Archive for April, 2011

SLU Establishes Jesuit Community Scholarships

The late Jesuit Father Jerome J. Marchetti; the SLU scholarships are sponsored by the Marchetti Endowment Fund.

The late Jesuit Father Jerome J. Marchetti; the SLU scholarships are sponsored by the Marchetti Endowment Fund.

Saint Louis University has established the SLU Jesuit Community Scholarships, a new $1 million initiative for local Catholic high school students that is supported though contributions from the salaries of Jesuits who teach and minister at SLU. The scholarships are sponsored by the Marchetti Endowment Fund, which is named for the late Jesuit Father Jerome J. Marchetti, an alumnus and longtime professor and administrator at SLU.

Starting this fall, one student from each of the 28 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as well as four Catholic high schools in the Metro East, will receive a scholarship to SLU. Annual award amounts will vary, depending on need.

“The Jesuit community remains a vital component of Saint Louis University,” said Jesuit Father Lawrence Biondi, president of SLU. “The Jesuits at SLU created the Marchetti Fund to advance the Jesuit and Catholic character of the university, and this new scholarship program certainly embodies that founding mission.”

Recipients can renew their scholarships each academic year if they maintain full-time enrollment and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete 20 hours of service annually at their alma mater high schools.

“This new scholarship program is yet another sign that Saint Louis University remains deeply committed to Catholic education at all levels,” said Fr. Biondi. “We’re very pleased to assist local families who share our commitment.”

For more on the SLU Jesuit Community Scholarships, visit the Saint Louis Review.

Jesuits Work to Preserve Precious Library Collection

Jesuit Father Robert Taft holds a rare book in the library of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Jesuit Father Robert Taft holds a rare book in the library of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. (CNS/Paul Haring)

The Jesuit’s Pontifical Oriental Institute has the best general collection in the world on Eastern Christianity, including an extremely rare 1581 edition of the Ostrog Bible – the first complete Bible printed in Slavic. “For the Slavic churches, this is the Gutenberg” Bible, said U.S. Jesuit Father Robert Taft, former prefect of the library and former vice rector of the institute.

However, the Bible and other items in the library’s oldest and most valuable collections are in a serious state of degradation. Rome’s temperatures swings and ordinary wear and tear have taken their toll on volumes that are hundreds of years old.

“Everybody knows that that the only way to preserve material like this is to have a standard uniform temperature with humidity control and climate control throughout the entire year,” Fr. Taft said.

The institute and library are funded by the Vatican, but the portion they receive is only enough to increase their holdings and keep the place running.

The institute’s rector, U.S. Jesuit Father James McCann, said he is looking for outside funding for its preservation efforts. Georgetown University hopes to provide a grant to the library that would pay for a digitizing machine plus a year’s stipend for one person to do the scanning, Fr. McCann added.

While digitizing the collections will save on further wear and tear, funding must still be found for repairing the degraded volumes. McCann said he also wants to look for potential donors outside the church, such as “people who love books or specialists who recognize the value of these materials.”

A climate-controlled system for the library and its collections could cost a quarter of a million dollars, said McCann. Not only would it protect the books from heat and humidity, he said, the library would be able to stay open year round instead of having to close in late summer because of the stifling temperature.

Because the institute attracts religious and lay students and experts from many Christian traditions, it plays a key role in the future of ecumenism, McCann said.

The oriental institute “is not an archival library or a museum library. Our things aren’t here to be oohed and aahed over; they’re here to be put into somebody’s hands and used,” said Taft.

For the full story, visit Catholic News Service.

Jesuit Invites Viewers to Join Him on His Path to Priesthood

deacon_jao

Today, we launch a new online video series via YouTube focusing on a Jesuit in the last few months of formation before his ordination to the priesthood. Called “Path to Priesthood”, the series gives viewers an opportunity to follow Jesuit Radmar Jao in the months leading up to his ordination, join his actual ordination ceremony and hear his reflections before his first assignment as a Jesuit priest. The series also offers a collection of weekly video diaries from Jao himself where he gives his thoughts on the approaching ordination, to what happens in his class, ministry or that day in his community.

Jao, who is currently in his third year of theological studies at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University at Berkeley in California, is preparing for his ordination in June in Spokane, Wash. Formerly an actor, Jao joined the Society of Jesus in 2001. He also currently serves as a deacon at St. Agnes Parish in San Francisco.

You can view the first episode below and make sure to come back next week for Jao’s first video diary on what his life is like as he prepares to become a priest.

Jesuit Says Suffering Jesus Doesn't Please but Intrigues Art Viewers

Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop

The graphic depiction of Jesus as the suffering Man of Sorrows is not a crowd pleaser but is a crowd draw, according to Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop, assistant professor of art history at Fordham University.

Fr. Waldrop moderated a March 18 panel discussion on the Man of Sorrows as part of a symposium organized by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture in conjunction with a new exhibit at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art.

“No one would dispute the importance of Christ’s sacrificial death in Christian theology, but we are less inclined today to decorate our living rooms with bloody representations of him,” said Waldrop.

But Waldrop said the Man of Sorrows — which is an image of Jesus upright, dead but not yet resurrected — still resonates artistically and religiously. “It continues to attract and provoke, responding to current conditions of anguish, loss and deprivation in the world, and showing up in contemporary songs, popular images and even as a theme in artworks by high-profile, emphatically secular contemporary artists.”

For more on Waldrop’s panel discussion, visit Catholic News Service.

Jesuit Says Suffering Jesus Doesn’t Please but Intrigues Art Viewers

Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop

The graphic depiction of Jesus as the suffering Man of Sorrows is not a crowd pleaser but is a crowd draw, according to Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop, assistant professor of art history at Fordham University.

Fr. Waldrop moderated a March 18 panel discussion on the Man of Sorrows as part of a symposium organized by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture in conjunction with a new exhibit at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art.

“No one would dispute the importance of Christ’s sacrificial death in Christian theology, but we are less inclined today to decorate our living rooms with bloody representations of him,” said Waldrop.

But Waldrop said the Man of Sorrows — which is an image of Jesus upright, dead but not yet resurrected — still resonates artistically and religiously. “It continues to attract and provoke, responding to current conditions of anguish, loss and deprivation in the world, and showing up in contemporary songs, popular images and even as a theme in artworks by high-profile, emphatically secular contemporary artists.”

For more on Waldrop’s panel discussion, visit Catholic News Service.