Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Provincial Myles Sheehan’
Jesuit Father Myles Sheehan offers his reflections on the parable of the prodigal son in the fourth Lenten podcast from the New England and New York Province Jesuits. He explains that home is a place “where we are fully known, fully accepted and welcomed not for what we’ve done, good or bad, but simply loved as we are.”
Fr. Sheehan, provincial of the New England Province, says the story of the prodigal son and his older brother and father challenges us with “our deepest image of finding a home in Christ and accepting our place.”
During a retreat years ago, Fr. Sheehan was asked to imagine himself in the story of the prodigal son, but he became frustrated when he could not identify with the son’s wild actions and recklessness.
“I was the older brother: hardworking, dutiful and totally resentful that my strict religious behavior was not bringing me the joy and fun that I saw in others who did ‘bad’ things,” he said.
Fr. Sheehan realized that for him, the parable is about the father’s invitation to the older son to come home and receive his father’s acceptance, healing and forgiveness. For Fr. Sheehan, the invitation is a call to open his heart and find his home in God.
“I am called to go to the father’s house – not in fear, not with a tight set of good behaviors, but with an open and loving heart,” Fr. Sheehan says.
Listen to the full podcast at the New England Province website.
As a Jesuit priest and a physician, Father Myles Sheehan brings a unique perspective to the debate about assisted suicide.
Fr. Sheehan recently spoke to Boston’s Catholic newspaper, The Pilot, about proposed legalized physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts, which he considers a failure to meet the needs of the dying.
“I would like to see that people receive an approach that attends to their suffering in all its dimensions from the beginning of a serious illness,” Fr. Sheehan said. He said those dimensions include attention to spiritual needs as well as mental and physical needs.
A medical educator trained in internal medicine and geriatrics and an expert in palliative care, Fr. Sheehan currently serves as the provincial of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus.
“This is a place where St. Ignatius said, ‘Love needs to be shown in deeds not words.’ The care and our whole way we approach people as they face the end of life is an issue that needs further attention. A distorted way to attend to it is what has come out of this assisted suicide [movement], but the underlying fears, concerns and discomfort about what the end of life might mean is real whether or not you agree or disagree,” Fr. Sheehan said.
Fr. Sheehan believes fear is a large contributor to attitudes that push people to choose to end their own lives, adding that the healthcare system can address these fears, provided caregivers make a sustained effort to maintain high standards of treatment in the system and in society.
“There is a bottom line that we have the fifth commandment ‘Though shalt not kill,’ and the killing of innocent life is considered intrinsically evil, that is, it is always wrong. And so to take the life, or to provide the means for a person to kill himself is considered an intrinsically evil act, because it violates first the life of the person. Second, it is a larger assault against what it means for human dignity,” Fr. Sheehan said.
Read the full story at The Pilot.
Via the New England Jesuits: Jesuit Provincial Myles Sheehan recently visited the Jesuit Center in Amman, Jordan and met with Jesuit Fathers Michael Linden, Paul Mankowski and fellow Jesuit Provincial Victor Assouad.
Fr. Linden has been superior for a few months and is working with the staff of the Jesuit Center in expanding the Center’s outreach to Christians in Jordan as well as supporting the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Fr. Assouad, Provincial of the Near East Province, came to visit Amman, along with Jesuit Dan Corrou, who is teaching English and studying Arabic in Beirut. Also on the agenda: a visit to Archbishop Lahham, vicar in Jordan for the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who expressed his hope that the Jesuits would continue to be an active presence in Jordan.
Fr. Mankowski has been acting pastor for this past year in the English-speaking parish that serves the Latin Catholic parishes of Amman, offering Masses that are very heavily attended by the many domestic workers from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and India working in Jordan, as well as businesspersons and embassy staff.
The work of the Jesuits in Jordan is vitally important, as there is a constant need to meet the spiritual, emotional and material needs of the predominantly Filipino congregations and other foreign migrants in the country.
A majority of whom the Jesuits serve are female domestic workers. They live in their employers’ homes and work long hours, with many experiencing intense feelings of loneliness and homesickness. They often have families back home whom they miss desperately.
With few job opportunities in their home countries and families to support, these women come to the Middle East, where jobs in the “care-giving industry” are plentiful. Motivated by the promise of comparatively high earnings, most of which they intend on sending home to their families, they often accept without complaint long hours, little personal time or freedom and substandard living accommodations.
Photo: Fr. Provincial Myles Sheehan, (left) visits the Jesuit Center in Amman, Jordan with Archbishop Lahham (center) and Fr. Michael Linden, SJ.
In a letter to the New England Province, Jesuit Provincial Myles Sheehan announced that Jesuit Father Christopher Llanos has been named as the new Superior of the Jamaica region. Historically, Jamaica was a mission of the New England Province, but now has a semi-independent status. Below is the full letter:
The Peace of Christ!
I am pleased to share with all of you the good news that Father General has approved the
appointment of Fr. Christopher G. Llanos, S.J. as the new Superior of the Jamaica Region.
A member of the English-speaking Canadian Province, Fr. Llanos is currently superior of the
Winchester Park community in Kingston, where he has been director of novices for the past six
years. His previous Jamaica experience included two years as associate pastor in Annotto Bay
after his ordination in 1996. He did his studies in Canada, Venezuela, and the U.S., finishing an
S.T.L at Weston in 2000 and a Ph.D. at Harvard in 2006.
He succeeds Fr. Peter McIsaac, S.J., who has been regional superior for the past six years. I want
to express the gratitude of the province and my own personal thanks to Peter for his wise
leadership in this challenging and important role. Peter will remain in Jamaica and continue to
work in the educational and social ministries of the Society.
Let us offer our prayers for Chris and Peter and for the work of our Jesuit brothers in this part of
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Myles N. Sheehan, S.J.