Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke’

Australian Jesuit Reflects on Taking Final Vows

A few short weeks ago Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke, an Australian Jesuit and an Assistant Professor of History at Boston College, professed final vows in the Society of Jesus at St. Mary’s Chapel on Boston College’s campus. Final vows occur when the Society of Jesus invites a Jesuit to full incorporation within the Society.  As one Jesuit said, at first vows, you accept the Society; at final vows, the Society accepts you. Fr. Clarke recently offered this reflection in the Australian province’s newsletter upon the completion of his final vows:

On Friday as I concluded taking my final vows in the Society of Jesus, I read the phrase, “At the altar of St Mary in St Mary’s Chapel, Boston College, Massachusetts, April 20, 2012.”  When I joined the Jesuits in 1993 at Canisius College, Pymble in Sydney, little did I know that I’d be halfway around the world almost two decades later.

On the occasion of my first vows, which were pronounced at the end of the novitiate in February 1995, along with three other men (including Jesuit Brother Kevin Huddy and Father Minh Van Tran), I spoke the words “I vow to your divine majesty, before the most holy Virgin Mary and the entire heavenly court, perpetual poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Society of Jesus. I promise that I will enter this same Society to spend my life in it forever.” At the end of the formula there is another prayer, which entreats God with the words “as you have freely given me the desire to make this offering, so also may you give me the abundant grace to fulfill it.”

They are wise words as the promise made then is that when one is called to final vows many years later one will then be ready to enter the Society completely, to be incorporated as a fully professed member of the Jesuits. Thus, our training and our testing, as envisaged by Ignatius and then experienced by countless generations of Jesuits, can indeed be long and arduous. Little did I know that as I gazed out over the deserts of the Kimberley region during a novitiate placement in 1994 (pictured, right) that I’d then end up being an academic in a Jesuit, Catholic university on the east coast of the United States.

And yet, in a way, this makes perfect sense in a Jesuit world. As we desire to enter the Society, so the Society desires to enable us to be all that we can be, for the good of our mission, which is to serve Christ’s poor and in so doing help build a better and more just world. Our congregations have articulated this desire in ever-more sophisticated (and lengthy!) ways over the past decades and one articulation of this that resonates with me is that we seek to be men on a mission, who seek a faith that does justice. Read the rest of this entry »

Jesuit’s Students Unveil Exhibit on Ricci, China and Jesuit Cultural Learnings

Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke

Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke with items featured in the Boston College exhibit "Binding Friendship: Ricci, China and Jesuit Cultural Learnings." (Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert)

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Boston College Assistant Professor of History Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke helped his undgergrad students create an exhibit that opened on Mar. 21 titled “Binding Friendship: Ricci, China and Jesuit Cultural Learnings.”

The exhibit, which highlights the history of East-West exchanges, has a number of multimedia resources to demonstrate Christian mission history in Asia.

In the 16th century, the Chinese were utilizing what at the time was advanced technology through their observatory in Beijing, Fr. Clarke said.

“In one display, we show the observatory and all the astronomical devices that they used during the time the Jesuits were there,” said student Alexander Gilman ’11.

Utilizing excerpts and outtakes from Clarke’s documentary, “Beyond Ricci: Celebrating 400 Years of the Chinese Catholic Church,” students were able to compile their own virtual history.

“One of the ways people learned about East-West cultural exchange was through six melody lines written down by a Jesuit in Beijing at that time,” said Clarke. Using these melodies as a creative point of departure, Clarke commissioned the composition of an aria that is played as people pass through the exhibit.

A number of rare books are also on display, including Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, the translations of the first three of the four canonical books of Confucianism. A group of Jesuits originally translated the philosophies of the Chinese to lead to greater understanding of Chinese thought and brought the culture to Europeans and beyond, Clarke said.

For more information, watch a video preview of the exhibit and visit the Boston College Chronicle.

Jesuit's Students Unveil Exhibit on Ricci, China and Jesuit Cultural Learnings

Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke

Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke with items featured in the Boston College exhibit "Binding Friendship: Ricci, China and Jesuit Cultural Learnings." (Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert)

Share

Boston College Assistant Professor of History Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke helped his undgergrad students create an exhibit that opened on Mar. 21 titled “Binding Friendship: Ricci, China and Jesuit Cultural Learnings.”

The exhibit, which highlights the history of East-West exchanges, has a number of multimedia resources to demonstrate Christian mission history in Asia.

In the 16th century, the Chinese were utilizing what at the time was advanced technology through their observatory in Beijing, Fr. Clarke said.

“In one display, we show the observatory and all the astronomical devices that they used during the time the Jesuits were there,” said student Alexander Gilman ’11.

Utilizing excerpts and outtakes from Clarke’s documentary, “Beyond Ricci: Celebrating 400 Years of the Chinese Catholic Church,” students were able to compile their own virtual history.

“One of the ways people learned about East-West cultural exchange was through six melody lines written down by a Jesuit in Beijing at that time,” said Clarke. Using these melodies as a creative point of departure, Clarke commissioned the composition of an aria that is played as people pass through the exhibit.

A number of rare books are also on display, including Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, the translations of the first three of the four canonical books of Confucianism. A group of Jesuits originally translated the philosophies of the Chinese to lead to greater understanding of Chinese thought and brought the culture to Europeans and beyond, Clarke said.

For more information, watch a video preview of the exhibit and visit the Boston College Chronicle.