Archive for April, 2011
Within the Society of Jesus’ governmental structure, five areas of apostolic importance have been identified and given special attention. One of these apostolic sectors is Social Justice & Ecology, which is headed up by Jesuit Father Patxi Álvarez de los Mozos. Recently appointed to his role this year, Fr. Álvarez de los Mozos explains the intertwined nature of working for social justice with a connection to ecological issues during this video interview he recently conducted with National Jesuit News during his visit from his headquarters in Rome to the United States.
On this Earth Day, Álvarez de los Mozos encourages Jesuits and their partners to work toward justice, peace and environmental care.
Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa, the host of “EWTN Live,” recently interviewed Jesuit Father John Padberg, noted historian and director of the Institute of Jesuit Sources based in Saint Louis, Mis., in which he speaks at length about the Society of Jesus, it’s foundation and history.
“I got a chance to go to the Institute that you have up in Saint Louis and see all this material, but so little of it is that well known,” said Fr. Pacwa. “I thought that this might be a great chance to let the institute and the books you make available on spirituality and the history of the Jesuits a little bit better known.”
The segment, which runs almost an hour, features many tidbits of Jesuit history, including:
- Jesuits opened the first schools for the laity.
- Jesuits invented the use of grade levels, which advanced students by testing.
- Jesuits created the school system by founding multiple schools for the laity.
- Blessed Peter Faber was one of the first ecumenicists, working with Protestants soon after the Reformation.
- The Jesuits are the only religious order founded by 10 University graduates.
- St. Francis Xavier was one of the first missionaries to Asia.
- A Jesuit named Ippolito Desideri was the first European missionary to successfully understand and study the Tibetian language and culture.
Jesuit Father Paul Coelho, from Kohima, India, and currently working at the Center for Service and Justice and in campus ministry at Creighton University, has lived in Jesuit communities across the globe.
He admits that he came to the United States with a certain amount of apprehension. “I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in; I wasn’t sure how well I would be accepted. I had lots of doubts,” he said.
But, Fr. Coelho said, “It took me just two days to realize that a Jesuit community anywhere in the world is the same.”
While there are superficial differences, he said, he’s found that what it boils down to at the deepest level is amazingly similar.
“I’m convinced that when you’re a Jesuit you almost belong to a different nationality — the Jesuit nationality. It transcends natural borders and geographic and demographic borders,” Coelho said.
He has found that he’s at home in any Jesuit community because of the Society’s long, shared history. For more of Coelho’s reflections, watch the video below.
At the 11th annual Jesuit GALA of the New England Province of Jesuits, more than 1300 Jesuits, lay partners, family and friends gathered to honor Jesuit Fathers John Brooks, Aloysius Kelley and J. Donald Monan, whom were presented the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award. The three Jesuits had served as presidents to three Jesuit colleges located in the New England Province: College of the Holy Cross, Fairfield University and Boston College.
The award, which was presented at the 11th annual Jesuit Gala on April 12th, honors those who selflessly give of themselves for the great glory of God.
Fr. Brooks served as president of Holy Cross from 1970-1994, Fr. Kelley served as president of Fairfield University from 1979-2004 and Fr. Monan served as Boston College’s president from 1972-1996.
Jesuit Provincial Myles Sheehan presented the award to the Jesuits for their combined 75 years of outstanding educational leadership.
“We are grateful to Frs. Brooks, Kelley and Monan for their vision in buiding on what had gone before and taking Jesuit education to new levels of quality, scholarship, influence and impct on not only New England, but the nation,” said Fr. Sheehan.
To read more about the events of the GALA, please visit the New England Province website.
One step of Jesuit formation on the path to priesthood is working in pastoral ministry, which helps prepare the Jesuit for his life immediately after ordination. Often during this formation time, the Jesuit will work in a variety of places; for Jesuit Radmar Jao it is as a deacon at Saint Agnes Parish in San Francisco, CA and the Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA. In this video, Radmar talks about a pastoral ministry experience that deeply impacted him.
“My strength lies in accompanying people in the midst of their pain, in the midst of their struggle, in the midst of their confusion, just to be able to be with them and walk with them,” says Radmar.
As we follow Jao on his journey to ordination in June, leave a comment or ask a question here on the National Jesuit News blog or on YouTube and he will respond in an upcoming future video diary. And check back weekly for more video diaries from Jao.