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Jesuit Terms A


Addresses & Keynotes

To read various Inaugural Addresses or other important addresses and keynotes click here.

 

Acosta, Jose de (1540-1600)

Jose de AcostaSpanish Jesuit; missioner to Latin America; cultural anthropologist

Jose de Acosta went to the University of Salamanca and entered the Jesuits at an early age. At 17, he was writing poetry and plays and teaching grammar and humanities. As a student at the University of Alcala, then the intellectual hub of Spain, he came into contact with some of the most brilliant minds in Europe. He was nominated to succeed the famous Cardinal Toledo in the chair of theology at the Gregorian University, the intellectual headquarters of the Jesuits.

Instead, he volunteered to work in the New World and was sent to colonial Peru, a far more difficult front for his intellectual and pastoral activities. This new world of native peoples and (supposedly Christian) conquistadores challenged him with a host of intellectual and moral problems, shaking his ideas at their very foundations and forcing him to new understandings.

Gradually, Acosta undertook the most systematic, enlightened and compassionate study of Latin America made during colonial times. After 14 years in Peru and several more in Mexico, he returned to Europe and published two great volumes, one on the culture and customs of the American natives and the other on how to present the gospel to them. With the perspective of four centuries, we can say that Jose de Acosta deserves to be called a founder of the discipline of cultural anthropology and one of the most important interpreters of the new world to the old.

In his later life back in Spain, he was drawn into contact and action with the small but powerful group of dissident Spanish Jesuits that sought to remove superior general Claudio Acquaviva from office.

(Taken from Traub, Xavier magazine [Winter 1991]. There is a biography of Acosta: Claudio Burgaleta, Jose de Acosta [1540-1600]: His Life and Thought [Loyola, 1999].)

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Alumni

Julie IsphordingThe 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States have educated over one million living graduates to be people of competence and compassion. See some of the famous, influential, and noteworthy alumni from Xavier University and elsewhere.

IMAGE LEFT: Julie Isphording, seen here, graduated from Xavier University in 1983 and went on to become a member of the first-ever women's U.S. Olympic Marathon team.

 
 

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A.M.D.G.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (Latin)

"For the greater glory of God." Motto of the Society of Jesus.

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Amaladoss, Michael (1936-  )

Indian Jesuit; theologian

Michael Amaladoss

Michael Amaladoss grew up in an Indian Christian family in South India and joined the Jesuits in 1953. In addition to the regular course of Jesuit formation and education, he studied South Indian classical music, art, and culture. He wrote a doctoral dissertation at the Institut Catholique in Paris on the variable and invariable elements in sacramental rites.

After returning to India, he founded an interreligious dialogue group with the creative British Benedictine Bede Griffiths, and he taught on the Jesuit theological faculty in Delhi with his former teacher, Jacques Dupuis. Next, he spent twelve years as a counselor to superior general Peter-Hans Kolvenbach with special responsibility for Jesuit missions. He dislikes being called a missiologist, however, and wants to be known as ?an Indian theologian who is also interested in mission and dialogue, inculturation and liberation? (?My Pilgrimage in Mission,? International Bulletin of Mission Research, 31 [2007]).

See Hinsdale, ?Jesuit Theological Discourse since Vatican II," Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (2008).

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Anchieta, Jose de (1534-1597)

Spanish Jesuit; missioner to Brazil; father of Brazilian literature,
and one of the founders of two great cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; saint

A native of the Canary Islands [Spanish territory], though his father was born and raised in the Basque land of NE Spain, he studied at the Jesuit College of Coimbra in Portugal and from there entered the Jesuits at age 17.  Right after he completed his two-year novitiate and in spite of a painful spinal condition, he asked to be sent to the missions in Brazil.

There he mastered the native Tupi language, wrote its first grammar as well as volumes on theology, theater, poetry and on the country?s wild life and geography.

His extensive, difficult and dangerous travels around the vast country led to his founding various missions including those that became Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero.  He recognized and exposed the injustices Portuguese conquerors inflicted on the people but he also risked his life to negotiate peace with a hostile tribe and its leader whom he won over.

Anchieta?s lucid and detailed reports back to his superiors in Rome are still considered important today for understanding the lives, knowledge and customs of the indigenous people and the colonizing Europeans during this time.

He was declared a saint by Pope Francis in April 2014.

Ignatian Spirituality.com
Mary-Cabrini Durkin, Ours: Jesuit Portraits (2006)

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Apostle

Apostle/apostolate/apostolic

Apostle is the role given to the inner circle of 12 whom Jesus "sent out" (on mission) and to a few others like Saint Paul. Hence apostolate means a "mission endeavor or activity" and apostolic means "mission-like."

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Aquaviva, Claudio (1543-1615)

Italian Jesuit; 5th superior general

Claudio Aquaviva

Elected superior general at the age of 37, when he had been a Jesuit for only 14 years. Served in this office for 34 years, by far the longest term of any superior general. (A group of dissident Jesuits in Spain lobbied to remove him from office; some also favored secession of Spanish Jesuits from the order. Neither goal was realized.)

During his generalate, the Society grew from 5,000 to 13,000. He codified Jesuit educational practice with the definitive edition of the Ratio Studiorum [The Plan of Studies] (1599) and did the same for the collected practices and guidelines for giving the Exercises with the Official Directory of 1599.

He was concerned about questions of missiology and the adaptation of the gospel to non-European cultures (e.g., India, Japan, China). Within the order, he promoted the yearly making of some week-long version of the Spiritual Exercises (earlier it was assumed that making the full Exercises once was good for life).

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Archbishop

The leader of an archdiocese and of the surrounding larger territory with its own bishops and dioceses.

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Archdiocese

Within the Roman Catholic Church, a district of importance due to size or historical significance.

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Arrupe, Pedro (1907-1991)

Basque Jesuit; 28th superior general of the Jesuits (1965-81)

Pedro ArrupePedro Arrupe was the central figure in the renewal of the Society after Vatican Council II, paying attention both to the spirit of Ignatius the founder and to the signs of our times. From the Basque country of northern Spain, he left medical school to join the Jesuits, was expelled from Spain in 1932 with all the other Jesuits, studied theology in Holland, and received further training in spirituality and psychology in the U.S. Arrupe spent 27 years in Japan (where among many other things, suspected of being a spy, he was put in solitary confinement for 33 days early in WW II and near the end cared for victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima) until his election in 1965 as superior general. He is considered the founder of the modern, post-Vatican II Society of Jesus.

See Pedro Arrupe: One Jesuit's Spiritual Journey: Autobiographical Conversations with Jean-Claude Dietsch
See "Men and Women for Others"
Pedro Arrupe's Mysticism of Open Eyes Kevin Burke, SJ, Jesuit School of Theology
See Pedro Arrupe: His Life and Legacy (Georgetown University. DVD. Distributed by the Institute for Jesuit Sources in St. Louis)

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Assembly '89: Jesuit Ministry in Higher Education (1989)

200th Anniversary of U.S. Jesuit and Catholic Higher Education

The idea of gathering all the Jesuits engaged in higher education in the U.S. came from a group of Jesuit provincials in the early 1980s. Georgetown College had been founded in 1789 by Bishop John Carroll, a Jesuit until the papal suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773. So in early June 1989, 750 Jesuits and more than 150 lay people gathered at Georgetown University, celebrating its 200th anniversary, to assess the Jesuit higher education apostolate. The keynote address was given by British geologist Frank H. T. Rhodes, then president of Cornell University and friend of Timothy Healy, SJ, Georgetown?s president. Rhodes showed a very real grasp of the issues facing Jesuit higher education and offered some constructive and creative suggestions for where it could be headed. ?Can Jesuits,? he asked, ?achieve something of a new renaissance here, providing models of ?committed integrity? as they grapple with scholarship and contemporary society?? As a literate and committed Christian, he also asked ?How do the implications of the incarnation influence your teaching?? In the other major address Jesuit superior general Peter-Hans Kolvenbach dealt with issues that are as relevant today as they were in 1989: the need to operate in an interdisciplinary way and seek the integration of knowledge, collaborating with those in the social apostolate and learning from them, forming a global horizon and identity, teaching students to make no significant decision ?without first thinking of how it would impact the least in society.? (Links to both addresses are given below.)

Behind the scenes at Assembly ?89, a small group of Jesuits who had participated in the ?Conference on Collaboration? at Creighton the previous year and who had a specific charge from their respective presidents to carry on ?mission work,? began to envision what would become the AJCU Conference on Mission and Identity (see ?Mission and Identity Conference of AJCU: A Brief History?).

Frank H. T. Rhodes, ?The Mission and Ministry of Jesuits in Higher Education?
Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Address at Assembly ?89: Jesuit Ministry in Higher Education

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Associations

Jesuit Higher Education

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU)

The AJCU, with offices in Washington, DC, serves the 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities. For most of its history, it has been engaged in two major activities: (1) lobbying the federal government (the AJCU Federal Relations Network) and (2) helping more than 35 ?affinity groups? or ?conferences? (e.g., chief academic officers, student affairs officers, chief financial officers, advancement officers, human resource officers ) network across its schools for mutual support, sharing of information and best practices, and offering opportunities to discuss issues in each one?s area of higher education. The conferences meet at least once a year. The head of AJCU has always been a former president of a Jesuit school.

Since 1997, with the advent of Charles Currie as president, two additional emphases have emerged: (1) significant support for the AJCU Mission & Identity Conference (founded in the early 1990s) and (2) the establishment of international outreach programs that link educational needs--especially in third-world countries?with resources in U.S. Jesuit higher education.

The 28 U.S. Jesuit schools of higher ed exist among a much larger group?221 Catholic colleges and universities; internationally there are 189 Jesuit institutions of higher education.

Click here to connect with the AJCU website.
 

Catholic and Christian Higher Ed

Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts at Valparaiso University

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
 

Jesuit and Catholic Secondary and Middle School/Primary Education

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Atonement

See Redemption in Christ.

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Authors of articles in this "Jesuit A to Z" collection 

  • GS = Grace Skalski, CSJ
  • JAMR = Jo Ann M. Recker, SNDdeN
  • JH= Jennifer Head, BVM
  • JM = Judith Metz, SC
  • MA = Marjorie Allen, RSM
  • M-CD = Mary-Cabrini Durkin
  • PK = Phil Kilroy, rscj
  • RB and JM = Regina Bechtle, SC, and Judith Metz, SC
  • SA = Susan Arcaro, rc
  • SC = Sarah Cantor, SNJM
  • SM = Sarah MacDonald

Most of the articles without author initials in this "Jesuit A to Z" section were written (with help from many sources) by George W. Traub, SJ.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All


Jesuit Terms B


Ball, Teresa (1794-1861)

Missioner and Educator

At a time when the Sisters of Loreto (formal title: Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) were forbidden by the church to acknowledge Mary Ward (1585-1645) as their founder, a remarkable religious woman, Dublin-born, very different in talents and temperament from Mary Ward, but imbued with her ideals--Teresa Ball--brought the Loreto spirit from York, northern England, to Dublin, Ireland (1821), from where it spread and brought its schools to India (1841), Canada (1847), Spain (1851) and elsewhere. “Today there are 150 Loreto schools and colleges around the world educating as many as 70,000 students in places like Sudan, Australia, Peru and Gibraltar as well as Ireland and the UK” (MacDonald, The Tablet).

These schools are all part of the “Loreto Education Trust,” one of the world’s best-known education networks (though not well known in the US). The Trust works to maintain the schools’ Catholic and Loreto “ethos” (the distinguishing character) even as the number of IBVM sisters is in decline. Enrolling students of diverse religions and none, their largely lay leaders insist that parents support the schools’ ethos and they themselves try mightily to meet the students where they are and cater to their needs. “The charism continues because the staff in the schools carry it on” (Rionach Donlon, IBVM, chair of the Loreto Education Trust).

Sarah MacDonald, “On a mission to teach,” The Tablet (21 May 2011).
"Portrait of Frances Ball before she entered the Bar Convent, York" from The Tablet (21 May 2011), 55.

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Barat, Madeleine Sophie (1779-1865)

Founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Madeleine-Sophie Barat was born in France in 1779 in the little Burgundian town of Joigny. She went to Paris in 1795, at the height of the French Revolution, and initially considered becoming a Carmelite. However, her experience of Revolutionary violence in Joigny and Paris led her on another path. In 1800 she founded the Society of the Sacred Heart whose purpose was to make known the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ, and take part in the restoration of Christian life in France through the education of young women of the rich and the poor classes.

The Society of the Sacred Heart quickly expanded within Europe and beyond. At the same time Sophie Barat also grew, transformed by her experience as leader and friend to so many women who joined her. She learnt to face the impact of Jansenism within herself, her family, (and especially in her brother Louis Barat, who became a Jesuit), and within the Church. Over many years and inner struggles Sophie Barat came to understand that the true counter-balance to Jansenism was the experience of the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ.

Sophie Barat had a natural capacity for friendship and she enjoyed a broad network of relationships, with her family, with members of the Society, with the clergy, and with students and friends in all walks of life. On another level, Sophie Barat was awake to the social, political, economic and religious currents operating in Europe and in the wider world of her time. By her awareness of their impact on the world of education Sophie Barat ensured the Society’s contribution to the education and the promotion of women in her time and into the future.

In exercising her role as founder and superior general Sophie Barat gradually created her own style of leadership. This tended towards moderation, seeking the middle ground, accepting the possible, more realistic option, rather than the impossible ideal; and she tended by instinct to consult rather than decree. This style of leadership was tested several times within and without the Society, especially from 1806-1815 and 1839-1851. In these periods of crisis the Fathers of the Faith, and after 1815 the Jesuits in France and Rome, were involved in the progress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and particularly in the tensions surrounding Sophie Barat’s leadership. Nevertheless, Sophie Barat remained the superior general of the Society of the Sacred Heart from 1806 until her death in 1865.

Sophie Barat’s spiritual leadership of the Society was centered on the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ. She was committed to a deep life of prayer and reflection, and she continually invited the members of the Society to see this as the basis for their inner lives and for whatever tasks they undertook. The importance of such qualities was stressed in the original Constitutions of the Society of the Sacred Heart of 1815 and reaffirmed in the revised Constitutions of 1982. They are also found consistently in the collection of Sophie Barat’s 14,000 original letters and remain a vital legacy to the Society and to the wider Christian community.

By the time of her death in 1865 Sophie Barat guided an international community of 3,359 women, inspired by a deeply held spiritual ideal and offering a service of education to women in Europe, North Africa, North and South America.

No authentic portrait of Sophie Barat exists from her lifetime. She specifically refused to sit for a portrait, or to have her photograph taken.

Madeleine Sophie Barat was canonised a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 25 May 1925.

PK

For a discussion of the relations between Madeleine Sophie Barat and the Jesuits, see Phil Kilroy, The Society of the Sacred Heart in 19th century France (Cork University Press, 2012) pp. 133-166. Also Phil Kilroy, Madeleine Sophie Barat. A Life (Cork University Press, 2000/Paulist Press, 2000) passim.

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Barry, William A. (1930-  )

American Jesuit; teacher and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality; writer

William A. Barry is well-known for his teaching and writing on Ignatian spirituality. After earning a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, he cofounded the Center for Religious Development (Cambridge, MA) and authored experience-based essays on the giving of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises (see Barry and Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction [Seabury, 197?]). All told, he is author or coauthor of 20 books of practical Ignatian spirituality.

He has taught at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, the University of Michigan, and Boston College, and engaged in administrative work in the Society of Jesus. From 1988 to 1991 he was rector of the Jesuit Community at Boston College and on the board of Trustees. From 1991 to 1997 he was provincial superior of the Jesuits of New England.

At present he is codirector of a nine-month program for Jesuit priests and brothers prior to their final vows and gives retreats and spiritual direction at Campion Renewal Center in Weston, MA. 

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Bea, Augustin (1881-1968)

German Jesuit; scripture scholar (Old Testament); ecumenist

Augustin Bea was one of several Jesuits Influential in the founding of Sophia University in Tokyo in 1910. He was head of the Jesuit-sponsored Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome from 1930 to 1949. In the 1940s and ‘50s, he was a major player in the official Catholic church’s turn away from biblical fundamentalism toward acceptance of critical historical biblical scholarship. A prominent theologian at Vatican II, he contributed significantly to the major document on Divine Revelation. After the Council, he was made a bishop and cardinal and became the creator and first head of the Vatican Secretariate for Promoting Christian Unity. 

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Bellarmine, Robert [in Italian Roberto Bellarmino] (1542-1621)

Italian Jesuit; eminent controversial theologian; preacher; cardinal

On his mother’s side, Robert Bellarmine was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II. As a Jesuit, he was educated in theology at the University of Padua and, then, at Louvain in Belgium, where he joined the new Jesuit faculty. While there, he studied the writings of Luther and Calvin and taught theology by answering the reformers’ objections to the Roman church. Later, when he was called to teach at the premier Jesuit-sponsored Roman College, he composed and published his three volumes of Controversies (1579, 1588, 1593), which went through twenty editions and were read by Catholics and Protestants alike. In 1598 he published his famous Catechism; it was translated into 62 languages.

Already a theological advisor to the pope, he was next made a cardinal (1599) over his own and the Jesuit superior general’s objections. Pope Clement VIII decided the matter: “We elect this man because he has not his equal for learning in the Church of God.” Bellarmine turned around and presented the pope with a denunciation of the major abuses in the pope’s own Roman headquarters. In his own personal life, he lived simply and cared for the poor. Yet, because of his cardinal role, he had to put up with wearing the red robes, being surrounded by servants, and having carriages to transport him. As a cardinal, he was also a voting member of the conclaves that elected Leo XI (1605), and six weeks later Paul V.

For years Bellarmine had asked to retire, but was told again and again that he was indispensable. Then in 1621, at the age of 79, he was finally allowed to have his wish; he moved to the Jesuit novitiate and died there a few weeks later.

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Bergoglio, Jorge Mario (1936- )

Argentinian Jesuit, provincial, cardinal, first pope from the Society of Jesus

Brother Jesuits EmbraceOn March 13, 2013, Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic Church with its 1.2 billion members. He took the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, who lived in poverty and simplicity and was a champion of the poor.

Although he was said to have had the second highest number of votes in each of the four ballots of the 2005 conclave that elected Josef Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Bergoglio was by no means considered the front runner going into the present conclave of 115 cardinals from 48 countries that would elect him on the first full day of voting (5th ballot).

It was a historic act by the cardinals—the first non-European pope in 1200 years. “[Now] the global outlook of the church is reflected at the highest level of the church,” said Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator [accent on the second syllable], the Jesuit provincial superior in East Africa and a distinguished theologian. “I want to believe that consider-ing the humble and down-to-earth background of Pope Francis . . . the church is in good hands—not just the pope’s alone, but the hands of the entire people of God across the globe” (ncronline).

Jorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 to Italian immigrant parents. His father was a bookkeeper with a local accounting firm (The Tablet [13 April 2013]]). After earning two degrees in chemistry, he chose a different path and entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1958. Following initial Jesuit formation and study in the humanities, he taught literature and psychology for several years. He studied theology in Buenos Aires and was ordained a priest in 1969. He served as master of novices from 1971 to 1973, when, at the age of 36, he was appointed provincial.

To read more, click here.

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Berrigan, Daniel (1921- ) --American Jesuit; anti-war activist; poet

Berrigan’s younger brother Philip, a Josephite (religious congregation with a large African-American membership), had a very significant influence on his life. They marched together at Selma in 1965 and they protested US military involvement in Vietnam. With seven others they destroyed draft files at Catonsville, MD, in 1968—a symbolic act of non-violent resistance to the law for which they were all sentenced to prison (see his play The Trial of the Catonsville Nine). After hiding out when he was supposed to begin serving his term, he was finally caught and served two years. Subsequently, for other anti-war acts against other wars, he served a total of seven years.

Daniel Berrigan’s “poems and essays reflect his deep commitment to social, political and economic change in American society”
(Britannica Online). By themselves, apart from his activism, they would merit attention and admiration.

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Bible

From the Greek word biblia, meaning “books”, the Christian Holy Bible is a collection of scripture, including the sacred writings of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible), containing 39 books, and the New Testament, containing 27 books. When the early Judeo-Christian writings were bound together, they were called “bibles”.

Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises reflects the relationship he had with the Bible. Through scriptures and imagination, he guided himself and others to greater faith, love and understanding.

For more information see Ignatius and the Bible by John Padberg, SJ

For a number of Christian Bible translations in numerous languages, see here.

See the Qur’an, the Muslim Bible, via each surah (chapter)
One of the most famous passages is Surah 2:255. Surah 19, Marium (mother of Jesus), refers to the birth of Isa (Jesus) an important prophet of Islam.

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Billiart, Marie-Rose-Julie (1751-1816) and Marie-Louise-Françoise Blin de Bourdon (1756-1838)

Co-Founders of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

In October of 1794, in Amiens, France, Julie Billiart and Françoise Blin de Bourdon met for the first time and, because they recognized the inherent goodness in one another, began an unlikely friendship. By this time, both women had been tested by sufferings endured during the height of the French Revolution. Julie, a daughter of the merchant class from the small village of Cuvilly, had also suffered twenty-two years of physical infirmity and the psychological stresses brought on by family trials. Françoise had been tested by the deaths of her mother and beloved grandparents and by a period of terrifying imprisonment which she shared with her family and other members of the French aristocracy prior to the fall of Robespierre.

Although from widely varied social classes, both Julie and Françoise had an inclination for the spiritual and a deep inner life. Both had been attracted to the contemplative order of Carmelites and both had emerged from their sufferings more faith-filled and committed. A small group of devout women began to gather around Julie’s sickbed in rented lodgings within the Blin family town home. Père Antoine Thomas (1753-1833), a Father of the Faith, an order founded in Rome with the intention of resurrecting the Society of Jesus (that had been suppressed by order of the pope in 1773), and, as of 1814 (when the Jesuits were reestablished), a Jesuit, was in hiding in Amiens because he had refused to take the constitutional oath. He was a teacher at the Sorbonne, known for his erudition as well as his virtue and became spiritual adviser to Julie, Françoise and the others.

Gradually, in Amiens and the surrounding area, the little group of women in the rue des Augustins received high commendations for their care of the poor, their kindness toward the sick and the suffering, their unique ability to instruct the catechism and to prepare young and old for the reception of the sacraments. In the fall of 1801, the Fathers of the Faith opened a secondary school for boys in Amiens and Father Varin (1769-1850), the superior and a friend of Father Thomas, began to persist in his effort to have Julie found a new congregation and enjoined upon her the duty of praying for subjects for this new institute. France was in dire need of educators in the aftermath of the Revolution. Though the voice of reason questioned the viability of this course of action given Julie’s still paralyzed state, Julie and Françoise did as Father Varin bid and asked the Carmleites of Amiens to pray with them.

From the outset, and like so many women in the more than 250 years since the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1540, Julie and Françoise saw the possibilities in a religious congregation free to move beyond the constraints of the cloister and to go wherever needed, one that would extend beyond diocesan boundaries and whose communities of religious women educators would be united by regular communication with a Mother General. Together they faced the hostility of an ecclesiastical hierarchy reluctant to permit these freedoms to women and, subsequent to persistent misunderstandings with the bishop and clergy in Amiens, they relocated the motherhouse to Namur, Belgium, which was at the time a part of Napoleon’s French empire, in response to the invitation of the bishop there.

Since its official founding in 1804, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have established schools and engaged in a variety of ministries on five of the world’s seven continents, always from an educational perspective and with a preference for poor women and children. Documents to further the process of canonization were prepared for both Julie and Françoise during the latter part of the nineteenth century and Julie’s cause was submitted first since hers was founding spirit and charism, that of recognizing everywhere, at all times, and in all persons and things the infinite goodness of God. “Ah! Qu’il est bon, le bon Dieu!” In 1969, Julie, who had taken as her religious name, Soeur Ignace, was canonized a saint of the Catholic Church.

JAMR

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Bishop

The word bishop comes from the Old English biscop and ultimately from the New Testament Greek episkopos meaning “overseer.” (In the first Christian centuries, the role of episkopos was not clearly differentiated from that of presbyteros (“elder”or today “priest.”)

Within many branches of Christianity, the bishop is a consecrated member of the clergy given authority and oversight—often for a geographical area called a diocese. In contemporary Catholicism, bishops are appointed by the pope, but for many centuries, they were locally chosen. The first Catholic bishop of the U.S., John Carroll, was elected by his fellow clergy.

In the line of succession from Jesus’ apostles (the claim is disputed), bishops are said to possess the fullness of the “ministerial” priesthood that has three grades--deacon, priest, and bishop (in contrast to the “priesthood of the faithful”)—and thus to have the power to ordain priests and other bishops.

The full body of bishops—the episcopacy—bears the responsibility for the governance of the entire church (in union with the bishop of Rome [the pope] in Roman Catholicism. Regional groups of bishops (as, for example, the U.S. episcopacy) were given relative autonomy and power by the Second Vatican Council, but over the past thirty years the Vatican has largely nullified that.

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Black Madonna

See "Montserrat, Our Lady of."

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Body of Christ

See "Incarnation"

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Bolland, John Van (1596-1665)

Belgian Jesuit after whom the Society of Bollandists is named

John Van Bolland was a theologian-historian and early leader of the association of critical hagiographical scholars after whom it was named. The work was started in 1603 by the Dutch Jesuit Heribert Rosweyde, who was engaged in producing critical editions of the enormous number of manuscript lives of the saints in the libraries of northern Europe. His proposed grand work, sent to the distinguished Jesuit theologian Robert Bellarmine, drew the following response: “This man, then, counts on living two hundred years longer!” Bolland brought new energy and direction to the work, modifying his predecessor’s plan but still greatly underestimating what it would take to realize it.

The first two thousand-page volumes of the Acta Sanctorum (starting with January in the church calendar) appeared in 1643, the collaborative work of Bolland and his new assistant Godfrey Henschen (1601-1681), who surpassed his former teacher in the quality and method of his scholarship and set the standard for the volumes to come. In 1659 a third Jesuit joined the team—Daniel van Papebroch (1628-1714), also a gifted student of Bolland. Scholars from all over Europe, enthusiastically helping the great work, sent the team manuscripts. And the two younger Jesuit scholars went on a long and successful manuscript-gathering tour of Western Europe.

Not everybody was enthusiastic about the project, however. The volumes, as they came out, stirred angry responses from individuals and a whole religious order because of its critical separating of fact from legend. Papebroch bore the brunt of the outrage.

The Bollandist Society suffered various losses after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, but was re- established and moved from Antwerp to Brussels in the 1840s. Still at work today in their superb library—one of the best in Europe—the Bollandists, now including non-Jesuit scholars, have produced more than 120 volumes on the saints. Their great service to the church has been to present as honest and clear a picture of the lives of saints—people considered worthy of veneration and imitation—as critical historical scholarship can yield.

The Bollandist Society has a website: http://www.bollandistes.org/

See Hippolyte Delehaye, The Work of the Bollandists through Three Centuries, 1615-1915 (Princeton Univ. Press, 1922).

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Books

Foundational Readings

Associated With Xavier University

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Boscovich, Roger Joseph [in Croatian, Rudger Josip Boskovic] (1711-1787)

Croatian Jesuit; fearless, independent thinker; creative scientist; proponent of an early atomic theory of matter

A native of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) in Dalmatia, the young Roger Joseph Boscovich was praised by one of his distinguished teachers: “He starts where I leave off.” He taught at the Jesuit Roman College for twenty years (1740-1760). He published some sixty books and pamphlets on scientific subjects. In 1758, after years of reflection, he published his masterwork, A Theory of Natural Philosophy, anticipating much later findings of atomic physics. “From an absolutely new point of departure in physics, he conceived the material world as made up of individual non-extended points which are centers of action, while the action, be it attractive or repulsive, between the points is a function of the distance which separates them” (Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus [1986]).

He could be acerbic and did not suffer fools lightly. He judged that the famous Jesuit College Louis-le-Grand in Paris did not have up-to-date scientific instruments and criticized the blindness of Jesuits who considered Newton a heretic. The naïve rector of the Jesuit college at Sens, who showed him among the school’s precious holdings a piece of Aaron’s rod and a rib of the prophet Isaiah, was told, in the interest of truth, to throw them away. Boscovich more than any other 18th-century Jesuit thinker was responsible for defeating the attitude that Jesuits were closed to new ideas.

In the last fifty years or so, appreciation of Boscovich’s work has grown considerably. The University of California, Berkeley, purchased a large collection of manuscripts and letters that now constitute the Boscovich Archives in its Bancroft Rare Books Library. And historians of science have honored him with books and articles and international symposia.

See Hill, “Biographical Essay” in Roger Joseph Boscovich: Studies of His life and Work on the 250th Anniversary of His Birth, ed. Lancelot Law Whyte (1961).

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Brackley, Dean (1946-2011)

American Jesuit; volunteer to El Salvador after the murder of six Jesuits (1989)

After earning a doctorate in religious social ethics from the University of Chicago Divinity School, Dean Brackley worked in troubled neighborhoods in lower Manhattan and the South Bronx and taught at Fordham University for some nine years.  One of his best-known writings draws on these years of ministry: "Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St. Ignatius' Two Standards" (Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits [January 1988]).

In November 1989, after six Jesuits at the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador and their housekeeper/cook and her daughter were murdered—shot in the back of the head at close range to blow their brains out--by government forces (most of them trained at the School of the Americas in Columbus, GA), Brackley volunteered to help replace them. He then spent most of the last 11 years of his life (until he died at 65 of pancreatic cancer) teaching and doing administration at the UCA, writing, and ministering with a community of the poor. He was a frequent guide for North American and European visitors to Salvador, whether they came as learners or as pilgrims. He also visited various (Jesuit) universities in the U.S., delivering his vision of what a Catholic (and therefore Jesuit) university should be.

An abbreviated version of the talk that Brackley gave on Catholic higher education at John Carroll University in October 2005 appeared in America (“Higher Standards,” February 6, 2006) and is reprinted in A Jesuit Education Reader, ed. George W. Traub (2008).

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Brebeuf, John [in French, Jean de Brebeuf] (1593-1649)

French Jesuit; missioner to New France

Though early in his Jesuit life he was beset by illness, John Brebeuf became legendary for his strength and endurance and heroic in his gruesome torture and death. He was declared a saint in 1930.

He was in the second group of Jesuit missioners to go from their homeland to New France (1625), and he served there in two periods until he was put to death by the Mohawk in 1649.

Brebeuf was a leader of the illustrious but tragically short-lived mission to the Wendat (formerly called “Huron”)—numbering some 30,000 in 20 villages. It was his determination to live among the people and to honor their culture and customs—not an easy thing to do. In one of his letters home to France, he wrote: “You may have been a famous professor or theologian in France, but here you will merely be a student and with what teachers! The Huron language will be your Aristotle and, clever man that you are, speaking glibly among the learned, you must make up your mind to be mute in the company of these natives.”

In another letter home, Brebeuf described a native game in which players used a curved stick that he named “La crosse” because it reminded him of a bishop’s crosier. To this day, the game bears that name.

The dream of the mission was to have the Wendat and the Europeans living together in harmony where the rites and tradition of both peoples could be strengthened and enriched by the values of the gospel. And gradually that dream came toward realization with the building of the settlement-compound Sainte-Marie that at its peak housed 23 Jesuits and 23 French lay volunteers along with the Wendat converts. But in 1648-49, repeated attacks by the Mohawk destroyed one village after another and killed most of the Jesuit and lay leadership, including Christian Wendat who had come to assume an important role in the blended community.

Brebeuf and his companions are memorialized in a long epic poem by Canadian poet E. J. Pratt— Brebeuf and His Brethren (1940). A less heroic but compelling portrait of a French Jesuit missioner to New France is painted by Irish-Canadian-American novelist Brian Moore in Black Robe (1985). The film version (1991), by Australian director Bruce Beresford with a screenplay by Moore, dramatizes the impossibility of the two cultures—French and aboriginal—ever coming together. Although the works make good fiction and good film, they are not historically accurate. In spite of great difficulty, the two cultures did come together and, indeed, lived together in a Wendat-French Christian community.

A reliable and clarifying essay on “The Jesuits in New France” by Jacques Monet appears in the Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, ed. Thomas Worcester (2008).

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Buckley, Michael J. (1931-  )

American Jesuit; philosophical theologian; writer

Michael Buckley is currently a Professor of Theology at Santa Clara University. Prior to this appointment, he was for fourteen years a member of the theological faculty at Boston College, during which time he served as the director of the Jesuit Institute and as Canisius Professor of Theology. Previously, he was a member of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He held various university positions, including visiting fellow at Cambridge University’s Clare Hall, of which he is also a life member.

Buckley is the author of numerous articles in systematic theology, philosophy, spirituality, science and theology, and the history of ideas. Among his books are: The Catholic University as Promise and Project: Reflections in a Jesuit Idiom (1998) and most recently Denying and Disclosing God: The Ambiguous Progress of Modern Atheism (2004).

He has served as the president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, a trustee for a number of universities and for Theological Studies, and has participated on various boards and commissions. He presently serves on the Theological Consultants Board for Herder/Crossroad.

Buckley received his BA and MA from Gonzaga University, his STM from Santa Clara University, and his PhD from the University of Chicago. He has received two doctorates honoris causa and has also been honored with a Festschrift (Finding God in All Things: Essays in Honor of Michael J. Buckley, SJ, eds. Michael J. Himes and Stephen J. Pope [1996]).

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

 
Jesuit Terms C


Campion, Edmund (1540-1581)

British Jesuit; martyr; saint

William Allen’s seminary for training British diocesan priests in Douai, Belgium, was the principal hope of Catholics in the England of anti-Catholic penal laws. Two of these well-trained men, Thomas Woodhouse and John Nelson, smuggled into their homeland, were captured and, while awaiting execution in the Tower of London, asked to be admitted to the Society of Jesus. They were the first Jesuit martyrs to die in England. Allen kept urging the Jesuit superior general to establish an English Jesuit mission. After some hesitations, he did so. And therefore, in 1580, three Jesuits including Edmund Campion, disguised, landed on the coast of Kent. “All three were to know the efficiency of the English government’s spy system” (Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus [1986]).

Before entering the Jesuits on the Continent, Campion had distinguished himself as a student at Oxford and come to the attention of Queen Elizabeth, who twice offered him prestigious offices in the Church of England, which twice he turned down. Shortly after his return to England, he issued a manifesto about his mission, now known as Campion’s Brag. In it he asserted that his purpose was religious, not political. Here is his famous conclusion:

And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league—all the Jesuits of the world—cheerfully to carry the cross you lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn [place of execution in London], or to be racked with your torments, or to be consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun. It is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted, so it must be restored.

Eventually Campion was betrayed by a spy, captured, and taken to the Tower of London, where he was stretched on the rack, and then, in the customary manner of execution, “hanged, drawn, and quartered” [that is, hanged, cut down while still alive, disemboweled, and his body cut into four parts].

From 1880 to 1975, the Jesuits had a boarding school (secondary) for boys in Prairie du Chien, WI, named Campion Jesuit High School. The school’s slogan was “Give Campion a boy and get back a man.

The residence for Jesuit scholars at Oxford is named in his honor Campion Hall.

See Waugh, Edmund Campion (1946) and The Reckoned Expense: Edmund Campion and the Early English Jesuits, rev. and enl., ed. Thomas M. McCoog (2007).

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Canisius, Peter (1521-1597)

Dutch Jesuit; “Second Apostle of Germany” [St. Boniface was the first—8th cent]

The 22 year old Peter Canisius (a Latinized form of his name), born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and educated at the University of Cologne, went to Mainz, Germany, to seek out Peter Faber (one of the early companions of Ignatius in Paris). Faber guided him through the Spiritual Exercises and, honoring the discernment he made during the retreat, admitted him to the Society of Jesus.

Ignatius as superior general sent him to be part of the team that founded the first Jesuit school for non-Jesuit students in Messina, Sicily. From there he was called by the pope and sent to Germany, where he spent the rest of his life writing, founding and running colleges (18), and preaching—perhaps his most important ministry. His preaching drew people back to the Catholic church who had gone away in response to the Protestant reformers. Among the cities where he worked were Ingolstadt (Bavaria), Vienna (Austria), Prague (Bohemia), Innsbruck (Austria), and Fribourg (Switzerland).

The most famous and popular of Canisius’ 37 books was the Catechism, which he composed in Latin, but which was soon translated into German. The original, intended for university students, was adapted for secondary schools and then for children just starting their religious education. All of these together had some 200 printings during his lifetime and continued to be used into the 19th century. Catechism and Canisius were synonymous.

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Cardinal

A senior Catholic church official, a “prince of the church” and elector of the pope

Appointed by the pope, cardinals advise him when asked. Together (in number well over 100) they make up the College of Cardinals, whose major charge is to elect a new pope--bishop of Rome--when the previous one dies or resigns. Except for the patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic churches, cardinals--wherever they come from--are considered clergy of the diocese of Rome in order to be in continuity with the tradition that the clergy elect their bishop. (A cardinal who turns 80 years old ceases to be an elector.)

In addition to this crucial role, it often happens that cardinals, as bishops, head a diocese, or they may run a department of the Vatican.

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Carroll, John (1735-1816)

American; first bishop of U.S.; founder of Georgetown University

Born in the Maryland colony and educated in Europe where he joined the Jesuits. With the pope’s Suppression of the Society in 1773, he returned to his family’s plantation in Maryland and ministered to people in what is now the District of Columbia. In 1786 he was appointed superior of the clergy in the U.S., and he moved to found Georgetown Academy (later University) in 1789 to provide intelligent, educated laity for the new country. Carroll was appointed Bishop of Baltimore and gathered around him fellow ex-Jesuits to form “The Catholic Gentlemen of Maryland.” His diocese was all of the United States.

As leader of the American Catholic church, Carroll was centuries ahead of his time. He advocated liturgy in the vernacular, participation of the laity in the running of the church, and in the selection of bishops interference neither by the state nor by church administration in Rome.

In 1814, two years before his death, the Jesuits were re-established; and Carroll anticipated an influx of new Jesuit teachers for his favored project Georgetown.

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Catholic

The word comes from the Greek meaning “through the whole,” that is “universal,” “world-wide,” “all inclusive.”  This is the meaning when the word starts with a lower-case c as in “We need to become more catholic in our attitudes.” In talking about the “Catholic church” (Catholic with a capital C), members often mean “the pope and the bishops” or “the Vatican.” But Vatican Council II, in its Constitution on the Church, used several other terms with inclusive meanings like “the People of God.”

For us in Jesuit education, the question is often “Are we maintaining and enhancing our ‘Catholic Identity’?” Despite the fact that there are entire books devoted to the question, the answer is not easy to come by. A careful reading of the various essays on “The Issue of Catholic Identity” in A Jesuit Education Reader seems to indicate both that much is being done and that more needs to be done.

Some people, when they hear the word Catholic think "thought control" or "one-issue myopia." Even if there is some justification for their attitude, they are probably operating with little more than news-media knowledge of Catholicism, with no sense of the rich and diverse Catholic intellectual tradition, the artistic tradition accompanying it, the Catholic social justice tradition since 1891, or the witness of heroic lives lived in the past and especially our own time.

After the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and 16th-century Catholic reform, for centuries prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), there was a homogeneity to Catholic belief, theology, and practice in most of Europe and North America. That kind of unity now feels long-gone, for there is currently such a broad spectrum—one might almost say polarization—of Catholic theologies and spirituality that some Catholics feel “closer” to some Protestants than they do to other Catholics. It seems likely that the Catholic unity of the future will be far from uniformity, but rather will incorporate some of present-day pluralism within its unity.

Read more on the term "Catholic"

Click here for 3-minute video excerpt about the various forms of Catholicism.
See also Vatican Council II. 
See also Hellwig, “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Catholic University” and other essays in the same section of A Jesuit Education Reader.

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Catholic Identity

The essential characteristics of a Catholic university were outlined in an apostolic constitution issued by Pope John Paul II in 1990, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church) defines the catholicism of Catholic institutions of higher education through their shared values, identity, and mission; it states:

Since the objective of a Catholic university is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic university, as Catholic, must have the following essential characteristics:

  • A Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community as such;
  • A continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research;
  • Fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church;
  • An institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family in their   pilgrimage to the transcendent goal which gives meaning to life." (nn 13) 

For more information read "Foundations of Xavier University’s Catholic Identity", "Xavier’s Catholic Identity.", and see our Resource page

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Catholic Intellectual Tradition, The

Theologian Monika Hellwig (1929-2005) defines the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in terms of its content and also its approach to knowledge, to reality. Content -- this includes not just great written works like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dante's Divine Comedy, Shakespeare's plays (especially great tragedies), Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, G.M. Hopkins' poetry (especially The Wreck of the Deutschland), Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Georges Bernanos' Diary of a Country Priest and Teilhard de Chardin's The Human Phenomenon (the recent English re-translation), but also great works of art--music, painting, stained glass, sculpture and architecture. Approach to knowledge, to reality -- it recognizes the continuity of faith and reason, respects the cumulative wisdom of the past, has an anti-elitist bent, pays attention to how knowledge is used (for good or ill), works toward the integration of knowledge, and operates out of the "sacramental principle" (all of creation can lead us to the sacred, to God).

See Monika Hellwig, "The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Catholic University" in A Jesuit Education Reader.

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Christian doctrines, Central

The central Christian doctrines are Trinity, Incarnation, and Grace. In the doctrine of the Trinity, with its "threeness" in one God, many theologians see the foundation for the call to human beings (God’s creation) of community, equality and self-giving love (see the entry “God,” paragraph 2). Though many can recite the Christian creed, they can fail to understand the implications of the Incarnation, God’s becoming fully human in Jesus.* Thus God is committed to the human enterprise, and by becoming more and more human—our vocation in Jesus--we become more like God (see the entry “Judaeo-Christian Vision,” paragraph 3 [“God has freely chosen . . . .”] and “Jesus,” paragraph 1). Grace tells us about the gratuitous character of God’s love and salvation; we can’t earn God’s love, but we don’t have to. God gives it freely, unconditionally. 


See "Trinity"
See "
Incarnation" and "Incarnation, Why the."
See "
Grace"

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Clarke, Mary Frances (1803-1887)

Founder, Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dubuque, Iowa)

Mary Frances Clarke, Dublin-born founder of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was a young woman of 31 years when she and four companions immigrated to Philadelphia in 1833. In leaving Ireland they listed their occupation as “religious.” In Philadelphia they encountered Rev. Terence J. Donaghoe, a benefactor, colleague, mentor and friend and who was among the first to affirm their religious calling. On November 1, 1833, they became the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

While serving in Philadelphia, the sisters received a visit from Jesuit Pierre De Smet. His compelling accounts of life on the American frontier persuaded them to accept the invitation of Bishop Mathias Loras to minister in the remote Iowa Territory. In 1843 the first group of sisters journeyed with Bishop Loras to Dubuque, Iowa; the rest of the Community followed several months later. They were soon caught up in the hardships and hopes of the settlers, sharing the struggles of prairie families, farmers and lead miners. The fledgling Community began opening schools along the Mississippi River, east to Chicago (at the invitation of the Rev. Arnold Damen, SJ in 1867) and west to San Francisco and Phoenix. Each newly-established Mission carried reminders of Mary Frances Clarke’s urging: “Keep our schools progressive with the times in which we live in inventiveness and forethought.”

When Father Donaghoe died in 1869, Mary Frances Clarke assumed full leadership, renewing efforts to preserve the identity, integrity and purpose of her community. She was among the first women to seek incorporation in the state of Iowa (September 30, 1869). Thanks to her initiative and the counsel of Peter Koopmans, SJ, many of his brother Jesuits and other friends of the Community, the Rule of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary received final approbation from Pope Leo XIII on March 15, 1885.

Mary Frances Clarke died peacefully on December 4, 1887, having her request honored that no BVM history be written during her lifetime. At that time, the 499 living members of the Community administered forty parish schools and nine boarding academies for young women. Throughout her life she had urged the sisters to welcome all students, regardless of religious affiliation or ability to pay. She trusted Community members to become mature women, open to the changing face of ministry, able to adapt, to improvise, to develop lifestyles and educational methods uniquely suited to the needs of the times and the challenges in church and society. By encouraging the sisters to “incite” their students to think, generations of her followers both women and men continue to become leaders whose gifts and energies impact spiritual, intellectual, creative, technological and many other frontiers unforeseen by that long-ago circle of friends from Dublin. 
 
JH

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Claver, Peter (1580-1654)

Spanish (Catalan) Jesuit; “slave of the slaves forever”; saint

As a young Jesuit scholastic, Peter Claver studied at the Jesuit college in Palma on the island of Majorca. There he became good friends with the wise and holy brother doorkeeper, Alphonsus Rodriguez. Alphonsus encouraged him to consider going on mission to the New World for his life’s work. And that is what Peter did.

In 1610, he sailed across the Atlantic to Cartagena, Colombia, infamous for being the chief slave market of South America. There he was trained for ministry with the enslaved people from West Africa by an older Jesuit, Alfonso Sandoval, a great spokesman for the dignity of the slaves. After ordination, then, Claver, binding himself by vow to be “slave of the slaves forever,” carried on a tireless ministry of compassion and care for nearly forty years. He “met the slave ships, descended into the stinking holds filled with poor, frenzied, distressed [human beings,] brought physical relief by his practical nursing in a spirit of tenderness” and spiritual support with the gift of faith (Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus [1986]).

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Clavius, Christopher (1538-1612)

German Jesuit; mathematician; creator of the present calendar

For 45 years Christopher Clavius [Christoph Klau in German] taught mathematics at the Roman College (in the 16th century, the premier seat of Jesuit higher education). He won the respect and friendship of virtually every significant mathematician and astronomer of his day. He was a life-long friend of Galileo. He exerted a wide influence on the schools of Europe as well as those in China through his Jesuit pupils laboring there.

Clavius’ best-known contribution was his reform—at the request of Pope Gregory XIII—of the Julian calendar, which gave a year 11 minutes plus longer than the actual solar year. The new Gregorian calendar was not accepted everywhere. In various parts of Europe, people broke windows in Jesuit residences as a protest. The Orthodox church saw the new calendar as a Roman intrusion (which it was), and Protestant countries were reluctant to accept any decree from a pope. England did not change to the new calendar until 1751, while Orthodox Russia would require the Bolshevik revolution to change. (MacDonnell, Jesuit Family Album)

The Clavius Group of mathematicians, founded by a number of Jesuits in 1963 (but soon joined by other religious and lay colleagues), gather every summer (along with spouses and children) at a different university to work together in keeping with the behest of their namesake: “Let an academy be formed for the advancement of mathematics” (Christopher Clavius [1596]).

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Colleges and Universities

Homepages

See Jesuit Colleges and Universities

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Colloquy, The (from the Spiritual Exercises)

Often in the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius recommends concluding a time of prayer with a colloquy, a brief conversation with God or Jesus or a saint “as one friend speaks to another.”  The suggestion implies that the prayer, though all through addressed, say, to God, can at the end become less formal, more natural and more familiar, friendly.

At key times in the Exercises Ignatius suggests a specific content for the colloquy—usually asking for some grace or favor.

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Common Good

A concept traceable back to Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and in modern times to the church’s social teaching from Leo XIII’s Rerum novarum (1891) to the Second Vatican Council’s Church in the Modern World and several encyclical letters of John Paul II (1978-2005). The concept is amenable to other religious traditions and to the ethics of “humanist” philosophy as well. It teaches that when we care for our neighbors as ourselves, all of us live better lives (and not just the few). Unfortunately, many of our American people including ones marginally well off do not believe this teaching. Hurting and angry, they allow themselves to be used against their own self-interest by the greedy and most powerful.

While charity for the least fortunate is good and important, “the common good is best served when all are able to make their own contributions to social and economic life”
(“What Is the Common Good?” <catholicsinalliance.org>).

See the related concept of “Solidarity.” 
 
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Communion of Saints

In Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Christianity, the belief that there is a real and powerful solidarity between those who have gone before to God (saints “canonized” [i.e. declared so by the church] and uncanonized) and those still on their pilgrim way (Paul refers to the latter as saints in his letters).

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Conferences & Retreats

To view a list of all conferences and retreats, click here.

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Congregation of St. Joseph, Founding of the --

The Congregation of St. Joseph began in the year 1650 in a small town in south central France called Le Puy-en-Velay. There a Jesuit priest, Jean Pierre Medaille (1610-1669), helped found a community of six women who shared his vision of the needs of the Church and society and who wanted to support each other in responding to those needs.

At that time, France was a country ripe for the Revolution that was to sweep over it in the next century. For many years, the country had been torn apart by wars that left women widowed and children orphaned and their villages and towns ruined by plundering armies. Economic conditions took the heaviest toll upon the most vulnerable in society. Prisons were filled with debtors. Aware of the deplorable conditions, the first Sisters of St. Joseph heard God’s call to be instruments to bring about unity in a broken world.

Up to that time religious life for women was limited to cloistered life. Bishop Henri de Maupas of Le Puy offered his patronage and ecclesiastical sponsorship of the small community of six and, on October 15, 1651, received their commitment to do apostolic work as religious for his diocese. By the time of the French Revolution almost 150 years later, there were some 30 communities of St. Joseph that had formed in France, generating new life in the Church with apostolic religious life for women.

GS

See "Fontbonne, Mother St. John."

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Consolation

See Discernment.

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Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education

Conversations is published bi-annually by the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education, which is jointly sponsored by the Jesuit Conference Board and the Board of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. View issues from the 1992 inaugural edition to the current edition.

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Conversations on Catholic Identity at a Jesuit University: An E-Seminar

For information on the E-Seminar, please click here.

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Conway Institute for Jesuit Education

The Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Institute for Jesuit Education at Xavier University is a center of distinction, assisting educators in transforming students intellectually, morally, and spiritually in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, while appropriating Ignatian pedagogy and spirituality in today's world. The Institute reaches beyond the Xavier campus with pedagogical innovations communicated locally, nationally, and internationally.

Watch a video introduction to the Institute here.
Find more information about the Institute here.

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Couderc, Therese (1805-1885)

Co-Founder of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Retreat in the Cenacle (Cenacle Sisters)


Marie-Victoire Couderc was born on February 1, 1805, in the mountain village of Le Mas in southern France. She was the second eldest of twelve children. Although she had no formal classroom education until she was seventeen years old she developed a deep love of God from her parents and learned to read and write from the tutor her parents engaged for their family. In 1825 Marie-Victoire participated in her parish’s first mission since before the beginning of the French Revolution. During the mission she expressed her desire to enter religious life to Fr. Stephen Terme, one of the priests leading the mission. This missionary encouraged her even in spite of her father’s immediate refusal to give her his blessing. Nearly one year later, in January 1826, Marie-Victoire left her family and joined the little community of sisters Fr. Terme had founded. Two months later she received the habit and the name Sister Therese.

When she was twenty-three years old, Terme appointed Therese superior of the little community he brought to the mountain village of LaLouvesc to offer accommodations for women pilgrims coming to the shrine of St. John Francis Regis. Therese served as superior of this community for ten years. During these years the three dimensions of the congregation’s Mission as we know it today took root: prayer, community and ministry lived in the spirit of the first Cenacle in Jerusalem.

When he made his retreat in 1829, Stephen discovered the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He was so enthusiastic about them that he immediately introduced them to Therese’s community and directed the sisters to use them in their ministry. Through the Spiritual Exercises Stephen and Therese introduced the community to the great current of Ignatian spirituality which continues to mark the essential aspects of the congregation’s life. Fr. Terme died unexpectedly on December 12, 1834. In his Will he confided the future of the community to the Society of Jesus, who had assisted him in the religious formation of the community. Mother Therese and her community responded with deep faith and unwavering trust in God’s providential love for her community.

During the later years of her life Mother Therese witnessed the expansion of her community in France and beyond its borders, When chronic illness prevented her from being actively involved in the ministry of the community, she continued to participate in its mission through her prayer, physical suffering, and wholehearted self-surrender to God.

Therese Couderc died in Lyon on September 26, 1885. When she was canonized on May 10, 1970, Pope Paul VI said of her, “Humble among the humble. She lived her life most humbly.” These few words summarize her spirituality, a spirituality rooted in the love of God, the goodness of God, and the will of God; a spirituality marked by a passionate love for Jesus Christ and a burning desire to make Him known and loved. The true testimony of Therese’s spirituality is the enthusiasm with which the Cenacle Sisters continue to live the Mission of the Congregation she and Stephen Terme founded. In addition to the sisters the congregation has other forms of association. Cenacle Auxiliaries are vowed women who live Cenacle spirituality in the secular world. Cenacle Affiliates/Companions are women and men, single or married, who also live Cenacle spirituality in their daily lives “All for the greater glory of God!”

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Creation (Genesis, chs. 1&2)

Creation is the Judaeo-Christian teaching that God is the origin (and the destiny) of the whole universe. Chapters one and two of Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew and Christian bible, teach this truth of creation and creatures in story-form. Paying attention to the form is important for a correct understanding of what is meant. This is not “history” (a category unknown until long after the bible was written), not an account of a one-time event (“seven days”) but “story-truth” which says that the whole universe is God-made and fundamentally good. Rather than a one-time event, creation is an ongoing, constant process. God is the only “necessary” one; creatures are radically limited and dependent on God’s constant creation or we would fall into nothingness.

The understanding of creation as constant is important for avoiding a frequently held but wrong notion of “miracle” whereby God sometimes enters into the world and suspends its laws. God is always in the world as constant creator. This correct understanding of God’s relation to the world is called panentheism (“God in all”--not pantheism which would mean that everything is God).

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Cristo Rey Network

An ever-growing nation-wide network of college-preparatory high schools for economically disadvantaged, inner-city students, modeled on the original Cristo Rey school founded by the Jesuits in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood in 1996. The Network describes itself as "Schools that Work"; the students all work one day a week for some cooperating company—earning a large part of the cost of their education—and go to school four days.

www.cristoreynetwork.org

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Cura Personalis

(Latin meaning "care for the [individual] person") - A hallmark of Ignatian spirituality (where in one-on-one spiritual guidance, the guide adapts the Spiritual Exercises to the unique individual making them) and therefore of Jesuit education (where the teacher establishes a personal relationship with students, listens to them in the process of teaching, and draws them toward personal initiative and responsibility for learning [see "Pedagogy, Ignatian/Jesuit"]).

This attitude of respect for the dignity of each individual derives from the Judaeo-Christian vision of human beings as unique creations of God, of God's embracing of humanity in the person of Jesus, and of human destiny as ultimate communion with God and all the saints in everlasting life.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All


Jesuit Terms D


Delp, Alfred (1907-1945)

German Jesuit; writer and preacher; martyr

In the early 1940’s, people avidly read his regular contributions to the Jesuit review Stimmen der Zeit and came from all over Munich to hear him preach.

In 1943, at the invitation of Count von Moltke and with the encouragement of his provincial superior, he joined the secret Kreisau Circle, an anti-Nazi group that was planning a new social order to be built on Christian lines after the War.

The group was found out. Delp was arrested, imprisoned, interrogated and encouraged to repudiate his Jesuit and Catholic allegiance. But he refused, was “convicted,” and executed on February 2, 1945.  The Nazis disposed of his body secretly so that his grave would not become a place of pilgrimage; and so people today visit the parish church where he served.

His Prison Writings (Orbis, 2004) make powerful reading.

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De Mello, Anthony (1931-1987)

Indian Jesuit; teacher of eastern spiritual practices to the West

Born in Mumbai (Bombay), India, Anthony De Mello studied psychology at Loyola University Chicago and then set up his spiritual center “Sadhana Institute” in Pune (Poona), India. In the 1970s, he started offering guided awareness exercises (e.g., attentiveness to one’s breathing) to Christians in India and, during summers, in the U.S. He also offered them to his Jesuit brothers at General Congregation 32 (1974-1975). These exercises were finally published as Sadhana: A Way to God—Christian Exercises in Eastern Form (1978). Many more books followed until his sudden death in New York at age 56, and even then, friends and disciples published a number of manuscripts that he was working on. His bibliography totals 59 books. His book Awareness (1992), which transcribes one of his workshops, is said to be a good place to start becoming acquainted with his approach. Several of his workshops are also available in video form.

In 1998, eleven years after De Mello’s death, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) issued a “Notification” that some of his writings were a danger to the Catholic faith. Even a cursory reading of a page-worth of his sayings, stories, and parables—readily available on the internet—makes clear that De Mello has a certain anti-institutional bias toward religion. His basic message is “spiritual,” not “religious.” It is a call to awareness, a call to “wake up” from the “sleep” that most people live in without realizing it. In this quest, he is just as apt to turn to non-Christian sources as to Christian ones.

See the De Mello website www.demellospirituality.com maintained by the deMello Spirituality Center at Fordham University (its founder, Jesuit Frank Stroud, died recently; the Center is now in the hands of two trustees, Jonathan Galente and Desmond Towey). Anthony de Mello: Writings, ed. William V. Dych (Orbis, 1999; Modern Spiritual Masters Series). Dych’s introduction to De Mello is outstanding.

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De Smet, Peter (1801-1873)

Belgian Jesuit; promoter of missions to NW Native Americans

Peter De Smet came to the United States in 1821, entered the Jesuits, and was ordained in 1827. Twelve years later, he encountered two Flathead Indians seeking priests to instruct their nation. This event proved to be the turning point in his life, and he soon became the founder of missions to the Rocky Mountain Northwest Native Americans. He visited the Rocky Mountain area, founded St. Mary’s near Missoula, MT, then went to the far Northwest and planned the growth of the church in Oregon country.

In 1843 he sailed to Europe and recruited five Jesuits and six Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for mission work in the Northwest. In the 1850’s and 1860’s he visited the Plains and the Rocky Mountains seven times as an emissary of the federal government. In 1864 he was the only white man trusted enough to be allowed into Sitting Bull’s camp.

De Smet was not so much a missionary as he was a promoter and procurator of missions. In their interest he made repeated journeys to the Mountains and crossed the Atlantic sixteen times.

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Desolation

See Discernment.

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Discernment

(also "Discernment of spirits") - A process for making choices, in a context of (Christian) faith, when the option is not between good and evil, but between several possible courses of action all of which are potentially good. For Ignatius the process involves prayer, reflection and consultation with others - all with honest attention not only to the rational (reasons pro and con) but also to the realm of one's feelings, emotions and desires (what Ignatius called "movements" of soul). A fundamental question in discernment becomes "Where is this impulse from — the good spirit (of God) or the evil spirit (leading one away from God)?" A key to answering this question, says Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, is that, in the case of a person leading a basically good life, the good spirit gives "consolation" — acts quietly, gently and leads one to peace, joy and deeds of loving service — while the bad spirit brings "desolation" — agitates, disturbs the peace and injects fears and discouragement to keep one from doing good.

Inspired Choices
Video Clips about Discernment

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Diversity

Jesuit universities and schools are respected for academic excellence, the promotion of social justice, and "finding God in all things." These mission-driven values, as well as the necessity to prepare students for a rapidly changing multicultural and global society, draws Jesuit educational institutions to lead in the call for diversity and the inclusion of all peoples. A respect for all human persons and differences is a significant aspect of the history of the Society of Jesus. Ignatius Loyola befriended fellow students who were quite different from himself with regard to social class, age, and nationality — rather unique in the 1500's; they became the founding companions. Most recently, the Society has addressed relationships with non-Catholics and women, see GC 34.

A collection of resources from the Office of Diversity at Xavier University
Daily Examen for Diversity
Video Clips about Diversity

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Doctrinal Congregation

Doctrinal Congregation (short for Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) –

The Vatican office that deals with orthodoxy and dissent.

Other Christian bodies have less organized ways of dealing with the issue.

Because what the Church preaches and teaches matters, this is a perennial concern.

It appears in the early centuries once Jewish Christianity moved out into the
Greek and Roman world..

The existence of some such agency as the Doctrinal Congregation is not the real issue. Rather it is the way in which the Congregation conducts its business. Is there respect for the human and Christian dignity of anyone accused or does the investigative body operate like a totalitarian power which has no limits because none are built into it?

For a fuller picture of the history involved, click here.
See “Index of Forbidden Books.”

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Dulles, Avery (1918-2008)

American Jesuit; theologian of "models"; cardinal

Avery Dulles' father, John Foster Dulles, was U.S. Secretary of State in the Eisenhower Administration (1952-1960). Avery, though brought up in his family's Presbyterian Christianity, considered himself an agnostic when he entered Harvard as an undergraduate in 1936. By the time of his graduation, however, he had become a Catholic, something not easy for his parents to accept in that pre-ecumenical era (A Testimonial to Grace [1946]).

 After service in the military during World War II, he entered the Jesuits in 1946 at the age of 28. He did doctoral studies in theology at the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome and then taught for many years at Woodstock College, the Jesuit theological school in rural Maryland. Later, he joined the faculty at Catholic University in DC, and finally, he was McGinley Professor at Fordham in NYC.

Among his published works--25 books and more than 800 articles, many of them translated into other languages--perhaps the most significant are his "models," books where he lined up the various theological opinions on a given subject in relation to one another and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each: Models of the Church (1974 and subsequent editions), Models of Revelation (1983, 1992), and The Assurance of Things Hoped For: A Theology of Christian Faith (1994). He had a deep knowledge of the long and diverse tradition, could write about it with clarity, and so help foster a unity of faith in a post-Vatican II Catholic culture that he saw as increasingly unmoored. It was his contention that the truth lies, not in any one position, but in the totality of them all.

Pope John Paul II made Dulles a cardinal in 2001. Many "liberal" Catholics saw this as a benediction on Dulles' supposed move to the right (for example, he was adamantly opposed to the ordination of women), but others read it more generally as a recognition that American Catholic theology had come of age (Dulles was the first American theologian to be given a red hat).

See Mark Massa in Commonwealth (August 13, 2010) and Patrick Carey in Theological Studies (December 2010).

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Dupuis, Jacques (1923-2004)

Belgian Jesuit; theologian of religious pluralism

Jacques Dupuis went to teach in India in 1949, and his more than 30 years there, where Christianity is such a tiny part of the predominantly Hindu culture, had a profound impact on his theology.

In 1984 he left India and started teaching systematic theology and “other religions” at the Jesuit-sponsored Gregorian University in Rome. In 1997 he published a book Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism (Orbis), articulating an “inclusive pluralism” that seeks to hold together “the constitutive and universal character of the Christ-event in the order of human salvation and the salvific significance of [other] religious traditions . . . within the one manifold plan of God for humankind.” The book drew a Vatican investigation of its orthodoxy. First, without explanation, Dupuis was removed from his teaching post. Then, in 2001, the Doctrinal Congregation headed by Josef Ratzinger issued a “Notification” (or “warning”) that the book contained “grave errors . . . and ambiguities” (unspecified). Jesuit superior general Peter-Hans Kolvenbach responded with a public statement encouraging Dupuis to continue his pioneering work in interreligious dialogue. Sadly, however, his arbitrary treatment by the Congregation plunged him into severe depression and this along with other illness led to his death a few years later.

See Matthew Ashley’s major review of Jacques Dupuis Faces the Inquisition in Commonweal (June 1, 2013).
See Hinsdale, “Jesuit Theological Discourse since Vatican II,” Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, ed. Thomas Worcester (2008).

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Durocher, Marie-Rose (1811-1849)

Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary


Eulalie Durocher was born in a small town along the Richelieu River in Quebec on October 6, 1811. From 1831 to 1843 she served as the housekeeper at the rectory in Beloeil, Quebec, where her brother was the parish priest. During these years, Eulalie saw the great need for youth education in the small farming community where she lived. Girls in particular received little schooling, and although Eulalie had little formal education herself, she was determined to do something to change the situation for girls in rural Quebec.

Eulalie felt a calling to religious life and felt that she could best educate children as a religious, but poor health prevented her from entering several times. In 1843, at the request of Bishop Ignace Bourget, Eulalie went to Longueuil, outside of Montreal, to found a new teaching community with two other women. Patterned on a French community of the same name, this new community was known as the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

Eulalie was given the religious name Marie-Rose and was selected by the bishop as the community’s first superior. Mother Marie-Rose oversaw her fledgling community for only six years before dying at age 38 on October 6, 1849. By her faith, her judgment and her apostolic creativity, Mother Marie-Rose had a great influence on the society and the Church of Quebec. A born educator, she knew how to develop people’s gifts and how to open her congregation to the future.

Mother Marie-Rose was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982. Her remains are at the Co-cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua in Longueuil.

Today, the Congregation consists of some 1,000 Sisters and 600 Associates living and ministering in Canada, the United States, Lesotho, Peru, and Brazil. Inspired by the zeal of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, in collaboration with multiple ministry partners, the Sisters respond to contemporary needs through formal education in K-12 and university, pastoral, and social service settings. Sisters and their associates remain dedicated to educational works which promote the full development of the human person, with special concern for those marginalized by society. The U.S.-Ontario Province of the Sisters of the Holy Names is responsible for six high schools on the east and west coasts; Holy Names University in Oakland, California; community learning centers; and a medical clinic in Tutwiler, Mississippi. In collaboration with Jesuit peers, several SNJM theologians have been instrumental in making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius accessible to women in North America and in Africa.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms E


Ecology

Jesuits urged to pray, think, act to promote ecological responsibility
Article by Cindy Wooden, 9/27/11

Note from Superior General Adolfo Nicolas, SJ
to the Society regarding the commitment to nature and the environment – 9/16/11

Healing a Broken World
Task Force on Ecology

The Place of Sustainability and the Environment within Roman Catholic Thought
Remarks by Michael J. Graham, S.J., President of Xavier University, Sustainability Day, November 7, 2011

See sustainability.

Resource page for Ecology and Sustainability.

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Ecumenism

From the Greek word meaning "world-wide."

With the new emphasis on relations between Christian and non-Christian* religions and the emergence of its own term "interreligious dialogue," the word ecumenism is now used only for relations among different Christian bodies. Since the Second Vatican Council,* groups of theologians--Lutheran-Catholic, Anglican-Roman Catholic, Orthodox-Catholic and others--have engaged in dialogue to indentify doctrinal differences and, where possible, resolve them. Such, for instance, was the accord reached by the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue on "justification."

Ecumenial activity is not limited to dialogue among theologians, however. An important part of the ecumenism practiced in today's world is the shared experience of married couples from different Christian denominations.

Toward the end of his life, the distinguished 20th-century Catholic theologian Karl Rahner claimed that nothing significant stood in the way of main-stream Protestant and Catholic bodies coming together. They would simply have to make a start by recognizing the validity of one another's ministries and, while each would maintain its own rites and theologies and laws, gradually move toward further integration and collaboration. That recognition and move toward unification has not happened.

Among the main issues that still separate Protestants and Orthodox from Roman Catholics is the current form of papal governance. The question arises, Is Catholic church governance with the pope as an absolute ruler and almost all power concentrated at the top an essential part of the church's constitution? Perhaps Roman Catholic absolutism owes more to the Roman Empire than to the essence of the church, and the church could re-introduce governmental reforms that give a significant voice to the bishops' conferences, the presbyterate (the body of priests), and the laity. Thus the church could more surely embrace the "collegiality" and representative government endorsed by Vatican II.

In the estimation of church historian David O'Brien, why didn't change continue to happen? "What was lacking among us," he said, "was neither knowledge nor imagination but will and skill, commitment, organization, strategy and tactics. Our failure was not theological or spiritual, but political. ... If we are serious about changing the church, what we must talk about is ecclesiastical politics. Keeping the faith may be pastoral and spiritual, but changing the church is political" ("Change the Church?" America [13-20 August 2012]).

See Reform of the Church

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Education, Jesuit

Ignatius of Loyola and his first companions, who founded the Society of Jesus in 1540, did not originally intend to establish schools. But before long they were led to start colleges for the education of the young men who flocked to join their religious order. And in 1547 Ignatius was asked to open a school for young lay men.

By the time of his death (1556), there were 35 such colleges (comprising today's secondary school and the first year or two of college). By the time the order was suppressed in 1773, the number had grown to more than 800 — all part of a system of integrated humanistic education that was international and brought together in a common enterprise men from various languages and cultures. These Jesuits were distinguished mathematicians, astronomers and physicists; linguists and dramatists; painters and architects; philosophers and theologians; even what today would be
called cultural anthropologists.

These developments are not surprising; the order's founders were all University of Paris graduates, and Ignatius' spirituality taught Jesuits to search for God "in all things." After the order was restored (1814), however, Jesuit schools and scholars in Europe never regained the prominence they had had. Besides, they were largely involved in the resistance to modern thought and culture that characterized Catholic intellectual life through the 19th century and beyond.

In other parts of the world, especially in the United States, the 19th century saw a new birth of Jesuit education. Twenty-one of today's 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities were founded during that century. These schools served the needs of an immigrant people, enabling them to move up in the world while maintaining their Catholic belief and practice in a frequently hostile Protestant environment. After World War II, U.S. Jesuit higher education (as American higher education generally) experienced enormous growth and democratization under the G.I. Bill. Significantly, this growth entailed a shift from a largely Jesuit faculty to one made up increasingly of lay men (and more recently women). Further, Vatican Council II (1962-1965) released a great burst of energy in the Catholic church and Jesuit order for engagement with the modern world, including its intellectual life. Finally, Jesuit schools in the 1970s and 1980s moved to professionalize through the hiring of new faculty with highly specialized training and terminal degrees from the best graduate schools.

These sweeping changes of the last 50 years have brought U.S. Jesuit schools to the present situation where they face crucial questions. Will so-called Jesuit institutions of higher education simply merge with mainstream American academe and thereby lose any distinctiveness and reason for existing — or will they have the creativity to become more distinctive? While taking the best from American education and culture, will they still offer an alternative in the spirit of their Jesuit heritage? Will they foster the integration of knowledge — or will specialization reign alone and the fragmentation of knowledge continue? Will they relate learning to the Transcendent, to God — or will spiritual experience be allowed to disappear from consideration except in isolated departments of theology? While developing the mind, surely, will they also develop a global, cross-cultural imagination and a compassionate heart to recognize and work for the common good, especially for bettering the lot of the poor and voiceless [see "Men and Women for Others"/"Whole Persons of Solidarity" and "The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice"] — or will the dominant values present in them be self-interest and the "bottom line"?

Characteristics of Jesuit Education

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Ellacuria, Ignacio (1930-1989)

Basque/Salvadoran Jesuit; writer, speaker, “Martyr of the University.”

A native of the Basque territory of NE Spain, he went to teach and write in El Salvador from 1955-58 and returned there permanently in 1967 after studies in Europe – theology under Karl Rahner and philosophy with a dissertation on the Spanish philosopher Xavier Zubiri, but he moved beyond his mentors “precisely by grounding his philosophical and theological work in a specific historical reality, that of Latin America” (Robert Lassalle-Klein).

He soon became the guiding intellect for the reform of the Society of Jesus in Central America. He was instrumental, too, in re-directing the University of CA (San Salvador) into “what a Christian university in the Third World ought to be”—a clear and rational voice against the social and economic evils oppressing the vast majority of the people.

He argued for a negotiated settlement to the 10-year-long Civil War. But the extremist wing of the ruling party called for his death on the radio; and on November 16, 1989, soldiers of an elite battalion—many of them trained at the School of the Americas in the U.S.—broke into the Jesuit residence, took him and his five companions out into the yard, and one by one shot them to death at close range, blowing out their brains. Their cook and her teenage daughter were murdered with them so as to leave no witnesses.

In a special academic convocation the following March, Xavier University conferred on him and his companions posthumous honorary doctorates.

See "Martyrs of the UCA"
Whitfield, Paying the Price: Ignacio Ellacuria and the Murdered Jesuits of El Salvador (1994).

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Eloquentia Perfecta (Latin for “Perfect Eloquence”)

A goal of Jesuit education enshrined in the Ratio Studiorum (Plan of Studies) of 1599. In popular discourse today, it is said to mean “writing and speaking effectively,” but that is only part of its meaning.

The Ratio drew heavily on the work of the Roman rhetorician and philosopher Quintilian (c. 35-c 100 CE) and his fuller view of eloquence. It included the art of persuasion, of course, but also insisted on stylus (facility in Latin) and eruditio (humanistic learning)—the study of literature that included law, history and philosophy and had as a goal moral—and not just intellectual and “practical”—education. It aimed to produce good human beings, good citizens. In his treatise on education, Quintilian wrote what we can take as a measure of his humanism: “Study depends on the good will of the student, a quality that cannot be secured by compulsion.”

See Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education (Spring 2013).
On a related Jesuit education topic, see Judith Rock,
“Taproots:The Rhetoric of the Body,” Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education (Fall 1998).

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Episcopacy

See "Bishop"

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Espinal, Luis (1932-1980)

Spanish/Bolivian Jesuit; Teacher of journalism; pastor; martyr

Luis Espinal was born in Manresa, the town where Ignatius of Loyola had the signal experiences that led to his famous Spiritual Exercises.

His university education prepared him for a career in journalism. He entered the Jesuits and soon went to Bolivia, where he did further studies and was ordained. His teaching and pastoral ministry took up the call of the Medellin Conference of Latin American bishops for the church to side with the poor and oppressed.

He was beaten, tortured, and machine-gunned by para-military forces in LaPaz, on March 22,1980 (two days before the assassination in El Salvador of Archbishop Oscar Romero).

Sometime before his death, he composed a poem celebrating the triumph of resurrection over death, somewhat in the genre of Edmund Campion’s “Brag.”

Click to read "A Prayer of Hope" by Luis Espinal, S.J.

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Ethics

A collection of discipline-specific business resources from the Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility at Xavier University

The Woodstock Theological Center
an independent nonprofit institute at Georgetown University

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Examen

also Consciousness Examen

A method of prayer that Ignatius of Loyola taught in his Spiritual Exercises. He considered it the most important thing a person could do each day. It takes only a few minutes. A contemporary adaptation of Ignatius' teaching broadens the traditional "Examination of Conscience" (preparation for confession) into the "Examination of Consciousness." As presented by Creighton U. theologian Dennis Hamm, SJ, this prayer has five steps: (1) Pray for light to understand and appreciate the past day. (2) Review the day in thanksgiving. (3) Review the feelings in the replay of the day. (4) Choose one of those feelings (positive or negative) and pray from it. (5) Look toward tomorrow.

The Examen: A Daily Prayer

To view and order the Daily Examen, click here.

Adapted Examens:
Daily Examen for Diversity
Annual Examen: A Review of the Academic Year
Examen for Ecology
Examen for Management

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Exercitant, The

In the context of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, the exercitant is “the one who exercises herself/himself” spiritually to keep spiritually fit, just as a person exercises physically to keep physically fit (SpExs ##1,9). The term exercitant is not Ignatius’ but it retains the root meaning of exercising while being succinct and less cumbersome when repeated often than “the one who exercises himself/herself.”  The term retreatant is another equivalent, but loses the idea of exercising.

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Ex Corde Ecclesiae (Latin meaning "From the Heart of the Church")

An Apostolic Constitution regarding Catholic colleges and universities. Issued by Pope John Paul II on August 15, 1990, its aim was to define and refine the catholicism of Catholic institutions of higher education. Ex Corde Ecclesiae describes the identity and mission of Catholic colleges and universities.

On November 17, 1999, the Catholic Bishops of the United States, meeting in Plenary Session of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, approved The Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States implementing the Apostolic Constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae, according to the norm of law.

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Exodus (The) –

God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The story is told in the second book of the Hebrew scriptures titled “Exodus.”

See “”Passover.”

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All


Jesuit Terms F


Faber, Peter (1506-1546)

One of the original companions

Latin and English version of Pierre Favre, University of Paris student from the south of France who roomed with Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier and together with them and several others founded the Society of Jesus. In the course of seven years, he traveled some 7,000 miles and served in seven different western European countries. The largest part of his ministry was in Germany. There he drew up guidelines for ecumenical dialogue with Lutherans, but these were, sad to say, hardly put into practice. Among the early companions, he was known to be the finest guide for those making the Spiritual Exercises.

His canonization (declaration of sainthood) by Pope Francis on December 17, 2013 helps to emphasize that the Jesuits were founded, not just by Ignatius, but by a group of "companions in the Lord."

Letter of Adolfo Nicolas SJ on the Canonization of Peter Faber S.J. 12/17/13

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Faith

In its fundamental meaning, faith is trust in a person, not belief in an idea or set of doctrines (beliefs). Religious faith, then, is trust in God; and Christian faith is trust
in Jesus as the revelation of God in human form (see “Incarnation”). Traditional Christian teaching on faith includes the recognition that faith is a gift from God.

In the 16th century with Luther and the beginning of Protestant Christianity, one has the doctrine—derived from letters of St. Paul—of “justification by faith” alone—not by “works.” In reaction to this claim, Catholic Christianity asserted the necessity of action
(good deeds) and not just faith. In retrospect, it could be said that both sides overstated their case. In the ecumenical theology of today, Protestants and Catholics are often
able to understand each other’s positions and to reconcile them.

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Faith in the Interpretation of Scripture, The Place of

Through much of the 20th century, many believing scholars of New Testament as well as those whose approach was neutral or agnostic employed methods of critical interpretation that ignored the faith dimension
of individuals and of the community (the church) in the process. But that is changing. New Testament and spirituality scholar Sandra Schneiders, IHM, is one of a growing number of scholars who assert that the faith dimension “must play an integral role in valid interpretation and that this in no way prejudices the scholarly objectivity of [such scholars’ work] (The Revelatory Text).

Thus it is possible to read and to hear Scripture with all of one’s self, with one’s whole being. In doing this, we overcome centuries of narrowness, of
the “reductionism” (e.g., love is nothing but sex; the only valid knowledge comes from rationality, from the head) of the “modern” in every area of life.

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Fall, The (Genesis, chs. 3 ff.)

The story of “The Fall” in the early chapters of Genesis (3-7) is not “history”(a category unknown until modern times); it does not teach about some event that happened at “history’s” beginning. Rather it teaches something perennially true about human beings (Adam means “the human being”)—that we are all implicated in the (moral) evil of the world; by our actions and omissions, which—to put it mildly--are often less than good, we cause that evil. Granted, our freedom and responsibility for the evil are to some extent limited, but our tendency to put the blame for our behavior on others (see Adam and Eve, Genesis 3:12-13) makes it rather clear that we recognize our guilt and try to deflect it. All this is part of what it means to be human—potentially good, with high ideals, but in some mysterious sense that we cannot fathom flawed and imperfect. Some would say it is fear that leads us to evil—fear and the inability to accept and live with our vulnerable condition, our radical dependence and limitation as human beings, as creatures (see “Creation”).

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Farrell, Walter L. (1916-2012)

American Jesuit; "a giant in the Society of Jesus"

Throughout his long life, Walter Farrell directed his Jesuit brothers and others in the Exercises and shared his knowledge and understanding of the history, institute and workings of the Society of Jesus. "Walt Farrell had a deep concern for others," said Howard Gray, a younger colleague who worked closely with him at various times -- "for their peace of soul, for their wholesome choices, for their authentic prayer, for their good and generous response to what God asked and invited. All of us -- each in her or his own way -- met the the compassion of Jesus... in the way that Walt treated us."

Within the Jesuits, Fr. Farrell served again and again as a wise leader: at West Baden College, as provincial of the Detroit Province, as delegate to General Congregations 31 (1965-66) and 32 (1974-75), as president of the US Jesuit Conference of provincials, as tertian director. He was "a giant in the Society of Jesus."

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Finding God in All Things

Ignatian spirituality is summed up in this phrase. It invites a person to search for and find God in every circumstance of life, not just in explicitly religious situations or activities such as prayer in church (e.g., the Mass) or in private. It implies that God is present everywhere and, though invisible, can be "found" in any and all of the creatures which God has made. They reveal at least a little of what their Maker is like — often by arousing wonder in those who are able to look with the "eyes of faith." After a long day of work, Ignatius used to open the French windows in his room, step out onto a little balcony, look up at the stars and be carried out of himself into the greatness of God.

How does one grow in this ability to find God everywhere? Howard Gray draws the following paradigm from what Ignatius wrote about spiritual development in the Jesuit Constitutions: (1) practice attentiveness to what is really there. "Let that person or that poem or that social injustice or that scientific experiment become (for you) as genuinely itself as it can be." (2) Then reverence what you see and hear and feel; appreciate it in its uniqueness. "Before you judge or assess or respond, give yourself time to esteem and accept what is there in the other." (3) If you learn to be attentive and reverent, "then you will find devotion, the singularly moving way in which God works in that situation, revealing goodness and fragility, beauty and truth, pain and anguish, wisdom and ingenuity."

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First Principle and Foundation (of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises)

Here are the opening lines of this foundational statement by Ignatius early in his Spiritual Exercises...

God who loves us creates us and wants to share life with us forever. Our... response takes shape in our praise and honor and service of the God of our life. All the things in this world are also created because of God's love and they become a context of gifts, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.
(From David Fleming's "Contemporary Reading"; to see the page-long full text, click here.)

There are various interpretations of this "First Principle." Tim Muldoon of Boston College has a reading of it that many are finding helpful for living well in our "postmodern" world. He likes to call the statement "The Fundamentum" (Latin) and sees it not as a doctrinal or rational exercise, but as "an invitation to imaginative play.
"What, it asks, might it be like if God took the time and care to create my entire life, moment by moment, in order that my acceptance of this creation - and my participation in it - might reflect beauty, as a work of art reflects the creativity of an artist? What might it be like if God were a person who invests in my very being, and places me in a world where I can use everything to achieve [such artistic] perfection? The postmodern person who is wary of arrogant claims to authority and truth can, in good conscience, accept an invitation to exercise imagination."

See "Postmodern Spirituality and the Ignatian Fundamentum," in A Jesuit Education Reader.

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First Studies

The stages of Jesuit formation

The second stage of a Jesuit's formation and education, consisting of two years of philosophy studies and a year of theology, while living in a Jesuit community at a university.

See also Novitiate, Regency, Theology and Tertianship.

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Fontbonne, Mother St. John (1759-1843)

Re-Founder of the Congregation of St. Joseph

The religious Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, founded at Le Puy, France, in 1650 [with six women] by Jean Pierre Medaille, S.J., was wholly dispersed during the French Revolution. Some of its members were guillotined and many were cast into various prisons. Among the latter was Jeanne Marie Fontbonne, in religion the Venerable Mother St. John, Superior of the Convent of Monistrol.

She was born in Bas-en-Basset, Haute-Loire, on March 3, 1759 of a remarkable Catholic family. Educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph at Bas and Le Puy, she with her sister, Marie, entered the Novitiate at Monistrol where her paternal aunt, Mother St. Francis, was superior. There she received the habit in 1781 and made her vows. She became superior of this convent in 1786.

After the destruction of her convent and the dispersion of the sisters, she returned to the home of her parents. Refusing in spite of threats, insults and persecution of every kind, even physical violence, to attend the Mass of a Constitutional priest, she and her sisters were thrown into the prison of St. Didier and condemned to death, from which they were saved only on the very eve of execution, by the fall of Robespierre.

Inheritor of the blessed traditions of the primitive days of the Institute, and thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the Founders and first Sisters of Le Puy, Mother St. John transmitted those traditions and spirit to a new generation of the Daughters of St. Joseph.

Called by her ecclesiastical superiors from her retirement in her paternal home in 1807 to restore the Congregation in St. Etienne, Monistrol, and finally in 1812 at Lyons, she, by the wish of Cardinal Fesch established the first Mother House of the resuscitated Congregation, of which she was appointed first Superior-General.

Under her wise and holy government more than two hundred houses were, during her life time, established in France, India, England, and other places in Europe and Asia.

In 1836, at the request of Right Reverend Bishop Rosati, she sent six sisters to make a foundation in his Episcopal city of Saint Louis, Missouri, from which establishments have sprung, either directly or indirectly, nearly all the houses of the Sisters of St. Joseph in North America.

Worn out by labor and suffering in the furtherance of God’s kingdom and the interests of her Institute, Mother St. John, on November 22, 1843, died at the Mother House of Lyons.

From a pamphlet of unknown authorship

See “Congregation of St. Joseph, Founding of the.” 

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Formation, Stages of Jesuit (early)

The stages of Jesuit formation

The stages of Jesuit (early) formation are Novitiate (2 years), First Studies (3 years), Regency (2-3 years), Theology (3 years), and Tertianship (several options like 2 summers, 1 semester or the better part of a year).

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Founders of Some Women Religious Communities

Please see Women Religious Communities, Founders of Some.


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Francis, Pope  

See Pope Francis

Fundamentum, The

See First Principle and Foundation

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms G



Gaudium et Spes

Gaudium et Spes ("Joy and Hope") a pastoral constitution, issued at the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, that speaks about the Catholic Church in contemporary culture. Its 50 anniversary will be celebrated in 2015.

For more information:
Association of Catholic Colleges Universities’
Catholic Higher Education: Living the Vision of Gaudium et Spes
Xavier University’s Dr. Chris Pramuk, Associate Professor of Theology, highlighting the relevancy of Gaudium Et Spes for the world today
Xavier University’s Sean Rhiney JD, Director of the Eigle Center, address Gaudium Et Spes and War

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General Congregation

The supreme legislative body of the Society of Jesus consisting of major ("provincial") superiors and locally elected representatives. It is called to elect a new superior general when the previous one dies or resigns and/or to address major issues confronting Jesuit works and Jesuit life. There have been 35 such congregations in the 450+ years of the order. The most recent one met from January to March 2008 to accept Peter-Hans Kolvenbach's resignation at age 80 and to elect his replacement, Adolfo Nicolas.

GC 35 - 2008 Election of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas as the new Superior General of the Society

GC 34 - 1995

GC 33 - 1983 Election of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as the new Superior General of the Society

GC 32 - 1974-1975

  • Decree 4
  • See Service of Faith and Promotion of Social Justice

GC 31 - 1965-1966 Election of Fr. Pedro Arrupe as the new Superior General of the Society

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George, Margaret Farrell, (1787-1868)

Founder of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Margaret Farrell George was a close associate of Elizabeth Seton in founding the American Sisters of Charity (not affiliated with the French Daughters of Charity in their Rule but only in overall spirit).

Margaret and several other Sisters of Charity on mission in Cincinnati in 1850 refused to accept the Emmitsburg, MD, SC leadership decision to join the American Sisters of Charity with the French Daughters of Charity. They knew that Elizabeth Seton wanted an American community serving the American church within American culture. In response to an invitation from Bishop John Baptist Purcell, they formed a new community—the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

To read Margaret Farrell George's whole story, click here.

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God

Various titles or names are given to the Mystery underlying all that exists — e.g., the Divine, Supreme Being, the Absolute, the Transcendent, the All-Holy — but all of these are only "pointers" to a Reality beyond human naming and beyond our limited human comprehension. Still, some conceptions are taken to be less inadequate than others within a given tradition founded in revelation. Thus, Jews reverence "the Lord" (the name of God, YHWH, is holy and its vocalization unknown); and Muslims worship "Allah" (the [only] God).

Christians conceive of the one God as "Trinity," as having three "ways of being": (1) Creator and covenant partner (from Hebrew tradition) or "Father" (the "Abba" of Jesus' experience); (2) "Son" or "Word" (incarnate [i.e. enfleshed] in Jesus); and (3) "Spirit" (present everywhere in the world). Ignatius of Loyola had a strong Trinitarian sense of God, but he was especially fond of the expression "the Divine Majesty" stressing the greatness or "godness" of God; and the 20th century Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner could talk of "the incomprehensible Mystery of self-giving Love."

The reluctance of some of our contemporaries to use the word God may be seen as a potential corrective to the tendency of some believers to speak of God all too easily, as if they fully understood God and God's ways. (On the danger of understanding God-language literally, see "Trinity.")

See "Ultimate Reality, Human Knowledge of."

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Gonzaga, Aloysius (1568-1591)

Italian Jesuit; martyr of care for the plague-stricken

Aloysius [Luigi in Italian] Gonzaga’s family heritage was appalling. “His ancestors included despots who condoned assassination, debauchery and extortion.” They bled their subjects by taxation. “Aloysius had a remarkable toughness of character. . . . his innocence was founded on neither ignorance nor prudery.” As a young Jesuit, he had hoped to be sent to work on the foreign missions, but while caring for victims of the plague in Rome, he contracted the illness himself and died at the age of 23. (MacDonnell, Jesuit Family Album)

This reconciler of people who hated each other, catechist of Roman ragamuffins, consoler of the imprisoned, and martyr of charity for the plague-stricken was chosen by American Jesuit Terry Charlton as the patron of the school for AIDS orphans that he co-founded in 2004 in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya (East Africa). St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School for AIDS Orphans is the first school of its kind in the world. (Visit www.sagnairobi.org)

The name Gonzaga is attached to many Jesuit secondary schools and to the university in Spokane, WA.

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Gonzalez, Tirso (1624-1705) 

Spanish Jesuit; preacher of "missions"; superior general

As a young Jesuit, Tirso Gonzalez wrote to the superior general several times asking to be sent to the foreign missions. But he never was. Instead he became involved in the ministry of preaching "missions." A mission is a week-long series of talks given in a parish with the aim of teaching Christian faith in a way that ordinary people could receive it and also of stirring devotion for living a good Christian life.

In the process, he became an advocate for offering these misisons to the Muslims who remained in Spain as servants and slaves after most of their co-religionists had been expelled from the country. In keeping with the convictions of the times, he believed that Catholic Christianity was the one true religion with no salvation apart from it. But in his practice and in the Handbook he wrote on how to approach Muslims, he made a crucial distinction between the teachings of Islam and the people who practice it, whom he grew to respect and love.

Later in life, Tirso Gonzalez was elected superior general of the Jesuits; he served for 18 stormy years.

Emanuele Colombo, "Even among Turks": Tirso Gonzalez de Santalla (1624-1705) and Islam, Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits (2012).

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Gospel

literally "good news"

The good news or glad tidings about Jesus.

Plural. The first four works of the Christian scriptures (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) that tell the story of Jesus — each with its own particular theological emphasis — and thus invite a response of faith and hope in him.

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Gospels, Relations among the –

Although each of the gospels has its own particular theological emphasis, three of the gospels—Mark,Luke and Matthew—are quite similar in narrative structure and content. Thus they are called “synoptic” (“see together”). John is quite different.

Scholars agree that Mark was the first gospel written (c. 70 CE, 40 years after the events narrated). The author took some of the oral stories circulating about Jesus and put them together in one continuous narrative leading up to the account of Jesus’ suffering and death. Luke and Matthew (perhaps c. 80-90) had Mark to draw on and also a collection of Jesus sayings referred to as Q (firsts letter of quelle, the German word for “source”).

It is not clear whether John had any of the synoptics when he was writing
the fourth gospel (c. 100-120)., but its Jesus is quite different. Instead of preaching the coming “Kingdom” or “Reign” or “Dominion” of God, John’s
Jesus preaches himself (e.g., “I am the way the truth and the life.”). Scholars are agreed that the long discourses in John are the author’s construct. The community of John believed that Jesus was speaking to them through the
inspiration of the Spirit. The literary quality of its “short stories”—the Wedding Feast at Cana, the Man Blind from Birth, the Samaritan Woman at the Well, etc.--is very high. They are much longer than the little pieces of narrative in the synoptics. There is also a wealth of drama and symbolic detail.

Some scholars rank a fifth gospel—Coptic Thomas—as worthy of study equally with Mark, Luke, and Matthew (see “The Jesus Seminar”). It is a collection of Jesus sayings without a story line. Several of the sayings, it is claimed, go back in time closer to Jesus himself than the “canonical” (church approved) gospels. Many of the sayings are “Gnostic” in form and content—they hint of special knowledge available only to insiders.

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Grace

There has been a tendency in post-Reformation Catholic spirituality and practice (in order to counter Lutheran “errors”) to overemphasize the need for human effort (“Pelagianism”) at the expense of grace. To regain a balance, Lutherans need to make a place for human effort and Catholics need to embrace grace.

For Catholics, then, living the Christian life is less a question of avoiding sin
by avoiding the “near occasions of sin” (especially sexual sin) and more a
question of being aware of and living from the myriad opportunities that
might be called “near occasions of grace.”

For a fuller treatment of this subject, click here

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Grande, Rutilio (1928-1977)

Salvadoran Jesuit; martyr

A tortured, self-doubting priest who in the last decade of his life became fearless and a martyr.

Of mixed Indian and Spanish heritage, he was bright and gifted and yet tortured with self-doubt at every stage of his Jesuit formation. He wound up being a seminary professor of theology.

Called forth to speak against the atrocities committed by military and para-military forces, he suddenly lost all his doubts and preached so powerfully that he became a severe embarrassment to the government. He resigned from the seminary and went to work among the landless peasants of his home territory, teaching them to read and to claim their own human dignity and rights.

On March 12, 1977, he was ambushed and machine-gunned to death. His murder was the turning point in the life of his friend, Archbishop Oscar Romero. Instead of trying to please all sides, Romero started to speak out loud and clear and often against the military’s violent repression of the poor. Soon he too was killed (March 24, 1980).

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Gray, Howard (1930-  )

American Jesuit; internationally recognized interpreter of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education

Howard Gray presently serves as special assistant to the president of Georgetown University. Previously, he was founding director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and rector of the Jesuit community at John Carroll University, where he was also assistant to the president for mission and identity.

Within the Jesuit order, Gray has filled a number of leadership positions including that of provincial superior of the Detroit Province, rector of the Jesuit community at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (Cambridge, MA), and tertianship director.

Four of his best essays on Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education are re-printed in An Ignatian Spirituality Reader and A Jesuit Education Reader (both 2008).

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Guerin, Mother Theodore [born Anne Therese] (1798-1856)

Founder of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN

As a child, Anne Therese Guerin “climbed the lofty granite rocks near the shore [of the Atlantic] and walked along the beach . . . pondering the mysteries revealed in her mother’s belief that the ocean was a symbol of eternity” (Mitchell). When first one and then the other of her brothers died at an early age, her family grieved their losses. But when her father was murdered by bandits, her mother simply could not carry on. Anne Therese was 15 at the time, and for the next ten years she cared for and supported her mother and her sister, postponing her desire to enter a religious community. Finally, in August of 1823, she was able to join the Sisters of Providence at Ruille in Brittany (northwestern France).

This Providence community was only a few years old. During a mission in 1816, Pere de la Chapelle of the “Fathers of the Faith” (a name used by former Jesuits after their order was suppressed) had directed a Mlle.du Roscoat to the small community of Pere Dujarie, a diocesan priest. This little group became the Sisters of Providence of Ruille with Mlle.
du Roscoat—now Sister Marie Madeleine—as its head and foundress.

As a Sister of Providence, Anne-Therese—Sister St. Theodore—spent 17 years educating children (“First love them, then teach them”) and caring for the sick poor in her native Brittany. But in 1840, in response to a request from the bishop of Vincennes, IN, she led a group of five sisters to the U.S. to establish a motherhouse and novitiate, to educate children of pioneer families and to care for the sick poor. The place was the remote forest wilderness (now five miles NW of Terre Haute) that she grew to love and that nourished her.

In the remaining 16 years of her life, she and her sisters opened an Academy now known as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and schools throughout Indiana and eastern Illinois as well as orphanages and free pharmacies.

Today’s Sisters of Providence and those who partner with them carry on ministries here and abroad in the spirit of St. Mother Theodore:

You will see many things in new light if you give the Holy Spirit
free access to your minds and your hearts.

Try then, today, to deliver into the hands of our sweet Jesus all
the care of the future, as well as all anxiety about the past.

Love all in God and for God, and all will be well.

What will heaven be if our poor Earth is at times so beautiful?

Mitchell, Mother Theodore Guerin—Saint of God (2006)

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms H


Heartland/Delta

The Heartland/Delta Conference is a consortium of the following eleven schools within the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities: Creighton University, John Carroll University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University New Orleans, Marquette University, Regis University, Rockhurst University, St. Louis University, Spring Hill College, University of Detroit Mercy and Xavier University. Sponsored conferences include the Magis National Faculty Retreat, Heartland/Delta Faculty Conversations, and the Heartland/Delta triennial.

About the Logo
Since the first Heartland-Delta gathering in Chicago in 1994, either a tree or leaf has been the symbol of these meetings. The Acanthus leaf was first used for the Heartland-Delta IV Conference; it captured well the spirit of the gathering and consortium. One leaf, with many irregular sides, shapes and directions, and yet it retains a central vein that nourishes its growth. The universities in the Heartland-Delta group are each unique. But at their core they are centered on, and grow from, the Jesuit vision of education that is more than 450 years old.

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High Schools, Jesuit

Homepages

See Jesuit High Schools.

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Hiring & Mission

A Best Practices Approach

In order to assist University hiring committees and their chairs in addressing Jesuit, Catholic identity, departmental chairs, directors and senior administrators at Xavier University were invited to offer comments that they have found helpful in guiding meaningful discussions with candidates during the interview process.

Questions and Comments from Chairs, Directors, and Senior Administrators

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Hopkins, Gerard Manley (1844-1889)

British Jesuit; poet

One of the great lyric poets of the English language, he reached and expressed a unique, Catholic, overwhelming vision of God.

Convert from the Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism under John Henry Newman while at Oxford.

He burned all his poems when he entered the Jesuits. While studying theology, at his superior’s invitation, wrote his greatest poem, “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” a partly autobiographical ode commemorating the death of five exiled German nuns drowned at sea, exploring implications of the Incarnation, and celebrating the mystery of faith, of knowledge reaching—through love—far beyond the natural limits of intellect (“What none would have known of it, only the heart, being hard at bay, /Is out with it!”)

His poems were not published until 30 years after his death and then had a major impact on 20th-century English poetry.

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Hurtado, Alberto (1901-1952)

Chilean Jesuit; founder of El Hogar de Cristo; saint

Alberto Hurtado’s father died when he was four, and his widowed mother was forced to sell their farm to pay off debts. From then on, Alberto, his mother and brother lived with various relatives; they had to move often. So he knew what it was like to be homeless and vulnerable.

He received a scholarship to attend the Jesuit secondary school in Santiago. Already as a teenager he gave his Sunday afternoons to visiting the poor in their slums, a practice that he continued for the rest of his life. He delayed his entry into the Society of Jesus in order to help his mother financially; he worked full time and still went to college. Then he interrupted his studies to go into military service. Finally, at the age of 22, he did enter the Jesuit novitiate. He finished his novitiate training in Argentina and continued to move around—to Spain until the Society was suppressed there, then briefly to Ireland, and finally to Louvain and to Drongen in Belgium, only returning to his homeland after twelve years away.

He taught, acted as director of Catholic Action, gave retreats, and continued to keep in touch with the poor. On one retreat for women, he spoke so movingly of the hard lives of homeless people that the retreatants asked “What can we do?” And what followed was the beginning of the movement El Hogar de Cristo, which spread all over Chile and eventually to other parts of South America. Hogar means “hearth” or “home,” and so these homeless poor were welcomed into “Christ’s Home.”

In addition to his direct work with the poor, Alberto published three books—On Unions, Social Humanism, and The Christian Social Order—and started a monthly periodical Mensaje (“Message”) that continues to this day. With his canonization, people saw a ratification of his life that combined teaching and writing with ministry with the poor.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All
 

Jesuit Terms I


Ignatian

Adjective, from the noun Ignatius (of Loyola). Sometimes used in distinction to Jesuit, indicating aspects of spirituality that derive from Ignatius the lay person rather than from the later Ignatius and his religious order, the Society of Jesus.

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Ignatian Colleagues Program

This leadership opportunity, an initiative of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, supports higher education administrators throughout the ACJU in understanding and advancing the Ignatian mission on their campus.

Click here to learn more about the ICP.

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Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm

Ignatian pedagogy (from the International Center for Jesuit Education [Rome, 1993]), is a model that seeks to develop men and women of competence, conscience and compassion. Similar to the process of guiding others in the Spiritual Exercises, faculty accompany students in their intellectual, spiritual and emotional development. They do this by following the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm. Through consideration of the context of students' lives, faculty create an environment where students recollect their past experience and assimilate information from newly-provided experiences. Faculty help students learn the skills and techniques of reflection, which shapes their consciousness, and they then challenge students to action in service to others. The evaluation process includes academic mastery as well as ongoing assessments of students' well-rounded growth as persons for others.

For more information see:

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Ignatian Solidarity Network

The Ignatian Solidarity Network's purpose is to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of existing social justice and advocacy efforts that are currently present in Jesuit affiliated high schools, universities and colleges, parishes, retreat centers, independent organizations, and individuals across the nation. The network serves as a means to connect, strengthen and broaden communication among these already existing groups in order to better understand what it means to live and act upon "a faith that does justice."

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Ignatian Vision

Characteristics of the Vision

Drawing on a variety of contemporary sources which tend to confirm one another, one can construct a list of rather commonly accepted characteristics of the Ignatian/Jesuit vision. It...

  • sees life and the whole universe as a gift calling forth wonder and gratefulness;
  • gives ample scope to imagination and emotion as well as intellect;
  • seeks to find the divine in all things — in all peoples and cultures, in all areas of study and learning, in every human experience, and (for the Christian) especially in the person of Jesus;
  • cultivates critical awareness of personal and social evil, but points to God's love as more powerful than any evil;
  • stresses freedom, need for discernment, and responsible action;
  • empowers people to become leaders in service, "men and women for others", "whole persons of solidarity," building a more just and humane world.

The relative consensus about these should not be taken to indicate that the six characteristics exhaust the meaning of the living Ignatian tradition. Like the living tradition of Christian faith, of which it is a part, no number of thematic statements can adequately articulate it. At the heart of both traditions stands the living person of Jesus, who cannot be reduced to a series of ideas.

No one claims that any of these characteristics are uniquely Ignatian/Jesuit. It is rather the combination of them all and the way they fit together that make the vision distinctive and so appropriate for an age in transition—whether from the medieval to the modern in Ignatius' time, or from the modern to the postmodern in ours.

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Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Youngest child of a noble Basque family fiercely loyal to the Spanish crown (Ferdinand and Isabella), he was named Inigo after a local saint. Raised to be a courtier, he was trying valiantly to defend the fortress town of Pamplona in 1521 when a French cannonball shattered his leg. During a long convalescence, he found himself drawn away from the romances of chivalry that had filled his imagination from an early age to more spiritual reading — an illustrated life of Jesus and a collection of saints' lives.

After his recovery, he set out for the Holy Land to realize a dream of "converting the infidel." On the way he stopped first at the Benedictine Abbey of Monsterrat where he made a confession of his whole life and held an all-night vigil before the Black Madonna.  There he hung up his sword and dagger; effectively, his old life was over and his new life had begun.  Next he went to the nearby town of Manresa and wound up spending nearly a year there during which he experienced both the depths of despair and great times of enlightenment.

Ordered to leave Palestine after being there little more than a month, Ignatius decided that he needed an education in order to be able to "help souls." In Barcelona, he went to school with boys a quarter his age to learn the rudiments of Latin grammar, then moved on to several Spanish university cities. In each he was imprisoned and interrogated by the Inquisition, because he kept speaking to people about "spiritual things," having neither a theology degree nor priestly ordination.

Finally, turning his back on his homeland, he went to the foremost university of the time, the University of Paris, where he began his education all over again and with diligence, after five years, was finally awarded the degree "Master of Arts." It was here at Paris that he changed his Basque name to the Latin Ignatius and its Spanish equivalent Ignacio.

While at the university, he had roomed with and become good friends with a fellow Basque named Francis Xavier and a Savoyard named Peter Faber. After graduation, these three, together with several other Paris graduates, undertook a process of communal discernment and decided to bind themselves together in an apostolic community that became the Society of Jesus. Unanimously elected superior by his companions, Ignatius spent the last 16 years of his life in Rome directing the fledgling order, while the others went all over Europe, to the Far East, and eventually to the New World. And wherever they went they founded schools as a means of helping people to "find God in all things."

A Biography of St. Ignatius Loyola: The Founder of the Jesuits
George Traub, S.J. and Debra Mooney, Ph.D.

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Ignatius of Loyola, Marian influence

See "Montserrat, Our Lady of".

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IHS

IHS seal

The first three letters, in Greek, of the name Jesus. These letters appear as a symbol on the official seal of the Society of Jesus or Jesuits.

IMAGE RIGHT: The seal of the Society of Jesus being lifted ontoBellarmine Chapel on the campus of Xavier University.

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Incarnation, The (from the Latin meaning “enfleshment”)

The central Christian doctrine: the enfleshment of God (pure spirit) in Jesus, God’s becoming fully human in Jesus (and because of Jesus in other human beings).

In the theology of St. Paul’s letters (part of the New Testament, the Christian bible), human beings are “the body of Christ.” And “as the body of Christ on earth, we can continue to do all the things that Jesus did and, as Jesus himself assures us, we can even do greater things (John 14:12) . . . . Our Christian faith informs us that we are the body of Christ—flesh, blood, tangible, visible, physical, available to be touched, and all of this definitely and clearly residing in nameable persons on this earth. We are the ongoing incarnation of God, the anointed ones of God, Christ” (Rolheiser, Against an Infinite Horizon).

This doctrine, it is said, is too good to be true. Actually, it is good enough to be true of the God that is God.

See “Jesus.”
See “Judaeo-Christian Vision.”

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Incarnation, Why the -

Why did God choose to become human? In one traditional Christian theology, God chose to become human to repair the evil of human sin. In one strain of this tradition associated with Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), God did this so that in Jesus—both human and divine—God could be paid back—appeased—for the insult of human sin. Increasingly today Christian theologians find the view of God implied here offensive. Further, they are saying that God would have become human whether human beings sinned or not. God freely chose to become human because God is God—absolute self-giving love. God freely chose to become human because God wanted to give God’s self to us human beings by becoming one of us in Jesus. And Jesus did overcome sin by the way he died—in the cross not returning evil for evil.

See “Trinity.” 

See “Grace.”

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Inculturation

A modern theological concept that expresses a principle of Christian mission implicit in Ignatian spirituality — namely, that the gospel needs to be presented to any given culture in terms intelligible to that culture and allowed to grow up in the "soil" of that culture; God is already present and active there ("God's action is antecedent to ours"-Jesuit General Congregation 34 [1995], "Our Mission and Culture").

Thus in the first century Saint Paul fought against the imposition of Jewish practices on non-Jewish Christians. And in the 16th and 17th centuries, Jesuits like Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and Roberto de Nobili (1577-1656) fought to retain elements of Chinese and Indian culture in presenting a de-Europeanized Christianity to those peoples, only to have their approach condemned by the Church in the 18th century.

Ideally, the gospel and a culture mutually interact, and in the process the gospel embraces some elements of the culture while offering a critique of others.

Continuing the Legacy of St. Ignatius Loyola: A Pioneer in International Education
Laura Hellebusch, International Student Advisor, Xavier University

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Index of Forbidden Books (1557-1966) --

A list of forbidden authors and their books first issued by order of Pope Paul IV in 1557 and 41 more editions until it was discontinued in 1966 (the year after the Second Vatican Council closed). The Index covered fields like literature, philosophy and theology and eventually included some four thousand titles. Originally it prohibited publishers from publishing the works listed and, after that could no longer be enforced, it still by church law forbade Catholics to read them.

Since 1966, the Vatican issues “warnings” when it finds works dangerous to Catholic faith and morals, as with some posthumous works of Jesuit Anthony De Mello (1998) and books by Sisters Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ (Quest for the Living God) and Margaret Farley, RSM (Just Love).

See “Doctrinal Congregation.”

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Infallibility, Papal

In 1870 Vatican Council I declared that the pope, under very special and limited conditions, cannot err in teaching matters of Catholic faith and morals, that is, in teaching what belongs to divine revelation. Perhaps only once since then has there been a clear and unmistakable exercise of this power: Pius XII’s definition in 1950 that the Blessed Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus) was at the end of her life bodily “assumed” into heaven (the “Assumption”).

Pius IX, who lost his territories (the papal states) with the unification of Italy, was still pope at the time of Vatican I. Questions have been raised about whether the freedom of the council fathers was jeopardized by a climate of social pressure to vote with the defeated pope. John Henry Newman, convert from Anglo-Catholicism to Roman, thought adoption of infallibility a disaster. But, whatever reservations they may have, a good number of Catholic theologians accept the work of the council.

A more live issue in the time since Vatican II is the problem of “creeping infallibility.” That term is used to describe the tendency of recent popes and heads of the doctrinal congregation to claim that teachings like Paul VI’s encyclical (1968) condemning “artificial” contraception and John Paul II’s apostolic letter (1994) on the non-ordainability of women, though not presented formally as infallibly defined, nevertheless have a force of infallibility behind them; and non-adherence can bring with it excommunication.

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Interpretation of Scripture, The Place of Faith in

See "Faith in the Interpretation of Scripture, The Place of"

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Inter-Religious Dialogue

See Religions, Non-Christian.

Documents on inter-religious dialogue at Creighton University

The Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life at Boston College

The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University

Reflections of a Muslim Faculty Member at a Jesuit University, Anas Malik, Ph.D.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms J

Javier

Common Spanish spelling of the name "Xavier."

Jesuit

Noun. A member of the Society of Jesus. The term was originally coined as a put-down by people who felt there was something terribly arrogant about a group calling itself the Company or Society of Jesus, whereas previous religious orders had been content to name themselves after their founder (e.g., "Benedictines," "Franciscans," "Dominicans"). Later the title was adopted as a shorthand name by members of the Society themselves, as well as by others favorable to them.

Adjective. Pertaining to the Society of Jesus. The negative term, now that Jesuit has been rehabilitated, is Jesuitical meaning "sly" or "devious."

For more information, see Society of Jesus.

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Jesuit Colleges and Universities

Jesuit Colleges and Universities Worldwide

Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States

Homepages (Year Founded)

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Jesuit Education

See Education, Jesuit

 

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Jesuit Education 21

Ten years after the historic ?Assembly ?89? at Georgetown, St. Joseph?s University in Philadelphia hosted ?Jesuit Education 21,? a conference that brought several hundred people from Jesuit schools across the country, to consider the ?future of Jesuit higher education.? Unlike Assembly ?89, here lay women and men outnumbered Jesuits, reflecting the actual situation in the schools. The quality of too many presentations was not high, but two outstanding plenary addresses made important statements about the current problematic, about the challenges facing Jesuit higher ed as we approached the second millennium.

In his keynote address, Peter Steinfels, long of the New York Times and author of the recent study of American Catholicism A People Adrift, spoke of the ?feeling that these [mission] efforts remain like beachheads, still isolated conquests that threaten to remain just that and never coalesce into a break-out that would establish secure territory for the colleges and universities to flourish,? both as academic institutions and as institutions that operate with a clear religious mission.

Brennan O?Donnell, then professor of English at Loyola Baltimore and editor of Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, saw the most important challenge as ?getting the faculty?or at least a critical mass of it?involved fully as faculty?:

 

Conversations about Jesuit identity can go on a long time without anyone mentioning issues such as the Jesuit university's opportunity--or responsibility--to be a center for scholarly inquiry into (and in) the Catholic intellectual tradition, or its ability to offer intellectual guidance and scholarly support in the dialogue of faith and culture, or to function as a beacon in the American intellectual scene for powerful new thinking on issues of justice, or to be a place where some of the more relativistic, anti-religious, and even nihilistic recent trends in the humanities are challenged and the ideals of educating for human freedom anapologetically upheld. . . . The greatest shortcoming ... [is the] relative failure thus far to challenge a majority of the faculty to think their day-to-day teaching and scholarly life as shaped by their being at a Jesuit institution.

 

Both addresses are included in Jesuit Education 21: Conference Proceedings on the Future of Jesuit Higher Education, ed. Martin Tripole (Philadelphia: St. Joseph?s University Press, 2000).


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Jesuit High Schools

Jesuit High Schools Worldwide

Jesuit High Schools in the United States

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Jesuit History

Jesuit history falls into two parts separated by the period of suppression (1773-1814): (1) the ?Old Society,? 1540-1773, and (2) the ?New Society,? 1814-present. To read about ?Jesuit History in Brief,? click here.

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Jesuit History: A Timeline of Milestones

1491 - Ignatius Loyola is born in the Basque region of northeastern Spain

1521 - While Ignatius is defending Pamplona, cannon fire shatters his right knee

1522 - Ignatius stays in the town of Manresa while struggling with his relationship with himself and God; this experience forms the basis of his Spiritual Exercises.

1528 - Ignatius begins schooling at the University of Paris where he meets Francis Xavier, Pierre Favre and other early companions.

1537 - Ignatius and companions are ordained

1540 - Pope Paul III gives Ignatius and companions official approval to found the Society of Jesus

1541 - Ignatius is elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus

1548 - The first Jesuit college opens in Messina, Sicily

1556 - Ignatius dies in Rome; 34 Jesuit schools have been founded

1773 - The Society is suppressed by order of Pope Clement XIV

1789 - Georgetown University is founded, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States.

1814 - The suppression is ended by Pope Pius VII with the Papal bull "Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum."

1954 - Wheeling Jesuit University is founded, the youngest of the Jesuit universities in the United States

1965 - Pedro Arrupe is elected the 28th Superior General of the Society

1975 - General Congregation 32 declares that the hallmark of any work deserving the name Jesuit is its "service of faith" of which the "promotion of justice" is an absolute requirement.

1983 - Peter-Hans Kolvenbach is elected the 29th Superior General of the Society, which now returns to its own governance.

1996 - The Cristo Rey model of college-preparatory education for inner-city youth is inaugurated with the founding of Cristo Rey High School in Chicago

2006 - This Jesuit Jubilee year marks the 450th anniversary of the death of Ignatius and the 500th anniversary of the births of his companions Francis Xavier and Pierre Favre.

2008 - Adolfo Nicolás is elected the 30th Superior General of the Society

2013 - Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected the 266th pope, the first from the Society of Jesus, and takes the name 'Francis."
 

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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

The mission of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, sponsored by the Society of Jesus, is to accompany, serve and defend persons driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of other human rights.

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Jesuit Volunteer Corps

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps provides essential services to low-income people and those who live on the margins of our society. Over 275 JVs each year work for and with people who are homeless, unemployed, refugees, people with AIDS, the elderly, street youth, abused women and children, and people with mental illness or developmental disabilities. JVC has become the largest Catholic volunteer program in the country.

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Jesuits and Jews

On more than one occasion, Ignatius of Loyola, as elected leader of the newly-founded Jesuit order, was heard to say that he would like to have been born of Jewish blood because he would then be closer to Christ our Lord. His attitude here is remarkable because there were strong negative feelings against New Christians -- people descended from recent converts to Christianity from Judaism or Islam -- in his native Basque territory and in all the Iberian Peninsula. New Christians were simply not trusted as genuine Christians and so were forbidden to hold office in church or state.

Diego Lainez, one of the original companions at the University of Paris, was elected to succeed Ignatius as superior general. He was of Jewish blood, and so was Juan de Polanco, Ignatius' secretary and collaborator in the writing of thousands of letters and of the Jesuit Constitutions. But powerful figures like the Archbishop of Toledo tried to force the Society to abide by their limpieza de sangre ("purity of blood") proscriptions.

The same strong front against limpieza continued during the generalates of Lainez and Borja (the third general). But then trouble came. Polanco was the obvious choice to succeed Borja, but a small minority of Jesuits mostly from Portugal lobbied Pope Gregory XIII to decree that the next Jesuit head could not come from Spain. Jesuits on both sides of the question knew what the real reason was for the prohibition. The next general congregation elected Everard Mercurian, a Belgian.

Antonio Possevino, an Italian Jesuit likely of Jewish lineage and Mercurian's secretary for several years, wrote a long and compelling "Memorial" to his leader, arguing the urgent need for action -- a letter -- from the general because he alone had the authority to address the growing dissention within the Society. It would be a call for unity and faithfulness to Ignatius' constitutional principles and practice of non-discrimination. The letter that Possevino called for was never written. The issue did not go away.

"Possevino foresaw, with a clarity that few men of his generation possessed, that the effort to exclude New Christians would inevitably lead to the exclusion of other groups." It would have important implications for the Jesuit mission to non-Europeans. 

See Thomas M Cohen, "Jesuits and New Christians: The Contested Legacy of St. Ignatius," Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits (Autumn 2010).

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Jesuits, Famous and Not-so-famous

Alphabetical List of

In his excellent book Ignatian Humanism, historical theologian Ron Modras devotes five chapters to the lives of five Jesuits who, he believes, exemplify the Ignatian humanism he has described in earlier chapters. No claim is made that the biographical mini-essays scattered through this A-Z section of our jesuitresource.org website are illustrative of Jesuit spirituality to the same degree. But taken as a group, these 60-some bios surely add up to more than just a bunch of individual pieces. See what you think. Look for the mini-biographies of the following men and woman under their individual names:

Jesus

Jesus [the] Christ, meaning Jesus [God's] anointed one

The historical person Jesus of Nazareth whom Christians acknowledge to be, by his life (what he taught and did) and his death and resurrection, the true revelation of God and at the same time the exemplar of what it means to be fully human. In other words, for Christians, Jesus shows what God is like and how they can live in response to this revelation: God is the compassionate giver of life who invites and empowers human beings, in freedom, together with one another, to work toward overcoming the forces of evil ? meaninglessness, guilt, oppression, suffering and death ? that diminish people and keep them from growing toward ever fuller life.

In his Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius has the retreatant devote most of the time to "contemplating" (i.e., imaginatively entering into) the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, so as to become more and more a companion of Jesus. And when Ignatius and his companions from the University of Paris decided to establish a religious order, he insisted that it be called the Company or Society of Jesus [see "Jesuit" ? noun].

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Jesus' Prophetic Ministry

A Response to the Oppressive Culture of His Time 

Jesus was first and foremost a prophet, a human being with an intense experience of God and God?s love for him and for all of God?s creation.  His prophetic ministry can best be understood in the light of a first-century Palestine dominated by a system of oppression that kept the vast majority of people in hopeless need.  Collusion between the occupying forces of Rome and the Jewish religious leaders (Temple and Sanhedrin) maintained this oppressive culture.  Jesus challenged these powers and offered a picture of how peoples? lives could be radically different in an alternative world he called the ?Reign of God,? a world intended for them here and now by a good and compassionate God.

Jesus challenged the status quo and offered his alternative vision through stories (?parables?) and sayings that

were often not about religious realities but about daily political, economic, and social affairs       such as farming and taxes, childbirth and parenting, baking and dinner parties, prostitution and  money lending. They were exposures of wicked kings and dishonest land owners and abusive patriarchs. When they did touch explicitly on religion they were not exhortations to more exact liturgical practice, to humble submission to the authorities who were God?s representatives, or to financial support of the Temple.  They were characteristically directed against the hypocrisy of religious officials who talked a pious game but did not practice what they preached (see Matt 23:3, and against the ritualistic practices used to cover over hard-hearted moralism imposed on people whose grinding daily reality could not ?measure up? to elitist demands (see Luke 13:9-14).  [Schneiders, Buying the Field, p. 475]    

He also challenged the dominant culture with provocative individual acts like cleansing the temple and by repeated practices like sharing the intimacy of table fellowship with people that contemporary conventional morality ostracized--?tax collectors (= extortionists) and sinners (= prostitutes)?.  No wonder that the ?powers? had to ?eliminate? him or suffer the loss of their world.

Sandra Schneiders, Buying the Field (2013), pp. 474-481.

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Jesus Seminar, The

A group of New Testament scholars and other interested people led by Robert Funk (The Westar Institute).

 Especially active in the 1980s and 1990s, it sought and gained a certain notoriety because of its method, at meetings, of voting on the sayings of Jesus to determine whether and how far they go back to Jesus himself:

? definitely what Jesus said (red bead)
? Jesus probably said something like this (pink bead)
? Jesus did not say any such thing, though it may contain
an idea Jesus had (gray bead)
? Jesus did not say any thing like it; it was added by a
later community or the gospel writer (black bead).

More recently the Seminar voted on the acts (deeds) of Jesus in a similar way.

Among the best known members of the Seminar are John Dominic Crossan (Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography [1995]) on the left and Marcus Borg (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Revelance of a Religious Revolutionary [2008]), closer to main stream NT scholarship. Borg invested time with one of the best of more conservative scholars, the British (Anglican) N. T. Wright? The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (2007). Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University is a major critic of the Jesus Seminar.

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Juana, SJ (1535-1573)

The only woman known to have lived and died a Jesuit

Second daughter of Emperor Charles V, Juana was married in 1552 to Joao Manuel, the heir apparent to the Portuguese throne. They were married only two years when her husband died. Shortly thereafter her brother Philip (II), who had married Mary Tudor of England, appointed her Regent of Spain in his absence. And in that same year (1554), Juana approached superiors of the Society of Jesus about becoming a Jesuit. Careful debate and deliberation followed. As Lisa Fullam, a specialist on Juana, puts it: ?Juana, widowed at nineteen, was an eminently marriageable young woman. To admit her to the Society would risk enraging her father the Emperor, himself no fan of the Jesuits. But at the same time, to refuse her request was to risk the displeasure of the Regent of Spain... a move that could have serious consequences for the work of the Society there? (?Juana, SJ,? Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. [November 1999]).

In their hushed deliberations, Jesuit superiors used the name ?Matteo Sanchez? for Juana. They considered many other factors in her case. In the end, they decided to admit her in secret as a ?scholastic,? a Jesuit with first vows in the process of formation. And all through her short life?she died a Jesuit at 38?they continued to care for her growth in the spirit.

The life of Juana provides an opportunity to clarify, not just her own case, but the larger question of Ignatius and the Society in regard to women. As Fullam sums up:

[M]ost women in Ignatius?s time could not embody the availability for mission that is essential to the Jesuit charism. Ignatius?s group was a religious order. The question of the admission of women to the Society was, in most cases, a non-starter in Ignatius?s time, because women were either cloistered if they were religious, or not religious if they were not cloistered. On grounds of mobility Ignatius consistently rejected the idea of women belonging to the Society. And Juana?s admission underscores the idea that sex cannot be the deciding issue here?Juana was no less a woman after her admission than before. What she was after her admission was a woman living under the religious vows of the Society of Jesus while substantially assisting the Society?s work in Spain. To an unusual extent, Juana was able to overcome the catch-22 that kept most women from being able to live as Jesuits: her political influence was an avenue to a kind of apostolic availability for the work of the Society, and at the same time it served as leverage that enabled her to force the question of her admission on the Jesuit leadership. And, as it turned out, they let her in. Beyond that, they admitted her in a strikingly ordinary way. The infanta Juana, Regent of Spain, became?a scholastic. An extraordinary person in extraordinary circumstances was seen to fit into a very ordinary niche. It is her ordinary admission, freely undertaken, that is salient about Juana?s case: when all was said and done, the Jesuits decided that Juana was a Jesuit?an unusual Jesuit, to be sure, but a Jesuit nonetheless. (ibid.)

A Woman Jesuit

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Judaeo-Christian Vision

Here is a version of the Judaeo-Christian vision or story, told with certain emphases from Ignatius of Loyola.

The great and mysterious Reality of personal love and self-giving that many call God is the origin and destiny of all creation, the whole universe. God is present and at work in everything, leading it to fulfillment. All things are originally good and potentially means for those creatures called human beings to find the God who made and works in them. Still, none of these things are God, and therefore they are all radically limited.

Indeed, in the case of human beings (who somehow image God in a special way), their relative freedom results in a new dimension of being whereby not just good but also evil exists in the world: selfishness, war, domination ? racial, sexual, economic, environmental ? of some over others. Human history, then, is marked by a struggle between the forces of good, or "life," and evil, or "death."

God has freely chosen to side with struggling, flawed humanity by participating more definitively in human life and living it "from the inside" in the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth. This irrevocable commitment of God to the human enterprise grounds and invites people's response of working with God toward building a community of justice, love and peace?the "kingdom" or "reign" of God that Jesus preached and lived.

As with Jesus, so for his followers, it takes discernment ? a finely tuned reading of oneself and one's culture in the Spirit of God ? to recognize in any given situation what helps the coming of God's reign and what hinders it. In the face of human selfishness and evil, the way ultimately entails self-giving, going through suffering and death in order to gain life ? indeed, life everlasting. And along the way, because the followers of Jesus are wary of idolizing anyone or anything (that is, making a god of them), they are less likely to become disillusioned with themselves or others or human history for all its weight of personal and social evil. Rather do they continue to care about people and the human enterprise, for their hope is in God, the supreme Reality of personal love and self-giving.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms K

Kingdom, The (or Reign of God)

Jesus preached that ?God?s Reign? (or ?Kingdom? or ?Dominion?) was breaking into the world in his time. That reign was not a secular political rule, but a blessed condition of God?s presence creating healing, justice, love, and peace.

As an introduction to the second week of the Spiritual Exercises (the period of contemplating Jesus? life), Ignatius presents the figure of an ideal human
ruler and asks whether you would follow him (her) no matter how great the cost. Then, he reasons, how much more would you want to follow Christ the King in working to bring about God?s Kingdom or Reign. Thus, in the context of the ?faith that does justice,? the Kingdom becomes a ?future construct? against which to recognize, critique, and work to overturn the evils in this world?especially the unjust structures that dominate the poor.
 


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Kino, Eusebio (1644-1711) [in German, Eusebio Kühn]

Italian/German Jesuit; missioner; explorer

Born near Trent in the Italian Alps, Eusebio Kino entered the Jesuits in the Upper [that is, southern] German Province. In addition to the usual Jesuit studies in the humanities, philosophy, and theology, he also studied geography and cartography. In 1681, he went to the Mexican Province mission in Sonora-lower Arizona-California and served there for the rest of his life. He started with the already established Jesuit missions along the Sierra Madre and spread out from there both east and west, often mapping the territory as he went along; he seemed to live in the saddle. With the native people he started cattle ranches and introduced European cereals and fruits to their farms. Also a diarist, he chronicled the growth of the church on this frontier.

In 1965 the state of Arizona dedicated a statue of Kino in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

See Polzer, Kino a Legend: His Life, His Works, His Missions, His Monuments (1998).

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Kolvenbach, Peter-Hans

(1928- )

Dutch-born superior general of the Society of Jesus from 1983, when the Jesuits were allowed to return to their own governance after a time of papal "intervention," until 2008, when he resigned at the age of 80.

He entered the Jesuits in 1948, went to Lebanon in the mid-1950s, earned a doctorate from the famous Saint Joseph's University in Beirut, and spent much of his life there, first as a professor of linguistics and then as superior of the Jesuit vice-province of the Middle East.

By his own admission, he was relatively "ignorant of matters pertaining to justice and injustice," when he went from Beirut to Rome for Jesuit General Congregation 32 and witnessed the faith-justice emphasis emerge from the Congregation under the leadership of Pedro Arrupe [see "The Service Faith and the Promotion of Justice"]. Still, as superior general, he worked tirelessly in collaboration with his advisors to implement and extend the direction in which his predecessor had been leading the Society [see "Men and Women for Others"/"Whole Persons of Solidarity for the Real World"].

He leaves a legacy to Jesuit higher education in a series of major addresses, most notably at Georgetown University (Assembly '89) and at Santa Clara University (2000).

Addresses of Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. delivered at American universities

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms L

LaFarge, John (1880-1963)

American Jesuit; editor, journalist, founder of the Catholic interracial movement in the U.S.

Spent 15 years in pastoral ministry in the Jesuit rural missions of St. Mary?s County, southern Maryland, largely among African Americans.

From 1926 until his death, associate editor of America, the national Jesuit weekly review.

For more than 35 years, carried on his long apostolate for interracial justice in the pages of America, on the lecture platform, and principally through the formation across the country of the Catholic Interracial Councils and their organ, the Interracial Review.

Besides numerous journal articles and reviews, his published works include Interracial Justice (1937), The Race Question and the Negro (1953), The Manner Is Ordinary, his autobiography (1954), and An American Amen (1958).

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Lainez, Diego (1512-1565)

Spanish Jesuit; one of first companions; second superior general

Of Jewish descent (his great-grandfather was a convert) Lainez was one of the great men of Catholic reform?especially through his work as papal theologian at the Council of Trent (3 sessions between 1545 and 1563). Two years after Ignatius?s death, he was elected second superior general of the Society.

There is a biography by Joseph Fichter titled James Lainez, Jesuit (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1944).

The last name is sometimes spelled Laynez.

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Laity

Lay person/lay people

The people of a religious faith as distinguished from its clergy; within Catholic circles, however, members of religious communities who are not ordained (i.e. "sisters" and "brothers") are often popularly associated with priests and bishops and not with lay people. (It would be more accurate to see them as neither, as having their own unique role and style of life; see "Religious Order/Religious Life.")

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) understood the church inclusively--not just as hierarchy (bishops and pope) and clergy (priests and deacons), but as the whole people of God. It declared that all the baptized, by the very fact of their baptism, are called to holiness and to ministry. (Earlier, lay people were said to participate in the ministry belonging exclusively to clergy and hierarchy.)

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Land O' Lakes Conference (1967)

 

Just a few years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, twenty-some leaders in American Catholic higher education [including Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame and Paul Reinert of St. Louis] met on two different occasions and produced what is now commonly referred to as the "Land O'Lakes Statement," after the Wisconsin location of their meeting. The statement was an important preparation for the worldwide conference "The Catholic University in the Modern World" held in Kinshasa, Congo, the following year. That conference issued a brief declaration, many of whose points were taken from the Land O' Lakes statement. The two statements together informed the dialogue that ensued between American Catholic universities on the one hand and American bishops and the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education on the other. This dialogue led gradually into the composition of various drafts of Pope John Paul II's apostolic constitution on Catholic universities [Ex Corde Ecclesiae ("From the Heart of the Church")], which was published in final form in August 1990 (A Jesuit Education Reader, ed. George W. Traub [2008]).

 

See Ex Corde Ecclesiae

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LeMoyne, Simon (1604-1697)

French Jesuit; missioner to New France; peace negotiator

Simon LeMoyne arrived in Quebec city in 1638 and soon went to Wendake (earlier called the Huron territory), where John Brebeuf and other Jesuits and lay volunteers labored. He became proficient in the Wendat, Iroquois, and Algonquin languages. Indeed, among the 300 French Jesuits who would serve on the New France mission in the 17th and 18th centuries, he knew the native languages and the nuances of their oratory and diplomacy best (MacDonnell, Jesuit Family Album (1997).

LeMoyne survived the Mohawk destruction of the Wendat-French community (see ?Brebeuf, John?) and went on to negotiate peace (1654) with another branch of the Five Nations (Iroquois), the Onondagas, near the site of present-day Syracuse, NY. When the New York Jesuits established a school in Syracuse in 1946, they named it LeMoyne College in honor of Simon LeMoyne.

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Liberal Arts Tradition, Education in the

Liberal arts education (from the Latin liber meaning ?free?) means education that develops a truly free person, a person capable of living a life of wise and responsible citizenship. The concept goes back to classical Greece and Rome, but the content has changed somewhat over the centuries. Today such education would include study, not just of humanities like philosophy, theology, literature and history, but also mathematics and the physical and social sciences. It is broad education that enables the learner to use different methods of knowing and integrate different fields of knowledge. It is opposed to specialized education when that education is narrow and isolated from the larger world of a variety of disciplines and from human experience itself.

Christianity?especially but not exclusively Catholic Christianity?has had an important role to play in liberal arts education because of its conviction that faith and reason are not opposed to each other but complementary. Although professional higher education had its birth in Europe in the Christian Middle Ages, it was Muslim learning (?the Arabs?) that brought the medieval university its foundational materials?classical Greek philosophy. In the Renaissance (15th and 16th centuries), the ?humanists?, reacting against the university?s focus on objective knowledge (which does not touch the whole person), promoted (classical) literature as a ?holistic? teacher of good morals and responsible citizenship. Jesuit education, which began in the mid-16th century and soon became the first worldwide system of schools, drew on the best of both traditions, medieval and humanist. Closer to our own time and place, the (mostly Protestant) liberal arts college played a significant part in 19th- and early 20th-century America, although too many liberal arts colleges lost their heart when they let go of their religious character, moving from seminary to lay education.

In the 21st century, liberal arts education has come under attack as never before for being irrelevant to securing well-paying employment?a claim asserted but not clearly substantiated. In this era of the Great Recession with high unemployment in general and a serious decline in the kind of jobs that enabled people in the second half of the 20th century to enter the middle class and thrive, it is hard to justify an expensive education that offers seemingly vague goals like living wisely and justly and being able to adapt and change more than it does earning a good living right now. Still, the two goals are not mutually exclusive.
While U.S. higher education may be going through a decline in interest in liberal arts programs, European universities (and some elsewhere) seem to be establishing them in increasing numbers. But here it must be remembered that England, France and Germany, for instance, with their traditional, highly selective, university-preparatory education programs (lycee, gymnasium) have long had liberal arts education (although only for the few) at the secondary level.
 

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Liberation Theology

A movement within Latin American Catholic theology and spirituality since the 1950s and 60s that reads the Christian gospel from the standpoint of the poor. In Latin America there is hardly a middle class, and 5% of the population controls 80% of the wealth. Liberation theology has the gospel?and the Hebrew prophets?address the unjust social, economic and political structures that keep the poor powerless. It claims that salvation is not just something that happens in the next life, but that it must bring freedom and dignity and a fair share of the world?s goods in this life to all, especially those who suffer oppression.

Some means of bringing about liberation are small Christian base communities where the gospel is applied to the life situation of the poor, programs that teach reading and in the process self-esteem, and labor organizing to secure more just wages. Such activities have stirred up the powerful to new levels of repression including the killing of religious leaders who empower the poor.

The Vatican and the majority of local (Latin American) church leadership have been wary about liberation theology, seeing it as more Marxist than Christian and determined to uphold traditional church order (where many bishops come from and are aligned with the wealthy and powerful).

For a fuller treatment, click here.

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Life and Work of Apostolic Women Religious in the U.S. after Vatican II

See "Women Religious"

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Liturgy

From the Greek meaning the ?peoples? work.?

The term liturgy expresses an essential of worship as understood by the pioneers who prepared the way for the Vatican II document on the renewal of Catholic worship?namely, that it is not just something the priest does, but rather is the work of the whole congregation, all the people. In this, it is consistent with the later council document on the Church as not just the hierarchy but the whole ?people of God.?

The Catholic liturgy includes all the sacraments, but especially the Eucharist, commonly called the Mass, now seen actually to have two parts?the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the former, people listen to God?s word (scripture), what God has done for them; and in the latter people respond to God by joining Jesus in a great prayer of thanksgiving and praise?the Eucharistic Prayer.

Another part of liturgical worship is the Liturgy of the Hours, composed of psalms (and other songs) as well as readings from scripture and other religious writings. It is cele- brated daily by the members of monastic communities (both women and men) at speci-
fied times throughout the day and night (the ?Hours?). Individual parts of it?for example, evensong?are also celebrated, usually on an occasional basis, in some parish churches.

See ?Sacrament.?

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Locatelli, Paul (1938-2010)

American Jesuit; president of Santa Clara University; leader for Jesuit higher ed

After graduating in business from Santa Clara in 1960 and serving two years in the U.S. Army, Paul Locatelli entered the Jesuits in 1962. In addition to the regular Jesuit course of formation and education, he earned a doctorate in business (accountancy) from the University of Southern California. He joined the faculty of Santa Clara in 1974, was soon recognized as an outstanding teacher, and rose from dean of the Business School to academic vice president. In 1988 he became Santa Clara?s 27th president. His 20 years in the role were marked by a rise in academic standards, prodigious fund raising, a 200% expansion of campus facilities, and a nearly ten-fold increase in the university?s endowment.

Perhaps his greatest contribution came in his later years with his writing and speaking about the Jesuit Catholic mission in higher education. He is thought to have drafted the landmark address?noted not just for content but for power of expression?that Jesuit superior general Peter-Hans Kolvenbach gave to a national audience at Santa Clara in October of 2000. He followed this up with his own talk on solidarity at John Carroll five years later. In 2007, Kolvenbach appointed him to coordinate Jesuit higher ed internationally and only his premature death from pancreatic cancer halted what he might have accomplished here (in his last months he may have been the principal drafter of the address that the new superior general Adolfo Nicolas delivered to an international audience in Mexico City in April 2010).

Kolvenbach, ?The Service of Faith and the Promotions of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education? [a précis of the address can be found in ?Jesuit A to Z? under ?Whole Persons of Solidarity for the Real World?]
Locatelli, ?The Catholic University of the 21st Century: Educating for Solidarity?
Nicolas, ?Depth, Universality, and Learned Ministry: Challenges to Jesuit Higher Education Today?


Lonergan, Bernard (1904-1984)

Canadian Jesuit; philosopher, theologian, interdisciplinary scholar of ?method.?

Concerned with the crisis caused by Christianity?s difficulty in making the transition to modern society and culture (Theology ?has somehow to mediate God?s meaning into the whole of human affairs?).

Inspired by what Thomas Aquinas did for Christianity in somewhat similar circumstances in the 13th century.

Professor of theology at Jesuit theologates in Montreal and Toronto (Insight: A Study of Human Understanding [1959]), Rome, again Toronto (Method in Theology [1972], and finally at Boston College (work on an economics neither capitalist nor Marxist).

Conducted a now-famous ?Institute in the Philosophy of Education? at Xavier University in August of 1959.

The University of Toronto Press is gradually issuing the Collected Works in 20 volumes.

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Lopez Quintana, Amando (1936-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Lopez y Lopez, Joaquin (1918-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Loyola

The House of Loyola's coat of arms

Loyola is a town in the Basque Country of northeastern Spain, where Ignatius (of Loyola) was born and raised. The name Loyola may be derived from the Spanish Lobo-y-olla, meaning wolf and kettle. This image is found carved in stone on the castle where Ignatius was raised. The image reflects a legend that the family prepared enough food to feed themselves and the wolves in the area.  It has become a symbol of hospitality and generosity.  The coat of arms of the House of Loyola is depicted in the crests of many universities and schools.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms M

Magis

Latin for "more"

The "Continuous Quality Improvement" term traditionally used by Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits, suggesting the spirit of generous excellence in which ministry should be carried on. (See A.M.D.G.-"For the greater glory of God.")

Rethinking Magis
Trudelle Thomas, Xavier University

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Manresa

Town in northeastern Spain where in 1522-1523 a middle-aged layman named Ignatius of Loyola had the powerful spiritual experiences that led to his famous "Spiritual Exercises" and later guided the founding and the pedagogy of Jesuit schools.

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Marquette, Jacques (1637-1675)

French Jesuit; missionary friend of native Americans; explorer

Jacques Marquette spoke six Amerindian languages and befriended many different native tribes. A report to Rome observed that the Indians ?have great veneration for the Black Robes . . . [They] slept on the ground, exposed themselves to all privations, did not ask for money? (quoted by Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus, 1986).

Marquette established the Mission of St. Ignace (named for Ignatius) opposite Mackinac Island.

He concluded correctly that the Mississippi River did not run into the Atlantic (as many thought), but into the Gulf of Mexico.

He was only 38 when he died.  He is one of two Jesuits memorialized with a statue in the U.S. Capitol.

There is a full-length biography by Joseph P. Donnelly?Jacques Marquette: 1637-1675 (Loyola U P, 1968).

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Martin-Baro, Ignacio (1942-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Martini, Carlo Maria (1927-2012 )

Italian Jesuit; scripture scholar and cardinal archbishop

For many years, professor of New Testament at the Jesuit-run Pontifical biblical Institute in Rome and eventually its head.

Against the tradition and rule of the Jesuits who consider it acceptable and safe to become a bishop only in poor and difficult mission territories, made a bishop by Pope John Paul II. He was appointed Archbishop of Milan and soon thereafter named cardinal. He distinguished himself as a good pastor and preacher and able administrator of the huge Milan archdiocese.

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Martyrs of the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)

On November 16, 1989, shortly after 1:00 a.m., six Jesuit priests at the Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas" (UCA) were assassinated along with their housekeeper and her daughter by the Atlacatl commando unit of the Salvadoran military.

Those killed in the attack were:

  • Ignacio Ellacuria, 59, rector of the Central American University, native of the Basque region of Spain
  • Ignacio Martin-Baro, 50, vice-rector, founder and director of the Public Opinion Institute
  • Segundo Montes, 56, a sociology professor and Jesuit priest who did work on Salvadoran refugees in the United States
  • Arnando Lopez, 53, a philosophy professor and Jesuit priest
  • Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, 71, a native Salvadoran Jesuit priest, co-founder of the UCA, and director of a university-affiliated center for humanitarian assistance
  • Juan Ramon Moreno, 56, a Spanish-born Jesuit priest and director of two university-related programs
  • Julia Elba Ramos, 42, housekeeper and cook, and Cecilia Ramos, her daughter, 15

The UCA Jesuits had been vocal advocates of social change in El Salvador. For this reason, the Salvadoran military considered the priests to be "intellectual godfathers" of the FMLN guerilla movement and therefore a threat to the government.

In addition, the priests were accused by the Salvadoran military of being communists, supporting the FMLN movement, and hiding weapons at the University. None of these accusations were ever substantiated.

In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 761, "Remembering and commemorating the lives and work of [the Jesuit Fathers, their housekeeper and her daughter] on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their deaths at the University of Central America José Simeón Cañas in San Salvador, El Salvador." The resolution was sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D) of Massachusetts.

Hear how Xavier University Theology Professor Dr. Gillian Ahlgren's  approach to Jesuit education was influenced by this event

Universidad Centroamericana's webpage dedicated to the martyrs

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Mary, Mother of Jesus

Mary (from the Hebrew Miriam), the Mother of Jesus, is also given the title "Mother of God" (Theotokos in Greek) because the child she conceived in her womb and to whom she gave birth, was not just a full human being but also fully divine. Christian belief, expressed clearly in the New Testament "Infancy Narratives" (Matthew, ch.1, and Luke, ch. 1), also testifies to her having conceived Jesus virginally, that is, wothout the agency of a human father, for only God could create such a child (the early Christian creeds say "conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary"). Mary is the greatest of all the Christian saints, the perfect hearer of God's word and the perfect respondent to that word. This is especially evident in the devotion of Orthodox, Anglican, and Roman Catholic Christians, usually less so of Protestant Christians (who are less devoted to saints in general).

An important source of appreciation for Mary comes from contemporary developmental psychology: the kind of human being Jesus became had to depend to a considerable extent on his growing up with Mary as his mother.

Mary, Mother of God resource page

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Mass

See "Liturgy"

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McAuley, Catherine (1778-1841)

Founder of the Sisters of Mercy

On September 24, 1827, Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, first opened the doors of her home to the public on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland. By coincidence or act of providence, September 24th, is also the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, who would lend both her identity and spirit to the building and its works, when it was named the 'House of Mercy.'

Prior to founding her religious order, Catherine's lifelong dream came true when she used her inheritance to build a home where women and children in dire need would be provided with housing, education, religious and social services enabling them to find a far brighter future than was generally available to the Irish, particularly Irish women, of the time. Catherine's innovative approach to housing and educating young women and children from the slums was considered shocking, especially since it brought the poor, the sick and the uneducated into an affluent neighborhood. Within three years over 200 girls were enrolled in the school at House of Mercy and volunteers, inspired by Catherine's spirit and compassion, were numerous.

In 1831, upon founding the Sisters of Mercy, the 'House of Mercy' also became the first convent of the Sisters of Mercy. As Catherine?s passion for the poor took root in the hearts of her companions, the charism of Mercy spread rapidly across Ireland and England. By 1839, a mere eight years after being founded, the Sisters of Mercy numbered over 100 women religious and in the ten years between the founding of the order and her death, Catherine had founded nine Convents of Mercy.

In a 1841 letter to Sister Elizabeth Moore, she described the spirit which characterized the congregation and its members: ?All are good and happy. The blessing of unity still dwells amongst us and oh what a blessing, it should make all else pass into nothing. All laugh and play together, not one cold, stiff soul appears. From the day they enter, reserve of any ungracious kind leaves them. This is the spirit of the Order, indeed the true spirit of Mercy flowing on us...?

Today, the special charism and spirit of Venerable Catherine McAuley remains alive and well within the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates. She continues to draw women to minister to the poor, the sick, the uneducated and the underserved. Almost 5,000 Sisters of Mercy of the Americas currently serve in 11 countries and one territory, while other Mercy foundations and institutes can be found in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and Newfoundland.

And what remains of the original House of Mercy? In 1994, it was fully restored and opened to the public as Mercy International Centre, an important historical link for Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates from all over the globe. Although she died November 11, 1841, at her Baggot Street convent, her spirit of hospitality and her legacy continues today embodied within each Sister of Mercy. Mercy International Center allows all to reflect on Catherine's passion for helping the poor, which continues to inspire women as they carry forth the contemporary ministry of Mercy worldwide.

MA; watercolor portrait by Marie Henderson, RSM

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Medaille, Jean-Pierre

See "Congregation of St. Jospeh" and "Fontbonne, Mother St. John"

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Men and Women for Others

Whole Persons of Solidarity for the Real World

In a now famous address to alumni of Jesuit schools in Europe (July 31, 1973), Pedro Arrupe painted a profile of what a graduate should be. Admitting that Jesuit schools had not always been on target here, Arrupe called for a re-education to justice:

Today our prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for-others... people who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; people convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for human beings is a farce.... All of us would like to be good to others, and most of us would be relatively good in a good world. What is difficult is to be good in an evil world, where the egoism of others and the egoism built into the institutions of society attack us.... Evil is overcome only by good, egoism by generosity. It is thus that we must sow justice in our world, substituting love for self-interest as the driving force of society.

Following up on what Arrupe had said, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, challenged the 900 Jesuit and lay delegates from the 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities gathered for "Assembly '89" to teach our students to make "no significant decision without first thinking of how it would impact the least in society" (i.e., the poor, the marginal who have no voice). And 11 years later, speaking on "the faith that does justice" to a similar national gathering at Santa Clara University (October 6, 2000), Kolvenbach was even more pointed and eloquent in laying out the goals for the 21st-century American Jesuit university:

Here in Silicon Valley, some of the world's premier research universities flourish alongside struggling public schools where Afro-American and immigrant students drop out in droves. Nationwide, one child in every six is condemned to ignorance and poverty.... Thanks to science and technology, human society is able to solve problems such as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, or developing more just conditions of life, but stubbornly fails to accomplish this.

- - - - -

The real measure of our Jesuit universities, [then,] lies in who our students become. Tomorrow's "whole person" cannot be whole without a well-educated solidarity. We must therefore raise our Jesuit educational standard to "educate the whole person of solidarity for the real world."

Solidarity is learned through "contact" rather than through "concepts." When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change. Our universities boast a splendid variety of in-service programs, outreach programs, insertion programs, off-campus contacts, and hands-on courses. These should not be too optional or peripheral, but at the core of every Jesuit university's program of studies.

- - - - -

Faculty are at the heart of our universities. Professors, in spite of the cliché of the ivory tower, are in contact with the world. But no point of view is ever neutral or value-free. A legitimate question, even if it does not sound academic, is for each professor to ask, "When researching and teaching, where and with whom is my heart?" To make sure that the real concerns of the poor find their place, faculty members need an organic collaboration with those in the Church and in society who work among and for the poor and actively seek justice.

What is at stake is a sustained interdisciplinary dialogue of research and reflection, a continuous pooling of expertise. The purpose is to assimilate experiences and insights in "a vision of knowledge which, well aware of its limitations, is not satisfied with fragments but tries to integrate them into a true and wise synthesis" about the real world. Unfortunately, many faculty still feel academically, humanly, and, I would say, spiritually unprepared for such an exchange.

- - - - -

If the measure of our universities is who the students become, and if the faculty are the heart of it all, then what is there left to say? It is perhaps the third topic, the character of our universities ? how they proceed internally and how they impact on society ? that is the most difficult.

In the words of [Jesuit] General Congregation 34, a Jesuit university must be faithful to both the noun "university" and to the adjective "Jesuit." To be a university requires dedication "to research, teaching, and the various forms of service that correspond to its cultural mission." To be Jesuit "requires that the university act in harmony with the demands of the service of faith and the promotion of justice." [A] telling expression of the Jesuit university's nature is found in policies concerning hiring and tenure. As a university it must respect the established academic, professional, and labor norms, but as Jesuit it is essential to go beyond them and find ways of attracting, hiring, and promoting those who actively share the mission.

- - - - -

Every Jesuit academy of higher learning is called to live in a social reality and to live for that social reality, to shed university intelligence upon it and to use university influence to transform it. Thus Jesuit universities have stronger and different reasons than do many other academic institutions for addressing the actual world as it unjustly exists and for helping to reshape it in the light of the Gospel.

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Merici, Angela (1474-1540)

Trailblazer; saint

Finding God in daily life, serving God in people around her, Angela Merici created a surprising new way of life. Her spiritual family now includes the Company of St. Ursula, a spiritual companionship for single lay women, and the Order of St. Ursula for women religious.

An older contemporary of Ignatius Loyola, she too fostered the spirit of renewal in the Church of the early 16th Century.

Angela grew up on her family?s farm in northern Italy, where she was born around 1474. She and her siblings worked together and got in trouble together. As their father read the lives of the saints, Angela longed to imitate these friends of God.

Death ruptured this happy circle, first taking her older sister. Angela was devastated - and worried. Was her mischievous sister saved? One day, she had a consoling experience: Angela saw her sister, happy in heaven.

Still a teenager, Angela lost both parents. While her older brothers farmed, she and a younger brother went to live with relatives who were eager to arrange a marriage. Their plans and Angela?s vocation were on a collision course. Angela sensed God?s call to a deep intimacy with him. The more her guardians tried to find her a husband, the more she resisted.

She sought guidance from Franciscan friars and joined the Third Order (now called the Secular Franciscan Order) for lay persons. Its spiritual practices deepened her prayer life. Finally, her family accepted Angela?s desire to devote herself to God alone.

Woman of compassion and wisdom

Soon she was back on the farm. One day during the olive harvest, Angela had another visionary experience: women and angels on a ladder between heaven and earth. She understood that someday she would establish a group of women consecrated to God.

Angela?s days began with Mass and were punctuated by prayer. She worked with neighbors and helped out where needed. People turned to her for wisdom and comfort. Her own bereavement had taught her deep compassion. When the friars asked her to console a widow whose three children had died, Angela visited her in the war-torn city of Brescia. This became the place for her life?s work.

Soon Brescians discovered Angela?s goodness and wisdom. Husband and wife quarrelling? Talk with Angela! Should I propose marriage? Consult Angela! Doubts about faith? Turn to Angela! She persuaded two sworn enemies to call off a duel.

A pilgrim like Ignatius, she visited Jerusalem in 1524 as he had done a year earlier. Also like Ignatius in this same period, she responded to the Church?s need for reform by fostering lay involvement that was Spirit-driven and outside hierarchical structures. She encountered lay men and women who undertook a variety of initiatives to address spiritual and social ills, to heal their war-ravaged city. For them she was a spiritual Madre.

A new path for women

Angela encountered single women who knew that God was calling them, but not to marriage or religious life - the only paths then open to women. They wanted to learn from her experience of intimacy with God. On November 25, 1535, Angela and 28 other women consecrated themselves to Christ under the patronage of St. Ursula, an early martyr and leader of women. When Angela died in 1540, the Company of St. Ursula had 150 members.

Ursulines still live as Angela did, dedicated to Christ and serving others in ordinary circumstances, as single laywomen. The Company of St. Ursula exists in 20 countries. The Company spread from Italy into France. There, in the early 1600s, French Ursulines took another step, becoming a religious order. These women pioneered education for young women; their life and mission have spread around the globe. Often their educational mission has been paired with that of Jesuits.

Angela Merici was canonized in 1807. Her feast day is celebrated on January 27.

M-CD

Statue of Angela Merici, Desenzano [on Lake Garda], northern Italy. Designed by Benedetto Pietrogrande, sculpted by Peter Kostner. Photo Madeline Kelly, OSU, courtesy of Dianne Baumunk, OSU.

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Mission and Identity Conference of AJCU: A Brief History


The ?Conferences on Collaboration [between Jesuits and others in the work of U.S. Jesuit Higher Education]? were founded by Jack Zuercher and Joan Lanahan, Creighton, and Jim Blumeyer and Bill Finucane, Rockhurst, assisted by David Thomas of Regis as facilitator, with a meeting at Creighton in May of 1988. People interested in the work of Jesuit mission and identity came from about 20 of the U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities?30 lay people and 30 Jesuits. This was the first major national initiative on mission and identity work, and it was taken not from the top down, the national office in Washington (the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities ?AJCU), but by local people from the bottom up. During Assembly ?89, the huge gathering at Georgetown, several of those already charged with mission responsibilities in their schools began to realize the need for a much smaller, focused gathering. Three more Conferences on Collaboration were held at different Jesuit universities in the Midwest, South, and West, with declining numbers participating in the second and third conferences, but the largest of them all?90?in what turned out to be the final conference.

By that time an initial group of nine?eight Jesuits and a woman?all with official positions and released time (half or full) for mission and identity work in their schools had formed themselves into ?Mission and Identity Officers? and had held two annual meetings?the first hosted by John Topel at Seattle U. in the fall of 1990 and the second by Jim Flynn at USF in the fall of ?91. The purpose of the new, smaller group was to gather the people actually charged with mission and identity work in their schools, to share strategies and programs, successes and failures. The group also considered itself a lobbying force with AJCU?that is, with the presidents of the Jesuit schools, especially the 20 that had not yet designated an officer. When the group sought affiliation as an official conference of the AJCU, the presidents wanted the title changed to ?Co- ordinators for Mission & Identity,? ?coordinators? being a broader term than ?officers? and therefore able to include the head of a school?s mission committee without released time.

Gradually over the coming years, more and more schools sent representatives to the annual CMI meetings; and when no one had yet been appointed at a given school, the rector of the Jesuit community might come. For a while, the number of non-Jesuits started to grow, then declined, but by 2008 had reached a point where the majority were not Jesuits. The vast majority of chief mission officers, however, are still Jesuits. Sometime in the mid-nineties, the group became more organized and started operating with a three-person planning and facilitating committee, one from each region?West, Midwest/South, and East. In recent years, all but a few of the schools send representatives. The number of ?affiliated? participants?those not representing any of the 28 U.S. Jesuit schools?has grown markedly. Over the course of the group?s 22 years of existence, some schools have maintained a good continuity of representation; others have experienced a lot of turnover. The size of local staffs varies considerably.

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Mission and Identity Offices at U.S. Jesuit Colleges and Universities

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Montes, Segundo (1933-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Montserrat, Our Lady of (the Black Madonna)

Situated in the awesome serrated mountains some 4,000 feet above the Catalonian plain and 30 miles west of Barcelona, the Benedictine monastery was already a popular place of pilgrimage when the 30-year-old Iñigo (Ignatius) of Loyola came there probably on March 20 or 21, 1522. He spent three days writing out a confession of the sins of his life and presented it to a French Benedictine priest who ministered to pilgrims visiting the monastery. He then gave away his fine clothes to a stunned tramp, put on penitential sackcloth and held an all-night vigil before the Black Madonna and Child (an ancient wood sculpture), hanging up his sword and dagger there. ?Effectively,? writes Ron Hansen, ?his former life was over? (?The Pilgrim: Saint Ignatius of Loyola? in An Ignatian Spirituality Reader) and his new life had begun.

Some months earlier, at Loyola, while still recovering from his battle wounds and struggling to deal with his shattered psyche and the dawning sense of a new religious identity, he had been graced with a clear and deeply consoling vision of Our Lady and the Infant Jesus.

Marian shrines and imagery abounded in the Spain of Ignatius? time. And the church given to the early Jesuits in Rome was that of Madonna della Strada (?Our Lady of the Way?). The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner once observed that Ignatius was among the very few male Christian mystics who were also visionaries (Visions and Prophecies [1963]). In this context, one might say that the post-conversion Ignatius was a man untypically well developed in his feminine side. Indeed, Xavier professors Margo Heydt and Sarah Melcher, Protestant women who went on an Ignatian pilgrimage to Spain and Rome, see Jesus? mother Mary as the ?hidden catalyst? of Ignatius? conversion and life.

See Gemma Simmonds, "Women Jesuits?" in The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (2008).

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Moreno, Pardo, Juan Ramon (1933-1989)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Murray, John Courtney (1904-1967)

American Jesuit; Systematic theologian, advocate of religious liberty

Professor of theology at Woodstock College, MD, Jesuit theological seminary.

For years in the Jesuit journal Theological Studies argued the superiority of the pluralist system of church-state relations (as in the U.S.) and then was silenced by Rome for some nine years.

Prominent theologian at Vatican II and a principal architect of the Council?s document on religious liberty.

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Mveng, Engelbert (1930-1995)

Cameroonian Jesuit; "a father of the church" in Africa

Engelbert Mveng, a prophetic voice in Africa, was one of the first promoters of African liberation theology. He used the term ?anthropological impoverishment? to describe the consequences of European enslavement and colonization and ?anthropological annihilation? to describe the absolute abyss into which a people fall when their poverty becomes structural and produces a political and economic vacuum in the state.

This multi-talented Jesuit?historian, poet, artist, philosopher, and theologian?was violently assassinated in his home near Yaounde on April 23, 1995.

For the most part, Mveng?s writings (in French) have not been translated into English, but see his essay ?African Liberation Theology? in Concilium (1988) and the brief account of his work in Hinsdale, ?Jesuit Theological Discourse since Vatican II,? Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (2008).

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms N

Nadal, Jerome [Jeronimo in Spanish] (1507-1580)

Spanish Jesuit; promulgator of Constitutions

Ignatius sent Nadal as his trusted ambassador to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Austria to promulgate and explain the newly-composed Constitutions of the order.

Nadal made use of the new medium of perspective illustrations to enhance the realism of Pictures of the Gospel Stories. Matteo Ricci took this work with him to China and thus introduced the art and science of perspective to that forbidden country.

Nadal is considered by historian John O’Malley to be one of the three absolutely central figures (along with Polanco and Ignatius himself) in the founding and early development of the Society of Jesus (The First Jesuits [Harvard, 1993]).

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New Testament

See "Old / New Testament"

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Newman, John Henry (1801-1890)

Cardinal, Beatified, British educator and theologian, writer, orator

Born in London, Newman was the eldest of a family with three sons and three daughters. At the age of 15 he attended Trinity College, Oxford, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He held academic and pastoral assignments having been ordained as an Anglican clergyman and serving as a teacher at Oxford University. Founder of the Oxford Movement (whose members are often associated with the University of Oxford, wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship traditional in medieval times to restore ritual expression), he eventually became a Catholic in 1845 and was ordained in the Catholic Church in 1847. In 1854, Newman went to Dublin as rector of the newly established Catholic University of Ireland which evolved into the University College, Dublin, the largest university in Ireland. It was here that he published a volume of lectures, The Idea of a University, which explained his philosophy of education. For instance, he described knowledge as, “The indispensable condition of expansion of mind, and the instrument of attaining to it” and the importance of a wide range of academic possibilities. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in Birmingham, England on September 19, 2010.  


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Nicolás, Adolfo (1936- )

30th superior general of the Society of Jesus, elected by General Congregation 35 in January 2008. The delegates were evidently thinking of the global reality of our broken, lovable 21st-century world, and in electing Adolfo Nicolás they were choosing indeed a great-hearted man with extensive cross-cultural experience and a global worldview.

A native of Spain, Nicolás entered the Jesuits in 1953. In 1960 he left for Japan and four years of language study. From 1964-1968, he studied theology in Tokyo and was ordained a priest there. After three years of doctoral studies in Rome, he returned to Tokyo and taught systematic theology at the Jesuit-sponsored Sophia University from 1971 to 1978, and again from 1984 to 1993.

From 1978 to 1984, he was director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute (Manila, Philippines), which had wide influence in the theological renewal of all Asia in the aftermath of Vatican II. In 1993, he was appointed provincial of the Jesuit Province of Japan, and in this capacity he participated in General Congregation 34 (1995) and was elected secretary of the congregation.

On completing his term as provincial, he chose to live in a poor parish in Tokyo, where, amid great difficulties, he was able to help thousands of Philippine and other Asian immigrants. At the time of his election as superior general, he was head of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, a vast territory.

Challenges to Jesuit Higher Education Today
Superior General Adolfo Nicolas, S.J.
Mexico City, April 23, 2010

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Nineteenth Annotation Retreat

Also called "The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life"

Ignatius of Loyola foresaw that not everyone would be able to make his full Spiritual Exercises by withdrawing from home and work and devoting 30 days full time to them.  He thus asked people making the Exercises part-time to do two things: (1) to set aside an hour daily for prayer (but this like so much in the Exercises is adaptable to the individual person) and (2) to see a guide for processing what is happening in the prayer and the rest of life and get individualized guidance every week or two.   This process would continue for seven months or more—a large commitment.  (In this version one week part time equals about one day full time.) 

Ignatius wrote about this possibility in “Annotation 19,” one of the “Introductory Observations” at the beginning of the book of the Exercises.   Most lay people who make the full Exercises today do so in this extended way. 

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Nostra Aetate

Nostra Aetate (Latin for “In Our Time” or “In Our Age”), Vatican Council II’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, is a statement on interreligious dialogue promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI; thus, the 5Oth anniversary is celebrated in 2015.
See the document which includes:
- a statement on the unity of the origin of all people.
- the will of the Catholic Church to accept other religions.
- a description of some commonalities of Islam, Christianity and Catholicism.
- an account on the bond that ties Christians to Jews and a denunciation of
anti-Semitism.


For more information see the Nostra Aetate Resource page

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Novitiate/Novice

The stages of Jesuit formation

The first two years of a Jesuit's formation. A Novice engages in the study of Jesuit history and Jesuit life (including the vows common to all forms of religious life), the making of the full Spiritual Exercises over 30 days and other "experiments" like insertion among the poor, work in hospitals, going on pilgrimage, work in a Jesuit-sponsored ministry while living in community with Jesuits who have completed their course of (early) formation.

See also Stages of Formation, First StudiesRegency, Theology, and Tertianship.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

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Jesuit Terms O

O'Collins, Gerald (1931-)

Australian Jesuit; professor of theology at the Gregorian University (Rome) for 33 years; prolific author and defender of human rights in the church

Gerald O’Collins received a licentiate in theology from Heythrop College, Oxford, and a year later a doctorate from Cambridge University. He taught fundamental and systematic theology at the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome for 33 years. He authored or co-authored 52 books, wrote many articles for popular journals, and spoke often on radio and TV. He has been given a number of doctorates honoris causa. Now retired from the Gregorian, he is research professor and writer-in-residence at the Jesuit Theological College, Parkville, Victoria.

While O’Collins has sometimes taken a traditional or conservative theological position rather than breaking new ground, he has always been open to new ideas. An avid ecumenist and respecter of other religions, he has consistently spoken and acted for human rights in the Catholic church and opposed the imposition of a narrow orthodoxy. In this capacity, he worked closely with his Gregorian colleague Jacques Dupuis when Dupuis was attacked by the Vatican Doctrinal Congregation (Josef Ratzinger).

See Jacques Dupuis
O’Collins is writing an autobiography; the first of two volumes is titled On the Left Bank of the Tiber (Connor Court, 2013)


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O'Keefe, Vincent (1920- 2012)

American Jesuit; confidant of Pedro Arrupe as superior general

O’Keefe was president of Fordham University when in 1965 he went to General Congregation 31. This was the Congregation that elected Pedro Arrupe superior general; it elected O’Keefe one of four general counselors, and he remained in that office through the entire Arrupe generalate (1965-1983). When Arrupe was refused permission by John Paul II to retire from office for reasons of age and infirmity and shortly thereafter suffered a debilitating stroke, he appointed O’Keefe vicar general in his place. But the pope removed them both from office and appointed his own delegate to run the Society. Then in less than two years after this papal “intervention,” saying that he had been "misinformed", the Pope allowed the Jesuits to return to their own governance and elect a new superior general (Peter-Hans Kolvenbach).

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O'Malley, John W. (1927- )

American Jesuit; historian of early modern and contemporary Catholicism

John O’Malley is currently a university professor in the theology department at Georgetown University. His specialty is the religious culture of early modern Europe, with concentration in Renaissance humanism and the Society of Jesus. He is also interested in Vatican Council II and contemporary Catholicism. His best known work is The First Jesuits, winner of several best-book awards and now translated into ten languages. His latest books are Four Cultures of the West and What Happened at Vatican II. Fourteen U.S. Jesuit universities have given him honorary doctoral degrees. He has also been honored with a Festschrift (Early Modern Catholicism: Essays in Honour of John W. O’Malley, S.J., eds. Kathleen Comerford and Hilmar Pabel [2001]).

See his autobiography in the booklet series Lives of the Georgetown Jesuits.

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Old Testament / New Testament

The word testament derives ultimately from the Hebrew and means “covenant,” a mutual commitment or treaty between two parties in ancient near eastern culture. It was taken over to refer to the commitment between the Hebrew people and their God, as established on Mt. Sinai.

From a Christian perspective, the Old Testament refers to the works of the Hebrew Bible—legends, histories, laws, prophecy, wisdom writings—that make up the first half of its Scripture, whereas the second half—containing the four gospel “portraits” of Jesus and the instructional letters of St. Paul (among others)—present a new covenant with God in Jesus.

Some Christian bibles—Catholic, Orthodox, etc.—contain late Jewish writings (that is, close to the time of Jesus) that are not part of the Hebrew Bible and not accepted by Protestants (as the inspired word of God).

See “Bible.”

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Order- See Religious Order/Religious Life.

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Organizations.

  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps
    About 250 volunteers commit themselves to working with people in the United States and 7 countries marginalized by society.
  • Ignatian Lay Volunteer Corps
    The IVC, in partnership with hundreds of service sites, provides women and men, aged 50 and older, opportunities to serve others, to address social injustice, and to transform lives.
  • Jesuit Refugee Service
    JRS’s mission is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. Serving in over 50 countries, with the support of an international office in Rome, JRS provides assistance to refugees in refugee camps, to people displaced within their own country, to asylum seekers in cities and those held in detention.

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Owen, Nicholas (15??-1606)

English Jesuit brother; builder of secret “priest holes”; martyr, saint

Nicholas Owen was a carpenter and stonemason and a Jesuit brother. He used his skills to build secret hiding places for Catholic priests who traveled around providing Mass and the sacraments to Catholics in the England of anti-Catholic penal laws, where numerous government agents—“bounty-hunters”—practiced their art. Since being a Catholic priest in Elizabethan and Jacobean England was punishable by death, Owen saved hundreds of lives with his “priest-holes.” He himself was picked up several times and shortly released as “small fish,” since he wasn’t a priest and his real occupation was unknown. Early on, he traveled with Edmund Campion, later with Henry Garnet, and finally with John Gerard –all well-known Jesuit priests. He was simply known as “Little John.”

Eventually, he and his work were discovered and he was taken to the Tower of London. There he was tortured to make him reveal the locations of his “holes,” but he never said a word until he expired from the torture.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms P

Pacem in terris (Latin for “Peace on earth”)

Landmark encyclical letter on peace building by Pope John XXIII (1963). “It invited all people of good will (not only Catholics and Christians) to work together to build peace, and it said peace must be based on the protection and promotion of human rights and dignity, including religious freedom for all. Taking aim at apartheid, 'Jim Crow' racial segregation, communism, fascism, military dictatorships, corporatism, and the excesses of capitalism, the Pope said working for ‘the common good is the sole reason for the existence of civil authorities.’ The common good is so important that the term appears forty-six times in fifty-nine pages. . ." (Love, “Pacem in terris at 50: Catholic Peacebuild- ing in 2013,” Common Good Forum [4-17-13], Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good).

In spite of the horrors and violence of our time, it would be fair to say that Pope John’s call to build peace founded on a recognition of human rights and human dignity has borne much fruit. It has provided a new and sound focus for various initiatives—great and small—undertaken by individuals, organizations, and even governments and government agencies—people of good will around the world.


See “Common Good.”
 


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 Padberg, John W. (1930- )

American Jesuit; historian and publisher

John Padberg, a native of St. Louis, entered the Jesuits in 1944. In addition to the regular Jesuit course of studies, he did doctoral studies in the history of ideas at Harvard. His “magisterial” study Colleges in Conflict: The Jesuit Schools in France from Revival to Suppression, 1815-1890 (1969) “remains the standard work on that subject” (Lucas, Spirit, Style, Story [2002]). Among the administrative positions he has filled with distinction, his ten years as president of Weston Jesuit School of Theology (Cambridge, MA) stand out. He has dealt in print with Jesuit general congregations and contributed a number of essays to the series Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, 80 issues of which he published as editor. And as director of the Institute of Jesuit Sources, he has overseen the production of more than 40 books. Indeed, it is in this capacity of publisher and mentor of other Jesuit scholars that he may have made his finest contribution. Colleagues, Jesuit and lay, have honored him with a Festschrift (Spirit, Style, Story: Essays Honoring John W. Padberg, SJ, ed. Thomas M. Lucas [2002]).

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Papacy

See “Pope / Papacy.”

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Papal Infallibility

See “Infallibility, Papal.

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Paschal Mystery, The -

Mystery here means not a problem to be solved but a reality of human existence that can only be accepted and lived through because it is too big for our limited minds to grasp.  Such a reality is human incompleteness (in this life all symphonies are incomplete—Karl Rahner), suffering and diminishment, death.  Specifically, then, in Christian theology and spirituality, the Paschal Mystery is the mystery of dying (like Jesus) in order to receive new and resurrected life (like Jesus).  And this happens, not just once, but again and again through the course of life, even though there may well be one or more major instances of it over a lifetime.  (The term Paschal comes from the Hebrew word for Passover and in Christian theology signifies Jesus’ passage from death to new life.)

If my marriage after 20 years is no longer a honeymoon (and it won’t be), I have to grieve the loss and let it go or become angry and unhappy.  If as a young person I had dreams of accomplishing great things in my life and now I’m middle-aged and my accomplishments are at best middling, I need to let go of them and move on or become bitter and disillusioned.  If I am a 70-year old, I cannot live life as I did at 20 or 40 or 60.   I must grieve the loss of my earlier life and let it go.  Doing so opens the way to transformation, to receiving new and better life, resurrected life.

See Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality (1999).

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Passover (in Hebrew "Resach") -

The story goes as follows:
The Israelites were subjected to slave labor for decades in Egypt until God sent Moses to confront the king (pharaoh) and demand release. But pharaoh was obstinate, and God
visited ten plagues on him and his people. The tenth and last was a killing of all the Egyptian firstborn. The Israelite children were spared, however, because families had been instructed to slaughter a lamb and put its blood on the doorposts of their homes as a sign for the angel of death to “pass over” them. In haste, then, the Israelites left Egypt, passing through the Red Sea on dry land by the power of God and making their way to Sinai and the sealing of a covenant that made them God’s chosen people.

Ever since then, their deliverance by God is commemorated and celebrated in the great festival of Passover (eight days long), especially with the seder meal and its unleavened bread, bitter herbs, four glasses of wine, and a liturgical recitation that tells the story and thus fulfills the obligation to share it with the children.

 

See “Old Testament.”

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Pedagogy, Ignatian/Jesuit

Having to do with Ignatian/Jesuit teaching style or methods.

In one formulation (Robert Newton's Reflections on the Educational Principles of the Spiritual Exercises [1977]), Jesuit education is instrumental (not an end in itself, but a means to the service of God and others); student centered (adapted to the individual as much as possible so as to develop an independent and responsible learner); characterized by structure (with systematic organization of successive objectives and systematic procedures for evaluation and accountability) and flexibility (freedom encouraged and personal response and self-direction expected, with the teacher an experienced guide, not primarily a deliverer of ready-made knowledge); eclectic (drawing on a variety of the best methods and techniques available); and personal (whole person affected, with goal of personal appropriation, attitudinal and behavioral change).

See Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm for a second formulation.

Both these approaches were developed in the context of secondary education, but could be adapted for higher education.

Jesuit Education and Ignatian Pedagogy
Peter Hans Kolvenbach, SJ

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Pieris, Aloysius (1934-  )

Sri Lankan Jesuit; Asian liberation theologian

Although he was originally slated to teach theology in Rome, Aloysius Pieris, in dialogue and discernment with his provincial superior, decided to remain and work in his native land. Two themes remain central to his theology: the path of interior liberation from greed and the path of social liberation from poverty.

The British Jesuit theologian Philip Endean, in a Festschrift essay for Pieris, sees his re-reading of the Ignatian tradition in the light of Christian-Buddhist dialogue as advocating a “symbiosis” which “enables Christians to grow within their own tradition, sharpening their awareness of inauthenticities in what they have previously taken for granted” (“The Same Spirit Is in Everything,” Encounters with the Word, ed. Robert Crusz et al. [2004]).

See Hinsdale, “Jesuit Theological Discourse since Vatican II,” The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (2008). Among Pieris’ best-known works is An Asian Theology of Liberation (1988).

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Polanco, Juan de (1517-15??)

Spanish Jesuit; secretary to Ignatius and successors

Collaborated with Ignatius in the writing of the Jesuit Constitutions and of many of the nearly 7,000 letters of Ignatius.

Considered by historian John O’Malley to be one of the three absolutely central figures (along with Nadal and Ignatius himself) in the foundation and early development of the Society of Jesus (The First Jesuits [Harvard, 1993]).

Polanco was a “new Christian” (having Jewish ancestry) and as such was not elected fourth superior general even though he was the logical choice; the bias of some Spanish Jesuits was reinforced by Pope Gregory XIII, who intervened in the election.

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Pope/Papacy

The pope is the bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic church of some 1.2 billion members. The title comes from the Latin papa, which means “daddy.” The pope is often referred to as “Holy Father.”

He is considered the “Successor of Peter” the apostle whom many scholars, confirming church tradition, believe to have been martyred at Rome in the persecution of Nero (60s CE). Some would also call him the “Vicar of Christ,” but the title in early centuries was given to any bishop and only with Innocent III (1198-1216) did it commonly assume exclusive reference to the pope.

According to Matthew’s gospel, in a passage whose meaning is disputed, Jesus gives Simon a new identity: “You are Peter [the name means “Rock”] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (16:18). In the resurrection story of John, Jesus confirms Peter’s role: “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep” (21:16-17).

The office of the papacy has developed and changed over the centuries. There were often no clear lines between what we would call secular or civil government and church leadership. The Emperor Constantine called the first great doctrinal ecumenical (worldwide) council, held at Nicaea in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) in 325; the pope did send delegates. But by a hundred years later, Pope Celestine I was heavily involved with personalities and events leading up to the Council of Ephesus (and of course he sent delegates to the council itself). From 1054, the year of the Great Schism, the church split into Roman, led by the pope (the western patriarch), and Eastern Orthodox, led by the patriarch of Constantinople. The eastern patriarch did not recognize the “primacy” of the pope. In the high Middle Ages the papacy amassed power and much wider control. But with that power waning in the 14th century and as a result of conflict between the French crown and the papacy, seven successive popes (all French) lived, not in Rome, but in southern France (Avignon). Late in this century and early in the next, there were several claimants to the papacy, and a dispute arose as to whether a council had authority over the pope and could depose him (“conciliarism”). Since the 16th century, the Protestant churches, having broken with Rome, obviously do not recognize the pope’s “primacy.”

That primacy and how it is exercised, as well as the 1870 declaration of papal “infallibility” (Vatican Council I), remain to this day major issues dividing the Roman Catholic church from other Christian denominations.


See “Ecumenism.”
See “Infallibility, Papal.
 

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Pope Francis (1936-  )

 

 

The current pope, Francis, was elected on March 13, 2013. He is a pope of many ‘firsts’, the first:
  - member of the Society of Jesus
  - to take the name ‘Francis’
  - non-European in Modern time
  - from the Western Hemisphere

.
 

 

    About the election:

    Read what Pope Francis is saying:



       For his life before being elected pope, see Jorge Bergoglio SJ.
       Also see our resource page on Pope Francis
      

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    Pozzo, Andrea (1642-1709)

    Italian Jesuit brother; painter, pioneer of perspective painting

    Andrea Pozzo wrote a book on perspective geometry “ to aid artists and architects.” Later, when the money ran out in the construction of St. Ignatius church in Rome and the planned dome had to be abandoned, he created his greatest work. He turned the flat ceiling of the church into a magnificent virtual world of cupola and columns depicting the missionary spirit of the Society of Jesus. In it, light passes from God the Father to the Son who transmits it to Ignatius and he sends it in four rays to the continents—Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. In grand baroque style, the awesome ceiling celebrates nearly two centuries of venturesome Jesuit activity.

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    Prayer

    Prayer is a dialogue with the Divine. It is an opportunity for a deeper experience with God and a connection with what is True and Real.

    Daily online prayers and reflections:


    See spiritual exercises and Ignatian examen

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    Principle and Foundation, First

    See First Principle and Foundation

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    Prophets (The) / Prophecy –

    The books of the Hebrew Bible that present the lives and messages of men and women
    inspired to speak in the name of God. Among the best known are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Miriam and Deborah. Fundamental themes are that God—not human beings—brings salvation and God wants, not ritual sacrifices, but just behavior among people.

    The popular notion that prophecy is primarily concerned with predicting the future is not entirely accurate; it has rather to do with interpreting God’s will and desire/demand for justice. Some of the most powerful and enigmatic passages of prophecy, however—the servant songs of Isaiah—helped the early Christians to understand Jesus and what happened to him at the end of his life.

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    Province

    The geographic regions created for the purpose of governance within the Society of Jesus. The major administrator of each province is the Provincial, appointed by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus for a period of six years. Presently there are nine provinces in the United States: California, Chicago-Detroit, Maryland, Missouri, New England, New Orleans, New York, Oregon, Wisconsin.  Between now and 2020, these nine provinces will be reconfigured to four (see “Society of Jesus in the United States").

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    Provincial

    The major leader-administrator of a region (a province) appointed by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus for a term of six years.

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    Psalms

    Songs/prayers of praise or petition addressed to God running the gamut of human emotions, none of which need to be avoided in speaking to God—not even negative ones like anger, hate, fear, doubt.

    Together the 100+ psalms make up a treasury that can be drawn on for communal prayer or prayer by an individual.

     

     

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    JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms Q

Terms Q

Quotes

Spirituality is not a "sometime" thing. It is not a technique or a methodology that is applied in certain circumstances. It is a way of ordering oneself and through the ordering of one's self, developing a standard that can serve as a benchmark for deciding and acting. It provides access to an affective feeling, which can, with care and patience, and much intentional effort and close supervision, become something you can trust.

John J. Degioia, Ph.D., President, Georgetown University
May 25, 2004, Heartland-Delta IV Conference at Marquette University
For the complete presentation

Jesuit education seeks to open students' minds to the vast riches of human experience and thought, to promote a greater understanding of our world and to enable them to discern truth. Jesuit education accepts the inherent value and power of intelligent and dispassionate thought. ……Colleges and universities are, and must remain, hallowed places of intellectual discussion. But if we are to be true to our educational mission, we must ensure that academic freedom--the freedom to pursue truth in all areas of human understanding — remains vibrant.

Eugene Cornacchia, Ph.D., President, St. Peter's College
October 20, 2007, Presidential Inaugural Address
For the complete address

...Scientific advances, perhaps more than theology, have inspired amazement. Photographic images from the Hubble Telescope, first available to the public in 1990, reveal that the universe is much vaster, more ancient, and more grand than we imagined. The majesty of the cosmos shows how limited the human perspective has been. Similarly, discoveries about DNA and quantum physics are inspiring awe in scientists and non-scientists alike. Such discoveries have caused some thinkers to see a profound connection between the human mind and the works of God... Viewing God as Mysterium Tremendum is conducive to dialogue among different religious traditions. In a time in history when many discussions deteriorate into stand-offs between the Left vs. Right, Saved vs. Unsaved, Enlightened vs. Benighted, appreciation for Mystery reminds us that all truth is limited. We can let uncertainty cause us to latch on to partial truths--or we can let it lead us into greater exploration...

Trudelle Thomas, PhD.
English Department, Xavier University
Expanding Horizons: A Christian Female Talks at Length with a Muslim Male
For the complete presentation

I believe that what we must do is ensure a globalization without marginalization or confrontation…a globalization that recognizes our common humanity, community, and solidarity… How Jesuit universities can work toward this “globalization of hope,” this ideal is not only a necessity, it is a moral imperative—and it will require that we do three things: Remember the past … engage the present … and influence the future.

John DeGioia, Ph.D.
President, Georgetown University
Globalization of Hope, October 20, 2008
Celebrating the inauguration of Julio Giulietti, S.J. as 8th president of Wheeling Jesuit University

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

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Jesuit Terms R

Rahner, Karl (1904-1984)

German Jesuit; father of Catholic theology in the 20th century

Did doctoral studies in the history of philosophy at the University of Freiburg, but his dissertation on Thomas Aquinas? epistemology (later published as Spirit in the World) was rejected by a professor whose only claim to fame now is that he rejected Rahner?s dissertation.

In his teaching (at Innsbruck, Munich, & Münster) and writing over nearly 50 years, he re-did the long tradition of Catholic theology in a way that required much of his listeners and readers intellectually, but still ?spoke? to their hearts and touched their existential reality and need. He was a poet in his own unique style of prose.

He was a commanding theological presence at Vatican II (1962-65). And for many in this country reading his works as they were translated into English after the Council enabled them to recognize him as the source of many of the Council?s ideas, one who had prepared the way for that great revolution in official Catholic theological thinking.

See the fine biographical-theological essay on Rahner in Ronald Modras? Ignatian Humanism (Loyola Press, 2004).

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Ramos, Julia Elba (42) and Cecilia Ramos (15)

See "Martyrs of the UCA"

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Ratio Studiorum

Latin for "Plan of Studies"

A document, the definitive form of which was published in 1599 after several earlier drafts and extensive consultation among Jesuits working in schools. It was a handbook of practical directives for teachers and administrators, a collection of the most effective educational methods of the time, tested and adapted to fit the Jesuit mission of education. Since it was addressed to Jesuits, the principles behind its directives could be assumed. They came, of course, from the vision and spirit of Ignatius. The process that led to the Ratio and continued after its publication gave birth to the first real system of schools the world had ever known.

Much of what the 1599 Ratio contained would not be relevant to Jesuit schools today. Still, the process out of which it grew and thrived suggests that we have only just begun to tap the possibilities within the international Jesuit network for collaboration and interchange. [See also "Education, Jesuit" and "Pedagogy, Ignatian/Jesuit."]

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Rector

The head of a major Jesuit community within a province.

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Redemption in Christ

What Does It Mean to Say 'Jesus Died for Our Sins'? How Does Jesus Save Us?

Over the course of Christian history, various theories of how human beings are saved in Christ have been put forward.  Most draw at least in part on the New Testament--the gospels, Acts of the Apostles and letters.  Taken together, these sources do not present a single, unambiguous account.  Possibly the most famous theologies of redemption/salvation in Christian tradition are those derived from the ?satisfaction theory? of Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109):

          Sin is an offense against the infinite God.  Only a divine agent, therefore, can           
          ?make up? to God what sin has done, that is, pay God back for the offense.
          Since human beings are responsible for the offense, a human being must pay           
          the price. On the analogy of sacrifice to God in the Hebrew tradition, God wills
          God?s son, Jesus the God-man, to die for and thereby pay the price for human sin.

Contemporary Christian theologians are raising questions about theories in this tradition.  What kind of God wants to punish his son for sin?  Why does God have to be placated in the first place?  God is not like human beings.  What does it really mean for Jesus ?to die for our sins??

The Canadian Jesuit philosopher-theologian Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) insists that Christ?s acceptance of his suffering and death was in no way to placate God.  God needs no placating, needs no blood.  Nor did God punish Christ for our sins.  Rather Christ performed ?a human act of infinite love and sorrow and submission to God? because of human sin.  ?He performed an act of perfect love [that] we could never have done for ourselves.?

Lonergan sums up his understanding of redemption as follows:

          The Son of God became man, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead because              
          in his wisdom God ordained and in his goodness willed, not to remove the evils
          afflicting the human race by an act of power, but, in accordance with a just and
          mysterious law of the cross, to transform those evils into a supreme good. . . .

          The fundamental theorem . . . is transforming evil into good, absorbing the evil in the       
          world by putting up with it, not perpetuating it as rigid justice would demand. . .  .                     
          And that putting up with it acts as a blotter, transforms the [evil] situation and creates        
          a situation in which good flourishes.

The law of the Cross is the method that is best designed to move us away from evil and toward what is good.

The Dynamism of Desire: Bernard J. F. Lonergan, SJ.,. on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (2006), pp.407-410.

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Reform of the Church

At the time of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), a topic came into Catholic discourse that would have been unspeakable or even unthinkable for centuries before: Reform of the Church. That was a key Protestant idea, and therefore to be avoided at all costs. The church was a "perfect society" and didn't need reform and renewal. But the Council dissolved that inhibition. Even with the tendency of the current and immediately past papacies to return to pre-Vatican II ways, Pope Benedict spoke to Vatican officers in late 2005, telling them that the Council needed to be interpreted through a "hermeneutic [interpretative principle] of reform."

It's hard to find follow-up reform practices on the part of the Vatican. Still, the Australian Jesuit theologian Gerald O'Collins, who spent most of his life teaching and writing in Rome, has suggested reforms that the doctrinal congregation (CDF) could undertake if its newly appointed head wanted to implement reform in this most powerful of the Vatican offices:

  • Practice subsidiarity; don't deal with an issue that comes to Rome when it could be dealt with locally or regionally.
  • Honor the right of an accused to a fair hearing: the accused should be given the accusations in writing well beforehand, be present from the outset, be faced with the accuser(s), and be represented and accompanied by a professional of his/her choice.
  • The staff of the congregation should be "theologians of diverse schools."
  • They should have limited terms.
  • The congregation could publish the works of the International Theological Commission and the Pontifical Biblical Commission as its own. These commissions "have handled their sources more skillfully, argued their case more compellingly, and produced more convincing documents than those coming from the CDF itself."
  • In sum, the congregation could be "promoting theology that would be creatively faithful and pastorally effective in the multi-cultural and fast-changing world of today."
O'Collins, "Art of the possible," The Tablet [London] (14 July 2012).

See Vatican Council II (1962-1965)

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Regency

The stages of Jesuit formation

After the first five years of study and formation, the Regent devotes 2-3 years to full-time apostolic work (ministry) with supervision, often in a Jesuit high school, sometimes in a Jesuit university or other Jesuit ministry. In addition to the ministry provided, he thus also gains experience for reflection and integration in the next stage, Theology

See also Novitiate, First Studies, Theology and Tertianship

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Regis, John Francis (1597-1640)

French Jesuit; home missioner

After the devastation of religious war (Huguenots vs. Catholics), John Francis Regis ministered throughout southern France. ?He consoled the disturbed of heart, visited prisons, collected food and clothing for the poor, established homes for [the rehabilitation of] prostitutes. . . . His influence reached all classes and brought about a lasting spiritual revival . . . . (MacDonnell, Jesuit Family Album [Fairfield, CT: Clavius Group).

Miraculous cures of the sick, attributed to his intercession, took place during his life and after his death.

Many institutions are named after him (e.g., the Jesuit university and the high school in Denver).

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Reinert, Paul (1910-2001)

American Jesuit; president of St. Louis University (1949-1974); leader in Catholic higher education and U.S. higher education in general

In addition to the usual Jesuit course of formation and education, Paul Reinert earned a doctorate in education from the University of Chicago (1944) and then came to St. Louis University as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, soon became academic vice president, and a year later president. He was 39.

His 25-year tenure was remarkable in many ways: the admission to SLU, located in a former slave state, of the first African-American student; the revitalization of mid-town St. Louis to which he was heavily committed and in which he was highly involved; the academic advancement and broadening and deepening of the University into a major research institution; and the expansion and improvement of the campus in spite of difficult financial times. Perhaps his most important achievement was the pioneering change he brought in the 1960s, carefully and gradually, to the governance of the University: from Jesuit ?ownership and control? to Jesuit ?influence,? with a separately incorporated Jesuit community; from an all-Jesuit administrator board of trustees to a board whose majority were lay people; and from an administration largely of Jesuits to one with a significant number of lay leaders.

His leadership beyond St. Louis and the University came to be recognized nationally; he served on presidential and other federal committees, was involved in every important national education association, and was awarded a good number of honorary degrees. In 1967 he brought all this experience to the gathering of twenty key presidents (like Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame) known as the Land O? Lakes Conference that played an important part in the articulatiton of a Catholic identity for Catholic universities.

Paul Reinert and Paul Shore, Seasons of Change: Reflections on a Half Century at St. Louis University (1996)
Anthony Dosen, Catholic Higher Education in the 1960s: Issues of Identity, Issues of Governance (Information Age Publishing, 2009), ch. 4: St. Louis University: From Catholic Frontier College to Catholic Urban University

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Religions, Non-Christian

One of the major accomplishments of the Second Vatican Council* (1962-1965) was a reversal of a centuries-long negative attitude toward non-Christian religions?Judaism especially, as well as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and others. Even before the council, the Catholic church had prepared the way for this reversal by condemning the long-held belief that there is no salvation outside the church. Now Vatican II went on to affirm that non-Christian religions contain truth and goodness and to call for Christian dialogue with members of these faiths on an equal and mutually respectful footing. The way to be religious, in our pluralist world, is to be ?interreligious.?

See "Inter-Religious Dialogue"

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Religious Order/Religious Life

In Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity (less frequently in Anglican/Episcopal Christianity), a community of men or women bound together by the common profession, through "religious" vows, of "chastity" (better called voluntary "consecrated celibacy" [and thus not to be confused with the imposed celibacy of Roman Catholic clergy]), "poverty" and "obedience." As a way of trying to follow Jesus' example, the vows involve voluntary renunciation of things potentially good: marriage and sexual relations in the case of "consecrated celibacy," personal ownership and possessions in the case of "poverty," and one's own will and plans in the case of "obedience."

This renunciation is made, not for its own sake, but "for the sake of [God's] kingdom" (Matthew 19:12), as a prophetic witness against a culture's abuse of sex, wealth (greed), and power (domination) and toward a more available and universal love beyond family ties, personal possessions, and self-determination. As a concrete form of Christian faith and life, it emphasizes the relativity of all the goods of this earth in the face of the only absolute, God, and a life lived definitively with God beyond this world.

This way of life first appeared in the second half of the first century in the person of "virgins" (mostly women but also some men) who lived at home and, by refusing to marry and produce offspring (they claimed to be "spouses of Christ"), countered the absolutist claims of the state (Rome) and hence many of them became martyrs. After Constantine's conversion to Christianity (313) and Christianity's establishment as the state religion, "religious life" developed further as a major movement away from the "world" and the worldliness of the church. The monastic life of monks and nuns is a variation on this tradition. At the beginning of the modern Western world, various new religious orders sprang up (the largest being the Jesuits) that saw themselves not as fleeing from the world but as "apostles" sent out into the world in service. Some of these new communities were women's, but the church tried?sometimes even with persecution?to keep women within cloister.

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Restoration of the Society of Jesus (1814)

Calendar year 2014 marks 200 years since the Restoration of the Society of Jesus following 41 years of Suppression. Pressured by the royal courts of Portugal, France and Spain, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society, causing Jesuits throughout the world to renounce their vows and go into exile. Pope Pius VII, a Benedictine, restored the Society on August 7, 1814.

See related information on the Suppression of the Society of Jesus
See brief videos on the Suppression and Restoration

Resource page for the Suppression and Restoration of the Society of Jesus


Retreat Centers (Jesuit/Ignatian)

A directory of Jesuit Retreat Houses and Spirituality Programs throughout the world.

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Review for Religious

A Journal

Published by the Missouri Province Jesuits from 1942 through January 2012, the collection documents the dramatic changes that took place in religious life over a span of 70 years. The journal published articles of interest for women and men religious across the spectrum of religious life, from active apostolic communities to contemplative monastic communities. Articles covered a range of topics pertinent to religious life, including prayer and spirituality, current best practices and canonical guidelines.


Rhodes, Alexander (1591-1660)

French Jesuit; missioner to Vietnam

Alexander Rhodes, of Jewish Spanish descent, was born in Avignon in southern France. In 1625, as a Jesuit missioner, he went to Cochin, China, and two years later to Tonkin in Indochina. There he did ?gigantic work in building a church which through three and a half centuries of turbulent history . . . numbers those who have died for the faith in the hundreds of thousands, a record for protracted martyrdom with few, if any, parallels in the annals of Christianity? (Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus (1968).

In his missiology, Rhodes favored an understanding and acceptance of Vietnamese customs, he wore Vietnamese clothing, and he was a master of their language, being the first person to transcribe it in western characters and write its grammar. He insisted on the development of a native clergy and arranged with Rome to have church officials unconnected to the Portuguese colonial system. He trained catechists who became the backbone of the young but fast-growing Vietnamese church.

See Phan, Mission and Catechesis: Alexandre de Rhodes and Inculturation in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam (1998).

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Ricci, Matteo (1552-1610)

Italian Jesuit; missioner to China, pioneer practitioner of inculturation

First Jesuit to enter the forbidden kingdom of China and reach the court of the emperor; adopted Chinese language, dress, and culture, and wrote two of the great masterpieces of Chinese (Mandarin) literature.

Born the year Francis Xavier died, Ricci was the living incarnation of the adaptive principles set out by the Jesuit visitor Alessandro Valignano (1538-1606) in his missiology for the Far East. Trained in mathematics and the sciences under Clavius (1538-1612) at the Roman College, Ricci appealed to the natural curiosity of the educated Mandarin class in China by his exhibition of clocks, prisms, mathematical instruments, oil paintings, and maps of the world.

He ran into difficulty with certain traditional Chinese ritual practices in honor of ancestors and of Confucius. His final judgment was that these practices were more cultural and civic than religious and so should be allowed to converts. The issue remained in dispute till the 18th-century condemnation of the ?Chinese Rites? by the Vatican. See ?Inculturation.?

Matteo Ricci is one of the five Jesuits that Ronald Modras treats in his Ignatian Humanism (Loyola, 2004). Vincent Cronin was Ricci?s first book-length biographer in English (The Wise Man from the West [Dutton, 1954]). A more recent biography is The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci by Jonathan Spence (Viking, 1984).

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Rodriguez, Alphonsus (1533-1617)

Spanish Jesuit brother; doorkeeper

Alphonsus Rodriguez?s father was a prosperous cloth merchant in Segovia. When Peter Faber, one of the closest companions of Ignatius of Loyola, came to town to preach and teach catechism, he stayed with the family and along with other ministries prepared Alphonsus for his first communion. Alphonsus went to a Jesuit school, but did not finish because his father died suddenly. He helped his mother carry on and eventually took over the family business. At 27, he married Maria Suarez and the couple had three children. But their happy family life was interrupted by the deaths in quick succession of one, then another child, then his wife and finally the only remaining child, leaving Alphonsus a lonely, grieving widower.

At approximately age 35, he sought entry into the Jesuit novitiate to become a priest. But he was refused, told that he was too old and lacked sufficient education and health. He went to Valencia to finish his studies and applied again, and again was turned down?until the provincial superior overruled the examiners? decision. Shortly after entering the novitiate as a Jesuit brother, he was sent to the Jesuit college in Palma on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean. He wound up spending the rest of his life there. After holding a number of positions in his early years there, he was appointed doorkeeper; he welcomed visitors who came to see Jesuits or students, delivered messages, and offered counsel to many who sought his advice. Among them was the young Peter Claver, whom he encouraged to go to the South American missions, where he became a minister to the slaves brought from Africa to Cartagena (in present-day Colombia).

Although few knew the deep, intense mystical inner life with which he was graced, many sensed the holiness of the man. When Alphonsus was declared a saint in 1888, the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins celebrated the event with a sonnet that concludes . . .

Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms S

Sabbath (in Hebrew “Shabbat”)

In Judaism, a weekly day of rest and worship starting at sundown on Friday. It is usually celebrated by the family in the home with the lighting of candles, prayer and singing of hymns/songs. The foundation for this Sabbath comes from the Hebrew biblical creation story in which God, having labored to create the world in six days, rested on the seventh.

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Sacrament

A ritual that puts human beings in contact with God and God’s grace. Each sacrament involves some visible/tangible/audible symbol that announces the character of the grace: for instance, water and its cleansing/giving of life in the case of Baptism, and bread and wine—food and drink—that nourishes with the Eucharist.

The Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican branches of Christianity recognize seven sacraments—in addition to those listed above, Confirmation ([young] adult commitment to living the faith); Matrimony (word of commitment of wife and husband to each other and total sharing of body-spirit and life in marriage); Holy Orders (ordination to public ministry); Reconciliation (confession of sin and the sure word of forgiveness); and Anointing (healing of illness with word and oil). Many Protestant denominations recognize only two sacraments—Baptism and Holy Communion or Eucharist; and some downplay Holy Communion and emphasize the Word--reading of scripture and preaching—as the usual form of communal worship. These Protestants gave almost exclusive place to the Word at the expense of the Eucharist; Catholics before Vatican II did the opposite.

In Catholic practice, sacramentals are lesser forms of sacrament. But there is growing awareness now of the broader sacramental principle: anything of God’s creation (or human creation) can put one in touch with the Divine.

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Salvation, Christian

See Redemption in Christ.

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Sanchez, Matteo

Pseudonym used by Jesuit leaders for Juana, daughter of Emperor Charles V and Regent of Spain, in considering her application to become a Jesuit.

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Scholastic

A Jesuit with first vows in the process of formation leading eventually to ordination as a priest.

See Formation, Stages of Jesuit (Early).

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Seal of the Society of Jesus, The

The Seal of the Society of Jesus is the IHS monogram, including the cross centered above it, the three converging nails below, and the “Jesuit Sun” consisting of 32 rays – 16 straight and 16 wavy, placed alternately.

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Segundo, Juan Luis (1925-1996)

Uruguayan Jesuit; liberation theologian

Juan Luis Segundo has been called “the most original and the most profound of Latin American theologians.” After theological studies at Louvain in Belgium (where the diocesan priest-theologian Gustavo Gutierrez , often said to be the father of Latin American liberation theology, was his classmate), he returned to Montevideo and worked for ten years at the Peter Faber theological and social center which he had founded in 1965. Out of this experience came his first major theological work in five volumes called (in Spanish) “An Open Theology for an Adult Laity” (English translation titled A Theology for Artisans of a New Humanity [1973-74]).

Segundo established the fundamental method of liberation theology as operating with “the hermeneutical circle,” the circular relationship between a theologian’s social context and her or his interpretation of doctrines or texts. Since “all ideas are always encountered in and within a social context, one cannot know God’s self-revelation except as that revelation is embodied in a social context or lived experience.” Failure to take account of the historical character of Christian faith “condemns the Christian faith to irrelevance” (Goizueta, “Juan Luis Segundo,” in A New Handbook of Christian Theologians[1996].

See Hinsdale, “Jesuit Theological Discourse after Vatican II,” The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits [2008]).

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Service Learning

To be fully prepared to find one's place in a rapidly changing global society, experience in the world, including the local community, is an integral part of Ignatian pedagogy. As the former Superior General, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., stated, “Solidarity is learned through 'contact' rather than through 'concepts'...When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change…..All American universities, ours [Jesuit] included, are under tremendous pressure to opt entirely for success in this sense [acquiring professional and technical skills]. But what our students want — and deserve — includes but transcends this ‘worldly success’ based on marketable skills. The real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become.” Service experiences challenge people to use their talents and abilities to make this a better world, to become “agents of change” and become people of competence and compassion.

Service learning offices and officers at Jesuit universities
from the Service Learning Office at LMU

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The Service of Faith

and the Promotion of Justice

In 1975, Jesuits from around the world met in solemn assembly (General Congregation 32) to assess their present state and to sketch plans for the future. Following the lead of a recent international assembly ("synod") of Catholic bishops, they came to see that the hallmark of any ministry deserving of the name Jesuit would be its "service of faith" of which the "promotion of justice" is an absolute requirement. In other words, Jesuit education should be noteworthy for the way it helps students — and for that matter, faculty, staff and administrators — to move, in freedom, toward a mature and intellectually adult faith. This includes enabling them to develop a disciplined sensitivity toward the suffering of our world and a will to act for the transformation of unjust social structures that cause that suffering. The enormous challenge, to which none of us are entirely equal, nevertheless falls on all of us, not just on campus ministry and members of theology and philosophy departments.

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Seton, Elizabeth Bayley (1774-1821)

Founder of the Sisters of Charity, first community of women religious founded in the U.S.; first native-born U.S. saint

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton began the Sisters of Charity, the first religious community of women founded in the United States. She was born into a prominent Episcopalian family in New York City, August 28, 1774. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, was a physician, professor of medicine, and one of the first health officers of New York City. Her mother, Catherine Charlton Bayley, daughter of a Protestant Episcopal minister, died when Elizabeth was only three years old.

Elizabeth married William Magee Seton, scion of a wealthy New York mercantile family with international connections, January 25, 1794, at the home of her sister, Mary Bayley Post. Five children were born between 1795 and 1802, Anna Maria, William, Richard, Catherine, and Rebecca. As a young society matron, Elizabeth enjoyed a full life of loving service to her family, care for the indigent poor, and religious development in her Episcopal faith, nurtured by the preaching and guidance of Rev. John Henry Hobart, an assistant at Trinity Church.

As the eighteenth century drew to a close, a double tragedy visited Elizabeth. Political and economic turmoil took a severe toll on William Seton's business and on his health. He became increasingly debilitated by the family affliction, tuberculosis. Hoping to arrest the disease, Elizabeth, William, and Anna Maria embarked on a voyage to Italy. On their arrival in Leghorn, they were placed in quarantine; soon after, December 27, 1803, William died. Waiting to return to their family, Elizabeth and Anna Maria spent several months with the Filicchi brothers of Leghorn (Livorno), business associates of her husband.

For the first time Elizabeth experienced Roman Catholic piety in her social equals. She was deeply impressed, especially by the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. She returned to New York in June 1804, full of religious turmoil. After almost a year of searching, she made her profession of faith as a Roman Catholic in March 1805, a choice which triggered three years of financial struggle and social discrimination. At the invitation of several priests, she moved with her family to Baltimore in June 1808 to open a school for girls.

Catholic women from around the country came to join her work. Gradually, the dream of a religious congregation became a reality. The women soon moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where they formally began their religious life as Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph's on July 31, 1809. Elizabeth Seton was named first superior and served in that capacity for the next twelve years.

As the community took shape, Elizabeth directed its vision. A rule was adapted from that of the French Daughters of Charity, a novitiate was conducted, and the first group, including Elizabeth, made religious vows on July 19, 1813. In 1814 the community accepted its first mission outside Emmitsburg, an orphanage in Philadelphia. By 1817 sisters had been sent to staff a similar work in New York.

During her years in Emmitsburg, Elizabeth suffered the loss of two of her daughters to tuberculosis, Anna Maria in 1812 and Rebecca in 1816. By that time she herself was weak from the effects of the disease. She spent the last years of her life directing St. Joseph's Academy and her growing community. She died January 4, 1821, not yet forty-seven years old.

Elizabeth Seton was canonized September 14, 1975, by Pope Paul VI as the first native-born saint of the United States.

From Elizabeth Bayley Seton: Collected Writings, 4 vols. (New City Press, 2000-2006).

RB and JM

For developments in the American Sisters of Charity after Elizabeth Seton's death, see "George, Margaret Farrell."

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Sisters of Loreto

Popular name of the women's religious congregation "Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (IBVM).

See Ward, Mary, and Ball, Frances.

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Sisters of St. Joseph

See "Congregation of St. Jospeh" and "Fontbonne, Mother St. John"

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Social Justice

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Society of Jesus, The ("The Jesuits")

Catholic religious order of men founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola and a small group of his multinational "friends in the Lord," fellow students from the University of Paris. They saw their mission as one of being available to go anywhere and do anything to "help souls," especially where the need was greatest (e.g., where a certain people or a certain kind of work were neglected).

Today, numbering about 17,000 priests, brothers, and scholastics, they are spread out in almost every country of the world ("more branch offices," said Pedro Arrupe, "than Coca-Cola") — declining in numbers in Europe and North America, but holding steady in India, Africa, Latin America and the Far East. The largest group is from India, where Christians are a tiny and sometimes persecuted minority. India has more than one fifth of the whole membership and about one third of the Society's novices and scholastics (those in early formation, the first ten to twelve years). The U.S. and Latin America each have 14% of the total.

The abbreviation "S.J." after a person's name means that he is a member of the Society of Jesus.

See also: Religious Order/Religious Life

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The Society of Jesus in the United States

The Jesuit Conference

Provinces
Provinces in a reorganization taking place over the coming decade (2010-2020)
  • California-Oregon
  • Chicago-Detroit-Wisconsin
  • Maryland-New England-New York
  • Missouri-New Orleans

The number of Jesuits in the United States in 2013: 2467

  • 2063  Priests
  • 127  Brothers (full-fledged members, but not ordained)               
  • 213  Scholastics (in early formation, from the third year to year ten or twelve)               
  • 64  Novices (the first two years of early formation)                                                                             

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The Society of Jesus around the world

Jesuit communities and ministries (apostolic works) are organized by "provinces" which belong to one of ten "assistancies" around the world. By clicking on the link below, you can access a map of the world color-coded by assistancy. Click on a given color and access all the provinces (and their websites) in that assistancy. 

The number of Jesuits world-wide in 2013: 17,287                                                                                       

  • 5209  Europe— West, South, Central and Eastern (including Canada, Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa)
  • 4016  South Asia (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka)
  • 2467  United States
  • 2447  Latin AmericaNorth and South               
  • 1639  Asia Pacific (The Philippines, Australia, Japan, China, Indonesia [including Malaysia and Thailand], Korea [including Cambodia], Vietnam)
  • 1509  Africa

The average age of Jesuits world-wide is about 57, with those from Africa and South Asia averaging under 50 and those from Europe and the USA over 65.

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Solidarity

Solidarity deals with the “unity that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.”  

“Solidarity” is a term dear to the Polish Pope John Paul II.  He used it often in his writings, especially in social encyclical letters like “The Social Concern of the Church” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis–1988) and “On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum” (Centesimus Annus—1991) and thus it passed into the vocabulary of Catholic church teaching.

President of Xavier University, Michael J. Graham, SJ, elucidated the term as follows: “It denotes a habit of being, if you will, a way that people are and stand with one another as they take on each other’s cares and concerns as if they were their own.  People who stand in solidarity with one another act upon their vocations as sons and daughters of the one God and share the circumstances of their lives; they take the advantages that they have been given and place them at the service of others who have not been similarly blessed.”

Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, superior general of the Jesuits from 1983 to 2008, stated that solidarity is learned through “contact” rather than through “concepts.” He continued to say that personal involvement with innocent suffering, with the injustice others suffer, is the catalyst for solidarity which then gives rise to intellectual inquiry and moral reflection.

Read more on the term "Solidarity"

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Spee Von Langenfeld, Friedrich (1595-1635)

German Jesuit; writer, defender of women "convicted" of being "witches"

Scholar, writer, composer of hymns used by both Catholics and Lutherans, and fighter with his every gift of intellect and rhetoric to expose the scapegoating of women as “witches” and to prevent their execution—burning at the stake.

In the midst of plague, famine, and war, a more terrible evil arose in Germany: a widespread mania for witch-hunting carried out by both church and civil authorities. Spee listened to women accused and “convicted” with confessions of guilt obtained under torture. And he accompanied them to their execution, convinced of their innocence. He was identified as author of the anonymous Latin tome Caution in Criminal Proceedings (1631). An attempt was made on his life; it left him with constant pain. Eventually his bold and incisive moves “halted the madness by exposing it for what it was, an amalgam of superstition, fear, malice, and injustice” (Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus). He died young caring for victims of the plague.

The biographical essay on Spee in Ronald Modras’ Ignatian Humanism (Loyola, 2004) is the best account available in English.

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Spiritual Exercises

Any of a variety of methods or activities for opening oneself to God's spirit and allowing one's whole being, not just the mind, to be affected. The methods — some of them more "active" and others more "passive" — might include vocal prayer (e.g., the Lord's Prayer), meditation or contemplation, journaling or other kind of writing, reading of scripture or other great works of verbal art, drawing, painting or molding with clay, looking at works of visual art, playing or listening to music, working or walking in the midst of nature. All of these activities have the same goal in mind—discontinuing one's usual productive activities and thus allowing God to "speak," listening to what God may be "saying" through the medium employed.

Resource page on Ignatian Spirituality and Spiritual Exercises

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Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life

see "Nineteenth Annotation Retreat"

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The Spiritual Exercises

An organized series of spiritual exercises put together by Ignatius of Loyola out of his own personal spiritual experience and that of others to whom he listened. They invite the "retreatant" or "exercitant" to "meditate" on central aspects of Christian faith (e.g., creation, sin and forgiveness, calling and ministry) and especially to "contemplate" (i.e. imaginatively enter into) the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Ignatius set all of this down in the book of the Spiritual Exercises as a handbook to help the guide who coaches a person engaged in "making the Exercises." After listening to that person and getting a sense for where he/she is, the guide selects from material and methods in the book of the Exercises and offers them in a way adapted to that unique individual. The goal of all this is the attainment of a kind of spiritual freedom, the power to act — not out of social pressure or personal compulsion and fear — but out of the promptings of God's spirit in the deepest, truest core of one's being — to act ultimately out of love.

As originally designed, the "full" Spiritual Exercises would occupy a person for four weeks full-time, but Ignatius realized that some people could not (today most people cannot) disengage from work and home obligations for that long a time, and so it is possible to make the "full" Exercises part-time over a period of six to nine or 10 months — the "Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life." In that case, the "exercitant," without withdrawing from home or work, devotes about an hour a day to prayer (but this, like nearly everything in the Exercises, is adaptable) and sees a guide every week or two to process what has been happening in prayer and in the rest of his/her life.

Most of the time people make not the "full" Spiritual Exercises but a retreat in the Ignatian spirit that might last anywhere from a weekend to a week. Such a retreat usually includes either a daily individual conversation with a guide or several daily presentations to a group, as preparation for prayer/spiritual exercises.

Ignatius had composed and revised his little book over a period of 25 or more years before it was finally published in 1548. Subsequent editions and translations — according to a plausible estimate — numbered some 4,500 in 1948 or about one a month over four centuries, the total number of copies printed being around 4.5 million. It is largely on his Exercises — with their implications for teaching and learning in a holistic way — that Ignatius' reputation as a major figure in the history of Western education rests.

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Spiritual Guidance/Direction

People are often helped to integrate their faith and their life by talking on a regular basis (e.g., monthly) with someone they can trust. This person acts as a guide (sometimes also called a spiritual friend, companion or director) for the journey, helping them to find the presence and call of God in the people and circumstances of their everyday lives.

The assumption is that God is already present there, and that another person, a guide, can help them to notice God's presence and also to find words for talking about that presence, because they are not used to doing so. The guide is often a specially trained listener skilled in discernment and therefore able to help them sort out the various voices within and around them. While he/she may suggest various kinds of spiritual exercises/ways of praying, the focus is much broader than that; it is upon the whole of a person's life experience as the place to meet God.

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Spirituality

The spiritual is often defined as that which is "non-material," but this definition runs into problems when applied to human beings, who are traditionally considered "body-spirits," both bodily and spiritual. In some modern philosophies and psychologies, however, the spiritual dimension of the human is denied or disregarded. And many aspects of our contemporary American culture (e.g., the hurried sense of time and need to produce, produce) make it difficult to pay attention to this dimension.

Fundamentally, the spiritual dimension of human beings can be recognized in the orientation of our minds and hearts toward ever more than we have already reached (the never-satisfied human mind and the never-satisfied human heart). We are drawn inevitably toward the "Absolute" or the "Fullness of Being" [see "God"]. Consequently, there are depths to our being that we can only just begin to fathom.

If every human being has this spiritual dimension and hunger, then even in a culture like ours, everyone will have — at least at times — some awareness of it, even if that awareness is not explicit and not put into words. When people talk of a "spirituality," however, they usually mean, not the spirituality that human beings have by nature, but rather a set of attitudes and practices (spiritual exercises) that are designed to foster a greater consciousness of this spiritual dimension and (in the case of those who can affirm belief in God) a more explicit seeking of its object — the Divine or God.

Ignatian spirituality with its Spiritual Exercises is one such path among many within Christianity, to say nothing of the spiritualities within other religious traditions, or those more or less outside a religious tradition. ("Peoples' spiritual lives [today] have not died; they are simply taking place outside the church [Jesuit General Congregation 34, "Our Mission and Culture"].)

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Starkloff, Carl (1933-2008)

American Jesuit; Native American dialogue partner, missiologist

Carl Starkloff worked with Native Americans in Canada and the U.S. for some 30 years. His rich experience yielded important and enlightening testimony from this cross-cultural dialogue. He describes his early experience of this ministry as a “tensive interaction.” Only when a fundamental equality of all partners was assumed did such conversations become true engagements of interfaith dialogue. “[F]or the first time [Native leaders] were being listened to as representatives of an authentic religious tradition” (Starkloff, “After September 11, 2001: Whither Mission?” In All Things (publication of U.S. Jesuit Social Ministries Office) [Fall/Winter 2001]. See also Hinsdale, “Jesuit Theological Discourse since Vatican II,” Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits [2008]).

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Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits

Recent issues can be viewed online by the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality in their archive.

Superior General

Superior General is the title given to the world leader of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order. There have been 30 since the formation of the order, beginning with Ignatius of Loyola in 1541. Superiors general are elected for life by Jesuit delegates from around the world, gathered together in a general congregation. The current leader, elected in January 2008 during GC 35, is Adolfo Nicolás (1936- ), a Spaniard who had spent most of his Jesuit life in Japan and the Far East.

Go forth and set the world on fire.
Ignatius Loyola, SJ - 1st Superior General  
                                                                                                Superior General Adolfo Nicolas greets Pope Francis

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.
Pedro Arrupe, SJ - 28th Superior General

Solidarity is learned through contact rather than through concepts. When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.
Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ - 29th Superior General

And then [living in a world as different as the Far East] has taught me to smile at the difficulties, at human imperfection, the human reality. In Spain I was a little intolerant, thinking in terms of order, of commands, because I thought of religion as fidelity to religious practices, and in Japan I learned that true religiosity is more profound, that one must go to the heart of things, to the depths of our humanity, whether we are speaking of God or we are speaking of ourselves and of human life.
Adolfo Nicolás, SJ - 30th Superior General

Superiors General (from Ignatius Loyola to Adolfo Nicolás)

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Suppression of the Society of Jesus (1773-1814)

Various theories have been put forward to explain the suppression of the Jesuits: the Enlightenment critiques of Diderot and Voltaire, the process of secularization that culminated in the French Revolution, the Society’s own supposed misdemeanors - alleged laxity in moral teaching, erroneously supposed enormous wealth from the missions in South America, missionary work in the non-European world that made too many concessions to local cultures, the order’s supranational character in a Europe made up of increasingly national churches. Yet, as Jonathan Wright, a reputable independent scholar puts it, “striving for some over-riding explanation of the Jesuits’ destruction is a mistake. No single explanation fits the facts of the various national suppressions [Portugal in 1759, France in 1764, Spain in 1767]. . . [E]ach of the national suppressions has to be explained as a discrete political event, governed by particular grudges and aspirations.” Finally, under extreme pressure from the Bourbon monarchs, the new pope, Clement XIV, signed the papal “brief” of suppression in the summer of 1773. It seemed, said the pope, as if “I have cut off my right hand.”

Many of the former Jesuits suffered, not just the loss of their school buildings and other properties, but exile and worse, though some thrived as members of new orders or as diocesan priests (in the U.S., John Carroll became the first bishop and the founder of Georgetown College - now University). In Prussia [temporarily] and in Russia [through all the years of suppression] the corporate Society lived on because the rulers refused to promulgate the pope’s brief of suppression. The Russian Society of Jesus was given official papal recognition in 1804. And when in 1814 the world-wide order was restored, various national and local communities of Jesuits began their existence by affiliating with the Society there.

During the forty to fifty years of suppression, the upheaval of the French Revolution took place and in its aftermath the turn of Europe back to the stability of conservative politics and religion. And the Society itself, in spite of operating in a very cautious manner, unknowingly lost some of its understanding and practices of the living spiritual tradition going back to the founder Ignatius (1491-1556). They would not be recovered until well into the 20th century.

See Wright, "The Suppression and Restoration," Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (2008).

See related information on the Restoration of the Society of Jesus
See brief videos on the Suppression and Restoration
Resource page for the Suppression and Restoration of the Society of Jesus

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Sustainability

Sustainability is “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (from The Brundtland Report - A United Nations sponsored study of the relationship between economic development and the environment published as "Our Common Future" in 1987).

At the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference in October 2006, 12 presidents agreed to launch the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. Since then, a number of Jesuit university presidents have signed the Commitment, including Michael J. Graham SJ who stated, "As a Catholic, Jesuit University, it is Xavier's responsibility to undertake issues which have an impact not only on our campus, but on all of today's society."

Initiatives at Jesuit universities:

"Sustainability and the Jesuit Mission" July 2012 by Kathleen R. Smythe, Ph.D.
Adapted from a presentation made to AJCU Leadership Seminar, 20 June .

"The Place of Sustainability and the Environment within Roman Catholic Thought" a speech by Michael J. Graham, S.J., President of Xavier University, given on Sustainability Day, November 7, 2011.

Ignatian Spirituality & Sustainability by Annette Marksberry, 2011.

Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration which is published by eight national Catholic organizations, including the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

.         See 2-minute video clips on Sustainability issues

See ecology.

See XU Sustainability and Mission Seminar

See resource page Ecology and Sustainability

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

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Jesuit Terms T

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1881-1955)

French Jesuit; paleontologist; one of the great minds of the 20th century

Paleontologist and proponent of a poetic synthesis of the evolutionary perspective of modern science with the Christian worldview. Precursor of today’s ecologists in their respect and love for the Earth.

Exiled to China in 1923 (he was there for the better part of 23 years) to prevent his teaching and lecturing on evolution, he could not have gone to a better place. There—along with participating in scientific expeditions in Central Asia, India, and Burma—he was a member of the team that discovered Peking Man, another link of evidence in the chain of human evolution.

The last years of his life Teilhard lived in New York elaborating a kind of new anthropology. Most of his non-technical writings were kept from publication and only appeared, without church approval, after his death. The Human Phenomenon (new translation by Sarah Appleton-Weber 1999), The Future of Man (1959), The Divine Milieu (1960) and other works called forth an extraordinary response from many quarters; they also engendered much controversy.

In these non-technical works, he used scientific data, but the method was not science. Rather it was poetic and visionary.

See the superb biography by Ursula King Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin (Orbis, 1996).

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Tertianship

The stages of Jesuit formation

The last phase of a Jesuit's (early) formation. It takes place only after several years of full-time (ordained) ministry. The name comes from the Latin word for "third" and so this stage is sometimes called "third probation" (the first two years of probation being the Novitiate years back at the beginning of Jesuit life). The Tertian once again makes the 30-day Spiritual Exercises under individual guidance and often spends some time living and working among the poor. T-ship lasts anywhere from a semester to a whole academic year or, in a common contemporary adaptation, two consecutive summers. Given today's longevity, it often becomes important for a Jesuit to pursue some further formation later in life and in an ongoing way.

See also Novitiate, First Studies, Theology and Regency

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Theology

The stages of Jesuit formation

The fourth stage of a Jesuit's formation and education consisting of 3 years of theological studies and supervised ministry leading to the professional degree of Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and in a 4th year study for an advanced master's degree or further ministerial work. Ordination, for those going on to priesthood, usually takes place after the third year. In contrast to the practice before Vatican Council II, the Jesuit brother now goes through the same stages pursued by a "scholastic" (one headed to priesthood), with minimal adjustment because he won't be ordained.

See also Novitiate, First Studies, Regency and Tertianship

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Theology

The examination of the nature of God, God's relation to the world, and rational inquiry into religious questions. The word "theology" comes from two Greek words that combined mean "the study of God."

Theology on the Internet
A Resource from the Xavier University Library


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Traub, George (1936- )

American Jesuit; teacher, mentor, and author

George W. Traub, SJ, has spent 25 years fostering a greater understanding of Jesuit mission and identity and has spent more than 35 years in Jesuit education. Currently he is Jesuit Scholar in the Center for Mission and Identity at Xavier University. He is the editor of An Ignatian Spirituality Reader (Loyola Press) and A Jesuit Education Reader (Loyola Press), and author of the best selling Do You Speak Ignatian?, as well as much of "Jesuit A to Z" including the 60-some Jesuit biographies here on Jesuit Resource.

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Trent, Council of (1545-1563)

During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and afterwards, one often heard negative reference to the Council of Trent, and that council was certainly different from Vatican II. For example, it took place, not in a major city, but in a northern Italian town that was part of the Empire; its three sessions happened over the course of 18 years; attendance by the bishops was poor—out of a possible total of 700, fewer than 30 were present at the beginning of the first two sessions; at best toward the end there were 300; and the three popes who reigned during these years, though absent in Rome, regularly dictated what they wanted it to do.

But in the context of its time—the Protestant Reformation was in high gear—it became a key part of the reform of the Catholic church and set the pattern of early modern Catholicism that would last in many ways unchanged until Vatican II four hundred years later.

Trent established seminaries for the better education of a then relatively ignorant clergy and urged bishops to live in their own diocese instead of being “absentee landlords.” It also put heavy emphasis on the sacraments and brought about a much tighter control over the sacrament of matrimony; fostered a devotional style that minimized the Bible; promoted a narrow intellectual life (e.g., the Index of Forbidden Books); and gave the impression that the way things were from the 16th to the 20th century was the way they had always been and the way they ought to be. With little knowledge of history, it was possible to believe that “The church does not change.”


See O’Malley, Trent: What Happened at the Council (2012).

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Trinity

The central Christian doctrine—that God, within God’s being, is three-in-one, is “relational,” is mutual self-giving love. How this can be is a mystery—true but beyond human understanding.

Appreciating this doctrine helps to understand the call in Christian ethics to self-giving love, to generosity and sharing, to community and the common good. (see Matthew 25:31-46—an ethic growing out of the doctrine of Christians [and others] as the "body of Christ.")

See Matthew 25:31-46—An ethic growing out of the doctrine of Christians (and others) as the “body of Christ.”

As Mystery beyond adequate human comprehension, the Trinitarian God is easily misunderstood; words about God are always inadequate.  Xavier theologian Joseph Bracken, among others, reminds us that God-language is not to be understood literally, but only “analogically” or “metaphorically.”  (In analogy and metaphor, only part of a term’s usual meaning—the “figurative”—is affirmed as true, while part is denied as false—the “literal.”  For example, “He is a prince” said of a man who is not literally the son of a king, but who has outstanding qualities as a human being.)

Our frequent use of the Trinitarian terms “Father” and “Son” (for example, in the words to the sign of the cross) without this theological awareness can lead us unwittingly into thinking that God is male.  The orthodox truth, however, is that God is Spirit; God has no gender.  Here is where feminist theological discourse can aid us by inviting us to use a variety of images (and pronouns?) for God and not just masculine ones (the bible contains feminine as well as masculine and some impersonal images of God, though the masculine ones predominate).

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Two Standards (banners, flags), Two Leaders

Ignatius places this meditation in Week 2 of the Exercises as part of the preparation for making a good (or better) choice of some moment. David Fleming, SJ, in his "Contemporary Reading," gives it the title "A Meditation on Two Leaders, Two Strategies." The two leaders are Lucifer (Satan) and Jesus. Lucifer's strategy is to lead human beings from riches to honors to pride, and from there to every other vice. (A powerful presentation of this can be found in the slippery slide down into evil of the main character [the honored ophthalmologist] in Woody Allen's film Crimes and Misdemeanors.)

Some Christian feminist spiritual theologians have done a revisionist critique of Ignatius' strategies and their applicability. For women, they are convinced that the riches to honors to pride scenario is not the one to be counteracted. Women already have too much poverty and relative powerlessness and sometimes even abuse in their lives. Rather they need from Jesus and the gospels positive images of women's empowerment (Luke 10:38-42) leading to a sense of hope and self-worth. (To see a schematic presentation of this position, click here.)

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

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Jesuit Terms U

Ultimate Reality, Human Knowledge of

Here are three ways of coming to understand how limited human beings reach some kind of knowledge of Ultimate Reality—the Divine—God:

(1) Following the 20th-century German Catholic theologian Karl Rahner . . .
Ultimate Reality—God—is not like the ordinary contents that fill our consciousness. Rather God is the “Horizon” against which all our ordinary knowing takes place and tends.

(2) In Buddhism, there are the “10,000 things” and then beyond them there is
Ultimate Reality, best called “No-thing.”

(3) The 20th-century Indian Jesuit spiritual teacher Tony De Mello says:
Do not mistake the “pointer” toward Ultimate Reality for that Reality itself.

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Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)

For more information concerning the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and the events surrounding them, see The Martyrs of the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA).

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Universities and Colleges

Homepages

See Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

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Jesuit Terms V

Valignano, Alessandro (1538-1606)

Italian Jesuit; architect of inculturation for Japan and China

For 33 years Alessandro Valignano served as “visitor” to the Jesuit missions in India, Japan, and China, consolidating the work begun by Francis Xavier.

Convinced that Jesuit missioners must dissociate themselves from the marauding ways of western adventurers, he drew up the following mission principles:

A deep sympathy and respect for the intellectual and spiritual values of the [peoples]; the most perfect command possible of the language; the use of science as a step in the introduction of the faith; the development of the apostolate of writing and conversation; special concern for the cultivated classes on whom the government . . . depended; and the primacy of supernatural virtue (Bangert, A History of the Society of Jesus [1986]).

In 1582 a gifted 30-year-old Italian scholar, scientist, and linguist named Matteo Ricci arrived in China. He became the epitome of Valignano’s principles.

Concerning Japan, Valignano convinced Pope Gregory XIII to grant the Jesuits exclusive rights to evangelize the country—on the grounds that Jesuit (largely Portuguese) and Franciscan (Spanish) mission principles and activities were so vastly different that the Japanese would take Christianity for nothing more than bickering sects. This wise caution was confirmed when 23 years later the Franciscans did come and were soon suspected of being a fifth column for a Spanish attack on Japan. The result was the great persecution of 1597.

Schutte, Valignano’s Mission Principles for Japan (1980-85).
Ross, “Alessandro Valignano: The Jesuits and Culture in the East” in The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 1540-1773, ed. John O’Malley (1999).

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Vatican Council II

Convoked by Pope John XXIII to bring the Catholic Church “up to date,” and continued by his successor Paul VI after John’s death, this 21st Ecumenical (i.e.. worldwide) Council (1962-1965) signaled the Catholic Church's growth from a church of cultural confinement (largely European) to a genuine world church. The Council set its seal on the work of 20th century theologians that earlier had often been officially considered dangerous or erroneous. Thus, the biblical movement, the liturgical renewal and the lay movement were incorporated into official Catholic doctrine and practice.

Here are several significant new perspectives coming from the Council: celebration of liturgy (worship) in various vernacular languages rather than Latin, to facilitate understanding and lay participation; viewing the Church as "the whole people of God" rather than just as clergy and viewing other Christian bodies (Protestant, Orthodox) as belonging to it; recognizing non-Christian religions as containing truth; honoring freedom of conscience as a basic human right; and finally including in its mission a reaching out to people in all their human hopes, needs, sufferings as an essential part of preaching the gospel.

Of equal importance with these new perspectives is the style or genre in which they were delivered. The documents of earlier councils always had a negative tone; they listed errors to be corrected and condemned anyone who held them. The documents of Vatican II, in contrast, were written in a positive tone, in keeping with the “pastoral” approach that Pope John had called for in his initial remarks to the gathered bishops. These documents addressed not just Catholics, but all people; and they urged ideals that many could embrace.

There were at times heated interventions from the floor and a good deal of maneuvering behind the scene. Yet in the end a huge majority of the bishops voted to approve each of the documents in turn. The conviction and determination of those in the tiny minority, however, did not go away. Even before the Council closed, Paul VI indicated that there would be no reform of the Roman Curia (the Vatican offices). And afterwards, because that tiny minority controlled the Curia and the appointment of bishops worldwide, they have been able to bring about a return to earlier, pre-Vatican II ways, in particular a centralization of church governance at the top and censorship of supposed "liberal" or "radical" theologians and organizations.

See Reform of the Church

O’Malley, “Misdirections: Ten sure-fire ways to mix up the teaching of Vatican II,” America (February 4, 2013).

See O’Grady, “’The Spirit Is Still on the Job’: a Conversation with Bishop Luigi Bettazzi,” America (January 25, 2013).

See our resource page on Vatican Council II.

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Vatican Council II, Interpretation of

Theologians—including Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI-- uncomfortable with the direction that Vatican II seemed to be leading the church came up with the term “hermeneutic of continuity” to show that the Council fostered a development which corroborated and confirmed what had come before. This was in opposition to a “hermeneutic of discontinuity or rupture.”

Yet to many contemporary Catholic theologians, a council that proclaimed Protestant Christianity as in some sense part of the church and other religions as containing truth and goodness contradicted the centuries-long Catholic teaching that there is no salvation outside the [Catholic] church. Another key teaching of the Council legitimated “religious liberty” as a basic human right, whereas the teaching and practice of the church for centuries was that error had no rights and could be punished even with death. It is hard to read these changes as favoring a “hermeneutic of continuity.” Perhaps that is why the pope and like-minded theologians
changed their term to the more ambiguous “hermeneutic of reform.”

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

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Jesuit Terms W

Ward, Mary (1585-1645)
Pioneer for Women in ministry; "venerable"

Born in 1585 into a devoted Catholic family in Yorkshire, from childhood Mary Ward knew religious persecution, not unlike trouble spots in today’s world: raids, imprisonment, torture, execution. Frequently separated from her family for her own protection, Mary was inspired by their steadfast heroism. At age fifteen, she felt called to become a religious. Since religious communities had been dispersed decades previously in England and on the continent, cloistered life was the only option for women at that time. She left England to become a Poor Clare. Through special graced insights, God showed her that she was to do something different and would manifest God’s glory. Leaving the Poor Clares, she worked in disguise to preserve the Catholic faith in England before founding a community of active sisters in 1609 [the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary—IBVM] at St. Omer in present-day Belgium. Without cloister, she and her companions educated young women, helped persecuted and imprisoned Catholics, and spread the word of God in places priests could not go. The Sisters lived and worked openly on the continent, but secretly in England to nurture the faith.

At one time, she was imprisoned in England for her work with outlawed Catholics. Many who knew her, from bishops and monarchs to simple people, admired her courage and generosity. In days before Boeing 747’s or even Amtrak, she traveled Europe on foot, in dire poverty and frequently ill, founding schools in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Austria, and in today’s Czech Republic and Slovakia. Criticized and maligned for her efforts to expand the role of women in spreading the faith, she was imprisoned by Church officials who called her a dangerous heretic. Her work was destroyed, her community suppressed, and her sisters scattered. Never abandoning her trust in God’s guidance, she died in York, England, in 1645 during the Cromwellian Civil War. To the end, she trusted totally that what God had asked of her would be accomplished in the future.

Mary Ward taught by example and words. Act “without fear… in quiet confidence that God will do his will in the confusion.” Her unwavering fidelity to “that which God would” was nourished by deep contemplative prayer. To Mary, God was the “Friend of all friends.” She lived her fidelity with cheerfulness and a passion for truth. What may seem to us ordinary was startling in her time: she had no pattern to follow when she established her community for women, except the life and work followed by the Jesuit men. She sought to empower women to fulfill whatever part God called them to play, as did the women in the Acts of the Apostles, as women concerned for the poor. Mary and her companions established free schools, nursed the sick and visited prisoners. Even her Protestant neighbors attested to her love for the poor and her perseverance in helping them. Her concept of freedom for her community, externally from cloister, choir, habit, and rule by men, and internally in the ability to “refer all to God,” enabled her to live undeterred by adversity, never deviating from the way God called her. She invited her followers to “become lovers of truth and workers of justice.”

Not until 1909 did the Church finally recognize Mary Ward as founder of the IBVM. She was a pioneer for women’s role in Church ministry and a woman ahead of her time in shaping apostolic religious life as we know it today. Mary Ward expected much and believed with all her heart that, “Women in time to come will do much.”

In December 2009 Pope Benedict XVI recognized Mary Ward as a woman of “heroic virtue” and conferred on her the title “venerable.”

Copyright 2005 by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, IBVM. All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with permission.

Nearly 200 years after the dispersion of her sisters and her own death, Mary Ward’s surviving community in northern England had a burst of new life when a Dublin-born woman who had joined them brought the IBVMs to Ireland, from where they spread and brought their schools to countries around the world. See “Ball, Teresa.”

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Ways of Christian Living, Two Different

The crucial importance of Ignatian discernment

As American Catholics moved out of the immigrant ghetto and often with the help of a college education into the mainstream of American life in the second half of the 20th century (symbolized by the election of John F. Kennedy as president in 1960), profound changes came to American Catholic culture.  These changes were supported and enhanced by the Second Vatican Council which ushered in the age of the laity; instead of allowing themselves to be treated by church leaders as children told what to do, they had a sense of themselves as equal to (or even better than) the hierarchy in many areas of life and learning.  They needed to be treated as adults—an adjustment not always easy for priests or bishops to make then or now.

In this context, a radical shift was coming in the way many Catholics (like other Christians) lived their lives.  A new way was emerging in which keeping many rules and regulations tended to recede from consciousness and living the appropriate but riskier life of adult responsibility open to circumstances and situations assumed the larger place.  Hence the importance of what Ignatius and the early Jesuits taught and practiced about discernment.  To see a diagram contrasting the two different ways—The Way of Rules and Regulations vs. The Way of Discernment—click here.

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Western Conversations

Each fall, six western Jesuit universities sponsor a conference called Western Conversations in Jesuit Higher Education bringing faculty delegates together for in-depth discussions on important topics related to the Jesuit Catholic educational mission. Participating institutions include Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Regis University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University and the University of San Francisco.

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Women

See Juana, S.J.

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Women, Ignatius of Loyola and

See Monsterrat, Our Lady of.

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Women Religious in their Foundations and since Vatican II –

In the fall of 2013, we featured on this “Jesuit A to Z” tab of our website brief biographies of twelve Founders of Women Religious Communities, written for us by members of those communities. They were founded as early as the 16th century and as late as the 19th.  Most have some affinity with Ignatian/Jesuit spirituality.  All of them are well represented among American apostolic (rather than contemplative) religious congregations today. And current historical research reveals that they and their peers have long been key agents for good in the life of the church and the nation (e.g.,  education, health care, social service).

In this time that marks 50 years since Vatican Council II, what makes looking back to the origins of these communities so rewarding is the way their foundations can help us understand active, apostolic sisters today. How well they appropriated the Council’s spirit and teachings. And, in spite of aging and of shrinking numbers, how creatively and compassionately they are serving the church and the world in their 21st-century ministries. One could say that the Spirit is palpably alive in them.

To read more, click here.

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Women Religious in the U S after Vatican II, Life and Work of Apostolic –

A new prophetic “life-form”

One consequence of the Vatican investigation of U S women’s apostolic communities (launched in 2009) was a new sense of awareness of their distinctive identity. Sandra Schneiders, IHM, articulated this sense in a series of five essays for the National Catholic Reporter online. Here are some of the characteristics she identifies:

          • Women’s religious life, despite the numbers, is not dead or 
          dying; it will survive.
          • The three vows are maintained and reinterpreted to yield new
          life—consecrated celibacy gives the freedom to go where 
          the need is; obedience is given to the gospel and not to a
          superior; poverty is real when sisters live among and/or work
          with the poor. 
          • Community life happens because the sisters interact with one another
          in frequent and meaningful ways, not because they live under the
          same roof.
          • After the gospel, the “bible” of post-Vatican II sisters is the last
          document of the Council “The Church in the Modern World.”
          • These sisters do not belong to the clerical power structure of the
          church. Rather than being at the center, they are at the margin
          where they can exercise a critical and prophetic role over against 
          the failures of the main stream. (If they were ordained, they
          would lose their marginality, their “power.”)
          • In contrast to male religious orders who tend to keep corporate
          institutional ministries, sisters’ ministries are often individual—
          just one sister among lay people.
          • The distinctiveness of individual communities and spiritualities
          is giving way to a sense of solidarity across community lines;
          collaboration in formation, living, and ministry is common.

For a fine summary of Schneiders’ presentation, see McBrien,, “Essays in Theology” (March 16 and 23, 2010), National Catholic Reporter online.

For the full context of her original essays along with those essays themselves, see Schneiders’ book-length version: Prophets in Their Own Country: Women Religious Bearing Witness to the Gospel in a Troubled Church (Orbis, 2011).

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Women Religious Communities, Founders of Some

Many of the following founders and their communities have an affinity for Ignatian/Jesuit spirituality. But, with or without this connection, the sisters’ biographies have an importance in themselves. In what they founded, one can often see the seeds of women’s religious life that would come to be after Vatican II. 
See the entries under each individual founder’s name:

Barat, Madeleine Sophie Religious (Society) of the Sacred Heart rscj

Billiart, Julie, & Francoise Blin de Bourdon Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur SNDdeN

Clarke, Mary Frances Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary BVM

Couderc, Therese Religious of the Cenacle rc

Durocher, Marie Rose Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary SNJM

Fontbonne, St. John Sisters of St. Joseph CSJ

George, Margaret Farrell Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati SC

Guerin, (Mother) Theodore Sisters of Providence SP

McAuley, Catherine Sisters of Mercy RSM

Merici, Angela The Ursulines OSU

Seton, Elizabeth Bayley Sisters of Charity [in the US] SC

Ward, Mary Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sisters of Loreto) IBVM 

For the lives of some contemporary women religious, see
"Women Religious, Some Contemporary"

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Women Religious, Some Contemporary

For the lives of some contemporary women religious, see
John Feister, Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives (Franciscan Media [formerly St. Anthony Messenger Press], 2013):

-----Helen Prejean, Joan Chittister, Dorothy Stang, Thea Bowman, and others----- 

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

 

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms X

Xavier, Francis (1506-1552)

One of the first companions at Paris; missioner to India and Japan; saint

Native like Ignatius of the Basque territory of northern Spain, Francis became a close friend of Ignatius at the University of Paris, came to share Ignatius' vision through making the Spiritual Exercises, and realized that vision through missionary labors in India, the Indonesian archipelago and Japan. He was the first Jesuit to go out to people of non-European culture. And as he moved from his early missionary endeavors in India to his later ones in Japan, it seems that the implications of what we call inculturation started to dawn on him.

In Spanish, the name is often spelled "Javier."

In the Footsteps of Saint Francis Xavier
Mark Antulov

Francis Xavier: A Contemporary View of His Life and Work
Debra Mooney, Xavier University

St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) on the Catholic Information Network
Kate O'Brien

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Xavier University

Cincinnati, Ohio

Quick Facts
  • Founded in 1831
  • Private, coeducational university
  • Provides a liberal arts education in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition
  • The third-largest independent institution in Ohio
  • Sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation
  • One of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities nationwide
Notables
  • U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges issue ranks Xavier No. 2 among 142 master's-level colleges and universities in the Midwest. Xavier has ranked in the report's top 10 for 10 straight years.
  • Xavier was named one of the "Best 366 Colleges in America" by The Princeton Review.
  • The Williams College of Business is listed as one of the "Best 290 Business Schools" in the nation, according to The Princeton Review's guidebook of business schools.
  • Xavier is ranked as the most desirable institution to attend among 139 master's-level colleges and Universities, according to a survey of college-bound students by Carnegie Communications.
  • Xavier's freshman retention rate of 88 percent exceeds the national average of 75 percent.
  • Xavier's five-year medical school acceptance rate of 80 percent for applicants to enter vs. national acceptance rate of 46 percent.
  • The average rate of graduation for student-athletes (approximately 80 percent) ranks among the best in the nation.
  • International study opportunities are offered in more than 16 countries; service learning semesters offered Nicaragua, Ghana, India, Nepal and urban Cincinnati.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms Y

Terms Y

Youth Comments

Comments on Jesuit Education

The community of Jesuit education provides opportunities for students to look after their mind, body and well-being through reflection, thought and involvement with others. We are pushed towards greatness.
Max Spread

Selflessly giving and placing others before ourselves in any possible way is our call of duty.
David Lorentz

Rather than having a part of my life devoted to serving others, I am working to make everything I do be service of others.
Betsy Hoover

As a biology major, my studies in the intricacies of our world have caused me to reflect upon a divine presence in our midst. I can see the fingerprints of God touching not only the macroscopic world, but also the world under the microscope.
Ashley McMaster

In order to function, you must have food, shelter and clothing. In order to fulfill your full potential, you require much more – most of which tend to be ideas that are forgotten by an active college student... It is important to set aside a regular time for personal reflection
Joseph Van Deman

Still, after each of these failures, not only have I grown as a leader and person, but I have avoided making the mistakes that caused these failures in future endeavors.
William Buckley

The quotes are taken from Go Forth and Set the World on Fire – Student Life in the Jesuit Tradition.

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"

Terms: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | View All

Jesuit Terms Z

Zipoli, Domenico (1688-1726)

Italian Jesuit scholastic; baroque composer and musician; missioner to Paraguay “Reductions"

As a young man, Domenico Zipoli studied with Alessandro Scarlati and other recognized masters. At the age of 28 he joined the Jesuits and a year later went to serve in the Paraguay mission. There he did his greatest work in music for the native people. After only nine years on the mission, he died, not yet ordained.
The Boston College Jesuit musicologist T. Frank Kennedy has devoted considerable attention to Zipoli. See, for example, “Music and the Jesuit Mission in the New World,” Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits (Autumn 2007).

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Zucchi, Nicolas (1586-1670)

Italian Jesuit; designer of one of the earliest reflecting telescopes

An Italian astronomer and professor who designed one of the earliest reflecting telescopes by constructing an apparatus which uses a lens to observe the image focused from a concave mirror. With this telescope, Zucchi discovered two belts of the planet Jupiter and examined the spots on Mars (1640). This was the model for many of the later designs by scientists such as James Gregory and Isaac Newton. Zucchius Crater on the moon is named in his honor.

A list of Jesuit scientists

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JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"