Late on a Friday night, Trung Pham, S.J., Seattle University assistant professor of Fine Arts stood among 100 sacred statues at Arrupe Jesuit Residence. With help from Mike Bayard, S.J., director of campus ministry, there was a flurry of activity as they carefully wrapped and nested each sculpted statue in its own cardboard box.
Father Pham, who joined the faculty in 2012, has an interest in sustaining and promoting sacred art-especially Vietnamese sacred art-which moved him to sculpt "Me Ao Nau" (Our Lady in Vietnamese four-panel traditional dress).
"We don't have a lot of sacred images that have Vietnamese features," he says. "My sculpture introduces a cultural dimension of sacred art."
Fr. Pham's sacred sculptures project was a fundraiser for Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, south of campus. In just one weekend, he sold 70 of the 100 sculptures and raised $1,000 for the parish.
Some of the plaster sculptures, each with a protective coating of paint, are still for sale. Prospective buyers can contact Fr. Pham directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 220-8243.
A show of Fr. Pham's work called "Mother" continues through July 15 at the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery on the third floor of Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave. He also recently was featured in Northwest Vietnamese News, a primary source of information for and about the Vietnamese community in Washington state.
- Annie Beckmann
Reaching out to refugees
As The Commons reported in August 2011, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is teaming up with Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins to offer college courses to people living in refugee camps.
That initiative received a big boost recently, as JRS and Jesuit Commons have signed an agreement with the United Nations that will allow them to expand online courses for refugees and other displaced students.
Speaking to the importance of the program, JRS International Director, Peter Balleis, S.J., said: "Forcibly displaced and frequently living on the margins of society, we have seen how education offers refugees the intellectual nourishment to become the leaders of tomorrow. In the midst of conflict and instability, education can be a form of healing to refugees hungry to rebuild their communities." Click here to read more about the agreement.
Click here for the 2011 Commons article, which highlighted SU's own Janet Quillian, director of the international internship program, who created a course on community health for refugee students in Malawi.
G-DOG features extraordinary Jesuit
"G-DOG," a new documentary featuring the life and work of Greg Boyle, S.J., is out now.
Known as "G-Dog" by those he serves, Fr. Boyle is founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, which helps former gang members in Los Angeles turn their lives around. Homeboy has a 70 percent success rate at redirecting kids away from gang life.
"G-DOG," as described by Docurama Films, "tells the entertaining, hilarious and unlikely story of how a white Jesuit priest became an expert in gang lives…(H)e works by a powerful idea: 'Nothing stops a bullet like a job.' G-Dog's unstoppable compassion has transformed the lives of thousands of Latino, Asian, and African American gang members." Click here to learn more about the film.
As anyone who's heard him talk or has read his book Tattoos on the Heart can attest, Boyle is immensely gifted at telling the stories of the people he meets. He has spoken at SU in recent years, including the Spirit of Community celebration in 2007 as well as Leadership Week in 2010.
Michael Sheeran, S.J., is the new president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). He began April 1, succeeding Gregory Lucey, S.J., who served as president from 2011-13. Father Sheeran previously served for 20 years as president of Regis University in Denver.
Father Lucey is returning to Spring Hill College to become chancellor, having previously served at its president. He also served as vice president for development at Seattle University in the late 1970s and '80s.
SU President Stephen Sundborg,S.J., is chair of AJCU's Board of Directors, which is comprised of the presidents of the 28 Jesuit institutions in the country.
Visit AJCU to read more about Father Lucey's accomplishments as president of the association and Father Sheeran's background.
By Annie Beckmann
In the last edition of The Commons, we visited with Margaret Garrett, Mary Odegaard and Kip Kniskern, the trio of chefs who cook for SU's Jesuits.
Odegaard, left, is the cook who asks all members of the campus Jesuit community what their favorite desserts are, then takes the time to make them for birthday celebrations. When a priest is too agreeable and says most any dessert would be just fine, she asks, "But what did your Mom make for your birthdays that you really liked?"
Here's a look at the list of favorites she creates for birthdays of every Jesuit.
Dave Anderson - German chocolate cake
Mike Bayard - Pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate crust
Brendan Busse - Berry pie
Emmett Carroll - Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Bob Egan - White cake with white butter cream frosting
Peter Ely - Chocolate cake with white frosting or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
John Foster - Marsala zabaglione or crème brulee
Ron Funke - Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Lorenzo Herman - Rum bundt cake with walnuts
Pat Howell - Carrot cake with nuts and cream cheese frosting
Mike Kelliher - Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
Pat Kelly - Vanilla ice cream pie with graham cracker crust
David Leigh - Angel food cake with chocolate frosting
Tom Murphy - White cake with peanut butter frosting
Natch Ohno - Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting
Pat O'Leary - White cake with lemon frosting or lemon meringue pie
William O'Malley - Tiramisu
Trung Pham - Cheesecake
Matthew Pyrć - Cheesecake
Jim Reichmann - Lemon cake with lemon frosting
Steve Sundborg - White cake with lemon curd and white butter cream frosting
James Taiviet Tran - Angel food cake
John Topel - Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
Pat Twohy - German chocolate cake
Josef Venker - Vanilla cake with strawberries and whipped cream, lemon meringue pie or vanilla bean ice cream with madeleine cookies
Bill Watson - Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and raspberry cream frosting
Eric Watson - Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting
Jason Welle - Chocolate/peanut butter ice cream cake
Contemplative Leaders in Action
SU graduate Haley Woods is living proof that a Jesuit education can lead you in some unexpected directions. A participant in Contemplative Leaders in Action, a two-year program launched by Magis: Alumni Living the Mission last year for emerging leaders in the 20s and 30s, Woods is a full-time high school teacher, bike aficionado, and now the founder and owner of a brewery. Visit CLA to read her reflection on what she's been doing since graduation, the experience of starting a business and how the Contemplative Leaders in Action is a steadying force in the midst of an incredibly busy schedule.
I am Jesuit educated
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities has launched a new website featuring a new "I am Jesuit educated" campaign. The campaign features, among others, public health leader Dr. Anthony Fauci, professional football player London Fletcher and financial manager extraordinaire Peter Lynch. Visit "I am Jesuit educated" for the full campaign.
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities serves the 28 Jesuit institutions in the United States. Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., is chair of AJCU's Board of Directors, which includes the member schools' presidents.
Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership, is coming to SU to talk about the application of Ignatian principles in the 21st century. He will speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, in Pigott Auditorium.
Lowney is a former Jesuit and former managing director of J.P. Morgan & Co. In Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, he details how the Jesuit approach to molding innovative, flexible global thinkers worked in the past and has resonance today as leaders wrestle with rapid change and limited resources.
The event is supported by the Endowed Mission Fund for Advancing the Jesuit and Catholic Mission and sponsored by the Institute of Public Service, Albers School of Business and the MFA Arts Leadership Program.
From the archives
Following are excerpts from an article on Chris Lowney and his book that appeared in the July 7, 2008 edition of Broadway & Madison, the printed precursor of The Commons:
On a Friday in 1983, Chris Lowney dropped out of a Jesuit seminary.
The following Monday, he started a career at J.P. Morgan. He went from owning little more than a black suit to working for one of Fortune magazine's favorite investment banking firms, where one boss promised to make recruits "hog-whimperingly rich." He rose to managing director in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London.
So much for the vow of poverty. Yet much of Lowney's Jesuit education stuck, and he began to ponder ways in which Jesuit thinking and organization might be applied to the business world. The connections grew even clearer as he began to write what would become Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-year-old Company that Changed the World. First published in 2003, the book has since been translated into more than a half a dozen languages and has gone through four hard cover printings.
As he thought of the early Jesuits, Lowney went on to write, "I became convinced that their approach to molding innovative, risk-taking, ambitious, flexible global thinkers worked. In some ways-dare I say-it worked better than many modern corporate efforts to do the same."
When it comes to risk-taking, ingenuity and adaptability, Lowney believes, Ignatius of Loyola and his small band of Jesuits had it all over today's business elite, launching an extensive education system and the largest religious order in the world.
"What's more," says Lowney, "in a world that sometimes seems to believe that the only way to become successful is to shun principle, their approach to living and working shows how we might be principled people and be successful in our efforts."
As Lowney explains it, Jesuit recruits succeeded because self-awareness helped them understand their strengths, weaknesses, values and worldview. Ingenuity helped them innovate and adapt to a changing world. Heroism energized them and others.
And love, says Lowney, let recruits engage others with a positive attitude that fostered trust and a desire to see people grow. For all its potential workplace benefits, love is something that Lowney says is rarely spoken of in management literature. "It's fine to love a candy bar and it's fine to love your wife and kids," he says by phone from New York, "but the one thing you can't love is the people you work with."
That's President Herman to you
SU Jesuit Lorenzo Herman, who is studying in the School of Theology and Ministry, has been installed as president of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association.
A recent article on Herman's installation, which appears on the Society of Jesus in the United States website, begins:
"Jesuit Lorenzo Herman’s life is anything but predictable. Prior to joining the Society of Jesus in 2007, Herman – known for his nerves of steel – worked an in-flight refueling specialist aboard a KC135 Stratotanker, a flying gas station. After leaving the Air Force, Herman turned his attention to nonprofit work, spending the better part of a decade helping African-American and Latino HIV and AIDS patients navigate the healthcare system. This week, the Cleveland native takes the reins of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association. Not bad for a kid raised a Baptist."
Click here for the full story.
(Photo by Chris Joseph Taylor)