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All Things Jesuit

SU welcomes Mark Bosco, S.J.

January 7, 2011

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


2010 Opus Prize goes to...

December 6, 2010

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

November 22, 2010

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

November 8, 2010

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

October 25, 2010

 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...

September 27, 2010

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

September 10, 2010

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

August 23, 2010

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.

SU grads join JVC

August 16, 2010


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.

Going where the need is greatest

August 16, 2010

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 »

Lay leadership at Jesuit schools

August 2, 2010

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

July 15, 2010

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.