Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Jesuit Father Kenneth Boller Named 27th President of Saint Peter’s Prep

Jesuit Father Kenneth J. BollerJesuit Father Kenneth J. Boller has been named the 27th president of Saint Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, N.J. Fr. Boller, who is currently completing a nine-year tenure as president of Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, will begin his term at Saint Peter’s Prep on July 1, succeeding Jesuit Father Robert E. Reiser, who has held the post since 2006.

Fr. Boller entered the Society of Jesus in 1964 and has committed most of his five decades as a Jesuit to education. He taught mathematics at Xavier High School in Manhattan from 1969 to 1972. Next he served as principal of Canisius High School in Buffalo, and then returned to Xavier in 1986, serving as headmaster and then president until 1997. After seven years as pastor of Saint Aloysius Church in Harlem, Fr. Boller was appointed president of Fordham Prep in 2004.

“I’m honored to be selected by the board to succeed Fr. Reiser,” said Fr. Boller. “I’ve followed with great interest the progress Saint Peter’s has made in recent years and look forward to working with the board and the loyal supporters of the Prep to make the plans and dreams a reality.”

Philip F. McGovern, Jr., the chairman of Saint Peter’s Board of Trustees, wrote the school community that, “Fr. Boller is a personable and pastoral Jesuit who will serve the Prep community well. We are fortunate to welcome him in furtherance of the great Prep tradition that was begun more than 140 years ago.” [Saint Peter’s Prep]

Prayer Life Out of Shape? Jesuit Offers Personal Spiritual Training

Jesuit Father Randy RocheThe New Year often brings about resolutions to exercise more, but one Jesuit is now offering personal spiritual training for those who want to “work out” a different part of their lives.

Jesuit Father Randy Roche is the director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Recently, Fr. Roche came up with the idea of adapting the personal training approach used for physical training to spirituality and added personal spiritual training to the center’s offerings.

“One day I thought, ‘What if we could be personal trainers for people looking for help with a particular problem or who want to learn how to bring more reflection into their lives?’” Fr. Roche said. “We could offer a less formal version of the Spiritual Exercises for people who know they have a hunger and are looking for someone to guide them.”

The exercises, which include meditating and contemplating, are “spirituality for busy people.” The personal training sessions are designed to meet immediate individual needs and take only the time necessary to help accomplish a goal.

Fr. Roche said most of the participants at the center are LMU faculty and staff members with questions about how to reflect and get in touch with feelings as they relate to making choices. Others need help with striking a balance between thinking and feeling. Once the goal is accomplished, things don’t stop there. Participants can return for maintenance sessions or an occasional spiritual tune-up.

Currently Fr. Roche shares training duties at the center with Jesuit Bishop Gordon Bennett and Anne Hennessy, CSJ. “My dream has always been that there will eventually be some faculty and staff who will do some of the training,” said Fr. Roche.

Fr. Roche has also started a blog for the center. “It lets people comment and add their own take on Ignatian spirituality and it’s open to anyone. We also are on Facebook and I’m writing a weekly spirituality essay for our website,” Fr. Roche said.

For more on Fr. Roche and the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at LMU, read the full story at AJCU Connections.


Jesuit Appointed Next President of the Gregorian University Foundation

Jesuit Father Alan FogartyJesuit Father Alan Fogarty has been appointed the next president of the Gregorian University Foundation, which oversees the fundraising operations of the consortium of three Jesuit institutes of higher education in Rome: the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

“Serving the universal church as president of the Gregorian University Foundation is a great opportunity to give myself to the mission of the Society of Jesus in ways previously unimagined. I very much look forward to building relationships in support of the three consortium institutes,” Fr. Fogarty said.

The Society of Jesus’ recent 35th General Congregation declared that the interprovincial institutions in Rome are among the five global apostolic preferences of the Society requiring “special or privileged attention” as “a special mission received directly from the Holy Father.”

Jesuit Father Alan Fogarty

Jesuit Father Alan Fogarty, with Joyce Bateman, a member of Canada’s Parliament, and St. Paul's students, after receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Photo by CiJae Filipchuck.

Fr. Fogarty will succeed Jesuit Father Robert O’Toole, who has held the position for the past nine years. With this appointment, Fr. Fogarty becomes a member of the Roman Delegation, which is comprised of Jesuits from around the world who make up the international houses, apostolates and colleges associated with the General Curia and Father General Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

“My sincere hope is to build on the fine work of my predecessors and further strengthen the bonds among the alumni and friends of these long-standing pontifical centers of higher learning,” said Fr. Fogarty. “I am also excited about generating bonds with new benefactors and collaborators.”

Fr. Fogarty currently serves as president of St. Paul’s High School in Winnipeg, Canada. He was recently recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service in Winnipeg. Fr. Fogarty will complete his six-year term as president of St. Paul’s on July 31 and, after a sabbatical, begin his new appointment at the foundation in New York City in January 2014. [St. Paul’s High School]

Jesuit Explores God, Religion and Science in Ignatian Seminar

Jesuit Father David Collins Jesuit Father David Collins has always been “fascinated by God and religion.”  At Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he explores the relationship between religion and science in an Ignatius Seminar course he created two years ago.

Fr.  Collins says that he’s always had a theological curiosity, and as an undergraduate he began to investigate his own relationship with God. As a senior, he applied to join the Society of Jesus.

“Even during a highly skeptical phase in my life, I found the big questions that theology poses intriguing and important as in no other discipline,” Fr.  Collins says. “But the decision to enter religious life and pursue the priesthood had much more to do with an awareness of God in my heart than with any theological proposition or school of thought.”

In the classroom, Fr. Collins channels his interests into his popular seminar, “Science and Religion in the West: Historical Perspectives.” The course begins with Latin theologian St. Augustine and the dominant question of his time — should Christians study science, as the pagan Greeks do? — and ends with modern American debates about evolution.

For Fr. Collins, the most rewarding aspect of his Ignatius Seminar is that it goes against the popular Western narrative that science and religion are enemies. History, he says, shows that these two institutions work well together and that their cooperation often leads to good things for civilization.

“America’s religiously inspired hostility to evolution is the exception, not the rule, in the history of the West. It’s enjoyable to watch students’ jaws hit the floor when they see that, despite some newspaper polemic, Western scientific discovery has recurrently advanced thanks to religious insights and religious commitment of resources,” Fr. Collins says.

“The actual history of the relationship between science and religion in the West is so much more interesting than the sound bites of culture warriors on the left or the right.”

Read the full story at the Georgetown University website.

Jesuit Strives to Care for Souls in the Digital Age

Jesuit Sam SawyerA year ago, The Jesuit Post, a website for the Facebook generation “about Jesus, politics, and pop culture; the Catholic Church, sports, and Socrates,” launched. Jesuit Sam Sawyer, one of the four Jesuit scholastics who started the site, says during their years of formation the four have repeatedly asked one another: “How does the Church address itself to a contemporary culture that is no longer in contact with the institutional forms we’ve grown up with?”

For the past year, The Jesuit Post, which is independent of the Society of Jesus, has made a case for God in a secular age, with blog posts, essays, a Twitter feed and articles with headlines like “Contemplation After Gaga” and “Crowdsourcing the Saints.” Sawyer, who is in theology studies at Boston College, is a contributor and assistant editor and says he and his fellow Jesuits are seeking out young adults who are “hard to reach through traditional modes” such as parishes and diocesan newspapers.

Sawyer found his own spiritual path to the Jesuits when he attended a lecture at Boston College during his freshman year where Jesuit theologian Father Howard Gray spoke about how the early Jesuits “bonded around a shared desire to care for souls,” Sawyer recalls.

“That’s the name for what I wanted to do — help souls,” Sawyer remembers thinking. “I spent the next six months trying to pretend nothing happened.”

After graduating in 2000, he taught for a year as a volunteer at a Jesuit middle school in Baltimore and then worked for three years as a software engineer on satellite communications and missile-defense radar projects in Boston. But along the way, Sawyer stopped “trying to pretend” and embraced his Jesuit vocation, joining the Society in 2004.

From 2009 to 2011, Sawyer taught philosophy courses at Loyola University Maryland, and it was a defining part of his Jesuit formation. Teaching “at the heart of the curriculum,” Sawyer says, a professor can help students connect the classics to their lives and puzzle out their place in the universe.

Sawyer is now setting his sights on a lifelong ministry in higher education. And he plans to continue asking the kinds of questions that engendered The Jesuit Post: “How do we evangelize our nominally Catholic undergrads? What should our outreach look like in the classroom?”

For more on Sawyer, read the full story at Boston College’s 2012 Annual Report: Becoming a Jesuit: Five Lives at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.