Archive for July, 2010

Santa Clara University Mourns Death of Former Jesuit President Locatelli

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At least 1,500 mourners are expected to attend the outdoor funeral service Friday evening for Jesuit Father Paul Locatelli, Santa Clara University‘s (SCU) chancellor and former president who guided the university through tremendous change and revitalization.

Fr. Locatelli, 71, died Monday after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He had recently returned from Rome, where he worked as secretary of higher education for the Society of Jesus. He retired in 2008 after 20 years as president of the university, but remained chancellor despite his job in Rome.

A viewing inside Mission Santa Clara, the heart of the Jesuit university campus, will take place today from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The funeral service begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight and will be held outside in the nearby Mission Gardens. A live video feed of Locatelli’s funeral mass will be at www.scu.edu/locatelli. SCU is requesting people share their memories of Locatelli on their website here.

Jesuits Respond to BP Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

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The New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus has compiled a resource packet in response to the growing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf Coast region from the BP oil spill. It can be found at www.norprov.org/news/oilspillresources.pdf.

The packet includes prayers, an oil spill policy brief and a study on the spill from the e-newsletter of the Jesuit Social Research Institute.

Also, the Jesuit school Loyola University New Orleans has created a website addressing the numerous efforts being made by its faculty and staff to respond to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The site, Crude Awakening at http://www.loyno.edu/oilspill/, features a list of faculty experts who can speak authoritatively on oil spill topics; a blog compiling faculty and staff commentary regarding the spill; press releases and news about Loyola’s involvement; local and national news headlines; and ways to get involved.

In addition, Loyola’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has reached out to more than 1,000 affected small businesses in the area, offering them assistance in filing claims, counseling, and support since the spill began.

The SBDC’s director, Carmen Sunda, recently testified at a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., on the oil spill’s impact on small businesses. In her written testimony, Sunda expressed the far-reaching devastation of the uncertainty of the spill and provided details about how the SBDC is helping affected businesses.

“The worst part is that it has no foreseeable ending. People can’t estimate the value of their long-term losses or the long-term impact, because they can’t define ‘long-term’–does it mean this season, a few years, a lifetime?” wrote Sunda.

Loyola’s SBDC has partnered with the Louisiana Small Business Administration (LSBA) to staff twelve Business Recovery Centers in seven parishes across coastal Louisiana. Each center is staffed with an LSBA and an SBDC consultant who help with the BP claims process and filling for loans.

“SBDC assists any business that feels that they have been impacted. Our consultants provide businesses with a free, independent, third party that they can speak with on a personal level,” said Sunda.

Six Months after Earthquake, Jesuits say Situation in Haiti Remains a Humanitarian Crisis

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Six months after the earthquake devastated Haiti on January 12, more than one million survivors continue to live in appalling conditions, with inadequate sanitation, limited access to services and food shortages, say the Jesuits who are working to provide humanitarian assistance.

Conditions in many of the nearly 1,400 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) around the capital, Port-au-Prince, are extremely critical. The conditions at the largest Jesuit Refugee Services’ (JRS) camp, Automeca, with a population of 12,000, are typical. Here, residents continue to live in shacks held up by rags and poles. There are no schools or electricity, sanitation is poor and the water barely drinkable. When heavy rain falls, garbage rushes through the camp.

For many years, JRS has had a grassroots presence in Haiti and has provided humanitarian assistance to displaced Haitians in both the Dominican Republic and along the Haitian border. JRS – Haiti is focusing its current relief efforts in the Port-au-Prince area, working in seven camps that serve the needs of more than 21,000 displaced people in and around the capital by providing emergency assistance, psychosocial support, and training to community leaders to manage camps and civil society organizations.

“Camp management and aid delivery structures should always include consultation and cooperation with the displaced people who are swiftly forming their own organizations to advocate for their own particular needs,” said JRS/USA Director Jesuit Father Kenneth J. Gavin. “More attention must be placed on supporting the food and relief needs for IDP recipient communities and people not living in camps so that moving to a camp is not the only way for people to receive minimal food, water, and livelihood assistance.”

At a meeting with JRS – Haiti on June 20, seven IDP camp leaders highlighted numerous concerns, including the lack of security, particularly in camps that don’t have electricity and lighting at night, which pose a particular threat to women and children.

The situation in unofficial camps is even worse. Throughout the city, unofficial camp residents receive little or no care from large aid organizations or international coordinating bodies; many have even been told leave the camps but have not been provided with alternative housing.

“JRS welcomes the moratorium on forced evictions issued by the Haitian government. Unfortunately, pressure from landowners on IDPs to evacuate the sites continues. Actions go so far as intermittent disconnection of the water supply, and refusals to allow the construction of more permanent shelters and street lighting. ,” said JRS – Haiti Director Jesuit Father Wismith Lazard. “The government needs to use its authority to protect camp residents from this kind of harassment, and put more effort into identifying suitable shelter.”

In the video below, Frs. Lazard and Kawas Francois, president of the Jesuit Interprovincial Committee for the Reconstruction of Haiti, discuss the conditions in the camps in Haiti and the plans to open 17 Jesuit Fe y Alegria (Hope & Joy) schools in the next year in Haiti.

Jesuit Father General Nicolás Visits Russia

At the final mass during the Russian Regional meeting with Jesuit Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, he was presented with an original icon by the regional superior, Jesuit Fr. Tony Corcoran, [New Orleans Province; left], Jesuit Clemens Werth [right], in the novitiate chapel in Novosibirsk. Deacon Bredelyev Oleksiy, in the background. [Photo Courtesy Jesuit Fr. Don Doll]

At the final mass during the Russian Regional meeting with Jesuit Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, he was presented with an original icon by the regional superior, Jesuit Fr. Tony Corcoran, (New Orleans Province; left) , Jesuit Clemens Werth (right), in the novitiate chapel in Novosibirsk. Deacon Bredelyev Oleksiy, in the background. (Photo Courtesy Jesuit Fr. Don Doll)

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Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás visited the Russian region from July 4 – 10. The visit began in Novosibirsk where he  participated in a meeting of Jesuits working in the region. The theme of the meeting was “Apostolic and Communal Life in the Russian Region: a Challenge/Call to Live in Unity of Minds and Hearts.” The gathering was scheduled for three days and was an occasion for Fr. Nicolás to  learn first-hand the opportunities and challenges facing the region, and to offer reflections regarding the future. From Novosibirsk,  Father General traveled to Moscow where, on the morning of July 9, he met with representatives of the Department of External Relations of the Orthodox Russian Church.  That afternoon, he attended a reception at the St. Thomas Institute, the theology, philosophy and history faculty run by the Jesuits in the Russian capital, and visited with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini. The next day, Father General “played tourist” visiting Red Square and other places of interest in Moscow; he also paid a visit to Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow.

Jesuit Father Ohno on Apostolic Availability

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 Natch Ohno of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus discussing Jesuits’ service to the Church and being available for mission for the Society of Jesus. You can watch an additional video with Fr. Ohno here at the Jesuits Revealed channel on YouTube.