Posts Tagged ‘Fordham University’
Twenty years ago, Jesuit Father Joseph S. Rooney was a physics professor at Fordham University in the Bronx, and in need of a summer assignment. Volunteering to fill in for priests of the Diocese of Salt Lake City who were away on vacation, Fr. Rooney saw an opportunity to do some apostolic work, but also focus on his hobby of photography.
“My motivation was, give me some apostolic work to do, but my hobby is photography, and this is a pretty state for taking pictures,” he said.
What he saw through the camera lens and in the people he served kept him coming back. During his many summers of service, Rooney served at almost every parish in southern Utah. When it came time for him to retire from teaching physics, Rooney knew exactly where he wanted to serve next; the Oregon Province of Jesuits provincial agreed that Fr. Rooney could help in the Diocese of Salt Lake City for a couple of years.
“And so here it is 14 years later and that ‘couple of years’ is still going,” Fr. Rooney said with a laugh.
Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald, the diocese’s vicar general, said Fr. Rooney brings to Utah not only his faith, but also enthusiasm. “He certainly has the interest and the well-being of the people at heart and is willing to work for them,” he said. “I find him very generous in terms of responding to the needs of the people.”
“There’s a need for a Catholic priest here,” said Fr. Rooney, pointing out that there are 278 registered families in his entire parish, San Andres, which geographically covers an area so large that in contrast there are about 200 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wards in the same area; each ward has about 200 families. “There is an apostolic need.”
Although at 77 he is past retirement age, he continues working because “I’m supposed to be, just by my vows as a Jesuit, a person for others,” he said. “Eventually my health will force me out of it, but until that time occurs, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t do it.”
To read the full article about the work of Father Rooney, please visit the Intermountain Catholic.
Jesuit Father John Halligan, founder of the Working Boys’ Center (WBC) in Quito, Ecuador, was co-recipient of this year’s Opus Prize, one of the largest humanitarian awards that is designed to provide a single infusion of resources to advance humanitarians’ work and bring greater visibility to their causes.
Fr. Halligan will split the $1.1 million award with Sr. Beatrice Chipeta, director of the Lusubilo Orphan Care Project in Malawi, Africa. They were named co-recipients of the million-dollar annual prize on November 11 in a ceremony at Fordham University.
Fr. Halligan, 80, began the WBC in 1964 in the attic of the centuries-old La Compania Church in the center of Quito, Ecuador. His aim was to provide lunch and spiritual inspiration to a few dozen “shoeshine boys” who worked in the streets to support their families.
Forty-six years later, the WBC operates out of three buildings spread throughout Quito and serves more than 2,000 members annually, including whole families. The center offers daycare, primary education, vocational training, special needs services and adult literacy programs to help families be self-sustaining.
WBC is run by a team of directors, some of whom are former shoeshine boys, and enlists approximately 200 employees and 1,000 volunteers annually. It has twice been named the best technical school in the nation for its classes in carpentry, metal crafts and other trades.
At the ceremony, Fr. Halligan thanked the Jesuits for always keeping the “door open for the lower classes” and said that helped shape the path of his own life. He also encouraged students to become volunteers.
“The young volunteers make all the difference in our work, and they return from a life-changing experience in the process,” he said.
In the video below, Halligan discusses the purpose of the Working Boys’ Center and how it has help shape the lives of the poor in Quito.
Jesuit Father Joseph Koterski is an associate professor of philosophy, Jesuit Father Claudio Burgaleta is an assistant professor of theology and Jesuit Father Edward Dowling is a professor of economics.
Yet, like all of Fordham’s Jesuits, first and foremost they are Catholic priests. They are ordained to celebrate Mass in any parish in the New York Archdiocese and to administer sacraments that go with the title: marriages, penance, last rites, Holy Eucharist and more.
That is why, when calls for assistance come from surrounding Bronx neighborhoods and beyond, Fordham’s Jesuits are answering them.
Some 20 of Fordham’s Jesuit priests regularly celebrate Masses in parish churches and other religious communities off campus. The jobs are rarely assigned tasks; they are, many of them say, tasks of the heart, and a privilege that keeps them connected to the world beyond the leafy confines of academia.
“We are priests first of all, and this is what our mission is,” said Father Koterski. “We can be of great support to our fellow priests and to our dioceses. And people in the pews like a little variety in their sermons. The learning and spirituality that the Jesuits bring can be valuable.”
Read more about how the 60 members of Fordham’s Jesuit communities are assisting local parishes near the Fordham campus in the Bronx by going here.
On Nov. 16, 1989, six Jesuits, along with a housekeeper and her daughter, were killed by members of the El Salvadoran military at the University of Central America Pastoral Center in San Salvador. The Jesuits had been labeled subversives by the Salvadoran government for speaking out against its oppressive socioeconomic structure.
To mark the 20th anniversary of their murders, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 761, “Remembering and commemorating the lives and work of (the Jesuit Fathers, their housekeeper and her daughter) on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their deaths at the University of Central America Jose Simeon Canas in San Salvador, El Salvador.” The resolution was sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D) of Massachusetts.
Killed in the attack were Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., 59; Amando Lopez, S.J., 53; Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, S.J., 71; Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., 50; Juan Ramon Moreno, S.J., 56; Segundo Montes, S.J., 56; Julia Elba Ramos, 42, the housekeeper of the Jesuit residence, and her daughter Cecilia Ramos, 15.
In remembrance of those who lost their lives, various Jesuit apostolates, including colleges, universities and parishes, are commemorating November 16th, 2009 with memorials, Masses and religious services. A list of institutions participating appear below with events listed if available. Please check back regularly as this list is ever growing.
by Peter Feuerherd
New York Province of the Society of Jesus
As he sat, literally and figuratively, in the chair of the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., Jesuit Father Patrick Ryan, S.J., reflected about following in the footsteps of a Catholic theological giant.
Father Ryan, 70, occupies the office and holds the chair as the Laurence J. McGinley professor of religion and society at Fordham University, a position held by Cardinal Dulles from 1988 until his death in 2008. A former student of Cardinal Dulles, Father Ryan, in the afterglow of Vatican II’s outreach to non-Christians, was urged by the theologian to pursue doctoral studies in comparative religion at Harvard.
He responded with a doctoral dissertation based in part on his own experience in Nigeria. As a young Jesuit teacher in Nigeria, Father Ryan got to know the Yoruba people, a group roughly half Christian and half Muslim, who have long experienced interfaith understanding.
The Yoruba are a model in a post-9/11 world, wrote Father Ryan in the February 2006 issue of National Jesuit News.
“The Yoruba Christians and Muslims, despite some efforts by a handful of fanatic on both sides in recent years, have learned not only to tolerate each other but even to join in each other’s moments of sorrow and moments of conviviality,” he wrote, citing their interfaith families and friendships. Among the Yoruba, Christians and Muslims routinely join together for weddings and funerals.