Friday, April 30, 2010

Bicycle Jesuit

A Jesuit priest from the Midwest is training for a cross-country bike ride to raise awareness about poverty. 
Their 5,000-mile trek will wrap up on Labor Day in Key West, Fla.
Link (here)

Attendees Wear Decorative Masks

Loyola Marymount University’s LGB.T student group played host on Friday, April 23, to the fourth annual G@yLA end-of-year bash, the campus newspaper at the Jesuit school reports. The Waterfront Room of the Marina Del Rey Hotel will be transformed into a queen’s masquerade on Friday, April 23 at 7 p.m. for the fourth annual G@yLA, hosted by LMU’s Lesbi@n G@y Bis@xual and Tr@nsgender  students,” reported the Los Angeles Loyolan, the student newspaper. “G@yLA is a semiformal event in which all attendees wear decorative masks, and will feature live entertainment, dinner and dancing to celebrate and honor the achievements of LMU’s LGB.T community,” said the newspaper...... The event featured an awards ceremony, “a performance by Trenyce, a finalist in the second season of ‘American Idol,’ and a drag show,” said the newspaper. Dinner was followed by dancing to a live DJ, according to the paper.
Link (here) to the full article in the California Catholic Daily

Finds Mass Offensive And Effeminate

Micheal Sean Winters a regular blogger for America's In All Things and also authors  his personal blog at NCR.

This is an excerpt from his blog post at NCR entitled, Saturdays Mass in the Extraordinary Form

I am a child of Vatican II, so the old Mass is unfamiliar to me. So, I did not bring any nostalgic sensibilities to my viewing of it. And, without such a sensibility, I confess it left me cold. The music was glorious, of course, but we have equally beautiful ancient music at the Novus Ordo Latin Mass and at the English Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral every Sunday. The thing I was most interested to see if whether or not the ad orientem posture, with the celebrant and the people facing in the same direction, really would make the Mass seem more focused on Christ in the sacrament and less on His presence in the gathered community of the faithful. It seemed to me that the focus was almost uniquely on the principal celebrant (Bishop Slattery). 
Yes, there were more than the usual number of genuflections towards the altar, but most of the bowing and scraping, the knelt deacon putting on the bishop’s buskins (Bishop Edward James Slattery), the multiple hand washings, etc., all of that seemed to put the focus on the celebrant not on the Lord. 
And what is with the cappa magna, the long vestment of watered silk that must stretch twenty feet behind the bishop as he processed into the sanctuary? 
I haven’t seen a train that long since Diana, the Princess of Wales, walked down the aisles of St. Paul’s Cathedral when she wed Prince Charles. Just so, the image is one of a royal court, an image that seems not just incongruous to our times, but almost offensive, as if Mass was about dress-up time. 
It does not suggest that the Church is a Church for the poor. I much prefer Cardinal Sean in his brown schmata

Link (here) Micheal Sean Winter's post entitled Saturdays Mass.

Read Fr. Z's piece on the Mass featuring reviews by the laity (here)

Read Bishop Slattery's homily from the Pontifical Mass (here)

Just remember Jesuit's, Micheal Sean Winters writes on your payroll! If you find insulting a Bishop inappropriate and inconsistent with the decrees of the GC35, let the powers that be know.  

Suspended Fresno Priest Fr. Geoffrey Farrow On Loyola Marymount University

Fr. Geoffrey Farrow (pictured) states, LMU is a Jesuit institution and so it enjoys some autonomy from the Archbishop of LA. 
However, the Jesuits still have to live and work with the Archbishop and this new Archbishop will be decidedly conservative on social issues. 
On L/G/B/T/Q issues he will probably be very strict and encourage organizations like Courage.” 
Link (here) to the full article at the California Catholic Daily

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Human Being

The human being, is a living image of the living God. To express the dynamics of such an artistic work of the Creator, Origenes, as well as a great part of the Eastern Tradition after him, used two Biblical words (Gen 1:26-27): image and likeness. This was their way in responding to Gnosticism, a heresy of their time. 
Gnostics used to classify people into different categories. People could not move beyond these categories until their death. For instance, a person born with an attraction to material things, always remained materialist, and a spiritually oriented person always acted in a spiritual way. 
On the one hand, it seems psychologically sound on the other hand there is a problem. This belief denies the effectiveness of divine mercy and the power of the free human will. Moreover, St. Paul exhorts all people to a spiritual growth, “until Christ be formed in you” (Gal 4:19). Jacob’s vision of the ladder, on which angels ascend to and from heaven (Gn. 28:12) became a traditional symbol of spiritual progress, especially among the Syrian Fathers.

Link (here) to the full article by Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, S.J. entitled Image and Freedom, the piece is found in Vulgata.
Fr. Robert Barron of Word on Fire was recently at EWTN and spoke with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., about evangelization and "The Catholicism Project": Watch the video interview (here)

Fr Paul Mankowski, S.J. On The Priestly Life

"A priest should live in such a way that the only explanation for his life is that God exists." Link (here)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Christ the Pantocrator, the Omnipotent One,

The Greek Fathers contrast this elemental mystery of Christian life with theories proposed by secular science. 
Ancient schools of philosophy attempted to determine a principle of unity at work throughout the cosmos. 
Initially, they thought in a spirit of primitive materialism, the principle of unity was thought to be merely matter. Pythagoras moved forward toward scientific materialism, the immutable laws of matter. 
Plato and the idealists discovered that the laws of matter must express higher Ideas. 
There are many Ideas which, in their plurality, are unified in one God. At the close of antiquity, most pagan thinkers arrived at this conclusion. Concurrently, these thinkers were aware that between God and the world is an unconquerable abyss. They sought an arbitrator. The One is Christ who brought about the salvation of humanity, which created unity between two worlds, the world of time and eternity. The Greek Fathers label Christ as “the center in Whom all lines of the cosmos meet”. He is the “firstborn of all creation”, (1Col 1:15). He is the “new and true Adam”, (Rom 5:12-17). He is the “head of the Church”, (Col.1:18.). 
In Him, everything resolves in unity. Because man is united with Christ, thus also man becomes the master and unifier of the entire cosmos.  
“If we would deny this event,(the Incarnation of the Son of God),” says Soloviev, “the entire meaning of the universe would collapse.” The God-Man was capable of bridging the abyss between the Divine omnipotence and human limitation without eclipsing their proper attributes. What kind of beings, then, are the Christians? They are as weak and powerless as any other mortals - “wind or a bit of water can kill me,” says Pascal. 
Despite this they are predestined to sit beside the throne of the King of the Universe. When the Roman emperor Constantine granted freedom to the Church, many new church buildings were erected. In their copulas are placed images of Christ the Pantocrator, the Omnipotent One, Who is seated on the throne of those who crucified Him. 
Under His feet is placed the globe. It is a symbol of the immutable laws of matter and all those mysteries and natural forces of which people of the ancient world were afraid. Because all these elements are in Christ’s power the freedom of the children of God is assured.
Link (here) to the full article entitled Trichotomy & Pantocrator by Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, S.J., the piece can be found in the online magazine Vulgata.

The Sending Of The Son By The Father Is The Foundation And Model

Why did Jesus restrict the ministerial priesthood to men? Jesus never gave reasons, just as he never revealed why he instituted the pastoral authority of the Twelve, or why he conferred the primacy upon Peter.

But Jesus did reveal in what direction our mind should proceed by emphasizing the link between his own priestly mission and that of his disciples: "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world" (Jn 17:18). The sending of the Son by the Father is the foundation and model of the sending of the disciples on the part of Christ.

The similarity between the two missions is complemented by the fact that the disciples relate to Jesus as his representatives. Jesus willed that his disciples should act in his name and be his representatives. He conferred upon them a pastoral power in the image of his own and entrusted to them the task of celebrating the Eucharist in his name. 
Link (here) to Ignatius Insight the article is called, Woman and the Priesthood the writer is Fr. Jean Galot, S.J. 
Photo is of Roman Catholic Priests in procession in Madrid, Spain (here)

Left To Their Fate

Father Adolf Kristen and Brother Vinzenz Scharmer are the first Austrian Jesuits to cast their eyes on the Daly River – here the missionaries are going to attempt to convert the Aboriginal people in the area to the Roman Catholic faith. But – the author of the diary records – as the two men step to the water’s edge they are disappointed: “No doubt they expected to find it resemble the Danube in its majestic flow, and found it smaller than the river Inn!” What they saw in the surface of the water is to all intents and purposes their own reflection … 

“The river is starting to rise.” 
And then the floods come, as in almost every year; but this time it almost completely destroys the Jesuits’ settlement – shortly after the Superior, with the authorization of the Superior General in Rome, decides that all the missionaries must leave the Daly River from one day to the next. No one else compares the river with the Inn or the Danube. The Aborigines are left to their fate. The flood is not the only reason for abandoning the mission. The mirror images have now become dim, blurred and distorted.
Link (here) to at the website Environment History Network the article is entitled, at the Riverside: Jesuit Missionaries.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seeking Harmony Between Slavic Culture and Latin Tradition

The Beauty of the Liturgy
It is said that the Slav who comes into the Temple of God desires psychologically to be surrounded by the beauty of Paradise on all sides.  He desires to be in an atmosphere in where he will forget the world and be in a place which gives him peace and consolation.  Similarly, the Slavs of the Roman rite prefer the folk-Baroque style, which is rich in forms and colors. The mysteries of Christ’s life are often depicted on the walls of churches in order to teach and remind the people of this sacred history.  From this point of view, the function of the iconographer is linked with that of the priest.  We read in Podliniku, a manual of sacred painting: “The sacred service of iconographical painting began with the apostles.  … A priest puts the body of Christ on the altar with the power of words …; the painter does it in painting.”

Link (here) to an article by Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, S.J.  entitled Seeking Harmony Between Slavic Culture and Latin Tradition Vulgata Magazine.

Wiegal And Martin On The Letter By Hans Kung

Fr. James Martin, S.J. writes in a post (here) at America entitled, Küng to Benedict: Set About Reform
Even if you don't agree with all he writes (and I don't) Hans Küng is a theologian of great learning, distinction and experience.  
He's forgotten more theology and church history than I will ever know.  And even if you don't agree with all he writes in his open letter to the world's bishops, it is well worth reading. 
(I could have done without the grandiose "pastoral letter" trope, addressing his remarks to the "Venerable Bishops," but c'est la théologie.)  In light of what he calls "the worst credibility crisis since the reformation," Küng lists several missed opportunities , and then makes his suggestions: 1.) Do not keep silent; (2) Set about reform; (3) Act in a collegial way; (4) Unconditional obedience is owed to God alone; (5) Work for regional solutions; and (6) Call for a council. 

George Weigal  in an article at First Things (here) entitled, An Open Letter to Hans Kung.
Perhaps, while you and Benedict XVI were drinking beer at Castel Gandolfo in the summer of 2005, you somehow imagined that Ratzinger had changed his mind on this central question. He obviously had not. 
Why you ever imagined he might accept your view of what an “ongoing renewal of the Church” would involve is, frankly, puzzling. Nor does your analysis of the contemporary Catholic situation become any more plausible when one reads, further along in your latest op-ed broadside, that recent popes have been “autocrats” against the bishops; again, one wonders whether you have been paying sufficient attention. 
For it seems self-evidently clear that Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have been painfully reluctant—some would say, unfortunately reluctant—to discipline bishops who have shown themselves incompetent or malfeasant and have lost the capacity to teach and lead because of that: a situation many of us hope will change, and change soon, in light of recent controversies.
Blogger Note: I would be interested reading your comments on the perspectives of George Weigal and Fr. James Martin, S.J. and how you interpret Fr. Hans Kung's Letter which you can read (here)

The Priest Was An Ancient Jesuit

The priest was an ancient Jesuit - he had to be about 90 years old.  Fr. Andrew had been a missionary in China before the revolution.  He had been in Japan too.  He was a classic Jesuit - very holy.  I went to confession to him regularly at St. Olaf's.

Read the rest of the blog post (here) at Abby-Roads by Terry Nelson

Liberation Theology In Honduras

Fearing for the lives of (pictured) Jesuit Fr. Ismael Moreno  (here) (here) (here) and his media colleagues, Jesuit leaders in Honduras have issued a global call for concern. Moreno, know as Padre Melo, has gone into hiding because of death threats that he has received by phone and text messages, according to a statement dated April 19 from the Jesuit superiors in Honduras. Over the last 10 months, Moreno has used his position as director of the independent radio station Radio Progreso to become an outspoken participant in the movement against the forced removal last July of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. The political situation Honduras has remained tense, with demonstrations against the new president and allegations of abuse of those who opposed the ouster. A March 8 report by an Organization of American States commission cited more than 50 detentions, eight cases of torture, two kidnappings, and two rapes against members of the opposition during the month of February.
The Jesuit statement says that threats against Moreno  
"are related to the humanitarian decision to provide protection for the young woman Irma Melissa Villanueva in a case already known by the Public Ministry's District Attorney's office and by various national and international human rights organizations."
Villanueva is a journalist from Radio Progreso who has reported that she was savagely beaten and sexually assaulted by four policemen during an Aug. 14 demonstration against the regime that ousted Zelaya. Human rights groups have reported that judicial authorities have not acted on Villanueva's reporting of the assault. Gerardo Chévez, another Radio Progreso reporter, also is receiving threats because of his work on the radio, the Jesuit statement says. 

Link (here) to the nonconstructive National Catholic Reporter. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

It Remains Such An Unpleasant Song

While studying at Loyola Chicago, I heard for the first time the Agnus Dei, with its primitive rhythm and melody and Latin verses, it seemed like a prank. But it wasn't. In those three years, I'd hear that prayer sung again and again.

Over time I was just stunned that people would choose to sing such a flat and unattractive melody, a song so lacking in the spirit of the prayer, when there are such effusive and attractive English versions available.

And in part I felt as though there was some other agenda at work, that an assertion was being made as to what constituted "correct" liturgy. Latin having been the ancient language of the Church, it was only proper to include it in modern liturgies. It's a ridiculous argument, of course, and a selective one........Today I would not so readily cast aside all Latin hymns. Songs like the Ave Maria resonate deeply when sung well. Nor would I say that every time the Agnus Dei is sung in Latin, it's an act of liturgical aggression.

But I continue to challenge its use, not only because Latin is not, practically speaking, the language of the Church today (nor the language of any of its people), but because it remains such an unpleasant song. What are we doing at this point of the liturgy? We're asking Jesus to have mercy on us and to grant us peace. The words and tone of the music we sing here should reflect that desire, and they simply don't. As far as I can tell, we sing it simply because we used to sing it. And that's just not good enough.
Link (here) to the full blog post entitled Who is this Agnes? by Fr. Jim McDermott, S.J. Father's blog is called Gone Walkabout.

J. Patrick Hornbeck II, D.Phil., at Fordham has found similarities between the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola and John Calvin. Go (here) to find out more.

Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., An Interview With WGN-TV "Morning News"

(Here) is the video/audio from Fr. Fessio's interview with Chicago's WGN yesterday

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Jesuit Robert Parsons Was The Most Reviled Man In England

Evelyn Waugh, in his great biography of Edmund Champion, described Robert Parsons as the exemplar of the sinister Jesuit of popular imagination. Stonyhurst ignores its founder; it celebrates Campion day instead. For a century after his death, Parsons remained ‘the great enemy’, the most reviled man in England. The 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopaedia summed him up thus: ‘Though his services in the mission field, and in the education of the clergy were priceless, his participation in politics and in clerical feuds cannot be justified except in certain aspects.’ Seldom has an individual’s reputation been so comprehensively trashed. The time has come for a re-appraisal.
Link (here) to the entire article entitled, Robert Parsons: A Jesuit for today? to Thinking Faith a Jesuit electronic publication of England.

I Came From A Huge, Mainly Irish Catholic Parish In Brooklyn.

How and when did you hear the "call" to become a priest?

I know this sounds like a wise-guy answer, but it's not. I knew I wanted to be a priest maybe four or five years after I was ordained. It takes a while to figure out what it is and how you fit into it. It's the experience that makes a difference. It's like a couple marching down the aisle with rice in their hair. They really don't know what married life is about, but after a while they can say, 'I really do want to be married to this person for the rest of my life'.

What were the early experiences in your life that drew you to the priesthood?

I came from a huge, mainly Irish Catholic parish in Brooklyn. I respected the parish priests very much, I was an altar boy and involved in parish activities. But I never felt that strong a desire to be a diocesan priest. But at Brooklyn Prep, with the Jesuit staff that they had there, I said, "This is something I'd like to be part of." They had many scholastics - Jesuits who are not ordained, but teaching - and they provided a model for something to pursue after high school.

Link (here) to the full interview with Fr. Richard A. Blake, S.J. in the Boston College Chronicle.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jesuits And 40,000 Pounds Of Tobacco

Newtowne Neck was home to the Piscataway Native American Tribe and their ancestors for many centuries before its settlement by the colonists. The property, Newtowne Neck, is the site of the first settlement in Maryland after the original settlement in Saint Mary’s City. The original colonists landed on St. Clement’s Island in 1634. In 1640, William Bretton was granted 750 acres from Cecelius Calvert for the Newtowne Neck tract. In 1668, the Society of Jesus acquired the property from William Bretton in exchange for 40,000 pounds of tobacco. William and his wife, Temperance, donated one and one-half acres of their property in 1661 to the Society of Jesus to established (pictured) St. Francis Xavier Church and Cemetery. The property was maintained by the Society of Jesus until they withdrew from the land in 1967 to work in other areas. 

Link (here) to the original State of Maryland website

38 Years Ago

In 1971 the St. Stanislaus Seminary closed and in 1972 the Missouri Province sold all of its land from the Florissant Seminary to The United Pentecostal Church. The Missouri Province Jesuits were given use of the Rock Building and of the cemetery land for as long as they chose to use them as an historical site and cemetery. The newer buildings were sold to the Gateway College of Evangelism. 
Link (here)

Former Jesuit Seminary In Peru Is Now A Hotel

Sprawling some 3,000 metres above sea level sits a 16th Century monastery, incorporating elements from its Inca and Spanish history, this historic site is has grown far from its spartan beginnings. Cuzco's famous 126-room Hotel Monasterio, one of the Orient Express properties, bills itself as the 'finest hotel in Cuzco, Peru' and with a host of awards and accolades, they've got the acumen to back up the claim.While now utterly luxurious, the architecture of Hotel Monasterio still reflects the property's 1592 origins as a home for Jesuit seminarians. The refurbished baroque construction also includes touches of Spanish Colonialism in the rooms, from key furniture pieces to the vivid use of colour.
Link (here)

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Weeping Indian Is A Rare Sight

He had been three years and one month among the Penosbscot warriors. With all their waywardness they loved the Black Robe. 
On the September day that he withdrew from the island they followed him to the river bank and showed by no uncertain signs that they mourned his departure. A weeping Indian is a rare sight. 
It was common on that day when the brave Swiss Jesuit priest Father John Bapst left his charges and transferred his residence to Eastport. He was not abandoning them altogether, he told them, as they crowded to the river's edge. They were still his parishioners, and he would come to them from time to time and minister to them.
Link (here) to the mentioned portion of an essay entitled, Father John Bapst, S.J. and the "Ellsworth Outrage" by Fr. Gerald C. Treacy, S.J.
Photo is of a Penobscot Indian woman named Clara Paul circa 1840 (here)

Every Day, For Five Classes

The first time I had ever seen a Jesuit, I was both spooked and fascinated. I was used to kindly, comfortable parish priests in suits, 
but this guy -- these guys -- were something different: brisk, no-nonsense, "in-your-face" drill sergeants in insignia-free uniforms and far from slow to say that they had been given charge of some terribly unpromising raw recruits. 
Soon there'd be much more to worry about than how that wrap-around, buttonless, zipperless cassock stayed put; there was no time for idleness -- or student wisecracks -- in the Latin class of Arthur Walter, S.J.

From the second day until the end of the year, you began by passing forward your homework, in ink with no scratch-outs, never in pencil or without the obligatory heading of name, date, and A.M.D.G. (ad maiorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of God). 
Into the aged briefcase it went, exercises in Latin to English, English to Latin. From the third day on, and without fail, you came to class and found the previous night's work waiting for you face down on the desk every error (down to vowel length marks) corrected in a meticulous hand, and a percentage grade written at the top. 
He did that every day, for five classes of 35 to 40 students each, for I never learned how many years, in a demonstration of dedication hard to match apart from Inspector Javert in Les Miserables.
Link (here) to the full story entitled, The Way Jesuits Used To Be at New Oxford Review, written  by P.M. Aliazzi

Marymount With Jesuit Connections

Mother Marie Joseph Butler, Superior General of the Religious of the Sacred Heart (1926-1940) and founder of Marymount in Tarrytown-on the Hudson, New York, (Now a part of Fordham) was a woman with an insatiable zeal for the missions.
She aimed "to make holy women cultured and cultured women holy". As a consequence, Mother Marie Joseph inspired the girls in her school to pray for missionaries all over the world and the work she fostered was the sewing of church vestments and linen.
The impact of Mother Butler’s zeal was such that when she died on April 23, 1940, Mrs. Marion Dolan, an alumna of Marymount, decided to perpetuate the charitable endeavor that Mother Butler started.
Six years after Mother Butler’s death, the MBMG was born and the Philippines was privileged to be its first beneficiary.
At a mass in St. Margaret’s Church in Pearl River, New York, Rev. Thomas A. Mitchell SJ expressed a plea on behalf of the missions in this country. Through this priest’s suggestion, Mrs. Clara O. Corpus visited Mrs. Marion Dolan in New York upon which (in 1955) the founding of the Mother Butler Mission Guilds in this country was born. 
Link (here) to Business Insight Malaya

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Blood Of Saint Edmund Campion Jesuit Martyr At The Hands Of Protestants

After Mr. Campion was executed, and the butchery finished, the hangman, taking hold of Mr. Sherwine with his hands all bloody, said to him, thinking to terrify him, come, Sherwine, take thou also thy wages. 
But the holy man, nothing dismayed, embraced him with a cheerful countenance, and reverently kissed the blood that stuck to his hands; at which the people were very much moved. 
Then getting into the cart, he employed some time in prayer and contemplation, having his eyes shut and his hands lifted up to heaven. After which, he asked if the people looked for any speech from him ? Many of the . people, and some also of the more honourable sort, answering yes, he began, with a manly courage, and a loud voice, first to render thanks to each of the three persons of the eternal trinity for the mercies and blessings bestowed upon him ; and then was going on to give an account of his faith, when Sir Francis Knowles interrupted him, and bid him confess his treason against the queen.
Mr. Sherwine, with great constancy, replied, I am innocent of any such crime. And when he was still farther pressed to acknowledge himself guilty, he said, I have no occasion to tell a lie; it is a case where my soul is at stake; 
and so still persisted to maintain his innocence, adding, that although in this short time of mortal life he was to undergo the infamy and punishment of a traitor, he made no doubt of his future happiness, through Jesus Christ, in whose death, passion, and blood, he only trusted.
' Then he made a sweet prayer to our Lord Jesus, acknowledging the imperfection, misery, and sinful wretchedness of his own nature, still protesting his innocence from all treasons and traitorous practices; and that his going out of this realm beyond the seas, was only for his soul's health, to learn to save his soul. And being again tempted by Sir Francis Knowles, he answered in this wise;
Tush, tush, you and I shall answer this before another Judge, where my innocence shall be known, and you will see that I am guiltless of this.
Whereupon Sir Francis said, we know you are no contriver or doer of this treason, for you are no man of arms ; but you are a traitor by consequence. But Mr. Sherwine boldly answered, if to be a catholic only, if to be a perfect catholic, be to be a traitor, then am I a traitor.

Texas Soccer Jesuit Style

The showdown between the No. 1 nationally ranked Dallas Jesuit Rangers (25-0) and No. 4 Strake Jesuit Crusaders (27-1-1) was decided in a shootout, 1-0, at Georgetown ISD's Burkelbach Stadium, with Dallas Jesuit coming through 2-0 on one-on-one kicks, giving the team its first outright state title in high school sports. With the match tied 0-0 after regulation and two 10-minute overtimes, Dallas Jesuit goalkeeper Ryan Aubrey, the game's MVP, was given his chance to shine. "We've been practicing this (shootouts) since day one, and I knew if we got to a shootout, it would be all us," said Aubrey, a senior from Plano.
Link (here) 
Dallas Jesuit Goalie picture (here)

The Society Of Jesus Would Be Withdrawing Priests Serving In Parishes

In a February letter to fellow Jesuits in the California Province, provincial Fr. John P. McGarry announced that the Society of Jesus would be withdrawing priests serving in parishes in Mammoth Lakes, which serves all of Mono County, and in Ogden, Utah. The California Province of the Society of Jesus includes California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The Jesuits informed Stockton Bishop Stephen Blair that the society would no longer provide a priest to pastor St. Joseph’s parish in Mammoth Lakes. Two Jesuit priests serving at St. Mary’s parish in Ogden, Utah, will be leaving the Salt Lake City diocesan parish on Aug. 3. Also affected will be St. Henry’s parish in Brigham City, Utah. “On the same date (Aug. 3), the California Province will conclude its sponsorship of Saint Henry Parish,” wrote Fr. McGarry in his February letter.
Link (here) to California Catholic Daily.

One Smart Jesuit

Father Jerome Sixtus Ricard, S.J., of the University of Santa Clara in California, had been supplying Pacific coast farmers with daily weather reports for more than 25 years. What is even more remarkable is that his weather reports were 99.07 per cent accurate.

Father Ricard Develops a Passion for Sunspots

The only one of his family ever to settle in America, Jerome Sixtus Ricard spent his early years in France. Born in Plaisians, France, on January 21, 1850, he attended public schools in Plaisians and the Jesuit Colleges at Avignon, France and Turin, Italy. In 1871, he joined the Society of Jesus in Monaco, and later became a member of the Turin Province of the Society of Jesus. In 1873, Jerome came to America and studied philosophy at Santa Clara College in California for several years. He was ordained in 1886, and completed his Jesuit training at Florissant, Missouri, in 1891. Then he returned to Santa Clara to teach ethics, mathematics, political economy, and history. About 1890, Father Ricard enrolled in a summer astronomy course at Creighton University and discovered that he had a passion for sunspots. In 1900, he began a systematic study of sunspots with an 8-inch telescope mounted in the Mission Gardens. The American Association for the Advancement of Science elected him a member in 1907. By then he had perfected his controversial theory, the ideal that sunspot activity affects the weather on earth.
Link (here)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ignem Veni Mittere, Ego Sum Lux Mundi

A journey to the Sacred Heart Seminary's Grotto Chapel begins at the former estate of noted 19th-century Genevan, Merritt Tuttle Cole. You may be pleased to note that his Italianate home, located at the intersection of Route 31 and 3rd Street in Geneva, was the first yellow house in the town and is now home to the Kane County Government Center.

As far as first impressions go, the nondescript brick administration building is shamed by a broad expanse of lawn unexpectedly punctuated by a large Veteran's Memorial- the latter most definitely worth a look. Behind the patriotic monument lies an overgrown path sprinkled with leaves. Remains of a flagstone walkway punctuate the trail once known as the "Way of the Cross," that twice-crosses and runs parallel to a stream whose current is nothing less than brawny.

A traipse through the woods, if one is so inclined, can present a somewhat kaleidoscopic perspective; the blessed transition to spring, evidence of parallel lives led by native nameless creatures and inevitably, the remains of beer-tinged teenage trysts.

It could, quite successfully, be argued that any hike, or any experience in life, for that matter, is shaped by one's expectations and/or mood held when beginning. Yet, this theory becomes entirely moot when one jumps well outside the somewhat limiting confines of the aforementioned imaginary box and encounters an honest-to-goodness Surprise. This bona fide astonishment drastically changes the experience and offers the rare opportunity to fly by the seat of one's pants.

A brief jaunt, no more than 10 minutes, leads to a slight hill where one is rewarded with a scene more expected in the likes of romanticized medieval England.

Behold, the shrine!

Built sometime after 1925 when the property was sold to the Jesuit  order the outdoor chapel is an imposing stone structure that makes one wish for the presence of mind to have brought coconuts to imitate the sound of hooves. Its presence is extraordinary- simply astonishing, not only for its detailed artistry, but for the fact it makes one question whether there was a glitch in the time-space continuum and a red barn now graces Roman baths.
A detailed mosaic of rocks spread over three arches depicts heaven and earth, a crucifix crossed by two swords (possibly Jesuits as soldiers of Christ), a Monstrance ( chalice that holds the body of Christ), and a lighthouse. The former is bordered with the phrase, "Ignem veni mittere," which translates to "I have come to bring fire." This reference is a tad unusual, as it is normally accompanied by "in Terram", a phrase attributed to none other than Jesus when referring to baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 12:49).
The lighthouse, or flame of divine love, is underlined by, "ego sum lux mundi," or "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). This sentiment may be further reflected by the central arch's ceiling depicting a blue sky pierced by rays of light. The grotto's upper corners are decorated with the Greek letters alpha and omega, referring to the New Testament in which Jesus uses said characters to describe himself; as in embodying both beginning and end. Additionally, a nod to the first three letters of Jesus in Greek, the altar is inscribed with the letters "IHS."

What the Grotto Chapel specifically signified to the Jesuits (outside of the aforementioned religious imagery) and why they chose such a remarkable design may never be conclusively determined but, what it may mean to you is to be determined.

Link (here)

Peter Kreeft On Permanance And Impermanence

How many of the objectively permanent things have become subjectively impermanent?

I count at least 33: silence, solitude, detachment, self-control, contemplation, awe, humility, hierarchy, modesty, chastity, reverence, authority, obedience, tradition, honor, simplicity, holiness, loyalty, gentlemanliness, manliness, womanliness, propriety, ceremony, cosmic justice, pure passion, holy poverty, respect for old age, the positive spiritual use of suffering, gratitude, fidelity, real individuality, real community, courage, and absolute honesty (the passionate, or fanatical love of truth for its own sake). That's one lost value for each of the years in Christ's life.

We could, of course, profitably spend hours, days, perhaps lifetimes exploring each one of these 33 lost values; and we could probably add 33 more. But in this age of progress and time-saving devices we have no time for such important things any more—things like conversation, debate, meditation, prayer, deep friendship, imagination, even family. (If the sexual revolution doesn't do the family in, it will die for lack of time.)

But, you may think, this gloomy picture I have painted of a spiritual Dark Ages is only half the picture. What of all the progress we've made?

Well, let's look at the progress we've made. It can be divided into two kinds: spiritual and material. Let's take spiritual progress first. I think there has been some significant spiritual progress in modernity in at least one area: kindness vs. cruelty. I think we are much kinder than our ancestors were, especially to those we used to be cruel to: criminals, heretics, foreigners, other races, and especially the handicapped. I think this is very real progress indeed. I wonder, though, whether one big step forward offsets 33 steps back, some of them also big, some medium sized, but none small.

Link (here) to the Boston College professor Peter Kreeft, to his full article, which is called Religion and Socialism at Ignatius Insight..

Fr. Abrose D'Mello, S.J. "Rest In Peace":

Jesuits in India have mourned the death of Father Ambrose D’Mello, a pioneering missioner. Father D’Mello, who was the first Jesuit Provincial of India, died of cancer on April 18 at Guwahati, Assam. He was 87. Mourning the death, Father Edward Mudavassery, current Jesuit provincial of South Asia, told UCA News on April 19 that his late confrere had braved great odds to start several missions in India. Father D’Mello took the initiative to set up the office of the Jesuit Provincial of India to coordinate the works of the Society of Jesus in the country. The office was later renamed the Jesuit Provincial of South Asia.
Read the rest of the article in its entirety (here)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Influence Of The Vita Christi

The rare 1536 printing of the Ludolph of Saxony’s influential Vita Christi. Although virtually unknown to English speakers, 
Ludolph's Vita Christi was an extremely popular devotional work that was widely read during the fifteenth century, and was so influential upon The Imitation of Christ (now attributed to Thomas a Kempis) that authorship of that work has been attributed to Ludolph
It was likewise highly influential upon St. Ignatius of Loyola during his recuperation from injuries received at the battle of Pamplona during 1521-22, as he developed his Spiritual Exercises and the Jesuit Order, and the influence of the Vita Christi may be seen in the similar structure, imagery and themes of the Spiritual Exercises.
Link (here) to the ebay auction of the 1536 edition of Vita Christi

This Was A Jesuit, Named Father Hemet; A Good And Wise Old Man, Whose Memory I Shall Ever Hold In Veneration.

The writings of Port-Royal, and those of the Oratory, being what I most read, had made mo half a Jansenist, and, notwithstanding all my confidence, their harsh theology sometimes alarmed me. A dread of hell, which till then I had never much apprehended, by little and little disturbed my security, and had not Madame de Warrens tranquilized my soul, would at length have been too much for me. 
My confessor, who was her's likewise, contributed all in his power to keep up my hopes. This was a Jesuit, named Father Hemet; a good and wise old man, whose memory I shall ever hold in veneration. Though a Jesuit, he had the simplicity of a child, and his manners, less relaxed than gentle, were precisely what was necessary to balance the melancholy impressions made on me by Jansenism. This good man and his companion, Father  Francois Coppier, came frequently to visit us at Channettes, though the road was very rough and tedious for men of their age. 
These visits were very comfortable to me, which may the Almighty return to their souls, for they were so old that I cannot suppose them yet living. I sometimes went to see them at Chambery, became acquainted at their convent, and had free access to the library. The remembrance of that happy time I am so connected with the idea of those Jesuits, that I love one on account of the other, and though I have ever thought their doctrines dangerous, could never find myself in a disposition to hate them cordially. I should like to know whether there ever passed such childish notions in the hearts of other men as sometimes do in mine. In the midst of my studies, and of a life as innocent as man could lead, notwithstanding every persuasion to the contrary, the dread of hell frequently tormented me. 
I asked myself, " What state am I in ? Should I die at this instant, must I be damned ?" According to my Jansenists the matter was indubitable, but according to my conscience it appeared quite the contrary : terrified and floating in this cruel uncertainty, 
I had recourse to the most laughable expedient to resolve my doubts, for which I would willingly shut up any man as a lunatic, should I see him practice the game folly one day, meditating on this melancholy subject, I exereised myself in throwing stones at the trunks of trees, with my usual dexterity, that a to say, without hitting any of them. In the height of this charming exereise, it entered my mind to make a kind of prognostic, that might calm ny inquietude ; I said, " I will throw this stone at the tree faceing me; if I hit my mark, I will consider it as a sign of salvation; if I miss, as a token of damnation." While I said this, I threw the stone with .-, trembling hand and beating breast, but so happily that it struck the body of the tree, which truly was not a difficult matter, for I had taken care to choose one that was very large and very near me. From that moment I never doubted my salvation.
Link (here) to The Confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau

Television Jesuit M.D.

M.D. and Priest at the Same Time? Jesuit Provincial to Appear on Live CatholicTV Talk Show

WATERTOWN, MA- On April 27th, Fr. Myles Sheehan, S.J. will appear on the live CatholicTV talk show “This is the Day”. Fr. Sheehan is the Provincial of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Before becoming Provincial in 2009, Fr. Sheehan practiced medicine and was also a professor of medicine at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

This is the Day airs at 10:30AM ET at and on CatholicTV. The show is rebroadcast at 7:30PM.

Father Sheehan is originally from Marshfield, Massachusetts. Prior to entering the Society of Jesus, he completed his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and doctorate in medicine at Dartmouth College.

Father Sheehan joined the New England Province on August 25, 1985 and made his novitiate at St. Andrew House in Boston, MA. After completing his philosophy studies at Loyola University in Chicago, he did two years of post-doctoral studies in Gerontology at Harvard Medical School. He earned his M.Div. from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge and was ordained to the priesthood on June 18, 1994.

On April 22, 2005, he professed solemn vows. Since 1995, Myles has served as a Professor of Medicine at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine. In 2000, he added the administrative duties of senior associate dean to his teaching and research responsibilities.

Father Sheehan was also recently featured on the CatholicTV show “Going My Way”. On the show, Fr. Sheehan played the guitar and was interviewed by Fr. Chris Hickey. This episode can be seen now at:
Episodes of This is the Day are posted on the site’s archives starting the same night of the broadcast day. All videos at the website are viewable in full-screen. Paste this URL into your browser in order to access the “This is the Day” video archives.
CatholicTV broadcasts across the US on Sky Angel channel 142, and selected cable outlets in New England and in Chattanooga (TN) where CatholicTV is available on FiTV channel 153. To find out where to watch CatholicTV visit:

CatholicTV is a nationally-broadcasted television network streaming a live feed 24 hours a day at  Heeding Pope Benedict XVI's call to greater utilize the power of television and new media, the CatholicTV Network features its cable TV station, Catholic web site, mobile apps and widget.  Celebrate Mass online; pray The Rosary; enjoy programs on prayer, the saints, the Scriptures and the Catholic Church on America's Catholic Television Network.

“This is the Day” can also be seen on demand at or downloaded via  The hosts, Director of CatholicTV, Father Robert Reed, and General Manager, Jay Fadden  discuss various topics of the week and respond to viewer mail (you may email the show at

Monday, April 19, 2010

St. Alexander Briant, S.J., "And So Say I"

With a constant mind and pleasant countenance, said the psalm, Miserere, desiring God to forgive his tormentors ; whereat Dr. Hammond stamped and stared, as a man half beside himself, saying, what a thing is this ? if a man were not settled in his religion, this were enough to convert him.
After this he was, even to the disjointing of his body, rent and torn upon the rack, because he would not confess where Fr. Robert Parsons S.J. was, where the print was, and what books he had sold, and so was returned to his lodgings for that time ; yet the next day following, notwithstanding the great dis-temperature and soreness of his whole body, 
his senses being dead, and his blood congealed, he was brought to the torture again, and there stretched with greater severity than before ; insomuch, that supposing with himself they would pluck him to pieces, 
he put on the armor of patience, resolving to die, rather than to hurt any creature living; and having his mind raised in contemplation of Christ's bitter passion. At his racking, he swooned away, so that they were fain to sprinkle cold water on his face to revive him again ; yet they released no part of' his pain. And here,  Thomas Norton, because they could get nothing of him, asked him, whether the queen were supreme head of the church of England, or not ? To this he said—I am a catholic, and I believe in this as a catholic should do. Why, said Norton, they say the pope is ; and so say I, answered Mr. Briant. 

Link (here) to read the full biographical essay of Fr. Alexander Brian, S.J.  More (here)

Jesuit Vocations In The Philippines

On the feast of the Annunciation, March 25, after morning Mass and breakfast at Arvisu House Jesuit Prenovitiate, the candidates received the results of their application to the Jesuit novitiate.

The following are accepted for the May 30, 2010 Entrance Day:

Jose Ma. Joaquin B Bunag, 22 y.o.
Pasig City
BS Psychology 2010
Ateneo de Manila University

Ernesto R Chua, Jr, 34
Santiago City, Isabela
BSEd Biology 1997
University of Santo Tomas

Marlon T Fabros, 24
Calamba, Laguna
BS Statistics 2007
University of the Philippines Diliman

Ricardo E Flores Jr, 25
Mandaue City, Cebu
BSEd Religious Education 2006
University of San Carlos Cebu

Mamert B Manus,33
Cagayan de Oro City
AB Interdisciplinary Studies 1997
Ateneo de Manila University
Bach of Business Administration 2004
& Master of Business Administration 2005
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific Univ, Japan

Eight young men have also been accepted to the candidacy program for the next school year as of March 27. They include a college math teacher, a high school chemistry teracher, a former president of the Ateneo Christian Life Community (ACLC), a leader of the Youth for Christ (YFC), an IT professional formerly based in Singapore, a staff member of the NGO Hapinoy, a Proctor & Gamble employee and an MBA graduate of the Asian Insitute of Management.

These candidates will live in community, guided by Jesuit formators, either at Arvisu House in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, or at Haggerty House at Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro.

Twelve more applications to the candidacy program are being processed. These candidates will begin the prenovitiate program this coming May. We ask for your prayers for these young men.

- Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ
  National Vocation Director

Link (here)  Photo is of Fr. Xavier Olin, S.J.

The Result Of A Vision

XLRI was founded in 1949 and it was the result of vision of Fr Quinn Enright of the Society of Jesus and was nurtured by the selfless and dedicated efforts of a group of his colleagues, known as Jamshedpur Jesuit Society.
Link (here) to read the full article in the Times of India

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jesuit Provincial Was The Last Male Heir Of St. Thomas More

FATHER THOMAS MORE, S.J., the last English provincial of the old Society, was the last male heir of the martyr. He died in 1795, and through him the family heirlooms of various relics of his blessed ancestor came to Stonyhurst College. Father More had a sister, who was superioress of the English Canonesses of St. Augustine at Bruges, and he gave her the only relic of the body of the martyr that is known to exist—excepting, of course, the head. Half of the Bruges relic is now, by the kindness of a successor of Reverend Mother More, at Manresa, Roehampton. . The existence of this relic, descending in the family, speaks for the existence of a family tradition that the tomb of Saint Thomas had been opened some time after the martyrdom. A large collection of interesting relics of Saint Thomas is preserved by the Jesuit fathers in their college of Stonyhurst. The following description is from the Stonyhurst Magazine of February, 1887 :—
Link (here)

Photo is of St. Thomas More's hat (here)

"The Land O'Lakes Statement: The Nature of the Contemporary Catholic University,"

"The Land O'Lakes Statement: The Nature of the Contemporary Catholic University," which has subsequently been referred to simply as "The Land O'Lakes Statement." The signing universities were Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, Seton Hall, Catholic University, St. Louis University, Fordham, the University of Puerto Rico, Pontifical University of Peru, LaValle University, and the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. Significantly, the Land O' Lakes Statement was also signed by Fr. Vincent T. O'Keefe, S.J. the Assistant General of the Society of Jesus.

Fairfield Jesuit Appointed By The Superior General

The Father General of the Society of Jesus, Adolfo Nicolas, S.J., has appointed the Rev. Paul Holland, S.J., to serve as the new rector of the Fairfield Jesuit Community. His appointment will take effect this summer. The appointment will follow the six-year term of the Rev. Walter J. Conlan, S.J. “Skipp,” as he is best known in the Fairfield community, who will com­plete his term as rector of the Fairfield community at the end of July. After a period of sabbatical, Fr. Conlan – who spent many years as a Jesuit serving in Brazil – is hoping to be sent to Africa to work in Mozambique.
During his years at Fairfield, Fr. Conlan has been a much-loved figure on the University campus, and guided the Jesuit Community through the process of designing and inhabiting the new Jesuit Community Center at the base of Bellarmine lawn, which was completed and occupied in December 2009.
“We will all miss Fr. Conlan,” said University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., “but of course, he has a lasting legacy in the new Jesuit Community Center. It was his vision that conceived the design process for this beautiful building and helped to realize it as the environmentally sustainable build­ing that it is.” “I’m very proud of the work that we did together as a community on the new Community Center,” Fr. Conlan said. “It is a wonderful asset for our campus that will help the Jesuits interact with our colleagues, students, and friends at the University, the Prep, and the surrounding region.”
Fr. Holland, has been rector of the Jesuit Community and director of the Campion Center in Weston, Mass., since January 2005. Prior to that, he served for eight years as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where he reorganized campus ministry. From 1989 to 1996, he served as associate chap­lain and instructor of religious studies at Fairfield University.
Link (here) to the Fairfield website to read the full release.