JesuitUSA News, December 23,2005
Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

December 23, 2005



Merry Christmas

May your Christmas be blessed
With His Hope and His Peace.
May His Love go with you
Every day of the New Year.

The Staff of Company Magazine

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Jesuits Release Document Advocating Ecological Justice

In November, the Jesuits released a plan defining sustainable development to advance what many church leaders are calling "ecological justice." It calls for the use of renewable resources, re-use, recycling, and restoration of nature. It also urges economic policies that take into account human and environmental costs of production. According to the plan, buildings at Jesuit institutions ought to meet high standards of sustainability.

The idea of creating a plan for regional development came from the Colombian Jesuits, who are involved in several collaborative projects with the Oregon province, including a coffee company that uses organic farming practices and pays a living wage to its farmers. Jesuits in Rome and the US, among other places, have also called for environmental stewardship.

"We believe the mandate for Catholics is clear: to become fully informed of the magnitude and seriousness of the problem, to acknowledge our interdependence and our responsibility for the well-being of others, and to work for lasting change that will benefit all within the community of life," the task force wrote. [Source: The Catholic Sentinel, 16 November 2006]

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Loyola Students Create New Guinness World Record

Twelve students at Loyola College in Chennai, India, made an innovative attempt at a new Guinness world record with a non-stop 70-hour enactment of Bible stories. The attempt, which lasted from September 19 to September 21, earned them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, breaking a previous record set in 1982 of 57.5 hours.

The twelve students practiced tirelessly for three years and had hundreds of rehearsals, staging dress rehearsal performances that lasted 24, then 48 hours. Several dignitaries witnessed the record-breaking event and signed the logbook every hour, as required by the rules of the Guinness Foundation. [Source: Jivan, November-December 2006]

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New Pedagogical Partnership for Australian Jesuits

Australian Jesuits welcomed an innovative program involving a partnership between Catholic Regional College (CRC) at Geelong, Victoria, and the Jesuit Xavier College in Kew, Melbourne.

CRC, a co-ed high school with nearly 700 students, seeks to help focus and foster its Catholic identity, and believes that Jesuit educational vision will be a means to this goal. The college has proposed a new name in keeping with this vision: Saint Ignatius College Geelong. Xavier College sees reciprocal benefits for both in the arrangement.

While the partnership does not disturb the governance arrangements of each school, collaboration is expected on curriculum and ethos development. Michael Exton, the Principal of CRC, said, "This new partnership can only…benefit the College and the students and families associated with it." [Source: Province Express 11/14/2006]

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Poet Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Presents New Work

Daniel Berrigan, SJ, poet-in-residence at Fordham University, presented the premiere reading of his new work, Ordina questo amore, o tu che m'ami: Recitative with Four Voices: Ignatius, Francis Xavier, Peter Faber and Chorus, on Dec 10, in commemoration of the Jesuit Jubilee Year. The recitation of the work was commissioned by Fordham and produced, directed, and acted by Fordham's artist-in-residence George Drance, SJ.

Fr Berrigan has combined his life as an outspoken peace activist with a career as a teacher and prolific poet. "Since Father Berrigan is the most accomplished Jesuit poet of our time, I am confident that this poetic tribute to Saint Ignatius, Saint Francis Xavier and Blessed Peter Faber will long be remembered as the most important significant artistic achievements of the Ignatian Year," said Joseph McShane, SJ, president of Fordham

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Jesuit Expert in Islam Assesses Pope's Visit to Turkey

The Pope's visit to Turkey has healed wounds and opened doors in Christian-Muslim relations, according to Jesuit Father Thomas Michel, Jesuits' secretary for interreligious dialogue, and renowned expert in Islam. Formerly the head of the Office for Islam of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Father Michel was in Turkey's capital, Ankara, for the Pope's Nov 28-Dec 1 visit.

It was a visit of goodwill and interfaith dialogue, one that Michel believes will quell some of the recent controversy surrounding the allegedly anti-Islamic remark Benedict made last month in Regensburg, Germany. In a symbolic act, the pope stopped to pray at Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque, a gesture which, according to Michel, "communicated the sincerity of his words" and demonstrated to the Muslim world "that he is a man of God together with Muslims." Michel noted that the feedback from the Turkish people about the visit is "universally positive," and that the Pope has generated "a reservoir of goodwill" that he hopes will be used to further develop friendship with Muslims. [Source: UCANews, 12/12/06]

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Jesuit Refugee Service Gets New Director

Superior General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, has appointed Peter Balleis, SJ, of the German Province, as the next international director of the Jesuit Refugee Service. He will take office on November 1, 2007. Balleis succeeds Lluís Magriñà, SJ, who has held the post since October 2000. Magriñà will return to his native Province of Catalonia for a new assignment. [Source: EMPN 12/6/06]

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Australian Jesuit Calls for End to Non-profit Digital Divide

Jesuit Fr Michael Kelly, executive director of Church Resources in Australia, has called for a non-profit broadband network to help small and poorly funded organizations overcome the "digital divide."

Fr Kelly, whose non-profit organization is the largest buyer of telecommunications services in the Australian non-profit sector, says that internet access will soon become a matter of life and death for church and non-profit groups.

"Despite increased government and community reliance on the sector, many non-profit organizations cannot raise sufficient funds to meet increasing demand for their services." The non-profit sector must utilize technology "for its own survival and to drive down its costs," he says. "For social services, this network access will be critical to fulfilling untold potential. This includes dramatically lifting the quality, reach and impact of their services. It also means reduced costs and improved efficiency.” [Source: CathNews 18 December 2006]

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Remembrance of Things Past

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From the Editors

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