Monday, March 24, 2014

Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, S.J. Bishop Of The Chinese

Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, S.J.
Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, of Shanghai, a leader of China’s underground Catholic community, died March 15. He was 96. He refused to recognize the Chinese government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association. So, he served in prison with other priests, who were arrested in 1955, during a government crackdown. From 1958 to 1978, Fan was imprisoned in Qinghai Province. There, his work included carrying corpses to the cemetery, reports Ucanews. China claims it has 23 million Christians, 11 million of them Catholics. “The real number is somewhere between 60 to 130 million”, the Economist estimates. Shanghai refused permission that the funeral mass be held at St Ignatius Cathedral. Instead, it limited rites for Bishop Fan to an open courtyard at the funeral home. 
Chinese Catholics are divided between two communities. One group refuses to “render to Ceasar the things that are God’s”’ and therefore, driven underground. The Vatican accepts the other, with some compromises, to continue its existence. Both stand with the pope. Both face persecution from Chinese authorities, as have other Christian denominations.  
“The more persecution, the more the church grows,” said Protestant Pastor Samuel Lamb in 1993. He died in 2013, age 88.  His 20 years of jail and forced labor followed an earlier two-year sentence. Some 30,000 people attended his memorial service. Police constantly pressured Lamb to comply with official doctrine and register with the government. He always refused, as did Joseph Fan. “China strictly regulates the religious activities of Uighur Muslims,” the latest US State Department report on religious freedom notes. “…It harassed or detained Catholic clergy not affiliated with the government Catholic Patriotic Association... Some 83 Tibetan monks, nuns, and laypersons increasingly sought to express despair and dissent by selfimmolating in 2012.” Fan was baptized a Catholic in 1932, joined the Society of Jesus in 1938. He was named Shanghai bishop by John Paul II in 2000. But the Communist Party refused to recognize him. Ceasar rendered to itself what belonged to God. Security police arrested Fan repeatedly and ransacked his flat. In 1992, the accounts of the entire Shanghai underground church were closed down. His intended successor was Thaddeus Ma Daqin, but he too was taken into custody in 2012 after he quit the government association.
Link (here)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Think That Is What Pope Francis Wants Too

Fr. Martin Maier, S.J.
Fr Martin Maier SJ gave the address, which received a rousing clap at the conclusion from the congregation. He said of Romero that, “the heart of Romero’s spirituality and his pastoral action was the Option for the Poor”, adding that “it is also at the heart of Pope Francis’ spirituality”. Fr Maier felt the key insight of Romero was “conversion to the poor, and I think that is what Pope Francis wants too”. A German Jesuit and liberation theologian, he spent many years in El Salvador, and continued serving while persecution was strife. He continues to visit El Salvador, including teaching a theology course and ministering at the weekends at the same parish where he was originally a parish priest.
Amongst the people at the service who knew Archbishop Romero personally was El Salvador’s Ambassador to Britain, Werner Matias Romero. In a word of thanks at the end he reported that, “in an exciting year 2014 for El Salvador, where we went to the polls twice and elected a new president, I am hopeful that Archbishop Romero will continue to be our inspiration”.
There had been bidding prayers for El Salvador and for trouble spots of the world, particularly Syria and the Middle East, the Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Also, there were prayers for the work of the Archbishop Romero Trust and the ministry of the Church of St Martin in the Fields in favour of the poor and dispossessed.
Link (here)

Multi Million Dollar Jesuit Residence At Marquette

A $5 million gift to the university from Ray and Kay Eckstein’s charitable trust will be used toward the construction of the new Jesuit Residence, Interim University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild announced in his State of the University address Tuesday. This donation will add to the $7.5 million the university received from an anonymous donor earlier this year. Only $2.5 million is now needed to complete the funding necessary to begin construction, which is currently set at $15 million. Margaret Callahan, interim provost and dean of the College of Nursing, said in an email that the steady influx of charitable donations is “remarkable.” “The speed with which Father Wild and our University Advancement team were able to raise these funds is a powerful statement for just how integral our Jesuit community is to the mission and identity of Marquette,” Callahan said. Wild said in the address that the Jesuit building is being funded completely through donations. The building, which will be constructed between Schroeder Hall and the Alumni Memorial Union, is planned to be environmentally friendly, will “emphasize the Jesuit commitment to higher education” and will underscore “the university’s identity and tradition as a Catholic, Jesuit institution.”
Link (here) to read the rest of the story at the Marquette Wire

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Georgetown Platitudes

If you attend a Jesuit institution you are bound to hear the same platitudes over and over again: “Men and Women for Others,” “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” and, especially, “cura personalis.” That phrase is supposedly what sets the Georgetown community apart from everyone else. I challenge the vast majority of students here, however, to actually live out a lifestyle of caring for the whole person, because right now cura personalis doesn’t exist at Georgetown. Instead, what dominates is cura ipsius: care of the self.
Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone at Georgetown is self-serving and arrogant. Nonetheless, in my experiences, I’ve been surrounded by far too many living cura ipsius than cura personalis.
Cura personalis would have you thinking that come Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday, Georgetown students would be looking towards enjoying simply the company of their friends, whatever that may entail, or using the down time to do something for others. That’s what the Jesuits will have you think, but the truth is the vast majority of students care about one thing and one thing only: alcohol and whatever may follow from a night of heavy alcohol consumption.
Link (here) to the Georgetown Voice to read the full story

Friday, March 21, 2014

Jesuit Warns Of Draconian Hindu Nationalism In India

Narendra Damodardas Modi
Human rights activist and Jesuit priest Cedric Prakash has warned that Narendra Modi would bring the entire country under the draconian anti-conversion law, curbing freedom of religion, if he becomes the Prime Minister. In 2003, Narendra Modi passed the draconian anti-conversion law, making it mandatory to seek permission of the district Collector to change one’s religion, he told a meeting of the Catholic Association of Goa in Margao on Wednesday. “The law has put innumerable hurdles, curbing their right to religious freedom. If Modi becomes the Prime Minister, he would bring the entire country under the draconian law,” he said.
Link (here) to read the full story at the Silent Voice

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On The Restoration Of The Society Of Jesus

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus. For 41 years the Jesuits were in the darkness of suppression. Its story of apparent death and ultimate resurrection can give us great hope.
Link (here) to God in All Things

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Mission Critical" At Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University is currently interviewing two ‘finalist’ candidates for the position of Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. However, it is amazing that both of these candidates have worked for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States. And one of the candidates has also endorsed legal efforts to redefine marriage. To see why these candidates are unsuitable for this ‘mission critical‘ position go to these pages:
Robbin Crabtree    Ramón A. Gutiérrez

The Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts should have a solid record of support for the mission and identity of a Catholic university.
Link (here) to RenewLMU

Monday, March 17, 2014

Do you know about Fr. Francesco Grimaldi, a Jesuit priest who discovered the diffraction of light? (here)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Bergoglio's List,"

Gonzalo Mosca was a radical on the run. Hunted by Uruguay's dictators, he fled to Argentina, where he narrowly escaped a military raid on his hideout. "I thought that they would kill me at any moment," Mosca says.

With nowhere else to turn, he called his brother, a Jesuit priest, who put him in touch with the man he credits with saving his life: Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
It was 1976, South America's dictatorship era, and the future Pope Francis was a 30-something leader of Argentina's Jesuit order. At the time, the country's church hierarchy openly sided with the military junta as it kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of leftists like Mosca. Critics have argued that Bergoglio's public silence in the face of that repression made him complicit, too, and they warn against what they see as historical revisionism designed to burnish the reputation of a now-popular pope. But the chilling accounts of survivors who credit Bergoglio with saving their lives are hard to deny. They say he conspired right under the soldiers' noses at the theological seminary he directed, providing refuge and safe passage to dozens of priests, seminarians and political dissidents marked for elimination by the 1976-1983 military regime. Mosca was 27 then, a member of a leftist political movement banned by the military government in his home country of Uruguay. Bergoglio answered his call, and rode with him for nearly 20 miles (30 kilometers) to the Colegio Maximo in suburban San Miguel.
"He gave me instructions: 'If they stop us, tell them you're going to a spiritual retreat,' and 'Try to keep yourself a bit hidden,'" Mosca recalled in an interview with The Associated Press.
Mosca said he could hardly breathe until they had passed through the seminary's heavy iron doors, but Bergoglio was very calm. "He made me wonder if he really understood the trouble he was getting into. If they grabbed us together, they would have marched us both off," said Mosca, who stayed hidden in the seminary for days, until Bergoglio got him an airplane ticket to Brazil. Soldiers prowled inside the walled gardens, sniffing for fugitives. But a full raid on the spiritual center was out of the question since Argentina's dictators had cloaked themselves in the mantle of Roman Catholic nationalism. And a constant flow of people masked Bergoglio's scheming from an air force outpost next door. Several new books assert that Bergoglio's public silence enabled him to save more people. "Bergoglio's List," by Vatican reporter Nello Scavo, is already being developed into a movie, its title playing on the "Schindler's List" film about the Nazi businessman whose subterfuge saved hundreds of Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust
Link (here) to read the rest

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fr. Cuthbert Lattey, S.J., "The Giving Of St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises To Be The Most Important Work Of The Members Of His Order."

But the modern man will ask: "What is Christ to mean to me?" And what is His message for our time, for our cities, for our men and women? Does Christ really matter? Is there any workable theory as to how He is to matter? These and many other such questions we may sum up under a single heading, "The Christ of Experience," and attempt but a partial answer thereto, for otherwise "the whole world would not hold the books that should be written."
St. Ignatius of Loyola certainly thought that he had such a workable theory of the practical significance of Christ, and endeavored with all his might to press it upon his fellow-men, so much so, indeed, that it appears fairly safe to say that he considered the giving of his Spiritual Exercises to be the most important work of the members of his Order. These Exercises represent, as it were, his philosophy of the life and teaching of Christ, and that in the form which he thought best suited to influence men; they represent Christ, but Christ in action, and Christ in action means the Christ of experience. The chief truths of our religion are there, but organized by a master-mind for a tremendous offensive. 
The delicate psychology of the Exercises and their historical significance need not be dwelt upon here. The end of the nineteenth century, indeed, marked a new era in their history, in that it saw them extended to all ages and classes of Catholics, even to the opening of a number of special houses for the purpose. A survey of the movement may be found in Father Charles Plater's Retreats for the People, in the Westminster Library. It has even spread to those outside the Church, and in Paul Bull's Threefold Way we have an attempt to interpret the Exercises to Anglicans, while in the pamphlet Towards a New Way of Life: a Review and Re-dedication, published by the Student Christian Movement, we have a presentation that is meant to be palatable even to Nonconformists. Needless to say, in these two non-Catholic works there are some significant "adaptations" of the Exercises; all the same, much remains that is good and solid, and cannot but bear fruit in the well-disposed.
Link (here) to the book entitled, "Back to Christ" by Fr. Cuthbert Lattey, S.J.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cardinal Jean Guenolé Marie Daniélou, S.J. On The Angels Of Earth And The Angels Of Heaven

Saint Trophim at Arles
St. Ephrem sees the angels, "taking up the soul (after it has left the body) and carrying it through the upper  air." This belief is responsible for the numerous representations of angels on the funeral monuments. These continue up to the Middle Ages. The front gate of Saint-Trophime at Arles pictures a soul being carried by an angel into the bosom of Abraham. In the dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, so filled with allusions to the invisible world, the angels often come to serve the saints at the hour of their death. The witnesses who were assisting at the death of the pious Stephan saw the angel 
"without being able to express what they had seen because they were so struck with fear." 
The death of the saints appears as a mystery full of sacred terror. The hymns of the angels fill the soul with so divine a joy that does not notice the sufferings of death. And during its voyage toward heaven, the angels scatter the demons who try to bar the soul's advance. Secondly, the angels of heaven, the guardians of Paradise, are asked to permit the soul to enter there. Here once again we find that there are two groups, the angels of earth and the angels of heaven. Just as the liturgy invokes the angels who lead the soul into Paradise, it also contains allusions to those who welcome the soul there. The Apostalic Constitutions contain a prayer for the dead which is drawn up in this manner: 
"Cast thine eyes upon this servant. Forgive him if he has sinned and make the angels well-disposed toward him." 
St. Ephrem pictures the confusion of a man confronted by heavenly powers, "when the armies of the lord show themselves and when the divine commanders bid him leave the bodies behind. he shakes, he trembles at the unaccustomed sight of these figures, these choirs which he has never seen before. All of us, trembling, say to each other: 'Pray that your soul leave your body in peace. Pray that it find the angels well-disposed.'" This is an echo of the the liturgical prayer of the Constitutions. Gregory of Nyssa insists on this point to demonstrate the necessity of Baptism: 
"I do not know whether, once it has left the body, the angels will receive the soul which has not been illuminated and adorned with grace of regeneration. For how could they, if it does not bear the seal and has no sign of its quality? Probably it is borne upon the air, wandering and vagabond." 
This twofold aspect of the relation between death and the angels is expressed in the prayer which an early apocryphal writer puts into the mouth of Saint Joseph at his death: "But now O my Lord, let your holy angel keep close to my soul and my body until they separate from each other without pain. Do not permit that the angel who was attached to me since the day you formed me up to now should turn toward me, his countenance smouldering with anger, when we are on our way along the round that leads to you. Do not allow my soul to be stopped by the keepers of the gate and do not put me to shame before your fearful tribunal. Do not loose against me the floods of the river of fire in which all souls are purified before they see the glory of your divinity, O God, You who judge each one in truth and justice."

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pope Francis On The Duel Between Jesus And Satan

Francis spoke of the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent, which every year presents the story of Jesus'  temptation in the desert, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him after His baptism in the Jordan, urging Him to openly confront Satan in the wilderness for forty days, before beginning His public ministry:
"the tempter tries to divert Jesus from the Father's plan, in other words from the path of sacrifice, love the offering of Himself in expiation.  He tries to make Him choose the easy path of success and power. The duel between Jesus and Satan is a rally of quotations from the Holy Scriptures. The devil, in fact, to divert Jesus from the way of the cross, presents Him with false messianic hopes: economic well-being, indicated in the ability to turn stones into bread;  a lifestyle of the miraculous and spectacular seen in the idea of throwing Himself off the highest point of the temple of Jerusalem, to be saved by angels, and finally a shortcut to power and domination, in exchange for Him openly worshipping Satan. There are three groups of temptations: we too know them well".
Jesus, the Pope explained, 
"firmly rejects all these temptations and reiterates His determination to follow the path set by the Father, without any compromise with sin and with the logic of the world. Notice how well Jesus answers Satan, not entering into a dialogue as Eve had done in the Garden of Eden . Jesus knows that you cannot dialogue with Satan, because he is too cunning.   This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power of this Word.  We should remember this when we are tempted: do not argue with Satan, always defend ourselves with the Word of God.  And this will save us ".
In his response to Satan, the Lord reminds us, first, that "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4; cfrDt 8.3), and this gives us strength, supports us in our battle against the worldly mentality that lowers man to the level of his most basic needs, causing him to lose his hunger for what is true, good and beautiful, the hunger for God and His love. Also remember that "It is also written: 'Do not test the Lord your God'" (v. 7), because the road of faith also passes through darkness, doubt, and is nourished by patience and perseverance. Finally remember that "it is written:" The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve '"(v.10), that is, we have rid ourselves of idols,  of vain things, and build our lives on the essentials. These words of Jesus will then been translated into actions. His absolute faithfulness to the Father's plan of love will lead Him after about three years to the final showdown with the "prince of this world" (Jn 16:11), the hour of the passion and cross, Jesus will return and there His is the final victory, the victory of love! "
Dear brothers, the Pope concludes, 
"is a fitting occasion for all of us to undertake a journey of conversion, by sincerely taking this Gospel passage into consideration. Let us renew the promises of our Baptism: renouncing Satan and all his works and seduction, to walk the path of God "to arrive at Easter in the joy of the Spirit" (cf. Collect, I Sunday of Lent Year A)".
Immediately after the Marian prayer, the Pope greeted, as usual, the various groups present in St. Peter's Square, recalling the campaign launched by Caritas International against hunger in the world, and announced the beginning of the usual spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia, which will begin this afternoon at the house of the Divine Master in Ariccia, a small hill top town South of Rome.  The retreat will end Friday, March 14th: "I hope that the Lenten journey which has just begun will be a fruitful one for you all and I ask you to remember me and my collaborators of the Roman Curia in your prayers, as we begin this evening a week of Spiritual Exercises . Thank you. Have a good Sunday and a good lunch. Goodbye".
Link (here) to

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Apatheistic Speaks At Jesuit Intitution

All human beings are born with the seed for compassion, the Dalai Lama reminded more than 4,000 people“inner peace and mental comfort.” The Dalai Lama, the 78-year-old spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, was speaking for the first time at the Jesuit university, where the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics partnered with the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University to bring the Dalai Lama to the heart of Silicon Valley. Jesuit Fr. Michael Engh, Santa Clara University president, said he was “profoundly honored” to welcome the Dalai Lama to the campus known for its education in ethics.
gathered at Santa Clara University Feb. 24 for a public dialogue on business, ethics and compassion. But that seed must be nourished by parental love, fostered by teachers, and incorporated into the fabric of the workplace to have a society whose members are compassionate, he said. Only when people can approach life with genuine concern for others will they experience
Link (here) to The Fishwrap

Friday, March 7, 2014

St Alphonsus Rodriguez,S.J., The Jesuit Doorkeeper And Mystic

At the request of his mother, Alphonsus married the virtuous Maria Suarez. His married life of four years was marked with much suffering. His business suffered, and two of the couple’s three children died in infancy. He was widowed at the age of 32 and his mother died soon aftewards. He sold the business and moved in with his sisters; they helped Alphonsus raise his son, and taught their brother prayerful meditation. When his son died, Alphonsus decided to follow his call to the priesthood.
Alphonsus wanted to become a Jesuit. Twice he was refused admittance due to his older age, but providence came to his rescue. He entered the novitiate at the age of thirty-seven, and after six months, he was instructed to go to the Jesuit college of Montesion in Palma on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain, to complete his novitiate training. At the end of his novitiate, he was assigned various duties and was made doorkeeper at the college. He remained in this office for 46 years.
Nothing could be more insignificant in the eyes of the world and more monotonous in itself than such a life. By his deep interior spirit that animated him, Alphonsus transformed and transcended it with his: fervent spirit of prayer, deep union with God, devotion to Mary, especially the Rosary, which allowed him to live constantly in the presence of God even in the most difficult times. His spirit of obedience was remarkable. His love for his fellowmen and his spirit of penance inspired many to follow him. People in high positions came to him in their troubles and difficulties to seek his advice. He exercised a powerful influence for good upon his own Brothers, many of whom reached a high degree of sanctity. Of these the greatest was St Peter Clever, a fellow Jesuit, whom Alphonsus prepared to become the apostle of Slaves in the New World. Many owed their vocation to priesthood and religious life to him. The last year of his life, was one of great suffering. He died on October 31, 1617, with the name of Jesus on his lips.
As a humble porter, Alphonsus was always appreciated for his kindness and holiness; however, it was only after his death that his memoirs revealed the quality and depth of his prayer life. It was then that others learned that the humble Jesuit who had been gifted by God with remarkable mystical graces, ecstasies and visions of our Lord, our Lady and the saints.
Alphonsus was beatified in 1825, and was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on 15 January, 1888 together with his spiritual disciple, St Peter Claver. St. Alphonsus is the patron saint of Majorca, Spain.
Link (here) to Catholic Fire

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meanwhile.....Over At Georgetown

A young Varisco
“I don’t have any desire to debate Robert Spencer….I would never give someone like that a forum,” Hofstra University Professor Daniel Martin Varisco declared at Georgetown University on February 26, 2014.  Addressing the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding (ACMCU), Varisco’s equally flawed outlooks on Islam and intellectual inquiry had disturbing implications for modern academia. Prior perusal of the opening pages of Varisco’s 2007 Reading Orientalism:  Said and Unsaid did not raise hopes for his briefing “Khutba vs. Khutzpa:  Islamophobia on the Internet.”  In this book, Varisco analyzes leftwing intellectual Edward Said’s Orientalism and its legacy, expressing agreement “with most of Said’s political positions on the real Orient.”  Varisco reveals his discipleship of Said with condemnations of post-World War II United States having “become by stealth and wealth the neo-colonial superpower” in which a “neocon clique…engineered the wars” not just “against” Iraq but also Afghanistan. Varisco’s one-sided estimate of historical harms includes a “PhD cataloguing of what the West did to the East and self-unfillfulling political punditry about what real individuals in the East say they want to do to the West.
Link (here) to Front Page Mag

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jesuit Bishop Appointed By Pope Francis, " The New Bishop Is Arguably Very Conservative."

Bishop Michael Barber, S.J.
"The bishop hasn't responded to any inquiries or letters or phone calls," said Matt Werner, a longtime East Bay resident and Newman Hall parishioner since 1998. He wrote to Bishop Michael Barber, S.J. last month, requesting that he reconsider the dismissals. "He's been completely silent on the topic." Without any explanation from the diocese, Werner and others are left wondering whether the progressive ways of Newman Hall, which serves East Bay residents, including the UC Berkeley community, may be a contributing factor. "All are welcome here," Werner explained. "Gays, lesbians, people who may not find a home at other Catholic churches. We want to make it a home for everyone." For this reason, some are questioning whether Barber might be uncomfortable with Edens' admission that he is gay, Werner said. But at this point, he said, "We're in the dark. There are a lot of different theories and rumors and one of them is that [it is because] Father Bill Edens is an openly gay priest ... and the new bishop is arguably very conservative."
Link (here) to the full article at East Bay Express

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S.J. "Dangerous Affirmations" That "Cannot Be Safely Taught,"

Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S.J.
At Easter 1998, a tiny cloud appeared -- in the shape of a very negative article published by Avvenirein its issue for April 14. Jacques Dupuis later learned that someone in the Vatican had commissioned that article. The [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] had gone into action; strong criticisms were leveled against the book [at the doctrinal congregation on March 30 and April 4]. A CDF meeting on June 10, 1998, included a number of cardinals, one of whom afterward admitted that he had never read Dupuis' book. They voted in favor of taking action against the book, a step that would involve securing the pope's permission, which was forthcoming a week later. But Dupuis knew none of this at the time.
[On Oct. 2, 1998] Dupuis [was] stunned by a communication that had reached him [via the Jesuit superior general, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach]. A nine-page, single-spaced document developed 14 theses challenging Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. A covering page explained that the CDF found in this work by Dupuis "serious errors or doctrinal ambiguities on doctrines of divine and Catholic faith concerning revelation, soteriology [teaching on salvation], Christology and the Trinity." The page ended by naming several "dangerous affirmations" that "cannot be safely taught," such as the application of "Mother" to the first person of the Trinity. Dupuis was given three months to reply. Dupuis began by spending two weeks in hospital. As a chronically sick man, this may have been inevitable. But the stress he experienced under the quite unexpected onslaught from the CDF unquestionably played its part.
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr Gerald O'Collins, S.J.