The Pope's first year
By Annie Beckmann
A leader with a heart that's open to the world is how Pat Howell, S.J., describes Pope Francis.
There's much about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Jesuit pope, that rings true for those who are familiar with the Jesuit Catholic character. Choosing to live in a simple residence, eschewing those infamous red slippers and all the brocade and lace are the obvious indicators.
Yet, as he reflected on the pope's first year, Father Howell credited Pope Francis with suggesting the Catholic Church become less narcissistic. In his April 17 talk, Fr. Howell
said an energy about the new pope is inimitably Jesuit-namely discernment, an affirming spirituality that engages the world, and bridging disparate traditions.
"Francis says we need to listen to the people, to the
and that takes discernment," he says.
During a year-long sabbatical, Fr. Howell went to work last fall for
magazine, a national Jesuit publication, and was commissioned along with four other experts to translate into English in-person interviews with Pope Francis conducted by Antonio Spadoro, S.J., editor in chief of
La Civiltà Cattolica
, the Italian Jesuit journal.
"When the pope was asked 'who are you?' he took a long pause, then said 'first and foremost, I am a sinner, a sinner who is called upon by Christ to act on behalf of the Gospel,'" Fr. Howell says. "The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and the lives of all who encounter Jesus. Francis says what blocks us from the joy of the Gospel are clericalism, capitalism and all forms of greed and aggrandizement."
The fact that Pope Francis says, "Who am I to judge?" shows his acceptance of all people as children of God, according to Fr. Howell. That includes homosexuals and prostitutes and anyone who's marginalized, he notes.
"Every previous pope has most often assumed the role of judge," Fr. Howell says as he describes the neo-Augustinian nature of Pope Benedict XVI in particular, whose world was cast in shadows and suspicions where a positive openness to the world was viewed as naïve optimism.
It's discernment versus legalism. Pope Francis and the Jesuits are primarily neo-Thomistic, says Fr. Howell, which means they're open to the world, world affirming and engage the world in dialogue.
Fr. Howell shares many of the magazine covers that have depicted Pope Francis as accessible and down to earth over the past year. A
cartoon cover of the pope making a snow angel lends a little whimsy and shows how the pope doesn't take himself all that seriously.
When asked, Fr. Howell predicts that Pope Francis and the Catholic Church will accept married clergy rather soon and ordained priests who are married. He wasn't as optimistic about the possibility of women priests, however, but laid out an avenue within the tradition how it could happen
Fr. Howell suggests the need to reform the Roman Curia, to address the sexual abuse crisis, and a desire for someone outside Europe were the primary reasons Pope Francis was elected. Starting with the Vatican Bank in the very first month he was pope, Francis made key appointments and invited eight cardinals to be part of a "kitchen cabinet" not only for the reform of the bank, but for the reform of the Curia itself.
"Every pope is conditioned by his own culture. You can see the South American emphasis in how Pope Francis reaches out to the poor. A year ago, there was much talk when he went to a prison and washed the feet of inmates, including two women. He uses the papacy as a redemption for humanity," says Fr. Howell.
"It's hard to find another pope who has been viewed so positively," he adds.
Fr. Howell's talk was sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC) and co-sponsored by Mission and Ministry. He served as dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, vice president for Mission and Ministry, most recently as rector of the Jesuit community. On September 1 , he will join ICTC as professor in residence.
Seattle University has signed an agreement with the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), which formalizes a longstanding and growing partnership between the two Jesuit institutions.
SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and his UCA counterpart José Alberto Idiáquez, S.J., signed the agreement in Managua, Nicaragua, on March 20. Before the signing, Father Sundborg delivered a lecture, "Two Universities; One Jesuit Mission," which you can read here.
Joining Sundborg on the visit to UCA were Victoria Jones, associate provost for Global Engagement (pictured far left); and (from far right to left) Serena Cosgrove, assistant professor of Matteo Ricci College; David Powers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Joe Orlando, assistant vice president for Mission and Ministry.
"I was proud to be part of the delegation from Seattle U to the UCA in Managua and to deliver (the lecture)," said Sundborg. "After many years of developing our relationship with that Jesuit university, which is considered the best university in Nicaragua, I was proud to sign, together with Fr. Idiáquez, the formal agreement of our special partnership. We see this as the first of our 'Convergence Sites,' which Victoria Jones has been developing. The 'Nicaragua Initiative' is promising for student and faculty exchanges, for community-engaged learning and for common research.
SU's partnership with UCA began with the faculty and staff immersion trips that Orlando led to Managua for many years. The relationship has deepened in recent years with the development of mutually enriching student and faculty exchanges and other reciprocal scholarly initiatives. A key moment came last May when a delegation from UCA
visited Seattle University
to explore how Jesuit universities are especially called to confront poverty. That was followed by a program for UCA MBA students offered by Albers and Fr. Idiáquez's visit to campus in the fall. (His interview with Jones at the time can be found
.) This summer the UCA is offering programs for SU students including a Spanish-language minor and a core class on sustainability and poverty.
The agreement signed by the presidents reads in part: "…both universities believe that (this agreement) is of mutual benefit to promote direct contact and collaboration between students, teachers and people. This could include joint research activities, publications and library exchanges; programs of study and/or service; exchange of teachers and students for the study, teaching and research and the exchange of invitations to scholars to participate in conferences, seminars and speeches."
Mark your calendars
Whether you're Jesuit educated or a fan of Jesuit education, here are two opportunities to get onto your schedule--both are sponsored by Magis and Alumni Relations.
Jesuit Alumni Day of Service
Saturday, April 26
8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
This is an opportunity for Jesuit alumni and friends serve the local community as men and women for others. Volunteers will work at nearby Seattle area agency sites assisting with a variety of service tasks. This day of service is part of the National Jesuit Service Initiative, which engages graduates across the nation in shared service which demonstrates the life-changing and enduring power of a Jesuit education.
Ignatian-Inspired Leaders Panel with SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.
Thursday, May 8, 6-8:30 p.m., Sorrento Hotel
With a Jesuit Pope who is making waves, more people than ever are asking what the "Jesuit" or "Ignatian" approach to leadership is. Join Seattle University's Alumni Relations and Magis' Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) Alumni Leadership program for an exciting evening of networking and meaningful conversation featuring our very own Father Steve.
for more information and to register.
The pope, one year in
Today, March 13, is the one-year anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio's election as Pope Francis. While the pontiff has no boss, per se—at least of an earthly persuasion—let's pretend that you are the supervisor responsible for doing his performance evaluation. What overall grade would you give him for his first year on the job from a scale of 1 (needs improvement) to 5 (exceeds expectations),
Please send your answers to
From John Rodosevich, '69, mechanical engineer:
"I give Jorge Bergolio a resounding 5! He's a Jesuit; humble; conservative; reaches out; listens to all; discerning; and very wise. He knows his stuff. I love Pope Francis."
It was announced in November that Scott Santarosa, S.J., has been appointed by General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., as the next provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. You can learn more about Father Santa Rosa in this video from
Ignatian News Network.
Father Santarosa will take over this summer, succeeding Pat Lee, S.J., who has served as provincial since 2008. Eventually, Santarosa will be provincial for the new West Coast Province that will form when the Oregon and California Provinces unite.
Santarosa currently serves as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles and previously taught at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif., and Verbum Dei High School in Watts, Los Angeles.
Picturing God in all things
"Finding God in all things" is at the core of Ignatian spirituality. It's a phrase that has particular significance for Father Don Doll. A highly acclaimed photographer and member of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Doll captures images through a distinctly Jesuit lens.
"Fr. Doll is the most accomplished Jesuit professional photographer working in the world today," said Josef Venker, S.J., chair of the Department of Fine Arts. "His career spans four decades and the entire planet."
Doll, left, visits SU this week to mark the opening of a collection of his photographs at Vachon Gallery. The exhibition is titled "A Call to Vision: A Jesuit's Perspective on the World." Doll will give a lecture from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, in Bannan Auditorium (102). A reception will be held afterward, from 7 to 9 p.m., in Vachon (FINR 208). The exhibit runs through March 2.
A professor of journalism at Creighton University, Doll has had his photographs published in National Geographic and A Day in the Life of… books. His work has connected him with Native American cultures and brought him to countries in South America and Asia.
"Currently his work has been focused on documenting the efforts of Jesuit Refugee Services around the globe," said Venker. "His most recent dream is to meet Pope Francis and document a 'Day in the Life of the Pope.' If anyone can do this topic justice, and deserves the opportunity it is Fr. Doll."
For a behind-the-scenes look at the installation of Fr. Doll's exhibit, which was featured in The Seattle Times, click here. For more information, contact Em Olson in Fine Arts at email@example.com or 296-2340.
A time of deep joy
Matthew Pyrc, S.J., campus minister, was ordained a deacon on Saturday, Jan. 25. It was the first ordination ever at Seattle University's Chapel of St. Ignatius. Pyrc (right) was ordained by Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain (pictured here at the altar). Joining the archbishop in celebrating the mass were (l. to r.) Deacon Eric Sundrup, S.J., editor in chief of the Jesuit Post; Rev. Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community; Rev. Pat Lee, provincial of the Oregon Province; and Rev. Sean Michaelson, S.J. provincial assistant for formation.
Pyrc is technically a transitional deacon; he will be ordained a priest on June 7 in Spokane.
"The ordination was a profound experience for me filling me with a deep joy and consolation," says Pyrc. "At one point in the ritual I lay prostrated on the floor in front of the altar while we invoke the memory of the Christian community and witnesses, saints, from the time of the apostles to today. We ask them to pray for us. I was moved to tears feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit and knowing that there is a two thousand year history before me. This ordination isn't about me but me vowing to serve in a church meant to serve."
A Michigan native, Pyrc joined the Society of Jesus and entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Portland, Ore. in 2006. As part of his Jesuit formation he studied at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley. He holds a Master of Theology and Licentiate in Sacred Theology. His thesis research was on the transformative impact of immersion programs. Pyrc has been at SU since 2011.
In the Roman Catholic Church, deacons are ordained to assist the bishop and his presbyterate as ministers of the word, altar, and charity. They are authorized to proclaim the Word of God, to preach at Mass, to preside at the sacraments of Baptism and Marriage and at the Rite of Christian Burial.
The next few weeks provide several opportunities for faculty and staff to learn more about a key moment in history of the Jesuits and to explore the Jesuits' significance in world history.
Suppression and Restoration of the Jesuit Order: A Two-Part Series
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus, following a 41-year period in which the Jesuits were suppressed by the pope.
Tom Lucas, S.J., professor of Fine Arts and rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community will speak on "Jesuit Suppression and Restoration: Cultural Contexts and Challenges, 1773-1814" at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at Wyckoff Auditorium. The series continues with Gerald McKevitt, S.J., professor at Santa Clara University, who will give a talk on "Restoration and Relapse: Jesuit Education in the U.S., 1814-1900" at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, again at Wyckoff.
"A significant part of the history of Jesuits has been the relationships between the papacy and the Society of Jesus," says Peter Ely, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry. "That relationship has never been better-having a Jesuit pope helps. It has often been worse, as these lectures will make clear. But it's not only about Jesuit relations with the pope. The causes of Suppression and Restoration are complex and fascinating.
"We are privileged to have two Jesuit historians speak to us on these very significant moments in the history of the Jesuits."
The lectures are sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Mission and Ministry, the Office of Mission and Identity and the Arrupe Community.
Jesuits in World History: A Symposium and Teacher's Workshop
The Society of Jesus was, as one historian has noted, "The most important organization in the early modern world."
The Department of History is hosting a two-day gathering on the historical significance of the Jesuits. On Friday Jan. 31, scholars from England, Canada and the United States will explore emerging scholarship on the critical role that the Jesuits played in shaping world history. Visit Jesuits in World History for more information.
The second day, Feb. 1, is a workshop geared to teachers and focuses on innovative ways to integrate key resources in Jesuit history into world history classes.
"The symposium speakers are designing their talks to be useful for scholars who are familiar with some aspects of Jesuit history and accessible for general audiences who want to have a better appreciation for the role that the Jesuits have played in world history," said Tom Taylor, chair of the history department. He added that there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
SU Jesuits on the run
The Dec. 1 Seattle Marathon was very much a Seattle University affair with Uli Steidl, assistant coach of cross country and track and field, winning it all. It was Steidl's 10th Seattle Marathon victory, giving him the fourth-most titles within a single marathon series in the United States. Meanwhile, alumnus Matthew McClement won the half marathon to ensure a complete Redhawk sweep.
Also running in the marathon were two SU Jesuits. Natch Ohno, S.J., assistant to the vice president for Student Development, completed the full marathon, while Trung Pham, S.J., assistant professor of Fine Arts, did the half.
Reached a few days after his 26.2-mile jog around the greater Seattle area, Fr. Ohno deflected attention from his own accomplishment, instead speaking effusively of Steidl's remarkable feat and praising him for the joyfulness with which he runs. But after some prodding, Ohno, left, spoke a bit about the experience, saying he had run a few full marathons before-including one held in conjunction with the 1990 Goodwill Games that former SU President William Sullivan, S.J., chaired-but that it had been a while since he did one.
Ohno ran in the Seattle half marathon last year and started training this summer for the full. He finished at 5:20. "I made it. That was my goal," he said, adding that the hardest part was the wind, particularly coming across the I-90 floating bridge.
For Fr. Pham, the half marathon was his first ever. He played tennis everyday when he lived in California, but picked up running after moving to Seattle "because of its beautiful nature, clean air and different kinds of trails." He said Fr. Ohno suggested he run in the marathon.
"I did not know I could run that far, but my knees are fine" reported Fr. Pham, right. He finished in 1:47 and is now inspired to train for the full marathon next year.
"Natch is my hero for running a full marathon at the age of 65."
SU grads in JVC
Six Seattle University graduates are currently serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and three are serving in JVC Northwest. (The two organizations share a mission but are operated as independent entities.) Here they are, with their placements and locations noted.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Megan Garay - Catholic Charities Maine, Portland, Maine
Abbey Garrow - Bread of Healing Clinic, Milwaukee, Wis.
Adriana Jackson - Advocates for Children of New York, Inc., Harlem, Ella Baker House
Katherine McGuinn - Raphael House of San Francisco Inc., San Francisco, Calif.
Adam Strizich - St. Joseph's Center - PA, Scranton, Penn.
Jennifer Wirth - United Neighborhood Centers of NE PA, Scranton, Penn.
Erin Boniface, St. Andrew Nativity, Portland, Ore.
Heather Hanson, SAFV, Sitka, Alaska
Andrew Shahamiri, St. Charles Mission School, Billings, Mont.
Thanks to Mike Bayard, S.J., director of Campus Ministry for the information.
Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus, met last month in Chicago with the presidents and board chairs of all 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, as well as the nation's nine provincials and several rectors. SU's President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., who was part of this unprecedented meeting and also chairs the board of directors of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, is pictured here with Father Nicolás and Betty Woods, chair of the SU Board of Trustees.
Father Sundborg called the meeting "an amazing kind of gathering." He was particularly struck by Father Nicolás' encouragement to change the way in which we relate to today's students and, paraphrasing the superior general, to use "a new language" that is "less explicitly religious" and "more of a wisdom language" so that "we can convert students to their humanity…and the depth of who they are."
The full text of the superior general's remarks is now available at America magazine.
(Photo courtesy of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities)
Indulge your inner pilgrim
Faculty and staff are encouraged to take an Ignatian pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome over spring break (March 20-30, 2014). Sponsored by Mission and Ministry and the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life program, the pilgrimage will be led by SU's own Pat O'Leary, S.J., and Natch Ohno, S.J., as well as Gennyn Dennison of SEEL. The experience is a timely opportunity to reflect on the Ignatian and Franciscan foundations that are at the heart of Pope Francis' spirituality. Register today to assure your place!
Here's what some past "pilgrims" have said about their experiences:
"I am not sure what I expected from this pilgrimage, traveling in the footsteps of Ignatius of Loyola. However, I do know that the pilgrimage was just what I needed at this time. For me, this pilgrimage was about my interior life; coming to a clearer awareness of myself: what I need, what I want, what I can do. I understand why Ignatius needed solitude to contemplate and discern AND why he needed companions to discuss with and reflect on his thoughts and actions. I am so grateful to have participated in this pilgrimage, at the sites where Ignatius was, and to have been in the company of a very special group of pilgrims.
- A pilgrim to Spain
"I have returned to the hectic life back home with little time to reflect on our days in Rome. I do carry with me the awe I felt in the first few days, the serenity of being in St. Ignatius' rooms, and the conversations I had with my fellow pilgrims. It was a gift to be a part of this group. I honestly don't know how to express the change I feel inside, it is a new awareness that wasn't there before. I do know there will be changes for me in time and for now I'm trying to find more time to pray. I am grateful to be standing before an open door that is welcoming my first steps.
- A pilgrim to Assisi and Rome
"What a great pilgrimage! I thought I understood some of what Ignatius was saying but I realize now that it had been in 'black and white.' Now it is in vibrant color! I so enjoyed sharing the common element of Ignatian spirituality with everyone."
- A pilgrim to Spain
Meet the 2013-2014 SU Jesuits
Back row (left to right): James Selinsky (Controller's Office), Pat Kelly (Theology and Religious Studies), Dave Anderson (Alumni Relations), John Foster (Assistant to the Dean, Matteo Ricci College), Dave Leigh (English), James Taiviet Tran (Boeing engineer, Vietnamese pastoral ministry), Brendan Busse (Matteo Ricci College).
Second row (left to right): Peter Ely (VP, Mission and Ministry), Trung Pham (Fine Arts), Matthew Pyrć (Campus Ministry), Natch Ohno (Student Development, Assistant Rector), Pat O'Leary (University Chaplain), William O'Malley (Matteo Ricci College), Eric Watson (Chemistry), Josef Venker (Chair, Fine Arts).
Front row (left to right): Mike Bayard (Director, Campus Ministry), Bob Egan (Pastoral Ministry), Steve Sundborg (President), Tom Lucas (Rector), Ron Funke (Pastoral Ministry), Joseph Carver (President, Seattle Nativity School).
Absent: Pat Howell (Professor of Pastoral Theology), Tom Murphy (History), John Topel (Pastor, Port Townsend), Pat Twohy (Director, Rocky Mountain Mission, Urban Native American Ministry), Bill Watson (President, Sacred Story Institute).
Four Jesuits who are or have been members of the Arrupe community are celebrating notable milestones this year. From left to right: James Reichmann, S.J., who moved to Spokane this summer after decades as a philosophy professor and member of the Arrupe community; Mike Kelliher, S.J., who is currently living in California after serving in the Department of Criminal Justice for more than 30 years; Ron Funke, S.J., who lives off campus but is a member of the SU Jesuit community;and Bill O'Malley, S.J., a member of the New York Province who is in his second year as a visiting professor in Matteo Ricci College.
Full of wonder
By Matthew Pyrc, S.J.
This summer eight students, five recent SU alumni and two staff members journeyed to Brazil for MAG+S 2013, culminating with World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro on Copacabana beach with Pope Francis. It was a time of wonder--2,500 people on immersion, three million people at the Papal mass on Copacabana beach! Full of wonder is my description of the three weeks; wonder at the intrinsic goodness of humanity. The joy and excitement of bringing strangers together from across the globe instills hope of the great accomplishments people can achieve when we come together.
The song "Wonder" by Emeli Sand became an unofficial theme song for MAG+S 2013 and was used in a flash-mob dance by the 2,500 pilgrims from Jesuit institutions from around the world. Three lines from the song resonate with the MAG+S pilgrim experience, first: "I can beat the night, I'm not afraid of thunder, I am full of light, I am full of wonder."
The pilgrim experience reminded us of the Gospel message that all of humanity and creation is created by God, loved by God and worthy to be loved. 2,500 pilgrims, mostly Jesuit university students, gathered in Slavador de Bahia, Brazil (the Jesuits first arrived in the New World in Bahia in 1553) to begin a 10-day pre-World Youth day event.
To kick off MAG+S 2013 there was a celebration called a Welcoming of Nations. Delegates from various countries danced and sang, many in full cultural costumes to celebrate our diversity in the body of Christ. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the general superior of the Jesuits, preached at a mass before sending the delegates in experience groups for an immersion. In his homily he told the story of a diocese choosing a giraffe as its symbol--an animal with one of the biggest hearts because it needs a big heart to pump blood all the way to its brain. Because of its long neck it has a high point of view.
"Humanity is more than any one of us has experienced in our own countries" he stated. Approaching the people of Brazil and their fellow pilgrims with a big heart and a broad view can change their lives. He reminded us that our faith resides in our hearts. He challenged us to not get caught up in seeing the sights and miss the people. He encouraged us to see the people, engage the people, heart to heart and we will be changed. We then were divided into experience groups, comprised of various nationalities and multiple languages and sent all over the country for an immersion. Some went on a spiritual pilgrimage, some had a cultural immersion, some did service. All were transformed.
Another line from the flash-mob song, "Wonder": "This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbors, Just reach out and pass it on."Go to your neighbor, MAG+S/WYD was an experience of community. It was noted by several planners of MAG+S that sending people on immersion in groups of various language could be a disaster--no one being able to understand each other. However, that was not to be the case. People took time to sit with each other, find ways to communicate and to share in whatever way they could. It was the common language of the heart that took a potential Tower of Babel experience and made it a Pentecost experience (in which each heard the gospel in their own language). People quickly bonded and formed community with their experience group.
SU student Delaney Piper had this to say:
"One night my Magis small group celebrated Festa Junina with a group staying in São Paulo. We'd been very busy earlier in the day, and many were exhausted and in no mood to celebrate. Some of the group left the party early to relax in the chapel nearby. After hours of dancing with my new friends I, myself now exhausted, went to find my group. When I found them I was greeted with the gleeful smile of my usually reserved new friend Marie. Together we stayed there until the party was done. The next day Marie told me that my coming to find them had made her night, it had felt like we were all family. That hit me hard. It shocks me how such a thing like that, seeking out people where they are, regardless of having been surrounded by festivities in an exotic country, made a night so special for both of us" (Delaney Piper, SU student).
Another SU student, An Le, shared how her relationship with her sister has changed for the better:
"My sister and I both went on the trip, and there was not only a personal transformation, but also a change in our relationship. We have different types of conversations in comparison to before attending Magis and World Youth Day. There's a different tone when we are discussing religion and spirituality."
I believe we will be reaping the fruit of this pilgrimage for years to come. It is a wondrous thing that in such a large gathering of peoples, we can experience very personal encounters and transformations.
After the 10 days of MAG+S, the various experience groups reconvened in Rio for the World Youth Day Celebrations with Pope Francis and the final Mass on the Copacabana beach. In his homily he said what is the Lord saying to us? Three simple ideas: Go, do not be afraid, and serve.
"Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: he sends us to everyone. The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some. It is not only for those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming. It is for everyone. Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent. The Lord seeks all; he wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy and his love." Pope Francis
Finally, the third line from the flash-mob song: "When everything feels wrong, and darkness falls upon ya. Just try sing along, this is a message from Cabana." The theme, the message from Copacabana was "The Nations Await us" they await the love for one another that we are called to share. A rhetorical question was asked of the pilgrims, "Do people really understand the fullness of God's Mercy to everyone?" and "what would it look like for you to live that mercy in your own life?" I wonder? It makes me full of wonder.
The flash-mob video can be found on YouTube at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVfgfKZ-LNo
(Photos provided by Matthew Pyrc, S.J.)
Opening new doors
The continuum of Jesuit education in the city of Seattle is about to expand. Seattle Nativity School, an independent, Catholic middle school in the Jesuit tradition, will open in September, taking its place alongside its "older" sister institutions Seattle University and Seattle Prep. Most important, Nativity extends the Jesuits' time-honored commitment to serving those most in need as the school will enroll low-income, at-risk students from the Central District and South Seattle.
Located at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Catholic Church (2800 S. Massachusetts St.), the coed middle school will begin with an inaugural class of about 20 sixth graders and eventually grow to include fifth through eighth graders. To be admitted, students must qualify for the national free and reduced lunch program.
The new school is modeled after the Mission of the Nativity, which was founded by the Jesuits on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1971. Since then about 60 Nativity schools have opened throughout the country. They are known for successfully preparing children from impoverished backgrounds for high school, and ultimately college.
Seattle University has been an active partner in helping to launch Nativity Middle School. Peter Ely, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry, left, was involved from the get-go and currently serves on the school's board of directors.
Nativity's curriculum will include a strong emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in addition to the firm grounding in the humanities for which Jesuit education is known and revered.
Another focus of the school is its extended-day and extended-year programming, which is intended to both bolster the students' academic development and provide them with a safe place after hours. (The first class of Nativity students got a head start on the school year by attending the Summer Academy, which ran for four weeks in June and July.)
Joseph Carver, S.J., of the Oregon Province has been named Nativity's first president by the Seattle Nativity School Board and Fr. Provincial Pat Lee, S.J. has made him available for this work. Father Carver most recently served as regional superior of the Jesuits in Montana and previously taught at Seattle Prep.
Just up the road from SU, Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Catholic Church is a fitting home for Nativity. The Jesuits have factored prominently in the history of the parish-a number its pastors have been members of the Society of Jesus, and Pat Twohy, S.J., of SU's Arrupe Jesuit Community currently serves as the church's parochial vicar.
For more information, visit Seattle Nativity School.
New rector signals new era
The Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás has appointed Tom Lucas, S.J., art historian at the University of San Francisco, as the new rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community at Seattle University.
Father Lucas, left, will be formally installed as new rector at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, at the Chapel of St. Ignatius, as part of the university's celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius. Lucas will deliver the homily and Pat Howell, S.J., who is finishing his term as rector, will preside.
Earlier in the morning SU's Jesuit community will host a continental breakfast at the Arrupe Jesuit Residence, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Father Howell encourages faculty and staff to attend one or both of the events "to celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius and our own terrific tradition of Jesuit higher education at Seattle University."
Howell will take a sabbatical this coming year and plans to spend the first three months of it on the staff of America, the well-known, national Jesuit magazine exploring religion, culture and politics. He will be living at the America house headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
The appointment of a California Jesuit as rector at Seattle University, Howell said, is part of a transition to a new West Coast province, which will occur in 2017. "The Jesuits of the Northwest are currently in the process of discerning the new provincial for the Oregon Province to replace Pat Lee, S.J., who will finish his term in 2014. Whoever is named the next Oregon provincial will become the West Coast provincial three years later."
The new West Coast province will cover a geographic area from the Mexican border to Point Barrow, Alaska, and from the Pacific Ocean to the North Dakota, Colorado and New Mexico borders. As Howell pointed out, the Oregon and California provinces were actually united until 1932 when the north-south split occurred.
The leaderships of the five Jesuit universities (Loyola Marymount University, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, Gonzaga University, and SU) on the West Coast have already been meeting annually over the last two years to explore all the possibilities for apostolic collaboration within the boundaries of the new province.
You can learn more about Fr. Lucas at his USF web page.
Finding the Sacred in the Everyday
Story by Annie Beckmann
It's no small task when you decide to amplify St. Ignatius Loyola's 16th century examination of conscience to make it inviting, relevant and meaningful to a contemporary lay audience.
Since the early 1990s, William Watson, S.J., has been on that winding path. Motivated by a daily spiritual discipline that proved therapeutic in his own life, Father Watson chose to devote his energies to bringing tools for discernment and reflection to a wider audience. Today, he's an evangelist among students, faculty, administrators and chaplains from other faith traditions, connecting them with the spiritual legacy of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order.
Early on, Fr. Watson, left, decided he wanted to build an Ignatian-based retreat program that might guide religious faithful-Catholics and Christians of all ages-around the world. He served as director of retreats for Georgetown University before he was named vice president for mission at Gonzaga University in 1999. It wasn't until later, though, that he called his program Sacred Stories.
Fr. Watson concentrated on how St. Ignatius developed his Spiritual Exercises with prayers, contemplation and meditations for greater discernment, moral wisdom and, ultimately, deep personal transformation. He reread the saint's autobiography to explore not just the spiritual but the psychological for a closer examination of conscience.
Remarkably, the many life crises Ignatius experienced in the 16th century-narcissism, gambling addiction, aggression and more-make him relevant today, according to Fr. Watson. Learning to recognize who you are, he says, is central to understanding the prayer exercises, which Watson adapted with modern-day approaches for conquering fear, anxiety, grief, sins, addictions and destructive compulsions.
Fr. Watson accumulated thousands of pages of feedback from contemporary Catholic and interfaith audiences on how a 21st-century take on the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises might transform a person's dysfunctional patterns into grace and healing.
In his early 50s he completed his doctorate and returned to SU in 2009 as a resident chaplain at Campion Hall (he previously served at SU as liturgy and music director in 1978.) Last year Watson launched the nonprofit Sacred Story Institute (SSI).
Hundreds of spiritual directors and parishioners-including SU students and alumni-throughout the Seattle Archdiocese have been participating in SSI's research project to help create a pastoral resource of Fr. Watson's Sacred Story method, recently published in the book, Forty Weeks: An Ignatian Path to Christ with Sacred Story Prayer. Participants in the Sacred Story program spend one to two 15-minute sessions daily devoted to awakening one's conscience and consciousness through prayer.
Husband, father and engineer Bret Taylor was raised in Evangelical, Fundamentalist and Gospel churches before he became a Catholic nearly seven years ago. He was among 25 parishioners from Our Lady of the Lake in Seattle who signed on to take part in the 10-week Sacred Story prayer exercises featured in Fr. Watson's book, Sacred Story: An Ignatian Examen for the Third Millennium.
"Sacred Story turned out to be very palatable to a new Catholic with roots on the Protestant end of Christianity," says Taylor. "Early on Sacred Story seemed a two-person effort-myself and God. It was a struggle every single day to read and reread the teaching and to pray and think and attempt to internalize the story."
Julie MacAller says she was motivated to participate in the Ignatian prayer exercises because of a negative impression of it and to have a better relationship with God. MacAller is a 2013 graduate of the Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality program in the School of Theology and Ministry.
While taking part in the prayer exercises was mostly solo, MacAller appreciated the monthly group meetings with Fr. Watson at her parish, Holy Family in Kirkland.
"Those meetings were very helpful because I heard where others were struggling," says MacAller, a recent grad of the master's degree in transforming spirituality from the School of Theology and Ministry. "I also had a good friend who was part of the program and we supported each other through our journeys."
It wasn't always easy, though.
"I was constantly anxious at the beginning about whether I was doing them 'right,' which made them more difficult than they needed to be. Beyond that, I found the basic discipline of prayer periods easy," she says.
Jesuit spirituality has always captivated Tom Schutte, coordinator of Campus Ministry and chair of the religion department at O'Dea High School in Seattle.
"Since my high school days, the Ignatian path has helped me gain intimacy with my faith in Christ and shown me a deeply human route to connect with God," he says.
Jesuit educated at high school and at Boston College where he earned a master's degree, Schutte says both settings were influential for his exposure to Ignatian practices.
His parish, Holy Rosary in Edmonds, offered him the opportunity to work with Sacred Story Institute resources for the individual daily retreat experience.
The dedication to mindful Ignatian prayer has been the most valuable aspect for Schutte.
"With daily dedication to the program, the gentle mercy of God will awaken you to a whole new way to live well. … People are hungry for an experience of God's sacred presence, something that is deep, real, personal and living," he explains. "For me, the Sacred Story Institute program fed this hunger in a unique and special way. It has been like a spiritual surgery that opened up troubled areas and infused new healing and human vitality into my life."
Forty Weeks: An Ignatian Path to Christ with Sacred Story Prayer, Fr. Watson's latest book in the Sacred Story series, is a pastoral resource based on the feedback of those who've tried the weeks long program.
No matter who goes through the experience, Fr. Watson says it makes you look at what might be blocking your surrender to God.
"We experience sickness, disease, sadness and emotional dysfunction of all kinds when we turn from God to satisfy the self," he says. "God is the one who can repair our hearts and get us back on the road of integrated healing."
Learn more about the Sacred Story Institute at http://sacredstory.net/.
More Jesuit trivia
What do quinine, the Nile River and a "scrim" have to do with the Jesuits? In case you missed it, James Martin, S.J., has put together the top ten things you don't know about Jesuits. Check out the complete list at America where you will undoubtedly discover a factoid or two (or more) that you didn't know. Father Martin is pictured here during his visit to SU as keynote speaker at the 2012 School of Theology and Ministry's Search for Meaning Book Festival.
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)
What did you get?
"What do you want?" and "What did you get?" are two questions that seem to dominate our conversations between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In his latest offering for The Jesuit Post, SU Jesuit Brendan Busse tells us what he got for Christmas this year. (Hint: It wasn't a pair of socks.) Check it out here. Busse, an instructor in Matteo Ricci College, is a regular blogger on The Jesuit Post.
Red Friday, the Jesuit way
You could say that school spirit met Ignatian spirituality when these five SU Jesuits gamely showed off their new red threads on a recent afternoon. Pictured here from left to right flashing the Redhawk are Trung Pham (Fine Arts), Matthew Pyrc (Campus Ministry), Steve Sundborg (President), Jason Welle (Education Abroad) and Mike Bayard (Campus Ministry).
And now for the back story…As we know, faculty and staff are encouraged to cap off the work week by decking themselves out in SU colors for "Red Fridays."
Pyrc got to thinking that there had to be a way for him and his Jesuit brothers to do their part, so he went online and found the red clerical shirts--turns out you can order clerical shirts in just about any color of the rainbow. Equally important, he found five other Jesuits willing to participate.
Bill O'Malley, S.J., (left) who is a visiting professor in Matteo Ricci College this year, was tied up with academic duties on the afternoon of the photo shoot, but he did show up, properly attired, just moments after the rest of the group disbanded to get his picture taken with the president.
Father Twohy goes to Rome
Story By: Annie Beckmann
As he stood in the sprawling Vatican City piazza of St. Peter's with thousands who made the pilgrimage to watch Pope Benedict XVI canonize seven saints, Patrick Twohy, S.J., thought to himself, "This is so right, the Church honoring those who lived the beatitudes."
Father Twohy, whose calling to serve Native American people began nearly 40 years ago, couldn't imagine he'd have an opportunity to make the trek to Rome in late October to celebrate the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the very first Native American saint and a member of the Mohawk Tribe. It was the Seattle University Jesuit community that stepped in and wanted to sponsor his trip.
Twohy had never been to the Vatican. Excited as he was before he left, he found himself wrestling with the dichotomy of the setting's grandeur and Kateri's humility.
"I was having a hard time putting together the greatness of Rome and the humbleness of this woman, the difficulties she faced so courageously and how it fit together," he said.
For a little insight, he met with Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. "He told me this was the way it should be because these are all the most beloved," Twohy said.
He signed on to travel with a group of about 40 Native people from several Northwest tribes. Two or three other large Native groups, many of them Mohawks from upstate New York and Canada, made their way to Rome as well.
"We were there with many tribes. They all claim her because the honor of one is the honor of all. That certainly was the case on that wonderful day," Twohy said.
As a member of the Tekakwitha Conference-the only annual gathering of Catholic Native peoples in North America-Twohy had prayed with 800 to 1,200 others for the canonization of Kateri each year since Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980.
Born in 1656 in upstate New York, Kateri was first recommended for sainthood more than a century ago. It wasn't until six years ago, though, that her role in the healing of a gravely ill boy from the Lummi Reservation near Ferndale, Wash., Whatcom County, was deemed a miracle. After 6-year-old Jake Finkbonner received last rites and lay on his deathbed from a flesh-destroying bacterial infection, prayers to Kateri began and a relic of hers was placed on his body. The boy's healing played a role in Kateri's canonization. Jake Finkbonner, now 12, and his family also attended and were celebrated at Kateri's canonization.
Twohy said that for him Kateri represented the efforts of Native women to keep their people together.
"To have her honored is to honor all Native peoples, the sanctity of their lives and the beauty of their culture. I was blessed to be standing in St. Peter's piazza with all these grandmothers and great grandmothers whose guidance I so value," said Twohy. Today he leads 12 Jesuits who serve Native Americans throughout the Northwest with the Rocky Mountain Mission Ministry.
The Jesuits have a 170-year history with Native peoples, according to Twohy, who in 1973 moved to the Colville Reservation at Nespelem, Wash., in Okanogan County.
"That was the beginning and it has gotten deeper and more profound with each year for me," said Twohy, who later lived on the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County for 21 years. "Now I see the world with a double richness. I belong to the Catholic tradition and that world view and to those people whose wisdom spans thousands and thousands of years. I want to journey forever with them into the next world."
Twohy joined the priesthood at 18.
"Ever since I was young, I've always been drawn to the mystery, that which is hidden in all things," he said. "When I met the Jesuits who taught me in high school, I was deeply impressed with the width of their learning, the width of their hearts and their engagement with the world."
Remembering Jesuit martyrs
This month, as we commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the slaying of six Jesuits and their two lay companions at the Universidad Centroamericana, we also remember all the members of the Society of Jesus who have given their lives in service to a faith that does justice.
One of those Jesuits is Rutilio Grande, S.J., for whom a building in the Murphy Apartment complex is named. A proponent of liberation theology, Father Grande was murdered with two other Salvadorans in El Salvador in 1977. Grande's death had a significant impact on his friend, Archbishop Oscar Romero, who after the assasination took an active role in advocating for the poor and oppressed. Archbishop Romero was murdered three years later.
The Jesuits and Vatican II
In case you missed it, Pat Howell, S.J., rector of the SU Jesuit community, has written a piece for the latest Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education. In his article, "The 'New' Jesuits: The Response of the Society of Jesus to Vatican II, 1962-2012: Some Alacrity, Some Resistance," Father Howell provides a wonderful overview and analysis of how the Second Vatican Council impacted the Jesuits and redefined their mission. The fall 2012 Conversations focuses on the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. We all should have received a hard copy of the magazine. For the electronically inclined, Father Howell's article and all the others can be downloaded at Conversations. It should be noted that Father Howell is not only a contributor but he also chair of the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education, which publishes Conversations.
Seattle University is marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council by devoting its Catholic Heritage Lecture Series to the topic. Click here for a list of upcoming speakers.
Cheap-o-cinos with Fr. Venker
Story by: Annie Beckmann
When I asked if he'd like to catch a quick coffee near campus on one of those last sunny days of summer, Father Josef Venker, S.J., had a better idea.
"Let's head over to Arrupe House and I'll make you one," he suggested and off we went.
In no time, he had assembled numerous powders and a couple of familiar liquids on the Arrupe kitchen counter. Fr. Venker towered over a blender and began to work his magic.
"I can't afford very many expensive coffee drinks, so for the past couple of summers I've been making my own," said the chairman of the Fine Arts Department who came to Seattle University in 1994. A native of St. Louis, this year Fr. Venker celebrates the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a member of the Missouri Province.
Over the racket of an ice-crunching blender, he bellowed, "Each batch is a little different. It all depends on how much ice and what optional ingredients I add."
He removed the top of the blender and pointed inside.
"You need to have a vortex there in the center," Fr. Venker warned. "Otherwise it won't break up the ice."
He's on a quest to determine what makes commercial cold coffee drinks especially creamy and smooth.
"I still haven't figured out what their secret ingredient is. I'm guessing it's something that comes from the factory. Maltodextrin, maybe?"
Replicating those secret ingredients is a culinary challenge he enjoys and it extends beyond coffee drinks. When Fr. Venker spends a weekend at the Jesuit retreat house on Beaver Lake, he'll attempt to unmask memorable dishes he may have sampled at Seattle restaurants. He discovered, for example, that adding ¼ cup powdered milk to pizza dough makes it a tad softer.
He said his creative life as an artist often inspires his gastronomic interests, including cooking without recipes. At summer's end, he had to figure out how to make use of 10 pounds of fresh clams on the Washington coast. It seemed like a lot of clams at first, yet he was able to turn the bivalves into three different dishes over Labor Day weekend.
"It comes from living in a community with 24 people. You learn to do things big," he said with a shrug.
When he creates those summer-only coffee drinks, he always makes two of the iced caffeine-rich concoctions at a time. And this past summer, he gave them a name.
"Since these are cost effective and fun, I call them 'Icy Cheap-o-cinos,'" he said with a laugh.
Father Venker's Icy Cheap-o-cinos
2 to 3 teaspoons instant coffee (Sanka for lower caffeine)
2 packets instant cocoa mix (sugar-free, if you like)
1 to 2 cups strong coffee (French Roast is nice)
½ cup half-and-half or whole milk
1 to 3 cups ice (small cubes preferred)
Sugar to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder -or- Caffe D'Amore Mocha Frappe mix
Dollop of whipped cream on top
Add instant coffee, cocoa from packets and strong coffee to a blender and blend well. Turn off blender, add half-and-half or milk and ice. Blend again. You want to be able to see a vortex in the center so you know the ice is breaking up. Add other optional ingredients to taste, if desired. Makes two large Cheap-o-cinos.
Meet the 2012 SU Jesuits
Click on the image for a LARGER VERSION.
Back row (left to right): Dave Anderson (Alumni Relations), Mike Kelliher (Criminal Justice Emeritus), William O'Malley (Matteo Ricci College), John Foster (Assistant to the Dean, Matteo Ricci College), James Taiviet Tran (Boeing engineer, Vietnamese pastoral ministry), Josef Venker (Chair, Fine Arts), Natch Ohno (Student Development, Assistant Rector).
Second row (left to right): Matthew Pyrć (Campus Ministry), Peter Ely (VP, Mission and Ministry), Eric Watson (Chemistry), Jason Welle (Study Abroad), Tom Murphy (History), Lorenzo Herman (STM graduate student), Jim Reichmann (Philosophy Emeritus, Pastoral Ministry), Pat O'Leary (University Chaplain).
Front row (left to right):) Brendan Busse (Matteo Ricci College), John Topel (Pastor, Port Townsend), Mike Bayard (Director, Campus Ministry), Pat Howell (Rector, Professor of Pastoral Theology), Bob Egan (Pastoral Ministry), Trung Pham (Fine Arts), Steve Sundborg (President), Ron Funke (Pastoral Ministry).
Absent: Emmett Carroll (Pastor, Bainbridge), Pat Kelly (Theology, Study of Sport), Dave Leigh (English), Pat Twohy (Director, Rocky Mountain Mission, Urban Native American Ministry), Bill Watson (President, Sacred Story Institute).
Cause for celebration
Six Jesuits well known by the SU campus community, including three faculty and staff, are celebrating significant anniversaries this year. Josef Venker, S.J., chair of Fine Arts, left, is marking his 25th year in the priesthood, while Tom Murphy, S.J., associate professor of history, center, and Mike Bayard, S.J., director of campus ministry, right, are celebrating 25 years in the Society of Jesus. Three other Jesuits who live in the Arrupe community are also marking major milestones this year: John Topel, S.J., currently pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Port Townsend, is celebrating 60 years in the Society, while Bob Egan, S.J., who does pastoral ministry in Seattle, and Emmet Carroll, S.J., pastor of St. Cecelia's Church on Bainbridge Island, are celebrating 50 years in the priesthood. A big congratulations to these wonderful Jesuits!
Jesuit trivia for experts
Paul Brian Campbell, S.J., left, of Loyola Press, writes a blog, "People for Others," which is a great source of information on the Ignatian tradition. In one of his more recent posts, he poses 10 questions on "Jesuit Trivia-Expert Edition." Check it out and let us know if you got them all right.
Guns and God
In the wake of the tragedy in Colorado, James Martin, S.J., has written a compelling piece, "Why Gun Control is a Religious Issue," in America, the only Catholic weekly magazine in the country. Pictured here in February during the School of Theology and Ministry's Search for Meaning Book Festival, Father Martin asserts that gun control should be considered alongside other right to life issues.
The life of Ignatius
As we prepare to celebrate St. Ignatius Day on Tuesday, July 31, it might be worthwhile to reacquaint ourselves with the founder of the Jesuits. If you haven't seen it, here's a video created by Jason Kapell of Fairfield University that recounts Ignatius's life in rather unusual and entertaining way.
Why Jesuit education?
Award-winning journalist and author (and graduate of Gonzaga Prep) Tim Egan delivered Seattle University's undergraduate commencement address and had plenty to say about the impact of Jesuit education. Here are excerpts from his speech:
"How could anything on the 50 acres where you've spent the last four years, that Jesuit oasis in the middle of urban Seattle, affect this messy, troubled planet?
It starts with something simple: Connect to nature. Watch a long-legged blue heron lift off. Nurture a garden. Stick your face in a winter storm. Make wine. Go into the woods in the fall and pick chantrelle mushrooms. Feel the healing power of this planet, and then…go out and fight for it!
You know, these Jesuits were fabulous teachers. What I remember from them is how much they challenged us to think for ourselves, and ignore fads and trends. One priest said you must be in constant search for your God and yourself.
So now, in the face of accelerated change of all our major institutions-technology, democracy, the planet itself-the imperatives of the Jesuit tradition, dating 450 years, are more vital than ever before. And what are those imperatives? To question conventional wisdom, to nurture the heart as well as the mind, to go forth and engage the world.
You leave here today with a commodity from Seattle University. That commodity is the ability to think clearly, to think logically, to think humanely. You've been apprentices of this great tradition until now, when you are released-masters of the method."
James on Jesuits
The ever-effervescent SU student known simply as “James” shares his unique take on Jesuit education.
On being House chaplain
It was about a year ago that Pat Conroy, S.J., of the Oregon Province was confirmed as chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, making him the first Jesuit and only the second Catholic to serve in that role. Father Conroy worked in Campus Ministry at SU during the 1990s. In an interview with The Oregonian earlier this month, Conroy was asked what it's like to minister to what The New York Times has called "one of the most reviled congregations in his country." You can see how he answered that and read the full interview HERE.
Graduation gifts come in many forms, but this year a group of MBA students has chosen a very unconventional and moving way to honor one of their classmates as he prepares to receive his diploma.
Anyone who has read "Life of Purpose" in SU Magazine is familiar with the story of Jean Baptiste Ganza, S.J.: How his family members and friends were murdered during the genocide in Rwanda, and how he has responded to the tragedy by creating new educational opportunities for the young people of his native country.
Ganza has already built a primary school, St. Ignatius, in Kigali. He is now focused on expanding that educational pipeline by constructing a secondary school. When completed, the school will hold 750 students. Pretty heady stuff when you consider that more than 75 percent of Rwandans live below the poverty line and children, on average, receive just three years of schooling.
This is where Father Ganza's MBA classmates come in. They have launched a campaign to raise $15,000 for the school before Ganza graduates on June 10. To learn more about the effort and how you can help support it, please visit the St. Ignatius School Rwanda Campaign.
Visiting with Fr. Pribek
Father James Pribek, associate professor of English at Canisius College in Buffalo, joined the English Department in the College of Arts and Sciences this spring as the LeRoux Scholar. Father Pribek will give a public lecture, "'When Hope and History Rhyme': Irish Literature as a Resource for Hope," on May 10 at 4 p.m. in Wyckoff Auditorium. He recently took the time to field some questions from The Commons.
On his upbringing:
I was born and raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where my father practiced medicine for almost 40 years. I grew up in a big Catholic family: I am number five of seven. We knew plenty of families larger than ours, however: those were the years when parents could afford to have more than a few children, and neighborhoods and schools provided a lot of help. With those kinds of numbers, we had our own "kids' culture" in which the older siblings, friends and teachers filled in for parents for a good portion of the day.
On why he decided to enter the Jesuits:
I locate the roots of my vocation in the Catholic culture of the place and time. To be Catholic meant to be literate, funny, community-minded and culture-friendly. The optimism about the church's place in the world ignited by Vatican II was still very much alive. I went to a large state university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which I loved. At that time a group of Jesuits, some doing doctoral studies and some full-time, helped at the university's Catholic center, and they provided me with all sorts of new images of priests. One was a spirited preacher who routinely filled the church to capacity and beyond for his Sunday morning masses; another was an eloquent, scholarly Jesuit who seemed to have just the right word for the meditative Sunday night masses.
I met up with Jesuits again after graduation when I was living in Milwaukee: my sister worked at Marquette University, and there I came to know Jesuits as her associates and friends. The Jesuits struck me as quite different, one from another, but all seemed energetic, witty, kind and caught up with the best things happening in their fields of endeavor. Somehow I got the impression that a life given to the Jesuits would not be ruled by fear and conformity, and would be a life of consequence and exploration of the good and the Godly. I joined the order in 1987 alongside Marquette grad, Mike Bayard, and despite the usual amount of challenges, changes and hard times, I haven't really looked back. My impression that, for better or worse, this would not be a way of life tainted by regret, has certainly proven true.
On his home institution:
At Canisius, I teach all the Irish literature courses as well as a good few introductory English and Honors core courses. My Irish classes include surveys of poetry, prose, and drama as well as seminars in the work of James Joyce and W.B. Yeats. I also preside at campus masses and direct students on Campus Ministry's Ignatian retreats. I advise many English students and in recent years have directed our department's activities for students and faculty, including our annual banquet. I have a host of smaller duties, but the ones I have listed would take up most of my time. On weekends I routinely assist three Buffalo parishes. In the summers I try to prepare and present papers at conferences dedicated to the study of James Joyce and John Henry Newman, the two writers on whom my doctoral dissertation was focused.
On what he's doing at SU this quarter:
I always put teaching first, so my first job here is teaching my course in Modern Irish Drama. I am also preparing a talk on hope in Irish literature that I'll offer as the LeRoux Lecture (again, on May 10). I am preparing two more papers for presentation and, I hope, publication: one on the real-life preacher of the infamous sermon on hell in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and another on a longtime promoter of Cardinal Newman's work in the theological world.
On his time at Seattle University:
I enjoy getting to know this area and this university, whose model and mission are close to that of my home school, though there are also some significant differences. I think that is part of being a visiting professor: the exchange of ideas about education and service within the ever-more-united network of Jesuit universities. Administrative staff from the Jesuit schools routinely gather for this kind of exchange and support, but we faculty, less so. All of us need it in order to stay informed and flexible, and to remind us that we are part of a cooperative, worldwide endeavor.
I have been much impressed by Seattle University's spiritual ministry, especially the Novena of Grace and the Holy Week services. There is real life, energy and joy there. The Jesuit Community enjoys the reputation as one of the best in the country, and I have certainly found it so. The campus is compact but it does not feel crowded or even especially urban: the trees, green spaces and the Quad create a more natural and human atmosphere. Because I love to walk and to explore cities, I enjoy the proximity to the downtown area. If there have been any surprises, they would be the quietness of the campus after-hours and the weather, which is changeable but overall quite pleasant and full of the beauties of spring.
On what's next for him:
I will be at Seattle University until the middle of June, at which time I'll travel to Los Angeles and complete the second summer of my tertianship with the California Program. This year away from Canisius has provided time not only for rest and renewal, but also to do tertianship and to complete a number of personal and research projects. I went straight from formation into doctoral studies and then into teaching, so the last year allowed me to "catch my breath" and refocus my energies. I needed that after 25 years in the Jesuits, but also after the experience of losing my parents in recent years. In God's providence I was able to be present for their final illnesses and deaths, which was a profound blessing. Yet the experience of losing a parent is also earth-shattering on a number of levels. As I see spring emerge here, I think of a poem that has helped me grieve: Philip Larkin's "The Trees," and its poignant closing line expressing the message of the new leaves and blossoms: "Begin afresh, afresh, afresh."
Ever wonder why so many Jesuit schools like Seattle U are located in cities? Thomas Lucas, S.J., of the University of San Francisco, might be the best person to answer that question, and he'll be at Seattle University this month.
A leading authority on the Jesuits' special affinity for urban areas, Father Lucas authored Landmarking: City, Church and Jesuit Urban Strategy, which won an Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award in 1998. Lucas will speak on that topic when he visits SU on Monday, April 16. Faculty and staff are invited to RSVP for the event, which begins with an optional tour of the Chapel of St. Ignatius that leaves from 1313 E. Columbia (3:30-4:30 p.m.) and continues with an opportunity to socialize (4:30-5 p.m.) before Lucas gives his presentation (5 to 6:15 p.m.).
Robert Schwartz, associate vice president for Facilities Services, heard Lucas speak at USF last spring. "I was captivated by how strategic the Jesuits were in locating their institutions and ministries," Schwartz says. "It's not by happenstance that they chose to be in the heart of the city. Having Father Lucas here will be an opportunity for us to reflect on why it matters that there's a Jesuit school in Seattle."
Lucas' visit is being co-sponsored by Facilities Services and Mission and Ministry. Schwartz says there has been broad interest in the presentation, pointing to significant sponsorship support from the design and construction community as one indication.
Lucas, professor of Art+Architecture and director of USF's Thacher Gallery, is an internationally recognized expert in Jesuit art history, as well as a liturgical designer and artist with an international portfolio. As a graduate student, Lucas designed and directed the restoration of St. Ignatius' apartments in Rome. He has received an award from the American Institute of Architects and has been involved in a variety of projects, including the restoration of the St. Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai, which was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution.
Dean Phillips in Rome
March 20, 2012
By Joe Phillips, dean of the Albers School of Business and Economics
Earlier this month, I traveled to Rome for a board meeting of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS). The meeting took place in the Jesuit Curia, which is very near the Vatican. The Curia is a series of buildings containing offices, residences and meeting rooms, something like a very crowded college campus (not a lot of open space). Although not in the boundaries of Vatican City, the Curia is considered part of the Vatican from a legal standpoint and not part of Italy.
Most of the IAJBS board consists of business school deans from around the world. In addition to board members from the U.S. like me, members came from Belgium, Spain, India, the Philippines and Korea.
The meetings took place March 8-9. The highlight was our visit with Superior General Adolfo Nicolas. I was very impressed with the Father General. He has a very self-deprecating sense of humor and seems very humble. He was amused that everyone wanted a picture with him and maybe even puzzled by it. The purpose of the meeting was to familiarize him with IAJBS and to learn how IAJBS could assist the work of the worldwide Jesuit order.
The Father General emphasized the important role of business schools at Jesuit universities, noting that business "has more attraction" than philosophy and theology. He noted that business without ethics leads to "disaster," and said that due to recent events the world is now more open to an ethical approach to business. He would like to see the Jesuit business schools lead the way in thinking about business in a different way, one that is more holistic and dedicated to the common good.
The rest of the meeting was taken up with planning for the IAJBS conference in Barcelona in July, reviewing the finances of the organization and discussing the relationship between IAJBS and Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE). CJBE has historically been a U.S.-centric organization, but the plan is to become an organization to serve business faculty at Jesuit schools around the world.
We also were updated on plans to establish Jesuit business schools in Africa. Projects in Kenya, Rwanda/Burundi, Ivory Coast, the Congo, Burkina Faso and a new one in Nigeria are all at different stages of planning. The hope is that IAJBS schools in other parts of the world will assist with this initiative. It does not seem like much progress has been made in this effort, and at this point there is not an obvious way that the Albers School can assist. We will continue to monitor how this develops and how we might contribute.
To read other posts by Dean Phillips, visit his blog.
Janowiak and Eblen on Vatican II
St. James Cathedral is marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council with a speaker series, and the first two lectures will be delivered by scholars with SU ties.
Paul Janowiak, S.J., left, will get the series started with a talk "On Liturgy...Ever Ancient, Ever New: Liturgical Reform as an Expression of a Vatican II Vision of the Church" at 7 p.m. on March 15. Father Janowiak had been at the School of Theology and Ministry before leaving last year to join the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara in Berkeley, Calif.
Father James Eblen, associate professor in the School of Theology and Ministry, will present "On Dei Verbum and the Council's Insights Into Scripture" at 7 p.m. on April 30. Both lectures will take place at Cathedral Hall. For a full schedule of the series and for more information, visit Mission and Ministry.
Jesuit leadership redefined
Increasingly, as we know, non-Jesuits are becoming presidents of Jesuit institutions in the United States, but in case you've lost track of how many there actually are, the latest issue of the magazine Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education has made it easy by running profiles of the 10 non-Jesuits who are currently serving as president. The list includes a Catholic priest of another religious order, Rockhurst's Rev. Tom Curran of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, and a Protestant, David Burcham of Loyola Marymount. Burcham was featured in a recent LA Times article, reprinted by The Seattle Times, titled "Protestant president helps cultivate university's Jesuit roots."
The 10 non-Jesuit leaders listed alphabetically by institution with the years they assumed the presidency are:
Canisius College - John Hurley (2010)
Georgetown University - John DeGioia (2001)
Gonzaga University - Thayne McCulloh (2010)
LeMoyne College - Fred Pestello (2008)
Loyola Marymount - David Burcham (2010)
Rockhurst University - Rev. Tom Curran, OSFS (2006)
St. Joseph's University - John Smithson (Interim, 2011)
St. Peter's College - Eugene Cornacchia (2007)
University of Detroit Mercy - Antoine Garibaldi (2011)
Wheeling Jesuit University - Richard Beyer (2011)
You can read more about them at Conversations or on pages 18-19 of the hard copy version, which all faculty and staff receive. By the way, Conversations is published by the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education, of which Pat Howell, S.J., rector of the SU Jesuit community is chairman.
Living the mission
As previously reported in All Things Jesuit, Magis: Alumni Living the Mission has launched a new series that profiles alumni of Jesuit institutions. The first to be featured are a mother and son duo, Nancy and Clay Walton-House, both graduates of Seattle University. You can read more about them at Living the Mission
A new book for the Bible?
Jesuit playwright Bill Cain has done it again. Following his critically acclaimed play "Equivocation," which premiered in 2009, Father Cain is back with his latest offering, "How to Write a New Book for the Bible." Rector Pat Howell, S.J., attended a preview of the play, which is at the Seattle Repertory Theatre through Feb. 5. In his latest column for The Seattle Times, Father Howell writes: "(Cain's play) invites all of us to discover our own symbols and to write our own sacred story. Simultaneously, it's a revelation about the Bible itself as the intimate, confusing, ongoing saga of God's love for every family."
Read Father Howell's column for a recounting of the conversation he had with Father Cain at the preview.
Visit Seattle Repertory Theatre for more information on the play.
Magis gets a new look
Having just celebrated its fifth anniversary this past year, Magis is rolling out a new logo and campaign called “I am Magis. We are Magis.” There’s also a special party you’re invited to attend at the end of the month (more on that in a moment).
The new logo incorporates a flame “to signify the spirit of the Jesuit, Ignatian tradition that is first ignited in students and then lived out by alumni in their various vocational paths,” explains Brooke Rufo Hill, director of Magis. The office also tweaked its tagline to read “Alumni Living the Mission.” (The previous version was “Alumni Committed for Mission.”)
Since 2006, Magis has served more than 1,300 graduates of Jesuit institutions in the Puget Sound area each year. Alumni from all 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities are invited to participate in Magis events, which include opportunities to explore Ignatian spirituality, serve others in the Jesuit tradition, and pursue further leadership formation.
The “I am Magis. We are Magis.” campaign will feature a series of Jesuit-educated men and women who are living the mission. To nominate someone you know (or even yourself) to be highlighted, visit the Magis Living the Mission web page.
As for the party, it will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the LeRoux Room (STCN 160). To RSVP, please e-mail Magis by Jan. 25. The Magis staff, advisory board, campus and community partners and program co-founders Mike Bayard, S.J., and Erin Swezey, hope to see you there.
Selfless in Seattle
Fifteen recent college graduates are serving as Jesuit Volunteers (JVs) right here in Seattle. In fact, there are two Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest communities in the city, with eight volunteers living in the Seattle Cherry Abbey house and seven in the Seattle Mercy house. Of the 15 Seattle-based volunteers, seven attended Jesuit colleges and universities.
Jesuit Volunteers commit to a yearlong experience that is steeped in the values of spirituality, social justice, community and social justice. Following are the JVs at each Seattle community, along with their alma maters, their specific volunteer roles and the agencies at which they are placed.
Seattle Cherry Abbey (top photo): Kevin Duffy-Greaves, University of Portland, asylum advocate and intake coordinator, Northwest Immigrants Rights Project; Sarah Moran, Providence College, outreach and communications coordinator, Puget Sound Sage; Clare Garvey, Boston College, grassroots advocacy coordinator, Food Lifeline; Alissa Cowan, Gonzaga, JV assistant, Noah Sealth (Seattle); Chelsea Wagner, St Olaf's, assistant, Providence Hospitality House; Caitrin Coccoma, Villanova, JV café manager, Recovery Café; Matthew Pazderka, University of Saint Thomas-MN, housing support specialist/Case Aide, Community House; and Wesley Leftwich, University of Georgia, clinical case manager and peer support, Community House.
Seattle Mercy (bottom photo): Kevin Nuechterlein, Loyola University Chicago, rehabilitation counselor, Transitional Resources; Karin Holmgren, San Diego State, case manager, Full Life Care; Matt Driscoll, Boston College, financial literacy coordinator, El Centro de la Raza; Caitlin Lanigan, Holy Cross, mainstream services liaison, LIHI Urban Rest Stop; Jennifer Leard, St. Louis University, volunteer coordinator, Recovery Café; Kandace Arens, Santa Clara, community support coordinator, The Wintonia; and Matt Tyksinski, Holy Cross, client services coordinator, Real Change.
For more information, visit JVC Northwest.
Becoming a Jesuit
(This is the final profile of the three new Jesuits who have joined Seattle University this academic year. You can scroll down to read the previous two.)
At various stages in his life, the Jesuits were a presence in Matthew Pyrc’s life. Eventually, he decided to join them.
After earning his undergraduate degree at Franciscan University, Pyrc joined the Franciscans. “I did my theology studies with them, but we actually studied at a Jesuit school (Regis College at the University of Toronto).”
Pyrc was in his final semester when he decided to leave. He returned to his native Michigan and, after finishing the theology degree on his own—with some financial help from the Jesuits—he worked with juvenile delinquents in a group home. Pyrc (“pier-urch”) then moved to Spokane, Wash., where his brother lives. He worked for 10 years with at-risk youth, first providing employment training and later running an intervention program to help keep students from dropping out of high school.
While living in Spokane, Pyrc became involved with St. Aloysius Parish which is near Gonzaga University and steeped in the Jesuit tradition. “That’s where I met the Jesuits,” he says. Through the parish, Pyrc became involved in social justice ministry and did the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL).
Around this time, he and his friend took a vacation to Africa. “It was in the back of a pickup truck on a safari that we were reflecting on what a life-changing trip this was and talking about what we would do next.
“I was thinking Peace Corps at the time, but what I wanted was an experience of spirituality and community, and as wonderful as the Peace Corps is, I wasn’t going to find those (there). So I started talking with the Jesuits, and the rest is history.”
Of course, that history continues to be written. Pyrc, who entered the Jesuits in 2006, arrived at SU this summer after completing his theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He’ll be here two to three years for the regency phase of his formation. Pyrc is part of the Campus Ministry team, working with students on social justice ministry, immersion trips and other service projects, as well as providing spiritual direction.
His early impressions of SU? “People have been very welcoming. The students are fun and full of energy, and the Sunday night liturgies are just amazing. There’s a lot of life on this campus.”
In his free time, Pyrc likes bicycling and spinning class. He’s recently gotten into photography and is sitting in on a digital photography class taught by Claire Garoutte of the Fine Arts faculty.
Is the Seattle rain bothering him? “Not yet,” he says, with laugh, adding, “When I was in Berkeley, I did an immersion program in Colombia. So I experienced the rainy season there, but, there, it was more of a torrential downpour, so it’s very different from the rain we have here.”
Engaging the world
After serving in the Peace Corps, Jason Welle was pretty certain he was being called to the priesthood. What he wasn’t so sure of was what sort of priest he wanted to be.
For part of his vocational discernment process, Welle did what any reasonable person with a questioning mind—and computer—would do in the early 21st century: he took to the Internet. And the more research he did online, the clearer it became that he belonged with the Jesuits.
“I knew the Jesuits by reputation only, mainly for their commitment to social justice,” he says. “And I knew I wanted to do something that combined my interest in international development with a deep spirituality and service as a priest. I could see myself fulfilling both of those desires as a Jesuit.”
Welle entered the Jesuits in 2006. After completing his master’s in philosophy at Fordham University, he joined SU in August. He expects to be here for the next two or three years, for the period of a Jesuit’s formation that is known as regency. During this phase, Jesuits work in a variety of ministries before returning to school for theological studies.
At SU, Welle is serving as special projects coordinator in Global Engagement. He’s currently working on the office’s website to make it more engaging for SU students interested in studying abroad and prospective international students who might want to enroll here. He’s also researching some potential new exchange partnerships and doing some student advising in Education Abroad.
For Welle, entering the priesthood was not a completely out-of-leftfield decision. He attended a high school seminary, but left to enroll at UC-Santa Cruz. After earning a degree in community studies, which is a social justice-oriented major, Welle bounced around for a while, working as a travel agent and eventually a flight attendant. He loved the chance to travel and see the world, but after a while, it got old. Welle decided to engage the world in a deeper way. He took a leave of absence from the airline and joined the Peace Corps.
Placed in Malawi, Welle did field work as a community health volunteer. “The Peace Corps is really where I discovered my vocation to enter the Society,” he says. “Getting out of the U.S. fish bowl, gave me a new perspective on the world and America’s place in it.”
Welle was in Malawi for 9/11, an experience that he says completely reshaped his view of the world. “I was living in a country where 3,000 people died every week from HIV and AIDS—that’s about what the death toll was in the towers. People there were living at a level of poverty that we just don’t know in the same way here in the U.S. They had hardly even seen a two- or three-story building, much less a 150-story tower. It was just beyond their worldview. 9/11 just sort of awakened me out of a slumber or a complacency about America’s role and my own place in the world.”
The event was transformative for Welle in other important ways, too. “There’s a lot of downtime in Peace Corps, especially in Malawi, where there’s 12 hours of night, without a television and not much radio. I became very introspective. I think, without realizing it, I was praying, really yearning to understand who I was.”
A Jesuit usually applies to either the province where he’s living at the time or the province where he’s from. When Welle applied, he was living in Washington, D.C., but didn’t feel a strong connection to the area. “I’m from California, so it would’ve been natural for me to join that province, but since I was looking on the Internet and didn’t really understand the provincial system, I was reading about the Oregon Province and its historic relationship with the Province of Zambia-Malawi. So that connection is what first drew me in this direction.”
For Welle, his enjoyment of hiking and interest in skiing (which he plans to take up this winter) are added benefits to living in the Northwest. He’s just as well-suited to SU, saying that the care the university gives to individual students was readily apparent from the conversations he had with faculty and staff during his interview. “You don’t find that in a lot of universities, and even at a lot of Jesuit universities, it’s not as strong (a commitment) as it is here.”
SU’s eco-friendly ethic is also not lost on Welle. “Especially from my time in the Peace Corps, I developed a really strong awareness of sustainability issues, and I’m really impressed with the way Seattle U has made that a priority and incorporated so many things into its basic operations.”
The journey to Yes
Some Jesuits take a fairly straight path to their vocations. For others…well, not so much. Lorenzo Herman would fall into the second category, having come to his calling by way of a somewhat circuitous route.
Herman, who arrived at SU this summer as a scholastic to study in the School of Theology and Ministry, was raised a Baptist and spent the first part of his life in Georgia. His family relocated to Cleveland, and while he was still in middle school, he was strongly encouraged to attend St. Ignatius, the city’s Jesuit high school. He did, and got very involved in campus ministry, even helping to lead retreats.
When Herman was a senior in high school, he was invited to dinner at the Jesuit residence. To Herman, it was simply an opportunity to see the newly built house and get a good meal. His hosts had something else in mind. They started talking about vocations and asked Herman and the other classmates who were attending the dinner to consider becoming Jesuits.
“This was bizarre for me,” Herman remembers. “For one, I wasn’t Roman Catholic, and number two, I thought, ‘Maybe there’s something wrong with me that they think I don’t want to get married and have kids.’”
Herman let the Jesuits know he was not Roman Catholic. “They said, ‘Yeah, we know. We’ll take care of that later.’”
Driving home that evening with his mother, he told her about the invitation. She asked what he thought. “I don’t want to be a priest,” he replied. “But maybe I’ll be Catholic.”
The following year, 1993, Herman went through the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults program at Spring Hill College where he was a student and was confirmed as a Roman Catholic. For financial reasons, he had to leave the Jesuit college in Mobile, Ala., and wound up enlisting in the Air Force.
He was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base just outside of Spokane. Although he was right in Gonzaga University’s backyard, Herman didn’t realize the school was Jesuit. It was only when he started doing theater in Spokane in the late 1990s that he became acquainted with a few Jesuits, including Jack Bentz, S.J., current adjunct professor in Fine Arts. Herman started asking questions about becoming a Jesuit. Bentz put him in touch with the vocation director, Steve Lantry, S.J.
Herman decided to apply to be a Jesuit. “But I had a lot of anxieties about it. I was losing sleep.” Venturing further into the discernment process, Herman came to see he wasn’t quite ready to jump from one highly structured organization (the military) to another (the Society of Jesus). He needed some time to enjoy his newfound freedom.
Just as he was coming to that realization, Herman received a call from Father Lantry. “He said, ‘I’ve got good news and bad news, Lorenzo,’” Herman remembers. Lantry delivered the bad news first—Herman’s application was deferred.
“I was relieved,” he says, laughing and leaning in as if to convey a secret. “That wasn’t bad news to me.”
The good news was that he could enter the following year. But that didn’t happen either. Herman wound up moving to San Diego, where he worked for an HIV-AIDS health clinic and served as board president for a nonprofit organization. He joined a local parish that, unbeknownst to him, was run by the Jesuits. “I was thinking, ‘OK, I just can’t get away from the Jesuits.’”
He found his work and life rewarding. “But there was something that was still missing.” In 2006, he called Lantry to say he wanted to reapply to the Jesuits. “Well, I’ve been waiting,” Lantry told Herman, before sending him the PDF of the application.
“This time, I was yearning (to join the Jesuits), I was impatient with the process and was like, ‘Let’s do this now!’”
One of the most meaningful experiences Herman has had as a Jesuit so far is the 30-day silent retreat, on which he was invited to reflect upon the question, “Who am I?”
“I didn’t know much about my family history. I could only go back to my grandparents. I think that’s common for many African Americans because most of us don’t know where our family came from because of slavery. The fruit of the Spiritual Exercises was for me to do my genealogy, and it’s still ongoing. I’ve gone back to the 1700s for my African ancestry and back to the 15th century for my European ancestry." Herman has learned that he is descended from slaves on both sides of his family.
“The graces of that retreat are still working through me now as I learn more about not just who I am but my family and discover God’s graces and movements even in traumatic events like my family’s history, and dealing with the tensions of living with the questions and not having all the answers. This has been very important in the development of my identity as a Jesuit.”
Having earned his B.A. in philosophy and African studies, Herman is now enrolled in the School of Theology and Ministry’s Transformational Leadership program. He feels very much at home.
“I think what makes Seattle U and STM so special is that people from all kinds of backgrounds feel welcome to come here, even if they’re not Catholic. I just find that very amazing. I would argue that what Seattle U is doing is frontier ministry. We’re working with people who are not Catholic, or may not be Christian, and finding a way to build relationships so we can find God in our own personal experiences.
“That’s how I became Catholic. When I was in high school, I was never proselytized or told I had to be one. It was always just an open invitation to participate, and that was part of my conversion experience. I always felt welcome at the table. So being here in this way, reminds me of my introduction into the Catholic faith through the Jesuit lens.”
In his spare time, Herman likes to cook, hike, write poetry and act. He took up the violin a couple years ago. And yet what he most enjoys doing is likely to surprise you.
“People may consider this mundane, but I really enjoy organizational development work. I like to write grants and bylaws and do strategic planning.”
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a pilgrim? Well, here’s your chance.
Faculty and staff are invited to literally follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola this spring as Pat O’Leary, S.J., and Natch Ohno, S.J., lead a pilgrimage through Spain to visit the sites that were pivotal in the Jesuit founder’s spiritual awakening and formation.
"The pilgrimage is a way of grounding the Ignatian experience in the places where St. Ignatius lived and moved,” says Father O’Leary, chaplain for alumni and staff, who has been leading trips like this for years. “The pilgrimage provides a concrete connection to the graces and movements that many people find in Ignatian spirituality.”
|Among other sites, pilgrims visit Manresa, pictured here with the jagged peaks of Montserrat in the background. St. Ignatius had a profound spiritual experience at the River Cardoner (foreground) that helped shape his writing of the Spiritual Exercises and founding of the Jesuit Order. |
Over 12 days this March, (14-25), Fathers O’Leary and Ohno will lead a group of pilgrims, as they are called, on a journey that includes such destinations as Loyola, where Ignatius was raised, Pamplona, where he took part in a battle that left him seriously wounded and questioning his purpose in life, and Montserrat and Manresa, where Ignatius’s spirituality was shaped.
The pilgrimage will resonate with those who are connected in some way with Ignatian spirituality, whether they’ve been working at a Jesuit institution such as Seattle University or involved with a Jesuit parish or some other ministry associated with the order.
For those just beginning to acquaint themselves with the life of Ignatius, O’Leary says the trip can provide an entrée to Ignatian spirituality. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a pilgrim to begin meeting with a spiritual director or to make the Spiritual Exercises after going on the trip.
Yet it’s not just “beginners” who find value in the pilgrimage. The more seasoned Ignatian veterans who go on the trip often come away with a heightened appreciation for the man whose spirituality is so central to the Jesuit mission.
Before going on his pilgrimage in 2006, Le Xuan Hy, associate professor of psychology, was already well-versed in the life and spirituality of Ignatius. “I had visited Loyola a decade before, took the complete (30-day) Spiritual Exercises three times, and directed others through it, so I thought I knew Ignatius.
“Yet Ignatius and his ‘great desires’ came alive in Fr. Pat, at each and every location, from the battle scene at Pamplona, to the Casa Loyola, to the magnificent cliffs of Monserrat and the Black Madonna before whom Ignatius made the grand offering of his life and, finally, to the little town of Manresa where he experienced grounding and transformation that opened mind and heart to ‘the greater glory of God.’”
Mary-Antoinette Smith, associate professor of English and director of Women Studies, went on the 2010 pilgrimage with a similarly deep background in Ignatian
spirituality, having made three- and five-day silent retreats, the nine-month Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) retreat and most recently, the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Still, the journey in Spain brought new texture to her experience.
Are you interested in being a part of the “Following in the Footsteps of Ignatius” pilgrimage this spring?
Click here for the details and to find out how to register.
“As someone who has consistently participated in many things Ignatian over the past 18 years,” she says, “the chance to visit firsthand the places where St. Ignatius was wounded, transformed, converted and inspired to found the Society of Jesus for the purpose of spreading the Good News, ‘Ad majorem Dei Gloriam,’ was illuminating. It was a grace-filled experience that I recommend enthusiastically to others as an enriching opportunity.”
For Hy, the experience in Spain continues to sustain him spiritually. “The pilgrimage grows dearer for me. I am still drawing deeper from Fr. Pat’s talks and the images, both physical and mental. Can I go again?”
A special Mass was held Sept. 25 at the Chapel of St. Ignatius to honor the four SU Jesuits celebrating jubilee anniversaries this year. From left to right, Pat Howell, S.J., rector of the Arrupe Community, entered the Jesuits 50 years ago; Dave Anderson, S.J., chaplain for alumni, became a Jesuit 25 years ago; Pat O’Leary, S.J., chaplain for faculty and staff, was ordained 50 years ago; and Steve Sundborg, S.J., president, entered the order 50 years ago.
Read THE HOMILYthat Father Howell delivered at the Mass.
SU Jesuits: 2011 edition
Members of SU's Arrupe Community gathered for their annual photo on Sept. 21.
Back row (left to right): Dave Anderson (Alumni Relations), Bob Grimm (Sabbatical), Josef Venker (Chair, Fine Arts), Pat Kelly (Theology, Study of Sport), Steve Sundborg (President), Dave Leigh (English)
Second row (left to right): Peter Ely (VP Mission and Ministry), Jim Reichmann (Philosophy Emeritus, Pastoral Ministry), Hugh Duffy (English, Theology), Mike Bayard (Director, Campus Ministry), Eric Watson (Chemistry), Tom Murphy (History), Pat O’Leary (University Chaplain), Natch Ohno (Student Development, Assistant Rector), Fernando Álvarez Lara (Hispanic Ministry, Doctoral candidate, San Francisco Theological Seminary)
Front row (left to right): James Taiviet Tran (Boeing Engineer, Vietnamese pastoral ministry), Matthew Pyrć (Campus Ministry), Jason Welle (Global Engagement), Pat Howell (Rector, Professor of Pastoral Theology), Lorenzo Herman (STM Student), Jean Baptiste Ganza (MBA student), Mike Kelliher (Criminology)
Absent: Emmett Carroll (Pastor, Bainbridge), Bob Egan (Pastoral Ministry), John Foster (Matteo Ricci College, English), Ron Funke (Pastoral Ministry), John Topel (Pastor, Port Townsend), Pat Twohy (Superior Rocky Mountain Mission, Urban Native American Ministry), Bill Watson (Director, Sacred Story Institute)
Click the image or here for a LARGER VERSION.
Catching up with Joe Orlando
Assistant Vice President for Mission and Ministry Joe Orlando is back at SU, recharged, ready to go and even more convinced that Jesuit education is at its best when it’s global. Orlando, his wife Carla and twin 12-year-old daughters spent last year in Italy, where Joe and Carla did campus ministry work for Gonzaga University’s study abroad program in Florence. The opportunity was presented by Pat Burke, dean of the program who previously worked with the Orlandos at SU. Father Burke wanted to create a more pastoral presence for the Florence program which enrolls about 150 students. With SU’s blessing, Joe took a leave of absence from the university, and he and Carla provided retreats and service experiences, coordinated liturgy planning, did music ministry and collaborated with Jesuit who traveled from Rome to say Mass on Sundays. At the request of The Commons, Joe recently sat down to explain why he went to Florence, what he got out of the experience and what it was like to relocate his family for the year.
The Commons: So, why did you do this?
Joe Orlando: After 20 years working here, it was really a good time to take a leave from SU. I needed to refresh myself professionally and personally and then come back with renewed creative energy. That was my aspiration going into it. I’m very grateful Peter Ely (vice president for Mission and Ministry) and Father Sundborg (president) and Jen Tilghman-Havens and my colleagues in Mission and Ministry who stepped up and said, “We can support you in this unique moment.”
The Commons: And were your aspirations realized?
|Carla and Joe Orlando, with their daughters (left to right) Sophia and Josephine, as they make their way back home after a yearlong adventure in Florence, Italy. |
Joe Orlando: Yes. I feel excited to be back. I feel like I’ve learned a great deal. It was very important culturally for me to connect with my heritage—I’m half Italian. I had studied in Florence as an undergraduate and that was a very significant point in my academic career, so it actually meant a lot to be working with students at the exact point in their career that I now look back and say, “That was a pivot point for me in looking a the world in a different way—thinking about language, culture and the global community.” Now (in Florence), I was able to work with students as a campus minister in such a way that I could accompany them on their own journeys. It was really a beautiful full circle.
It also strengthened my passion for the global dimension of Jesuit higher education. I met with the interim secretary for Jesuit higher education who is located in Rome and had the chance to learn more about what’s going on globally for Jesuit institutions in all the different countries around the world. I also did some research around that topic and became more interested in that. So at a time when SU is making a stronger commitment to global engagement, I have become even more energized and invested in that aspect of our trajectory as an institution.
The Commons: You originally came to SU as a campus minister, and over time your work has put you more in contact with faculty and staff. In working with students in the Florence program, it seems you were getting back to your roots, in a sense.
Joe Orlando: Yes. I really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with students in an important way. I love working with faculty and staff, but this was a way to have a lot of contact with students at an important time in their lives and that was renewing, too.
The Commons: What was it like for your family to spend a year in a different country?
Joe Orlando: It was a really special experience for me, my wife Carla and our twin 12-year-old daughters. I feel like it gave us a chance to become closer as a family and to share in having our lives enriched. We saw a great deal of art and architecture and sculpture and heard a lot of music and really got a sense of the tastes of Italy. We were all in this little adventure together, which was unifying. Here (in Seattle) our circles are expanded—which is healthy—but for this year in Italy it was special to get a chance to walk in and see something significant together.
The Commons: You didn’t get sick of each other?
Joe Orlando: Well…we came close. (Laughs) Let’s just say the girls are really looking forward to being back with their peers. We home-schooled them (in Italy) so they’re happy to back at school with their friends.
The Commons: After spending a year in Florence and, as you said, connecting with your Italian heritage, do you find that you’re now talking with your hands a lot more?
Joe Orlando:(Laughs—and throws up his hands) Totally!
Here's a trivia question: How many Jesuit institutions in the United States are currently led by non-Jesuits? You can find the answer in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which recently ran an article on the growing trend of laypersons and other men and women outside of the Jesuit order becoming presidents of Jesuit colleges and universities. It's an interesting read--check it out here.
God's approval rating?
James Martin, S.J., dubbed chaplain of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, made a return to the show where he was asked by host Stephen Colbert, among other questions, why it is that God's approval ratings are low.
Father Martin, culture editor of America magazine, is coming to Seattle University in February as a keynote speaker for the School of Theology and Ministry's fourth annual Search for Meaning Pacific Northwest Spirituality Book Festival. You can read more about the book festival at STM.
Doing business the Ignatian way?
What if America’s businesses operated according to Ignatian principles? So asks John Levesque, in the August edition of Seattle Business, inspired by his time on SU’s campus as a student in our Master of Fine Arts program.
Levesque’s article features Chris Lowney, left, who left the Jesuits to work at a J.P. Morgan and later wrote Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World. Published in 2003, the book delves into lessons from St. Ignatius and the early Jesuits that are applicable to the business world.
Lowney was the featured speaker at the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference that SU hosted in 2008. A month before coming to campus, he spoke about his book in an interview with the university’s faculty and staff newsletter, explaining: “In a world that sometimes seems to believe that the only way to become successful is to shun principle, [the Jesuits’] approach to living and working shows how we might be principled people and be successful in our efforts.”
Today, Lowney is president of Jesuit Commons, an organization working to bring the riches of Jesuit education to the poorest and most marginalized people of the world, particularly those living in refugee camps.
Levesque himself sings the praises of Jesuit education in his Seattle Business article, writing, “What has struck me about my exposure to Jesuit education is that no one has tried to proselytize me. Or sell me basketball tickets. Instead, I’ve been encouraged to be myself, always with an eye toward intellectual engagement centered on leadership, social justice and service to others.”
Read the full article.
Into Africa: Jesuit business schools
July 27, 2011
Establishing Jesuit business schools in four African nations is a top priority for African Jesuits, Albers School of Business and Economics Dean Joe Phillips shared on his blog after attending the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools 17th World Forum in Lima, Peru, this month.
As Dean Phillips wrote, there is not a single Jesuit business school anywhere on the African continent, and there’s only 781 business schools in Africa, total. (That's out of more than 13,000 schools worldwide). The Jesuit African Initiative is now working to create business schools in Kenya, the Congo, Ivory Coast and Rwanda/Burundi, with Ron Anton, S.J., secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus, heading up the effort.
As for other highlights from the forum, Dean Phillips was elected to the association’s board of directors. He will be one of five deans from the U.S. on the board. Albers was well-represented at the conference: Bill Weis, professor of management, and Meena Rishi, associate professor of economics gave presentations related to the forum's decidedly Ignatian theme, “Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusive Business."
You can read Dean Phillips' full posting about the forum at his Dean Blog.
The Greg turns 450
In 1551, 450 years ago, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, started a “School of Grammar, Humanity and Christian Doctrine” in Rome. It was the first of what would become an extensive network of colleges and universities, recognized throughout the world for their excellence and grounding in Ignatian spirituality. This first school, which originally was called the “Roman College,” today is known as the Gregorian University—or “The Greg” for short. The Roman College "became the model for all the subsequent colleges in Europe," says Pat Howell, S.J., rector of Arrupe House. You can learn more about this important milestone and The Greg today at National Jesuit News.
Speaking of the founder of the Jesuits...A local architect has named Seattle University's Chapel of St. Ignatius the best building in Seattle. Visit Capitol Hill Seattle Blog to read what he had to say about the spiritual heart of our campus.
Who Cares About Saint Ignatius?
In this video by Loyola Productions, James Martin, S.J., provides wonderfully engaging, but not too lengthy, overview of the life of St. Ignatius. Father Martin is the culture editor of America, the national Catholic magazine and a noted author, most recently of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. Martin also makes regular appearances on television shows as diverse as "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS and "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel, to name just a few. To view the entire "Who Cares About the Saints Series," visit Loyola Productions.
Father Janowiak signs off
Paul Janowiak, S.J., of the School of Theology and Ministry has been asked by the Jesuits to go to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara in Berkeley, Calif. This is the second time, Father Janowiak has responded to the Jesuits' call to leave SU. He previously left STM to become Socius with the Oregon Province. He returned to SU in 2008 and was appointed the first holder of the Patrick J. Howell, S.J., Professor of Theology and Ministry.
In the midst of all the usual busyness that goes along with the end of the academic year, as well as preparing for his move and finishing off the final galleys of his forthcoming book, Father Janowiak took a few moments to share some thoughts on what’s ahead and to reflect on his time at SU. Here’s what he said.
On his new role:
JST is one of the two theology centers in the United States, along with the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. I will be assuming the position of associate professor of liturgical studies and will be replacing the Jesuit who will be returning to Fordham University after seven years of service at Berkeley.
On what he’ll be teaching:
My teaching will cover much the same areas as my work here at the School of Theology and Ministry at SU. However, the ecumenical schools that compose the Graduate Theological Union are more self-contained, as opposed to the thoroughly ecumenical environment here at STM. Two other differences are most apparent in comparison to our school at SU: besides the lay student population, JST is a theology center where the Jesuits send their young men in preparation for ordination. I will be asked to teach courses that relate to celebrating the Eucharist and other sacramental liturgies of the Church. For example, this fall I will teach a course on the theology and pastoral practice of hearing confessions. Secondly, JST offers theological degrees that prepare students to teach in theology and seminary settings throughout the world, as well as pursue doctoral degrees in theology. There are a good number of lay people and young Jesuits from around the world who come to Berkeley to pursue that degree. The relationship with Cal Berkeley allows students to do a lot of interdisciplinary study in conjunction with their theological interests.
On how he’ll look back on his time at SU and what he’ll take away from the experience:
I never wanted to leave here; it was a request in religious obedience, in response to the needs of the Society. This is what I vowed my life to be. At the same time, I think STM provides one of the most creative and balanced theology and ministry experiences in the country. We do not go home to our own tents. We have to wrestle with diversity in theological, multicultural and denominational perspectives in a way that corresponds with the way the world really is. The formation and pastoral elements that accompany all STM’s programs speak to the need for ministers who appreciate that the integration of one’s spiritual and relational identity shapes the way one serves others and opens up the liberating call of the Gospel.
In addition, the Pacific Northwest is my Jesuit home, and my brothers at Arrupe and in the Oregon Province are clearly some of the most prayerful and committed men I have ever known. I will never lose that connection and I am only glad that Berkeley is close enough to keep that strong bond with these good companions. With men like the Arrupe Jesuits, who often work tirelessly in the background, laboring for students in the spirit of our dear Roger Gillis, I am so honored to have lived and prayed with these Jesuits. I hope the wider university appreciates them also.
On his hopes for SU in the years ahead:
Seattle University has expanded in vision and stature so much since I first came in 1996. The commitment to educating the whole person and providing opportunities to discover faith that seeks justice as a context for a liberal arts education are so meaningful to me. I would hope that SU does not lose that human and religious character in order to score stature points in the academy and the secular elité. As you know, the Core discussions and assessment criteria all year have surfaced the tension around that issue. It is not easy to be a Catholic and Jesuit university in these days, while also upholding what Jesuit humanistic study has always maintained, i.e. that the world is good, open for inquiry and exploration, and that the matters of the soul can be in healthy dialogue with the concerns of the mind. I hope we never get lured away from that kind of wonder. I think the temptation to quantify and rein in awe is great in these days. I am all for raising up wonder and awe.
My connection with the Chapel of St. Ignatius from the day it opened has been a powerful, daily nourishment for me. It is an amazing house of prayer, empty or full. It summons people who have not been inside a church for years. It is the students’ doorway into a mature religious commitment. People pray there faithfully in the middle of all the feverish activity. I cannot say enough about the gift of the chapel. I will miss lighting a candle there every day. However, one thing I will not miss is the quarter system. Thank God, JST is on the semester system! God has finally heard the plea of my old age!
Who were those guys again?
Do you find yourself having trouble keeping the earliest Jesuits straight? Or are there a few companions of Ignatius who you’re not all that familiar with?
Well, don’t fret. The Northwest Jesuits website includes an at-a-glance guide to each of the 10 Jesuits who were critical to getting the order started. Visit First Jesuits to find a short biography and the likeness of each of the companions, including St. Francis Xavier, left.
Father Case prepares for new role
It was announced in April that Frank Case, S.J., Jesuit assistant to the School of Law and the Albers School of Business and Economics, has been named vice president for mission at Gonzaga University. Before heading to Spokane to assume his new post in June, Father Case spent some time reflecting on what he’s done so far and what lies ahead.
On the path his life has taken him:
There is an old saying we learned early in the course of our Jesuit formation, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” As things developed during my formation years, I was destined to specialize in the field of economics with an eye towards a faculty position at one of our Jesuit universities, Seattle University or Gonzaga University. The Albers School of Business here at Seattle University was kind enough to take me on when I completed my studies. I found great fulfillment in my relatively short career on the economics faculty, particularly in my role of teaching. God had further plans, however, and, as many here on campus know, after six years I was named rector of the SU Jesuit Community, and from there went on to become provincial of the Oregon Province and then regional assistant for the United States and general secretary at our Roman Curia under Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. Then three years ago, after 22 years away, I returned to Seattle University and was eventually assigned to the Division of Mission and Ministry as liaison to the business and law Schools. This was a crooked path in its own right; but I could see the hand of God giving direction throughout.
On what it was like to return to Seattle University after so many years away:
These two years at Seattle University have been a blessing for me. Besides the great blessing of living with my Jesuit brothers in the Arrupe Community, it has been wonderful renewing old friendships among the Albers faculty, and making new friends both in Albers and in the School of Law. Furthermore, after so many years abroad, I have enjoyed living close to several family members once again. Speaking of family members, when I go to Gonzaga my brother, Dick, and I will be serving in the same city for the first time in his 48 years and my 55 years in the Society of Jesus. We are both looking forward to that.
There has been another powerful blessing for me in returning to Seattle University.When I left in the mid 1980s we Jesuits were just beginning a program of working more closely with our colleagues or partners in ministry here at SU. To see how much this modest project has grown, both in numbers, and particularly in its depth of buy-in to the university’s mission, has given me great consolation, happiness and assurance of SU’s solid future as a Jesuit institution. From a university where the lay people were collaborating with us Jesuits, the institution has become a university where we Jesuits are collaborating with you, our lay colleagues and friends. I must say I will miss this, but am sure I will find the same spirit and reality at Gonzaga.
On how his latest stay at SU has prepared him for his new role at Gonzaga:
Several months ago, I was asked to apply for the position of Vice President for Mission at Gonzaga University. (I have been on their Board of Directors for the past two years plus.) Certainly a key part of Gonzaga’s interest in my application lay in my experience with the Province and the universal Society of Jesus. Presumably, in their eyes they thought I would bring a vision from on high and from afar. That was fine; but what experience did I have with the direct supervision and support of the Catholic, Jesuit, and humanistic mission of an actual university? Did I have any experience of university administration? Rome did not provide for this eventuality. These past two years here at Seattle University have afforded me a wonderful bit of experience on the ground, so to speak. I feel well enough prepared at least to begin this new work, even though I will have lots to learn on the job. I am most grateful to Fr. Peter Ely and the entire Mission and Ministry team for their including me and inspiring me during this time. I can only trust that God will write something straight with the crooked line I lived these past 25 years for the benefit of the our sister institution beyond the Cascade Curtain.
Fr. Steve to chair AJCU board
There’s a number of changes underway for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and our very own president factors prominently in the transitions.
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities is made up of and represents the nation’s 28 Jesuit institutions of higher education. Charles Currie, S.J., is stepping down as the association’s president on June 30. His 14 years in that role make him the longest serving president in AJCU history. Greg Lucey, S.J., former president of Spring Hill College, will succeed Father Currie. (Father Lucey, by the way, served as vice president for development at SU from 1978-88.)
Also changing is the chair of AJCU’s board. Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., will step into that role, succeeding Timothy Lannon, S.J., president of Saint Joseph’s University. You can read Fr. Steve's message about Fr. Currie's leadership at AJCU.
Sign up for Arrupe Seminar
The Arrupe Seminar on the Foundations and Vision of Jesuit Education is an opportunity for faculty and staff to engage in a deeper way with the Jesuit heritage and ethos that animates our university. Also known as the Arrupe Seminar, the class runs from October through early May each year and strives to promote: (1) understanding of the Jesuit educational tradition and of Jesuits, (2) assimilation of the knowledge and values of the tradition, (3) application of what one learns and assimilates to the carrying out of one’s role at the university, and (4) commitment to carrying on the tradition. It offers an experience that is both scholarly and personal, requiring a significant amount of reading, discussion and personal reflection, and including presentations by people knowledgeable in the Jesuit tradition.
Those interested in signing up for the Arrupe Seminar for the 2011-2012 academic year can contact Margaret Moore (email@example.com) by Friday, April 22. If you have any questions, you can contact Peter Ely, vice president for Mission and Ministry, at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 6158.
Catching up with Quentin Dupont
Quentin Dupont, S.J., is at Seattle University this year as part of his formation as a Jesuit. He recently answered some questions about what he’s doing here, what comes next for him and more…
On what he is doing at Seattle University:
I am teaching at the Albers School of Business and Economics, and working with Ignatian programs in Campus Ministry. I am at Seattle University for a one-year appointment, and will go to study theology at Boston College next year, in order to be ordained a priest in a few years.
On the similarities between his native city of Lille, France, and Seattle:
I grew up in Northern France, near a city called Lille, which resembles Seattle in many ways. Lille is a city of modest size (around 200,000 inhabitants), but forms the fourth largest metropolitan area in France taking into account its surroundings (over 1,000,000 people all together). The weather in Lille is very similar to what I have experienced here: lots of cloudy days, and lots of drizzle! Last, but not least, the people of Lille, like the people of Seattle, are extremely welcoming. A French song says that people from the North of the country “have in their heart the sun that they do not have outside.” Likewise, I have been overwhelmed by the hospitality and kindness of people here in Seattle, and especially at Seattle University.
On how he decided to enter the Society of Jesus:
In the course of my undergraduate studies, I spent a year at Santa Clara University, where I really “met” the Jesuits for the first time. About a year after I graduated, I entered the Society of Jesus in the California Province, where my religious vocation had really taken its shape and roots too. Since joining the Jesuits I have been able to experience the grace of God in very many ways, and my time here at Seattle U has certainly been a highlight of my Jesuit Life. Already when I interviewed for the position, and throughout the year, I have noticed the importance of the Jesuit character and the Ignatian mission of the university throughout campus. I am struck by how deeply this character and the mission have been cared for by faculty and staff across the university. I think that students see this and benefit much from it.
On his experience at SU so far:
It is sometimes difficult to be assigned to a place for one year, and indeed I wish I could stay for a while longer. But this has not felt like “just one year.” I have a home here, thanks to my Jesuit brothers at the Arrupe Community, to the faculty and staff at the Albers School, in Campus Ministry, and all through campus, and thanks to our characteristically engaged and eager students at Seattle U.
Women in mission
Investing in the spirit, investing in excellence
By Marilyn Nash
On a surprisingly beautiful Saturday in March, a group representing Seattle University’s finest women in mission, traveled to Bainbridge Island for a day of retreat. Sponsored by a grant from the Endowed Mission Fund, and organized by a small group of women who have been meeting, praying and discerning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition, the retreat was the first of hopefully many events celebrating and investing in the women who help hold the mission and work of our university.
The retreat, titled “Indulging Our Spirits: Preparing for the Lenten Journey,” explored the theme of journey, asking women to consider releasing and shedding what no longer brings life, in order to receive and invite new graces as we move forward through Lent towards Easter. Women who work as staff, faculty and administrators enjoyed the opportunity to “be still” in the beautiful, wooded setting at Island Wood, an environmental learning center on Bainbridge Island Comments from attendees confirm the power and benefit that comes from gathering with colleagues for conversation and prayer. Here's what some of them said:
“Sometimes there is an unavoidable feeling of isolation…in [my] work and daily routine… I was “filled with deep joy” being with “like-minded and like-hearted people.”
“Nature and the Mass really brought me into the present moment” and “touched me deeply.”
“I feel that I have a new community on campus”
"I want to learn “how to be Jesuit as a woman and as a member of this university.”
Women returned to campus and their jobs with a renewed sense of clarity, focus and intentionality. When we talk about investing in the excellence of our staff and faculty, we need to invest in their spirits as well.
The retreat concept was simple. Gather amazing women. Provide them with opportunities for shared meals, quiet walks, scriptural reflection, and shared worship. Throw in some wine, a dessert social, and a northwest ferry ride. What happens after that is pure grace. Look closely, maybe you can see that grace in the face of the next woman you pass on campus.
If you are interested in future events, retreats and conversations with other women who want to explore their faith socially and intellectually, inspired by the Jesuit Catholic tradition, please email email@example.com to be placed on the mailing list. Everyone is welcome.
For more pictures taken by Catherine Punsalan, visit SU women's retreat.
Marilyn Nash is campus minister for Ignatian spirituality.
Favorite Catholic apps
Ever find yourself looking for a good Catholic iPhone app? Well, look no further. Jack McLain, S.J., of the Oregon Province who is currently rector of St. Ignatius College in Australia, has put together a list of his favorite apps. Read more at America magazine.
Esteemed Jesuit visitors
Two well-known Jesuits will visit SU to make compelling presentations in the next couple weeks.
First, Mark Mossa, S.J., left, of Fordham University will present “Already There: Letting God Find You” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Casey 500. Fr. Mossa will talk about his own vocational journey and how the everyday, simple and even quirky things in life seem to “connect with something deep down inside of us and say something meaningful about our human experience.” Mossa is being hosted by Magis and the Ignatian Spirituality Center.
Then, Peter Henriot, S.J., will visit SU to talk about “The Future of Africa and the Catholic Church” at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 4, in the Admissions and Alumni Building. Originally from Tacoma, Fr. Henriot is a member of the Zambia-Malawi Province of the Society of Jesus. Trained as a political scientist, he spent several years in Washington, D.C. with the Center of Concern, and then went to Africa in 1989. He just recently finished 21 years directing the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Lusaka, Zambia, and is now moving to Malawi to assist in the establishment of a new Jesuit secondary school there. He served in October 2009 as an advisor for the East African Bishops at the Second African Synod in Rome, having published and taught in the area of Catholic social teaching and been engaged in parish ministries. Henriot’s visit to SU is being sponsored by Peter Ely, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry, and Victoria Jones, associate provost for global engagement, along with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of Seattle.
A month for remembering
February may be the shortest month of the year, but that doesn’t keep it from being a rather significant span of time for remembering great Jesuits of the past. The Feast of Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, left, was celebrated on Feb. 5, the 20-year anniversary of his death. Also in February, we celebrate eight of the 50 Jesuit saints. In fact, more Jesuit saints are liturgically memorialized in February than any other month. For a list of all the Jesuit saints, visit the Society of Jesus.
Ignatius goes to Washington
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) has compiled a list of Jesuit-educated members who are serving in the 112th Congress and the Obama Administration. "Ten percent of the 112th U.S. Congress are Jesuit college and university alumni/ae. Among the 535 Members of this Congress, 53 of them are alumni/ae of Jesuit institutions. At least 30 alums also serve in appointed positions in the Obama Administration," according to AJCU. Not too shabby considering that the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. represent a tiny fraction of the thousands of institutions in the country! Read the release and full list Jesuit-educated officials by visiting AJCU.
SU welcomes Mark Bosco, S.J.
Mark Bosco, S.J., is at SU for winter quarter as the LeRoux Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences, coming to us from our sister Jesuit school, Loyola University Chicago. Fr. Bosco recently took a few moments to respond to some questions.
On his background: I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, in a pretty Italian-American Catholic family. I entered the Jesuits a few years after college, doing the usual training for priesthood. I then did my doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., in the area of Literature and Theology. It was a great program and it afforded me the opportunity to work with Stanford’s English department and the theological community at the GTU. After living and studying in San Francisco for eight years, my superiors missioned me to teach Loyola University Chicago. I hold a joint position in the departments of English and Theology, teaching in both disciplines, often in courses that are cross-listed in both.
On his scholarly activities: My scholarship is on the intersection of theology and culture, specifically theology and the literary arts. I write on the 20th century Catholic literary tradition and on the importance of aesthetics in theological thinking and in liturgical worship. I have written a book on Graham Greene and have written on diverse artists such as writers Flannery O’Connor, Georges Bernanos and Margaret Atwood, as well as the Baroque painter Michelangelo Caravaggio and the modernist composer Francis Poulenc.
On what he’s doing at SU this quarter: I am here in the LeRoux Chair, teaching an English course on Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor, and spending the quarter researching and writing a new book, tentatively called “Catholic Literary Modernism.”
On his first impressions of the university: I am excited to be here and very impressed with Seattle University. There is a great spirit here, both with faculty and students I have met, and you are blessed with a wonderful Jesuit community to boot. The campus looks great and you are right smack in the middle of this wonderful, walkable city (even the hills are wonderful as Chicago is as flat as a pancake!). I look forward to teaching my seminar, meeting faculty, giving the LeRoux Lecture in February, and getting some focused time to write. And last by not least? I get to exchange the cold and snow of Chicago for the cool rains of Seattle!
Fr. Bosco will deliver a lecture, “O'Connor and Caravaggio? Reconsidering the Baroque as Artistic Strategy," at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Wyckoff Auditorium. For more information, visit http://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/News_Article.aspx?id=66065.
2010 Opus Prize goes to...
The 2010 Opus Prize was awarded to two co-recipients last month, and one of them was a Jesuit, John Halligan, S.J. (left). Founder of an organization called Working Boys’ Center, Father Halligan serves the poorest of the poor in Quito Ecuador. Halligan is the second Jesuit to receive the Opus Prize. Trevor Miranda, S.J., who started Reach Education Action Programme (REAP) to help educate poor children in India, was the 2005 recipient. Joining Halligan in receiving the 2010 prize was Sister Beatrice Chipeta, a Roman Catholic nun who works with orphans in Malawi.
The Opus Prize has been awarded to unsung, faith-based humanitarians since 2004, each time at a Catholic college or university. Recipients are awarded $1 million to support the work of their organizations. They are selected after a very elaborate process involving spotters and jurors. To read more about Seattle University’s hosting of the prize in 2008, visit Opus Prize at SU. For more information about this year’s winners, visit 2010 Opus Prize recipients.
The Ignatian Way
Loyola Press recently launched a series of multimedia presentations on the main themes of Ignatian spirituality, which is based on work by Brian Grogan, S.J., and his Irish Jesuit colleagues. The presentations will cover Ignatian prayer, finding God in all things, the Spiritual Exercises, the Daily Examen, discernment, decision making, men and women for others and the life of St. Ignatius. You can watch the first presentation, which is on Ignatian prayer.
Setting the world on fire
In this powerful video, presented by National Jesuit News, five five newly ordained Jesuits of the Chicago and Detroit Provinces talk about their callings to "go forth and set the world on fire," in the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
On its website, National Jesuit News offers this description of its work: "Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have always been involved in communications through popular media. National Jesuit News began in 1971 as a way to keep Jesuits of the United States Assistancy informed of news which affects Jesuits and their works in America, and around the globe."
Jesuit in a Zen way
Robert E. Kennedy, S.J., (Kennedy Rōshi), who is both a Jesuit priest and a Sōtō Zen Master, came to Seattle University for the Second Annual Sōtō Zen Seminar on Oct. 30. Ordained a Jesuit priest in Japan in 1965, he studied with Yamada Koun in Japan in the 1970s. Kennedy, left, was installed as a Zen teacher of the White Plum Asanga lineage in 1991 and was given the title Rōshi in 1997. Kennedy studied Zen with Yamada Rōshi in Kamakura, Japan, Maezumi Rōshi in Los Angeles and Bernard Glassman Rōshi in New York. Glassman Rōshi installed Kennedy as sensei (teacher) in 1991 and conferred inka (his final seal of approval) in 1997, making him a rōshi (master). Kennedy is currently an elder in the Zen Peacemaker Order founded by Glassman in 1996. He teaches theology at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J. and sits with his Zen students daily at the Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City and with students in other zendos located throughout the tri-state area. Visit Sōtō Zen to learn more about the seminar.
And the winner is...
Last time, we invited you to name the Jesuits in their annual group picture. Well, the results are in, and congratulations to Gayle Sommerfeld (Advancement) who correctly ID’d 21 Jesuits and will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card. Gayle held onto a razor-thin margin of victory. Other valiant efforts were turned in by Rachael Paul (Career Services) and Sue Hogan (School of Theology and Ministry), who both correctly identified 20 of the 26. Gayle and Sue also went the extra mile and very perceptively named a few of the Jesuits who were missing from the photo. Thanks everyone for playing and congratulations to our winner!
So who's who? Scroll down for the identities of each of the 26. (A big thank you goes to Margaret Moore of Arrupe House for providing the information.)
(1) Bill Watson (Provincial Assistant for Special Projects); (2) Quentin Dupont (Albers School lecturer); (3) Mark Ravizza (Visiting LeRoux Chair); (4) Pat Howell (Rector, Professor of Pastoral Theology); (5) Mike Kelliher (Criminology); (6) Natch Ohno (Student Development, Assistant Rector); (7) Mark McDougall (STM M.Div. student); (8) Frank Case (Business & Law); (9) Peter Ely (VP Mission and Ministry); (10) Fernando Álvarez Lara (STM Pastoral Leadership Program); (11) Pat O’Leary (University Chaplain); (12) Tom Murphy (History); (13) Ron Funke (Pastoral Ministry); (14) Sonny Manuel (on sabbatical from Santa Clara); (15) Dave Leigh (English); (16) Mike Bayard (Director, Campus Ministry); (17) Hugh Duffy (English, Theology); (18) Jim Reichmann (Philosophy); (19) Paul Janowiak (STM); (20) Pat Twohy (Superior Rocky Mountain Mission, Urban Native American Ministry); (21) John Topel (Pastor, Port Townsend); (22) Steve Sundborg (President); (23) John Foster (Matteo Ricci College, English); (24) Pat Kelly (Theology, Study of Sport); (25) Eric Watson (Chemistry); and (26) Dave Anderson (Alumni Relations).
Not pictured are Emmett Carroll (Pastor, Bainbridge); Bob Egan (Pastoral Ministry); Jean Baptiste Ganza (MBA student); Roger Gillis (Student Success); and Josef Venker (Fine Arts).
Educating the poorest of the poor
In August 2010 a number of SU faculty and staff met with Peter Balleis, S.J., who is leading the new Jesuit Commons program with Chris Lowney. (Some faculty and staff will recognize as author of the book Heroic Leadership.) The full name of the initiative, for the record, is Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JCHEM). A big part of the program’s mission is to bring Jesuit higher education to refugees in the poorest parts of the world through online courses provided by faculty at Jesuit institutions.
|Right to left, Peter Balleis, S.J. of the Jesuit Commons speaks with SU's Jen Tilghman-Havens, associate director of Jesuit Mission and Identity and Sue Jackels, director of the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Projects.|
While on campus, Father Balleis and other Jesuit Commons staff, including Mary McFarland (international program director), shared an update on the project. The Jesuit Commons, as attendees learned, is launching its first two higher education programs this month (September 2010) in Kenya (Kakuma Camp) and Malawi (Dzaleka Camp). Plans are also underway to serve urban refugees in Syria in the not-too-distant future.
The basic philosophy of the program, Fr. Balleis said, is “to bring the university to where the refugees are” and to create educational opportunities “that keep the mind busy” and provide hope to the students. He spoke movingly of the thirst for education in camps, relating a story of how books were thrown over the fence to refugees seeking to learn.
“As I listened to Fr. Balleis and Mary McFarland,” says Peter Ely, S.J., “I was reminded of the key Jesuit belief in the transforming power of education. The refugees in these camps believe in that power and long for the transformation.”
Visit Jesuit Commons for more information about this exciting initiative in which some SU faculty are already engaged and many more likely will be in the years ahead.
Passing the baton
Charles Currie, S.J., left, will step down as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) on June 30, 2011, the association announced on Aug. 18. Father Currie, a venerable leader in Jesuit higher education, is the longest-tenured president in AJCU history. He will be succeeded by Greg Lucey, S.J., the former president of Spring Hill College, who also served at SU. Read more about in AJCU's news release.
Going where the need is greatest
It's always been a defining hallmark of the Jesuits to go where the need is greatest, and that commitment is being seen again in New York City. As reported last week in The New York Times a Jesuit-run middle school is on the move. Nativity Mission Center, as the school is called, was opened in 1971 on Manhattan's Lower East Side with the express purpose of serving low-income students. Over time, the neighborhood has undergone a demographic shift, and with fewer economically disadvantaged students enrolling at Nativity, the Jesuits are looking to relocate so they can better serve the young people who need it most. Read the article »
SU grads join JVC
|The four values of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps are social justice, simple living, community and spirituality.|
No fewer than 13 recent SU graduates have entered the Jesuit Volunteer Corps for 2010-2011:
Michael Alston (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest–Portland); Renee Amador (Jesuit Volunteer Corps); Sean Baird (Jesuit Volunteer Corps East–Washington, D.C.); Kate Bourget (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest–Bethel, Alaska); Erin Daniels (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest–Gresham, Ore.); Meaghan Driscoll (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest); Lindsey Dvorak (Jesuit Volunteer Corps East–New Orleans); Katrina Herzog (Jesuit Volunteer Corps); Emily Holt (Jesuit Volunteer Corps); Shea Meehan (Jesuit Volunteers International–Tanzania); Benjamin Mendoza (Jesuit Volunteer Corps); Marykate O’Connell (Jesuit Volunteer Corps–San Francisco); Braden Van Dragt (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest–Anchorage).
These men and women join another 20+ SU grads who are committing to other similar post-graduate service organizations such as the Catholic Worker, Peace Corps, Teach for America and Americorps, to name just a few.
The Jesuit Volunteer Corps began in 1956 when a group of graduates served in Alaska under the sponsorship of the Oregon Province. Today Jesuit volunteers serve in every major city of the United States as well as some remote areas and in developing countries. They commit a year (in some cases two years) to social justice work. For more information about JVC, visit the East, Midwest, South and Southwest website or the Northwest website.
Lay leadership at Jesuit schools
With Thayne McCullough’s appointment as Gonzaga University’s first lay president, nine of the 28 institutions in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and University are currently led by non-Jesuit presidents, reports Melissa Collins Di Leonardo, director of communications at AJCU. Seven institutions have lay presidents: Canisius, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Le Moyne, LMU, Saint Peter's and University of Detroit Mercy. Two institutions have religious, non-Jesuit presidents: Rockhurst and Wheeling Jesuit. Five presidential searches are underway at Jesuit colleges and universities: Marquette, Creighton, Loyola Marymount, University of Detroit Mercy and Wheeling Jesuit.
The future of Jesuit education
SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., was significantly involved in “Shaping the Future of Higher Education in a Globalizing World,” a worldwide conference in Mexico City to which all presidents of Jesuits institutions were invited. Adolfo Nicolás, superior general of the Society of Jesus, gave the keynote address on “Depth, Universality and Learned Ministry: Challenges to Jesuit Higher Education Today,” which is now available online. Click on this video to hear what Father Sundborg took away from the experience.
Jesuits weigh in on immigration
The leaders of every Province of the Society of Jesus in the United States recently took the rare step of hand delivering a joint letter to the White House and each individual Congressional office to express concern over the immigration law recently enacted in Arizona, and to urge immediate and comprehensive immigration law.
“With the new Arizona law, there is a real risk that life on our national borders will become subject to a patchwork of state responses; Congress is faced with both a constitutional and moral imperative to act,” said Jesuit Father Thomas Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference of the United States. “Despite what some reactionary politicians would have us believe,” Smolich added, “we can secure our borders in a way that does not cost us our humanity.”
Referencing the Justice for Immigrants Campaign sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Smolich said “the Catholic Church has been a leading advocate of immigration reform. We wanted to send a clear message to the president and Congress as well as invite all Jesuits and our many lay partners to join us in support of the Church, speak out for the least among us and ask your members of Congress to act now.”
Read the June 4 letter in its entirety.
Fr. Natch talks about his calling
Ever wonder how a Jesuit decides to become a Jesuit? It’s different for each individual person, of course. The Oregon Province is running a series called “Jesuits Revealed,” in which members of the Society of Jesus talk about how they received their respective callings. SU’s own Natch Ohno, S.J., is featured in one of these videos.