Monday, January 16, 2006

From Annunciation to Resurrection.

I was on the move quite a bit this weekend, moving from the center to the periphery of Chicagoland and then back again. I spent much of Saturday at Arrupe House in Rogers Park, catching up with various friends enrolled in the Jesuit First Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago. I also got a haircut from my brother novice Ben Krause and returned the favor by cutting Ben's hair immediately afterward. This is the first time that Ben has cut my hair, and I'm pleased enough with the results that I'll probably ask him to do it again.

Yesterday morning I met up again with some scholastics from Loyola (including loyal Novitiate Notes reader John Shea) for Sunday liturgy at Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in the Chicago suburb of Homer Glen. Annunciation is known for the high quality of its liturgical celebrations and the beauty of its interior, photos of which can be seen here. Annunciation is also trying to establish itself as a model in the area of environmental sustainability, which is what stirred John's interest in the parish. Though the pastor's preaching style was quite different from what I'm used to, I found that the parish lived up to its reputation for fine liturgy. Most of Annunciation's "green" initiatives are still in the planning stage, but I still think the parish deserves credit for its creativity in this area.

Sunday evening found me far from Chicago - and even further away from Homer Glen - at the Resurrection Center in the north-central Illinois town of Woodstock. Woodstock stood in for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the movie Groundhog Day, but it wasn't the Hollywood connection that brought me there. The Resurrection Center was the venue for an overnight retreat for SICP faculty, facilitated by newly-ordained Deacon Pat McGrath. Pat gave a number of excellent presentations on Ignatian themes, in between which I had plenty of time to get to know some of my new colleagues a bit better. The retreat also provided an opportunity to spend some time with the St. Ignatius Jesuit community's own Pat Fairbanks before he heads off to tertianship tomorrow. In some sense, in coming to SICP I'm trading places with Pat, who'll be based at Loyola House for the next four months and will be revisiting some of the experiences of his novitiate - the Long Retreat, classes on Jesuit history and the Constitutions, and short-termed experiments in ministry. To learn more about tertianship and about the Chicago Province Jesuits who will be undergoing this final stage in their formation this spring, check out this article in the latest issue of Partners, the Chi Prov magazine. More importantly, I hope you'll join me in praying for the tertians as they begin what ought to be a rich and meaningful experience. AMDG.


At January 24, 2006 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you explain what First Studies at Loyola is? I thought the only Jesuit theologates were at Boston and Berkeley, but the Loyola mentions Saint Louis and Fordham instead.

At January 24, 2006 11:09 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...

Anon -
Thanks for the question, which is a good one. As a stage in Jesuit formation, First Studies is distinct from Theology - you're correct in noting that the only Jesuit theologates in the U.S. are in the Boston area and in Berkeley, California. However, in First Studies (so called because it's the first stage of academic study Jesuit scholastics undertaken after they complete the novitiate and profess vows) the academic focus is on philosophy rather than theology. In First Studies, Jesuit scholastics complete the Catholic Church's canonical requirements for philosophy study (usually, they complete a master's degree in the subject) and also study some theology as a preparation for the ministry they do as regents. Regency is a period of full-time apostolic work following First Studies and usually lasts two to three years. After Regency, Jesuits begin theology studies that, for those preparing for the priesthood, culminate in ordination. Hope that helps.

At January 25, 2006 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification.


Post a Comment

<< Home