Archive for July, 2012
Jesuit Father Terrence Devino, special assistant to the president and director of Manresa House at Boston College, has been appointed vice president and university secretary by the Boston College Board of Trustees, effective December 31, 2012.
Fr. Devino, who this year marked his 25th year as a priest, brings experience as a veteran administrator who has developed programs in the areas of campus ministry, student formation and vocational discernment.
“Fr. Devino knows Boston College well and brings substantial experience from his work here and from his previous assignments at Fairfield University and the University of Scranton,” said University President Jesuit Father William P. Leahy. “He will be an engaging presence among our students, faculty and alumni.” [Boston College]
Jesuit Father Gregory Kalscheur, an associate professor at Boston College Law School, has been named senior associate dean for strategic planning and faculty development in the College of Arts and Sciences.
In his new post, which he will assume in August, Fr. Kalscheur will assist in reviewing academic programs and in the school’s faculty hiring process.
Fr. Kalscheur, who will continue to teach a course in civil procedure at BC Law, said his job as A&S senior associate dean represents a “natural evolution” in his vocation and academic career.
“Undergraduate liberal arts is at the heart of the Jesuit educational mission,” Fr. Kalscheur said. “I see this appointment in A&S as connecting with my background as both a student and a teacher in the Jesuit tradition.” [Boston College]
Fellow Jesuits, family and friends celebrated the life of Fr. Vincent O’Keefe, SJ, at a Funeral Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York, N.Y. on Thursday, July 26. Fr. O’Keefe, 92, entered into eternal life on Sunday, July 22.
Fr. James Croghan, SJ, grandnephew of Fr. O’Keefe and chaplain at Regis High School, warmly recalled his uncle and brother Jesuit as an individual whose love of God, the Church and the Society of Jesus was palpable in his relationships with friends, family and all those whom he served in his long life and career. Fr. Croghan labeled love as the constant, driving force in Fr. O’Keefe’s life. Fr. Croghan offered reflections on Fr. O’Keefe’s 90th birthday celebration two years ago at Murray-Weigel Hall, the health care center for New York Province Jesuits located adjacent to Fordham University in the Bronx, and how Fr. O’Keefe, even in his later years, served as a source of inspiration to all.
Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference, offered words of appreciation for Father O’Keefe’s life, saying Father O’Keefe “loved to be with people—as a host, a brother Jesuit, a storyteller, a priest.”
Father Smolich added, “Father O’Keefe was absolutely loyal: to Pedro Arrupe, to the Society of Jesus, and to the Church. He was a man of great joy, a kind of joy that only comes through intimacy with God.”
To listen to excerpts from the Mass, click here
Fr. Vincent T. O’Keefe, SJ, was president of Fordham University in 1965 when he was elected at the 31st General Congregation of the Society of Jesus to serve as one of four General Assistants to the newly elected Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ. For the next 18 years, Fr. O’Keefe was stationed at the Rome headquarters of the Jesuits and worked closely with Father Arrupe in guiding the renewal of Jesuit life in the wake of the reforms called for in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Read the rest of this entry »
On Friday, July 20, after the shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead, Jesuit Father James Martin, culture editor at America magazine, posted the following on Facebook:
“Gun control is a pro-life issue. Pray for the families of the victims in Colorado, and for an end to the taking of life by violence.”
That post sparked a debate on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page that USA Today’s Faith & Reason blog reported on later that day, in a post titled “Would Jesus pack heat? Is gun control a God issue?”
On July 22, Fr. Martin expanded on his views in a post on America magazine’s blog. Fr. Martin stated that he is a religious person, not a political person, and that he believes gun control is a religious issue:
“It is as much of a ‘life issue’ or a ‘pro-life issue,’ as some religious people say, as is abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty (all of which I am against), and programs that provide the poor with the same access to basic human needs as the wealthy (which I am for). There is a ‘consistent ethic of life’ that views all these issues as linked, because they are.”
Fr. Martin wrote that he prays for the victims, but suggested that “our revulsion over these crimes, and our sympathy for victims, may be more than an invitation to prayer. Such deep emotions may be one way that God encourages us to act.”
Fr. Martin said religious people should meditate on “the connection between the more traditional ‘life issues’ and the overdue need for stricter gun control.”
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a researcher and spokesman at the Vatican Observatory, recently shared his thoughts on science and religion on The Washington Post’s blog.
With news about the Higgs boson particle, the so-called “God Particle,” that’s helping scientists understand how the universe was built, Br. Consolmagno says he’s explained multiple times that “No, the God Particle has nothing to do with God…”
Although not a particle physicist, Br. Consolmagno is often interviewed because of his role as a Vatican astronomer. He says some are surprised to hear that the Vatican supports an astronomical observatory, but that science and religion complement each other:
But the real reason we do science is in fact related to the reason why so many people ask us about things like the God Particle. The disciplines of science and religion complement each other in practical ways. For example, both are involved in describing things that are beyond human language and so must speak in metaphors. Not only is the ‘God Particle’ not a piece of God, it is also not really a ‘particle’ in the sense that a speck of dust is a particle. In both cases we use familiar images to try to illustrate an entity of great importance but whose reality is beyond our power to describe literally.
Fr. O’Brien came to the university in 1962 to teach philosophy. It was his first assignment as a Jesuit. Fifty years later, Fr. O’Brien still cherishes his career at the university.
“One version is they lost my records at the headquarters in Baltimore, they didn’t know I was here and that I managed to stay under the radar for 50 years,” the 85-year-old joked.
“There have been times when some other position would come up elsewhere and I would say, ‘What do you think? Is it time for a change?’ In every case, I would say, ‘Maybe you should just stay here and do what you’re doing,’” Fr. O’Brien recalled.
The university recently honored the Pennsylvania native in a president’s dinner and award ceremony. Fr. O’Brien said his favorite part about Wheeling Jesuit is its small community.
“It’s a lot more different than some of the other Jesuit colleges in the area,” he said. “I think it’s being able to interact with people in a more face-to-face way.”
In addition to his other duties at the university, he also takes students on Appalachian Experience service trips sometimes up to three times a year.
Fr. O’Brien said one of Wheeling Jesuit’s main focuses is on its students.
“We help students find themselves and we make them ready not just to get good jobs but to take the talents they have and put it to good use for themselves and others,” Fr. O’Brien said.
Fr. O’Brien graduated in 1940 from the Most Blessed Sacrament Parochial School in Philadelphia and graduated four years later from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School.
He later attended St. Joseph’s College and ended up going into the Navy Reserve. From there, he decided to go into the seminary. He taught three years at Baltimore Jesuit High School while studying theology.
Two years after becoming ordained, Fr. O’Brien was assigned to Wheeling Jesuit University, where he focused on teaching and campus ministry.
“The whole spirituality helped me, and at the time I was still working on my dissertation,” Fr. O’Brien said.
Although he says he didn’t make much progress at first, Fr. O’Brien said he obtained his doctorate in the 1980s from Duquesne University.
Raised in a religious environment, Fr. O’Brien said he always thought about going into the seminary for his career. His love for his work has carried on.
“Why do people stay married 50 years? Why do people choose to be doctors, lawyers or teachers? Somehow, or another, it’s not just external, but it builds up on circumstances,” he said.
“It’s not like climbing Everest. It’s more like, Here’s your life.’ You’re taking steps. That’s not to say it’s no great achievement. It’s rather a kind of gift the way it comes about.”