Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Lady on the dome smiles ;-)

The University of Notre Dame began late on the bitterly cold afternoon of November 26, 1842, when a 28-year-old French priest, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., and seven companions, all of them members of the recently established Congregation of Holy Cross, took possession of 524 snow-covered acres that the Bishop of Vincennes had given them in the Indiana mission fields.

A man of lively imagination, Father Sorin named his fledging school in honor of Our Lady, in his native tongue, “L’Université de Notre Dame du Lac” (The University of Our Lady of the Lake). On January 15, 1844, the University was thus officially chartered by the Indiana legislature.
Father Sorin’s indomitable will was best demonstrated in 1879 when a disastrous fire destroyed the Main Building, which housed virtually the entire University. Father Sorin willed Notre Dame to rebuild and continue its growth.

"I came here as a young man and dreamed of building a great university in honor of Our Lady," he said. "But I built it too small, and she had to burn it to the ground to make the point. So, tomorrow, as soon as the bricks cool, we will rebuild it, bigger and better than ever."

The Laetare Medal, which Notre Dame describes as the most prestigious and oldest honor for American Catholics, has been awarded annually since 1883 to a Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity." It is named the Laetare Medal because the recipient of the award is announced in celebration of Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent. Considered an American version of the papal award -- the Golden Rose, it was approved by the University's founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C.

"Magna est veritas et prevalebit." (Truth is great and it will prevail.)
— The motto on Notre Dame's Laetare Medal

April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
PresidentUniversity of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.
In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things , she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009. She is now president of the Catholic Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, appointed by John Paul II. She was a member of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics, and she is author of several books. Long ago dubbed "God's Lawyer" and the "First Lady" of the Stateside church, she is a highly-respected figure at the Holy See.

“We are, of course, disappointed that Professor Glendon has made this decision. It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make that announcement as soon as possible.”

- Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Upon further review -- there will be no Laetare recipient this year...

Judge John T. Noonan Jr., the 1984 recipient of the Laetare Medal, has accepted an invitation to deliver an address in the spirit of the award at Notre Dame’s 164th University Commencement Ceremony on May 17. His speech will be in lieu of awarding the medal this year.
“Since Judge Noonan is a previous winner of the Laetare Medal, we have decided, upon reflection, to not award the medal this year.”
- Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Society of Jesus hiding the name of Jesus?

IHS - Jesuit Residence - SJU

The “IHS” symbol was covered over when “Georgetown honored the White House staff’s request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind the Gaston Hall stage.” “The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches. Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn’t high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.”

- Julie Bataille, Georgetown UniversityPres Office

Roman Catholics traditionally use “IHS” as an abbreviation for Jesus’ name. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Ignatius of Loyola adopted the monogram in his seal as general of the Society of Jesus (1541) and thus became the emblem of his institute.” The Society of Jesus is the formal name for the Jesuits.

Just two days after the Easter Triduum, the most solemn time of the Church year wherein we celebrate the central mysteries of our faith, President Obama gave a speech on the national economy at Georgetown University in Washington, the oldest Catholic university in the nation. Before the speech, the White House asked that all signage and symbols behind the stage be covered, including a gold cross and IHS monogram representing the name of Jesus. School officials deferred to the White House and covered the symbol with a piece of black plywood.

The school has explained that the White House wanted a simple backdrop of American flags and blue drape for the speech and, in fairness, let us grant that the White House’s request was driven by simple staging priorities. The school, I am sure, was merely trying to accommodate the president’s advance team. Yet, in deciding to give the speech there, the Administration knew well that the venue was a Catholic University. To ask the University to cover a symbol that gives evidence of its Catholic identity was shameful; but to comply with such an unfair request was scandalous.

Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D. - Diocese of Camden - “Catholic” a mere label?

Loss of symbols gives rise to thought --

More than 40 years ago, the philosopher Paul Ricoeur coined the phrase ''the symbol gives rise to thought.''

His analysis of religious symbolism demonstrated a crucial link between thinking and expression, both of which are intimately connected to the depth of human experience.

Unlike the ordinary language we use to describe our living, and the more scientific language that gives precision to our knowing, symbols touch the realm of the mysterious: They point to meaning beyond us; they convey the meaningfulness that lies within us.

Even in a virtual world, where simulation has become astonishingly accurate and animation appears more and more lifelike, symbols still hold sway by their power to to evoke something profound.

Consider, for instance, the flag-draped coffin of a fallen soldier, the sight of which moves one to silent attention, stirs one to grateful admiration, and gives rise to thoughts of civic and human solidarity.

In religion, symbols are necessary because they express what cannot be conveyed by our limited language. By definition, symbols point beyond themselves to something else, and allow us to evoke what is supernatural and what transcends the ordinary. Christians see this especially during Eastertide -- in colors or sounds or things. The penitential purples of Lent and the bloody crimsons of the Passion give way to the dazzling whites of the Resurrection.The uplifting tone of words like ''hosanna'' and ''alleluia'' touch a chord in the soul when sung aloud.Most of all, a paschal candle remains lit to symbolize the light and new life of the risen, one that now (and still) dispels the darkness and death that shrouds our existence. The tallest of candles, the paschal light burns throughout the season to signify the exultant reality of what Christians believe about the Easter event and promise it bears for the world.

But just as a person's religious character is not confined to a church, so the character of religious symbols is not limited to worship. Because such symbols evoke a meaningfulness that cannot be communicated by other means, they constitute an important way to express not only one's belief but also one's identity. Without such symbols, meaning is lost, and meaningfulness is absent. Thus, the temporary loss of symbols at Georgetown University gives rise to the thought that an institution's religious character is merely fashionable, able to be covered up for different occasions. Recently, university officials there chose to conceal from any camera's view the Christogram -- the letters ''IHS'' with a cross extending upward from the center -- that adorns the archway above the dais at which President Obama delivered a speech on economics (a message, ironically, based, in part, on the biblical metaphor of ''the house built upon rock'').

One effect of this cover-up was to provide a ''consistent backdrop'' to the presidential speech; the other was to hide away the religious ''identity'' of the place, for those letters are central to the seal of the Society of Jesus, the Catholic religious order that founded the university. Which effect was intended, and whose initiative led to the iconoclastic decision, have been matters of debate. But whether it was sought by the White House or offered by the university, the symbolic message was evident -- nothing religious should be considered alongside political posturing. Some may brush this aside, as even one Jesuit (Thomas Reese, SJ) did when he said it was more about ''camera quality'' and ''communications strategy'' than theology.

But if Ricoeur is right, a new thought arises from the symbolism of covering one's religious identity in what looked like a black cloth.

Rev. Thomas F. Dailey, OSFS, is director of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University in Center Valley.

more... Obama at Georgetown: No Jesuit seal

Jesuit Cemetery at Georgetown; what would those great men have thought?

Better yet... think he'd have ever hidden the name of Jesus?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pater Nosters please...

I just talked to my buddy Jon Prendergast today and he is in need of our prayers. He is to undergo surgery at Reading Hospital on Friday morning. Please say a prayer or two for Jon, his wife Ann, daughters Kristen and Kelly, and for the surgeon -- so that God may guide his hand.

Although he's not feeling well it was difficult to get the consumate salesman to shut up (and I'm not so bad myself), so we talked for over an hour; about soft pretzels, about Notre Dame, about Jesuits hiding IHS, about life, and of course, Hawk basketball. I asked if there was anything I could do for him. He asked me to get us a true point guard for next year as we open up the Hagan Arena.

Please hit the knees people, if you will. Friends are in need of your prayers.




Please keep the following people in your prayers...

John Prendergast, SJC '67, husband of Ann, father of Kristen, SJU '96 and Kelly, friend of 44

Eric V. Kutschera, friend of 44

Trish McCarty, daughter of Barb McCarty - friend of 44 and Novaboy

Intention for a special friend of Thomas Carmody, SJU '81, / Al Hollingsworth, friend of Art Berrodin, SJC '63

Patricia Heesen, mother of Andrew Heesen, SJU '95 / Anthony Conroy, father of David Conroy, SJU '96

Michael, nephew of Sister Joan Noreen, OLME / Kyra Simone Rettew, daughter of David Rettew, SJU '88

Theresa Klarich, wife of Steve Klarich, LaSalle '76 / Stephen Lineman, SJU '80, husband of Julie Lineman

Peggy McKenna, friend of Rich Devine, SJU '81 / Dave Fabry, SJU '04, friend of Kathy Klarich

Thomas Brennan, Scranton, '71, husband of Corinne, Misericordia, '69, father of Sara Brazil, SJU '01 and Tommy Brennan, SJU '05

Bill White, friend of Kathy MacDonald / Jack Mc Kenna, SJC '59. father in law of Mike Mc Nulty, SJU '85

Leo Carlin III, grandson of Leo Carlin, SJC '59 and Robert Groggin, SJC '58

For the soon to be born child of Becky and Mark Annen, friends of Steve Klarich, SJU '99

Robert R. Stroman, SJC '73, friend of John Lindros, SJC '71

Brian Hickey, friend of Michael Regan / Christine Beck, president of the Gesu School

Mary Katherine Olley, daughter of Michael Olley, SJU '85

Loretta Mullin, wife of Jerry Mullin, SJC '59, mother of Carolann Mullin-Leuthy SJC '79 and Loretta Mullin-Kenney, SJU '82,
sister-in-law of Stan Glowacki, SJC '57, grandmother of Corinne Vile, SJU '06.

Mike Caramanico, husband of Nancy (Curtis) Caramanico, SJU '83, '03, nephew of John Deeney, SJ, father of Danny, Julie, SJU '07 and Michael, SJU '13, sister-in-law of Mary Gill, brother-in-law of John Gill, SJC '67, brother-in-law of Thomas Curtis, Drexel '75, brother-in-law of John Curtis, SJU '81, uncle of John Gill, SJU '00, Stephanie Curtis, SJU '08, Anna Maloney, Fordham, '00.

Nicole (Schmid) Davis, SJU '99, sister of Rick Schmid, Scranton '95, Sean Schmid, SJU '98, and Patrick Schmid SJU '01

Edward Strain, brother of Ron Strain, SJC '68 / Peggy McFadden and Steve Cambetti, friends of Jim McLaughlin, SJC, '70

Sheldon Moskovitz, Scranton '49, uncle of Melvyn Freid, Drexel '80

Michael Scanlon, Nova '83, husband of Kathy Gormley Scanlon, SJU '82

John Dougherty, friend of Bernie Cunniffe, SJC '71, Rich Brennan, SJU '81 & Rick Davis, SJU '81

Christine Grosso, SJU '99 and her special friend / Marguerite McGarrity, aunt of Lucinda Brzozowski

Cpl. Matthew Sondermann, USMC / Martha Francese, grandmother of Lisa Griese, GMU '91

Marc Mandeville, URI '95, SJU '04, friend of Rick Davis, SJU '81 / Noah Hawks, friend of Marcella Petrarca, PSU '85

Daniel Harrer, SJC '62, brother of William, SJC '58, friend of Peter Urbaitis, SJC '64

A special intention for Joseph Ruggieri, Nova '76 / Jane Stone, friend of Corinne Brennan

Joseph McCarthy, SJU '79, friend of Brian Murphy, SJC '78 / Ellen Levy, aunt of Stephanie Graff, SJU '04

The Bartolomeo Family Thomas Bonner, Nova '70, friend of Michael Korolishin, SJC '70

Jason Early, friend of David Owsik, SJC '70/ Fr. Michael Hegarty, LaSalle '66, friend of 44 and Novaboy

Thomas Curtis, grandfather of John Gill, SJU '00, Jen Gill Angelucci, SJU '97, Julie
Caramanico, SJU '07, and Stephanie Curtis, SJU '08, father of John Curtis, SJU '81
and Nancy Caramanico, SJU '83, father in law of John Gill, SJC '67.

Dorella Brown, grandmother of Steve Kelly, SJP '98 / Frank Lannon, aunt of Patty Martin

Peter Reid, SJU '97, husband, of Jennifer (Gregoire) Reid, SJU '98

John Calathes, Jr., twin brother of Pat Calathes, SJU '08, son of John Calathes and Dee Calathes McCord

Hazel Lynam, mother of Jimmy Lynam, SJC '64 and mother in law of Don DiJulia, SJC '67

Jean Ramsay, wife of Jack Ramsay, SJC '49 / Kay Carlin, wife of Leo Carlin, SJC '59

Sr. Kathleen Klarich, RSM, sister of Tim Klarich, SJC '75, aunt of Steve, SJU '03,
Mary Kate, SJU '05, Maureen, SJU '07, Tim, SJU '09, and, Brian SJU '11.

Mickey Witcofsky, father of Mary Brady, father in law of Matt Brady.

Requiescat in Pace

Rich Hargrove, SJC '74

"May his soul, and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."

Monday, April 27, 2009

In Memoriam - 3 years - 4-28...

"And if you come, when all the flowers are dying,

and I am dead, as dead I well may be,

you'll come and find the place where I am lying,

and kneel and say an 'Ave' there for me."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

For Looch...


SJU's Institute of Catholic Bioethics

They say you learn something new every day. This Saturday the two groups of Jesuit alums who take the Spirtitual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola under the direction of James Moore, SJ and Bill Byron, SJ, took a break and were fortunate to have Peter Clarke, SJ, SJC '75, talk to us about stem cell research.

The topic of stem cell research came up during our weekly discussions and we all admitted to be fairly ignorant of this most important topic that affects us all. Fr. Clarke to the rescue!
Fr. Clarke gave us homework to do prior to his talk and I felt as if I should have earned 3 credits ;-) I found it enlightening and mind boggling -- technical advantages and disadvantages of adult and embryonic stem cells, reproductive & therapeutic cloning, totipotent, pluripotent, multipotent, cord blood stem cells, when is the soul infused into a person, the difference between a human being and a human person et al.

I won't even begin to try and translate for you... I don't have the skills. But this research has the ability to cure every disease that ails us and possibly provide the fountain of youth, particularly if scientisits can revert (transcription factors) your adult stem cells back to thier embryonic state then use them to reprogram what went wrong with your body (without having to create and destroy a cloned human embryo). It also has a science fiction feel to it, for those without morals and ethics could do so much harm with cloning.

I'd ask that you all do your own research. I've included information on Saint Joseph's Institute of Catholics Bioethics as well as some links that they've recommended. This is too important to let other people, especially polticians, make the decisions for you.



The Institute of Catholic Bioethics at Saint Joseph’s University was founded on August 28, 2006 with the mission to develop and promote interdisciplinary research projects, educational programs, academic courses, clinical consultation and policy development services in the field of bioethics to meet the needs of three constituencies: the Saint Joseph’s University academic community, the medical establishment of the Philadelphia area and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Three Constituencies of the Bioethics Institute

There are three interrelated constituencies of the Bioethics Institute: (1) the Saint Joseph’s University academic community, (2) health care professionals and administrators at affiliated hospitals, nursing homes, etc. in the Philadelphia area, (3) the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The first priority of the Institute is to serve the needs of the Saint Joseph’s University community. However, the clinical and pastoral needs of the other two constituencies for research protocols and educational programs will frequently become the subject-matter for the Saint Joseph’s programs; thus, the three constituencies and their respective needs are interrelated. Programs that serve the three constituencies may be phased in over a period of time in order to ensure the quality of these programs.

A. Saint Joseph’s University Community
The primary constituency of The Bioethics Institute is the Saint Joseph’s University academic community and the lay public that is invited to and attends events sponsored by Saint Joseph’s University. In this capacity, the Institute will utilize different venues in order to inform students, faculty, staff, administration and the lay public of the developments within the expanding field of bioethics through regularly-scheduled public lectures, classes, symposia and other events. In addition, there will be an on-going interdisciplinary research component to the Institute. Qualified and interested faculty from around Saint Joseph’s University and other processionals external to Saint Joseph’s University will be invited to participate in research projects related to the field of bioethics.
1. Annual Public Lectures on Bioethical Topics
a. Richard McCormick, S.J. Bioethics Lecture
Each year there will be a formal lecture on a specific issue in bioethics, and it will be sponsored by the Catholic Bioethics Institute of Saint Joseph’s University. Some years members of the University community or the health care community of Philadelphia will present the lecture; in other years a nationally-known figure in the field will be invited to present the lecture. The university community and others from the lay public will be invited.
b. Lectures/Symposium
Each year there will be a lecture or symposium for the university and lay community on some issue of interest in the field of bioethics, but it will be more informal than the annual Richard McCormick, S.J. Bioethics Lecture. One possible format for the symposium could be the presentation of the results of the Fellows’ research that was sponsored by the Institute during the academic year.
2. Interdisciplinary Research: Fellows Program
One of the principal goals of the Institute is to carry on collaborative, interdisciplinary research in the field of bioethics. With the approval of the Provost of Saint Joseph’s University, faculty who are interested in bioethics from campus, e.g., members of the theology, philosophy, biology, interdisciplinary health services, health administration, pharmaceutical marketing, and other business departments; and professional from affiliated institutions and the Philadelphia area will be invited to participate in the Institute as Fellows. Saint Joseph’s University Graduate students will be invited to participate as Associate Fellows. In the Fall, the Director of the Institute, in consultation with the Advisory Board, will establish a research project (s) that will be undertaken during the following academic year. Sometimes, the clinical or pastoral needs of the other constituencies will be subject-matter for the research projects of the Fellows. Each Fall semester Saint Joseph’s University faculty will be invited to present applications to participate in the Institute’s research project during the following academic year. Among the applicants, two faculty will be selected by the Advisory Board. After consultation with the respective Dean (s) and approval of the Provost of Saint Joseph’s University, each of these faculty will be granted a reduction of one course in their teaching responsibilities for the year in which he/she participates in the Institute. The Fellows will share their expertise and research with the other members of the Institute and, when appropriate, with the members of the other two constituencies. The results of some of these projects may result in a symposium for the university community and/or in a publication from the Institute.
3. Affiliated Scholars Program:
International and national scholars in the area of Bioethics can be named as Affiliated Scholars in the Institute. In this capacity they are listed as part of the extended faculty of the Institute of Catholic Bioethics and can actively participate in the Institute’s seminars, assist in teaching courses at the Institute, deliver papers at Institute workshops and serve as Bioethics consultants to affiliated medical institutions for consultations, policy development, seminars, Grand Rounds, etc.
4. Courses for Saint Joseph’s University Undergraduate and Graduate Students
The Director of the Institute has the responsibility to develop and teach courses in the field of bioethics at all levels of the curriculum for Saint Joseph’s University students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business. From time to time, courses could be offered in other colleges and schools at Saint Joseph’s University.
5. Continuing Education Program
From time to time, the Director and/or Fellows may offer a short course in the area of Continuing Education. This will include Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses and Continuing Education Programs for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES). The participants of this course might be physicians, nurses, chaplains at hospitals, hospital administrators, Archdiocesan personnel connected to health care delivery, etc. These courses will come under the control of the Dean of the University College.

B. The Medical, Nursing & Administrative Staff at Affiliated Hospitals/Nursing Homes
In addition to the research and educational programs that have been created at Saint Joseph’s University by the Bioethics Institute, there will be an outreach to the affiliated institutions. The audience will be the medical and nursing staffs and the administration of those institutions affiliated with Saint Joseph’s University in the financial support of the Institute. Since some of these institutions are part of a larger healthcare system (Catholic Health East), it is possible that educational programs could be extended to benefit this larger system as well. In some instances, the subject matter of the research carried on at Saint Joseph’s University (e.g., in the Fellows’ Research Program) could be focused on the needs of the affiliated institutions (e.g., to write a specific policy for the medical hospital staff). Such an outreach program to the affiliated institutions is consistent with the general mission of Saint Joseph’s University in its attempts to enhance the educational opportunities of professional groups.
1. Clinical and Policy Consultation
The Director (and possibly one or more of the Fellows) will be available as a professional resource for clinical consultations to the medical and nursing staffs of the affiliated institutions and to aid in the development of policies for the administration. In addition, the Director will be available to participate on in-house Institutional Ethics Committees, Institutional Review Boards, Organizational Ethics Committees, Tumor Boards, etc. and to serve as a resource for these committees to achieve their objectives. The primary role of the Director while at theses affiliated institutions is to supplement the resources already present at the clinical site. Thus, the work of the Director in the hospitals is not designed to replace or substitute for what is already in place.
2. Bioethical Education for Medical Personnel/Hospital Administrations at Affiliated Institutions
From time to time, lectures (e.g., Grand Rounds), workshops and symposia will be offered by the Director of the Institute to the medical and nursing staffs and hospital administration on issues related to bioethical concerns of the hospital. Their primary purpose will be to offer professional educational opportunities to these audiences, and, once again, the goal is to supplement the resources already present in the hospital. The Director of the Institute will also be responsible for teaching the Ethics Core Curriculum to the Medical Interns and Residents at the affiliated institutions. The training of in-house bioethics committee members is also a priority of these educational programs.

C. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia
From the research and educational programs that have been created at Saint Joseph’s University by the Bioethics Institute and at the invitation of the Cardinal of Philadelphia, there is a pastoral outreach to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Such an outreach program is truly consistent with the mission of Saint Joseph’s University.
1. Available to Serve as a Bioethics Consultant To the Cardinal of Philadelphia
At the request of the Cardinal, the focus of The Bioethics Institute could take several different forms. In one form, the Director could be available to serve as a professional consultant to the Cardinal on matters related to bioethics in the Archdiocese. In this capacity, the Director will be available to offer advice to the Cardinal on specific issues that confront the Archdiocese, e.g., physician-assisted suicide legislation, stem cell research, etc. The Cardinal could also request the writing and/or review of position papers on bioethical issues related to Archdiocesan concerns. In the latter instance, the Director may well establish a research protocol at Saint Joseph’s University and utilize the resources of the Fellows’ research in the Institute to accomplish this goal.
2. Available to Serve as Resource for Archdiocesan Offices Related to Health Care
At the request of the Cardinal, the Director (and/or possibly some of the Fellows) could serve as a professional resources for the various Archdiocesan offices related to health care. At their request, the Institute could provide advice on bioethical issues, write position papers, or serve as experts to testify on behalf of the Archdiocese’s concerns related to bioethical issues, e.g., physician-assisted suicide, stem cell research, pain management, etc. In addition, from time to time, lectures or symposia could be presented to the clergy and/or other personnel in the Archdiocese on bioethical issues, e.g., end-of-life issues, beginning-of-life issues. The Director could also focus one of the research projects at Saint Joseph’s University on an issue requested by the Cardinal or his representative in the Archdiocese.

Dr. Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D. and Rev. Peter A. Clark, S.J., Ph.D.

The mission of the Institute for Catholic Bioethics at Saint Joseph’s University is to develop and promote interdisciplinary research projects, educational programs, academic courses, clinical consultation and policy development services in the field of bioethics to meet the individual needs of the Saint Joseph’s University academic community, the medical, nursing and administrative staffs of the Philadelphia area Catholic and nonsectarian health care systems and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Institute is committed to educating health care professionals to be effective leaders in education, medicine and society. The Institute is also committed to understanding and respecting the role of religious and spiritual traditions, especially that of the Roman Catholic theological and philosophical tradition, in health care decision-making. The Institute promotes the ideals of Jesuit education in seeking to challenge others to be “men and women for others” in the “service of faith and the promotion of justice” in its teaching, research and service. Thus, while giving special regard to Catholic health-care ethics in teaching and research, the Institute also fosters respectful dialogue among all traditions represented in the student body and the patient population.

Bioethics Links:

Theoretical Medicine & Bioethics
The Virtual Mentor
National Catholic Bioethics Center
President’s Council on Bioethics
National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature
Program in Medical Ethics Law and the Humanities
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Georgetown University Center for Clinical Bioethics
Medical College of Wisconsin: The Center for the Study of Bioethics
Case Western Reserve University
Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, Johns Hopkins University
The Bioethics Institute, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
American Society of Bioethics and Humanities
The Hastings Center

Consortium of Jesuit Bioethics Programs

The Consortium of Jesuit Bioethics Programs exists to promote education, research and expertise in bioethics consistent with the values of Jesuit higher education and in service to the Church and our society.

Contact Us:

The Institute of Catholic Bioethics
Saint Joseph's University
5600 City Avenue, BL 108
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Peter A. Clark, S.J., Ph.D.
Professor –Theology & Health Administration
Phone: 610-660-1867
Fax: 610-660-3427

Assistant Director
Mark Aita, S.J., M.D.
Phone: 610-660-3425
Fax: 610-660-3426

Senior Administrative Assistant
Theresa Marie O'Doherty
Phone: 610-660-3425
Fax: 610-660-3426

Hagan Arena

The soon to be Hagan Arena.
Not much to report. This picture taken Saturday morning around 6:45 from 54th and Overbrook.
I miss the big tree, the writing on the old wall there, and where will they park those huge TV truck now ;-0

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

an energetic and indomitable graduate of Saint Joseph's

I'm in the process of reading a book called The Street Stops Here, which is a story about Rice Catholic High School in Harlem run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. A dynamite read, brutally honest, and if our president read it he just might change his mind about vouchers. The argument that Catholic schools outperform nearby public schools because they skim the best kids is dismissed, as "the students at Rice High School hardly constitute a privileged cohort. Their scores on standardized tests, interestingly, do not exceed those of peers in adjacent public school. But they do exceed in graduation rate and college admission, the signs of a school culture that insists upon perseverance and brooks no excuses."

One passage by the principal Orlando Gober jumped out at me. He was commenting on being a foreman of a jury that presided over 54 cases:

"The stark reality of seeing this parade of young African-American male offenders was so devastating. These kids have been emotionally hurt and abandoned. The adults in their lives failed to guide them properly or reassure them that they could pull it together. Instead, parents and teachers made excuses, which crippled their will power."

Which brings me to my friend Kristin Prinn, SJU '04. She was the keynote speaker at the Assumption Sisters (Religious of the Assumption) fundraiser this past weekend and was kind enough to share her speech. (She will want to stick a fork in my eye for posting it on my blog but so be it) They carve that beautiful Latin Jesuit acronym AMDG in many cornerstones all over the world. This young lady lives it, every day. So much so that I call her "AMDG on steroids". In her vocation she is properly guiding the children of God and she is reassuring them that they can pull it together.

I hope it inspires you as it inspired me. Again, one person can make a difference. For more on what she did in New Mexico please click Kristin Prinn, an energetic and indomitable graduate of Saint Joseph's from the Daily Pennsylvanian.



PS -- a huge Hawk fan too.


AMA Kristin Prinn dancing
with Chaparral pal

“Kristin Prinn… Sister Anne is waiting for you…. Kristin Prinn, please come to the baggage claim immediately”… It was my first day on the border, and thirty minutes after my flight had arrived, into the SMALLEST airport known to man, I was still nowhere to be found, by my soon to be surrogate nunmom, …

I was always into something… always into mischief my whole life, and that first day at the airport was simply one of hundreds of situations where I got myself into trouble with the nuns…

My name is Kristin and I am “la loquita”, the free spirit AMA (Associate Missionaries of the Assumption) that spent three years on the US/Mexico border with the nuns and community of Chaparral, NM (renamed Chapa within a day, as myself and most Bostonians like to abbreviate everything).

Soon after the nuns finally found me, that memorable day at El Paso International, they asked me, “Kristin, que quiere hacer aqui en chaparral? (what do you want to do here in Chaparral)… without hesitation, I blurted out TEENS! “Ahhhh, los jovenes, que bueno! No hay nada para ellos aqui!” (ooooooo the teens, how great, there is nothing for them here!)… Days later the vice principal at the school introduced herself to me, and asked me the same thing… “what would you like to do here at the school?” I once again responded without hesitation, “I want to work with the toughest students you have”… she immediately thought of special ed. students, behavioral students, even developed a list of all the students in the school who didn’t speak English… none of that felt right and she could tell… “I think I know where you will be perfect….. follow me…” I followed her into her office and she proceeded to call off a long list of students for the office staff to pull out of class…. Before I knew it we were in the conference room with twenty gang members…. She looked at me, smiled and said “good luck”, then proceeded to walk out of the room… I didn’t need luck working with these youth- a mutual trust and respect was somehow already present- but perhaps a bit of luck explaining to the nuns, my family and friends, that in that moment, without question, I knew what I would be doing with the rest of my life.

And thus it began, a year turned into two turned into three and before I knew, my AMA experience had given me the opportunity to work with gang members- at a grassroots community level, within middle schools and high schools, I even spent one year in a maximum security boys’ prison.

I have now been working with high-risk teens and gang members for five years, the past two years being right here in Camden NJ, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

Now let me tell you a bit about the teens I work with…
They swear a lot… they have tattoos that cover their arms, legs, necks, even their faces sometimes… the waist of their pants very rarely covers their butts, and they’ve done a lot of bad things to a lot of good people… many of them use or sell drugs, are teen parents and have dropped out of school as early as 6th or 7th grade.

These same kids however are the strongest, most inspiring youth you could ever meet. Many have taken care of their own parents since they were young children, raised their siblings, and even gone days without food, months without a place to sleep, and years without hearing “I love you” or receiving a hug. What people don’t know is that those same tattoos that cover their bodies are the names of friends and family that they love and miss, that they’ve lost to gang warfare and drug addiction. That often it’s easier for them to hurt people before someone else in their lives can hurt them again…. That they were sexually abused or beaten, or both, and honestly believe that what little pride and dignity they previously had is now gone.

If I could share stories about all the youth I’ve met I would, but It would exceed my time limit by a year… I’ll share one however…
His name was Manuel but everyone called him ‘Lito… he was 5’8” and a mere 120lbs when he came to the facility, addicted to methamphetamine. He was a Mexican member of the Crips, which wasn’t too common, as that is typically a black gang and there were countless Mexican gangs on the border. He had tattoos all over his arms, fingers, and even the teardrop tattoo by his eye that you see in the movies.

Something about him drew me in immediately. He had severe physical effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in his face, but had these big, beautiful, honest eyes. Some days he would roam into my office and we would talk for hours. He was a well known drug dealer in his area and he was desperate for an alternative. I remember he would grab the dry erase board marker and write Pros/Cons lists about his life and the mistakes he felt he had made, trying to convince himself that there were other options, better options. When I would set the boys up for mock debates, and argue out selling drugs to their friends, families and neighbors I would always win. When they would argue out why they needed to sell and what they were doing with the money, they would. I couldn’t argue against Lito paying rent for his Mom, helping his Dad pay off his debts so he wasn’t killed, putting his sisters and brothers in clean clothes for school and saving a little so he could move them out of a neighborhood he referred to as “hell on earth”.

As I saw it, the only alternative for this beautiful boy was education- his only way out was to graduate, go off to college and get a job. He had already returned to the facility three times and the next time would be on his permanent record and he would go to an adult prison. So he studied, he read every book he could find, he got private tutoring at the facility’s school, he even started writing poetry and music to tell the stories of his life.

He had been sexually abused by his Mother’s boyfriend, beaten for years by his Dad, raised his siblings to be straight A students, but felt all there was for him was the gang life, selling drugs. He sold to his friends, his next door neighbor, pregnant women, mothers, anyone who would buy… then he would go home and cry out of shame and embarrassment- his escape from feeling the guilt and pain of his day was to use the drugs that he was selling… and he did, and it almost killed him, many times.

Lito’s story is a long one but the ending, to me, is what matters the most. My year with him and the others was coming to a close. On my last day Lito handed me a poem with a rose he had made out of toilet paper and dyed with markers. I wiped a tear from my eye and whispered “you got this…”
“I know, I’m a make you proud Ms. Prinn”…
“Put it”, I said (which was the boys’ way of saying- swear on something that means the world to you)…
“I put it on my Mom, miss”… and with that I knew he would do it…

Months passed and I never heard anything from him… I was scared that the same thing that happened the past three times with him had happened again- you can’t search for a minor on the prison website so I couldn’t confirm if he had been locked up again… one rainy day that summer I heard my phone ring… by the time I got there I had missed the call but my messages were flashing. I played my voicemail and sure enough I heard Lito’s voice on the other end… “You were the first person I wanted to tell… I passed my GED and I’m gonna go to college…thanks for believing in me Ms. Prinn”… and just like that, he was gone… I never heard from him again, nor do I have his contact information or whereabouts… he’s 20 now and as much as I believe in him, I check the adult prison website for his name here and there… I guess I do it not because I’m scared to find he will be on it but because I’m so proud of him every time that I look and he’s not.

I’ve seen countless youth get a job and earn an honest wage, acquire their GED, high school diploma, even go on to college. They are wonderful friends, students, sons and daughters, terrific parents to their own kids as well. But they are the forgotten population… we as a society love the cute little children who hold our hands and stroke our hair, that don’t talk back and are excited to read a story with us… these teens were so many of those children just a few years ago… they have so many needs and so few places to go to have these needs met. They are thrown into the streets and prisons and given up on when they’re not even adults, and have so much potential in them to change.

I don’t know where this road will lead me but I know that I wouldn’t be on it without my AMA experience and all the support the Assumption Sisters have given me. My experience taught me countless tools that enable me to do what I do, and do it well. AMA made me into a fluent Spanish speaker- a gift I utilize all day, everyday. It taught me to be proud of who I am, my culture and my life experiences- which transfers to the kids who are then confident in doing the same. It taught me a patience that I definitely never had in the past and can never lose, passion for justice and change that far exceeds writing a letter or attending a march, stick-to-itiveness, hope, and most importantly a faith and believe in God’s presence and guidance that is much more hands on and in my face than I ever thought possible.

AMA changes lives and I know I’m one of hundreds with these stories and experiences to share with whoever will listen. Thank you for listening.

Irish Comedy Night This Friday in Havertown!

I went last year and I haven't laughed that much since I was a kid. A good time for a great cause!

Comedy Night Is Back This Friday!

AOH Comedy Night is April 24th 7PM. Tickets are just $20 per person to benefit "Hero's Homecoming Fund”. Payments directly from our Division to Soldiers injured in the wars in Afganistan and Iraq who have been vetted for financial need.
Sponsored by:
AOH Dennis Kelly Division 1 HavertownFriday, April 24th 7:00 PMThe Palombaro Club (map)2632 East County Line Road Ardmore, PACome out and see well known stand up comedy acts at their very best and help a great cause!A cash bar of domestic and imported beers and spirits will be available.

For Tickets email or call:
Rich Brennan: C 610.416.7013
Kevin Kane: C 267.625.6515
Joe Roan: H 610.394.5144
Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Digger's son-in-law ;-)

Saint Joseph's to honor the Moyers

Philadelphia Daily News
Phillies lefthander Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, will receive honorary doctorates from Saint Joseph's University on April 30. The Moyers will receive degrees as doctor of public service for their charitable work with the Jamie Moyer Foundation at a special academic convocation on campus.

The Moyers established the foundation in 2000 to help children enduring significant physical, emotional or financial distress. The foundation has raised more than $17 million to assist more than 170 nonprofit organizations that serve children.

Among the foundation's most recognized programs is Camp Erin, the largest national network of bereavement camps for children and teens. This year, the organization is launching programs in 12 cities, bringing the total to 28 camps in 18 states.

"Saint Joseph's holds a special place in my heart and Karen and I are flattered to be honored by the university in this way," said Jamie, who attended St. Joe's in the mid-1980s. "There are a number of great people who help make the Moyer Foundation's efforts possible, so we dedicate these degrees to them and each child who has participated in our programs."

A 1999 inductee into the school's athletic Hall of Fame, Moyer holds the school record for strikeouts in a season and ERA. He is the only baseball player in the school's history to have his number retired.

For more information... The Moyer Foundation

SJU to Present Honorary Degrees to Phillies' Jamie Moyer, Wife Karen

Moyers will accept doctor of public service honors at April 30 ceremony
PHILADELPHIA (April 20, 2009) — Saint Joseph’s University announced today that it will grant honorary degrees of Doctor of Public Service to world champion Philadelphia Phillies pitcher and former SJU student athlete Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen. The Moyers are receiving the honorary degrees in recognition of their charitable work with The Moyer Foundation. Jamie and Karen Moyer will be presented with the honors at a special Academic Convocation on April 30, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. at The Student Commons on the James J. Maguire '58 Campus of Saint Joseph’s University.

Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to a tented reception on the upper portion of the baseball field on Maguire Campus at 4:30 p.m. Baseball-themed snacks, including hot dogs and popcorn, will be served. On the lower portion of the field, uniformed members of the SJU varsity baseball team will practice with 30 Little Leaguers from the Narberth Athletic Association.“Saint Joseph’s holds a special place in my heart and Karen and I are flattered to be honored by the University in this way,” said Jamie Moyer. “There are a number of great people who help make The Moyer Foundation’s efforts possible, so we dedicate these degrees to them and each child who has participated in our programs.”A student at SJU from 1982-1984, Jamie Moyer holds the pitching records for both strikeouts in a season and ERA. He is the only baseball player in Hawks’ history to have his number retired, and he was inducted into the Saint Joseph's Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 2000, Jamie and Karen founded The Moyer Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort and support to children enduring a time of profound physical, emotional or financial distress. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $17 million to assist over 170 different non-profit organizations that serve the needs of children in such situations. "Beyond Jamie’s notable accomplishments on the field, he and Karen have dedicated themselves to the Jesuit ideal of service to others through their charitable work for children in need," said Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., president of Saint Joseph's. "The University is proud to recognize the example set by this extraordinary couple."

Background: Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University advances the professional and personal ambitions of men and women by providing a demanding, yet supportive, educational experience. One of only 129 schools with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and AACSB business school accreditation, Saint Joseph's is home to 4,500 full-time undergraduates and 3,200 graduate, part-time and doctoral students. Steeped in the 450-year Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, Saint Joseph's was named to the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for General Community Service. The University strives to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast.

Yo ref....

The following from Hawk alumnus Tim Malloy. A great site, and not just for officials. Too many fans, myself included, do not know all the rules, and this site has it all. A few years back I was down in North Carolina watching a game with a former WCC ref when a fan screamed "late call". Robbie told me that that was one insult he didn't mind too much, as "he's saying you made the right call, albeit a second late." Bone up on your hoops Hawks ;-)


I've been on your mailing list for about a year now and really enjoy reading your posts....great stuff!!...there is always something in at least one of the articles that I send to my 2 college-aged kids as 'food for thought'....

on a side note, I know you're a basketball guy, so I thought I would forward some info about an email I send out to basketball referees...

we call it "60 Seconds on Officiating"...the concept is small but steady doses of officiating content are emailed free twice a week to any interested official....we started 5 months ago with a handful of local referee email addresses, and today we're over 25,000 officials in 45 countries....

the site is

again, it's free to anyone who wants to learn more about officiating...

take care for now, and please resend your blog email....

Tim Malloy, SJC '78

About - 60 Seconds on Officiating

Dear Friend and Fellow Official:

Welcome to "60 Seconds on Officiating" and thank you for giving us just a minute of your time. We promise it will be a very productive and rewarding 60 seconds! "60 Seconds on Officiating" was created to provide useful game-management information to officials in various sports around the world. The formula is, small "doses" of relevant sport-specific aterial delivered over an extended period of time will produce gradual, but lasting, knowledge and lead to a more rewarding officiating career.

"60 Seconds on Officiating" is a FREE program and comes to you via email several times a week during the season and covers the most challenging topics in rules and mechanics, as well as topical interviews with some of your sport's most influential leaders. In addition you will find special interviews, articles, videos, and podcasts (audio) that are built to fit conveniently into your fast-paced schedule. "60 Seconds on Officiating" is uniquely produced to be a valuable learning tool for both veteran and beginning officials.

Initially launched with a focus on high school and college basketball, "60 Seconds on Officiating" now has its sights set on providing the same informative content to officials working football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and softball. With the help of a yet-unknown strategic corporate partner, our goal will become a reality very soon. If you are an organizational secretary, assignor, educator, or interpreter, please forward this subscription information to your membership. We will gladly work with you directly to provide our free content to your members. Archived stories and content can be found by visiting, anytime of day or night.

Thanks in advance for your support in our efforts to make you a better official -- one minute at a time! Best Regards from the "60 Seconds on Officiating" Team,

Billy Martin
30 Year Veteran Supervisor of Officials IAABO Camden Board 34

Tim Malloy
35 Year Veteran IAABO Camden Board 34
Former CBOA College Official

Monday, April 20, 2009

Joseph R. Guerin, LaSalle '50
Mass of Christian Burial - St. Denis Church - Havertown, PA
Amy (Schuenemann) Vorhees, St. Joseph's '04
Mass of Christian Burial - St. Joan of Arc Church - Marlton, NJ

"May their souls, and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."

Joseph R. Guerin, 83, of Rosemont, an economics professor at St. Joseph's University, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday at his daughter Marisa's home in University City. Dr. Guerin joined the St. Joseph's faculty in 1952. For several years he chaired the economics department. He was a devoted teacher and was always concerned that his exams were fair to his students, said F. Graham Lee, a friend and retired St. Joe's professor. As a faculty leader, Dr. Guerin negotiated tenure, benefits, and compensation with the administration. He was a very nice man but "would always say the honest thing, even when it might be an uncomfortable truth," Lee said. Dr. Guerin was raised with eight older siblings in South Philadelphia and graduated from Southeast Catholic High School, now Neumann-Goretti. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps in the States and in Guam. After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree from La Salle University and a master's degree from Fordham University. From 1950 to 1952 he taught at the University of Dayton. While teaching at St. Joe's, he earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

In the late 1940s, he participated in a pilgrimage to Spain, where he met Conchita Guibert. Dr. Guerin, who had studied Spanish in school, corresponded with his future wife for three years before returning to Spain, where they were married in 1951.

The couple raised seven children in Ardmore. For years they attended daily Mass at St. Denis Roman Catholic Church in Havertown and actively lived their faith, their daughter said. They opened their home to immigrant Vietnamese families, to unwed pregnant women, and to anyone who needed a place to stay, she said. Dr. Guerin often wrote letters to the editor on social-justice issues, and in the 1960s he organized a boycott of grapes at St. Joe's to support the United Farm Workers of America.

After retiring in 1987, Dr. Guerin was a tutor for a literacy program in Havertown. Since moving to Rosemont two years ago, he volunteered with an English-as-a-second-language program in Villanova. Recently he had been assisting a young African immigrant with English and finances and helped him apply for a driver's license, his daughter said. Dr. Guerin's wife died in 2007. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by sons Michael and Paul; daughters Elizabeth Loverro, Terry Williams, Jeanne Marie Guerin-Daley and Bernadette Langdon; a sister; and 12 grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass was said Friday at St. Denis Church in Havertown. Burial was in the church cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Project HOME, 1515 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia 19130.



Would you please add Amy Voorhees to the remembrance list for your emails? Amy graduated SJU in 2004 for undergrad and then in 2005 for her master’s degree. She was tragically killed in a car accident on April 8th while driving to work as a seventh-grade language arts teacher and assistant softball coach at DeMasi Middle School. Amy leaves behind her family and a husband, Greg.

Amy was very special person who I am blessed to have called a close friend. She was an amazing person who was beautiful inside and out who would cherish your relationship once she let you into her life. It’s is so sad to see her go at only 27, but I know that everyone that she has met has been impacted by her in some way or another. I’m glad that she decided to welcome this Villanovan into her life nine years ago. She’s going to be greatly missed by everyone, but never forgotten because of the lives she’s touched.

Marco Georeno
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Amy's name to the Animal Welfare Association, 509 Centennial Blvd, Voorhees, NJ 08043.

Lower Merion Morons...

Editorial -- Bad sports Philadelphia Inquirer

Many homeowners would be ecstatic to be surrounded by 38 acres of mostly open space containing athletic fields, tennis courts, and a handful of beautiful buildings used as centers for higher learning. But not in Merion Station, a community that's tough to please.
Neighbors there have raised objections to a plan by Saint Joseph's University to refurbish sports fields that were part of Episcopal Academy's former campus.

When St. Joe's struck a deal to purchase the Episcopal site a few years back, it seemed like a win all around. Episcopal was moving to a bigger site in Delaware County and had found a single buyer for its campus. St. Joe's needed the classroom space and athletic fields for its men's baseball and women's softball teams, which now play in Norristown, and its women's field hockey team, which travels to Drexel University to practice each day.

Best of all - it would seem - the surrounding homeowners in the upscale, leafy neighborhood would be relieved that St. Joe's had no plans to substantially change the property.
Usually when such a prime piece of real estate becomes available, a developer comes along and jams as many houses as possible on the site.

Or something much worse.

But all St. Joe's wants to do is renovate the handful of existing buildings and upgrade the athletic fields by adding some bleachers, dugouts, and a sound system designed to minimize the voices of announcers. That, apparently, was too much for some residents, whose frequent complaints suggest they have too much time - and money - on their hands.

The Merion Community Coalition gathered 275 names on a petition, launched a Web site, hired a lawyer, a public relations flack, and a sound engineer, who claimed the proposed audio system on the athletic fields would be heard a half-mile away.

Keep in mind that many of these complaining residents are the same ones who made life miserable for the Barnes Foundation, which only houses one of the greatest art collections in the world. Now, many of those same residents are upset that the Barnes is moving to Philadelphia.
These people don't like having the Barnes, and don't want it to leave. That mentality helps explain why they oppose plans that would keep the former Episcopal campus essentially the same.

St. Joe's has bent over backward to appease nearby residents, holding more than 20 community meetings, and making a number of concessions in response to residents' concerns. Even still, the Lower Merion Township zoning board rejected St. Joe's plans last month, saying the athletic-field upgrades were substantially different from what the university told the board in 2005, when it agreed not to do any new construction on the site.

St. Joe's must now go back to the zoning board for special exceptions before eventually seeking final approval from the township Board of Commissioners. While taking those steps, the university also plans to appeal the recent zoning decision in Montgomery County Court.
All of these added steps will cost St. Joe's time and money, while it is enduring shabby treatment from persnickety residents who seem impossible to please. That's so unnecessary.

...and my letter to the editor in response to Karen Heller: Perfectly level, this playing field Philadelphia Inquirer 03/28/2009

I was disappointed in reading Karen Heller's article on Saturday concerning Lower Merion's opposition to St. Joseph's University use of the Maquire Campus: disappointed because after reading the article I for one remain confused as to what is really the center of the controversy.

Episcopal Academy moved to City Avenue in 1921 and St. Joseph's College separated from St. Joseph's Prep and moved there in 1927. Merion resident and self described "snob" Irene Glickman mentions that she is "still adjusting to St. Joe's." Unless she purchased her house prior to 1927 the schools have been there longer. Why the recent hostility towards this Jesuit institution recently ranked by US News and World report as the 8th best of the 173 colleges in the Northeast? Most communities would be honored to have such a prestigious neighbor, particularly one operated by the Jesuits whose motto is "Ad majorem Dei gloriam". Sadly Lower Merion does not seem to be one of them.

Since St. Joseph's is not allowed any "new building or construction"... I'm wondering how the existing buildings on the former Episcopal Academy campus came to be in the first place. Were there different rules in place when the property had a different owner? Why were they allowed to construct buildings and ball fields, and St. Joe's is not? If the former Akiba Hebrew bought the property would they too be allowed to build as EA was? How does installing astro-turf and dugouts constitute new construction? Seems to be a glaring non-sequitur, and I'm sorry to say one that appears to have a decidedly anti-Catholic bent. It would be a shame if this opposition had to do with bigotry. So many attorneys are now involved with this -- might this be worth looking into?

How I wish that St. Joseph's and Lower Merion could just sit down and talk things over without lawyers on both sides getting rich. A lunch between Fr. Lannon and Ms. Glickman might do the trick -- does she realize that college baseball games are not very well attended and really doesn't have anything to fear? Otherwise I'm afraid my alma mater did not make a very good investment for their 97 million if the Maquire campus cannot make any improvements without lawsuits. I'm not surprised that Ms. Glickman is unfamiliar with the 450 year history of Jesuit pedagogy. As witnessed by their Nativity and Cristo Rey Schools they have a "preferential option for the poor". Since the Lower Merion residents seem bothered that a Catholic college may want to actually use the land they purchased, I wonder how they would feel if the school partnered with the Jesuit Refugee Service to build low income housing on that land for those souls less fortunate in life? As long as they didn't play baseball -- would that assuage their collective fears? It is apparent that they do not desire a Catholic college as a neighbor. Perhaps they seek diversity instead?

St. Joseph's has strived to be a good neighbor for 88 years. It might be time for Lower Merion to return the favor.

Thomas F. Brzozowski, SJU '95

Mea culpa...

What in God's name was I thinking -- starting a blog and not featuring a single picture of Rich Brennan?

A momentary lapse of reason.

Rich, aka '81Hawk, with Fr. George Bur, SJ, president of
St. Joseph's Preparatory School (and 44's former spirtual director -- a tough job;-), standing next to the statue of St. Ignatius Loyola, SJ.

Controversy avoided ;-)

So long Sheldon... good riddance!

Friday was a good day because it was the day that 44's buddy Tom Brennan ended his radiation treatments at Jefferson Hospital. Once done with his last appointment it was off to visit St. Katherine Drexel's Shrine in Bensalem, PA, then to raise a toast with Coreeeene, 44 and 6th Man at the New Deck Tavern at 34th and Sansom Streets in West Philadelphia.
Here's to Sheldon never coming back ;-)
The Brennans with world famous bartender Aidan.

Congrats Alex & Shannon ;-)

Congratulations go out to Alex and Shannon... two of my favorite Hawks!

Some would argue environment vs hereditary.... doesn't matter with these two. They bleed crimson and grey and will be difficult to replace when they graduate this spring from Hawk Hill.

At their favorite venue: Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, soon to be Hagan Arena.

Palestra bathroom: About to fool nova fans at the Holy War into unfurling a rollout, in blue, that says "THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE!" Then coordinating with MarylandHawk to unfurl

"SJU INVADES nOVA NATION". In a tie with Barney charming a girl and stealing the Wildcat mascot uniform. Where is that tail, anyway?

Getting their just desserts: This year's winners of the Fr. Emery Ross, SJ Spirit Award.

You will be missed - 44.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

St. Joe's Nivins wins Geasey Award and MVP!

Ahmad Nivins Receives the Geasey Award as the Big 5 Player of the Year

Tasheed Carr earns All-Big 5 Second Team honors.

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - Saint Joseph's senior Ahmad Nivins received the Robert Geasey Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the Philadelphia Big 5, at the annual Herb Good Basketball Club Dinner on Monday, April 13, at The Savoy.

It marks the second year in a row that Saint Joseph's had the Geasey winner as Pat Calathes was the co-recipient in 2007-08. It marks the 13th time in history that a Saint Joseph's has earned the award, joining the likes of former SJU greats Pat Carroll (2005), Jameer Nelson (2004, 2003), Marvin O'Connor (2001) and Rashid Bey (1997, 1996). Rounding out the list of Hawks to win the Geasey Award were Jeffery Clark (1982), Cliff Anderson (1967), Steve Courtin (1964), Jim Lynam (1963) and Joe Spratt (1959).

Nivins had previously won the Player of the Year Award in the Atlantic 10 after putting together one of the top statistical seasons for a Hawk player.

Nivins topped the team with 19.2 points and 11.7 rebounds, to become the first Hawk since Dwayne Jones in 2005-06 to average a double-double. He shot 61.7 percent from the field, the best number in the Atlantic 10, and became just the second player in history to lead the league in that category for three consecutive years.

The 6-9 senior shot 78.7 percent from the foul line while making more free throws (200) than any player in the A-10 attempted. Saint Joseph's senior Tasheed Carr is an All-Big 5 Second Team selection. The 6-4 guard was second on the team in scoring with a 14.8 average, while shooting a team-best 40.8 percent from 3-point range. Joining Nivins on the first team were Dionte Christmas (Temple), Dante Cunningham (Villanova), Rodney Green (La Salle)and Scottie Reynolds (Villanova). The second team consisted of Carr, Lavoy Allen (Temple), Dwayne Anderson (Villanova), Ryan Brooks (Temple), Corey Fisher (Villanova) and Reggie Redding

Ahmad Nivins Named Hawks' MVP at Awards Banquet

Hilliard and Brown are co-recipients of Most Improved Award April 17, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, PA. - Senior Ahmad Nivins was presented with the John P. Hilferty Memorial Award, given to the Most Valuable Player of the Saint Joseph's basketball team at the 54th annual SJU Men's Basketball Awards Banquet held at Drexelbrook Catering. It marks the second time that he's won the award, with 2007 being the previous honor. Nivins capped off an outstanding career by leading the team with 19.2 points and 11.7 rebounds, while earning Player of the Year honors from both the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Philadelphia Big 5. He was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America selection and finished his career ranked third all-time in scoring (1,789) and sixth in rebounding (955). Nivins set the school record for career field goal percentage with 62.7 percent. Junior C.J. Brown and sophomore Idris Hillard were co-recipients of the Robert F. O'Neill Award as the team's Most Improved while junior Garrett Williamson received the George Senesky Memorial Academic Award for outstanding academic achievement. Senior Tasheed Carr and manager Lance Barron each received the Daniel J. Cummins, Jr. Award for spirit. Senior Edwin Lashley was the recipient of the William F. Maher Memorial Award for loyalty.

The Patrick D. O'Pake Memorial Award for the team's Unsung Hero was awarded to managers Dan DeCarlo and Ben Wisniewski. The William J. Bennett Memorial Award, recognizing dedication and service to SJU basketball, was given to manager Michael Kehoe, Hawk mascot Tim Klarich, as well as Peggy Kowalski and the Penn Athletics Staff. The Michael J. Conway Memorial Award for a person who has given back to the University was presented to former player John Smith '81.

Photo of Ahmad Nivins by Sideline Photos, LLC