Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jesuits On The American Frontier

"Crossing the Divide: Jesuits on the American Frontier" contains extremely accurate documentation of the new world this group of Jesuits entered as they crossed cultural, linguistic and religious divides. The exhibition displays dictionaries of Native-American languages, as well as extremely accurate maps and detailed journals. Of significant importance are the sketches and water colors of Nicholas Point, S.J., and the Moses Linton album, a chronicle of the work and travels of Pierre De Smet, S.J. This album is on display for the first time.
Link (here)
Five Bears by Fr. Nicolas Point, S.J. (here)
Hat Tip to Rome of the West (here)

The Tradition Latin Mass At Georgetown University

Starting Feb. 11, 2010 the traditional Latin Mass will be offered one weekday per week every other week. This will be the first time that this Mass has been offered on campus since May 2008.
The main advocate for the pre-Vatican II Mass (Mass said entirely in Latin]) Kieran Raval (COL ’13) describes the Latin Mass as a way to feel a greater connection to the long historical and religious traditions of the Catholic Church as well as to grasp a greater understanding of the Novus Ordo Mass (post-Vatican II Mass).
“I gained a sense of our Catholic spiritual and liturgical heritage by attending the traditional Latin Mass, which has helped me better understand the Novus Ordo,” Raval said.
He stressed that neither Mass is spiritually superior to the other, but that they can work in unison to enhance one’s overall religious experience. The two Masses are aesthetically different, and preference for one over the other is based upon personal choice.
In the traditional Latin Mass, the Mass is celebrated in Latin and the priest faces away from the congregation as a gesture symbolic of leading the congregation toward God. The traditional Latin Mass uses Gregorian chants as well as a more complex set of actions, gestures and postures by the priest.
Fr. Stephen Fields, S.J., the priest who celebrated the traditional Latin Mass when it was previously offered on campus, indicated that the traditional Mass is very popular among young people, possibly due to its contemplative nature.
“My assumption is that, in a world of constant [noise], [young people] find that the contemplative silence of the Extraordinary Form nourishes their lives of prayer,” Fields said.
The traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated by Fr. G. Ronald Murphy, S.J. when it resumes this week. Murphy agreed that aesthetics are an important factor underlying personal preference for either Mass. He said he believes that more important than individual preference for either Mass is the realization of what Mass itself signifies, however.
“I like any type of worship that helps people come to a realization about what they are saying,” Murphy said.
Murphy also described the difference between the two types of Masses as a shift in focus.
“The old liturgy is very much God-centered and believes, in a way, that the best way to worship is to stand together and face God. The new liturgy wants us to face God and each other,” Murphy said. 

Link (here) to the full article at the Hoya.
Photo of the Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart on the campus of Georgetown University

The Envelope In Haiti

Father Ken Gavin, S.J. on NPR: “When we talk about our work in Jesuit Refugee Service, we say that what we do is accompany, serve and advocate or defend the rights of refugees or forcibly displaced people. And that term, accompaniment, as you say, Neal, is incredibly important, because I see it as the envelope out of which all our service and all our advocacy – however important they are – flow from that sense of accompaniment.
And what we mean by that, I think simply, is to be close to the people, to be in solidarity with them, to step into their shoes, to experience their hopes and losses. Our sense of accompaniment comes from that spark of the divine that we recognize in every human person. It comes from our believing that even in the greatest tragedies like Haiti, that our God stands present with people in their suffering.”
To hear Fr. Gavin on the Talk of the Nation program, you can listen from NPR’s website or download the podcast. Fr. Gavin was interviewed by National Jesuit News before his trip to Haiti, you can view his video interview here
Link (here) to the entire Jesuit National News story.

Photo and interview (here)
"I discovered 'Awareness' by Anthony de Mello S.J." (here) at the post entitled, Yoga Day 147 at the blog called Leslie Hobbs Yoga.

No Objective Rules Of Morality

Father Anthony de Mello, S.J. demonstrates an appreciation for Jesus, of whom he declares himself to be a "disciple."  But he considers Jesus as a master alongside others.  The only difference from other men is that Jesus is "awake" and fully free, while others are not.  Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the one who teaches us that all people are children of God.  In addition, the author's statements on the final destiny of man give rise to perplexity.  At one point, he speaks of a "dissolving" into the impersonal God, as salt dissolves in water.  On various occasions, the question of destiny after death is declared to be irrelevant; only the present life should be of interest.  With respect to this life, since evil is simply ignorance, there are no objective rules of morality.  Good and evil are simply mental evaluations imposed upon reality.
Link (here) to the Vatican website to read the full notification from CDF. 

Link (here) to the Jesuit publication America, at a recent post, a few Jesuits have commented on the writings of Fr. de Mello S.J.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Novitiate, Serving The Mid-West

The Jesuit novitiate for the provinces of Wisconsin, Detroit and Chicago is returning to its former address in St. Paul, at 1035 Summit Ave., next to the Jesuit parish of St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

The site became the home for the Wisconsin province Jesuit novitiate in 1982. Previously, it was located on Finn Street, near the Uni­ver­s­ity of St. Thomas. Around 1995, it became a tri-province novitiate, serving the provinces of Wis­consin, Missouri and English-Canada.

Last year, the Wisconsin Province novitiate joined with the provinces of Detroit and Chicago for a new tri-provincial arrangement, and the novitiate house moved to Berkley, Mich. In August, it will move back to St. Paul, said (go to page 3 >) Jesuit Father Luis Rodriguez, (pictured) assistant provincial for the Wisconsin Province.

The provinces of Wisconsin, Detroit and Chicago currently have 21 novices. The novitiate is two years. The move will take place after novices currently in their second year take vows Aug. 15 and before the new novices enter, Father Rodriguez said.

Link (here) to the original article.
The Jesuit authored magazine entitled, Company Magazine has a new news blog called Green Times. It is positioned as an ecological/green ministry. In reality its a compilation of Jesuit construction projects and cost cutting press releases.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The First Legion

Emmet Lavery's contemplations of religious faith and "miracles," revealed in his play, "The First Legion," which was done on Broadway in 1934, have been brought to the screen in a faithful, temperate and generally reasonable film that goes by the play's original title. It opened at Loew's State yesterday.

Earnestly played by Charles Boyer, Walter Hampden and Leo G. Carroll as Jesuit priests, by William Demarest as a monseigneur and by Lyle Bettger as an agnostic medical man, this film has a special fascination that should appeal to those of contemplative mind.

For what Mr. Lavery is considering, in comparatively simple terms, is the difference between the spiritual and the materialist attitudes. Setting his drama, for the most part, in a Jesuit novitiate, where various degrees of devotion are evidenced among the priests, he brings on a clash of personalities and of basic attitudes over the question of whether an ill person can be miraculously cured.

This question arises when an old priest, seemingly at death's door, gets up from his bed and recovers, which is hailed as a "miracle." However, one wise priest (Mr. Boyer) entertains reasonable doubts, and these are confirmed some time later by the doctor who attends the old man. It seems that the cure was accomplished by something resembling a shock, and the doctor has kept his silence because of his cynical attitude.

Up to this point, Mr. Lavery maintains a reasonable line and carries it through in a series of intellectually stimulating scenes. His characters are solid, credible people, their talk is literate and good, and the quality of their emotions is clearly and tastefully exposed. Furthermore, Mr. Lavery—and Douglas Sirk, who directed his script—continue the tension of the conflict between the doubting priest and the doctor into subsequent scenes.

The priest persists in demanding that the doctor make public the facts, the doctor refuses this exposure, even to settle a lot of swarming pilgrims' minds. But the argument and drama grow fuzzy from this point at which they seem beyond accord, and the whole is brought to a misty ending with a second and seemingly unquestioned "miracle." This latter—the cure of a young lady who undoubtedly has a broken back—brings the priest and the doctor together in a bond of absolute faith.

Link (here) to the full movie review from the NY Times in 1951

No Tip For This Delivery Man

Another ridiculous post at America magazine's blog entitled, In All Things. The author Michael Sean Winters (pictured) offers up an insipid piece with regards to the Catholic pro-life movement. America magazine is the flagship journal of Society of Jesus in the English speaking world. Catholics deserve better.

An excerpt.

It is my sad duty to inform the readers of America, and the Catholic Church nationwide, that there is yet more scandal at CCHD. Sources told me that last week there was a staff pizza party for the CCHD workers at the USCCB’s headquarters on Fourth Street in Washington. The pizza delivery man has a second cousin who works at an office that shares a parking lot with Planned Parenthood. This is shocking. How could the CCHD staffers be indifferent to the acute manner in which the pizza delivery man was morally compromised? How could they not know? They are winking at abortion. They are spitting on Christ. They exhibit a systematic pattern of cooperating with evil. The horror.

Link (here) to the full post.

North West Africa

Nigerian Man, former Muslim, now Protestant Pastor in England, "16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity everyday" watch video (here)

From the North-West Africa Province of the Society of Jesus.

Talking about the Jesuits in Nigeria and Ghana brings out the hopes and dreams of the sons of Ignatius living and working in these two brother countries. These hopes and dreams include setting foot on the other countries that also constitute the province namely Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia.
We, Jesuits, are united by a goal to set the world on fire with Christ's love by their zeal for the souls of their brothers and sisters, especially in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia.
In line with Father Ignatius and his companions who sought to bring Christ's message of love, peace, and justice to the world by engaging in various ministries-education, catechesis, and fruitful conversations with the people they encountered- we, the Jesuits in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Gambia, indigenous and expatriates, seek to achieve the magis in all our endeavours.

Link (here) to the North-West Province Website.
Photo is of Jesuit Novices in Nigeria (here)
Some Catholic history of the Church in North-West Africa (here)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nor Has It Softened Her Anger At The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province

Kate Sanchez and 15 other former St. Mary's students recently sued the Jesuits and came away with a $4.8 million payout. But the settlement has done little to lessen her disgust.
Nor has it softened her anger at the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, which oversees Jesuit activities in five Northwestern states. The Province filed for bankruptcy protection a year ago in the face of hundreds of additional abuse claims from Native Americans like her. "They r@ped us when we were small, and now they're doing it all over again with this bankruptcy,"
says Sanchez, 54, a social worker on the Colville reservation who says she gave away her settlement money. She periodically breaks down in tears when she talks about the case. She believes that with access to "the Pope and the Vatican and the dioceses," the Province can hardly claim to be out of cash.

Link (here) to the full article.

Photo (here)

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.

Jesuit Father Miguel José Herranz, Who Helped Blessed Cándida María de Jesús Respond To Her Call To Found A Congregation.

A profound experience of God's love led Blessed Cándida María de Jesús to correspond to that love with generosity and decisiveness.This was the description of the Spanish nun and founder given by Pope John Paul II at her beatification in 1996. Now, Blessed Candida is set to become one of the Church's newly recognized saints; Benedict XVI announced last Friday that she will be canonized Oct. 17.

Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola was born in Spain in 1845. She was always sensitive to the needy and abandoned and felt at an early age that she was "for God alone."
In 1868, at age 23, she met Jesuit Father Miguel José Herranz, who helped her respond to her call to found a congregation. Thus it was that in 1871, the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus was born.
During her beatification, John Paul II would recall how the future saint expressed "her charity to her neighbor in the foundation of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus, with the charism of Christian education, of children and youth."

Saving many souls

The congregation is devoted to education in all its forms, and inspired in the spirituality of St. Ignatius. The Daughters of Jesus offer Ignatian spiritual exercises.

The founder always endeavored to pay great attention to her religious, to the beneficiaries of her works, to priests, to students and to the neediest.

One day she told one of her students: "You will be a Daughter of Jesus." And indeed, young Maria Antonia Bandrés y Elósegui would join the congregation, and would be beatified on the same day as her founder.

Link (here) to the full article.

Tamil Jesuit: Fr. Constanzo Beschi, S.J.

Veeramamunivar (Fr. Constanzo Beschi, S.J.) is a catholic priest, Born at Castiglione in the Venetian Republic, 1680; died at Manapar c. 1746. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1698, and went to the Mandura mission in 1710,

He composed a grammar of High Tamil, and was the first to write a grammar of Low Tamil (the common dialect) which still remains the foundation of scientific Tamil philology. He is also the complier of several Tamil dictionaries, among them the quadruple lexicon containing words, synonyms, categories of words, and rhymes; a Tamil-Latin and Latin-Tamil-Portuguese dictionary.

He wrote several ascetical books in Tamil, especially doctrinal instructions for the use of the native catechists; also controversial tracts against the Danish Lutheran missionaries who sought to gain a foothold in the Mandura Mission. Beschi is, however, best known as a Tamil poet. In a poem of 1100 stanzas, "Kittêri ammalle saritiram" he sings the praises of the martyr St. Quiteria (not St. Catherine, as some writers have mistakenly asserted). His greatest poetical work is the "Tembavani" (The Unfading Garland), one of the Tamil classics.

Link (here) to the full article.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jesuits In India Built Akbar's Church

A church originally built during the reign of the Mughals and bears the somewhat enigmatic name of ‘Akbar’s Church’, you realise that you are seeing something extraordinary.

Akbar’s Church, built in the late 16th century, demolished in the mid 17th and finally rebuilt in 1772, stands as a tribute to the secular spirit of the Emperor it is named after. The original structure here was built by early Jesuits who began preaching at a time when the spirit of tolerance was its acme under Akbar,

Link (here) to the full article.

Gratitude, Reverence and Compassion

“Who has God called me to be?” That is the question the (pictured) Rev. Gerald M. Fagin, S.J., ponders in his new book “Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to a Virtuous Life.”

Fagin, along with Sister Noël Toomey, O.P., and the Rev. Mark Thibodeaux, S.J., will discuss his book on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., in the St. Charles Room of the Loyola University New Orleans Danna Student Center. Proceeds from sales of the book that night will benefit the Loyola Institute for Ministry Scholarship Fund. The discussion and reception following it are free and open to the public. Fagin will sign copies of his book during the reception.

Fagin, who is an associate professor of systematic theology and spirituality in LIM, teaches courses on spirituality, morality, ethics, church sacraments and ministry and Christian discernment and decision-making. His book explores and explains 15 virtues, including gratitude, reverence and compassion, the life of St. Ignatius Loyola and his “Spiritual Exercises,” all within the context of Scripture.

Link (here) to the full press release.

Tom Morris Went To Stonyhurst

a Jesuit boarding school, from the age of ten. “It wasn’t terrifying, though a lot of beating went on,” he recalls. “It just wasn’t very good.” However, he did have some inspirational English and drama teachers, who encouraged him to write. One early effort was a rewiring of Everyman, in rhyming couplets, that outlined the plights of student life and was performed in a chapel.

Link (here) to the original article featuring Tom Morris

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Traditional Latin Mass At Fordham University

Solemn High Mass
in the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite

To be celebrated on the High Alter of the Fordham University Church.
Music accompaniment by the Fordham University Choir singing selections
by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Show your support for this event promoted by some members of the Society of Jesus.

The celebrant will be Fr. Stephen M. Fields, S.J.,
of Georgetown University, the deacon and subdeacon will be Jesuits, and most of the servers will be Jesuit scholastics.

The Second Sunday of Lent February 28th, 2010 at 2:30pm

441 East Fordham Road Bronx, New York

Link (here) to Rorate Caeli


“The abuse is of particular weight when it comes to the Church, because children and youth give a special trust to the priests,” Archbishop Robert Zollitsch said ahead of the DBK’s conference in Freiburg, calling the crimes “heinous.”

The abuse scandal that was uncovered at Berlin’s prestigious Canisius school last month continues to grow, with around 50 former students claiming they were sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s. But lawyers for victims have said more than 115 people across the country have since come forward with allegations of abuse by up to 12 different priests and teachers at other Catholic institutions too.

During the conference the bishops will discuss their “guidelines for dealing with sexual abuse of children by clergy” and “discuss possible changes,” Zollitsch said. Church leaders will also discuss preventative measures, he said.

“Our future priests must possess the necessary maturity and suitability - also regarding sexual matters - for their posts,” Zollitsch said. “Furthermore we want to discuss how we can in this difficult situation restore the reputation of Catholic schools.”

Last week Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa faced heavy criticism for claiming the sexual revolution was partially to blame for the widespread abuse of children at German Catholic schools.

Link (here) to the full story from the German focused news site The Local

There Appeared To Her Father Jean de Brébeuf, A Blessed Martyr

We have also learned, on good authority, that besides Mother Marie - Catherine du St. Augustin's saintly practice of all the virtues, which she had acquired in an eminent degree from her very infancy,
Heaven was allied with her — for often there appeared to her many saints of Paradise, the Angels, the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, and Jesus Christ himself, to strengthen, counsel, and protect her, and fight on her side. Above ail, there appeared to her Father Jean de Brébeuf, (pictured) a blessed Martyr of the Iroquois in the country of the Hurons: he had been given her from Heaven as her Director, but in entire subordination to her ordinary Director. This Celestial director appeared to her very often; and often, without appearing to her, made himself so present to her that she was conscious of him and received impressions from him, with as much efficacy and certainty as a blind man, when near the fire, is sure that the fire warms him, and that he is not far from it.
She often received assurance of her salvation from various Saints, from the Blessed Virgin, and even from Jesus Christ. At different times, too, — in order to give her courage in the sufferings offered her from Heaven, which waited for her acquiescence, — the place that was prepared for her in Heaven was shown to her, ever brighter in light and glory as she drew nearer to her death, and the end of her conflicts. Once she was transported to Hell, whether in body or in spirit she could not say.
There she saw three abysses, differing so widely in the cruelty of the torments, and the rage both of the damned and of the Demons against them, that the first abyss seemed to her almost as nothing in comparison with the second, and the second as nothing compared with the third, when she saw them one after the other — although, at the sight that she had of the first, she did not think there could be more terrible sufferings. The place also was shown her that would have been her hell for all eternity, had she not been faithful to the grace of God.
Often souls from Purgatory appeared to her in their sufferings, asking her assistance, even some of those who had died in France, before the news of their death had reached this country — the Ships, which come from France only in the Spring, having not yet arrived. Often too she would see those Souls, upon leaving Purgatory, come to thank her for her Charity.

Circular Letter on the death of the Reverend, Mother Catherine de saint Augustin, Hospital Mother of Quebec, deceased May 8, 1668. (here) From the Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents.


Monday, February 22, 2010

This Exercise Is Suited To Every Description Of Persons, And To All Seasons And Times.

St. Ignatius includes five “points”, or steps, to go over as one prays the Examen.
  1. “to give thanks to God our Lord for favors received”
  2. “to ask for grace to know my sins, and to rid myself of them.”
  3. “to demand an account of my soul from the time of rising [or the time of the previous Examen if it is your second of the day] up to the present examination. I should go over one hour after another, one period after another.”
  4. “to ask pardon of God our Lord for my faults.”
  5. “to resolve to amend with the grace of God.”
Link (here) to Scholastic John Brown, S.J. at the Jesuit group blog aptly named, the Spiritual Exercises blog, his post is entitled, the Examination of Conscience.

An Extraordinary Study in Religious Emotionalism

The Life of La Mere Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin is written for edification. This nun, at the age of sixteen, came in 1649 from France to the Hotel-Dieu at Quebec, and remained there until her death at the age of thirty-six. She had always a precocious piety, showing a burning faith before she was four years old. The well known Jesuit father, Paul Ragueneau, wrote her life, based largely upon her own record of her visions.
The present volume is an extraordinary study in religious emotionalism. The Marie Catherine lived in an atmosphere always charged with the supernatural, and her soul was the scene of endless assaults by the devil.
At one time she is assailed by thoughts and desires of the most carnal character; her whole being seems invested by the demon of impurity; she is unable to get rid of obscene images which haunt her imagination. At another time the temptation takes the form of the impulse to return to France. She sees visions and has knowledge of events before they happen. She is given supernatural insight into the hearts of individuals, reading, for instance, the soul of M. de Mesy, the Governor, when he was opposing her spiritual director, Laval, and seeing how nearly Satan has secured him, though in the end he is saved. When a great earthquake occurred in 1663 she had a divine notification that it was imminent and knew that it was sent to awaken Canada from its spiritual lethargy. Laval was fighting the brandy interest at the time. Her later spiritual guide was the Jesuit, Brebeuf, who was martyred in 1649. He is as real a person as if he were alive, appears to her constantly and gives precise directions as to what she shall do.

Link (here) to the full account by Fr. Hughes / M.Hudon contained in the book entitled Review of Historical Publications relating to Canada Vol. 12

Engraving and biography of Blessed Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin (here)

Considered one of the co-founders of the church in Quebec, mother Marie-Catherine de Saint Augustin was known for her visions of hell and an apparition of Father John de Brébeuf.
Link (here)


The lawsuits against the Jesuits for abuse in Alaska were not covered nationally in the media. Then, Germany erupted with stories of pervasive abuse in Jesuit-run schools.
The sex-abuse victims are still coming forward,
but one rector was recently quoted as saying that he expected that, in the end, they would identify over 100 victims of a single Jesuit perpetrator. And abuse is not limited to this one perpetrator; once again, it is pervasive. In other words, the situation in Germany is a mirror image of that depicted in the first Irish report and of the Australian experience with church-run residential schools.
There is an undeniable pattern and web of connections,
even for those who would do all that they can to deny child sex abuse and deny wrongdoing by the Roman Catholic Church. That pattern has led to suffering that is beyond human imagination.

Link (here) to the full editorial piece, The Piece of the Puzzle Are Falling into Place by Marci Hamilton (pictured) at Findlaw.

Jesuit To Preach In The Boston Area During Lent

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jesuit Says "Half A Cigar Is Enough For Any Man To Smoke"

No male caller at Father Bally's was likely ever to forget his host's method of giving his guests a smoke.
He invariably took a cigar and, breaking it in half with his fingers, making as clean a cut as if done by a knife, he would hand one part to his visitor and light the other half for himself, saying: "Half a cigar is enough for any man to smoke."
This can be interpreted to mean that too much nicotine is injurious to the system.

Link (here) to the fantastic essay of a remarkable Jesuit entitled, Memoirs of the Rev. Augustin Bally, S.J. by William Bishop Schuyler

Ignatius Labored To Spread


ROUSE up, O Lord, and foster the spirit of the Exercises which Blessed Ignatius labored to spread abroad, that we, too, may be filled with it and be zealous to love what he loved and do what he taught! Through Christ our Lord.


Link (here)

California Province Is Having Manpower Shortage

Jesuit Fathers Martin Rock and Leo Prengaman will be leaving Saint Mary Parish in Ogden and the Diocese of Salt Lake City Aug. 3.

The Most Rev. John C. Wester, bishop of Salt Lake said in his Tuesday Tapestry column, Feb. 12, that this is sad news for all of us. We are profoundly grateful to these Jesuit fathers and their predecessors for more than five decades of service in this diocese,” the bishop said.

“Since their arrival in Utah, the Jesuit fathers have provided a supreme and effective presence in the Ogden area,” said Vicar General Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald. “Their commitment to St. Mary Parish and St. Joseph Catholic High School greatly enriched the faith life of the Catholic community. They leave an impressive legacy as they depart this diocese and will be greatly missed.”

“This is our home,” said Fr. Prengaman. “We (the Jesuits) have been serving the people here since at least the 1940s. It is a disappointment that we have to leave now.”

Fr. Prengaman said the provincial superior said last year he would not be sending any more Jesuits to Utah because of a manpower shortage.
“We knew that we would not be replaced, but it was a surprise that we are being pulled out,” said Fr. Prengaman. “Fr. Rock is 82 and after almost 20 years of service here, he will most likely retire. We are going to have a going away and retirement party in July. I will be reassigned in May or June.”

Fr. Prengaman said because there are so few priests in Utah, there is a special comaraderie among them. They work together and help one another. He said he hasn’t found that to be true in other places. “That is one of the great blessings of having been here,” he said.

“With the Jesuits leaving St. Mary Parish, I feel like it is the end of an era,” said Deacon Steve Neveraski of St. Mary Parish. “Frs. Rock and Prengaman have been a large part of our lives and our family here. Fr. Rock has been my spiritual director since I began my studies for the diaconate. His knowledge and experience have been a treasure for me and helped me greatly as a deacon.”

“It was Fr. Rock who suggested 10 years ago that I consider the diaconate as a vocation,” said Deacon Jack Clark, of St. Mary Parish. “At that time, I really had no idea of what the diaconate ministry entailed. What I did have was the honor and pleasure of the likes of Jesuit Fathers Neale Herrlich, John Ferguson, Patrick Reuse and Rock; studying and learning what I could during my formation. One of my fondest memories is being able to assist my mentors and friends during an Easter Vigil shortly after my ordination.”

Link (here) to the full article.

Synopsis Historiae Societatis Jesu : Pro Nostris Tantum

by Fr. Franz Xavier Wernz, S.J. (here)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jesuit Says "Communism Can Remedy No Evil, And Remove No Social Grievance

Well-administered government and wise laws are the means intended by nature for protecting and securing all classes of citizens in their genuine civil rights.
But the principles of communism can remedy no evil, and remove no social grievance.
Nay, to reduce that execrable theory to practice would be to substitute for occasional troubles that can be quieted by authority of just law, manifold evils that could not be endured in any but a savage nation.

Link (here) to a great anti-communist article by Fr. Walter H. Hill, S.J. published in The American Catholic Quarterly January 1878

Find original photo (here)

Jesuit High School Uses Old Media To Recruit New Students

Catholic schools in California have also faced plummeting enrollment and undertaken efforts to recruit new students. In December 2009, Jesuit High School in Sacramento, which describes itself as “one of the top private high schools in the country,” began advertising in newspapers and on the radio in a campaign to attract new students.

Link (here) to California Catholic Daily

Jesuit Writes A Letter To The Holy Father

16 February 2010

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Palace, 00120 Vatican City

Your Holiness,

As faithful, practicing Catholics, consecrated and lay, we urgently write to you concerning the cause of Pope Pius XII. We are educators who have conducted research and are currently carrying into effect more research on Catholicism under National Socialism and the Holocaust. The movement to press forward at this time the process of beatification of Pius XII greatly troubles us. Needless to say, the controversy over Pius XII’s actions during the Second World War and the Holocaust is long-standing.

Read the rest of the letter (here) and see the other co-signers.

Rev. Dr. James Bernauer, S.J.,
Kraft professor of philosophy,
Boston College, director,
Center for Christian-Jewish Learning

Isn't That Nice

On Oct. 28, 2009, California Catholic Daily reported that the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco’s Public Interest Law Foundation would honor California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno for his dissent in the Proposition 8 decision. The article also noted that every single PILF honoree since the event’s inception had been a supporter of same-sex ‘marriage,’ including Therese Stewart and Shannon Minter, whom USF honored in 2008 for winning the later-overturned 2008 “Marriages” case.

USF Law School’s support for same-sex ‘marriage’ continues unabated. On Feb. 26, the USF Law Review will sponsor a symposium called “The Future of Same Sex Marriage.” Panel members have yet to be announced, but it is reasonable to expect they will include USF Professor Julie Nice, who is listed as the “Faculty Expert” for issues pertaining to “Sexual Orientation and the Law” on the school’s “For the Media” page. That makes Professor Nice the school’s go-to-person when the media wants an opinion on same-sex ‘marriage.’

A good example of Professor Nice’s views was given in an interview on March 5, 2009 with KCBS radio, where she said the question before the California Supreme court, then hearing the Proposition 8 case, was a conflict between the “constitutional principles in the document or the current whim of the voters.” Professor Nice also gave an interview to KFOG radio’s Beat of the Bay “Gay & Lesbian Issues” show on February 28, 2009. At that time, she celebrated the “much greater civility” surrounding the discussion of the issue, which would probably be news to people such as 96-year-old Lorenzo Hoopes, who is currently being hounded off his volunteer position of 20 years at the Oakland City Theater Board because of his support for Proposition 8.

Link (here) to the article Pointing the Media in the Wrong Direction at California Catholic Daily.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fr. Daniel J. O' Hanlon, S.J. "Marxists Have Something To Teach Me"

My own spiritual roots are in Roman Catholic tradition, and in the spiritual family of the Jesuits which began with an unusually holy and wise man, Ignatius Loyola, over four centuries ago.
As with most authentic gurus, he spent years of intense personal sadhanas before disciples were drawn to him
and formed the group which eventually became the Jesuit order. My spiritual home is in this family and has been for almost 40 years, in fact, I feel no need or inclination to pull away from these roots, but I do have a strong desire to be in touch with our great and ancient spiritual traditions of the world. Buddhism is five centuries older than Christianity, and Hinduism is perhaps as much as 20 centuries older.
These are the two traditions from which I have learned the most. Marxists have something to teach me too,
and so does contemporary western psychology, especially the new movements in humanistic and trans-personal psychology.

Link (here) to 1978 winter edition of the Yoga Journal to read the full piece, you wont be disappointed, I promise. You will love (Not really) the cartoon of nuns in a yoga back stretch. The article is entitled, Opening Windows to the East by Fr. Daniel J. O' Hanlon, S.J.

Father O'Hanlon taught for 30 years at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and a predecessor institution. He retired in 1989 as a professor of fundamental and systematic theology. (here)

Father Angelo Stefanizzi, S.J. "Rest In Peace"

Poor tea and rubber estate workers are mourning the death of an Italian Jesuit missioner who worked for 58 years in Sri Lanka and who was “more important than Gandhi” to them.
Father Angelo Stefanizzi, S.J, passed away at Lewella in Kandy on Feb. 3 due to illness. His funeral was held today [Feb. 5] at 3 p.m. “He is considered a saint among [tea and rubber] estate workers,” said S.P. Anthonimutthu, a Tamil coordinating officer of Caritas Sri Lanka who knew Father Angelo for more than 30 years.
For poor Tamils, he took the place of “Gandhi,” Anthonimutthu said. “He went through painful struggles to free them from poverty.” Father Maria Anthony, the Jesuit provincial in the country, said, “We have lost a veteran missioner, a man for the poor. He was ready to work under any inconvenient circumstances [and] never liked to lead a comfortable life,”
Father Anthony said. Fluent in Tamil, Sinhalese, Latin and many European languages, the priest often preached in Tamil and Sinhalese. He frequently trekked into tea and rubber estates to spend time with the poor workers of Indian origin, who are mostly Hindus.
Tamil plantation workers were cruelly exploited by the British and, after independence, by the local masters. They were constantly mired in debt. “His flesh and bones are to be buried in our soil,” said Edward Kumaragamage, a Kolping worker and Christian activist in the plantation sector. Kumaragamage said the priest had “dared to come to their aid” during the anti-Tamil riots of 1958 and 1983.
Father Stefanizzi joined the Kolping Movement and was deeply impressed by its potential to help in faith and community development. He started the Kolping Centers and developed the group’s work in the plantation sector.
During his final days, he was in the Jesuit Infirmary at Lewella, confined to his wheelchair due to arthritis. There are five Jesuit missioners presently serving in Sri Lanka. Father Stefanizzi was born in Matino Lecce, Italy, in 1919.
He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Naples in 1936 and did his philosophical studies in Gallarate. After his practical work experience in Bari, he came to Kurseong in India to study theology and was ordained a priest there on Nov. 21, 1949.
After studying Tamil, he came to Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then known, in 1952.

Link (here)

Fr. James Martin, S.J. Watches EWTN

For a recent example of the Cafeteria Catholic on the right, witness EWTN's offering a very friendly airing of the views of a person who supports torture--or at least the "enhanced" interrogation techniques--that have been thoroughly discredited, as well as roundly condemned by the church.

Link (here) to the full post in context by Fr. James Martin, S.J., entitled, Welcome to the Cafeteria, EWTN.

Fr. Joseph Rickaby, S.J. with an overview of Catholic Just War Theory (here) St. Ignatius of Loyola on war in Africa (here) St. Thomas Aquinas the Angelic Doctor of the Church on war (here) Search engine results of EWTN contained in America magazine (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) , (here) and (here)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Former Jesuit Jerry Brown On "Ignatian Indiffernce"

Dan Balz did a nice job after he scored a sit-down interview with Jerry Brown, in advance of Crusty’s formal annunciation that he’s running for governor. We were especially intrigued when we read this:

If she wins the GOP nomination, Whitman will have a sizable financial advantage over Brown. She has already put $39 million of her money into the race and could spend $150 million or more by the election in November. Brown can’t compete with that kind of money, but he said of Whitman, “Her money is not kryptonite.”

Asked how he will prepare for that, he offered a lesson from St. Ignatius. He would summon all the “Ignatian indifference” that he could. That is, he added, the idea of eschewing attachments to wealth or glory and preparing “to do the will of God, however it manifests.”

“Here we have the will of the people,” Brown said, “and how it turns out will be fine for me.”

Huh? Wussup with that ?

Was Jerry really saying he’s preparing “to do the will of God?” And if so, how come Balz didn’t make that the lead of his piece? Because if that’s what Jerry is saying – that he is bracing for Meg’s onslaught by preparing “to do the will of God” — then by golly, he’s right in there with Pat Robertson and Rick Warren, isn’t he?

So we called Jerry’s office for some clarification. Brown wouldn’t come to the phone for a quick theological discussion, but spokesman, Sterling Clifford (who sat in on the Balz interview but who was raised Mormon, not Catholic and certainly not Jesuit) said Jerry was trying to explain “Ignatian indifference” as an acceptance of God’s will, which he distinguished from the election, which is a matter of the peoples’ will.

Link (here) to the blog entitled Calbuzz.

You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato, You Say Noosphere, I Say Noosystem

Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. wrote of a "noosphere", a universal belt of Psychosocial forces.
Julian Huxley some what less Platonic, preferred the term "noosystem."
Both of them conceived this new world of consciousness to be Stage Three in evolutionary matter.

Link (here)

The painting is called Noosphere

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ASH WEDNESDAY "All that is not for Him is but dust"

On Death

" Thou art dust."

Dust. Such was our origin, and death our inevitable end; death which shall part us from all earthly things. Nature shrinks from the thought, and yet what is death in itself compared with what may follow it ?

" As the tree falleth, so shall it lie."

Is pride still rampant in you ? Can you be puffed up when you know you are but dust ?


" Unto dust shalt thou return."

Is not our whole nature corrupt ?

Look into yourself; what selfishness,

meanness, and baseness do you not find;

what blemishes even in your good actions.

We know not when we shall die.

Every day of our lives may have no morrow.

Are you ready for the call ?


" Thou art dust, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Being then but dust, we can only live by union with Jesus Christ. If we live a supernatural life with Him we shall be safe.

Go straight, then, to Jesus, in your thoughts, words, and actions. Do all for Him and His love. All that is not for Him is but dust.

Link (here) to this meditation on Ash Wednesday is found in a book entitled, Short Meditations according to the Ignatian Method revised by a Jesuit Father.

Jesuit Calls Instruction On Family Life By The Apostle Paul "Stupid"

The Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese's claim to fame is the frequency with which he is quoted in news stories about the Catholic Church.
He seems to be in every journalist's Rolodex. For reporters with newspapers like the Washington Post and The New York Times, he is the go-to guy for the adversarial quote,
perhaps in nuanced disagreement with a statement by the Vatican; perhaps putting a different spin on it and always a liberal spin.
That Sunday at St. Ignatius, he preached on the famous passage from the Epistle to the Ephesians, in which St. Paul says, "Husbands love your wives; wives obey your husbands." I was immediately curious. How would America's well-known apostle of liberal Catholicism handle that? Fr. Reese's main point was that "the historical context was different then." In the apostolic age, husbands needed to be told to love their wives because that understanding of conjugal love had not yet penetrated the Greco-Roman culture.
"Radical equality" between the sexes came in with Christianity.
At the time, "it was the men who would have been upset" by the Pauline injunction, "not the women." He continued in that vein, and probably there was a good deal of truth to what he said. I don't recall that he said anything about wives obeying their husbands.
"People sometimes leave the Church for the wrong reasons,"
Fr. Reese added. "Taking a single passage and interpreting it in a fundamentalist way can get us into trouble." Then, in what was almost a throwaway line, he referred to "the stupid passage" in St. Paul's epistle.
I wasn't sure I had heard that right — "stupid passage," did he say? I decided to check with him after Mass. Fr. Reese was already receiving visitors at the sacristy door when I got there, and I resolved to keep it non-confrontational. I said something innocuous about the best passages of Scripture being ones that challenge the conventional wisdom of the day.

That was exactly what St. Paul was doing, he replied.

Link (here) to the full blistering critique in an article entitled,
FR. THOMAS REESE IN SAN FRANCISCO The Heretical Mind Finds a Home by Tom Bethell at New Oxford Review, of a homily by Fr. Thomas Reece, S.J. at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in San Francisco, California.

Former Mindanao Jesuit, "The Religious Life Was Not For Me"

Adolph "Al" Berenguer said his decision to leave the Jesuits in the Mindanao region of the Philippines has led him to a life of splendor.
"After seven years, I determined that the religious life was not for me," Berenguer said, explaining. "And I am so happy, because now I have three children, six grandchildren -- and we're all in the teaching field. We're not just earning money for ourselves, but sharing our talents."
Berenguer's son, Ignatius "Ike" Berenguer, teaches third-graders in the Hercules school district, where Berenguer came to give a poetry lesson last week. "My entire class got so juiced and jazzed about writing poetry after just that one lesson," Ike Berenguer said. "I haven't seen them more jazzed about the lesson that I've given. (And) he's very softspoken compared to me -- I'm very boisterous."

Link (here) to the full article

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Jesuit Lenten Blog "The Spiritual Exercises"

The Spiritual Exercises blog! Is a blog collaboration between David Paternostro, S.J., John Brown, S.J., Deacon Kevin Dyer, S.J., and Fr. Chris Collins, S.J. In it, they offer daily reflections over the course of Lent based on the prayers proposed by St. Ignatius Loyola, S.J., in his Spiritual Exercises. By Easter, one who has followed these reflections regularly will have a basic introduction to the whole of the Spiritual Exercises.

Each post will have roughly the same format. It will begin with a grace to ask the Lord for as you begin your time of prayer and reflection. Then, it will provide a text for prayer, either from the Scriptures or the Spiritual Exercises. After this will come the main part of the post, a reflection based on a prayer from the Exercises. Then, questions or a prayer that will help you reflect with greater depth how the day’s reflection applies to your own relationship with God. Having read the reflection and gone over the questions, you might then want to use the day’s text for further prayer, using your imagination to enter into the scene depicted.

As you read these daily reflections to grow in your relationship with the Lord, you should feel free to use as much or as little as you need, and spend as much or as little time as you can allow. If you simply wish to take five minutes to read the reflection of the day, that will be five minutes well spent. If you wish to spend 30 minutes and use the reflection, the questions, and the texts, that too, is fine. Likewise with anything in between, or even more time in prayer if you so desire. The ultimate goal of this blog is to help anyone who reads it to grow in their love for God our Lord, and to better discern His will in their daily lives. We would encourage you to let that goal of growing in the love of God be the one measure you use to determine how much or how little you make use of the materials provided here, and how much or how little time you spend in prayer.

Let all things be Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam- for the greater glory of God!

Go to the blog (here)

Engraving of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Manresa (here)