Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

July 13, 2002

In This Issue

Fr General Argues the Intellectual Quality of each Jesuit Work

In a discourse at the Ignatianum Jesuit University School of Philosophy and Education in Krakow, Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, argued "the distinctive importance of the intellectual quality" of each Jesuit work, quoting the last General Congregation (1995).

This requirement goes back to Ignatius himself, but needs to be adapted to the present-day situation as well as an healthy critical attitude, Fr Kolvenbach said.

He made also named two fundamental principles of a Catholic and Jesuit educational institution. The first is that all inquiry can serve to deepen faith and that faith by its nature demands understanding. The second principle is that love of God that does not include love of neighbor is a pious fraud.

The full text of Fr General's discourse is at <> [Source: Jesuits-Europe]

Reflecting on the EU Summit on Immigration

Tackling illegal immigration was one of the main topics of the EU summit held in Seville, Spain, in June. The EU leaders agreed to take more measures against illegal immigration, including measures against trafficking, a common identification system (linked to the issue of visas), and measures to enable repatriation of irregular migrants and asylum seekers whose claim has failed.

Jesuit Refugee Service Europe (JRS-E) is concerned that efforts to control the flow through tighter border controls and more restrictive visas may prevent genuine asylum seekers from claiming protection. Amnesty International says there is already a clear trend in some European countries for laws and practices "which are making it impossible for refugees to lodge their asylum claims."

JRS-E says tightening border controls cannot be the only answer to growing migration pressure. The current system only gives more influence to traffickers. For a long-term solution it is vital to address root causes by measures such as effective intervention to stop human rights abuses in the countries of origin and increased levels of effectively targeted overseas development aid.

A timetable and a clear commitment is needed to address these issues. Also, instead of a "stop-them-coming" approach, the EU needs to establish new coherent legal migration channels in order to ease the pressure on the asylum channel. Without a proper migration channel some economic migrants will use the asylum channel since they see it as the only legal way to gain entry. This means the asylum system becomes over-burdened with claims and those who are really fleeing persecution risk not receiving the protection they need. For the full statement: <> [Source: JRS-Europe]


Jesuits Gather for Conference on Liturgy

In June, the International Meeting on Jesuit Liturgy brought together 122 Jesuits from 44 countries as well as Vatican officials and other Catholic and Anglican experts on liturgy.

Fr Robert F Taft SJ, professor emeritus at the Oriental Institute in Rome, said that, despite the fact that some of the world's best liturgical scholars are Jesuits, the liturgical life within the Society of Jesus is often inadequate.

When Ignatius insisted that Jesuits not be required to recite the Liturgy of the Hours together, he wanted to ensure that the members were free to minister to others at anytime, Fr Taft said. "What Ignatius failed to see, because of the state of Catholic liturgy in his day, is that ... liturgy is, by its very nature and irreplaceably, public and communitarian: salvation is not an individual but a body called the church of Christ," he said.

Fr Taft decried the "largely privatized eucharistic practice" in much of the order where many Jesuit priests celebrate Mass privately each day. "Private preference or devotional needs" are not an adequate reason to go against the church's preference for communal celebrations of the Mass, Fr Taft said. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]


Jesuit Conference Establishes African Jesuit AIDS Network

In a letter to all Major Superiors, Fr General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach announced the establishment of an African Jesuit AIDS Network. It has been set up by the Conference of Jesuit Superiors of Africa and Madagascar; Canadian Jesuit Fr Michael Czerny will serve as coordinator.

"Everyone agrees on both the urgency and the immensity of the task, so I share this piece of news with you and the whole Society in order to solicit your prayer, concern and support in every way possible. I count on the Network itself to inform us about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the responses which Jesuits and colleagues are making with the help of God's grace and the intercession of St Aloysius Gonzaga, patron of HIV/AIDS sufferers, and of all who care for them," Fr General explained. [Source: Jesuits-Europe <> ]


Matteo Ricci is Still Bringing East and West Together

Almost four centuries after his death cultural initiatives continue to recall the figure of Li Madou -- "the wise man of the West" -- as the Jesuit missionary is still known in China.

Ricci was born in Italy in 1552. He arrived in Beijing in 1601, and was welcomed with honors by the imperial court, as he tried to introduce the faith into the Chinese culture.

Last March, in Macerata, his birthplace, the state university opened the Matteo Ricci Institute, which joins five other institutions named after the famous Jesuit. They are located in San Francisco, Taipei, Macao, Beijing and Paris. Among the institute's objectives is the dialogue between East and West.

The first fruits of the institute are two monumental publications on Ricci's fundamental historic/scientific work. The missionary wrote works on mathematics and philosophy as well as other branches of learning.

Meanwhile, after 52 years of work, the "Great Ricci French-Chinese Encyclopedic Dictionary" has been completed, the result of collaboration between the Taipei and Paris institutes. The dictionary has 9,000 pages and thousands of words in 180 branches of learning, ranging from astronomy to Buddhism and from medicine to finance. [Source: Zenit]


California Province Sets Up Review Board

Fr Thomas H. Smolich, California's provincial, has announced the establishment of a board of seven laypeople and one Jesuit to review possible cases of sexual misconduct by Jesuits and to submit recommendations to him. Fr Smolich made three commitments: to put the care of the victims first, to secure that no minor is put at risk by an accused offender, and to attend the needs of the accused Jesuits by appropriately investigating the allegations which are not always valid. The board will consider the policy of the Province and examine the concrete cases referred to them. [Source: SJ Press and Information Office]


Video On Ignatius to be Shown on EWTN

A video featuring the life of Ignatius will be on EWTN on the Feast of St Ignatius, Wednesday, July 31 at 5 pm EST. It was directed by Fr Michael Sparough SJ and has Fr Michael Bellafiore in the role of Ignatius. This presentation is in three half-hour segments.

The video is also available from Loyola Press (1-800-621-1008) for $21.95 .

Jesuit Sentenced for Abuse

Fr Edward Thomas Burke SJ, a retired priest, was sentenced to two years in prison in late June for repeatedly molesting a retarded man at the Jesuit center in Los Gatos, California. He was charged with felony lewd conduct in May and pleaded guilty two weeks later. [Source: Glennda Chui, San Jose Mercury News]


Fr Fessio Named Chancellor at Ave Maria University

Fr Joseph Fessio SJ, who was ordered by his superiors to cut ties with Campion College, has reportedly received an assignment as chancellor of Ave Maria University in Michigan. Fr Fessio, the founder of Ignatius Press, had worked on plans for Campion, a new institution near the University of San Francisco. He was ordered by his provincial to break all ties with Campion and was then assigned as assistant chaplain of a Los Angeles-area hospital.

Recently, Ave Maria University revealed that the Jesuit order had approved the appointment of Fr Fessio as chancellor. His latest assignment will include responsibility for setting up a new campus of Ave Maria University. Fr Fessio is to begin the new campus of Ave Maria in Naples, Florida. He will be living there, and will spend some time in MI getting things going. He will also continue to serve as director of Ignatius press.

"What is being planned is so daunting, yet so crucial for the Church in the Americas, that we need the help of seasoned educators," said Nick Healy, university president. "I asked the Society of Jesus if they would assign Father Fessio to us, and they graciously agreed." [Source: Zenit]


Of Interest On the Web

Catholic Almanac Online

This is the online version of the Catholic Almanac published by the US newspaper Our Sunday Visitor. Ninety-eight years old, the Almanac has become an institution in the US Church. It aims to present 'contemporary information on an encyclopedic range of subjects pertaining to the Catholic Church and its activity in the world'. It has Catholic news summaries, including obituaries and papal trips. There are also listings of all the cardinals and a description of how the Papal Conclave works. There are listings of beatifications and canonizations during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, and much more useful and not so useful information. <>

Interreligious Dialogue at the High School Level

If you're wondering what is happening at Jesuit high schools in terms of interreligious dialouge and teaching about different religions check out: <>

It's part of the US Assistancy's initiative on Interreligious Dialogue and Mission: <>


Remembrance of Things Past


From the Editors

JesuitUSA News is a service of Company Magazine. In addition to the print edition, almost all of the items in Company Magazine can be viewed via the World Wide Web at or Any correspondence concerning this mailing list should be sent to the editor at [email protected] . The newsletter is available to all Jesuits, to those who work with them, or to those who are simply interested in what they are doing. Tell your friends; the price is right! If you are requesting addition to the list, please include your real name as well as your email address. If you are changing your address, please include YOUR NAME as well as both the NEW and the OLD email addresses.

The editor of this Newsletter is Richard VandeVelde SJ who is ably assisted by Ms Rebecca Troha, Assistant Editor. They would both like to remind you of the following useful WWW links for items of Jesuit interest. Many of these links will lead you to others.



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