Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

June 22, 2002

In This Issue

Cardinal Martini Submits Resignation

As prescribed in Canon Law, Cardinal Carlo Martini SJ submitted his resignation to the pope when he reached the age of 75 some months ago. In May, when Cardinal Martini celebrated 50 years of priesthood, John Paul II wrote to him, in Latin, a letter making reference to some of his accomplishments, with special mention of his work with non-believers. In the letter, the Pope implicitly accepted Cardinal Martini's resignation when he wished him serene days to continue his Biblical studies and rest from his heavy pastoral duties.

Cardinal Martini will travel to Ephesus -- in the steps of Saint Paul, as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles -- with a group from his dioceses to conclude his ministry. [Source: SJ Curia]


JRS Statement for World Refugee Day

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) issued a statement for World Refugee Day, June 20, 2002. That statement and related information about the Jesuit Refugee Service can be obtained at: [Source: JRS]


Romania: First Ordination in 49 Years

Jesuit scholastic Florin Paulet is doing his theological studies in Ireland, where in April, he was ordained a deacon. It is the first ordination for the Romanian Province in 49 years when Fr Emil Puni was ordained in 1943. Fr Puni became provincial and continued in the job for 37 years--the longest provincialate in the history of the Society. [Source: SJ Electronic Information Service]


Solidarity is Necessary in the Age of Globalization, Jesuit Says

A simple African proverb epitomizes the meaning of the word solidarity in the era of globalization, according to Fr Peter Henriot SJ: "I am because we are. We are because I am."

"Solidarity is more than geographic proximity, it is more than economic interdependence," he said. "It is an ethical acknowledgment of the unity of community."

Fr Henriot, orginally a member of the Oregon Province of the Jesuits, has worked in Zambia for the past 13 years directing the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection in Lusaka.

"Globalization is not working for Zambia. It has had success in some places and not in others," he said. In a free-market economy, there is no way possible for Zambia to meet its crushing external debt. Debt service takes 20 percent of the gross domestic product while the expenditures for education and health represent 2 percent each of the GDP, he said.

With a population of 10 million, Zambia is relatively rich in natural resources and a country at peace, Fr Henriot said. However, it is also one of the poorest with 80 percent of its citizens living below the poverty line.

The US media forms the psychological attitudes, he said. Most news of Africa is of negative events and many issues are treated only as they relate to the interests of the United States.

"We also need to improve literacy of Americans," he added. "The future of the globe depends on the future of Africa. If a whole continent goes down, that affects everyone," he said. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]


Diocese of Richmond Seeks Sainthood for Slain 16th-Century Missionaries

Eight Spanish Jesuits who sailed up Virginia's James River in 1570 to convert American Indians and were killed by Indians are being promoted for sainthood by the Diocese of Richmond.

Bp Walter Sullivan announced the formation of a tribunal that will campaign the Vatican to recognize the Jesuits as martyrs and saints. Fr Gerald P Fogarty SJ, who teaches Catholic history at the University of Virginia, said Fr Baptista de Segura SJ headed an expedition from Florida in August 1570.

Accompanying Segura were Fr Luis de Quiros SJ; three Jesuit brothers, Gabriel Gomez, Sancho Zeballos, and Pedro Linares; and three novices, Gabriel de Solis, Juan Bautista Mendez, and Cristobal Redondo.

The group was guided by Don Luis de Velasco, a Virginia Indian who had been captured by Europeans 10 years earlier and was taught Spanish so he could serve as an interpreter.

The Jesuits arrived at Chesapeake Bay in September 1570, then continued about 40 miles up the James River to what is now College Creek. They then traveled by land to a settlement off the York River. De Velasco soon left the Jesuits' mission to live with the Indians, and in February 1571 led the killing of the missionaries, according to the accounts. The only person spared from the group was Alonso de Olmos, a boy whose father was a Spanish settler in Florida. The fact that the Indians didn't kill the only non-Jesuit in the group indicates the Jesuits were slain because of their religion, according to Catholic scholars. [Source: AP]


Center for Refugees and Asylum Seekers Opened in Rome

The Pedro Arrupe House for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Rome was officially opened in May. This new dormitory is part of the National Asylum Plan and was established by JRS Italy/Centro Astalli in association with the National Railways and the Municipality of the City of Rome.

The center, a former hostel for rail workers, has been operational since last November. During the past six months it has welcomed over 150 asylum seekers and refugees including many families with children. Thanks to the collaboration of several associations, the center also provides social and legal orientation, medical care, language classes, and child-care facilities.

At the ceremony, Fr Jacques Gellard SJ said: "This is a very positive sign in light of the very poor situation of refugees and asylum seekers today in Italy. The absence of national legislation has created an extremely difficult situation for those who have been forced to flee their own country in search of protection. Sadly, many asylum seekers, including families with children, end up sleeping in parks, stations, or the streets due to the lack of services and information or simple bureaucratic delays." [Source: JRS Dispatches]


Jesuit Shareholders Swing Weight for Africans

The Jesuit Provinces of Chicago, Detroit, Maryland, and Oregon, members of the US Jesuit Committee for Investment Responsibility, have filed a shareholder resolution with Abbott Laboratories to make their HIV/AIDS drugs less expensive and more widely available in Africa. Abbott currently provides the drugs at the "no-profit" price of approximately $650 per person per year, while other companies are donating them or providing them at cost.

The resolution demands that Abbott increase the "availability of, and non-discriminatory access to, vaccines, sterile injection equipment, drugs, including anti-retroviral therapy, diagnostics and related technologies, as well as increased research and development."

At the end of 2000, 36.1 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS, 75 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa alone. "This effort prioritizes the needs of Africa," said Rick Ryscavage SJ, national secretary for Jesuit Social and International Ministries in the US, "and is one way for US Jesuits to respond."

The American Jesuits have a history of purchasing stock in companies for the purpose of changing unjust business practices. The 34th General Congregation exhorted the Society of Jesus "to do whatever it can to change international attitudes and behavior toward Africa." The president of Abbott promised to make an announcement soon about lowering drug prices and increasing access in Africa. [Source: JCSIM Secretary: Richard Ryscavage SJ]


First Non-Jesuit Director for JRS-UK

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in the UK has appointed a new director, Louise Zanre, its first non-Jesuit director. Zanre, who has been working for JRS for nearly two years, will take up her appointment in September. [Source:]


New Secretary for the Jesuit Social Apostolate

Fr General Peter Hans Kolvenbach announced the appointment of Fr Fernando Franco SJ to succeed Fr Michael Czerny SJ as the Society's fifth Secretary for the Social Apostolate. Fr Franco comes to this post as director of research at the Indian Social Institute (New Delhi) since 1999 and as superior of its Jesuit community. He has done research on poverty, caste, and rural organizations; in 1995 he served as the Gujarat Province's elected delegate to GC 34. He will take office in Rome next September. [Source: Jesuits in Europe News Service]


Expert Assesses Church Teaching on War before, after September 11

Developments in Catholic teaching on war and peace since September 11 demand a new understanding that goes far beyond the just-war theory, according to Fr Drew Christiansen SJ, an adviser to the US bishops on international affairs.

Fr Christiansen traced the history of the just-war tradition before and after the terrorist attacks of September 11 in a talk to the National Association of Diocesan Attorneys meeting in Arlington.

"September 11 and the ensuing war on terrorism have, at the very least, uncovered the diversity of Catholic positions on the use of force, and may drive us yet to formulate a new, synthetic, Catholic view of peace and war," he said. September 11 and the war on terrorism raised a "troubling question," Fr Christiansen said: "Can you win a war against foes on every possible front?"

"As the United States prepares for war against Iraq, it appears to many that the government is acting like the proverbial repairman who attacks a problem with a hammer, because it is the tool at hand," he said. "There is no way, absolutely none, that the US can win the war against terror, or even retain the respect of its allies, if it continues down that path. To win the war, we must wage peace even more vigorously than war.

"It is here in the peace-building work of promoting human rights, the rule of law, the elimination of abject poverty, the spread of education, and so on, that the Catholic vision of peace after September 11 begins to emerge," he said. "More and more it becomes clear that the just-war [tradition] needs to be applied in the context of a wider Catholic vision of peace, and is at risk of being misapplied in absence of that vision.

"The time when the just-war [tradition] alone could define Catholic thinking on war and peace is long past," he said. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]


Jesuit Shares Story of Growing Up as a Minority

At the National Council for Catholic Evangelization held in St Louis in June, Fr Joseph Brown SJ, professor and director of the Black American studies program at Southern Illinois University, shared his experiences of growing up black in a black neighborhood in East St Louis, Ill, and in a white neighborhood in Wisconsin.

Attending Catholic schools in Wisconsin proved to be for him an act of evangelization, primarily because he was "a message of inclusion that was never taught in the classroom."

He also shared stories of his close family ties and how he learned from his family's example, including when his father was denied an education at Saint Louis University because of his race. "The Jesuits told him they weren't ready for him."

Fr Brown remembered getting a scholarship to the university years later. "My father's attitude was, 'What they denied me, you will grab with both hands.'"

Listening to personal stories is what evangelization is about, according to Fr Brown. He said the most important thing to remember in evangelizing is to "trust yourself. Say what you feel. And talk to people that you know." [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]


USF Students Travel to Teach Children Exiled from Tibet

This summer, seven University of San Francisco students will travel to the remote Indian mountain town of Dharamsala to teach Tibetan children in exile.

The group of four law students and three education students will teach English, help local teachers to improve their curricula, and explain the basics of human rights to children ages 7 to 17. The group will teach at several of the Dalai Lama's schools. [Source: USF]


Remembrance of Things Past


From the Editors

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