Seal of the Jesuits
Jesuit USA Newsletter

October 15, 2009

Andrea Pozzo image300th Anniversary of Death of Jesuit Artist

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Andrea Pozzo, the 17th century Jesuit brother and painter whose works adorn many churches in Europe.

Several initiatives were planned for the anniversary, including a week-long celebration that was recently held in Vienna, the city where he worked for many years and where he died.

The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will hold an International Study Congress from the November 18-20. Participants will analyze Pozzo's work and offer insights and reflections for research and study.

Br Pozzo founded the artistic academy at the Roman College, the original name of the Pontifical Gregorian University. 

Pictured: St Ignatius, from Pozzo's painting on the ceiling of the Church of St Ignatius in Rome. [Electronic News Service SJ]


Jesuit Reports on India Floods: 'Misery everywhere'

Fr Eric Mathias, a Jesuit in India's Karnataka state, has been helping people affected by severe flooding there.

"The village of Pannur is going through one of the worst disasters in decades. There's misery everywhere," he said.

He described the disaster: "The waters came during the night, causing panic all round. People rushed out carrying whatever they could to a less-dangerous area. Many have lost most of their possessions.

"In another village 300 buffaloes died and three men are missing. Several other villages that are close to the river bank are submerged in water…The class system is deeply rooted in these remote areas. No government official has ever visited these villages," he said.

"People are really worried. They say government won't do anything for them. They know it in their heart. They are asking us to do something. But we can't undertake such massive building work; we can only give them food and clothes." [BBC News]


Jesuit Center in Zambia Leads Fight against Government Corruption

The Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection is one of three Catholic organizations leading a campaign against corruption in Zambia.

Along with Caritas Zambia and the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, the Jesuit Center has mobilized 16 other local civil society organizations to advocate for civil disobedience in the nation as a way to urge officials to end corruption.

The campaign was launched in late September, about six weeks after the nation's high court acquitted former president Frederick Chiluba on charges of corruption, theft of public funds, and abuse of office.

The organizations launched the civil disobedience campaign in Lusaka with an appeal to all Zambians to get involved in cleaning up "the ugly spectacles of injustice and corruption."

Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection:

[Catholic News Service]


Jesuit Artist's Mosaics Centerpiece of New Chapel

Jesuit artist Fr Marko Rupnik's latest work is featured in the newly dedicated Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.

Fr Marko Rupnik mosaics

The chapel features Rupnik's original mosaics and stained glass. Four years in the planning, the mosaics are the centerpiece of the $17 million chapel. Composed of hundreds of thousands of pieces of stone, tile, and glass, the mosaics depict the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Pentecost.

Rupnik and a team of 15 artists spent two weeks installing the mosaics in August 2008.

The Connecticut Post called Rupnik as a "mosaic master," and America magazine said walking into the chapel was like "stepping into a dazzling icon."

Photo gallery of the installation:

New York Times article on the chapel:

[Sacred Heart University, Catholic News Service]


Historic Preservation Award Presented to Maryland Province Jesuits

The Maryland Province Jesuits recently received the Historic Preservation Award from the Board of County Commissioners for St Mary's County and the St Mary's County Historic Preservation Commission because the province elected to sell 1,700 acres in St Mary's to the state of Maryland for public benefit.

This acquisition provides the opportunity to protect ecologically important and culturally significant land. The conservation of the land will preserve natural habitats, safeguard wildlife habitats, protect the water quality of Chesapeake Bay, provide public access to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, and conserve sustainable forest lands.

The acreage includes the area where English Jesuits conducted missionary activities among the Native Americans and ministered to the needs of the settlers beginning in the 1630s. []


Toward the Fourth Centenary of Matteo Ricci's Death

China is preparing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) next year. He arrived in China in 1583 and was one of the founders of the Jesuit missions there.

With the help of Jesuits and Chinese Catholic scholar Paul Xu Guangqi, Ricci published world maps and books in Chinese and translated Confucian classics into Latin to introduce the dominant Chinese philosophy to Europe.

Video by the Catholic News Agency TV:


Around Campus

Seattle University Serve SeattleSeattle University: Record Number of Students Serve the City

More than 450 Seattle University students—the largest to take on a single service project in the university's history—participated in the annual Serve Seattle day this past September.

The university partnered with EarthCorps and Green Seattle for the project, where students restored two acres of public land, resulting in the preservation of thousands of trees and other plants.

[Pictured: Seattle University junior Lina Ma cuts away some invasive blackberry bushes. Photo by Chris Joseph Taylor] [Seattle University]

Xavier University Sustainability Day 2009

Xavier University will celebrate Sustainability Day on October 27, which will highlight local food as well as Xavier's sustainability initiatives.

Attendees are encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation, such as carpooling, biking, or taking the bus.

"The day will also offer opportunities to learn about the work of many people to make our campus community more sustainable as well as the chance to contribute your own ideas to the Campus Action Plan for significantly reducing our carbon footprint," said Kathleen Smythe, co-chair of Xavier's Sustainability Committee.

In 2008, president Fr Michael Graham SJ signed Xavier's name to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, whose goal is becoming "climate neutral." [Xavier University]

Loyola New Orleans Law Professor Joins Obama Administration

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law professor Robert Verchick has been selected to become the deputy associate administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation (OPEI).

OPEI is the main policy arm of the EPA, which manages the agency-wide rulemaking process, reviews final policy analyses and oversees the testing of new approaches to environmental protection.

Verchick, an expert in environmental law, will join the Washington DC–based staff of nearly 200 experts in the fields of regulation, policy, economics, and business and serve there for a minimum of one year. [Loyola University New Orleans]

Georgetown Report Reveals Struggles of Iraqi Refugees

According to a new report by Georgetown University law students, few of the more than 30,000 Iraq refugees resettled in the United States find their new home lives up to its reputation as "the land of opportunity."

Students from the Law Center's Human Rights Institute and the student group Human Rights Action surveyed refugees settled here since the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. The report found that the United States, while welcoming Iraqi refugees in greater numbers than the rest of the world, has failed in successfully integrating them into its communities.

The report was the result of more than nine months of research in which the law students interviewed nearly 75 Iraqi refugees across the country. Many refugees have found themselves unable to use the skills they left their country with and face poverty, joblessness, and homelessness. [Georgetown University]

Boston College Launches Center for Financial Literacy

Boston College is creating the Center for Financial Literacy with first-year funding of $3 million from the Social Security Administration.

The new center's mission is to produce educational materials and programs that help people make reasonable financial decisions throughout their working lives and into retirement.

The grant calls for the center, in the first year of a five-year period, to create materials that include print and Web-based interactive guides to financial issues facing retirees, a web-based interactive program to help older workers choose a target retirement age, and a financial literacy "food pyramid." [Boston College]

Marquette Law School Hosts Students from Jesuit School in Chile

Marquette University Law School recently hosted a delegation of students and faculty from the Alberto Hurtado University School of Law, a Jesuit school in Santiago, Chile.

The week-long program was conducted in Spanish and gave the future Chilean lawyers a first-hand look at the US legal system as their country implements significant legal reforms.

The visiting law students participated in a variety of lectures, seminars, and site visits, including a meeting with the Wisconsin Supreme Court chief justice. [Marquette University]

From the Editors

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