Wing and a prayer
A big thanks to Jerry Cobb, S.J., special assistant to the president, for sending in these shots taken in the Chapel of St. Ignatius last week. For Father Cobb, the ducks' appearance in the chapel made perfect sense. He explains:
"Steven Holl designed the Chapel of St Ignatius with the idea of 'aquaeous space,' so that the floor would appear to be water. He also designed the carpet with the blue of the 'River Cardoner' (a place of deep signficance in St. Ignatius' spiritual journey) flowing through the center of (it). To me it is amazing that our two ducks felt comfortable enough to leave the reflection pool and waddle into the chapel and plunk themselves down right on the blue painted part of the carpet!"
Holy Week at SU
Campus Ministry invites you to the following liturgies at the Chapel of St. Ignatius during Holy Week.
March 29, masses at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
April 2, 7:30 p.m.: Mass of the Lord's Supper, washing of feet, and silent prayer and vigil
April 3, 3 p.m.: Celebration of the Lord's Passion and Death, prayers of the people, veneration of the Cross and simple communion
April 4, 9:30 p.m.: The Great Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, storytelling, baptism, sharing of communion and the feast (First Eucharist of Easter)
April 5, 11 a.m.
Jesuit video series
The Office of Mission and Ministry, in collaboration with Xavier University and campus partners, has produced a series of videos on Jesuit education, Ignatian spirituality and other related topics. The videos are part of an online orientation program that's broken into seven sessions. The first video, "The Life of St. Ignatius," appears below. For all seven of the orientation sessions and videos, you can visit
Mission and Ministry. For each session you'll find a brief intro of the video, suggested companion reading and reflection questions. And you'll also notice many familiar faces among the narrators!
Can it happen?
Feb. 25, 2015
Two years ago this month Pope Benedict shocked the world with the news that he was resigning, making him the first pope to step down since 1415. The following month the College of Cardinals did something perhaps even more unexpected when they elected the first Jesuit pope. Since then Pope Francis has surprised and captured the imagination of many.
On Thursday, March 5 at 3 p.m. in Wyckoff Auditorium, Patrick Howell, S.J., Distinguished Professor in Residence in the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, will examine the future of the papacy in light of Pope Francis's expressed attitudes toward the Catholic hierarchy.
The event flyer reads, in part: "Pope Francis continues to surprise his own Catholic Church as well as the rest of the world. People warm to his frank openness and his embrace of a simple lifestyle. He says that the Church has been too narcissistic, too self-referential and concerned about itself. He has set about a comprehensive reform of the Church. Can it happen? Will it last?"
Father Howell (left) has been a close Francis observer since the beginning of his papacy, delivering the first of many lectures on the pope literally the day after his historic election. Two summers ago while on sabbatical, Fr. Howell assisted in translating of the pope's highly read interview, "A Big Heart Open to God," which appeared in the Sept. 30, 2013 issue of
Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture.
Weighing in on immigration
The Jesuits of Canada and the United States have written a letter to members of the U.S. Congress and Senate, urging them to reject amendments to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill that will hurt immigrants,
"The Jesuits of the United States call upon the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass a Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill free of harmful immigration amendments that seek to block or undermine the recent Executive Action on immigration.
"Jesuit organizations throughout our country have long advocated for comprehensive, humane, and much needed solutions to our current broken immigration system. In the absence of comprehensive legislative reform, we support the President's use of his legal and constitutional authority to relieve families of the constant fear of deportation."
The letter concludes: "Together with Pope Francis, 'we pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants,' because in his words, 'God will judge us on how we have treated the most needy.' We urge you to remember the humanity of our migrant brothers and sisters as you consider these important immigration related issues. Going forward, rest assured that we will continue to challenge you to support immigration policies that treat our undocumented neighbors with the dignity and respect that all people deserve."
The full letter can be read
Also, Seattle University students have joined students at 10 other Catholic universities in urging members of Congress who graduated from Catholic colleges and universities to not cut off funding for the president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA, as one of the amendments of the bill would do. Read more at Catholic Sentinel.
Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus, has convoked the 36th General Congregation. About 200 Jesuit delegates will be in Rome for the congregation, which is scheduled for October 2016.
The main impetus for the congregation is to elect a superior general to succeed Fr. Nicolás who has announced his resignation. (Fr. Nicolas is pictured here with SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and Arrupe Jesuit Community Rector Tom Lucas, S.J., in November 2014 prior to meeting with Pope Francis.)
Delegates will also take up "matters of greater moment," as written in the Jesuit Constitutions.
An recent overview of the congregation--or GC 36 as it's also called--can be found
At the end of the article, you'll find a list of interesting facts about previous congregations-such as why the first General Congregation was delayed, who the youngest Jesuit ever to be elected superior general was, which congregation elected two superior generals and, most important, how the delegates know where to sit.
Sport and spirituality
Pat Kelly, S.J., associate professor of theology and religious studies, was recently interviewed by Dave Grosby (a.k.a. “The Groz”) on 770 AM KTTH.
Father Kelly spoke about his book, Catholic Perspectives on Sports, and other aspects of sports and spirituality.
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio to the left or visit Coach's Show.
For more of Fr. Kelly's thoughts on sports and spirituality, you can like his Facebook page.
Last year Trung Pham, S.J., assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History, ran a half marathon. This year he went for the full monty and successfully covered all 26.2 miles in the Seattle Marathon. Fr. Pham came in at 3:57.
The SU Jesuit says temperature was a big factor. "It was so cold (28˚ F) that it gave me a perspective that hell is cold, not hot like people say it would be. When I was out in the sunlight, my body moved better, when I was in the shade, my legs got tighter. My muscles began to cramp after the 20-mile mark. I ran like a stick figure toward the finish line.
"Anyhow, I could not believe that I could do it."
Congratulations, Fr. Pham!
Following is the homily Rector Tom Lucas, S.J., delivered on the 25th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuits and their companions in El Salvador. Father Lucas, S.J., spoke of his recent visit with Pope Francis and how the pope calls us to be witnesses like the eight martyrs.
Life, my sisters and brothers, is full of surprises. Through a series of events too complicated-I might even say "too miraculous"-to recount in a short time, on November 3, I found myself with a family of friends and benefactors of Seattle University and of our Archdiocese, sitting with Pope Francis in his library at the Vatican. Miracles do happen.
Our Holy Father Francis is in fact everything you have seen and heard about him: warm, engaging, humble, delightfully good-humored, radiant in his faith and hope. It was like sitting with a sweet and loving old pastor. He wanted to know about us, and about our world here in the Northwest. He had on worn black shoes, the simple silver cross he had worn in Buenos Aires around his neck, and had a frayed button on his white cassock. He must drive his staff crazy.
At the end of what was supposed to be a 15-minute meet-and-greet audience that he himself extended to 45 minutes of vivid conversation, one of our group asked him what message he wanted us to bring home with us. Counting on his fingers, he gave us five reminders to hold onto, five descriptors of what it means to be Church in this moment of history. I want to share them with you today, because he asked us to share them. I also need to hear them again myself, to be consoled and challenged by them.
Vicinanza: Nearness to those in need, to the poor
Ospedale di Campo: The Church as Field Hospital
The first word was "testimonanza," witness. Words are fine, he said, but active witness is what matters: witness through our lived and living actions to the saving power of Christ in this broken world.
Our witness is lived out in his second word "vicinanza," nearness, closeness. We cannot give witness to Christ in abstraction, but only in our direct and loving contact with others, and especially in our care for the poor and our nearness to the afflicted.
He reminded us that this is how the incarnation, "incarnazione," continues in this world: Christ is incarnate again and always in us, made flesh in deeds more than in words. Christ's life and reality are transmitted in us and through us, made flesh again here at this altar, truly, but also and equally in our witness and in our loving respect and embrace of all God's children.
The Church, the Holy Father reminded us, is not a spa to which we retreat for comfort, but is a "field hospital," a place of healing for those most hurting, most excluded, most in need. The Good Samaritan, he reminded us, didn't ask the man in the ditch to see his identity papers. He climbed into the ditch and pulled the suffering man out, and cared for him.
Why? Because the Good Samaritan knew the grace and power of "misericordia," of mercy. God's infinite compassion for us, poor banished children of Eve, is the key to everything. God's mercy is the hope that gives meaning to our lives, and makes it possible for us do what is impossible: to continue the work of the incarnation, to be close to those who are in need, to give witness. The Holy Father calls this moment in the history of the Church "The Era of Mercy," and invited us to be its heralds.
Today, Nov. 16, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the killing-no, the martyrdom-of six Jesuits and two of their colleagues at the Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador. The Jesuits were teachers, theologians, founders of schools, pastors, and two women their house keeper and her 16 year old daughter. They were dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night and shot in the garden. They were martyrs-the word means "witnesses"-because they testified to Christ incarnate in the poor, because they were near to the afflicted. They made their university a field hospital, a place where God's mercy was taught and God's justice was proclaimed. Like the good steward in today's Gospel, they took the treasure given them and multiplied in works of mercy and justice. Like so many holy witnesses throughout history, they paid the price, giving glory to God through the gift of their lives, through their faithfulness to God through their care for God's least little ones.
Fathers Ignacio Ellacuría, Sergio Montes, Ignacio Martín Baró, Armando López, Juan Ramón Moreno, Joaquin López y López, their coworkers Elba and Celina Ramos. None of us, we pray, will be required to shed our blood as they did, as Archbishop Oscar Romero did when he was gunned down at the altar in 1980, as American Churchwomen Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Jean Donovan and Dorothy Kazel who were tortured, raped and murdered a few months afterward Romero's execution. Yet the willing sacrifice of their lives and of so many others throughout our history gives witness to us of the nearness of Jesus Incarnate to the poor and the suffering: the same Christ who gives us courage to be merciful caregivers in the field hospital that is our Church today.
As we were leaving, Pope Francis asked us to pray for him, and so we do today. And let us be mindful of his solemn yet joyful call, to be witnesses to, and to become God's mercy here and now, and always and forever.