Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

29 June 2008

Ss. Peter and Paul

Happy Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Today a few of us ventured downtown to the Jesuit Church of San Pedro for Mass. We got more than we bargained for. The Peruvian people have a penchant for processions I've discovered. Today at San Pedro we arrived to find the street full of men and women in all sorts of brightly colored costumes from Inca to Elvis. At the center of it all was St. Peter decked out in an ornate cope with St. Paul carried along side. A group of retainers wore sashes matching the cope. The parade stretched on as far as I could see. I counted at least four bands and eight dancing troops.

San Pedro has Mass ever hour on Sunday mornings, all well attended. We arrived around 10:45 for the 11:00 Mass. The parade continued all through Mass. The bands outside overwhelmed the poor organ and choir. The competing cerimonies distracted me a bit but the Peruvians seemed used to it.

Around communion time the first procession seemed to end. But no sooner had it ended than a second St. Peter statue emerged ready to be taken on tour. This time in the opposite direction of the first. Talk about Catholic Culture.

25 June 2008

¿No conoco?

I was struck today by the joy of being bad at Spanish. Don't get me wrong, my goal is to eventually achieve fluency, but in the meantime there's a lot to be learned. Stumbling over my words frees me to pay greater attention to expression, tone, setting. It also makes conversation very basic. Not being able to talk about metaphysics, literature, history, world events, I've found great solace in talking about simple immanent things. In English I seldom let myself enjoy a conversation about how a certain piece of fruit was a little odd looking; in Spanish I'm all about it. Speaking like a three year old in Spanish means enjoying some three year old level conversations and it's not all bad.

In other news, my current favorite blog, The Immanent Frame, has a great thread on Neuroscience and Religion: A Cognitive Revolution. Well worth a look for those interested in such things.

18 June 2008

Jean Vanier

The saintly Jean Vanier, founder of l'Arche, speaking at the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec

17 June 2008



I´m currently living in the Juniorado in BreƱa, a lower middle class neighborhood of Peru with six Peruvian and Ecuadorian Juniors (the stage of formation just after novitiate), nine guys from Loyola House, one scholastic from Texas, and four Peruvian priests.

The transition to Peruvian living has not been completely smooth. I go some nasty food poisoning or some such thing last week and only today to I feel completely better. Thankfully my illustrious spiritual director, Fr. Dave, is also Dr. Dave MD, so I was well taken care of.

The Peruvian schedule is a little different than what I´m used to:

7:00 Mass

7:30 Breakfast

8:15 - 1:00 Spanish Class

1:30 Lunch (the big meal of the day)

Afternoon free with occasional planned activities

7:30 Dinner

A week in I´m begining to adapt. Spanish is likewise coming along though slowly as I have not seriously studied it before. French and Latin give me some foundation but more with reading than speaking.

10 June 2008


Greetings from Peru!

It has been an eventful week and a half since I last posted.

First was Jenn and Pat s (the apostrophy key is not working on this keyboard sadly) wedding in Buffalo. It was a wonderful celebration, fitting for such a wonderful couple.

Next was a home visit. Journeying back to my native Youngstown for a few days with family, always a pleasure.

Immediately after home visit were bi-province days in Chicago. Jesuits of the Detroit and Chicago provinces gathered to celebrates jubillees and the ordination of four of our brothers.

We left Chicago Saturday after the ordination for Detroit and flew out of Detroit Sunday morning for Houston then onto Peru.

I am still a little overwhelmed at the moment. This is my first trip to South America and my first real Spanish immersion experience. My Spanish is pitiful and it takes about all my mental energy at the moment to follow the conversations going on around me. Right now I am batting about .500 on comprehension and a great deal less on conversation. Hopefully these will improve.