Posts Tagged ‘SJ’

The Unseen Titanic: Photos from Jesuit Reveal Life Aboard Doomed Ship

This Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the world’s most famous and ill-fated ocean liner, Titanic.  Among the lesser known stories surrounding the steamship’s last days is the fascinating tale of Irish Jesuit Father Francis Browne, whose photographs are some of the only surviving images of life onboard the luxury liner during its first, and final, voyage.

Fr. Browne sailed the first leg of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, between Southampton, England and Cobh, Ireland — taking a series of black-and-white photos of life onboard the opulent ship. He planned to stay on the ship to New York but was ordered by his Jesuit superior to return home instead.

That order saved his life.  After striking an iceberg on April 15, 1912, the Titanic took 1,500 people to a watery grave miles below the surface of the Atlantic.

Fr. Browne survived, as did his photographs, which were rediscovered in 1985 by a fellow priest.

Fr. Browne’s absorbing photographic record of the Titanic is documented in the book “Father Browne’s Titanic Album: Centenary Edition,” which has been rereleased by Ireland’s Messenger Publications to coincide with the anniversary.

The new edition of the book is edited by Jesuit Father Edward O’Donnell, and the foreword is written by Robert Ballard, who first located the ship’s wreckage in September 1985, the same month as a chance finding of 42,000 of Fr. Browne’s photographs in the basement of the Jesuits’ headquarters in Dublin.

Because of the remarkable documentation they provide of life on the ocean liner, Fr. Browne’s photographs were used as historic references during the set design process for the film “Titanic.”  Fr. Browne’s images have also been studied by maritime historians and engineers eagerly seeking answers to a tragedy that still grips the public’s imagination.

While onboard, the self-taught photographer managed to obtain pictures of the Titanic’s first-class accommodation and dining rooms as well as gymnasium and library.  He also captured passengers enjoying a stroll on the promenade, as well as many passengers in third class, recording some of those who would later perish in the freezing waters of the Atlantic. He took the last image of the Titanic’s captain, Edward Smith.

Fr. Browne’s story is as amazing as his unique photos. In 1912, the Jesuit novice was still three years from ordination.  But because of a gift from his uncle, he was able to experience the Titanic’s luxurious accommodation during the initial stages of its maiden voyage.

The young Jesuit photographed the Titanic leaving port for the last time as it left Queenstown, in County Cork, for New York. He could have been onboard: an American couple he befriended on the ship offered to fund the final leg of the journey to New York.

From the Titanic, Fr. Browne sent a telegram to his provincial in Dublin requesting permission to stay onboard. However, a frosty telegram awaited him in Queenstown: “Get off that ship.”

When news of the Titanic’s disastrous fate reached Fr. Browne, he folded the telegram, put it into his wallet and kept it there for the rest of his life. He later said it was the only time holy obedience had saved a life.

You can see some of Fr. Browne’s photographs via this link to FoxNews.com.

You can listen to an audio interview from the Jesuits of the Irish Province with Fr. Edward O’Donnell, who found Fr. Browne’s collection, here.

Messenger Publication’s book “Father Browne’s Titanic Album: Centenary Edition,” can be purchased at their website.

Jesuit’s Experience in Native Ministry on the Pine Ridge the Focus of This Month’s Podcast

Jesuit Father Peter Klink is currently the school parish chaplain at the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Pine Ridge reservation of the Lakota Tribe covers a large, 5,000 square foot swath of land in the southwestern corner of South Dakota.

Here, Fr. Klink ministers to the Lakota’s communities three schools and in its parishes. He’s held many responsibilities during his 26 years of native ministry on the Pine Ridge, including 18 years as the school’s president.

Today, staggering poverty and an unemployment rate that hovers around 80% leave the children of the Pine Ridge facing an uphill struggle as they learn and grown up on the reservation. But, Klink endeavors to make sure the two elementary schools and the high school that make up the school system on the Pine Ridge are a beacon of hope for the possibility of a bright future for the Lakota and their families.

Recently, Klink took the time to speak with National Jesuit News by phone from the Red Cloud School for our monthly podcast series. You can listen to our interview with him below:

Remembering 20 Years Later: Jesuits Murdered in El Salvador

Jesuit_El_Salvador_3On Nov. 16, 1989, six Jesuits, along with a housekeeper and her daughter, were killed by members of the El Salvadoran military at the University of Central America Pastoral Center in San Salvador. Killed in the attack were Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., 59; Amando Lopez, S.J., 53; Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, S.J., 71; Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., 50; Juan Ramon Moreno, S.J., 56; Segundo Montes, S.J., 56; Julia Elba Ramos, 42, the housekeeper of the Jesuit residence, and her daughter Cecilia Ramos, 15.

The Jesuits had been labeled subversives by the Salvadoran government for speaking out against its oppressive socioeconomic structure.  The clothing of the six Jesuit priests killed (photo above) are exhibited at the museum of the Central American University in San Salvador.

For more photos, visit our Flickr page.

Homeboy Industries Founder Jesuit Father Greg Boyle Highlighted on CatholicTV

Greg-BoyleThis week, CatholicTV will air a special program which highlights Catholics putting their faith into action, called Faith Works Across the USA (Faith Works). Faith Works takes a look at numerous Catholic ministries and the lay persons, priests and religious involved. These ministries include Homeboy Industries, an organization which works with formerly gang-involved youth to help them with job placement, training and education. Jesuit Father Greg Boyle founded Homeboy Industries and shares his personal experiences with CatholicTV during the Faith Works program.

CatholicTV is a nationally-broadcasted television network headquartered near Boston. CatholicTV streams its broadcast simultaneously, 24 hours a day at www.CatholicTV.com . Air times for CatholicTV Presents each week are (EST): Monday 2:00PM Tuesday 10:30PM Wednesday 4:00PM Thursday 6:30AM Friday 9:30PM Saturday 10:30AM and Sunday 2:00AM.

U.S. Congress Honors Jesuits on the 20th Anniversary of Their Deaths in El Salvador

jesuit martyrsThe U.S. House of Representatives debated and approved, on the suspension calendar, a resolution remembering and commemorating the lives and work of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter on the upcoming 20th anniversary of their deaths in El Salvador. The resolution was sponsored by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), who led the Congressional investigation into the assassinations when he was a senior aide to then-Rep. John Joseph Moakley (D-MA).

The House today passed House Resolution 761, which stated, in part:

“Remembering and commemorating the lives and work of Jesuit Fathers Ignacio Ellacuria, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Segundo Montes, Amando Lopez, Juan Ramon Moreno, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, and housekeeper Julia Elba Ramos and her daughter Celina Mariset Ramos on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their deaths at the University of Central America Jose Simeon Canas located in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 16, 1989.”

During the bloody civil war of El Salvador in the 1980s, in the early morning hours of November 16, the six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper along with her daughter were executed by soldiers. Many Jesuit institutions around the country will mark the 20th anniversary of the murders with lectures, vigils and screenings of documentaries about the killings and the struggle for justice.

“The witness of these martyrs continues to inspire us today, these many years later,” said John Kleiderer, acting secretary of social and international ministries at the Jesuit Conference of the U.S. “They were unwavering in their defense of the poor and oppressed. We honor their memories and their legacy of work on behalf of justice and peace. We are grateful to the members of Congress for remembering and honoring them today.”

The U.S. House of Representatives debated and approved, on the suspension calendar, a resolution remembering and commemorating the lives and work of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter on the upcoming 20th anniversary of their deaths in El Salvador. The resolution was sponsored by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), who led the Congressional investigation into the assassinations when he was a senior aide to then-Rep. John Joseph Moakley (D-MA).

The House today passed House Resolution 761, which stated, in part:

“Remembering and commemorating the lives and work of Jesuit Fathers Ignacio Ellacuria, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Segundo Montes, Amando Lopez, Juan Ramon Moreno, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, and housekeeper Julia Elba Ramos and her daughter Celina Mariset Ramos on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their deaths at the University of Central America Jose Simeon Canas located in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 16, 1989.”

During the bloody civil war of El Salvador in the 1980s, in the early morning hours of November 16, the six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper along with her daughter were executed by soldiers. Many Jesuit institutions around the country will mark the 20th anniversary of the murders with lectures, vigils and screenings of documentaries about the killings and the struggle for justice.

“The witness of these martyrs continues to inspire us today, these many years later,” said John Kleiderer, acting secretary of social and international ministries at the Jesuit Conference of the U.S. “They were unwavering in their defense of the poor and oppressed. We honor their memories and their legacy of work on behalf of justice and peace. We are grateful to the members of Congress for remembering and honoring them today.”