Archive for June, 2011

Jesuit Takes "Leap of Faith" with the U.S. Army's Golden Knights

golden_knights_1Jesuit Father Daniel Gatti, the alumni chaplain for Fordham University, recently had the opportunity to go skydiving with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team in New Jersey. He shared the story and photos of his “leap of faith” with Fordham Notes, a news blog from Fordham University’s News and Media Relations Office.

From my perspective as a Jesuit, I somewhat jokingly call my tandem jump a “leap of faith.” And so it was. Not, however, in the theological sense of a movement to belief in God, but in the basic sense of trust; trust in the U.S. Army, its plane, its equipment and its personnel; trust that all elements would work together for a successful jump!golden_knights_3

How did I feel about doing this? I felt euphoric, extremely happy to be able to do something exciting I had never done before. Once in the plane and ascending to 13,000 feet, I had the sense that “this is it; the time has arrived; no thought of changing my mind now.” I had willingly boarded this plane; I will willingly tandem jump from this plane and “return to earth.”

To see all the photos and read the full post, visit the Fordham Notes newsblog.

Jesuit Takes “Leap of Faith” with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights

golden_knights_1Jesuit Father Daniel Gatti, the alumni chaplain for Fordham University, recently had the opportunity to go skydiving with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team in New Jersey. He shared the story and photos of his “leap of faith” with Fordham Notes, a news blog from Fordham University’s News and Media Relations Office.

From my perspective as a Jesuit, I somewhat jokingly call my tandem jump a “leap of faith.” And so it was. Not, however, in the theological sense of a movement to belief in God, but in the basic sense of trust; trust in the U.S. Army, its plane, its equipment and its personnel; trust that all elements would work together for a successful jump!golden_knights_3

How did I feel about doing this? I felt euphoric, extremely happy to be able to do something exciting I had never done before. Once in the plane and ascending to 13,000 feet, I had the sense that “this is it; the time has arrived; no thought of changing my mind now.” I had willingly boarded this plane; I will willingly tandem jump from this plane and “return to earth.”

To see all the photos and read the full post, visit the Fordham Notes newsblog.

Through Dance, Jesuit Connects with the Poor of India

Across the globe, over 20,000 Jesuits are engaged in a diverse variety of ministries. While known for their work in education, Jesuits not only work in classrooms – many are doctors, engineers, economists as well as theologians, spiritual directors and parish priests. Sometimes it seems that there are as many Jesuit-run apostolates as there are Jesuits themselves. As the men of Society of Jesus strive to be on the frontiers, Jesuit Father Prashant Olalekar encapsulates that missionary spirit through his work with Interplay in Mumbai, India.

Fr. Olalekar oversee the Banda Retreat House in Mumbai where he helps conduct retreats and programs for those seeking spiritual solitude and a deeper connection with God through the practice of Ignatian Spirituality. And, recently, during a visit to the United States, Olalekar discovered an Eastern-based practice during his time in the West – a “movement meditation” called Interplay. Today, he conducts class with Interplay India and brings movement and dance to those seeking spiritual guidance and connections.

Olalekar takes his Interplay technique across Mumbai to those living in the poorest of conditions, in the slums and in the streets. Through his teachings, he strives to show a mind/body connection and has even taken his practice to those who have been cut off from any sort of movement whatsoever – paraplegics and people bedridden from the effects of paralysis. Olalekar hopes to show that everyone can be blessed with movement and filled with dance.

Below, he discusses his practice and what Interplay India brings to the people of Mumbai:

Jesuit Missionary Honored in Mexico

samplekino2An exhibition dedicated to Father Eusebio Francesco Kino, who is considered a “bold minded missionary, indomitable spirit and adventurous heart” will be open until June 30 at the Francisco Xavier Clavijero library at Iberoamericana University in Mexico City. According to the General Curia of the Jesuits, the exhibition will celebrate the 300th anniversary of Father Kino’s death (1645-1711).

Over 100 documents are exhibited, including manuscripts, letters, books, maps and objects owned by the archives of the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus, Iberoamericana University, individuals and governments of the states of Sonora and Baja California. Father Kino also known as the Father of Pimería Alta, which is a region that included what is today the State of Sonora (Mexico) and southern Arizona. He is considered one of the most important evangelists of the Society of Jesus in America. He was a geographer, explorer, cartographer, writer, committed to improving the living conditions of indigenous peoples and respect for indigenous rights. In 1975 a statue in his honor was placed in the U.S. Capitol in the National Statuary Hall, the national pantheon of Great Americans.

[The General Curia]

The Jesuits Combat the Dominicans in the 2011 Clericus Cup Finale

Photo by Piotr Spalek, Centro Sportivo Italiano

Photo by Piotr Spalek, Centro Sportivo Italiano

The Pontifical Gregorian University’s soccer team has carried off the 2011 Clericus Cup. The Cup is a soccer tournament that takes place annually between the various pontifical universities of Rome. Comprised of seminarians, priests, and laity, the players are students in each of the pontifical universities.

For the fifth consecutive year, the tournament brought priests and seminarians from different congregations against each other.  The annual tournament is organized by the Centro Sportivo Italiano (CSI), not far from the Vatican.

The Jesuits easily beat Dominicans of the Angelicum 3 to 1.

Officially, the goal of the league is to “reinvigorate the tradition of sport in the Christian community.” In other words, to provide a venue for friendly athletic competition among the thousands of seminarians, representing nearly a hundred countries, who study in Rome. The league was started by the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Vatican, Tarcisio Bertone, who is an unapologetic soccer fan. The teams that regularly contend for the eight play-off spots are, on the field, fierce rivals.