Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Bartimaeus is a model. “He represents the man who has lost the light and knows it.” Others lose the light and refuse to acknowledge it. This sentence foreshadows the context of the Synod on the new evangelization. It is directed precisely at those who once had the faith and seem to have lost it. The Church has realized that its own mission is hindered precisely by the vast numbers of Catholics in the “developed” world who have lost or do not practice their faith. They have, as it were, blinded themselves.
Bartimaeus, in the Gospel account, simply says: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” When Christ asks him what he wants, he replies: “Lord, that I may see.” What are we to make of this response? “Bartimaeus represents man aware of his pain and crying out to the Lord, confident of being healed.” Benedict notes that this plea, “Lord, that I may see,” like the publican’s, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner,” has become a part of the Church’s own prayer. Bartimaeus teaches us that our path is to follow Jesus on our journey. We too pray that we may see. 
Link (here) to The Catholic World Report to read the full piece by Fr. James Schall,S.J.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blatty On Georgetown, " The Dissidents Came "

William  Peter Blatty in 1974
Georgetown gave me the gift of a liberal education that included the keys of reason to unlock the mysteries of faith. Throughout an undeservedly wonderful life, I have been guided by the light of my Georgetown education, grounded firmly, as I had been even in my youth, in the unmatched intellectual wealth of the Catholic Church. Each time I faltered — as I often did, sometimes grievously — that light never failed to come to my rescue. What I owe Georgetown, however, is nothing compared to what she owes her founders and the Christ of Faith. It grieves me deeply that my alma mater is failing so scandalously in its debt to both, as well as to the militant Jesuits still buried there who made it so special for so long. Georgetown today seems to take pride in insulting the Church and offending the faithful. I know that some students, or the earnest Jesuit, will point out the liturgies, the chaplains, the Knights of Columbus chapter and so on. Administrators assure me that they speak to the archbishop and visit Rome regularly. I know the litany all too well. But it describes a Potemkin village, complete now with long, waving banners.
Those who believe this illusion seem satisfied with their little Catholic ghetto. It contrasts so starkly with the archdiocese’s view of things. On May 10, its official publication stated plainly that, at Georgetown today, “leadership and faculty find their inspiration in sources other than the Gospel and Catholic teaching,” and that “the vision guiding university choices does not clearly reflect the light of the Gospel and authentic Catholic teaching.”
Of course, the decimation of “Catholic” began long ago when we first looked with envy toward Harvard and reduced the Jesuit curriculum. The dissidents came later, some in Roman collars and others who found personal gain in the movement against Church authority. Georgetown galloped toward secularism; even crucifixes disappeared from classrooms.
Link (here) to The Hoya to read William Peter Blatty's full article.

Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J. On Hell

Last Judgement by Hans Memling the abandonment of the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath), a hymn used in funeral rites. ''It's a terrifying hymn,'' Sister Elizabeth Johnson said. ''It describes the tortures of the damned in great detail and ends with a plea for God's mercy.'' Both the Jesuit editorial and the Pope made a point of saying that hell is real. Yet in discussing what the church teaches about damnation, they showed that contemporary Catholic theology has outstripped popular beliefs about a fiery, subterranean hell. ''Where the tension comes,'' said Lawrence S. Cunningham, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, is between popular  imagination about hell and what church doctrine actually says.
The Rev. Joseph Koterski, an associate professor of philosophy at Fordhman, who lives in a residential college among freshmen there, said awareness of contemporary church teaching on hell is largely confined to students majoring in theology. Among many students, he said, more traditional ideas of hell exist as unexamined background images that they carry with them along with a general fear of the unknown.
If those traditional ideas remain real for many people, it may be because the art and literature expressing them remain so abundant. Religious art depicting heaven or hell remains widely accessible on church buildings, in art books and in museums. During the Middle Ages, said Prof. Peter Casarella, a theologian at the Catholic University of America in Washington, ''because beliefs about purgatory and hell were not known through literary documents, they were known through visual depictions, frescoes and reliefs and the fronts of cathedrals, and they were known through popular preaching.'' A common illustration showed naked sinners engulfed in Satan's mouth.
Link (here) to the 1999 New York Times Article.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On The Life Of Fr. Luis G. Verplancken, S.J.

The nurse stopped before a wall decorated with enlarged photos converted into pictures. They were images of Tarahumara children, wrinkled like old men and women , with sparse hair, arms without muscles, bellies swollen by misery or skin so taut that all their ribs were showing as if they were washboards. A sign identified one of the "little skeletons" with the name of Lorena. Next to it, another photo taken months later shows a small chubby and smiling girl held up by a priest. It is Lorena. "When her father came for her and we brought her to him, he said to us: 'No, this is not my daughter.' He did not recognize her", commented the nurse smiling. Then he continued to walk through the Santa Teresita Clinic in Creel, the most famous town in the Tarahumara Sierra. The priest, who in these and many other photos, holds the undernourished and sometimes agonizing Tarahumara children, is the Jesuit Luís Guillermo Verplancken, the creator of the mountain clinic which, according to the calculations of one priest, at one time, managed to save the lives of more than 400 children a year. Saturday at 6:00, overcome by cancer, this man died who had lived for 52 years dedicated to the Tarahumara Indians or "Rarámuris" as they call themselves and who became in institution in the mountains. He not only made a hospital for the Raramuris from where medical brigades for giving attention and taking care of the community went out. He also founded two boarding schools where the students learned in their language and in Spanish. He created the first craft store where the Indians can sell their products. He translated the Bible to Raramuri. He built a museum of sacred art and several temples. He dug more than 50 wells in isolated communities and in others he implemented systems to capture rain water. He collaborated with the Arareko community on the creation of an artificial lake which is a tourist destination. With the donations he obtained annually he filled warehouses which, during the years of drought, have served as food banks and shelters distributed throughout the mountains. He delivered scholarships, materials for homes and until his last day, obtained financing for all his works. He endured four weeks of agony, three in Chihuahua and one in Santa Teresita, the clinic which he built in 1979 and, as he explained was founded when he discovered that more than 75% of the Raramuri children were dying before five years of age from malnutrition, tuberculosis or respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. Verplancken was born in 1926 in Guadalajara and entered the Company of the Jesus in l943. He was assigned to Creel in l952. Thirteen years after his arrival, he began to operate a small clinic with eight beds for infants and five for adults, which soon became insufficient for the number of sick people who arrived after walking several hours looking for a doctor. In these years, Creel was no more than a commons without basic services, a train station, the stop before the Copper Gorge. In l979, the Santa Teresita Clinic had already been established. It was equipped with 75 beds, a pharmacy, X rays, laboratory, dining room, operating room, emergency area, pediatric, dental, maternal and nutritional services, an area for adults and cabins for the volunteers and family of the patients. So that it would function, he first piped water to the town. Later, he would also install electricity. The first years were difficult. there were not enough doctors or nurses , so he asked all the people he was meeting if they could volunteer for a few days, a week, a month or whatever. This is the only clinic in the state of Chihuahua where the Raramuris can be consulted in their language and fed their own foods. Here tortillas, beans, "pinole" (a drink made from ground corn) things they know, are found. Luis always looked for these things so they wouldn't feel like strangers. "It took years to create confidence among the Raramuri so that they would come and give birth in the clinic, because they did this out in the mountains. Besides, they knew that they were not going to be bound to here. And although he created it thinking of the children, each time more adults came to be tended to", said Richard Lapuente, the Superior of the Jesuits of the Diocese of Tarahumara and who was with the priest during his last days. Yesterday next to his wooden coffin congregated the Governor of Chihuahua, Patricio Martínez, inhabitants of Creel, family members, young volunteers or ex-volunteers of his projects, rural teachers, nuns, priests, benefactors of Chihuahua and many Raramuris. One of them, Gerardo Marín, a 15 year old, was looking from a corner at a group of children who were singing "Aminá Siné Rawé", a song of thanks and farewell to a man with a beautiful heart "natemáame semático suraká." He was looking as if he was upset. Later he explained why, "I feel a great affection for him because I arrived at the clinic as a very ill newborn, and thanks to the clinic, where I stayed for two months, I survived the illness. Later he gave me to my mother".
Link (here) to the original article by Marcela Turati

Jesuits On The False Tarahumara Famine In Mexico

According to the Jesuits in Creel, the crisis was both exaggerated and mismanaged. "Certainly there was a very serious drought, but the indigenous always live in a situation of poverty and malnutrition, and this year wasn't really that different," said Guillermo Estrada, director of the Santa Teresita Clinic in Creel. "The difference is, the false reports of the suicides really brought a lot of public attention. We were overwhelmed with food, but the stories about massive deaths and famine like in Africa were false." Avila, who has worked for 37 years with the Tarahumara, also is a human-rights activist, a role that has brought death threats. He works out of a small office, watched by security cameras, next to the Catholic Church on Creel's main square. Here tour guides pester tourists, and a few Tarahumara peddle handicrafts. Avila said his appeals for help to the state government last fall fell on deaf ears. And, when relief finally arrived, he said, it was without good planning or consultation. "In late January, the government began to distribute food, just handing it out of trucks without figuring out if it was needed it or not," he said.
Link (here) to the full story at

Saturday, October 27, 2012


It contains in it five Points.
First Point. The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received.
Second Point. The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out.
Third Point. The third, to ask account of our soul from the hour that we rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts, in the same order as was mentioned in the Particular Examen.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to ask pardon of God our Lord for the faults.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to purpose amendment with His grace.
Our Father.
Link (here) to read the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius at CCEL

Jesuit Guitar Masses

Guitar Mass
...we were already experimenting with a new religion curriculum pioneered by a New York Jesuit and introduced by Jesuit Father Frank Stroud, a Prep teacher. Guitar Masses were common and we learned new English hymns, also composed by Jesuit musicians. Jesuit scholastic or seminarian Neil Connolly played the guitar and brought other student musicians into the liturgy. At St. Peter’s College in 1970 there were more than 50 Jesuits in residence as administrators and teachers. Jesuit Father George McCauley by that time had already written his book “Sacraments for Secular Man,” and was teaching the new theology inspired by the various Vatican II documents. 
Link (here) to to read the full piece by Fr. Alexander Santora

Friday, October 26, 2012

History Of The Apostleship Of Prayer A Holy League Of Christian Hearts

Apostleship of Prayer, The, a pious association otherwise known as a league of prayer in union with the Heart of Jesus. It was founded at Vals, France, in 1844 by Francis X. Gautrelet. It owes its popularity largely to the Reverend Henry Ramière, S.J., who, in 1861, adapted its organization for parishes and various Catholic institutions, and made it known by his book "The Apostleship of Prayer", which has been translated into many languages. In 1879 the association received its first statutes, approved by Pius IX, and in 1896 these were revised and approved by Leo XIII. These statutes set forth the nature, the constitution, and the organization of the Apostleship, as follows: Its object is to promote the practice of prayer for the mutual intentions of the members, in union with the intercession of Christ in heaven. There are three practices which constitute three degrees of membership. The first consists of a daily offering of one's prayers, good works, and sufferings, the second, of daily recitation of a decade of beads for the special intentions of the Holy Father recommended to the members every month, and the third, of the reception of Holy Communion with the motive of reparation, monthly or weekly, on days assigned. The members are also urged to observe the practice of the Holy Hour, spent in meditation on the Passion. The moderator general of the association is the General of the Society of Jesus, who usually deputes his power to an assistant. At present the Reverend A. Drive, S.J., editor of the "Messenger of the Sacred Heart", is the deputy. He controls the organization by the aid of the editors of the "Messenger of the Sacred Heart", in different parts of the world. At present they number thirty. In each country diocesan directors are appointed who attend to the aggregation of new centres of the League and promote its interests in their respective territories. A centre may be a parish, a pious society, a religious community, a college, academy, school, or any religious or charitable institution. The priest, usually the pastor or chaplain, in charge of a centre is known as the Local Director. In order to organize a centre, he appoints promoters, usually one for every ten or fifteen members, who with him hold special meetings, canvass for new members, and circulate the mystery leaflets containing the monthly practices for the members. To erect a centre it is necessary to obtain a diploma of aggregation which the deputy moderator issues through the editors of the "Messengers of the Sacred Heart" in their respective countries. To be a member it is sufficient to have one's name inscribed in the register of some local centre. There are now over 62,500 local centres in various parts of the world, about 6,685 of which are in the United States, 1,800 in Canada, 1,600 in England, 2,000 in Ireland, 200 in Scotland, and 400 in Australia. The Association numbers over 25,000,000 members, about 4,000,000 of whom are in the United States. In schools and academies it is usually conducted in a form suitable for the pupils, known as the pope's militia. The members are entitled to many indulgences.
Berznoer, Les Indulgence», II, 197 (Paris, 1905); Handbook of the Apostleship of Prayer (New York); Ada Sanctœ Scdie circa piam fcederationem Apostolatue Orationis (Toulouse, 1888).

Thursday, October 25, 2012


The Battle for Heaven by Raphael
First Rule. The first: It is proper to God and to His Angels in their movements to give true spiritual gladness and joy, taking away all sadness and disturbance which the enemy brings on. Of this latter it is proper to fight against the spiritual gladness and consolation, bringing apparent reasons, subtleties and continual fallacies.
Second Rule. The second: It belongs to God our Lord to give consolation to the soul without preceding cause, for it is the property of the Creator to enter, go out and cause movements in the soul, bringing it all into love of His Divine Majesty. I say without cause: without any previous sense or knowledge of any object through which such consolation would come, through one’s acts of understanding and will.
Third Rule. The third: With cause, as well the good Angel as the bad can console the soul, for contrary ends: the good Angel for the profit of the soul, that it may grow and rise from good to better, and the evil Angel, for the contrary, and later on to draw it to his damnable intention and wickedness.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: It is proper to the evil Angel, who forms himself under the appearance of an angel of light, to enter with the devout soul and go out with himself: that is to say, to bring good and holy thoughts, conformable to such just soul, and then little by little he aims at coming out drawing the soul to his covert deceits and perverse intentions.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: We ought to note well the course of the thoughts, and if the beginning, middle and end is all good, inclined to all good, it is a sign of the good Angel; but if in the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disquiets or disturbs the soul, taking away its peace, tranquillity and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our profit and eternal salvation.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: When the enemy of human nature has been perceived and known by his serpent’s tail and the bad end to which he leads on, it helps the person who was tempted by him, to look immediately at the course of the good thoughts which he brought him at their beginning, and how little by little he aimed at making him descend from the spiritual sweetness and joy in which he was, so far as to bring him to his depraved intention; in order that with this experience, known and noted, the person may be able to guard for the future against his usual deceits.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: In those who go on from good to better, the good Angel touches such soul sweetly, lightly and gently, like a drop of water which enters into a sponge; and the evil touches it sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop of water falls on the stone.
And the above-said spirits touch in a contrary way those who go on from bad to worse.
The reason of this is that the disposition of the soul is contrary or like to the said Angels. Because, when it is contrary, they enter perceptibly with clatter and noise; and when it is like, they enter with silence as into their own home, through the open door.
Eighth Rule. The eighth: When the consolation is without cause, although there be no deceit in it, as being of God our Lord alone, as was said; still the spiritual person to whom God gives such consolation, ought, with much vigilance and attention, to look at and distinguish the time itself of such actual consolation from the following, in which the soul remains warm and favored with the favor and remnants of the consolation past; for often in this second time, through one’s own course of habits and the consequences of the concepts and judgments, or through the good spirit or through the bad, he forms various resolutions and opinions which are not given immediately by God our Lord, and therefore they have need to be very well examined before entire credit is given them, or they are put into effect. 
Link (here) to CCEL to read St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises.

BC Cool

Boston College will host pro-gay “marriage” actor and former Obama administration official Kal Penn to discuss the importance of the “Youth Vote” this Wednesday, according to the Jesuit university’s student newspaper.  The event is portrayed as neutral, but Penn has been on the campaign trail working for the Obama reelection campaign. Penn, after starring in movies such as “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle,” and television shows like “House,” temporarily left acting to act as former associate director in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement. He’s reportedly back to acting now but will be at Boston College to speak about civic engagement and the importance of the youth vote. Just last month, Penn spoke at the Democratic National Convention and spoke positively of President Obama’s switch from a supporter of traditional marriage to a supporter of same-sex “marriage” by saying, “My favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out bin Laden, and who’s cool with all of us getting gay-married.”
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society

Loyola Chicago Hosts Tajma Hall

The Jesuit Loyola University in Chicago will host its sixth annual drag show Thursday night on campus featuring professional drag queen Tajma Hall. The university website states that “The event will be filled with amateur student performers and a guaranteed great time!” The LUC’s Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs Facebook site invites all to  
“Come see performers take it to the edge of the boundaries of gender expression. A night of music, dancing, and just all-around fun will hopefully make inquiring minds out of everyone to see what is it like to live outside the binary.” 
When the first drag show was held on campus in 2008,  LUC’s “Official GLBTQ Organization” asked students to “Bring your dollar bills”. “When Catholic parents send their children to a Catholic university they should be able to expect at least basic standards of decency and morality,” wrote Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly in a letter to Loyola’s president two years ago.  “Events like this not only undermine the sacred trust parents have in Loyola University, but may lead to serious personal and social problems caused by confusion about sexuality.  Drag shows debase the human person and are an affront to Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person.”
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Precocious Jesuit

In the 1930s a precocious Jesuit scholar Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in his The Phenomenon of Man, imagined and predicted the very world I believe we are now rapidly approaching -- the point in human evolution he called "the Omega Point." Teilhard's basic premise is that evolution is all about the development and perfection of the nervous system toward maximum consciousness, as creation on earth moved from simple one-celled organisms to the stunning complexity of the human body. The Omega Point, the end-point of this evolution of consciousness, was foreshadowed in the nineteenth century by the invention of telegraph and radio -- just when our need for information exceeded our internal capacity to extend our sensory collectors. We simply had to reach out. In terms of the human nervous system and its insatiable need to collect and process exterior information, these inventions allowed us for the first time effectively to communicate through time and space -- dramatically externalizing the internal nervous system. Years before its actual appearance, Teilhard predicted television, by which images as well as sounds and writing could be shared through space and time -- what Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy intimated in the visibile parlare, "visible speech," of the bas-reliefs on the walls of Purgatory.
Link (here) to Ken Atchity at the Huffington Post

Syrian Jesuit Bishop Tells Of Devastation In The City Of Homs

Bishop Antoine Audo, S.J. on the right
The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, told an audience at Parliament in London that the city is in “chaos.” Christians “have fled their homes because of the threat of bombs, they have lost their livelihoods; schools, hospitals and other public services do not function,” said Bishop Antoine Audo, a Jesuit who has led his eparchy (Eastern-rite diocese) of 35,000 Chaldean Catholics since 1992. “80% of people have no job and have no option but to stay at home,” he added. “Poverty is getting very serious, especially with rising prices and no salaries. The face of the city has changed. There is no security, everything is dirty, there are difficulties in basic travel, no taxis, no buses.” “In the city of Homs, home to what was the country's second-largest Christian community, all but a few of the faithful were forced to leave after a wave of persecution—all the churches desecrated,” he continued. 
Link (here) to Catholic Culture

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Friends Of The Jesuits

From 1966 to 1970, I attended Xavier High School at 30 West 16th Street in Manhattan, a few blocks north of Greenwich Village and oddly enough not that for from the main office of Forbes.  Each day, as I rode the bus and subway to make my way from Fairview NJ, I wore one of three military uniforms, one of which was a close enough approximation of a US Army uniform to prompt a lady who saw me on the Orange and Black Bus if I was “going back”.  I was 17.  It was plausible.  The military science faculty was made up of older retired sergeants and an active duty officer and some younger active duty sergeants.  The latter were just back from tours in Vietnam.  We were required to salute, among others, any faculty member we encountered on the street.
 Young Jesuit scholastics and priests whose uptown friends were under observation by the FBI were embarrassed and asked us to stop.  
By the time I was a senior the Regiment had become a bizarre parody of a military struggling with an unpopular war.  A friend of mine told me that all the Cadet First Sergeants of the eight regular companies were taking bribes to mark kids present at drill.  None of that with the Regimental Supply Corps, where I was keeping the roster.
Link (here) to Forbes Magazine the piece is by Peter J Reilly

Monday, October 22, 2012

Multi Million Dollar Property Up For Sale

It has provided spiritual comfort for more than a century, but the future of the Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Fort Wadsworth may now be left to fate —
 its 10 acres of chapels, gardens and grottos have gone on the market for $15.9 million. The news has sparked concern that the property, which has the most wide-open zoning, could become the latest in townhouse developments. 
“It’s a place where people can go to reach out to God and reflect on their life so it would be nice to keep it that way,” said Conrad Schweizer, a former board member and the owner of Schweizer Nurseries, who spent much of his youth on the grounds where his mother worked as a cook. “But I assume it’s going to go to the best use or the most profitable use of the land, there’s no question about that. So whatever amount of units per square foot they can put in, that’s what they’re going to do.”  The New York Province of the Society for Jesus announced in June that Manresa — along with the St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, L.I — would close by next summer so the Jesuits could revamp their mission to focus on ministries for young adults and Spanish speakers. St. Ignatius is also on the market, listed at $49 million, according to the Rev. Vincent Cooke, a Society spokesman. Cooke said the sales agreement for Manresa — which is being marketed by Michael Schneider, first vice president of sales for Massey Knakal Reality in Manhattan — 
will be predicated on the new owner taking possession of the land after June 1, 2013, when the Jesuits take their leave. He said suggestions for the site have ranged from college dorms to healthcare facilities to residential development.  The existing buildings will be left by the Jesuits, but there will be nothing in the sales agreement preventing new ownership from demolishing them. 
 “Right now, we’re testing the market,” he said. “What were trying to do is to see who is actually interested in the property and to find out what is realistic here. Our preference is to get a new owner who wants to preserve the property, but you never know what people will do.” The land, located at 239 Fingerboard Rd., actually dates back to 1860 when a Mr. Browne sold it to Louis H. Meyer, one of the first presidents of Staten Island Savings Bank. Meyer joined an exclusive group who established estates around the borough,]
Link (here) to read the full article

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jesuit Medal Of Honor

Fr. Joseph T. O'Callahan, S.J.
Father Joseph T. O’Callahan was the first military chaplain to receive the Medal of Honor for his brave actions aboard the USS Benjamin Franklin during World War II. Jack Satterfield, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, was very much intrigued with the life of this Jesuit priest, and the result was the book Saving Big Ben: The USS Franklin and Father Joseph T. O’Callahan. Satterfield will discuss and sign copies of the book on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Satterfield, who also served as an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserves, said the USS Franklin sustained the heaviest damage of any of the Navy’s surviving fleet. “In March 1945, she was badly damaged in a Japanese air attack, losing more than 800 of its crew,” said the author. 
“For Father O’Callahan, this was a very challenging task. The chaplain organized fire fighting crews and ministered to the injured and the dying.” 
After the war, O’Callahan returned to the College of the Holy Cross, where he was a mathematics and philosophy professor. He died in 1964 at the age of 58. Satterfield said the carrier was decommissioned in 1947 and after undergoing several reclassifications, was sold for scrap in 1966. Satterfield is also the author of We Band of Brothers: the Sullivans and World War II.
Link (here)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Message Was In Latin At The Al Smith Diner

Who had the best lines of the night? Well, Romney got the bigger laughs, though some critiqued him for being too pointed.  The governor’s best line?  His comment that he was happy to be able to relax and wear the kinds of clothes that he and his wife wore at home every night: i.e., white tie and tails and an evening gown. Obama gave as good as he got, and flashed his famous smile at the governor as he spoke. His best line?  He told the audience that he was happy to be back in New York, where he spent the day on Fifth Avenue shopping in stores. Beat. Gov. Romney, he said, spent the day shopping for stores. Frankly though, I was unprepared for how moving Cardinal Dolan’s final benediction was.  The cardinal had flown in just that night from the Synod in Rome, and was due to fly to Syria as part of the papal mission of cardinals there.  He joked that the Holy Father had confided in him a message for the two candidates, but he had no idea what that was, since it was in Latin.
Link (here) to full post of Fr. James Martin, S.J. at America Magazine

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gonzaga University Bea Pigs Rock ‘N’ Roll Band

Fr. Patrick Conroy, S.J. used to be a leading member of the GU Bea Pigs rock ‘n’ roll band. In a time before retired Jesuits occupied Cardinal Bea House, Jesuit scholastics filled its halls with classic tunes such as “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “Brown Eyed Girl.” “We used to do Three Dog Night, the Manhattan Transfer, lots of songs that took three/four part harmonies because we had a lot of guys who could sing,” Conroy said. His favorite genre consists of music from the late ’60s, early ’70s, but he loves to strum a good tune on his guitar that gets people singing. There also was, of course, some studying going on in Bea House. Conroy ultimately graduated from the studies philosophy for scholastics, beginning what would become another chapter of Jesuit formation in his life.
Link (here) to read a rather good and interesting article at Gonzaga University

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In The Aftermath Of 911 thoughts and prayers immediately connected with the 779 detainees whose landing on the Naval Base was not nearly as beautiful or fortunate. 
They weren’t able to enjoy the beauty of the land and sea because, in transfer, they were subjected to sensory deprivation, a form of torture. The detainees arrived in Guantánamo wearing orange jumpsuits, black hoods, and goggles, leaving them dazed and confused as to their whereabouts. 
 On this trip, once the first-time visitors received our badges, we boarded a ferry and crossed Guantánamo Bay to the east side of the Naval Base. There we moved into the Media Operations Center, “the Moc,” and then into our residential tents in an area of the base known as Camp Justice. Bright orange barriers and chain-link, razor-wire fences fill the grounds. A variety of military personnel – I recall seeing Navy, Army and Marines – walk the grounds. The public affairs staff who welcomed us was exceptionally kind and helpful in assisting with the logistics and answering our questions. After a brief visit to the local grocery store (I needed sunblock!)
Link (here) to read the full post at America Magazine by Luke Hansen, S.J.
More on the 911 attack (here)
More on terrorism (here)
More on the victims of 911 (here)

French Canadian Jesuit Severely Beaten

College Jean-de-Brebeuf
An 86-year-old Jesuit priest may lose the use of an eye after being beaten outside a Jesuit retirement home in Pierrefonds. Father Louis Bourgeois was found at about 11 a.m.Monday lying on the ground near a Jesuit residence called Villa St. Martin, located at 9451 Gouin Blvd. W., where he lives. Bourgeois, an avid camper, was on a short walk when the attack occurred. “He was just going to clean his camper. Because the camper is just a bit far from the house, beyond the garden, so he was just out there cleaning,” said the director of Villa St. Martin, Father Gabriel Cote. Bourgeois was perhaps attacked by a squatter in the camper, though no witnesses can confirm those details. “It's the theory that he probably surprised somebody who was in the camper,” said Cote. It’s believed he crawled to a nearby parking lot, where he was discovered by a passerby. When police arrived, Bourgeois was confused, severely injured, and could not clearly describe what had happened. He was taken to Sacre-Coeur Hospital where he underwent surgery. His life is not in danger but he suffered injuries to his head and upper body, and  may lose the use of one of his eyes. Because of his age, he is being monitored closely. “They're keeping him calm. I sensed that he wanted to say a lot of things, but we just reassured him and we're fortunate to have a chaplain at the hospital who's his Jesuit brother also - so he's well taken care of,” said Cote. Twenty-four hours later, police were still hoping to talk to Bourgeois about what happened. "We're trying to learn if this person was assaulted by people. We're trying to see what was happening on the site," said Jean-Pierre Brabant of the Montreal police department. College Jean-de-Brebeuf sent out a newsletter Tuesday to alumni informing them of the attack and its severity.
Link (here) to read the original piece and watch  video of the attack site

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Like The Jesuits?

The Senusi brotherhood is the Jesuit order of Islam. The monks regard the Senusi sheikh as the well-guided one, the true Mahdi to restore the Moslem power. Outwardly the Senusiya profess to aspire to no political aim. Their ideal goal consists in the federation of the orthodox religious orders into one theocratic body, independent of secular authority. They discountenance violence. To Mohammedans in districts under Christian sway they recommend not revolt, but withdrawal to Senusi convents. None the less, despite this ostensible condemnation of political agitation, the Senusiya aim at absolute independence. Their houses, at once church and school, arsenal and hospital, are found in the Libyan oases, Fezzan, Tripoli and Algeria, in Senegambia, the Soudan and Somalia."
Link (here) to the book entitled, "Islam: a challenge to faith" By Samuel Marinus Zwemer

Jesuit On Legalized Prostitution

Father Thomas Reese, a Catholic Jesuit professor, told CNN on Monday that religious belief should not be used as the sole basis for laws, noting that the philosophically-inclined saints Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas actually believed prostitution should be legal, though they morally opposed it.
Link (here) to CNN

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Amazing Jesuit

Fr. Geoffrey Schneider, S.J.
As the world’s oldest full-time teacher, Sydney priest Geoffrey Schneider knows a thing or two about how to bring the best out of students. The secret, according to the 99-year-old, is “a mountain of patience”. “If things are going wrong, don’t start shouting. Just proceed quietly and things will settle down eventually,” said Father Schneider, who turns 100 in December. “Their books will eventually open.” The Jesuit priest has taught at schools in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, shaping the intellects and values of leading figures of Australian government, business, academia and sport, including Tony Abbott. But as most workers switch between jobs or eagerly plan their retirement, 
Father Schneider yesterday signaled no intention of ending his 47-year tenure at Sydney’s St Aloysius’ College, where he is touted as the world’s oldest full-time teacher. Nobody has so far come forward to challenge that title. “Retirement?,” he says. “So I can read the paper every morning and then forget what’s in it? “That’s what a retired friend told me happens to him,” he said, recounting a recent visit to a home for retired priests. “At 3pm there’s afternoon tea and if you don’t turn up in the first minute they come knock on your door and say, ‘It’s tea time now’. “Really, I shouldn’t be frightened of it, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. I just feel I can be more useful here.” 
 Father Schneider’s thousands of former pupils also include Liberal frontbencher Joe Hockey, ABC political correspondent Mark Simkin and Wallabies star Pat McCabe. Asked whether Mr Abbott was an unruly youngster, Father Schneider chuckled he could never “invent anything better than has been in the news of late”. He politely added neither Mr Abbott nor Mr Hockey were particularly “troublesome children”. Father Schneider’s ripe age has some particular advantages, such as his lived experience of 20th century history and a handy grasp of Latin, preferred by some older Catholics. He enjoys a fierce popularity at St Aloysius’. In the early 1990s, Year 3 students were asked to name a new building after their favourite Jesuit saint. Innocently, they chose “Saint” Schneider.  
“I didn’t worry about it at the time, really, but after that we received a direction that the Jesuits were not to have any buildings named after them while they are alive,” 
 he said. “I don’t believe it wasn’t a direct consequence of what happened, but they managed to name the building before that order came down.” Father Schneider is also the namesake of the annual Schneider Cup, which recognises excellence in soccer and rugby.
Link (here) ucanews

Former Jesuit, Now Anti-Catholic

Having abandoned established Christianity, the former Jesuit priest and prominent historian, Dr Ian Guthridge, knows what religion 'looks and feels like' from the inside and from the outside. Dr Guthridge was a Jesuit priest for 20 years. In the late 1960s, after much deliberation and reflection, he abandoned the constraints of traditional religion, the priesthood and ultimately the church. He is now a historical and religious writer of note and joined Sonya Feldhoff in the studio to discuss the cases for and against religious belief, referring to his latest book "Religion - Faith, Fact or Fantasy?" 
Link (here) to the Australian Broadcast Company


Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J.
Karl Rahner lived on two different planets. Yet the Jesuit theologian’s analysis was virtually identical. “We are at the beginning of the little flock,” Rahner said in his book The Shape of the Church to Come (Crossroad), published around the same time. Rahner, however, adds a crucial warning. The “little flock” does not mean “little sect.” The little flock is called to profess the Christian faith and the cross, not to defend “cozy traditionalism and stale pseudo-orthodoxy,” not to live “in fear of modern society.”
Link (here) to the US Catholic

Monday, October 15, 2012

Out Of The Closet At Georgetown University

the “Spirit of Georgetown” sign on the university’s “Mission and Ministry” page, while a larger version of the “Coming Out Week” poster is on the Facebook page of one of the Georgetown LGBTQ Resource Center’s faculty advisers.
What strikes me about the juxtaposition of the two posters is that each one includes “The Great Seal of Georgetown University.” It’s been said (and there is some data, albeit disputed, to back it up) that Catholic students who attend an inauthentic Catholic college—that is, one that does not uphold Catholic faith and social teaching across the board— are more likely to lose their faith than those who attend a secular college. I can see how that claim might be true.
Imagine a Georgetown University student who was raised by Catholic parents to believe, as the Catechism says, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law”; they “close the sexual act to the gift of life” and “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity”; and “[under] no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357). Then imagine that same student seeing his “Catholic university” place its Great Seal on “Coming Out Week” and an entire month of “OUTober” events such this:
Coming Out in Red Square
Five years ago, the Out for Change campaign worked hard to make Georgetown a more inclusive place. Today, coming out on campus still presents unique challenges. Show your pride this year by Coming Out through our closet door as a proud LGBTQ or Ally, and participating in the midday ‘Kiss-In’. Be sure to wear your ‘I Am’ t-shirt throughout the day to promote visibility and awareness about LGBTQ life on campus!
Time: 12:15pm
Location: Red Square
Audience: All
Do you think that such a student, away from home and seeing his “Catholic” school actively promote the homosexual lifestyle, would still believe that his parents had given him the truth about what the Church teaches on same-sex attraction? Or would he think that the Church had “moved with the times”?
Link (here) to read the full blog post by Dawn Eden and see her video link.

Fr. James Martin, S.J. On Vice-President Biden's Idea, "Odd"

Last night's spirited Vice-Presidential debate was billed, in some quarters, as a "Catholic smackdown." The debate moderator, Martha Raddatz, made specific note of that reality, when she called the debate "historic," as it was the first time that both candidates for vice president were -- in case you've been living under a secular rock -- Catholic. As our blogger Michael O'Loughlin noted, however, Raddatz' "Catholic question" focused mainly on abortion. To me, it was not a surprising pivot, as many journalists tend to reduce all of Catholicism to a single issue. For his part, Congressman Ryan identify himself as strongly pro-life (though his reference to his daughter as "Bean" seemed oddly labored), dilated on what he perceived as threats to religious liberty and elaborated on the Romney administration's opposition to abortion, with Gov. Romney's (somewhat surprising to many pro-lifers) exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the life of the mother. Vice President Biden, in turn, stated that his religion "defines who I am," and spoke about his love of Catholic social teaching, his personal opposition to abortion and his unwillingness to "impose" that belief on others (though I've always found that odd, too -- we regularly "impose" our beliefs on others whenever we legislate.)
Link (here) to read the full post at The Huffington Post

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jesuit Murdered In Madagascar

"Fr. Bruno was the victim of a violent assault and suffered a brutal death. The local Jesuit community is devastated," said to Fides the Church sources in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar, where on Sunday, September 30, Fr. Bruno Raharison, a Jesuit priest of Malagasy nationality, treasurer of the congregation of John XXIII Mahamasina, was killed during a robbery in the street. The car belonging to the religious had been noticed by some people on September 30, parked along the road that leads Antananarivo to Tamatave, near the town of Carion. The police were alerted and they established a security service of the car. The next day a young man who tried to recover the car was brought to the police station. At the same time the police started searching the area and on October 2 found Fr. Bruno’s body, 400 meters from the site of the discovery of his car. The priest was shot several times with a weapon to the spine, chest and head. "The criminals wanted to steal the car that the priest had just received to carry out his service. Fr. Bruno was accompanied by a boy who helped him in his travels," said our source. In addition to the boy other two people have been detained in connection with the murder of the Jesuit. The funeral of Fr. Bruno Raharison were celebrated yesterday.
Link (here)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Canonization Of Jesuit And His Devotion to The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

Later this month, Pope Benedict XVI is slated to canonize Father Jacques Berthieu, a French Jesuit who was martyred in Madagascar in 1896. Fr. Berthieu will be canonized alongside six other blesseds in an Oct. 21 ceremony on World Mission Sunday at the Vatican. The priest was born in 1838 and grew up with six siblings in a pious farming family in central France. He was ordained to the priesthood for Diocese of Saint-Flour in 1864. Fr. Berthieu then felt called to join the Society of Jesus, and did so in 1873. While in the novitiate, he became devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which had been popularized by the Jesuit St. Claude de la Colombiere. Before finishing his novitiate, he was assigned to the missions in Madagascar in 1875. In a letter to a friend dated July 28, 1875, he wrote that “I have been designated as a future apostle to the Malagasy (Madagascar)...probably to never return, which is fine with me.” The French priest became a highly successful missionary, nearly tripling the number of mission stations on the north of the island.
Link (here) to EWTN to read the full piece.

Father Brian E. Daley, S.J. Wins Prestigous Award

The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, established to promote studies in theology and philosophy, will award one of its two major prizes this year to U.S. Jesuit Father Brian E. Daley, a patristics expert and professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. The other prize winner is Remi Brague, a French professor of the philosophy of European religions at Ludwig- Maximilian University in Munich.
The two will receive their prize from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican Oct. 20. Announcing the recipients of the 50,000 euro (about $64,620) cash prize, retired Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini said that “unfortunately,” Father Daley, 72, is not as well known in Italy as Brague is. Calling Father Daley “a great historian of patristic theology,” Cardinal Ruini also said, “he has published an impressive — and I mean incredible — number of scientific articles on patristic theology, but also studies on the life and spirituality of the Society of Jesus, as well as on theological and ecumenical themes of current interest.” In addition to teaching and writing, Father Daley serves as the executive secretary of the Catholic-Orthodox Consultation for North America. The Jesuit is the author of “The Hope of the Early Church,” “On The Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies,” and “Gregory of Nazianzus,” a volume in the series “The Early Church Fathers.” He also was the English translator of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s “Cosmic Liturgy: the Universe According to Maximus the Confessor.”
Link (here)


In an interview with, Xavier University President Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., said that in light of the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare
he is reversing himself and the university will cover contraceptives for its 950 employees. And on top of that, 
he seemed to apologize for not being in the “center” on this issue.
Link (here) to

Jesuit Students And Parents Harrassed At A Soccer Game

Last Saturday night, my daughter attended the competitive soccer game between Davis High and  Carmichael Jesuit High School. She returned that evening so upset by the events she witnessed as a fan on the Davis High side of the field. Homophobic slurs were being hollered out throughout the game and a large banner with homophobic language was displayed to the crowd as they paraded in hot dog costumes in front of the stands.
Link (here) to the Davis Enterprise to see a picture of the banner and read the full story.
“Not one of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. has joined in a lawsuit against HHS,” (here)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jesuit's Pay Joe Biden's Son $80,000.00 To Be A Lobbyist

Anti-lobbyist rhetoric lost among festivities
Jim McElhatton


DENVER | Under Sen. Barack Obama's self-imposed ban on accepting money from federal lobbyists, Michael Dino isn't allowed to give a dime to the Democrat's presidential campaign. Neither could Steve Farber. But for the better part of two years, the two men have been raising tens of millions of dollars from major corporations to finance this week's launch of Mr. Obama's presidential bid. Mr. Dino, a registered federal lobbyist, and Mr. Farber, who was a lobbyist until last month, are two of the top officials for the Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention, which pays for many of the expenses for festivities here. Mr. Dino is its chief executive, and Mr. Farber is the co-chairman. Campaign-finance watchdogs are troubled by the arrangement, which they say clashes with Mr. Obama's anti-lobbyist campaign rhetoric.
The lobbying of Sen. Joseph R. Biden (Sen. Joe Biden has received an honoray degree in 1976) Jr.'s son, Hunter, is also drawing scrutiny as Republicans target his work. Hunter Biden, 38, is a longtime federal lobbyist for a variety of interests, including the Jesuit university located in his father's hometown, Scranton, Pa. According to federal disclosures, Hunter Biden has been earning about $80,000 a year since 2006 to lobby for the University of Scranton.
To be sure, watchdogs say they're equally troubled by the lobbying by top officials at both the Democratic and Republican committees. Like Mr. Obama, Sen. John McCain also has railed against the influence that lobbyists and their money have in Washington, and has barred lobbyists from his campaign staff. "It undermines the message that both candidates have been making on the campaign trail," said Craig Holman, legislative representative for Public Citizen, an advocacy group. "When it comes to the campaign finance, both conventions are one big gaping loophole." Aides to Mr. Obama say he wants to change how conventions are funded in the future, but did not have time this year to insist on those changes because of the long primary, in which he narrowly beat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. "Barack Obama is committed to reforming our political system and getting the special interests out of politics. He has changed the way presidential campaigns are funded and made significant changes at the DNC. He also expressed a desire to significantly change the way conventions are funded in the future should he be elected president," said Obama campaign spokesman Nick Shapiro.
Link to the full story (here)
Photo is of Hunter Biden (Georgetown grad) listening to his father and V.P. candidate Senator Joe Biden

The Vice President Visits A Jesuit Volunteer Corp Fundraising Event

Laura Magnotta met Vice President Joe Biden last week. Laura, a Scranton native working with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Washington, D.C., was at a fundraiser at the Franciscan Monastery.
"There were rumblings once we got there that the VP, Joe Biden, might be in attendance, but no one was sure,"
Laura wrote to her friends, including Johnny Mesko, a JVC volunteer in Cleveland, in an e-mail.
"The vice president's son, Hunter, was in the JVC in Portland, so there was speculation he might attend the event. "
At around 6:30, the Secret Service showed up confirming that yes, indeed, the VP was coming. We didn't know when though," Laura noted, adding,
"So it was my turn to be the greeter, and I turned around from hanging someone's coat up and I saw him - Joe Biden."
Link (here) to the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. website highlighting the event and (here) to the full original piece in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Vice President Joseph Biden on Abortion (here) , (here) and (here)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jesuit On Woman Priests

Envy seeks a society of mediocrity where everyone can do everything, have everything, experience everything. Yet in envy's breeding ground a strange anomaly takes place. The lowly are persuaded they will arrive at the highest, while the highest are injected with a guilt complex over their hard earned success.
People content in their natural positions have their expectations for success and promotions cruelly and falsely promised by the rise of the inner torment of envy. Out of envy women claim they have a right to be priests
priests want to be married or, at least, be in politics, in acting, in music, in dancing, in anything and everything,
An excerpt from from the book entitled,  The Roots of Violence by Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, S.J.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 506-Year-Old Mummified Forearm St Francis Xavier

THE relic of St Francis Xavier, the 506-year-old mummified forearm of the saint, is on show in the eastern suburbs. Residents had the chance to view the relic at St Francis Xavier Church in Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill, during a midday mass today and it will be at Le Pine chapel, 388 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley, from 3.30pm to 5pm.
Link (here)

Schola Affectus

Ten Jesuit tertians from around the world are starting the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius today in Portland, Ore. This four-week retreat is an important component of tertianship, a part of the Jesuit formation process.
Tertianship is usually made ten to fifteen years after the novitiate and at the end of a Jesuit’s professional training. St. Ignatius called it a “school of the heart” because it’s a time when the tertian deepens his own commitment to the Society of Jesus. “The retreat of the Spiritual Exercises is perhaps the key moment of tertianship. After years of living his life as a Jesuit, the tertian once again engages in this month-long program of intense prayer and reflection and brings his lived experience as a Jesuit before our loving God,” explains Jesuit Father Dave Godleski
Link (here) to

A Message From The California Province

.....prevention of at-risk behaviors by Jesuits, and care and supervision of offending Jesuits.
Link (here) to read the full statement

Former Jesuit Seminarian On The Presidential Election

Former Jesuit John M. Snyder
"Obama's reelection as president would spell disaster for American Catholics," warns lay activist John M. Snyder in this video, "whereas the election of Romney would offer political hope." A former Jesuit seminarian, Snyder, married, is an active layman. "In the United States," says Snyder, "the structural Catholic Church this summer initiated a Fortnight of Freedom preceding American Independence  Day.  This called attention to the Obama administration's threat against the civil right of religious liberty.  This threat comes with Obama's attempt to force Catholics and other religionists to pay through religious institutions for abortion and other practices against their conscience." 
Link (here) to watch the video.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Father Jean Pierre de Smet, S.J. And Brigham Young

Fr. Jean-Pierre de Smet, S.J.
By the time the spring of 1847 approached in Winter Quarters, nearly 400 Mormon lives had been lost to various causes. Yet there was a vital bit of good news during their stay. The news came when the famous Jesuit, Father Pierre Jean de Smet, passed through Winter Quarters on his way east. The Jesuit was one of the few white men who had ever seen the Great Salt Lake. His information on routes and conditions was extended freely to the Mormons, who eagerly anticipated their next move west. On April 5, 1847, Brigham Young led the first Mormon wagon train out of Winter Quarters bound for Utah. Conditions, timing, experience and organization were on the Mormons' side this time and the trip went much easier than the previous year's trial. 148 people, three of whom were women, 72 wagons, and a large collection of livestock made up this first group.
Link (here) to the National Parks Service website.
What Fr. de Smet, S.J. actually wrote about the Mormons (here)