Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Perfectly Sane Fellow .......I'd Send Him To The Jesuits

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR
People with semi-Pelagian attitudes -- the partial or general denial of the effects of Original Sin -- love to talk endlessly about the Myers-Briggs, because it doesn't tell much about one's negative traits. Most of the instruments used for evaluation of religious candidates -- if not all of them -- are constructed with the assumption that we all have negative elements in our personality functioning. The goal of the test is to see if we fit into the normal range and do not have symptoms of serious pathology like schizophrenia or paranoia.Since I've been reading the great psychologist St. Augustine all of my life, you don't have to convince me that we all are a bit of a mess as a result of the effects of Original Sin -- that mysterious and universal ailment. The Pelagian assumption that we are all actually sane people exempt from the effects of Original Sin gives rise to the observation of many older religious that they never would have been admitted today if they had to take a psychological test. I assure them that I never tested a totally well-balanced and integrated person yet. If I did I would never let him enter the Franciscans, for fear that he would die of loneliness. I'd send him to the Jesuits, not that they're all in much better shape than the friars, but one perfectly sane fellow might help their national health index.
Link (here) to read the full interview of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR at Inside Catholic

"If You've Met One Jesuit, You've Met One Jesuit."

Chris Canlas, SJ
The Jesuits with whom I live and work take varying approaches to the issue of attire: some never wear clerics, some wear them for part or most of the time, and some wear them all the time (indeed, one priest in my community goes a step further and regularly dons a traditional Jesuit cassock when going out to do pastoral work). Though we rarely discuss such matters in community, I'm sure that each Jesuit could offer his own well-articulated rationale to explain why he dresses as he does. Given the diversity of the global Society of Jesus, it would be unwise to try to generalize too much about Jesuits' attitudes and practices in this area. At the very least, I should emphasize that anyone who presumes that Jesuits never wear clerics is quite mistaken - even if the Jesuits that you know don't wear clerics, you shouldn't take their example as representative of the universal Society. To quote an old and wise saying, "If you've met one Jesuit, you've met one Jesuit."
Link (here) to the full post at The City and the World a blog by Jesuit regent, Joseph Koczera  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Govenor Jerry Brown, "Initially A Jesuit Seminarian, Then A Buddhist,"

Linda Ronstadt and Gov. Jerry Brown
As a two-term governor from 1975 to 1983, Brown became a national figure and used this platform to run for the presidency three times, most recently in 1992 when his campaign netted an impressive 596 committed delegates on the first ballot, second only to Bill Clinton. Jerry Brown came up short nationally, in part because of a lingering reputation for flakiness. His long-time girlfriend, pop queen Linda Ronstadt had affectionately likened him to a moonbeam and the name, Governor Moonbeam, stuck. But the fact is that Brown was always a very different professional politician from anyone else.I first met him in 1983 at what was to be a quick breakfast to discuss Pierre Trudeau's invitation for the governor to join an advisory council on nuclear disarmament. The L.A. restaurant threw us out hours later when they needed the table for lunch. Initially a Jesuit seminarian, then a Buddhist, he was and is a deep thinker, ahead of the curve. What's more, in opposition to his sunny dad, he has been a dark teller of "the way it is."
Link (here) to the full article by Jeremy Kinsman

Two Years At Georgetown

When final-year economics undergraduate Robert Rogers transferred from Georgetown University to the London School of Economics, his annual tuition fees plummeted from around $41,000 to around $20,000 a year. "It didn't even occur to me to apply abroad when I was in high school," said Rogers, on a recent afternoon outside the LSE's student union. "I certainly didn't hear of any of my [high school] classmates applying to study abroad." Rogers spent two years at Georgetown, the U.S.'s oldest Jesuit-affiliated college, and said that his reasons for moving to the LSE were not financially motivated. "The student life in the U.K., in my experience, is very different to that of the U.S.," said Rogers. "You feel more independent here. It's more adult. Back home, your identity feels more bound up in the institution you are attending." "In Britain, the academics are more in depth and there's a lot more independent study," he said.
Link (here) to read the full article at the Star-Telegram

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Worry In Lebanon

Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J.
Christians are tempted to flee Lebanon as the country becomes increasingly "Islamized," according to the founder of the Center for Arab Christian Research and Documentation (CEDRAC). One-third of the nation's Christian population has left since the beginning of the 1975-90 Civil War, and a recent surge in emigration means Christians now make up just 34 percent of Lebanon's population, Father Samir Khalil, a Jesuit teacher at Beirut's St. Joseph University's CEDRAC department, told Vatican Radio last week."Christians used to make up 50 percent of the nation's population; now experts think the Christians are probably not exceeding 34 percent, which is worrying," Khalil said in the radio interview during a visit to The Holy See.
Link (here) to read the full post/article at Jihad Watch.

“Jesuitical” As A Pejorative Term

.......casuistry, or “case-based” moral thinking that Catholic philosophers elaborated in the 17th century to help believers make the best decision when faced with vexing options. This kind of thinking was often linked to highly educated priests of the influential Jesuit order and helped coin “Jesuitical” as a pejorative term for a brainy ethics that critics saw as a way to find loopholes to justify immoral actions. 
Link (here) to the full article at the New York Times by liberal Catholic David Gibson
Go (here) to read some excellent commentary at What Does The Prayer Really Say by Fr. Z 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

You Need The Holy Spirit To Have Perspective

Pentecost by Josef Ignaz Mildorfer
There is also no magic in how the examen is to be done. Different individuals and groups offer different approaches or steps.

The following is one five step method:

1. Spend a moment slowing down and being aware that you are in God's presence. St. Paul, quoting a Greek poet, said that in God we live and move and have our being. God is always present to us, but we are not always present to God. We are often distracted and so we begin our brief period of prayer pausing to reflect on God's presence.

2. Spend a brief period of time in thanksgiving. What are you thankful for at this very moment? This prayer of gratitude puts you in a positive frame of mind that allows you to be more open to God's presence in your day. It "primes the pump" for your review.

3. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to see yourself as God sees you. Most people tend to see the glass as half empty rather than half full. If I tell someone nine very positive things about him or herself and one negative or critical thing, that person will tend to go away thinking only about the one negative thing. You need the Holy Spirit to have perspective, to see yourself with honesty and also with love, unlike the one whom Scripture calls "the Accuser" who loves to disturb you by leading you to focus only on what is negative.

4. Review your day. Imagine you are watching a video of your day, seated on a couch with Jesus. Some parts you may fast-forward through, but other parts you will pause at in order to savor or reflect upon: what was God telling you through that event or person? How did you feel? What do those feelings tell you? Was God affirming you or challenging you through that moment of your day? You may want to fast-forward through some parts but Jesus may want you to pause so that with the help of the Holy Spirit at that moment He can teach and guide you. This part is the core of the examen.

5. Have a heart-to-Heart talk with Jesus. What comes to your mind as you finish your review? How do you feel and what do you want to say to Jesus? Are you sorry for anything? Are you grateful? Are there any signs in your day that point in a specific direction for the major decision you are making? You might write those down and keep an ongoing record of them to share with a spiritual or vocation director. Finish your prayer with a resolution or act of faith, hope, or love, committing yourself to following the Lord as best you can in the next day that God is giving you.
Link (here) to the full post at Offer It Up, a blog by Fr.James Kubicki, S.J.

Father Gaspar Baertz "The Jesuit Of Arabia Felix "

Father Gaspar Baertz had to bear one of those bitter trials which often await an Apostolic labourer. All of a sudden his toils seemed to have been crowned with success; and then, as quickly, his hopes were dashed to the ground. He was in the middle of a Lenten sermon, when the King of Ormuz sent for him. He left the pulpit at once, and was received by the King with all the honours wont to be paid to illustrious visitors. After a few compliments, the King withdrew into his private cabinet, taking with him only his Portuguese interpreter and the astonished Father, whom he forced to sit down on the royal throne, while he cast himself on his knees at his feet, reverently kissed his hand, and then took a lowly chair by his side. The upshot of the conversation explained all these demonstrations of respect.
The King declared that he was convinced of the truth of the Catholic Faith, and would there and then have asked for baptism, if he had not feared a revolution and rebellion in his States. He only waited till more of his nobles were converted, and till the Catholic forces could afford him their protection, to carry out his intentions. Father Gaspar, full of joyful gratitude, could not gainsay the delay. Precipitation would have been followed by the total ruin of the Faith. 
The fanaticism of the Mahometans and pagans would have been roused, the neighbouring sovereigns of Arabia and Persia would have been only too glad to have intervened with prospective views of plunder, if not of conquest . One suggestion, however, Father Gaspar made, and on which he insisted— that the King, while keeping his intentions strictly private, should order a public discussion to be held between the chief Mahometan doctors and himself. But so long an audience could not escape notice, and report quickly spread far and wide that the King was already received into the Church. At first, the goodwill that Father Baertz had gained, the impression which his life and teachings had produced, made the rumoured conversion be received with general satisfaction.
There was a sort of movement which at one time seemed to augur that twenty-five thousand Moors would follow their sovereign's example, and a great number of the aristocracy went so far as to choose their name of baptism, and to settle on their godfathers and godmothers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Social Justice Before Liberation Theology; Fr. Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio, S.J.

Fr. Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio, S.J.
This week marks the birthday of a man most folks have never heard of, although he coined one of today’s most ubiquitous phrases: Social Justice. Born in 1793, Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio was an Italian Jesuit scholar who co-founded the theological journal Civiltà Cattolica and served as rector of the seminary Collegio Romano. Taparelli wrote frequently about social problems arising from the Industrial Revolution, and his influence was significant. 
Pope Leo XIII’s social encyclical Rerum Novarum, published in 1891, drew on insights from his former teacher, Taparelli. Today, political activists often use the phrase “social justice” to justify government redistribution of wealth. 
In the mid-1800s, however, Taparelli prefaced “justice” with “social” to emphasize the social nature of human beings and, flowing from this, the importance of various social spheres outside civic government. For Taparelli, these two factors were essential in formulating a just approach to helping those in need.
Link (here) to read the full article by Ryan Messmore at First Things

Jesuits Clarify

Did the Pope “justify” condom use in some circumstances? No. And there was absolutely no change in Church teaching either. Not only because an interview by the Pope does not constitute Church teaching, but because nothing that he said differs from previous Church teaching.
Link (here) to the full article by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. 
Hat Tip to Fr. Z (here)

Amid all the excitement about the Pope’s “game-changer” regarding condoms, I thought I might do my humble best to clarify the situation. The toleration of “lesser evil” in 4) is an old principle and rather uncontroversial in Catholic moral theology. The sea-change represented by 1) would be hard to read into the Pope’s statements on condoms–especially in light of his protestations that condoms are not a “real” solution.  If the Pope meant to change the principles governing 2) and 3), such that the Church and her confessors could not only tolerate lesser evils but could even abet and counsel them, this would indeed be news.  I haven’t seen any indication in the Pope’s carefully phrased remarks, however, that he so intended.
Link (here) to to the full piece by Deacon Aaron Pidel, S.J. at Whosoever Desires

Jesuit Missionaries in 19th Century Scotland

Dr. James Begg
Their doctrine is an admirable one for the Jesuits. Tell a gardener that he must simply sow seed and the weeds will die of their own accord, and he will smile at your simplicity ; and it is precisely so in the spiritual world. And yet the unscriptural theory to which I have referred has been the main source of all the recent mischief in Scotland. Our wiser and better ancestors were not "dumb dogs that could not bark" (applause), they had their people thoroughly instructed in the controversy with Rome, regarding it as vital to the very existence of a protesting Church. They knew that a faithful minister was a watchman as well as a teacher,—a shepherd to drive away the wolves as well as to lead the sheep to green pastures. (Applause.) But we, imagining ourselves to be wiser than the Word of God, have changed all this; and now that numbers of trained Jesuit emissaries are amongst us, writing and lecturing openly and insidiously against Protestantism in all our cities—now that droves of earnest, bigoted Irish Romanists are in all our towns, and in some of our rural districts, our people are left comparatively unarmed and helpless, as if there were no such text in the Bible as " contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." The matter is a thoroughly practical one. These Romanists are all ready to say plausible things in defence of their system ; and if you have nothing to say in reply, you have little prospect of doing them any good, whilst they are spreading incalculable mischief. Your ignorance and incapacity only hardens them in their delusions ; and instead of the increasing power of truth, we see the melancholy spectacle of the darkness chasing the light even in this land of Sabbaths and Bibles. 
Link (here) to The Protestant magazine and read Dr. James Begg's full discourse against the Catholic Church

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holy Father On The Jesuit Cardinal "Master Of Justice" Urbano Navarrete Cortés, S.J

The Holy Father and Cardinal Urbano Navarrete Corte, S.J.
Pope Benedict spoke at the funeral Mass of Cardinal Urbano Navarrete on Nov.24, remembering the Spanish Jesuit – who died at the age of 90 this week – as an “educator of true justice.” After the Wednesday general audience, the Pope moved to the St. Peter’s Basilica where the funeral Mass for Cardinal Navarrete was being celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. In his homily, Pope Benedict called Cardinal Navarrete, who was dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and rector of the school, a "master of justice.” The 90- year-old cardinal passed away on Nov. 22. Remarking on the family life and upbringing of the cardinal, who was one of six children, Pope Benedict said that his parents “created a climate of profound Christian faith in their family.” With three of the Navarrete children becoming Jesuits and two professing vows as nuns, the Pope noted how the family was given “the courage to bear witness to their faith, not putting anything before the love of Christ and doing everything for the greater glory of God.”
Link (here) to CNS

Jesuit On Pope Benedict XVI

Has the Pope changed his mind? Are condoms OK? What about Humanae Vitae
These are the questions that many have asked since the release of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks which have been published in a new book–long interview, Light of the World. 
I’d like to suggest that while Pope Benedict has not changed his mind about artificial contraception or even the usefulness of condoms in HIV/AIDS prevention,
Link (here) the full article at Spero News by Fr. Anthony Egan, S.J.

Le Moyne College Magazine On Excommunicated Women Priest

Monique Gamache Venne of Burnsville, Minn., was ordained a deacon by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP) movement on June 13, 2010.  RCWP began in 2002 with seven European and American women who were no longer willing to wait to have their calls to the priesthood recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, and now has over 100 members on four continents.  Venne ministers to other Catholics who feel excluded by the Roman Catholic Church, and expects to be ordained a priest next summer.
Link (here) the Cardinal Newman Society for the full story.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jesuit Matters

Studying books of manners published in the Spanish Philippines is fascinating because it shows how Filipinos were being changed to conform to Christian and European norms of behavior. Before De Castro, there was Jesuit Fr. Pedro de Estrada who allegedly published, as early as 1734, a book of manners that I have yet to locate. A bibliographic search led to two citations: first a work in 1735 that I couldn’t locate, and another work from 1746 that was available online from Biblioteca Nacional de Espana but didn’t seem to match the English translation, entitled “Lagda,” which is available in typescript from the San Beda College Library and was reprinted in volume 5 of Gregorio Zaide’s “Documentary Sources of Philippine History” (1990). The English translation came from the scholar Jaime C. de Veyra, and we are left with that bibliographic dead end. Nevertheless, the work, if genuine, is fascinating because it shows us 18th century Visayan behavior that Fr. Estrada felt needed correction.
Link (here) to the full article

I Am Quite Happy To Wear The Roman Collar Every Sunday To The Parish.

(however)......... I am usually very busy when I travel, with lots to read and write, and would be unhappy to get drawn into conversations by people waiting for planes, etc.
Link (here) to read the full post Fr. Francis Xavier Clooney, S.J.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Perfect Christian

In 1529, the Emperor Charles V himself arranged the marriage between Francisco de Borja y Aragon and Eleanor de Castray, with whom Francis would have eight children, while also raising him to the new rank of the Marquess of Lombay. Truly Francis had a bright future ahead of him. Yet, his life would change dramatically on the occasion of the death of the Empress on May 1, 1538. According to the legend, during the funeral procession, the wagon bearing the body of Isabella struck an obstacle that caused the casket to fall to the ground and burst open. The site of the putrefying corpse of the once great beauty awakened Francis to the transient nature of the world and moved him to tears. The famous painting of Moreno Carbonero, “The Conversion of the Duke of Gandia”, offers perhaps a more credible depiction of this decisive moment in the future Jesuit’s life. The painting depicts the dead empress, dressed in white, laid out in an open casket. One man covers his face, perhaps to block the stench, while the crowd of mourners looks on in grief. Francis weeps at the center of the scene, his tears washing away his illusions of grandeur and noble power. There is no doubt that the death of Isabella and the funeral sermon given by Blessed John of Avilla led Francis to a profound conversion. Though he had always been a man of piety, he now returned to his duties with the fervent desire to live “as a perfect Christian”, embracing his Christian vocation as a man seeking sanctity in the world.
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr. John Gavin, S.J. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

The First Jesuit School

The University of Messina
................the Ratio atque Institutio Studiorum Societatis Iesu, which can be translated as The Official Plan for Jesuit Education.  It can be considered to be one of the great early achievements of the Jesuit order.  I say early, because even though it was not issued until 1599, it had already been about 50 years in the making.  The first Jesuit school had opened in Messina, Sicily, in 1548, eight years after the foundation of the order.  By the time Ignatius died in 1556 there were thirty-five colleges.  These institutions were equivalent to American high schools augmented by the first two years of a college curriculum.  Those that went on to add philosophy and theology faculties approached something that paralleled our universities.  Two centuries brought the number of Jesuit educational institutions around the world to a total of 800.  Thus the Society averaged four new schools per year.
Link (here) to read the full essay by Fr. Claude Pavur, S.J.

89 Years Ago Jesuit Says Anglicans Will Convert Back To Catholicism From A Desire From Within

The last (September, 1921) issue of the Gregorianum has some exceptionally instructive articles of interest to clerics who have to deal with converts. Fr. Leslie J. Walker, S.J., completes his analysis of the Anglican position,
which gives hope tint the conversion or return of England to the Catholic faith is not far off; that it is likely to come, however, from within the Protestant fold
rather than through any pressure or organized propaganda from without. The article is written in English.

Link (here) to The Ecclesiastic Review #67 from July 1922

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Harvesting Of Love

................the doctrine of the communion of saints is both challenging and consoling. It’s challenging because it implies that there is no such thing as private sin. When I fail to live up to the name—the personal mission—that God has given me, the whole Church is diminished. 
It’s consoling too, however, because nothing done in love need ever done in vain. Our hidden sacrifices, our sincere prayers, or hardships patiently borne, all these things can build up the Church. 
From prisons, from sick beds, from kitchens and from offices, God harvests the love and fidelity that he will use to touch hearts, heal wounds, and raise up new saints.
Link (here) to read full homily by  Deacon Arron Pidel, S.J.

"The First Principle and Foundation"

St. Ignatius wrote in "The First Principle and Foundation" of his "Spiritual Exercises": "Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created." That end? "To praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to" find salvation.
Link (here) to read the full post by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jesuit On Excommuncation

Archbishop Donald Wuerl's appointment as a cardinal was not a surprise, said Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest and senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and author of "Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church."  
"He has been very well liked in the Vatican," Reese said. "He is very smart and takes the teaching role of the bishops seriously. He is no liberal, 
but he does not like confrontation, and has no interest in things like denying communion to pro-choice politicians or threatening people with excommunication."
Link (here) to read the full article.

Fr. James Martin, S.J. On Jesus

Jesus didn't talk a lot about convenience and his idea of "community" is "everyone, especially the poor," says Martin
Link (here) to read the full article.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jesuit On Cardinals Consistory

It's 'Consistory time' in the Vatican this weekend. Today Pope Benedict presides over an extraordinary consistory behind closed doors with all the cardinals. Tommorrow he creates 24 new cardinals in an ordinary public consistory. But what exactly does this word being bandied about here in the Vatican really mean? Jesuit , Professor Norman Tanner, Dean of Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University helps us better understand: " ...today there are two types, one is when the pope gathers the cardinals to seek their advice and then the second type of consistory is when the pope announces the cardinals to the people..." Professor Tanner also explains the historical backdrop to consistories in continuity with today: "..consistories as we know them really go back to the late ten hundreds when we had the revival of the papacy and the beginning really of the College of cardinals ...at that stage virtually all of the cardinals were heads of the departments of the Curia in Rome,we didn't have cardinals in Britain or the United States ..." Our Jesuit historian also patiently replies to some rather more quirky questions, regarding the symbolism of scarlet , secrecy, questioning of power and envy in papal circles ..
Listen to this interview with Veronica Scarisbrick (here) at Vatican Radio

Fr. James C. Dabhi, S.J. On The Conditions In Afghanistan

Fr. James Dabhi, S.J.
Could there be a peaceful way to clear this mess in Afghanistan?
To be honest it does not seem to be possible in the near future. Afghanistan presently has its own 'elected government' but it is no secret that it is governed and managed by a combination of internal and external actors, interests and political compulsions. The legacy of warlords, the feudal and patriarchal ways of local governance, corruption, ethnic rivalries, family and clan networks all play a role in the politics and economy of Afghanistan.

People show their dislike for religious extremists in private but they are afraid to say it openly. Many people also detest the presence of foreign forces, particularly the US, yet they know the consequences if these are moved out immediately. Many people are dependent on the international community for their livelihood. Afghanistan currently relies on aid to meet 90 per cent of its budget.

The Taliban is not the only actor responsible for the insecurity. The warlords, drug mafia, transport lobbies, timber mafia, security companies (foreign and local), politicians and bureaucrats, business rivals, neighbouring countries and other international players, all have their share in creating and sustaining insecurity. Insecurity is also a blessing in disguise for NGO personnel including the UN bodies. It may restrict their movement but it increases the 'risk allowance' attached to a fat salary substantially.

Link (here) to read the full article at The Times of India

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Forged Jesuit

The impostor Jesuit with one of his forgeries
The man has attempted to pass off cleverly forged works, complete with auction house records, at several museums in a scam that the authorities believe has been operating for 20 years. However, unlike other expert forgers, the man appears to be uninterested in payment for his Picassos, Signacs and Daumiers. Calling himself Father Arthur Scott, among several other aliases, he simply seems to enjoy hoodwinking museums into accepting his fakes and inviting him to special "donor events".
Link (here) 


Fr. Klaus Mertes, S.J.
One victims' group, Eckiger Tisch (Square Table), said a sliding scale ranging between 20,000 and 120,000 euros based on the severity of the case, or a one-off payment of 54,000 euros would be more suitable. But Catholic leaders here have rejected the notion of a sliding scale, a path taken notably by the Church in Austria. The onslaught of revelations began in January when it emerged that priests at Canisius, an elite Jesuit school in Berlin, committed dozens of sexual assaults on pupils in the 1970s and 1980s. "Apologies are not enough. We need a symbolic gesture that recognises the suffering," school rector Klaus Mertes told AFP this week, when asked about the issue of compensation for victims.
Link (here)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jesuits Whom Meet Their Doom

Three Catholic priests who joined the Jesuit missions in 16th century Paraguay met their doom in 1628 at the hands of native Americans in what is now the South American republic. The three Jesuit priests: Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz, Alonzo Rodriguez and Juan de Castillo, joined the missions called 'Reductions' since it was there that the missionaries 'reduced' or converted the locals to the Catholic religion. Part of the story of these Jesuit missions is depicted in the film The Mission.
Link (here) to the full article at Spero News

Jesuit On Archbishop Dolan's Election As Head Of USCCB

“This is a signal that the conference wants to be a leader in the culture wars,” said the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown. “The two vice-presidential finalists were the two most conservative on the ballot. That says something about where this conference is going.”
Link (here) to read the full story 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Former Jesuit Says, " Jesuits,... Have Lost Their Inspiration"

Jack de Groot
Former Jesuit Jack de Groot, head of Catholic aid agency Caritas, is slightly sceptical of this notion. The Jesuit spirituality is attractive - ''people are redeemed by God to do good things. It's a large vision with a bit of risk-taking and adventure, and intellectual rigour and robustness'' - but he thinks there is a myth and mystique about Jesuits, which they trade on and encourage. He says they struggle to collaborate and that they have lost inspiration as they lose control of their enterprises. Jesuit provincial Steve Curtin acknowledges there is some justice in de Groot's criticism. ''We are doing more now than we've ever done,'' he says. ''There's lay leadership in a lot of areas. It's an evolving partnership, but it's not easy for Jesuits to learn to work collaboratively. We've been trained to take the initiative and be out on the front line without a lot of support or help. Teamwork has not been our forte.''
Link (here) to the full article in The Age

One Must Learn To Emulate Dismas And Not Gesmas

It is a daunting task, in the wake of these fresh scandals, to turn one’s eyes to the countenance of the Lord. His indignation would surely burn us to cinders, yet if we could look at Him, there would be no surprise in His face. He recoiled in horror already at Gethsemane, underwent the torment required for expiation on the cross, and pronounced the words of forgiveness even in the midst of His Passion. Yet, one must learn to emulate Dismas and not Gesmas in order to be with Him in paradise. We must not expect God to prove Himself by rescuing us from torment, or that which we love. At one time Malachi Martin a Jesuit priest made the inexorable point that in trying to play the World's game, even in the name of charity and prudence, leads to servitude of Mammon. It must be a crucified, perhaps marginalized, Church to which we belong, not one exalted in this world. Accept this then: Judas has manifested himself again. The calumny, torture, and death at the hand of the World are to follow.
Link (here) to the full post at the blog The Wild Tears Fall by Jacobitess

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Is The World We Live In

"After mass, I used to hug kids. No way am I going to hug a kid now," the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and Catholic commentator, was quoted as saying in the August issue of the Washingtonian magazine. "I mean, if there's a tornado and I see a couple of kids on the sidewalk as I'm driving by, too bad! Lightning? Rain? Sorry, find your own way home. This is the world we live in."
Link (here) to the full article at the Detroit Free Press

More On The Presidents Speech At St. Xavier's College

St. Xavier's College
On his visit to India, where sectarian violence between radical Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists groups, and attacks on Christians continue, 
Obama chose Mumbai’s Jesuit St. Xavier’s College, to praise Islam again, as “The religion [that] teaches peace, justice, fairness and tolerance.” Merely two years after terrorists from the radical Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba murdered 166 people
including six Americans in Mumbai, Obama stated: “All of us recognize that this great religion cannot justify violence.”
Link (here) to read the full post at  Family Security Matters

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Will Lynch holding a picture of himself as a child
Inside a Santa Clara County courtroom, Will Lynch was arraigned Friday morning on charges of pummeling a retired priest, but outside the Hall of Justice, two dozen protesters boisterously rallied on his behalf. They insisted Lynch is the victim and the Rev. Jerold Lindner, S.J. is the violent criminal. In a case that has raised widespread passion, the 44-year-old Lynch alleges Lindner r@ped him and his brother more than three decades ago; through the years, others also have said the Jesuit priest molested them or their children. The protesters carried signs attacking the Catholic Church and Lindner, including one that read, "Father Jerry R@pes Our Kids." Lynch, who is not in custody, did not speak after the arraignment, but he earlier told the Associated Press he wanted to bring his case to trial in order to publicly expose Lindner. "He took my faith, he took my innocence, he took my sense of self," Lynch said of Lindner, who is named in a lawsuit that alleges the years of abuse. "He r@ped me, he tortured me, he violated me in every single way, and he completely changed who I was supposed to be forever."
Link (here) to read the full article and view pictures of the case.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Way To Go Gentlemen! Jesuits Enter The Diaconate

Archbishop Wilton Gregory
Seven Jesuits who are students at the School of Theology and Ministry now have added the title of deacon to their credit. The seven — John Brown, SJ, Jeff Johnson, SJ, Joe Laramie, SJ, Joel Medina, SJ, Antoine Paumard, SJ, Aaron D. Pidel, SJ, and Alejandro Olayo Méndez, SJ — received the sacrament of Holy Orders on Oct. 8 at St. Ignatius Church, where they were ordained as deacons, enabling them to preach sermons, perform baptisms and witness marriages. Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton D. Gregory presided at the Mass and administered the ordination, with family and friends of the seven looking on as well as members of the STM and University communities. [See a slideshow of the event at http://bit.ly/9c3nxD] “The ordination was beautiful,” said Laramie, who was joined at the celebration by his parents, grandparents, godparents, sister and her future brother-in-law. “The music, having my family attend, along with brother Jesuits and fellow STM students — I was really able to pray during the Mass. I felt so grateful that God has called me to this life. As a deacon, I’m honored to serve the Church.” “It was a beautiful, terrific ceremony,” echoed Johnson, whose parents traveled from Tennessee to be at the ordination. A reception, sponsored by STM, followed on the Brighton Campus. The formal process of ordination involves the bishop invoking the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands on the deacon candidates. The deacon candidates then receive their vestments from a priest they have chosen to perform the vesting ritual. Johnson said he chose Rev. Brad Schaeffer, SJ, rector of Blessed Peter Faber Community, to do his vesting to thank him for all the support he has shown him. Deacon Pidel, a native of Georgia, chose his spiritual director Rev. Casey Beaumier, SJ, a graduate student, to do his vesting. “The ordination was magnificent,” said Fr. Beaumier. “It is a great sign of hope. It was a gift to me to be able to participate and their ordination is a gift to our church.”
Link (here) to the rest of the article.

Jesuit On The Jihad Against Chaldean Catholics

Soldier guards church in Dora
Jesuit priest Philippe Luisier, who teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome — an institution devoted to the study of Catholic churches in the Middle East — said the violence has two goals:to discourage the Christian presence in Iraq and to awaken in the Western world equally violent reactions.” “We must resist this double temptation,” he said, adding that there must be justice if peace is to be achieved in the country. Until these latest attacks, Christians had been starting to return to Baghdad, especially to the Dora district which is known as the “Vatican of Iraq” because of its large number of Catholic churches and religious houses.But many Church leaders in Iraq now appear resigned to believing that this recent violence will prompt a further exodus of Christians from the Iraqi capital. According to figures given to Aid to the Church in Need, a Christian charity, in 2003 the number of Christian families living in the Iraqi capital was 40,000; now it is barely 50.
Link (here) to the full article at NewsMax
Photo (source)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jesuit Saint And The US Constitution

It is likely that both Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, 
were familiar with the writings of the Jesuit saint Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. Bellarmine argued against a Divine Right of Kings. This was the idea that Kings received their authority directly from God, and thus to obey the King is to obey God. Instead, Bellarmine argued that all power, including political power came from God and was given to the people. The people then entrusted this power to their leaders. 
That is why we should take our responsibility to vote very seriously, and not base our vote on such superficial reasons as charm, looks or mere party politics, but instead on character, integrity, experience and where the candidates stand on the most important issues, especially involving human rights. In the Declaration, Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Link (here) to read the  full homily by Fr. Peter West at Priest for Life

Jesuit OnThe Morning Offering

Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.
Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J. in his book "He Leadeth Me," the story of how he not only survived the Soviet Gulag but also grew in his faith there. He writes:

"...in my opinion, the Morning Offering is still one of the best practices of prayer--no matter how old-fashioned some may think it. For in it, at the beginning of each day, we accept from God and offer back to him all the prayers, works, and sufferings of the day, and so serve to remind ourselves once again of his providence and his kingdom. If we could only remember to spend the day in his presence, in doing his will, what a difference it would make in our own lives and the lives of those around us!
 Link (here) to the full post at the blog by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J. entitled, Offer It Up.

Controversial Sister To Accept Award At USF

V.P Joseph Biden with Sr. Carol Keehan
Later this month, the University of San Francisco will honor the Catholic Health Association president who has received the scorn of pro-life Catholics across the country for enabling passage of the abortion-funding ObamaCare law. Sr. Carol Keehan, the president and CEO of the CHA, is “credited” with giving Rep. Bart Stupak and other supposedly pro-life Democrats the political and religious cover they needed to reverse their positions against the measure because it lacked any bill-wide language prohibiting abortion funding with taxpaper dollars. The Catholic bishops, who wanted to support a health care bill but couldn’t do so because of the taxpayer financing of abortion, says Keehan’s compromise resulted in “a wound to Catholic unity.”
The Cardinal Newman Society is urging USF to rescind the scheduled honor. “It is unspeakable that the University of San Francisco should choose to honor someone who severely damaged pro-life efforts in this nation and undermined the express will of the U.S. bishops,” said Patrick Reilly, the president of the Catholic watchdog group. “The Cardinal Newman Society calls on the President of USF to rescind the offer of this honor and speaking platform to Sr. Keehan.”
Link (here) to read the full article at LifeSite

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just A Nick Name

A press release from Maya Entertainment has revealed that writer/director Paul Schrader's The Jesuit is finally underway. The thriller will mark the sixth time Willem Dafoe has worked with Schrader (seventh if you count The Last Temptation of Christ, which Schrader wrote but Martin Scorsese directed), and will co-star Michelle Rodriguez, Paz Vega  and Manolo Cardona (Undertow). The official synopsis describes a revenge thriller about a man with a violent past, released from prison in southern Texas to find that his wife has been murdered and his son kidnapped. Our hero "must abandon his dream of happiness in an explosive return to methods that made him the most feared man in Texas, and earned him the nickname... The Jesuit." 
Link (here) to read the full story at Empire.

Were Still Trying To Figure Out .......Environmental Justice

A solar power project at Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a private Jesuit school in California’s Silicon Valley, is using solar to get it closer to its net-zero carbon goal. The University installed a new 1-megawatt system on the roofs of its event center, a recreation center and a parking garage late last month. The school just received its first bill since the system went in, said Joe Sugg, who heads up the University’s energy program. “So we’re still figuring out how much this will save us,” he said. The University has made a pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2016, just five years off, Sugg said.“It’s not so much an investment in solar,” Sugg said. “It’s an investment in environmental justice, and it’s an investment in our core values as a Jesuit institution.” Sugg said the university is aggressively going after its goal to reduce its carbon emissions in order to meet its goal.
Link (here) to read the full story

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.

I had not reflected enough upon the classic significance of "lex orandi, lex credendi." By then, to me the liturgists were technicians and choreographers rather than the pure scholars who studied texts in various languages. I distinguished "liturgists" from "liturgiologists". In this reckoning, Robert Hovda was a liturgist, and Josef Andreas Jungmann was a liturgiologist. One was not serious, while the other was. True, the older generation of pastor-liturgists such as Martin B. Hellriegel in St. Louis had fostered a noble movement. But the next generation of liturgists presented themselves to us, when we were much younger than they and eagerly watching, with a peculiar affinity for fastidious liturgical aestheticism coupled with a deep hatred for the old rites and devotions.
Link (here) to the full article by Fr. Brian Van Hove, S.J.

Monday, November 8, 2010

“Will Your Policies Survive The Decline In Your Popularity?”

President Obama shaking hands with students at St. Xavier students
“The discussion will mostly be about how youth can shape the future,” predicts Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas, S.J., principal at St Xavier’s College. Given President Obama’s track record of pithy statements and memorable speeches, the students are expecting fireworks, even as they agonise over dress code and having to show up at 8 am.
Aditi Naik, in her third year of sociology and anthropology, is planning to dress formally. The soft-spoken student has a hard question for the President:  “Will your policies survive the decline in your popularity?”  
Aashish D’Mello, a first-year business management student, also plans to engage Obama in contentious territory: “Why is the US still supporting Pakistan despite several terror incidents in India? Also, when will the US army leave Iraq?”
Link (here) to read the full article at The Economic Times

Jesuit St. Xavier College In Mumbai Site Of President Obama's Townhall Gathering

The centerpiece of Obama's day was his stop at St. Xavier College, a Jesuit institution where students waited for hours outside for him in the heat. Obama has used this town hall format in his foreign travels as a comfortable way to connect with people, although by the time he was done offering advice to the students, he only had room for six questions. One of the sharper ones was this — "Why is Pakistan so important an ally to America, so far as America has never called it a terrorist state?"
There were some murmurs from the audience. Obama said it was OK. He knew it was coming. Muslim-dominated Pakistan and Hindu-majority India have gone to war and still hold deep suspicions. Indian officials accuse Pakistan's intelligence service of helping orchestrate the Mumbai attacks and say Islamabad has not done enough to crack down on the Pakistan-based extremists held responsible. 
Pakistan views India's ties with the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan as an effort by its old rival to encircle it. Obama even got a prickly response from some Indian commentators on his first day in the country for failing to mention Pakistan when honoring the memories of those killed in the Mumbai attacks. To his audience Sunday, he said the Pakistani government understands the dangerous elements that hide and operate within its borders. He also defended the strategic importance of Pakistan to the United States, as he has about India.
"We will work with the Pakistani government in order to eradicate this extremism that we consider a cancer within the country that can potentially engulf the country." He said the U.S. approach is to "be honest and forthright with Pakistan, to say we are your friend, this is a problem and we will help you, but the problem has to be addressed." 
The president sought to make the difficult case that India has a rooting interest in Pakistan's success, arguing that stability for its neighbors could help push peace and more economic growth for India. He encouraged peace talks and offered support, but not more. "India and Pakistan have to arrive at their own understandings," he said.
Link (here) to read the full article.


The Pope called for a "re-evangelization" of Spain, which has produced some of the most influential Catholics of history, such as Jesuit founder Ignatius Loyola. 
In Sunday's Mass the pontiff praised the Sagrada Familia, which when completed will have 18 soaring towers representing important figures of Christianity as well as intricate sculptures detailing Jesus's life. The name of the church means Holy Family in English. Before Sunday the church, which will eventually be able to seat more than 10,000 people, had never been used as such. 
Architect Gaudi died in 1926 and construction has slowly continued ever since, funded only by visitor admission fees and donations. Now that it has been blessed by the Pope, regular Mass will be celebrated in the building.

Link (here) for the full article

Fr. James Martin, S.J. On The Sacramental And Holy Aspects Of Common Law Marriage

Forester Batterham and Dorothy Day
I encourage you to read Robert Ellsberg's fascinating look at the love letters of Dorothy Day, which will appear in the print edition of our Culture section next week. 
Somewhat unusual in the writings of a soon-to-be-saint, these frank (and sometimes frankly romantic) letters to the man who would be (and was) her common-law husband Forester Batterham are remarkable for what they tell us about love, about sanctity and about Dorothy Day.  
Ellsberg's fascinating article, "Dorothy in Love," ; excerpts from the letters themselves are here.
Link (here) to read the full blog post

Clare Boothe Luce. Address at Founder's Day Convocation, Georgetown University, March 25, 1955.

Jesuit Father James Keenan’s charge that Traditionalism can lead to ‘relativism’ on the Right. (here)