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Jesuit USA Newsletter

March 16, 2007

Jesuit Film Company Starts Up in Munich

This past August, Jesuit Father Christof Wolf, SJ, founded Loyola Productions Munich GmbH in Munich, Germany. Working with Loyola Productions Inc. in Los Angeles, California, the company stands in the long tradition of Jesuit work in the field of education and media. This international film company recently produced films in the U.S., Germany, and Poland. The company also produces educational and promotional films.

Loyola Productions Munich recently released on DVD the documentary “Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Recipe for Living a Life That Matters,” about Bernard Glassman, the founder of the Street Retreats. He teaches a distillation of Zen wisdom that can be used as a manual for business, social ventures, peacemaking or everyday life. The documentary demonstrates the uniqueness and human impact of Glassman‘s work. Currently in post-production is the film "An Auschwitz Retreat: Spirituality Beyond Religion" about an annual interfaith retreat on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

For further information visit the website at: [Jesuits in Europe: News Bulletin #112 - March 2007]


New Apostolic Vicariate

On February 11, the Osservatore Romano announced that Pope Benedict XVI had elevated to Apostolic Vicariate the former Apostolic Prefecture of Nepal and had appointed Father Anthony Francis Sharma, S.J., as the first Apostolic Vicar. Father Sharma was born in Kathmandu in 1937. He joined the Society in1956 and was active in the field of education until 1984 when he was appointed Apostolic Prefect.

Nepal is a country with a population of 23 million, among whom only 6,680 are Catholics. The Church has 5 parishes, 6 mission stations and 22 sub-stations served by 11diocesan and 40 religious priests, and 112 religious women. There are 44 educational institutions and 16 social centres connected with the Church. A Dependent Region of the Patna Province, Nepal includes 32 priests, 29 scholastics and 4 brothers. [, News from the Curia, February 20, 2007, Vol. 11, N.4]


Jesuit Bishop of Youngstown

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop George V. Murry (MAR) Bishop of Youngstown, Ohio. George Murry, currently the bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, will be installed March 28, 2007, at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown.

Prior to becoming bishop, George was president of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C., and was associate vice president of academic affairs at the University of Detroit. George earned a master's degree and a doctorate in American Cultural History from George Washington University, where he also served as an associate professor.

In 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed George Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. In 1998, the pontiff named him Coadjutor Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. He became the Bishop of St. Thomas in 1999.


Australian Report on Poverty and Disadvantage

Australia's Jesuit Social Services, Catholic Social Services Australia and Professor Tony Vinson from the University of Sydney released a report this month called "Dropping off the Edge: the Distribution of Disadvantage in Australia." The study, the most comprehensive national study of its kind, is the third in a series of reports on the issue.

The report finds that despite Australias's recent strong economic growth, some communities remain caught in a spiral of low school attainment, high unemployment, poor health, high imprisonment rates and child abuse. Additionally, only 1.7 per cent of communities in Australia account for more than seven times their share of the top rank positions on the major factors that cause intergenerational poverty.

Ultimately, the report highlights the particularly strong link between intergenerational poverty and low educational attainment. By detaching individuals, families and whole communities from the modern economy in this way, the report argues that disadvantage is holding back the nation’s economic potential.

Fr Peter Norden, Associate Director of Jesuit Social Services, declares that “...the alienation of whole communities within mainstream Australian society simply cannot be tolerated, especially in times of such obvious economic growth and prosperity. We need targeted, coordinated action now from Federal and State governments, before these communities fall off the edge.”

Maps and more information are available at


Liberation Theologian's Work Declared "erroneous" by Rome

The Holy See has declared that the work of Spanish liberation theologian Fr Jon Sobrino, SJ, contains statements that are "either erroneous or dangerous."

National Catholic Reporter says that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruling finds various flaws in the works of Fr Sobrino, who was a theological adviser to the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.

A pioneer of the liberation theology movement, Fr Sobrino's works, Jesus the Liberator, 1991, and Christ the Liberator, 1999, contain statements that are "either erroneous or dangerous" and "may cause harm to the faithful", the official Congregation notification ruled.

A Jesuit spokesman in Rome said that while future disciplinary action has not been ruled out, the Vatican has not barred Fr Sobrino from teaching or publishing.

According to the report, Fr Sobrino wrote in December to the Jesuit Superior General, Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach that he could not accept the Holy See's judgment because it "misrepresented" his theology and because doing so would be to acquiesce in what he described as a 30-year-long campaign of defamation against liberation theology.

"An atmosphere against my theology was created in the Vatican, in several diocesan curias and among several bishops," Fr Sobrino wrote, "and in general against the theology of liberation. This atmosphere was created a priori, often with no need to read my writings." [NCR Cafe, 14/3/07; Vatican Information Service, 14/3/07]


Student Gathering Addresses Poverty and Racism in New Orleans

Students from Jesuit colleges and universities from across the country gathered at Loyola University New Orleans March 9-11 for an Ignatian Family Teach-In to address issues of racism and poverty in the region and encourage students to confront these issues in their own communities. In addition to the Teach-In, entitled "Rebuilding Communities: Facing Racism and Poverty," many students participated in service activities in New Orleans the weeks before and after.

Over 400 students from 20 Jesuit colleges and universities attended the Teach-In, and more than 200 of them also participated in service work. " The opportunity to cap off a week of service with education and reflection about racism and poverty with students from other Jesuit colleges and universities across the country was too great of an opportunity to miss," said Christina Harrison, Assistant Director of Immersion Programs and Outreach at Loyola Maryland's Center for Community Service and Justice.

"Our institutions' commitment to social justice calls us to shed light on the pervasive injustices in our society," said Fr. Charles Currie, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). "There are many places in our country where we can focus our energies on finding solutions to systemic problems and promoting the common good. In light of what the Gulf Coast suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is an appropriate setting to engage our students in many of the pressing issues of our time." [ACJU]


Remembrance of Things Past


From the Editors

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This newsletter is a service of Company Magazine, Copyright(c) 2006-2007. Page maintained by Company Magazine, [email protected] Created: 2/13/2007 Updated: 3/16/2007