The Pope's first year
By Annie Beckmann
A leader with a heart that's open to the world is how Pat Howell, S.J., describes Pope Francis.
There's much about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Jesuit pope, that rings true for those who are familiar with the Jesuit Catholic character. Choosing to live in a simple residence, eschewing those infamous red slippers and all the brocade and lace are the obvious indicators.
Yet, as he reflected on the pope's first year, Father Howell credited Pope Francis with suggesting the Catholic Church become less narcissistic. In his April 17 talk, Fr. Howell
said an energy about the new pope is inimitably Jesuit-namely discernment, an affirming spirituality that engages the world, and bridging disparate traditions.
"Francis says we need to listen to the people, to the
and that takes discernment," he says.
During a year-long sabbatical, Fr. Howell went to work last fall for
magazine, a national Jesuit publication, and was commissioned along with four other experts to translate into English in-person interviews with Pope Francis conducted by Antonio Spadoro, S.J., editor in chief of
La Civiltà Cattolica
, the Italian Jesuit journal.
"When the pope was asked 'who are you?' he took a long pause, then said 'first and foremost, I am a sinner, a sinner who is called upon by Christ to act on behalf of the Gospel,'" Fr. Howell says. "The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and the lives of all who encounter Jesus. Francis says what blocks us from the joy of the Gospel are clericalism, capitalism and all forms of greed and aggrandizement."
The fact that Pope Francis says, "Who am I to judge?" shows his acceptance of all people as children of God, according to Fr. Howell. That includes homosexuals and prostitutes and anyone who's marginalized, he notes.
"Every previous pope has most often assumed the role of judge," Fr. Howell says as he describes the neo-Augustinian nature of Pope Benedict XVI in particular, whose world was cast in shadows and suspicions where a positive openness to the world was viewed as naïve optimism.
It's discernment versus legalism. Pope Francis and the Jesuits are primarily neo-Thomistic, says Fr. Howell, which means they're open to the world, world affirming and engage the world in dialogue.
Fr. Howell shares many of the magazine covers that have depicted Pope Francis as accessible and down to earth over the past year. A
cartoon cover of the pope making a snow angel lends a little whimsy and shows how the pope doesn't take himself all that seriously.
When asked, Fr. Howell predicts that Pope Francis and the Catholic Church will accept married clergy rather soon and ordained priests who are married. He wasn't as optimistic about the possibility of women priests, however, but laid out an avenue within the tradition how it could happen
Fr. Howell suggests the need to reform the Roman Curia, to address the sexual abuse crisis, and a desire for someone outside Europe were the primary reasons Pope Francis was elected. Starting with the Vatican Bank in the very first month he was pope, Francis made key appointments and invited eight cardinals to be part of a "kitchen cabinet" not only for the reform of the bank, but for the reform of the Curia itself.
"Every pope is conditioned by his own culture. You can see the South American emphasis in how Pope Francis reaches out to the poor. A year ago, there was much talk when he went to a prison and washed the feet of inmates, including two women. He uses the papacy as a redemption for humanity," says Fr. Howell.
"It's hard to find another pope who has been viewed so positively," he adds.
Fr. Howell's talk was sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC) and co-sponsored by Mission and Ministry. He served as dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, vice president for Mission and Ministry, most recently as rector of the Jesuit community. On September 1 , he will join ICTC as professor in residence.
Seattle University has signed an agreement with the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), which formalizes a longstanding and growing partnership between the two Jesuit institutions.
SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and his UCA counterpart José Alberto Idiáquez, S.J., signed the agreement in Managua, Nicaragua, on March 20. Before the signing, Father Sundborg delivered a lecture, "Two Universities; One Jesuit Mission," which you can read here.
Joining Sundborg on the visit to UCA were Victoria Jones, associate provost for Global Engagement (pictured far left); and (from far right to left) Serena Cosgrove, assistant professor of Matteo Ricci College; David Powers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Joe Orlando, assistant vice president for Mission and Ministry.
"I was proud to be part of the delegation from Seattle U to the UCA in Managua and to deliver (the lecture)," said Sundborg. "After many years of developing our relationship with that Jesuit university, which is considered the best university in Nicaragua, I was proud to sign, together with Fr. Idiáquez, the formal agreement of our special partnership. We see this as the first of our 'Convergence Sites,' which Victoria Jones has been developing. The 'Nicaragua Initiative' is promising for student and faculty exchanges, for community-engaged learning and for common research.
SU's partnership with UCA began with the faculty and staff immersion trips that Orlando led to Managua for many years. The relationship has deepened in recent years with the development of mutually enriching student and faculty exchanges and other reciprocal scholarly initiatives. A key moment came last May when a delegation from UCA
visited Seattle University
to explore how Jesuit universities are especially called to confront poverty. That was followed by a program for UCA MBA students offered by Albers and Fr. Idiáquez's visit to campus in the fall. (His interview with Jones at the time can be found
.) This summer the UCA is offering programs for SU students including a Spanish-language minor and a core class on sustainability and poverty.
The agreement signed by the presidents reads in part: "…both universities believe that (this agreement) is of mutual benefit to promote direct contact and collaboration between students, teachers and people. This could include joint research activities, publications and library exchanges; programs of study and/or service; exchange of teachers and students for the study, teaching and research and the exchange of invitations to scholars to participate in conferences, seminars and speeches."
Mark your calendars
Whether you're Jesuit educated or a fan of Jesuit education, here are two opportunities to get onto your schedule--both are sponsored by Magis and Alumni Relations.
Jesuit Alumni Day of Service
Saturday, April 26
8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
This is an opportunity for Jesuit alumni and friends serve the local community as men and women for others. Volunteers will work at nearby Seattle area agency sites assisting with a variety of service tasks. This day of service is part of the National Jesuit Service Initiative, which engages graduates across the nation in shared service which demonstrates the life-changing and enduring power of a Jesuit education.
Ignatian-Inspired Leaders Panel with SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.
Thursday, May 8, 6-8:30 p.m., Sorrento Hotel
With a Jesuit Pope who is making waves, more people than ever are asking what the "Jesuit" or "Ignatian" approach to leadership is. Join Seattle University's Alumni Relations and Magis' Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) Alumni Leadership program for an exciting evening of networking and meaningful conversation featuring our very own Father Steve.
for more information and to register.
The pope, one year in
Today, March 13, is the one-year anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio's election as Pope Francis. While the pontiff has no boss, per se—at least of an earthly persuasion—let's pretend that you are the supervisor responsible for doing his performance evaluation. What overall grade would you give him for his first year on the job from a scale of 1 (needs improvement) to 5 (exceeds expectations),
Please send your answers to
It was announced in November that Scott Santarosa, S.J., has been appointed by General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., as the next provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. You can learn more about Father Santa Rosa in this video from
Ignatian News Network.
Father Santarosa will take over this summer, succeeding Pat Lee, S.J., who has served as provincial since 2008. Eventually, Santarosa will be provincial for the new West Coast Province that will form when the Oregon and California Provinces unite.
Santarosa currently serves as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles and previously taught at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif., and Verbum Dei High School in Watts, Los Angeles.
Picturing God in all things
"Finding God in all things" is at the core of Ignatian spirituality. It's a phrase that has particular significance for Father Don Doll. A highly acclaimed photographer and member of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Doll captures images through a distinctly Jesuit lens.
"Fr. Doll is the most accomplished Jesuit professional photographer working in the world today," said Josef Venker, S.J., chair of the Department of Fine Arts. "His career spans four decades and the entire planet."
Doll, left, visits SU this week to mark the opening of a collection of his photographs at Vachon Gallery. The exhibition is titled "A Call to Vision: A Jesuit's Perspective on the World." Doll will give a lecture from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, in Bannan Auditorium (102). A reception will be held afterward, from 7 to 9 p.m., in Vachon (FINR 208). The exhibit runs through March 2.
A professor of journalism at Creighton University, Doll has had his photographs published in National Geographic and A Day in the Life of… books. His work has connected him with Native American cultures and brought him to countries in South America and Asia.
"Currently his work has been focused on documenting the efforts of Jesuit Refugee Services around the globe," said Venker. "His most recent dream is to meet Pope Francis and document a 'Day in the Life of the Pope.' If anyone can do this topic justice, and deserves the opportunity it is Fr. Doll."
For a behind-the-scenes look at the installation of Fr. Doll's exhibit, which was featured in The Seattle Times, click here. For more information, contact Em Olson in Fine Arts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 296-2340.
A time of deep joy
Matthew Pyrc, S.J., campus minister, was ordained a deacon on Saturday, Jan. 25. It was the first ordination ever at Seattle University's Chapel of St. Ignatius. Pyrc (right) was ordained by Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain (pictured here at the altar). Joining the archbishop in celebrating the mass were (l. to r.) Deacon Eric Sundrup, S.J., editor in chief of the Jesuit Post; Rev. Tom Lucas, S.J., rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community; Rev. Pat Lee, provincial of the Oregon Province; and Rev. Sean Michaelson, S.J. provincial assistant for formation.
Pyrc is technically a transitional deacon; he will be ordained a priest on June 7 in Spokane.
"The ordination was a profound experience for me filling me with a deep joy and consolation," says Pyrc. "At one point in the ritual I lay prostrated on the floor in front of the altar while we invoke the memory of the Christian community and witnesses, saints, from the time of the apostles to today. We ask them to pray for us. I was moved to tears feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit and knowing that there is a two thousand year history before me. This ordination isn't about me but me vowing to serve in a church meant to serve."
A Michigan native, Pyrc joined the Society of Jesus and entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Portland, Ore. in 2006. As part of his Jesuit formation he studied at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley. He holds a Master of Theology and Licentiate in Sacred Theology. His thesis research was on the transformative impact of immersion programs. Pyrc has been at SU since 2011.
In the Roman Catholic Church, deacons are ordained to assist the bishop and his presbyterate as ministers of the word, altar, and charity. They are authorized to proclaim the Word of God, to preach at Mass, to preside at the sacraments of Baptism and Marriage and at the Rite of Christian Burial.
The next few weeks provide several opportunities for faculty and staff to learn more about a key moment in history of the Jesuits and to explore the Jesuits' significance in world history.
Suppression and Restoration of the Jesuit Order: A Two-Part Series
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus, following a 41-year period in which the Jesuits were suppressed by the pope.
Tom Lucas, S.J., professor of Fine Arts and rector of the Arrupe Jesuit Community will speak on "Jesuit Suppression and Restoration: Cultural Contexts and Challenges, 1773-1814" at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at Wyckoff Auditorium. The series continues with Gerald McKevitt, S.J., professor at Santa Clara University, who will give a talk on "Restoration and Relapse: Jesuit Education in the U.S., 1814-1900" at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, again at Wyckoff.
"A significant part of the history of Jesuits has been the relationships between the papacy and the Society of Jesus," says Peter Ely, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry. "That relationship has never been better-having a Jesuit pope helps. It has often been worse, as these lectures will make clear. But it's not only about Jesuit relations with the pope. The causes of Suppression and Restoration are complex and fascinating.
"We are privileged to have two Jesuit historians speak to us on these very significant moments in the history of the Jesuits."
The lectures are sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Mission and Ministry, the Office of Mission and Identity and the Arrupe Community.
Jesuits in World History: A Symposium and Teacher's Workshop
The Society of Jesus was, as one historian has noted, "The most important organization in the early modern world."
The Department of History is hosting a two-day gathering on the historical significance of the Jesuits. On Friday Jan. 31, scholars from England, Canada and the United States will explore emerging scholarship on the critical role that the Jesuits played in shaping world history. Visit Jesuits in World History for more information.
The second day, Feb. 1, is a workshop geared to teachers and focuses on innovative ways to integrate key resources in Jesuit history into world history classes.
"The symposium speakers are designing their talks to be useful for scholars who are familiar with some aspects of Jesuit history and accessible for general audiences who want to have a better appreciation for the role that the Jesuits have played in world history," said Tom Taylor, chair of the history department. He added that there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
SU Jesuits on the run
The Dec. 1 Seattle Marathon was very much a Seattle University affair with Uli Steidl, assistant coach of cross country and track and field, winning it all. It was Steidl's 10th Seattle Marathon victory, giving him the fourth-most titles within a single marathon series in the United States. Meanwhile, alumnus Matthew McClement won the half marathon to ensure a complete Redhawk sweep.
Also running in the marathon were two SU Jesuits. Natch Ohno, S.J., assistant to the vice president for Student Development, completed the full marathon, while Trung Pham, S.J., assistant professor of Fine Arts, did the half.
Reached a few days after his 26.2-mile jog around the greater Seattle area, Fr. Ohno deflected attention from his own accomplishment, instead speaking effusively of Steidl's remarkable feat and praising him for the joyfulness with which he runs. But after some prodding, Ohno, left, spoke a bit about the experience, saying he had run a few full marathons before-including one held in conjunction with the 1990 Goodwill Games that former SU President William Sullivan, S.J., chaired-but that it had been a while since he did one.
Ohno ran in the Seattle half marathon last year and started training this summer for the full. He finished at 5:20. "I made it. That was my goal," he said, adding that the hardest part was the wind, particularly coming across the I-90 floating bridge.
For Fr. Pham, the half marathon was his first ever. He played tennis everyday when he lived in California, but picked up running after moving to Seattle "because of its beautiful nature, clean air and different kinds of trails." He said Fr. Ohno suggested he run in the marathon.
"I did not know I could run that far, but my knees are fine" reported Fr. Pham, right. He finished in 1:47 and is now inspired to train for the full marathon next year.
"Natch is my hero for running a full marathon at the age of 65."