Archive for July, 2010

Celebrating the Feast of the Founder of the Jesuits

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On July 31, Jesuits will celebrate the feast of their founder,  St. Ignatius of Loyola, who, with his early companions, founded the Society of Jesus in 1540.

St. Ignatius Loyola was born in 1491 to a family of minor nobility in northern Spain. As a young man, Ignatius Loyola was a soldier and dreamed of doing great deeds. But in 1521 Ignatius was gravely wounded in a battle with the French. While recuperating, he experienced a conversion while reading of the lives of Jesus and the saints.

St. Ignatius’ collection of insights, prayers and suggestions in his book the Spiritual Exercises is considered one of the most influential books on the spiritual life ever written. When Ignatius conceived the Jesuits, he wanted them to become  “contemplatives in action.” This is also an ideal for those  who are guided by Ignatian spirituality and who continually strive to follow St. Ignatius’ motivation to “find God in all things”.

Interested in finding out more about St. Ignatius of Loyola? Loyola Press has a collection of biographical materials, works of St. Ignatius, videos and reflections on their website.

Marquette University has also created this short video piece on the story behind the founder of the Jesuit order as told by  Stephanie Russell, executive director of Marquette University’s Office of Mission and Identity.

Where in the World is Jesuit Father Martinez?

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As president of the newest Cristo Rey Jesuit high school in the country, Jesuit Father TJ Martinez is often asked to travel from his home base in Houston, Texas to places all over the globe for pastoral services and speaking engagements. So that Martinez can be in many places all at the same time, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Houston has launched a “Flat Fr. Martinez” project this summer so that the school president can also experience all the fun summertime activities his students have planned during their break.

A takeoff on the “Flat Stanley Project” where children document the places and activities the beloved paper doll encounters, “Flat Fr. Martinez” travels with his friends of Cristo Rey Jesuit this summer, and the school has been tracking his adventures on their website. Students have reported he’s been an ideal travel companion, but a little quiet.

To see some of the places “Flat Fr. Martinez” has visited this summer, view the photo sideshow below:

Jesuit Vu on the Importance of Retreats

Jesuits Revealed Videos
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Where does a Jesuit come from?

Why does he join the Society of Jesus?

How does he know his calling?

The Jesuit Conference of the United States has launched a new video series interviewing Jesuits from across the country discussing their vocations, their various paths to becoming a Jesuit and what it has meant to them to answer God’s call. National Jesuit News will feature a new video interview each week. You can watch additional videos by going to the Jesuits Revealed channel on YouTube.

Today’s video features Jesuit Paul Vu of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus discussing the importance of retreats in following the spirituality put forth by St. Ignatius of Loyola and what retreats mean for Jesuits. You can watch additional videos with Vu here and here at the Jesuits Revealed channel on YouTube.

Jesuit President Schlegel Made Time for his Students

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Creighton University student Maria DeMeuse had a problem, and so, like countless Bluejays over the past decade, she called Jesuit Father John Schlegel and scheduled a sit-down.

She expected maybe 10 minutes of the university president’s time. Instead, they debated whether Creighton had strayed from its Catholic mission and the meaning of Catholic identity.

They discussed the school’s class offerings and its faculty.

An hour passed, then 90 minutes. It got so late the president’s secretary went home.

Fr. Schlegel stayed. He listened.

“It’s very easy, being in this atmosphere, to cater to the administrators, to the board,” DeMeuse said Wednesday. “He sees his mission as being here for the students. … We’re definitely going to miss him.”

Schlegel, the longtime Creighton president, announced Wednesday that he planned to retire in July 2011. You can read more about Schlegel’s legacy at Creighton in this article from the Omaha World-Herald.

Jesuit Father Denk on Being Surprised by Grace

Jesuits Revealed Videos
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Where does a Jesuit come from?

Why does he join the Society of Jesus?

How does he know his calling?

The Jesuit Conference of the United States has launched a new video series interviewing Jesuits from across the country discussing their vocations, their various paths to becoming a Jesuit and what it has meant to them to answer God’s call. National Jesuit News will feature a new video interview each week. You can watch additional videos by going to the Jesuits Revealed channel on YouTube.

Today’s video features Jesuit Father Kurt Denk of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus discussing his experience of finding Jesus during his ministry to prison inmates. You can watch additional videos with Fr. Denk here and here at the Jesuits Revealed channel on YouTube.