Breaking Barriers through Dance

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Members of one of the dance groups perform as part of the Jesuit Center’s Cultural Expo.

In an exercise that broke down barriers between race, religion, ethnicity, class and background, over 50 men and women from the Jesuit Center in Amman, Jordan, explored the language of dance and interpretive movement – all part of the center’s Cultural Expo, which took place on June 5.

Dance groups included native Jordanians, mixed religion workers from the Philippines and Muslim refugees from Sudan, Somalia and Syria.

“By working together in a new language of dance, I think a lot of people put aside their ‘scripts’ about the others,” said Fr. Michael Linden, SJ, superior of the Jesuits in Jordan. “They chose to grow by offering their work and talents. The Christians said they are better Christians; the Muslims say they are better Muslims.” Continue reading

Snapshot of the Day: Jesuit Alumni at West Point

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Jesuits are called to serve in many places and in many ways. One such Jesuit is Fr. Timothy Valentine, SJ, a US Army chaplain for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Pictured above (far right), Fr. Valentine recently met with some of the West Point cadets who graduated from Jesuit schools.

Growing Closer to God in Everyday Life

The Jesuit Collaborative (TJC) is a nonprofit organization that helps people grow closer to God through prayer and retreats in the tradition of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

The Collaborative fosters collaboration between lay and religious men and women and offers a variety of innovative retreats and programs in diverse formats and settings to meet people where they are in their spiritual lives. A new video published by the Collaborative features two people in different walks of life who have been able to deepen their relationships with God through the various programs offered.

America Magazine Wins Record Number of Awards

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America won 27 awards during the 2014 Catholic Media Conference.

The Catholic Press Association presented America magazine with 27 awards at this year’s annual Catholic Media Conference. This achievement marked the most awards won by the publication in a single year of its 105-year history.

Among some of the awards that America received were:

  • First place for Best Special Issue with Pope Francis — The Exclusive Interview by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ.
  • First place for Best Coverage of the Papal Transition with His Way of Proceeding by Fr. James Martin, SJ.
  • First place for Best Online Blog – Publication with (Un) Conventional Wisdom by The Staff.

In an interview with the CPA, Editor in Chief Fr. Matt Malone, SJ, said, We are delighted to receive this strong affirmation from our colleagues in the Catholic media.”

Click here to read the full list of award winners.

Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ

Today is the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ. The following post about the saint was adapted from an article by Fr. Peter Schineller, SJ, archivist of the New York Province.

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In pursuit of being a man for others, St. Aloysius selflessly cared for plague victims.

Throughout human history, plagues and sicknesses devastated cities, indeed entire nations. Perhaps the most famous is the Bubonic plague, which swept through Europe in the 14th century. Some estimate that one half of the population of Europe died because of this plague!

Aloysius Gonzaga died at the age of 23 while he was trying to help and assist the people of Rome when plague was racing through the city. The fact that he died helping the poor and the sick is all the more remarkable when we look at his background. He was born in northern Italy in 1568 into the noble and powerful Gonzaga family. His future was assured because of the wealth and influence of his father. Aloysius was the first-born and would be trained to inherit the power and wealth of his father.

But God had different plans. Continue reading

The 2nd Annual Faith and Justice Award Ceremony

Written by: Nick Napolitano
Assistant for Social Ministries for the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces

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Fr. Mario Serrano, SJ, (left) receiving the 2nd Annual Fr. Gerald Chojnacki, S.J. Faith and Justice Award from Richard Espinal, executive director of the Centro.

On June 19, 2014, the eve of the United Nations’ World Refugee Day, Centro Altagracia de Fe y Justicia (the Centro), a ministry of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, honored Fr. Mario Serrano, SJ, with the 2nd Annual Fr. Gerald Chojnacki, S.J. Faith and Justice Award. Named after the founder of the Centro and former provincial of the New York Province, the award recognizes an individual who has made significant and tangible contributions to the faith and justice work of the New York City immigrant Catholic community.

Fr. Serrano was honored for his years of work organizing, advocating with, and providing legal assistance to Dominican-born persons of Haitian descent, a group most recently threatened with statelessness due to a Dominican Constitutional Court decision in late 2013. While all stateless people are not refugees, they are particularly vulnerable to displacement and are included in the mandate of the UN Refugee Agency, making it appropriate that Fr. Serrano be honored with this award on the eve of World Refugee Day. Continue reading