Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

November 15, 2008

Jesuits Launch Urgent Appeal for Zimbabwe

The new Zimbabwe provincial, Fr Stephen Buckland, SJ, has issued an urgent appeal for aid to starving Zimbabweans. Buckland is trying to get two shipments of food, valued at just over $300,000 each, to the country before Christmas. So far, the British Province's Jesuit Missions has helped raise enough funds for the first shipment, and has made a significant contribution toward the second shipment.

"While the protracted political continue, most ordinary Zimbabweans are starving," explained Fr Tim Curtis, SJ, director of Jesuit Missions. "Their currency is worthless and their salary does not even pay their bus fare to get to work." Buckland's inaugural homily as provincial stressed the need for Jesuits to respond to this hunger, instability and unrest, violence, and poverty in Zimbabwe. [Independent Catholic News, 6 August 2008]


Jesuits Affected by Ongoing Anti-Christian Violence in India

At least twelve Jesuits have gone into hiding as anti-Christian violence in Orissa, India, escalated after the August 23 murder of a Hindu political leader. Anti-Christian violence in India this year has been the worst in recent history. In the month following the assassination, over 26 Christians were killed, more than 50 places of worship were attacked, and 15 convents and churches and over 4,000 Christian homes were destroyed in the state of Orissa. Fifty thousand villagers have fled into the forests and over 20,000 are living in temporary relief camps.

U.S. Jesuits have been communicating with the Department of State and the Indian Embassy to raise awareness and to call for protection of Christians and minorities in Orissa. [Jesuit Conference, 24 Sept 2008]


Kevin O'Brien Appointed JVC President

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps named Mr Kevin O'Brien its first president in September. O'Brien, the former Director of Ignatian Partnerships for the Maryland Province, will oversee the newly restructured JVC, which consolidates four JVC regions and Jesuit Volunteers International into one national organization. [JVC]


Spanish Jesuit Publishes History of Music in the Society of Jesus

Twelve years ago, Spanish musicologist Fr. Félix Zabala, SJ was challenged by someone who asserted that there was a "musical desert in the Society of Jesus." After more than a decade of research, Zabala has responded with Músicos jesuitas a lo largo de la historia, a 605-page book chronicling the place of music in the Society of Jesus. The work presents names, countries of origin, and brief biographies of 630 Jesuits from 48 countries who were musicologists, choir directors, composers, and music critics, and refutes the stereotype "Gesuita non cantat." [Press and Information Office, Rome] Up

Around the Campuses

Loyola New Orleans Announces New Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Fr Ted Dziak, SJ, is the new Vice President for Mission and Identity at Loyola University New Orleans. Dziak will continue to serve as the director of Loyola's Jesuit Center, a position that brought him to Loyola in 2006. He had spent eight years in Jamaica, directing a retreat center and serving as president of St. George's College in Kingston.

Dziak, former assistant to the president at Boston College, founded Jesuit Volunteers International in 1983 and directed the organization for seven years. [Loyola University New Orleans]

Jesuit Environmental Champion Honored at Holy Cross

Fr Robert Athickal, SJ, was honored at Holy Cross's 2008 commencement with an honorary doctorate and a tree planted in his name. Athickal is the founder of Tarumitra (Hindi for Friends of the Trees), an environmental organization dedicated to preserving biodiversity.

Tarumitra currently enrolls 55,000 members through 900 high schools and colleges in India. Athickal has built a bio-reserve and training center on ten acres of property at the Jesuit novitiate in the state of Bihar. [The College of the Holy Cross]

John Carroll University Student Coordinates National Fair Trade Campaign

John Carroll University junior Natalie Terry is the new national coordinator of United Students for Fair Trade's (USFT) "Full Monty" campaign. USFT is a student-led organization that encourages economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

The Full Monty Campaign is aimed at providing students access to fair trade products on campus. Over 300 schools currently serve Fair Trade coffee, and many more are campaigning to make Fair Trade products exclusively available.

Terry, a religious studies and sociology major, recently completed a one-year stint as a fair-trade intern in John Carroll's campus ministry office, and in August he traveled to Nicaragua to learn about fair trade coffee production from farmers and producers. [John Carroll University]

Loyola College Maryland to Offer Spirituality and Trauma Certificate

In January 2009, Loyola College Maryland will offer a post-master's certificate in Spirituality and Trauma. The 18-credit certificate will provide counselors, health care professionals, educators, and those in ministry with the opportunity for in-depth examination of the relationship between spirituality and healing. The program will also offer a clinical track for mental health professionals. [Loyola College Maryland]

Rockhurst Implements Earth-Friendly Computing

Rockhurst University students are sitting down in front of computer workstations that use 90 percent less energy than traditional PCs.

The technology, called thin-client computing, also requires less material to produce, which translates to less energy spent on transportation and less material to eventually recycle. The units have nearly double the life span of traditional PCs, and their low heat output reduces power needed for air conditioning. The new system will also speed processing times, provide instant desktop recovery, and lessen the time spent on upgrades and repair.

Rockhurst plans to donate more than 200 CPUs to local nonprofit organizations, including Cristo Rey Kansas City. [Rockhurst University]

USF Professor Plants San Francisco Victory Gardens

University of San Francisco professor Amy Franceschini's Victory Gardens 2008+ project has urban gardens taking root all over San Francisco. In July, the program planted the first public Victory Garden at the Civic Center Plaza since World War II. It is now expanding to install urban organic food gardens in backyards and neighborhood plots across the city and is campaigning for more land.

Building on the model developed during WWI and WWII, Victory Gardens 2008+ redefines "victory" as weaning control of America's food supply from agricultural giants, reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and reducing the food miles associated with the average American meal. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Interested in how Jesuit institutions across the United States are involved in the green movement? Company's Winter 2008 cover story will be on "Going Green"! Up

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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