Archive for March, 2010

Maryland Province Jesuits Blogging for Chile Earthquake Relief

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The Maryland Province Jesuits, who have a longstanding relationship with the Chilean Jesuits, have established a Chile Relief Fund to collect donations on behalf of the victims of the devastating earthquake which struck Chile on February 27. In addition, they have created a blog, jesuitchileaid.blogspot.com, to provide updates and photos of relief efforts to help victims of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

Their blog includes a recent update from Jesuit Father Eugenio Valenzuela, Jesuit provincial of Chile:

Listening everyday to the news about how the earthquake and the tsunami have affected and damaged our country, we are more aware that we have to face a hard and long reconstruction in our country.

We are launching campaigns in order to collect food, water, diapers, mattresses, blankets, tents, etc. Some are also aimed at recruiting volunteers. All these donations are going to be sent to the most affected areas of our country.

All the members of the Jesuit communities in Santiago are supporting in many ways the different initiatives by: volunteering, repairing houses, hosting victims of the earthquake, etc.

Since the catastrophe happened we got all hands on deck and have launched a national campaign “!CHILE SE LA PUEDE!” which means “Chile you can do it.” Through this campaign we encourage people to make their donations (money, non-perishable food, blankets, coal, diapers, etc.). It is a successful campaign so far and we have had a great response from the Chilean population as well as from many volunteers who are joining us from different parts of our country. This shows the strong commitment and solidarity that many people have with other Chileans who are suffering.

Veteran Jesuit Peace Activist Speaks with Sojourners

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Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan is no ordinary Catholic priest. In 1970, he was one of the FBI’s 10 most wanted. Ten years later, he hammered on nuclear missile nose cones at a General Electric manufacturing plant—a symbolic act of “beating swords into plowshares” that eventually earned him a two-year prison sentence.

These weren’t just youthful acts of rebellion; Fr. Berrigan’s faith-based nonviolent demonstrations have continued into his “retirement years.” As an 80-something, the Jesuit priest was handcuffed for protesting the U.S. detention prison at Guantanamo Bay. In the periods between nonviolent civil disobedience and prison sentences, Berrigan has explored the deep faith that fuels his peace efforts in more than 50 books, including several collections of poetry. He has also taught university students, led spiritual retreats, and volunteered with AIDS and cancer patients.

Sojourners traveled to New York to meet with the legendary activist, now 88, who now lives in the Kairos peace community in Manhattan. They asked Berrigan to share his reflections on community, activism and art. You can read their Q&A with Fr. Berrigan here.

Jesuit Priest Moves in Mass and Mass Media

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Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest who’s written numerous books, blog posts and appeared on Comedy Central, describes “a longing for a connection with God and for a way to make that connection real in the world,” in today’s USA Today.
In ancient days the church told Gospel stories with pictures in stained-glass windows. Now it’s the Web and TV. Says Martin, 49: “Everyone needs a medium. Mine is popular culture.” Read more insights from Father Martin along with a discussion of his new book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: The Spirituality of Real Life, here. You can also listen to Father Martin discuss his new book during a podcast with America Magazine here.

Jesuit Father is a Purple Hearted Priest

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From being bombed in Afghanistan to helping launch Nintendo’s Game Boy, Jesuit Father Jack McLain now finds himself where he wants to be, at St. Ignatius College in Australia.

The U.S.-born priest is the college’s new rector, having once been an Army chaplain, which included stints in Afghanistan, Kosovo and West Africa.

In Afghanistan, his army vehicle was bombed, which has left Fr. McLain, 46, with almost no hearing in his left ear and permanent ringing in both.

He was awarded a Purple Heart, a military award for those wounded or killed while serving in the armed forces.

Three years ago, Fr. McLain came to Australia and worked as a teacher and chaplain at St. Aloysius College in Sydney.

“If you want to change the world, you influence young people … you provide the blueprint, they’re the actual builders,” he said.

You can read more about Fr. McLain’s experiences, including a stint with Nintendo, here.

'A Jesuit Guide' for Real Life

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Jesuit Father James Martin, culture editor at America Magazine and author of My Life with the Saints, introduces his latest book, a guide to Ignatian spirituality for the general reader. In A Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father Martin explains such Jesuit maxims as “finding God in all things” and “contemplatives in action” while also providing a clear description of the examen, lectio divina and other ways to pray that have grown out of the Jesuit tradition. He also draws upon the work of Avery Dulles, Karl Rahner and other, lesser known Jesuits who have served as “wisdom figures” in his own life. You can listen to Father Martin discuss his new book during a podcast with America Magazine here.