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Seattle University

All Things Jesuit

In Solidarity

January 30, 2017

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., released a statement over the weekend on the Trump Administration’s Jan. 27 executive order on immigration. 

Father Sundborg wrote, in part: "The university strongly opposes the discriminatory and misguided executive order issued by the Trump administration on non-U.S. citizens from select countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). We stand in full solidarity with our international students as well as faculty and staff who may be affected." 

Father Steve’s statement was highlighted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network

To view statements on the order by other Jesuit colleges and universities, visit AJCU.

Supporting undocumented students

November 30, 2016

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., joined with the leaders of the other 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States in signing a statement in support of undocumented students.

The presidents pledged to continue working to: "protect to the fullest extent of the law undocumented students on our campuses; promote retention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA); support and stand with our students, faculty and staff regardless of their faith traditions; (and) preserve the religious freedoms on which our nation was founded."

The statement followed a letter President Sundborg, S.J., wrote to the campus community on Nov. 21, in which he affirmed that "As a Jesuit Catholic university, we are deeply committed to the dignity and equality of every individual, to the common good and to developing leaders for a just and humane world. We also recognize how central a safe, inclusive and welcoming community is to educational excellence and the success of students. And we are deeply committed to fostering respectful and constructive dialogue, which is essential to a thriving institution of higher learning and the welfare of all students, faculty and staff."

Long a supporter of undocumented students, Father Sundborg wrote an op-ed, "Our DREAM Students," which appeared in the LA Times in November 2010.

Father Kolvenbach, 29th Superior General of the Jesuits, dies

November 29, 2016

Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., who served as superior general of the Society of Jesus from 1983 to 2008, died in Beirut, Lebanon, on Nov. 26, four days before his 88th birthday. 

Born in Druten, Netherlands, Father Kolvenbach, entered the Society of Jesus in 1948. He served as a professor of linguistics and Armenian language and literature at St. Joseph’s University in Beirut before taking on a number of leadership roles within the society. In 1974 he was named vice-provincial of the Near East, which includes Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. In 1981 he was called to Rome as rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He was elected the 29th superior general of the Jesuits in September 1983. 

Pope Francis shared the following in a message to current Superior General Arturo Sosa, S.J.: “With memory of Fr. Kolvenbach’s total fidelity to Christ and his Gospel, together with his generous commitment to exercise his particular office for the good of the Church, I offer prayers of suffrage by invoking the Divine Mercy for the eternal rest of his soul.” 

“Fr. Kolvenbach is best remembered by Seattle University for his articulation of the mission of Jesuit universities and for his encouragement that we form students in ‘a well-educated solidarity’ with others through contact as much as by concept,” said President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. 

Father Kolvenbach visited Seattle University in 1993. A service-learning community established in his name is available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. 

You can read more about Fr. Kolvenbach at and America magazine.

(Pictured l. to r. in 1993: SU President William Sullivan, S.J.; trustee Genevieve Albers; and Superior General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach)

Seattle U at 125

November 1, 2016

As part of the university’s yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary, Tom Lucas, S.J., university professor of Art and Art History and rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community presented a fast-moving and visually engaging trek through the university’s history on Oct. 25.

Once referred to as “The PowerPoint Ninja,” Father Lucas did not disappoint the crowd that packed into to Wyckoff Auditorium. Covering 125 years in 45 minutes—which, he joked, “comes out to about two and a half years a minute—Lucas called the stroll through SU’s history a “complicated journey.”

Picking up with the Jesuits’ first arrival in the Pacific Northwest, Father Lucas continued with the founding of the school that would come to be called Seattle University. He chronicled the institution’s ensuing ups and downs and brushes with death, highlighting the faculty, staff, benefactors and friends whose grit and determination secured SU’s place as a premier Jesuit institution in Seattle. “This is a scrappy place,” Father Lucas remarked.

He ended his presentation by outlining a few challenges facing the Seattle University of today, one of which he said, was “staying true to our rich tradition of Jesuit humanism while at the same time embracing the…changing world that we live in.” 

(Photograph by Chuck Kuo)

One step closer

October 24, 2016

Ryan Rallanka, S.J., a 2006 graduate of Seattle University, was ordained to the diaconate on Sunday, Oct. 22. Celebrating the Mass, which took place at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, Calif., was the Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, S.J., bishop of Oakland. 

For a Jesuit in formation, ordination to the diaconate is the last step before priestly ordination in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). 

Double majoring in English and sociology at Seattle U, Rallanka received the 2006 Mission Award for Outstanding Leadership in Faith. During his time as an SU student he also received a fellowship from Humanity in Action, an international educational organization. 

Rallanka (pictured here during his ordination) joined the Society of Jesus in August 2006 and entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Portland, Ore. After two years as a novice and taking his First Vows in 2008, Rallanka was sent to Fordham University in New York, where he obtained a Master's in Philosophical Resources in 2011. 

Following his time at Fordham, he returned to Portland his Regency assignment where he taught theology for three years to freshman students at Jesuit High School. In addition to teaching, Rallanka was also a director of SEEL (Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life) at St. Ignatius Parish. 

Rallanka is currently a student at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood in June 2017. As part of his training, he currently visits San Quentin Prison weekly and helps with the music at the Sunday Liturgies.

"I look back on my time at Seattle University quite fondly," says Rallanka. "Academically, I feel that SU trained me very well in the art of academic writing and critical thinking as a graduate of the Honors Program. This training has been invaluable in my studies as a Jesuit in the areas of philosophy and theology. 

"Spiritually, SU is really where I began to develop my adult faith. I was heavily involved with not only the University Choirs but also with the Liturgical Choir as well. I regularly sang at the 9pm student Masses on Sundays ever since I was a freshman and very much appreciated the faith community that I prayed with regularly. I was also regularly involved with Campus Ministry, having attended and helped lead retreats such as Search. I also was involved with service trips, such as a Campus Ministry-sponsored immersion trip to the Philippines and local trips to Yakima for Habitat for Humanity.  

"I am especially grateful to the Jesuits on campus who were also instrumental in my discernment to enter the Society. Specifically, at the time, Fr. Mike Bayard and Fr. Jack Bentz were my spiritual directors who really helped me in my process to become a Jesuit."

Let the murmuring begin!

October 10, 2016

Oct. 10, 2016

As previously reported, the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36 is underway, with Jesuit delegates from around the world now meeting in Rome to elect their next superior general (and attend to other important matters). Today, the delegates begin a centuries-old practice called murmuratio. Latin for "murmuring," murmuratio is a four-day series of one-on-one conversations intended to prepare them for the election scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14.

The website Jesuits explains murmuratio as such:

"In the Jesuit Constitutions, St. Ignatius, the Jesuits' first superior general, instructed his men to use the period of four days to 'seek enlightenment from those able to give good information' about 'who from the whole Society could be most suitable' for the office of superior general."

Visit GC36 for the latest updates from the congregation.

125 Years of Jesuit Education

October 10, 2016

An article, "Seattle University Celebrates 125 Years of Jesuit Education," is featured in Northwest Catholic. Tracing the roots of "a humble parish school that one day would become Seattle University," the article also takes a glimpse at what's in store for our institution. Visit Northwest Catholic to read the full piece.

Gift of silence

October 10, 2016

Our very own Chapel of St. Ignatius is featured in a reflection, "The Gift of Silence in the Morning," which recently appeared in Busted Halo.

Meet SU's 2016-2017 Jesuits

September 27, 2016

The members of Seattle University's Arrupe Jesuit Community gathered for a group picture on Sept. 26. Here's the caption and picture, which was taken by University Photographer Yosef Kalinko.

Back row (left to right ): Bill Watson (President, Sacred Story Institute), Natch Ohno (Chaplain for Magis, Assistant Rector), Fadi George (Graduate Student), Pat Twohy (Director, Rocky Mountain Mission, Urban Native American Ministry) and Dave Anderson (Alumni Relations) 

Middle row (left to right): Frank Savadera (Campus Ministry, Graduate Student), Tom Murphy (History), James Taiviet Tran (Boeing engineer, Vietnamese pastoral ministry), Josef Venker (Art & Art History), Quentin Dupont (Graduate Student), Jerry Cobb (English, Special Assistant to the President), Eric Watson (Chemistry), Dave Leigh (English) and Trung Pham (Art & Art History) 

Front Row (left to right): Pat Howell (School of Theology & Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture), Peter Ely (Theology), Steve Sundborg (President), Tom Lucas (Art & Art History), John Topel (Jesuit Assistant to Law School) and Bob Grimm (Jesuit Assistant to Albers) 

Absent: Pat Kelly (Theology), James Selinsky (Controller's Office). 

(A special thanks to Margaret Moore of Arrupe for providing the caption.)

GC36 to elect new leader of Jesuits

September 14, 2016

September 15, 2016  

While many of us are myopically focused on the 2016 presidential race, there is another election of great importance taking place this fall. On Oct. 2, two hundred Jesuits from around the world will gather in Rome for General Congregation 36 (GC36) to elect a new leader.

GC36 was convoked by Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., after he announced his intention to resign, having served in that role since 2008. His successor will be the 31st superior general in the 475-year history of the Society of Jesus. You can read more about GC36 here.

The delegates representing the Oregon Province--of which we are still a part before joining the California Province for a new Jesuits West Province in 2017--are Provincial Scott Santarosa, S.J., and Tom Lamanna, S.J., superior of the Jesuit Community at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma.

An interesting side note pointed out by Joe Orlando, director of the Center for Jesuit Education Resources: "One of the U.S. Jesuits helping to organize this congregation is Mark Ravizza, S.J., of the California Province. He is our spring lecturer here at SU for the Catholic Heritage Lecture Series."

Of Jesuits and JVs

August 23, 2016

August 23, 2016

We've got some people to recognize this month-Jesuits celebrating important milestones and alumni beginning their service in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. 

First the Jesuits. Seattle University's own Peter Ely, S.J. (left) , and Pat Kelly, S.J., both associate professors of theology, are celebrating 60 and 25 years in the Society of Jesus (a.k.a. the Jesuits), respectively. 

Other nearby Jesuits who are celebrating milestones include John Rashford, S.J. Father Rashford, who works in hospital ministry and lives in the Capitol Hill Jesuit community (now called Faber House), is marking his 60th year as a Jesuit. Gene Delmore, S.J., and Gerry Chapdelaine, S.J., who both live in the Bellarmine Tacoma Jesuit community, are respectively marking 60 years in the society 50 years as a priest. 

Peter Henriot, S.J., who is moving to the Bellarmine Community is celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit. Father Henriot was transferred from the Oregon Province to the Zambia/Malawi province many years ago and most recently has served as director of development for a new school, Loyola Jesuit Secondary School, in Kasungu, Malawi.  

Now onto the Jesuit Volunteers (JVs). The following seven Seattle University graduates are serving in JVC or JVC Northwest.

Madeline Tomich: JVC NW, St. Xavier School (Hayes, Mont.)

Germe Ambion: JVC, Native American Health Center (San Francisco)

Jose Rodriguez: JVC, Nativity Prep Academy (San Diego)

Vanessa Lam: JVC, St. Anthony Foundation (San Francisco)

Alexandra Thomas: JVC, USC Caruso Catholic Center (Los Angeles)

Kaylyn Armstrong-Shiira: JVC, Frannie Peabody Center (Portland, Maine)

Annabelle Hufana: JVC Mustard Seed School-Loaves and Fishes, Sacramento

Jesuit Volunteers spend a year (or more, in some cases) serving others, living in community and deepening their spirituality and faith lives. To learn more, visit Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest. Also, click here for a PBS video on the impact of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Thank you to Margaret Moore in the Arrupe Jesuit Community and Jimmy McCarty in Campus Ministry for providing the foregoing information.

Chapel mass schedule

July 13, 2016

Campus Ministry has provided this helpful guide to masses at the Chapel of St. Ignatius during the summer:

  • Sunday mass continues year-round at 11 a.m. 
  • Now through the end of July, weekday mass will be held only on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, at 12:30 p.m. 
  • On Friday, July 29, the Seattle University community will celebrate St. Ignatius Day (which falls on Sunday) with a mass at 12:30 p.m. (As part of the celebration, a continental breakfast will be served earlier in the day (8-9:30 a.m.) at the Arrupe Jesuit Residence. 
  • From Aug. 1 through Sept. 9 there will be no weekday mass in the Chapel of St. Ignatius, except for Monday, Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption, at 12:30 p.m. 
  • From Sept. 12 on, the chapel will return to a weekday mass schedule of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, at 12:30 p.m.