Tuesday, June 30, 2009

“It was never dull. Alleluia” ~ Daniel Berrigan, SJ

Throughout most of his life as a Jesuit, Daniel Berrigan has consistently spoken out against violence in all its forms, including abortion. “I have always made it clear,” he said, “that I am against everything from war to abortion to euthanasia. I have avoided being a single-issue person.”

The community’s consistent support for his varied activities over three decades is something else for which Father Berrigan is especially grateful. With considerable understatement, he suggested that the inscription over his grave might read: “It was never dull. Alleluia.”

Another reason for an “Alleluia” is the scheduled fall publication of Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings, edited by John Dear, S.J.

Looking Back In Gratitude A conversation with Daniel Berrigan
George Anderson, SJ

What are you most grateful for as you look back over your long life?” I asked Daniel Berrigan, S.J., who is 88. We were sitting last December in his light-filled living room at the Jesuit residence in Manhattan where he has lived since 1975. He answered immediately: “My Jesuit vocation.” Any regrets? I asked. “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville,” he replied. That historic act of burning draft files took place in the parking lot of a U.S. Selective Service Office in Catonsville, outside Baltimore, Md., on May 17, 1968. It was one of the earliest and most dramatic of several demonstrations for peace in which Berrigan took part over the years. With him on that day were eight other people, including his brother, Philip, who was a veteran and a Josephite priest; they stood trial that October, the group known as the Catonsville Nine. While free on bail awaiting trial, the two Berrigans spoke at St. Ignatius Church near the Baltimore jail. I had entered the Jesuit novitiate in Wernersville, Pa., that year, and the novice master drove down with me to hear their powerful presentation.

In burning the draft files, the Catonsville Nine used napalm, the gelatinous flammable substance that was then burning the flesh of Vietnamese women, men and children during the Vietnam War. “It was Philip who came up with the idea,” Berrigan said. “In the military section of the Georgetown University library, a friend found a copy of the Green Beret manual with instructions for making napalm from soap chips and kerosene.” Before the stunned eyes of Selective Service employees, several of the group lifted the files from their drawer marked A1 and carried them out to the parking lot, because, said Berrigan, “we didn’t want to endanger anyone in the office.”

An Emerging Poet

Nothing in Dan Berrigan’s early life suggested the dramatic turn his life would take in later years. Thoughts of a religious vocation came early as he grew up in New York State. He mentioned his fascination with a four-volume set of his father’s books called Pioneer Priests of North America that included accounts of Jesuit missionaries like St. Isaac Jogues. As his senior year in high school approached, a close childhood friend, Jack St. George, who had already decided on religious life, asked him, “When are you going to make up your mind?” They made a bargain: each would write to four religious congregations for information. “Some replied with nice brochures that showed tennis courts and swimming pools,” Berrigan said, “but the Jesuits sent an unattractive leaflet, no pictures and no come-on language, just a brief description of the training, called ‘The Making of a Jesuit.’” Both applied to the Jesuits and entered the novitiate on the same day, Aug. 14, 1939. Jack went on to a career at Vatican Radio, and Dan eventually began teaching in Jesuit high schools.

Writing also became an important and continuing part of Berrigan’s work. His activity as a poet is less well known than his work as a peace activist, yet poetry has played a distinctive part in his life. His first poem appeared in America in the early 1940s, while Berrigan was a college student at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, the Jesuit seminary near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “I was very proud of that,” he told me.

On my return to America House after the interview, I looked up the poem in the June 13, 1942, issue; it is called “Storm-Song,” an ode to the Virgin Mary. A decade or so later, an editor at Macmillan who had heard about Berrigan’s poetry asked him for a collection of his poems. He told Berrigan that he would give it to the “toughest reader” at Macmillan; and if the report was good, “we’ll publish it.” That reader turned out to be Marianne Moore, a highly regarded poet, who gave the manuscript a glowing report. It led to the publication in 1953 of Berrigan’s first book of poetry, Time Without Number, which won the Lamont Poetry Prize in 1957.

A photograph from that period shows Dan Berrigan as a young priest with members of the Catholic Poetry Society. It was taken at the Lotos Club in Manhattan, when Sister Mary Madaleva, a popular educator and poet at St. Mary’s College inIndiana, received an award from Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York. Since then, Berrigan observed, some form of writing has been part of his life. “It’s a daily exercise,” he said, often in diary form. For the last three decades, he has studied and written about the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament); Eerdmans has published several of the resulting works.

Berrigan wrote a more autobiographical book, Lights on in the House of the Dead (1974), while in federal prison in Danbury, Conn. for his part in the Catonsville Nine action. He smuggled his handwritten pages out of the prison sheet by sheet. By then, Berrigan was a figure well known to the press; consequently the prison officials were “very chary about anything I might be writing,” he explained. “I had to write very small and then wait for a visitor who could smuggle the pages out.” When visitors came, he was allowed to embrace them, which made it possible for him to press a few pages into their hands unobserved. They passed the pages on to Jesuit friends, who sent them to Doubleday, his publisher.

Berrigan had been writing even as F.B.I. agents pursued him, after he went underground in 1970 and before his eventual capture and subsequent incarceration at Danbury. “I knew I would be apprehended eventually, but I wanted to draw attention for as long as possible to the Vietnam War, and to Nixon’s ordering military action in Cambodia,” said Berrigan. For several months Robert Coles, a Harvard professor and personal friend, put Berrigan up in his home. Together they wrote The Dark Night of Resistance. Two F.B.I. agents attempting to disguise themselves as birders finally caught up with Berrigan, however, when he was staying in the home on Block Island, R.I., of the social activist and lay theologian William Stringfellow. “One day, Bill looked out the window and saw two men with binoculars acting as if they were bird watchers,” said Berrigan, “but since the weather was stormy, that seemed strange. ‘I think something’s up,’ Bill said, and sure enough they knocked on the door.” They took Berrigan back to Providence by ferry; the media, already alerted, were waiting at the pier. Berrigan showed me a poster in his apartment made from a photo taken at that moment. Smiling broadly, he was in handcuffs between two burly F.B.I. agents as they escorted him off the ferry. A reminder of Block Island lies on his living room floor: a dozen curiously shaped stones from the beach there.

For the entire article please click...Looking Back In Gratitude A conversation with Daniel Berrigan. If it's subscription please shoot me an e-mail.

44 note: I found it funny that while the FBI was out trying to track down Fr. Berrigan... he "may" have been hanging out with his buddy Fr. John McNamee at St. Malachy's in North Philly.

Fr. McNamee with sculture of Franz Jägerstätter, which was given
to him by his good friend Dan Berrigan, SJ (picture on left)


Dan Berrigan, SJ with Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement
/ Fr. Philip Berrigan, SSJ with Fr. Dan Berrigan, SJ. For more information click The Catonsville Nine File

In a wide-ranging conversation on Feb. 21, 1973, which you can listen to here (nixonlibrary.gov Tape 43, Conversation 161) the Rev. Billy Graham and President Richard Nixon discuss American Catholics, and the Jesuits, among other topics.

After Graham tells quotes his son as saying about Nixon, “You’re the greatest president we’ve ever had in the history of America,” Graham says, “And I believe it. I believe it. I believe the Lord is with you, I really do.” The two men move on to discussing Israel and Middle East politics, as well as a rabbi who has criticized a new ecumenical movement among Christian churches. Nixon then makes his now well-known comments about anti-Semitism, which had been picked up widely last week. What has gone unnoticed is the latter part of this conversation, in which Nixon and Graham turn their thoughts to the Catholic church. Graham broaches the topic of organizing on a “world scale” a counterpart to the World Council of Churches, to take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, for those churches who are “sick and tired” of the World Council, which Graham surmises will include “at least half” of the Anglican world. “And we’ll be better financed,” says Graham. Nixon wonders if the Catholics will be joining up. Below is my transcription of what follows. (Thanks to Joseph Cleary, an eagle-eared listener for identifying the words "Krol of Philadelphia," which even for this Philadelphian confirmed by the man, were hard to decipher.) Krol is one of two "good guys" in the church, according to Nixon.
President Nixon: Now what about the Catholics?

Rev. Graham: We don’t know. They’re going to come in great numbers as observers.

Nixon: Yeah.

Graham: So far, they would not be able to participate, and uh, you know the Southern Baptist and other groups wouldn’t um…

Nixon: Yeah…the trouble is…Graham: They couldn’t anyway.

Nixon: Yeah. The difficulty too is that the Catholics aren’t [in better shape] with that too. They’re going be losing their stroke, because…

Graham: They’re…they’re…that is the problem.

Nixon: They’re split right down the middle. They sure are. You’ve got the good guys like [John Cardinal] Krol of Philadelphia, and [Terence Cardinal] Cooke in New York. And then there’s this bad wing, the Jesuits, who used to be the conservatives, and have become now become the all-out, barn-burning radicals.

Graham: I think quite a bit, by the way, of that fellow you’ve got working with you—[John] McLaughlin [SJ, who would soon leave the Jesuits].Nixon. Oh yeah [laughter] the priest, yeah. You know, he’s good, and he’s sort of a convert to our side. He came in a total, all-out peacenik and then went to Vietnam and changed his mind.

Graham: I never met him, until I was over at a prayer breakfast over at the White House about a month ago. He invited me up to his office, and I went over and spent about an hour with him.
Nixon: He's a very capable fellow, bright as a tack.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hogan, Ignatius & Hawk Hoops!

Presenter and former SJU president Nick Rashford, SJ with the Trainers / The Voells huddle up with Don

A good crowd and good food at the refurbished Campion Center.

Hogan Award winner Ed Trainer '63 with daughters Christine,
Lisa, Lori and son Charles.

The extended Voell Family! 44 impressed Babcia with his wealth of Polish ;-)
Lots of standing ovations in the Chapel of St. Joseph on Sunday!

National Alumni Board President Dennis Sheehan and Alumni Director Frank DeVecchis

Dave and TJ bring up the gifts.

Former Alumni Director Dave Dorsey and Athletic Director Don DiJulia with
Marilyn Trainer and Staff Sgt. Charles Trainer, USMC.

44 in good "company", with George Bur, SJ and Bill Byron, SJ

Joe Nardi, center, who torched Penn Wood Saturday night for 35 points in a 3 point Prep victory, shown here against Germantown Academy at the Maquire Campus. Rumor has it (and who knows how these get started but since I read it on the internet it must be true) that there has been interest from schools such as Providence, Siena, and Marist as well as a few Ivies. A smart kid, a good kid, and one who the legendary Speedy Morris has said is the best shooter he ever coached. Be a shame if we let the Dominicans, Franciscans, or Marist Brothers steal him from Hawk Hill. There's still debate on whether that fine jump shot came from the Camden Catholic or Cardinal O'Hara side of the family.

Welcome to Hawk Hill Tay and Carl Jones! / Phil with daughter Liz (Screensaver Clare?)

Phil watches Vince Reilly ref at the summer camp. The 1st time I've seen Vince in shorts...
when it wasn't in the winter ;-)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"The festive event was all St. Joe's."

"The festive event was all St. Joe's. After Ramsay and St. Joseph's president,
the Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, SJ cut the ribbon, a five-man Dixieland band of Jesuits played "When the Hawks Go Flying In." Just as it does at basketball games, the Hawk mascot flapped its wings through the entire ceremony, and those in attendance toured the new building."

"A dream for us comes true on Hawk Hill," Father Lannon said.

I couldn't be there yesterday, but quotes like the one above still get me. While I've vacillated on whether to renew my season tickets -- for the first time in 19 years -- this just made up my mind.

I am whom I am, and I am a Hawk.

You had to laugh at Dr. Jack's comments about how different Hawk Hill was back when he played, having to catch a bus to 17th and Styles to practice at the Prep. No flat screens back then... just shared lockers.

Dick's article mentions the "chance meeting" with Bill Ferguson. He didn't mention that Fergie coached part-time, and was a VP at Beneficial Savings Bank by day. Another chance meeting was between Dr. Jack and Joseph Geib, SJ, the athletic director at St. Joe's, during a game at Connie Mack Stadium. The Hawk head coaching position had opened up and Fr. Geib bumped into Ramsay and asked if he was interested... he was, despite the pay cut he would have to take :-) I always wonder "what if" Dr. Jack hadn't gone to that Phillies game in Swampoodle that day. How different would our basketball tradition had been on Hawk Hill. Would we have had any?

Jameer's comments were refreshing, as he is a bit of an anachronism in today's age. But he understands most prospects today aren't like him. They want the bling, and we just got bling... named after a legend - our legend -- Dr. John T. Ramsay, SJC '49.

Enjoy the articles by Dick and Ray, and Greg Carroccio pictures, courtesy of Sideline Photos, LLC. The next best thing to being there.

A big thank you to Messrs. Maguire, Wynne, Duperreault, Post and Hagan for making it happen!




Philadelphia Daily News

Dr. Jack Ramsay is a basketball lifer whose life has been about all those people whose lives he impacted along the way, his beloved alma mater and the family that he so obviously cherishes.
As the Ramsay Basketball Center was dedicated in an outdoor ceremony at Saint Joseph's late yesterday afternoon and so many had so much to say about the man who graduated from St. Joe's 60 years ago, Ramsay began by saying: "I am honored beyond words as to what has happened here today."

Ramsay went back over his life on Hawk Hill, how a "chance meeting" as a 17-year-old with then St. Joe's coach Bill Ferguson led him there, how he learned so much he applied to his life. He said St. Joe's is "connected to every good thing that has happened to me in my lifetime."

As St. Joe's athletic director Don DiJulia said, there is nobody in basketball history with a resumé quite like Dr. Jack's - legendary college coach, NBA general manager, NBA championship coach, more than 1,000 wins, his continuing analysis of NBA games, all those lives affected.

Ramsay recited the names of his entire roster from his first St. Joe's team. Players from all of St. Joe's modern era were there yesterday - including Joe Spratt, who arrived when Ramsay came back as head coach in the mid-1950s, Jack McKinney, Jim Lynam, the point guard from Ramsay's 1961 Final Four team, Tom Wynne, the great Cliff Anderson, Steve Courtin, Jim O'Brien (Ramsay's son-in-law), John Griffin, Geoff Arnold, Rap Curry, Bill Phillips, Chet Stachitas, Pat Carroll and, on the stage next to Ramsay, the 2004 national Player of the Year, Jameer Nelson.

Ramsay seemingly could have reeled off every name of every player who suited up for St. Joe's, and the men who coached them. Of his players, he said: "These guys gave you their heart."
Now, the school that Ramsay has loved so much has named its new basketball center for him. It was his teams that won so often when they were not supposed to, when the other team had better players. That is much harder to do these days when talent wins almost all the time.
But his teams did it. And, now that his name is on the building, there is no chance anybody will ever forget it.

Philadelphia Inquirer ~ Ramsay helps St. Joe's dedicate new center
By Ray Parrillo
Inquirer Staff Writer

Jack Ramsay seemed surprised by the question.

Standing in front of St. Joseph's University's expanded and renovated basketball complex that bears his name and officially was dedicated yesterday, the Hall of Fame coach was asked what the facilities were like during his playing days on Hawk Hill. "Oh, we had nothing here," said the 84-year-old legend, who graduated from St. Joe's in 1949, a year before Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse opened. "We practiced at Kenney Gym at St. Joe's Prep. So every day after class we'd go to 17th and Stiles and went up to the second floor, where the gym was. There was a locker room. The kids would clear out their stuff so we could bring ours in.

"Up against the wall at both ends there were big pads to protect you if you drove to the basket. I broke my collarbone doing that."

Nodding toward the beautiful two-story, 20,000-square-foot and expansion to the Fieldhouse named the Jack Ramsay Center, he said: "It's a wonderful facility and a great asset for the university. It's an incredible honor for me. But this building represents all the coaches and players who have their imprint on what happened over the years at St. Joseph's."

Ramsay coached the Hawks for 11 seasons, from 1955 to 1966, and reached 10 postseason tourneys, including the Final Four in 1961. His teams went 234-72 and his winning percentage of .765 remains the best in school history. He then coached 20 seasons in the NBA and guided the Portland Trail Blazers to the championship in 1977.

Ramsay led a list of St. Joe's basketball royalty that included Jameer Nelson, who was among the benefactors for the $35 million project. The new locker room is named in honor of the guard from Chester, who was the consensus national player of the year in 2004 and is an all-star for the Orlando Magic. The men's basketball lounge is named after Delonte West, who teamed with Nelson in the backcourt to lead the Hawks to a 27-0 regular-season record and No. 1 ranking, a remarkable feat for a small Jesuit school in an era dominated by Division I football universities.
Obviously, Nelson was not attracted to St. Joseph's because of the facilities, but he said that most recruits are, and that the improvements should be a boost to the program.

"Maybe my mind-set is a little different," Nelson said. "I just wanted to play and have coaches who would make me better and people who would be there for me academically. But to some young guys, certain things matter more to them than they did to me. Guys want nice facilities. I do believe St. Joe's has the best fans, and with the addition to the gym and everything else, it will really help out."

The festive event was all St. Joe's. After Ramsay and St. Joseph's president, the Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, cut the ribbon, a five-man Dixieland band of Jesuits played "When the Hawks Go Flying In." Just as it does at basketball games, the Hawk mascot flapped its wings through the entire ceremony, and those in attendance toured the new building.

"A dream for us comes true on Hawk Hill," Father Lannon said.

Way to go Slim, good luck in Dallas!

St. Anthony product Ahmad Nivins drafted by Dallas Mavericks after proving toughness playing at St. Joseph's

by Matt Gelb/The Star-Ledger

Phil Martelli could tell. He talked to Ahmad Nivins twice during draft day and Nivins was nervous. Really nervous. Being selected in the NBA Draft was an affirmation Nivins, the former St. Anthony High School star, craved. Martelli, his college coach at St. Joseph's, tried all he could to convince Nivins otherwise, just in case.

"Look, you're a wreck," Martelli told Nivins. "But you have to breathe. You have to eat today. You gotta get out and do something to take the edge off." Turns out Martelli was being overprotective of his player one last time. Minutes before midnight on Thursday, Nivins was taken by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round with the 56th pick overall. "It's just a testament to how I worked," Nivins said. "It's been a blessing." He has already been to Dallas and back for a meeting with Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle and an introductory press conference with the other Dallas picks. Now he has a few days back home in Jersey City before crucial summer league play begins July 10 in Las Vegas. Because Nivins was a second-round pick, he does not have a guaranteed NBA contract.

While Martelli talked down the draft to guard Nivins, he said he knew the 6-foot-9, 242-pound forward had a chance to go. Weeks ago, after a poor showing at the Portsmouth Invitational, combined with the fact that he missed out on a chance to showcase himself in postseason play with St. Joe's (17-15), Nivins was considered a long shot to be drafted. But after his workouts with NBA clubs, the chatter heightened. "And actually, I think the more people talked about him as a possible pick, that added to the pressure for him," Martelli said.

Even with the selection, St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley was a bit disappointed because in those workouts, he said Nivins outplayed several players who were taken before him. Nonetheless, considering Nivins has played basketball since only his junior year of high school, Hurley is proud. Going to Dallas was a surprise because the Mavericks had never worked out Nivins. He had 12 workouts with NBA teams leading up to the draft, a couple of which were group workouts for a handful of teams. Those workouts separated Nivins, a late-bloomer who has a chance to be even better, Hurley said.

When Nivins asked Martelli, "How do I get my name called?" last summer, Martelli challenged him to take the next step: Prove to everyone that you can be a double-digit rebounder. "If you're anything less," Martelli said, "they are not going to think you're tough enough." Nivins, the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, did exactly that. As a senior, he averaged a double-double (19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds). Nationally, he ranked fourth in rebounds per game behind John Bryant (Santa Clara), No. 1 overall NBA pick Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) and Kenneth Faried (Morehead State). Nivins led the Atlantic-10 in field-goal percentage, but his ability to hit 15- and 17-foot shots is something that improved his senior season and greatly impressed NBA scouts, Martelli said. That was enough to justify a draft pick. It was more validation for Hurley's program ("Not that he needs it," Martelli said) and the stamp of approval Nivins fixated over.

Nivins watched the draft with his family at home. Late into the night, when he saw his name pop up on the TV screen after a commercial break, he dropped his cell phone, which now has a crack through the screen. But that can be fixed. "I've been given a good opportunity," Nivins said, "and I have to show them what I can really do."

Photo courtesy of CwicksPhotos.com

Cut that ribbon!

Photos courtesy of Greg Carroccio at Sideline Photos, LLC

SJU to Dedicate Ramsay Center Today
Legendary coach to be honored with naming of new addition.
June 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - The Ramsay Basketball Center, named for Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay, will be dedicated today, Friday, June 26, at Saint Joseph's University. The two-story, 20,000 square-foot addition to the former Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse is the first of a multi-phase initiative to expand and enhance the entire athletics and recreation program at Saint Joseph's.

Ramsay, a 1949 graduate of what was then Saint Joseph's College, began his Hall of Fame coaching career when he returned to Hawk Hill for the 1955-56 season. In 11 years on the Saint Joseph's sidelines, the fabled "Dr. Jack" compiled a record of 234-72 (.765 winning percentage) and reached 10 post-season tournaments, including the 1961 Final Four. His 1965-66 Hawks, led by Matt Goukas, Jr., and Cliff Anderson, were named the pre-season No. 1 team in the nation by Sports Illustrated.

Ramsay also mentored five would-be NBA head coaches from Saint Joseph's -- Jack McKinney '57 (B.S.), Paul Westhead '61 (B.S.), Jim Lynam '63 (B.S.), Guokas '66 (B.S.), and son-in-law Jim O'Brien '74 (B.S.) -- along with future NBA assistants, including the late Jim Boyle '64 (B.S.). His first position in the professional ranks as general of the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers resulted in a world championship and one of the most dominant teams in NBA history.

Current Saint Joseph's athletic director Don DiJulia '67 played for Ramsay and speaks for hundreds of former players in remembering the man beyond the coach.

Tom Wyne in the Hall of Fame Room

"In coaching, he was the Wilt [Chamberlain] of his era," DiJulia said. "In life he is a renaissance man. His parents wanted him to be a medical doctor and he entered Saint Joseph's with that in mind, but he couldn't juggle labs and sports, so he shifted his priorities to teach and coach."
Ramsay went on to coach 20 seasons in the NBA, including stints with the 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers. His 1976-77 Portland team captured the NBA championship behind Hall of Fame center Bill Walton.

"The very best coaches are teachers of basketball and life," Walton said. "Jack Ramsay is a Hall of Famer at both. We all loved playing for Dr. Jack, but we loved being with him even more. I can imagine how revered he is at Saint Joseph's, where it all began."

The new Ramsay Center houses the SJU men's and women's basketball programs as well as the Athletic Communications Office and the Thomas J. Wynne '63 Hall of Fame room. New locker rooms, players lounges, study spaces and video capabilities are a dramatic upgrade over the former Fieldhouse facilities.

In October, the expanded and renovated Fieldhouse will be dedicated as the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena, with the first men's basketball game scheduled for Friday, November 13, against Drexel University. With the Ramsay Center and Hagan Arena, a new era of Hawk basketball will officially begin.

"All [women's basketball coach] Cindy [Griffin] and I wanted was a chance to sell the best," said SJU men's basketball coach Phil Martelli. "Now we have it."

The Maguires whoop it up in the locker room!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Jesuit Refugee Service...

Dear Tom and Lisa,

"Education is the key to life." Last January a middle-aged Somali refugee came to the Jesuit Refugee Service team in a large and crowded camp in Northern Kenya, seeking support for his two teenage daughters' education When asked why he felt that their schooling was so important, he quietly but forcibly replied, "education is the key to life." All of us know the truth of those words. But, as we attend out own family's graduation celebrations this year, perhaps this Somali man's wisdom highlights the importance that education plays in the lives of all children. A refugee without education -- whether in Sudan or Thailand, Kenya or Haiti -- is in danger of becoming a functionally illiterate adult without hope in life's possibilities.

A Burmese refugee who teaches at a JRS sponsored school in a camp along the Thailand -- Burma border, expressed it in this same wisdom in a different way: "education is very important for refugees. If you are not educated, it's like being blind. You don't understand anything. We are very poor people compared to another country, but if we are educated we can decide what is good or bad for us. We can improve ourselves and our community."

It is no surprise that refugees and displaced people place a high priority on education. Even in the most desperate of refugee situations -- in the first week or two after being displaced -- refugee families often band together and set up simple schools that represent bot a return to normalcy and an expression of home in their families' future. Frequently JRS staff members arrive at a remote refugee encampment to find a makeshift blackboard erected under a tree and children copying letters with sticks in the sand. Refugees Kenwood that "education is the key to life."

JRS' many educational programs for refugees seek to respond to both the human needs and rights of displaced families and communities. This is why we at JRS/USA constantly request assistance from individuals like you -- as well as from the U.S. government and private foundations -- to support our education programs in Nepal. Sudan, Kenya, and Thailand. This is why I am writing to you today. Please help us by giving the key of life to refugee children!

Thanks you for your past support and your consideration of this appeal. I pray that we may be filled with the wisdom of God's Spirit.


Rev. Kenneth J. Gavin, SJ
National Director

To learn more about the Jesuit Refugee Service pleae click... Jesuit Refugee Service

to help their efforts click... JRS-USA: Support Our Work - Donate Now!


Jesuit Refugee Service / USA
1016 16th Street NW, Suite #500
Washington, DC 20036-5726

History of JRS

Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ

In the late 1970s, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was moved by the perilous journeys to exile of the Vietnamese boat people. Although the Vietnam War had ended in 1975, it was not until 1979 that great numbers of people began to leave the country and seek refugee elsewhere through clandestine, risky journeys by sea. At that time Fr. Arrupe appealed to Jesuit major superiors for practical assistance. The spontaneous and generous 'first wave of action' provoked him to reflect on how much more the Society of Jesus could do if its responses to this, and to other contemporary crises of forced human displacement, were planned and coordinated. From that initial sentiment has grown a world-wide service to forcibly displaced people. On 14 November 1980, Fr Arrupe announced the birth of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). See video on JRS and Fr. Arrupe.

The history of JRS is about the lives and hopes of people we know personally. This personal knowledge constantly transforms our understanding. JRS opens a door — beyond transitory and shocking images — into the inspiring lives of people struggling to defend their rights, protect their families and give their children a future.

See a photo gallery of Fr. Arrupe's legacy here.

Yo Adrian...


There will be a big party today on Hawk Hill, for St. Joseph's will unveil the new Ramsay Basketball Center. Dr. Jack Ramsay will be there, of course, as well as Jameer and Delonte. As with my choice of schools I never thought BIG always equalled to BEST. Our humble Jesuit university is not one of the biggest but it is one of the best. Same with our Hawks. We have a great basketball tradition on Hawk Hill -- from Ferguson's Mighty Mites in the 30's, to Ramsay's domination of the Big 5 in the 50's & 60's, to McKinney's ECC champs, to Lynam's upset of DePaul, Boyle's four to score, Griffin's resurgence and that A-10 run at the Palestra to... Martelli the Magnificient.

Smoke and mirrors need not apply anymore, 'cause "we're moving on up." As LaSalle great Tom Gola once said "no one wins without the horses." Make no mistake; Ramsay/Hagan will make a difference in recruiting. A factor that will not be quantitative... you won't be able to count it... but as you wipe the sweat from your brow, and your voice is hoarse, and the Hawks have just won yet another pivotal game that will never leave your memory, know this place, and all the hard work and dedication behind, will have had something to do with it.

All I can say is, on November 13th... WE WANT DREXEL!



Saint Joseph's shows off new Ramsay Basketball Center

Philadelphia Daily News

If you have been in other "basketball centers" that have gone up around the country as the collegiate arms race has heated up, you might not be completely dazzled by the new Ramsay Basketball Center at Saint Joseph's. However, if you had ever spent any time in the old "facilities" on Hawk Hill, you would have no choice but to be dazzled.

In advance of this afternoon's dedication, Hawks coach Phil Martelli conducted a tour of the building attached to the Fieldhouse (soon to be the Hagan Arena). There is the "Tom Wynne (1963) Hall of Fame Room" just inside the front lobby, a plush area that Martelli says will be for "special gatherings," an "exclusive" room for serious donors, something that nobody really knew they had at St. Joe's.

Well, they do now. The new practice court (unveiled last fall), the remodeled arena (opening this fall) and the newly named basketball center did not come cheaply. Money needed to be raised. Donations needed to be made.

The Hall of Fame room is so exclusive that Martelli does not have keys. Those serious fans - those with the requisite cash, anyway - will be able to hang out there before games and then walk right into lobby of the arena.

"The Delonte West Players' Lounge" is right next to "The Jameer Nelson Locker Room." Nelson and West, the Hawks' great backcourt for two seasons, are now starting in Orlando and Cleveland, respectively. West has pledged a six-figure sum to have his name on the lounge. Nelson's commitment was finalized last year.

for complete article ...Saint Joseph's shows off new Ramsay Basketball Center Philadelphia Daily News 06/26/2009

Martelli Gives Tour of St. Joe's New Digs

By Matt Grassie
For CSNPhilly.com

Temple has the Liacouras Center. Villanova has the Davis Center. Now St. Joe’s has added a center of its own, and, in doing so, taken a step towards becoming a more consistent Big 5 force. And more importantly a perennial power in the A-10.The school, which has been to only one NCAA tournament since 2003, opened an addition to the former Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse that on Friday will be dedicated to former Hawks coach Dr. Jack Ramsay. The Ramsay Basketball Center will house locker rooms, coaching offices and conference rooms, all of which feature state-of-the-art amenities.“They just didn’t miss on anything – the furniture, the carpet,” men’s basketball coach Phil Martelli said. “This is as good as it gets.”

Martelli, who led a tour of the facility for the media Thursday, was glowing with pride when he said that the university aimed to meet the highest standards in its construction of the two-story, 20,000 square-foot addition. It’s all part of a $35 million renovation project that includes the expansion of the Fieldhouse, which has been renamed Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena.

“Our people went to places – Xavier and Marquette come to mind – and there was a lot of research that was done to make this place second to none,” said the four-time A-10 Coach of the Year.The new facilities, which will accommodate both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, are a far cry from the old ones says Martelli, who jokes that his players could barely fit into his former office. But now that the team is living in the lap of luxury, the coach wants to make sure his players remember their humble roots. “The biggest fear that I have is that we will develop a sense of entitlement,” Martelli said. “We need to remember where we came from.”

entire article... Martelli Gives Tour of St. Joe's New Digs

Phil and Rob Ferguson outside the Hagan Arena.

Hawks enjoy their new nest
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Hawk Hill's extreme makeover is nearly complete.

Saint Joseph's Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse is in the final stages of a $35 million expansion plan that has transformed the antiquated gym into a spacious, NBA-type structure that will give future Hawks plenty of room to stretch their wings.

It's out with the cramped offices and compact locker rooms that weakened recruiting pitches, and in with all the modern amenities usually found in any major power conference program.
Flat screens, soda machines, and video game systems should make the modern-day recruit feel at home.

Exclusive rooms and more seats give the Fieldhouse a more welcoming environment for every fan from freshman first-timers to upscale donors.

"There was nothing I thought that was too much or too fancy," coach Phil Martelli said.
Martelli was the tour guide Thursday for the first look at the sparkling Ramsay Basketball Center. The two-story, 20,000-square foot addition to the Fieldhouse is named after former Saint Joseph's coach Jack Ramsay. In October, the expanded Fieldhouse will be dedicated as the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena. The first home game is Nov. 13 against Drexel.

"These guys will need to remember where we came from," Martelli said.

Former Hawks and current NBA guards Jameer Nelson and Delonte West made sizable donations to the project. Nelson helped fund the home team's locker room and West the basketball lounge. Instead of returning to the dorms for a break or grabbing a snack in the car, the Hawks can unwind on leather sofas, play video games and grab sodas from the fridge.
Martelli had to make another recruitment pitch to the players who comprised the backcourt of the 2003-04 team that went 30-2 and reached the NCAA tournament regional final.
"I said, 'Delonte, I need your name on the building,'" Martelli said. "He shook his head and said, 'Yes, yes, yes.' He turned around and reached into his pants like he was going to give me the money on the spot." Instead, the check is in the mail. Nelson got a tour when the Orlando Magic were in town to play the Philadelphia 76ers in a playoff series.

He'll attend Friday's official opening and dedication of the Ramsay Basketball Center, along with Ramsay, Martelli and women's coach Cindy Griffin.

This year's Hawks and beyond will be grateful for Nelson's donation. The home locker room that was the size of an airport restroom has more of a state-of-the-art NBA feel. The lockers that made players feel like they were in phone booths are large enough to make Shaq comfortable.
The name of each Hawk who wore their respective uniform number will be on a plaque inside the locker of the player who has that jersey each season.

"They'll always remember they're just the latest, they're not the greatest," Martelli said. "The room is named for the greatest."

entire article... Hawks enjoy their new nest AP 06/25/2009

New nest on Hawk Hill

Phil Martelli won’t have to watch his players hit their heads in his office anymore. As part of a $35 million project — which includes renovating and adding more than 1,000 seats to newly named Hagan Arena — the St. Joe’s coach has a lavish, new home on Hawk Hill.The Ramsay Basketball Center, named after Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay (who went 234-72 with the Hawks and won an NBA title with Portland), is a 20,000-square-foot facility that Martelli believes can match up with any school in the country. The locker room was donated by and named after Jameer Nelson.

Martelli knows the new facility will make a big difference for players once they arrive on campus.“[Before, players] hung out in their apartments or their cars and they waited until they could come in,” joked Martelli. “As Jamie Moyer would say, he ate a lot of lunches in his car. So there was no lounge, there was no locker room, there was no office space, but now there is.”
Martelli’s biggest fear is that players will develop a sense of entitlement.

“What we need to remember is where we came from,” he said. “If a player wears No. 11, there will be a plaque that lists all the guys that have worn No. 11, so that they always remember that they’re just the latest, not the greatest. The room is named for the greatest.”

Hawks' facility to bear Dr. Jack's name - ESPN

PHILADELPHIA -- Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay will be on hand Friday for the dedication of the 20,000 square-foot Ramsay Basketball Center at Saint Joseph's.

Ramsay, now 84, gave Saint Joseph's a national profile by leading the Hawks to 10 postseason appearances during the 1950s and '60s, including a trip to the Final Four in 1961.

"There was only one name that belongs on this building," current Hawks coach Phil Martelli said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Ramsay, a Saint Joseph's alum, later went on to coach four NBA teams -- the Philadelphia 76ers, expansion Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers. His most successful run was with the Blazers, whom he led to the 1977 championship and, in all, nine playoff appearances in 10 seasons.

Ramsay retired from coaching in 1987 as the NBA's second-winningest coach and was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. He continues to do color analysis of NBA games for ESPN Radio.

"The very best coaches are teachers of basketball and life. Jack Ramsay is a Hall of Famer at both," said Bill Walton, the Hall of Fame center who starred on the Blazers' 1977 championship team. "We all loved playing for Dr. Jack, but we loved being with him even more. I can imagine how revered he is at Saint Joseph's where it all began."

The new facility at Saint Joseph's also carries the name of former Hawks players, including "The Delonte West Players' Lounge" and "The Jameer Nelson Locker Room."

A new (real!) stuffed Hawk and some new under armor offerings at the St. Joseph's Hawks Bookstore,
as well as a rumor that we will soon have a bar/restaurant next door ;-)