Jesuit on the Mound

Baseball is God’s game, in my opinion.  I love the game and I especially like the Detroit Tigers (who are currently barely hanging on to a one-game lead in the American League Central Division).  So you can imagine how excited I was to read about a future Jesuit who played briefly for the Tigers.  It was back in 1912, the dead ball era, and the circumstances were very unusual, but Joe Travers really did play. […]

How the Jesuits Got So Worldly

Historian John W. O’Malley, SJ, ponders Jesuit worldliness  in a recent article.  He starts with a Jesuit joke, but the “worldliness” of the Jesuits is no joke.  It’s real. The decision to operate schools gave the Society a big shove in the worldly direction.  But O’Malley traces the roots of worldliness to the Jesuits’ early commitment to works of mercy: The Franciscans and Dominicans, of course, also engaged in works of mercy. Charity, after all, […]

Pedro Arrupe's Vocation

A genuine miracle played a decisive role in Pedro Arrupe’s decision to become a priest. He was a young medical student on pilgrimage to Lourdes. He noticed a young man twisted with polio in a wheelchair at Mass. At the consecration of the host, the man stood up, cured. Writes Arrupe: Thanks to the special permission I had, I was later able to assist at the medical examinations of the young man. The Lord had […]

Remembering Arrupe

Pedro Arrupe, head of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983, wrote one of the most moving reflections on suffering that I’ve ever heard.  He suffered a massive stroke in 1981.  He couldn’t speak and he could barely move.  He wrote: More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. […]

The List 6.15.09: Jesuit Stamps

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. The List this week features a website modestly titled Jesuit Stamps.  It’s an amazing place containing images of thousands of stamps depicting Jesuits, Jesuit institutions, and “Jesuitica.”  The site is the work of Peter Fennessy, SJ, a theologian who is now a spiritual director at Manresa Retreat House in Bloomfied Hills, Michigan. At right is […]

"The Cooz" and Jesuit Basketball

Basketball fans, especially those of a certain age, will love the articles about Bob Cousy in a recent issue of the Holy Cross magazine. (It’s a big PDF file. The Cousy articles begin on page 16.)  Cousy was a great point guard.  He became famous as a pro.  He led the Boston Celtics to six NBA championships. “The Cooz” is one of many great basketball players who came from Jesuit universities.  My colleague Joe Durepos […]

The List 5.25.09: What Happened at Vatican II

The List is a weekly feature highlighting something remarkable, offbeat, or otherwise noteworthy from the world of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. Pope John XXIII proposed the idea of Vatican Council II 50 years ago.  The debate about what happened there continues today.  Was the Council a break with the past?  Or did it reaffirm ancient traditions and doctrines? Both, says Jesuit historian John W. O’Malley in his new book What Happened at Vatican II, […]

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