Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

September 14, 2006

Oregon Provincial Speaks to Past Sexual Abuse

Recently discovered archival notes indicate that Fr John Leary, SJ, president of Gonzaga University in the 1960s, had been involved in the sexual abuse of boys and young men. Spokane civil authorities brought allegations to the Jesuits in 1969 and demanded that Leary leave Spokane. The province hierarchy cooperated, creating fictional reasons for Leary’s departure to the East Coast. He died at age 75 in 1993.

"Though I have dealt with various cases of past sexual abuse by Jesuits in my four years as Provincial, this is the only case in which I find such actions by the leadership of the Province, and I am deeply saddened by it," wrote Oregon Provincial Fr John Whitney, SJ, in a statement released Friday, September 8. "I can only surmise that fear of scandal and of harm to Gonzaga University gripped those Jesuits, and led them to accept the offer of the civil authorities. Fear, however, is not an adequate excuse, and is not consistent with our faith and calling."

For the complete text of Fr Whitney’s response, visit [Source: Oregon Province Bulletin, 09/08/2006]


New Programs Emerging to Train Church Leaders in Management

Three US Catholic universities are working to give church leaders the management and administration skills needed to complement their training in ministry.

Boston College announced that in September it will introduce a graduate program in church management. Villanova University in Pennsylvania ran a five-day Church Management Institute in this summer for 33 church leaders from across the country. And the University of Notre Dame in Indiana revamped an existing program to offer a master's degree in nonprofit administration.

"Recent years have shown there is a need for training in church management, especially in Catholic parishes, schools, and dioceses," said Jesuit William P. Leahy, president of Boston College. [Source: CNS]


Jesuit Retreat Centre Silences Retail Giant

A Jesuit retreat centre in Ontario, Canada, has won a ten-year battle with retail chain Wal-Mart to ensure that a proposed store will not be seen or heard by retreatants. In an agreement announced recently, Wal-Mart will install high berms designed by acoustical engineers and a "living wall" of willows and six-meter-high cedars between its development and the Jesuit's 600-acre spiritual retreat.

If the store's presence and traffic noise still intrude on religious practices, the agreement requires Wal-Mart to take further action. In return, the Jesuits and a local interfaith coalition will drop a court case claiming infringement of their rights to freedom of religion.

Fr James Profit, spiritual director of the Jesuit center, said, "This was never about blocking commercial development, but about the protection of sacred spaces." [Source: Cathnews]


Social Justice Magazine Debuts at Saint Louis University

Students from various cross-cultural and social justice groups at Saint Louis University have collaborated to produce a student-led, student-run magazine to raise awareness about international social justice issues. Based on the Jesuit mission, One World explores humanitarian issues in an effort to make reader realize that they have the capacity and responsibility to become involved. To view the magazine online, visit http:\\ [Source: SLU Magazine, Summer 2006]


New Christmas Carols Win Classical Music Awards

Christopher Willcock, SJ and cartoonist Michael Leunig have taken a major prize at the 2006 Classical Music Awards for their series of nine new Christmas carols. The awards were given by the Australian music industry.

Willcock, one of the world's leading composers of Catholic liturgical music, and Leunig won the award for "Choral or Vocal Work of the Year" for excerpts from Southern Star, performed by Sydney Chamber Choir and harpist Marshall McGuire. Southern Star is a series of nine Christmas carols composed by Willcock; Leunig wrote the text.

A commercial recording of the work is planned for release before Christmas 2007. [Source: Province Express, 9/8/06]


New Jesuit Center to Provide HIV/AIDS Services in Togo

The Loyola Hope Centre in Agoč-nyivé, an impoverished neighborhood on the outskirts of Togo's capital Lomé, is being built by the Jesuits to provide holistic HIV prevention and AIDS care services. A fund-raising concert was organized recently by Jesuits and their collaborators in Slovakia; Dan Jacok SJ, provincial Superior of the Province of Slovakia, said the Jesuits had decided to focus on Africa "because this is one of the priorities of the Society of Jesus."

According to a UNAIDS report (June 2004), Togo counts 4.1% of its adults (110,000 people) living with HIV. But organizations directly involved in the field estimate the rate to be about 18%. The maritime region around Lomé registers 60% of the national total of cases. [Source:, African Jesuit AIDS Network]


Rarely performed Jesuit Opera Coming to Fairfield University

Fairfield University's Catholic Studies program will present "San Ignacio," a rare and beautiful baroque chamber opera from the ancient Jesuit missions of Paraguay, on Oct. 13 and 14, 2006. The performances mark only the second time "San Ignacio" has been performed in the United States in recent years. Written by 18th-century Italian composer Domenico Zipoli, the opera embodies many of the central themes of Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, prompting consideration of the eternal questions of human identity – Who am I? Whose am I? Who am I called to be?

T. Frank Kennedy, SJ, a Boston College professor who specializes in Latin American Jesuit music, will introduce the work with a short lecture. For tickets or more information, call the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts box office at 203-254-4014 or 1-877-ARTS-396.


Remembrance of Things Past


From the Editors

JesuitUSA News is brought to you by Company Magazine. The newsletter is free and available to all interested persons. Spread the word. Persons can subscribe to the Newsletter in one of several ways:

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Other correspondence, especially comments, suggestions, complaints, or queries, should also be sent to [email protected] . Please include your name and your email address in all correspondence. The editors of this newsletter are Richard VandeVelde SJ and Ms Marguerite St. Clare. They recommend the following useful web links as items of Jesuit interest.


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