Saturday, December 19, 2009

Got Iggy?

Welcome to Iggy

"To respond today to the pressing needs of our complex fragile world, many hands are surely needed. Collaboration in mission is the way we respond to this situation: it expresses our true identity as members of the Church, the complementarity of our diverse calls to holiness, our mutual responsibility for the mission of Christ, our desire to join people of good will in the service of the human family, and the coming of the Kingdom of God."
-G.C. 35, Decree VI: Collaboration at the Heart of Mission

What is "Iggy?"
“Iggy" is short for the Ignatian Social Ministry Database. It provides a comprehensive listing of Jesuit and Ignatian-inspired social ministries in the United States, including direct service ministries; university social research institutes; social outreach programs at Jesuit parishes, schools and provinces; and much more.

How will Iggy be helpful to people in Jesuit ministry?
Iggy allows those working in Jesuit ministries to quickly and easily reach out to potential collaborators within the Ignatian family by centralizing all contacts and providing background information in one location. Users can search for people working on social justice issues, search ministries by categories or search institutions geographically. It also permits the user to refine searches by multiple terms, allowing for the targeting of specific niche ministries. Additionally, Iggy provides an interactive map of the United States which displays the ministries geographically and by category. Clicking on any of the ministry icons on the map brings up details of the ministry. The map link is located in the top right corner of each page in Iggy (under the search box).

How do I navigate the site and get help if I need it?
There are three sources of assistance on Iggy. To get started using Iggy and for basic how-to questions, consult the "Quick Reference Guide;" for more detailed assistance consult the "User Manual;" and for specific questions consult the“FAQ" section (all are accessible under the map icon on each page).

Who will have access to Iggy?
Iggy is available online for a general audience. Iggy was developed using publicly available information posted on existing websites. Iggy will be maintained by the Jesuit Conference (who sponsors the database) and Jesuit Commission for Social and International Ministries.

How do I update information on myself or my ministry?
To update information on yourself or the ministry or institution you work for, email with your update. The information available in Iggy will become more comprehensive and detailed over time as more people in Jesuit ministries use it and send updates.

Many thanks to Dr. Chris Huntley of Fairfield University for developing and launching Iggy.

Fr. Currie honored

The Ignatian Solidarity Network presented Charles Currie, SJ, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, with the very first Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice award. Fr. Currie, past president of Wheeling Jesuit University and Xavier University, cofounded the ISN. The late Mr. Holstein was one of the founders of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.

Eugene A. Welch, SJ; Ministered in India since the 1950's

Eugene A. Welch, SJ, a Pittsburgh native and former member of the Maryland Province Jesuits, died Oct. 22. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered in Jamshedpur, India, where Fr. Welch has lived for a half century, Oct. 23. He was 81, and a Jesuit for 62 years.

Fr. Welch was a novice at St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa., when he heard that the Father General was asking for volunteers to go to foreign missions. “I think all of the novices volunteered,” he recalled in an interview conducted during a recent visit to Baltimore. “You don’t know what things will be like when you get there,” he said.

He arrived for his first assignment in India in 1951—and except for three years in the 1960s—he ministered there his whole life. Fr. Welch went first as a student to learn Hindi and study philosophy at DeNobilii College in Poona. His studies continued at various colleges in India, including a course in Agronomy at Bishop’s House, Allahabad. He was ordained to the priesthood in Jamshedpur March 24, 1960. He returned to the Maryland Province in 1962 to serve as assistant director of the Jesuit Seminary Guild, a position he held for two years. He remained in Baltimore for one more year to serve as minister for Loyola Blakefield High School. “I was very anxious to go back,” he recalled of the time. And so he did in 1965. He went to St. Xavier High School in Chaibasa where he served as a counselor, treasurer, and teacher of religion, English and agriculture. In 1972, he went to serve as parochial vicar in a Catholic church in Chakradharpur, and ministered there for five years. He serves as a teacher and treasurer at DeNobili School in Dhanbad from 1977 to 1986 before moving to Jamshedpur where he served as a treasurer from 1986 to 1999 at Loyola School. In 1999, he moved to his final assignment at Xavier Labor Relations Institute in Jamshedpur, where he was house treasurer and guestmaster.

Serving in India for so long, Fr. Welch said he enjoyed the opportunity to get to know so many of the Indian people. “You get close to people you are working for,” he said. “I have known them a long time.”

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