Getting Started

I once received the following advice as an educator: give students a few minutes to start homework in class, because sometimes getting started can seem like such an obstacle that they may give up if they have to do it on their own. Isn’t that also true of adults? We want to do good things and be better people, but how can we even start? Now is the time. Decide and begin. We always have […]

Wise Thoughts for the Graduate—and for the Rest of Us Too

In this graduation season, we share some wise and hopeful words from the late Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart, in I Wasn’t Dead When I Wrote This: Advice Given in the Nick of Time: If you still think everything seems hopeless, I invite you to do a simple exercise. On one side of a piece of paper, try listing all the problematic issues you can think of—things like hunger and poverty and sickness and homelessness and bullying and […]

Ignatian Wisdom for Going Forth

It’s graduation season, and Creighton University senior Anna Ferguson collected advice from the university community on “how to go forth in the spirit of Ignatius.” The wisdom is worth reading in full, but Ferguson concludes: While none of us could take the people and places we love with us, it’s the words that echo forth from them that make the going and grieving purposeful, that charge it with meaning: “Go forth and set the world […]

400 Years of Jesuits in Canada

Jesuits arrived in Canada in 1611, and went on to shape significant parts of that nation’s history as missionaries, explorers, and educators.  To mark the 400th anniversary, Canada’s Catholic Register of Canada has published a 36-page supplement about the Jesuits and their history.  It’s fascinating reading. I especially liked St. John de Brébeuf’s advice to his fellow Jesuits about getting along with the native Hurons.  Much of it is good advice today. To conciliate the […]


St. Ignatius, advising a young Jesuit about how to speak to others: “In dealing with people of position or influence, if you are to win their affection for the greater glory of God our Lord, look first to their disposition and accommodate yourselves to them. If they are of a lively temper, quick and merry of speech, follow their lead in your dealings with them when you talk of good and holy things, and do […]

Things We Cannot Change

Something to think about | Many things in life are beyond our control. We can do very little about the weather, natural calamities, sickness, and so many things that happen in our lives. Often we see these things as hardships, as unfair situations. But we do have the power to decide how we will respond to situations beyond our control. One effective response is the Serenity Prayer: “Lord, give me the serenity to accept the […]

How to Talk to People

Advice from Ignatius, writing to Jesuits participating in the Council of Trent: Be prudent. “When speaking in any conversation, do not think you are talking in private, but in public, so as to measure your words, and to say nothing you would not wish every one to know.” Know your audience. “In the method of teaching Catechism to children suit yourselves to their age, so as sweetly to teach them the mysteries of our faith, […]