Jesuit Basketball

For many years basketball has been the top sport at most of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the US.  An all-star team of Jesuit alumni could beat just about anybody.   This might be a bit of a down year for Jesuit basketball.  Only two teams–Georgetown and Gonzaga–are currently ranked in the top 25 men’s teams.  But I wouldn’t be surprised to see five or more Jesuit teams in the playoffs next March. Jesuit […]

Weekend Reading

Joe Koczera, SJ on happiness. Some practical advice about the Daily Examen. Jim Martin, SJ on the patron saint of troublemakers. A Jesuit joke.

Christmas Pageant

Two nights ago I witnessed an annual event which has become one of my favorite events of the entire year: the Christmas pageant at my daughters’ school. We have the best music teacher ever there, and what she gets the children to do is magnificent. Last year, it was drumming modeled after the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics; this year it was a walk through salvation history with song and dance. (My 4th grader […]

Happy Holidays?

I often flinch inside when someone wishes me “happy holidays.”   “What’s wrong with saying ‘Merry Christmas?’” says the annoyed inner voice. Nothing, of course, but nevertheless I’m trying to get over my flinching. Hardly anybody who says “happy holidays” does so out of disrespect for the Christian feast.  They do it out of politeness.  There are some people who might receive Christmas greetings uncomfortably, and a tiny handful who are actively hostile to Christianity.  But […]

Best Ignatian Songs: And the Glory of the Lord

About ten days ago I went to a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan.  I do this almost every year.  A week later I was in New York for a funeral.  On Saturday my daughter and I spent the afternoon together, and I did something I hadn’t done in at least forty years–eat roasted chestnuts while walking down Fifth Avenue with the happy Christmas shoppers. The sacred […]

See Who Has Created These Things

Last Wednesday, we had a blizzard in Omaha and Creighton University was closed.  Nine inches of snow was whipped by a ferocious wind onto roofs and in doorways.  Suddenly, in the midst of my busy week, I had a day of enforced nothingness.  I always dream of a day with nothing scheduled and now here, in the middle of Advent, I was handed that day. After my husband left the house, I thought that maybe […]

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 […]

Weekend Readings

Nathan O’Halloran, SJ on Ignatius at the movies. A new online Jesuit magazine, New Jesuit Review. Robert Lauder tackles life’s big question. Michelle Francl-Donnay on rough prayer. Michael Magree, SJ on irony. David Nantais rocks with Bruce Springsteen.

Best Ignatian Songs: Silent Night

“Silent Night” is said to be the most popular Christmas carol of all. Its main rival is “White Christmas,” which is a secular song for a religious feast.  It is said that Franz Gruber composed it for guitar accompaniment because the organ in his Austrian church was broken.  That’s the way the Ignatian Schola of New York sings it in this concert performance.

Christmas Carols and Unexpected Grace

The other morning while running on a treadmill at the local gym, I was jarred out of my early morning daze by a line sung by Chanticler, a famous men’s a cappella group who were performing for the Today Show.  The line that stirred me was one I, like many of you, have heard and sung a hundred times or more: “”¦Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel”¦” This familiar phrase from […]

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