Skip to main content
Seattle University

All Things Jesuit

In Solidarity with UCA and Nicaragua

April 26, 2018

Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States have issued a statement supporting their sister institution, Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), in Nicaragua. 

The Nicaraguan government’s announcement of an overhaul of the Social Security benefits system  last week was met with a popular uprising not seen “since the end of the nation’s civil war nearly 30 years ago,” as reported in The New York Times. While President Daniel Ortega has since reversed the order, tensions remain high in the country. 

Against this backdrop, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), issued a statement on April 24 that reads in part: 

“Over the past few days, Nicaragua has seen a return to the repression and violence that have scarred its past. On behalf of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, we express our solidarity with our Jesuit sister institution, the University of Central America (UCA) of Nicaragua, which calls its students to peaceful advocacy for social justice, even as government violence at the University’s gates suppresses dissent.” 

Seattle University shares a longstanding and special relationship with UCA, as formalized through an agreement in 2014. That partnership is now part of the university’s Central America Initiative, which Serena Cosgrove, PhD, leads as faculty coordinator. She was asked by AJCU to draft its statement of solidarity, which you can read in full here

Over several years, faculty, students and staff at SU have collaborated with colleagues at UCA on a number of scholarly and programmatic activities. 

For updates on the situation in Nicaragua, please follow Seattle University’s Central America Initiative page on Facebook or email Serena to be put on the CAI mailing list: cosgrovs@seattleu.edu.

Father Kelly on “Why Sister Jean and Father Rob Matter”

March 28, 2018

In this season of shining moments, busted brackets and madness as far as the eye can see, our very own Pat Kelly, S.J., reminds us that sport, at its best, is about so much more than winning and losing. 

Two teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s Final Four are Catholic schools with chaplains who are getting national attention. In a column appearing in diocesan newspapers around the country, Father Kelly, associate professor of theology and religious studies, writes about how Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt of Loyola University Chicago—a sister Jesuit institution—and Father Rob Hagan of Villanova University are making contributions that go beyond success in competition. 

You can read Father Kelly’s column here

Father Kelly has published extensively on the relationship between sports and spirituality, including the books Catholic Perspectives on Sports: From Medieval to Modern Times and Youth Sport and Spirituality: Catholic Perspectives.

Holy Week at the Chapel

March 14, 2018



All are welcome to Seattle University's Holy Week celebrations at the Chapel of St. Ignatius.

Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday         March 25,  11 a.m. only

Holy Thursday      March 29, 7:30 p.m.

Good Friday         March 30, 3 p.m.

Easter Vigil          March 31, 9 p.m.

Easter Sunday     April 1, 11 a.m. only

(Source: Campus Ministry)

A Call to Fix Gun Violence

March 2, 2018

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities President Michael Sheeran, S.J., wrote an open letter on gun violence to President Donald Trump and members of Congress. 

“We adults have repeatedly failed to fix this singularly American phenomenon,” Father Sheeran writes. “Now we must listen to our youth. We must not cruelly disparage them in this time of trauma, grief and anger. As Pope Francis has said, ‘Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things.’ Ending the horrific mass killings in our schools and streets is a great thing we all are called to do. Now we urge you, as President and Members of Congress, to listen and to fix this indeed.” 

Visit AJCU for Father Sheeran’s full statement. 

You can also read statements from Jesuit colleges and universities affirming that admissions will not be impacted for high school students who peacefully protest.

Ash Wednesday Masses at the Chapel of St. Ignatius

February 7, 2018

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, almsgiving and repentance for Christians before the celebration of Easter. People receive ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday as a remembrance of our mortality and a sign of our desire for reconciliation. Ash Wednesday is next week, Feb. 14. The distribution of ashes on campus will take place at Catholic Masses held at the Chapel of St. Ignatius at 8 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Moving Jesuit higher education forward

February 5, 2018

One of SU’s own is playing a key role in plotting out the future of Jesuit education. 

Joe Orlando, director of the Center for Jesuit Education, was in Rome last month as a member of an eight-person North American delegation that is working to advance Jesuit higher education internationally. The delegation representing the U.S. and Canada joined with about 40 other colleagues from Jesuit institutions around the world to prepare for the formal launch this summer of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU). 

Under the guidance of Michael Garanzini, secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus, the international association is being formed to promote networks of collaboration between and among institution of higher education. It brings together lay and Jesuit faculty and administrators in the areas of training, leadership development, and research and advocacy on issues of concern to the Society and to its members. (Father Garanzini previously was president of Loyola University Chicago.) 

Orlando is serving on the association’s steering committee, one of seven that also include committees on Leadership Formation; Civic and Political Leadership Formation; Environmental and Economic Justice; Education for Marginalized and Refugees; Interaction with Religious Pluralism; and Peace and Reconciliation. 

“It was humbling to be part of the gathering with such inspiring colleagues, lay and Jesuit, from all corners of the globe, and from such a wide range of Jesuit institutions in Latin America, Europe, Africa, India and the Asia Pacific regions,” said Orlando. 

The official launch of IAJU will take place in July at Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain. 

Pictured above (l. to r.): Dave McCallum, SJ (Le Moyne College), Eileen Burke-Sullivan (Creighton), Joe Orlando (Seattle U), Joe Arun, S.J. (St. Joseph’s Institute, India), Francisco Urrutia (ITESO University, Mexico), Marie-Louise Ouadan (Cote d’Ivoire, President of Christian Life Community) and Xavier Alphonse, S.J. (St. Joseph’s College, India).

Faith and sports (and the pope)

January 25, 2018

Pat Kelly, S.J., associate professor of theology and religious studies (right), was in Rome in December to do some work for the Vatican office of the “Church and Sport.” While there, he concelebrated Mass with Pope Francis on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12). 

Also, The Catholic Spirit, official publication of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, recently interviewed Father Kelly for its story about sports and faith with an eye toward the upcoming Super Bowl. He also authored an article, "Sports in Schools: Beyond Winning and Losing," which appears in the current issue of Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education.

That Jesuit influence

January 22, 2018

For John Spellman, the former governor of Washington and Seattle U alumnus who passed away last week, the Jesuits were a big influence throughout his life. 

After graduating from SU as valedictorian in 1949, Spellman actually spent nine months in a Jesuit seminary before opting to go to law school, as recounted in Politics Never Broke His Heart

As his children shared in a statement published by Puget Sound Business Journal, “From his days at Seattle Prep and Seattle University and Georgetown Law School, the Jesuits’ style of discernment played an essential role in John’s life. He was always able to pause and look at the other side of an issue. He was able to weigh the options. He was fair and just. He was able to work towards common goals and to humbly change his mind.”

Ignatian invitations

January 11, 2018

The Ignatian Spirituality Center, a partner with SU’s Center for Jesuit Education, invites SU faculty and staff to participate in the following:

Immersions in Ignatian Prayer: Prayer Practices for Life
Ignatian Spirituality 101
Five Sessions (Tuesdays: Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27)
6:30-8:45 p.m.
Seattle Preparatory School

Could your prayer life use a jumpstart or a revival? It could help to have some new prayer forms upon which to draw. The Ignatian Spirituality Center, a partner of the Center for Jesuit Education, invites you to learn about and immerse yourself in experiences of up to five unique forms of prayer from the Ignatian tradition. Each session includes a presentation, immersion into the prayer form and reflection on the prayer experience. Join a small prayer group for the whole series or visit individual sessions of your choice. Click here for information on the sessions and presenters. COST: $20/individual session or $90/series. Partial work scholarships available for the series. Register here by Jan. 23. 

An Introduction to Ignatian Prayer and Spirituality
Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.
Joseph Parish Center (732 18th Ave. E.) 

Have you heard of Ignatian spirituality but aren’t exactly sure what it’s about? Be part of this interactive evening introduction to some key characteristics of the spirituality emerging from the life and vision of St. Ignatius, experience Ignatian prayer and discover how relevant it can be for your life. No cost to attend this program. Donations appreciated. Register here. For more information, call (206) 329-4824. Sponsored by the Ignatian Spirituality Center, a partner of Seattle University’s Center for Jesuit Education.

Father Ohno to lead Ignatian pilgrimage to Rome

November 14, 2017


SU Jesuit Natch Ohno, S.J., is leading a pilgrimage from Assisi to Rome this summer. He will be joined by Lisa Dennison, executive director of the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL).

The co-leaders write: 

“Our pilgrimage will take us from the pastoral hills of Assisi, home of Pope Francis’s namesake, Francis of Assisi, to the pilgrim sites in Rome where Ignatius directed the Society of Jesus. From the rooms of St. Ignatius in the Gesú to St. Peter’s Basilica, we explore the Rome of Scavi, Coliseum, and catacombs to a Papal audience and Pallium mass celebrating the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. We will pray and celebrate the Eucharist as we explore the wonders of amazing basilicas such as St. Ignazio and St. Peter. There will be ample opportunity to taste many Italian delicacies from pasta to gelato, and of course with some delicious Italian wine to toast the journey together.” 

Sponsored by SU and SEEL, the 11-day pilgrimage takes place June 21-July 1, 2018.

The above photo was taken by Natch Ohno, S.J., during a previous pilgrimage to Rome.

An Examen for the Environment

October 13, 2017

Lucas Sharma, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic who joined Seattle University’s Arrupe Community this year, played an integral role in creating a new resource for contemplating the challenge of climate change. 

Modeled on the Examen, a technique for prayerful reflection that Jesuit founder St. Ignatius incorporated into The Spiritual Exercises, “Reconciling God, Creation and Humanity: Ecological Examen” invites us to a deeper understanding of our responsibility for the environment and those communities that are most impacted by its degradation. 

Sharma, an instructor in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work, wrote the first draft of the Examen while working as an intern with the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology last summer. The conference, which represents the Jesuits of the U.S. and Canada, collaborated with the Ignatian Solidarity Network to produce the Examen. 

“The hope of the project was to bring together our rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality, Pope Francis’ call for ecological justice in Laudato Si’, and our most recent Jesuit General Congregation’s call that we be persons who work for reconciliation in our world today,” explains Sharma. “Together with the Ignatian Solidarity Network, I wrote this examen to ask how we might connect what we know about climate change and environmental destruction with our knowledge that the poor are often disproportionately affected by environmental damages. Certainly too, we hope that people would pray with this tool in a way that would call for increased protection and reverence of our common home and the people who we live with on our earth.” 

A member of the Jesuits West Province, Sharma has a master’s in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University. 

“The experience (of drafting the examen),” he says, “was a part prayer in itself—looking at my own experience with the Examen Prayer and asking, what might Ignatius’ (examen), which has been powerful in my own life, teach us about creation? Doing that, I saw in myself ways that my own choices negatively impact the earth and my local communities. This quickly turned into a larger discussion between the Ignatian Solidarity Network, the Jesuit Conference and other Jesuit and lay partners committed to environmental justice. Together, we offer this tool as a way for individuals and groups to enter into conversations about care for creation.” 

You can read more about the Examen and follow a link to the full set of related materials at Jesuits.

Jesuit Jubilarians

October 9, 2017

Two members of Seattle University’s Arrupe Jesuit Community known for their warmth and personal touch are celebrating special anniversaries this year. Pat Twohy, S.J. (left), marks his 60th year in the Society of Jesus, while Natch Ohno, S.J., is celebrating 25 years as a priest. 

Father Twohy has lived and worked with the Native Peoples of the Northwest for more than four decades. In addition to his work here at SU, Fr. Twohy is director of the Rocky Mountain Mission and minister to the urban Native community in Seattle. 

Father Ohno wears many hats at Seattle University, serving as assistant rector of the Arrupe Community and chaplain. His is a familiar face around campus as he interacts regularly and extensively with students, faculty and staff.

Let’s congratulate Fathers Twohy and Ohno on their jubilees and thank them for all they mean to our university community!