Archive for the ‘High School’ Category

Jesuit Reflects on his Time Spent in Micronesia for Long Experiment

During the twelve years that Jesuits are in formation, they participate in a series of what are called “experiments.” These experiences were designed by the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola, to test if these men who are in formation, also known as “novices,” can do what Jesuits do and live as Jesuits live. One of these experiences is called the “long experiment,” and is a time when each Jesuit novice does five months of full-time apostolic work while living in a Jesuit community.

For his long experiment, Jesuit novice Tim Casey taught at Yap Catholic High School in Micronesia. In this shortened piece below, you can read about Casey’s experience. The full piece can be found on this page of the New York,  New England and Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus’ vocations website.

Before I entered the Jesuits, I had been a high school teacher. I worked in two affluent school districts in the metro-Boston area and I felt confident that I had become a good teacher. I knew that there were better teachers than I, but I was confident that I was good. And so when the novice director asked what I wanted to do for long experiment, teaching was not at the top of my list. In the novitiate, I had enjoyed branching out into other ministries. I had worked in the jails and prisons of New York State, I had helped administer an annotated version of the Spiritual Exercises and I had worked as a hospital orderly in the Bronx. I remember feeling lukewarm about returning to my former profession, and made my preferences known to the novice director about what would be best for long experiment.

The Jesuits have an old Latin expression, agere contra, which roughly translated means to go against the grain. By this, St. Ignatius of Loyola meant that if you feel a certain resistance to something in your life, then it might be beneficial for you to engage those feelings, trying to see what you are resisting and why you are resisting it. And so when my novice director asked me to teach during my long experiment, I said that I would be willing, but I was not particularly excited about the prospect. However, I did make one request of him: Could this teaching position be in some way unconventional and different from my former career? He honored my request. I was sent to a remote island in the North Western Pacific Ocean to teach in a newly established high school in Yap, Micronesia.

Yap is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a place that has been called “The edge of the world,” by a Jesuit who spent most of his life here. It is one of four states that make up the FSM. I didn’t know much about Micronesia, except that the Jesuits ran a prestigious school on the island of Chuuk called Xavier High School. But that was not where I was headed. Where was this place?

The local church on Yap had been trying for a number of years to open a Catholic high school. In the summer of 2011, two New York Province Jesuits were sent to Yap to make good on the promise of Catholic education and opened Yap Catholic High School in August of that year. They had four teachers (including themselves), two borrowed classrooms, and 34 students. I would become the fifth teacher, teaching Science, Social Studies, moderating the robotics club, acting as an assistant basketball coach, and doing a variety of other odds and ends to aid them in getting this school off the ground and running.

It is an intriguing place, a place that seems to be unencumbered by the events that have transpired in the other parts of the globe. The expression, “An island onto itself” seems to be fitting in more ways than one.

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Take the Jesuits with you via your iPhone or iPad: New App allows Users to Find Nearby Jesuit Institutions, Latest News and Jesuit Prayers

Across the United States, the Society of Jesus, the U.S.’s largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, runs universities, high schools and middle schools, parishes and retreat houses.  And today, the 450-year-old religious order has an app.

Available for free at the iTunes App Store, the Jesuit app operates on any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad; a similar app will soon be available at the Android Marketplace for use on devices such as the Droid, Evo and HTC Touch.

The new app allows users to locate Jesuit retreat centers, schools and parishes across the U.S., read the latest news and information about the Jesuits, and access Jesuit prayers and spirituality documents.

The app’s three sections include:

Locations
Here users can find Jesuit apostolates – parishes, retreat centers, colleges and universities. It includes easy-to-use directions and contact information for any Jesuit institution in the U.S. and is searchable by apostolate name, by the user’s current location or through any address the user enters.

News
All the latest news stories from National Jesuit News are displayed here.  Users can tap on any headline to view the full story, share the link with friends or open the story in their browser.

Prayer
In this section, users can view prayers, spirituality documents and background information on the Society of Jesus.

The video below explains in more detail how the app operates. Visit the app information page here to find out more.

Painting is a Passion for Jesuit Brother Jim Small

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:

Ignatian News Network Bio: Jesuit Father Chris Devron

Jesuit Father Chris Devron says he has always been interested in start-ups and has an entrepreneurial personality. So it’s fitting that he’s president of Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School, the first all-new Catholic high school on Chicago’s West Side in more than 80 years.

Fr. Devron has come full circle in many ways. In 1995 he was a Jesuit novice in Chicago when he witnessed the beginning of the country’s first Cristo Rey school, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, while attending the press conference announcing that the Jesuits were starting the school.

Christ the King, which follows the Cristo Rey work-study model, opened at a temporary site with 120 students in 2008, and its brand new building opened in January 2010.

Ignatian News Network met up with Fr. Devron to learn more about the man behind the collar.

Jesuit Father Ed Reese Discusses Brophy Prep’s Loyola Academy in This Month’s NJN Podcast

In this month’s National Jesuit News podcast, we speak with Jesuit Father Ed Reese, who currently serves as the president of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona

A recent addition to Brophy is Loyola Academy, which provides a Catholic, Jesuit education to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys who demonstrate academic promise but have had limited educational opportunities. Loyola Academy currently serves one class of sixth grade boys, and will add a new sixth grade class for the 2012/2013 school year.

Fr. Reese recently spoke with us by phone from Phoenix to discuss the work of Loyola Academy and about his own background as a Jesuit. You can listen to our podcast with Reese via the player below.