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All Things Jesuit

Ash Wednesday Masses at the Chapel of St. Ignatius

February 7, 2018

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, almsgiving and repentance for Christians before the celebration of Easter. People receive ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday as a remembrance of our mortality and a sign of our desire for reconciliation. Ash Wednesday is next week, Feb. 14. The distribution of ashes on campus will take place at Catholic Masses held at the Chapel of St. Ignatius at 8 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Moving Jesuit higher education forward

February 5, 2018

One of SU’s own is playing a key role in plotting out the future of Jesuit education. 

Joe Orlando, director of the Center for Jesuit Education, was in Rome last month as a member of an eight-person North American delegation that is working to advance Jesuit higher education internationally. The delegation representing the U.S. and Canada joined with about 40 other colleagues from Jesuit institutions around the world to prepare for the formal launch this summer of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU). 

Under the guidance of Michael Garanzini, secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus, the international association is being formed to promote networks of collaboration between and among institution of higher education. It brings together lay and Jesuit faculty and administrators in the areas of training, leadership development, and research and advocacy on issues of concern to the Society and to its members. (Father Garanzini previously was president of Loyola University Chicago.) 

Orlando is serving on the association’s steering committee, one of seven that also include committees on Leadership Formation; Civic and Political Leadership Formation; Environmental and Economic Justice; Education for Marginalized and Refugees; Interaction with Religious Pluralism; and Peace and Reconciliation. 

“It was humbling to be part of the gathering with such inspiring colleagues, lay and Jesuit, from all corners of the globe, and from such a wide range of Jesuit institutions in Latin America, Europe, Africa, India and the Asia Pacific regions,” said Orlando. 

The official launch of IAJU will take place in July at Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain. 

Pictured above (l. to r.): Dave McCallum, SJ (Le Moyne College), Eileen Burke-Sullivan (Creighton), Joe Orlando (Seattle U), Joe Arun, S.J. (St. Joseph’s Institute, India), Francisco Urrutia (ITESO University, Mexico), Marie-Louise Ouadan (Cote d’Ivoire, President of Christian Life Community) and Xavier Alphonse, S.J. (St. Joseph’s College, India).

Faith and sports (and the pope)

January 25, 2018

Pat Kelly, S.J., associate professor of theology and religious studies (right), was in Rome in December to do some work for the Vatican office of the “Church and Sport.” While there, he concelebrated Mass with Pope Francis on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12). 

Also, The Catholic Spirit, official publication of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, recently interviewed Father Kelly for its story about sports and faith with an eye toward the upcoming Super Bowl. He also authored an article, "Sports in Schools: Beyond Winning and Losing," which appears in the current issue of Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education.

That Jesuit influence

January 22, 2018

For John Spellman, the former governor of Washington and Seattle U alumnus who passed away last week, the Jesuits were a big influence throughout his life. 

After graduating from SU as valedictorian in 1949, Spellman actually spent nine months in a Jesuit seminary before opting to go to law school, as recounted in Politics Never Broke His Heart

As his children shared in a statement published by Puget Sound Business Journal, “From his days at Seattle Prep and Seattle University and Georgetown Law School, the Jesuits’ style of discernment played an essential role in John’s life. He was always able to pause and look at the other side of an issue. He was able to weigh the options. He was fair and just. He was able to work towards common goals and to humbly change his mind.”

Ignatian invitations

January 11, 2018

The Ignatian Spirituality Center, a partner with SU’s Center for Jesuit Education, invites SU faculty and staff to participate in the following:

Immersions in Ignatian Prayer: Prayer Practices for Life
Ignatian Spirituality 101
Five Sessions (Tuesdays: Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27)
6:30-8:45 p.m.
Seattle Preparatory School

Could your prayer life use a jumpstart or a revival? It could help to have some new prayer forms upon which to draw. The Ignatian Spirituality Center, a partner of the Center for Jesuit Education, invites you to learn about and immerse yourself in experiences of up to five unique forms of prayer from the Ignatian tradition. Each session includes a presentation, immersion into the prayer form and reflection on the prayer experience. Join a small prayer group for the whole series or visit individual sessions of your choice. Click here for information on the sessions and presenters. COST: $20/individual session or $90/series. Partial work scholarships available for the series. Register here by Jan. 23. 

An Introduction to Ignatian Prayer and Spirituality
Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.
Joseph Parish Center (732 18th Ave. E.) 

Have you heard of Ignatian spirituality but aren’t exactly sure what it’s about? Be part of this interactive evening introduction to some key characteristics of the spirituality emerging from the life and vision of St. Ignatius, experience Ignatian prayer and discover how relevant it can be for your life. No cost to attend this program. Donations appreciated. Register here. For more information, call (206) 329-4824. Sponsored by the Ignatian Spirituality Center, a partner of Seattle University’s Center for Jesuit Education.

Father Ohno to lead Ignatian pilgrimage to Rome

November 14, 2017


SU Jesuit Natch Ohno, S.J., is leading a pilgrimage from Assisi to Rome this summer. He will be joined by Lisa Dennison, executive director of the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL).

The co-leaders write: 

“Our pilgrimage will take us from the pastoral hills of Assisi, home of Pope Francis’s namesake, Francis of Assisi, to the pilgrim sites in Rome where Ignatius directed the Society of Jesus. From the rooms of St. Ignatius in the Gesú to St. Peter’s Basilica, we explore the Rome of Scavi, Coliseum, and catacombs to a Papal audience and Pallium mass celebrating the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. We will pray and celebrate the Eucharist as we explore the wonders of amazing basilicas such as St. Ignazio and St. Peter. There will be ample opportunity to taste many Italian delicacies from pasta to gelato, and of course with some delicious Italian wine to toast the journey together.” 

Sponsored by SU and SEEL, the 11-day pilgrimage takes place June 21-July 1, 2018. To learn more and register for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, visit Ignatian Pilgrimage.

The above photo was taken by Natch Ohno, S.J., during a previous pilgrimage to Rome.

An Examen for the Environment

October 13, 2017

Lucas Sharma, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic who joined Seattle University’s Arrupe Community this year, played an integral role in creating a new resource for contemplating the challenge of climate change. 

Modeled on the Examen, a technique for prayerful reflection that Jesuit founder St. Ignatius incorporated into The Spiritual Exercises, “Reconciling God, Creation and Humanity: Ecological Examen” invites us to a deeper understanding of our responsibility for the environment and those communities that are most impacted by its degradation. 

Sharma, an instructor in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work, wrote the first draft of the Examen while working as an intern with the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology last summer. The conference, which represents the Jesuits of the U.S. and Canada, collaborated with the Ignatian Solidarity Network to produce the Examen. 

“The hope of the project was to bring together our rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality, Pope Francis’ call for ecological justice in Laudato Si’, and our most recent Jesuit General Congregation’s call that we be persons who work for reconciliation in our world today,” explains Sharma. “Together with the Ignatian Solidarity Network, I wrote this examen to ask how we might connect what we know about climate change and environmental destruction with our knowledge that the poor are often disproportionately affected by environmental damages. Certainly too, we hope that people would pray with this tool in a way that would call for increased protection and reverence of our common home and the people who we live with on our earth.” 

A member of the Jesuits West Province, Sharma has a master’s in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University. 

“The experience (of drafting the examen),” he says, “was a part prayer in itself—looking at my own experience with the Examen Prayer and asking, what might Ignatius’ (examen), which has been powerful in my own life, teach us about creation? Doing that, I saw in myself ways that my own choices negatively impact the earth and my local communities. This quickly turned into a larger discussion between the Ignatian Solidarity Network, the Jesuit Conference and other Jesuit and lay partners committed to environmental justice. Together, we offer this tool as a way for individuals and groups to enter into conversations about care for creation.” 

You can read more about the Examen and follow a link to the full set of related materials at Jesuits.

Jesuit Jubilarians

October 9, 2017

Two members of Seattle University’s Arrupe Jesuit Community known for their warmth and personal touch are celebrating special anniversaries this year. Pat Twohy, S.J. (left), marks his 60th year in the Society of Jesus, while Natch Ohno, S.J., is celebrating 25 years as a priest. 

Father Twohy has lived and worked with the Native Peoples of the Northwest for more than four decades. In addition to his work here at SU, Fr. Twohy is director of the Rocky Mountain Mission and minister to the urban Native community in Seattle. 

Father Ohno wears many hats at Seattle University, serving as assistant rector of the Arrupe Community and chaplain. His is a familiar face around campus as he interacts regularly and extensively with students, faculty and staff.

Let’s congratulate Fathers Twohy and Ohno on their jubilees and thank them for all they mean to our university community!

SGSU leads way in supporting DACA

September 29, 2017

The student government presidents of all 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. universities have issued a joint statement in support of the DACA program. Spearheaded by the presidents of Seattle University and Loyola Marymount University, the statement reads, in part, “As colleges and universities rooted in the Jesuit traditions, our students are called to engage in the discourse and advocate for a more just and equitable world.”

You can read the full statement here.

Jesuits West

August 24, 2017

As previously shared, the new Jesuits West province officially came into being on July 1 when the Oregon and California provinces combined. The following video highlights the institutions and people of the new province. Spoiler alert: You may see some familiar faces!

Justice through a Jesuit Lens

August 15, 2017

Eboo Patel began his keynote address before a packed-to-the-gills Pigott Auditorium by joking that the talk might not be the one his audience had expected or hoped to hear.

Patel (right) was at Seattle U for a conference on justice that drew hundreds of faculty and staff from Jesuit colleges across the U.S. and beyond. 

Launched in 2000, the national gathering has taken place every four years since 2005. The inaugural conference at Santa Clara may ring a bell for some as it featured Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., then superior general of the Society of Jesus, whose talk, “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education,” is today considered pivotal in clarifying the identity of Jesuit institutions. 

The 2017 conference held this month was titled “Through the Eye of the Needle: Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education.” The gathering drew nearly 430 attendees, representing 27 of the 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities, as well as colleagues from Jesuit institutions in Brazil, Canada, India, Italy and Nicaragua. 

Appropriately coinciding with the conference was the publication of the latest Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education. Titled “Sanctuary for Truth and Justice,” the issue examines the roles and responsibilities of Jesuit institutions in the current U.S. political climate and features pieces by four Seattle University faculty and staff, including Pat Howell, S.J., chair of the national seminar that publishes the journal. 

Challenging perspectives on justice

Having previously spoken at other Jesuit institutions—and the recipient of an honorary degree from Loyola University Chicago—Patel was warmly welcomed by the crowd at SU, which included some faculty and staff with whom he had previously crossed paths. 

Considered a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation, Patel is founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council and is author of three books, including his latest, Interfaith Leadership: A Primer (2016)

If attendees were looking for easy answers to the question of what justice means in the context of Jesuit higher education, Patel was not obliging. Instead, he challenged the hundreds of faculty and staff assembled to question and expand their conceptions of justice. Not in a finger-pointing way, but through a series of personal stories that were equal parts self-critical, laugh-out-loud humorous and, ultimately, thought-provoking. 

A self-described “multicultural progressive,” Patel acknowledged his own biases—principally his failings to consider the worldviews of those with whom he disagrees. Like the time he met an Iraqi leader and, assuming this person shared his own views, apologized for the U.S. government’s intervention in his country. (It turned out the Iraqi was a Kurd who not only welcomed the military action to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime, but deemed it long overdue.) 

His often mesmerizing presentation, which was laden with down-to-earth anecdotes about shoveling snow and Little League baseball, posed such questions as “Doesn’t diversity mean the differences you like and the differences you don’t like?” and, inspired by the writings of Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray, this: “Isn’t the definition of a diverse society, a society in which different people and communities hold divergent and—Murray’s term—incommensurable views of justice? And isn’t the good society the society that can hold all those people together without having them go to war?

Three inspirational days

Joining Patel on an impressive slate of keynoters were Rev. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D., theologian at Fordham University specializing in social ethics, with teaching/research interests in the areas of racial justice, liberation theology, and Catholic Social Thought; Sr. Simone Campbell, S.S.S., executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic organization promoting social justice in public policy, and well known for her leadership of the 2012 “Nuns on the Bus” project; and Michael Garanzini, S.J., chancellor and former president of Loyola University Chicago, who serves as the Secretary of Higher Education for the Society of Jesus. Breakout sessions included an additional 140 presentations, with more than 20 Seattle University faculty participating as presenters and panelists. 

Many other faculty and staff were instrumentally involved in organizing and putting on the conference, including the Center for Jesuit Education; Conference and Event Services; School of Law; Bon Appétit; Information Technology Service; Arrupe Jesuit Community; President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and the Seattle University leadership; and Digital Design Associate Professor Naomi Kasumi, who created the conference program. 

“It was a privilege to work on this conference, to invite the keynote speakers and session presenters, to reach across the AJCU network and beyond to gather attendees and to welcome them to our Seattle University campus for three inspirational days,” said Joe Orlando, director of the Center for Jesuit Education. “We learned a great deal together, and I know that we all provided one another with insights, encouragement and strength to return to our campuses and communities to carry forward this Jesuit mission of the service of faith and the promotion of justice. SU was in service to our national colleagues in the Jesuit/Ignatian family through this Commitment to Justice Conference, and I’m so thankful to have had the chance to contribute to such an excellent event.”

Jesuits International

August 15, 2017

Jerónimo Nadal, S.J., one of St. Ignatius’ companions used to say “the whole world is our house,” in reference to the international scope of the Society of Jesus and its ministry.

In that spirit, a good portion of the globe was represented when these six Jesuits, hailing from five different nations, recently broke bread together in SU’s Arrupe Residence.

Clockwise from top: Daniel Fernandez, S.J. (India); Pat Kelly, S.J., (U.S.); Trung Pham, S.J., (Vietnam); Isidro Lepez, S.J., (Mexico) with his back to us; Frank Savadera, S.J., (Philippines); and Viet Tran, S.J., (Vietnam). 

All pictured Jesuits are members of SU Jesuit community, except Father Fernandez, who was in town for the Justice in Jesuit Higher Education conference

(Thanks to Patrick Gilger, S.J., for taking the picture and Fr. Kelly for sending it in.)