Archive for the ‘Parishes’ Category

Jesuit Scientists Lead Catholics in New Parish on University of British Columbia Campus

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has assigned two Jesuit scientists —both of whom have been described as having an ‘earthy spirituality’—to head its new parish on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus.

Jesuit Father Robert Allore, pastor and chaplain, and Jesuit Father John McCarthy, assistant pastor and chaplain, hope the new St. Mark’s Parish will grow and become an integral part of the faith and service life of UBC.

Fr. Allore said, “We actively support efforts that promote dialogue between the traditions of science and religion.”

Fr. McCarthy said, “At the same time, we hope to build bridges between sometimes separated communities that, we believe, need to work together for the benefit of all.”

St. Mark’s Parish, formed at the beginning of the year to serve students, faculty, staff and local residents, brings together the former worshiping communities of St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish and St. Mark’s College. In partnership with student support provided by the campus ministry team at St. Mark’s College, the new Parish of St. Mark will also deliver services to the UBC hospital system.

As befits a parish in an institution of higher education, Frs. Allore and McCarthy arrive at UBC well-qualified in their respective fields of science.

Fr. Allore is a geneticist who conducts research on gene therapy strategies for the nervous system, while Fr. McCarthy is an ecologist who specializes in boreal forest ecology and the biology of lichens.

While pursuing his training as a Jesuit, Father Allore worked at Montreal General Hospital’s division of Neurosurgery where he conducted research on gene therapy strategies for the nervous system. Before moving to Vancouver, he worked for several years at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital, investigating the genetics of nervous system development. While serving at St. Mark’s Parish, he will continue his genetics research in the UBC Department of Zoology.

Fr. McCarthy is a specialist in boreal forest ecology and the biology of lichens, important biological indicators of environmental conditions.  He has conducted extensive studies on the ecology of old growth forests in northern Newfoundland.  He served for years as the Co-Chair of the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council for the government of Newfoundland and Labrador. His work in boreal forest conservation earned him the Canadian Environment Award, Gold Prize, from the Royal Geographical Society of Canada.

Aside from his parish duties, Fr. McCarthy continues his ecological research activities on the biodiversity of lichens in Newfoundland and Labrador.  His field work takes him to all parts of Canada and Europe to collect samples and meet with research collaborators.

You can read the original story on Frs. Allore and McCarthy’s newest assignments in this The Campus Resident article written by its editor, John Tompkins.

Evolution of a Parish: Fr. O’Sullivan and St. Procopius in Chicago

First established in 1875, St. Procopius Parish, located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, has watched its community of parishioners change from predominately Czech to mostly Hispanic today. Its pastor, Jesuit Father Sean O’Sullivan, himself an immigrant from Ireland, invites all of the parishioners of St. Procopius to open their hearts to their diverse community. Fr. O’Sullivan’s story is not unlike that of his parishioners, who have come to a new place and are looking for a sense of belonging, which they now find through the sharing of the faith.

Find out more about Fr. O’Sullivan and St. Procopius Parish in the Ignatian News Network video below:

California Jesuits Share their Experiences as Parish Priests

Jesuit priests and brothers work with deacons, religious women and laity in more than 70 parishes throughout the United States. These churches are located in a variety of diverse locations; from inner-city neighborhoods, in business districts and suburbs, to the country and rural areas, and on Native American reservations.

For the Jesuits who minister at the nine parishes in California, their diverse experiences of providing pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance to their parishioners is no less striking. From the palm tree lined Sunset Boulevard location of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Hollywood to Most Holy Trinity’s placement in Silicon Valley to Dolores Mission Parish’s impact on its East L.A. neighborhood, three California parish priests, Jesuit Fathers Mike Mandala, Eduardo Samaniego and Scott Santarosa, find themselves in very different locations but share a commonality of helping parishioners experience their faith and reverence to God.

In the video below, they express what makes these Jesuit parishes unique and how they serve their communities and enrich their parishioners’ faith lives.

Interested in joining a Jesuit parish yourself? View a list of Jesuit parishes in the U.S.

Ignatian News Network Video Biography, Jesuit Father Scott Santarosa

A native of Sacramento, Jesuit Father Scott Santarosa, experienced the Jesuits at an early age, first as a high school student at Jesuit High School in Sacramento. Fr. Santarosa credits the care and attention of the Jesuits and lay faculty of Jesuit High in moving him to continue his Jesuit education at Santa Clara University, where he graduated in Civil Engineering in 1988.

Still not having enough of the “Jesuit thing,” he decided to do a year of volunteer work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where he ran an after-school program for youth in Newark, New Jersey. Following his year as a Jesuit volunteer, he went one step further, and joined the Jesuits in the summer of 1989.

His Jesuit life has taken him to the Bronx, New York for philosophy studies; Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose for three years of teaching; Berkeley and Mexico City for theology studies and pastoral ministry. Currently, Santarosa is the pastor at Dolores Mission parish, a small but vibrant Jesuit parish in the lowest income section of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. He served there as a newly ordained priest back in 2000 where the good parishioners there taught him how to be a priest. His time there planted the seed of desire to do parish work, so he is happy to be there now full-time, doing pastoral work, much of it in Spanish. He feels humbled and grateful to see God in the people of that community.

Ignatian News Network met up with Fr. Santarosa to learn more about the man behind the collar.

Jesuit Writes about ‘Contemplatives In Action’ Found Along U.S./Mexico Border

St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, always envisioned Jesuits and their partners as being “contemplatives in action.” He asked his first companions to reflect and pray in order to detect the presence of God in their lives. Then, through discerning Christ’s call, to carry out His mission through action.

Jesuit Father Jack Vessels has been called to the border of Texas and Mexico as the chaplain of the Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso. Before coming there, he was missioned to Brazil for over 20 years then headed to Rome to become the international leader of the Apostleship of Prayer, whose mission it is to encourage people to pray daily for the Church and for the pope’s intentions.

Today, Fr. Vessels says Mass daily at the parish, and many times at the parish’s food banks in Juarez, Mexico, the Our Lady’s Youth Center (OLYC) community, and at the Lord’s Ranch in New Mexico. He hears confessions for many hours each week and goes to the homes of the sick and elderly to give them the sacrament of the sick.

Vessels recently wrote this piece for the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus’ magazine Southern Jesuit on the work of the Our Lady’s Youth Center with the poor  who live along the border of Texas and Mexico — both in El Paso and across the Rio Grande river in Juarez, Mexico. You can read more article about the work of the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province by visiting Southern Jesuit’s online magazine.

Two years ago, because of my fluency in Spanish and my experience in the formation of ecclesial communities in Brazil, I was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso to assist in the work of Our Lady’s Youth Center and at The Lord’s Ranch which is in Vado, New Mexico, just across the state line from El Paso. It serves as residence for several volunteers who have dedicated their lives to feeding and serving the poor on the border. It also serves as a guest house for volunteers who occasionally return to assist in the community’s ministries or to spend time in restful reflection.

Truly ecclesial and international, the Our Lady’s Youth Center (OLYC) community – now known as Las Alas or “The Wings” – is a community of contemplatives in action: by faith, united in prayer and action; no prayer without action, and no action without prayer! Through service to the poor, both volunteer residents and visitors contribute to the life of the universal Church in the three particular churches where it serves: El Paso, Texas; Juarez, Mexico; and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“Go to the poor,” Christ told the OLYC community in its group discernment of scripture. It was across the Rio Grande in Juarez that the cry of the poor was most demanding, where well over a million people lived in poverty worse than any experienced in El Paso. Many of the members of the community were bilingual, with friends and relatives living in Juarez. They went “to see,” confident the Holy Spirit would enlighten their vision. Visiting the city’s municipal garbage dump, they found the poorest of the poor, feeding themselves and their children, sleeping in shelters made from trash, collecting whatever might be usable and sellable on the streets. Praying and discerning Christ’s words, “…when you have a banquet, invite the poor…,” (Luke 14:13) the community did just that at the dump on Christmas Day of 1972, often remembered as “the miracle of Juarez” because of the inexplicable multiplication of food that day, and they have been going back weekly ever since.

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