Archive for July, 2011

Former Nurse Becomes a Jesuit Priest at Age 56

medinaAs a nurse, Joel Medina treated physical ailments. Now, he wants to treat spiritual ones.

After years working in health care, the 56-year-old has traded his scrubs for the collar of a Jesuit priest.

“I was interested in serving people,” Medina said. “I felt the call to do that by serving as a priest.”

Medina started his career in health care at age 19, working as a nursing assistant. He went on to become a registered nurse  and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wayne State University in Detroit. He then worked about 16 years off and on at the University of Michigan hospital.

That all ended nine years ago, when Medina applied to be a Jesuit and entered The Society of Jesus at Chicago-Detroit Province’s Novitiate at Loyola House in Berkley, Mich.

Friends and family said they weren’t surprised by the decision.

“We always knew (the priesthood) is where he’d end up,” said Medina’s sister, Linda Berkemeier. “He was sensitive and interested in theology. We were just waiting for him to do it.”

Read more about Fr. Joel Medina at mlive.com.

Apostleship of Prayer's Jesuits Setting 'Hearts on Fire' with Retreats

JesMissBand2

Hearts on Fire, a Catholic young adult retreat program, is storming cities across the Northeast this summer.

No, “this is not the world’s most perfectly cut diamond,” joked Jesuit Father Phil Hurley, referring to a popular line of engagement rings. The priest is the national youth and young adult director of the Apostleship of Prayer, a Jesuit association leading the Hearts on Fire retreats.

The retreats are for young adults ages 18-39, married or single, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and the spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer.

“It’s a crucial time for people in their lives,” Fr. Hurley told Catholic News Service, “they are at a place in their life that they can make decisions soon and take action on it right away and make a big difference.”

Hurley explained that the retreat is focused on trying to connect faith to everyday life. Participants learn about the Apostleship of Prayer’s idea of making a morning offering, living the Eucharist throughout the day and ending the day with an evening review.

The retreat also leaves time for young adults to socialize with one another during meal times and a coffeehouse social.

Read more about the Hearts on Fire Retreats at Catholic News Service and find out if the retreats are coming to your city by visiting apostleshipofprayer.org/heartsonfire.html.

Apostleship of Prayer’s Jesuits Setting ‘Hearts on Fire’ with Retreats

JesMissBand2Hearts on Fire, a Catholic young adult retreat program, is storming cities across the Northwest this summer.

No, “this is not the world’s most perfectly cut diamond,” joked Jesuit Father Phil Hurley, referring to a popular line of engagement rings. The priest is the national youth and young adult director of the Apostleship of Prayer, a Jesuit association leading the Hearts on Fire retreats.

The retreats are for young adults ages 18-39, married or single, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and the spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer.

“It’s a crucial time for people in their lives,” Fr. Hurley told Catholic News Service, “they are at a place in their life that they can make decisions soon and take action on it right away and make a big difference.”

Hurley explained that the retreat is focused on trying to connect faith to everyday life. Participants learn about the Apostleship of Prayer’s idea of making a morning offering, living the Eucharist throughout the day and ending the day with an evening review.

The retreat also leaves time for young adults to socialize with one another during meal times and a coffeehouse social.

Read more about the Hearts on Fire Retreats at Catholic News Service and find out if the retreats are coming to your city by visiting apostleshipofprayer.org/heartsonfire.html.

St. Louis Jesuits to Receive Jubilate Deo Award

St. Louis JesuitsSince 1996 the National Association of Pastoral Musicians have recognized individuals that have made exceptional musical contributions to the American Catholic Church with the Jubilate Deo Award. This year’s recipient: beloved Catholic group of composers, The St. Louis Jesuits.

“This award is not only highly deserved, but very long overdue,” says OCP publisher, John Limb. “The St. Louis Jesuits are ground-breaking composers in the area of liturgical music. They were among the first to marry texts based on Scripture with melodies that were well crafted and memorable. Not only have they influenced the spiritual lives of millions of Catholics in the pews, but they have also influenced the music of almost every liturgical composer who’s written and been published since Vatican II.”

Though many people may not know them by name, Tim Manion, Dan Schutte and Jesuit Fathers Bob Dufford, John Foley and Roc O’Connor have produced classics that have been staples of worship for more than 30 years, including “Be Not Afraid,” “Here I Am, Lord,” “Lift Up Your Hearts,” “One Bread, One Body” and “This Alone.”

Read more about the Jubilate Deo award ceremony for the St. Louis Jesuits at Christian Newswire.

Jesuit Sheds Light on the Missionary Strategies Used by Matteo Ricci in China

chinese_PopeThe missionary strategies used by the Jesuits in China constitute an advanced and effective model for the enculturalization of Christianity. This is what emerged, in brief, from a presentation held in May at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome by Jesuit Father Klaus Schatz, a professor of church history at the St. George’s Philosophical and Theological School in Frankfurt.

Fr. Schatz’s presentation was part of a series of conferences on the theme of “Conversion: A Change of God? Experiences and Reflections on Interreligious Dialogue”, launched by the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies of Religion and Culture (ISIRC) at the Gregorian University.

Speaking on the Chinese mission founded by Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci and carried out in the 16th and 17th centuries, Schatz stressed that the scope of the Jesuits, in the beginning, was aimed at earning credit with the upper echelons of society. They wanted to gain the trust of the court and the emperor, who were the ones who shaped an official interpretation of religious rites. The novelty of Christianity, presented by the Jesuits to the Chinese, was that every man can have a direct and immediate relationship with God. This was a message unheard of in a country where only the emperor could make sacrifices to heaven.

Ultimately, their mission had a much farther reach. Korea is a unique example in the history of Christianity of a local church starting not through preaching, or direct personal contact with missionaries or Christians, but through literature. Here, the Christian faith got on its feet towards the end of the 18th century because a group of Koreans read Ricci’s book on the teaching of the Lord.

H2onews, a Catholic news service that distributes multimedia in nine languages, has more on Schatz’s presentation at the Pontifical Gregorian University here.