Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

30 November 2007

Spe Salvi

The Pope's latest encyclical "Spe Salvi" was released today, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. I know what I'm doing this afternoon.

24 November 2007

O Happy Day

Today is exciting for two reasons:

First, tonight is the long awaited Battlestar Galactica: Razor. Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a hopeless Science Fiction fan. My current Sci-Fi passion is Battlestar Galactica. Tonight at long last the wait is over for Razor. Unfortunately season four of Battlestar doesn't start until April assuming the writers strike is over by then.

Second, Hilary Hahn is coming to Detroit on April 25th! She is my favorite living violinist (Heifetz and Oistrak vie for the all-time spot) and will be playing one of my favorite concertos Tchaikovsky's first violin concerto in D with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Also featured on the concert is John Corigliano's second Symphony which is likewise a treat. My parents informed me today that they will be visiting the weekend of the concert of have already acquired tickets. O Happy Day!

16 November 2007

Schedule and Diologue

Two exciting things:

First, I now have my tentative schedule at U of D Jesuit High and Academy. I'll be assisting with an 8th grade Latin class, a 12th grade Philosophy class, and two 11th grade Morality classes. This means Matthew needs to brush up on his declensions and conjugations, since I'll be teaching Latin they're kind of important to know and I've forgotten much of them since last I studied Latin. The other classes I'm less concerned about. I'll also work in the Learning Center tutoring and will prefect in the library or during study halls.

Second, there's some good news on the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue front. The document produced discusses authority on the universal level of the Church; it's a baby step but a baby step forward is still good news.

15 November 2007

Dr. Blazek SJ

Bill Blazek, SJ MD who is currently a scholastic working at Georgetown Medical School and a member of my province contributed an article to the Washington Post's section "On Faith" which is worth a look. The article is a reflection on finding God during his experience of the first Gulf War while he was serving as a captain in the 101 Airborne Division.


Albertus Magnus, Doctor Universalis

"In studying nature we have not to inquire how God the Creator may, as He freely wills, use His creatures to work miracles and thereby show forth His power: we have rather to inquire what Nature with its immanent causes can naturally bring to pass." -St. Albert the Great

Today is the memorial of St. Albert the Great, OP, bishop, scientist, philosopher, and theologian. Given the length and breath of his talents he is honored with the title, Doctor Universalis. Albert is one of the luminaries of the 13th century. He tried to bring together all branches of knowledge. This included careful observation of natural phenomenon which can be called "scientific" centuries prior to the scientific revolution. He also helped reintroduce Aristotle to the west. You may have heard of Albert's brightest student Thomas Aquinas.

12 November 2007

Catholic Univeristy

Great news from my alma mater Catholic University. Pope Benedict will visit Catholic on 17 April 2008! My little brother is a freshman at Catholic and will get to see the Holy Father. Exciting stuff that is.


The High

I'm happy to report that I have received my assignment for next semester--my 'Long Experiment' as it's known in Jesuit parlance. I will be working at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy or 'the high' for short. I'll also be living in the community there rather than at the novitiate. What precisely I'll be doing is still unclear though hopefully a bit of teaching and a bit of campus ministry. What's unique about the high is that it tries to bridge two worlds: poor, urban Detroit and wealthy, suburban greater Detroit area. The high is located on seven mile within the city of Detroit and draws around 25% of its students from the city. The rest of the student body comes from the surrounding suburbs.

My two current experiments continue to go well. Hard to believe this semester is almost over. I'm finally getting adapted to the cultures at the jail and the warming center. Yesterday Br. Jim, director of the warming center, took my brother novice Hung and me on a "homelessness tour" of Downtown Detroit. As we drove around the city we saw many familiar faces from the warming center at their various haunts. We visited the major shelters, soup kitchens, and social service providers. Along the way we also saw the most notorious drug dealing areas in the city. I've learned since I started at the warming center that drugs and street culture are almost one in the same. It's one thing to read about the problem; seeing the drug deals go down right in front of you adds a whole new dimension, the desperate poverty of the shelters and surrounding neighborhoods yet another.

04 November 2007

N T Wright

Per the request of one of my brother novices I just read: The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is. It's an excellent little book introducing his thought on the historical Jesus and the Jesus of Christian orthodoxy.

N T Wright is the Anglican Bishop of Durham, England. He is also one of the premier New Testament Scholars alive today.

Though I haven't read much of his stuff yet, so far I'm impressed.

Many of his lectures are online at: