Archive for May, 2011

Former President of Santa Clara University Named Chancellor

william_rewakFormer Santa Clara University President Jesuit Father William Rewak will return to the campus as the new chancellor of the 160-year-old Jesuit institution effective August 15th, SCU President Jesuit Father Michael Engh announced.

In his role as SCU chancellor, Rewak will assist Engh in vital areas, including civic engagement, fundraising, community outreach, and ceremonial events. He will also head a newly established Council of Trustee Emeriti, a board comprising former, honored trustees who will continue to serve and provide counsel to SCU.

“I’m very happy to be returning to Santa Clara and look forward to renewing old acquaintances and making new friends. The position of chancellor is a challenging one, but challenges keep the imagination alive,” said Rewak.

Rewak was appointed chancellor of SCU once before, in 1989. But he held that post for only a few months before being tapped to fill in for the unexpectedly ill president of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He ended up staying in that post until 1997. Since January 2011, Rewak has been interim director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos, for which he was director from 1998 to 2005. Prior to his current post, he served as minister of the Jesuit Community at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he also taught poetry.

“I am honored and grateful that Fr. Rewak has accepted my offer of this position to help advance the vision, mission, and strategic plan for Santa Clara University,” Engh said in an announcement to the University community. “He showed a passion for this University when he was president that has continued unabated, and we are fortunate for his continued service.”

To read the full announcement, please visit Santa Clara’s website.

NJN Exclusive: Jesuit Shares his Experience of Pope John Paul II's Beatification

P1090777-aCurrently studying theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Jesuit Scholastic Michael Rogers recently had the opportunity to be in the Eternal City during the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

In an exclusive to National Jesuit News, Rogers shares his experience of the late pontiff’s beatification…

In the past few days it has always been crowded around the simplest tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica. This is not the tomb of St. Peter, with its grand Bernini Baldacchino, nor is it the one of the tombs of a pope surrounded by grand sculptures. This is a simple marble slab with the name of the pope buried there, engraved in red. The word around Rome is that the waiting list to offer a Mass at the altar of this tomb is already weeks long. Michelangelo’s Pietà, usually the main attraction in this section of the basilica, garners only a few visitors now. The crush of people has made it difficult to keep the Blessed Sacrament Chapel open lately, and so the tabernacle has shifted to the front of the church from where it usually resides. There, wedged between the chapels of the Pietà and the Blessed Sacrament, the resting place of Blessed John Paul II is simple, and yet there is a profound sense of the importance of this space to so many people.IMG_0636

When word broke back in January that John Paul II would be beatified last Sunday, I was among the first in my Jesuit community to say that I would be leaving Rome. Citing my desire to flee ahead of the crowds, I had planned to go south into the mountains of Calabria, or north to Tuscany. One thing, however, was sure. I was going to get out. Over the course of a couple of months my thoughts on this changed, though. The truth is that as the beatification day approached I wanted to be here more and more. When the invitation to distribute communion for the beatification arrived, all of my ideas about fleeing the city were cancelled, and I responded that I would be there.

It was 5:30am on the morning of May 1, 2011 and although tired, I headed off to a church event here in Rome. Wearing an old borrowed cassock, I crossed the Tiber not far from the General Curia of the Society and waited for the police escort to take us to where we would be distributing communion. In the crowd of over a million people, all around us you could hear languages from all over the world. There were groups of people singing and dancing. There was a sense of joy, and even among the many police who were clearly working overtime, there seemed to be a sense of relief that, for once, there was a gathering of people here in Rome that wasn’t a protest. The moment of this celebration was a moment to celebrate that one of us, someone whom we knew, had almost assuredly gone before us into the place where we all hope to go. Read the rest of this entry »

NJN Exclusive: Jesuit Shares his Experience of Pope John Paul II’s Beatification

P1090777-aCurrently studying theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Jesuit Scholastic Michael Rogers recently had the opportunity to be in the Eternal City during the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

In an exclusive to National Jesuit News, Rogers shares his experience of the late pontiff’s beatification…

In the past few days it has always been crowded around the simplest tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica. This is not the tomb of St. Peter, with its grand Bernini Baldacchino, nor is it the one of the tombs of a pope surrounded by grand sculptures. This is a simple marble slab with the name of the pope buried there, engraved in red. The word around Rome is that the waiting list to offer a Mass at the altar of this tomb is already weeks long. Michelangelo’s Pietà, usually the main attraction in this section of the basilica, garners only a few visitors now. The crush of people has made it difficult to keep the Blessed Sacrament Chapel open lately, and so the tabernacle has shifted to the front of the church from where it usually resides. There, wedged between the chapels of the Pietà and the Blessed Sacrament, the resting place of Blessed John Paul II is simple, and yet there is a profound sense of the importance of this space to so many people.IMG_0636

When word broke back in January that John Paul II would be beatified last Sunday, I was among the first in my Jesuit community to say that I would be leaving Rome. Citing my desire to flee ahead of the crowds, I had planned to go south into the mountains of Calabria, or north to Tuscany. One thing, however, was sure. I was going to get out. Over the course of a couple of months my thoughts on this changed, though. The truth is that as the beatification day approached I wanted to be here more and more. When the invitation to distribute communion for the beatification arrived, all of my ideas about fleeing the city were cancelled, and I responded that I would be there.

It was 5:30am on the morning of May 1, 2011 and although tired, I headed off to a church event here in Rome. Wearing an old borrowed cassock, I crossed the Tiber not far from the General Curia of the Society and waited for the police escort to take us to where we would be distributing communion. In the crowd of over a million people, all around us you could hear languages from all over the world. There were groups of people singing and dancing. There was a sense of joy, and even among the many police who were clearly working overtime, there seemed to be a sense of relief that, for once, there was a gathering of people here in Rome that wasn’t a protest. The moment of this celebration was a moment to celebrate that one of us, someone whom we knew, had almost assuredly gone before us into the place where we all hope to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Jesuits Reflect on Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins

Jesuit Father Joseph Feeney, a professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, spoke of Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins as “an environmentalist poet” at a recent Gerard Manley Hopkins Conference at Regis University.

“He celebrated nature, he grieved for the destruction of nature, and he urged the preservation of nature,” said Fr. Feeney.

Hopkins (1844-1889) was born in England to Anglican parents, and he was received into the Catholic Church by another prominent convert, Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman in 1866. Hopkins joined the Society of Jesus the next year.

Jesuit Father Peter Milward, a professor emeritus of English at Sophia University in Tokyo, also attended the conference and said Hopkins and Newman both represent the “second spring” of Catholicism in England.

Both men were “revolutionaries in terms of their time,” Fr. Milward said, and Hopkins’ poetry is comparable to “the greatest language of William Shakespeare.”

For more on the Hopkins conference, visit Catholic News Agency.

Path to Priesthood: One Month Until Ordination

PathToPriesthood_banner_559x59

Radmar Jao is officially one month away from being ordained a priest, and if there is one thing he wants this vlog edition to communicate, it is his excitement at this next stage of his life as a Jesuit.

“I’m feeling excited that the time is coming…This is not the end of a journey. No, if anything the excitement is really in the knowing that a new stage of my life is beginning,” 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, comment on YouTube or on Twitter via @AskAJesuit and he will respond in an upcoming future video diary. Check back weekly for more video diaries from Jao.