minims and maxims
Original fresco of the Madonna


Madonna della Strada

Madonna della Strada, Our Lady of the Way, is a fresco dating from the late thirteenth century to the early fourteenth century that has always had a place of importance in the Jesuit world. The image, which is in the Jesuits' Church of the Gesł in Rome, has recently been cleaned and restored.

The image came from the little church named after it that existed during Ignatius's time at the site the Gesł now occupies. When work began on the construction of the Gesł, it was necessary to tear down the old church. The painting was removed and ended up in the Gesł.

For hundreds of years, the Madonna was thought to be an oil painting, but the restoration and cleaning brought to light the fact that it is a fresco attached to canvas. Over the years the plaster had been repaired and certain colors were changed.

Poster from the movie

Breach—A Real Movie Role

A 1991 Gonzaga College High (Washington, D.C.) grad who played a critical role in the capture of one of the worst spies in U.S. history is the subject of Breach, a film that opened nationwide in February.

Breach recounts the story of Gonzaga's Eric O'Neill, an FBI surveillance operative who was instrumental in nabbing Robert Hanssen, second in command at the FBI, who sold American intelligence secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia for over twenty years. In the film, O'Neill is played by Ryan Phillippe and Hanssen is played by Chris Cooper (right).

Eric O'Neill

Eric's brother, David, an actor and screenwriter who also graduated from Gonzaga College High, pitched the story to Hollywood, eventually selling it to Universal Pictures.

"There were 500 agents working this case at its peak," said Breach director Billy Ray in a Los Angeles Times interview. "There was only one who was locked in a room with the guy all day. And that was Eric."

"Gonzaga . . . gave me one of the brightest gifts of my career. I was once told never to accept faith blindly but to question it and see where faith will take me," says O'Neill, who remembers frequently discussing faith and God with Hanssen.

O'Neill is now a lawyer for the government in Washington, D.C.

Painting of Assisi

Tour Assisi Basilica—on CD

Two Saint Louis University theology professors partnered with the Institute of Digital Theology to make an interactive, three-dimensional tour of Italy's Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.

Jay Hammond and James Ginther created a virtual version of this famous Italian landmark that allows viewers to visit nearly every inch of the upper basilica, getting close to the frescoes and stained glass windows. This "tour" was based on approximately 4,000 photographs taken prior to the 1997 earthquake that damaged the basilica. The destroyed artwork has not been restored, so the CD offers a version of the church that cannot be seen today.

Ginther said they "wanted to ensure that the virtual basilica would run on the average computer, not just expensive computers that only universities can afford. Preservation has no meaning unless there is access."

The CD is designed for Windows 2000/NT/XP. Visit for more information or to order a copy.

Jesuits in China: A Guidebook

When Fr. Thierry Menard, SJ, was living in Beijing, doing research on Chinese philosophy, he took visitors on informal tours of the many historic sites related to Jesuit ministries over the years.

Cover of the book

His new book, Following the Footsteps of the Jesuits in Beijing, is the result of those many excursions. It presents sixteen Jesuit sites, including a number of churches, a pavilion, and an observatory, arranged in five day-long tours. The book includes directions and addresses (also written in Chinese, so users can point these out to cabdrivers), historical background information, and a reflection on each site's significance.

The book is available for $14.95 from the Institute of Jesuit Sources at (314)633-4622 or

Julio Giulietti

New President

Fr. Julio Giulietti, SJ, will serve as Wheeling Jesuit University's eighth president.

Currently the director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College, he works with faculty and staff in spirituality and personal development. He has a graduate degree in counseling and a doctorate from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Giulietti has more than 25 years of experience in working with international programs and higher education at Boston College and Georgetown University.

Fr. Giulietti, who will assume his duties in August 2007, succeeds the late Fr. Joseph Hacala, SJ, who served as Wheeling's president since 2003.

John Foley

Newsweek Lists Cristo Rey Head Among People to Watch

Newsweek magazine (December 25, 2006) listed Fr. John Foley, SJ, president of the national Cristo Rey Network of Jesuit high schools, among "the people to watch in the year ahead."

He opened Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago's predominately Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood in 1996. Since then, eleven other Catholic high schools have opened within the Cristo Rey Network and seven more are slated to open this fall, all in poor urban neighborhoods.

The schools have a unique work/study program that has students attending classes for four days a week and working for corporate sponsors in entry-level positions for one day a week; their salaries go a long way toward covering their tuition.

Noting the high dropout rate at many inner-city schools, Newsweek wrote, "Cristo Rey has succeeded where so many others fail: the four-year dropout rate for the network's graduation class this year was 6 percent, and 96 percent of graduates enrolled in a two- or four-year college this fall." —CNS

Students at March for Life Rally in Washington

Jesuit Students March for Life

More than 400 students from thirteen Jesuit high schools, colleges, and universities took part along with thousands of others in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., this January.

In addition to participating in the march, Jesuit students attended Mass at St. Aloysius Church in Washington in the morning and participated in a "Students for the Life of America" conference at Catholic University. Georgetown University hosted the "Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life," at which Helen Alvare, JD, former spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pro-Life Secretariat, gave the keynote address.

Bridget Bowes, a senior majoring in government at Georgetown, said that "Jesuit schools are in a unique place to help promote the pro-life mission. By educating students on the Gospel of Life, we all realize that not only is abortion a moral issue, it should be a focus of the social justice movement as well."

"Celebrating the Eucharist with so many energetic young people as they transform their faith into action will be a moment of tremendous grace for us all-a living example of Ignatian solidarity," said Fr. Tom Smolich, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference. — AJCU

Helping Kids with Special Needs

Challenger Baseball

This spring marks the fifth season of Challenger Baseball at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, the host of this sports league that serves children, teenagers, and young adults with special needs.

Rick Robinson, a psychologist at Georgetown Prep, began the tradition when he took his disabled daughter to play baseball in a neighboring park and other kids joined in. Soon, it became a community event.

Now, every Sunday afternoon this spring, about 100 volunteers-including the prep's junior varsity and varsity baseball teams, girls from Georgetown Visitation School, and parents-assist about 30 young athletes with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Each athlete gets at least one "buddy," a high school volunteer, to help him or her play a two-inning game.

Challenger Baseball has been a big hit at Georgetown Prep, according to Robinson: "The kids have such a great time ... It becomes contagious. More and more people want to get involved."

Jesuit Retreat House Serves New Orleans First Responders

Tim Murphy, director of Manresa House of Retreats in Convent, Louisiana, has developed a three-day program for first responders from New Orleans. The first was held this December, and two more are planned for the spring. The free programs involve talks and group discussion that allow first responders to share their experiences.

Many of the first responders are still living in FEMA trailers while working daily to rebuild the city. Often the disarray in their personal lives compounds the stress they feel every day at work. The program's organizers, some first responders themselves, understand how difficult it is to take time to recharge.

Connie Daniel, a NOPD chaplain who attended the December retreat, recommends the program to the officers to whom she ministers, noting that "people don't realize how much it wears on them to be in the city and see all the brokenness." To her, the program is "just like a breath of fresh air." —New Orleans Times Picayune

λòγος—Bible Study in Ancient Greek

Folks studying the Gospels in Greek

Stop by the Evergreen coffee shop in North Baltimore early on Tuesday mornings and you'll meet a group of Classics students from Loyola College in Maryland reading the Gospel. In Greek. For fun. There's no extra credit involved, just a chance to share time with like-minded enthusiasts and dwell upon a text with tremendous significance in today's spiritual and cultural life.

Robert Miola, a lecturer in English and Classics, along with theology chair Stephen Fowl, began the endeavor last semester, and students have asked to continue this semester.

"Reading ancient Greek at eight in the morning can be taxing," says sophomore Irene Murphy. "But I really do treasure the time ... I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Loyola College's Classics classes are small and highly interactive, generating enthusiasm among the students for endeavors such as Miola's. "They may not even know how much the works they're studying are moving them, until years later, when they go through a life experience to which the work applies," he says. — Loyola College in Maryland

USF President Delivers Invocation for Nancy Pelosi

Fr. Stephen Privett

University of San Francisco president Fr. Stephen Privett, SJ, delivered the invocation at the swearing in of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in January. Privett called upon Congress to put aside self-interest and to pursue the common good of all people during the invocation at the opening of the 110th Congress on January 4.

Pelosi had asked Privett to deliver the prayer on the day she was sworn in as the first female speaker of the house. The two struck up a friendship after Pelosi attended Privett's inauguration as USF president in November 2000. Fr. Privett ended his prayer by encouraging lawmakers to focus their time on "the common good of all the people of this great nation of ours, especially of those who need us the most."

Jesuit Alumni in Congress

Senator Robert Casey

Newly elected senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) is among the 10 percent of the members of the 110th Congress who are alumni of Jesuit schools. Casey, who has a BA from the College of the Holy Cross, joins 53 others of the 535 members of the current Congress who have degrees from Jesuit colleges and universities.

Senate majority whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) and the house majority and minority leaders, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and John Boehner (R-OH), are all Jesuit alumni. The 53 hail from fourteen Jesuit institutions. Georgetown University has the most alumni with a total of 22.

"This number is an important reminder that a Jesuit education is meant to lead to lives of leadership and service," said Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities president Fr. Charles Currie, SJ. "We are proud that that goal is realized at the highest levels of public service, as well as in countless other ways." -AJCU

Paul Locatelli

Santa Clara University President Head of Higher Ed

The Jesuits' Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach has appointed Fr. Paul Locatelli, SJ, president of Santa Clara University, as the Jesuits' secretary for higher education.

An accounting professor and university president since 1988, Locatelli began in the position this January. In addition to his duties as Santa Clara's president, he will travel to Rome to advise Kolvenbach on higher education and head the International Committee on Jesuit Higher Education, of which 250 Jesuit university presidents worldwide are members.

web sites of interest

Learn about the doings of the Society of Athanasius Kircher, the seventeenth-century Jesuit polymath. Its interests extend to the curious, the unusual, the esoteric—anything that Kircher might find inspiring if he were alive today.

Jesuits of Singapore's easy-to-navigate and useful site is filled with information about the Society and its works, along with daily prayers, news, and events.

Page maintained by Company Magazine, [email protected] Copyright(c) 2007. Created: 6/6/2007 Updated: 6/13/2007