Archive for August, 2010

Jesuit Looks to Move School for Needy Kids out of Manhattan's Lower East Side

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With gentrification morphing the once crime-ridden and drug-infested streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan into storefronts filled with swanky merchandise and hip restaurants, the Nativity Mission Center, a Jesuit middle school that for nearly 40 years has been educating promising, but poor, boys in the neighborhood is starting to feel out of place. Knowing that the school must be located where the need is greatest, Jesuit Father Jack Podsiadlo is  following in the tradition of intrepid Jesuit missionaries and has embarked on an urban expedition: finding a needy neighborhood where he can relocate his school by 2012.

Fr. Podsiadlo’s quest to find the right location for his school and highlights of the work of the Nativity Mission Center are profiled in this piece in the New York Times. You can also view a slideshow of photos of the school and the Lower East Side neighborhood where it is currently located.

Jesuit Looks to Move School for Needy Kids out of Manhattan’s Lower East Side

Podsiadlo1Share

With gentrification morphing the once crime-ridden and drug-infested streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan into storefronts filled with swanky merchandise and hip restaurants, the Nativity Mission Center, a Jesuit middle school that for nearly 40 years has been educating promising, but poor, boys in the neighborhood is starting to feel out of place. Knowing that the school must be located where the need is greatest, Jesuit Father Jack Podsiadlo is  following in the tradition of intrepid Jesuit missionaries and has embarked on an urban expedition: finding a needy neighborhood where he can relocate his school by 2012.

Fr. Podsiadlo’s quest to find the right location for his school and highlights of the work of the Nativity Mission Center are profiled in this piece in the New York Times. You can also view a slideshow of photos of the school and the Lower East Side neighborhood where it is currently located.

Jesuit Featured in Indy Star on Kenyan School for AIDS Orphans

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St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School is located in the impoverished Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya and is dedicated to serving AIDS affected youth. With nearly 1 million inhabitants, Kibera is the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa. In order to be admitted to the school, students must have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS and their surviving parents must also be afflicted with the disease. Jesuit Father Terry Charlton co-founded the school in 2003, which recently open a new building to its 280 students.

St. Aloysius is based on the Jesuit model of Catholic education and serves bright youngsters of all faith backgrounds who are at risk by providing a college preparatory education and support to overcome the deficits of their environment. Their educational philosophy is based on the Ignatian principals to become men and women for others who are dedicated to bettering society. Even facing such challenges as dire poverty and being orphaned, the children of the school take its motto to “live, love and learn” to heart.

You can read more about Fr. Charlton’s vision for St. Aloysius here or by watching the video below:

Jesuit Rick Curry Talks to Vatican Radio about Disabled Veterans Program

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Jesuit Father Rick Curry runs the Academy for Veterans at Georgetown University for those retuning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The program aims to assist veterans who have been disabled in combat in rebuilding their lives and responding to their needs. The program also includes emotional rehabilitation through performing arts.

Fr. Curry recently spoke to Vatican Radio about the unique experience of working with the disabled veterans. You can listen to Curry’s interview here

Holocaust Film Produced by Jesuit Possible Oscar Contender

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A film about the Holocaust – produced by a Jesuit priest – finds itself on a possible path to the Academy Awards.

The 37-minute documentary is called “The Labyrinth,” and tells the story of Marian Kolodziej, a Polish Catholic resistance fighter during World War II who survived more than five years in Auschwitz. Three years ago, Kolodziej’s work was discovered by Jesuit Father Ron Schmidt, who came to Auschwitz to produce a documentary on an annual interfaith conference held there.

Friends in the film industry who saw an early cut of the project told Fr. Schmidt he had a possible Oscar nominee on his hands. But, to qualify for nomination, films need to be shown in New York and Los Angeles theatres for at least five days – a tall, expensive order for documentary shorts produced on little more than hope and a prayer.

But sometimes that is enough – each year, the International Documentary Association sponsors the DocuWeeks showcase, just to make sure that worthy documentary features and shorts get the exposure they need for a shot at Oscar. Competition is fierce – only five short films are selected from entries submitted worldwide.

“The Labyrinth” will be one of them. It premieres on Friday, August 13th in New York and Los Angeles, and buzz has already begun to build. An Oscar nomination remains a mysterious, distant goal – but this powerful short film has already achieved more than its makers hoped and prayed for.

You can learn more about Schmidt’s documentary at National Catholic Reporter and by watching the trailer for the film below.