Archive for April, 2010

New York Times Profiles Loyola Productions: A Mission Field Behind the Camera

Rev. Eddie Siebert directing a scene in Rome, with the assistant cameraman Joe Ellingwood.  Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith-Mayo

Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert directing a scene in Rome, with the assistant cameraman Joe Ellingwood. Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith-Mayo

The role of a film and media production executive can often be an uphill battle. Yet for Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert, the founder and president of Loyola Productions, being a priest with a production company can provide some advantages.

“Because I’m a Jesuit, if there’s a good Catholic executive over at Sony, they’ll take a meeting. Sometimes they take you seriously and sometimes it’s, ‘Well that’s great, Father, keep up the good work.’ I’ve had to straddle this really awkward fence of being a spiritually empowered Jesuit with a mainstream entertainment production company that’s trying to do cutting-edge material. And that’s really tricky.”

To read the full New York Times Article on Loyola Productions, please go here.

A Jesuit Formation in the Crucible of War

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The road of Jesuit formation can be challenging, but it doesn’t get any more difficult than the one taken by Jesuit Father John Ruane nearly seven decades ago.

He celebrates his 90th birthday this month, and in many ways he doesn’t look much different than he did in an April 1945 group photo with 49 other Jesuits liberated two months earlier from a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines. Father Ruane still has a full head of hair and the same lanky visage he did when as a young man he posed in U.S. military uniform (the clothes were a gift as the Jesuits had left their confinement with only their prison garb). He still goes out for his daily walk, even in the worst weather conditions.

“He is probably the most well-liked member of our Jesuit community,” said Father Tom Sheridan, S.J., who notes that Father Ruane’s affable personality once caused a fellow Jesuit to quip, “Knowing John Ruane would cause one to have doubts about the universality of original sin.”

But don’t mix a genial disposition with evidence of an easy life. Father Ruane is a survivor. At the start of the war, there were 125 American Jesuits in the Philippines. Father Ruane was among 87 put under immediate house arrest by the Japanese and, as the war came to its close, eventually interned at Los Baños (A smaller number were interned on Mindanao, and others, who were parish priests, operated freely throughout the war, protected by their Filipino parishioners). Among this group, Father Ruane is one of three still living (the other two are Fathers James Reuter in the Philippines and Father Clarence Martin, who resides near Philadelphia).

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