Monday, November 30, 2009

English Jesuit On Fallin' Away Catholics And Getting Our Catholic Churches Back Lost In The Reformation

Fr Anthony Symondson, a former Anglo-Catholic vicar who became a Jesuit priest, doubted however whether mass conversion was inevitable. He predicted that if an English Ordinariate relies on "shared churches and temporary buildings" he felt it would
"represent a very small number of people with a very limited future". "None of us really know how the Church of England is going to respond to it and how the Church Commissioners are going to respond to it in terms of letting property go,"
he said. Congregations are likely to be split by the decision and may be tempted to experiment with parish-sharing, he said, but he explained that when this was tried at a church in west London in the 1990s it was soon halted by Cardinal Basil Hume because of divisions between Catholic converts and the resident Anglican congregation.

Fr Symondson added:
"A lot of divorced and remarried Catholics go to these churches because they are effectively excommunicated from the Catholic Church
and the last thing they want is to be under the jurisdiction of Rome again because it will put them back in the situation that they have tried to escape."

Link (here) to the full article in Virtue Online.
Photo is Westminster Abby

Fr. Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, S.J.

The Charlevoix Historical Society recently received the donation of a rare and relevant book rescued from the toss-out bin of the University of Iowa library in Iowa City.

Timothy Barrett, research scientist and adjunct professor at the university’s Center for the Book, spotted the volume that was once in the possession of the Iowa State Library in Des Moines and marked “Withdrawn.”

It is a translation of the letters that Jesuit Father Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix wrote to his friend the Duchess of Lesdiguieres in France describing his “Travels In North America,” 1720-1722. The book was published in London in 1763, two years after Father Charlevoix’s death.

Prof. Barrett wondered if the book might have some value. He consulted with his sister, Barbara Lucas, who has visited Charlevoix, to discuss what the next step might be. Together they determined that if the book belonged anywhere, it was the one place in the United States that received the name of the intrepid explorer, journalist, and important historian who gave Charlevoix County, later the town, his name.

They had it appraised, and found the book destined to be thrown out is worth $3,500. The book now resides at the Charlevoix Historical Society’s Harsha House Museum.

Prof. Barrett is one of the 2009 recipients of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the no-strings $500,000 “genius award” granted to people in America outstanding in their fields. He has researched and duplicated the methods of historical hand papermaking. Prof. Barrett’s techniques were used in the fabrication of handmade archival paper used in the re-encasement of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights at the National Archives in 2002.

The relevance of the book is contained in the following passage which Father Charlevoix wrote on July 31, 1721:

“I Departed from Michillimakinac (the Straits area) the Day before Yesterday at Noon, and I am detained here in a little island that has no Name . . .”

The only coastal island between the Straits and Grand Traverse Bay is Fisherman’s Island a few miles south of Charlevoix. He described having followed the coast by canoe and “ ... entering the Bay (Little Traverse), and was surprised at it. It is certain that this Bay, having no other Outlet, discharges itself into Lake Michigan ... I went at first five Leagues to the West, to get into Lake Michigan, I then turned to the South, and this is the only Route we have to take for a hundred Leagues to the River St. Joseph. ... Yesterday I went three leagues further, and a high wind obliged me to stop at this island.

He would have “turned to the south” at North Point/Mount McSauba.

Father Charlevoix wrote his next letter on Aug. 16:

“The first of August, after having sailed cross a Bay that is thirty Leagues deep (Grand Traverse), I left on the Right the Iles of Castor (Beaver Islands), which appeared to be very well wooded; and some Leagues further, on the Left, I perceived on an Eminence of Sand a Kind of Bush, which, when we are over against it has the shape of an Animal lying down. The French call if L’ours qui dort (the sleeping Bear), and the (Native Americans) the Bear lying down.”

Father Charlevoix does not mention making landfall in what would become Pine River/Charlevoix before traveling “three leagues further” to the island, but he does later describe the “condition,” as he called it, of rivers leading from the eastern Lake Michigan shore into inland lakes, a phenomenon he encountered repeatedly down the coast. The Lake Michigan-Round Lake-Lake Charlevoix chain may have been the first one he saw.

David Miles is co-director of the Charlevoix County Historical Society’s Harsha House Museum in Charlevoix. The museum is open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Dec. 31. It is located at 103 State St., one block west of Bridge Street next to the Congregational Church at Park Avenue in Charlevoix.

Link (here)

Party Time At Holy Cross

Officials at the College of the Holy Cross said they “regret” an incident earlier this week
in which Frank Vellaccio, the school’s senior vice president, lashed out at District 4 City Councilor Barbara G. Haller,
who, over the years, has pushed school administrators to do more about cracking down on student partying on College Hill.

Link (here) to a much larger story in the Telegram

Fr. Thomas Geoffrey Holt, S.J. "Rest In Peace"

80 Years A Jesuit
His Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, London W1, on Tuesday, 6 October at 11am.

Fr. Thomas Geoffrey Holt, S.J. was born on April 17 1912, the son of Arthur Holt, the Anglican town clerk at Hereford and Oxford, and his wife Mary Frances Wilding, who raised their sons as Catholics. Educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, Geoffrey entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1930 at 18.

He owed his vocation to a school retreat given by Fr. Martin Cyril D'Arcy, S.J., who made a lasting impression that was consolidated when Holt went up to Oxford in 1936
to read History at Lutyens's newly-built Campion Hall, where D'Arcy was Master.

After completing his theological studies at Heythrop College, Holt went on to teach briefly at the Jesuit preparatory school at Corby, Sunderland, followed by two years at Stonyhurst. Ordained priest in 1945, he taught for three years at Mount St Mary's College, Spinkhill, Yorkshire, before returning to Stonyhurst where he remained for 16 years and became head of the history department.

As a boy he had been taught history by the writer Christopher Hollis, and later he taught the subject to Hollis's son, Crispin, the current Bishop of Portsmouth. During this time he edited the school magazine, where he published his first historical articles – models of accuracy that require little revision even today. This period deepened his love for the school, its history and traditions, and he continued to take a keen interest in its fortunes.

In 1966 Holt was appointed writer and assistant in the province's archives at the Jesuit curia at Mount Street in London, and 19 years later he was made archivist in succession to Fr Francis Edwards. For 40 years he remained in London, publishing his books and articles but doing little pastoral work in Farm Street Church beyond occasionally celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.

Charming and fastidious in dress and appearance, Holt embodied the best of the Jesuit tradition.

Without fanaticism he continued to celebrate privately the old Mass and say the unreformed Roman Office;
he only concelebrated once, at a family funeral.

Link (here) to the full article in the Telegraph

More (here)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Belgian Jesuits Celebrate 150 Year Anniversary In India

Belgian Jesuits are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of their Bengal mission in eastern India. The order has had a big impact on lives in the region through education, literary contributions and a translation of the Bible into Bengali.
Father Andre Bruylants, 83, former headmaster of the Jesuit-run St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, has been working in the mission for 60 years.
He is one of seven remaining Belgian Jesuits in the religious society’s Calcutta province.

Link (here) to the Indian Catholic

Photo is of Fr. Andre Bruylants, S.J. (here)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Climate Change Hoax, How Will It Affect The Believers?

This is posted on the website, the main web portal of the Society of Jesus in the United States.

More than 70 Jesuit schools, parishes, communities and organizations across the nation committed themselves to an unprecedented campaign to help reduce climate Justify Fullchange which disproportionally impacts the poor and vulnerable. As part of the Ignatian PeaceAction, students from Jesuit schools, parishioners from Jesuit churches and Jesuit communities have committed to pray and act on climate change issues with a particular emphasis on mitigating the negative effects of climate change on the poor. "The effects of climate change, such as those caused by natural disasters like flooding and droughts, have the greatest negative consequences for those who are the poorest, " said Fr. Jim Stormes (MAR), Secretary for Social and International Ministries for the Jesuit Conference.
"And the potential solutions for reducing the changes we are making on the environment have costs associated with them that disproportionally impact those who are least able to take on the additional financial burden. When considering the possibilities to reduce climate change, the Church always tries to bring the voice of the poor to the discussion."
In a poll released today by Zogby International, 55% of the 1,100 U.S. Catholics polled agreed that climate change is a serious problem with two-thirds agreeing that while all of the causes of global warming may not yet be understood, action must be taken now to lessen its impact. 94% of those surveyed said they have or are willing to act on behalf of reducing global climate change and believe that doing so is consistent with their faith.

Link (here) to the full Jesuit statement from June 29th, 2009

Climategate stories in the news

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin "Anthropogenic Global Warming"

Scientist in climate change 'cover-up' storm told to quit

Inhofe Says He Will Call for Investigation on "Climategate" on Washington Times Americas Morning Show.

Hiding evidence of global cooling: science exposed among climate-change believers

Search the Climate Hoax E-mails

3 Trees Said to Prove Warming!

Storm clouds gather over leaked climate e-mails

Blogger Note: Polar bear is not a Jesuit, just a polar bear.

Ignatian Five Day Retreat

Saint Joseph's University's Office of Mission Programs is offering a five day Ignatian Retreat, January 11 – 15. The retreat will be held at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA. For more information, contact Fr. Dan Joyce, S.J. at 610-660-3291 or

Thanks to 44 (here)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paganism Today

The world's biggest animal sacrifice began in Nepal today with the (watch the horrific video) killing of the first of more than 250,000 animals

as part of a Hindu festival in the village of Bariyapur, near the border with India.

The event, which happens every five years, began with the decapitation of thousands of buffalo, killed in honour of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.

With up to a million worshippers on the roads near the festival grounds, this year's fair seems more popular than ever, despite vocal protests from animals rights groups who have called for it to be banned. "It is the traditional way, " explained 45-year old Manoj Shah, a Nepali driver who has been attending the event since he was six, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled."

Link (here) to the full article in The Guardian.

More (here)

Jesuit History in Nepal

Nepal also engaged the attention of the Jesuits—men whom neither barriers of everlasting snow nor the border warfare of petty mountain tribes could repress.

The valley of Nepal has " as many temples as houses, as many idols as inhabitants." It was invaded in 1765 by an army of 40,000 Chinese who came within a few miles of Katamandu ; the people applied to the British to protect them, and in 1792 Kirkpatrick was sent on an embassy for that purpose.
In 1707 the Capuchin missions began in Nepal, Bettia and Tibet. Tieffenthaler writes that Patan (where 20,000 Lamas live) Katamandu and Batgao, cities near each other, have churches and hospices, where the Capuchin missionaries live. One of those Capuchins Bernini died 1753 on his way from Nepal to Patna ; he translated many works respecting the Brahmans out of the Sanskrit. In 1767 the Rajah of Gorkha invaded Nepal and reduced it under his rule : having killed the rajah, he gave orders to the missionaries to depart; they were sent to Bettia.
In 1661 Grueber and Donville, Jesuits, visited Katamandu: the King was greatly struck at seeing some mathematical instruments; observing through a telescope the fortifications of an enemy appearing quite near, he cried out that all his soldiers must be at once ready for the attack; he was agreeably disappointed when he found the apparent nearness was owing to the glass; the king offered them land and full liberty to preach.
Recanete, Superior of the Capuchin Mission, arrived in Nepal with twenty of his companions : he was well received by the king, who gave him a place to lodge in and proclaimed liberty of conscience to all his subjects. Paulino mentions Joseph, a Corignano, a Capuchin, as author of a dialogue in Urdu dedicated to the rajah of Bettia, also Father Pinna who was director of the Bengal and Nepal Missions, and died in 1747 after labouring thirty-three years: in the city of Patan a monument is erected to him; it has an inscription in Tibetan composed by a Brahman. In 1735 it is stated that " the Apostolic Chamber was so poor and so much in debt, that far from supporting new Missions, it was not in a condition to maintain those already established, the number of Missionaries requisite for the purpose was so great."

Link (here) to the Calcutta Review, volume #5 published in 1846

"Faith in a Secular Age"

The "Faith in a Secular Age" research project will involve scholars from around the United States. So far, two teams have been established with particular topics on which to focus. Jesuit Father John Haughey of Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center will lead a team studying the interior search for meaning.

Link (here) to the full article in the Catholic Globe.
Photo is of Fr. John Haughey, S.J.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Miraculous St. Francis

St. Francis Xavier, the cofounder of the Jesuits, is known as the Apostle of the East for his missionary activities in India and other Oriental countries. In preparation for his feast day (December 3), I have chosen the Miraculous Novena of Grace as our novena this week.

While the words of the prayer do not come from Saint Francis, the idea for the novena does. Eighty-one years after his death, Saint Francis appeared to a dying Jesuit priest (Fr. Marcello Mastrilli, S.J.) and promised his protection to anyone who would pray this novena and go to Confession and receive Communion at least once during the nine days. It's a wonderful way to prepare ourselves for the start of Advent.

Link (here)

St. Francis Xavier's Clear Message Of Jesus Christ And Christianity

From Rorate Caeli (here)

"I and Francis Mancias are now living amongst the Christians of Comorin. They are very numerous, and increase largely every day. When I first came, I asked them if they knew anything about our Lord Jesus Christ; but when I came to the points of faith in detail and asked them what they thought of them, and what more they believed now than when they were Infidels, they only replied that they were Christians, but that as they are ignorant of Portuguese, they know nothing of the precepts and mysteries of our holy religion. We could not understand one another, as I spoke Castilian and they Malabar; so I picked out the most intelligent and well-read of them, and then sought out with the greatest diligence men who knew both languages."

St. Francis goes on to say,

"After explaining the Creed I go on to the Commandments, teaching them that the Christian law is contained in those ten precepts, and that every one who observes them all faithfully is a good and true Christian and is certain of eternal salvation, and that, on the other hand, whoever neglects a single one of them is a bad Christian, and will be cast into hell unless he is truly penitent for his sin. Converts and heathen alike are astonished at all this, which shows them the holiness of the Christian law, its perfect consistency with itself, and its agreement with reason."

Saint Francis Xavier
Letter (to Superiors in Rome)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Pair Of Shoes

In medieval times, the likes of the St. Catherine of Siena and self-flagellating St. Dominic Loriactus Loricatus may have taken that message to extremes.

But while many of the excesses of the Catholic church disappeared after the Reformation and the establishment of the Protestant Church in the 16th century, mortification remained.

Indeed, one of the prime movers in launching the Counter-Reformation movement, Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuits, was a big fan of mortification of the flesh and had his own variation on it.

One approving biographer of him writes: 'He bought a pair of shoes of coarse stuff that is often used in making brooms. He never wore but one shoe because he was in the habit of wearing a cord tied below the knee by way of mortification.'

Jesuits Found Parish In St. Louis 250 Years Ago

Saint Genevieve Catholic Church celebrates its 250 year anniversary.

The City of Ste. Genevieve sits on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about two miles north of the original village settled in the 1740s by French Catholics who crossed the river from the French settlement of Kaskaskia, in what is now Illinois. The Catholic community, originally known as St. Joachim, was served by missionaries with Mass celebrated in the homes of the settlers.

The first church, a log structure, was built in 1759, close to the river in an area known as Le Grand Champ or The Big Field.

Jesuit Father P.F. Watrin, who as a missionary there helped found the parish, became its first pastor. The parish and town became Ste. Genevieve, named after the saint who saved Paris from an attack by Attila the Hun in the fifth century.

Catholics continued to attend the log church until after the Mississippi flood of 1785. Although the church building survived the damage incurred from the flood, it was decided to move the church to the new town location in 1793, with parts of the building moved and new material supplied by parishioners to reconstruct and enlarge the building.

Link (here) to the full article in the St. Louis Review

Monday, November 23, 2009

Solemnity of Christ the King By Fr. Jean Galot, S.J.

Jesus drew the Procurator's attention to the unique and exceptional nature of his Kingdom:
"My kingship is not of this world". He then states, "if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight that I might not be handed over to the Jews".
This reasoning expressed an obvious truth, difficult to dispute. But in exactly what did this Kingdom, which was not of this world, consist? It was the Kingdom that Jesus had proclaimed throughout his preaching. During the trial, he summed up its essential content:
"You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice"
This declaration prompted a skeptical retort from Pilate: "What is truth?". However, as a fundamental piece of information about the Kingdom it requires those who read the Gospel to meditate on it. Christ is King since he bears witness to the truth. This witness entailed his supreme commitment in sacrifice. With the sacrifice of himself, Jesus established his Kingdom. He was born and lived on this earth with a view to this witness. He became King with the total gift of his love and of his life.

Link (here) to the full version of homily by Fr. Jean Galot, S.J., entitled , Jesus is King because he witnesses to Truth.

Fr. Joseph D. Fessio, S.J. Signatory On The Manhattan Declaration

Fr. Joseph D. Fessio, S.J. is an original signatory to the Pro-life document, The Manhattan Declaration.

A small portion of the declaration.

"Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense."

Link (here)
A $22 million interest-free loan to build Christ the King Jesuit College Prep, now rising in the Austin neighborhood. Link (here)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pone Luctum, Magdalena

The Ecquis binas columbinas is a very graceful poem, and the best passion hymn of the school, but is below the subject. The Tandem audite me is a hymn based on the false interpretation of Solomon's Song, but is very pretty. The Pone luctum, Magdalena is perhaps the greatest of all Jesuit hymns, and has found nine Protestant translators to do it into English. It is rather a fine poem than a fine hymn.

Link (here) to the protestant book entitled, Latin hymn writers and their hymns.

Pone Luctum, Magdalena

Cease thy weeping, Magdalena,

Calm thy grief and dry thy tears,

This is not thine hour of sorrow,

There is now no cause for fears,

But a thousand for rejoicing,

Rise, and give thy gladness voicing,


Smile again, O Magdalena,

Let thy joyous features glow, Every cause of grief is vanished;

Banish every sign of woe ;

Christ has made a glorious morrow,

Triumphed over sin and sorrow.


Sing thy praises, Magdalena,

Christ is risen from the tomb ; Lo, he liveth, lo, he cometh,

Victor over dole and doom ;

Whom we mourned in death's dark prison,

Robed in living light, is risen.


Lift thine eyes, O Magdalena,
And resume thy wonted cheer;

See, how bright his forehead shineth,
See, his wounds like gems appear !
Yea, like pearls the wounds are glowing,
Light on our new life bestowing.


Sing thy praises, Magdalena,

All thy light is come again, Sweet with joy thy bosom swelleth,

For the power of death is vain,

Far away be grief and mourning,

See the risen Lord returning. .

Link (here) to the book entitled, Early Christian Hymns: Series II by Daniel Joseph Donahoe

The Happiest Of My Days

And one day, the happiest of my days, I knelt in a chapel (Rue de Sevres) of the Jesuits before a tomb where repose the
mortal remains of that man so mild, so humble, that proud spirit, that apostle,
that Jesuit Pierre Olivaint who was between the altar and me and was praying for me at the moment when I was receiving pardon from my God in the sacred host.

Link (here) to the book entitled, Jesuits! by Paul Feval.

Image is of Pere Pierre Oliviant, S.J. Apostle of the Martyrs.

240 Years Ago In Guam

Nov. 2, 1769 -- 240 years ago -- Jesuits were expelled from the Marianas, leaving all possessions behind. The Jesuits left the spiritual responsibilities of Guam with the fathers of the Order of St. Augustin; their farms soon lay fallow and the animals ran wild.
Jesuit land holdings were extensive. Their major properties consisted of all churches and rectories in Guam and Rota, the College of San Juan de Letran and all that pertained to it, an apothecary, and several ranches, which were well kept and well stocked.
Because of their expanding political power, influence and wealth, the Jesuits were jealously feared by monarchs and other religious orders in Europe. As a consequence, the destruction of the order was planned by the European heads of state. The Jesuits were expelled from Portugal in 1759, from France in 1764, and on Feb. 27, 1767, Charles III of Spain issued the proclamation of confiscation of all Spanish possessions of Jesuits and Jesuit land. All Jesuits were required to return to Spain.

Link (here)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sarah Palin And Some Jesuit Perspectives On Abortion

Former Governor Sarah Palin lambasted abortion advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL who give women the message that they can't juggle both a baby and a career or education.
“It is so bogus that society is sending a message right now and has been for probably the last 40 years that a woman isn't strong enough or smart enough to be able to pursue an education, a career and her rights and still let her baby live,"
she said.

Link (here) to the full article entitled Sarah Palin Rallies Thousands Against Abortion at Wisconsin Pro-Life Event by Steven Ertelt at the website called Lifesite.


This is a quote from Fr. James Martin, S.J. during a televised round table that included EWTN's Raymond Arroyo during the heated speech at Notre Dame by President Obama.

"abortion is a fundamental situation in the Catholic Church, and I think it’s very important, and I’m pro-life. The question is, you know, disagreeing on tactics, and

I don’t think that the sort of extreme pro-life movement is really a good way to enter into dialogue, which is what we need. I don’t understand how the Catholic Church can dialogue with our political leaders if they adopt these extreme tactics.
So -- so my only concern, you know, in those situations is that it marginalizes the Catholic Church -- it makes us look like a fundamentalist sect with whom it’s more and more difficult to talk. And with that, we lose any sense of common ground or any sense of voice in the public square."

Link (here) to the full transcript of Father Martin's television interview.


Dr. William Blazek, a Jesuit scholastic and physician, is a board certified specialist in Internal Medicine and a Research Scholar in the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He teaches ethics and clinical skills as an Adjunct Assistant Professor while preparing for ordination to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a portion of his editorial entitled, A Jesuit's Perspective on Abortion.

"As a practicing physician licensed to care for pregnant women, I believe that abortions kill a living human being in the earliest stages of development.
The moral question at hand is not if we are killing; it is whether the victims have any claims as persons or not. While the U.S. legal balance is at present skewed towards the denial of rights for the unborn, Catholics and many Evangelical Christians argue that both the mother and the unborn have rights.
On a spiritual level, a woman seeking an abortion should recognize that exercising her “choice” will kill a vulnerable and defenseless human being. There is no doubt about this. There is also no doubt that an action can be legal and at the same time be wrong."

Link (here) to the full piece in the Washington Post.


Fr. John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., is a professor of philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. Father wrote this in an open letter to then Senator Obama, it was published in America prior to the 2008 presidential election.

"Perhaps your seeming ambivalence is related to your position on late-term abortions and partial-birth abortions. Second- and third-trimester abortions comprise a small percentage of all abortions, but they are horrific. Anybody who thinks not, does not think."

Read Fathers full statement (here)


This is an excerpt from an interesting interview and debate between Fr. Robert Drinan, S.J. and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, it is from a larger article published by First Things magazine, entitled Robert Drinan, Infanticide and the "Unthinkable".

"The Supreme Court said that there's a constitutional right in a couple, or in a woman, to have an abortion. Can the federal government say that we are going to restrict and constrict that particular right? . . .
I have not repudiated the position of my own church. I've said thousands of times that abortion is immoral in my judgment and coming out of my tradition, but that this is oversimplified piety,
as if everything that the churches hold must in fact be put into American law. . . . A lot of Catholics in the Congress and throughout the country feel that the state should not deny Medicaid funds to people who are entitled to an abortion under the law. . . "
Link (here) to the full article in First Things.

Tanzanian Jesuit On AID's In Africa

Father Fratern Masawe, a Tanzanian, said that African cultures traditionally have seen sexuality as “morally neutral, neither good nor bad, part of what it means to be human.”

But, he said, individuals obviously can use their sexuality in a way that fulfills its life-giving purpose or in a way that becomes harmful and destructive.

“Both our traditional African cultures and our way of life as Christians give norms for living out one ‘s sexuality for the long-term good of everyone,” the Jesuit wrote.
“The church’s understanding of sexuality is often scorned for being rigid, unrealistic or moralistic,” he said, but many Africans seek guidance for living their sexuality in a healthy way.
“It is very important for the church to get her life-affirming message across today to everyone. Abstinence and fidelity are not only the best ways to avoid HIV and tackle AIDS, but are the path to real, personal fulfillment,” Father Masawe’ s statement said.

The Jesuit encouraged all his confreres in Africa to follow the recommendation of the recent Synod of Bishops for Africa when dealing with couples where one or both spouses are HIV-positive.

The synod said the work of church personnel is to provide the kind of pastoral support and moral guidance that would help such couples “choose what is right with full responsibility for the greater good of each other, their union and their family,” including whether or not to use condoms to prevent the spread of the HIV infection.

Link (here) to the full article in Catholic Review

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Fallout

Last month, the parishioner, Michael Nowacki, attempted to take to the church lectern to tell Mass attendees about a priest who has presided over Mass and other events at St. Thomas More.
The priest, the Rev. Paul Carrier, has also solicited funds from parishioners for a now-suspended Haitian charity tied to a criminal investigation.
Nowacki refused to stop addressing the parishioners until police were called. The former director of the Project Pierre Toussaint, Douglas Perlitz, is currently facing charges of child abuse.
Father Carrier, a Jesuit who is not a St. Thomas More or Bridgeport Diocese priest,
was mentioned in a letter distributed to the parish regarding his role in the church and the charity.

Link (here) to an extensive article in The Darien Times
Photo (here) is of Fr. Paul Carrier, S.J.

First European Union President Is Jesuit Educated

A soft-spoken economist little known outside his home country of Belgium is the unlikely choice to serve as the first President of the European Union.
Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy — known as "Haiku Herman" for his love of penning poetry — was chosen Thursday by leaders of the union's 27 member states to serve as permanent President of the European Council.
The low-profile Van Rompuy, 62, emerged as a favorite after former British Prime Minister Tony Blair failed to win over liberal EU leaders, in part due to his support for the invasion of Iraq. Though he offers little international experience,
Van Rompuy has won praise for bringing stability to his nation's fractious politics and, before that, helping balance its financial books. A strong opponent of Turkey's admission to the E.U., Van Rompuy begins his two-and-a-half year term on Jan. 1.
Born Oct. 31, 1947 in Brussels. Attended Sint-Jan Berchmans College, a Jesuit school in the Belgian capital, before studying philosophy and economics at the Catholic University of Leuven.

Link (here)

Jesuits May Take Over Salesian High School In Philadelphia

Cristo Rey Network CEO Rob Birdsell was more equivocal. "I can't speak about the specifics of Philadephia," he told Val, neither confirming nor denying that conversations with the Archdiocese have taken place. But a well-connected Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia) alum familiar with
The Rumor tells me that Bishop Joseph McFadden met with four heavy-hitting North alums last week - among them multimillionaire and philanthropist Peter Hondros - to chat about the school.
Also present were others with ties either to the Cristo Rey Network or to the Society of Jesus - the Jesuit order of priests that created the Cristo Rey model. "They even toured North Catholic on November 11," said the source. "To say that nothing has been discussed isn't true." Hondros was unavailable for comment yesterday, so I hoped the Rev. Timothy Lannon could enlighten me about what might've gone down in the meeting. Lannon, the Jesuit president of St. Joseph's University, is a close friend of Hondros' (a loyal St. Joe's grad who funded the university's new autism center).
"Lannon is the most high-profile Jesuit in the area,"
said the North alum. "You can bet that if the Jesuits are thinking of bringing Cristo Rey here, [Lannon] knows about it." Lannon said that it was "premature to discuss" whether he even had a conversation with Hondros about Cristo Rey, North Catholic and the bishop. And then he chuckled.

Link (here)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

German Jesuit Attacked In Zimbabwe

In a letter to the ministry dated Tuesday, the German embassy expressed its
"utter consternation about a violent attack on Father Wolfgang Thamm SJ, by four junior members of the Zimbabwean Army on 15 November 2009 at the city of Banket."
Thamm, a Jesuit priest, was stopped without apparent reason by soldiers as he was driving past an army barracks in the farming town of Banket, about 100 kilometres west of Harare, according to the embassy letter disclosed on Wednesday.
One soldier took the priest's glasses and slammed him in the face, the embassy wrote. The cleric was then ordered by the soldiers to kneel on the ground in a large puddle of water.
When he hesitated to follow the order, he was "brutally kicked several times," the embassy added, calling the incident "totally unacceptable" and "particularly despicable" in view of Thamm's long years of service in Zimbabwe.

Link (here) to the full article

"Hate Studies" At Gonzaga University

Why did the Nazis hate the Jews? Why did the Hutus hate the Tutsis? Hate is everywhere, but the fundamental question of why one person can hate another has never been adequately studied,
contends Jim Mohr of Gonzaga University, who is developing a new academic field of hate studies.
The goal is to explain a condition that has plagued humanity since one caveman looked askance at another. "What makes hate tick?" Mohr, director of Gonzaga's Institute for Action Against Hate, wondered. "How can we stop it?"
Link (here) to the full article entitled, Why do we hate?

Photo is of Jim Mohr

Blogger Note:

Dear Jim,

What makes hate tick?
Answer "The Devil"

How can we stop it?
Answer "By practicing our Catholic faith and sharing it with others"



Georgetown's Chai Feldblum Reverses Course On Radical Opinion

In 2006, Georgetown University law professor Ms. Chai Feldblum signed a statement, “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage,” that was the most radical, irresponsible assault on marriage and the family ever written. It maintained that every conceivable “partnership” and “relationship” should be on a par with marriage, and even went so far as to say that
“Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households,”
should be given governmental and private recognition. In other words, gay men and lesbians who do not even live under the same roof should be able to adopt a child and then be given exactly the same kinds of governmental benefits afforded normal marital unions. Feldblum, however, sensing that her nomination is in trouble, announced just days ago that she wants her name taken off the anti-marriage and anti-family document.

Link (here) to the Catholic League's full release

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Last Supper?

"Let us go now to the table to share bread and wine and the dangerous memory of Jesus"
Link (here) to Catholic San Francisco and read the rest of Jesuit Fr. Steven Privette's homily from today's Mass. Father is the President of the University of San Francisco from his homily that was a reflection on those Jesuits and laity that died in El Salvador 20 years ago.

The Knights of Peter Claver

The Knights of Peter Claver marked the 100th Anniversary of their founding on Nov. 7. The Catholic fraternal group, the largest historically African-American Catholic lay organization in the U.S., says it will continue its founders’ commitment to the Church and to community service.

The organization was founded in Mobile, Alabama on Nov. 7, 1909 to allow black men membership in a Catholic fraternal society. It was incorporated in 1911.

Presently headquartered in New Orleans, the Knights of Peter Claver has over 18,000 Catholic family members among more than 700 units throughout the U.S. The fraternity also has one unit in Colombia. The fraternity’s Knights and Ladies are complemented by youth divisions of Junior Knights and Junior Daughters.

Link (here) to the full article at CNA.

Photo of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Mobile, Alabama the founding parish of the Knights of Peter Claver.

LMU And Generous Fincial Aid Packages

My counselor had suggested applying to private schools because he knew that two alums from my high school
who were undocumented had gotten generous financial aid packages
from Loyola Marymount University. I added LMU to my list.

Link (here) to the full post at a website entitled LA Youth

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

175 Less Jesuits In The Philippines In The Last Fifty Years

In 1959, the defunct monthly The Jesuit Missions featured the centenary of the return of the Society of Jesus to the Philippines.

At the time, the Jesuits in the Philippines totaled 494 -- 272 priests, 188 scholastics, and 34 coadjutor brothers. They were in charge of 22 mission-parishes in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, each one with its own parochial school, and six mission-parishes in the Zamboanga peninsula.

Now in 2009 -- 50 years later-- there are only 319 Jesuits: 227 priests, 80 scholastics, and 12 coadjutor brothers. They are in charge of only six mission parishes in Bukidnon, and one in the Zamboanga area. The earlier missions have, through God’s grace, developed and were turned over to the diocesan priests.

In 1959, two Ateneos were still under Jesuit administration, that of San Pablo and the other of Tuguegarao. They are no longer Jesuit schools, and others are in charge of them. But two new Jesuit schools were founded: Sacred Heart School in Cebu, and Ateneo de Iloilo, which had started as a parochial school in Santa Maria, Iloilo. A third, the Seminary of San Jose in Cagayan de Oro, is under Jesuit administration, but it is really a diocesan major seminary for Mindanao.

Link (here) to the full article by Fr. Jose S. Arcilla S.J. on the Society in the Philippines.

Photo is of Fr. Jose S. Arcilla, S.J.

More (here)

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Jesuit Student Led Newspaper Is Under Scrutiny

A satirical column that uses derogatory language to mock women for one-night stands has prompted harassment claims against a Connecticut college newspaper that published the piece.

Student editors at The Fairfield Mirror are concerned the controversy could affect the paper's $30,000 funding stream from Fairfield University and jeopardize the paper's editorial independence. The Catholic university in southwest Connecticut has about 5,000 students,

Thomas Pellegrino, the Jesuit university's dean of students, said the column violated the student newspaper's ethical and procedural guidelines. But he said Thursday that the newspaper would not necessarily lose its funding.

University officials want the paper's editors to appear before a student conduct board, which is reviewing complaints from four female students who say they felt harassed and offended by the column.

Link (here) to the full article in the Hartford Courant.

Photo by Peter Caty is of the author Chris Surette who wrote the piece Hanging with the boys.

A Complete Let Down

By the time that I walked to the back of the church, there was a police officer awaiting me. Someone had actually been instructed to call the police to remove me from the private property where I have been a faithful parishioner for 18 years.

When I asked on whose authority was Officer Gorton suggesting that I was trespassing, he again repeated that they had been called to remove me from the property.

When the officer put his hand on my elbow, I asked him to remove it, but continued to speak with a group of interested parishioners as to what it was that Father J. Barry Furey didn’t want anyone to know in detail.

There were a number of Parish Council members in attendance who came to the defense of Father Paul Carrier, S.J..

Link (here) to the full and compelling letter of a parishioner Micheal Nowacki of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Darien, CT concerning the actions of Fr. Paul Carrier, S.J. at this church. Fr. Paul Carrier is under investigation for his role in the Haitian Children scandal and the connections between Fairfield University and Doug Perlitz.

Thanks to Ms. Ezili Donato a Boston College educated Haitian born lawyer who posted this letter.

Photo is St.Thomas More Catholic Church
Justify Full

The Oxford Jesuits

Fr. John Moffatt SJ joined the Jesuits in 1982 after leaving university, where he studied Classics and Philosophy. He has spent most of his working Jesuit life as a teacher-chaplain at St. Ignatius College, Enfield and Wimbledon College, South London (two Jesuit comprehensive schools). There he taught mostly RE/Philosophy of Religion, Latin/Classics and some drama. This has been interspersed with periods of study at London, Innsbruck and Oxford. He has done some work in adult formation and has written a book (Beyond the Catechism) to help those who have intellectual difficulties with their faith. Hobbies include walking up (and down) mountains and playing the viola (at home). Currently he is looking for a band dodgy enough to need his electric viola and iffy tenor sax.

Fr Roger Dawson SJ served as an officer with the Royal Greenjackets before studying Psychology at Durham University. After a career working as a psychologist with the National Health Service, he joined the Jesuits in 1996 and has since studied philosophy and Theology in London and Paris. He worked on his doctorate in Psychology while teaching at Wimbledon College and has also worked at the Cardinal Hume Centre in London during his final year of Theology. He is currently assistant editor of the Jesuit Spirituality Journal ‘The Way’, chairs the managing committee for the Jesuit Volunteer Communities in Britain and is a sought after speaker on the subject of adolescent psychology.

Fr Simon Bishop SJ

Fr Simon was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (an interesting co-incidence given the chaplaincy’s recent link with Mwanza in Tanzania) and then brought up in Fiji in the South Pacific (no his father was not an international rugby player but an educationalist for UNESCO) before going to school with the Jesuits at Stonyhurst, Lancashire. He studied theology (at the other place!) before training and working as a social worker in south London, trying to prevent homelessness among teenagers. Since entering the Society of Jesus he has been mainly involved in chaplaincy work in Jesuit secondary schools: three years at Wimbledon College, three years at St Louis de Gonzague, Paris and four years at St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow. He has just returned from a year abroad – four months with the Jesuits in Guyana, South America, and seven months in Australia where he was completing his Jesuit formation, the tertianship. (For an explanation, see the Jesuit web site, We especially arranged for the chair and vice-chair of the CathSoc to be Aussies, to make him feel very much at home! We hope his time with us will be very happy. You are very welcome!

Link (here) to the chaplaincy team at The Catholic Chaplaincy at Oxford.

Link (here) to their home page and (here) to their blog.

Photo is of the Oxford Oratory also known as St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church