EXAMPLE2017 Fall/Winter Jesuits Magazine

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, Provincial, USA Midwest Province Jesuits

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ

With Others. For Others. The Campaign for Senior Jesuit Healthcare 

Dear Friends, 

Since the creation of the new Midwest Province, it has been a great joy to travel throughout the 12-state region to meet with Jesuits and visit our ministries. Along the way, I have been honored to meet many existing and new friends and benefators. I am filled with gratitude for the good work we do together, and I have deep hope for our future. The Jesuit mission is alive and well in the Midwest. 

Following the ordination of 13 new Jesuit priests this past summer, 15 young men professed their first vows, and we welcomed 7 novices into the Society (see pages 4-5). I am confident that these Jesuits will continue to live out the example set by St. Ignatius in their new roles and studies. Please join me in praying for these Jesuits as they strive to set the world on fire!

Continue Reading Fr. Paulson's Letter (link to Fr. Paulson's letter on a news/magazine page- here)

Detailed Table of Contents


Father Eugene Dwyer, SJ, participates  in memory care exercises at a senior Jesuit healthcare community. Learn more about the With Others. For Others. campaign for senior Jesuit healthcare

Jesuits Magazine wins awards; Pope Francis Appoints a leader; WUJA meets at John Carroll and more!
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Jesuits on the Move

We Give Thanks
In Memoriam
Fall/Winter 2017
(News/Magazine Page
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Cover Story
The Campaign for
Senior Jesuit Healthcare

Senior Jesuits have given their lives in service of others. Now, through the With Others. For Others. campaign, you can thank them with your support.

Celebrating our Jubilarians
Ten Midwest Jesuits are
celebrating 50 years in
the Society of Jesus

A Jesuit’s Journey
Detours lead to decades
in joyful ministry

Collaborating with God

Fr. Ed Sthokal, SJ

Living the Magis
How Ignatian Spirituality
Has Influenced My Life
Dr. James Manning
(News/Magazine page; Story copy below)

Social and International
"We are not our mistakes!"
Fr. Gene Merz, SJ, writes of ministry
at the oldest women’s prison
in the United States.
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Story copy below)

The USA Midwest Province
of the Society of Jesus 
elcomes seven new novices


Save the Date - Spring 2018 Lenten Events

In 2018, the USA Midwest Province is presenting Ignatian pilgrimages to Peru, Africa and Spain. For more information please contact Jeff Smart jsmart@jesuits.org 773-975-6920


SIDEBAR STORIES (these are stories that will be attached and have picture buttons on the right)

Optometrist to Jesuit Brother (story copy is below titled 'In the World')

New Novices (picture with 'hijack' link to this story)

Prison Ministry (story copy is below titled 'Social and International')

Brave Spaces (story copy is below titled 'Brave Spaces')

Letter From Provincial
In progress at http://manage.jesuits.org/managementcenter/News_List_Detail?RID=MIDWESTPROV&TN=NEWS-20170829112452MIDWESTPROV

    News (make a page that looks like this and include the stories below. Here's a start )

    15 Novices Proclaim First Vows
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    Manresa Jesuit Retreat House Installs 15th Station of the Cross
    (Photo: Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus)

    A new distinctive prayer space graces the grounds of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with three life-size bronze statues of Jesus and two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Behind Jesus’ shoulder is a replica of his empty tomb, complementing the theme of the Risen Christ. Completed May 25 and dedicated in the fall, the new station joins Manresa’s 14 other outdoor stations, which were restored in 2012.

    The idea to add a 15th station originated with members of Manresa’s leadership team and board member Isaac Hanna. Thanks to the commitment of two generous donors, plans were quickly underway, with landscape architect/builder Jeff White commissioned to design and install the tomb and Emmaus sites and sculptor Reni Stephan commissioned to fashion the three figures. Father Fran Daly, SJ, executive director of Manresa, dedicated the empty tomb on June 3, 2016.

    “We are so pleased to offer retreatants and visitors this place to quietly meditate on Christ’s resurrection,” said Fr. Daly. “And we are especially grateful to those donors who made this added station a reality.”

    Visit www.manresa-sj.org or 

    www.jesuitsmidwest.org/Retreat-Ministries to learn more about Manresa and other Midwest Jesuit retreat centers.

    Jesuits Magazine Wins Catholic Press Association Awards
    (Photo: Jesuits magazine won several CPA awards)

    Jesuits magazine, a publication of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, won several Catholic Press Association 

    (CPA) Awards, including first place for Magazine/Newsletter of the Year: Religious Order Magazine and first place for “Social Entrepreneurship: Not Just Business as Usual” in the Best Feature Article: Religious Order Magazine category. The awards celebrate Catholic journalism published in 2016.

    “Exceptionally informative and interesting,” wrote the CPA Awards committee about Jesuits. “This magazine uses a variety of methods to tell its stories, and those stories are sharply honed to pass on good writing.”

    The award for Magazine/Newsletter of the Year follows the Midwest Jesuits’ redesign of their magazine to prepare for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces joining to become the USA Midwest Province. The magazine took second place for Best Redesign.

    Other awards included honorable mentions for “Band of Brothers,” an article about 

    Fr. Vincent Strand, SJ, and his two brothers sharing a vocation to the priesthood, in the Best Reporting on Vocations to Priesthood, Religious Life, or Diaconate category and “The Audacity to Seek the Impossible,” an article about Jesuit Fr. Arturo Sosa’s election as 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in the Best Layout of Article or Column: Religious Order Magazine category.

    New US Leader Appointed for Pope’s Prayer Network 
    (Photo: Fr. William Blazek, SJ)

    Father William Blazek, SJ, was appointed US director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN) in June 2017, succeeding Fr. James Kubicki, SJ, who served 14 years in the role. Founded as the Apostleship of Prayer and recently renamed by Pope Francis, PWPN communicates the pope’s monthly prayer intentions to 50 million members in 89 countries, with a youth branch — the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM) — in 56 countries. Membership in PWPN, which is available at www.popesprayerusa.net, involves “a commitment to offer yourself to God for his purposes each day.”

    The network traces its roots to France in 1844, where a group of Jesuit seminarians, anxious to hurry their studies so they could set out as missionaries, were instructed by their spiritual director to use their time and talents to save souls as “apostles of prayer.” In 1879, the group received its first statutes, approved by Pope Pius IX. In addition to sharing the pope’s prayer intentions, PWPN also maintains a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and has been entrusted by the pope to the Jesuits.

    PWPN has made use of new technology to further its mission. Last year, it launched “The Pope Video,” a monthly video that shares the pope’s prayer intentions, and “Click to Pray,” an app that offers users a digital way to accompany Pope Francis in his intentions.

    St. Francis Mission Returns Land to Rosebud Sioux Tribe
    (Photo: The Midwest Jesuits have been active in Native American ministry since 1881.)

    On May 2, 2017, St. Francis Mission returned 525 acres of unused Church land to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in south-central South Dakota. A Jesuit ministry among 20,000 Lakota 

    (Sioux) people, St. Francis Mission was founded in 1886 and consists of six parishes and a number of health, education, and communication ministries.

    “Saint Francis Mission should not continue to hold land that it is no longer using for Church purposes,” said Fr. John Hatcher, SJ, former president of St. Francis Mission. “I am grateful to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for the use of this land and happy that we can return it for the use of the Lakota people.”

    In 1881, Chief Spotted Tail invited Jesuit priests to educate the Lakota people. The federal government and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe granted the mission land to support 

    a school and to construct churches and cemeteries throughout the reservation. Eventually, 23 mission stations were built, some encompassing as much as 40 to 80 acres of land to support Native catechists and their families. As the Native population moved from the prairie into cluster housing, churches closed, while the mission retained possession of the land.

    Through the proactive efforts of the mission, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, all unused land will be returned except for places in which the mission has active operations.

    World Union of Jesuit Alumni Meets at John Carroll University
    (Photo: Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ, speaks at WUJA)

    For the first time ever, the World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) Congress was held in North America at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, from June 28 to July 2, 2017.

    The gathering brought together roughly 500 people representing Jesuit schools, parishes, and ministries from 27 countries. The official theme was “Uniting Our Jesuit Frontiers.”

    WUJA was founded in 1956 in Bilbao, Spain, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The organization gathers Jesuit alumni to 

    build international networks and discern how to promote peace and justice in a global and sustainable world. The three-day program featured about 30 breakout sessions on topics ranging from the arts, business, medical science, and law to spirituality, service, and leadership. It also featured roughly 60 speakers, including 

    Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, and best-selling authors Chris Lowney and Fr. James Martin, SJ.

    “It’s awesome to see that people who have already graduated still have the same action and enthusiasm surrounding being Jesuit educated that I do,” said Lauren Dickerson, a student at Wheeling Jesuit University.

    A Heart on Fire
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    A Jesuit's Journey
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    COVER STORY (Please make a Feature Page, use photos from our magazine)

    With Others. For Others.

    The Campaign for Senior Jesuit Healthcare

    (More than 100 Jesuits live in one of the Midwest Province senior Jesuit healthcare communities, living their mission to pray for the Church and Society.)

    Walking down the hallway in the St. Camillus senior Jesuit healthcare community, Father Doug Leonhardt, SJ, the superior of the community, spots Father Thomas Caldwell, SJ. 

    “I am glad I ran into you, Tom,” says Fr. Leonhardt. “I was just talking on the phone with Susan. She always mentions your theology class as one of the best she took. Susan asked the Jesuits to pray for her youngest daughter, who is a freshman in college in Minnesota. She is homesick and finding the adjustment very difficult. Besides putting a note on our Prayer Request Board, I told Susan I would mention her request especially to you.” 

    Fr. Caldwell smiles. “Happy to pray for her, Doug,” he says. “I’ll give Susan a call.” 

    Later in the week, he and the Jesuit community received the weekly list of prayer requests that are submitted through JesuitPrayer.org. The Jesuits pray over these requests individually and at Mass together each day. 

    “Jesuits never truly retire and prayer is an integral part of their lives,” says Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, provincial of the Midwest Province. “So, when a Jesuit reaches the age where he requires living assistance, he receives a special mission to pray for the Church and Society.”

    To pray for the Church and Society means that a Jesuit’s primary focus is to ask God for the success of their fellow Jesuits and the People of God, including those who submit prayer requests. Fr. Caldwell and nearly 100 fellow Jesuits perform this role at one of the two senior Jesuit assisted living communities in the Midwest Province. 

    “In my experience, the men take their mission to pray very seriously,” says Fr. Robert Wild, SJ. “It does not mean that they are praying all the time but it does mean that they are serious about this dimension of their lives. They remain outward looking so that they are not just fretting about their own health situation but instead they continue to have that larger vision as Jesuits.”

    Fr. Wild is the Honorary Co-Chair of With Others. For Others. — an essential campaign to raise $25 million needed for senior Jesuit healthcare. The name With Others. For Others. is meant as an invitation to financially support Jesuit priests and brothers who have devoted their lives to serving others and the greatest needs. 

    “These men are living longer and, with that, comes increased healthcare needs,” says Fr. Paulson. “There is a significant population of Jesuits in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Here in the Midwest we project that we will need both the Colombiere Center in Michigan as well as St. Camillus in Milwaukee for the next 15-20 years. They will both be full or close to full.”


    Fr. Doug Leonhardt, SJ

    Many people require living assistance as they get older and Jesuits are no exception. Like the rest of the nation, there is a historically high number of senior Jesuits serving in the province and, even with financially sound measures taken, the cost of providing for their healthcare needs is rising. The healthcare needs are supported through the Aged and Infirm Fund, which has also provided for the enhancement of the St. Camillus community residence to meet the needs of today’s senior Jesuits.

    Now, the fund needs to be replenished to maintain the healthcare and living expenses for the senior Jesuits and 

    the province is asking those who have been positively impacted by the Jesuits for their support. Generous donations from benefactors are both essential and appreciated. 

    “I’m very grateful for the generosity of the donors so that these men can get the best care we can afford as they move into their final years of life,” says Fr. Leonhardt. “This is one of the best ways people can say thank you to these Jesuits who have spent their lives in service.”

    Living in community with other Jesuits is a fundamental aspect of that Jesuit service, which is why Fr. Wild says, “We do not want these to be healthcare facilities that have Jesuits, but Jesuit communities that provide healthcare.” Moving to an assisted living community can be challenging for many people and the same is true for Jesuits. Sharing that journey with their fellow Jesuits can help them adjust to their new mission in life. 

    “I think the transition can be difficult because they move from communities they maybe have belonged to for a long time,” Fr. Leonhardt says. “I think once they get here and into the rhythm of things they see that this is a privileged time in their life. They join their classmates with whom they’ve learned and served. It’s just wonderful to know there are companions here for them.”

    Theresa Kult, the Coordinator of Healthcare for the Omaha and St. Paul region of the Midwest Province has witnessed the importance of the senior Jesuit communities. She says, “There’s a renewed energy in them. They have this shared journey as Jesuits their whole lives — men who have been really committed and have managed the struggles of religious life. They can reassure one another and that is very important.” 

    In addition to supporting each other, the Jesuits still work to positively impact the world. Brother James Small, SJ, continues his hobby of painting beautiful portraits and scenes that he happily donates to Loyola Academy for scholarship fundraising. 

    “Painting is a great hobby and I can’t pray all day long anyway,” says Br. Small. “I look forward to going to my easel every day.”

    Like Br. Small, the Jesuits each enjoy their own hobbies. They play shuffleboard, read books, and write letters to old friends and family. Their mission to serve the world through prayer, however, remains their primary focus. 

    “We don’t have a feeling that we’re coming to the end because we never come to the end as a Jesuit,” says Fr. Theodore Ross, SJ. “We just keep going and working and praying. We are still Jesuits active in what we are doing — whatever that might be.”

    As men for others, the Jesuits spend their lives serving the world. Now, to meet the needs of the senior Jesuits, the province needs your prayers and financial support. Prayers can be requested at JesuitPrayer.org and donations can be made online at JesuitsMidwest.org/SupportUs or by calling the USA Midwest Province Advancement Office. 


    The Jesuit mission is to serve where there is a need. So, when the historically high number of senior Jesuits needed more space for assisted living, the province funded the expansion of the St. Camillus senior Jesuit community.

    The Midwest Jesuits decided to use $25 million from the Aged and Infirm Fund and leased the building from the St. Camillus healthcare campus. The province opted to pre-fund the lease, which means that instead of monthly payments that would have carried interest, the province paid the bill all at once. This enables the province to save approxi-mately $1.9 million per year on lease costs.

    This move was in response to the consid-erable number of senior Jesuits, as well as a move to secure the healthcare needs for all Midwest Jesuits — including those in formation — for the long-term future. The Jesuits can lease additional living units on the St. Camillus healthcare campus if they need more space, and they can also sell unused units back to St. Camillus so that the units are not empty. 

    Pull Quotes

    "We want this not to be a healthcare facility that has Jesuits, but a Jesuit community that provides healthcare."

    Fr. Robert Wild, SJ. Co-Chair of the With Others. For Others. campaign for senior Jesuit healthcare.

    Features of New Healthcare Campus

    • 52 private rooms, including three guest rooms
    • Chapel
    • Community spaces 
    • Dining room
    • Nursing stations and healthcare treatment rooms

    For More Information

    • Call the USA Midwest Province Advancement Office at (800) 537-3736
    • Send Checks and Inquiries to:
    • Midwest Jesuits 
    • PO Box 6713
    • Carol Stream IL 60197-6713
    • Visit WithOthersForOthers.com


    (Brother James Small, SJ, continues his hobby of painting portraits and scenes.)

    (Jesuits gathered for breakfast at the St. Camillus healthcare community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. St. Camillus and Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan, are the two senior Jesuit healthcare communities in the Midwest Province.)

    In the World

    Through the Lens of Faith: From an Optometrist to a Jesuit Brother

    (Brother Ralph Cordero, SJ (left), serving at the Kino Border Initiative on the US-Mexican border.)

    By. Br. Ralph Cordero, SJ

    Before joining the Jesuits, I practiced optometry for 10 years. Since I was a child, my dream was to be a doctor. I believe this desire originated after visiting my family physician. I was attracted to the way my doctor showed a very caring attitude toward me and other patients, and I left that office with a great conviction that I wanted to do the same.

    After finishing high school, I followed my dream by going to Howard University in Washington, D.C., for a summer and taking prep courses to enter a pre-medicine program at Kent State University. It did not take long to realize medical school was not the place for me. I did not like physicians’ hours and couldn’t stomach the thought of surgery. I was faced with the dilemma that my dreams might not be what God intended.  

    During this time, I visited my local eye doctor, who informed me that there were two providers for eye care: optometrists (primary eye care) and ophthalmologists (eye surgeons). After four years of optometry school, optometrists serve the public by diagnosing and treating eye conditions. I felt God directing my path toward my dream.

    After graduating from optometry school, I began my own practice in my home town, Lorain, Ohio. The first few years were challenging, but the hard work eventually paid off. Since Lorain had a significant Latino population, my bilingualism was advantageous. At the same time, I was very involved at my home parish, La Capilla del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. I participated in RCIA and youth ministry and also began incorporating my practice with my faith, doing optometric service work at schools and nursing homes. After going on a mission trip to El Salvador in 1998, I realized the Lord was drawing me to another way of life. The work I saw the priests and religious brothers and sisters doing at my parish and in El Salvador had the same effect on me as my family doctor had.

    I began discerning a religious vocation, recognizing my joys and satisfactions as I went through my daily activities. 

    A Franciscan sister, Suzanne Susany, OSF, pointed me toward the Jesuits.  After reading about their apostolates — especially the Cristo Rey schools — I was intrigued and met with the vocation director, Fr. Dan Reim, SJ. In 2000, 

    I entered the novitiate and decided to become a brother a few years after joining.

    Just as there are two separate eye care professions (optometrists and ophthalmologists), there are two separate Jesuit vocations (priests and brothers). When I was an optometrist, people would say, “Oh, so you didn’t go all the way to be an ophthalmologist.” I would explain that those are two different paths, like Jesuit priests and brothers: they are two different tracks, not one that leads to another. Just like optometry, a Jesuit brother’s vocation has value in its own right.

    I have had many joys and opportunities since joining the Jesuits 17 years ago. I have taught mathematics at two Jesuit high schools, ministered to inmates at prisons with an RCIA program, served as an optometrist at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and ministered to migrants with the Kino Border Initiative on the US-Mexican border. What God implanted in my dream as a child has opened many doors in how to bring Christ into the world. All I had to do was follow my dreams. 

    (Br. Ralph Cordero, SJ, was raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Lorain, Ohio, as a child. He currently serves as socius to the director of novices at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado in St. Paul, Minnesota.)

    Living the Magis

    How Ignatian Spirituality Has Influenced My Life

    (Dr. James Manning (left) is honored for his years of service with the Navajo at Tsaile Health Center in Arizona.)

    By Dr. James E. Manning

    Recently, my Muslim neighbor related to my wife and me that when she prays, she thinks of all God has given her and wants to give these things back to God. Her prayer reminded me of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Suscipe (a prayer for generosity), which I copied and gave to her.  

    Ignatian spirituality has enriched and informed my life in many ways. My Ignatian roots stem from being a Jesuit in the Chicago Province from 1964 to 1973. Subsequent roles of husband, father, grandfather, and doctor provided ample opportunities for me to use the spiritual wisdom I learned as a Jesuit.

    Five elements of Ignatian spirituality have been most useful: the First Principle and Foundation, discernment of spirits, contemplation in action, indifference, and the Suscipe.

    The First Principle and Foundation establishes criteria to determine whether a particular action is beneficial. My answer to these questions has determined whether I adhered to my principles. Whether we formulate our own wording or use St. Ignatius’s, “Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.”

    Discernment of spirits led me to pay attention to my deepest feelings, choosing that which provides true consolation and rejecting that which causes desolation. Every major decision in my life 

    has involved discernment of spirits. Consolation’s role in the discernment process has convinced me that when we are true to our deepest selves, we are true to God. Discernment helps us discover our true nature.  

    Contemplation in action was what first attracted me to the Jesuits. This Jesuit ideal means to be a deeply spiritual person engaged in bettering the world. The two years of Jesuit novitiate inculcated a practice of recollection which was to infuse all our activities. When I am engaged in an activity, I concentrate and am not thinking about God. When I am between activities, my mind goes to God in spontaneous prayer. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that my life is one of contemplation and action.

    The ideal of indifference, or detachment, appears repeatedly in the Spiritual Exercises. Father Bob Ochs, SJ, warned us students to beware of our expectations (attachments), which can lead to disappointments. An art instructor I had at the University of California stated this another way: “Make plans, but don’t plan the outcome.” 

    Finally, the Suscipe served as a key prayer at a juncture in my life. Would I continue in a lucrative but unfulfilling medical practice or move to the Navajo Nation in Arizona and work for the Indian Health Service? During a retreat to discern this question, I focused on the last line of the Suscipe: “Give me your love and your grace, for this is sufficient for me.” It soon became clear that pursuing a path of service was more meaningful to me than higher revenue, and I submitted my application.  

    I am indebted to St. Ignatius and the Society of Jesus which carries on his traditions and teachings. 

    (Dr. James Manning is a retired physician living with his wife in Alameda, California.)

    Pull Quotes

    "Give me only your live and your grace, that is enough for me" ~Excerpt from the Suscipe

    "The Midwest Jesuits are active in ministry with Native American people at the St. Francis Mission and Holy Rosary Mission in South Dakota."

    Social and International 
    Lessons from Prison Ministry

    (Father Gene Merz, SJ, ministers to imprisoned women at Framingham Prison in Massachusetts.)

    By Fr. Gene Merz, SJ

    "Forget it! Impossible! That was my initial gut reaction to being invited to write a brief account of my ministry this past decade to women at Framingham Prison. Located a safe distance from Boston, Massachusetts, it is the oldest existing prison for women in this country. Built in 1877 for 452 women, Framingham now has 646 residents.

    “In the beginning…” I was initially invited by Sr. Maureen Clark, CSJ, to share annually in her loving, dedicated service and care of the women at Framingham. For 30 years, Maureen has been the heart and soul of the Boston Archdiocese prison chaplains’ ministry efforts. I never imagined that in my 80s I would be doing prison ministry and writing books. 

    What was my initial prison experience? Strange and mysterious are the ways 

    of God! The day before my very first visit, as I entered a guest residence on the Boston College campus, suddenly and unexpectedly I plunged head over heels down 13 stone steps! I met the Framingham women the next morning — sore, bruised, and hurting, but not broken!

    We shared all that pain in common. “If he comes to us hurting like this, we can trust him.”

    What do we do on a retreat day in this prison? It is what God does! During the year, Maureen, through personal contact, has carefully prepared a small group of women to be ready to enter into a personal and shared reflective retreat experience. Using the Emmaus scripture passage from Luke’s Gospel (Luke 24: 13-35), we invite them to share their daily prison walk with Jesus — “what has been happening these past few days/months” in their lives. Everything shared by everyone is held in strict confidence. Confidentiality and trust is critically important in prison ministry. This retreat group is safe, supportive, and caring.

    Understandably, these women look forward to this annual retreat together. It has been a source of strength and renewed hope for them. This loving, caring, supportive experience gives them a sense of “not being alone” within the brutal confines of the prison walls. Listening attentively to one another and vulnerably sharing their experiences against the pattern of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has been a tear-filled, profound faith experience for all of us. “Didn’t our hearts burn within us...."

    Through this retreat experience over the years they have formed supportive, healthy friendships which are so important in a stark, brutal prison environment. If a definition of community is “the achievement of common meaning,” this retreat experience has given them an experience of a faith community through their common experience, common reflection, common judgments, and common commitment to make the best of their present life situation. Empowered to use their gifts, they remain free in prison!

    Have they made poor decisions? Of course. Who among us has not? Nathan to David: “That man is you.” We are not our mistakes! These women are learning and growing in very difficult situations. They should not be identified by their mistakes for the rest of their lives. 

    The privilege of being with these women has had a profound effect on me in so many ways. I respect them for the persons they are — women loved by God. I relate to them as I imagine Jesus would…and does: reverencing their person and respecting them as women; open and welcoming with no pre-judgments! I meet and accept them as they are — gifts to me at this time in my life. 

    Pull Quotes

    "When did we see you...?" ~Matthew 25: 34-40

    On the Frontiers

    Creating Brave Spaces

    (The cast of Whispers from the Streets (from left) Damian Torres-Botello, SJ, Haley Warren, and Collen Kilcoyne.)

    By Damian Torres-Botello, SJ

    "I am Phil the Prophet." He had a deep bass voice accented with a scratchiness from an incessant cough. “I come here every night and no one is ever here, not ever. Please leave.” 

    This was how I met Phil the Prophet in the fall of 2001 on a park bench in Kansas City, Missouri. Phil the Prophet was a homeless man. From him I learned about the “sacred territories of the destitute,” as he put it. Safe places free from disruption and danger that he and others claim as their own.

    From our interactions and subsequent friendship, I became impassioned about the homeless. And when it came time to write about their experiences, it would be the voice and spirit of Phil the Prophet I drew from. 

    In 2004, I co-founded Full Circle Theatre Company, an organization dedicated to presenting social issues through performance. Our first foray came in the form of a play, Whispers from the Streets. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of men and women experiencing homelessness, we wrote a series of monologues using their words and their stories. Our aim was to put names to faces that are often overlooked or avoided. 

    Whispers from the Streets was the first of 30 plays Full Circle Theatre Company would write and produce in five years, always embracing topics of social justice to generate a more deepened awareness of our world. Some have interpreted my use of theatre as giving a voice to the voiceless, but I merely make a space where voices can be bravely revealed and safely listened to. 

    In these past five years of my Jesuit formation, I have come to recognize creating safe and brave spaces as integral to my vocation — whether it 

    is as a spiritual director on a retreat, accompanying male prostitutes on the streets of Chicago, through dialogue with LGBT+ persons about their faith, or wherever I find myself surrounded by people. Designing intentional spaces was inspired by my experiences as a theatre artist. These spaces are essential to building communities, moving us from strangers to neighbors. We have a chance to listen to stories and experiences, thoughts, ideas, perspectives, and beliefs. And when all these things are in concert with each other, we have authenticity. We have the Kingdom.  

    Phil the Prophet makes an appearance in Whispers from Streets. As he did in real life, the Prophet sings spirituals in the play, interjecting words of revelation: By the year 2020 ... the whole of the world will be homeless; look’n for a piece of meat to eat, water to drink, shelter from the rain. It’ll be then, in that time, you’ll ask for help from the likes of me. We appreciate what we got and what we don‘t. We can survive.

    Phil the Prophet believed he had value and something to offer, that he was worth paying attention to. That is true for all of us. My work as a Jesuit and theatre artist invites opportunities for people to hear one another to discover our differences, our likenesses, and our humanity. At least that is my hope and my prayer. 

    (Damian Torres-Botello is a Jesuit regent serving as director of community outreach for the theatre department at the University of Detroit Mercy. He regularly writes for The Jesuit Post at www.thejesuitpost.org.)

    Spirituality (please post this as a News/Magazine story– I'll cross link it to this story)

    Collaborating with God

    By Fr. Ed Sthokal, SJ

    (The Demontreville Jesuit retreat house during Fr. Ed Sthokal, SJ’s, 300th retreat as director Photo: Bob Conroy)

    Among my favorite authors is the Jesuit Fr. Pierre Tielhard de Chardin (1881-1955)  —  who envisioned human beings as collaborators with God in the ongoing creation of the world and, at the same time, collaborators with Christ in the ongoing redemption of the human race.

    All this was made possible because in creating human beings, God endowed us with certain talents, skills, and abilities — abilities to fashion, to design, to put together, to build. This would make people creators with a small “c.” To create, one needs the necessary materials. Sometimes these materials are at hand. At other times, they have to be discovered. This can take a long time. For example, about the turn of the twentieth century, steel, oil, and electricity were discovered relatively simultaneously. It wasn’t long before large skyscrapers began to appear in every large city. Cement highways came to crisscross the country. The old lamplighter was well on his way to extinction. 

    Not every person is called to build planes, trains, or space stations, but every person is required to build his or her own life (Chardin, Divine Milieu, pages 60-61). Weaving Chardin’s thoughts into a retreat does not detract from it, but can greatly enhance it. The same holds true for modern physics.

    Finally, each person is given talents, skills, abilities, and a certain amount of time in which to put his or her life all together — physically, intellectually, spiritually. That is what life is about. That is what a retreat is about. Putting it all together. 

    (Father Ed Sthokal, SJ, is a former retreat director at Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. He now resides at a senior Jesuit healthcare community.)


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    Fr. Walter Deye, SJ, has been named rector of the Cincinnati Jesuit Community effective January 1, 2018. He previously served as socius of the Chicago-Detroit Province. 

    Fr. James Grummer, SJ, has been named superior of the Ponti cal Gregorian University Jesuit Community in Rome and director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center at the Gregorian University.

    Fr. James Lafontaine, SJ, of the USA Northeast Province, became superior of the Kino Jesuit Community in South Dakota on July 31, succeeding Fr. Edward Witt, SJ. Fr. Lafontaine has served as associate pastor at St. Francis Mission since 2016.

    Fr. Robert Scullin, SJ, has been appointed superior of the Colombiere Center Jesuit Community in Clarkston, Michigan, succeeding Fr. John Libens, SJ. Fr. Scullin previously served as pastor of Gesu Catholic Church in Detroit.

    Fr. James Kubicki, SJ, has been appointed president of St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, succeeding Fr. John Hatcher, SJ. Fr. Kubicki previously served as national director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer).

    Fr. Mark Carr, SJ, became principal of Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, this summer. Fr. Carr previously served as socius of the Wisconsin Province.

    Fr. William Blazek, SJ, was appointed as the next US national director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), succeeding Fr. James Kubicki, SJ.

    Fr. Paul Coelho, SJ, of the Kohima Region, has returned to Kohima after serving as vocation director of the Wisconsin Province since 2011.

    Br. Pat Douglas, SJ, became regional vocation director for the western part of the new USA Midwest Jesuit Province. He previously served as a regional vocation promoter.

    Fr. Michael Rossmann, SJ, will join the vocation team as a vocation promoter in January 2018 after completing a licentiate in sacred theology degree at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

    In Memoriam
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    Fr. Charles A. Hofmann, SJ
    March 22, 1933 – August 20, 2017

    “Chuck was a fairly private man but he was an excellent listener and always had time for a good conversation. He took an interest in the activities of his fellow Jesuits and was eager to hear what was new in their ministries.” Teacher at Colegio San Jose Arequipa in Peru; student counselor at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati; clinical psychologist at Loyola University Chicago Medical Center, Archdiocesan Consultation Services in Cincinnati, House of Affirmation in San Francisco, John Carroll University, Loyola University Chicago, Jesuit Institute for Family Life Network in Los Altos, California, and Faber Jesuit Community in Cincinnati. Read More

    Fr. Bernard J. Streicher, SJ
    November 11, 1928 – August 17, 2017
    “When one  rst saw Bernie, he was a very serious man who hid a dry sense of humor and a droll smile. He never missed the incongruities of life.” English teacher, subminister, rector, and department chair at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland; English teacher at St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toldeo, Ohio. Read More

    Fr. John “Jack” J. Kenealy, SJ
    June 17, 1927 – July 2, 2017
    “Father Jack was a true and great missionary in the classical sense of the word. He loved the people of Bihar, India, whom he was sent to serve. As an expression of his commitment to them, he adopted a very simple lifestyle, which he maintained to the very end.” Pastor and assistant pastor of Shahpur; assistant pastor of Jamalpur (Basuni), Shahpur, and Jamalpur (Bariarpur); teacher at St. Xavier’s, Jaipur; judge of Patna Diocesan Marriage Tribunal; treasurer and archivist of Patna Diocese; administrator and treasurer of Ara; assistant treasurer of Patna Jesuit Society. Read More

    Br. John F. Buchman, SJ
    September 10, 1933 – May 30, 2017
    “Known by many as ‘Bucky,’ John was a wonderful Jesuit full of goodness and kindness. He was a hard worker and someone who fostered community. In the tradition of the great Jesuit brothers, Bucky cared for people very well.” Administrative assistant to the rector, house manager, cook, and worked in the business of ce, book store, and cafeteria at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and the Brebeuf Jesuit Community in Indianapolis; cook at Milford Novitiate in Ohio and Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora, Illinois; worked at Loyola Youth Retreat Center in Milford, Ohio. Read More

    Fr. John “Jack” D. Cuddigan, SJ
    December 21, 1929 – May 30, 2017
    “Jack was a gifted Jesuit priest. During his long years of ministry, he moved easily between teaching, administration, and pastoral ministry.” History teacher at Creighton University in Omaha, Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, and Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington; academic administrator at Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri, Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; superintendent of schools and director of deferred giving for the Diocese of San Diego; pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato, Minnesota. Read More

    Fr. Robert W. Leiweke, SJ
    December 5, 1927 – April 11, 2017
    “Bob was a holy, quiet, competent, supportive Jesuit whom people found easy to trust and whose advice they found unfailingly wise.” Spiritual director at St. Bonifacius in Minnesota, Emmaus in Des Moines, the Archdiocese of Omaha, and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; founding member of Marquette’s Center of Ignatian Spirituality; religion teacher at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha; rector at Creighton Prep; assistant to the rectors of the Creighton University and Marquette University Jesuit Communities. Read More

    Br. William E. Biernatzki, SJ
    December 3, 1931 – April 8, 2017
    “Bill was a quiet person of a scholarly temperament, a good Jesuit who worked hard all his life, and a trained anthropologist who spent most of his years in the Society in cultures quite different from his own.” Teacher and researcher at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea; part of Center for Study of Communication and Culture in London and St. Louis; part of Institute of Jesuit Sources. Read More

    Fr. John P. Murphy, SJ
    March 10, 1938 – March 14, 2017
    “John was a gifted researcher, professor, and scholar. He authored and edited many books, including The Wily Jesuits and the Monita Secreta and On the Suppression of the Society of Jesus.” Professor of Latin and Greek, chair of the Classics Department, and freshmen dean at Loyola University Chicago; regional secretary for the USA and English-speaking Western Europe at the Jesuit Curia in Rome; associate pastor of St. Xavier Church in Cincinnati; Latin teacher at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois; author and editor. Read More

    For reference

    Table of Contents

      On The Cover

      • Father Eugene Dwyer, SJ, participates  in memory care exercises at a senior Jesuit healthcare community. Learn more about the With Others. For Others. campaign for senior Jesuit healthcare.

      Page 8

      • The Campaign for Senior Jesuit Healthcare
      • Senior Jesuits have given their lives in service of others. Now, through the With Others. For Others. campaign, you can thank them with your support.
      Page 12

      • Through the Lens of Faith: From an Optometrist to a Jesuit Brother 
      • A career in optometry may not seem like an obvious road to the Jesuits, but Br. Ralph Cordero sees the similarities between optometry and his vocation as a Jesuit brother.
      Page 16

      • Lessons from Prison Ministry 
      • “We are not our mistakes.” Fr. Gene Merz, SJ, writes of his ministry at the oldest women’s prison in the United States and how he was been impacted by the women he meets.

      Page 17

      • Creating Brave Spaces
      • Damian Torres-Botello’s desire to create safe and brave spaces where voices can be revealed and listened to comes from his passion for theatre and his Jesuit vocation.
      Also in this Issue

      • News 2-3
      • Formation 4-5
      • A Heart on Fire 6
      • A Jesuit's Journey 7
      • Living the Magis 13
      • Assignments 18
      • In Memoriam 19
      • Spirituality 20
      • Advancement 21


      Jesuits Fall/Winter 2018

      Jesuits Summer 2018

      Jesuits Spring 2018

      Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House
      Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House is located on 80 acres of gently rolling meadows and wooded countryside just 35 miles northwest of Chicago.