Nicaraguan Service Trip for Canisius College

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Two students help teach children and villagers how proper hand hygiene can help protect people and farm plants from harmful microbes and viruses.

This past July a group of Canisius College students and parents, led by college President John J. Hurley took a week-long immersion trip to Nicaragua. The purpose of the trip was two-fold: it allowed members of the Canisius community to learn more about the culture in that part of the world as well as participate in service projects to aid the local people in need.

“Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., calls upon university faculty and students to become voices for the voiceless, sources of human rights for those denied such rights and persons of solidarity for the poor,” said Mr. Hurley in a press release from Canisius.

Click here to read the full press release.

New Jesuits Enter the Novitiate

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Some of the men who were among the 36 who took the first step in their formation as a Jesuit with their entrance into the novitiate.

Throughout the month of August, 36 men took the first step in their formation as a Jesuit with their entrance into novitiates in California, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York and Montreal. After their entrance day, a man can be referred to as a Jesuit and is considered part of the Society.

Jesuits spend two years in the novitiate, where their activities include classes, daily Mass, group prayer, meeting with a novice director and sharing their faith journey with their fellow novices. After their time in the novitiate, a man will profess First Vows and proceed on to First Studies.

This year’s novices include a diverse group of men from across the United States and Canada. Some of them are recent Jesuit graduates while others have been working professionally for years before responding to the call of the Society.

Click here to read more about these men.

Snapshot of the Day: Carving Crosses at YCHS

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Yap Catholic High School (YCHS) recently finished their annual Summer Session. The Summer Session was a chance to provide for the different needs of each class of students, helping freshmen acclimate to their new environment, tutoring sophomores with their English and math skills, assisting juniors as they prepare for the SAT’s and giving guidance to seniors who are studying for the SAT’s and working on their college essays. It was also a chance for students to participate in extracurricular activities such as carving. Students worked on a canoe and carved crosses made from wood found on the campus (pictured above). Click here to view more photos.

Vow Day 2014

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Four men professed First Vows at Holy Cross Church, in DeWitt, N.Y., on August 16, 2014. Pictured above (from left to right): Sean Haggerty, SJ, Fr. Robert M. Hussey, SJ, provincial of the Maryland Province, Dickson Tiwelfil, SJ, Fr. Myles J. Sheehan, SJ, provincial of the New England Province, Matthew Lopez, SJ, Matthew Cortese, SJ, and Fr. John J. Cecero, SJ, provincial of the New York Province.

Four Jesuit novices from the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on Saturday, August 16, 2014, at Holy Cross Church, DeWitt, N.Y. They are Matthew D. Cortese, SJ, Sean P. Hagerty, SJ, Matthew A. Lopez, SJ, and Dickson D. Tiwelfil, SJ. They joined their brother Jesuit, Ricardo Perkins, a member of the Jamaica region of the New England Province, who pronounced his First Vows in Kingston, Jamaica on August 9, 2014.

The Mass at DeWitt was co-celebrated by Maryland Provincial Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, New England Provincial Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, and New York Provincial Fr. John Cecero, SJ. In his homily, Fr. Sheehan illustrated how the profession of vows is an answer to God’s call, “They have heard God calling in the night…calling in a variety of different trials and experiments, calling in the teaching and the leadership and the spiritual direction that’s been given to them.”

Vow Day occurs early in a Jesuit’s formation after two years of formation as a Jesuit. This process includes a 30-day retreat in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, apostolic experiments in a variety of Jesuit ministries as well as studying the history and Constitutions of the Society.

For more information on the five men who recently professed vows click here.

Click below to listen to the homily by Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ.

 

The Feast of St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ

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St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ

Today, August 18, is the feast of Chilean Jesuit and social justice advocate, St. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, SJ. Born January 22, 1901, Alberto’s early life was filled with hardships. His father died when he was only four, forcing his mother to sell their property to pay off their family debts. As a result, Alberto and his brother moved around during much of their youth, living with different relatives. This first-hand experience with poverty during his childhood would eventually fuel his desire to combat this injustice.

Thanks to a scholarship, Alberto was able to attend a Jesuit school, which he would not have been able to attend otherwise. This would help allow him to enter the Jesuit novitiate and pursue the priesthood.

The logo of the Hogar de Cristo with an image of their founder.

The logo of the Hogar de Cristo with an image of their founder.

In the early 1940s, he established Hogar de Cristo (Christ’s Home), an organization focused on helping the poor children in Chile. St. Alberto would drive around the streets at night to look for children in need of food and shelter. It is estimated that more than 850,000 children received help from the movement between 1945 and 1951.

On August 18, 1952, at the age of 51, Fr. Alberto Hurtado succumbed to stomach cancer and died. For his tireless work to help the poor and improve the church’s relationship with her people in Chile, Fr. Hurtado was canonized in October 2005. Hogar de Cristo is still functioning today, continuing his mission of helping the underprivileged Chilean youth.

Explaining the Steps of Jesuit Formation

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Each Jesuit is given a vow cross on their Vow Day as a sign of his commitment.

Jesuit formation is a long multistep process, which takes years to complete. It can be difficult for Catholics, even those familiar with the Society to keep track of the process. To help clear up the confusion about a Jesuit’s formation, Fr. James Martin, SJ, wrote an article after last year’s Vow Day Mass.

Vow Day occurs early in a Jesuit’s formation when a novice takes perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society also known as First Vows. It comes after two years of formation as a Jesuit. This process includes a 30-day retreat in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, apostolic experiments in a variety of Jesuit ministries as well as studying the history and Constitutions of the Society.

This Saturday, August 16, men from the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces will profess First Vows in the Society of Jesus at Holy Cross Church in Dewitt, N.Y. Visit the blog next week to see photos from their Vow Day Mass.

Click here to read Fr. Martin’s full article on the language used for Jesuit formation, including Vow Day.

Jesuits Serving on the Frontiers

Syrian Jesuit Mr. Tony Homsy

Syrian Jesuit Scholastic Tony Homsy spoke to The IN Network on his new role as project manager for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria.

Jesuits are called to serve on the frontiers, where the need is greatest. However, they sometimes face adversity and even risk their own well-being for others. One such frontier is the Middle East where over the past year, two Jesuits, Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar and Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, have been kidnapped and another, Fr. Frans van der Lugt, has been killed.

The IN Network recently produced a video featuring Syrian Jesuit Scholastic Tony Homsy and New England Province Jesuit Fr. Michael Linden, who discuss the difficulties they face in their different roles working on the frontiers. Tony Homsy knew the late Fr. van der Lugt and is learning from his example in his new role as project manager for the Jesuit Refugee Service branch in Syria. Fr. Michael Linden has been working at the Jesuit Center in Amman, Jordan, since 2011 helping refugees and those in need.

Click below to view the video.