Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New England Province Jesuit Fr. Paul Carrier Is Still Missing

The founder of a program designed to give new life for boys living on Haitian streets will be brought to Connecticut this week to face federal charges that he sexually abused boys that he was supposed to help.

Deputy U.S. marshals are expected to fly Douglas Perlitz, 39, formerly of Fairfield, back to Connecticut late Thursday from Colorado, where he was arrested Sept. 16 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Once the plane touches down in Connecticut, the deputies will drive Perlitz to the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, R.I., where he will stay pending his arraignment and detention hearing. The 642-bed facility was constructed for the U.S. Marshals Services to house male arrestees facing federal charges in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

It is expected that Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel will argue that Perlitz, who is accused of sexually abusing at least nine boys, represents a danger to the community and a risk of flight, and should not be released on bond. If she convinces the judge that Perlitz poses one of those risks, he will be detained until his trial.

Perlitz was indicted two weeks ago by a federal grand jury on seven charges of traveling to a foreign land for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors and three charges of engaging in sex with minors in a foreign country. Each of the charges has a maximum 30-year prison term and $250,000 fine.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton, who sits in Bridgeport. Arterton is the judge who presided at the corruption trial of former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.

Perlitz, who graduated from Fairfield University, established the Project Pierre Toussaint in 1997 with a grant from the Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic charity. Later, a private fund chaired by the Rev. Paul Carrier, former director of Fairfield University's campus ministry and community service, helped raise millions for the program from donations, collections and gifts.

The program grew from a street clinic to a school and residential program, with a two-level home called Bel-Air where Perlitz lived. The indictment alleges that $2 million was transferred from the Haiti Fund to an account in Haiti that Perlitz controlled. The program was shuttered because of a lack of funding this summer.

The indictment alleges that

Perlitz, selected as the Fairfield University commencement speaker in 2002 and presented with an honorary degree for his charitable work, used food, shelter and gifts to convince disadvantaged children to have sex with him.
If they refused, he withheld these enticements, according to the indictment.

The whereabouts of Carrier, who was removed as the board chairman in 2008 and subsequently left Fairfield University, is unknown. The Society of Jesus, New England Province, the Jesuit jurisdiction to which Carrier is assigned, has failed to return more than a dozen phone calls.

Fairfield University President Jeffrey von Arx announced last week it will hire a lawyer to conduct an internal review into collections for the charity during Masses at the university, and how other gifts were deposited and disbursed.

Following the 11 a.m. Mass at the university's chapel last Sunday, nearly 60 people attended a 90-minute meeting led by the Rev. Gerald Blaszczak about the Haitian charity and Perlitz's arrest.

"The supporters of the program were deeply affected by the news reports," said Blaszczak, who become the university's chaplain on July 15.

"It was the kind of session where they were talking to each other. I made a pledge not to divulge specifics."

"They shared a lot of what they were feeling with each other and were deeply grateful that there was a time and a place for this discussion," he said. "A lot of them are struggling with this and expressed concern about the well-being of the children in Haiti."

While he said there was no decision on any effort to resurrect the program, he said those in attendance expressed "a renewed commitment and desire to reach out" and help the poor, particularly children.

"This community of people does a lot of work in this area," Blaszczak said, "particularly at Prospect House," a Bridgeport program that serves as a residential treatment center for drug and alcohol abuse.

Blaszczak said no future on-campus sessions have been scheduled to discuss the Haitian charity scandal at this time.

Link (here)

America Biased? No Way! How Could That Be? I Don't Believe It!

I found this to be very interesting. My solution, move America's headquarters to Spring Hill College, turn it over to the guys at Who So Ever Desires.

The editors of America, a Catholic newsweekly owned by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) recently published an editorial that invokes the Goldstone Report and the Mishneh Torah. This editorial, which amounts to an indictment of Israel, typifies the magazine's troubling double-standard when covering the Arab-Israeli conflict. In the pages of America, violence against Israel is unremarkable, while Israeli efforts to bring this violence to an end are subjected to intense, and unfair scrutiny. Documentation of this tendency can be found here.

CAMERA has submitted a brief, preliminary response to the magazine, but it is unclear whether it will be published on the magazine's website. The text of this preliminary response is displayed below:

America has seen fit to invoke both the Goldstone Report and the Mishneh in its indictment of Israel’s behavior during the recent fighting.

This is pretty disconcerting given the magazine’s tendency to invoke the language of the Just War doctrine in a discriminatory manner when it covered the fighting between Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah in 2006.

During this fighting, the publication’s writers and editors exhibited a troubling double standard in which violence against Israel was unremarkable and Israel’s response to this violence was subjected to intense scrutiny.

The problems with the Goldstone Report are numerous and have been recounted elsewhere.

The document portrays Palestinians who are members of terror organizations and who have gone through Hamas infantry training as illegitimate targets of attack.

The document relies on witnesses who have told numerous different stories about alleged Israeli atrocities.

The document falsely suggests that Hamas has “implicitly” accepted Israel’s right to exist by virtue of having signed the “Prisoner’s Document” in 2006. In fact, Hamas leaders have continued to call for Israel’s destruction.

The commission itself included one member who judged Israel guilty of war crimes even before the fighting came to an end.

America’s reliance on such a document is troubling, but to be predicted.

What is innovative in the magazine’s editorial is the use of the Mishneh [Torah] in its indictment of Israel. In particular, it invokes a passage stating that rulers must not blockade a city on all four sides, but should instead keep one side open to allow the inhabitants to flee for their lives.

Egypt controls the Rafah crossing and kept it closed during the recent fighting. There is nothing (aside from its own fear of Hamas) preventing Egypt from opening up this crossing to allow refugees into its country.

Israel warned the inhabitants of Gaza of impending attacks by dropping leaflets, sending text messages to cell phones and by making phone calls to peoples’ homes. Hamas, on the other hand, attacked civilians while hiding among civilians and civilian institutions.

At what point will the editors search the Koran and the Hadith for words of mercy, tolerance and responsibility and use these passages to assess the behavior of Hamas? Clearly, Hamas is worthy of some form or admonition and correction.

Hamas shoots its opponents in the streets, and throws its adversaries off rooftops. It has hijacked UN trucks carrying international aid and diverts the goods to its supporters. It steals food and fuel and denies Palestinian hospitals of the equipment and supplies they need to operate. It stages blackouts in an effort to portray Israel as a heartless and cruel oppressor.

In short, Hamas is a mass movement that rules the Gaza Strip by force, murders its opponents and uses the civilian population as a pawn in its effort to demonize Israel and render Israeli civilians as legitimate targets of violence. Hamas’ primary supporter is Iran, a country whose leaders have repeatedly expressed a desire to perpetrate mass murder of Jews in the Middle East and also oppresses its own citizens.

And yet, the editors at America magazine want Israel to be brought before the International Criminal Court.


Dexter Van Zile
Christian Media Analyst
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

Link (here)

St. Ignatius And His Sword

There on the Eve of the Annunciation, Ignatius went into the church in all his armor and kept vigil till morning. Then he laid his sword on our Lady's altar and vowed at the same time to give up the world once for all, and become a missionary. After a while, some other holy men joined him and when they had been made priests, St. Ignatius made the rules of the great Jesuit order that is so famous, and has won so many souls to God.

Link (here)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jesuit Verses Americanism

The heresy of Americanism, condemned by Leo XIII, is the watering down of the Catholic faith to fit Protestant America. Tragically this heresy’s significant adherent was Fr. Feeney’s bishop, archbishop Cushing. In my opinion, he was more of a backslapping, handshaking politician than a bishop who was soon to be wearing the red hat signifying the blood of martyrdom in the defense of the faith. Fr. Lenard Feeney, S.J. stood up in the clash of Catholic America rising out of the lower economic boroughs, largely in cities, and assimilating into non catholic, anti catholic America such as in Cambridge Ma.

Link (here) to comments section of Brother Andre Marie's blog post entitled, Father Z on the Feeneyites, Brother's blog is called appropriately, Brother Andre Marie's Weblog.

Link (here) to the wonderful world of Pat McNamara and his Irish Catholic Humanist blog, were you find this picture of Fr. Feeney and a short bio / history piece.

Venezuelan Jesuit Critical Of Authoritarian Police

The force’s friends very evidently don’t include Alejandro Moreno, a Jesuit priest who wrote a book entitled “And I Went Out to Kill people.” He said the first thing that had to be done was weed out bad cops from the Metropolitan Police – many of whose officers are said to have put themselves forward for the new national force.

“Here the people see the Metropolitan Police in the street and it gives them fear,” he said. “They don’t feel safe, and that’s because they (the cops) have been involved in a quantity of crimes. The problem of crime in Venezuela isn’t resolved by isolated initiatives but by integral plans,” he argued, without detailing of what these might consist.

Link (here)

Fr. James Schall On The Catholic Mind

Father James Schall, S.J. a professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University, has penned, among many other writings, a book-length commentary on Benedict XVI's Regensburg lecture. The lecture caused an international sensation for its mention of the presence of violence in the Islamic tradition, but the lecture's key themes related to the relationship between faith and reason were left to be unpacked by writers such as Father Schall.

Now Father Schall has written a new book, "The Mind That Is Catholic: Philosophical and Political Essays" (CUA Press). The book explores the habits of being that allow one to use the tools of faith and reason to explore all things seen and unseen.

Father Schall shared with ZENIT why all people, not just professional philosophers and theologians, can have a mind that is truly Catholic.

ZENIT: What does it mean to have a mind that is Catholic? What are its key elements?

Father Schall: The mind that is Catholic is open to all sources of information, including what comes from Revelation.

Revelation is not opposed to reason as if it were some blind source. Revelation has its own intelligibility that can be grasped and compared or addressed to what we know in reason.

Catholicism does not define reason as if it only meant a reason that follows some methodology where the terms of the method decide what we are allowed to see or consider.

The very definition of mind is that power that is open to all that is. We human beings are not gods. But we do know and the object of our knowledge is all that is.

It is characteristic of the Catholic mind to insist that all that is knowable is available and considered by us in our reflections on reality.

ZENIT: Are there clear points of distinction between the Catholic mind and a "Protestant mind" or a "secular mind"?

Father Schall: Monsignor Robert Sokolowski says that the method of philosophy is precisely to make distinctions. Obviously, the Protestant mind and the secular mind strive to distinguish themselves on many things from the Catholic mind.

If no one thought there was any difference between them, Catholicism, Protestantism and secularism would already be one. This does not deny that it is quite possible that they agree on some things.

It is the method of Aquinas to find out what these points of agreement and difference are. I always like the way Aquinas recalls Aristotle's comment that "a small error in the beginning leads to a large error in the end."

The ecumenical movement has tried valiantly to find points of agreement. It has found many. But errors do appear and grow.

I once wrote an essay entitled "Protestantism and Atheism." ("Thought," XXXIX (Dec. 1964) pp. 531-558.) The burden of that essay had to do with the importance of reason to Catholicism. This stress on reason is found in Benedict XVI's Regensburg lecture, among other places.

The reason, I thought at the time, that Protestantism led to atheism was because it evaporated the world of meaning and insisted on revelation alone. Once the world is there absent reason, it is easy, following Aristotle's dictum, to conclude that God is not in the world in any sense.

It was the mind of Aquinas, following the line of the origin of "existence," to insist that we really did find reality in existing things, but they did not cause their own existence.

It was from here we could argue to God's existence so that, if revelation happened, it would be intelligible to us as a response to our own lack of knowledge of ultimate things.

Read the rest of Father Schall's interview at Zenit (here).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jesuit Says Christian Population Declining In Islamized Lebanon

Christians are tempted to flee Lebanon as the country becomes increasingly “Islamized,” according to the founder of the Center for Arab Christian Research and Documentation (CEDRAC). One-third of the nation’s Christian population has left since the beginning of the 1975-90 Civil War, and a recent surge in emigration means Christians now make up just 34 percent of Lebanon’s population, Father Samir Khalil, a Jesuit teacher at Beirut’s St. Joseph University’s CEDRAC department, told Vatican Radio last week. “Christians used to make up 50 percent of the nation’s population; now experts think the Christians are probably not exceeding 34 percent, which is worrying,” Khalil said in the radio interview during a visit to The Holy See.
The Beirut-based researcher expressed concern that Christians in the Arab world are moving abroad to places with higher Christian populations, such as America, Europe and Australia, which is increasing the Muslim majority in countries like Lebanon.
“The same is happening [all over] the Middle East, and this is certainly a very tragic situation, and it will have great consequences in the future,”
Father Khalil warned last week on the Vatican Radio station, adding that Christians must stay in the Middle East to keep numbers up.
Large numbers of Lebanese Christians are leaving as they feel their traditional influence in their country is weakening, while an increasing number of crucial political positions are going to Muslims.

In reference to Islamic extremism, Khalil claimed the power of the influential Christian minority to counterbalance it was waning, saying:
“Lebanon has always been a bastion of religious tolerance, but now it is moving toward the model of Islamization seen in Iraq and Egypt.”
Christians have taken a backseat in recent times to dominant Sunni-Shiite relations, with key leaders Saad Hariri from the Future Movement representing most Sunni Muslims and Hizbullah of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah leading the Shiites, while the Christian community has less unified representation, split between the country’s rival political camps – the Maronite Catholic supporters of Lebanese Forces and Phalange parties with March 14 and those backing the Free Patriotic Movement led by retired General Michel Aoun, who has formed an allegiance with Hizbullah.
Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI this week called a special Synod of Bishops to discuss the challenges facing the church in the Middle East.
The Synod meeting, which has been scheduled for October 2010, will address the problems that Catholic communities in the Middle East have in common, the pope said during a meeting last week with the patriarchs of seven Eastern Catholic churches, including Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir.
The patriarchs, coming from across the Middle East, requested the October meeting, saying that they wished to have more frequent contact with the bishop of Rome in order to “strengthen the communion of their churches with Peter’s successor.”

Benedict specifically mentioned their relations to other faiths – by implication Islam – and the phenomenon of emigration. Catholic prelates have long warned about that the pressures of living in a Muslim society, and the economic uncertainties facing the region have prompted many thousands of young Christians to leave their homes, imperiling the future of Christianity in the region.
The pope said the 2010 meeting is designed to help plan a pastoral strategy for Christians living in a region that is ever more heavily influenced by militant Islam.

The results of a poll released last year show that nearly half of all Maronites, the largest Christian denomination in the country – making up about 22 percent of the population – said they are considering emigrating.
In the survey conducted by Information International, an independent Beirut body, many Christians cited the growing influence of March 8 faction Hizbullah in Lebanon as a reason for their decision to leave.
Over 70,000 Christians have fled since the 2006 summer war between Israel and Hizbullah, many fearing more conflict between their southern neighbor and the Shiite group.
Christians, in particular Maronite Catholics, have historically played a major role in the development of Lebanon’s political, social and cultural institutions. Under the country’s sectarian power-sharing system, the post of president is reserved for a Maronite Catholic, while the prime minister must be a Sunni, and the parliamentary speaker a Shiite.

Currently, the president, the army commander and the head of the central bank all are Maronites, and under the agreement that ended the Civil War, half of the 128 seats in Lebanon’s Parliament are reserved for Christians.

Link (here)

Fr. Mark Ravizza, S.J. Will Present A Lecture

As part of its yearlong tribute to the martyrs of the University of Central America, Mark Ravizza, S.J., will share "Words of Encouragement from the UCA Martyrs."

Twenty years ago, government soldiers killed six professors, their housekeeper and her 15-year-old daughter.

The Jesuits were considered subversives by the military dictatorship in El Salvador
because of their work on behalf of the poor.

Ravizza's presentation will feature videos of personal reflections from Salvadorans who knew the martyrs.

An associate professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University, Ravizza currently is serving as a visiting scholar at the University of Central America. There he helps direct the Casa de la Solidaridad program for undergraduate students from Jesuit colleges and universities who want to study and work abroad for a semester.

Ravizza is well traveled. He has taught or worked in the Philippines, Mexico and Canada. He also is the author of several books and is a senior fellow of the Bannan Institute for Jesuit Education and Christian Values in Santa Clara.

Ravizza has degrees in philosophy and engineering from Stanford and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale.

Ravizza's keynote address begins at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Wool Ballrooms of Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand Blvd. The event is co-sponsored by the Great Issues Committee, the VOICES Project and the Eckelkamp Center for Campus Ministry.

"Words of Encouragement from the UCA Martyrs" is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, e-mail

Link (here)

Photo is of Fr. Mark Ravizza, S.J. and Santa Clara student

Jesuit Volunteer: Jordan

Today is the first full day of my Jesuit Volunteer Corp experience and I don’t want to miss a beat, my unconscious already knows this......Soon enough I was awaken to the voice of someone asking me “you’re a JV right….”and that was how it started with Bethy, a legacy JV from WA who had just been working for a year in Alaska. We talked quite a bit about ourselves and finally we joined up with the group who had been standing a ways away, easily identifiable as the JV group (a group of 20 somthings with an optimistic look about them with a significant amount of baggage). I immediately met a few people who were in my house in DC, Kristina, Emily, Lucas.

Link (here) to the full post entitled, Journal entry #4 the blog is called JVC- Blog O My Life.

Jesuit Bishop To Speak On Vocations

The Diocese of Youngstown Vocation Office is sponsoring “How to Find the Love of Your Life,” two Young Adult Discernment days, Oct. 3, at the University Parish Newman Center in Kent and Oct. 10 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Center in Austintown.

Both days will focus on helping young adults, age 18 and older, begin to discern and discover God’s call to a particular state in life, marriage, single life, ordained priesthood or consecrated life.

Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. Bishop of Youngstown, will be the keynote speaker at both events.

There also will be presenters on each state in life. The events also will include time for prayer, reflection, opportunities for individual consultations, music and multimedia presentations on the primary states in life.

The days begin at 10 a.m., include lunch and refreshments, and conclude with the celebration of the Sunday Vigil liturgy.

Register online or by telephone and pay $6 at the door. Registration at the door is $10. To register online, go to, click on the eCommunity tab and look for the “Discernment Day Form.”

For telephone registration, call the Diocese of Youngstown at (330) 744-8451 and ask for Geri Deane, ext. 329.

Link (here)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

World-famous Mosaic And Stained Glass Jesuit Artist, Father Marko Ivan Rupnik

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sacred Heart University will formally dedicate its new Chapel of the Holy Spirit with a week-long series of events that begins on Sunday, September 27th. The weekend's festivities will inaugurate a year of special events to celebrate the opening of the new chapel that will include Masses, ecumenical services, academic convocations and concerts.
Among the Chapel's special features are original mosaics and stained glass by the world-famous Jesuit artist, Father Marko Ivan Rupnik. Renowned as an artist, theologian, author and spiritual director, Father Rupnik was chosen by Pope John Paul II to design his personal chapel at the Vatican dedicated to the Mother of the Redeemer.
Among his other international commissions are major works in Fatima and Lourdes. His work on Sacred Heart University's Chapel has already attracted widespread attention and praise. The Fairfield County Catholic said its "dazzling mosaics will inspire all," and the Stamford Advocate profiled the "making of a masterpiece" by a "modern-day Michelangelo." The Connecticut Post hailed Rupnik as a "mosaic master," a sentiment shared by the influential Catholic weekly, America, which asserted that walking into the Daily Chapel was like "stepping into a dazzling icon."

The Sacred Heart University Chapel was designed by Sasaki Associates, a world-class architectural firm that specializes in university projects. The company won first prize in the international design competition for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and its academic portfolio includes major projects at such schools as Harvard University, Boston College, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Trinity College in Hartford.

The chapel building and grounds will form a pivotal campus landmark, enhancing student life while serving as a powerful symbol of Sacred Heart's Catholic identity. According to the University's president, Dr. Anthony J. Cernera, "it is only fitting that an institution so deeply rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition create a space of great beauty, solely dedicated to the pursuit and expression of faith. The University Chapel will represent the literal and figurative centerpiece of the campus community.

"By devoting such a visible, central location to the Chapel, the University makes a proud, strong statement about the role of faith in the life of the University community. It invites all of the members of our community to deepen their relationship with God and their dedication to the service of others," he concluded.

The Chapel's principal sanctuary will welcome 500 persons, with a smaller Chapel for daily Mass and private prayer that will seat 50. Its most prominent mosaics depict the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and Pentecost, central themes of Christian belief. There are outdoor gardens, and a spacious narthex - or foyer - suitable for public gatherings. The building and grounds are designed to suggest one of the defining themes of the Second Vatican Council: the Church as the Pilgrim People of God. The Chapel roof consists of copper folds in the manner of a nomadic tent, for example, and the narthex has walls of glass to demonstrate the intersection between daily life and the life of prayer.

Masses and other appropriate events will be accompanied by music from a tracker organ designed and manufactured especially for Sacred Heart University by master craftsmen at Casavant Frères. Based in Québec, Casavant Frères is one of the oldest and best-known pipe organ builders in the world.

The University Chapel will be named for the Holy Spirit, calling on the Spirit of God to enlighten the life of the University.....

Link (here)

Photo on top of Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J. directing some construction traffic at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Photo on the bottom is Fr. Marko at work on a piece, I do not think it is from Sacred Heart Chapel.

Jesuit Volunteer: Patrick Manning

My Jesuit Volunteer Corp Placement: Day 1

I had an excellent first day at my placement. FLOC gave me a great orientation, lots of time meeting with the executive director, program coordinators, and my new colleague, a Lutheran Volunteer who is also from the Portland area. Kristina and I are both the high school program instructors for FLOC. She is teaching the freshman seminars. I'll be teaching the sophomores and we are co-teaching the junior classes. All grade levels pertain to students pursuing post-secondary education. The day went by quickly, and the program even took Kristina and I out for lunch in Adams Morgan. The program for students starts on September 14. But until then we are busy with lesson plans and finishing up our training for the school year.

It was great coming home tonight to my housemates and talking about our days' over dinner. After dinner, we went over to the other JVC house and had a community night with some former JVs. I'm looking forward to my upcoming year with FLOC and my experience with the JVC.

Information on FLOC:

Columbia Heights (area where we live):,_Washington,_D.C.

Adams Morgan (area where I work):

Saturday, September 26, 2009

342 Years In Service To Our Lord

St. Mary's County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron unlocked the pine and oak doors of the rebuilt Brick Chapel last weekend in Historic St. Mary's City, reversing the actions of the county's first sheriff, who locked the original doors under orders of the royal governor in 1704.
After living side by side with Catholics for years under the rule of the Calvert family, Protestants in the colony of Maryland led a revolution against the third Lord Baltimore, Charles Calvert, in 1689.
England appointed royal governors who moved the colony's capital to Annapolis in 1695, and under "An Act to Prevent the Growth of Popery within this Province," the Brick Chapel and other Catholic schools and churches were locked nine years later. "It is nice to have the sheriff here with us and thank him for this time opening the church," Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl told the nearly 200 people gathered in front of the chapel Sunday. Wuerl said that the unlocking of the rebuilt $3.2 million chapel, after about 15 years of fundraising and historically accurate construction, was a historic moment and that people should take pride in the settlers' "vision and their foresight and their courage." The settlers worked to "establish a society, a civil community, in which everyone is free to worship who they chose," he said. The rebuilt structure is a "visible, tangible testimony to the great human, inalienable right that comes to us simply because we are alive," he said.
Jesuits built a wooden chapel first, not long after the Ark and the Dove ship brought 150 settlers to Maryland in 1634. That chapel burned down in 1645. The Calvert family took charge of Maryland in 1660 with the restoration of King Charles II and, in 1667, built a brick Roman Catholic chapel. After the Brick Chapel was locked, Mass was held in the priest's house nearby.
But the Jesuits dismantled the chapel so that the bricks could be used to build a manor house at the St. Inigoes mission. They sold the property, which also had a cemetery, to a farmer, William Hicks.
"The first time I saw it, it actually brought tears to my eyes," said the Rev. Edward Dougherty of St. Ignatius Church in Port Tobacco.
He described the settlers' actions as "the experiment that was derailed a bit but has never stopped and has grown to what it is today." Silas D. Hurry, curator and director of the archaeological laboratory at Historic St. Mary's City, said that great efforts were made to reconstruct the chapel as it was built in 1667.
The current chapel stands on the foundation of the original, which is five feet deep. The bricks were created from local clay and hand-carved to hold mortar to give the appearance of stone. He said the outside appearance was fashioned based on texts of Jesuit structures of the time.
Peter Himmelheber, a blacksmith and a docent for History St. Mary's City, used tobacco tools to create the four-foot-tall cross on top of the church. He said he scrounged iron from various places to forge the hinges and locks for the doors.

Even the scaffolding was historically correct, with ropes and wooden planks that were secured into the building, leaving holes in the facade. "To see that was amazing," said Sara Wigginton, a Leonardtown resident who attended the opening with three generations of her family. "It was a beautiful, inspiring day." Loren Santa Maria of Lexington Park said watching the doors open was "breathtaking." "It is a rebirthing, helping to bring back the roots of Christianity as a whole," he said. "It represents the freedom of religion from the crown. It is important for us to remember that." Fifteen years ago, when the Rev. Francis Early joined Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bushwood, he attended a Mass at the chapel's site off Route 5 in Historic St. Mary's City.
He said he thought that in his lifetime he would see only the chapel's ghost frame, the bare-bones representation of the original structure. As he gazed inside the chapel, which smelled of fresh paint, he said, "I never thought I'd live to see this."
Money is still being raised to furnish the chapel. It will be open to the public as construction allows, and a visitors pavilion will open next summer.

Link (here)

Who's Who In The Perlitz And Carrier Scandal

By Chris Simmons

The Main Players:

Doug Perlitz:
The focus of an investigation into allegations of child abuse in Haiti. A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Perlitz, who is now facing 10 charges: seven counts of traveling outside the United States for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors and three counts of engaging in sexual conduct in foreign places with minors. Each charge carries a maximum 30-year prison term and a $250,000 fine. Perlitz graduated from Fairfield in 1992 and started a charitable school in Haiti. Fairfield has had an indirection connection with the charity for years. Perlitz was awarded an honorary degree in 2002 and delivered the commencement speech the same year.

Fr. Paul Carrier, S.J.:
The former director of Campus Ministry for Fairfield, Carrier was the chairman of the board of directors for the Haiti Fund, which raised millions for Perlitz's Project Pierre Toussaint. Perlitz was also the vice president of the Haiti Fund. Perlitz and Carrier's relationship has come under scrutiny as the allegations have been public. Carrier has not been charged with a crime nor has he been reached to comment on the situation. Last year, Carrier was removed as the chairman of the fund's board of directors. There was some controversy when Carrier was reassigned from Fairfield by the Provincial, Fr. Thomas Regan, a former Fairfield teacher, but Fairfield has said the two situations are not related.

Paul Kendrick

An advocate for victims of child abuse, specifically those abused by members of the Catholic Church. He first alerted The Mirror to these allegations last year. He also wrote numerous e-mails to various faculty members asking them to speak out against Perlitz. He was issued a restraining order last year against the Bishop in Portland, ME for his protests. He has planned to protest outside the school sometime in early October.

Other Fairfield players:

Mark Reed:

The vice president of Student Administrative and Student Affairs, Reed met last year with The Mirror to discuss the allegations, but off the record. He has borne the brunt of Kendrick's e-mails. The Connecticut Post also reported that Reed handled monetary support for the Haiti Fund from Fairfield.

Deb Picarazzi:
The operation assistant for Campus Ministry is also a board member for the Haiti Fund. She did not comment for this story because she is currently under a subpoena for the upcoming trial.

Fred Wheeler:
The vice president for development at Fairfield, Wheeler was on the board of directors for the Haiti Fund.

Cathy Lozier:
A former assistant tennis coach at Fairfield, Lozier was on the board of directors for the Haiti Fund.

Larry Miners:

An economics professor, Miners was on the board of directors for the Haiti Fund.

Sue Macavoy:
A former nursing professor, Macavoy was on the board of directors for the Haiti Fund.

By Chris Simmons at the Fairfield Mirror. Link (here) to the original piece.

Jesuit Brother Is Now A Jesuit Father

Jesuit Brother Rick Curry has a new vocation. He's now Jesuit Father Rick Curry.

But he still plans on helping wounded war veterans restore meaning and purpose in their lives.

Becoming a priest at age 66, as he did Sept. 13, might seem to be what in some circles is called a "late vocation." But don't apply that term to Father Curry. He said he views priestly ordination as "an extension of my ministry."

In 2002, after Father Curry had spent 27 years working with his National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, the workshop administrators were asked to bring returning wounded vets from Afghanistan and Iraq to begin a writers' program so that they could tell their own stories and, as Father Curry told Catholic News Service, "open up the floodgates of post-traumatic stress."
"It was during that time that I began to be asked by the Wounded Warriors (the eventual name of the program) to actually hear their confession. I told them I was a Jesuit brother and not ordained. I told them that so frequently that I began to suspect there was some invitation there," Father Curry said. "I was so happy as a Jesuit brother I never thought of it (priesthood)."

His spiritual director echoed Father Curry's suspicions, saying, "Maybe there's an invitation here." "I said, 'To what?' He said, 'To priesthood.' I jokingly said, 'I don't like priests,'" Father Curry recalled.

Yet, after a program of study at the Washington Theological Union in the nation's capital, Father Curry was ordained. There was only one hitch, and that was easily overcome: Father Curry, who was born without his right arm, obtained an indult from the Vatican to celebrate Mass with only one hand.

Given the flowing chasubles worn by priests at Mass, "everybody can, or cannot, be cognizant of the fact that I have only one hand," Father Curry told CNS. "I've learned to navigate in this world, so I'm pretty comfortable with my own skin and I think I radiate a sense of comfort in the sanctuary. ... And if I'm comfortable, I hope everyone else is comfortable."

He gave credit to the late Jesuit Father Jerry Hall for helping him. "He took me on privately and he figured out how to offer Mass, how to anoint people, how to baptize babies, all with one hand," Father Curry said. "It was a life-affirming experience. My only regret was that he died earlier and he wasn't able to be there in the flesh when I was ordained. He was certainly there in spirit."

Father Curry, now in residence with the Jesuit community at Georgetown University in Washington, wants to resume two initiatives for the Wounded Warriors. One is the writers' workshop, where vets hone their writing and testify to their experiences in military life and in combat.

"Any program for veterans has to be talked up by other veterans. Veterans have an amazing sense of their 'own,' like being from a certain alma mater; Notre Dame has a certain cachet," he said.

Father Curry added that vets have asked one another about him: "Is he one of us?" "I explain to them I have not lost my arm. I am born without an arm. It matters very little to them. They say, 'You know what it means to be different. You know what it's like to navigate in the two-fisted world.' They were making such an identification with me."

Father Curry said he plans to recruit vets for the program after they've been discharged from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, and is looking for a site on or near the Georgetown campus to house the program -- which can take in up to 20 vets at a time for the 12-day program -- as well as a veterans' academy for the soldiers to pursue academics.

The priest will also look for a site in Washington for the second initiative: a bakery training program and retail bakery. Father Curry had such a training program in Maine until he had to shut it down last year to pursue his priesthood studies. Two of the most popular products sold at the Maine site were Brother Curry's Breads and Brother Curry's Miraculous Dog Biscuits.

What made them miraculous? He replied, "If you buy them, I find that miraculous."

Father Curry also hopes to have an annual fundraising event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington to give voice to the soldiers' stories, bring attention to the program and raise money to sustain it.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, "allowed us to pray to do great work," Father Curry said. A Jesuit for 48 years, "I've always thought of myself as a Jesuit," he added. "More importantly than anything else, I'm serving as a Jesuit."

Link (here)

Friday, September 25, 2009

A New Catholic Hero: Professor Scott Fitzgibbon Of Boston College

On September 15, 2009, released a television ad which featured Scott Fitzgibbon, a professor at Boston College Law School, arguing in defense of marriage between one man and one woman. He encouraged Maine voters to vote "yes" on an upcoming ballot referendum which aims to overturn state legislation which legalized homosexual "marriage" last May.

Complaints from fellow faculty members at Boston College, a Jesuit-affiliated school, soon began piling up. Merely one day after the ad aired, Boston College Law Dean John Garvey issued a letter to the BC law community, writing, "Several of you have contacted my office to express your anger at Scott's actions, and it is hard for me to see any of our students, faculty, or staff offended or hurt by the words of others."

Rather than praising Fitzgibbon's public defense of a Catholic teaching, Dean Garvey wrote that Fitzgibbon's "public statements represent his own opinions ... and do not state any official position of Boston College Law School." Garvey defended Fitzgibbons' participation in the advertisement but also seemed to welcome faculty opposition to Catholic teaching.

"We also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly," he wrote. "Many have done so while referring to themselves as BC Law professors. One of them has publicly led the fight to oppose the Solomon Amendment on the grounds that it is an affront to gay and lesbian students and prospective members of the U.S. military. Others have taken controversial positions on such subjects as abortion, euthanasia, and the treatment of detainees."

Three days after Fitzgibbon's pro-traditional marriage ad aired, a group of 76 "Individual Faculty and Administrators at Boston College Law School," including Dean Garvey, issued the following statement : "The undersigned members of the faculty and administration at Boston College Law School feel that it is important to reaffirm our belief in the equality of all of our students. We are proud of the fact that Boston College Law School was one of the first law schools in the country to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination pledge, and we reaffirm our commitment to making our institution a welcome and safe place for all students, including LGBT students."

Link (here)

Some more analysis (here)

Cardinal Verses Parking Garage

JACK DUNN, a spokesman for Boston College, is quoted in the article “Church seeks to move body of O’Connell,’’ as saying: “Out of respect for the cardinal, we do not believe that it is appropriate to have a grave site on a college campus, especially at a site in close proximity to a proposed parking facility.’’

Is this really a convincing reason for removing the remains of Cardinal William H. O’Connell from the crypt where they have rested for the past 65 years?

Does Dunn not know that there are many graves on the campuses of other Jesuit colleges and universities such as the College of the Holy Cross, Georgetown, and Santa Clara?

Beyond his questionable statement, there is the disturbing message that his words send to BC’s graduates about how it regards one of its more distinguished alumni.

The Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S.J.

Here Come The Lawyers To Fairfield University

Fairfield University plans to hire a lawyer to conduct an internal review of the extent of the school's support for a Haitian charity founded by an alumnus accused of molesting boys he was supposed to be helping.

In a letter sent to the university community Wednesday, President Jeffrey von Arx said the review will include a probe into weekly collections for the charity at university Masses and other gifts to the project, and how they were deposited and disbursed.

In addition, the university will offer an opportunity following the Sunday Mass on campus for the community to express their feelings and concerns about the scandal. In the near future, university officials will organize a campus forum to discuss its core principles related to helping and serving the poor.

The statement by von Arx was issued a week after a federal grand jury in Bridgeport indicted Douglas Perlitz, 39, a celebrated 1992 graduate of the Jesuit university, on charges he sexually abused at least nine of the boys at the charity he founded, Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. In recognition of the program, Perlitz was chosen as the main speaker for the university's 2002 commencement and awarded an honorary degree.

Perlitz was arrested last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at a home in Eagle, Colo., and is expected to be returned to the state next week.

"If the allegations against Doug Perlitz are true -- of course, he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty -- then it will be a tragic outcome for the affected group of children in Haiti ... as well as members of the university community who donated their time and support to this cause with the firm belief that it was for a good cause," von Arx says in his letter.

Project Pierre Toussaint was founded to provide schooling, recreation, meals and baths to boys, some as young as 6 years old, living on the streets of the impoverished nation. Although Project Pierre Toussaint was an independent, nonprofit organization, it had the support of individuals from Fairfield University.

It was also championed by a former university chaplain, the Rev. Paul Carrier. Funds were raised through campus ministry to help support the Haitian school. University students joined missions to the school organized by Carrier.

Perlitz, Carrier and others organized an independent charitable organization known as the Haitian Fund Inc., which was supposed to provide financing for the charity. A lawyer for the fund, however, said last week the money appears to have evaporated.

According to von Arx, the university did not have a role in the management or board oversight for either the Haitian Fund or Project Pierre Toussaint. When Carrier left the university abruptly in 2006, participation in the project by the university community lessened steadily, said von Arx.

The university president, however, said money collected for the charity at campus Masses and via gifts are subject to the university's standard financial controls and procedures.

"We do not expect to find any irregularities," he wrote. University officials could not say how much had been raised over the years in support of the Haitian school.

Rama Sudhakar, vice president of marketing and communications at Fairfield, could not say how much the university had raised on behalf of the school or the foundation that supported it. She also said the university does not know Carrier's whereabouts.

When news of the indictment broke, Sudhakar said the university was surprised and has had no role in the Haitian school, although staff members, including Carrier, visited the school often, sometimes accompanied by university students.

On Thursday, Sudhakar reiterated that the Touissant school and Haiti Fund are independent from Fairfield University.

About a year ago, the university learned the project's board of directors had removed Perlitz as director and Carrier as chairman of the board. It was at the time that accusations about Perlitz sexually abusing boys began to surface.

The indictment handed down last week states that Perlitz befriended boys he met on the street and recruited them to attend his program. Once under his care, he is accused of using food, shelter, money and gifts -- including cell phones, portable music players, clothes and other inducements -- to convince disadvantaged children to engage in sexual acts. If they refused, he withheld the enticements, the indictment charges.

Sudhakar said the Mass on Sunday and the discussion afterward would be closed to the media.

"It's a time for people impacted by this to share their feelings and emotions and concerns. Imagine if you support something over the years, feel vested in it and now feel disappointed in what has happened," she said.

Link (here)

Photo is of Fr. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pilgrimage At Gonzaga: A DeSmet Legacy

230 people are expected to participate in Gonzaga University’s 40th Anniversary Pilgrimage, which celebrates the establishment’s history with a 9-mile hike from Enaville to The Mission of the Sacred Heart. University Ministry Coordinator of Freshman Retreats and Student Faith Activities Megan McCormick said this is the only Gonzaga retreat with the whole community of students, staff, alumni, family and friends.

The group will leave for Idaho at 6 a.m., she continued, to have breakfast at the Enaville Resort. From there, they will walk the Forest Service road to the Old Mission State Park. McCormick explained students will give presentations on the Jesuits and background of the pilgrimage during the hike to the historical grounds.

Experiencing the important connection to the Native American community and being outside in the North Idaho wilderness, she stated, are a few of the best parts of the annual trip.
"It’s a beautiful area,” she commented. “That’s a pretty cool part.”

Old Mission State Park Manager Lonnie Johnson said staff has been preparing the area for the visit and will showcase a living history on the Black Robes, explaining the relationship between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Jesuit missionaries. Participants of the pilgrimage will be given the opportunity to tour the church and parish house, he continued, with park personnel answering questions.

There will be a Catholic Mass at 2:30 p.m., McCormick added, which park visitors are encouraged to attend.

Johnson said the students along with other members of the pilgrimage are always well-behaved and very appreciative of the park.

“We do what we can to make their visit enjoyable,” he added.

Link (here)

Father Pierre De Smet, S.J. and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe (here)
Photo is of the Idaho Jesuit Mission, The Mission of the Sacred Heart

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Survival Till Seventeen: By The Jesuit Priest Leonard Feeney

Survival Till Seventeen was written by Leonard Feeney in the heyday of his literary career.
Later boycotted and banned, this classic is now back on the bookshelves, and deservedly so.
The introduction by S.M. Clare capsulizes what happened to the priest after he entered the Jesuit order at the age of seventeen. Original published in 1941 by Sheen and Ward

Link (here) to purchase the book at Loreto Publications

French Jesuit Nicolas Grou: The Gift Of Self To God

The Gift of Self to God

Father John Nicholas Grou, S.J.

Translated by the Benedictines of Teignmouth

This timely monograph, composed by Jesuit Father Nicholas Grou, contains precious gems of holy wisdom. They are the fruit of a pastor of souls well acquainted with the latter-day stratagems of an experienced adversary determined to get the focus of persecuted and battle-weary Catholics off the straight and narrow course leading to a more personal sanctity.

The Gift of Self to God, which is the heart of the composition, is an extremely provoking and healing meditation dealing with the necessity and salutary advantage of giving our all to God. It is a perfect compliment to the spirit of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary.

Not as well known as he should be, the work of this great doctor of the interior life is reprinted here, together with two of his other essays, all of which confirm the virtue of filial trust in God.

Link (here) to purchase the book at Loreto Publications.

A Jesuit, Liberation Theology, The Maoists, The Naxalite, The Communists, The Proletariat In India

Maoist communism may be as dead as Mao Zedong himself in China, but in India it is alive and in brutal good health.

Maoists, often called Naxalites for the town of Naxalbari where peasants took up arms against oppressive landowners in 1967, operate in 20 of Indian’s 28 states.

In many of India’s poorest areas, especially its forests, the Maoists have established parallel administrations, collecting taxes, running crude court systems and dispensing rough justice, often through the barrel of a gun.

Naxalite guerrillas have been in an almost constant state of war with government police, special army units and official armed vigilantes for over 20 years. Thousands of people have died in those decades and nearly 600 people have been killed in over 1,400 incidents this year alone.

But despite the sustained anti-insurgent campaign by government forces, the Maoist grip on poor, rural India has been growing year-by-year.

They now operate "People’s Governments" in a swathe of territory across central India sometimes called the "Compact Revolutionary Zone" or the "Naxal Belt."

There are somewhat startling estimates with which many officials agree that the Maoists control a much higher percentage of India than the 11 per cent of neighbouring Pakistan said to be controlled by the Taliban.

Last week Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government is losing the battle against the Maoists.

"I have constantly held that in many ways, left-wing extremism poses perhaps the gravest internal security threat our country faces," Singh told a conference of police chiefs in New Delhi.

Singh said the Maoists appear to have a growing appeal among many segments of Indian society, especially the rural poor, but also tribal communities and left-leaning urban intelligentsia.

The state of the insurrection rapidly became a South Asian regional issue last week when Home Affairs Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, who is responsible for internal security forces, added that the Maoists have safe havens in neighbouring states and easy access to sophisticated weapons in Southeast Asia.

There were immediate expressions of outrage from neighbouring Nepal, where local Maoists have become part of government after waging a successful civil war.

Chidambaram undoubtedly included Nepal in his comments, but he was also pointing to India’s troubled northeastern region where dozens of separatist groups operate and where many people have close ethnic ties to Tibet, China and Burma.

In many ways the rise of Maoism in India echoes unrest in China where last year there were over 70,000 "mass incidents" involving over 1,000 people.

In both India and China these acts of rebellion are by the legion of the poor who have not benefited from their nations’ economic advances and whose scant resources are being pillaged by those with power.

The difference is that in China the Communist Party has expended every effort to ensure that no nationwide or even regional organization that could marshal and direct the unrest is allowed to come into being.

But India is a democracy with a long tradition of left-wing and communist parties.

The Maoists have purposefully operated outside the broad church of India’s parliamentary politics and in some states they have been declared terrorist organizations.

Maoist leaders deny they are terrorists. "We’re fighting a people’s war," one Naxalite leader told a local journalist recently. "We want the proletariat to rule, not imperialistic governments."

While few analysts believe the Maoists could attract enough support to overthrow the government as they did in Nepal, there are many who see justice in their cause.

Even Singh, during his speech last week, acknowledged that the problem is as much about poverty as it is security.

Writing in a Catholic newspaper last week, Jesuit priest Ambrose Pinto said that at the heart of the problem is a battle between two models of development. Prime Minister Singh and mainstream national and state administrations are pursuing a "neo-liberal" model which encourages foreign investment and welcomes multi-national corporations. This approach, says Pinto, has seen tens of thousands of local and tribal people displaced to make way for such things as steel mills, power plants, mine developments and special economic zones. The global recession has caused havoc with this approach, spurred unemployment, misery and impoverishment, and provided recruits for the Maoists, he said.

"It is this model that the Naxals and Maoists are opposing," wrote Pinto. "They are asking for a local model of development that would not destroy the life and livelihood of the people."

Pinto says the Maoists and Naxalites have a legitimate claim to a share of the profits from the resources of their land.

The first step towards meeting this just cause and ending the insurrection, Pinto says, is to reform the Forest Land Act to give tribal peoples clear ownership of the land on which they live and a real claim to a proper share of profits from enterprises in those areas.

This, he says, should be a prelude to a broader program of land reform that would give local people protection against the looting of their legitimate resources by multinational and influential Indian corporations.

Link (here)

Photo of Fr. Ambrose Pinto, S.J. in yellow