02/18/08 Dear Delegates
01/30/08 Dear Brother Jesuits, We tend to have very lofty ideals and this is wonderful. We sometimes forget that some of our brothers are in no way trained to work or minister to the poor, as some of our companions are not either. We need to be a bit more humble and not dispatch with such Jesuits and lay people as if they have nothing to contribute. The Society of Jesus is far more multi-faceted than simply the option for the poor.
01/21/08 Thank you for this
01/21/08 The 35th general
Congregation and its election of such a holy man ( as evidenced in
his life) provides for all of us a moment of great hope.
01/20/08 I want to affirm
what Carole said in her post of 1/18/08. I.e., the notion that Jesuits,
or any priests, have to spend time & energy worrying about how
to make the Catholic Church relevant to any group (women, ethnic minorities
etc) is outdated. Way outdated.
I am inspired to take the time to write this morning because I was a bit appalled to read what your new Superior General said about the Exercises (as posted on Rocco Palmo's website yesterday). If that report is accurate, he said that he's open to taking Jesus Christ out of the Exercises & basically re-writing them for non-Christians. The quote was that the Exercises were meant to "turn a person inside out" and that could be done as long as God was involved & the director kept the person making the Exercises "sane & balanced".
Arrrrgh! Not to rain on your parade but, if the new SG actually believes that, its a long way from what B16 asked the Society to do (affirm your committment to the Church & her teaching) in his letter of this week. If that's the case, you've got a long row to hoe.
01/20/08Dear SJ Fathers,
Reading through the various responses, I thought I might add some thoughts of my own. First, as a white, American, middle-class woman, (and aspiring theologian) I would like to express my solidarity with Chrissie and other women like us everywhere, including America. She writes: "They assume we all have the same view of the church that they have. We do not. Nor do we all share their particular ambitions." This is true among American Catholic women as well; one particular agenda has come to dominate the conversation that Jesuits are having with 'women'--as it often has on the political scene in the USA. Please, do not think that this agenda is representative of "women" at all. At best, it represents 'some women'.
I, for one, have been enourmously blessed by the friendships I have had with many SJs, as well as the great gift of the Ignatian Exercises--among the greatest graces of my life! I don't believe I have ever been offended against by any Jesuit, or any member of the ecclessial tradition 'as such', our sinful human condition notwithstanding.
However, I read with some sympathy the Holy Fathers wishes that the SJ's would examine themselves in light of St. Ignatius' intentions for you and the special relationship he wanted you to have with the Pope. I will continue to hope that this might turn in a more positive direction, in accordance with Ignatius' 'Rules for Thinking with the Church'. The one who holds the keys of Peter, and the Bishops in union with him, possess the sure charism for truth.
It seems to me that a closer and 'less tense' relationship with the Church's magisterium would be a great blessing, would serve to re-energize the order, and make a great difference in the effective delivery of the Gospel to all men and women everywhere.
God Bless you,
01/18/08 Dear Society of
01/18/08 Dear Fathers you
are in my prayers and I hope for the best for the Jesuits.
01/17/08 My prayers are with you during the 35th congregation.
I come from a family of portuguese gentry. The Jesuits have been a part of my family culture for generations. Most recently…..My Dad's middle name is Ignatius. He and and his brothers were educated in Poona ( India) at St Vincent's by the German Jesuits. Many many good Jesuits priests have come from that mission school.
My school, run by the Sisters of St Joseph in Toronto Canada was twinned with Brebeuf College there.
I fondly remember as a little girl- that when Fr Clump used to visit us from the UK he would always have my room. He was a professor of Economics at Kings College- University of London and an old and dear friend of the family.
With the example set by the Jesuits I grew up around I naturally wanted to grow and be just like them. They called out to all that was noble in my young heart. Infact I remember being quite upset, as a child, when I was told that I couldn't be a Jesuit. In those young days I didn't even understand that to be a Jesuit meant I needed to be a priest, I just knew I wanted to be brave and strong and love God enough to be his best soldier and of course wear a cool long black robe I used to grumble that St Ignatius let us girls down because he didn't think of having a Society of girl Jesuits too as St Francis had done for his followers.:)
For my family, through-out our history the Jesuits have always been those brilliant, learned, loyal soldiers of Christ who sacrifice all and risk all for Christ and for His Church. They gave us true examples of what it meant to live out the Chrtistian life.
Now, I am bewildered and deeply concerned and saddened when I hear stories of what is happening at some of the US Jesuit campuses. Or when people make snide comments about the order, about how they have fallen, even betrayed the Church and I always jump to my Society's defence.
I am also concerned by the lack of new candidates to the Jesuits. In some ways I think that this is because perhaps the Society is confused about its identity and role and no one is attracted to join such a group. It is difficult for me as lay person when I speak with Jesuit fathers who seem more confused and lost then even I.
I pray for a new spring time to come for the Society and I often- in prayer- remind St Ignatius that he has an important responsibility to look after his troups still here and I hope that my beloved order will find its way back home so that it can once again speak the truth with authority so clearly and so purely that men will once again flock to serve at its gates.
01/17/08 Press reports such as The Tablet’s article entitled “Obey the Pope, cardinal chides Jesuits” could leave us thinking that we are in deep trouble with the church hierarchy as GC 35 gets underway. On first blush, we might be put off by the tone of the remarks by Cardinal Rodé C.M. about our distance from the hierarchy, and His Eminence’s stated “need to present to the faithful and to the world the authentic truth revealed in Scripture and Tradition”, as if he were suggesting that we were not presenting authentic truth to the faithful and the world. However I think we can all take heart that even His Eminence went to trouble of specifying: “The tradition of the Society, from the first beginnings of the Collegio Romano always placed itself at the crossroads between Church and society, between faith and culture, between religion and secularism. Recover these avant-garde positions which are so necessary to transmit the eternal truth to today’s world, in today’s language. Do not abandon this challenge. We know the task is difficult, uncomfortable and risky, and at times little appreciated and even misunderstood, but it is a necessary task for the Church.” If we are to be active at such crossroads between church and society, between faith and culture, between religion and secularism, there is no way that we can simply repeat Vatican directives or papal formulae. There will inevitably be some distance from, and tensions with, the hierarchy who will sometimes show little appreciation and perhaps even misunderstanding of what we are up to, as we do of them from time to time. As His Eminence has highlighted, the difficulty, discomfort and risks at the crossroads are not caused just by the worldly, cultural and secular. They are also caused by the church, faithful and religious. That’s what being at crossroads is all about. Let’s be of good heart, consoled by His Eminence’s fulsome and unqualified praise of Fr Kolvenbach who led us at those crossroads so faithfully these last 25 years. Let’s re-commit ourselves to “avant-garde positions” which are more likely to be our charism than the Hierarchy’s. If we are being equally misunderstood on both sides of the crossroads, chances are we are being faithful to what Ignatius and the Church have always asked of us.
01/17/08 While the homily
of Cardinal Rode was insightful and commendable he and some others
may be partly misunderstanding the role that the Lord has for the
Society of Jesus. It is placed first and foremost at the cross with
Jesus to announce the Good News that we are saved and live in the
the hope of the resurrection in that Jesus (incarnate, making God
the Father's love visible in the Spirit) is love and life in all things
now and forever. As far as I am concerned the Society is called to
serve Christ Jesus in obedience to Christ Jesus by being obedient
to the Holy Father and the Hierarchical Church. Part of this service
will be to call the Holy Father and the Hierarchical Church to be
obedient to Christ and his Spirit in carrying out the mission of the
Father in union with Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is why it is important that the Hierachical Church too needs
to be humble and obedient and to discern with the Society of Jesus
what is the will of the Father. All are part of the Church, the People
of God. All are part of the hierarchical church.
01/17/08 Carissima Societas
01/15/08 Muchas Gracias to Don Doll, S.J.,and all the good folks at Creighton for making all the technology work for us. The slide show of the opening Mass is spectacular.
Rick Malloy, S.J.
01/11/08 I was interested in the opening homily by Cardinal Rode and his expression of “sadness and anxiety“ over “thinking with the church”. I hope very much that “The Church” will be distinguished from “The hierarchy” by members of C35. I was educated by the Jesuits in the UK at Stonyhurst and Heythrop College. My education provided the basis of a life long relationship with God and inspired me to work first with the Homeless in London and to then teach Religious Education and Philosophy in UK state schools. I have now founded my own company specialising in training teachers to develop independent thinking skills in their students. My passion for the development of independent thought can be directly traced back to my Jesuit education (something that often surprises my secular colleagues). For me the Jesuits stand for an uncompromising, honest and intellectually confident search for the truth. I would be sad and anxious if this were not fully appreciated by the wider church.
... In the Constitutions which he left you, Ignatius wanted to truly shape your mind and in the book of the Exercises (n 353) he wrote "we must always keep our mind prepared and quick to obey the true Spouse of Christ and our Holy Mother, theHierarchical Church".
But we have to be careful: Hierarchy of the Church and Hierarchical Church are two different things. For Ignatius, the entire church (which is hierarchical) is our Mother, not the hierarchy of the church. It is not the bishops and priests who are the Spouse of Christ, but the Church (which includes them, of course). Here the sensus fidelium takes an essential role. With this insight I only want to underline our prophetic mission within the Church. A real religious obedience should include a mature and constructive critical attitude.
01/11/08 Dear friends. I'm an Italian Jesuit working in Brussels. I'd like to share with you some opinions on Card. Rodé's homily. I think his words aren't his only. They come also from Pope Benedict and show his opinion on the Society. We have two task to strengthen:
1st: more obedience to the Holy Father's pastoral indications ( pro life, bio ethics, anthropological questions,...)
2nd: more obedience in teaching Theology, Philosophy, Holy Scripture, relations between Faith, culture and science.
I think all of us have these matter to reflect upon.
Fr. Carlo Sorbi, S.J.
A Jesuit superior general is, in essence, the servant of the Society
and its visions. Whoever that may be let us pray that the Congregation
in Rome, in communion with the members of the Society and the Body
of Christ in the rest of the world, be granted the spiritual freedom
to listen to God's voice and the courage to follow it. Both the ups
and downs in this turbulent world are blessings calling us to grow
into the mystery of God. Love and peace be with you all.
Dear Society of Jesus Citizens:
Editor's Note: Note this summary of Decree 14 of
the last General Congregation, G.C. 34:
12/13/07 I am mindful of the shift of leadership in any society is filled with hope and responsibility. Since a great part of the work of the Society of Jesus is in justice, I would hope that one point of justice to consider is the lack of voice and opportunity for women in the church and governance in particular. With well over half the church as women, it is impossible to imagine a modern educated group of men would not at least consider the political and social treatment of women within the church. Until the men of the church appreciate the gifts of women and offer room to share them, it is difficult to see how Christ is modeled in many current Catholic groups. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if women experienced justice in the church before experiencing it in society. It unfortunately is often just the opposite. The church needs good faithfilled men to open the way. Thank you for your consideration. I will pray for you and all your global concerns. Anonymous
It is so helpful to read about the upcoming Congregation. It is exciting to wonder who the new General will be. He will have large shoes to fill. The Congregation will be in my prayer every day. - Anonymous
12/11/07 I am curious to hear what Jesuits think about ways the Society can contribute to a solution for the enormous problems that are facing the ecology of our world. - M., Colorado Springs, CO
Ministries Home Page
A Ministry of the Collaborative Ministry Office