Archive for February, 2011

A Jesuit's Journey to his Vocation

Jesuit Kevin SpinaleShare

Jesuit Kevin Spinale, who entered the Society of Jesus five years ago, says his decision to become a Jesuit came slowly: “I didn’t fall off a horse or anything. I had no desire to do this in high school or college.”

Spinale graduated from two Jesuit schools —  Boston College High and Holy Cross — but did not feel called to the priestly vocation in general or the Jesuits in particular. Two years in the Peace Corps in Romania proved to be eye-opening for him.

“I’d find myself by myself,” Spinale said. “You get to do a lot of thinking, and something started to bite on my conscience or get me to think about what God is.”

Spinale wrote Jesuit Father John Brooks, the former president of Holy Cross and a friend and mentor from his college days. “I told him, ‘I’ve got this sort of subtle biting thing on my conscience,’” Spinale said. “He wrote back, ‘I thought you would ask me about that six years ago.’”

Read more about Spinale and his vocation in the BC High Today magazine.

A Jesuit’s Journey to his Vocation

Jesuit Kevin SpinaleShare

Jesuit Kevin Spinale, who entered the Society of Jesus five years ago, says his decision to become a Jesuit came slowly: “I didn’t fall off a horse or anything. I had no desire to do this in high school or college.”

Spinale graduated from two Jesuit schools —  Boston College High and Holy Cross — but did not feel called to the priestly vocation in general or the Jesuits in particular. Two years in the Peace Corps in Romania proved to be eye-opening for him.

“I’d find myself by myself,” Spinale said. “You get to do a lot of thinking, and something started to bite on my conscience or get me to think about what God is.”

Spinale wrote Jesuit Father John Brooks, the former president of Holy Cross and a friend and mentor from his college days. “I told him, ‘I’ve got this sort of subtle biting thing on my conscience,’” Spinale said. “He wrote back, ‘I thought you would ask me about that six years ago.’”

Read more about Spinale and his vocation in the BC High Today magazine.

Jesuit Middle East Expert on Egypt's Revolution

Jesuit Father Drew ChristiansenShare

Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor-in-chief of America magazine and former director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, said that the success of a nonviolent revolution in Egypt is one of “multiple signs of spring in the North African winter.”

Fr. Christiansen, an expert on the Middle East, was keynote speaker at the Diocese of Arlington’s annual peace symposium on Feb. 12.

“I think it’s wonderful that Egypt was a nonviolent revolution. It was so unexpected. For 18 days in a country of 80 million people, how do you get that to happen?” Christiansen asked. “Those that preached that nonviolence wasn’t to be found in the Muslim world have been proved wrong again.”

As for what’s next for Egypt, he said it will be a waiting game, with the hope that the country will end up with a responsible democratic government.

Christiansen also focused his talk on religious freedom in other Middle Eastern countries and the role the United States is playing and has played. For more on Christiansen’s talk, visit Catholic News Service.

Jesuit Middle East Expert on Egypt’s Revolution

Jesuit Father Drew ChristiansenShare

Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor-in-chief of America magazine and former director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, said that the success of a nonviolent revolution in Egypt is one of “multiple signs of spring in the North African winter.”

Fr. Christiansen, an expert on the Middle East, was keynote speaker at the Diocese of Arlington’s annual peace symposium on Feb. 12.

“I think it’s wonderful that Egypt was a nonviolent revolution. It was so unexpected. For 18 days in a country of 80 million people, how do you get that to happen?” Christiansen asked. “Those that preached that nonviolence wasn’t to be found in the Muslim world have been proved wrong again.”

As for what’s next for Egypt, he said it will be a waiting game, with the hope that the country will end up with a responsible democratic government.

Christiansen also focused his talk on religious freedom in other Middle Eastern countries and the role the United States is playing and has played. For more on Christiansen’s talk, visit Catholic News Service.

Jesuit's Anti-Gang Program Debuts Snack Products at Supermarket Chain

Homeboy SalsaShare

Jesuit Father Greg Boyle’s Homeboy Industries, an outreach program for gang members in Los Angeles, recently partnered with Ralphs grocery store chain to sell Homeboy chips and salsa. The products were the hottest-selling snack item at the 256 Ralphs deli sections across Southern California in early February.

Fr. Boyle said he was inspired by the late actor Paul Newman, whose “Newman’s Own” products funded nonprofit organizations. The products launched at Ralphs last month as part of an effort to revive Homeboy’s hard-hit finances.

“The aim is to expand the brand so that Homeboy becomes a household name and then a household idea,” said Boyle.

Proceeds go to funding Homeboy services such as tattoo removal and counseling.

“If we can increase revenue, we could fundraise less,” Boyle said.

Last year, Homeboy laid off about 330 people and nearly shut its doors when it couldn’t raise the $5 million needed to operate. Because of donations, “things have stabilized. We’ve brought back senior staff, about 100 jobs,” he said.

Read the full story on Boyle’s latest Homeboy venture at the Los Angeles Times.