February 2010

Jesuit Relief Efforts Continue in Haiti

Br. Jim Boynton, SJ in Haiti
Working at a makeshift clinic in Port-au-Prince, Br. Jim Boynton, SJ, holds an IV for a person injured in the earthquake.
"We are not yet out of the emergency phase of responding to the most basic needs, that is: water, food, and medical services," reports JRS Dominican Republic's Sonia Adames. "JRS is analyzing the situation to predict future needs, while concurrently responding to immediate needs."

"We are still seeing seriously wounded people who have yet to see a doctor. We are seeing tent cities that have thousands of people living in a crowded space with no water, food, or sanitary conditions," writes Br. Jim Boynton, SJ, from Port-au-Prince. Before the earthquake, Br. Boynton had been working at the Jesuit school in Wanament on the Haitian-Dominican border.

Rafael Jimenez, JRS social program coordinator in the Dominican Republic, said that every other day at least three large trucks carry relief materials, collected from parishes and social groups, to Port-au-Prince where food, water, and medicine are distributed. In comparison, Jimenez says that many of the relief materials sent from far-away countries to Haiti have been stuck at the airport and docks due to poor infrastructure and lack of established networks in Port-au-Prince.

"The people in the communities [needing help] are the ones doing the work. They themselves are doing the organizing," Jimenez said on January 24. Even with aid being delivered more freely, "there's still a lot of hunger," he said.

To support JRS/USA's humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, go the JRS secure website and choose "Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund." [Jesuit Refugee Service]

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Jesuit's Bestselling Book Reaches Publishing Milestone

My Life with the Saints by Fr. Jim Martin, SJJesuit Fr. Jim Martin's best seller My Life with the Saints (Loyola Press 2006) moved into select company when it reached 100,000 copies sold in January. His memoir of spiritual self-discovery is an homage to the Catholic saints who have accompanied Fr. Martin throughout his life.

According to Loyola Press this is a rare milestone for an author—only 2 percent of the 1.5 million different titles sold each year sell more than 5,000 copies.

When a book reaches 20,000 copies sold, it enters the "1% Club": less than 1 percent of all books will sell 20,000 or more copies during its lifetime.

Fr. Martin is a writer and culture editor of America magazine. [Loyola Press]

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Ignatian Family Spring Teach-In on Environmental Justice and Sustainability

The Ignatian Solidarity Network invites the Ignatian family to attend a three-day learning experience to explore environmental justice and sustainability. The Ignatian Family Spring Teach-In will be held March 5-7 at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia.

This Teach-In's topics follow a growing trend among Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and ministries to look at their ecological footprints and create more environmentally sustainable campuses and communities.

The Teach-In will focus on the moral implications of climate change; how students, parishioners, and individuals can become more engaged in environmental justice and sustainability; and best practices for creating a sustainable environment.

For more information on the Teach-In program, go to www.ignatiansolidarity.net/Spring2010/Spring2010flyer1.pdf. [Ignatian Solidarity Network]

Related: Company magazine's recent article, Green Times, chronicles the efforts of Jesuit institutions across the United States.

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Lent 2010 Podcast Reflections by Fr. Pat McGrath, SJ

Fr. Pat McGrath, SJThe Chicago and Detroit Provinces are offering Lenten reflections by Fr. Pat McGrath, SJ, at www.jesuits-chgdet.org/lent2010, where the audio files are available for streaming or downloading. The site also has links to related scripture readings. [Chicago Province]

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Recent Appointments

The US Jesuit Conference announced the appointment of Fr. Gregory Konz, SJ, to the position of Secretary for Higher Education, Finance and Development at the Conference's offices in Washington, D.C.

Fr. Konz, a member of the California Province, will join the Jesuit Conference in the summer. He will replace Fr. Albert DiUlio, SJ, who leaves the Jesuit Conference after five years of service.

The conference has also appointed Fr. Gerard Stockhausen, SJ, to the position of Socius/Executive Secretary to the President and Director of Planning for the Conference.

Fr. Stockhausen, a member of the Wisconsin Province and current president of the University of Detroit Mercy, will join the conference in the late summer. He will replace Fr. Thomas Gaunt, SJ, of the Maryland Province, who leaves the Jesuit Conference after nine years of service as Socius, and Fr. Charles Kelley of the New England Province after six years as Director of Planning.

The Wheeling Jesuit University Board of Directors and Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of a new interim president, Sr. Francis Marie Thrailkill, OSU. She will be the first female leader of the university.

Sr. Thrailkill was president of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati from 1987–2008.

Sr. Thrailkill follows Davitt McAteer who assumed the temporary role of interim president in August. Thrailkill will serve in the interim capacity for approximately 18 months as the school continues to search for a permanent president. Wheeling Jesuit University's eighth president, Fr. Julio Giulietti, SJ, stepped down in August 2009.

Fr. Francis X. Clooney, SJ, has been appointed the next director of the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), beginning July 1, 2010.

Fr. Clooney joined the HDS faculty in 2005, as the Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology, after teaching at Boston College since 1984.

The Missouri Province has received notice of several appointments made by Father General Adolfo Nicolás:

Fr. Ronald Mercier, SJ, a moral theologian who recently joined the faculty of Saint Louis University, has been appointed rector of Bellarmine House of Studies.

Fr. William Oulvey, SJ, who currently serves in Rome as regional secretary for the USA Assistancy, has been appointed the next rector of the Rockhurst Jesuit Community.

Fr. J. Daniel Daly, SJ, has been appointed socius, admonitor to the provincial, and consultor of the Missouri Province. He will succeed Fr. Michael Harter, SJ, in late summer or early fall.

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Matteo Ricci Cause for Beatification Reopens

Jesuit Matteo RicciThe sainthood cause for 16th-century Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci was reopened on January 24 in the Italian Diocese of Macerata, where he was born.

The process of beatification originally launched in 1984, and Bishop Claudio Giuliodori of Macerata said that although the cause stalled soon after it was opened, "these 25 years have not passed in vain because the Lord has given us clear signs of a deeper understanding of the prophetic intuitions of Fr. Matteo Ricci."

A historical commission has been established to collect all the writings and documents attributed to Fr. Ricci, along with those that reference him. The commission's work will conclude with a critical study on the writings of the Jesuit, along with a judgment as to the authenticity and value of documents on him.

In a message to the Diocese of Macerata inaugurating commemorations of the 400th anniversary of Fr. Ricci's death in Beijing in 1610, Pope Benedict XVI wrote that it was Fr. Ricci's great respect for Chinese traditions that "distinguished his mission to search for harmony between the noble and millenary Chinese civilization" and the Christian faith. [Agenzia Fides & Catholic News Service]

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General Congregation 35 and Advocacy Awareness

General Congregation 35 identified advocacy as a strategy to help advance the mission of reconciliation and bridge-building between the rich/poor and those who hold political power and those who are excluded (D3, no. 28).

Here are several recent resources that assist the Society's advocacy efforts:

[Wisconsin Province]

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Around Campus: Jesuit Schools Respond to Haiti Earthquake

Many of the U.S. Jesuit colleges, universities, and high schools have collected relief funds to help Haitian earthquake victims.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities is updating their website with links on what Jesuit colleges and universities are doing at www.ajcunet.edu/Haiti-What-you-can-do-to-help.

Below are some ways in which Jesuit schools have responded to the disaster.

College of the Holy Cross: Task Force for Haiti Relief

The Student Government Association at Holy Cross has instituted the Co-Presidential Task Force for Haiti Relief, which is planning several events to raise money. Student leaders estimate they will raise up to $10,000, which college president Fr. Michael McFarland, SJ, will match.

Creighton University: Surgical Team Heads to Dominican Republic to Aid Victims

A nine-member Creighton University surgical team departed on January 16 for the Dominican Republic, where they are helping treat victims of the earthquake.

A second team, including three nurses and a pharmacist, joined the first group a few days later, and a third group, including a Creighton physician and eleven nurses from Creighton and other area hospitals, left January 22  for the Dominican border town of Jimani, located about 30 miles from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In addition to the surgical teams, the university has been raising money to help the people of Haiti. During halftime at a men's basketball game, more than $11,000 was raised.

Georgetown University Establishes Donation Website

Georgetown's Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service (CSJ) raised more than $26,000 in less than two week's time after establishing a website for donations (http://socialjustice.georgetown.edu). All money raised will be distributed among three organizations on the ground in Haiti: Jesuit Refugee Service, Save the Children, and Partners in Health.

There are no plans to close the relief site any time soon, said Kathleen Maas Weigert, CSJ executive director, who noted that Haitians' post-earthquake needs will continue for months or years.

"We don't want a donation mechanism for the university community not to be available when there are so many needs to be met for the people of Haiti," she said.

Loyola University New Orleans Establishes Haiti Taskforce

Loyola University New Orleans assembled the Hope for Haiti task a few days after the earthquake to identify relief resources and plan for a sustained aid effort to the nation and to Loyola community members affected by the tragedy.

On January 16, Loyola hosted a free concert dedicated to Haiti at which audience members could donate funds toward the relief effort. The concert was led by Loyola Director of Orchestras and Haitian emigre Jean Montès.

Hope for Haiti has a blog at http://blogs.loyno.edu/haiti/, with updates on Loyola's efforts.

Saint Louis University Professor Sends Supplies to Haiti

Saint Louis University professor Tim Randolph
Tim Randolph, Ph.D., works with health care providers at a Haiti clinic.
Tim Randolph, associate professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University, returned home from his semi-annual trip to Haiti two days before the earthquake. For a decade Randolph's non-profit organization, Randolph World Ministries Inc., has partnered with medical clinics in Haiti to improve health care.

During his three-week stay, Randolph and a team of volunteers, including SLU students, worked with clinics and pursued plans to partner with an eighth clinic outside the country's capital in Port-au-Prince.

While plans to build an additional clinic have been put on the backburner, Randolph has been working around-the-clock to get much-needed supplies to his clinics in Haiti. Randolph hopes to reach Haiti with many shipments of medical kits, surgical supplies, wound care materials, and other clinic necessities. He suspects the urgent need will last for months, if not longer.

"Our turnaround is very fast because we're a small organization and made up entirely of volunteers," Randolph said. "Approximately 99 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to our clinics in Haiti."

In addition, the university held "JamFest for Haiti 2010" on January 22, with all donations going to support Haitian grassroots organizations.

Wheeling Jesuit University Collects Donations for Haiti Mission Project

Wheeling Jesuit has stepped up its biannual collection of goods and money for the Haiti Mission Project, a project of the university's French Club. The Haitian Project has operated a school in Haiti for over 20 years. It remains committed to continuing to house, feed, and educate the 358 students as well as provide direct aid to the hundreds of families who live around the project school.

In addition, the university held a prayer service for earthquake victims in late January and a collection was taken to benefit relief efforts.

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