jesuit B u l l e t i n Summer 2012
Forming the Next Generation Ordinations in Mobile â€˘ Notes from Belize â€˘ Formation for Vietnam
ciety in the So s r a e Y 0 5 . Brown Joseph A oley John B. F equeira Eustace S arner John B. W hite James J. W
Fr. Jack Warner
70 Years in the Society Bernard J. Coughlin William T. Miller
60 Years in the Society Robert L. Aug Luke J. Byrne J. David Corrigan Denis E. Daly Richard E. Hadel Ralph D. Houlihan Maurice M. Murray Donald W. Reck Curtis E. Van Del James V. Veltrie Jarrel D. Wade
Fr. Ralph Houlihan
25 Years in the Society Dirk J. Dunfee Steven A. Schoenig
Fr. Steven Sch (left) Fr. D oenig, irk Dunfee
Novices in 1952, including the men who will celebrate their 60th anniversary
Fr. John Foley
the Pr 50 Years in
cCarthy John L. M d G. McLeo Frederick alenta John G. V Whealen Martin J. . White Robert A
25 Years in the Priesthood
Jeffrey D. Harrison Timothy M. McMahon Ronald A. Mercier Christopher P. PinnĂŠ Peter F. Ryan Josef V. Venker
6 | Forming the Next Generation Why Jesuits still teach in high schools 12 | Ordinations in Mobile Four priests called to serve 16 | Notes from the Field A priest ordained last June chronicles Belize-style ministry 18 | Meeting God for Lunch Simple thoughts on intimacy with God 20 | Building the Church in Vietnam Jesuits open a path for formation of Vietnamese religious
22 | Supporting Social Projects New bi-province grant program
24 Editor Thomas M. Rochford SJ Assistant Editor Cheryl Wittenauer Designer Tracy Gramm
Advancement Director Thom Digman
Cover photo: Vincent Giacabazi, a Jesuit regent, in the classroom at De Smet Jesuit High School (Photo: Thomas Rochford SJ)
4 | Jesuit News
24 | Profile Christopher PinnĂŠ SJ 26 | Profile A Family Invested in Jesuit Mission 29 | In Memoriam
Fr. Michael Sheeran has left Regis University after 37 years, including the last 19 as its president. Sheeran, who retired from Regis on May 31, is spending the summer giving presentations and traveling to Ireland. He will study theology in the fall at Boston College before leaving in January for Washington. Next summer, the 72-yearold Sheeran will begin serving as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Washington. Sheeran’s leadership at Colorado’s only Jesuit Catholic university brought a doubling of enrollment, expansion of academic programs, and a 16-year consecutive ranking as a top school in the West by U.S. News & World Report. In August 1993, he hosted a meeting of Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton at Regis. In ensuing years, he would bring highprofile U.S. and international visitors to Regis, including Nobel Laureates
Fr. Michael Sheeran (left), president of Regis University, and Dick Kelly, chair of the Regis University Board of Trustees, pose with Sheeran’s Resolution of Achievement at the May 6 spring commencement.
the Dalai Lama, Rigoberto Menchu Tum and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Sheeran arrived at Regis in 1975 as assistant professor of history and
Fr. Michael Sheeran addresses graduates at Regis University’s May 6 commencement. 4 Jesuit
political science and director of student academic services. He was named academic dean in 1977, and academic vice president five years later. He began serving as president in January 1993. Born in New York and raised in Kansas City, Sheeran received his doctorate in political science from Princeton University in 1977. His dissertation on Quaker decisionmaking is now a book used by Quakers to teach the method to new members. Fr. John Fitzgibbons succeeded Sheeran as president on June 1. He most recently served as associate provost for faculty development at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Photos: Rhonda Sheya
Sheeran Headed to AJCU After 19 Years at Regis
Tr a n s i t i o n s
New Orleans and Missouri Jesuits on the Move
Fr. Louis McCabe, the Missouri provincial assistant for vocations, has been named pastor of St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, Belize, effective in September. Fr. Joseph Damhorst has been assigned as chaplain of Loyola Academy in St. Louis. Fr. Paul Deutsch and Fr. Andrew Kirschman will become vocation
director and coordinator of vocation promotion, respectively, for the New Orleans and Missouri Provinces. Deutsch, who is vocation director for the New Orleans Province, will take on that same role for the Missouri Province, while Kirschman will take on a new role for both provinces focusing on vocation promotion outreach at schools and universities in the two provinces. Kirschman will also continue part-time ministry at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver. Fr. Bernard Barry has been named treasurer of the New Orleans Province. Barry is a
member of the Missouri Province and most recently served six years as assistant dean of Fordham University’s business school and advisor to its undergraduate international program. Previously, he worked in campus ministry at Saint Louis University. Fr. William Oulvey, vice president for mission and ministry at Rockhurst University, has been named Missouri Province consultor starting July 31, replacing Fr. James Guyer who has provided advice to the provincial for the last seven years. Fr. Thomas Greene, an immigration lawyer from the New Orleans Province who serves the Jesuit
Conference as secretary for social and international ministries, has been named consultant of the Missouri Province effective in August.
Fr. Glenn Mueller has been named associate pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, La., after 15 years of service as associate pastor of Guardian Angels Parish in Kansas City. Fr. Robert Hagan, associate pastor of Holy
Name of Jesus Parish in New Orleans, will succeed Mueller at Guardian Angels. After 13 years in Austin, Texas, Fr. John Payne moves on to Lake Dallas to serve as a retreat director at Montserrat Retreat House. Fr. Frank Reale has been named superior of New Orleans Province community for Jesuit High and Immaculate Conception parish in New Orleans. Fr. Stephen Yavorsky, director of The Ignatian Spirituality Program in Denver, will join the staff of The Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City effective Sept. 1.
Several Jesuit scholastics are finishing their regency assignments and moving from teaching high school students to studying theology. Max Buehler (Rockhurst High School in Kansas City), John Le (St. John’s College in Belize), Carlos Esparza (Strake Jesuit
College Preparatory of Houston) and Randy Gibbens (Jesuit High School of Tampa) will begin theology studies in Berkeley, Calif., at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. Ronny O’Dwyer (De Smet Jesuit High in St. Louis), Vincent Giacabazzi (De Smet), John Nugent (Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas) and Jose “Pepe” Ruiz (Strake Jesuit College Preparatory) will be attending Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
Joseph Hill (Jesuit High School of New Orleans) will be attending St. Ignatius Loyola Interprovincial Theologate in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Noel Alamilla and Shane Mulligan will begin their regency assignments at Rockhurst High School. Tim Kieras will begin regency at St. Louis University High School. Fr. Aaron D. Pidel will begin doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.
Fr. James Goeke has been named assistant to the novice director of the novitiate at Grand Coteau, La., after having served as a staff chaplain at Saint Louis University Hospital.
Br. William Rehg is the new dean for Saint Louis University’s College of Philosophy and Letters. The program is for young Jesuits studying philosophy and theology during their first years of study after the novitiate.
Forming the Next Generation
Fr. Ralph Houlihan teaches a morality class at St. Louis U. High.
By Cheryl Wittenauer
ifty years ago, when Fr. Ralph Houlihan was a young scholastic at his alma mater, classes at St. Louis University High School were formal and lectured, and Jesuits made up most of the faculty. In his personal studies during formation, he learned Catholic dogma in grammatically correct but not terribly sophisticated “kitchen” Latin. 6 Jesuit
| summer 2012
Today, “Fr. Houly” at 78, is one of only a handful of Jesuits remaining at SLUH, an urban institution that has cycled generations of St. Louis boys to men. He is engaged and energetic, alternately teaching the works of the ancient Roman poet, Virgil, and leading his junior morality class in spirited discussions about academic cheating, birth control and other ethical matters. “He’s really solid on his theology,” said 16-year-old Joe Archer, who likes Houlihan’s questioning, confronting style. Houlihan admonishes fence-sitters or “mugwumps” to contribute to class discussion. And the man who used to join students on outdoor smoke breaks in the 1970s, recalling that those informal meet-ups generated a “gold mine of information,” challenges doubting students to remain open to God as they gain life experience. “If some of you don’t believe in God, are you saying there’s no meaning to life?” he asks them. “How do you know you’re an atheist?” For Houlihan, teaching high school is all about motivating and communicating to young people as they grow in knowledge and experience, and shape their identity, beliefs and values. Fewer Jesuits staff and administer schools now, but they’ve done a good job of inculcating in the lay-majority teaching staff the Jesuit approach to education, he said. Almost since its beginnings in the 16th century, the Society of Jesus has been associated strongly with education. Last fall, Jesuit Superior General Fr. Adolfo Nicolás wrote to major superiors worldwide that he is more convinced than ever that the Society is called to pay more attention to the service of young people. That includes helping them make the most of youthful possibilities and creativity, thrive and dream, make
The night before, Giacabazi and campus ministry offered one of a series of organized events aimed at helping students grieve the loss of a student who died in December. That day, he taught Christian Scriptures to De Smet sophomores, trying to make texts written centuries ago appeal to boys just two years out of elementary school. “We try to make it relevant,” said Giacabazi, who won this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award from the sophomore class. Giacabazi dispenses animal crackers for consistently correct or creative answers in freshmen Spanish, and as a reward for initiative in sophomore New Testament. O’Dwyer, a native New Orleanian who grew up in Denver and who comes from a “long line of educators, restaurant people and sales people,” said he tries to teach kids in a way that helps them to experience God’s love for them. “My prayer in the morning is ‘help me teach as you teach, love as you love, discipline as you discipline, remember what I need to remember and forget what I should forget,’” he said.
Photos: Thomas Rochford SJ
good decisions, and feel the stirrings of their own hearts, Nicolás wrote. “Youth happens only once,” he wrote. “It can open the person to incredible riches of true life or it can end up deflating all possible dreams and hopes. We, Jesuits, therefore, have to ask ourselves: ‘what is the quality of our presence with the young, and how deep, genuine and Christian is it?’” Jesuit historian Fr. John Padberg said Jesuit high schools are an institutional means to guide youth, and help shape the future of church and society. Fr. Doug Hypolite, a veteran teacher at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., believes Jesuit education in the high schools is the Society’s most important ministry because of its leverage in shaping a more just society in the future. “University work is great,” said Hypolite, 67. But in the high schools, “we’re forming so many young minds and helping them to grow, getting them committed to doing justice. You can’t really form people in college.” At De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis’ western suburbs, 29-year-old Ronny O’Dwyer, who just completed his third year of teaching as a Jesuit regent, has found high school work to be “very tender.” “They’re kids,” he said. “You’re walking with them. That may be in the ER or when the mom calls to see if we’ve noticed an improvement with the new ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) medicine.” One sunny spring morning, a De Smet student wept in the arms of a friend outside of chapel, apparently moved by a weekly Eucharist worship service led by 30-year-old Jesuit Regent Vincent Giacabazi.
“Our guys don’t do well” with the harsh discipline and vulnerable. One after another, each student takes of an earlier era, he said. “They need to be loved into his turn before peers to share an experience of faith, or greatness.” opening himself to love or At his junior moral suffering. They share stories theology class, O’Dwyer about a family vacation, the brings order and calm death of a friend’s mother, to this “wild” section by the discomfort of newness at instructing antsy students a Head Start service project to “breathe deeply” and “do pierced by the friendly your best” on a quiz while welcome of non-judgmental soothing music plays in the youngsters. background. “By the end “This is my favorite class,” of this song,” he tells them, 17-year-old junior Jake Koenig “we’ll wrap it up and have a Jr. said. “We’re allowed to be little man-versation.” free and open. Mr. O’Dwyer Ronny O’Dwyer seizes a learning “Put your head up, no says it’s our class. You can be moment for a De Smet student. pillowing,” O’Dwyer tells trusted and honest here. a sleepy student who’s resting on his desktop. “He’s a great teacher. It’s not a homework class. “I’m reflecting,” the boy replies. He tells us, ‘your homework is to meditate on what you Words like “grace” and “faith” and notions about learned. Take 20 minutes each day and think about stepping out of comfort zones pepper class discussion. what we talked about and how you can use it to better In O’Dwyer’s classroom, kids are encouraged to be real yourself.’”
A Tradition of Education By Cheryl Wittenauer
Jesuits were the first religious order in the world to start schools specifically for lay people, and their first was a school for youth founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1548 in Messina, on the island of Sicily in Italy. The viceroy of Messina had asked Ignatius for the school as part of an effort to reform the island. Before long, the early Jesuits discovered that educating laity through 88 Jesuit Jesuit
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Jesuit-founded “high schools” (which were called “colleges” then) was critical for teaching the faith, helping students achieve their callings in the world, and promoting the common good, 86-yearold Jesuit historian, Fr. John Padberg, said. “They found that (the schools) would help people religiously, intellectually, and socially and help the civic life of cities,” he said. “They became so popular and the requests (to start schools) came in so quickly, there was no way to respond to all the requests for them.” In that regard, things haven’t changed much in 464 years. “We’re in it today because people ask us to be,” said Padberg, director of The Institute of Jesuit Sources in St. Louis. What has changed is the ratio of Jesuits to lay people in faculty and administrative positions. Before World War II, those jobs were the almost exclusive domain of Jesuits. Today, they are shared by Jesuits and laity. Other differences: Today’s Jesuit high schools have much more wide-
ranging curriculum than they used to, and they have embraced contemporary communication technology. Jesuit high schools always have emphasized serious academics and faith formation. But it wasn’t until the mid-1960s and ‘70s that formation in the responsibility of a just society also became a hallmark of Jesuit secondary education. This latter, social justice emphasis arose out of Vatican II and Jesuit general congregations, international meetings that set policy and directions for the Society of Jesus. The future of Jesuit high schools will depend on students’ and parents’ desire and support to keep them running, on the decisions and desires of Jesuits, and on the imagination of all parties, Padberg said. “They will continue to be, and be successful, as long as they draw on the tradition of the past, as long as they face clearly the challenges of the present, and as long as they have imagination enough to see how things might be different for the future, and better,” he said.
Randy Gibbens interacts with students at Jesuit High School in Tampa.
Photo: Mike Hogan
Photo: Kathryn Scott Osler, courtesy of The Denver Post
Standing at the door as the class exits and disappears into the noisy hallway, O’Dwyer connects with each student. Some get a fist-pump, others a personal message. “Use your seatbelt this weekend,” he tells one boy. He reassures another who asks whether he presented well in class. “Yeah,” he said. “You were fine.” O’Dwyer said this generation of young people is “very honest” with little tolerance for false airs. “They expect us to be frank, relevant and to live out what we teach,” he said. Graduating seniors recognized O’Dwyer in May with the Teacher of the Year award for representing the ideals of Jesuit education. Randy Gibbens, 34, said becoming a high school teacher was the last thing on his mind when he joined the Jesuits in August 2004. But he said three years of teaching at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., revealed just how rewarding the work can be. Gibbens, a native New Orleanian whose own high school experience at Jesuit High School New Orleans deepened his understanding and appreciation of Jesuits, said high schools are “great places” to train for the priesthood. In his three years at Tampa, he has taught theology and biology, organized and given retreats, and moderated both the Altar Server Society and the campus pep club, Blue Tide. He has an undergraduate degree in agronomy from Texas A&M University. After college, he worked for a year on a golf course construction project in the Dominican Republic. Moved by the poverty all around him, he ended up at a Catholic Worker House in Houston before joining the Jesuits and getting reacquainted with high school life.
Missy Franklin (center) celebrates with her Regis Jesuit High School girls swim team.
Regis Jesuit’s Missy Franklin keeps size 13 feet in Denver while on Olympic trajectory Most students at a Jesuit high school work hard but aren’t known to the wider world. That’s not the case for Melissa “Missy” Franklin, an incoming senior at Denver’s Regis Jesuit High School Girls Division who will almost certainly compete as a swimmer in this summer’s Olympics in London. Franklin, 17, known as “the missile,” has appeared on the “Today” show and drawn national network TV crews to her high school swim meets. She’s become the media’s preOlympics darling, profiled in the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Telegraph of London, and elsewhere. Her fame rests on swimming success at the highest levels. Built to swim with size 13 feet that serve as flippers, she made her world debut last summer by winning three gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai. She is the current world’s record holder in the 200 meter backstroke, a record she set last October in Berlin. Of the many talented young swimmers, Missy Franklin stands apart in that she enjoys being a Regis student and continues to compete with her school’s swim team, passing up a lot of money she could have taken home had she turned pro. She is good at all her classes, including several demanding advanced placement courses. She does all the normal things like retreats and service projects that Regis Jesuit expects of its students. “She doesn’t burn out and is always so engaging and has such a great spirit about her,” said John Koslosky, athletic director at the Regis Jesuit Girls Division. “She tries to just really blend in; she goes to the football games in the fall, to our dances. She’s all about being (a teenager) and having a car. She’s just a normal kid here.” Koslosky remembers the state swim meet last year, when Franklin was a sophomore. The Regis girls won their first-ever 5-A State Championship. “I went down on the pool deck after we won to congratulate the girls,” Koslosky said. “Missy buried her head in my shoulder, just sobbing. It was such a relief for her to win this for the school, for her teammates. I went down thinking, you swim at the worlds, you’re trying to make the Olympics, you’re swimming in Russia and Germany and the Philippines. This is just a state meet against high school kids. Yet it meant so much to her. I heard her say in an interview this year that it is still one of her favorite meets of all time, winning the state meet in her sophomore year. “She’s a special kid. I’m just happy to know her and be a tiny part of her journey, because she is going to go on and do great things.” summer 2012
From left to right, Fr. Doug Hypolite; Ronny O’Dwyer, a Jesuit regent; Fr. Ralph Houlihan at a scrapbook bulletin board at St. Louis University High School; and Vincent Giacabazi, a Jesuit regent, with two De Smet students outside of chapel
“I don’t think I’m the greatest teacher,” Gibbens said. “But there’s something about being with the students every day, developing a relationship with them, the interaction with the kids. “I know that they’re not going to remember the steps of photosynthesis or cell respiration the next week. But for me, the reward is being with the students, accompanying them as they undergo the process of self-discovery.” Hypolite, his Jesuit High-Tampa colleague, is a 44-year education veteran who is famous and toughlooking, a “classroom warrior type” who is both fun and demanding of student excellence,” Gibbens said. His one-line Hypolitisms, or threads of wisdom, frequently are quoted in the school. Among them, “Rise to the top because the bottom is crowded” with mediocrity and “Stand up for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
“Kids dread having to do a lot of work in his class, but by the time they’re done, they’re really happy they had him,” Gibbens said. Hypolite, who learned French at a young age to communicate with his French-speaking grandmother, focused his studies on language, initially studying Portuguese so that he could work in Brazil. But he was never sent. He teaches Spanish, drilling always in the language, and telling students, “You’ve got to listen and focus.” Hypolite, the Greek name for “stone horse,” also chairs Jesuit-Tampa’s French, Spanish and Latin language department. He has no immediate plans to retire from the classroom, and says he finds teaching “energizing.” “What more can I do for almighty God?” he asked. “All the gifts we have as Jesuits are meant to be put in practice. The gifts are not to keep but to be given away.”
High Schools of the Missouri Province
High Schools of the New Orleans Province
St. Louis University High School (St. Louis) De Smet Jesuit High School (Creve Coeur, Mo.) Rockhurst High School (Kansas City) Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, Colo.) Arrupe Jesuit High School (Denver) St. John’s College High School (Belize City, Belize)
Jesuit High School (New Orleans) Jesuit High School (Tampa, Fla.) Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas Strake Jesuit College Preparatory (Houston) Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston
Students Simulate Refugee Camp at Jesuit Dallas By Cara Pavlak
Photo: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
The sun beat down on the new arrivals who nervously looked at each other while standing in line. Finally, the border patrol officers sent them through the security checkpoint, questioning them about their identification and patting them down to ensure they had no weapons. Relief at passing the checkpoints turned into confusion when a few of the arrivals were pulled out of line. Word spread that the young men were to be interrogated and inspected as border patrol searched for an armed, tattooed
Students simulate a refugee camp experience
warlord who was rumored to be seeking entry into the refugee camp. This scene from a “refugee camp” took place on March 27 at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas as 1,100 students participated in the nation’s first Refugee Camp Simulation with the guidance of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. Through the leadership of the school’s American/African Outreach Society, students, parents, and faculty worked with JRS/USA to bring this experiential learning activity to campus. Two simulated camps in Thailand and Kenya sat side by side in the school’s Terry Center building. Student volunteers ran each station in the camps, while every student “refugee” passed border patrol and security checkpoints to enter Thailand or Kenya. Next, they had to pass medical inspections before being assigned living quarters in overcrowded tents. Then, students received small food and water rations before going to the education station where they learned about the work of JRS and refugees worldwide. By the end of the school day, every Jesuit Dallas student had participated in the simulation, and the students raised money to sponsor three scholarships for children in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp.
That evening, students, faculty, and parents returned to school for an event highlighting JRS/USA’s work with refugees. “In the ‘camps,’ our students were able to experience some of the challenges faced by refugees with the added bonus of learning about global refugee issues with representatives from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA,” said Rich Perry, director of community service at Jesuit Dallas. “The JRS Refugee Camp Simulation enabled our students to walk a mile in another’s shoes, experiencing what it means to be a refugee and learning about the pressing global issue of forced displacement.” JRS/USA will modify its Refugee Camp Simulation Toolkit later this year for high school students. For more information about the JRS Refugee Camp Simulation Toolkit, e-mail the JRS/USA Outreach Coordinator at: email@example.com.
M O R E we b ON THE
To learn more about JRS/USA’s outreach, go to http://jrsusa.org/. Also, “like” JRS/USA on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jrsusa) to see photos from the Dallas event.
Ordination to Priestly Ministry St. Joseph Chapel, Spring Hill College June 9, 2012
Photos: Thomas Rochford SJ
James B. Hooks, Bao Q. Nguyen, Brian M. Reedy and Daniel J. Tesvich receive the consent of the community at the start of the ordination rite (below) after being led into the chapel by Deacon Ben Hooks (left). They prostrate themselves during the Litany of the Saints (opposite page left). Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi ordains Brian Reedy by imposing hands on the Jesuit.
Fr. Brian M. Reedy, 38, spent his early years in Anaheim, Calif. Even as a boy, Reedy felt the call to serve God. Although raised an evangelical Christian, he was strongly drawn to the Roman Catholic Church while studying at East Texas Baptist University. The sense of a vocation grew stronger following graduation when Reedy was working toward an advanced degree in chemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M University, and he entered the Catholic Church at St. Mary’s Parish in College Station, Texas. During his formation, Reedy taught high school math and science at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and at Houston’s Strake Jesuit College Preparatory 12 Jesuit
School, and worked for four months in a soup kitchen in Tijuana, Mexico. He also served as an adjunct faculty member in chemistry at Fordham University in New York, where he completed a master’s degree in philosophy and helped lead the music at St. Paul’s Parish in Manhattan. This year, Reedy had the honor of singing the Exsultet, or Easter Proclamation, and preaching at the Easter Vigil where his parents were received into the Roman Catholic Church. “As I looked out at my parents’ faces, lit only by candlelight, it was truly a dazzling night full of deep gladness,” he said. “ . . . I have the honor of proclaiming God’s love to the same people (who) have nourished and established me in my faith and vocation. My priesthood flows out of the loving relationships that have given me the freedom and courage to say “yes” to the Lord’s call. At the same time, I am now able to feed and nourish those same people with Christ from the tables of the Word and the Eucharist.”
Fr. Daniel J. Tesvich, 35, hails from New Orleans. Although Tesvich entered Louisiana State University intending to study political science, his plans were forever changed when a professor invited the young undergrad to attend daily Mass. This powerful experience led him to learn more about his faith, and he quickly became active with the LSU Catholic Student Center, serving as a resident sacristan and member of the team preparing those for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. During this period, Tesvich felt called to priestly ministry. After discerning this call, he transferred to St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, La., to finish his undergraduate studies while preparing to become a
diocesan priest. As his discernment continued, Tesvich realized that he was being called to serve as a vowed religious in the Society of Jesus. After graduating from the seminary, Tesvich entered the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, La., and later taught theology at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. Tesvich earned master’s degrees from Loyola University Chicago and Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. “As I have grown during my priestly formation, especially during the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, I have experienced the great truth that the main issue is not the virtue and wisdom of the minister . . . (but rather) being called to share Christ’s love for humanity with others,” he said. “Of all the many joys in my life so far, the best joy has been precisely that: sharing with others the healing love that Christ has given to me. I have great hope that since Christ has called me to this life of priestly service, He will give me the grace necessary to carry out His will.”
Daniel Tesvich is vested in a chasuble (above). Archbishop Thomas Rodi annoints Bao Nguyen’s hands with oil (right). Jay Hooks receives the chalice and patten (opposite page, top left). Brian Reedy gives the communion chalice to his mother (top right). The newly ordained priests concelebrate with Archbishop Thomas Rodi (bottom left). Frs. Reedy and Nguyen process out of the chapel at the end of the liturgy (bottom right).
Fr. Bao Q. Nguyen, 40, was born in Saigon, Vietnam, to a large Catholic family. He graduated from LeQuy Don High School and studied at the National Economic University in Saigon before immigrating to the U.S. in 1992. After graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in accounting, Nguyen worked for several companies as a general accountant and risk assessment manager and earned a master’s degree in business administration before joining the Society of Jesus in 2001. The former president for the southern region of the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement in the U.S., Nguyen taught theology at Strake Jesuit Preparatory School in Houston 14 Jesuit
and has given retreats in the U.S. and Vietnam. Nguyen earned a master’s degree in social philosophy from Loyola University and a master of divinity degree and a licentiate of sacred theology from Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. Nguyen will direct an eight-day retreat this summer in Vietnam, and will serve a Jesuit parish in the New Orleans Province. “As a priest, I have a desire to console people who have struggled to find God in their lives,” he said. “I wish that I could be an instrument to assist people to feel relief and to restore their good human nature as children of God. The image of a bridge to connect over gaps among rich, poor, ideologies, faith, religions, cultures, nationalities and many more has inspired and motivated me continually to work for the universal church as a vineyard of God. “Being a priest does not mean that I am perfectly worthy of this wonderful sacrament,” he said, “but I feel Christ has invited me to this special vocation and gives me the grace to live it.”
Fr. James “Jay” B. Hooks, 34, was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Tampa, Fla. He first encountered the Society of Jesus at his home parish of Christ the King when he met a priest from the local Jesuit high school who filled in for the parish’s Sunday evening Mass. A graduate of H.B. Plant High School, Hooks earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from Florida State University and then moved to Japan to work as an English teacher. While he taught in Japan, he decided to apply for entrance to the Society of Jesus in his home province of New Orleans. After two years of novitiate training,
he moved to New York to complete a master’s degree in philosophy at Fordham University. From 2006 to 2009, he taught Spanish at Jesuit High School in New Orleans and helped with the school’s theater, choir and retreat programs. In 2009, he was sent to Rome to study theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. His room was two floors above those of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society, who died in 1556 on the same site. He has been in Berkeley, Calif., at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University since June of 2011, and is about to begin an advanced degree in theology. “I do not see my ordination as a goal as much as a turn in the road, a turn that brings me closer to Jesus and a new way of serving the Church and the world,” Hooks said. “I am immensely grateful to God and to my fellow travelers on this road who, in ways large and small, have brought me to this point in my journey. I also look forward to seeing where this road leads us.”
Notes from the Field
Fr. Joe Laramie’s pastoral experience in Belize
By Joseph Laramie SJ
n Punta Gorda, modernization does not follow a straight line. It jumps ahead, circles back and moves ahead again. A washing machine is big, expensive and hard to get to a small village. However, a DVD player is lightweight, inexpensive and can be shared among several families. That means that American movies are quite popular in rural Belize. In the villages you see a crazy mixture of ancient traditions and modern life. At dawn, a man rides to his cornfield on a horse with a wooden saddle; in the evening, he checks his email in his thatch-roof house. A Mayan woman’s cell phone rings during Mass with a Belizean rap song as its ringtone. One choir has both a hand-made wooden marimba and a bass guitar powered by a car battery. A man walks along the side of the road carrying a machete and wearing a St. Louis Cardinals hat. I have only been here two weeks, so I don’t claim to understand everything. Belize is in transition, certainly.
The church helps people deal with all of this. Over 2,000 years and six continents, the church has served poor and traditional cultures as well as modern and wealthy ones. The Gospel message is an eternal grace in a changing world.
Driving On Sunday I drove out to the villages of Barranco and Midway for Mass. You know those ads that show a guy driving his 4-wheel-drive Jeep through streams and mud? At the end of the 30-second commercial, he arrives at the lodge with a big grin and clean clothes. The roads here are like that. Obstacles include rocks, pot-holes the size of a microwave, stray dogs, pigs, bicyclists, motorcycles, men riding horses, and ruts from the dump trucks that tried to repair the road before the last election. You weave back and forth looking for the smooth(er) parts of the road. Driving to Barranco resembles the Jeep commercial for the first 10 minutes or so. After 45 minutes your fillings feel loose — but you’re almost there. Later you have to drive back after Mass, at noon, in 99 percent humidity.
Adventure John-Paul Witt is a novice working in the parish for a few months. He and I decided to leave on Saturday afternoon to make the two-hour drive to a village where I would celebrate Mass on Sunday. Details were a bit murky. On Friday, I called the man who answers the one phone that the village has. He spoke little English, but said that we would spend the night in the church, or at his house, or at another house. In addition to the Mass kit, we brought food, water, sleeping pads and blankets. I drove on a highway that turned to gravel, then dirt, then mud. In some places, I floored the accelerator to get through mud and 2-feet-deep water. In other places I slowed down because I didn’t know how deep it was. Slowing down worked until we got stuck. Fortunately a Salvadoran man in a bigger truck with a chain pulled us out. I learned my lesson. Now I’m flooring it through all the muddy spots. The truck has no shocks; it’s like a monster truck rally. Fr. Laramie (top) on Palm Sunday. There is mud on the inside of the windJohn-Paul Witt (above) plays the role of Jesus. shield. Both the truck and ourselves are taking a pounding. After one big bump, we hear a thud Ten minutes later, we saw the village sign and then under the hood, and the truck grinds to a halt. some thatch houses. We approached a house, and met We opened the hood and discovered that the last someone who led us to the church. Over his shoulder big bump broke wires on the battery. We were somein mumbled English he asked, “ . . . church, truck, you, where between 2 to 10 miles from our destination. Father? Benches.” We messed with the batIt’s good to do a routine check before you begin A few villagers were tery without success. It was a long trip: finishing a prayer vigil in the getting dark. church. They were praying John-Paul and I Shocks: none for us and hoped that we decided to walk and bring Power-steering: no could have joined them for all of the stuff with us, 40 Brakes: screechy the vigil, but we were three to 60 pounds apiece. The Odometer: It broke at 150,000. hours late. They were glad Mass kit is a big briefcase Air-conditioning: If it’s hot, roll down the window we made it and left us three that I tied to my backpack and drive faster. lit candles. Jean-Paul and I with an extra shoelace. We Wiper fluid: You brought a water bottle and a were so happy to be there. walked for an hour withhandkerchief, right? We offered dazed thankout seeing people, cars or Gas: diesel. (Enjoy the smell.) yous. houses. We heard howler I pushed three wooden benches together to form a monkeys and birds as 100 billion stars shone down on us. flat-ish bed. We lay there for 30 minutes, exhausted, not We took a break for water, exhausted. I suggested talking, not moving. I had a huge softball-sized knot on taking only the water, and leaving everything else at the my left shoulder. With food and rest we gradually came side of the road, or just camping on the road for the Continued on page 28 back to life. night. John-Paul suggested we keep going. summer 2012
Meeting God for Lunch Simple Thoughts on Intimacy with God
By E. Edward Kinerk SJ
n the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius suggests that we begin each prayer by expressing our desire that everything be focused on God and that we end each prayer by “speaking exactly as one friend speaks to another.” (Sp Ex #54) Ignatius’ instructions feature two practices that are common and virtually automatic in any conversation between friends. The paragraphs below unpack these practices and show their rich potential for deepening our intimacy with God. Imagine meeting a friend for lunch. As soon as he sees you, he launches into a description of last night’s dream. Perhaps you’ve spoken about dreams before, but at this point you wave your hand and say, “Wait a minute! Hi, good to see you!” His dream may make for great conversation, but first you need to connect. Those formulaic sayings, “good to see you” and the like, are more than just custom; they are acknowledgements that you are in each other’s space. You’re telling your friend that you are aware of him, and he’s telling you that he is aware of you. After greeting your friend you enjoy lunch and conversation. He shares his dream, and you talk about your new grandchild. Lunch ends and you prepare to say goodbye. Sometime in these final moments, you’ll probably thank him for sharing a powerful dream and he will tell you how much he enjoyed hearing about your grandchild. What are you and your friend doing with those closing sentences? You are telling each other that you
listened and that the conversation mattered. The connection established when you greeted one another has grown stronger. In truth, these final remarks to each other can sometimes be the most intimate moments in the entire conversation. Think of prayer as a lunch date with God. No matter what takes place during the visit — meditation, the rosary, or any other way of praying — I want to begin my prayer by intentionally connecting with God. I might say, “Loving God, it is good to be in your presence,” or I might imagine Christ looking at me welcomingly. Whatever words or images I choose, the common dimension must be that I am telling myself that God is aware of me. The Creator of the Universe is focusing loving attention on me! It takes only seconds and I don’t rehearse it nor worry about getting it right. I may, however, sometimes abide in that awareness once I have invoked it. Letting God speak my name can be especially powerful. Recalling the lunch between friends, it is not absolutely necessary to use your friend’s name when greeting him, but I think that you will often find that you do because names convey specialness. When God calls my name, I know that I am important to God and have His loving attention. When I finish praying, I want to end by speaking to God, just as friends speak to each other before saying good-bye. Usually, one sentence is enough. I don’t rehearse the words ahead of time and, in general, I stay away from apologies. The spontaneity of my words often surprises me and I discover in my words what is truly important in my relationship with God. My words to God may reflect a theme from my prayer, but other times I find myself saying something completely unrelated. Sometimes, I cannot come up with
“The spontaneity of my words often
surprises me and I
discover in my words
what is truly important in my relationship with God.”
Illustration: Thomas Rochford SJ
anything to say and end up telling God just that. Even if nothing happens in my prayer or if I am totally distracted, I still try to pull words from my heart that touch my relationship with God. Beginnings and endings personalize my prayer. When I tell myself at the beginning of prayer that God is aware of me, God becomes real and personable. The infinite Creator is aware of me. At the end, my words to God make me a person to God. Indeed, sometimes my very hesitation to put something into words at the end of prayer is a sign to me that I would rather, at that moment, keep God at a distance. One can pray a beginning and ending without anything in between. Suppose that I resolve to devote a set amount of time to prayer each morning. I fulfill my resolution the first day, but over the next several days I slack off. Now it is late in the evening of the fifth day and I realize that I have not prayed and I am exhausted. Do I chalk it up to another failure? Or, do I tell myself that God is aware of me, pause a couple moments, and then speak words to God? This 30-second prayer offers an experience of being connected to God, and I will now be more likely to pray the next morning.
The beginning and ending with nothing in between provides an opportunity for connecting with God at any time. I visit the sick, I delight in nature, or I have a moment of quiet. These are among the countless occasions for knowing that God is aware of me and offering a few words to God. Intimacy comes from awareness and connectedness, and need not take long. Imagine a married couple who both work outside the home and are raising a family. Every night they flop into bed exhausted. After a perfunctory kiss and an “I love you,” they roll over and go to sleep. One night the husband holds his wife a moment longer and says, “Honey, we haven’t had time for each other and we need to change that, but I want you to know that you looked beautiful at dinner tonight!” How long did that take? A few seconds? Those few intimate words could draw the couple closer. So it is with God. If I speak from my heart to God, I am intimate with God. If I allow God to be aware of me, to look at me or to speak my name in a loving way, I am intimate with God. And even a few minutes of intimacy with God will transform my life. summer 2012
Building the Church in Vietnam Jesuits Open a Path for Formation of Vietnamese Religious
Sisters studying English as a second language at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, experience snow for the first time.
ore than 100 Vietnamese religious women, seminarians and priests have been gaining new skills, confidence and world perspective while earning degrees and receiving religious formation thanks to a program spearheaded by a Vietnamese-born Jesuit from the New Orleans Province. Fr. Bao Nguyen, ordained in June, caught his first glimpse of the need for religious formation in his native Vietnam when he returned as a Jesuit scholastic in 2004 to give retreats to religious communities. During that trip, he observed only remnants of the Catholic schools, hospitals, and social institutions the church used to run. Communists had confiscated or suppressed them, and made it nearly impossible for religious sisters to attend college. About 7 percent of Vietnam’s 91.5 million people are Catholic.
| summer 2012
For 20 years after the reunification of Vietnam in 1975 under a Communist government, religious people were expelled from convents and seminaries and prevented from recruiting and training new followers. A whole generation of leadership was lost. Religious orders were on the verge of collapse. The government began easing restrictions after 1995, and by the early 2000s, had lifted bans on overseas travel and recruitment of new members. As a result, many religious orders and dioceses began sending some of their members abroad to be trained as leaders and directors of formation. International orders such as the Society of Jesus and dioceses with international connections seized the opportunity, but many smaller diocesan orders and poorer dioceses struggled to find ways to train their future leaders.
Nguyen, armed with letters of endorsement from Vietnamese bishops, began in 2005 to secure scholarships at Catholic colleges and seminaries in the U.S., Spain and Malta that would accept and shape the Vietnamese sisters, priests and seminarians. The plan was for each to be in his or her host country for two years of language study, four years of undergraduate study and two years of study leading to a master’s degree before returning to Vietnam. The first group arrived in 2006. Fr. John Lan Tran of St. Louis, whom Nguyen tapped to recruit students for the Vietnamese Formation Students program, said many sisters from local congregations have limited life, academic and work experience. “These small congregations have no connection outside of Vietnam,” said Tran, campus ministry director at St. Louis University High School, who spent summers teaching religious in Vietnam. “This is a big opportunity for them to experience something else.” Nguyen said he secured millions of dollars in scholarships from more than 30 universities and colleges that include Loyola University Chicago, Boston College, Loyola Marymount University and Spring Hill College. Loyola Chicago has several academic initiatives in Saigon that
Baltimore. The sisters also organized a retreat for Boston youth last spring. Last summer, the team went to Vietnam to host a retreat for 150 religious candidates. Over the Christmas Bao Nguyen John Lan Tran holidays, the Vietnamese formation students gathered in “They have overcome the language Houston for a retreat and workbarrier and adjusted to a new culture.” shops on learning English, choosing Nguyen believes women relia college major, adapting to a new gious could be allowed to teach secuculture, and learning to minister in a lar courses at public universities in foreign environment. Vietnam, and that eventually, if the Fr. Joseph Cuong Bui of the Can Tho Diocese, who recently com- church pushes, and the government relents, they could open Catholic pleted a master’s degree in pastoral schools and hospitals to serve the administration at Loyola University poor. Chicago, said the formation program Sister Maria Minh Hue, a memhelped prepare him for a challenging ber of the Lovers of the Holy Cross mission in Vietnam, and taught him Congregation of Vinh Diocese, about the American church. returned to Vietnam last year after Education is especially critical four years of overseas study. “I feel for diocesan congregations of confident now, helping and motivating Vietnamese women religious who the 83 novices and 70 pre-novices in must support themselves while my congregation,” she said. under the control of local bishops. She is one of only two students Currently, the Vietnamese of the 102 participants who have government limits their role returned to Vietnam. to parish work and child This fall, a Vietnamese sister care. will begin work on her doctorate Asked what would hapin higher education at Saint Louis pen if advanced education University, marking what Nguyen leads the women to aspire says is a first for Vietnamese religious to professions that they’re women. not allowed to pursue in Nguyen said he encourages those Vietnam, Tran said that’s a in the program to “study until you question for another day. can’t study anymore,” adding that the Passing on their knowledge need for advanced degrees is great. to sisters back home and He said he’d love to bring more forming leaders will be Vietnamese sisters, priests and semimore than a full-time job, narians to study abroad and hopes he said. that benefactors will join him in “I am very proud of his dream to build the church in what these students have Vietnam. been able to accomplish Education will allow Vietnamese sisters to expand their in a short time,” Tran said. ministries. Nguyen said he will explore this summer for opportunities in collaboration. Tran, who also teaches computer science, procured laptops and leads retreats for the Vietnamese formation students. Jesuit Frs. Hung Nguyen, who runs a retreat house in Waller, Texas, and Doan Hoang, who works with the Christian Life Community in Los Angeles, organized and directed a 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat for some of the sisters. Fr. Hoa Trung Dinh, a Vietnamese-Australian Jesuit at Boston College, became a spiritual director for seven Vietnamese seminarians at St. John’s Seminary in Boston, and the Jesuit community at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., sponsored two sisters from Hanoi. Tran and Sisters Thu Do and Yen Le, who are studying at Saint Louis University and Boston College, respectively, led English-language retreats for Vietnamese-American youth in Dallas, Philadelphia, St. Louis and
Fr. Tony Rauschuber with students at Good Shepherd Nativity School in New Orleans
Provincial’s delegate for social and international ministries. “It is also meant to support those Jesuits and ministries that are engaged with the poor to continue and deepen their work.” Grants were awarded to three projects of the Missouri Province:
Social Projects Supported by New Grants Program By Brooke A. Iglesias
our projects in Belize and St. Louis are among recipients of a grant program launched this year by the New Orleans and Missouri provinces. The Social Grants program is modeled after one New Orleans started nearly 30 years ago to encourage Jesuit solidarity with the poor. As the two provinces edge closer to a merger, they decided to administer a social grants program together. This year marks their first joint effort. In March, nine projects were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. Each province contributed $25,000 toward a total sum of $50,000 in grant money. All proposals were evaluated by province representatives, who forwarded recommendations to province consultors, who made final grant decisions last year.
Requests for proposals will be distributed in November to Jesuits of both provinces for the 2013 round of grants. “The grant money is meant to be an incentive for Jesuits who are not engaged with the poor, to get engaged with the poor,” said Fr. Brian Christopher, the Missouri
• The Center for Community Resource Development in Belize City. Led by Christopher, the center will use the funding to help build community action networks, unite neighbors in identifying their community assets, discern how they want their own neighborhood to look and mobilize those assets to realize their vision. The work focuses on the St. Martin de Porres parish community that has suffered gang and drug violence. • Prison ministry at Belize Central Prison. The ministry, run by Frs. Jack Stochl and Bill Snyders, needed money for transportation, religious book purchasing and shipping, and drug and alcohol counseling of prisoners.
social ministry • St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in north St. Louis. Funding will subsidize rent and utility assistance for parish neighbors and help build a community garden. Grants were awarded to six New Orleans Province projects: • Project Learn Belize. Directed by Fr. Geoffrey Dillon of the New Orleans Province and sponsored by the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, the project brings student-teachers, nurses, professors and other members of the university community on regular immersion trips to Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga, Belize. This summer, participants will help local tradesmen restore the school’s infrastructure. • Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and Jesuit High School of Tampa. The grants will support the schools’ academic enrichment programs offered each summer to low-income middleschool students.
• The Good Shepherd Nativity School of New Orleans. The grant will support school retreats and service-learning activities. • The International Service and Immersion Program of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. The grant will fund a service immersion trip to El Salvador, as well as four organizations that serve the country’s poor. • The New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice at Immaculate Conception Parish in Albuquerque, N.M. The grant will help undocumented families with food, shelter and utility assistance, especially when the family breadwinner has been detained or deported. Some of the money will aid families with emergencies and pay the cost of applying for legal status.
Fr. Geoffrey Dillon with students of Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga, Belize
“The grant money is meant to be an incentive for Jesuits who are not engaged with the poor, to get engaged with the poor.”
(opposite page) Fr. Brian Christopher (center), director of the Center for Community Resource Development, and Hugh Gotoy (left), the center’s job placement coordinator, patiently wait for a sample of Olga Gordon’s sausage rolls in the community bakery. (left) Fr. R.V. Baylon (yellow shirt) with volunteers in front of a home they built for a Belize family Summer 2012
Photos: Thomas Rochford SJ
Christopher Pinné SJ
Finding God and the Good in a Tough Transition By Cheryl Wittenauer
n his new work as chaplain at Saint Louis University, Fr. Christopher Pinné ministers to staff, faculty and students with marital problems, illness, and any other of life’s difficulties. How he has dealt with profound challenges in his own life has made him especially suited for the job. An accident five years ago in St. Louis left him a semi-paraplegic and changed his life’s direction. The guy whose natural inclination is to move fast has slowed his pace and learned to be patient. He has come to rely on aides for some of his personal care, and is grateful for their vocation and the “dignity they bestow,” he said. He credits his team at Craig (rehabilitation) Hospital in Denver for giving him the emotional, spiritual and physical tools he needed to make peace with what happened. Despite some physical limitations, Pinné, 60, considers himself luckier than many of the people he has come to know with spinal cord 24 Jesuit
or traumatic brain injuries: the sheriff who was shot in the throat, a 16-yearold quadriplegic from Cheyenne, Wyo., an unresponsive woman who was struck crossing a street in downtown Denver. “Whenever I want to feel sorry for myself, I think of her,” Pinné said. The accident, he says, happened after he’d already lived a full life. It didn’t keep him from returning to his Jesuit brothers and home, and resuming work, currently as chap-
“When you face certain things and survive it, other things are no longer that big a deal.” lain to Saint Louis University’s law school and the campus Department of Public Safety. Its officers were first on the scene when Pinné, while walking to breakfast, was hit by a motorist. “These things happen to all sorts of people,” he said. “I’m just one of them.”
Pinné was just wrapping up his time as Missouri Province vocation director and was anticipating a new assignment at Regis Jesuit High School in suburban Denver when at 6:10 a.m. on May 5, 2007, he was struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk just outside Jesuit Hall on the SLU campus. “I heard my own body hit the street,” he said. “I was lying on my right side. A woman came over and asked, ‘should I move you?’ I hurt all over.” He was stiff and sore with torn ligaments and dislocated thumbs from trying to break his fall, but his spine appeared fine. He traveled to Poland that summer and drove with a friend to Colorado. One day that September, when he reached for his pain pills, a terrible pain shot up his back and hung with him for weeks. A series of surgeries, vertebrae fusions and rehabilitation regimens allowed him to teach and advise boys at Regis for more than three years until Dec. 7, 2010, when he awakened from a nap paralyzed from the waist down. The next day, surgeons worked eight hours to repair three herniated discs, including one that
Fr. Pinné with SLU campus ministers Ben Smyth, Megan Diestelmeier and Abby Braun
had exploded in his spinal cord, and install rods, plates and screws to fuse more vertebrae. “I remember telling the nurse, ‘I don’t want to be paralyzed for life,’ ” Pinné said. “‘Oh, honey,’” he recalled her saying, “‘we don’t want that either.’ ” Four days later, on Dec. 12, 2010, he was transferred to Craig Hospital for four months of rehabilitation for his spinal cord injury as well as emotional and spiritual coaching. He returned to St. Louis in April 2011, ready to make the best of a path he would not have chosen. “If I whine or moan, it’s not going to change things,” he said. “Was this on my bucket list? Oh, no. I didn’t say ‘Thank you, Jesus, for letting this happen.’” Pinné said he learned from the staff at Craig not to look at life’s “tunnel,” which can get really long and dark, but to focus on what he can accomplish today, even if it’s moving just one toe. He finds support in his brother Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality that holds that God is in
every situation. The paralysis cut short his time at Regis, where, he says, “my heart will always be,” but he’s keeping things in perspective. “When you face certain things and survive it, other things are no longer that big a deal,” he said. “I’m not going to get my shorts in a bunch over (what happened). I already knew God loved me. Now I know that he loves me more. He’s been with me all through this.” Pinné maintained a positive spirit despite repeated surgeries, diminished mobility and grueling work to regain strength and activity. “So much suffering made a powerful statement to (Regis) kids and adults alike,” who were inspired by him, “over and over,” and who established a scholarship in his honor, said Fr. Philip Steele, school president. “Who would dare whine about their own life when he was not whining about his?
M O R E we b
“Through all of this, it is clear to me that Chris simply wants to serve as a Jesuit priest,” Steele added. “He will do whatever it takes to be available to people as a priest. If it can’t be in a high school, then it will be on the SLU campus. He may be confined to a wheelchair, but he is one of the most available people I know.” Roland Corvington, a retired FBI special agent who now heads SLU’s public safety division, said Pinné has been a “natural fit” since coming on board nine months ago. There, and at the law school, Pinné is helping people process their personal challenges and heartaches. “It’s tough being a human being,” Pinné said. “Maybe my job is to help them see they’re still loved by God. Whatever the issue, God’s not going to give up on us.”
Fr. Chris Pinné scholarship: http://www.regisjesuit.com/page.aspx?pid=1365
Robert and Jean Luchi
A Family Invested in Jesuit Mission and Ministry By Cheryl Wittenauer
hen the late Robert J. Luchi joined the Society of Jesus in 1983, his parents, and later his siblings, began to identify and ally themselves with the Jesuits in a relationship that persists today, five years after he died of esophageal cancer at age 52. Consistent donors to the Jesuits, Robert and Jean Luchi support a number of projects and people, including a leadership gift that enabled the Missouri Province in 2010-11 to renovate and expand Fusz Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility in St. Louis for aged and infirm Jesuits, where Fr. Luchi died on June 22, 2007. “They’re not just donors, they are fully invested in the mission and ministry of the Jesuits,” said Thom Digman, assistant to the provincial for advancement. The family also maintains and builds on the relationships their son and brother began years ago. It’s a way of keeping him close to their heart. “Our family has an open door to the Jesuits,” said Jean Luchi, a retired pediatrician in Seattle and Luchi’s younger sister. “Maybe the greater gift is that we are a family that welcomes Jesuits. Our prayers and love for them are constant.” Luchi, who, as a young man, questioned his belief in God and went on to study Sanskrit and the classics at California and Texas universities,
Robert and Jean Luchi with their son, Fr. Bob Luchi
joined the Jesuits after an inner voice cautioned, “‘if you do not serve me, you will have wasted your life,’” recalled his father, Robert Luchi, a retired physician and professor of internal medicine and geriatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Luchi and his wife, originally from Pennsylvania, started their family in Okinawa, Japan, and later settled in Philadelphia. The Luchis moved to Houston for the opportunity at Baylor, when Bob Luchi Jr. was in high school. The couple remained in Houston until 2008 when they moved to the Kansas City suburb of Mission, Kan., near their younger son, Michael Luchi, an infectious disease specialist at Kansas University Medical Center. A second daughter, Lauren Luchi, is associate director for the American Federation of Teachers in Washington D.C. Luchi entered the novitiate in Denver and went on to serve tough
but rewarding assignments in East St. Louis, Ill., Honduras and Nigeria. When Superior General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach asked for volunteers to help the Society rebuild its work in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide, Luchi responded generously. But his mission there, from 2001 to ’03, proved difficult and he never quite adjusted to the culture or his assignment, said Fr. Stephen Yavorsky, who served in Rwanda for six years and works in Ignatian spirituality. “We both wanted to give directed retreats … but they were not into private conferences,” he said. “They wanted preached retreats, which required a much higher level of language development than we had. Bob’s French was better than mine.” Luchi returned to the States and pursued graduate studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology at Cambridge, Mass. In 2005, he learned he had advanced cancer.
Luchi spent the next six months in Houston, where his father could advocate for his care. The following year, Luchi came back to St. Louis, where he received an unfavorable diagnosis and opted for hospice. He spent his final months in residence at Jesuit Hall and the Pavilion. Yavorsky said his friend accepted his fate in true Jesuit spirit, determined to serve God through the “gift of sickness.” Jean Luchi moved to St. Louis to be with her brother and was given a guest room on the sixth floor of Jesuit Hall where she lived from September 2006 until her brother’s death the following June. The Jesuits “were extremely generous,” she said. “They were wonderful. I had my meals there, did our laundry there, got to know the dining hall staff. The Jesuits were like spiritual brothers and fathers to me … It was a transformative experience of God’s love. When I left, I felt I was leaving a family.” Fr. Luchi’s parents and other siblings visited frequently, meeting people who shared stories that filled in parts of the priest’s life that he had kept to himself, Dr. Luchi said. “He was introverted but could be the life of the party with the right type of people,” Dr. Luchi said. “He
Fr. Jean Baptiste Ganza with Dr. Luchi
could skewer his father and siblings, The Luchis said they give the but not his mother. He would not do Jesuits their love, prayers, affection that to his mom. He was born in a and solidarity in exchange for the Quonset hut in Okinawa, special to many “great gifts” the Jesuits have all of us.” given them. And while they did not The day Luchi died, his family gathered as Fr. John Padberg raised a host over his body, saying “Happy are those who are called to the Lord’s supper. Robert has been called to the Lord’s supper.” Jean Luchi recalled the moment as “beautiMichael, Bob, Jean and Lauren Luchi ful and consoling.” The Luchis have “adopted” give their son and brother to the Rwandan Jesuit Fr. Jean Baptiste Jesuits, they delighted in his choice, Ganza, who had befriended their son and support the religious order and brother in Rwanda, and they that formed him into the priest he support his efforts to build St. became. Ignatius High School in Kigali, the Jean Luchi recalled one night capital. when her brother was especially sick Last year, they sent money to and afraid to be alone. Jesuit Fr. Pierre Loua as he fled “What is your prayer?” Jean political unrest in Ivory Coast. They asked him. came to know Loua in 2007 when he “He said (he prayed) that God’s was in graduate school and living at grace will be manifest through his Jesuit Hall. illness, and I think his prayers were In January, the Luchis hosted answered,” she said. 15 novices from the Missouri and “We were given so much love New Orleans provinces at their home and received so much support. I when Ganza was in town for a visit. look back at that time as very rich Robert and Jean Luchi are in God’s grace … with bonds built regular, generous contributors to the through sadness of illness and loss, Jesuits of the Missouri Province and and new gifts of love and friendship. The Robert E. Manning S.J. Fund in “My brother continues to live. honor of the former Weston presiGod’s grace was answered.” dent and New England provincial, who died a year after his friend, Luchi. The fund provides financial assistance to graduate students enrolled in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College (formerly Weston Jesuit). Summer 2012
Notes from the field continued from page 17
n children ith Belizea w ie m ra a Fr. Joe L
The church was filled with grace. The candles lit up the altar, tabernacle and rafters. What century are we in? This scene could be from 1600, or even Ireland in the 500’s. Missionary priests go to a far-away place with only a foggy sense of geographic direction; they arrive late and find a warm welcome. Perhaps Pierre DeSmet, or Isaac Jogues, or St. Patrick had experiences similar to this. We did evening prayer to thank God. The old air mattresses we brought do not hold air. We just hauled these heavy things 5 miles; now they are just vinyl sheets. We slept uncomfortably, waking up every hour or so to the sounds of monkeys, dogs, roosters and birds. In the morning, the school principal took us to his house for breakfast – coffee, eggs, tortillas – then he drove us to Dolores village for 7 a.m. Mass. The choir in Dolores village has two marimbas, wooden xylophones straight out of the movie, The Mission. The church is bright and well attended, with good singing and prayerful spirits. This Mass is the best of the Church here: fully Mayan and fully Catholic. Christ fulfills cultures; He takes the best of what we are and transforms us into the Body of Christ. He has done this
through decades [centuries] of prayer and labor by past Jesuits, village leaders, and Mayan families. Again, I’m reminded of St. Patrick, who transformed Ireland into a Christian Irish people. Now to Corazon village. I was fading fast after only a few hours of sleep on a church bench. It was 11:30 a.m. and getting hot. The principal wanted us to show him our broken-down truck. When we found the truck, he opened the hood and said, “Oh, oh, wow, my. Hmm. Not good. But I think I can fix it.” In his tool kit are pliers, a hammer and a fistful of extra wire. He uses my spare shoestring to tie the battery in place. After five minutes of jimmying and pounding, the truck starts! The third Mass was rough. In the sanctuary are three speakers, each the size of a refrigerator. There’s a one-upmanship with the Pentecostal churches around here. They get speakers, we get bigger speakers. They turn up the volume, we turn it up more. Teenage boys played two guitars, two keyboards and an electronic drum set. I could feel the music vibrating my ribs. The two female cantors stood at the altar, using it as a big music stand. It was hard for me to get to the altar; I asked the cantors to move, but they could not hear me. By the end of Mass, Jean-Paul and I were utterly spent, but the truck seemed fine. We drove slow, taking it easy. We arrived home at 3 p.m. — almost exactly 24 hours after we left.
Loyola U-New Orleans Celebrates Centennial Loyola University is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its charter as a university in New Orleans in 1912. The Jesuit-Catholic school educates about 5,000 students a year who have gone on to be catalysts in their community. The centennial will be observed until May 2013 with lectures, festivities and other events marking its history. A centennial Web site, www.loyno.edu/2012,
features milestones and official events, video interviews, personal stories and photos from the past as well as the university’s plans for the future. A book by history professor Bernard Cook, “Founded on Faith: A History of Loyola University New Orleans,” on sale at www.loyno. bkstr.com, was commissioned for the centennial.
St. John’s College Turns 125 St. John’s College in Belize City is marking the 125th anniversary of its founding by Jesuits in 1887. A reference to this year’s milestone has been added to the school’s logo used in printed materials and correspondence. According to its Web site, the school opened with 12 day students and two boarders, expanded rapidly, and survived a yellow fever outbreak in 1921 and a hurricane 10 years later that took the lives of 11 Jesuits. St. John’s today has four divisions that offer a wide variety of subjects in secondary and two-year postsecondary curricula.
Gerhardt B. Lehmkuhl
Gerhardt Lehmkuhl, a Jesuit for 50 years, died March 9, 2012, at his Jesuit Hall office in St. Louis at the age of 69. He was born Sept. 24, 1942 in St. Louis and attended St. Louis University High School. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1961, and earned degrees in philosophy and U.S. history from Saint Louis University. He earned a law degree from SLU in 1983, and opened a law office the following year at Jesuit Hall to provide legal services to the poor, assisted by university law students and other volunteers.
Fr. Robert B. Rimes
Fr. Robert Rimes died May 30, 2012, in Mobile, Ala., after 70 years in the Society of Jesus. He was 89. He was born in Monroe, La., on Nov. 30, 1922. He had many ministries, including novice master at Grand Coteau, La., teacher at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston and rector of the Jesuit Community at Spring Hill College. He also helped pastor St. Charles Borromeo Church in Grand Coteau, and was vicar for religious for the Mobile archdiocese. Rimes entered the Society on Aug. 14, 1942, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau after attending Spring Hill College.
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www.jesuitsmissouri.org • 1.800.325.9924 Jesuit Bulletin XCI • Number 2 • Summer 2012 The Jesuit Bulletin is published and distributed by the Jesuits of the Missouri Province. All communications about editorial matter should be addressed to the editor at: 4511 West Pine Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63108-2191. All communications about change of address, memberships, burses, and requests should be addressed to Thom M. Digman, Advancement Office of the Jesuits of the Missouri Province, 4511 West Pine Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63108-2191. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deceased Ruth M. Althage Arnold Amann John Anderson Fr. William Benish Donald Bergin Marshall Bickett Hatfield Burnett S. Bloodworth Angelo Bottini Blanche Brooks Helen Bush Olga Carroll Dan Chapla Wilbert (Bill) Coon Marion Daudt McBride Mr. DeCoursey Bob DeMarko Dr. Eugene T. Dmytryk Don Domengoni William Dreyer Rose Fasl D.H. (Bud) Ferrell Kathryn M. Fischer Eleanor Flynn Miller Helen E. Gambaro William D. Garesche Joseph Giangrosso Clara Ines Gonzalez Jeannette Gronniger Betty Hahn Clay Hanley Jean Hennelly Katy Horenkamp Ryan Howe Katherine Huffman Lauretta M. Klein Roby Kleptz Dr. Robert Kling Charles B. Krieger Marie Ittermann Patricia Ann Jahde Patrick Kanzler Bernard Kerkvliet Charles B. Krieger Elaine La May George T. Lang Carmen Larkin
Dolores Jean Lee Gerhardt B. Lehmkuhl SJ Richard A. Littmann Frederick Manzie Raymond A. Martel Dorothy Mayo William J. McGlynn Harry Meyer Sr. Jos. Milmo Lawrence M. Morrison William D. Montgomery Mary Mulcahy Verna Mae Nations Carol OByen Charles Ohlig Arlene Peterson Ruth Ann Phipps Joan F. Pohlman L.J. Polette Francis John Pollnow, Jr. William Pope John Powley Bernadine Rathgeber George A. Richardson Elizabeth Roack Clare Robinson Loretta Rothgery Mary Rotola Terri Schreiber Patricia Shocklee Dr. V. Dean Schwartz Frederick E. Schuller SJ Jack Simmon Leona Soja Richard Struckhoff Lucille Strutman JoAnn Sweet Mary Jane Thaman Deborah Tavernier Barbara Tournour Lyle Tylor Mary Jean Walker Angie Walsh Sister Mary Walter Lee Wampler Eugene Warren Kathy Whalley Charles D. Willett, Sr. Harvey Wilkin Ronald Wilson Various other individuals
what kind of
legacy will you leave?
We all desire to lead happy and fulfilled lives surrounded by family and friends. Many of us feel compelled to make a difference and leave a lasting impact on the people we love and the world we will leave behind. The search for significance and the desire to plan for the future lead many to ponder their legacy.
What kind of legacy will you leave?
A bequest is perhaps the easiest and most tangible way to have a lasting impact on the people and organizations that mean the most to you. A bequest may also be an effective way to make a gift to charity and lessen the burden of taxes on your family and estate. Would you consider including the Jesuits of the Missouri Province in your estate plan through a Charitable Bequest?
An Easy Gift to Make A Charitable Bequest is a donation written in a Will or Trust that directs a gift to be made to a qualified exempt charity when you pass away. One benefit of a Charitable Bequest is that it enables you to further the good work of an organization you support long after you are gone. Better yet, a Charitable Bequest can help you save estate taxes by providing your estate with a charitable deduction for the value of the gift. With careful planning, your family can also avoid paying income taxes on the assets they receive from your estate. Learn more about a charitable bequest and other gift planning ideas. Send us a note in the envelope in this magazine or contact us online at:
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Each year, the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus celebrates the lives of Jesuits who have reached important milestones in their ministry to the people of God as priests and brothers. We invite you to plan ahead to take part in celebrations in Kansas City, St. Louis and Denver. You can find
Save the Dates Sept. 9 – Kansas City • Sept. 16 – St. Louis • Oct. 12 – Denver
a list of the 2012 Jubilarians on page 2 of this magazine.
News and profiles about the Jesuits of the Missouri Province