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Showing posts with the label Jesuits

Waugh on Campion

Today is the feast of St. Edmund Campion, Jesuit priest and English Elizabethan martyr. His story was told in 1935 by Evelyn Waugh, better known for his fiction, chief of which in my estimation is Brideshead Revisited.  Waugh wrote in the Preface to Saint Edmund Campion that he was not attempting a scholar’s approach to his subject. All I have sought to do is to select incidents which strike a novelist as important and to put them into a narrative which I hope may prove readable. The facts are not in dispute so I have left the text unencumbered by notes or bibliography. It should  be read as a simple, perfectly true story of heroism and holiness. I’m marking the saint’s feast by re-reading Waugh’s book about him. When we think of English Catholic martyrs nowadays, I think most thoughts turn to St. Thomas More – a man worth remembering, to be sure. Campion more than holds in own in such company. His apologia to the Queen’s Privy Council as he was undergoing persecution is provided by W…

What I Found in Some Boxes

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You need a few minutes to pray. That's what St. Ignatius thinks, anyway.

I've got just what you need. Join me at Praying with Grace!

Dear Padre Miguel Pro

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November 23rd was the anniversary of the death of Fr. Miguel Pro, SJ. He died a martyr for Christ during the persecution of Catholics following the Mexican Revolution which erupted in 1910.

Dear Michael,

We shared your story at dinner last night. It was the 88th anniversary of your execution, and my husband and I wanted to honor your memory, passing on your story to our children.

Some people may think it’s strange for me to write you a letter, I know. Obviously, I will never find a mailbox capable of getting this letter to you, but I know we’re connected. As Jesus reminds us in Mark 22:32, the Lord proclaims he is “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Even when we die, we live in God who has no beginning and no end. Disciples of Christ needn’t bother about space and time. You’ll get this.

I wanted to write to you because I am so grateful for your life—and your death. While you were still a young man you chose to become a Jesuit, a priest to serve the people of…

Oops, Your Vocation Is Showing!

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November 1-7, 2015 is National Vocation Awareness Week. I'm not sure local bakeries are stocking up on vocation-themed pastries, but that won't stop us from praying!

The USCCB has a page dedicated to National Vocation Awareness Week, complete with a news release, homily helps, and prayers from several dozen dioceses to get us going.

This is how the USCCB describes the vocation-awareness phenomenon:

“National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.”

But is the USCCB leaving something OUT? Join me at Praying with Grace!

Finding God in Special Needs

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The man in the purple wheelchair is my brother Mark. The happy little girl with him is my daughter, who dearly loved her Uncle Mark. Mark passed away in 2007 at the age of 39, but I think about him every single day.
Mark had a unique personality, as well as severe mental and physical disabilities. Mark was blind, but he trained me to see; without him as my brother, I might never have paid much attention to people with special needs. As it is, I am always on the lookout for folks who respect people with special needs, and who learn at least as much as they teach.

I met just such a person a couple of weeks ago. Her name is Joellyn Cicciarelli, the director of curricula development at Loyola Press. I sat down with Joellyn one fine morning at her offices in Chicago to learn more about her and her unique work.

Read all about it at Praying with Grace!

The Love of the Filipinos

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Papa Francisco! MAHAL NG PILIPINO! Papa Francisco! MAHAL NG PILIPINO! Papa Francisco! MAHAL NG PILIPINO!
The rhythm of this energetic chant is stuck in my head. It's my own fault, really, since I keep playing videos of the Pope's visit to the Philippines last week. YouTube has hours and hours of "Pope in Philippines" footage, including a nearly three-hour video of Sunday Mass and a surplus of videos of joyous chanting.
My friend Rena says the best translation of the chant's second part is "Love of the Filipinos." Pope Francis, the love of the Filipinos. How beautiful, to be beloved by a country, an entire people. "I wish I could've been in the Philippines to see Papa Francisco," Rena told me. "Based on friends' Facebook posts and testimonies, he has renewed the faith of so many Filipinos, including mine." Another friend of mine invited me to peek at her news feed, "full of posts from all my relatives about the Pope's v…

Iggy Fever! Gearing Up for the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Indifference is great for parents. As I read through the latest issue of The Economist over the weekend, I plunged into an article about helicopter parents that made me remember the Ignatian principle of indifference. The article, titled Cancel that violin class, invites modern parents to relax. I imagined Ignatius reading the article, a secret smile on his lips, shaking his head slowly, as he learned about the savage preferences parents have for their children and the exhausting effort they put forth to make sure their children are playing the right instrument, volunteering the established number of service hours, and getting the necessary grades to enter an Ivy League school. The article cites the advice of Bryan Caplan, an economist at George Mason University: "if parents fretted less about each child, they might find it less daunting to have three instead of two. And that might make them happier in the long run. No 60-year-old ever wished for fewer grandchildren."

But wa…

'Greater Love: Richie Fernando SJ', a joy-filled Filipino missionary

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I haven't been able to post for more than a week as I was giving an eight-day directed retreat to eight sisters of the Missionaries of Charity near Manila. While I had some access to the internet it was rather slow.
I had intended to make a post here on the murder of Fr Fausto Tentorio PIME, a 59-year-old Italian priest, in the Diocese of Kidapawan, Mindanao, on Monday 17 October. I will save that post for a later date. As I was looking for a video about Father Fausto I came across one about Brother Richard Michael 'Richie' Fernando SJ, a Filipino Jesuit scholastic who died while trying to prevent a troubled and disabled young man in Cambodia from throwing a grenade. That was in 1996 - on 17 October. Father Fausto gave his life exactly 15 years later.
I remember the mixture of sorrow and pride I felt when I read of the death of Brother Richie, pride as a missionary in the Philippines that a young Filipino seminarian had given his life so spontaneously in order to save the …