Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jesuits And Deacons

This year the men will begin more in-depth study of social issues which will include involvement in homeless ministry. Mills says they will be working on committees and projects directly through the counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura, and notes that this work will continue through all of the next year of formation.

Looking ahead to the third year of the diaconate formation program, Jesuits from Loyola Marymount University, Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley will be joining the seminary faculty of St. John's in teaching the classes. "This program of diaconate study was formulated by the Jesuits and Bishop Curry," Mills explains, "and it will be great to have their presence here."

Mills says he and others are encouraged by the large numbers of men coming forward to become deacons, giving greater exposure to the ministry of the diaconate. "We need to develop the concept of what the diaconate does: the corporal works of mercy," he says.

The current group in formation is looking toward ordination in the spring of 2011. Mills says the policy in the Santa Barbara Region has been to finish one program before starting a new group, and applications will again be accepted in early 2011.

Link (here)

Cardinal Dulles' Father On Communism

Speaking on Communism, John Foster Dulles remarked at the Jesuit Alumni Dinner, April 11, 1955:
“Man, we read in the Holy Scriptures, was made a little lower than the angels. Should man now be made little higher than domesticated animals which serve the purpose of their human masters? So men face the great dilemma of whether to use force to resist aggression which imposes conditions which violate the moral law and the concept that man has his origins and his destiny in God.”

Link (here)

West Point Jesuit

Father James Clark, S.J. (1809-1885) was the first West Point graduate to join the Jesuits. Born in Pennsylvania, he entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and graduated with the likes of future Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston in the Class of 1829. Future Confederate president Jefferson Davis was a year ahead. (Edgar Alan Poe also had a short stay at the academy during Clark’s time.) After a year of service in Louisiana, Lieutenant Clark resigned his commission (not such an unusual move at the time.) Not long thereafter, he became a Catholic and joined the faculty of St. Mary's College in Baltimore, connected with the seminary. In 1844, he joined the Jesuits and was ordained three years later.

Link (here) to McNamara's Blog to read the rest of the story

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Deviant Roots Of The Problem

As Lent Begins, 3 Prominent Catholic Universities Celebrate Sex, Pornography

As Christians worldwide kneel in prayer to begin the holy season of Lent, students at three Jesuit Catholic universities are busy celebrating extramarital sex, homosexuality, cross-dressing and pornography.

Not only did Lent begin yesterday with Ash Wednesday, but this week (February 22-28) is also designated “National Catholic Colleges Week” by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities as a time to celebrate Catholic higher education.

“These obscene abuses of Catholic values come just as Christians begin a holy season of penance, fasting and almsgiving,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Faithful Catholics have good reason to be outraged and heartbroken at what is happening at Georgetown, Loyola Chicago and Seattle University, three historic, Jesuit institutions:

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: From February 23 to 28, Georgetown University is hosting “Sex Positive Week,” sponsored by feminist and homosexual student clubs.

On Monday, the event “Sex Positive…What’s That?” featured a speaker from Black Rose, an organization “which provides a forum for the many different expressions of power in love and play. This can include dominance & submission, bondage & discipline, fetishism, cross-dressing, to name a few.”

Yesterday’s talk, on Ash Wednesday, “Torn About Porn?” was advertised to include “discussion about arguably alternative forms of pornography that are not supposed to be exploitative, but rather radical and empowering.”

On Saturday, February 28, pornographic film director Tristan Taormino will speak on “Relationships Beyond Monogamy”—one day after speaking in downtown Washington, D.C., about “Anal Pleasure 101”. She will discuss her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships with Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage. Taormino is also the author of True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion.

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: On Tuesday, the Student Diversity and Cultural Affairs Office of Loyola University Chicago presented the film Brother to Brother about a homosexual African-American who is transported in time to cavort with the allegedly homosexual writer Langston Hughes.

The film is part of a semester-long “Color of Queer Film Series” sponsored by the university. Upcoming films include Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros about a 12 year-old boy who falls in love with a male police officer, and I Exist: Voices from the Lesbian and Gay Middle Eastern Community in the U.S.

SEATTLE UNIVERSITY: This week is “Transgender Awareness Week” at Seattle University, including a session on allegedly transgender Bible heroes and heroines and “Criss-Cross Day,” where students are encouraged to “come dressed for the day in your best gender-bending outfit.” The events are sponsored by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and the student Trans and Allies Club

“That Catholic universities would permit these events on their campuses at any time of the year is unthinkable, but to do so during the holy season of Lent is unconscionable,” said Reilly.

“The saddest part of this story is that there is no indication that these universities are ashamed or embarrassed by what is taking place on their Catholic campuses. Parents and potential students might begin to wonder how these universities can in good conscience consider themselves Catholic when they allow such perverse distortions of Catholic values to take place.”

Link (here) to The Cardinal Newman Society story

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Tablet: "Stirs Hornet Nest"

I can understand that the Tablet might want to sabotage Summorum Pontificum; many bishops do, too. But, having decided on this disloyal course of action, it might have chosen a more subtle way of going about it. Fr Finigan was a very bad choice of target: he's popular, sane and plays by the rules. Likewise, we all know that Elena is - how shall I put this? - a little over-zealous, even Cromwellian, in her approach.

Link (here) to the full blog post by Damian Thompson at Holy Smoke

The Jesuit And The New Saint

The announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Blessed Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, on Oct. 11 has created excitement among members of the congregation worldwide.

"We knew it was only a matter of time, but everyone was just thrilled when the official announcement was made," said Sister Constance Veit, publications coordinator in the Little Sisters of the Poor's Baltimore province. "We've anticipated this for so long."

Pope John Paul II beatified Jeanne Jugan in 1982, and Pope Benedict XVI signed a document Dec. 6, 2008, recognizing the miracle advancing her sainthood cause.

Pope Benedict Feb. 21 presided over a consistory that gave final approval for the canonization of 10 people, including Blessed Jeanne, who began her ministry on the streets of France taking the elderly and poor into her home in the early decades of the 1800s.

To support her ministry, Blessed Jeanne begged for money, a tradition the Little Sisters of the Poor consider a fundamental part of their mission today.

The canonization will take place during the Synod of Bishops for Africa, and is expected to be celebrated in St. Peter's Square, along with four others who will be declared saints.

The miracle linked to Blessed Jeanne concerns Dr. Edward Gatz, a retired Omaha, Neb., anesthesiologist diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1989, Sister Constance told Catholic News Service Feb. 23.

The doctor was advised by a Jesuit (Any one know this priests name?) priest at Creighton University in Omaha to pray to Blessed Jeanne and a few months later a follow-up biopsy found Gatz -- who is still alive at the age of 71 -- to be cancer-free, she said.

Link (here)

Franciscan At The Jesuit University Of San Francisco

Who is Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM?
(here), (here) and (here)

Who Is Becky Morgan?

Former Santa Clara University president and current chancellor Fr. Paul Locatelli is scheduled to accept an award on Feb. 20 that will be presented to him by one of California’s most ardent supporters of Planned Parenthood.

Fr. Locatelli, said a Jan. 21 news release from the Jesuit-run university, “will receive special recognition for his work and commitment to the Silicon Valley community on Tuesday, Feb. 20, when he receives the 2009 David Packard Award from the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network. The David Packard Award is presented annually by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network to honor a person who 'brings an entrepreneurial, cross-boundary, problem-solving approach' to the region's challenges."

The award, said the news release, “will be presented to Locatelli by Morgan Family Foundation President Becky Morgan during a luncheon at the “State of the Valley Conference.” Morgan, of Los Altos Hills, is a longtime backer of Planned Parenthood. She has contributed at least $865,000 to the defeat of parental notification initiatives in California, beginning with Proposition 73 in 2005. Last year alone, Morgan gave $140,000 to help defeat Proposition 4, a family notification before a minor’s abortion initiative backed by California’s Catholic bishops.

In 2006, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America gave Morgan its “President and Chair’s Courage and Integrity Award.” A PPFA announcement at the time said the award was given to “Becky Morgan from Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte for her unparalleled contributions to defeating Prop. 73 which resulted in protecting the health and safety of teens throughout California.”

Link (here) to the California Catholic article
Photo in upper right hand corner Is Rebbecca Morgan

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Way To Love

This from Matthew at the blog A Catholic Life

Greetings and Peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!


This year the season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, and Catholics are bound by the Law of the Church to fast and abstain from meat during this time. Failure to observe the Law of the Church without an acceptable exception such as a health exception is mortally sinful. I would just like to send the following reminder:

Ash Wednesday: This is a day of mandatory abstinence and fasting (Can. 1251). All Catholics aged 14 or older must abstain from meat on this day (Can. 1252). Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.

However, those between 18 and 59 years of age (Can. 1252), are also bound to fast on Ash Wednesday. On this day one, normal-sized meal and two smaller meals that do not equal the normal meal are allowed. Eating between meals, however, is prohibited although fruit juices and milk are allowed. These rules are much more lenient than centuries past. If you can, truly make your fasting a sacrifice.

Good Friday: This day is the most somber day in the year when we recall Our Savior's death. The rules for Ash Wednesday apply to today (Can. 1251).

The Fridays of Lent: All the Fridays of Lent excluding Good Friday are mandatory days of abstinence from meat (Can. 1250). The abstinence rules outlined under Ash Wednesday apply to today. However, a person may still choose to voluntary fast today. Fasting is to be encouraged, though not mandatory, each Friday of Lent. Traditional Catholics will abtain and fast on both the Fridays and Saturdays of Lent.

All days of Lent but Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and 1st Class Feasts: Traditional Catholics will still fast and partially abtain from meat on these days. By partial abstinence, a person is allowed to eat meat only at the major meal.

All Fridays of the Year: All Catholics must abstain from meat all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent (Can. 1250 & Can. 1251). However, Catholics can do another form of penance on the Fridays of the year instead of abstaining. Fridays in Lent, though, are mandatory abstinence and another act of penance does not void the necessity to abstain from meat and meat products. Traditional Catholics will always abstain on each Friday of the year, though. Above all, some form of penance is required. Failure to perform penance is sinful.

Pre-Vatican II Fasting: For information on fasting before Vatican II, see Fish Eaters. It is always a good, pious practice to voluntarily fast and abstain on days that used to be required for fasting and abstaining like Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve, and the Vigil of Pentecost. Also, fasting and abstinence were required on Rogation Days and Ember Days.

I would also like to point out the following posts of mine from Everything Lent. I pray that these are helpful for your spiritual growth this Lent:

Pope Benedict XVI's words:
The 2007 Lenten theme and message
The 2006 Lenten theme and message
Our journey "in the shadows"
Ash Wednesday Audience

Ash Wednesday:
What is Ash Wednesday and what are the rules of this day?
Ash Wednesday Prayer

Holy Week:
Top Ten Suggestions for Holy Week
Palm Sunday
Monday's Mass readings: Year B
Tuesday's Mass readings: Year B
Wednesday's Mass readings: Year B
Spy Wednesday
Holy Thursday

Good Friday:
Good Friday information
Good Friday Prayer
Pope Benedict XVI's Good Friday service (2006)

"The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ"
Cardinal George of Chicago - his Lenten message (2006)
St. Benedict's Words on Lent
St. Leo the Great's Words on Lent
St. Leo the Great's Words on Charity
Advice from the St. Andrew Daily Missal

Isaiah 53:11b-12
Isaiah 53:4-6

Pax Domini sit semper tecum,


Ashen Cross Traced On Brow


To the Rev. Father Strapping S.J.

Ashen cross traced on brow !
Iron cross hid in breast!
Have power, bring, patience, now :
Bid passion be at rest.

O sad, dear, days of Lent!
Now lengthen your gray hours :
If so we may repent,
Before the time of flowers.

Majestical, austere,

The sanctuaries look stern :

All silent! all severe !

Save were the lone lamps burn.

Imprisoned mere above
The world's indifferency:
Still waits Eternal Love,
With wounds from Calvary.

Come ! mourning companies;
Come ! to sad Christ draw near :
Come ! sin's confederacies ;
Lay down your malice here.

Here is the healing place,
And here the place of peace:
Sorrow is sweet with grace
Here, and here sin hath cease.

Link (here) to the poem written by Lionel Pigot Johnson written in the year 1893

I Am Not Making This Up!

It's "Transgender Awareness Week" at Seattle's Jesuit university. Link (here)

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Wrote This Essay In America Magazine

Bobby Jindal chronicles his conversion in prose that's as compelling, if much more widely dispersed, encompassing articles written for a handful of periodicals throughout the 1990s. Here's an example, from a 1993 essay he penned for the Jesuit magazine America: Link (here)

My journey from Hinduism to Christianity was a gradual and painful one. I was touched by the love and simplicity of a Christian girl who dreamt of becoming a Supreme Court justice so she could stop her country from "killing unborn babies." I was also angered by the arrogance of my Southern Baptist friend who claimed his faith was the one true path to God. He seemed to deny the experiences of billions of people who have never seen a copy of the Bible.

I began reading the Bible to disprove the Christian faith I was learning both to admire and despise. I cannot begin to describe my feelings when I first read the New Testament texts. I saw myself in many of the parables and felt as if the Bible had been written especially for me. After reading every book I could find on the historical accuracy of the Bible and Christianity, I was convinced that the Bible had remained unaltered throughout the centuries and that circumstances surrounding Christ's death led to the conversions of thousands. However, my perspective remained intellectual and not spiritual...

It would require many hours of discussion with a pastor before I was ready to take that leap of faith and accept Christ into my life. It would take another two years for me to be baptized into the Catholic Church. My parents were infuriated by my conversion and have yet fully to forgive me. I tried to prepare myself for the worst; though I was ready when they ended their financial support, I was not as prepared for the emotional battles. My parents went through different phases of anger and disappointment. They blamed themselves for being bad parents, blamed me for being a bad son and blamed evangelists for spreading dissension. There were heated discussions, many of them invoking family loyalty and national identity. My parents have never truly accepted my conversion and still see my faith as a negative that overshadows my accomplishments. They were hurt and felt I was rejecting them by accepting Christianity. I long for the day when my parents understand, respect and possibly accept my faith. For now, I am satisfied that they accept me...

Our Lady Of Georgetown

Last Wednesday, February 18, a prominent statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was desecrated at Georgetown University. Students offended by the action are now planning a 24-hour prayer vigil beginning this Thursday in reparation for the outrage and in support of the university’s Catholic identity.

“Nearly one year ago Pope Benedict came to Washington and declared that the crisis of Truth on our Catholic campuses is rooted in a crisis of faith,” noted Thomas Mead, executive vice president at The Cardinal Newman Society.
“The Georgetown students’ response to the terrible desecration is just one more example of the budding renewal of Catholic higher education that is taking place. We should pray that the administration at Georgetown takes to heart the words of the Holy Father and the example of Georgetown’s own students.”
The face of the stone statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which sits on high-profile Copley Lawn, was painted black. On Sunday, Georgetown stated in an e-mail, “we do not know the motivation of the person or persons who painted the face, nor whether they are members of the University community.” By Monday morning the statue was partially restored.

Student members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Student Association at Georgetown are leading the 24-hour prayer vigil beginning this Thursday, February 26, at 5:45 p.m. The vigil will consist of a prayer service, all 20 mysteries of the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and other prayers.

The students communicated their plans and concerns to The Cardinal Newman Society early Tuesday morning.

“The motivation for organizing a prayer vigil in front of Our Lady of Fatima is a desire to bring good out of evil,” said Junior Joseph Kapusnick, Grand Knight of GU Knights of Columbus. “We want to remind everyone of the strong Catholic identity on campus with a true Catholic response: prayer and forgiveness.”
Andrea Pittaluga, Co-Chair of Georgetown’s Interfaith Council, said, “Desecrating the statue of the Blessed Mother was done either out of ignorance or malice. Either way, however, grace can come from even the lowest of deeds: this is a wonderful opportunity to teach students about the Blessed Mother, about her love, and how to form a relationship with her.”
“Georgetown's Jesuit-Catholic identity in many ways depends on a small number of students, faculty, and administrators who are willing to fight for and advocate its heritage,” said Junior David Gregory, Editor-In-Chief of The Georgetown Academy. “Though many are willing to support the school's identity, not too many are ready and willing to step up to bat when necessary.”
A campus-wide e-email from the Executive Director of Campus Ministry and the vice presidents for Student Affairs and Mission and Ministry was issued on February 22, alerting the Georgetown community of the circumstances of the desecration. The notice stated: “When the renovation of the statue is completed, the Roman Catholic Chaplaincy of Campus Ministry will rededicate the statue in a public ritual.”

Link (here)

BC Philosopher On Science And Faith

Patrick H. Byrne, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Boston College, will give a lecture next Wednesday, February 18, at the Weston Observatory on “Why Do People Think Science and Faith Are Incompatible?” In an interview, Dr. Byrne explained that the official position of the Catholic Church has always been that science and faith are compatible, citing Church doctors St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.
“My basic thesis is that both religious language and scientific language require us to go beyond what we see to transcendent realities that we do not see,"
Dr. Byrne explained. “True, science starts with observations, but it goes beyond, to infer from the evidence a knowledge of forces and realities that we cannot directly see. Take, for example, gravity. We can’t see it, but we’re certain it exists. Or evolution. I don’t have any question but that this is a good and accurate explanation, but no one can see it – it takes too long. So the idea that science is about what we can see and religion about what we can’t see is a misunderstanding that causes further alienation.”
Link (here)

Jesuit In Japan

It is widely believed Christianity arrived in the mid-16th century with Portuguese and Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries, including the Jesuit Francisco Xavier. Christianity was repressed during the 16th century, seen by the government as a threat to national security, with the shogunate fearing foreign traders and missionaries would destabilize the culture. It was banned in 1587. Those who continued to practice Christianity, called "kakure kirishitans" (hidden Christians), were persecuted if outed, even crucified.

Link (here) to the full article on Japanese Christianity

Painting of Jesuit Saints Ignatius and Francis

16th Century French Jesuit Theologian Etienne Bauny

Etienne Bauny (b. in 1564 at Mouzon, Ardennes, France; d. 3 December 1649, at Saint Pol de Léon) was a French Jesuit theologian.


He was admitted into the Society of Jesus, 20 July, 1593, and after teaching humanities and rhetoric he was promoted to the chair of moral theology which he occupied for sixteen years.[1] He was for a time superior of the Jesuit residence at Pontoise. He had the confidence of the most distinguished prelates of his age, especially of François Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld, who chose him as his spiritual director, and of René de Rieux, Bishop of Léon, who entrusted to him the settlement of the most delicate affairs of his episcopate.

Bauny’s knowledge of moral theology was profound, but he was in many points too lenient. His indulgence excited the indignation of the Jansenists, and it was to him that Blaise Pascal, Arnauld and others turned, when they accused the Society of Jesus of teaching lax morality.

He was a man of extraordinary severity towards himself, a skilful guide of souls, full of charity towards sinners, prudent in the management of affairs. He died in the odour of sanctity, almost in the very exercise of his apostolic ministry, at the advanced age of eighty-five.

Link (here)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lenten reflections with Fr. Patrick McGrath, S.J. (here)

What Do Boston College Students Demand? More Jesuit Teachers? Lower Tuition? Football National Championship?

Nope! Free Condoms!

During the Undergraduate Government elections at Boston College (BC) last week, students passed a “sexual health referendum” by a wide margin. BC’s student leaders are promising to promote to the administration the referendum which demands access to free birth control and condoms on campus.

What started as a campus petition, reportedly receiving the needed 1,000 student signatures in less than 24 hours, the sexual health referendum made it on the ballot due in large part to the efforts of BC Students for Sexual Health, according to The Heights, BC’s student newspaper. The referendum calls on Boston College to offer support for “affordable sexually transmitted infections testing, the availability of prescription birth control medication, and condoms on campus.” The actual text of the ballot language is available on the Boston College website.

Eighty-nine percent of the students who participated in the election voted in favor of the referendum.

“Clearly Boston College, as a Catholic institution, should not give in to student demands for free contraception, and I would be shocked if they did so,” said David Costanzo, spokesman for The Cardinal Newman Society.

Link (here)

Chicago Jesuits Targeted In Protest

Isely said that the group was passing out fliers at Church of the Holy Family, the city's second-oldest church, because it was run by the Jesuits for more than 100 years. In 1996, the Archdiocese of Chicago leased the church and operates the parish today. St. Ignatius College Prep, which is still run by the Jesuits, is next door. The flier urged parishioners to learn more about clergy sex abuse and demands that Jesuit officials release the names and work assignments of priests who have abused children.

Link (here) to the full article

Former Jesuit, "I Was Looking At These Chinese Girls, I Loved Them."

SANJHIH TOWNSHIP, Taiwan — He has spent years in Taiwan, but when you meet Pierre Loisel
you still hear Quebec in his voice and see the Jesuit is evident in his demeanour.

Both are remnants of another life — he's had a number of them — and while he's shed the Roman collar and the earnestness of a computer pioneer, the zeal remains intact.

In his latest reincarnation, Loisel, 69, is an organic farmer — complete with a vision and a vision statement. He has plotted a future for the tiny island he lives on that revolves around a technique he devised to compost table scraps, meat, dairy, seafood; all the stuff they tell you not to put in your garden pile.

Loisel's vision goes way beyond the winter crop of leafy greens flourishing on his small seaside farm. It envisions turning Taiwan into an organic island to feed the fresh-aholic Japanese at premium prices. Along the way, pollution from garbage incinerators would cease, chemicals and pesticides would stop leaching into Taiwan's water supply and a viable industry would develop to fill the vacuum left by the computer business that once fuelled Taiwan's economy but is now moving to cheaper digs in China.

Most Canadian ex-pats in Taiwan today either have family ties on the island, 160 kilometres off the coast of China, or belong to an itinerant band of young people who want to see the world on limited resources and teach English to buy their tickets. It wasn't always so. For part of the last century, it was missionaries, who came to settle.

In fact, probably the most celebrated Canadian ex-pat in Taiwan is still Dr. George Leslie Mackay. Most school kids on the island can tell you his claim to fame —he pulled 21,000 Taiwanese teeth. He wasn't a dentist, rather a Presbyterian minister from Zorra, in southwestern Ontario, who came as a missionary in 1872. But people with toothaches are rarely receptive, so Mackay ministered to their mouths as well as their souls.

A large, modern hospital in downtown Taipei still bears his name, and in nearby Tamsui, a long-bearded statue of him stands in the town centre.

More than half a century later, Loisel also came to Taiwan as a religious man, but as he tells it now, on a largely temporal mission.

Loisel found his vocation at 21 when a Jesuit missionary fresh out of prison in Mao Zedong's China came to speak in Grand Mere and told him that becoming a missionary wasn't necessarily about standing in a pulpit.

"What China needs now is engineers to build up the economy so people will have a little money," he said.

For a budding engineer from small-town Quebec, it seemed like a ticket to see the world.

It sounds very calculating, but as Loisel tells it now, he was totally up front about his "calling."

In 1961, "We signed a contract that I would join the Jesuits under the condition that I would go as a missionary to China to do engineering work.

Just five lines. I was the only one that I know of that joined the Jesuits under a condition."

Loisel arrived in Taiwan and immediately went back to school, first to study Chinese and then to a Chinese-language university to get the science credits he needed for an advanced degree in electrical engineering. Not insignificantly, he also discovered and mastered computers while he was there.

By the time the Jesuits sent him to Santa Clara, Calif., to do his second MA, he was a computer whiz with a scholarship offer from NASA and, ultimately, a job offer from "a little startup company called Intel."

But Taiwan was his love and he returned in 1969 expecting to teach Engineering. Alas, the new university department he was groomed to join was slow getting off the ground and his superiors wanted to send him back to Quebec.

"I said shit. I was looking at these Chinese girls, I loved them. I really was sweating it out. I didn't want to lose all of that."

"So, I said, 'No, I will stay and if I can still be a Jesuit by staying here, fine, I will have a group to rely on. If not, I will be on my own'."

The official reply was: "You try it and we'll see."

In the next few years, as Loisel skyrocketed through the computer industry emerging in Taiwan, he parted ways with the Jesuits.

For him, it was a good life in a fast growing field and lucrative, too, first as vice-president of Hewlett-Packard and then at MiTac, in Taipei.

But at age 51, with two children in primary school, he threw it over to become a stay at home father.

His classical Jesuit education left him with clear ideas of how his kids should be raised and educated, so it was a time consuming job for several years.

It wasn't until he began working to reclaim his seafront land, when he became intimately acquainted with an incinerator that couldn't deal with the wet table scraps that made up 25 to 30 per cent of the neighbourhood garbage, that he shifted gears once again.

Loisel went back to his computer to figure out the garbage problem. He wanted to compost it, but everyone told him it was impossible.

He was a man with a mission again, but soon realized he needed more than a keyboard to accomplish it. He needed garbage, lots of it, at least seven tonnes to begin his experiments.

Loisel established the routine he still carries on today, jumping in his truck in the wee hours of the morning and personally collecting table scraps at schools and along a now well-established route in his local township, collecting about one tonne of slop every day.

After three years of experimenting, Loisel had 200 tonnes of what he now calls his "black gold." And, at age 60, a passion to use it.

The leafy greens blowing in his windy fields now fetch five or six times as much as ordinary vegetables in Taiwan and twice as much as other organic produce commands — roughly $6.50 for 600 grams.

The preaching he didn't do in his Jesuit days, Loisel does now, giving speeches in Taipei and talking to clubs and school groups who visit his farm — about 10,000 people to date — regaling them with his "miracle" solution for a myriad of ills, both environmental and, he insists, physical.

"You have to spread the gospel," he jokes.

Loisel, who last June was awarded the first Canada-Taiwan Friendship Award by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, is still a long way from turning Taiwan into an organic paradise, but he certainly hasn't given up hope.

Later this year, he's planning to start a small school on his property where he will train half a dozen or so students at a time in his brand of "revolutionary agriculture."

"It's a good life," he contends, "and you can earn a good living."

Link (here)

Photo is of Pierre Loisel

Jesuit On Gambling Casinos

Richard McGowan, (here) a professor of economics at Boston College, takes a more circumspect view of the proposed VLT casino. McGowan, who is also a Jesuit priest, says the overall economic impact of a casino is “generally positive.” The biggest obstacle is promoters promising too much of an economic payoff. Casinos are not the solution to an ailing economy, but they do produce revenue for the state.

“Atlanta’s a pretty big convention town, so they’re probably saying this will attract more conventioneers,” he says. “And to be a successful gambling operation, you don’t want your own people gambling. You don’t want locals there. You want outsiders. If you have a lot of locals, you’re going to be cannibalizing your own local economy, because they’re spending money at the casino that would otherwise go into other types of local businesses.”

McGowan, author of 2008’s “The Gambling Debate,” has looked at the economic multiplier effect of casinos—how many jobs and how much revenue they spin off indirectly—as well as their ability to attract money from out of town. With that in mind, he makes a pronouncement about Atlanta: “I don’t think you’re going to get more conventions because you have gambling.”

Why not? Because lots of places have gambling now. In fact, only two states, Utah and Hawaii, have no form of legalized gambling. According to, there are about 900 casinos spread across America.

McGowan balks at saying VLTs are more addictive than any other kind of gambling. ( “If you’re addicted to gambling, you’re addicted to gambling,” he says.) He also notes that the odds of winning at VLTs is considerably better than the odds of winning the Georgia Lottery.

And he shrugs off the shop-of-horrors predictions of doom associated with casinos. Instead, he cautions that communities should know what they’re getting into. States tend to actively compete with neighboring states for gamblers. He points to Alabama and North Carolina’s casinos.

“If Georgia does this,” he says. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the neighboring states up the ante, if you’ll pardon the pun.”

Link (here)

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Archbishop Of New York On Jesuit And The Eucharist

New York Archbishop Timothy M Dolan in a homily at FUS

An excerpt.
You certainly heard the story about the very brave Jesuit, confessor of the faith, Bishop Dominic Tan, who was imprisoned in Communist China for the great crime of loyalty to the bishop of Rome, the pope. Six years in solitary confinement. Six years.
His Communist captors come to him after six years, and they say, "You’ve behaved. We will allow you one wish. What do you want?" Now, I guess he could have asked for freedom. I guess he could have asked for a hot shower. I guess he could have asked for a telephone to call friends and family. I guess he could have asked for a special meal. Bishop Tan said, "I would like to say Mass."
He knew that the best way to be in communion with Jesus, his best friend, was through the Eucharist.

Link (here)

Link (here) to the Cardinal Kung Foundation

Jesuits In Vienna Cover Up Catholic Christian Sacred Artwork With Graffiti

Outer space is the perfect metaphor for God and the mysteries of life. It's infinitely vast, it's mysteriously unknowable, and it elicits wonder and contemplation in all who behold it.
This might be why Austrian artists Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf installed a massive NASA photograph of an astronaut floating in space on the ceiling of the historic Jesuit Church in Vienna in an exhibit entitled The Jesuits' Cosmos.
The photo, which will be on display through May 25, 2009, is printed on a huge section of semi-transparent net fabric. Employing a change in lighting, the curators can switch the focus between the astronaut and the curvature of the blue planet to a "reverted view" of the Andrea Pozzo ceiling frescoes above them. Either way, the viewer is awed with a sense of spatial illusion. I like this trend of installing thought-provoking pieces of modern art in houses of worship. It's a pleasant reminder that we're all on the same planet, just trying to get along and figure a few things out.

Link (here)

What is graffiti? Go (here) What is Teilhardism? Go (here)

Lefty Catholic NCR On The Oregon Bankruptcy

The Oregon province encompasses Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

Unknown this early in the proceedings is whether Jesuit institutions such as schools and universities and other ministries will be affected.

Lee was not available to answer questions. Pat Walsh, spokesperson for the province, told NCR that neither the order’s lawyers nor officials of the province were commenting beyond Lee’s statement and a question-and-answer document regarding bankruptcy procedure that also is posted on the website.

Walsh, however, made special note of the claim contained on the website that most of the abuse alleged occurred “40, 50, and even 60 years ago” and that of “nearly 3,000 Jesuits who have served in the Oregon Province since 1950, less than one percent has credible allegations of misconduct made against them.” Most of those accused, according to the website, are either dead or elderly and ill. (Not quite true, I have counted 38 Jesuits who served within the Oregon Province, The published claim would would put the number in the high twentys)

“Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one,” said Lee in his statement, “but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the Province.”

Lee said the province had already settled more than 200 claims since 2001 and had paid in excess of $25 million from its own resources.

While the Jesuits assert that only a tiny minority of the priests who have worked in the province have been credibly accused of abuse, plaintiff’s lawyers charge that the order used the Northwest United States as a “dumping ground” for priests with problems.

Link (here) to the full article in the NCR

Alsaka Abuse Victim

Elsie Boudreau, Yu'pik Eskimo and Alaska Native, a sexual abuse victim who sued a priest and the church in a separate lawsuit and won, said of the bankruptcy filing by the Jesuits, "The day has come for Native people to free ourselves from the bondages of shame and secrecy that kept us powerless within the Catholic Church because we are no longer a people sitting idly on the sidelines while Jesuits continue their deceptive maneuverings to shield heinous crimes of sexual abuse of our innocent children. We are speaking loudly and clearly." "The era of gross and deliberate human rights violations by those neglectful and careless men hiding behind the cloak of Christ has come to an end. We, as a Native people, will no longer tolerate the scarring of our souls by those entrusted to protect and nurture our spirituality," she said. Clearly upset by all she has been through over the years, Boudreau said,
"The Oregon Province filing for bankruptcy is a clear admission on their part that our Native people have been the recipients of an evil so great, so inconceivable, so out of this world, that it would bring Jesus Christ to tears."
Boudreau has made it her life's mission to encourage other Native victims of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church to put away any guilt or fear they may feel and to speak out. She said, "Our ancestors' wisdom tells us we do not treat our people that way - we take care of our people. Why then would we tolerate the abuse of those entrusted to save our souls? It is time for Native people to hold on to our teachings and secure a place of honor and respect for our children for generations to come."

Link (here)

Photo is of Elsie Boudreau

Padre Miguel Agustin Pro, S.J.

Loyola Producciones presenta la pelicula que narra la vida de
Miguel Agustín Pro, Sacerdote Jesuita.

Loyola Productions presents the film tells the
life of Miguel Agustin Pro, Jesuit Priest.

Link (here) to the video in Spanish at Gloria TV

At The Foot Of The Cross

, Robert Scott Duncanson, 1846, oil on canvas.

DETROIT, MI.- The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) recently put on display a rare biblical painting by 19th century African American artist Robert Scott Duncanson. The painting was unknown to scholars of work by the internationally acclaimed artist until its discovery approximately five years ago in a basement at University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). The painting is owned by the Jesuit Community at UDM, and is on long-term loan to the museum.

"When we found an old damaged painting in our basement a few years ago, I could never have imagined that today it would be hanging on a wall at the DIA", said Rev. Gary Wright, S.J., rector of UDM Jesuit Community and director, University Ministry, UDM. “The Jesuit Community at UDM wanted to be able to share this treasure of our city's African-American heritage with the whole community. This has been a great experience of two venerable Detroit institutions working together so that the whole community can now enjoy this piece of our history."

Duncanson (1821-1872) is considered one of the best landscape artists of his time, but he also painted portraits and genre paintings. In 1845, he came to Detroit in search of commissions and painted portraits of prominent Detroit citizens, such as Henri Berthelet and his young grandson, William. He maintained a studio in downtown Detroit and advertised his talents in the Detroit Free Press. Before his departure in 1846, the Detroit Daily Advertiser remarked favorably on Duncanson’s skills as a painter. The artist would return to the area many times in his life, making Detroit and Cincinnati his primary residences.

The recently discovered painting, in which he explores a religious subject, was executed by the artist during his formative years when, like many emerging artists, he went through a period of experimentation. It is signed by Duncanson and dated 1846, a year when he is known to have worked in Detroit.

“The General Motors Center for African American Art is delighted that the Jesuit Community at UDM has loaned the painting to the DIA,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “This new addition to the museum’s 19th-century African American art gallery, alongside Duncanson’s portrait, still-life, genre, and landscape paintings, enriches the DIA’s presentation of this important artist with significant ties to Detroit.”

Much research remains to be done on At the Foot of the Cross. The discovery of this rare painting will provide further insight into the development of Duncanson’s analytical, technical, and stylistic skills. It is relevant to American art history in general because it reveals Duncanson’s exploration of Christian art, for which there was no distinct American tradition in the 19th century.

Link (here)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jesuit Says We Are Not Celebrating Darwin

The Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana are organizing the international conference to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" and the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Jesuit Father Marc Leclerc, a philosophy professor at the Gregorian, said the conference was in no way a "celebration in honor of the English scientist".
He said it would be an occasion to critically assess an event that permanently altered the history of science and changed the way people understood humanity.

Link (here)

Connecting The Dots: From Bergson To Tielhardism, Then On To Process Theology Complimenting Liberation Theology

Modern philosophical systems.

Philosophers such as Kant and Henri Bergson inspired the mainstream of Modernist Catholic thought. One of the main currents was the attempt to synthesize the vocabularies/epistemologies/metaphysics and other features of certain modern systems of philosophy with Catholicism, in much the same way the Scholastics earlier attempted to synthesize Platonic and Aristotlean philosophy with Catholicism.

Link (here)

Before Tielhard there was Bergson

Because many found Bergson's thought liberating, his influence in the early twentieth century was important and widespread. Although he regarded science very seriously, there was still room in Bergson's universe for intuition as well as reason, for morality and religion as well as mechanics, for organic communities as well as isolated individuals. A gifted writer, he bridged the worlds of literature, philosophy, and science.

Bergson was a seminal thinker, prompting others to move beyond his own conclusions. There were few disciples and no one to transform his essays into a polished system. The American philosopher William James and the Jesuit philosopher of science and religion Pierre Teilhard de Chardin borrowed much and yet departed from him at significant points.

Link (here)

Henri Bergson's influence on Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, S.J.

It was during his stay in England that Teilhard read Henri Bergson's major book, Creative Evolution (1907). This metaphysical work had an enormous influence on Teilhard, since it resulted in his lifelong commitment to the fact of evolution. It is worth emphasizing that it was not Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) but rather Bergson's interpretation of evolution that convinced the scientist-priest that species are mutable throughout organic history. Also of significance is the fact that, in the last century, after the work of Lamarck, no spokesperson like Thomas Huxley in England or Ernst Haeckel in Germany was as committed to defending the evolution framework in the country of Teilhard's birth.

Link (here)

On Process Theology

Broadly speaking, "process" thought includes all theologies and philosophies that conceptualize becoming, event, and relatedness as fundamental categories of understanding. Thus, Heraclitus and Theravada Buddhism belong to the process tradition, as do Hegel, Schelling, and various neo-Hegelians, as well as Henri Bergson, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, John Dewey, Samuel Alexander, C. Lloyd-Morgan, Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, Nikolai Berdyaev, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Defined more narrowly, one might identify process thought with the school of organic realist cosmology developed by University of Manchester philosopher Samuel Alexander, University of Bristol philosopher C. Lloyd-Morgan,

Link (here)

Points of Contact Between Process Theology and Liberation Theology in Matters of Faith and Justice

But even white, middle class North Americans can become responsive to what they hear from the poor. To avoid thinking in ways that are unresponsive to their rightful claim upon us, we need to cultivate habits of a kind of self-criticism which is still largely foreign to our tradition. Here we must humbly learn from liberation theologians. When white, middle class, North American process theologians consider our social location seriously and adapt our theology to the understanding that results, North Atlantic process theology as a whole can become complementary to liberation theology.

Link (here)

Two Jesuits And The English Counter Reformation

Intrigues of Persons, Campian, and the Seminary Priests.

In 1568, Dr. Allen, formerly principal of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, established a college at Douay for the education of missionary priests in England. He after wards originated another at Rheims ; a similar one was founded at Rome; and these colleges, named Seminaries, were filled chiefly with English Roman Catholic exiles,
The Jesuits desperate men, ready to brave any perils. In 1579, the Jesuits joined them, chief among whom were Robert Persons.
and Edmund Campion, formerly of Oxford. Persons was a fierce bigot; Campion a virtuous man, the pride and boast of Douay for scholarship. In June, 1580, they came to England to make known the modification which Gregory XIII. had made in the bull against Elizabeth—to the effect that it was not to be considered binding, except there was an opportunity for executing it. Such a Jesuitical mission naturally excited the alarm of the English ministers, who, therefore, closely watched the two emissaries, and issued more rigorous proclamations against the Roman Catholics.
All persons who had sent their children be educated to be educated abroad, were required to give in their abroad. names to the bishop of their diocese, and recall them within four months ; and every one was warned against incurring the penalties of treason by harboring a priest or Jesuit.
When parliament assembled (January, 1581), it confirmed these proclamations, and enacted more stringent statutes against reconciliation to Rome.
A penalty of £20 per lunar month was imposed on all Romanists who did not attend the established worship;
and, in default of payment, the Queen was authorized to seize two-thirds of any delinquent's lands, and all his goods.

Link (here)

Engraving is of Campion's martyrdom

Jansenism Was Calvinism Disguised

We may now speak of Jansenism, the most insidious heresy ever introduced into the Church, against which the Society of Jesus combated literally to the death. A part of the doctrine of Martin Luther, accentuated by Calvin, was that man had no free will, that he always remained bad, and that we were saved independently of any merit of our own.
Jansenism was Calvinism disguised, and the art of the disguise consisted in this, that no number of declarations from Rome itself could induce its upholders to admit that they were not the best and saintliest of Catholics while teaching the veriest and rankest Protestantism.
Jansen, or Jansenius, bishop of Ypres, who gave his name to the sect, taught, with Calvin, that some commandments of God were impossible of observance, that grace was irresistible (therefore that we could not help doing what we were inclined to), that Christ did not die for all men, etc.,—propositions which were all condemned of course, and several times.
The Catholic doctrine, which is so reasonable, teaches that sanctifying grace is an interior thing, by which man who is justified is made holy, though still inclined to evil; that Our Lord died for all men ; that actual grace is offered to all, and that we are perfectly free to correspond with it or not, and hence our merit and the variety of merit; hence also the justice of God, Who only punishes those who of theirown free will refuse to obey His commandments, which it is in the power of all to observe.
In morals the Jansenists were as rigid as they were severe in dogma. Their law was the law of fear. Above all things they opposed frequent communion ; they wrote books against it, exaggerating the conditions which were required to receive worthily. Consequently their nuns at Port Royal worshipped Our Lord—at a distance; they exposed Him on the altar, but did not receive Him into their hearts.
No wonder, then, that when Our Saviour Himself revealed to the Blessed Margaret of the Visitation the devotion to His Sacred Heart, of which the first apostle was her confessor, the venerable Father de la Colombiere,
and which was to be propagated by the Society of Jesus, the Jansenists should have risen in arms against

Link (here)

Painting is of Jansenius, bishop of Ypres