Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hagan Arena and the Open House

44 was on his way out to meet some of the cousins... the Feeneys, McGarritys and Furhmans, but of course -- I was early. So I stopped by Hawk Hill to take a look at the progress of Hagan Arena, formerly known as the affordable Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

It was open house and I barely found a parking space! Lots of potential students coming and going. St. Joseph's, along with every other college, was worried 2 months ago if those who promised to come to Hawk Hill actually would, given the state of the economy. I'm happy to say that we exceeded those numbers, by a few hundred. No doubt a determining factor was our crack admissions' team -- who are as photogenic as they are competent!

The lovely ladies of SJU's Admissions Office. Pictured left to right:
Eileen Clancy, Marzena Drozd, Sue Donahue, Grace Amen, Joanne
Kearney and Laura Costa outside Mandeville Hall.

Plaudits to St. Joe's on the architecture of Hagan Arena. It aims to preserve the historic FH facade and, through new brick work, seamlessly weave the old and the new.
54th & Overbrook view. In the center will eventually be three "Saint Joseph's" banners, which will match those at the parking garage between Hagan Arena and Rashford and Borgia Halls.

All under the watchful eyes of St. Ignatius deLoyola, of course ;-)


Magic evaluating Nelson's status for NBA finals

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando is evaluating All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson for a possible return to the Magic lineup for the NBA finals that begin Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Magic spokesman Joel Glass said on Sunday that Nelson's rehabilitation from a shoulder injury is ahead of schedule but that his status remains uncertain.

Nelson has been out since early February with what had been called a season-ending shoulder tear.

Magic president Bob Vander Weide told The Orlando Sentinel after Saturday's win against Cleveland that he wanted Nelson to take another MRI and consult with doctors for a possible comeback.

Nelson has been working out and has said he has full range of motion. But Magic general manager Otis Smith has repeatedly said there is no way Nelson could return this season.

Photos courtesy of Greg Carroccio of Sideline Photos, LLC

In the Paint

Nelson might return Orlando is evaluating all-star point guard Jameer Nelson, the former St. Joseph's and Chester High star, for a possible return for the NBA Finals that begin Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Magic spokesman Joel Glass said yesterday that Nelson's rehabilitation from a right-shoulder injury is ahead of schedule.

Nelson has been out since February with what had been called a season-ending shoulder tear.
Magic president Bob Vander Weide told the Orlando Sentinel after Saturday's win over Cleveland that he wanted Nelson to have another MRI and consult with doctors for a possible comeback.

Nelson has been working out and has said he has full range of motion. But Magic general manager Otis Smith has said there is no way Nelson could return this season.

SE Break, will miss you guys...

Saturday was the last meeting for our Spiritual Exercise groups on Hawk Hill :-(
-- but I suppose we all need a break for the summer.

Fortunate we were to end our season with Mass at the Jesuit Residence Chapel concelebrated by Bill Byron, SJ and Jim Moore, SJ. Thank you again for your time and spiritual direction. We know it wasn't easy.

Every Saturday, at 7:00 AM... for two years, for a guy who doesn't like to get up too early, who has to work every other Saturday 10-10... you better believe that there was something else besides my alarm clock getting me up at 5:30 -- yup, must have been the Holy Spirit!

Gratus to Tim Klarich for the invite -- he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. Many regrets, and a new nickname, for that one.

Thomas "Quietas"

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Fr. Moore proclaiming the Gospel.

No one leaves after communion here ;-)

Fr. Moore, hearkening back to his days at the Prep, tells us
that there will be a summer reading list. Unsure whether there
will be mandatory book reports, or for non-compliance...JUG!

Yours truly had some holy cards printed up (no imprimatur - but I stole from the best) that can fit in the wallet, so we can stay on our game in the off season. If anyone would like one shoot me an e-mail to with your address.

For any Prep or College alumnus (or anyone) interested.
I'll be there, and it is also Fr. Moore's birthday! St. Matthias is a few block down City Line Avenue from SJU. Make a left at the old Van Sciver's.


Last Fall when Tom Prior asked me to join your group, I was not sure what I was getting into. If it has been a strengthening spiritual experience for you, it has been equally so for me. Even though we occasionally wandered off the topic the time was still faith filled. Jesus told us that wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in their midst. Surely, in a special way, He was among us during those Saturday 7 AM gatherings!

Again, thank you for all your kindnesses to me. Please keep me in your prayers as I shall do for you in the summer days ahead. Of all the seasons of the year, I think God did His best work on summer. Enjoy it.

Fr. Moore, SJ!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hagan Seating Update...

Dear Hawks fan,

Thank you to the many individuals who were able to join us for the Seating Program presentation and discussion sessions that were held this week. We are grateful for your commitment to Hawk Basketball. As we continue to evaluate the seating program, please know that many of the recommended changes to the program are under discussion.

We look forward to updating you on the program after an additional session scheduled for late next week is held. Updated information on the program will be forwarded to you and available on the week of June 8th.

Formal written correspondence on the implementation of the Seating Program will still be sent to you by July 24, with the seat selection process to begin by September 1.

In the interim, please feel free to email questions to Nino Vanin at
Go Hawks--

Don DiJulia
Director of Athletics

Katie Shields
Executive Director of Athletic Development

Nino Vanin
Director of Sales & Marketing

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I was able to attend tonight's meeting at St. Joseph's Mandeville Hall for the update on the progress of the Michael Hagan '85 Arena and, drum roll please... the real reason... priority ticket allocation for next season.

To be fair we first have to set the table. The Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse was dedicated in 1949. To give you an idea of the time passage -- Wilt Chamberlain was then 13 years old. Today in college basketball there is, of sorts, an arms race. We are a smaller, Catholic, Jesuit school with a small alumni base (i.e. no government money or 100,000 rich alums). What we've done up until this point on Hawk Hill has been nothing short of miraculous. Our gym has been described as a high school gym, a band box, and the facilities outside the court may have been one of the worst in the Atlantic 10 (one I might add that no one really wanted to play in - for fear of losing). My alma mater, Holy Ghost Prep, has nicer locker rooms. My office at home is twice the size as Phil's, and can't accommodate anyone over 6'3" either. What has been done, NCAAs, NITs, #1 ranking... has been done with smoke, mirrors, great coaching and perhaps even better recruiting. To continue to compete we needed to upgrade. No question about it.

Weight rooms, the Jameer Nelson Locker Room, the Delonte West Players' Lounge, Phil's new palatial office that can now welcome 7 footers -- all were "musts" to keep up with the Jones. Again the arms race... everyone else has it, so we have to have it. As we well know it can be the little things that attract a certain recruit, and with college hoops getting one or two guys can make the difference. There was debate on whether to build a new facility (90 Million) or upgrade the facilities and add another 1,00 seats for a third of that. Since we are an academic institution with a basketball team, and not the reverse, I'm happy we did what we did. I'd rather spend the additional money on expanding the campus (Maquire), renovate the Science Center and Library, build new dorms, and offer more in scholarship dollars to deserving students than have a brand new place. While the joke is that Jesuit schools are known for their great basketball teams -- it is not at the expense of academics.

Now for the bad news; someone has to pay for it. And that someone in part will be you, and it may leave a bad taste in your mouth. I mentioned at the meeting that I've had season tickets for 18 years, section I, row 6, seats 5 & 6. Much of the fun I have had at Hawks' games is sitting with the eclectic group of people around me, who in the last two decades have truly become part of my extended family. I'll skip the names and go with the descriptions; my buddy who sits directly in front of me, who is Jewish, always came just before tipoff with two smelly onion cheese steaks. When his Chinese-Catholic wife passed away the entire section felt the loss, and I wrote a eulogy for her, which was appreciated by her husband. The fellow now suffering from cancer who I asked for your prayers two weeks ago... sits in front of me as well. He came to my wedding, and I attended his daughter's wedding. Four seats away is another buddy who while a non-Catholic sent his son to the Prep and is the first person to send me a check when I beg alms for Jesuit charities in India or Camden. Next to him is someone we would never call 'righty', and over the years I've become the official photographer for him and his daughter. To my immediate left is a friend I think so highly of that I flew to Tennessee to attend his wedding, and was asked to give the benediction (if that's the right word!) at his reception. He is sometimes also referred to by his unofficial name of "where's Tom". I could go on but I think you get the point.

When I man I've never met uses poor judgement in beginning his introduction by boasting to those Hawks assembled that he came from the somewhat morally bankrupt UCONN program, and mentions that it is the "benchmark" for college sports, well... when he talks about priority seats, licenses, point systems et al... I hope he knows that he is breaking up my family. And many other families as well. He came from UCONN, and we may just be a stepping stone until his next job, but we, the alumni, long time fans, students, are in this until death. I know Don realizes that - he's one of us. I know Katie realizes that - she's one of us, and did as good a job as one can do delivering bad news. But again someone has to pay for this to become reality, and things may never be the same.

As the two pictures will indicate where you will sit will be based on a point system, similar to one used by SJU for allotment of NCAA tournament tickets. As with all things in life those who spend the most money will get the better seats, and that is only fair to reward those who make a greater commitment. The school will ask for a three year commitment from the season ticket holder, but where you sit may change every year depending on how much you give, or how much the guy behind you decided to give. So in effect it will be impossible to keep the seats you may have had for 20 years, virtually impossible to sit with your friends, and most likely possible that you will be in different seats every year. For those of you who "have been to Cincinnati and been to Buffalo, been to Carolina flying high and flying low"... this is a strange way to repay loyalty. If this is how Jim Calhoun does it... then I'm glad I didn't go to UCONN. But it seems the dye has been cast.
A few scenarios: 1) in today's difficult economy, coming off of a sub par season and a Hawk team that loses its two top scorers, few people ante up and the school changes the prices or criteria. 2) For the same reasons people opt for the lesser priced seats and the lower portion of Hagan Arena is empty many a night (i.e. Duquense, St. Bona, Fordham) as those seats remain unsold or are reserved for corporate sponsors to give away -- and we know how loyal they can be. This would be unfortunate since, as far as home court advantage is concerned, the FH has always been a tough place for our opponents. The old adage "be careful what you wish for" comes to mind. We got what we wished for, a state of the art facility (where we can actually get food and go to the bathroom at halftime and still make it back before the game ends;-) but having to pay for it, or the way we go about paying for it, takes away that same home court advantage. A person's wealth (or lack thereof) is not always an indicator of passion. Having an O'Rourke, a Berger, a Griffin, a Brennan a McBurney, and a DeLucia close to the court makes it uncomfortable for our opponents. Moving them away from the action will be detrimental to our winning. That's not a good thing.

So while the school asks for a three year commitment to your season ticket donation, it is my understanding that seats will be allocated on an annual basis, which I think is crazy. Not only will you not be able to sit with long time friends and season ticket holders but even if you do it may only be for one season. Should someone behind you give more money the following year than you do you will be moved to lesser seats. If the team should win 25 games God only knows where you might be placed if enough people do that. In effect you really won't have season tickets as we've known in the past -- I, 6 - 5 & 6 -- for more than one year. I work for the oldest theatre in the country with the largest subscription base (56K). People who have had 5th row center orchestra have those seats because they've had them for 20 years and have loyally renewed their subscription every year. I don't think they'd be happy if we raised their prices 50 - 100% for the same tickets, although maybe St. Joe's in on to something.

So there you have it. The Hagan will be dedicated on October 17th, and we'll open against Drexel on November 13th. We will now have a refurbished FH that the team needed and we all wanted. I hope it is worth the cost, to all of us.

The following from my buddy 6th Man. For more feedback click Hawk Hoops - Priority Seating Program for Hagan Arena..

Well, I was really impressed that Nino spent time at UConn which apparently has "set the standard" in college basketball. Not a good start. Thank God for Katie Shields or it could have gotten ugly in there tonight.babystinkbreath - given the 40% current giving rate, I think if young alums are willing to make a donation ($100 on top of ticket price gets you in the house) many will be able to get in. I think this plan will cause some people who have been hanging onto seats for years that they barely use, to depart. I think tickets will be made available. But I do hear you - they didn't seem to really have any plan to bring in new blood. The current plan rewards longevity and affluence, which makes sense. But if you can't get your foot in the door, you don't get the chance to establish longevity.
I actually think the point system is fair. I think the various giving levels are fair also. I also think that if they are not filling up the seats as they thought they might, those donation levels could come down. But I have some real concerns. As I figured, to keep my very same seats, the mandatory donation will be about what it is now. Of course, I'd prefer better seats, so I will have to make the decision as to whether or not I want to buck up for the upgrade.

1. Trying to sit with friends will take some serious doing. 44, Hawk Fan and myself were going to try to get season tickets sitting together. Well, even if we assume that we all have been giving the same donation each of the past several years, 44 has had tickets more than twice as long as I have. So he'll be much further up in the line. So he chooses his seats and I have to hope the ones next to him are still open when my turn comes.
2. The school is asking for an informal 3 year commitment to your giving level. BUT there is no similar commitment from the school to keep your seats. It's probably a longshot, but theoretically, if enough people all of a sudden decide they want to upgrade to my seats and they donate more, I could get bumped to lesser seats. Basically, they will be re-allocating seats ANNUALLY. Am I reading that right? Now I agree that this all sounds worse than it will probably be in practice. In practice, there probably won't be significant changes year to year. But there could be. Why ask for a 3 year commitment from the fans while offering no similar 3 year commitment to their seat location?
3. 600 of the 1000 new seats are going to be in the student section. So we are more than doubling the student section (which previously held 500). I think this is a mistake. I understand that the previous system was crappy. Too many students who wanted season tickets couldn't get them because of the lottery system. But this new student section will rarely be full. I hope the students prove me wrong, but it's going to burn my a$$ to see large chunks of empty seats when we're playing SBU on a Tuesday night in January. I just find it hard to believe that we can more than double the size of the student section and still fill it. Maybe we can. I hope we can because it will provide a serious home court advantage. But seeing lots of empty seats is going to cause frustration to alums who would have paid good money for them but were shut out.

Jack made out tonight and got a new stuffed Hawk from Uncle 44.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Emory Ross, SJ

Remember Emory Ross SJ? Long time team chaplain at St. Joseph's. Here is an excerpt from a story about women's coach Theresa Grentz starting her college coaching career at Hawk Hill:

I began teaching school and that was when St. Joe's called and asked me to
replace a coach who was taking personal leave for a year. I had to interview
with Father Blee, who had just fired Jack McKinney, an extremely successful
coach at St. Joe's. It had caused a monumental uproar and the local papers were
calling him an ogre, so I dreaded our meeting. He hired me.Our team's moderator,
Father Ross, and I wound up coaching St. Joe's for two years. He was a wonderful
man who accompanied the team and said mass on road trips.

During one particular road trip - I couldn't have been more than 23 years old at the time - there was a knock on my hotel door and it was Father Ross. He handed me a bottle of White Label Scotch. I said, "Father, I don't drink." And he said, "My dear, if you stay in this profession, you might consider it." To this day, I still have that bottle, unopened. Those are the kind of people that mentored me.


Joe Cabrey
Hawk Ambassador

Dr. Jack Ramsay, Class of 1949, Head Coach of Saint Joseph's Basketball team from 1955 to 1966, guided his teams to ten post-season tournaments. One of his many honors was to be inducted into the Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame at the Institute for International Sport in June 2003. In this photo, are two players from the Class of 1964, Jim Lynam and Jim Boyle (bottom right), who later became Head Coaches for Saint Joseph's Basketball. Fr. Emory Ross, SJ in right in the middle next to Dr. Jack.

of seat licenses, Martelli's rosaries, and an A-10 preview...


Dear Hawks fans,
Spring has arrived on campus, classes and exams have concluded and our graduating seniors are anxiously awaiting their commencement this coming weekend. It seems hard to believe that basketball season ended just a few short weeks ago and we extended our thanks and best wishes to our senior athletes, Tasheed Carr, Edwin Lashley and Ahmad Nivins at the annual awards banquet on April 17th.

We are thrilled to share with you that the coaches and returning players, along with our Sports Information Staff, have moved into their new offices. The Basketball Center is nearly complete and is already humming with activity. We look forward to officially announcing the name of the center in the coming weeks - and we think you will be pleased!

Work on the Hagan Arena is moving along at a rapid pace with construction on time and plans already underway to dedicate the arena on Saturday, October 17th. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for what promises to be a memorable event.As we have shared with you at various times over the last season, we will be initiating a Priority Seating program for the Hagan Arena and we are committed to having the seating complete well in advance of the opening game scheduled for Friday, November 13th against Drexel.

As we look to move this process along, we invite you to join us for an information session that will address many of your questions and also encourage you to provide feedback on the program.

Information sessions have been scheduled for:Tuesday, May 26th, 6:30 - 8:00pm, Mandeville Teletorium and Wednesday, May 27th, 8am - 9:30am Mandeville Room 111Please RSVP to Eileen Brown at Refreshments will be available.


Don DiJulia, Director of Athletics
Katie Shields, Assistant Vice President


College B-ball Coach Recites Rosary Before Games

Phil Martelli, the popular and successful coach of the St. Joseph’s University men’s basketball team (And my alma mater) does have his quirks.

He revealed some of them April 10 at a St. Martin of Tours School communion breakfast in which Archbishop Edward J. Adams, class of 1958, was inducted into the school’s new Hall of Fame.

Martelli said that on game days, he’s a bundle of nerves. He wonders: Has he fully prepared the team? Most of the time he doesn’t go in to his office, doesn’t shower or shave or eat, or even talk much, until the last minute before leaving home for the game.

But once Martelli is at the basketball arena, things change. Alone in the locker room, he calms down, recites a rosary, and says a prayer to St. Joseph. Finally, he takes a dog-eared old memorial card out of his pocket and recites the prayer to St. Michael printed on the back.

This is a fascinating story from the Catholic Standard and Times about a great basketball coach who won National Coach of the Year in 2004 and how friendship and mentorship and faith all played a role in his life.

It's a good story about a man I've had the pleasure of talking to a few times and who seems like a good and loyal man.
Phil Martelli Named to NCAA Basketball Ethics Coalition
May 18, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - Saint Joseph's head men's basketball coach Phil Martelli has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Ethics Coalition, an independent committee of current and former basketball coaches. The group will be charged with promoting ethical conduct through leadership, education and mentoring.

The newly established NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Ethics Coalition held its first meeting last week in Indianapolis. The coalition board will consist of 14 members, including 11 head men's basketball coaches, two assistant coaches and one former head coach.

Members of the coalition board in addition to Martelli are: John Beilein, Michigan (chair); Jeff Capel, Oklahoma; Johnny Dawkins, Stanford; Dave Odom, University of South Carolina (former head coach); Al Skinner, Boston College; Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt; Brad Stevens, Butler; Gary Stewart, UC Davis; and Doug Wojcik, Tulsa. Two assistant coaches, a current head coach, and a former head coach will be added to the coalition in the near future.

"Coaches have as large a role in improving the men's basketball environment as anyone and it's important to hold each other accountable," said John Beilein, University of Michigan head men's basketball coach and chair of the coalition. "The majority of coaches want to make the right decisions and stay competitive in an ethical manner. This new coalition provides a needed opportunity for us to examine ethical issues and provide a forum for discussion to make so many areas of our great game even better." The coalition board will identify key rules and issues that challenge the coaching community in making ethical decisions. The board will provide guidance about those types of issues and serve as mentors and as a resource for the men's basketball community.
The NCAA has worked to positively influence the men's basketball environment through a number of initiatives. These include the oversight provided by the Division I Men's Basketball Issues Committee, the focus on youth basketball through the partnership with the NBA, as well as the work to enhance the enforcement of NCAA rules through the Basketball Focus Group.


St. Joseph’s Phil Martelli, the man who coached guards for both clubs – Orlando’s Jameer Nelson and the Cavs’ Delonte West – was on hand in Cleveland for Friday night’s Game 2.
“You know, it’s funny,” said Martelli, who coached West and Nelson at Saint Joseph’s, rolling to a 27-0 regular-season record and a No. 1 national ranking in 2004. “I was just talking to one of the workmen working on our arena and he said: ‘You have to be proud.’ And I am. And I said, ‘Let me tell you something: If those two guys were still in school right now, you would be doing construction around them. Because they would both still be in there shooting.’ That’s because, in both cases, everything they’ve achieved is through their work ethic.”
“Then we had our first game, against Boston College. They had Troy Bell, and he was a big deal in the Big East. But led by the two of them, we clobbered them. Then I started thinking, ‘Well, we might have the two best players in our league. And you know what? Both of them might end up having a chance to do what they have dreamt about.’“It was an unusual pair. Once in a lifetime.”


11. Saint Joseph’s- After a quick start in A-10 play last season, the Hawks fell off sharply towards the end of last season, finishing 9-7 in the conference and bowing out to Temple in the second round of the conference tournament. Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Ahmad Nivins graduates, as does starting point guard Tasheed Carr, leaving holes in the front and back courts. Coach Phil Martelli brings in two impressive guards in with this recruiting class in Carl Jones and Justin Crosgile. However, both guards are under six foot tall and could take some time to adjust to the college game. The Hawks also add forward Carl Baptiste, who is a fundamentally sound power forward, but may not have the athleticism to make an immediate impact in the Atlantic 10. The Hawks are going to need Chris Prescott to make big strides in his sophomore season, along with a few other surprises, to have any hope of matching last year’s win totals both overall and in the league.

Be the Hawks' Sixth Man!
Get in the game and support the Hawk Athletic Fund!

Only one week remains to make a gift for 2008-09! On behalf of Saint Joseph's University, thank you to all of our loyal alumni, parents, and friends who have already made a gift this year.Don't miss the opportunity to support Saint Joseph's Athletics by making a gift before the end of our fiscal year on May 31!
Log on to to make a secure online gift or visit for all the latest news on your favorite Hawk athletic team.For more information please contact Rebecca Boudwin at 610-660-3203 or

Make a gift to the Hawk Athletic Fund!

Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131 • 610-660-3203

Jesuit cassock history for $200 please...

The sight of a Jesuit in a cassock is not something you see too often anymore. You could set your watch though to Fr. Patrick Brannon, SJ every Saturday morning at 7:00 AM as he walks and says the rosary on the beautiful grounds of the Jesuit Residence in Merion Station.

"I received this photo yesterday from a Jesuit novice of the Oregon Province, Chris Canlas, nSJ, with the following explanation: I am a Jesuit novice... and recently came back from a month-long stay at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Indian Mission in DeSmet, Idaho, where the venerable Fr. Cataldo brought the Jesuit missionary zeal to the Coeur D'Alene tribe in the 1800's. I found an old Jesuit cassock and biretta (complete with cincture and rosary beads, although not visible in the photo) and took a photo of me in front of the Sacred Heart Mission Church in DeSmet. It's not too often one sees a Jesuit in a cassock these days!"

Father General: Out of Habit
James Martin, S.J.

Okay, okay, I know that this is somewhat inside-baseball, but I also know that there are several readers who are interested in things Jesuit, and, also, not a few Jesuits who read this blog (and even more who read the mag). In any event, as the General Congregation winds down, here is something that has so far gone unremarked upon. (Or upon which has gone unremarked.)
That is, Father General seems to have decided--at least for now--not to wear a cassock.

A little history may be helpful. St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, never wished for the members of the Society of Jesus to have any distinctive garb, as did most other religious orders of the time. His idea was that the Jesuits should wear the dress of a "priest in good standing" in the locale. The Constitutions note that the clothing we wear should be "first...proper; second, conformed to the usage of the country in residence [or "not altogether different"]; and third, in keeping with the poverty we profess." [Const. 577] Elsewhere, in what are called our Complimentary Norms, it states plainly "there is no specified habit." His thinking seemed to be that Jesuits would dress as other priests did in the region, out of a sense of modesty and poverty, and in solidarity with the rest of the clergy.

Of course time and tradition took over and soon (for just how soon you might want to consult some Jesuit historians) there was in fact a distinctive Jesuit habit: a long black cassock tied together with a black cincture or belt (as opposed to the diocesan version with its long row of buttons.) This gave rise to the term "the long black line." Many American high school and college students who attended Jesuits schools from the 1940s through the 1960s would know that silhouette instantly. And it’s what you see most of the Jesuit saints wearing in statuary, on holy cards, and in stained-glass windows. It passed from use some time after the Second Vatican Council.

There are plenty of good reasons for a distinctive religious habit. First, it makes the question of what to wear rather simple. (And with a habit, there’s less of a need to do much clothes shopping.) Second, it is a sign to the larger world about the very presence of men living in a religious order. Third, it ties the Jesuits back to all those who wore the habit in centuries past. I’ve only worn the habit twice. (And that’s two more times than most of my Jesuit brothers.) First, when I was working with street gangs in the housing projects of inner-city Chicago during philosophy studies. (The person running the ministry said that simply wearing a black clerical shirt would not do: a more distinctive garb was needed so we wouldn’t, in his words, "get shot at.") When I first saw myself in the mirror, all I could think of was St. Isaac Jogues.

Interestingly, the gang members called us "Blackrobes," just as the Native Americans did in New France in the 17th century. The second time was in Lourdes, on my first visit there with the Order of Malta. Two Jesuits and I mistakenly thought they were required at the shrine, so we desperately scrounged some up--to subsequent acclaim from the Knights and Dames of Malta.
Both times I felt very Jesuit wearing the cassock, and thought a great deal of all the heroic Jesuits who wore them, including the saints and blesseds. At the same time, I felt extremely anachronistic, since, like it or not, Jesuit priests and brothers in the States don’t wear them any longer.

Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., the Superior General from 1983 until the election of Father Nicolas, from what I understand, continued to wear the habit as part of the more recent tradition of Jesuit Fathers General. (He may also, for all I know, have worn it in his previous jobs in the Near East and in Rome.) But Father Kolvenbach was one of only a handful of Jesuits I’ve met in the last 20 years who still wore one.

I’ve no idea whether the new Jesuit Superior General will return to the cassock, but for now I’m happy that Father Nicolas is wearing the garb of the priests of our day and eschewing a habit in favor the simple Roman collar and suit. It seems modest and "proper," and closely aligned with what St. Ignatius intended. (And for that matter, the Holy See, since the Constitutions are, technically, a Vatican document.)

While some were surprised that Father Nicolas showed up to meet Pope Benedict XVI sans cassock, it reminded me of the need for the Jesuits to use every means to adhere to St. Ignatius’s idea of "this least Society," and it seemed a humble thing to do before the pope, and before the world.

James Martin, S.J.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jim Boyle SJC '64 Memorial Golf Outing

Hawks to Host Golf Outing

The SJU men’s basketball team will host the annual Jim Boyle ’64 Memorial Golf Outing on June 15 at Rolling Green Golf Club. For more information contact the Clare Ariano at 610-660-1706 or

Congrats Tony Conti, SJC '70

American Diabetes Association

Hey 44!

I just wanted to send you a note that the American Diabetes Association is honoring Saint Joseph's University Alumnus Anthony J. Conti, SJC '70, as a 2009 Greater Philadelphia Father of the Year honoree. In addition to Tony, the ADA will be acknowledging other outstanding fathers and leaders in the community including Doug Conant, CEO and President of Campbell's Soup, Donovan McNabb, Quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles and Thomas E. White Jr., Director of Sales Metro Philadelphia, UPS.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) will host the Father of the Year Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 11 at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. The event is an opportunity to recognize men who have demonstrated the ability to balance their personal lives while achieving a high level of success in their careers, as well as being outstanding role models for their children. Since 1999, the Father's Day Council has partnered with the ADA to host this wonderful event and together have raised more than $10 million to benefit the ADA's mission - to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

I receive your emails and since you are in touch with the SJU community I would love it if you could mention it in your next email (I know it is the offseason). I am a graduate of SJU and so is our co-chair of the event Kevin R. Boyle, Esq. and we love the SJU community to get involved.

Here is the website: American Diabetes Association

Thanks for your help!

Donna M. Burke
Manager, Special Events and Fundraising American Diabetes Association
150 Monument Road, Suite 100
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Father of the Year 2009 Anthony Conti

Anthony Conti - Managing Partner, Philadelphia Office - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Tony Conti is the Managing Partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia and joined the firm in 1973 and was admitted to the Partnership in 1980.

As an active member of the community, Tony is on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and serves as the Chair of the Audit Committee. He serves as a board member on the CEO Council for Growth. He is Chair of the World Affairs Council Board and was presented with the 2007 Atlas Award for his dedication to community service. Tony is currently the Chair of the 2008 United Way Campaign and serves on their Board of Directors and Executive Committee. In October of 2008 Tony received the CORA Services Award.

Tony is a native Philadelphian and a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Temple University.

Tony and his wife Linda have been married for 38 years. They have three children, Lynn (Michael DeAngelis), Kristin (Jon Traczykiewicz), and Anthony; and three grandsons, Mikey and Joey DeAngelis, and Jack Traczykiewicz.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How bad is abortion if ND was willing to honor him?

Good find by 6th Man. Makes one wonder if the Holy Cross Fathers believe what they preach at Notre Dame. Still bothers me that while those collars inside the Joyce Center were filled with pride, vanity and chasing prestige... they were having a diocesan priest arrested -- for what they SHOULD have been doing.

At least the president is forthright about his principles.

Seldom does dawn rise on an America where the morning's New York Times displays a more intuitive grasp of a story than the New York Post. The coverage of Barack Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame, however, was such a day. Where the Post headlined an inside spread with "Obama In the Lions' Den," the Times front page was dominated by a color photograph of a beaming president, resplendent in his blue-and-gold Notre Dame academic gown, reaching out to graduates eager to shake his hand or just touch his robe.
It was precisely the message President Obama wanted to send: How bad can he be on abortion if Notre Dame is willing to honor him?

We cannot blame the president for this one. During his campaign for president, Mr. Obama spoke honestly about the aggressive pro-choice agenda he intended to pursue -- as he assured Planned Parenthood, he was "about playing offense," not defense -- and his actions have been consistent with that pledge. If only our nation's premier Catholic university were as forthright in advancing its principles as Mr. Obama has been for his.

In a letter to Notre Dame's Class of 2009, the university's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, stated that the honors for Mr. Obama do not indicate any "ambiguity" about Notre Dame's commitment to Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life. The reality is that it was this ambiguity that the White House was counting on; this ambiguity that was furthered by the adoring reaction to Mr. Obama's visit; and this ambiguity that disheartens those working for an America that respects the dignity of life inside the womb.

We've been here before. In his response to an inquiry from this reporter, Dennis Brown, the university's spokesman, wisely ignored a question asking whether "ambiguity" would be the word to describe a similar decision in 1984 to give Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York, the Notre Dame platform he so famously used to advance his personally-opposed-but argument. Or the decision a few years later to bestow its highest Catholic award on Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, another supporter of legal abortion. It seems that whenever Democratic leaders find themselves in trouble over their party's abortion record, some Notre Dame honor or platform will be forthcoming to provide the needed cover.

Probably Notre Dame is rich enough that it can safely thumb its institutional nose at the 70 or so bishops who publicly challenged the university for flouting their guidelines on such invitations. Nor can we expect much from Notre Dame's trustees. At a time when Americans all across this country have declared themselves "yea" or "nay" on the Obama invite, the reaction of Notre Dame's board is less the roar of the lion than the silence of the lambs.

Pro-lifers are used to this. They know their stand makes them unglamorous. They find themselves a stumbling block to Democratic progressives -- and unwelcome at the Republican country club. And they are especially desperate for the support of institutions willing to engage in the clear, thoughtful and unembarrassed way that even Mr. Obama says we should.
With its billions in endowment and its prestigious name, Notre Dame ought to be in the lead here. But when asked for examples illuminating the university's unambiguous support for unborn life, Mr. Brown could provide only four: help for pregnant students who want to carry their babies to term, student volunteer work for pregnant women at local shelters, prayer mentions at campus Masses, and lectures such as a seminar on life issues.

These are all well and good, but they also highlight the poverty of Notre Dame's institutional witness. At Notre Dame today, there is no pro-life organization -- in size, in funding, in prestige -- that compares with the many centers, institutes and so forth dedicated to other important issues ranging from peace and justice to protecting the environment. Perhaps this explains why a number of pro-life professors tell me they must not be quoted by name, lest they face career retaliation.

The one institute that does put the culture of life at the heart of its work, moreover -- the Center for Ethics and Culture -- doesn't even merit a link under the "Faith and Service" section on the university's Web site. The point is this: When Notre Dame doesn't dress for the game, the field is left to those like Randall Terry who create a spectacle and declare their contempt for civil and respectful witness.

In the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, there is a wonderful photograph of Father Ted Hesburgh -- then Notre Dame president -- linking hands with Martin Luther King Jr. at a 1964 civil-rights rally at Chicago's Soldier Field. Today, nearly four decades and 50 million abortions after Roe v. Wade, there is no photograph of similar prominence of any Notre Dame president taking a lead at any of the annual marches for life.

Father Jenkins is right: That's not ambiguity. That's a statement.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"This too shall pass"

Hey Tom,

You ought to obtain a copy of Alex's student address at the SJU graduation on Saturday and then forward to your loyal e-mail friends. It was quite good and was delivered very well by Alex.



I aim to please ;-) Here's the speech from our girl... a smart young lady, a pretty young lady, and not a bad basketball player (according to her). We are all proud of her, and all her friends who are leaving Hawk Hill ;-( Will have the video for you once Shannon gets back from Georgia.


St. Joseph's University - Commencement Speech 2009
by Alexandra Bretschneider, SJU '09
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

Yes, the time has come at last. It seems like only weeks ago that we sat on this very same field for orientation. And yet here we sit again, clad in our caps and gowns, surrounded by smiles and tears. Some of us crying because we’re saying goodbye to the best time of our lives, and some of the parents crying because their kids are coming back home.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I love to tell stories. And so, that’s where I will begin. When I first came to St. Joseph’s University, it was not what I had expected. I was not sure that I fit in with the people, and I began to second guess my decision to come here. And as the cost of tuition increased, so did my chances of transferring. My dad, a Hawk alumn himself, started to come here every other week to take me out and cheer me up over dinner. At the end of the meal, in another crowded restaurant, he would look at me and say the same thing. It was something so simple, that I didn’t take it seriously at first. He said, “Are you picking up the check?”

Then we would laugh, and he would give me the best piece of advice I have ever received. He would say, “Go to the Fieldhouse.” The Fieldhouse? I didn’t understand at first what he was actually telling me. What did this archaic gym, the soon to be refurbished Hagan Arena, have that could help me? I finally took his advice seriously and went there to play basketball, and I had an epiphany. I realized that what my dad had actually been telling me all along was to seek out activities that incorporated my passions, which would lead me to find others who shared in my interests as well. It soon became an everyday expedition for me, going to the Fieldhouse and playing ball with people I met there. It was through my participation in sports and clubs that I was able to find my niche at St. Joseph’s, and its what allowed me to fall in love with the University and its people.

Now, in the subsequent 4 years here, a multitude of historical events occurred both at St. Joe’s, and in the so-called “real world.” Hm… the real world. Something has always bothered me about people referring to life after college as this “real world,” as if college is some sort of isolated utopia. Though college may not be as rigorous as the real world, there is a lot of reality that we have experienced as well. In the words of the great Charles Dickens, in these past 4 years, it has been the best of times, and the worst of times. I would like to now recap on a few events to put this into perspective.

In the “real world”:
- the United States engaged in an ongoing war in the Middle East
- Bob Barker retired from the Price is Right
- In the real world, the subprime mortgage crisis and banking industry exploded
- Michael Phelps took home 8 gold medals from China
- And, EVERYONE learned how to do the Soulja boy dance
- In the real world, a man landed a crashing plane in the Hudson River
- The first African American President was elected
- The Phillies won the World Series
- And, there was a serious epidemic of Facebook addiction

Now, for those of you who were stuck in the “real world” and were not in here in college, these are some things that we endured:

- St. Joseph’s acquired the Maguire Campus
- Sourin dorms continued to be without air conditioning
- We completed four years with having a total of only 2 snow days
- Finnessey field administered serious turf burn
- We mastered the art of procrastination
- We had friends and family members pass away
- We had teachers that made a lasting impact
- We got lost finding our first class in Barbelin
- We heard the word “preeminent” and the phrase “men and women for others” over a thousand times
- We went to Hand in Hand or helped the community in some way
- And lastly, we had roommate disputes, and lost and found friends with whom we made everlasting memories
These among many other events are the reality that was our time here on Hawk Hill. Whether you are in the group of kids that hung out in the old Hawk Rock, the jock on the field, the club president, or just the kid who is half awake in class, you were not immune to the “real world” tragedies and triumphs, nor were dealings of your daily life any less significant.
We are entering a new stage in our lives at a time of great economic turmoil and uncertainty. Looking to your left and right are the concerned faces of those without jobs, and of those with jobs who are unsure of how long they will get to keep them.

But, do not be discouraged. This too, shall pass.

Trust that in your time here at SJU, you have been equipped with the skills and talents to face all of life’s curve balls that will inevitably get thrown your way.

And so, to send you off on this day of our graduation, I wish upon all of you the blessings of hope in these hard times. Hope and faith that you will find your niche in this infamous new campus called the “real world”, and that you will surround yourself with the right tools and people such that you will have a positive impact on yourself, your family and your community.
I urge each of you to do one simple thing: go out and find your own Fieldhouse in life, in the real world.
Congratulations and good luck, Class of 2009.

The Hawk Will Never Die.

Alex with Hawk Hoop buddies Shannon and Chelsea.

44's Prayer List...

Please keep the following people in your prayers...

Sarah Brennan-Brazil, SJU '01, daughter of Thomas Brennan, Scranton, '71 and Corinne, Misericordia, '69, brother of Tommy Brennan, SJU '05

John Prendergast, SJC '67, husband of Ann, father of Kristen, SJU '96 and Kelly, friend of 44
Chris Reilly,cousin of Peter (Joe) Cabrey, SJC '74

A special intention for Rich Brennan, SJU '81

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

Merrill King, friend of Randall Kiernan, SJU '82

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

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.


44 and friends went to the WMMR BQ on Sunday at the Susquehanna-Tweeter-E-Sony-Blockbuster-Tweeter Center in Camden. A rockin' good time ;-) Dexter and Noodles, of the Offspring (one of my favorite bands) simply shredded ... although I wish the set lasted longer. Papa Roach was awesome as well -- Shaddix has amazing energy on stage. A few videos although it was tough to find ones that wouldn't offend someone ;-)

Noodles and Dexter on WMMR

Jacoby Shaddix in the crowd.

44 buddy 'Lou' and 44's sister during Puddle of Mudd's performance.

Some cool autos... vintage Ford Mustang next to a Dodge Charger.

Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons of ZZTop closed out the show, and can still rock.