Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fr John Edwards, S.J. On The Assumption Of Our Lady

The definition of the Assumption in 1950 caused some dismay. As I recall, Protestants were angry because it wasn’t in Scripture. The Archbishop of York, standing beneath his cathedral’s 600 year old Assumption roof-boss, deplored it as an innovation. The position of the Orthodox was more nuanced: they believed it, of course, but were furious that the Pope had defined it. Decades later, earnest Catholics were wont to lament it as the regrettable climax of a sad period of outdated and retrograde Mariology (they didn’t know JPII was coming soon). So what do we believe? 
 “The Immaculate Mother of God, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.” 
Why do we believe it? Briefly, because the Church tells us, and what the Church teaches from revelation. God teaches. (“O my God I believe in you and all your Church teaches, because you have said it and your word is true”.) What the Church teaches, notice; not the best guess of every theologian. If you have a New Testament handy, look up Mt 16:17-19 and Mt 28:18-20. But what about Scripture? Briefly, the Church thinks that Scripture, rightly understood, teaches that Mary was immaculately conceived, and that the Assumption would follow. That totally sinless body would not be allowed by her Son to be undeservedly disfigured by decay or any touch of Satan’s work. Notice in passing that the only reason we believe Scripture tells the truth is because the Church says so. It is the Church which is the “pillar and foundation upon which the truth rests” (1 Tim 3 15); it is the Church which wrote the New Testament, selected the contents, edited it and tells us how to handle it. Problems from science? We say a “body” (matter) is “in” (a place) “heaven”. Are we not involved in insoluble mysteries? Well, yes, we are. These are the same puzzles we have about the Resurrection – and still more about the Blessed Sacrament. But the puzzles are because we do not understand matter, not because we believe in fairy stories. Finally, what does the Assumption mean? It means joy, beauty, reward, bounty, the masterpiece of creation… 
For Jesus, it means that His human love is able to be given totally; for Our Lady, that she can humanly and totally respond to Him. (In heaven there is adoration for our Lord not just by spirits – angels and the saints – but by a real human being with a body). Mary has the reward so richly deserved by her total love. 
We’re glad for Jesus’s sake, for Mary’s, for the angels and saints who rejoice in their good. And we’re glad for our sake, too: what she has we will have one day – she is our Mother.
Link (here) to The Herald to read the full article by Fr. John Edwards, S.J.

“Perfect End To A Very Fine Jesuit Vocation”.

Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat, S.J. parish priest at Farm Street church in London, said: Fr John Edwards, S.J. was greatly loved by an enormous number of people. His dynamic preaching and his mission work will live long in the memory of all who met him. He brought numerous people into the Church." “In my short time so far as parish priest it was a blessing to have his presence at daily Mass in the church, and to receive his frequent words of support and encouragement. He was a remarkable example of a faithful and compassionate priest and a generous companion of Jesus. We will all miss him very much, but rejoice that he is now in the arms of our Blessed Lord. May he rest in peace.” A priest for 49 years, and a member of the Jesuit Community at Mount St for 32 years, Fr Edwards was known to be an excellent confessor who was very successful in encouraging people to attend Confession. He was also a devoted advocate of the practice of receiving indulgences. Fr Anthony Symondson, S.J a fellow Jesuit priest and a friend of Fr Edwards, said his death was a “perfect end to a very fine Jesuit vocation”.
He said:  
“He had a very attractive personality in the sense that people warmed to him. Most of his life, since about 1972, was spent trudging around the country in mission, to large churches and small churches, well-known and obscure churches. His missions took a week and ended with an appeal, and he knew how successful he was by the by the amount of money raised.”  
He continued: “John was a holy man, a wonderful confessor. He regularly gave his Confession, he preached brilliantly, and he made the faith something worth believing in. He had a great effect on individual people, he was delightful company and most of all a Jesuit priest.” After Fr Edwards was diagnosed with lung cancer, Fr Symondson said that he had described it as “a gift from God”.
Link (here) to the full piece at The Herald

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Radicalism Of Obedience."

The Roman Catholic Church authorities have remained adamant in their refusal to allow ordination of woman priests. Church authorities say they cannot ordain women because Jesus did not. According to the Catholic Church, Jesus chose only men as his apostles. Church law says only men may be ordained as priests. 
In 1994, Pope John Paul II issued a letter that said the church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women." In 2010, the church declared ordination of women a "grave crime," in the same category as the sexual abuse of minors. A "grave crime" is punishable by "defrocking or excommunication," NBC News reports. Earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI denounced church priests advocating for women's ordination. He accused them of trying to change the church based on their "own preferences and ideas." For such, the pope recommended what he termed the "radicalism of obedience." 
The Daily Mail reports that although women are forbidden by the church to become priests, some groups have ordained women priests who celebrate Mass outside the official church. Sevre-Duszynska's advocacy group, Roman Catholic Womenpriests, is one of such groups. Fr. Bill Brennan, S.J. and Zawada are not the only Catholic priests who has been stripped of their priestly duties for supporting ordination of women. Last month, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dismissed Roy Bourgeois, 74, from the priesthood after he participated in the ordination of Sevre-Duszynska in 2008, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. 
According to NBC News, Sevre-Duszynska urged other priests of the church to "walk in solidarity with [Brennan], stand up for justice and... make it a new world, make it a new day in our church." She added: "It’s time for the rest of the male priests to find the courage to listen to the workings of the Holy Spirit in their heart and conscience." 
 Although he is prohibited from performing priestly duties, Brennan is still a Jesuit and he may celebrate Mass and hear confessions but he can longer perform his priestly duties publicly. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Brennan said he understood the risks when he took the decision. He said: "Sometimes in our lives we have to trust our conscience and bring about the consequences. I wasn't trying to show off for the ladies." According to the Daily Mail, Brennan worked as a missionary in Belize and Honduras for 16 years. He returned to the United States as a teacher at Jesuit-run Marquette University High School. He later served as a pastor at St. Patrick Church in Milwaukee. In 2007, he traveled to Cuba in spite of U.S. economic blockade, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies to the Cuban people.
Link (here) to read more at The Digital Journal

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jesuit Christmas Music

All-time favorite Christmas sounds is a CD simply titled Matins from Jesuit Communications, the media arm of the Society Of Jesus order in the Philippines.
While truly timeless in style and guaranteed effective if you crave quiet moments,
it is however not the type that will land in the charts.

Link (here)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

'We Have Seen His Star'

First Point
'We have seen His star' 

(St. Matt. ii.).
A miraculous star had appeared in the East to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. Many saw it, but three only resolved to follow it and find the new-born King. If our minds are filled with useless thoughts, if we will follow only our own way, we do not see the light God would give us, and thus we miss His grace.
Second Point. 

'We have seen His star.' 
How great was the mercy and love of God in calling these Wise Men, who were Gentiles, to behold the Messias! Gentiles were all those races and peoples on the earth who were not Jews; for the Jews were God's chosen people, and until the birth of our Lord the Jewish Church was the one true religion.
Reflect on God's goodness to you, who are in the bosom of the Catholic Church, the one true faith.

Third Point. 

'We have seen His star.'
The Wise Men, having seen the star, rose up and followed it, leaving all things they cared for behind them.
Are you willing to make sacrifices for God? In the first ages of the Church even children laid down their lives for the faith; and in all ages, as in our own, even children are often called on to 'confess Christ before men.'
How often are Catholic children sneered at or laughed at by Protestant companions! Then it is they must he brave, remembering that to them has been revealed the star of faith.

Link (here) to Ignatian Meditations for the Young

Jesuit On The Advent Tradition Of "Boy Bishops"

One of the more novel traditions associated with the Feast of St. Nicholas of Myra is the enthronement of boy bishops, cathedral choristers whose honorary episcopacy lasted until the Feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28th. In the pages of William Hone's Every-day Book, an English almanac of the nineteenth-century, we find the following description of the tradition of the boy bishop:
Anciently on the 6th of December, it being St. Nicholas's Day, the choir boys in cathedral churches, chose one of their number to maintain the state and authority of a bishop, for which purpose the boy was habited in rich episcopal robes, wore a mitre on his head, and bore a crosier in his hand; and his fellows, for the time being, assumed the character and dress of priests, yielded him canonical obedience, took possession of the church, and except mass, performed all the ecclesiastical ceremonies and offices.
Link (here) to the full and fascinating post by Jesuit Joe at his blog entitled City and the World

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Advent Massacre By The Natchez Indians: Jesuit Was Beheaded With A Hatchet

A letter from Fr. Mathurin Le Petit, S.J., Missionary, to Fr. Louis D' Avaugour, S.J. Procurator of the missions in North America.
At New Orleans, the 12th of July, 1730.
The Peace of our Lord be with you :
You cannot be ignorant of the sad event which has desolated that part of the French Colony established at Natchez, on the right bank of the Mississippi river, at the distance of a hundred and twenty leagues from its mouth. Two of our missionaries who were engaged in the conversion of the Indians, have been included in the almost general massacre which this barbarous nation made of the French, at a time too when they had not the least reason to suspect their perfidy. A loss so great as this infant mission has sustained, will continue for a long time to excite our deepest regrets.
As you could only have learned in a confused manner the events of this dark treachery, I will endeavor to relate to you all the circumstances ; but first I think that it would be best to make you acquainted with the character of these perfidious savages, called the Natchez. When I have described to you the religion, the manners, and the customs of these barbarians, I will proceed to the history of the tragical event which I design to narrate, and will in detail recount all those circumstances, of which I am certain you have hitherto had no knowledge. Link (here)
Father Mathurin goes on to say.
Father Paul du Poisson, S.J. had just performed the funeral rites of his associate, the Brother Cruey, who had died very suddenly of a sun-stroke : he was on his way to consult M. Perrier, and to adopt with him proper measures to enable the Akensas to descend to the banks of the Mississippi, for the accommodation of the voyagers. He arrived among the Natchez on the 26th. of November, that is, two days before the massacre. The next day, which was the first Sunday of Advent, he said Mass in the Parish, and preached in the absence of the Cure. He was to have returned in the afternoon to his Mission among the Akensas, but he was detained by some sick persons, to whom it was necessary to administer the Sacraments. On Monday, he was about to say Mass, and to carry the Holy Sacrament to one of those sick persons whom he had confessed the evening before, when the massacre began; a gigantic chief six feet in height, seized him, and having thrown him to the ground, cut off his head with blows of a hatchet. The Father in falling only uttered these words, " Ah, my God ! ah, my God !" Link (here)
Link (here) to the book entitled The Early Jesuit Missions In North America by William Ingraham Kip

288 Georgetown University Employees Donate To Obama

The report at looks at the “top 23” Catholic colleges, but it is not clear how they were selected. Bias in favor of President Obama is found especially at Georgetown University, where 288 employees gave to his campaign—35 percent of the total Obama donors at all 23 colleges—and only 39 employees gave to Romney. Other colleges weighted heavily toward Obama include the University of Notre Dame (89-9), Boston College (84-7) and Fordham University (66-4).
Link (here) to The Cardinal Newman Society

“Same Sex Tax Law” Brought To You By The University Of Santa Clara

The University of Santa Clara, a Jesuit University, hosts a blog called “Same Sex Tax Law” that not only offers analysis of the tax ramifications of the changing institution of marriage for the gay, lesbian, and transgendered but it’s written by a law professor who publicly roots for same-sex “marriage” right on the university’s website. Professor Patricia Cain, whose areas of expertise include federal taxation, feminist legal theory, and gay and lesbian issues, recently thanked Minnesota voters on the Jesuit university’s website for their vote against upholding traditional marriage and called repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ”a step in the right direction.” Immediately following the election, Cain wrote a blog post which included a word of thanks to Minnesota voters.
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"I Wasn't Trying To Show Off For The Ladies,"

Former Priest Ray Bourgeois and Janice Sevre-Duszynska
The Rev. Bill Brennan, a longtime peace activist, has been ordered not to celebrate the Eucharist or other sacraments publicly, or to present himself publicly as a priest by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and his religious order, the Society of Jesus. It comes three weeks after Brennan celebrated Mass with Milwaukee native the Janice Sevre-Duszynska during an annual protest at what was historically known as the School of the Americas at Fort Benning near Columbus, Ga. And it follows the excommunication and defrocking of School of the Americas Watch founder the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who participated in Sevre-Duszynska's 2008 ordination in Lexington, Ky. (The former School of the Americas is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.) Brennan, who remains a priest and lives with other retired Jesuits in a Wauwatosa retirement home, said he knew he risked censure when he celebrated the sacrament with a woman priest. "Sometimes in our lives we have to trust our conscience and bring about the consequences," said Brennan, a Wauwatosa native who taught at Marquette University High School beginning in 1968 and spent 17 years working in Latin America. "I wasn't trying to show off for the ladies," he said. Fellow peace and social justice advocates voiced disappointment in the censure. And Sevre-Duszynska called it "outrageous" and Brennan "prophetic." "Bill has exemplified with his life the fruits of the spirit," she said. 
"He has worked for justice with the oppressed and marginalized, and for the liberation that Jesus teaches in the Gospel." 
In the Catholic Church, the local bishop -- in this case Archbishop Jerome Listecki -- confers the "faculties" priests require to serve publicly in a geographic area. Jesuit spokesman Jeremy Langford and Listecki's chief of staff, Jerry Topczewski, said it was a joint decision to withdraw Brennan's faculties for public ministry.
Unlike Bourgeois' sanction, the move does not appear to have prompted a Vatican review, at least for now. Both the Jesuits and the archdiocese said they planned to take no further actions against the elderly priest. Brennan, who was arrested during a protest at Fort Benning in 2011, is one of two Milwaukee-area priests who have been sanctioned, at least in part for their actions there.
 A 75-year-old Franciscan priest and peace activist, the Rev. Jerry Zawada, was suspended by the Franklin-based Franciscan Friars Assumption BVM province after celebrating Mass at Fort Benning with Sevre-Duszynska in 2010 and 2011. His case is pending before the Vatican, said the Franciscan provincial, the Rev. John Puodziunas . Zawada, who served previously in the Tucson, Ariz., diocese, said he's had no assignment since his suspension. The Catholic Church prohibits the ordination of women. Sevre-Duszynska, of Lexington, Wis., is ordained in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, which represents about 124 priests and 10 bishops around the world. The group claims legitimacy, saying the bishop who ordained its first women bishops stood in apostolic succession -- the line of Catholic bishops who stretch back to Jesus' apostles. The Vatican rejects that argument. The ordination of women in the Catholic Church is highly controversial, though a majority of Catholics appear to support it -- 59 percent, according to a 2010 New York Times and CBS News poll. Theologians have long debated the legitimacy of the ban, and advocates for women priests often are dealt with harshly.
In 2008, the Vatican decreed that women who seek ordination and those who ordain them face automatic excommunication from the church. And in 2010 it listed the attempted ordination of women as a grave sin on par with pedophilia and heresy. 
Brennan said his decision to celebrate Mass with Sevre-Duszynska grew not out of some "wild-eyed liberal" protest or heady theological research, but from his deep admiration for his own mother.
Link (here)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jesuits To Sell Million Dollar Nestucca Sanctuary

A locked gate on the edge of the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is about as close as most people get to the secluded bay front acreage beyond. And that's the way it's been for nearly 75 years. Now, that's about to change. The 93-acre Jesuit-owned Nestucca Sanctuary is up for grabs in a sealed bid auction set to end at 5p.m. Wednesday.  "It's a unique property, so an auction seemed the way to go," said Bill Lockyear, chief financial officer for the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. The move to sell the sanctuary is a part of trend within the Society nationally, and comes as retreat use within the church has declined, Lockyear said. The Jesuits developed the site in the late 1930s to be used by novitiates as a place of study and reflection. It continued to be used in that manner for about 50 years until they converted it to a retreat facility for groups inside and out of the church. It's been fairly empty for about five years, Lockyear said. The drive to the property winds through the refuge, past deer and geese, wetlands and meadow, then up and over the headland and down again through dense forest of Sitka spruce, Alder and Hemlock. A two-story wood lodge perches about 50 feet above Nestucca Bay with more than a mile of shoreline, and views to the north of Haystack Rock and to the south of the Pacific Ocean. There are rooms for 14 in the main lodge, plus a dormitory and four cabins, adding up to accommodations for 38. There is also a tiny reflecting pool with nearby seating. A bid of $1,295,000 is the price the seller is obligated to sell at, though they could opt to accept a lower bid. 
Link (here)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Georgetown University Pays Homosexual Protestant Bishop To Speak To Students

Mark Andrew and Gene Robinson
Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, spoke recently at Georgetown University after a screening of the documentary Love Free or Die — a documentary about Robinson’s relationship with a man and his rise to becoming a bishop in the Episcopal Church, according to the student newspaper. The Georgetown University Lecture Fund reportedly sponsored the event in conjunction with the University’s LGBTQ Resource Center. Robinson has come out publicly in support of the HHS mandate, spoke out in favor of abortion rights, and most recently even penned a piece for The Washington Post‘s On Faith blog in the lead up to the election that blasted the Catholic bishops for standing against gay “marriage.” He wrote:
Maryland’s Roman Catholic bishops’ caution that marriage equality “infringe[s] upon the religious liberties of individuals and institutions” displays either an ignorance of what the law actually says, or an intentional distortion of the truth.
Link (here) to The Cardinal Newman Society

Wisconsin Jesuit Celebrates Mass With Woman His Priestly Faculties Suspended

Fr. Bill Brennan, S.J. and Janice Sevre-Duszynska
A Catholic priest who participated in a eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest last month has been ordered to no longer celebrate the Mass or perform any other priestly duties. Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Milwaukee-area priest, said the superior of his religious community told him of the restrictions Nov. 29, saying they came at the request of Archbishop Jerome Listecki. Brennan, a retired parish priest and former missionary to Belize, participated in a liturgy Nov. 17 with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a woman ordained in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. Brennan said he was hesitant to confirm the news regarding his loss of faculties because he was also ordered not to talk to the press. "I'm risking my existence in the Jesuit order by talking to you," Brennan told NCR. "But if I've committed a serious sin, [the archbishop] is supposed to be responsible for condemning me ... he's supposed to stand up and be responsible for that."
Brennan said the restrictions include:
  • Suspension of priestly faculties, prohibiting him from performing any priestly duties in public;
  • Refraining from contact with media, "through phone, email, or any other means";
  • Not appearing as a Jesuit at any "public gatherings, protests or rallies";
  • Not leaving the Milwaukee area "for any reason" without his superior's permission.
Brennan said he hasn't had any formal communication with Listecki. Jeremy Langford, the director of communications for the Jesuits' Chicago-Detroit province, which is merging with the Wisconsin province, said in a statement Monday the order removed Brennan's priestly faculties "after conversation with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee." The Jesuits "did not approve or sanction" the November eucharistic liturgy and "regrets Fr. Brennan's participation in it," read the statement. "The Wisconsin province has no plans to take any further action," 
Langford said in an interview, calling Brennan a "wonderful Jesuit" who has "fought for great causes his whole life."Julie Wolf,  communications director for the Milwaukee archdiocese, said the restrictions on Brennan were a "mutually agreed upon decision" between Listecki and Brennan's Jesuit provincial, Fr. Tom Lawler
Brennan likened his support for women's ordination to support for women's suffrage: He remembers that at one time, his mother was not able to vote. "I was born in 1920," Brennan said. "All the while my mother was carrying me and six months after, she could not vote. That's the real initiative in my attitude toward women's ordination." Brennan said he understands arguments that women do not have a right to ordination and said ordination is a "privilege that is granted to men." "Why isn't it granted to both?" the priest asked. "And the fundamental approach that I have is that, after all, women have an eminent role to play in the work of creation of children with men. What about the sanctification process? Don't they have any share in the preaching of the Gospel?"
The Vatican labels the ordination of women in the Catholic church as a grave offense and says participants are excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically. Pope John Paul II's 1994 letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis effectively forbade discussion of the issue, saying the church's teaching on the matter was to be "definitively held by all the Church's faithful." Before deciding to participate in the November liturgy, Brennan said he discussed the matter with Lawler. 
The invitation to join Sevre-Duszynska at the liturgy was causing him a "real, genuine conscience problem," Brennan said he told Lawler. "I'm not trying to defy the church," Brennan said he told Lawler, adding that he sees women's ordination as a legitimate question. "Why is it that this privilege of celebrating the Mass and preaching, why is that exclusively a male privilege? Where do we get that? Isn't that worth discussing?" Lawler told him not to assist at the liturgy, Brennan said. "At the time, I was still struggling to try to decide what I wanted to do, because obviously I knew I might end up outside the Jesuit order," Brennan said. "But I just felt this was an earthy issue, and you can't cover it over with spiritual or authoritarian dictates."
Link (here) to NCR for the full story.

Slog Through An Hour Of Ignatius

It was long rumored that Antonio Banderas (the cousin of a Jesuit) was set to play St. Ignatius of Loyola on screen. But any marketable screenplay would end after the founding of the Society of Jesus. Few moviegoers would want to slog through an hour of Ignatius sitting at his desk composing the Constitutions or writing one of the 6,813 letters he wrote during his lifetime.
Link (here) to the full article by Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jesuit High School Hosts Presentation On Sex Slavery

Francisco Lopez
Chris Killmer once met a woman who had been enslaved as a laborer in Portland for 12 years. She was beaten and subjected to sexual violence by the affluent, foreign-born resident who coerced her into slavery.
Human trafficking for sex and labor is an ugly and real problem in Oregon, Killmer, a program manager with the nonprofit Immigration Counseling Service, told 75 Catholic school students attending Jesuit High School's first-ever Social Justice Summit on Sunday. And it's up to the students to get the word out. "The primary way to get ahead on this thing is awareness," said Killmer, whose group provides legal and social services to immigrant communities. "Most people don't even know this is happening." The summit brought together students from the Portland area's six Catholic high schools to learn about human trafficking and immigration issues, and to inspire them to do something about it, said Scott Powers, director of Christian Services at Jesuit. Speakers detailed the reality of slavery in the state: People are forced into prostitution or, more commonly, farm, home or factory labor, and are kept there through abuse and threats to their families. Students from the Portland-metro areas six Catholic high schools listen to a presentation by Francisco Lopez of Causa Oregon, a Latino immigrant rights organization. Lopez told students that as Catholics, it'€™s their mission to seek social justice a mission for which he was tortured and exiled from his native El Salvador. Jesuit High students plan to meet with members of Oregon's Congressional delegation in February about human trafficking, and the summit was a rallying cry for other schools to do the same. "Service and advocacy -- those are the two feet of social action," Powers said. "And all Catholic schools teach that." The keynote speaker, Francisco Lopez with Causa Oregon, a Latino immigrant rights organization, told students that as Catholics, they "need to become the microphone of God."

Jesuit On The Radio

Fr. Rocco Danzi, S.J., director of campus ministry at Saint Peter's University, discussed vocations, spirituality and engaging young adults in ministry and service on The Busted Halo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer on Sirus XM Radio on Oct. 23. Click here to listen to the interview.

Book On Liturgy By Controversial Jesuit

Bookstores are full of Atlas maps. Everything from geographical, to historical, economic and even linguistic. But now Rome has a new addition: an Atlas that deals with Christian ceremonies.  It's called the Historical Atlas of the Liturgy which was authored by Jesuit priest Keith F. Pecklers. It shows the evolution of the liturgy from the first Christians to the present.   
Link (here) to the video by Rome Reports

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Meet Fordham's Tracy Higgins And Bridgette Dunlap

Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J.
I’ll admit that I was slightly disheartened at first to read that Campus Notes, the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) blog, was covering this controversy at Fordham. What it entails is a group of faculty at Fordham University Law School arguing that since Father McShane did not cancel the Ann Coulter event, the university should provide funding for pro-abortion groups and The Vagina Monologues. Tracy Higgins, professor at the law school, and Bridgette Dunlap, who is known for her involvement in reproductive rights groups and is a human rights fellow at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, wrote an open letter to Father McShane, which is included in the linked article.  It is true that Father McShane did express “disgust” in the College Republicans for inviting Ann Coulter to campus, but he did not cancel the event. The decision to rescind the invitation was made by the College Republicans Executive Board. It was perhaps questionable to invite Ann Coulter, and the College Republicans did realize this. I am not trying to rehash the Ann Coulter controversy, which has been explained sufficiently enough in the article regarding Peter Singer, but it is important to put the matter into context, in order to explain why the faculty group’s logic is so faulty.
Link (here) to read the rather lengthy article at Live Action News

Georgetown Jesuit Community Hosts Catholic Anti-Catholic

Former World Bank official Robert Calderisi is an openly gay Catholic who, in an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI, endorsed the ordination of women, promoted gay “marriage,” and objected to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. In that letter, he even called the Church’s refusal to ordain women ”un-Christian.” Yet Georgetown University, a Jesuit university, is hosting him next week to speak on the topic of The Catholic Church and World Development Since 1945.
Calderisi will address the impact of the Catholic Church on economic and social progress in Africa, Asia and Latin America at Georgetown on Tuesday December 4th. His appearance is sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the Georgetown Jesuit Community, and the SFS Program on Global Human Development.
Link (here) to The Cardinal Newman Society

Friday, November 30, 2012

“Turned To God In Prayer.” his memoir, “He Leadeth Me,” Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J. experienced the “sinking feeling of helplessness and powerlessness” after his arrest in Russia in 1941. He felt completely cut off from everything and everyone who might conceivably help him. Considered a Vatican spy, he was transferred to Lubianka prison where men were reportedly broken “in body and spirit.” As he had done in every crisis in the past when there was no one to turn to, Walter “turned to God in prayer.” While an interior voice helped him focus his faith, it was faith in prayer that sustained Walter, the same faith that made him conscious of his readiness and natural competency to handle whatever came along. Naturally stubborn and strong-willed, Walter spent a great part of his life “developing willpower and training the will.” Because he realized early that self-control was not enough in struggling against depression, fear, and insecurity, spiritual growth was contingent on the depth of his personal relationship with God.
Link (here) to Jesuit News the was written by Fr. John Levko, S.J.

The Society Of Jesus’s Position On Same-Sex Marriage

Martyr's Court
..the Vatican has continued its fight against same-sex marriage, calling it
“an ideology founded on political correctness which is invading every culture of the world.” 
Father Phil Florio, S.J., Fordham University's director of campus ministry and resident priest of Martyr’s Court Jogues Hall, affirmed that the Society of Jesus’s position on same-sex marriage is identical to the Vatican’s.
Link (here) to The Ram

Fairfield University And The Cavelier Governor

Fairfield University is hosting an event called the “State of the State” tonight that is scheduled to feature pro-abortion rights/ pro-gay “marriage” Governor Dannel Malloy. According to the Jesuit university’s website, Malloy will deliver the keynote address at the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, which is hosting the event that will focus on the business climate in Connecticut. Earlier this year, the White House thanked Malloy, a Boston College graduate, for speaking out publicly in favor of the HHS contraceptive mandate. “I think it’s the right rule,” Malloy told Joe Scarborough on his MSNBC show. Planned lists Governor Malloy under the banner of “Mayors and Governors Stand With Planned Parenthood.” Last year, Malloy even issued a press release celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.  “I’ve been a lifelong advocate and strong supporter of a woman’s right to choose,” he said. On gay “marriage,” Malloy spoke cavelierly, “Historically, two people get married. We’re not changing history. We might be changing the sex of individuals or the concept that they’re both of the same sex, but we’re not changing anything. A registration is a registration is a registration.”
Link (here) to The Cardinal Newman Society

Magis Rio

Brazil is on a roll lately.  They have the upcoming Summer Olympics, the World Cup and even World Youth Day. But before World Youth Day, we’d like to invite you to a series of immersion experiences the Jesuits will be putting together for students.  Still not sure what the heck we are talking about? 
Link (here) to The Jesuit Post

Gonzaga And Birth Control

Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh has announced to faculty and staff that in response to the HHS mandate it will begin covering contraceptives starting next month. While many Catholic colleges and dioceses are battling the HHS mandate on religious liberty grounds in court, Gonzaga, a Jesuit University, announced to faculty and staff that even while they vow to clearly communicate the Church’s position on contraception, they are “compelled by the federal government to fulfill our legal obligation under the mandate.” According to the memo, the university will begin covering contraceptives on December 1st, 2012:
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jesuit On His Notre Dame Education

Ara Parseghian
I am not a right wing extremist priest; nor am I an activist. 
I am an 82 year old alumnus, Jesuit priest, who dearly loves the school.  I was at the University of Notre Dame at the time of Frank Leahy and Ara Parseghian.  
So, I am for excellence in football, academic and  yes, Catholic Identity.  Let us both pray that they can win the National Championship.

I am yours in Our Lady,

Link (here) to Patheos

Chronicles Of Marquette University

The Cardinal Newman Society reported that the Gender Sexuality Alliance at Marquette (GSA) celebrated  
“LGBTQA diversity” on campus with an event called “Chronicles of the Closet” which was described on the university’s website as “an open-mic night for sharing coming-out stories.” 
The Cardinal Newman Society also reported last year that Marquette University Law School appointed pro-abortion rights former U.S. senator Russ Feingold as a visiting law professor.
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jesuits And Tobacco

A Jesuit was asked whether it was licit to smoke a cigar while praying, and his answer was an unequivocal “no.”  However, the subtle Jesuit quickly added that, while it was not licit to smoke a cigar while praying, it was perfectly licit to pray while smoking a cigar.  —St.Holger’s Cigar Club

In the 16th and 17th centuries the Jesuits developed large tobacco plantations in Central and South America and held financial interests in retaining revenues from them. Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians had similar arrangements in Central America.

During this time, the Jesuits, fond of their snuff, were accused by their Protestant and secular opponents, without any evidence that I have found, of carrying poisoned snuff about their persons and offering it to those they attempted to assassinate. “Jesuit snuff,” this imaginary stuff came to be called. The fear surrounding it appears to have been most intense after tens of thousands of barrels holding fifty tons of Spanish snuff were captured from Spanish ships in Vigo Bay in 1702 by English admiral Thomas Hopsonn and found their way into the British market.

At the same time, Jesuit missionaries introduced the snuff they loved to China’s capitol during the Manchu dynasty, about 1715. For some time, Chinese converts to Catholicism were called “snuff-takers” by their countrymen and handled the manufacture and selling of snuff in Beijing. Many Tibetan Buddhist monks are still quite fond of snuff.

Text Box:  The Jesuits were not alone among the mendicant orders in their love of snuff. Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy, also wrote A Sentimental Journey throughFrance and Italy in 1768, in which he described an incident—edifying and humbling to him—of exchanging snuff boxes with a poor friar. But during the 19th century, the fashion of using nasal snuff faded away, and cigar, pipe, and then cigarette smoking replaced it. Literary sources show that taking snuff was more and more left to the old and the poor, and to certain conservative clergy who persisted with their snuff rather than switch to smoking.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Diminishment: British Jesuits Shrink 80% In A Generation

Sacred Heart in Wimbledon
After almost 130 years, the Jesuits are to withdraw from running one of their landmark parishes as the order undertakes a review of all its apostolic work in Britain. 
The British Province of the Society of Jesus has announced that it will hand over Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, south west London, one of Britain's largest parishes with thousands attending Mass each week, to the Archdiocese of Southwark. In a letter to parishioners, Fr Dermot Preston S.J., the provincial, delivered the "very sad news" and said the decision had been taken because of the declining number of Jesuits. 
There are currently four serving the parish. Fr Preston pointed out in his letter that there were now fewer than 200 British Jesuits compared with almost 1,000 in the early 1960s. He added that the Jesuits "will need to hand over a number of our present commitments to other ministers" in the future and that Sacred Heart is our "strongest and most mature parish".
Link (here) to The Tablet

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turk Jesuit

Let me give you a special example because it concerns a Turk. This young man did not find answers to his questions in the Islamic tradition. He went to an imam who ordered him to read the Koran and advised him not to ask too many questions that could lead him astray. 
One day he entered a church during Mass and heard 'Take and eat it, this is my Body'. God who becomes flesh, who becomes a companion on the way of man and who gives him his Body cannot be accepted in the Islamic tradition but at the same time this is something fascinating. Then the young Turk visited a priest and began discussing fundamental questions about life. 
The priest's answers were so convincing that he 'entered the way' leading to conversion to Christianity. When he was baptised he decided to devote his whole life to Christ. Today Antuan Ilgit is in the Jesuit novitiate in Italy and he dreams of returning to Turkey and working with the youth in his own country.
Link (here) to Sunday

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jesuit Cardinal Says, "Tired"

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J. described the Church in Europe and America as “tired,” and asked “Where among us are the heroes from whom we can draw inspiration?” The burning “coals” of the Church, Martini continued, were hidden under piles of ashes; indeed, there is “so much ash on top of the coals that I am often assailed by a sense of powerlessness. How can the coals be freed from the ashes so as to reinvigorate the flame of love?” 
The cardinal went on to propose, quite rightly, that true reform in the Church is always reform inspired by Word and Sacrament. But then, at the end of the interview, came the money-quote: “The Church is 200 years behind. Why in the world does it not rouse itself? Are we afraid? Fear instead of courage?” To which one wants to reply, with all respect, “Two hundred years behind what?” 
 A western culture that has lost its grasp on the deep truths of the human condition? A culture that celebrates the imperial autonomous Self? A culture that detaches sex from love and responsibility? A culture that breeds a politics of immediate gratification and inter-generational irresponsibility, of the sort that has paralyzed public policy in Italy and elsewhere? “Why in the world,” to repeat the late cardinal’s question, would the Church want to catch up with that? As for the question, “Where are the heroes?” Cardinal Martini seemed unaware of, or puzzled by, or perhaps even unhappy with, the heroic witness of the man who created him cardinal after naming him successor to St. Ambrose in Italy’s most prestigious see: John Paul II, whose faith and courage continue to inspire the liveliest parts of the Catholic world in Europe and America. (John Paul, for his part, gave Martini’s commentary on the First Letter of Peter to the cardinals gathered for the pope’s silver jubilee in 2003, as an appendix to a replica of the Bodmer Papyrus copy of the “first encyclical.”) Nor was John Paul alone as an exemplar of Christian heroism during the Martini years in Milan: years in which, to take but two examples, Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko became the martyr-priest of Solidarity and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta completed her singular witness to the “flame of love” the cardinal thought buried under ashes. For all his brilliance, Cardinal Martini, like many on the Catholic left, never seemed to grasp that the secular culture with which Vatican II hoped to open a dialogue was not the secular culture that emerged in Europe in the aftermath of the upheavals of 1968. 
Link (here) to read the full piece by George Weigel

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Problem With Dorothy Day

But there is a problem.  And that problem is a quote attributed to, of all people, Dorothy Day. “Don’t call me a saint,” she is often said to have said. "I don’t want to be dismissed that easily." 
That quote is probably the biggest barrier to her canonization. Not that it would deter the Vatican, since the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints is used to dealing with the humility of prospective saints.  
But the quote sets up a kind of spiritual roadblock for many of her admirers.  Many believe she is a saint, but balk at supporting her canonization.  Given that quote, would Dorothy really want to be canonized?  Oddly, supporting her feels almost like a betrayal.
Link (here) to read the full post by Fr. James Martin, S.J. at America Magazine

Her adherence to Communism and Marxism (here) and (here) ought to pose some issues as well.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Fordham University "Trainwreck"

We appreciate your statement distancing the University from Ms. Coulter’s hateful rhetoric and defending free speech and academic freedom. We remain deeply troubled, however, by the University’s inconsistency regarding which events it denies funding or otherwise censors on campus. We would like you to explain how the decision was made to allow the College Republicans to use student activity funds to pay for the Coulter event while denying the use of such funds for other purposes deemed not to be in keeping with the University’s mission. For example, we understand that student groups may not use their budgets for the productions of the Vagina Monologues mounted by Fordham undergraduates each year to raise funds to combat violence against women. Along these same lines, Fordham’s anti-abortion club receives funding while pro-choice advocacy is censored. Why are these forms of student expression and association denied support while the Coulter event was not? 
Is pro-choice advocacy or the Vagina Monologues more inconsistent with the University’s mission than Coulter’s hate speech you rightly decry? Are they less entitled to respect in the free exchange of ideas in the Academy? We would also appreciate a clear statement of the policy regarding advertising of events on campus, another form of speech recently censored by the University. 
 In stark contrast to your position that prohibiting Ms. Coulter from speaking would “do violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement,” the University recently prohibited the posting of flyers for Prescribe Fordham 2, an off-campus event sponsored by a number of academic departments at which volunteer doctors provided students with uncensored sexual and reproductive health counseling and services. The event, which was banned from campus, was aimed at addressing the problems that result from the restrictions the University places on the medical providers at its student health centers and the prohibition on condom distribution.
Link (here) to "Members of the Fordham Community"

Celebrity Former Jesuit Calls Deacons, "Monster's"

Paul Lakeland
Earlier this year, former Jesuit priest Paul Lakeland, a Fairfield University Catholic Studies professor, was invited to give an address to students and faculty at the University of San Diego. He received this honor despite the fact that in 2007 he was the media spokesman in favor of Connecticut Bill 1098, a bill that would have forced Catholic churches to reorganize along state-mandated lines—giving lay control over parishes and effectively removing the authority of priests and bishops.
 As a spokesman in favor of the bill, Lakeland, like Cooke, has long lobbied for an end to what  he calls the “structural oppression of the laity” by the clergy. In his books (published by Continuum) and speeches, Lakeland promises to help all Catholics “exercise their baptismal priesthood” and dismisses the role of the Catholic deacon as a “monster” which belongs to a “lay-ecclesial species.” Claiming that his newest book identifies the task of the laity as working “to build a non-clerical Church,”  
Lakeland joins others in organizations like CORPUS and similar fringe Catholic groups to radically change the Church and marginalize the bishops’ teaching authority on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and women’s ordination. Earlier this week, Lakeland wrote a letter to President Lyons decrying her decision to rescind the invitation to Beattie (published on the “support Tina Beattie” website).
Link (here) to the Catholic World Report.

Former Jesuit Paul Lakeland On Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J.

The barrage of conservative pressure that you have had to face in recent weeks comes from people who wish to turn back the clock on church-state relations to a time before Vatican II, when the Church did what it could to impose its Catholic vision upon the constitutional systems of secular states. Fifty years ago the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner called this “the heresy of integrism.” It rears its ugly head wherever anyone attempts to take Catholic teaching and use it as a template for the ethical or legal system of a pluralistic society. It is vitally important to distinguish between the right to hold our views and the right to impose them on others, and I am afraid that the likes of the Cardinal Newman Society simply do not understand this.
Link (here) to The Cardinal Newman Society read more of Paul Lakeland's statement.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jesuit Professor, Confirmation And Gay Marriage

Fr. James Keenan, S.J.
............recently, Father James Keenan, S.J. was awarded the Portman Chair last year. Currently serving as the Founders Professor of Theology at Boston College, Keenan made headlines in 2003 when he appeared before the joint committee on the judiciary for the state of Massachusetts to offer his support for same-sex marriage. The judiciary was debating a bill (constitutional amendment H3190) that would mandate that only the union of one man and one woman be recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts. Claiming to present the Catholic perspective, Keenan claimed that “H3190 is contrary to Catholic teaching on social justice.… The Catholic theological tradition stands against the active and unjust discrimination against the basic social rights of gay and lesbian persons.” Keenan encouraged legislators to vote against a bill that would ban same-sex marriages
Link (here) to The Catholic World Report 

Bishop Michael Hoeppner
The parents of a teenage boy in the Diocese of Crookston (Minnesota) told the Fargo Forum that their parish priest has denied the Sacrament of Confirmation to their son, Lennon Cihak, because of his Facebook post in support of same-sex marriage. Father Gary LaMoine of Assumption Church in Barnesville denied the family’s charge but would not elaborate. “They’re my parishioners, and so when the press comes after me from different points of view and asks me all types of questions about their situation, I hesitate very much because I owe them, I owe that family confidentiality,” he said. “He said ‘I cannot, cannot confirm him,’” Lennon’s mother said. “Father would not confirm him, and they won’t confirm him unless he changes his views.” The parents also told the newspaper that they are no longer permitted to receive Holy Communion at the parish. “The mother did say that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston informed her that if Lennon stood before the church and denounced his support of same-sex marriage claims, he could be confirmed,” the Fargo Forum added. 
Link (here) to Catholic Culture.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jesuits To Reduce Provinces Down To Four In The United States

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Curiously enough, while I was in Atlanta making my retreat, the General of the Society of Jesus, Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolás, changed the boundaries of the New Orleans and Maryland Provinces.  South Carolina and Georgia, previously part of the Southern Province, will, on January 1, 2013, come under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Province.  This change is part of the realignment of the American Jesuit provinces that will occur in the next decade.  
Although individual Southern Jesuits have long worked in South Carolina, Jesuit presence in Georgia has been more of a corporate presence.  In 1887 the bishop of Savannah offered the New Orleans Mission a former seminary, Pio Nono College, for use as a house of formation if the Jesuits would agree to staff a local parish.  The Jesuits came to St. Joseph’s parish in Macon, where they stayed more than seventy years.  Pio Nono College became the novitiate and juniorate, until a totally destructive fire in 1921 led to the removal of the house of formation to St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. 
In Augusta the Jesuits ministered at Sacred Heart parish for almost seventy-five years.  During the first twenty years, the Society of Jesus conducted Sacred Heart College, a high school.
  In suburban Atlanta the mother of Father John Schroder, S.J., one of our retired Jesuits, donated the family’s summer estate on the Chattahoochee River to the New Orleans Province for use as a retreat house.  For six decades Ignatius House has offered the Spiritual Exercises to the people of Georgia and has provided the Archdiocese of Atlanta and individual parishes a place for prayer and meetings.  This ministry will continue with the Maryland Jesuits.
Eventually there will be four Jesuit provinces (administrative divisions) in the United States instead of ten.  The entire east coast, except for Florida, will be one province, with the combining of the New York, Maryland, and New England Provinces.  The south central United States will consist of the Missouri and New Orleans Provinces, including Florida.  The north central section will be composed of the Chicago, Detroit, and Wisconsin Provinces.  The Oregon and California Provinces will make up a western province including Alaska and Hawaii.
Our province has shrunk in size in other decades as well.  North Carolina, part of the Maryland Province since the nineteen thirties, was once a stark mission region staffed by Southern Jesuits.  Even Oklahoma, now attached to Missouri, was once Southern Jesuit territory.
The Maryland Jesuits once had the most unusual legal name in the United States: the “Roman Catholic Gentlemen of Maryland,” dating from the Suppression of the Jesuits in 1773.  Those priests in the Colony of Maryland incorporated themselves under that title to prevent the expropriation of Church property.  As of now, we Southern Jesuits have the most unusual legal title, the “Catholic Society for Religious and Literary Education.”
As our Jesuit journey continues, let us remember that all of us—all of us—are on pilgrimage from the Lord to the Lord.  Let us pray for one another especially at the Sunday Eucharist.  Please pray for us Jesuits as we seek to serve the Lord and the Lord’s Church.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Donald Hawkins, S.J., Pastor
Link (here)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Will Peter Singer Speak At Fordham University?

Friday, February 16, there is a speaker who most certainly is not pro-life enough to speak at Fordham University. That speaker? Peter Singer. Fr. McShane has not sent out any statement in an e-mail addressed to the entire school about having such a speaker. The president not only did that in the instance of Ann Coulter’s invite, but expressed his “disgust.” I am disgusted with Peter Singer, and I expect Fr. McShane to be as well. Yet there has been no such e-mail.
In case you are not aware, Peter Singer is an advocate for abortion, as a woman’s right and as a form of population control; bestiality; and euthanasia, and he has made the moral case for infanticide, particularly for disabled infants. Yet from the description of the event and of Peter Singer on “FORDHAM NOTES: A NEWSBLOG FROM FORDHAM UNIVERSITY’S NEWS AND MEDIA RELATIONS BUREAU,” you would not know this.
The event is titled “Panel: Christians and Other Animals” with the subtitle “Christians and Other Animals: Moving the Conversation Forward.” Peter Singer is listed as the top panelist, with his credentials listed as “Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University.” There is also a brief one-sentence bio listed about him at the end: “Peter Singer—in addition to being the most influential philosopher alive today—was the intellectual heft behind the beginning of the animal rights movement in the 1970s.” Regardless of whether that bio was written by a person from Fordham, which it may very well have not been, by attaching it to a Fordham advertisement for a Fordham-held and sponsored event, it seems as if the university is standing by Peter Singer “being the most influential philosopher alive today,” and influential in not such a bad way.
Ann Coulter was invited by a student group on campus, an invitation which is to be approved or denied. Regardless how one feels about Fr. McShane’s statement or the decision by the College Republicans to (dis-)invite Ms. Coulter, one surely realizes that the university could have denied the speaker even before approving her, and that neither the event nor Ann Coulter’s views are endorsed by the university or Fr. McShane. However, not only is Fordham University displaying the panel with Peter Singer on a web page for the university, but the panel is also co-sponsored by the Department of Theology, the Center for Religion and Culture, the Office of the Provost, the dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, and the dean of Fordham University faculty.
Link (here) to Live Action News