Archive for September, 2011

Jesuit’s Experience in Native Ministry on the Pine Ridge the Focus of This Month’s Podcast

Jesuit Father Peter Klink is currently the school parish chaplain at the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Pine Ridge reservation of the Lakota Tribe covers a large, 5,000 square foot swath of land in the southwestern corner of South Dakota.

Here, Fr. Klink ministers to the Lakota’s communities three schools and in its parishes. He’s held many responsibilities during his 26 years of native ministry on the Pine Ridge, including 18 years as the school’s president.

Today, staggering poverty and an unemployment rate that hovers around 80% leave the children of the Pine Ridge facing an uphill struggle as they learn and grown up on the reservation. But, Klink endeavors to make sure the two elementary schools and the high school that make up the school system on the Pine Ridge are a beacon of hope for the possibility of a bright future for the Lakota and their families.

Recently, Klink took the time to speak with National Jesuit News by phone from the Red Cloud School for our monthly podcast series. You can listen to our interview with him below:

Jesuit Protests Alabama’s Immigration Law

Jesuit Father Ted ArroyoJesuit Father Ted Arroyo said that protesting Alabama’s new immigration law isn’t an act of politics, it’s an act of faith.

“It’s challenging us to welcome the alien and show mercy to the stranger,” said Fr. Arroyo, rector of the Jesuit community at Spring Hill College, “because what we do for them we do for God.”

Arroyo spoke on August 27 to about 100 people gathered in Lyons Park in Mobile who sang, prayed and created signs expressing their distress with the bill approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley in June.

The law allows local police to detain people suspected of being in the United States illegally; requires public schools to inquire into immigration status of students; makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to seek work; and makes it a crime to knowingly transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham to block the bill’s implementation. The case is pending.

Arroyo told the crowd to find out stories of their ancestors’ and families’ immigrations to new places. He also urged people to volunteer to help new immigrants in their own communities.

“If you meet the immigrant and welcome the stranger, soon enough they will be strangers no more,” Arroyo said.

Visit for more on the protest.

Loyola University Chicago Jesuits Welcome Students Back with ‘Jesuit Fest’

Jesuit Fest is an annual event sponsored by members of the Loyola University Chicago‘s Jesuit community. Each year, the community hosts the event to kick off the academic year and for students to interact with the Jesuits and with each other.

“I went to a Jesuit high school, so it’s good to stay in touch. Freshman year I just talked about going to a Jesuit High School and it turns out that a few Jesuits knew some of the guys that were my teachers in high school. It’s just cool to come back,” said Nicholas Smeeding, a student who attended the event.

Check out this recap of the Jesuit Fest held on September 1, 2011.

Jesuits and the Sciences at Georgetown University

Jesuit Father Kevin FitzGerald

Georgetown University is hosting a series of three events entitled “Jesuits and the Sciences” which will explore the history of Jesuit engagement with the sciences and some challenging questions scientific advancement presents to humanity in the near future. As the University continues the construction of its new science building to house a unique collaboration between Physics, Chemistry and Biology Departments, these symposia will bring faculty and students together to reflect on the significance of the Sciences in the context of a Catholic/Jesuit University.

September 14 (Wednesday):
- John O’Malley, SJ; Georgetown University, Theology Department
- Mordecai Feingold; Professor of History, California Institute of Technology

September 19 (Monday):
- John C. Haughey, SJ; Woodstock Theological Center, Senior Fellow
- Ilia Delio, OSF; Woodstock Theological Center, Senior Fellow

September 28 (Wednesday):
- John Braverman, SJ; St. Joseph’s University, Department of Biology
- Cyril P. Opeil, SJ; Boston College, Department of Physics
- Kevin Fitzgerald, SJ; Georgetown University, Biochemistry/Pharmacology Dept.

All three will take place in Lohrfink Auditorium (McDonough School of Business Rafik B. Hariri Building) from 5:00-7:00PM.

Jesuit Says Conversion for Social Justice Springs from Engagement

Jesuit Father Thomas MassaroJesuit Father Thomas Massaro spoke at the recent assembly of the Congregation of Major Superiors of Men in Orlando, during which he offered his insights on encouraging action.

“It is just not reasonable to expect to impact lives in the most profound ways through classroom activities alone,” Fr. Massaro, a professor of moral theology at Boston College, said in an address. “If you want to change the world, you will have to contribute to transforming people, not just reshuffling the ideas in their heads.”

Massaro added, “True conversion for social justice springs from personal experience and exposure to social problems and engagement in efforts to solve them. You cannot succeed without some ideas and intellectual commitments, but principles only get you so far. At the risk of lapsing into clichés, it is a matter of hearts and hands, not just heads.”

Massaro said that while there are still unresolved questions on how to best serve the poor, it is clear the Catholic Church “will continue to understand its mission as including ample engagement with the political and economic realms. … There will continue to be a crucial role for men and women religious to play in front-line work for both charity and justice.”

For more on Massaro’s address, visit the Criterion Online.