Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

July 30, 2008

Loyola’s Habitat for Humanity Builds up Baltimore

In April Loyola College Maryland and Habitat for Humanity dedicated their second home in Sandtown, a west Baltimore neighborhood.

Sandtown Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization rehabs vacant houses in partnership with the new homeowners. Through volunteer labor and private funding, the completed homes are sold low-income families who purchase them with 20-year, no-interest mortgages. Loyola's first house was completed and dedicated in 2007.

Loyola volunteers began work on the second house, which had been vacant for 12 years, last September. Volunteers removed debris and raised the whole frame of the house 12 inches to accommodate the 6'3" homeowner. Volunteer work included installing windows and insulation, building a deck, and painting and laying foam boards.

Volunteers consisted mainly of Loyola students, but community groups such as sports teams and College departments joined in occasionally. Current and future Habitat homeowners also helped. Plans for a third house are in the works.


Joe Parkes, SJ, Named to NYC Finance Board

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Fordham graduate Fr. Joseph P. Parkes, SJ, as chairman of the New York City Campaign Finance Board. The board seeks to reduce corruption in New York City elections with several initiatives, including matching candidate's fundraising money with public funds and voter education.

Outgoing chairman Frederick A. O. Schwarz told the New York Times about Parkes' qualifications for the office. He said "I believe Father Parkes has, in his year on the board, shown the capacity to discharge the board's obligation to protect the public fiscally while exercising the responsibility to treat all candidates fairly."

Parkes, president of the Cristo Rey High School in East Harlem, is the former president of Fordham Prep and provincial of the Jesuits' New York Province. [Source: The Fordham Ram, 4/23/08]


Zimbabwean Priests Assaulted by Mugabe Supporters

Several Catholic priests have been assaulted by supporters of Zimbabwe’s ruling party and at least one house belonging to the Catholic Church has been burned down, a Jesuit spokesman said. St. Anthony’s mission house in Zaka, in the southeast of the country was destroyed in the violence that preceded the country’s June 27 runoff presidential election, said Fr Oscar Wermter, SJ, who runs the Jesuits' Zimbabwean communications office in the capital of Harare.

Priests in rural areas and at least one in Harare have been assaulted in the crackdown against the opposition to President Robert Mugabe, Fr. Wermter said. "Very serious threats" also have been made against priests and other Church workers, he added. Some parishioners have been "put under pressure to attend ruling party rallies instead of Mass on Sundays," Fr Wermter said, but noted that "the pressure differs from place to place."

The Zimbabwean Jesuits’ June newsletter reported that the priests who have been threatened "cannot operate freely" and a few even "had to be removed temporarily from their posts for their own safety." Some priests "cannot go to remote outstations, or outstation lay leaders tell them not to come because of the instability," the newsletter said. [Source: TotalCatholic, 06/30/08]


Brazil: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Join the Jesuit Campaign

The Regional Superior of the Amazon region, Roberto Jaramillo, SJ, has urged fellow Jesuits and the international community to join a campaign defending the rights of 18,000 indigenous peoples of the Patamona, Wapixana, Taurepang, and Macuxi tribes. Part of their land has been illegally seized by six families of rice cultivators. Following their refusal to return it, a Federal Court decision on the case is currently pending.

This May, the conflict escalated, leaving ten members of the indigenous community seriously injured. Despite receiving death threats, the three bishops of the region continue to support the indigenous communities.

If the Supreme Federal Court rules in favor of the rice growers, it will set a serious precedent. The right to their own land, a right obtained by the indigenous communities after decades of struggle, will then be at risk.  For more information visit our website: . President Lula declared his support of the indigenous communities within a few days of the start of the letter-writing campaign. [Source: Jesuit Curia, 5/2008]


Around the Campuses

Regis Hosts Suicide Awareness Summit

In May, Regis University hosted "Bridging the Gap - a suicide awareness and prevention summit." The mission of the national conference was to "bridge the gap among disciplines and resources to create a united front of stakeholders addressing this critical public health problem," said Jarrod Hindman, manager of the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Speakers included Frank R. Campbell, executive director of the Office of Clinical Research and Consultation and the Crisis Center Foundation; Silvia Sara Canetto, Department of Psychology at Colorado State University; and Thomas Joiner, who has a PhD in clinical psychology.

"Suicide prevention is everyone's business. There is hope and help, and it is always OK to ask for help," said Hindman. The 24-hour suicide prevention lifeline number is 800-273-8255.

More information and a conference agenda can be found at Up

Four University of Scranton Graduates awarded Fulbright Fellowships


Three members of The University of Scranton's class of 2008 have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships and a fourth has been awarded a French Government Teaching Assistantship in the same competition as the Fulbright awards:

The four are among the 121 Scranton students who have received Fulbright grants since 1972.


Graduate School of Business at Xavier University

Xavier University has announced the formation of the Graduate School of Business in the Williams College of Business (WCB).

Dr. Raghu Tadepalli, Associate WCB Dean, will serve as the dean of the graduate school while continuing his current duties. Tadepalli has been at Xavier since 1997 and is also a professor of marketing.

The creation of a Graduate School of Business follows the same path as several other Jesuit schools, including Marquette, Loyola Chicago, Fordham, Gonzaga and the University of San Francisco.


New President for St. John’s Jesuit High

Fr Joaquin O. Martinez, SJ, becomes the new President of St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy this July. 

Fr Martinez, a California Province Jesuit, was most recently the Assistant Principal for Campus Ministry at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco.  He received his Master of Education in School Leadership from Harvard University.

He has served as intern principal of Malden Catholic High School in Malden, MA, as a member of the Board of Trustees for Jesuit High School in Sacramento, CA and of the Board of Directors of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Southwest.


Fairfield University Sends Group to World Youth Day

Students and staff members from Fairfield University went to Manila, the Philippines, working in service projects arranged by the Australian Jesuits, before making their way to World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia this July.

Fr Jeffrey von Arx, SJ, Fairfield president, met the group in Sydney and joined them for several events there, including the Papal Mass.  An additional nine students from Fairfield, who were studying in Brisbane, Australia, also joined the group for World Youth Day.

During the 10-day stay in Manila, the 23 students worked at a house building project; a health clinic and Jesuit outreach center for people who work and live in and around a dump and at the National Bilibid Prison, where a Jesuit prison service ministers to inmates and their families.

When the group reached Sydney, they had a two-day retreat to process their experiences in Manila with nearly 1300 other Jesuit college students from Georgetown, Santa Clara, and Regis Universities, as well as others from Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and elsewhere, who had also been engaged in service trips in Southeast Asia.  [Source: Fairfield University, 7/7/08]


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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