News of the Midwest Jesuits - Spring 2017

A Jesuit Volunteer (left) with friends in Peru

JVC Marks 60th Anniversary

In 2016, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) celebrated 60 years of inviting recent college graduates to “dare to change.”

JVC is the largest lay Catholic full-time volunteer program in the world. More than 11,000 young people have participated in JVC, living in community with other volunteers and serving in ministries throughout the United States and abroad in Micronesia, Tanzania, Chile, Peru, Nicaragua, and Belize. Another 7,000 volunteers have served with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, a separately incorporated organization that operates in Washington state, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. About 450 Jesuit Volunteers are currently serving.

Jesuit Volunteers commit to one year of service domestically or two years internationally. They embrace four core values — spirituality, simple living, community, and social justice, with ecological justice receiving increasing focus — and serve in ministries with emphases ranging from addiction recovery, care for creation, and housing development and advocacy to education, employment, hunger, and health care. Volunteers also participate in retreats grounded in Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuit practice of “finding God in all things.”

Together, these experiences lead to JVC’s stated goal of helping volunteers to become “ruined for life,” or challenged to see the world through a new lens. Read more.

For more information, visit

Fr. Lukas Laniauskas, SJ
Students at the Ignatian Family Teach-In Advocacy Day
Jesuit Schools' Statement on Undocumented Students

Last November, 27 US Jesuit college and university presidents released a statement on undocumented students, in which they reaffirmed their commitment “to uphold the dignity of every person, to work for the common good of our nation, and to promote a living faith that works for justice.”

They wrote that they felt “spiritually and morally compelled to raise a collective voice confirming our values and commitments as Americans and educators.”

The presidents said they would work “to protect to the fullest extent of the law undocumented students on our campuses; to promote retention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program; to support and stand with our students, faculty, and staff regardless of their faith traditions; and to preserve the religious freedoms on which our nation was founded.”

They hoped to “inspire members of our university communities ... to promote efforts at welcome, dialogue, and reconciliation.”

They concluded by saying that they welcome further conversation and are committed to modeling “the kind of discourse and debate that are at the heart of our nation’s ideals. And we promise to bring the best resources of our institutions — of intellect, reflection, and service — to bear in the task of fostering understanding in the United States at this particular time in our history.”  Read more.

For more information, visit

Kathleen Groh, regional director of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter, was presented with the Leading with Faith Award by The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Kathleen was honored with six other recipients at an August 18 luncheon at St. Catherine University with the Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. According to The Catholic Spirit, the Leading with Faith Award was established as a way to celebrate business and community leaders “who integrate their Catholic faith in their workplaces.” Under Kathleen’s leadership over the past five years, IVC has experienced significant growth in the Twin Cities. “I was once told that volunteers will always be attracted to a ‘warm fire,’” Kathleen told The Catholic Spirit. “That is what I have tried to provide as I lead IVC. Watching the steady growth of IVC from 10 volunteers to 25 and sending them into the nonprofits that serve those who are poor and vulnerable is most gratifying. We are called by St. Ignatius to ‘set the world on fire,’ and these men and women are lighting them all over the metro area.” IVC provides mature men and women the opportunity to serve the needs of people who are poor, to work for a more just society, and to grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition. To learn more, visit or
Rodriguez, Bell, Cardinal Cupich, Valdivia-Hernandez, and Duhe
Students Travel to Rome for Cardinal Cupich Elevation

Nakia Bell and Gladys Valdivia-Hernandez, students at Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School (CTK Jesuit) and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Vatican Delegation to Rome for Archbishop Blase Cupich's elevation to the College of Cardinals on November 19, 2016. Also attending were Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner; US Senator Dick Durbin; Cristo Rey Chicago and CTK Jesuit staff members Jose Rodriguez and Mosie Duhe; and other public officials and private figures.

"It was an exciting trip!" said Bell. "It was my first time on a plane and first time traveling out of the country. I had the opportunity to meet so many people from Chicago and around the world!"

The students spent four days in Rome and attended Cardinal Cupich's consistory ceremony and a reception. They were also among a crowd of 150,000 celebrating Mass for the Feast of Christ the King and the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

"My favorite memories are meeting Cardinal Cupich and the grand entrance of the pope, the cardinals, and the archbishops during the ceremony," said Bell.

Bell and Valdivia-Hernandez work in Mayor Emanuel’s office as part of their schools’ Corporate Work Study Program. Their earnings and family tuition payments, scholarship support, and financial aid provide them and their classmates with a rigorous, Jesuit education. Read more.

St. Francis Dental Clinic and Creighton Receive Award The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic and Creighton University School of Dentistry were selected as recipients of an American Dental Association Foundation E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award for the 2015–2016 school year. The award recognized the excellent care offered to the Lakota people on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  “The partnership between the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic and Creighton has been a study in caring and compassion,” said Jesuit Fr. John Hatcher, president of St. Francis Mission. “The dental students who lead this effort bring renewed hope and possibility here.”  The four-chair clinic offers care with help from volunteer dentists and hygienists. Aside from the local hospital, the clinic stands alone in serving the oral hygiene needs of the 26,000 Lakota (Sioux) people on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  Creighton dental students, alumni, and faculty have made four annual trips to the clinic, providing an average of $15,000–18,000 in dental care over several days.  Despite its successes, the clinic and its patients face challenges. “Because we don’t have a permanent dentist on staff, we rely solely on volunteers,” said Fr. Hatcher. “We also have been using equipment that was outdated when we got it.”  To learn more about St. Francis Mission and support its dental clinic, visit

(Left to right) Jesuit Frs.
D. Scott and Daniel Hendrickson

Twin Jesuits Help Install New Honor Society Chapter 

Father Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, president of Creighton University in Omaha, traveled to Spain in October for the installation of the first European chapter of the century-old Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit honor society. During the ceremony, he assisted in the honorary induction of his twin brother, Fr. D. Scott Hendrickson, SJ, assistant professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Loyola University Chicago.

Father Daniel Hendrickson was invited to the ceremony at the Universidad Loyola Andalucía in Sevilla as the Padrino de la primera promoción de Alpha Sigma Nu of Europa. The honor was bestowed to signify his role as a founding member of the first Alpha Sigma Nu chapter in Europe.

Founded in 1915, Alpha Sigma Nu recognizes students who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty, and service.

Father Daniel Hendrickson, who was inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Sigma Nu at Marquette University in Milwaukee in 2013, played an important role in the Spanish ceremony: he placed the medal on his twin brother, welcoming him into the society.

Father D. Scott Hendrickson said, “It's wonderful to receive the honorary induction and have it given to me by my twin brother. He has tremendous experience in Jesuit education, service, scholarship, and loyalty ... To be inducted by him and to follow in his footsteps, it's a great honor for me.” Read more.

Cristo Rey – Twin Cities students

Cristo Rey – Twin Cities Students Lead Research Project

Ten Cristo Rey Jesuit High School – Twin Cities students worked on a youth research team that examined issues involving first-generation college students. Joining University of St. Thomas students who are also Cristo Rey – Twin Cities graduates, the students worked with two St. Thomas professors and four Cristo Rey faculty and staff members to develop a research project that improved college accessibility and success for first-generation students.

Backed by a $30,000 grant from Youth Participatory Action Research, they collected 388 surveys, transcribed more than 132 pages of data, and conducted 25 in-depth interviews with current and potential first-generation students and their parents.    

The students discovered many insights about the first-generation college experience. For example, many first-generation students do not feel ready when coming to college and need support. All the parents interviewed expressed fears about how to finance their children's college education.    

The student researchers compiled their work into a 44-page report, a video for social media, and a website. They also presented their research at a conference in October.

“We’re all on a similar journey,” said Cristo Rey – Twin Cities senior Ajaa Walker. “Hearing that firsthand gave me a sense that we’re all of the same mind.”

Reprinted from University of St. Thomas

Fr. O’Callaghan and Dr. Linda Brubaker
Fr. Jack O’Callaghan, SJ, Honored with AMDG Award 

Jesuit Fr. Jack O'Callaghan was awarded the first AMDG Award by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. The award recognizes someone whose life and work is unmistakably "for the greater glory of God.” Father O'Callaghan, who joined Stritch in 1995, assists with spiritual direction, celebrates Mass, and collaborates with the Health Sciences Division University Ministry. Before coming to Loyola, he held Jesuit administrative posts in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Rome.

"Gratitude is what I feel — for my family and friends, for the Society of Jesus, which has been my second family for 67 years now, for Loyola ... and, of course, most of all for God, who has overseen everything all these years," said Fr. O'Callaghan.

Father O'Callaghan received his award at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine 66th Annual Awards Dinner on November 19 at the Hilton in Chicago.

The longest-running black tie gala in Chicago, the event celebrates Stritch's commitment to educating the next generation of physicians and continues to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical student scholarships. 

"Stritch Dinner supports the training of Stritch medical students — our future physicians," said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, dean and chief diversity officer of Stritch. Read more.

Reprinted from
Photo: Courtesy of John Reilly Photography

Click here for the Spring 2017 Jesuits magazine index

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January 6, 2020 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of our brother, Br. Henry C. Kuhn, SJ, who died on January 5, 2020, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 85 years old. May he rest in peace.

December 18, 2019 — Brother Douglas, a competitive powerlifter, lives out the Jesuit value of “finding God in all things.”

December 13, 2019 — Today Pope Francis celebrates the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

December 10, 2019 — Fr. John C. Haughey, SJ, beloved pastor, professor and researcher, dies at 89.

December 4, 2019 — On Nov. 22, the Jesuits’ St. Patrick’s Parish in Milwaukee marked half a century of Hispanic ministry.

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Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.