Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
The Jesuits of the New England and New York Provinces are offering a weekly Lenten podcast series, and in the second episode, Jesuit Father Steve Sanford talks about experiencing and overcoming darkness in one’s life through God.
“Sometimes in our life, God uses the experience of darkness to speak to us,” Fr. Sanford says.
Fr. Sanford shares a time of darkness from his own life, when he was assigned to go to Jamaica in 1988 for two years. “I was getting more and more anxious as the time drew close,” he recalls. “I was having trouble sleeping. I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to a country where I know nobody.’”
Fr. Sanford says talking to his friends and spiritual director didn’t help, but about two weeks before he was scheduled to leave, he was praying and asked God to help him.
“I heard a voice say to me: ‘Steve, don’t worry, no matter where you go, I will send you people to love.’”
Fr. Sanford says after he heard that in prayer, he relaxed and his fears about serving in Jamaica vanished.
“In that deep darkness of my life, that time of anxieties and fears, God spoke to me,” he says. “It’s a promise he made in 1988 and he keeps making each day.”
As he goes through this Lenten season, Fr. Sanford says he reminds himself that God is always going to send him people to love.
Listen to Fr. Sanford’s podcast at the New England Province website.
This Lent, the Jesuits of the New England and New York Provinces are offering a weekly podcast series featuring reflections by Jesuits on the Gospel each Sunday.
In the first podcast, Jesuit Father Charles Connolly spoke about changes of heart and calling upon God to be with us during times of temptation.
“When it comes to change in our lives, to conversion, it’s not as easy as we might think,” he says. “It’s a process. So even 40 days might not be long enough for our hearts to change.”
And yet, Fr. Connolly says, that is the call to conversion that Jesus gives us during the Lenten season.
“If Jesus were standing next to us when temptation struck, I don’t think we’d turn our back on him. We’d let the Lord help us. We’d let the Lord strengthen and encourage us.”
Fr. Connolly reminds us that God is with us and encourages us to remember the responsorial psalm from the first Sunday in Lent: “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”
Listen to Fr. Connolly’s podcast at the New England Province website and check back each Sunday for a new episode.
During his Jesuit formation, scholastic Jeremy Zipple has been making documentaries. Sometimes his films are about spiritual subjects, such as St. Xavier, and sometimes not, as with his documentary, “Rat Attack,” about a plague of rats that overrun the forests of India every 48 years. No matter the subject, Zipple has used his camera to seek to find God in all things.
Making films was his first passion. Zipple, a Mississippi native, has been shooting documentaries since high school. He ended up meeting the Jesuits by chance during a college tour in Boston when his father suggested visiting Boston College, which wasn’t on his list.
Zipple applied and was accepted and during a dinner at Boston College for prospective Presidential Scholars, he found himself at a table with Jesuit Father William Neenan, vice president and special assistant to the president.
“He sealed the deal. I had no category for a person like this — a priest, an economist, witty, with a wide breadth of knowledge and a taste for literature,” says Zipple. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow! Who are these Jesuits?’ I felt like I could learn a lot from these guys.”
After graduation, Zipple taught at a Catholic grade school in New Jersey, served as codirector of a contemporary liturgical choir and studied philosophy at Fordham University. In 2002, he entered the Society of Jesus.
Zipple describes his regency, a period of three years Jesuits normally spend in ministry before theology studies, as “untraditional.” He spent that time as a writer, producer and director for National Geographic Television in Washington, D.C., where he coproduced not only “Rat Attack” but “Quest for Solomon’s Mines,” about treasure seekers who, inspired by the Bible’s account of King Solomon’s riches, search for evidence of temples and palaces yet to be found.
Now back at Boston College for divinity studies, Zipple will be ordained to the priesthood this May. He also continues to make documentaries. He directed, wrote and produced his latest film, “Quest for the Lost Maya,” based on new archaeological findings about a forgotten Mayan society in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It aired on public television nationwide last March.
After ordination, Zipple plans to stay at Boston College and study for his licentiate in sacred theology. He says he may focus on the history of American Catholicism and “and hopefully get a film out of that, too.” For more on Zipple, read Boston College’s Becoming a Jesuit: Five Lives at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.
Jesuit Father James Martin, editor at large at America magazine, appeared on The Colbert Report last night where he and host Stephen Colbert discussed the pope’s resignation, the papal election process, ex-pope etiquette and the unlikelihood of choosing an American pope.
Fr. Martin also has an op-ed, “The Change Upon Christ’s Rock,” in The New York Times today on Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy:
“Paradoxically, Benedict might also be best remembered for how he left the papacy. In becoming the first pope to resign since 1415, he demonstrated immense spiritual freedom, putting the good of the institution, and of a billion Catholics, before power or status. This most traditional of popes — who in his role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had often been criticized for exercising too much power — has done one of the most nontraditional things imaginable.”
Read the op-ed at The New York Times website and watch Fr. Martin on The Colbert Show below:
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Jesuit Father Stephen Sundborg about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, echoing the thoughts of many Catholics. Pope Benedict’s announcement that he will resign on Feb. 28 makes him the first pope to step down in over 600 years. Here are some reactions and commentary from U.S. Jesuits on the pope’s resignation:
Fr. Sundborg told KOMO News Radio he thinks it means that “this is a very thoughtful pope. He sees he doesn’t have the energy to carry on as pope beyond what his current age and strength is. I think people will respect this [decision].”
Fr. Sunborg went on to say that he thinks Benedict will be remembered as “the pope theologian.”
“He was an expert at the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago. He wrote very extensively about the Gospels. He tried to re-engage culture in a positive way.” Listen to all of Fr. Sundborg’s comments at the KOMO News Radio website.
Jesuit Father George Coyne, a former director of the Vatican Observatory who teaches at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., said Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down because of poor health is in keeping with the pope’s character.
“I think it was a very courageous move, a very good move,” said Fr. Coyne, who knew Benedict as a cardinal for many years. “I think he had a very personal conviction that he could not carry on the job because of general health conditions.”
Benedict “lived through the aging of John Paul II, and I think that very much influenced him,” Fr. Coyne said. “He didn’t want to see the church go through another period like that.” For more from Fr. Coyne, visit Syracuse.com.
Jesuit Father James Martin, of America magazine, tweeted, “The Holy Father’s resignation is a selfless and noble act done for the good of the Church he has loved and served for his entire life.”
On America’s website, Fr. Martin also wrote about the pope’s legacy: “His most lasting legacy, I would suggest, will not be in the various ‘newsworthy’ acts of his papacy that were highlighted in the media so often … but something far more personal: his books on Jesus. Far more people will most likely read those moving testaments to the person who is at the center of his life—Jesus of Nazareth—than may read all of his encyclicals combined.”
Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen also wrote about the pope’s legacy on America magazine’s website, noting some of the pope’s contributions during his tenure:
“His encyclical Caritas in Veritate, with its affirmation of structural reform as ‘political charity’ and his call for a global authority to regulate the financial sector, may be the most radical since John XXIII’s Pacem in terris 50 years ago. Though not a diplomat himself, he conducted extraordinary visits to Turkey, Britain and the Holy Land. His address to the British leadership in Westminster Hall was both a diplomatic and personal triumph.”
Jesuit Father John Fitzgibbons, president of Regis University in Denver, told the Denver Post that the news was shocking in its impact, but he believed there had been signs.
“I think the Holy Father, Benedict, has signaled in a number of ways he’ was very open to a more humane response to the human realities behind such offices,” Fr. Fitzgibbons said.
Fr. Fitzgibbons said Benedict will be remembered for carrying on John Paul II’s “glowing understanding that this is a worldwide church, and he moved further away from Euro-centrism by appointing cardinals that came from all over the world.”
As for what happens next, Jesuit Father Thomas Reese offers a helpful Q-and-A on the papal transition, conclave and election of new pope on America’s website.