Archive for the ‘Defending Life’ Category
The Ignatian Pro-Life Network, a union of pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes across the U.S., held the annual Mass for Life & Rally yesterday in Washington, D.C.
Marchers attended the Mass for Life at St. Aloysius Church along with the Rally for Life following the Mass, to hear speakers and student reports from schools before joining the March for Life. Jesuit Father Joe Laramie was the guest homilist, the full video of which is now available:
To learn about Jesuit Conference’s statement on the abortion issue, read “Standing for the Unborn”.
To follow the Ignatian Pro-Life Network, visit the Ignatian Pro-Life Network page on Facebook.
The Ignatian Pro-Life Network, a union of pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes across the U.S., invites participants to the annual Mass for Life & Rally on Jan. 23, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Marchers are encouraged to attend the Mass for Life at 9:30 a.m. at St. Aloysius Church along with the Rally for Life following the Mass, to hear speakers and student reports from schools before heading out for the March for Life.
In preparation, groups can also read the Jesuit Conference’s statement on the abortion issues, “Standing for the Unborn”, before the march.
To follow the Ignatian Pro-Life Network’s plans for the 2012 Mass and Rally for Life for Jesuit institutions and to sign up to attend, visit the Ignatian Pro-Life Network page on Facebook.
They regularly had to dodge the bullets during Lebanon’s civil war. But, while many people were fleeing the country, four Dutch Jesuits stayed to carry on with their work. During a recent ordination Jubilee celebration, they took a break from the festivities to take a look back at their wartime service.
The four tenacious Dutch clerics were celebrating their 50th anniversaries as Roman Catholic priests and their 60th anniversaries as members of the Jesuit order. Their time in Lebanon has meant that Jesuit Fathers Theo Vlugt, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Paul Brouwers and Michael Brenninkmeijer have become devoted to the country.
“If you make yourself at home somewhere, it becomes your home. It’d take us a long time to get used to the Netherlands again,” Fr. Brouwers explains. He, like his colleagues, is in his eighties. For years, he headed a successful Beirut publisher.
Fr. Theo Vlugt, who was born and bred in Amsterdam, sometimes had to eat tinned brown beans for weeks on end during the long and bloody civil war (1975–1990). “I occasionally think back and ask myself: did it really happen?” He was often seen by Dutch people as the face of Lebanon during the civil war.
For instance during the ‘One million for a shoe’ appeal in 1989, which raised three million Dutch guilders to buy shoes for Lebanese children. The campaign was inspired by Vlugt who headed a primary school in a poor district of Beirut. “They sometimes came to school with plastic bags tied round their feet,” he explains.
The Richard A. McGarrity, SJ, lecture series hosted by the Wisconsin Province of Jesuits recently featured Jesuit Father Rick Curry, a noted author, actor, teacher and baker. The breakfast program focused on how the community can better support veterans who are returning to society and the workforce.
Known to many throughout the Jesuit world, Curry is the founder of the National Theater Workshop of the Handicapped (NTWH) and is the director of the Academy for Veterans at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 2003, NTWH offered a new program called the Wounded Warriors Writers Workshop, and his vocation took on yet another dimension.
“The program taught the dramatic monologue to recently returning disabled veterans from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Working in small groups with talented young writing teachers, these valiant men and women struggled artistically to tell their stories in a format where they could later act them out on stage,” Curry said. “We were delighted that the arts could play such a significant role in the healing of these heroic Americans. The experience of writing and acting out their story opened the floodgates of emotions and this led many who participated in the writers program to seek further help and counseling.”
After more than 40 years as a Jesuit brother, Curry felt encouraged to seek priesthood whereby he could work “not only artistically with the wounded warriors but sacramentally as well.” Curry’s ability to become a priest took special permission from the Vatican because he was born with only one arm, and Canon Law requires two hands to celebrate Mass. It is a challenge he considers a gift, because it provides an automatic bond with disabled veterans.
With advances in modern medicine, soldiers are returning from war, but many are casualties just the same, whether in body, mind or both, Curry said.
“Imagine a young man whose body has been severed at the waist,” Curry said. “He’s lost so much, but he’s alive. Just 19, he needs to rethink what he will do with the rest of his life. We will lose many more men and women than the fatality charts show if we do not step up for them. I urge everyone to use his or her imagination to identify ways he or she can provide support to our veterans with disabilities and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. A lot of people can do much more than they think.”
Even though 10 years have passed, for many of us, September 11th, 2001 feels like yesterday. Thousands of people lost their lives that September morning, many of them while trying to save others. As this sad anniversary approaches, Jesuit Father James Martin recently reflected in America Magazine about the ministry he and his fellow Jesuits performed during the days that followed.
“In this hell I found grace. Working at the World Trade Center was one of the most profound experiences of the Holy Spirit I’ve ever had, for there I encountered an overwhelming sense of charity, unity and concord. Every person working at Ground Zero was “other-directed.” Every person was selfless, utterly unconcerned for himself or herself. Every person seemed kind, considerate, loving. And here was God offering us a parable today. As I looked around at the rescue workers, I thought, what is God like? God is like the firefighter who rushes into a burning building to save someone. That’s how much God loves us. And I saw this love expressed in the great charity of all the rescue workers who gathered at the American Golgotha.”
To read Father Martin’s full article, please click here.
Or, to purchase his book Searching for God at Ground Zero, please click here.