Monday, June 30, 2008

Jesuits Are In Peril!

Several Catholic priests have been assaulted by supporters of Zimbabwe’s ruling party and at least one house belonging to the Church has been burned down, a Jesuit spokesman said. St Anthony’s mission house in Zaka, in the Masvingo Diocese, was home to a few priests before it was destroyed in the violence that preceded the country’s June 27 runoff presidential election, said Jesuit Father Oscar Wermter, who runs the order’s Zimbabwean communications office in the capital of Harare.

Many priests in rural areas as well as at least one in Harare have been assaulted in the crackdown against the opposition to President Robert Mugabe, Fr Wermter said today. “Very serious threats” also have been made against priests and other Church workers, he said. Some parishioners have been “put under pressure to attend ruling party rallies instead of Mass on Sundays,” Fr Wermter said, noting that “the pressure differs from place to place."
The Zimbabwean Jesuits’ June newsletter reported that the priests who have been threatened “cannot operate freely” and a few “had to be removed temporarily from their posts for their own safety.” Some priests “cannot go to remote outstations, or outstation lay leaders tell them not to come because of the instability,” the newsletter said.
Link (here)
More on Mugabe (here)

Jesuit says, "In Regards To Sexual Morality... Sadly, We Are Causing Much Dissension"

From Jesuit bloggers Under A Chindolea their post is entitled (There is a powerful discussion taking place in the comments section) GC35 Decree 1. Jesuits Markel & Mason take the "Jesuit road less traveled" they offer a compelling and thoughtful insight into the Ignatian world.
An excerpt.
First, have we as Jesuits kept the service of the poor as a priority. In a society and Church even that has not done so, and that has continued to serve the comfortable, have we remained with Christ's favorites in voluntary poverty, living with them and working to remove the structures of sin that dominate them.

Second, do the Spiritual Exercises continue to influence all the ministry that we do with their emphasis on a personal love of Jesus Christ.

Third, do we serve the most diverse, the outcasts, as Jesus did, giving them good spiritual and human formation. Three goes closely with four, since how we offer formation to the most diverse is important. And so,

Fourth, in regards to sexual morality, marriage and the family, are we working with the Magisterium or causing confusion and dissension.
Sadly, we are causing much dissension, which means we are often not offering good spiritual and human formation. The hot example of course is in regards to homosexuality. I know many Jesuits who will go to the gay pride parade this year in San Francisco, as they have gone to many around the country. No little confusion is caused by such actions, actions that betray that these Jesuits have not read and taken to heart the humble and prudent decrees written by the Fathers at GC 35.
Pastoral care in this regard is difficult, and there is much research and study that must be done. However, GC 35 is clear that this cannot be done in a way to cause confusion within the Church. As I quoted from the beginning of this decree, its purpose is "to provide guidance that will enhance and increase the spiritual and evangelical quality of our way of being and proceeding." Let us take up this decree and obey it.

The Year Of St. Paul

Gain a Pauline Year indulgence,
here is a link to the URBIS ET ORBIS DECREE.
Hat Tip to Fr. Ray Blake (here)

Miracles Can Happen

From the post entitled "The Surprising Mathematics of the Gospel"
An excerpt.
One morning, we prayed a beautiful prayer for the beatification of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, which spoke of Fr. Arrupe's "boundless optimism." I am grateful that, despite all our limitations and difficulties, our Conference of Jesuit major superiors in East Asia seems to have been given a share of that "optimism" as we face the future of our mission.
Read more of Jesuit Fr. Daniel Huang's writings at En Todo Amar y Servir.

Mossa Back To Blogging

From Fr. Mark Mossa, S.J. and his new blog entitled, "Dairy of a rookie priest."


So, you think priests learn everything they need to know before going on the job? Well, maybe some do. However, I think many of us tend to get most of it, but not all depending on the emphases or biases of our teachers. Being a new priest is kind of on-the-job training, especially if like me you're offering mass in a variety of places (I offered mass in Frankfurt, Germany tonight!). Every place does things a little different. And, things that have fallen out of fashion in one place, may be all the rage in another--the beauty and complexity of the Church Catholic! Last week, I offered a special mass in somebody's home and needed to borrow a few things from the local parish. The sacristan was nice and accommodating, but also a little suspicious, me being a Jesuit and all.
He wanted to be sure that I didn't do anything liturgically incorrect. Which I appreciated, because I was hoping the same thing. When, at his insistence, we had collected more things than I really needed, he asked whether I also needed a pall. This left me a little confused, as what I know as a pall is what you put one somebody's coffin at a funeral. So, I asked politely, "what's that?" He was . . . do I have to say it? You can fill in the blank. The pall, it seems, is that square thing that is sometimes placed on top of the chalice. So, the cat's out of the bag: I haven't mastered all the lingo. I explained to him that I really wouldn't know what to do with it, as we weren't trained to use it. And, frankly, at least in the places I've been to mass most of my life, I haven't seen it used all that much. But nonetheless it will probably be fodder for the next discussion of how poorly Jesuit priests are trained.
Asi es la vida, as they say. That said, save for that gaff, my experience of saying mass in most places I've visited in the last two weeks has been basically positive. And all my masses have been received quite well, even lacking a pall. There are probably many more sacristans out there just waiting to stump me. And I'll be the first to admit that they might very well succeed. But I'll also be thankful for having learned something in the process. Like you may just have as well!
Link (here)

The "Gen X" Theologian Is Now At Fordham

Boston College, Santa Clara and now Fordham Bound

Author: Tom Beaudoin

This coming week, I make the transition to another Jesuit university. I taught at Boston College from 2001-2004, then moved to Santa Clara University where I have taught for the last four years. Now I am honored to be taking a position in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University in New York City.

When I consider that I also spent five years at Boston College on my Ph.D. (1996-2001), I realize that I have become a stakeholder in Jesuit higher education, having now spent a dozen consecutive years in these fields. I did not set out to become so immersed in Jesuit higher education, but am deeply grateful that it has happened this way: an "Ignatian" way of life, a rich constellation of friendships, a considerable network of resources, and a cross-culturally shared set of interests and questions have irremediably become part of my identity as a result.
With anticipation, the next stage of my theological life approaches, and I look forward to being a New Yorker, a Fordham faculty member, and to understanding more comprehensively what this multi-decade immersion in Jesuit higher education means for my life as a lay, married Catholic and theologian. When I decided to follow the strange "call" into a preoccupation/obsession with theology and practice, I never expected that I would owe so much to Boston College, Santa Clara, and now Fordham, and through these institutions, to the Society of Jesus. Now will be seen how these gladsome immersions let on to theological education in a new, East Coast, key.

Tom Beaudoin
San Jose, California

Link to more Tom Beaudoin

The Gen X theologian - Tom Beaudoin By Arthur Jones

Some of Tom's quotes from the article.

"It wasn't Jesus I had a problem with. I've simply never heard a description of the church I could trust....."

"The church misses out not only on Christ present in contemporary music, but Christ present in a young woman who feels called to ordination. For our generation there's a deeper issue. Not taking popular culture seriously means the church is not taking the experience of our interior lives seriously,"

Talk That Diminishes Faith By Tom Beaudoin

October 22, 2004

An excerpt from his editorial.

"Now, I'm no Scrooge or atheist. The reasons I want Bush and Kerry to keep quiet about their faith are religious in nature. Why? It comes down to this: Today a public confession of faith by a presidential candidate is so deeply enmeshed in the calculating politics of manipulation that it simply should not be believed. Anyone who thinks a modern major-party candidate can talk about faith in a way that is not seen as angling for some political advantage, some movement in the polls, is asking the impossible."

The anti-Christian 'Passion of the Christ' By Tom Beaudoin

March 19, 2004

An excerpt.

"Gibson’s Jesus sheds more light on us than on the Passion. His Christ could only ascend to this heroic action antihero status in a culture where we neither encounter nor take responsibility for our own violence. If we Americans regularly saw, for example, the bloodied corpses of Iraqi women and children, or American soldiers’ mangled bodies in the papers and on television, this film would not have the same shocking and exclusivizing hold on our imaginations that it does. Brutal physical violence would be more immediately connected to real pain, to authentic devastation, and to our own complicit tolerance for a faraway war on the condition that we are not drafted and are not told how much of our tax money pays for each Iraqi civilian death."

An interview with Tom Beaudoin by Josh Spencer.

A small portion of the interview.


You say that the sensual sexuality of Gen X pop culture is a search for God -- how is it different from the sensuality the Scriptures speak of as drawing us away from God? Where is the line?


Well, one would have to consider particular scriptural verses, first of all. I understand the desire for "a line," but there are very few such lines that hold up, I'm afraid, in Scripture or in life. That is not to say that there are none. But the basic question is what sorts of sexual experiences are more or less self-gift and self-transcending, and which are more or less self-absorbing or other-controlling? You'll get no simple "line" with those criteria, but you will get invited into what I think is a genuine adult

Dear Readers
I guess this is what passes for Ignatian these days.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The New Superiors Meet At Santa Clara

"This week I made such a trip to Santa Clara to attend a Colloquium for New Jesuit Superiors."
Link to Fr. Wayne Negrete, S.J. post and blog
This original artwork is courtesy
of John Brown, S.J..
Visit the website of John Brown, S.J. called,
Companion of Jesus it is a treasure trove of
Ignatian spiritual treasure's.

Jesuit Heading Back Home To Columbia

Father Zea's going home
And that will leave a huge void at St. Joseph Church, where the Colombian native is beloved

by Joseph Trevino
June 28, 2008
For years, The Rev. Virgilio Zea has been an outspoken defender of immigrant rights. The Colombian native has been a fixture for Latinos since he was assigned to Yakima's St. Joseph's Catholic Church in the winter of 2003. But now, his visa is about to expire and the well-liked priest is scheduled to board a Delta Airlines plane that will take him to Mexico City, then Bogota. It will be a trip filled with mixed feelings for the 75-year-old Jesuit. He wants to see relatives and friends in Colombia, but after ministering to St. Joseph's churchgoers for the last five years, he will miss them. "The people's kindness here is so much that one feels at home here," the priest said Tuesday in a broken voice in his rectory office. Emma Magaña, who with her husband headed a Charismatic Renewal prayer group that last April attracted about 6,000 carismaticos to a religious event at the SunDome, said Zea has been instrumental in helping local Latinos with their spiritual needs. Whether as a counselor, hearing confessions or supporting them in putting it all together for the biggest Catholic Hispanic event in the Pacific Northwest, she said the priest's dedication is unquestionable. "Ever since he came to Yakima, he has always been there for us," said Magaña on Tuesday. "He is always visiting the sick at the hospital or at their homes or counseling people. He never says that he is too busy for no one." Zea came to St. Joseph's as part of a program that supplies Colombian priests to the Pacific Northwest and the Yakima Valley. A theology and anthropology professor who has taught in universities in Colombia and Ohio, Zea was recruited by his Jesuit superiors to work with Yakima's working class and poorest Spanish-speakers.
A slim, easygoing man with aristocratic manners who frequently wears a sweater over Roman-collared shirts, Zea's favorite pastime is reading. He celebrates Mass decked out in elaborately engraved old-school priestly robes, regularly reminding his flock of Jesus' love, extolling them to forgive those who have offended them and to help the downtrodden, even those in faraway lands.
But when it comes to defending immigrants, including undocumented workers, Zea's kind voice becomes firm and his gentleman's gait, resolute. The Jesuit has led many pro-immigrant marches since he has been in Yakima, including the downtown rally May 1. But Zea, who many consider, in addition to a priest, a champion of immigrant rights, will have his religious visa expired. He said he can reapply for another one in a year. Still, he will have to return to Colombia, where a consular officer in Bogota will decide if he can come back with a tourist card, he said. He added that his superiors want him back in Colombia, where there is a lot of work for him, but parishioners in Yakima have grown fond of him, too. One of those is Magaña, who says she will be among the many who will sorely miss Zea. She said Yakima needs him and he must return. "We are praying that he can come back," Magaña said. "We will be waiting for him with open arms."
Link to original story (here)
Read more about the history of the Jesuits in Yakima at St. Joseph's (here)
Picture is of St. Josephs in Yakima

Fordham Educated Catholic Now Is A Priestess

Pursuing priesthood
Catholic girl grows up, fulfills dream
some excerpts.
She grew up wanting to be a priest - maybe from the time she was just 5 years old, she said.She served as an altar girl in her home parish, loving to be close to the sacramental action and mystery of the Mass.......... So, Mary Elizabeth Conroy, growing up in western Massachusetts in a strong, devoted and somewhat traditional family, more or less learned to bury her ambition. She attended Marymount College, a Catholic college in Tarrytown, N.Y., where she earned a master's degree in business. She earned another master's degree in religious education from Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York City. She went to work for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and served the needy and poor in Phoenix."At some point, people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. And I told them, just like I did when I was a little girl, that I wanted to be a priest."........."
The Episcopal Church once passed a resolution stating that gays and lesbians have full rights to pastoral care. Bishop Robinson was totally above board in this matter, never hiding or denying his sexual orientation, and he was chosen by his (New Hampshire) diocese and confirmed by the nationwide convention. So, there's this huge split in the church now."
Conroy turned very serious as she pronounced, "I'm not sure than the unity of churches is the goal of Christianity. In fact, we're all covered by the love of God, and forcing people to be united - to accept this position or its opposite- is not a good idea."
Link to the full story (here)

Jesuit Tackles Future American Cardinal

First American named to head Vatican high court
some excerpts.

Archbishop Raymond Burke's new appointment shows that Pope Benedict XVI has a great amount of respect for U.S. bishops, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. "This is more power than Americans have ever had in Rome," Reese said. Burke said he would move to Rome in late August to head the supreme court, which resolves jurisdictional disputes among various Vatican tribunals and hears procedural appeals on marriage annulments. Benedict and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, have complained for years that local tribunals grant an excessive number of annulments. Reese said the court has a very narrow focus on procedural issues and rarely tackles substantive issues.
"Every pro-choice Catholic Democrat politician should be very nervous,"
Reese said. "He made his name in the U.S. by denying Communion to pro-choice politicians. "If he gets that view articulated strongly in Rome, he could become the voice for having that position for the universal church."

Link (here)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Arch-Bishop Toppo Lauds One Flemish Jesuit Who Completely Changed The Face Of India In Chotanagpur

Notice, zero of mention of Liberation Theology or Hindu syncretization of the Spiritual Exercises. Just one Jesuit in seven years was responsible for the complete Christianization of a peoples.
Eucharist crucial to 'miracle of Chotanagpur,' says cardinal
Cardinal Toppo meets with some of his people in India earlier this year.
Canadian Catholic News
Quebec City
Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India, urged the Church to return to the radical sharing exemplified by the early Christians. Toppo said that for St. Paul the life of love sharing was absolutely essential to the Eucharistic community. When that sharing was absent, the Lord's supper was not truly celebrated. "For the early Christians, the Eucharist lost much of its meaning if it did not inspire compassion, mercy and love," he said. Toppo spoke to about 15,000 pilgrims at the June 20 plenary catechesis at the Eucharistic Congress. He pointed out the Acts of the Apostles recorded: "There was not a single needy person among them." The early Christians accomplished this in spite of the struggles of daily life, compounded by persecution and conflict. "This is why the early Christians were so acceptable to many people, especially the poor and the marginalized," he said. The cardinal shared the miraculous story of his own people, the tribal people of central and northeast India. Poor, illiterate, exploited and oppressed by powerful landlords before they first heard of Jesus Christ 163 years ago, Toppo said those remaining in the ancestral lands "were on the verge of extinction and had lost their will to live." "For the early Christians, the Eucharist lost much of its meaning if it did not inspire compassion, mercy and love,"

In 1845, the first Christian missionaries arrived, but Toppo said they had little success. Though some Tribals eventually became baptized, it was only after the arrival of Jesuit missionaries 30 years later that the Christian faith grew. He singled out Jesuit Father Constant Lievens, who is now known as the apostle of Chotanagpur. When Lievens arrived, there were 56 Christians in the area. When he died seven years later of exhaustion and tuberculosis, the region counted 80,000 baptized Catholics and more than 20,000 catechumens, the cardinal said.

He credited their success to the way the Catholic missionaries "understood, celebrated and lived the Eucharist." The Loreto Nuns followed the Jesuits to the Tribal region and soon attracted indigenous women, he said. They formed their own order in Ranchi called The Daughters of St. Anne. This indigenous religious order has grown to 1,000 sisters present in 23 dioceses. The extraordinary growth of Christianity in the tribal region is known as "the miracle of Chotanagpur." Christians in the Tribal area comprise 10 per cent of the 18 million Catholics in India. Mother Teresa of Kolkata "is part of this miracle, too," he said.

When two Albanian Jesuits returned home to give a talk at a school, the future Mother Teresa, then teenaged schoolgirl named Agnes, heard their stories of the Kolkata mission that included the Ranchi area.

She later joined the Loreto Nuns in order to come to India, he said. Toppo said he later got to meet Mother Teresa and have her accompany him in his car. He knew she had been working late the previous night. He asked her where she got her strength. "Her reply came with a bullet-like speed: Jesus in the Eucharist," he said. The cardinal is known in India for helping the poor through detox programs, education, and assistance for lepers. He has also fought against the illegal caste system that still plays a role in Indian life. He also supports a network to support needy children.
Link (here)

Jesuit Advocates "Law And Order" In The Dominican Republic

Jesuit priest slams the Dominican Government’s policy on Haitian
Jun 26, 2008
SANTO DOMINGO. - “Until there is a Migration Law or regulation by consensus, adapted to our Constitution, while there isn’t institutionality the problem of the immigrants is never going to be solved,” said the priest Regino Martinez, director of the Jesuit Refugee and Immigrants Service. The prelate, in reference to the current increase in undocumented Haitians who beg in the country’s streets, said “what anarchy and the lack of laws generate is disorder, violence and repression.” He said it’s a national problem which must be faced by the State. “It’s not a question of whether Immigration director Carlos Amarante has the sufficient human, economic or technical resources to control the situation; the issue of the children begging can’t be individualized.” Martinez said the traffic of illegals shouldn’t be treated “in a gross, violent manner, nor with corrupt or repressive controls,” and denounced that in Palo Verde, Hatillo Palma and Villa Vásquez the immigrants are taken with or without ID cards and their rights are violated. Amarante said that the routine sweeps of Haitian immigrants will continue, within his entity’s possibilities.

Link (here)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Adolfo Nicolás SJ In His Own Words

A Two Part Interview with Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolás in the Jesuit journal, Thinking Faith.
part 1
an excerpt.
........I have to confess that these past two months have produced a change within me. I think I have come to a much more vibrant and personal relationship with the Holy Father and all he represents.
part 2
an excerpt.
.........we put aside whole sets of practices, and we didn’t provide an alternative. For a while we moved in a vacuum. It was the time when people were shaken, and then some people who got scared wanted us to go back to the old set.

Jesuit University Taking Steps Against Licentousness

In Town-Gown Dispute, U. of Scranton Tries to Block Sports Bar's Expansion
June 25, 2008
The University of Scranton wants to bar an off-campus watering hole from expanding, on the grounds that such growth could encourage underage and binge drinking. The Jesuit university filed court papers this month to block the expansion of Goodfellas, a sports bar across the street from its campus, the Associated Press reports.

The university said a basement bar, which would house pool tables, a live-music venue, and additional beer taps, would “promote underage drinking among [the] student population and lead to increased criminal activity in the neighborhood.”

The university also raised concerns about the safety of the space. The university had earlier tried to block Goodfellas from getting a liquor license, but had backed off after the bar’s owner agreed to limit carry-out sales and to close earlier on weekday nights. The bar owner accused the university of “bullying” local residents and business owners. But the AP notes that other college towns have tried to limit the availability of alcohol at off-campus venues, mainly through restrictive zoning and bans on drink specials and advertising to students. —Karin Fischer

Jesuits Not Wanted

Georgetown University center proposal uncertain
By Ruth Marlow
Source: Clarke Times-Courier
THURSDAY, JUNE 26 2008 County officials say they are not sure when Georgetown University plans to move forward with a proposal to build a retreat center on the county’ s eastern mountainous ridge line. As of Monday, no formal application or site plan for the project, estimated at $7 million, had been submitted, Zoning Administrator Jesse Russell said.

University officials have been talking with county planning and zoning officials about constructing what they described as a “contemplative center” on a 56-acre property on Blue Ridge Mountain Road. The aim is to provide a place where students, staff, and faculty can come to gain spiritual renewal. In addition to the approximately 200,000-square-foot retreat center with a dining hall, chapel, and community rooms, the complex would include cabin residences, according to initial information submitted by the university.

Last week, officials of the Jesuit university, which is located near Washington, D.C., withdrew their application for a conservation easement for the property, which contains a 19th century historic home, known as Hohenheim. A concern is that the home will be torn down, county natural resources planner Allison Teetor said. The frame home is well-preserved and is one of the most intact examples of Gothic Revival style architecture in the Bear’s Den Rural Historic District, according to information supplied by architectural historian Maral Kalbian of Berryville. The county’s Conservation Easement Authority had voiced some concern about the project’s size and whether six dwelling unit rights attached to the land would be given up. The county’s preference would be that the dwelling unit rights be given up, Russell said. “They (Georgetown University officials) understand the county’s desire to protect the land, to conserve the land, (to) reduce the residential development on a parcel,” Russell said. To build the center, the university must obtain a special use permit from the county, Russell said.
Picture is the chapel at Georgetown's main campus

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chinese Communists Have Been "No Friend" Of The Jesuits

Christian History, Spring 2008
Caught Between Rome and Beijing, Chinese Catholics have endured devastating division in the past century.
By Kim-Kwong Chan, from issue 98:

Christianity in China
In the early 1950s, the Chinese Catholic Church and the new Chinese government were on a collision course.

The government regarded the Catholic Church as a form of Western interference in China. Catholics regarded the Communists as ideological archenemies out to destroy the church. This tension was tragically apparent in the fate of the Chinese Jesuit priest Bede Cheung (also spelled Zhang). Fr. Cheung organized the Catholic Youth Movement and became the leading Catholic figure to resist the government's attempt to create a "patriotic" (pro-Communist) Catholic organization. He was arrested in 1951 and died in jail three months later. When his family came to retrieve his body for burial, eyewitnesses reported that his body was broken almost beyond recognition and showed signs of torture. His death became an icon of loyalty to the Catholic faith and gave many others the courage to confront the government—courage that was much needed in the violent decades that followed.

The government's suspicion of the Chinese Catholic Church as serving "Western" interests was not ungrounded. Catholicism had come to China in the 1300s and been revived by missionaries like Matteo Ricci in the late 1500s. In the early 1920s, the Chinese Catholic Church had more than a million believers and thousands of clergy. But in 1922, even though 40% of clergy were Chinese, all 41 bishops in China were foreigners. Pope Pius XI finally appointed two Chinese bishops and issued an encyclical affirming that church leadership should be transferred from missionaries to local leaders as soon as possible. In 1949, however, Chinese bishops were still in the minority. The tension between the new Communist regime and the Chinese Catholic Church was heightened by Pope Pius XII, who ordered Catholics all over the world to resist Communism even to the point of death.
Read the full and compelling article in Christianity Today (here)

Just a short note their is very little on Fr. Bede if any has further links detailing his life please leave them in the combox. Thanks JF

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Worst Written Article Of The Year

Mugabe and the Irish priest
By Heidi Holland Tuesday June 24 2008
In exclusive interviews with brutal dictator, Heidi Holland gets inside the head of a lonely and bitter man abandoned by his father. Robert Mugabe has been cut off from his feelings ever since his carpenter father abandoned the family when Robert was a shy 10-year-old. Had his mother, Bona, been emotionally robust, he might have weathered the crushing abandonment. But she was (can you tell the writer is biased?) fanatically religious, having arrived at the Catholic mission station near Harare, where Mugabe and his siblings grew up, with hopes of becoming a nun. Although she had struggled with faith-based issues throughout her married life, Bona fell apart after the death of Robert's much-loved older brother, Michael, in 1934. "That was a terrible blow," Zimbabwe's octogenarian president told me, in a rare interview at State House, Harare, last December.

"It was poisoning, and Father Jerome O'Hea (the village's Irish headmaster, who became Mugabe's surrogate father) was very sad. He thought this boy was a genius. He was very bright, very bright intellectually. And also very athletic, which I wasn't. It was a sad loss."

Revealingly, 84-year-old Mugabe -- the despot whose uncontrolled rage has steadily destroyed Zimbabwe -- describes Michael's death as if he were his 10-year-old self, watching a trauma so disturbing that he still recalled it as if it had happened yesterday. "In those days, we used to be given some poisonous stuff to spray on grass to kill locusts," he told me. "Michael possibly went into an auntie's room and fetched a gourd that had held poison and used it to drink water. That's what the person who was with him said he did. "When he came home, having run there from seven miles away because the poison was working and he was very athletic, he was flat [on the floor] and my grandfather said, 'What's wrong with you?' And Michael said, 'My tummy, my tummy, my tummy.'" Sitting in his sparsely furnished office, immaculately groomed in a dark suit and red silk tie, his soft voice barely audible at times, Mugabe goes into detail about his brother's death over seven decades ago: "Ah, why not take him to hospital? 'No, we cannot take him to hospital. His father is not here, his mother is not here. If we take him to hospital, they'll take him to Salisbury and there, we understand, they cut people open. We will be blamed by the father. I am the grandfather, not the custodian, and I haven't got the permission to do it." It was Michael's death at 15 that precipitated the departure of Mugabe's father, Gabriel, from Kutama, about 100km from Harare, for fresh pastures in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, where he remarried and, much to young Robert's fury, failed thereafter to support his first family. With the death in unexplained circumstances of Bona's second son, Robert became the oldest of his deeply depressed mother's three remaining children. Although the family was desperately poor, it was the emotional deprivation of his childhood that scarred Robert for life. While his grandfather did his best to compensate for the absent father, teaching Robert how to catch birds for the family pot, it was to austere Bona that Robert looked forlornly for affection. Robert adored his mother. He attended Mass with her every day and twice on Sundays in the years following the deaths of his older siblings. After her husband left, Robert's mother became depressed. She could not cope alone. Robert, although only 10 at the time, stepped into the breach. Suddenly the oldest child, he became his mother's favourite. Gradually, he became isolated and prone to fantasy, as deprived children tend to do. His adored mother found it impossible to cope with her grief and became dependent on sensitive, caring Robert, who buried himself in his books while his siblings and classmates teased him as a mummy's boy and a coward who would not play and fight. Largely friendless throughout his life (except during his marriage to his first wife, Sally Hayfron, who was not only his ardent supporter but an intellectual equal), the young Mugabe enjoyed playing tennis at Kutama's elite St Francis Xavier College -- as long as he was winning. Brother Kazito Bute, a mathematics teacher now in his late 90s, who knew Mugabe over many years, lived close to the courts and used to watch the students. "Robert would hit that ball and hit it hard. He was keen and good. He often won and then he was happy. But when he was losing, you would hear 'love this', 'advantage that', and then 'game, bang' and his racquet went on the ground. He did not like to lose."

Kutama was a centre of worship and opportunity but a demanding challenge for those children fortunate enough to win a place at St Francis Xavier, the top boys' school in the country.

Robert took his schoolwork very seriously indeed. He also became an exemplary Catholic: once Bona started taking him with her to Mass in Michael's place, he became almost as pious as his mother. The founder of the mission station at Kutama was a French priest called Jean-Baptiste Loubière, who had arrived in Rhodesia soon after the turn of the century.

He taught Kutama's illiterate tribespeople to regard the entire outside world (Highly doubtful) as an evil place that would engulf them unless they sought guidance through constant prayer. Mugabe told me: "In those days, the Catholics were living saints, or at least the church thought it could make them living saints. We lived in Christian villages. We were not allowed to go out... You could go out on a mission to see your granny, but you had to be back by 5pm." His mother, who was made to wear high-necked, ankle-length dresses under Father Loubière's regime, took all the church's teachings to heart.

"If his mother smacked him, Robert must thank her for correcting him; that's what she believed." mused Donato, Mugabe's younger brother (who died last year). Loubière's successor at Kutama was an Irish priest, Father Jerome O'Hea, a gifted teacher and an exceptional man. He broke down the rigid taboos introduced by his predecessor, encouraging a modern, realistic view of the world. He soon noticed the solemn, talented Robert Mugabe and began to nurture him. Donato remembered Robert "hanging around" outside the priest's classroom, eager to help the man by carrying his books or cleaning the blackboard. An introspective child who failed to develop confidence in himself, Robert began to adopt a lofty attitude towards his siblings and fellow students. As Bona's special one in the family and an increasing favourite among teachers in the classroom, he focused all his energy on being "a good boy". Robert was always a loner, recalled Donato. Robert found solace from the pressures of Bona's disappointment and expectations in books, not in other children. During my interview with Mugabe, I quoted to him Donato's recollection that books had been his only friends. Mugabe nodded enthusiastically, recalling his antisocial behaviour as a child. "I always had a book tucked here (gesturing under his arm) when I was a young boy. Yes, I liked reading, reading every little book I found. Yes, I preferred to keep to myself than playing with others. I didn't want too many friends, one or two only -- the chosen ones. I lived in my mind a lot. I liked talking to myself, reciting little poems and so on; reading things aloud to myself." Then came the prestigious endorsement of Robert's scholarly efforts that was to have profound implications not only for his life, but for the future of the country he would lead to disaster six decades later.

"Our mother explained that Father O'Hea had told her that Robert was going to be an important somebody, a leader," said Donato. "Our mother believed Father O'Hea had brought this message from God; she took it very seriously. When the food was short she would say: 'Give it to Robert.' We laughed at him because he was so serious, until he became cross. Then our mother told us to leave him alone." Father O'Hea went out of his way to help the shy Mugabe child he described as having "unusual gravitas".

With "an exceptional mind and an exceptional heart", he believed the boy merited extraordinary attention. In return, Robert Mugabe agrees that O'Hea was a father figure to him: "Yes, yes. And every Thursday he used to carry us on the lorry; drive to the river, to a pool, where he taught us how to swim. Some youngsters used to sit on him [gestures to his chest] as he did backstroke. He was a nice Irishman, yes. Only an Irishman could do that; an Englishman couldn't." It was partly from his mother that Mugabe (Blame it on Catholic morality) learnt the rigidity that characterised his leadership style in later years, believes George Kahari, another Kutama schoolboy and a relative of Mugabe. "Once he's taken a position, that's it -- you can't influence him. Robert developed a pathological hatred of his father, for example, and never revised it." As he grew up, Robert got his sense of who he was from Bona.

She left him in no doubt that he was to be the achiever who rose above everyone else; the (Divine Right of Kings?) leader chosen by God Himself. To become one of the most educated Africans in the country from the humblest of beginnings -- with no electric light to switch on at home and read by, seldom enough food to eat, and little support except from those whose ambitions robbed him of childish things -- was a triumph of discipline over adversity in the classic Jesuit style.

Against the odds, the angry little boy with no friends did become the king of the castle.
Link (here)
This article is one of the most reprehensible I have ever read. Anti-Catholic and propaganda of the worst kind, for a cold blooded killer.
Read the real story (here)

Saint Paul The Tent-Maker, Courtesy Of Fr. Mark Link, S.J.

Paul says "I am a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia." Where was Tarsus and what kind of a place was it? Cilicia was located in what is Turkey at the northeastern tip of the Mediterranean Sea. Tarsus was a remarkable city.
The famous ancient, Greek geographer, Strabo, said it was a center of culture and learning that, in Paul's time, surpassed even legenday, ancient Athens. Small wonder that Paul was proud of his birthplace.
(Acts 21:39) Celebrities who made it a point to visit Tarsus were Cleopatra, the famous Egytpian queen, Julius Caesar, and Augustus Caesar. Because of the importance of Tarsus, its people were granted Roman citizenship. This citizenship save Paul's life more thanonce (Act 22:25-29) Like all Jewish boys, Paul was taught a trade to earn a living He learned the art of "tent-making," althought the Greek original Greek word could be translated as "leatherworking." Paul worked at this trade even during his missionary days. (Acts 18:3) Paul left to study under the great Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, 22:3). He returned to Tarsus for a period after his conversion to Christianity.
Link to Fr. Mark Link, S.J. website entitled Stay Great and his article called "Make Them Laugh" (here)

Jesuits Missionaries Murdered In Rhodesia By Mugabe

The male Missionaries killed were Jesuits - Father Christoher Sheperd-Smith (33), a Briton born in East Africa, Father Martin Thomas (45), from London, and lay Brother John Conway (57), from Tralee, Ireland. A Jesuit spokesman said that Brother John, who had worked for the Church in Rhodesia for 23 years, had virtually built the mission "with his bare hands".
From an article entitled, The Murder of Missionaries in Rhodesia (here)
Read more about the devil's henchman in a related piece entitled, The Massacre of the Innocents (here) (warning! gruesome and horrific pictures)
I can not find any articles of any depth about these Jesuits martyrs, Company Magazine has a broader article that incorporates them into a larger piece called 20th Century Martyrs (here)

Before Caddyshack, Comedian Bill Murray Was Jesuit Educated

Classic Stories from the OLD LOYOLA ACADEMY
These two stories concern one of Loyola Academy's favorite sons, Bill Murray.
"One afternoon after school, several priests and teachers noticed that there was a gigantic line behind Bill Murray's car, parked in front over by the football field. The trunk was up and something was amiss. After further investigation, it was discovered that Bill Murray was selling beer to thirsty Ramblers from two kegs inside his trunk. The "Tailgate Party" was quickly broken-up and Murray was given a severe JUG sentence."
"Bill Murray struck again during the opening proceedings of his graduation. He appeared in the standard white tuxedo jacket minus a white shirt and bowtie. Instead, Bill was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and gold chain. The ceremony was held up thirty minutes until he went home and changed into the required outfit to graduate."

Link (here)
Definition of JUG is truly "Justice Under God".

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Blogs By A Detroit Province Jesuit

Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J. is a priest of the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus and associate Pastor of Church of the Gesu Parish in University Heights, Ohio.

blog #1
spiritual dimension (e.g.: the sign of the cross & other gestures; fasting; reading the scriptures to prepare for mass; the rosary and other litanies; reflecting on the day). These exercises jump-start anyone's praying.

blog #2
St. Ignatius of Loyola learned to find fruit, that is, the effect or consequence of action. More important than our actions is the action of God in, with and for humans. One grows to find fruit and to offer it the more one savors one's own life and all creation. I hope my posts help you feel that finding fruit is a profitable way of living.
A quick bio
Fr. Paul D. Panaretos, S.J. came to Gesu via Sri Lanka, where he completed his Tertianship in 2006. Tertianship is the third phase of formation before the Society of Jesus invites a Jesuit to profess final vows. From 2000-2005 Father served as Retreat Director at Loyola of the Lakes Jesuit Retreat House in Green, Ohio, just south of Akron.

I Was A Student Of Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

From Tony Rossi's blog entitled The Intersection.

As a member of the Vatican press corps, Delia Gallagher has traveled extensively with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. After a two year stint in New York as CNN's Faith and Values Correspondent, Delia recently returned to Rome to serve as Senior Editor of 'Inside the Vatican' magazine. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Delia on 'Christopher Closeup' about her work, her journalism career, and her insights on Pope Benedict's vision for the future of the Catholic Church.
Here are some excerpts:

Tony Rossi:
Even though you’ve worked for the secular press like CNN, you seem to be most at home working in the Catholic arena. What’s the appeal of covering Catholicism in general and the Vatican in particular?

Delia Gallagher:

The difficulty of working in the secular press for religion is the medium itself. Television doesn’t lend itself to any kind of in-depth discussion of (religion) so there is a frustration for somebody like me who knows a lot about it and who would like to get into some of the more interesting aspects or the deeper issues behind it or the history. But you just can’t do that on television...I’m happy to do television when there are big stories but it’s always at a very superficial level. To get any satisfaction out of the work, you have to work for readers and listeners who are interested in some of the bigger-picture things.


How did your Mom and Dad pass on the faith to you in such a way that it’s not only an important part of your life but that you’re also devoting a lot of your career to it?

Delia Gallagher:

My parents are from Ireland. I have 4 brothers...We grew up in an Irish-Catholic household...Every night at the dinner table, it was religion and politics. That was the basic theme in our family. Faith was very important, going to church...There was never any real intention on my part to go into reporting on religion...I didn’t even know that kind of job existed. But I was interested in it and I did study it.
I studied philosophy and theology…at the University of San Francisco which is a Jesuit university. At that university, there was a program called St. Ignatius Institute which was founded by a Jesuit named Father Joseph Fessio who was a student of Cardinal Ratzinger. So frankly I’ve been studying the Pope for about 20 years now.
But it was just an interest. And if there’s one thing I can say to young kids today, it's ‘when you go to university, study what you’re interested in.’ Unfortunately people say when you study philosophy and theology ‘what are you going to do with that?’ We’re so geared toward the career. But at the university level, you should be thinking about what’s going to enrich you, not what’s going to make you money. So that’s what I did and, of course, the money follows afterward. And I think a lot of it’s providential frankly. You just go along a little bit blind most of the time but things tend to come full circle as you follow what you feel like doing.
Read the full post (here)
The Delia Gallagher Observatory (here) a fan site.

Jesuit And The Tin Can

Tin-opener theology from Turkey
By Spengler

Some excerpts.
For months we have read news reports of an Islamic reform stemming from the University of Ankara's theology department. A widely-cited February 28 report by Robert Pigott, the BBC's religion correspondent, claimed that Ankara would "fashion a new Islam" along "revolutionary" lines. In less flamboyant tone, the story resurfaced in the June 8 issue of Newsweek under the headline, "The New Face of Islam". This is the triumph of hope over fact-checking. "Tin-opener theology" is how the leading Western expert on the subject dismisses the efforts at Ankara University to date. Father Felix Koerner, a German Jesuit, has taught at the university and published the definitive source-book on the supposed reform. He explains that the Ankara theologians want to open up the Koran .............The notion of a "Jesuit plot" against Islam is a paranoid hallucination, for there is no consensus among the Jesuits regarding Islam, much less a plot. A handful of patient Jesuit scholars are immersed in Muslim theology, seeking a dialogue with prospective Islamic reformers..................Father Koerner shows that what the Ankara theology department has in mind is not a reformation in any sense of the word. It is not even theology in the sense most people understand the word. Following the late Pakistani theologian (interesting website) Fazlur Rahman (1919-1988), the Ankara group argues that some of the revelation in the Koran was directed to specific people at a specific point in time, and is subject to revision. This includes such matters as polygamy, the wearing of veils, and other matters in which the Koran appears egregiously out of touch with the times.

Link to Spenglers full article at Asia Times (here)
Photo credit: Picture of protestors during Pope Benedict's visit to Turkey in 2006. Visit the blog post (here)

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Old Lab At Jesuit

Harry Connick, Jr reflecting upon his new movie about pharmacutical cancer research, entitled, "Living Proof". Connick plays the lead character Dr. Denny Slamon, a real-life UCLA cancer researcher.

"When I saw Slamon's lab, I thought I was going into something that would look like a set of 'Star Trek,' " he said. "It looked like my lab at Jesuit (Jesuit High School in New Orleans). It was old and dusty. I said, 'Man, this is after all the money's been spent?' You can imagine there's almost a bottomless pit for any kind of money they raise, and it's going to the right place."

Link to the full article entitled, Harry Connick Jr.'s new Lifetime movie raises money for breast cancer research in the Times Picayune (here)
More on Harry at

Liberation Theology Topic Of Discussion In Scotland By Censured Jesuit

Jon Sobrino in Edinburgh
21 June 2008
Around 250 people attended the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh on Wednesday, to hear the eminent Jesuit theologian, Fr Jon Sobrino SJ speak on his theme of 'Signs of Hope For the 21st Century - Living Simply, the Poor, and Archbishop Romero'. Fr Sobrino spoke in particular about the understanding of the poor themselves as a sign of hope, particularly in the work and writing of Fr Ignacio Ellacuria, his great friend and one of the Jesuit martyrs of San Salvador, killed in November 1989. His friendship with Romero was also a great feature of his talk and he portrayed him as a man of deep faith and deep respect for the people he served.
He described how, during his homilies, Romero used to name all those who had been killed or had disappeared, saying something of their lives and something of their story. In this way he humanised and personalised the poor. He also named, when he knew, those who were the killers, not in the name of vengeance or revenge but in the name of the truth, which, as Jesus said in the Gospel of John, sets us free, and which honoured and made real, made human, those named whose lives had been taken.
He drew on his latest book, 'The Eye of the Needle' - No Salvation Outside the Poor' to contrast what humanises and gives life with what dehumanises and destroys life. Globalisation, in particular, is terribly dehumanising because though it implies a good, it is in fact destructive and divisive. The poverty gap - or wealth gap - dehumanises even before we make an enquiry about any causal relationship between the rich and the poor. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus sums up the global reality very well, says Sobrino. In contrast, the poor themselves humanise us, and the Latin American bishops of the Medellin conference famously urged us to make an 'option for the poor'. For Jon Sobrino the poor, in fact, lead us to the divine, and he proposes an 'option to let salvation come from the poor'. Those who come from an experience of wealth to an experience of the lives of the poor in the developing world in particular, but elsewhere too, often tell of their conversion, how they experience something new and positive and life giving. They experience salvation, in other words. Hence the subtitle of Fr Sobrino's book. Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of Edinburgh, gave the vote of thanks commenting on his own visits to El Salvador over his many years as archbishop. The Archdiocese has constantly had priests assigned in El Salvador and it has been a two way enrichment for so many, he said.
He thanked Jon Sobrino for his reminder that we live in a world that is sick, and that it requires healing and transforming, and expressed his hope to join the Jesuits in El Salvador to mark the 20th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Ellacuria and the others killed, in November 2009. Fr Sobrino was accompanied by Julian Filochowski of the Archbishop Romero Trust, and Brendan Walsh of Darton Longman and Todd, publisher of his book.
The audience present at the talk was widely ecumenical and represented many areas and experiences; some knew Fr Sobrino from El Salvador, some were from SCIAF, including the Director Paul Chitnis and Head of Communication and Education Mary Cullen; others were from the justice and peace networks around Scotland. All were challenged yet encouraged by his vision of hope, his commitment to the poor, and his keeping alive the memory of Romero.

Who is Fr. John Sobrino (here) and (here)
Why was Fr. John Sobrino, S.J. censured (here) and (here)
The Vatican's CDF official statement on Fr. John Sabrino's work (here)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This Duty Of Charity

A letter from: St. Ignatius to the whole Society
Subject: Prayers for Germany and England
Date: June 25, 1553

Ignatius of Loyola, General of the Society of Jesus, to my beloved brothers in Christ, superiors and subjects of the Society of Jesus, everlasting health in our Lord.
The order of charity by which we should love the whole body of the Church in her head, Jesus Christ, requires a remedy to be applied, especially to that part which is more seriously and dangerously affected. Therefore, it seems to us that we should, as far as our slender resources allow, to bestow with special attention the help the Society is able to give to Germany and England and the northern nations which are so grievously afflicted with the disease of heresy.
Though many of us have already carefully attended to this by other means,1 applying Masses and prayers for many years now, still, in order to give this duty of charity a wider field and a longer life, we enjoin on all rectors and superiors, who are placed over others, to celebrate, if they are priests, and to have those under their authority celebrate one Mass each month to God; and those who are not priests, their prayers for the spiritual needs of Germany and England, so that at length the God of these nations and of all others that are infected with heresy may have pity on them and deign to lead them back to the purity of the Christian faith and religion.
It is our desire that these prayers continue as long as these nations need our help, and that no province, even those in farthest India, be exempt from this duty of charity.
From Rome, July 25, 1663.
Link (here)

The Two Standards And Other Profound Ideas

The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord;
the other of Lucifer,
mortal enemy of our human nature.---
S.E., 2nd Week,
The Two Standards
The picture is from the late Father Joseph MacDonnell, S.J.
who acquired them from the John J. Burns Library of Boston College
through the Burns Library director, Robert O'Neil.
They were originally produced in 1673 by early fathers of the Society of Jesus
and printed "chez Michel Cnobbaert, a L'enseigne de S.Pierre."
Find this picture and the rest of the collection at
John Brown, S.J.'s, Companion of Jesus
website (here)

Lost In Translation

This is from a young blogger in the Phillipines, named Victor, he is discussing his interactions with Jesuits.
"Where in the Bible does it say Homosexuality is sin?"
So let's make this short because I'm tired. The whole pot luck thing was this "Stump the Priests" thing where we had to ask the priests questions and try to stump them. I was hoping I could just throw out a whole bunch of Biology concepts (like Squid reproduction) but it only had to be religious. grrr. So one of the questions was about homosexuality. I was preparing myself from some harsh words/cries from the whole parish but the priests were actually really progressive about it. I'm not sure if they themselves are tolerant (I hate "toleration" but it's close enough) but they quickly said that homosexuality no where in the Bible is said to be sinful and that most of the passages used to say so are taken out of context. SCORE ONE FOR THE HOMOS! whoo. haha. This one kid from Jesuit High School started answering a whole bunch of random questions that stumped the priests. It was weird and awkward but apparently they teach theology at Jesuit. didn't know that but it makes sense. so yeah. fairly good day. I get really nervous around the churchly types though.
Link to Victors full post (here)

Mercy, The Sacred Heart and The Jesuits In the Philippines

Minutes before Jose Rizal's execution, Fr. de Pedro writes, Rizal asked Fr. Balaguer, “Would God have forgiven me completely now?” “Yes, my son,” Balaguer answered him. “Then, if I gain plenary indulgence, I could still go to Heaven this same night?” “Yes, my son; prepare yourself well and repeat: Iesu fili David miserere mei; Miserere mei Deus, secundum misericordiam tuam.” Before the firing squad killed him, “Rizal kissed the Sacred Heart image he had carved twenty years before.”
Link to the rest of the story (here)

Jesuit Eagle Scout Presides Over Boy Scout Vigil Service In Iowa

Boy Scouts remembered for helping others, loving life
By Lisa Maxson
OMAHA, Neb. (CNS) -- Amid a crowd of friends, family, Boy Scouts and Boy Scout leaders, Bryan and Arnell Petrzilka leaned over and kissed their 13-year-old son, Ben, whose body lay in a casket at Mary Our Queen Church in Omaha.An overflow crowd filled the church for the June 17 funeral of the teen, who attended Mary Our Queen School and who loved outdoor sports, Scouting and his Catholic faith. Ben Petrzilka and three other Boy Scouts lost their lives when a major tornado ripped through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch near Onawa, Iowa, June 11. The storm also injured 42 people who were huddled inside a cabin on the north side of the camp's 1,800 acres. One day after the tragedy, a candlelight vigil service for the survivors and victims took place at the Boy Scouts' Mid-America Council offices in Omaha.
At least 200 people attended the event, including Jesuit Father John Schlegel, an Eagle Scout and president of Creighton University in Omaha, who led the prayer service.
Funeral services for the four teenage victims took place the week of June 16 in Omaha and West Point. In addition to Ben, the victims were Aaron Eilerts, 14; Josh Fennen, 13; and Sam Thomsen, 13.
Read the full article (here)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Rigid Fundamentalism Found At The Tablet

The Tablet reacts to Card. Castrillon’s Mass and remarks in London
Thank You Fr. Z

A Portion Of The Decrees Of GC35

A Fire That Kindles Other Fires
Rediscovering our Charism
Many Sparks, One Fire: Many Stories, One History
3. We Jesuits, then find our identity not alone but in companionship: in companionship with the Lord, who calls, and in companionship with others who share his call. Its root is to be found in Saint Ignatius's experience at La Sorta. There "placed" with God's Son and called to serve him as he carries his cross, Ignatius and the first companions respond by offering themselves for the service of faith to the Pope, Christ's Vicar on Earth. The Son, the one image of God, Christ Jesus, unites them and sends them out to the whole world. He is the image at the very heart of Jesuit existence today; and it is his image that we wish to communicate to these the best we can.

Link to the full text of the Decrees (here)

Leading Rabbi In Jerusalem Requests Help From A Leading Jesuit

Leading Jewish Rabbi on a Mission to Stop Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade
Rabbi Levin believes that the key to success is for the Vatican to speak out strongly in opposition to the homosexual parade and "for all the religions to unite in defense against the attacks from the homosexual network."
By Tim Waggoner
JERUSALEM, June 18, 2008 (
An Excerpt.
Rabbi Yehuda Levin is also requesting the Vatican to "go to the President of Israel, who would be quite impressed given a request by the Vatican to do something about this parade and show how offensive it is." The rabbi explained that during his political campaign, President Shimon Peres, needing the support of a religious party, had signed a petition with the Shas religious party, pledging his opposition to the homosexual parade.
Rabbi Levin has contacted two prominent members of the Catholic Church in an attempt to have these requests met. "I am reaching out to the Vatican and, specifically, to Father Peter Gumpel, to assist in the effort to ban these Gay desecrations of the Holy City of Jerusalem." Fr. Grumpel, a Jesuit, is considered one of the Vatican's leading intellectuals.
The rabbi also contacted Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who is now the Apostolic Nuncio of the U.S., to request he honor the agreement he signed. Rabbi Levin concluded by expressing the need for all faiths to combat not only the homosexualization of Jerusalem, but of the world.

Link to the full article (here)
Photo is Fr. Peter Gumpel

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thee Old Ignatian Straaww Massss? Huh

At one with the Earth
Friday, 06 June 2008
Written by Michael Swan,
The Catholic Register
An excerpt.
Fr. Jim Profit offers the sacrifice of the Mass as a sacrament which connects us to God’s creation at the Jesuit farm in Guelph, Ont........On the cold first day of June three dozen people — couples with their children, old friends, students working internships on the Jesuit farm — gathered in Guelph for a Sunday Mass that wandered all over 250 hectares of the Jesuit’s organic farm, woodlots, streams, hermitages and gardens.
Since I have been labeled divisive, I shall pass today's divisive baton to others.

Karen and Joe at Some Have Clerics with their post entitled, "That's is what we are talkin about."
Fr. Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say, with Fathers post entitled, Archd. of Toronto: ad orientem

Albert Einstien On His Iteraction With The Society

It Doesn't Take an Einstein
The problem with using scientists' words to support religious beliefs.
By Michael Weiss
June 18, 2008
When a rumor was circulated in 1945 that a ( Fr. Georges Lemaître, S.J. ?) Jesuit priest had converted him, Einstein thundered back: "I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."

Link (here)

Jesuit Notes The Interest In The Traditional Latin Mass At The Seminaries

Pope Wants Tridentine Mass in Every Parish
Author: James Martin, S.J.
For everyone who said, "What's the big deal?" when the earlier Vatican document about the Tridentine Mass was promulgated, comes a report from Catholic News Service. Remember that even if there is (and this is debatable) not a groundswell of interest on the part of the American Catholic laity, there certainly is on the part of seminarians, which means in a few years it will most likely be standard in parishes.

Jesuit University President Say's He Does Not Run A Prison

“No connection between their religious beliefs and their sexual behavior”
Catholic campuses no exception to sexual “hook-up culture,” professor reports

An Excerpt.

But the problem comes ultimately from the larger culture, Jesuit Fr. Julio Giulietti, president of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, told the Reporter. “They go to a college or university and bring all that baggage,” he said. “You can instruct, discuss, try to dialogue, but you don’t run a prison. You don’t run a seminary.”

Link (here)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Polish "St. Francis", Was A Jesuit For A Short Time

TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008
Founder of the Albertine Brothers and Sisters, and one of the saints who inspired the vocation of the young Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II. Saint Albert Chmielowski was born in Igoalomia, Poland as Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski on August 20, 1845 into a wealthy and aristocratic family. He manifested an intense sensibility as a young man to the human condition and ordinary human suffering. He expressed this sensibility through art, and was actively involved in politics. His political participation and patriotic zeal caused him to lose his leg fighting in an insurrection against Czar Alexander III in 1864. He left Poland shortly afterwards to study engineering n Belgium, where he stayed for only a year before deciding to study art in Paris and Munich.

He returned to Krakow in 1874 having resolved to dedicate his art, talent and aspirations to the glory of God. After having an intense experience of the mercy of God, he painted one of his masterworks, entitled “Ecce Homo” (it can be seen with many of his other paintings at ) and on deeper reflection, discerned that he was being called to give his life to serving the poor and those most in need. He knew he was called to religious life and so he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1880, but realized, after suffering a nervous breakdown, that it was not his place.

He became a Third Order Franciscan in 1887 and a year later founded the Albertine Brothers or Servants of the Poor. He founded the female congregation of the Albertine’s in 1891. The Albertine’s dedicated their lives to serving the poor in every way, from nursing the sick to providing shelter and food and care for homeless children. Brother Albert, as he was now called, left 21 foundations of Albertine’s by the time of his death on Christmas Day, 1916. He was considered a 20th century polish Saint Francis, and was canonized on November 12, 1989 by Pope John Paul II, who had also written a play about him in 1949.

Link (here)