The Pope on Christmas

Pope Francis has given another must-read interview, this one with the Italian newspaper La Stampa.  A couple of comments particularly struck me.  One: “reform always begins with spiritual and pastoral initiatives before structural changes.”  Another: “We must try to facilitate people’s faith, rather than control it.”  Nothing shows the Ignatian heart of Francis’s ministry more clearly than this relentless focus on spiritual conversion. Asked “What does Christmas say to people today?” he replied: It speaks of […]

A Dazzling Art Gallery

America magazine has published a wonderful slideshow of contemporary Catholic art by women in its online edition. It features 21 works–paintings, icons, drawings, sculpture–in different styles. It was curated by assistant editor Ashley McKinless. The art show supports the current issue of the magazine on “Women in the Life of the Church.” The editors point to something Pope Francis said in his famous interview: Pope Francis expressed his conviction that it is “necessary to broaden the […]

An Atheist in Awe

Ryan Duns, SJ, has a couple of interesting posts about the recent televised exchange between Oprah Winfrey and the swimmer Diana Nyad about atheism and awe. Nyad, an atheist, said she experiences awe: “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist…go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity…all the billions of people who have lived before us, […]

“Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

“Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” the interviewer asked.  “I am a sinner,” the pope replied.  “It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”  So begins the famous interview with Pope Francis, surely the deepest look into the mind of a pope that the church has ever seen. Pope Francis’s thinking is drenched in Ignatian spirituality.  To learn about discernment, about finding God in all things, about gratitude and hope, […]

Pope Francis Back in the Pulpit

After a summer break, Pope Francis has resumed his practice of saying Mass and preaching each morning at his residence in the Vatican.  His homilies are terrific.  He speaks informally, without notes, with vivid language and a decidedly Ignatian flavor, as in this comment from a homily last week: What is the light like that Jesus offers us? The light of Jesus can be known because it is a humble light, it is not a […]

The Cold-Call Pope

Pope Francis likes to call up total strangers out of the blue and chat with them.  He did this recently with two teenagers, prompting an Italian newspaper columnist to offer tips for phone etiquette for people who suddenly find themselves chatting with His Holiness.  Here are three: “Papa Bergoglio is maybe the last guy on earth who actually calls land lines. If you hear your home phone ringing, therefore, get ready.” “Don’t be afraid to […]

Gearing Up for Magis and World Youth Day

Last week we met Marquette University graduate Emma Scuglik, who has been challenged and blessed by Ignatian spirituality. Emma will be attending World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro this month and shared some of her thoughts on going to this event for the second time. She’ll also be participating in Magis 2013, “a pastoral experience of Ignatian programs and events in the days leading up to World Youth Day for pilgrims from Jesuit institutions.” […]

How Ignatian Spirituality Deepened One College Student’s Faith

Recent Marquette University graduate Emma Scuglik shares how she encountered Ignatian spirituality in college. Emma talks about the challenge of Ignatian spirituality and the benefits of reflection and discernment. She says, “I’m not expected to figure it out all on my own. This is a walk with God, and I rely on that in discerning where I’m supposed to go in my life.” If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video […]

Pope Francis in the Morning

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected Pope 100 days ago today. That surprised me; it feels like Pope Francis has been around longer than that. He’s a humble man who’s become a big presence in the Church and the world. We’ve quickly grown comfortable with him. I’ve gotten into the habit of reading the homily he gives every morning at Mass at the Casa San Marta, published every day by Vatican Radio. Here he’s speaking to […]

The Dancing Priest

Fr. Robert VerEecke, SJ, is a Jesuit with two professions. He is both a parish pastor and a busy choreographer and teacher of dance at Boston College. After reading about the “dancing priest”  on Loyola Press’s Arts and Faith series, I tracked down this wonderful video of one of his creations. It’s a Holy Week performance that centers on the dynamic between Jesus and his disciples. (Click here to watch it on Vimeo.) Knot, Not I […]

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