Archive for the ‘Native Ministries’ Category
One of the highlights of 2012 for Jesuit Father Patrick Twohy was traveling to Rome in October to watch Pope Benedict XVI canonize seven saints. “This is so right, the Church honoring those who lived the beatitudes,” Fr. Twohy recalls thinking of the experience.
After being called 40 years ago to serve Native American people, Fr. Twohy was in Rome to celebrate the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint.
Fr. Twohy, who is director of the Rocky Mountain Mission for the Northwest Jesuits and chaplain to Native Americans of the Seattle Archdiocese, traveled to the Vatican with a group of about 40 Native people from several Northwest tribes.
“We were there with many tribes. They all claim her because the honor of one is the honor of all. That certainly was the case on that wonderful day,” Fr. Twohy said.
As a member of the Tekakwitha Conference — the only annual gathering of Catholic Native peoples in North America — Fr. Twohy had prayed with about 1,000 others for the canonization of Kateri each year since Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980.
“To have her honored is to honor all Native peoples, the sanctity of their lives and the beauty of their culture. I was blessed to be standing in St. Peter’s piazza with all these grandmothers and great grandmothers whose guidance I so value,” said Fr. Twohy, one of 12 Jesuits who serve Native Americans throughout the Northwest.
The Jesuits have a 170-year history with Native Americans, according to Fr. Twohy, who moved to the Colville Reservation at Nespelem, Wash., in 1973.
“That was the beginning and it has gotten deeper and more profound with each year for me,” said Fr. Twohy. “Now I see the world with a double richness. I belong to the Catholic tradition and that worldview and to those people whose wisdom spans thousands and thousands of years. I want to journey forever with them into the next world.”
Fr. Twohy joined the Jesuits at 18. “Ever since I was young, I’ve always been drawn to the mystery, that which is hidden in all things,” he said. “When I met the Jesuits who taught me in high school, I was deeply impressed with the width of their learning, the width of their hearts and their engagement with the world.”
For more, read the article by Annie Beckmann on the Seattle University website.
Jesuit Father Don Doll has been a photographer — his second calling — for 50 years. The New York Times Lens blog recently examined the connection between Fr. Doll’s first calling to the priesthood and his calling to photography.
Fr. Doll began taking photos while working on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota in 1962. He said that after taking photos for over two years, he became discouraged because he “still hadn’t taken a decent picture.”
He considered giving up photography and went for a walk in the South Dakota prairie to think about what his mission as a Jesuit should be. “I heard a loud voice saying: ‘Stay with photography. It’s the first thing you really loved doing. Stay with it. Don’t worry if it takes 10 years,’ ” he recalls.
Fr. Doll stuck with photography, and his work has been published in National Geographic magazine and three books. His newest publication is an autobiographical book “A Call to Vision: A Jesuit’s Perspective on the World.”
Fr. Doll has used photography to promote Native American culture. “I learned to respect another culture, because we were immersed in it,” Fr. Doll said. “And I really learned about the values that the Native Americans have of sharing and their sense of generosity with one another, and how they honor you.”
In 1974, Fr. Doll returned to the Rosebud Reservation as a documentary photographer. He said he often prayed before releasing the shutter. “I used to pray that I could really make photographs that portrayed how special they are and something of the empathy they had and that God has for them,” he explained.
During a 30-day retreat, Fr. Doll discovered a link between prayer and photography. “I said: ‘Oh my god! Prayer is just like photography, where you have to let go of what you want to happen or what you think’s going to happen. You have to let go of your preconceptions and I think that same thing applies to photographing. You have to let go of your suppositions of what the picture is or should be and just be present in the moment.’ ”
Read the full story about Fr. Doll on the New York Times website and watch the Creighton University video that celebrates the photography of Fr. Doll below.
For more than seventy years, the Jesuits of the New York Province have served the people of Micronesia. And thanks to a new video series, their incredible, faith-filled ministry throughout the Pacific islands is being shared.
In the first episode, on faith and spirituality in action, three New York Province Jesuits explain what they love about serving in the Pacific.
Jesuit Father John Mulreany does pastoral ministry and teaches at Yap Catholic High School, which opened last year. He’s happy with how the Catholic community pulled together to support the new school.
“People are really passionate about deepening their faith … and having more opportunities for prayer and worship,” Fr. Mulreany says.
Jesuit Father Richard McAuliff is director of Xavier High in Chuuk. He says that one of the best aspects of serving there for the past 20 years is that everything is about relationships.
“We might not have the technology, we might not have the modern conveniences, but what I’ve been taught by the people out here is that the most important thing is relationships — whether it’s with God, each other or yourself,” says Fr. McAuliff.
Jesuit Father Marc Roselli, who also serves at Xavier High, says it’s been one of his most gratifying teaching experiences because the students are filled with life, receptive and faith-filled.
Watch the first episode below and visit the New York Province website to view the other episodes in the series.
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.
Jesuit Father John Hatcher and Jesuit Tom Olson will be the featured guests tonight on fellow Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa’s EWTN Live, scheduled to broadcast at 8pm EST. They will be interviewed about their ongoing work on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Olson, who is in his final year of regency at St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, serves as the Executive Assistant to the President for Advancement and Fr. Hatcher, is the current Superior and President of St. Francis Mission.
St. Francis Mission operates according to a new model of doing mission and ministry among Native Americans. Recovery, spiritual formation, and education are each of essential importance to this new model, which is truly holistic and seeks to address the cross-generational social, economic, and spiritual struggles that are suffered by Native Americans. In its application of this solution, the Mission operates 2 drug and alcohol recovery centers, 6 parishes, a dental clinic, 3 religious education centers, a museum, and a radio station. In addition, the Mission has plans to open a nativity-styled school next year.
These programs provide practical, short and long-term solutions to the myriad social, economic, and spiritual problems that Lakota people face. Perhaps most importantly, these programs give Lakota Catholics a real opportunity to become leaders in establishing a Church on the Rosebud Reservation that is unabashedly Catholic and vibrantly Lakota.
Please tune in to EWTN tonight at 8pm EST to learn about this growing and important ministry! When the video becomes available, we’ll be sure to post it on National Jesuit News.