Thursday, February 25, 2010

Contraversial Jesuit At St. Joseph's University Say's, "There Will Only Be A Very Few Jesuits Here. End Of Story”

President Timothy Lannon, S.J., introduced a three-year plan to reevaluate the Catholic and Jesuit nature of the university. The plan, which is set to begin next year, will take place in three stages meant to address growing concerns over the dwindling numbers of Jesuits, as well as increasing the involvement of laypersons in the mission and identity of St. Joe’s.

“The day is coming, and I don’t think there’s any denying it, that there will only be a very few Jesuits here. End of story,” said (pictured) Thomas Brennan, S.J., (here) , (here) and (here) assistant professor in the English department at Saint Joseph’s. “Anyone that thinks we’re going to get back to days when we had even 30 Jesuits here is just naïve. I think it’s likely that in my time here…we’ll see only one or two Jesuits here. That’s a fact, and that’s something the school has to wrestle with.”

According to Lannon, the first year of the plan will involve students, faculty, and staff discussing what it means to be Catholic and Jesuit. The second year will involve “a documented understanding of what we mean by being Catholic and Jesuit at Saint Joseph’s.” Depending on how the first two years of the plan play out, Lannon said that the university will revisit its existing mission statement and possibly create a new one.

Link (here) to the full story at The Hawk.


Anonymous said...

The first year of discussion about what it means for the school to be both Catholic and Jesuit should be interesting. In my experience, having attended Jesuit schools for undergraduate and graduate study, I found that "Catholic" and "Jesuit" often meant very different things.

Anonymous said...

This problem is being replicated in Jesuit institutions all over the world. Nothing new here.

Suz said...

Perhaps they will decide to be Catholic and drop the whole "Jesuit Tradition" junk... whenever I read that on a schools website I read "Unfaithful to the Magisterium".

Anonymous said...

You are depressingly right, Suz. At a governors' meeting of a distinguished Jesuit school at which a provincial was present, two governors who were defending its Catholic tradition, had their knuckles rapped by him because he insisted that it was a Jesuit, not a Catholic school. The word Jesuit was in this case being used to defend dissidence from the Church's teaching.

Anonymous said...

St. Joe's, a Jesuit school, also has a protestant as head of their Theology department. Ignatius must be spinning. Jesuit identity? They may be losing their Catholic identity as well, if it hasn't happened already.

Maria said...

As a a good and holy Jesuit recently, and wistfully, told a Doctor friend of mine in Washington D.C.--" Who said the Society would last forever "?

Anonymous said...

Pounding the square peg in the round hole.

Pounding Liberation Theology into the world.

San Francisco

Anonymous said...

My experience is that Jesuit institutions are some of the most Catholic institutions around--they may not fit everyone's definition that isn't the Jesuit's problem.

Many bloggers are nostalgic for the "old days" where Jesuits were plentiful but this Golden Age (ca. 1900-65) was actually any exception period in the history of the Company