Posts Tagged ‘New England Province’
Jesuit Father Joseph Fennell is 100 years old today, the first New England Province Jesuit to be a centenarian. When asked what his wishes for 2011 were, Fr. Fennell joked, “I want to be on a fast train to heaven with no stops — after March 23.”
Fr. Fennell lives in Campion Health Center in Weston, Mass., where his daily routine includes listening to the bible on tape, tuning in to NPR and chatting with visitors. He attributed his longevity to “exercise, especially golf, no smoking and no drinking.”
His father had slated him to be a lawyer, but Fennell felt a strong calling to be a priest. While at St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt., he was inspired by well-known missionary Jesuit Father Bernard Hubbard, who encouraged him to consider a religious vocation. In 1933, Fennell entered the Society of Jesus.
Fennell spent many years teaching at Baghdad College in Iraq, until the expulsion of the Jesuits from Baghdad in 1969; he then taught at the Jesuits’ Cranwell Prep (now closed) in Lenox, Mass., and served at a parish in Concord, Mass.
Fennell said he has “a wonderful duty” as a retired priest to pray daily for the church and the Society, and he is still inspired by a quote from his 5th grade teacher: “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
Lay colleagues Marcus Bleech and Tricia Steadman Jump from the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C. and Alice Poltorick, communications director for the New England province, had the pleasure of visiting the Jesuit Center in Amman Jordan on Sunday.
In Amman, it’s the center of lay workers and the Jesuit fathers in Jordan. The center’s mission is the service of the faithful Christian in different theological and spiritual fields and in pastoral works. Its different works are performed by a group of Jesuit priests, together with a group of laypersons, who have specialized in theological and spiritual education.