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Jesuit USA Newsletter

July 16, 2006

Benedict Appoints First Australian Jesuit Bishop

Fr Greg O'Kelly, SJ

Fr Greg O'Kelly was recently named Auxiliary Bishop of Adelaide, becoming the first Jesuit bishop in Australian history.

"I was completely astonished," commented Fr O'Kelly, "because this is quite out of the ordinary for a Jesuit to be appointed to this position so it took me totally by surprise. It is an honor to be asked to serve the Adelaide people in this way."

Fr O'Kelly has served in Jesuit education for more than 30 years and is currently headmaster of St Ignatius College in Adelaide. [Source: CathNews] [Photo: courtesy of CathNews]


US and Latin American Jesuit Universities Collaborate Online

Jesuit universities in the United States, in collaboration with Jesuit universities in Latin America, plan to increase their online options by providing trilingual courses (in English, Spanish, and Portuguese) and an undergraduate curriculum for studying poverty starting in fall 2007.

The poverty curriculum will be modeled after an online, undergraduate course that has been offered for the past two years to students at ten Latin American Jesuit universities.

Fr Charles Currie SJ, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, noted that the online aspect of the program makes it special because for some people it is the only way they can obtain an advanced education, particularly on the international level. [Source: Catholic News Service]

Mateo Ricci, SJ

Jesuit Missionary Commemorated in China

The city of Nanchang in eastern China is building a large square in commemoration of missionary Fr Mateo Ricci SJ (1552-1610). A 10 foot statue of Fr Ricci will be constructed in the middle of the square with a short biography in English and Chinese inscribed on the base. Construction is expected to be complete before September.

Fr Ricci was highly respected in China, both in his lifetime and now. He spent three years in Nanchang and described the city in letters as "a city clean, with wide streets and at least twice as big as Florence." [Source: SJ Curia] [photo: Mateo Ricci courtesy of Wikipedia]


Arabic and Asian Programming a New Priority for Vatican Radio

Programming in Arabic and various Asian languages is a new priority for Vatican Radio. Director of Programming Fr Andrzej Koprowski SJ cited the need for programming in "the Arab language and culture, which is no longer exclusive to the Middle East but also different regions of Europe and the world." (translated)

Fr Koprowski also noted the importance of the Church's development in India and the necessity of developing understanding and dialogue with the cultures in the other large Asian countries, specifically China, Japan, and Vietnam. [Source: Popoli]


Jesuit Adapting Lewis's The Great Divorce for the Stage

Fr George Drance SJ is adapting C.S. Lewis's 1946 novel The Great Divorce for the stage and developing the production with members of Magis, a theatre company he helped found.

The novel is presented as a dream that takes a man on a journey toward heaven where he observes fellow travelers whose anger, skepticism, and worldly interests cause them to turn from God and return to earth.

Drance believes the message of the Lewis's novel is especially appropriate for today's world. "We're at a time of an incredible capacity for self-depreciation and incredible selfishness," he observed.

"We've cultivated an ability to justify certain actions that cause so much misery for others in the name of protecting ourselves. We've made the universe very small. The book asks us to consider it as vastly as God sees it."

A staged reading of the play is planned for this summer and the play is expected to have its premiere in January 2007. [Source: National Catholic Reporter]


New Cristo Rey High School to Open in Newark

A Cristo Rey high school will be opening in the Archdiocese of Newark in September 2007, the first Catholic high school to open in the archdiocese since 1964, and will be located in a former Catholic elementary school that closed two years ago.

Fr Edward Glynn SJ, former president of John Carroll University in Cleveland, has been named the school's president.

The new school, Christ the King, will be part of the nationwide Cristo Rey network of schools that integrate academics, community activities, and corporate internships. [Source: America]


Jesuit Centre in Gujarat Calls for Immediate Withdrawal of Textbooks

Prashant, the Jesuit Centre for Justice and Peace in Gujarat, has called for the immediate withdrawal of textbooks published for final year students on account of numerous manipulations and factual inaccuracies.

The textbooks refer to religious minorities as "factors which stimulate insurgency" in the country and describe Hitler as a nationalist while making no mention of the Holocaust.

A letter from Fr Cedric Prakash SJ, director of Prashant, stated "Anybody reading this textbook will recoil in horror at the mistakes on almost every single page." According to Fr Prakash the passages that cause the most concern "are those in which the truth about minorities is radically distorted."

"The impressionable minds of the children have to be given authentic information," he said in an AsiaNews interview. "The false propaganda in this book could permanently condition their minds with regard to minorities like, for example, the Christians in Goa." [Source: AsiaNews]


Jesuit Centre in London Offers Theology on Tap

Punch Bowl Pub

Theology on Tap, a young adult initiative that originated in the Archdiocese of Chicago, was recently organized for the first time in England at the Punch Bowl pub in London. The Mount Street Jesuit Centre in that city has planned two Theology on Tap seasons with four or five sessions per season.

Theology on Tap provides the opportunity for 18 to 39 year olds to listen to and consider in a social setting contemporary issues and topics of faith. Presentations last for approximately 30 minutes and are followed by questions and discussion.

Dave Stewart, the Director of Young Adult Ministry at the Mount Street Jesuit Centre, said that young adults "are asking for something like this that is not only a form of catechesis, but can also help them live better and witness to Christ better. We hope it will appeal in particular to young professionals, people who feel social and career pressures and are looking to their faith as an antidote to secularization and materialism." [Source: British Province] (photo: Punch Bowl courtesy British Province website)


Remembrance of Things Past


From the Editors

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