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April 13, 2023 — Here’s the latest news from the Jesuits in Canada and the United States.

Milestones and Honors

A Jesuit Black Belt
After a 22-year journey, Fr. Peter Nguyen, SJ, an associate professor of theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, received his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu on March 14.

“The jiu-jitsu mats have been the place where I have met men and women outside the church and the academy. The mats have also been the place where I have witnessed coaching that has positively influenced my teaching. I am now happy to say that I am not only a professor of theology but also a professor of jiu-jitsu.”

Catholic Book Award Nominees
Several Jesuits have been nominated for 2023 Catholic book awards by the Association of Catholic Publishers.

Jesuit Fathers Chris Collins and Joe Laramie were both nominated in the spirituality category; Fr. Laramie for his book “Love Him Ever More,” and Fr. Collins for his book “Habits of Freedom.”

Fr. Michael Rossmann, SJ, was nominated for the “The Freedom of Missing Out” in the inspirational category, as was “A Prisoner and You Visited Me,” whose contributors included Jesuit Fathers James Martin and Greg Boyle. Fr. Boyle was also nominated for his book “Forgive Everyone Everything” in the prayer category.

In the theology category, Fr. James F. Keenan, SJ, was nominated for “A History of Catholic Theological Ethics.”

Health Care Ministry Award
Fr. Rick Nichols, SJ, received the Msgr. Harry Echle Award for Outstanding Service in Health Care Ministry at the 31st Annual Rose Mass sponsored by the John Carroll Society. Fr. Nichols is the chaplain at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He is pictured with Cardinal Wilton Gregory and Msgr. Peter Vaghi, chaplain of the John Carroll Society.

Jesuit Provincial on Hope in Haiti

Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits of Canada,  reflected on the Jesuits’ enduring impact in Haiti after a recent visit to the northern city of Ouanaminthe.

“My experience of visiting Haiti gave me some close hand knowledge of the societal breakdown but, more than that, also direct experience of the work of the Haitian Jesuits with the people of this small city and its surrounding countryside. The parish is alive and thriving, the novices are gaining rich pastoral experience, the schools continue to provide an exemplary education for children from poor families, and the migrant centre is entering an important new phase of its development.”

Fr. Oland celebrating Mass on Laetare Sunday in Haiti

“We hope and pray that the overall situation will start to improve. In the meantime, however, the mission continues in the north and a few other parts of the country in positive ways with a horizon that is more open than one might otherwise have thought.”

Pope Francis’ Altar Being Used by Jesuits

The altar Pope Francis used to celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden in 2015 was built by students from Lincoln Hall, a nonprofit in Lincolndale, New York, which focuses on helping youth and their families. The altar has since been returned and is being used for weekly, Jesuit-led Masses. Fr. Marc Roselli, SJ (pictured right), associate pastor of St. Michael Church in Buffalo, New York, became the first Jesuit to use the altar since the pope’s Mass.

Jesuits on Podcasts

Fr. Gregory Chisholm, SJThe Catholic Review’s radio podcast recently hosted Fr. Gregory Chisholm, SJ, superior of the Loyola Jesuit Community in Baltimore. Fr. Chisholm spoke of the legacy Pope Francis has created, as well as the work of the Jesuits in the region, the Society’s ties to slavery and the important move toward reconciliation.

On the final episode of the fourth season of the Jesuit Border Podcast, Fr. James Martin, SJ, interviewed Jesuit Fathers Brian Strassburger, SJ, and Louie Hotop, SJ, about their ministry among migrants in shelters and camps along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lenten Revival a Time of Joy in Belize

Fr. David Kiblinger, SJ, and Ian Peoples, SJ, organized a weekend Lenten revival in the village of Rancho Dolores, Belize, one of the villages supported by the Jesuits of St. Martin’s Parish in Belize City. The event was filled with Mass, prayer, confession, home visits and faith formation. One of the highlights of the weekend was having seven children make their first confessions in preparation for their upcoming first Communion.

New Books

Fr. Patrick Kelly, SJ, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Detroit Mercy, has published “Play, Sport and Spirit,” which discusses the marginalization of the play element in contemporary sport and focuses on how sport should be engaged in for its own sake, leading to human flourishing. The in-depth consideration of play in this book also highlights our understanding of the human and spiritual meaning of work and vocation.

Fr. Joe Tetlow, SJ‘s new book, “Considering Jesus: The Human Experience of the Redeemer,” invites readers to grow in their understanding of Christ’s humanity, enhancing their prayer and thereby improving their relationship with God. Fr. Tetlow, who is currently a writer and lecturer based at Montserrat Jesuit Retreat in Lake Dallas, Texas, has practiced, taught and written on discernment since before Vatican II.

The Institute of Jesuit Sources released “Jesuit Saints and Blesseds: Spiritual Profiles,” edited by Fr. Marc Lindeijer, SJ, and Fr. Jacques Fédry, SJ, with a foreword by Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ, and a historical introduction by the late Fr. John O’Malley, SJ. The book includes spiritual profiles of more than 70 Jesuit saints and blesseds, including stories of many lesser-known Jesuits.

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