We all know that the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), have their… problems.
But I know some younger Jesuits (older too) who are outstanding. They maintain that old time Jesuit spirit and excellence.
One such e-mailed me today about a new initiative called the …
Pay attention to this new review!
What do they aim at?
The New Jesuit Review has as its goals the recovery of Jesuit spirituality from its authentic sources and reflection by contemporary Jesuits on its significance for their lives. The writings of St. Ignatius and the First Companions, the lives of Jesuit saints and martyrs, and classics of Jesuit spirituality are examined in the spirit of Perfectae Caritatis, the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life of the Second Vatican Council:
It redounds to the good of the Church that institutes have their own particular characteristics and work. Therefore let their founders’ spirit and special aims they set before them as well as their sound traditions — all of which make up the patrimony of each institute — be faithfully held in honor. (Perfectae Caritatis, 2)
This review sounds a though some in the Society of Jesus are FINALLY implementing the Second Vatican Council.
Hoo boy, what an uphill battle. I wish them all the best with this very worthy project.
I have been reading the story of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J., the “Trench Priest” whose biography is available in its entirety online (including in PDF). Despite his frail constitution, Fr. Doyle practiced extraordinary penances and mortifications, but was known for his cheerful disposition and his almost superhuman level of energy, especially during his service on the Western Front in World War I. He wrote a book called Vocations which sold very well and is still in print, or was very recently; he also left a body of spiritual reflections, written purely for his own use and which he wished to have burned in the event of his death. His greatest dream was to become a Jesuit martyr; he was killed at Ypres in 1917 while serving as chaplain for the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 16th Irish Division.
Fr. Doyle seems to have a stalled cause for canonization, about which I haven’t been able so far to find out any details. Now may be a good time to revive popular devotion to him, both for the sake of his cause for canonization and for the sake of his beloved Order which has suffered so much degradation since his death.
I certainly pray that these good priests succeed. In the past, the Jesuits have been outstanding in their service to the Church and to God. May that be true again.
I just checked their website. It seems to have improved. At least the photos of Jesuits show them in clerical garb. The last time I looked, their home page had a photo of a group of middle aged men in burgundy golf shirts; I assume they were Jesuits.
This is really excellent. My prayers and best wishes to the editors.
I know Fr. David Brown, S.J at the Observatory. I must say, he is a man of resounding spirituality and prayerfulness. He also helped me through a very tough time and I am forever grateful for his presence. Next time I speak with him I will applaud him and the many good Jesuits whom I know in their endeavor. God Bless Fr. Brown and the Society!
One of my close friends is a Jesuit in his Scholastic Year. He is very conservative, and he told me most of the novices and younger brothers in formation are further right than he is.
This certainly seems to be an effort worth some serious prayer. I cannot imagine an article advocating stalling the new translations in THIS Jesuit journal.
This Dominican friar is sad that there does not seem to be a printed copy, but has added it to his bookmarks to be studied. Sounds most promising!
I see one of the articles is from the blogger of bogs, Archbishop Pendergrast, SJ of Ottawa.
Like Phil, I also know Fr. David Brown, S.J. who is at the Vatican Observatory (he is from the New Orleans Provence of the Society of Jesus). He is a humble, witty, and solid priest. He is a joy to be around. I am glad to see his input in this venture.
I know Fr. John Gavin, S.J., one of the other editors. He is solid theologically and a good priest. He is also a Boston College graduate and the oldest of eight.
I wish I knew he was now at the Biblicum, as I would have visited him when I was in Rome this October.
There’s a nice article here written by the mother of Fr. Gavin on the eve of his ordination:
I fondly remember the late Fr Joe Johnson SJ, who migrated, with his thick accent, from the Bronx to Parkville, Melbourne, Australia. His intellectually and spiritually riveting seminars in the 1980s on Aquinas and Scripture, never without chocolate, 3 times a week, left an indelible impression on me.
“Fr Joe”, I asked one night in a quiet moment before the others had arrived, “What do you think of the Jesuits?”
“Well, Yeeww … I think we should be suppressed.”
I’ve since come across one or two other outstanding Jesuits, who are of similar mind. Indeed it’s proving very useful rule of thumb for spotting the good Jesuit.
But the advent of this journal indicates that perhaps Fr Joe and likeminded fraternal deceased are working behind the scenes to alter the situation.
RIP, and may God bless this holy endeavour.
Thank you for posting something positive about the Jesuits. Its an unfortunate consequence of Jesuit craziness and disobedience that they suffer the reputation that they have. Many good Catholics are unaware that there is such a thing as a good Jesuit!
The Jesuit order has an extraordinary charism of brilliance and intellectual might. Unfortunately its this creative characteristic that makes a Jesuit prone to sins of pride and unhinged intellectualism for a deadly method to re-create Catholicism into something wacky. Teilhard de Chardin is an unfortunate example. Smart but so so wrong.
But when a good Jesuit is faithful, humble and obedient, there is nothing better!
Let’s hope the writers and editors of this Journal success in their efforts to reform the Jesuits from the inside out. But let’s also remember the good Jesuits out there, many of whom are quite well-known to us:
Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ
Fr. James Schall, SJ
Fr. Frederico Lombardi, SJ (Vatican press office – and I know we all have some issues with his handling of a few PR foul-ups, but he’s still a trusted servant of the Pope)
Bishop George Murry, SJ (Diocese of Youngstown, OH)
Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ (Argentina)
I’m sure there are many others I’m forgetting….hopefully the Society can get back its roots and remember its faithfulness to the Pope, the Church, and the Magisterium.
I met some awesome young Jesuit novices this past June, when I attended the burial Mass of Cardinal Avery Dulles at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, NY.
Very clean cut men they were. I managed to talk to some of them before and after the Mass, and I said aloud, ‘The future is HERE!’
Good luck on the new Jesuit Journal-maybe this will be in time ‘the new AMERICA’!
When an order loses its raison d’etre, it needs to be allowed to slip into history, for the good of the Church. This has happened many times–it’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay–it’s how this works. Even for the notorious Jesuits. Especially for the notorious Jesuits.
There are many other organizations and orders in the Church that have been (and are currently) more fruitful for the Church.
Fr. Robert Bradley, S.J., celebrates the Sunday EF Mass at the diocesan cathedral in Austin, Texas. A fantastic man in every regard. One of the last of the old guard, he could definitely show these “New” Jesuits a thing or two. :)
The news of this publication has made my day. I love the Jesuits.
Please pray for these men. Having been on the inside, it is very, very difficult to live religious life when one feels constantly undermined (& even betrayed) by the bad example of other members of one’s religious order.
It can be a very lonely existence. Your prayers and support for them are invaluable, and whole food in time of famine.
That’s really nice, but disturbing. Disturbing because this seems to have become a trend: A traditional institution (of one kind or another) abandons its roots and goes liberal. Then those members who value the roots and traditions of the institution band together and start a “traditionalist” movement within the institution. The liberals who are now in power in the institution tolerate the traditionalists, saying “Sure, there’s room for all kinds. That’s all we’ve been saying all along. Just don’t let’s have people of one preference start imposing their views on those who have other preferences.”
The end result of all this is that the primary philosophy and purpose of the institution becomes the promotion and practice of tolerance, rather than whatever its actual mission originally was. The traditional position becomes just one of many “preferences” that are tolerated. Insistence that the original mission and the traditional practices of the institution are objectively the most valid, is labeled “intolerant” and “imposing”, and relegated to the “extreme” fringes of the institution.
I suppose a traditionalist wing within the Jesuits is better than nothing. I just hope they’re not satisfied with being tolerated.
This sounds like an answer to the prayer of every person who mourns the current decline of the Anglican order.