be accepted in Faith is what brought Saint Isaac and his companions from Old France to the harshness of New France to evangelize the savages. (Sorry, that un-PC word is what the Jesuits used!)
Saint René Goupil
A companion of the intrepid Father Jogues, René Goupil, was the first of the eight to be martyred — and that, for tracing the Sign of the Cross on an Iroquois child’s forehead. A tomahawk to his head, the missionary went to Our Lord on the Feast of Saint Michael, September 29, 1642. Though not a religious, René Goupil had the privilege of being a donné, a lay helper who worked in the Jesuits missions. Earlier in his life, he tried to be a Jesuit religious, but had to leave the novitiate for health reasons. And now, as a donné, the call of a religious vocation was rekindled in him; he wanted to be a professed Jesuit Brother. As a Superior in the missions, Saint Isaac Jogues had the faculty to receive the vows of someone entering the Jesuit Order. So, while the two were in a canoe, captives of the Iroquois and bound for what they believed to be certain death, Saint Isaac Jogues heard the vows of René Goupil. The latter had the Jesuit formula for profession of vows completely memorized, so no book was necessary.
Having professed his vows, Saint René was no longer a donné when he was martyred, but a Religious Brother of the Society of Jesus.

Read the full story (here)

Fine Arts Professor At Jesuit Seattle University, Debuts Large Abortion Art Piece

“Since 1998 I have found myself constantly reflecting back on my experience and struggling to make peace with the emotions of sadness, loss, confusion and depression that it has caused,” she said. “Sharing the truth of my experience with others publicly is my catharsis and part of my healing process. Although I went through it alone, I know I am not alone in dealing with the experience.” Kasumi is an assistant professor of fine arts at Seattle University. It might seem, given the Catholic Church views on abortion, that the Jesuit school would not have been receptive to one of its faculty’s tackling such a controversial subject. Yet Kasumi says it was the university that provided initial funding for the years-long project, which included her gathering and painting thousands of lava rocks, each of which she arranges during set-up, making 108 porcelain casts of her hands from complex seven-piece molds she built and blowing yolk and white from several thousand eggs without damaging the shells, a process that itself took about 18 months for her to complete. “Set up is a ritual I have to go through alone,” she said. “When people have an abortion, they go through it alone.” Born and raised in Kyoto, Kasumi’s story is a familiar one. As a college student far away from home, she found herself confronted with a difficult choice and – because of societal taboos – nobody close to her that she could talk to about it. She says that, given the opportunity, she would not make the same decision again, but she added that’s not a judgment on a decision any other woman might make. “My case is my case,” she said, “and their case is their case.” Link to full article (here)

Former Jesuit Seminary Now Museum Hosts "Devil's Bible"

Czechs get chance to view rare medieval manuscript
PRAGUE (AFP)A visitor looks at "Codex Gigas" ("Devil's Bible") during an exibition in Klementinum, Czech National Library, 19 September 2007, in Prague. Czechs got the chance to examine the world's biggest medieval manuscript for the first time in almost 359 years when the precious work went on show as part of a four-month-long exhibition.
Czechs got the chance to examine the world's biggest medieval manuscript, the "Codex Gigas" or "Devil's Bible," for the first time in almost 359 years on Thursday when the precious work went on show as part of a four-month-long exhibition. The 13th century masterpiece, considered at the time as the eighth wonder of the world, was carried off as booty by Swedish troops from Prague during the Thirty Years' War but has returned at the end of painstaking negotiations and preparations between Prague and Stockholm. The 624-page, 75-kilogramme (165-pound) work is on display in a specially designed safe-like room in a former Jesuit college in the centre of historic Prague with visitors limited to 10 at a time and rationed to a few minutes each. The book is so valuable that its Swedish owners insisted on a state guarantee worth 300 million koruna (10.8 million euros, 15.1 million dollars) rather than a normal commercial insurance to cover any eventualities, director of the Czech National Library, Vlastimil Jezek, explained at the unveiling of the exhibition.This picture taken 19 September 2007 shows a drawing from the "Codex Gigas" ("Devil's Bible") during an exibition in Klementinum, Czech National Library, in Prague. Czechs got the chance to examine the world's biggest medieval manuscript for the first time in almost 359 years when the precious work went on show as part of a four-month-long exhibition. The return of the "Devil's Bible," which owes its name to a superb illustration of the devil found inside and the legend about its creator, demanded long-drawn out negotiations. "During discussions, you could feel on the Swedish side the underlying question: 'If we lend this to you Czechs, will you give it back to us?'" Jezek recounted with a wry smile. The manuscript was the work of a monk working at the Pozlazice monastery located in the centre of the current Czech Republic. The monastery was destroyed during the 15th-century wars of religion. Legend has it that the monk was condemned to be walled up alive for committing a grave crime. To escape from that slow death, he proposed to create the masterpiece in a night so that it would bring glory to the monastery and wipe out his sins. To achieve that, however, he had to solicit help from the devil and, in recognition of that aid, slipped in the illustration of his "helper" in the final work. Lodged among the Prague treasures of the celebrated arts collector Emperor Rudolph II, the rare book was carried off by troops of Swedish general Konigsmark at the end of the Thirty Years' War.
© 2007 AFP
20/09/200716:29:18 UST


Jesuits On Marcos And Philippino Marshal Law

Pale ink and memory
By Juan Mercado
Cebu Daily News 09/20/2007
CEBU CITY, Philippines - “The palest ink is better than the best memory,” the Chinese say. Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of Martial Law. Do people of truncated memories recall that skid into dictatorship? More importantly, do we care? “You’d have to be over 40 years old… to remember a time when Ferdinand Marcos wasn’t the president yet,” says Columnist Manuel Quezon III. My daughter Malou is over 40. A lawyer and Martial Law exile, she settled in California with her physician-husband and two kids. What does she recall? She remembers Fr. James Reuter. The Jesuit waited until her St. Paul third grade class was dismissed. “Not everyone in prison is bad,” he reassured her. There were 22 of us journalists detained in Proclamation 1081’s first wave of arrests. “Your father and other newsmen are not criminals.” What do Imee and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. remember? “The brain has corridors surpassing/ Material place,” Emily Dickinson wrote. Or are they too busy ferreting wealth stashed in Ortigas lots or companies fronted by erstwhile cronies like Lucio Tan? This is the first time the Marcoses claim squirreled loot in the headlines. No one blushes anymore. “All I need is the right kind of shoes,” 78-year-old Imelda Marcos quipped after her medical checkup. Does their calibrated assessment conclude that amnesia now blankets Martial Law? Garapalan na lang? Eight out of 10 students, the surveys tell us, barely recall Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., let alone why he was gunned down. Indeed, “we have little collective memories of the past,” Ateneo’s Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, told the “Legacies of the Marcos Dictatorship” conference. “We tend to live in a perpetual present. Thus, we cannot see well into the future…” And we of the grey hair, bifocals and arthritic knees – what do we remember? Singing “Bayan Ko” or cracking a joke about the “New Society” invited a beating or detention, oftentimes both. We also relearned what Japanese Kempetai brutality taught earlier: political jokes are serious business. We hurt so much then, so we laughed. Remember the joke about emaciated and fat dogs lining up for US visas? “Martial Law is obviously good for you,” the scrawny mutt told the obese mongrel. “So why do you want a visa?” he asked. The reply: “I want to bark.” Jokes against “Big Brother,” George Orwell wrote, are “tiny revolutions.” Wit and humor have always been rapiers against dictators. They were then thrust into Bagong Lipunan camp followers: Fabian Ver, Estelito Mendoza, Juan Ponce Enrile, Eduardo Cojuangco, even a minor functionary in San Juan named Mayor Joseph Estrada. Few slashed with more effectiveness than Jaime Cardinal Sin. On return from the Vatican conclave that elected Pope John Paul II, Sin told Marcos’ elections commissioner: “If you were in charge of the conclave, Leonie, I’d be Pope today.”
Read the full Cebu article (here)