Archive for March, 2012

Jesuit Named to Stephen Duffy Endowed Chair at Loyola University New Orleans

The late Stephen Duffy, a former Loyola New Orleans religious studies professor, believed systematic theology to be immensely important, and that it should be kept at Loyola. This fall, his wish will be granted.

The two-year search for the Stephen Duffy Endowed Chair in the Religious Studies department has finally ended. Jesuit Father Edward Vacek will be assuming the chair in the fall semester.

“We had 40 applicants, and that’s a great turnout because this is a very high-level position, and there are few people qualified enough to take on this role,” said Denis Janz, religious studies professor and chairman of the search committee. “A person at this level has a great many options, and we’re very lucky to have someone of Fr. Vacek’s caliber. This is a victory for us.”

Vacek will teach systematic theology and give public lectures, as well as involve himself in the Loyola community.

“Systematic theology is organized critical thinking about God and Christian life,” Vacek said in an email. According to Vacek, it evolved naturally from theology as humans tried to account for what practices led them to a closer relationship with God and came to organize their thoughts.

Vacek taught at Boston College from 2008 to 2011 and spent last year working at the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, D.C.

“I taught for 33 years in a pontifical seminary,” Vacek said. “A big part of my job was to do the research and writing that would help the church’s theology evolve. Furthermore, I have been very interested in issues of social justice, so a fight against racism and sexism deeply ingrained in me. All of that has prepared me well, I think, for making a significant contribution to Loyola.”

Janz said he is pleased to have Vacek in the position, “He is really one of the best in his field, so we’re lucky to have him.”

Vacek said he looks forward to his time at Loyola, “Loyola very ably serves important needs in the region and in the church. I consider it a real privilege to serve here. I love being a teacher, and I love being a Jesuit and I love being a priest. So here at Loyola I will get to do what I love. I wish everybody would be so fortunate to be able to pursue their deepest commitments.”

[The Maroon]

Jesuit Named Le Roux Scholar at Seattle University

Jesuit Father James Pribek, Associate Professor of English at Canisius College, joins the Seattle University English Department faculty as the LeRoux Scholar for the spring quarter 2012. Father Pribek will teach, conduct research, and deliver the lecture, “’When Hope and History Rhyme’: Irish Literature as a Resource for Hope.” Fr. Pribek follows Jesuit Father Mark Bosco, Loyola University Chicago English Department, and Jesuit Father Mark Ravizza, Santa Clara University Philosophy Department, as the latest Le Roux Chair.

“The Le Roux endowment gives us an opportunity to bring outstanding scholars to campus,” said Arts and Sciences Dean David Powers. “At the same time, the chair has time for research and writing that expands his discipline.”

The College of Arts and Sciences, Seattle University’s largest college, provides funding for the William F. LeRoux, S.J. Endowed Chair in Arts and Sciences. The endowed chair is awarded to a Jesuit academic in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. The appointment is for one academic quarter. The chair is required to teach one course and conduct a public lecture, with remaining time available to advance his scholarship and engage with the Seattle University community.

Fr. Pribek holds a master degree in English from Gonzaga University, two graduate theology degrees from Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anglo-Irish literature and drama from University College Dublin. He has been a Jesuit for 25 years and a priest for 13 years.

The Four Weeks, Lent and You: How the Spiritual Exercises Can Bring You Closer to Christ

During the liturgical season of Lent, many Catholics give things up – from avoiding Facebook to abstaining from the office candy jar – for 40 days. The list is endless. But Lent isn’t just about giving up; it can also be used as an opportunity for growth in your spiritual life.

Jesuit Father Gregory Konz, Secretary for Higher Education, Finance and Advancement at the Jesuit Conference, recently offered reflections on the four weeks (or periods of time) in St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and how each week can enhance our spiritual experience of Lent. Fr. Konz first made the Spiritual Exercises during two of the stages of his Jesuit formation: novitiate when a man first enters the Jesuits, and then years later after his ordination to the priesthood, during tertianship, the final stage of formation for a Jesuit.

Jesuit Appointed Head of Fordham’s Art Collections

Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop is the new executive director of the Fordham University art collection.

Fr. Waldrop, a member of Fordham’s Art History and Music Department since 2009, is an expert in Italian art from 1400 to 1600, and his scholarly research and writing deal primarily with the religious culture and iconography of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance in Italy, with a particular focus on 15th-century Sienese painting.

He was a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2006-2008. He has taught in both the medieval and renaissance areas and will continue his association with the Art History and Music Department.

Fr. Waldrop earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art from the University of California, Berkeley and holds an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English, magna cum laude with distinction from Yale University.

His credentials in theology include the S.T.B., magna cum laude, from the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome and the Th.M., with honors, from Weston Jesuit School of Theology.

In his new role, Fr. Waldrop will work collaboratively with academic units spread across the University to enhance Fordham’s prominence and visibility within New York City’s richly diverse artistic communities and cultural institutions. He will also oversee an estimated 1,000 works of fine art spread across the University’s three campuses.

[Fordham Notes Newsblog]

On the Border with Jesuit Father Sean Carroll

Ignatian News Network recently traveled to the U.S.-Mexico Border to meet with Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona.

“This is a very obvious frontier because we’re on a border. We’re in a place where there is great suffering and great need, so it makes total sense that the Society of Jesus is here,” said Fr. Carroll.

The work of the Kino Border Initiative is unlike any other; it is an innovative and cooperative effort between six major religious organizations that strives to serve migrants and communities affected by the consequences of deportation.

Check out the video below to learn more about the man behind the collar. You can find out more about Kino’s innovative program assisting migrants and displaced peoples by visiting their website.