Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Zipple’

Jesuit Seeks to Find God Through His Camera Lens

Jeremy ZippleDuring his Jesuit formation, scholastic Jeremy Zipple has been making documentaries. Sometimes his films are about spiritual subjects, such as St. Xavier, and sometimes not, as with his documentary, “Rat Attack,” about a plague of rats that overrun the forests of India every 48 years. No matter the subject, Zipple has used his camera to seek to find God in all things.

Making films was his first passion. Zipple, a Mississippi native, has been shooting documentaries since high school. He ended up meeting the Jesuits by chance during a college tour in Boston when his father suggested visiting Boston College, which wasn’t on his list.

Zipple applied and was accepted and during a dinner at Boston College for prospective Presidential Scholars, he found himself at a table with Jesuit Father William Neenan, vice president and special assistant to the president.

“He sealed the deal. I had no category for a person like this — a priest, an economist, witty, with a wide breadth of knowledge and a taste for literature,” says Zipple. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow! Who are these Jesuits?’ I felt like I could learn a lot from these guys.”

After graduation, Zipple taught at a Catholic grade school in New Jersey, served as codirector of a contemporary liturgical choir and studied philosophy at Fordham University. In 2002, he entered the Society of Jesus.

Zipple describes his regency, a period of three years Jesuits normally spend in ministry before theology studies, as “untraditional.” He spent that time as a writer, producer and director for National Geographic Television in Washington, D.C., where he coproduced not only “Rat Attack” but “Quest for Solomon’s Mines,” about treasure seekers who, inspired by the Bible’s account of King Solomon’s riches, search for evidence of temples and palaces yet to be found.

Now back at Boston College for divinity studies, Zipple will be ordained to the priesthood this May. He also continues to make documentaries. He directed, wrote and produced his latest film, “Quest for the Lost Maya,” based on new archaeological findings about a forgotten Mayan society in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It aired on public television nationwide last March.

After ordination, Zipple plans to stay at Boston College and study for his licentiate in sacred theology. He says he may focus on the history of American Catholicism and “and hopefully get a film out of that, too.” For more on Zipple, read Boston College’s Becoming a Jesuit: Five Lives at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.

Three Boston College Jesuits Offer Personal Perspectives on their Vocation

(L-R) University President William P. Leahy, SJ, Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Jack Butler, SJ, and scholastic Jeremy Zipple ’00, a student in BC’s School of Theology and Ministry, at the March 31 panel discussion “Three Jesuits: Who Do They Say They Are? Personal Perspectives.” (Photo by Justin Knight)

(L-R) University President William P. Leahy, SJ, Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Jack Butler, SJ, and scholastic Jeremy Zipple ’00, a student in BC’s School of Theology and Ministry, at the March 31 panel discussion “Three Jesuits: Who Do They Say They Are? Personal Perspectives.” (Photo by Justin Knight)

Three members of the Boston College Jesuit Community opened their hearts and memories to an overflow audience of more than 200 to discuss their vocations as members of the Society of Jesus.

The discussion held at BC, was entitled “Three Jesuits: Who Do They Say They Are? Personal Perspectives,” and featured Boston College President Jesuit Father William Leahy, Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Jesuit Father Jack Butler, and Jesuit Scholastic Jeremy Zipple, a student in Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.

The Jesuit panelists spoke on how their individual journeys to the order began, whether by answering a life-long call to serve God, searching for the right opportunity to share a family’s love and concern for others — or, in one case, through a chance meeting with a BC Jesuit priest.

Father Butler described his time working with the marginalized in society, especially the incarcerated and the elderly, and the courage of such groups in the face of difficulties through faith as formative in his decision to enter the Jesuit Order.

“I fell in love first with a concept – how I saw God working in peoples’ lives,” Butler said. “Jesuits have a way of meeting people where they are, starting a conversation, and letting God do the rest of the work,” he said, calling the work of a Jesuit a process of “together finding God through one another.”

To read the full story on the panel, please visit the Boston College Chronicle.