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Jesuit USA Newsletter

January 5, 2008

General Congregation 35 opens on January 7, 2008

After the opening Eucharist for General Congregation 35 on Moday, January 7, there will be a ceremony at the altar of Saint Ignatius in the Gesù Church. A votive lamp will be lit and remain burning during the time the Congregation meets. Similar lamps will be lit in Jesuit chapels all over the world as symbols of the continuous prayer for the success of the Congregation. The prayers on that occasion will end with the familiar "Suscipe":

Take, Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, understanding, my entire will — all that I have and possess; you have given to me, to you, Lord, I return it. All is yours now; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace; that is enough for me.”

[Source: Jesuit Press Office, Rome]


New Institute to address poverty, racism and migration

Loyola University New Orleans and the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus have created a new initiative aimed at improving the social and economic conditions in the southern United States and in the Gulf/Carribbean. Fr Kevin Wildes, SJ, the president of Loyola, and Fr Fred Krammer, SJ, provincial of the New Orleans Province, signed the documents to formally establish the Jesuit Social Research Institute (JSRI) this November.

Headquartered on Loyola's campus, JSRI will operate within a network of US Jesuit social centers, partnering countries, and other universities. With its creation, Loyola and the New Orleans Jesuits hope to aid those in need through research, education, and advocacy based in Jesuit theological traditions and Catholic social teaching.

The institute will invite faculty and student collaboration in research, social analysis, and theological reflection. There will be a particular focus on academic research, education, and social action dealing with issues of migration, racism, and poverty. An agenda of pilot projects will be established in early 2008. [Source: Loyola University New Orleans]


Zambian Center Launches Comprehensive Debt Management Proposals

Zambia must enforce a comprehensive management strategy to be safe from the risks of high debts and poor management of debt resources, according to a new proposal from the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

Two years after the goals of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative were reached, "Zambia has not made significant achievements in reforming policies, institutions and laws which contributed to the rise of the debt," observed JCTR Debt and Trade project coordinator, Muyatwa Sitali. HIPC and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative significantly contributed to the reduction of Zambia's external debt, which as of last December had sunk to US$1.5 billion from US$7.1 billion two years earlier.

But the application of the nation's debt resources to ensure growth have not produced significant results, with schools, hospitals, and roads still in a dilapidated state. Says Sitali, "The current legal, policy, monitoring, and institutional framework has failed to protect Zambia from falling into unsustainable debt and ensure that new loans benefit the nation." [Source:]


Swansea historian discovers long-lost Catholic manuscript

A Swansea University (Wales) historian is to shed light on a Catholic manuscript lost for nearly 200 years. Professor Maurice Whitehead, an educational historian in Swansea University's School of Humanities, was shown the document last July by Bart Op de Beeck, from the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels. Professor Whitehead identified the manuscript as the long-lost catalogue of the library of the English Academy at Liège, compiled in about 1792.

The school was founded by the Jesuits in France in 1593 and moved to Bruges, Belgium, in 1762. When the Jesuits were suppressed by the Pope in 1773, they fled to Liège and finally to Lancashire, England. The staff of the Academy managed to take part of their valuable library with them. However, the invading French army also seized many of the books, including the library catalogue, taking everything off to Paris.

Many of the manuscripts looted from Brussels and Liège during the French Revolution were subsequently returned to Brussels in 1815, after the battle of Waterloo, and it appears that the catalogue was then misclassified and subsequently lost among other manuscripts in the Royal Library.

Whitehead said: "The list of approximately 7,000 books that made up the library at the Liège Academy gives us a fascinating insight into the educational and cultural world of the suppressed English and Welsh Jesuits and their lay students.

"Particularly interesting is the number of scientific publications listed, and the scholars there clearly kept abreast of developments in chemistry and physics. We also know that they took a keen interest in the emerging concept of electricity.

"It appears that the education provided by the English Academy in Liège was, in many respects, more advanced than the education provided in England, Wales and many parts of continental Europe at that time." [Source: Independent Catholic News, 4 December 2007]


Injured Jesuit returns to LMU

After three surgeries and almost two months of recovery, Fr Richard Rolfs, SJ, returned to Loyola Marymount University on Monday.

A truck hit Rolfs in front of University Hall in mid October; however, the driver of the truck was never identified. At age 84, Rolfs sustained numerous injuries.

Rolfs said, "LMU has been wonderful to me throughout this process with numerous visits and cards" from various members of the LMU Community. [Source: Los Angeles Loyolan 12/06/07] Up

Australian Jesuit urges new prime minister to tackle tough issues

Mark Raper, SJ

Australian Jesuit Provincial Fr Mark Raper has written an open letter to new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, asking him to speak for what is good and just in people's hearts.

Writing on behalf of Catholic Religious Australia — the umbrella body representing 8,000 Australian members of Religious Congregations at work in Australia and internationally — Fr Raper said, "We want you to address questions that stir uncomfortably beneath the preoccupation with economic prosperity and wealth creation."

Fr Raper highlighted a number of issues on the agenda for the new government, including Aboriginal reconciliation, just treatment of asylum seekers, overcoming social disadvantage, and our responsibilities as global citizens.

Australia's religious bodies are already working with marginalized groups, in Australia and internationally. Fr Raper said they were willing to share their experience and expertise with Mr Rudd's government.

Fr Mark Raper is the President of Catholic Religious Australia. His open letter can be found here. [Source: Province Express, 12-Dec-2007]


Remembrance of Things Past


From the Editors

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