News Detail
In Sickness and in Health, Jesuit Praises and Serves God

March 7, 2014 — As a man of faith and a son of St. Ignatius, Jesuit Father Raymond Fitzgerald said the sobering news that he has Lou Gehrig’s Disease led him immediately into a spiritual reflection that, in one way or another, he has been living out for more than 30 years as a Jesuit.

“One of the fundamental things that we try to preach here in the formation of young men in the faith is something from the Spiritual Exercises called the principle and foundation – that man is created to praise, reverence and serve God,” Fr. Fitzgerald said at Jesuit High School of New Orleans, where he has served as president since 2011. “That’s why >we’re here. Whether we’re healthy or ill doesn’t enter into it. We can do those three things in any condition of our lives, and God gives us the grace to do each day what he asks of us each day.”

Fr. Fitzgerald first noticed a loss of grip strength in his hands about a year ago and pointed it out to his doctor, who prescribed a series of tests. One by one, other possible medical causes were ruled out. Last June, a neurologist made a definitive diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and another doctor concurred with the diagnosis in October.

Fr. Fitzgerald said thus far, it has not significantly impacted his schedule. He views the future as an opportunity to live out his vocation as a Jesuit.

“There are some things a 60-year-old, because he has lived that long, can do because of his wisdom and experience that a 20-year-old, however strong he might be, just couldn’t do,” he said. “So, each age and each condition gives us an opportunity to serve God, and that’s how I’m moving into a new phase of my life. But, the same basic mission is there.” [Sources: Clarion Herald, Jesuit High School]


Recent News

July 18, 2014 — More than 1,200 graduates of Jesuit schools are calling on fellow alumni in the U.S. House of Representatives to act on fair immigration reform.

July 16, 2014 — Pope Francis recently sent a message of hope to a group of prisoners who are serving life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as children.

July 14, 2014 — Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno has been awarded the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society.

July 11, 2014 — The Vatican Observatory Summer School brings together young astronomers from countries as varied as Burkina Faso, Mexico and Iran to study the stars for four weeks every other summer.

July 9, 2014 — Jesuit Father Greg Boyle has been recognized by the White House as a "Champion of Change" for his Los Angeles-based gang intervention program, Homeboy Industries.

July 7, 2014 — A new Boston College study found men who pursue vocations to the priesthood are more likely to have attended a Catholic college.

July 4, 2014 — For newly-ordained Jesuit Father Mario Powell, a Pope Francis Jesuit is one who embodies a “back-to-basics Christianity.”

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 7/7/14

America - 6/23/14

America - 6/9/14



Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.