Saturday, October 31, 2009

Time Magazine On U of D: The Last One Standing

Lunch period at an inner-city all-boys school is an event associated with the sounds of chaos, not classical music.
And yet there are definitely strains of Beethoven coming from the piano in the cafeteria at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.
Behind the pianist, another student waits patiently for his turn. Upstairs in the art room, a senior is using the lunch hour to apply more brushstrokes to a portrait. A few kids are playing pickup ball in the gym, but more are crowded in the library. In a city where 47% of adults are functionally illiterate and only 25% of high school freshmen make it to graduation, U of D is the chute through which bright young men can get to college. The school boasts a near perfect graduation rate and sends 99% of its graduates on to higher education. (In 2009 the one student who didn't go to college turned down a scholarship from the University of Michigan to sign a seven-figure contract with the Detroit Tigers.) ( high schools have long provided a way out for high-achieving urban students.
But in Detroit, most Catholic schools either closed down or left the city decades ago, after the race riots in 1967, when white Catholics fled to the suburbs and the city's population dropped by half.
Only the Jesuits stayed, maintaining U of D's imposing stone structure on the corner of 7 Mile and Cherrylawn. The Catholic order is known for its education systems and its missionary work. In Detroit, they have become one and the same.

Link (here) to the full Time magazine article

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fr. James Kubicki, S.J. On Living In The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

From Monday to Friday of this past week I was in Hamden, Connecticut, at Mount Sacred Heart, the provincial house of a group of Sisters called the Apostles of the Sacred Heart.

I first visited the Mount a few years ago when I gave the Sisters a retreat based on the Litany of the Sacred Heart. This time I was there to give a talk on Monday night at the Caritas Christi Center "Living the Eucharist," and to give classes about the Sacred Heart to the Sisters in formation. From Tuesday through Thursday, for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, I talked about the Sacred Heart. We began by discussing the meaning and importance of the heart and the symbol of the heart in contemporary culture. Then we talked about the the importance of a heart-centered spirituality and the Scriptural basis for talking about the Heart of God. From the Bible through the Patristic era and the Middle Ages, to St. Margaret Mary and the present, we looked at the history of devotion to the Heart of Jesus. We concluded by talking about how to practice devotion to the Sacred Heart today: the meaning of reparation, the role of lectio divina, the Eucharist and living the Eucharist in our daily lives.

It was a good opportunity for me to pull together a lot of things about the Sacred Heart and I'm hoping that the recordings we made of the classes will turn out so that I can share my thoughts on this devotion which Pope Benedict has called "indispensable for a living relationship with God" and of "an irreplaceable importance for our faith and for our life in love" (see his May 15, 2006 letter marking the 50th anniversary of Pope Pius XII's encyclical Haurietis Aquas:

Link (here) to the full post by , his post is called, Mount Sacred Heart, his blog is entitled Offer It Up.

De Smet Jesuit High School Open House

Sunday, Nov 1 12:00p to 4:00p

at De Smet Jesuit High School, St Louis, MO
Phone: (314) 567-3500

Prospective students may tour the school, meet members of the faculty and learn about various extracurricular activities.

More about De Smet:

At De Smet Jesuit High School, our Jesuit tradition dates back more than 450 years to St. Ignatius of Loyola, even though our school, named for Fr. Pierre De Smet, has only been around a little more than 40 years. Our school was established in 1967 as a response to the growing demand for Jesuit secondary education in St. Louis.

Today we are one of 52 Jesuit high schools in the nation, which share the philosophy that education and development of all of our gifts and talents glorifies God. St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order, believed that students should be intellectual, compassionate, conscientious, disciplined, spiritual and responsible. This well-rounded vision of St. Ignatius is the root of our motto “Men for Others.”

We are a dynamic Catholic, college preparatory community of more than 10,000 current students, alumni, parents and faculty and staff whose members work together to build a challenging, academic environment built in the life and spirit of Jesus Christ. While members are constantly encouraged to develop strong personal values and convictions, they achieve success by realizing their leadership potential through positively impacting the lives of those around them.

Link (here)

"This Is The Day The Lord Has Made. Let Us Rejoice And Be Glad."

Introduction of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew by the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. at the Ceremony for the Conferral of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws at Fordham University

By Fr. Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

Your All Holiness, in the name of Christ our Savior, I welcome you to the University Church, this historic house of prayer that has stood at the center of the University's campus and mission since it was built by our founder, Archbishop John Hughes, in 1844. Your All Holiness, your Eminences, your Graces and your Excellencies, Mr. Tognino, members of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the administration and student body of the University, and faithful and devoted members of the Orthodox Christian communities of America, on behalf of the entire Fordham family, it is a great honor--indeed, a great grace to welcome you to the University Church this afternoon. It is a particular grace to welcome you, Your All Holiness, both to Rose Hill and to the Fordham family. Your presence, and the presence of so many of our beloved brothers in the Orthodox episcopate (both here in America and throughout the world) is a source of great joy to the whole Fordham community. (I am especially happy to welcome my dear friend, Archbishop Demetrios, back to Fordham this afternoon.) At the same time, I am deeply grateful for the presence of Their Eminences Cardinals Egan (whom His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed as his delegate to our ceremony this afternoon), Cardinal Keeler (the Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore) and Cardinal McCarrick (the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington), as well as their Excellencies Archbishops Dolan (the Archbishop of New York) and Migliore (the Papal Nuncio and Permanent Observer to the United Nations) at our gathering this evening. Their presence indicates the great affection and deep reverence that the Roman Catholic Church (both in the United States and throughout the world) has for Your All Holiness.

For my part, I must tell you, Your All Holiness, that your graced presence on our campus this evening reminds me of the long and affectionate ties that have bound the University and the Orthodox churches together for so long. For years Fordham was blessed by the presence of Father John Meyendorff on our faculty, and for generations, the sons and daughters of Orthodox families have come to Fordham to pursue their college degrees. In the process, they have enriched the life of the University beyond measure--with the seriousness with which they have approached their studies, with the devotion that they have always had for the University and its mission, and with their prayer. As you know, thanks in large part to the support that we have received both from you and from Archbishop Demetrios, in the last few years, the University's relationship to and service of the Orthodox community in America has grown even stronger. Indeed, as a result of Archbishop's assistance, Fordham has been able to establish a program in Orthodox Studies that is unique in the United States and that can serve as a model for other colleges throughout the country, a program that provides Orthodox students with both the pastoral care of an Orthodox chaplain and the opportunity to complete a minor in Orthodox theology. On this night so filled with hope and so rich in meaning, I would like to tell you how grateful we at Fordham are for the grace-filled love that you have shown our efforts, and for the generosity of spirit that the Orthodox Church has always shown Fordham.

Of course, Fordham does not merely honor you this evening for the support that you have given to our efforts to nurture the faith on our campus. Far from it. We honor you for the extraordinary service that you have given to the Orthodox Churches, the whole Christian family and the world. And your service has been extraordinary indeed. Your All-Holiness, throughout your ministry as the Archbishop of Constantinople/New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, as the successor to the Apostle Andrew, you have discharged the duties of your office with vision and holiness. In the model of your saintly predecessor, Saint John Chrysotom, you have been a theologian of rare wisdom and wide erudition. (Axios!) In the model of Patriarch Athenagoras I, you have devoted yourself to the work of ecumenical dialogue with loving compassion. (Axios!) And, in the model of the Lord whom you have sought to serve with every fibre of your being, you have embraced the world. Indeed, you have made the whole world your parish and enriched the world with your devotion to peace and the cause of environmentalism. (Axios!) You have, therefore, been a three-fold blessing to the world. Therefore, you are thrice-worthy of the honor that you receive this afternoon, and we at Fordham make our own the greeting with which the Orthodox faithful welcome you throughout the world: Axios. Axios. Axios. May the Great Shepherd of the Flock Christ Jesus our Lord, sustain you in your ministry and continue to make you a blessing to all who meet you and benefit from your wisdom and love. Axios. Axios. Axios.

Link (here)

A Young Barack Obama, A Former Jesuit Named Greg Galuzza And The Catholic Campaign For Human Developement

A young fellow by the name of Barak Obama was lead organizer in Chicago for the Alinskyian Developing Communities Project, which received a $40,000 Catholic Campaign for Human Development grant in 1985 and another $33,000 grant in 1986.
While he was in Chicago, Obama was trained by the top Alinskyian organizers. One mentor was the ex-Jesuit, Greg Galluzzo, lead organizer for Gamaliel. The Developing Communities Project operated under the Gamaliel Foundation, a network of Alinskyian organizations that receive 4-5% of all Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants each year.
The Developing Communities Project, which hired Obama as lead organizer, was an offshoot of Jerry Kellman’s Calumet Community Religious Conference. Kellman, another of Obama’s mentors, was himself trained by Alinsky. The network of community organizations Alinsky founded, the Industrial Areas Foundation, receives about 16% of all Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants annually.

After Obama went to Harvard Law School, he returned to Chicago and taught Alinskyian organizing to ACORN staff. Although ACORN has a different structure than other Alinskyian networks, its tactical philosophy and world view are formed by men who were trained by Alinsky, in a sort of diabolical apostolic succession. Obama ran ACORN’s 1992 voter-registration drive, Project Vote, and in turn received ACORN’s endorsement for Illinois senator. ACORN annually receives about 5% of Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants.

Link (here) to Spero News for the full article.

Photo is of the former Jesuit Greg Galluzo

Is Seattle University Less Catholic Than Gonzaga?

Students, staff and alumni rarely question the Jesuit nature of Seattle University, but the Catholic title seems to bring some confusion and fear. Seattle U leads Jesuit universities in its progressive views toward sexual education, its implementation of social justice and its acceptance of diversity, yet critics of the university’s image still claim that Seattle U is less “Catholic” than its regional competitor Gonzaga University.

Link (here) to the full student written op/ed piece in the Seattle University Spectator

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fr. James Schall, S.J. On The Holy Father In Bohemia

The modern Czech flag has the words Veritas Vincit. Truth is victorious. Benedict tells us from Prague that spiritual evils are far more dangerous than material temptations. Europe is a "home" wherein our consciences can be formed in the tradition of reason and revelation speaking to each other. The truth is what sets us free. The public not only has a need to hear such truth, but its heart will be restless until it does. This latter restlessness is not a theory about the future but a record of the same past we all share. To choose to make a better social order we first need to change our souls. There is no other way.

Plato had already told us this. We often do everything we can not to accept this basic truth. But the Pope went to Prague, in the heart of central Europe, to tell us that we have roots that stretch to eternity. "Man must be saved from the evils that affect his spirit." Technology cannot do this. Politics cannot do this. There is a "right way to order human affairs." We cannot be overly surprised in following Benedict in Prague to find that this "right order" begins with what we think our end as human persons is. It is the function of the papacy to speak of ultimate things, even to the Europeans, even in, especially in the beautiful ancient capitol of the Bohemians.

Link (here) to Fr. Schall's full article posted at Ignatius Insight

Photo (here) is of Pope Bennedict kneeling in front of the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Jesuit On Schemes To Smuggle Relief In Through The Back Door

In citing the “very old tradition” of the Church, Benedict is referring to a growing body of research that pushes the origins of priestly celibacy closer and closer to the time of the apostles. Though the argument is long and complex, at least some scholars view clerical celibacy (being unmarried) as a natural development from the far more ancient practice of clerical continence (the renunciation of the sexual privilege within marriage).

The struggle to maintain priestly celibacy is, for Benedict, precisely the struggle against the institutionalization of the Church—a struggle “lest [the institutional structure] harden into an armor that stifles her actual spiritual life.” I suspect that many proponents of a married clergy would resonate with Benedict’s anti-institutional sentiments. Few, it seems, are far-sighted enough to anticipate that married clergy would not be the undoing of clerical control, but its final victory.

Of course, none of the foregoing argues for a strictly necessary connection between celibacy and priesthood. But there is a category between arbitrary and necessary—that of “fitting” (“conveniens”). And the foregoing does argue for a “fittingness” in the celibate priesthood—despite the present shortfall in vocations and the perennial shortcomings of priests. The true hope for the crisis of priesthood lies in God’s power to renew His Church, not in human schemes to smuggle relief in through the back door.

Link (here) to the full post by Aaron Pidel, S.J. at the Jesuit authored blog entitled, Who So Ever Desires.

Photo is of Aaron Pidel, S.J.

My Boston College Eagles Tattoo

Josh Haden enrolled at Boston College as one of the top recruits in the country. The sophomore running back had established himself as the team's No. 2 ball carrier behind Montel Harris. The Eagles are 5-3 and appear headed to a bowl game after starting the season picked last in their division. Josh Haden is leaving Boston College after less than two seasons with the Eagles.
Haden, along with quarterback Jessie Tuggle, announced plans to transfer from Boston College this week.
Haden carried 59 for 221 yards this season. Tuggle had started the team's first three games before being benched behind Dave Shinskie.
Besides looking for another school, Haden, whose brother Joe is the starting cornerback at Florida, has another decision to make. What to do about the BC logo tattooed on his right shoulder.
What might have seen a good idea now may require a procedure to erase the memory of his time on Chesnut Hill.

Link (here)

Teacher At The Famed English Jesuit Stoneyhurst Has Been Jailed

A teacher at a top Catholic public school was jailed today after confessing to a secret relationship with a 17-year-old female student. Married father-of-three Terence Bell, 46, engaged in an inappropriate behavior with the pupil during the seven-month tryst at the private £22,000 a year, Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, Lancashire. But he was caught last month by another pupil in a classroom with the girl sat astride him and his shirt unbuttoned, Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard.Bell, head of English at the prestigious college and 29 years older than his victim, later confessed to police:
'The game's up isn't it? Love is a powerful thing.'
District Judge Peter Ward jailed Bell for 20 weeks, saying parents expected their children not to be taken advantage of while at school.Philippa White, prosecuting, told the court: 'The behaviour came to light late one evening...when a 16-year-old student was in the school and saw a light on in an English classroom and went to investigate.'........ male student 'excused himself' and was left 'distressed' and went to tell staff who called in police, said Mrs White. The girl denied any inappropriate behaviour and said the situation had been 'misconstrued', added the prosecutor. But Mr White said Bell admitted the relationship, telling officers: 'The game's up isn't it? Love is a powerful thing.' Bell later admitted going to see the girl during the school holidays and buying a separate mobile phone so they could keep in touch in secret.
He had been forced to resign from Stockport Grammar School, Cheshire, in 1993 after he wrote to a 5th form female pupil, 'expressing his feelings of love'.
He was a hard working and well-liked teacher and began working at Stonyhurst after being given a second chance - but started at the school when its admissions policy did not allow female pupils, the court heard.He rose from an English teacher to head of the department after working at the college, first founded in 1539 by Jesuits, for more than 15 years.
Bell, whose address on court papers was given as Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, told the court he was now estranged from his wife and homeless.
He admitted one count of being in a position of trust, intentionally caused or incited a girl of 17 to engage in sexual activity. Simon Farnsworth, mitigating, said in any other other setting a relationship with a girl over 16 would not be illegal, but as he was her teacher it amounted to a breach of trust.

Link (here)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fr. John Kilgallen, S.J. On Faith In The Messiah

Mark has us at the end of Jesus' journey, fateful journey, to Jerusalem.
The last story Mark chooses to tell is a story about the cure of a blind man. In itself, the cure is one more testimony to the immense power of Jesus, power which Peter had earlier claimed could only be that of the Messiah.
It is also a story that emphasizes the value of faith, the quality that unites one to Jesus in such fashion that his response to faith is healing. It is also a story which has a rather unusual ending; the man cured not only saw, but he followed Jesus on the way. This last phrase suggests that, together with faith, the man begins to live with Jesus, to 'follow him' on his dangerous way into Jerusalem.

Link (here) to the original post at The Good Word.

Fr. John J. Kilgallen, S.J., professor of New. Testament exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

Spanish Jesuit On Respecting Nuns

Father Miguel Garaizabal, a resource person for the workshop, told UCA News problems arise when priests feel that it is the duty of nuns to serve them. "This training is aimed at both men and women to respect and fully support each other and build a model of friendship and collaboration," said the Spanish Jesuit priest. Nun participants also shared experiences of inappropriate behavior by seminarians. Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Alicesara Suripa admitted she has "warned" seminarians who "touch us or try to hold our hands."

Link (here) to the very interesting article.

Photo is of Fr. Miguel Garaizabal, S.J., find it and more (here)

A Letter Of Love To The Jesuits

In 1943, one day in Chicago alone, 125,000 people made the act of consecration. In 1953, the Catholic University of America enthroned the Sacred Heart and consecrated itself to it. A large painting of the Sacred Heart once faced all those who entered the University’s central building, McMahon Hall.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart has nearly disappeared among Catholic academic institutions and the images have largely been moved or taken down.

“It’s sad that there hasn’t been a greater revival,” remarked President Fahey. Leo XIII firmly established the devotion; Pius XII enriched its popular appeal. John Paul II spoke about the devotion again and again, and Pope Benedict has always been a proponent of the Sacred Heart. Recently, he issued a letter to the Jesuits encouraging its revival and this summer he opened the Year of the Priest on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.”

Link (here)

100 Year Anniversary Of The Potifical Biblical Institute

This morning the Holy Father received members of the Pontifical Biblical Institute which is currently celebrating its centenary. The institute was founded by Pope Pius X.

Benedict XVI greeted Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and expressed his thanks to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The Jesuits,

“not without considerable effort, invest financial and human resources in running the Faculty of the Ancient East, the Biblical Faculty here in Rome and the institute’s office in Jerusalem
, said the Pope. He also extended his greetings to include the rector, professors and students of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

“This centenary represents a goal and, at the same time, a starting point”, said the Holy Father. “Enriched by the experience of the past, you continue your journey with renewed enthusiasm, aware of the service to the Church that is asked of you: that of bringing the Bible into the life of the People of God that they may know how to face the unprecedented challenges that the modern age poses to the new evangelisation. Our shared hope is that, in this secularised world, Sacred Scripture may become not only the heart of theology but also a source for spirituality and for vigour of faith among all who believe in Christ”.

The Holy Father recalled that the Vatican Council II Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Verbum” highlighted “the legitimacy and importance of the historical- critical method, identifying therein three essential elements: attention to literary genres; study of historical context; and the examination of what is often called ‘Sitz im Leben’. …The conciliar text also adds another methodological indication. Given that Scripture is a single thing rooted in the one People of God, which has carried it through history, it follows that reading Scripture as a unified whole means reading it on the basis of the Church, … and maintaining faith in the Church as the true key for its interpretation.

“If exegesis also wishes to be theology, it must recognise that faith is the Church is that form of ’sympathy’ without which the Bible remains a closed book. Tradition does not close access to Scripture, but it opens it. Furthermore it is the Church, in her institutions, that has the decisive word in the interpretation of Scripture. It is, in fact, the Church that is entrusted with the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God as written and transmitted, exercising her authority in the name of Jesus Christ”.

Link (here)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Jesuit Who Has Buried 134 Kids

During the week beginning November 2nd, CatholicTV will air a special program which highlights Catholics putting their faith into action. The special program is called Faith Works Across the USA (Faith Works). Faith Works takes a look at numerous Catholic ministries and the lay persons, priests, and religious involved. These ministries include Homeboy Industries, which is a special organization which works with formerly gang-involved youth to help them with job placement, training, and education. Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. founded Homeboy Industries and during the Faith Works television program, he mentions how on many occasions he’s been in the crossfire of gang shootings. Father Boyle also shares his personal experience of presiding at the funerals and burials of 134 of the kids he has worked with in his ministry.

Jesuit Working with SSPX As A Part The Holy Fathers Delegation

The talks will attempt to solve doctrinal disputes that stem from the SSPX's rejection of moves modernizing the Catholic church introduced through the Second Vatican Council. Last month the Vatican announced the members of its delegation at the talks - Swiss Dominican Rev Charles Morerod, the German Jesuit Rev Karl Josef Becker and the Spanish vicar general of Opus Dei, Rev Fernando Ocariz Brana.

Link (here)

Harbor Springs, Michigan: Founded By The Jesuits

Just past Bay View, head north on M-119 to Harbor Springs. Founded by the Jesuits, the city was once called L'Arbre Croche or "Crooked Tree'' in reference to a nearby tree used as a landmark by Indians traveling by canoe from camps along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
In 1847, L'Arbre Croche had the largest concentration of American Indians in the states. While fishing, trapping and lumbering were early industries, passenger ships also stopped regularly at Harbor Springs since it offered the deepest harbor in the Great Lakes.
Eventually the area became a summer playground for the wealthy from all over the Midwest. Harbor Point, Wequetonsing and Roaring Brook are among the oldest private resort associations in the area; many of the large summer homes are still owned by the original families.

Link (here)


What is "Iggy?"

“Iggy" is short for the Ignatian Social Ministry Database. It provides a comprehensive listing of Jesuit and Ignatian-inspired social ministries in the United States, including direct service ministries; university social research institutes; social outreach programs at Jesuit parishes, schools and provinces; and much more.

Link (here) to Iggy

Monday, October 26, 2009

Priestly Celibacy Has Been Guarded By The Church For Centuries As A Brilliant Jewel

We all know that the Second Vatican Council in the end strongly supported the spiritual tradition of priestly celibacy in Presbyterorum ordinis, #16, and that Pope Paul VI strengthened this still further with his encyclical of June 24, 1967, Sacerdotalis caelibatus. Surely along with Humanae vitae it was his most unpopular and "politically incorrect" encyclical.

Yet how often the image of "The Good Pope John" is skillfully invoked by those who wish to abolish priestly celibacy. John XXIII Roncalli was the "good" pope, while Paul VI and his successor John Paul II Wojtila are "bad" popes. They are called intransigent, while he is called open.

Link (here) to the full piece
entitled Angelo Roncalli and Priestly Celibacy by Fr. Brian Van Hove, S.J. at Ignatius Insight

Celibacy and the Catholic Priest: Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Some people may be surprised at the pressure and propaganda that have arisen in our day against the celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church. But it should not be surprising, as the history of the Church, from the beginning, amply testifies. It was, in fact, the unwillingness of so many priests to remain celibate that tilted the pressure in favor of Protestantism in the sixteenth century. There were many other factors — doctrinal, theological, political — that cost so many millions to Catholic unity. But in my estimation, the center of the issue was priestly celibacy.

The first thing the so-called reformers did on breaking with the Roman Catholic Church was to remove celibacy. It is also the same unwillingness in our day that is mainly responsible for the massive exodus of priests from their priestly ministry. Before and during the Second Vatican Council, there was extreme agitation, some in high quarters, to have celibacy for priests in the Western Church made, as they said, optional. But as has happened more than once in previous centuries, the Council held firm.

If anyone asks me, and I have been asked more than once, what positive good has come from the Second Council of the Vatican, I could give a dozen answers. But somewhere near the top is its unmistakable support for priestly celibacy. As the following statement of the Council makes clear:

Based on the mystery of Christ and its mission, celibacy, which at first was recommended to priests, was afterwards on the Latin Church imposed by law on all who were to be promoted to Holy Orders. This Sacred Council approves and confirms this legislation. (Presbyterorum Ordinis, 16).

When this decree was issued on December 7, 1965, there was much adverse criticism and a storm of protests which has not yet died down. Also, in the meantime, the Holy See has dispensed many priests who are, as we say, laicized, also from their celibacy, but with the absolute prohibition ever again to exercise their priesthood. So they had optional celibacy, but the option was either wife or the priesthood, meaning, always, that once a man is ordained, he is never unordained. In other words, the Church has once again stood strong on what is surely one of the glories of the Catholic priesthood and one of its principal means of drawing down God’s blessings on those ordained to the altar.

Why celibacy? This question has arisen many times, has been asked in a thousand ways. Why? Why should priests not marry, like say Protestant ministers do? Why should they remain celibate?

Go (here) and read Fr. Hardon's answer.

The official website for the Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archive and Guild.

Former Jesuit Novice On Temptations Of The Flesh

When will natural instincts that draw us to sin, that create an inner struggle in our lives, when will they subside? When will we no longer be struggling? When I was a Jesuit novice, a retreat master told us during a retreat prior to being invested in a Jesuit religious garb (habit),
"Will those temptations of the flesh disappear?
Yes. However it will not happen until your are six months in the grave!"

Link (here) Fr. Milton E. Jordon's blog entitled, Prayer on a Hill.
Facebook (here)

When a Jesuit Brakes The Vow Of Celebacy

The great taboo subject of the Catholic Church.

Commissioner Thiel, a "heathen child" emerges, a sacred into the world of denial and silence, learns about the plight of all those involved - from adultery and secret family ties is the issue: the plight of the priests who violate the celibacy of women concealed and children.

And there are more than you think, estimate concerned initiatives that exist in Germany from 3000 to 5000 concealed from God's children. But few party dare to break her silence.

• The Jesuit's wife: "The Jesuit Order prevented contact"
Wiltrud Weber has since 6 October before the institution of the Jesuit Order of St. Georgen in Frankfurt has started a hunger strike, wants to accept the "blatant injustice to children is no longer a priest." David Weber's father is now deceased Australian Jesuit (23 Feb 1968 to 15 Feb 1973) Provincial Francis Peter Kelly.
The order had prevented the contact between the father and his family, even then, when he was already eliminated from the Order, says the translator. Wiltrud Weber wants the Jesuits to make restitution: "The children of Catholic Priests, with consequences well into adulthood, a group suffer discrimination in our society. You have a fundamental human and civil rights as the contact with one's own Father, maintenance and inheritance withheld. This needs to change."

Link (here) to the original article in German you will have to use a translator.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. On NPR

The Vatican made waves last week with a controversial overture to disaffected Anglicans upset over the ordination of gays and women.

Under the new plan, entire Anglican congregations could switch their allegiance to Rome, while still keeping their own traditions. Some conservative Anglicans welcomed the Vatican's actions, while the mainline Episcopal Church in America called it an affront.
Host Guy Raz sorts out the decision and its impact with a range of Christian thinkers: Episcopal Church spokesman Jim Naughton; Archbishop Robert Duncan, of the breakaway conservative Anglican Church in North America; Jesuit priest Thomas Reese of Georgetown University; and former nun Karen Armstrong.

Listen (here)

A Jesuit And The Elephant Crossing

How many Jesuits have to watch for elephants as they go about their business? This picture is from the Jesuit authored blog entitled, In the Crosshairs of Providence. Fr. Marty is currently in Dodoma, Tanzania.

I'm a Jesuit priest originally from Toledo, Ohio. I've started this blog as a way to share with friends and family what it means to be caught in the crosshairs of providence.

The University Of San Francisco, Community Organizing, PICO And Abortion

On October 23-24, 2009 the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at the Jesuit University of San Francisco will offer a seminar titled: “Community Organizing Training for USF Students, Faculty and Staff.” The event listing on the USF webpage describes the seminar:

“Faith-based community organizing has a long history of empowering communities to make the changes that they need for safer, stronger neighborhoods and cities. The Ignatian Solidarity Network, in collaboration with PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) and the Lane Center, is offering the opportunity for USF students, staff, and faculty to take part in a 2-day, intensive workshop on community organizing.” The workshops will be led by organizers from the San Francisco Organizing Project and Oakland Community Organizations - both PICO affiliates.

The project is funded by a USF Jesuit Foundation grant and
was organized by Julia Dowd, associate director of the Lane Center. On March 1, 2009, Ms. Dowd was signatory to a Catholics United statement supporting the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to the position of secretary of health and human services. Another signatory was Michael Duffy, director of the Lane Center.
By that date, Sebelius had vetoed four pieces of legislation in Kansas that would have imposed restrictions on abortion, including restrictions on partial-birth abortion. Her abortion absolutism had caused her bishop, Joseph Naumann, to direct her to refrain from receiving communion.

Over the past two months, California Catholic Daily has documented the presence of PICO and its affiliate organizations within Catholic parishes and dioceses. On September 1, California Catholic Daily covered PICO’s push for “healthcare reform” and specifically the “healthcare toolkit” published by PICO and the Soujourners. Our article showed how the PICO sponsored “toolkit” was at pains to spin the truth about healthcare “reform” so as to minimize the likelihood of taxpayer-funded abortion.
Among other things, the PICO healthcare toolkit claimed the Hyde Amendment (an annual appropriations rider) “is a federal law that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion“. That claim has been thoroughly refuted, not only by California Catholic Daily, but also, last week, by Susan Wills of the United States Catholic Conference’s Pro-life Secretariat.
PICO’s choosing of USF’s Lane Center as their partner for the training of “community organizers” is especially disturbing. On October 27, 2009, three days after the PICO seminar at the Lane Center, the center will host Irene Khan, Secretary General of the pro-abortion Amnesty International. Just this week, on October 20, Amnesty International issued a press release titled “Peru Must Build on Plans to Legalise Abortion.” The document called on Peruvian authorities to “…promote an environment with no restrictions on women's access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.”

On October 30, 2008, the Lane Center hosted Professor Sylvia Marcos, who was signatory to the 2006 declaration A Faith-Filled Commitment to Development Includes a Commitment to Women’s Rights and Rproductive Health - Religious Reflections on the Millennium Development Goals.” The “faith-filled” document stated: “Unsafe abortion is a public health concern and where abortion is illegal governments and health systems should work together to change their country’s abortion laws and make safe abortion legal and accessible to those women who voluntarily choose to have one."

Link (here) to the full article at the California Catholic Daily.

Read Sylvia Marcos' blog (here) , it is in Spanish. (Here) is is translated tnto English through Google Translator.

Photo is of Sylvia Marcos at Simon Bolivar University.

Boston College Jesuit On Obama

Cyril Opeil, a Jesuit priest and a Boston College physicist who is working on a solar project with one of the centers at MIT, said he feels Obama's speech at MIT signals the president's understanding of how important scientific research is to fixing the nation's environmental problems.
"He knows that in the past great things have come out of MIT,
and I think what he is doing is called upon people who know the challenges, who know the possibilities,"
Opeil said.

Link (here)

Photo is photoshopper of course, to funny!

The Jesuits Of Madrid And The Dead Christ

Gregorio Fernández, not long before his death at 60 in 1636, he carved for the Jesuits in Madrid a life-size figure of Dead Christ.

Scrawny, as opposed to muscularly Michelangelesque, the recumbent pose angular and uneasy, this Christ recalls the gothic tradition of dying and dead Christs, the contrast of blood congealed and wounds sugaring with pale exsanguinated flesh quite horrifying in its realism, the body's pallor enhanced by the white crumpled sheet beneath it and the soft aquamarine blue of the cloth about his loins.

In this last, the grain of the timber has been deliberately exploited to give the semblance of silk, for unlike the underlying timber of Christ's flesh, this element has not been primed with gesso to obscure the grain - the pale blue, too, was as common in medieval Chinese silk as it is now in moiré silk.

From the wondrously fine fold forms and selvages of this loin cloth, realism extends further in the eyes of glass, the toe and fingernails of ox-horn and the coagulated blood of crumbled cork.

Link (here)

The theme of the dead Christ, crucified or gisant, was treated frequently by Fernandez. After the 16th century the scene was reduced to the representation of Christ alone, without the traditional mourners. Here, anecdote is suppressed; this is the Christ of Sorrows, stiffened in the rigor of death - the extreme expression of realism in sculpture. The bone structure is insistently marked, the eyes hollow, the cheeks sunken. The very realistic polychromy accentuates the physical aspect of the Passion; streams of coagulated blood run down the cheeks and disappear into the beard. Such conceptions emphasize the function of image that 17th-century Spanish sculpture served.

Link (here) with photo of the statue

Standing over the Dead Christ, by Gregorio Fernàndez, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said it showed "the eternal desire of God to embrace all suffering, all human brokenness. There's no place of darkness that He will not reach."

Link (here)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jesuit On Mel Gibson's Passion Of The Christ

The Christ story doesn't get old with the telling; it's as newsworthy today as it was 2,000 years ago. In 2004 The Gospel of John, a word-by-word filmed version of the Gospel which found favour with Christian groups, was both denounced by some as a "pop-up" book and praised by others as an accurate and compelling portrayal of the life of Christ.
Mel Gibson's controversial movie The Passion of The Christ is based on the four gospels, the writings of a 19th-century German nun, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, and other sources. Gibson has said that he did not try to make a religious movie, but rather something that was real to him. He wanted the movie to be a contemplation of the last hours of Christ.
Why do we go to the movies? We want to be entertained, to be distracted, to be informed; we are fond of one of the stars; we like the particular genre; it's a social outing; the issues and topics attract us; we are curious; or if you are a movie reviewer, it's an assignment. These are all fairly common reasons for heading off to the cinema. But when we look more closely, there's something deeper going on, something suspiciously spiritual.

Link (here) to the article by Fr. John Pungente SJ entitled, Pilgram's on a popcorn strewn path. Photo is of Fr. John Pungente, S.J..

Anglicans In Rome Want Some Of That Good Ole Ignatian Prayer Life

The Anglican Centre in Rome has hosted a course on what might be considered a surprising topic in that setting: the spirituality of St Ignatius. In an interview for Vatican Radio, Philippa Hitchen asked the two men behind this course, Rev David Richardson and Fr Gerry Whelan SJ, about how they were hoping to enrich the spiritual lives of the participants by giving them an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises and the work of the Jesuits.

Link (here), Listen to the interview (here) and read the interview transcript (here). Photo is of Fr. Gerry Whelan, S.J..

Fairfield Spokeswoman On Doug Perlitz

Doug Perlitz is currently being held in a prison in Rhode Island and Judge Joan Margolis has asked for $5 million in bond. His attorneys asked that the hearing be delayed from this week to next in order to raise that money.
The SNAP survivors are asking that Perlitz be held without bond, for fear that he will flee the country, or intimidate witnesses. "He should not be out on bail. This is a compulsive behavior," said Howard of child molestation.
The University issued a response to the SNAP network and their insistence that the allegations against O'Brien and Perlitz must be considered credible.
"It seems it would be prudent for us all to remember that in our system of law, one is considered innocent until proven guilty. We are all aware that right now the Doug Perlitz case is working its way through our justice system, as it should,"
said a statement issued by Rama Sudhaker, Vice President for Marketing and Communication for Fairfield University.
"At the same time, as an institution of higher education, we respect the right to the peaceful and free exchange of ideas. We certainly join with all parties who have an interest in the well-being of all children, including, of course, the Haitian children,"
continued Sudhaker, adding that there will be a review of campus support for charitable organizations and a forum will be held on campus to discuss the university's mission as a Jesuit and Catholic university and its principles related to helping and serving those in need.

Link (here)
Photo is of Rama Sudhaker

Friday, October 23, 2009

This Is Not Rahner’s "World Church"

Pope Benedict is preeminently the Pope of Christian Unity. Pope Benedict has been struggling against forces within his own fold to achieve Christian unity.

His is decidedly not the unity that liberals (Richard McBrien, Gerald O’Collins) have in mind when they think of Christian unity, with its watered-down version of Roman primacy, liturgy, catechesis, sexual ethics and church discipline. In other words, a Christian unity without a Christian identity (christian with a small ‘c’).

No, Benedict’s unity is real unity, true unity that costs something, that stretches people, but that does not compromise what is essential to the Church.
This is not Karl Rahner’s "world church" where anything and anyone goes. It is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ Jesus.
Benedict’s true ecumenism is consonant with everything we are as a Church. People are going to be stretched, but absolutely nothing essential will be given away. You see where I am going with this. Liberals want ecumenism only with those whom they want in their sort of church.

Link (here) to the full post by Fr. Z.

Jesuit On The Pope Of Christian Unity

From What Does The Prayer Really Says.

The pope’s outreach to rival churches has spanned the conservative-liberal spectrum. He has bolstered dialogue with Lutherans and other mainline Protestants. He met with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, regarded by some as the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Churches. And he lifted an excommunication ban on the highly conservative Catholic splinter group Society of St. Pius X.

Few expected Pope Benedict to reach out to other Christian churches aggressively when he was elected in April 2005. Yet the rise of secularism among European Christians and the expansion of Islam on the Continent in recent decades have influenced thinking within Vatican corridors. In addition, this pope considers divisions among rival Christian churches as a threat to Roman Catholicism’s credibility in the market of ideas and faiths, according to Vatican analysts and advisers to the pope.
"Anyone who thought he wasn’t serious about ecumenical dialogue was seriously mistaken,"
said the Rev. Joseph Fessio, one of Pope Benedict’s former students whom he occasionally consults.

Link (here) to Fr. Z's original post with his usual top notch decipherment of liberal speak. Link (here) to the original Wall Street Journal article.

Hindu Radical Arrested: He Desecrated A Jesuit Chapel

Police in Orissa have arrested Madhu Baba, the Hindu leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the right hand man of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati whose assassination led to the anti-Christian pogrom of August 2008.

On 18 October the police took Madhu Baba from Jalespeta Ashram some 310 km from Bhubaneswar, to prison in Baliguda where he is now being held in custody. The court has placed him under a non-bailable warrant.

Sources in the police commissioner of Baliguda argue that the arrest "has nothing to do with extremist violence last year" and that recently the police had received information of threats and possible new attacks on minorities that lead back to Madhu Baba.

The Hindu leader, however, is long accused of having participated in a Hindu extremist raid that took place more than a year ago. On July 8, 2008, the Christian villagers of Malipara, in the Tumudibandh, were attacked by activists linked to Madhu Baba who accused them of having slaughtered a cow, an act prohibited by Hindu religious dictates. The leader of the VHP had definitely taken part in the quarrel between Christians and his followers that took place in the morning.
The attack occurred in the afternoon according to a well known dynamic: the siege of homes of some Christians, the hostel and the orphanage linked the Church, the desecration of a local Catholic chapel run by the Jesuits, the destruction of Bibles, books and liturgical furnishings.
Madhu Baba's involvement in the affair has long been known and the Hindu leader was on the police most wanted list in the area of Tumudibandh. Hi imprisonment, which occurred suddenly and so long after the events, gives rise to suspicion and speculation among the people of Kandhamal.

The Hindu leader is a controversial figure of the VHP in Orissa, often criticized for its extremist views. Right hand man of Laxmananda Saraswati and his heir to the leadership of Jalespeta Ashram, Madhu Baba was at the scene of the murder of the swami on 23 August and is one of the main witnesses. He himself presented the First Hand Information, the first report that helped spread rumours that the killers of the Hindu leader were Christian and not Maoist militants as later investigations revealed.

Link (here)

Photo is a cover of a book (here)

“Oracles, Dissent, and Conversation"

Rev. Michael J. Buckley, SJ, one of the country’s leading Catholic theologians and educators and former director of Boston College’s Jesuit Institute, will return to campus to be honored by his former doctoral students at an Oct. 23-24 symposium.

“Oracles, Dissent, and Conversation: Reflections on Catholic Teaching,”
co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the Church in the 21st Century Center, will feature a keynote address by University of Cambridge Professor Nicholas Lash and a response from BC Theology Professor Rev. Michael Himes. The presentation, which is open to the public, will be held in Gasson 100 on Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. The symposium continues the next day with events for invited guests.

The symposium will honor “Father Buckley’s important role as a mentor to the next generation of Catholic theologians,” said event organizer Anna Moreland MA ’99, PhD ’06, an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University.

“Our efforts as scholars and teachers at Catholic universities across the country have been profoundly shaped by Father Buckley’s work with us as doctoral students at Boston College “We are now giving away what we have most generously received.”

Fr. Buckley, now the Augustin Cardinal Bea Professor of Theology in the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University, was BC’s inaugural Canisius Professor, teaching in the Theology Department and serving as Jesuit Institute director. During his time at BC, Fr. Buckley was honored by the Catholic Theological Society of America with the John Courtney Murray Award, its highest award for excellence in theology.

School of Theology and Ministry Assistant Professor Dominic Doyle was one of Fr. Buckley’s doctoral students. “He was a fantastic, brilliant professor who was so dedicated to his students,” recalled Doyle, who will give a talk at the symposium on Oct. 24. “He was a ruthless cross-examiner. He had a saying: ‘Behind every successful PhD student is a director who nags.’”

Other former students who will speak include University of St. Thomas Associate Professor of Theology Cara Anthony PhD ’03 and Creighton University Assistant Professor of Theology Richard Miller MA’03, PhD’05.

There also will be a roundtable discussion on Jesuit higher education featuring Misericordia University Interim College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joe Curran PhD ’05; University of St. Mary Associate Professor of Theology Brian Hughes MA ’94, PhD ’03 and Institute of Jesuit Sources Associate Editor John Montag, SJ MA ’96. BC Theology Professor Frederick Lawrence and Santa Clara University Jesuit Community Professor Paul Crowley, SJ, also will participate in the symposium.

Information on “Oracles, Dissent, and Conversation: Reflections on Catholic Teaching” is available at

Head of Abortion-Supporting Group to Speak at the University of San Francisco

On October 27, the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Research of the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco will host a book signing and panel discussion by Irene Khan. Since 2001, Ms. Khan has been the secretary general of Amnesty International, a “human rights” organization founded in 1961. Under Mrs. Khan’s leadership, the organization has angered Catholics and others by changing its neutral position on abortion to one of support for what it calls abortion “rights.” Amnesty International was founded by a Catholic layman, Peter Benenson, and had received much support from the Church over the years. But as news of the new policy leaked out, the Church responded. On September 12, 2006 the Most Reverend William S. Skylstad bishop of Spokane, representing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Mrs. Khan: “It is with a sense of great alarm that I write to you about the proposal by some within Amnesty International to abandon the organization's traditional neutral stance on abortion, replacing it with an assertive policy of advocating abortion on demand as a "human right." The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops believes a change in policy will erode the human rights of the most vulnerable members of the human family: unborn children.”

Link (here) to the full article at the California Catholic Daily.

Fr John Grumitt S.J. "Rest In Peace"

Fr John Grumitt SJ, died at Boscombe on 19th October 2009, suddenly and unexpectedly after being mildly ill. Fr Grumitt was the last Jesuit Head of Mount St Mary’s and will be very well and fondly remembered by OMs of that time (1976 – 1990).

May he rest in Peace.

The arrangements for Fr Grumitt’s funeral are as follows:

  • Reception of the body to Farm Street Church at 5.30 pm on Monday 26th October;
  • Requiem Mass at Farm Street Church on Tuesday 27th at 11.00 am; followed by a reception in the Parish Hall;
  • Fr Bertie Banyard SJ will be the preacher;
  • All welcome.

· The Mount St Mary’s community will be paying its respects in several ways:

· Sunday Mass on 25th October 2009 will be offered for the repose of his Soul. The Mass, at 10.30 am in the Memorial Chapel, is being celebrated as part of the Mount Association annual reunion weekend, and many former pupils will be present. All are welcome to attend.

· The Chair of Governors, The Headmaster, the Head Boy and Head Girl will represent the College at the Requiem Mass at Farm Street on Tuesday.

· On return from Half Term, the Whole School Mass on Monday 2nd Nov at 11.50 will be offered for him; all are welcome to attend.

· In consultation with Fr Grumitt’s family and the Society, as well as the Mount Association, details about a memorial mass at the Mount will be communicated in due course.

Please remember Fr Grumitt in your prayers

Paula Gray
Director of Sport’s PA/Alumni Secretary
Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill

Link (here)

Teachers and staff at Mount St Mary's College in Derbyshire have paid tribute to former head teacher Fr John Grumitt SJ who has died aged 79.

Fr Grumitt, who was head at the Spinkhill school from 1976 to 1990, is remembered with affection by long-serving staff.

The last Jesuit head at Mount St Mary's, Fr Grumitt was renowned locally for his unique and eccentric teaching style and character.

During meetings with staff about school issues, teachers would emerge having listened to what was on Fr Grumitt's mind - and forgetting what had been on theirs!

He drove a well-loved RS2 Cosworth Turbo car - an unusual choice for a priest but indicative of Fr Grumitt's great passion for technology.

In the Jesuit spirit of 'men and women for others', he was generous with the money he had inherited through a family trust fund, installing a television studio and an electronic notice board at the school to display sports match results and pupils' birthdays.

He indulged his love of gadgets at Mount St Mary's, installing a filming tower on the middle rugby flats, which meant matches could be filmed then edited in school, an unusual feature for a school in the eighties.

It was not only technology that fascinated Fr Grumitt. 'Hawk Mews', at the top of the Mount's St Mary's distinctive Pineapple Tower, is named after the bird that Fr Grumitt kept at the Tower.

'Grumbo', as he was known, was loved for his little acts of kindness, even driving to a nearby town to buy a replacement projector bulb so a teacher's lesson could go ahead as planned.

Laurence McKell, head teacher of Mount St Mary's, said: "The affection in which Fr Grumitt was held by all who knew him during his time as headmaster is obvious from the phone calls and emails we have received from former teachers, pupils and parents since news of his sudden death was announced.

"He had a great love for the school and took a real interest in developing talents. He was a truly unique character and he will be sadly missed by many.".

Link (here)