Archive for the ‘Governance’ Category

Jesuit Father Brian Paulson Named Next Provincial of Chicago-Detroit Province

Jesuit Father Brian G. PaulsonJesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás has appointed Jesuit Father Brian G. Paulson as the next provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Paulson will begin his leadership role in July 2014, succeeding Jesuit Father Timothy P. Kesicki, who will become president of the U.S. Jesuit Conference.

During his term as provincial, Fr. Paulson will become the provincial of the new USA Midwest Province when the existing Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces come together by 2017 as part of an ongoing national realignment of Jesuit provinces.

Fr. Paulson has served in a variety of leadership positions as a Jesuit. After 11 years as president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, he was assigned to his current role as rector of the Loyola University Jesuit Community in Chicago in 2010. From 1993 to 1998 he was the vocations director for the Chicago Province.

“As I finish my term as provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province, I couldn’t be happier that Fr. General has named Fr. Paulson to be the next provincial,” said Fr. Kesicki. “He has the proven capacity and the gifts to care for the Jesuits and the ministries of our province. … I look forward to working with him in my new role as president of the Jesuit Conference.”

“I am deeply humbled to accept this call of Fr. General to lead and serve my brother Jesuits as provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province,” says Fr. Paulson. “In my 32 years as a Jesuit, I have been richly blessed with Jesuit and lay friends, along with tremendous opportunities for ministry, all of which I treasure.”

Fr. Paulson entered the Society of Jesus at Loyola House Jesuit Novitiate in Berkley, Mich., on September 12, 1981. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1992, and professed final vows on March 25, 2001. A native of Waukegan, Ill., he attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and when the school closed in 1975, he finished his high school education at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Since joining the Jesuits Fr. Paulson has earned a master’s degree in political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from Centre Sevres in Paris, a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts. He currently serves on the board of trustees at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School in Chicago and the Lumen Christi Institute of Chicago, and he is a trustee associate at Boston College after 16 years of service on the board of trustees. [Chicago-Detroit Province]

Pope Names Jesuit Father Michael Barber as Bishop of Oakland

Jesuit Father Michael BarberPope Francis has named Jesuit Father Michael Barber, 58, a member of the California Province Jesuits and director of spiritual formation at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, as bishop of Oakland, California.

The appointment was announced by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

“I offer my congratulations and prayers to Bishop-elect Barber.  As fellow Sacramentans, we have known one another for many years,” said Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference of the United States. “ I know him to be a man of prayer and discernment who will be a fine pastor for the people of Oakland.”

Bishop-elect Barber is the first Jesuit named to the U.S. hierarchy by Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope.

“I’m keeping my eyes on Pope Francis and seeing what he did in his first days as pope,” said Bishop-elect Barber at an introductory news conference in Oakland on May 3. “I think he wants servant leaders … who look to the needs of the people. Listen first, speak second.”

Bishop-elect Barber was born July 13, 1954, in Salt Lake City. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1973 and was ordained a priest for the Society in 1985. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history/philosophy from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington; a Master of Divinity and bachelor of sacred theology degrees from Regis College of the University of Toronto; and a licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

His assignments after ordination included: missionary in Apia, Western Samoa (1985-1987); student at Gregorian University and assistant professor of theology there (1987-1992); researcher and tutor at Oxford University (1992-1998); director, School of Pastoral Leadership, Archdiocese of San Francisco (1998-2001); assistant professor of systematic and moral theology and spiritual director, St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, California (2002-2010); and director of spiritual formation, St. John’s Seminary (2010-present).

Bishop-elect Barber said he would like “from time to time to get into the classroom” because education is a priority of the Jesuits. He added he also wants to “visit city jails and county jails as the pope has” and to visit Catholic Charities facilities, “getting my hands dirty in soup kitchen by washing dishes, pots and pans.”

He also spoke of jail ministry: “It’s one of those ministries expressly commended by Christ for us to do. ‘When I was in prison you visited me.’ You can’t get more explicit than that.”

Bishop-elect Barber succeeds Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who was named head of the San Francisco Archdiocese on July 27, 2012. The Oakland Diocese includes 1,467 square miles and two counties, Alameda and Contra Costa, in California. The diocese has 2,586,396 people, with 399,546, or 15 percent of them, Catholic.

“From its origin, the Society of Jesus was formed to be an instrument of Christ by serving the Church. Though Jesuits promise not to seek high office in the Church, when asked by the Holy Father, we respond to the call and serve as bishops. We promise our brother Jesuit Father Michael Barber our full support and continued affection as he continues to minister to the people of God in this new mission,” said Jesuit Father Michael F. Weiler, Provincial of the California Province of the Society of Jesus. [America MagazineCatholic News Service]

Pope Francis Begins Ministry with Inaugural Mass; Jesuit Father General Among 180 Clergymen who Concelebrated

Pope Francis greets crowd before celebrating inaugural Mass in St. Peter’s Square at Vatican (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission on March 19.

The Mass was concelebrated by about 180 clergymen, including Father General Adolfo Nicolás, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Father General Nicolás visited with the pope on Mach 17.

But before the solemn rites began, Pope Francis — known for choosing public transport over chauffeur-driven limousines — took his first spin in the popemobile, blessing the tens of thousands of people who arrived in St. Peter’s Square as early as 4 a.m. to pray with him. He waved and, at one point, gave a thumbs up to the faithful. He also kissed three babies held up to him by the chief of Vatican security, Domenico Gianni, and other officers.

But he climbed out of the open jeep used as a popemobile to kiss a severely disabled man.

Before entering St. Peter’s Square, he addressed by satellite thousands of his fellow Argentines gathered in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, where he had been archbishop before his election as pope. He thanked the people for their prayers and told them: “I have a favor to ask. I want to ask that we all walk together, caring for one another … caring for life. Care for the family, care for nature, care for children, care for the aged. Let there be no hatred, no fighting, put aside envy and don’t gossip about anyone.”

As the Mass began, tens of thousands of pilgrims, faithful and tourists continued to arrive, filling St. Peter’s Square and crowding around the large video screens placed along the boulevard leading to the square. By the time of Communion, the Vatican said there were between 150,000 and 200,000 people present.

In his homily, which can be read in English here, Pope Francis asked prayers that he would be able to protect the church like St. Joseph protected Mary and Jesus, “discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand.”

He said in the Gospels, St. Joseph “can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions.”

But more than anything, he said, the church’s patron saint teaches Christians that the core concern of their lives must be Christ.

“Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation,” Pope Francis said.

He called for special efforts to protect “God’s plan inscribed in nature” and to protect one another, especially children, the aged, the poor and the sick.

Although according to church law he officially became pope the minute he accepted his election in the Sistine Chapel March 13, Pope Francis received important symbols of his office just before the inauguration Mass — the Book of the Gospels, the ring of the fisherman, St. Peter, and the pallium, a woolen band worn around the shoulders to evoke a shepherd carrying a sheep.

With members of the College of Cardinals dressed in gold gathered before the main altar in St. Peter’s Basilica and brass players sounding a fanfare, the rites began at the tomb of St. Peter. Pope Francis venerated the mortal remains of his predecessor as head of the church and was joined there by the heads of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Processing behind the Eastern church leaders and the cardinals, Pope Francis — wearing a simple, mostly white chasuble and his black shoes — came out into St. Peter’s Square while the choir chanted a special litany to Christ the King.

French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who had announced Pope Francis’ election to the world six days earlier, placed the pallium, which had been worn by Pope Benedict XVI, around the new pope’s neck. The retired pope did not attend the Mass.

“The Good Shepherd charged Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep; today you succeed him as the bishop of this church to which he and the Apostle Paul were fathers in faith,” Cardinal Tauran said.

Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, presented Pope Francis with the fisherman’s ring, a gold-plated silver band featuring St. Peter holding keys, a reminder that Jesus told St. Peter: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Giving the pope “the ring, the seal of Peter the fisherman,” Cardinal Sodano told the pope he was called, as bishop of Rome, to preside over the church with charity. He prayed the pope would have “the gentleness and strength to preserve, through your ministry, all those who believe in Christ in unity and fellowship.”

Six cardinals, representing the entire College of Cardinals, publicly pledged obedience to the pope.

While many Christians acknowledge the special role of the bishop of Rome as the one who presides over the entire Christian community in love, the way the papacy has been exercised over the centuries is one of the key factors in the ongoing division of Christians.

For the first time since the Great Schism of 1054 split the main Christian community into East and West, the ecumenical patriarch attended the installation Mass. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, first among equals of the Eastern Orthodox, sat in a place of honor near the papal altar.

Catholicos Karekin II of Etchmiadzin, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, also attended the Mass along with delegations from 12 other Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, 10 Anglican and Protestant communities and three international Christian organizations, including the World Council of Churches.

After the Lord’s prayer, Pope Francis exchanged a sign of peace with Patriarch Bartholomew and with Catholicos Karekin.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Jewish community of Rome and several international Jewish organizations sent representatives to the ceremony, as did Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and Hindu communities and organizations.

Also present were representatives of 132 governments, led by the presidents of Italy and Argentina, the reigning royals of six countries — including Belgium’s king and queen — and 31 heads of state. Vice President Joe Biden led the U.S. delegation, which included Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia.

American Jesuits React to News of Historic Announcement of Their Brother Jesuit’s Election as Pope

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Jesuit brethren of the new Pope Francis I were as surprised as anyone when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was announced March 13 as the first Jesuit to be elected pope. Jesuit Father Gerard Stockhausen, executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference USA, told Catholic News Service that when Cardinal Bergoglio’s name was announced from the Vatican balcony, he didn’t realize immediately that it was a fellow member of the Society of Jesus, the religious order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1534. Jesuits generally don’t seek higher offices in the church, Father Stockhausen said. “There are relatively few who are bishops even. We don’t ordinarily take on those posts.” Even the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told reporters: “Personally, I’m a bit shocked to have a Jesuit pope. Jesuits think of themselves as servants, not authorities in church.” “Jesuits resist being named bishop or cardinal. To be named pope — wow,” Father Lombardi said. “Must have been result of strong call.” In Dajabon, Dominican Republic, Jesuit Father Regino Martinez, called it “a moment of great hope and opportunity for the church.” He said Pope Francis as the first Latin American pope also offers “an opportunity to support the work being done in the Latin American church and a show of support for Latin Americans.” Father Stockhausen said that even those Jesuits who do become cardinals “tend not to move in ‘cardinal circles,’ where they get to know each other. That’s not our world.” He acknowledged that Jesuits are generally thought of as highly educated, and “men of the world.” There’s a saying that goes “‘Francis (of Assisi) loved the countryside, Dominic loved the countryside and Ignatius loved the cities,’ we’re ‘worldly’ in the good sense of the word,” he said. Jesuits also have a reputation for being careful decision-makers, particularly if they follow the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, said Father Stockhausen. The exercises lead one to make decisions not out of personal interests or attachments, he said, but out of where the Spirit is leading through prayer.

Pope Francis I appears for the first time on the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 13. (CNS/Paul Haring)

As Jesuits across the United States watched in wonder as one of their own was elected to the papacy for the first time in history yesterday, it wasn’t long before the phones started ringing as news outlets called upon American Jesuits to comment on the significance of the unexpected and momentous news. From “CBS This Morning” and USA Today to NBCNews.com and The Boston Globe to daily newspapers and local news affiliates across the country, Jesuits were asked to reflect on the significance of the election of Pope Francis.

Jesuit Father Matt Malone, editor of America magazine, and Jesuit Father Tom Reese were barraged with media requests in Rome, and Jesuit Father James Martin appeared on many outlets, including CNN.com and NPR. Many Jesuits expressed shock, saying they never thought they’d see a Jesuit pope.

Jesuit Father Scott Pilarz, president of Marquette University in Milwaukee, appeared on “CBS This Morning” where he said friends had recently asked him if there would ever be a Jesuit pope and he responded, “Absolutely not.”

But, Fr. Pilarz continued, “In extraordinary moments and times, the church has looked to members of the Society of Jesus to play these leadership roles. I think it’s recognition that the church is at one of those moments.”

Jesuit Father Gerard Stockhausen, executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference USA, told Catholic News Service that when Cardinal Bergoglio’s name was announced from the Vatican balcony, he didn’t realize immediately that it was a fellow member of the Society of Jesus.

“Jesuits generally don’t seek higher offices in the church,” Fr. Stockhausen said. “There are relatively few who are bishops, even. We don’t ordinarily take on those posts.”

Jesuit Father Robert Ballecer of the Jesuit Conference explained to NPR why so many were surprised — but why it wasn’t impossible for a Jesuit to be elected. “We have a vow that we will not seek out office. But there have been cases where offices seek us out,” Fr. Ballecer said.

Jesuit Father Michael Sheeran, president-elect of the American Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, described the new pope and his Jesuit principles to NBCNews.com. “Pope Francis took the bus to work every day. He sold the cardinal’s residence and lived in a small apartment where he cooked for himself.”

“That simplicity hides a steely determination to advance Jesuit principles, especially on the importance of traditional Catholic teachings and protection of the poor and the oppressed,” Fr. Sheeran said.

Jesuit Father Michael Garanzini, president of Loyola University Chicago, told The Chicago Tribune that he could envision Francis championing the poor from his position as pontiff.

“Coming out of Latin America, he is very familiar with the plight of the disadvantaged where the divide between rich and poor is very striking,” he said.

Jesuit Father Jack Butler, vice president for mission and ministry at Boston College, told The Boston Globe he was both shocked and excited. “I was flabbergasted, because Jesuits aren’t supposed to be popes, and Jesuits aren’t supposed to be bishops, and yet I’d be lying through my teeth if I didn’t say as a Jesuit it gave me a great sense of joy and pride.”

Jesuit Father Douglas Marcouiller, provincial for the Missouri Province Jesuits, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Jesuits “don’t generally serve as bishops unless the circumstances are rather unusual. I think that that there is a tradition of not seeking roles that require a good deal of power, in order to serve the poor.”

Fr. Marcouiller added, “I think it is quite clear that Pope Francis has the gift of humility that will allow him to use that power and to exercise that ministry in a very effective way.”

He admitted that seeing a Jesuit in the robes of a pope would take some getting used to. “I think it will be a shock for the entire order,” Fr. Marcouiller said with a laugh.

Jesuit Father Kevin O’Brien, vice president for mission and ministry at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., helped explain the Society of Jesus to several major news outlets, including Time magazine and USA Today. “Most people will know of Jesuits because of their schools,” Fr. O’Brien said.

“To be a Jesuit today is to serve the church and the world,” Fr. O’Brien told USA Today. “The church has been sidetracked by sexual and financial scandals. Now, it’s about getting back to the basics. It’s about preaching the gospel and helping the poor.”

Jesuit Father Myles Sheehan, provincial of the New England Province Jesuits, told the West Hartford News, “Although we are, of course, excited about the Holy Father’s Jesuit roots, we are more excited about his ministry to the Universal Church and pray for courage and wisdom for him as he begins this journey of faith.”

Below is video of Fr. Pilarz’s appearance on “CBS This Morning”.

Jesuit Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio Elected Pope, Takes Name Francis


By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.

The election March 13 came on the first full day of the conclave on the conclave’s fifth ballot. It was a surprisingly quick conclusion to a conclave that began with many plausible candidates and no clear favorite.

The Latin American pope, a Jesuit, was chosen by at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals from 48 countries, who cast their ballots in secret in the Sistine Chapel.

His election was announced in Latin from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, to a massive crowd in the square below and millions watching around the world.

White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 7:05 p.m. signaling that the cardinals had chosen a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI. At 7:07 p.m., the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica began pealing continuously to confirm the election.

At 8:12 p.m., French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of deacons, appeared at the basilica balcony and read out in Latin: “I announce to you a great joy: We have a pope! The most eminent and most reverend lord, Lord Jorge, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Bergoglio, who has taken for himself the name Francis.”

The crowd in the square responded with cheers, applause and the waving of national flags.

A respected Italian journal said he was the cardinal with the second-highest number of votes on each of the four ballots in the 2005 conclave.

Cardinal Bergoglio has had a growing reputation as a very spiritual man with a talent for pastoral leadership serving in a region with the largest number of the world’s Catholics.

Since 1998, he has been archbishop of Buenos Aires, where his style is low-key and close to the people.

He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as “Father Jorge.”

He also has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives and started new pastoral programs, such as a commission for divorcees. He co-presided over the 2001 Synod of Bishops and was elected to the synod council, so he is well-known to the world’s bishops.

The cardinal has also written books on spirituality and meditation and has been outspoken against abortion and same-sex marriages.

In 2010, when Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged clergy across the country to tell Catholics to protest against the legislation because, if enacted, it could “seriously injure the family,” he said.

He also said adoption by same-sex couples would result in “depriving (children) of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother.”

In 2006, he criticized an Argentine proposal to legalize abortion under certain circumstances as part of a wide-ranging legal reform. He accused the government of lacking respect for the values held by the majority of Argentines and of trying to convince the Catholic Church “to waver in our defense of the dignity of the person.”

His role often forced him to speak publicly about the economic, social and political problems facing his country. His homilies and speeches are filled with references to the fact that all people are brothers and sisters and that the church and the country need to do what they can to make sure that everyone feels welcome, respected and cared for.

While not overtly political, Cardinal Bergoglio has not tried to hide the political and social impact of the Gospel message, particularly in a country still recovering from a serious economic crisis.

Since becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, Cardinal Bergoglio has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, taken personal care of the seminary and started new pastoral projects, such as the commission for divorcees. He has mediated in almost all social or political conflicts in the city; the newly ordained priests are described as “the Bergoglio generation”; and no political or social figure misses requesting a private encounter with him.

Jorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, Dec. 17, 1936.

He studied and received a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, but later decided to become a Jesuit priest and studied at the Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto.

He studied liberal arts in Santiago, Chile, and in 1960 earned a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. Between 1964 and 1965 he was a teacher of literature and psychology at Inmaculada high school in the province of Santa Fe, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the prestigious Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

In 1967, he returned to his theological studies and was ordained a priest Dec. 13, 1969. After his perpetual profession as a Jesuit in 1973, he became master of novices at the Seminary of Villa Barilari in San Miguel. Later that same year, he was elected superior of the Jesuit province of Argentina.

In 1980, he returned to San Miguel as a teacher at the Jesuit school, a job rarely taken by a former provincial superior. In May 1992 he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. He was one of three auxiliaries and he kept a low profile, spending most of his time caring for the Catholic university, counseling priests and preaching and hearing confessions.

On June 3, 1997, he was named coadjutor archbishop. He was installed as the new archbishop of Buenos Aires Feb. 28, 1998.

Some controversy had arisen over the position taken by Cardinal Bergoglio during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, which cracked down brutally on political opponents. Estimates of the number of people killed and forcibly disappeared during those years range from about 13,000 to more than 30,000.

Citing a case in which two young priests were detained by the military regime, critics say that the cardinal, who was Jesuit provincial at the time, did not do enough to support church workers against the military dictatorship.

Others, however, have said that he attempted to negotiate behind the scenes for the priests’ release, and a spokesman for the cardinal, quoted in the daily newspaper La Nacion, called the accusation “old slander.”