April 1, 2010

Jesuits' Hogar de Cristo Affected by Earthquake in Chile

Jesuit Alberto HurtadoThe Jesuits working in Chile are appealing for help to rebuild homes, shelters, and other vital buildings run by Hogar de Cristo, which were destroyed or severely damaged in the February 27 earthquake.

Hogar de Cristo (Hearth of Christ) was founded in 1944 by Fr. Alberto Hurtado, SJ, who was canonized in 2005. Its work focuses on assisting the poorest among the poor and has programs in more than 130 towns and cities in Chile. Every day Hogar de Cristo serves more than 60,000 people—the homeless, abused women, infants, people with mental and physical handicaps—and also supports small businesses that help Chileans to be self-sufficient.

Fr. Agustín Moreira, SJ, General Chaplain at Hogar de Cristo, said the earthquake caused severe damage. "Thank God we have not had any human casualties, but several of our program centers have been destroyed or are structurally damaged. Many of our small business programs have had either their houses or business premises destroyed and we are reorganizing our social services in the affected areas." Fr. Moreira estimated the total rebuilding cost could run to $10 million.

Hogar de Cristo has delivered 500 tons of aid, mainly non-perishable food, but also some clothing and blankets. "We have 19 dining areas where people who have lost everything can have one or two meals per day. We don't know how long we will be able to maintain these places, but it will surely take some time before people can regain their autonomy," said Fr. Moreira.

Fr. Moreira explained that small business ventures have been badly hit too. "We are trying to solve the need for jobs through our microcredit funding foundation that works with 39,000 families below the poverty line. After the earthquake, 15,000 small businesses in the regions of O'Higgins, Maule, Biobio, and Arauco were seriously damaged; 3,000 people lost their houses as well as their businesses. Now they have no job and no income." [Independent Catholic News]

The Maryland Province Jesuits, who have a longstanding relationship with the Jesuits of Chile, have established a Chile Relief Fund. In addition, the province has also created a blog, which provides updates on efforts to help victims of the earthquake.

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Haitian Jesuits Advocate for Inclusion of Local Voices in Rebuilding Effort

One of several members of displaced families living at the Jesuit Novitiate in TabarreIn the immediate aftermath of the January earthquake in Haiti, the Jesuits of Haiti mounted an emergency response to help people affected by the disaster.

For long-term rebuilding, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA urges the international community to include Haitian voices in the planning. To further that goal, the Jesuit community in Haiti has organized the Committee for Reflection and Action (CRAN) composed of Jesuits and members of Haitian civil society who work together on an ongoing basis to accompany the Haitian people, their leaders, and the international community in their efforts to rebuild Haiti.

According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment led by the World Bank and the United Nations, the earthquake caused a total of $7.8 billion in damages and losses, and to "build back better" the World Bank estimates that Haiti requires at least $11.5 billion in commitments from donors and investors.

CRAN has issued a document, Strategic Goals and Actions for the Reconstruction of Haiti, prior to the Donors Meeting in New York.

The objective of CRAN is two-fold:

"A new social direction for Haiti must be articulated along lines that take into account the new vision desired by all parts of Haitian society," said Fr. Kawas Francois, SJ, president of the Interprovincial Committee for the Reconstruction of Haiti and founding member of CRAN. [www.jrsusa.org]

Pictured: One of several members of displaced families living at the Jesuit Novitiate in Tabarre. (Fr. Kenneth Gavin, SJ - Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)

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Jesuit Videos on the Web

In March, Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, was on the Colbert Show discussing social justice, the Catholic Church, and Jesus with host Stephen Colbert.

Jesuit Conference vidoes on VimeoThe Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities recently debuted The Jesuit Channel on YouTube, which features lectures, speeches, interviews, and discussions that address issues related to the mission of Jesuit higher education.

The Jesuit Conference of the United States has a video site on Vimeo that includes interviews with Jesuits across the country on issues of Ignatian spirituality, social justice advocacy efforts, Jesuit formation and other relevant topics. These video are regularly featured on their website, as well – www.jesuit.org.

The Midwest Jesuits' vocations website, www.thinkjesuit.org, has videos of Jesuits talking about their vocational discernment, the challenges and blessings of religious life, prayer, the vow of chastity, and other topics.

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Vatican Puts Historical Documents Compiled by Jesuit Scholars Online

Historical Vatican documents, including material compiled by four Jesuit scholars beginning in the 1960s regarding the role of the church during World War II, are now online on the Vatican web site.

The volumes include material from the Vatican Secret Archives regarding wartime Pope Pius XII, accused by some historians and Jewish groups of not doing enough to save Jews from destruction by the Nazis.

In 1965 Pope Paul VI ordered the scholars to search the archives for evidence to rebut claims about his predecessor's allegedly negligent conduct during the war. The claims were made by Rolf Hochhuth, a German and author of a 1963 play called "The Deputy," in which Pope Pius was depicted as a coward who did not stand up to Adolf Hitler.

The scholars, led by Fr. Robert Graham, SJ, gathered documents through 1981 that were published in 12 volumes under the title "Acts and Documents of the Holy See Relating to the Second World War." [Catholic News Service]

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Recent Appointments

Loyola University Maryland has named Fr. James J. Miracky, SJ, currently associate dean for faculty development at the College of the Holy Cross, the dean of Loyola College, Loyola's school of arts and sciences.

Fr. Miracky will assume his new duties on July 1, 2010.


Wheeling Jesuit University announced that Fr. James J. Fleming, SJ, Director of Mission Planning and Assessment at Boston College, has been appointed its first Vice President for Mission and Identity.

Fr.  Fleming assumes his new position on July 1, 2010.



Fr. Michael Zampelli, SJ, has been named the new rector for the Santa Clara University Jesuit Community. Fr. Zampelli has been a faculty member at Santa Clara since 1998.

He will be installed as rector on July 31, 2010.


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Around Campus

USF's School of Business & Professional Studies Announces Endowed Chair

The Walls and GeschkesThe University of San Francisco (USF) School of Business and Professional Studies has announced that Dr. Charles M.  Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Systems, has been named the inaugural Reverend  P. Carlo Rossi, SJ Chair in Entrepreneurship.

The chair honors the memory of Fr. P. Carlo Rossi, SJ, the uncle of USF alumni C. Alan Wall, MD and the late Robert Wall, MD. Fr. Rossi became an important figure in the boys' upbringing after their father died when they were very young.

Dean Mike Duffy said, "We couldn't be more honored to name Dr. Charles Geschke as the first Rossi Chair in Entrepreneurship. Dr. Geschke is not only a successful inventor, innovator, entrepreneur, business leader, and philanthropist, he is also a man of sincere faith. He will serve as a mentor for our students and faculty—illustrating that high achievement in business and in society stems from a solid foundation of faith and ethics." [University of San Francisco]

Pictured: Bernadette Wall (wife of the late Dr. Bob Wall), C. Alan Wall, Nancy Geschke, and Dr. Charles Geschke by Aubrie Pick for Drew Altizer Photography

Xavier's Student-Athlete Advisor Featured by New York Times, NBC News and ABC News

Sr. Rose Ann FlemingSr. Rose Ann Fleming, a 77-year-old nun who's ensured graduation success for every senior basketball player at Xavier University since 1985 and advises all student-athletes, has been profiled by the New York Times and by NBC News, with an extended interview on its web site.

ABC News included her in a story on college basketball graduation rates, in which Xavier was highlighted as a school in the NCAA tournament that has found academic success for its players. [Xavier University]

Pictured: Sister Rose Ann Fleming walks with former players Stanley Burrell (left), Brian Thornton (middle) and Josh Duncan (right). Thornton is now the men's basketball director of operations.

Georgetown's New Law Clinic Problem-Solves for Underserved

Homeless youth, incarcerated parents and others in local underserved communities may benefit from the Community Justice Project, a new clinical program at the Georgetown Law Center beginning this fall.

Students in the program will be responsible for providing legal services to clients living with HIV, people with mental disorders, inmates, and other marginalized or "invisible" groups.
The Community Justice Project is an addition to the 11 other clinical programs at the Law Center.

Because cases may not always be solved through litigation, Jane Aiken, a law professor who developed and now directs the program, says other avenues must be used to address issues such as young people aging out of foster care to become homeless or ensuring that a parent's incarceration does not destroy the relationship with his or her child.

Those problem-solving alternatives include advocacy, legislative and policy drafting, the use of media, international law and tribunals, and community organizing. [Georgetown University]

Jesuit Schools to Participate in "One Day Without Shoes"

On April 8, Gonzaga University and Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo. will be participating in the "One Day Without Shoes" campaign, in which students go barefoot for the day or part of the day to raise awareness about the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child's life.

The shoe company TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair purchased, hopes to spread awareness of children worldwide going without shoes through the campaign. [CNS]

Loyola University New Orleans to Offer Minor in the Study of New Orleans

Starting in fall 2010, Loyola University New Orleans will offer a New Orleans studies minor, the nation's first minor in the study of the city.

The interdisciplinary minor requires students to take a new course on the history of New Orleans, but they are then able to complete the rest of the 21-credit hour minor by taking other courses in their own areas of interest. A range of courses will be offered such as "Sociology of Mardi Gras," "New Orleans Literature," "History of New Orleans Music," and "Ecology of the New Orleans Environment."

The minor is the brainchild of a group of professors who talked informally about the rich array of possibilities New Orleans offers for scholarly investigation. From their discussions, Loyola created and launched the Center for the Study of New Orleans in fall 2009. The center serves as a cross-disciplinary resource hub that promotes research and reflection on the history, politics, culture and environment of New Orleans, and the minor will further its mission.

By integrating social justice and analytical thinking into courses, internships, research, and public programming, the center and the minor foster a critical understanding of New Orleans and an opportunity to aid its renewal. [Loyola University New Orleans]

Saint Peter's College Celebrates Jesuit Heritage with First Ignatian Heritage Week
Saint Peter's College recently held its first Ignatian Heritage Week, a weeklong celebration honoring the college's Jesuit heritage, as well as the historic presence of Jesuits around the world.

Ignatian Heritage Week was a collaboration of performances, films, lectures, and presentations that focused on Jesuit identity and principles. Events included a talk by James T. Fisher, PhD, professor of theology from Fordham University, on "Jesuit History in Jersey City"; a performance of "The Witness," a one-act play by Fr. Ernest Ferlita, SJ; and a discussion led by Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries, on strategies for working with at-risk youth. [Saint Peter's College]

Jesuit Lacrosse Classic Enters 13th Year

Jesuit Lacrosse ClassicFor the thirteenth year, Jesuit schools from across the country came together to compete in the Jesuit High School Lacrosse Classic. From the beginning, in the Jesuit spirit, a portion of the proceeds of the event has been contributed each year to charity.

Co-hosted by Georgetown Prep (Maryland) and Gonzaga College High (D.C.), the schools that competed in the March classic came from five states and D.C.: Canisius High (Buffalo, N.Y); Dallas Jesuit; Fordham Prep (Bronx); Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); Regis Jesuit High (Aurora, Colo.); St. Ignatius College Prep (Chicago); and Strake Jesuit College Prep (Houston).

This year's tournament benefited the Washington Jesuit Academy and Winners Lacrosse. The Washington Jesuit Academy provides an intensive, tuition-free education to economically disadvantaged boys, grades 6-8. Winners Lacrosse is a nonprofit organization that provides youth from underserved neighborhoods in the Washington metropolitan area the opportunity to learn the game of lacrosse. [insidelacrosse.com; photo courtesy PowerPlay Photography]

Saint Peter's Prep Hosts Summit on Poverty     

Saint Peter's Prep in Jersey City sponsored a week-long summit on poverty in the United States in March that featured speaker Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, an anti-gang activist.

Fr. Boyle discussed how dealing with issues related to poverty are central to his work in stemming violence in Los Angeles, which has about 1,100 known gangs. He is the founder of Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that offers job training and placement help to former gang members.

The summit also included a presentation from a once homeless man who changed his life by attending college and later becoming a teacher, as well as discussions on rural poverty and poverty's affects on women and families.

Students completed acts of service during the week and gathered food to distribute to a Jersey City food pantry. [Saint Peter's Prep]

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