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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:
A new program at Phoenix’s Brophy College Preparatory is helping undocumented residents apply for work permits as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process. While the procedure does not provide undocumented people with lawful status, it does allow them to avoid deportation proceedings and thus offers a new level of security.
The program is the brainchild of several Brophy alums who encouraged their alma mater to organize a DACA application workshop last month.
“These young men (Brophy alums) helped me understand the significance of the DACA process and the complexity of the application. DACA is a potentially life-changing step for currently undocumented people who were brought to this country by their parents when they were children,” says Bob Ryan, principal of Brophy Prep.
Legal professionals and volunteers, including current Brophy students and alums, helped over 200 eligible people complete their applications and prepare their documents for submission to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“I’m volunteering because I wanted to help out my Latino community,” says Cesar Lopez Palafox (’13). “I know most of my family and friends are Latinos, and some have undocumented relatives. I felt called to help them out in any way I can.”
Italian Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a renowned biblical scholar and former archbishop of Milan, died on August 31 at the age of 85 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He made church teachings accessible to the public through his columns in an Italian newspaper and in Sunday afternoon dialogues with young people at the cathedral in Milan.
A writer and biblical scholar known for his warm, pastoral style, Cardinal Martini was long considered a papal candidate in the last conclave.
In a telegram to Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, Pope Benedict praised Cardinal Martini’s generous service to the Gospel and the church and his “intense apostolic work” as a Jesuit, a professor and “authoritative biblicist.”
As archbishop of Milan, the pope said, Cardinal Martini helped open for the church community “the treasures of the sacred Scriptures.”
Born in Orbassano, near Turin, Italy, on February 15, 1927, Carlo Maria Martini entered the Society of Jesus in 1944, was ordained a priest July 13, 1952, and took his final vows as a Jesuit in 1962.
With doctorates in theology and biblical studies, he was a seminary professor in Chieri, Italy; professor and later rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; and rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University. When he was named archbishop of Milan in December 1979, Cardinal Martini was the first Jesuit in 35 years to head an Italian archdiocese.
The cardinal was also a prolific author whose books were best-sellers in Italy and included everything from scholarly biblical exegesis to poetry and prayer guides.
Known as a strong pastor and administrator and as a very careful, thoughtful advocate of wide discussion on delicate and, often, controversial church positions, Cardinal Martini expressed openness to the ordination of married Latin-rite priests, under certain circumstances, and permitting women to serve as deacons.
Following his retirement as archbishop of Milan in 2002, Cardinal Martini moved to Jerusalem and focused on biblical studies, Catholic-Jewish dialogue and praying for peace in the Middle East. He returned to Milan after his health worsened in 2008.
Cardinal Martini’s death leaves the College of Cardinals with 206 members, 118 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.
For more on Cardinal Martini, see Associated Press reporter Nicole Winfield’s account from Italy and the Catholic News Service obituary.
Jesuit Father James Webb, former Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in English Canada, died on August 9 at age 68 in Ontario, Canada. Throughout his nearly 50 years as a Jesuit, Fr. Webb was a champion of the poor and disadvantaged, and he worked for social justice, specifically in the fields of social action, education and agricultural development.
Following his ordination in 1973, Fr. Webb served in Toronto, where he took on a number of social justice projects, including leading an advocacy effort against the system of apartheid then existing in South Africa and helping found a Catholic newspaper, a health center, the Taskforce on Churches and Corporate Responsibility and the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice.
In 1986 Fr. Webb moved to Jamaica, where he served for over twenty years. There he spent most of his time working with the poor, as a pastor in Kingston, chair of the St. Mary’s Rural Development Project and founding director of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections.
Fr. Webb returned to Canada in 2008 to become Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in English Canada. In this role, he chose to live in an apartment in one of the poorest parts of Toronto, rather than the six-bedroom home in a Toronto neighborhood that had once served as home base for the Jesuit leadership team.
“If you say that material things are not important but then there’s no sign of it, it lacks credibility,” Fr. Webb told Canada’s Catholic Register in 2009. “Our commitment to social justice and solidarity with the poor is very strong. In terms of vocations, I think that is one of the things that is attracting younger people to the Jesuits.”
Fr. Webb always believed there was more that could be done, however difficult it might seem, said Jesuit Father Philip Shano.
Fellow Jesuits, family and friends celebrated the life of Fr. Vincent O’Keefe, SJ, at a Funeral Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York, N.Y. on Thursday, July 26. Fr. O’Keefe, 92, entered into eternal life on Sunday, July 22.
Fr. James Croghan, SJ, grandnephew of Fr. O’Keefe and chaplain at Regis High School, warmly recalled his uncle and brother Jesuit as an individual whose love of God, the Church and the Society of Jesus was palpable in his relationships with friends, family and all those whom he served in his long life and career. Fr. Croghan labeled love as the constant, driving force in Fr. O’Keefe’s life. Fr. Croghan offered reflections on Fr. O’Keefe’s 90th birthday celebration two years ago at Murray-Weigel Hall, the health care center for New York Province Jesuits located adjacent to Fordham University in the Bronx, and how Fr. O’Keefe, even in his later years, served as a source of inspiration to all.
Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference, offered words of appreciation for Father O’Keefe’s life, saying Father O’Keefe “loved to be with people—as a host, a brother Jesuit, a storyteller, a priest.”
Father Smolich added, “Father O’Keefe was absolutely loyal: to Pedro Arrupe, to the Society of Jesus, and to the Church. He was a man of great joy, a kind of joy that only comes through intimacy with God.”
To listen to excerpts from the Mass, click here
Fr. Vincent T. O’Keefe, SJ, was president of Fordham University in 1965 when he was elected at the 31st General Congregation of the Society of Jesus to serve as one of four General Assistants to the newly elected Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ. For the next 18 years, Fr. O’Keefe was stationed at the Rome headquarters of the Jesuits and worked closely with Father Arrupe in guiding the renewal of Jesuit life in the wake of the reforms called for in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Read the rest of this entry »