Canadian Jesuit, indigenous paddlers form bonds to ‘last a lifetime’

Jesuit and indigenous pilgrims arrived by canoe Aug. 15 in Kahnawake, an Indian reserve south of Montreal. It was the group’s final destination after traveling 540 miles, following a route used by 17th-century missionaries, in an effort to promote reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous peoples.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Despite physical exhaustion, storms, rough waters, food shortages and waking up to slip into wet socks some mornings, Jesuit paddlers said a more-than-500-mile canoe pilgrimage fulfilled all their expectations and more.

The group of about 50 paddlers completed a 26-day odyssey along a historic river-route traveled four centuries ago by explorers and Jesuit martyrs, including St. Jean de Brebeuf. They arrived Aug. 15 at a First Nations reserve near Montreal.

Faith and science closely linked

This artist’s concept shows what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about the planets diameters, masses and distances from the host star. The system has been revealed through observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope. The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial, according to research published in 2017 in the journal Nature.

Recent headlines about the TRAPPIST-1 solar system and its seven Earth-sized planets have created quite a buzz among astrophysicists, astronomy lovers and the general population.

Surrounding a dwarf star, the system is relatively close at 40 light years from earth, and three of the planets are in the so-called habitable zone, which means a TRAPPIST-1 planet "easily could have developed a life form," Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer said Feb. 27 at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

With an important caveat.

Service, academics earn SLUH national recognition

Lisa Johnston | | Twitter: @aeternusphoto

Senior Joe Bingaman read “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” in activity period at St. Louis University High School. “It’s about brotherhood, that’s what we always say,” he said when describing what he likes best about his school. SLUH was named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2015, one of 53 high schools to receive the honor this year.

At an all-school Mass on Dec. 8, St. Louis University High students celebrated two momentous occasions -- one for Catholics in general, the other for SLUH seniors in particular.

Jesuit priest reported killed in Syria

Jesuit Father Frans Van der Lugt chatted with civilians in early January, urging them to be patient, in the besieged area of Homs, Syria. The Jesuits said April 7 that the Dutch priest, who had worked in Syria since 1966, was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head.

ROME -- A 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit who refused to leave war-torn Syria, instead staying in Homs to help the poor and homeless, was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head, according to an email sent by the Jesuits' Middle East province to the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

Jesuit Father Frans Van der Lugt, who had worked in Syria since 1966, declined suggestions to leave because he wanted to help Syria's suffering civilians -- "Christians and Muslims -- anyone in need," said Father Giuseppe Bellucci, head of the Jesuits' press office.

Kenrick-Glennon theologian named to U.S. bishops' post

Jesuit Father Peter Ryan, director of spiritual formation and professor of moral theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, has been appointed executive director of the Secretariat For Doctrine and Canonical Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Father Ryan, a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, joined the Kenrick-Glennon staff in 2012. Prior to that, he had served for 10 years at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., and for seven years at Loyola College in Maryland.

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