Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

23 September 2007

Jesuit Tea

This is the weekend of two fund raisers. For better or for worse priests, especially Jesuits, must be able to raise funds to get anything done. St. Ignatius himself was a master fund raiser. Yesterday we attended a fund raiser for Manresa Jesuit Retreat House which is a few miles north of here. They're trying to build an endowment for among other things offering retreats to those who cannot offer them.

This afternoon is the Jesuit Seminary Association Tea, a group which raises money for young Jesuits in formation like myself. It is humbling to know that what we novices rely on materially speaking has been provided by our benefactors. Jesuits are able to be formed because other Jesuits raised the money to allow us to be formed. Considering many Jesuits go on to get terminal degrees, it requires a lot of fund raising and very generous people.

Paging Dr. Kass

"The possibility of science itself depends on the immateriality of thought. It depends on the mind’s independence from the bombardment of matter. Otherwise, there is no truth, there is only “it seems to me.” Not only the possibility for recognizing truth and error, but also the reasons for doing science rest on a picture of human freedom and dignity (of the sort promulgated by biblical religion) that science itself cannot recognize. Wonder, curiosity, a wish not to be self-deceived, and a spirit of philanthropy are the sine qua non of the modern scientific enterprise. They are hallmarks of the living human soul not the anatomized brain. The very enterprise of science–like all else of value in human life–depends on a view of humanity that science cannot supply and that foolish scientific prophets deny at their peril, unaware of the embarrassing self-contradiction." -Leon Kass MD PhD

I'm a longtime admirer of Leon Kass. He is one of the founding fathers of bioethics. His career has been long and distinguished, notably he was Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics and taught for many years at the University of Chicago. You can find a more complete bio here. You can read Kass's complete article which I quoted from above here.

18 September 2007

Mindful Hack

Yet another cool blog find: Mindful Hack discusses the faith and reason question with an emphasis on neuroscience.

14 September 2007

Detroit Day

Today after a morning prayer seminar, the novices are heading out to explore the greater Detroit area. If all goes according to plan we'll have lunch in Windsor's Little Italy which I'm told has a number of good restaurants then visit the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborne.

I found a good article on Clericalism by Mark Shea. While I don't agree with it entirely, it has a great deal of merit.

Happy Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross

12 September 2007


Avery Cardinal Dulles SJ wrote an article in this month's First Things on the Faith and Science question in light of recent books on the subject. In the article, he pays particular attention to a Christian understanding of evolution. Cardinal Dulles provides a clarity of thought few others can muster. Well worth reading.

For those unfamiliar with the Cardinal, he is the son of John Foster Dulles the secretary of State under President Eisenhower. He is the man Dulles airport outside of Washington is names after. Cardinal Dulles converted from agnosticism to Catholicism as a Harvard undergraduate. He entered the Society of Jesus after serving time in the Navy during the Second World War. Cardinal Dulles has spent his ministerial life as a theologian. He is perhaps best known for his Models of the Church (1974) which has become a modern classic in ecclesiology. He taught at my fair alma mater, Catholic University, from 1974-1988 after which he became the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University. Pope John Paul II created Dulles as a Cardinal in 2001, a great and rare honor for a theologian.

07 September 2007

Manresa Day

Every so often we have what we call a "Manresa Day" here at Loyola House. It's a day of silence from about 9 am until Mass at 4:45 pm. We're asked to stay away from TV, computers, phones, etc...

Even living in a religious house it's easy to slip into a mundane rhythm which doesn't seem to leave time or attention for God. Sure we might schedule an hour of prayer into the day, we might even be faithful to that hour but squeezing God into part of the day is not the same as having a prayerful day. Prayer can't be reduced to an item on the schedule.

Manresa days are a way of breaking out of mundane rhythm and finding God everywhere and in everything of the day, being truly intentional about consecrating the whole day to God. It is a great privilege and challenge the novitiate affords us. The privilege of finding the vibrancy of God in the stillness of the day, excitement and life within stillness. The challenge of being open to finding that same vibrancy in the business of every other day.


04 September 2007

01 September 2007


Ouch Michigan even as an Ohio State fan I feel sorry for you.

I'll probably be at the Michigan game next week; hopefully there will be some redemption.

Also, note the new "Faith and Science" section on the sidebar. I'm compiling links to various resources on the intersection of theology and science.