Posts Tagged ‘Georgetown University’

Jesuits-In-Residence at Georgetown Bring Spiritual Element to Residence Halls

Jesuit Father David Collins

Jesuit Father David Collins

What do you get when you mix a dorm filled with undergraduate students and a Jesuit-in-residence? An opportunity for Ignatian spirituality. At Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Jesuits-in-residence serve as mentors to students. For instance, Jesuit Father David Collins, one of the university’s Jesuits who lives in a student dorm, holds open houses every week so that students can stop by to talk.

“It’s an unstructured way for students to come up and, in fact, raise issues that they want to talk about,” Fr. Collins said. “The advantage of putting so much emphasis on an unstructured open house is that it allows themes to be set by students.”

Fr. Collins, a history professor, said the experience of living in a residence hall allows faculty to interact with students they might never otherwise meet.

Jesuit Father Dan Madigan

Jesuit Father Dan Madigan

Jesuit Father Dan Madigan, from Australia, is in his first year as a Jesuit-in-residence on campus, and for him the experience offers a chance to broaden his understanding of American college life.

“I was very interested to meet resident assistants — that was an eye-opener, because I didn’t go to a school like this,” Fr. Madigan said. “I went to undergrad in Australia, and we always go to state university as commuters, so we don’t have the sense of 24/7 residential contact.”

Like Fr. Collins, Fr. Madigan likes that he can meet a more diverse group of undergraduates — and give students the opportunity to get to know a Jesuit.

“We make a lot of the fact that this is a Jesuit university, but many students never get to meet a Jesuit,” Fr. Madigan said.

Jesuit Father Matthew Carnes

Jesuit Father Matthew Carnes

Jesuit Father Matthew Carnes is a chaplain-in-residence for the first time at Georgetown this year, but he has previously been a Jesuit-in-residence at Santa Clara University in California, and he has big plans.

“I’m going to lead a secret Jesuit tour,” Fr. Carnes said. “Essentially, at nine at night we go with flashlights to different historical sites, get keys to see secret places around campus and finish up with ice cream at my apartment.”

The Jesuits say that dorm life is no more chaotic than is typical for a college community.

“Other than when the Yankees won the World Series, I’ve never been kept up at night,” Fr. Collins said. Read more about the Jesuits-in-residence at The Hoya website.

Jesuit Gerard Campbell, a Leader in High Education, Passes Away

Jesuit Father Gerard J. CampbellJesuit Father Gerard J. Campbell, who was a leader in higher education and served as Georgetown University president in the 1960s, died on August 9, 2012, at age 92. He was a Jesuit for 73 years and a priest for 61 years.

Fr. Campbell served as president of Georgetown from 1964 to 1968 and is remembered for promoting student service to residents in Washington, D.C.

According to A History of Georgetown University, “[Campbell] … pledged that Georgetown would play a wider community role under his administrations by fostering student volunteer activities in the city and providing educational opportunities and other services to the city’s residents.”

While at Georgetown, Fr. Campbell also reconstituted the board of directors to include its first lay members, and he created the first University Senate comprising faculty and administrators.

“We are saddened by the passing of a cherished member of our community and a former leader of the university,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “In the Jesuit tradition of men and women for others, Fr. Campbell recognized the growing needs of city residents and the ability of Georgetown students to help meet them.”

Fr. Campbell also served as provincial assistant for colleges and universities for the Maryland Province, director of Woodstock Theological Society in Washington, D.C., and professor at Saint Joseph’s College (now University) in Philadelphia and Loyola College (now University Maryland). [Georgetown University]

Jesuit Doctoral Students Plan Work Back Home in Africa

Jesuit Father Jean-Baptiste Mazarati spoke to students, faculty and staff about the Jesuit ministry in Africa and his plans to return to the continent after receiving a doctoral degree from Georgetown. // Photo: Georgetown University

Two African Jesuits completing their doctorates in health care at Georgetown spoke to students, faculty and staff last week about their plans to return to the country to help their communities.

The talk, “Jesuits in Africa: The Hope of International Development” was part of Jesuit Heritage Week, which began on Jan. 29 and ran through Feb. 4.

“Jesuits are working in 28 out of 54 African countries today,” noted Jesuit Father Rodrigue Takoudjou.“We African Jesuits clearly perceive health care and education as priorities in our ministries.”

Fr. Takoudjuou, of Cameroon, is getting his Ph.D. in pharmacology, plans to teach at a Jesuit medical school in Chad.

One of the main health care issues that Jesuits are helping combat in Africa is HIV/AIDS, mostly through organizations such as The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN).

“AJAN’s mission is to stimulate and coordinate the work of African Jesuits in responding to HIV and AIDS in an effective, coordinated and evangelical manner, culturally sensitive and spiritually grounded,” he explained. “The African Jesuits are involved in more than 100 HIV/AIDS initiatives throughout the continent.”

Fellow panelist Jesuit Father Jean-Baptiste Mazarati, of Rwanda, will teach at the state medical school in his country when he graduates with a doctorate in tumor biology in 2012.

“Africa stands in the world as a big question mark. So who will answer that question?” Mazarati said. “It is a question of endemic poverty. It is a question of endemic disease. It is a question of endemic conflicts. It is a question of lack of leadership. …It is a question of a continent that holds so much richness, yet is struggling to take off.”

Africa also has a large population of children, he said, so there is a strong need for educational advancements.

Jesuits are sending Rwandan priests around the world to seek higher education in the sciences, social sciences and development “to make sure that tomorrow we come back to Rwanda stronger,” and ready to teach, Mazarati said.

Carol Lancaster, dean of the School of Foreign Service, moderated the event. Katherine Marshall, a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, also participated in the panel discussion.

“Jesuits have made such a contribution to this university and to the world,” Lancaster said.

The Jesuits’ personal stories of mission and ministry in Africa enlightened, yet posed more questions for some in the audience.

“The intersection between religion and African development is an extremely interesting field that must be further explored to fully understand the challenges and hopes of development,” said Vivian Ojo, who helped organize the event with Mariana Santos.

“The Jesuits provided some answers to some of the most difficult questions [plaguing Africa],” Ojo added. “I left the conversation with a desire to search for more answers about a topic not often explored.”

Where Faith and Science Meet: Anticipating the Future

Jesuit Father Kevin FitzGerald is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pharmacology and the Dr. David P. Lauler Chair for Catholic Health Care Ethics at Georgetown University.

His research interests have included the investigation of abnormal gene regulation in cancer and ethical issues in human genetics, including the ethical and social ramifications of molecular genetics research. He is an expert on ethical issues in personalized medicine, pharmacogenomics, human cloning research, stem cell research, and genetic testing.

Fr. FitzGerald recently sat down with National Jesuit News to discuss how being a priest and a scientist go hand-in-hand, and how the Church should learn to anticipate upcoming ethical questions.

Keeping the Classics Alive: Jesuit Father James Schall

The Georgetown Voice, a student-run newsmagazine of Georgetown University, recently featured  Jesuit Father James Schall, the noted author, philosopher and professor of Political Philosophy at Georgetown University. Fr. Schall, who entered the Society in 1948, started at Georgetown as a member of the faculty in 1977. A prolific writer, Schall has authored more than 30 books, including Idylls and Rambles, which was recently added to the Ignatius Press E-Book Collection. The full feature about Fr. Schall is below:

In the moments before his Elements of Political Theory class, Jesuit Father James Schall stood in the hall, chatting with early-comers about the weather, the readings, and other courses. Fr. Schall not only knew all of his current students by name, but also recalled almost all of his recent students. He made introductions among the students standing in front of him, and a large, comfortable conversation started.

This conversation seemed to carry over into class. The period involved little group discussion, but was rather a series of conversations between Schall and individual students.

To Schall, this conversational teaching style fosters students’ intellectual engagement.

“College students learn most from talking to each other. You have to have ways for students to converse,” he said. “That’s why education is fostered by a good campus.”

When class began, Schall asked if he had failed to call on anyone during the course so far. “I don’t want anyone to feel left out,” he said. With 100 students crowded into a large White-Gravenor classroom, it would seem easy to be left out during a 50 minute class period.

However, Schall’s custom of pacing the aisles—addressing questions and comments to students at random—makes it difficult to shirk participation. Despite his sniper-like questioning style, his students appeared calm, seemingly unfazed by the possibility of being called on at his whim. Although his quiet voice could easily be drowned out by coughing, his students remained attentive and prepared to be called on. The conversations ranged from Plato, to the etymology of names of the months, to Shakespeare.

Schall teaches exclusively from the Western canon, classic texts that have been a cornerstone of Jesuit education from its beginnings. Some see these texts as providing a critical perspective on the legacy of human thought.

Professor Patrick Deneen, a government professor who also teaches Elements of Political Theory, speculated that Schall’s traditional perspective attracts students to his popular class.

“A paramount reason why students flock to Father Schall is because he reveals to them the profound depth of their ignorance,” he said. “But more than that, he allows them to experience that magnificent feeling that is the beginning of philosophy—the hunger for knowledge.”

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