The Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

St. Alphonus Rodriguez, SJ, has a strong devotion to Mary the Blessed Mother.

St. Alphonus Rodriguez, SJ, has a strong devotion to Mary the Blessed Mother.

Today, October 31, is the feast of Jesuit St. Alphonsus Rodriguez.

Alphonsus worked as the porter for the Jesuit college in Majorca, Spain and would hold this position for most of his time in the Society. He was the first Jesuit that many people would encounter while visiting the college and as a result touched many lives. He would be there to talk to visitors, listen to their stories, and offer advice when needed. It was Alphonsus Rodriguez who encouraging his friend, the young Jesuit, Peter Claver, to go to the New World and minister to the slaves who were brought over from Africa.

Alphonsus was born in Segovia, Spain, on July  25, 1533, to wool and cloth merchants. When he grew of age, he was sent to a Jesuit college but had to leave when his father died. He married at 26 and had 3 children but this tranquility would not last. By the time he was 31 he would lose two of his children as well as his wife. Shortly after this, his last surviving child would also die.

This loss was difficult for Alphonsus. He turned to prayer and received spiritual direction from Jesuits. He felt called to join the Society but had some difficulty entering. He did not complete college and at 35 was considered too old to join the Society. He was persistent though, and eventually was able to join the Society as a brother.

Alphonsus grew weak in his old age and eventually died on October 31, 1617, at the age of 85. He was in the Society for 46 years and while he never held a position of leadership or taught at an institution, his holiness and humility would have been seen by every visitor to the Jesuit college. It was through his small acts of kindness and love that this humble porter is remembered as a saint.

GALA Committee Kick-off Meeting

GALA co-chair Jackie Egan, Bill and Gretchen Sterling and Fr. Dennis Yesalonia, SJ

GALA co-chair Jackie Egan, Bill and Gretchen Sterling and Fr. Dennis Yesalonia, SJ

The New England Province advancement staff welcomed the Jesuit GALA committee to a kick-off meeting in preparation for the 2015 Jesuit GALA, which will be held on April 7 at the Boston Copley Marriott Place. New and returning members, all friends and benefactors of the New England Province, gathered in the McDavitt Center at the province offices in Watertown. In its fifteenth year, the Jesuit GALA raises funds to support the formation and care of Jesuits and the apostolic works of the Province. This year’s co-chairs are Chuck and Gloria Clough, Bill and Jackie Egan and Jim and Lisa Mooney.

Gabriele Delmonaco, provincial assistant for advancement for the New England and New York Provinces, welcomed the GALA Committee to its kick-off meeting and expressed his gratitude for their willingness to serve on this year’s committee. He then proceeded to introduce Very Rev. Myles Sheehan, SJ, New England provincial, who will conclude his term in office on December 3. Fr. Sheehan reflected on the growth of the event in attendance and funds raised, since he became provincial in 2009. He also noted that because of the support and generosity of benefactors, especially those serving on the GALA committee, the ministries of the New England Province continue to thrive. Continue reading

Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, Receives Excellence in Ethics Award

Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, was awarded the Father Lawrence Dunklee Excellence in Ethics Award for deepening the connection between the Catholic Church and the ministry of health care in the field of ethics.

Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, was awarded the Father Lawrence Dunklee Excellence in Ethics Award for deepening the connection between the Catholic Church and the ministry of health care in the field of ethics.

On Oct. 28, V. Rev. Myles Sheehan, SJ, provincial of the New England province was awarded the third-annual Father Lawrence Dunklee Excellence in Ethics Award from Sacred Heart Hospital, in Eau Claire, Wis.

The award was presented by His Eminence Cardinal Francis George, OMI, archbishop of Chicago, at Sacred Heart’s 2014 Excellence in Ethics Symposium. It is named after the late Fr. Dunklee, who was founder of the hospital’s Center for Spiritual Care, and recognizes individuals who have deepened the connection between the Catholic Church and the ministry of health care in the field of ethics.

A former instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and attending physician and director of geriatric consultation services at Beth Israel Hospital, Fr. Sheehan was named one of Chicago’s top doctors yearly from 2002-2010. Additionally, he is a member of the board of trustees of the Catholic Health Association.

In 2009, he was named provincial of the New England province. In this role, he has maintained ministry in health care related areas, including caring for aged and infirm Jesuits living in Campion Center and appearing on ministered to aged and infirm Jesuits and hosting “Aging Gracefully,” a miniseries that addressed the needs of the elderly, which aired on CatholicTV.

Celebrating 10 Years of Service

Cristo Rey President, Fr. Joseph Parkes, SJ, presenting the Celebrating Our Success Award to Neil Radey on behalf of Credit Suisse. Also pictured is Cristo Rey board chair Susan Braddock.

Cristo Rey President, Fr. Joseph Parkes, SJ, presenting the Celebrating Our Success Award to Neil Radey on behalf of Credit Suisse. Also pictured is Cristo Rey board chair Susan Braddock.

On October 27, Cristo Rey New York High School commemorated its 10-year anniversary by holding a gala celebration in New York City. The event was not only a chance to highlight the accomplishments of the school and students, both past and present, but also an opportunity to raise funds for future students.

Cristo Rey New York High School is a Catholic, co-ed, college-prep school and part of the national Cristo Rey Network which includes the recently opened Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. The model enables students to gain real-world working experience in a wide range of fields and provides them with valuable professional mentors

“Cristo Rey laid the foundation I needed to branch out and chase my dreams,” said Cristo Rey alumna Khadija Angrum CRNYHS ’12 who also served as master of ceremonies for the evening. Khadija, an aspiring broadcast journalist, shared her story of how Cristo Rey helped her in pursuing this dream by placing her in the production department of a public relations firm. “I was able to practice writing scripts, editing news packages and assisting my supervisors on shoots. With the work-study program I gained the hands-on experience I needed to be a working professional. And it all started at the age of 14.” Continue reading

Boston College Shakes it Off

A group of Boston College students dancing in the BC Shake It Off video.

A group of Boston College students dancing in the BC Shake It Off video.

Boston College received high praise for their most recent music video which featured a combined total of more than 1,000 BC students and faculty dancing to the hit song “Shake It Off.” Grammy-winning artist Taylor Swift congratulated the Jesuit school via Twitter for the video, which was used by the school’s C21 Center to encourage BC students and faculty members to “shake off” their worries, fears, and insecurities.

The video was produced by BC students John Walsh ’15 and John Campbell ’17.

The History of the New York Province: Chapter 8

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 12.12.09 PMContinuing this week, In Our Company will feature the eighth downloadable chapter from A Brief History of the New York Province, written by Fr. Arthur Bender, SJ.

Chapter 8 describes the formation of the Buffalo Province and details the expansion of the province’s international work.

Please visit In Our Company next week to read the chapter 9 of the province history entitled Entering a New Era.

Click here to read Chapter 8: Turmoil and Transition: The 60s and Beyond

Two New England Professors Win Alpha Sigma Nu Awards

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Dr. Song’s book The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American (left) and Dr. Thiel’s book Icons of Hope: The ‘Last Things’ in Catholic Imagination (right)

Two professors from schools in the New England Province were awarded Alpha Sigma Nu Book Awards:

  • Dr. John Thiel of Fairfield University for his book Icons of Hope: The ‘Last Things’ in Catholic Imagination
  • Dr. Min Hyoung Song of Boston College for his book The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American.

Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education, established and funded the Book Awards in 1979 to recognize outstanding publishing achievement in the humanities and sciences by faculty and administrators from the Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Korea.

Click here to read more Dr. Thiel and his award.

Click here to read about Dr. Song and his award.