From Generosity to Friendship

Something to think about | “Sometimes those of us who have more power, more money, more time, or more knowledge bend down to those have less power, less knowledge, or less wealth; there is a movement from the ‘superior’ to the ‘inferior.’ When people are generous they are in control. You can imagine someone in the street falling down and you going to help that person to get up. Then something happens. As you listen […]

A Jesuit Network for the Poor

Here’s a great idea: a global web-based “virtual community” of people supporting and working in Jesuit ministries to poor communities.  The idea of Jesuit Commons is to build support for relief and development work and to foster collaboration among people who are doing it.  The vision:  “Imagine the power that would be unleashed if this millions-strong network could jointly innovate projects, launch global advocacy or prayer campaigns, share teaching materials, or mount research efforts.” You […]

The Whole Story about Social Ministries

Everyone with an interest in Ignatian social ministries in the U.S. should spend some time with “Iggy”–a fascinating database of information about Ignatian-inspired direct service ministries, research projects, and social outreach programs.  The number of projects and their scope is astounding.  Hundreds of ministries and people are listed.  Users can search by type of project, issues, and location.  Want to volunteer?  Click on your state for a list of programs.  Looking for other people with […]

Greg Boyle on Gangs

I’m a fan of Fr. Greg Boyle, the Jesuit who has done remarkable work rehabilitating members of gangs in Los Angeles. I’ve written about him here.  (More here and here.)   Last week he spoke at my alma mater, St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. Here is an interview he did with a local newspaper. He’s pretty blunt: If our outreach to gang members does not involve concrete help, Jesus is not interested. Jesus stood […]

Oscar Romero

Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated 30 years ago today, gunned down while saying Mass.  Romero denounced human rights violations during the Salvadoran civil war, and strongly supported the poor.  He is a martyr in the struggle for justice.  Days before his death he said to a friend “You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting […]

Jesuits and Their Lay Partners

Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, Superior General of the Jesuits, reflects on Jesuit institutions and lay people. This is from a summary of a talk he gave recently to Jesuits working in the social apostolate: Mobility is essential to our charism; thus we need to learn a new way of discernment, to let go and move on. For example, when starting a school, we should immediately prepare our lay successors so that we can hand the […]

Standing with the Refugees

I would like to be like Gary Smith, SJ.  He does heroic and humble work with refugees in Africa.  I have written about him here before.   To feel the spirit of the Jesuit Refugee Service, read this letter that Gary recently wrote about his work in South Africa.  It’s harrowing, but also extraordinarily moving: But however difficult the refugee situation is for us, it is one of the bleeding breaches in the wall of humankind […]

Ignatius and Poverty

In early November, Santa Clara University held a three-day conference on the legacy of the six Jesuit martyrs nurdered in El Salvador in 1989.  Papers from the conference have been published on the web. In one of these papers, the theologian Jon Sobrino, SJ, reflects on Ignatius Loyola’s struggle with the challenge of living in poverty. In the meditation on two standards, St. Ignatius is very clear that poverty and powerlessness are not only ways […]


Every year some 100,000 undocumented minors are picked up by the U.S. Border Patrol as they try to enter the United States. Posada is a 55-minute documentary film that tells the story of three who stayed. The film was written, produced, and directed by Mark McGregor, SJ, who teaches film at Gonzaga University. He connects the journeys of the three youths to the annual Mexican “Posada” Christmas procession which depicts Mary and Joseph’s search for […]

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