Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
For 50 years Jesuit Father Don Doll has seen the world through the lens of who he is and the life he’s lived.
Fr. Doll, a renowned photographer whose work was featured in National Geographic magazine in 1984 and 1990, has traveled the globe “to tell the stories of people who have no voice.” His ministry began on the plains of South Dakota in the early 1960s while working with the Lakota people on the Rosebud Reservation. He had joined the Jesuit order after graduating from high school in 1955.
“The first week I was there they said, ‘Would you like to learn photography?’
“I said, ‘Sounds like fun.’”
After two years of training and experience in photography, he questioned that choice.
“I went for a walk on the prairie (wondering) ‘What the heck am I going to do as a Jesuit?” the 75-year-old priest reminisced. “I’m not brilliant like some of these guys.”
Feeling he hadn’t taken “a single decent picture after two-and-a-half years,” he suddenly heard a voice inside him say: ‘Stay with the photography, it’s the first thing you love doing, don’t worry if it takes 10 years.’
“It did!” he added with a laugh.
“I see how the Holy Spirit speaks to us in the depths of our hearts and I trust that,” he said. “I don’t hear voices a lot (but) when I have a hunch, I really trust that’s how the Holy Spirit speaks to me. It’s true of every project I’ve taken on.”
Since 1969, Father Doll has worked at Creighton University in Omaha, where he is a professor of journalism. For the last 20 years, he has documented the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service in some 50 countries including India, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Sudan and Rwanda. These assignments, he said, working with “the poorest of the poor” have been close to his heart.
“Jesuits have a mission: Faith doing justice,” he shared, quoting his personal artist statement. “I photograph to tell the stories of people who have no voice. Hopefully, I can help others understand and work to change unjust social structures.”
He often finds himself praying that he can look at people and photograph them “with something of the empathy and understanding that God has for them.”
“Often I’m asked if being a priest affects my photography,” he shared, reflecting on nearly 44 years in the priesthood. “My answer is always: ‘Yes, it has everything to do with it.’”
“For me, it’s hard to separate the creative process of ‘seeing’ from prayer. Both can be contemplative acts.”
To commemorate a half-century in photography, Fr. Doll is working on a book and considering an art exhibit to be on display at the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. For more about Father Doll and to view his work, visit magis.creighton.edu. You can read more about him in this Denver Catholic Register, the newspaper of the Denver diocese, article.
Jesuits are taught to see God in all things. This makes Jesuit photography a little more intense than family snapshots.
This year four Canadian Jesuits will show their photographs as part of the 17th annual Contact festival. With more than 1,000 venues spread around Toronto and as many as 1.8 million sets of eyeballs taking in the work of an international lineup of photographers through the month of May, Contact is the largest photography event in the world.
The Jesuit show at Regis College on the campus of the University of Toronto is called “In All Things.” It runs May 10 to 26.
Second-year theologian Marc Aristotle de Asis loves the process of discovery inherent in photography. The Contact show will be the first time the 29-year-old Jesuit will see his photographs hung for a gallery crowd.
“I let myself be amazed by what the camera captures,” said de Asis of the fireworks photos he will show.
His photos will hang along with nature and abstract photography by Jesuit Fathers Gilles Mongeau and Teo Ugaban, and Jesuit Trevor Scott.
De Asis has been playing around with cameras since he was very young. Growing up in the Philippines, de Asis’s father had a darkroom. Though he claims to have been a haphazard photographer and printmaker in those days, he loved seeing what would come out of the trays of chemicals.
Photography wasn’t part of his spiritual life until his novice master, Fr. Philip Shano, urged him to channel some of his energy into photography. In the context of the initial two years of Jesuit life photography took on new dimensions.
“It’s all contemplation,” he said. “It’s a way to enter into the whole experience.”
To capture a moment requires the kind of attentiveness that is at the very heart of Ignatian spirituality, according to de Asis.
Find out more about the Contact photography exhibit and the works by the Jesuits which will be on display in this article from The Catholic Register.
In 1969, Jesuit Brother Jim Small came to Loyola Academy in Chicago’s northern suburb of Wilmette, Ill. to work as its resident carpenter, but it’s been a different kind of work and use of his talents that has benefited the Jesuit college preparatory high school the most.
After serving in the Navy during World War II followed by a stint as a Chicago police officer, Br. Small entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1952 at Milford, Ohio. When he came to Loyola Academy, Br. Small picked up a paintbrush and returned to a hobby he’d enjoyed since his childhood – painting. During the school’s first fundraiser in 1970, Br. Small included 36 of his original pieces, all of which were quickly purchased. Since then, he contributes between 60 to 100 paintings each year to Loyola Academy’s fundraiser and raises upwards of $45,000 annually for the school. The funds from the sale of his artwork are used to endow a scholarship fund for students in need.
While Br. Small’s work as a carpenter and an artist has done much for Loyola Academy, few would say those are his most important contributions. He’s known by students, alumni, staff, parents and coaches as a true man for others – someone with a generous spirit who humbly attributes his abilities to God’s grace. It is his generosity that most would say is his great contribution to Loyola Academy.
Find out more about Br. Jim Small and his artistic talents in the Ignatian News Network video below:
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.
Jesuit Ryan Duns picked up the Irish tin whistle when he was eight years old and never put it down. Duns, a teacher at Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, instructs his students in Latin and Theology during the day, and in his free time provides tin whistle lessons to more 3 million viewers on YouTube. Using a webcam in his residence, Duns recorded this special video for National Jesuit News to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!
If you want to hear more of Ryan Duns, SJ, please visit www.youtube.com/RyanDunsSJ