Monday, June 27, 2011

Hearts on Fire in Philly...

Fr. Jim Martin, SJ and a team of Jesuits led the Hearts on Fire Retreat at Old St. Joseph's Church for young adults this weekend. Some pics and a great quote by St. Ignatius Loyola.

A great quote from St. Ignatius Loyola, courtesy of Sam Sawyer, SJ:
"There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves entirely to His hands, and let themselves be formed by his Grace. A thick and shapeless tree trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture...and would never consent to submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor who, as St. Augustine says, sees by his genius what he can make of it. Many people who, we see, now scarcely live as Christians, do not understand that they could become saints, if they would let themselves be formed by the grace of God, if they did not ruin His plans by resisting the work which He wants to do...."

OSJ is a special place for my wife and me as we were married there;
the wedding Mass concelebrated by Bill Rickle, SJ and Herbert Charles, CSSp.

The "Hearts on Fire" mission team, in the courtyard of Old St. Joseph's after a weekend mission to young adults. Left to right (standing): Mario Cisneros, SJ; Phil Hurley, SJ, director of the Hearts on Fire program; me; Sam Sawyer, SJ.; Jim Hederman, SJ, vocation promoter; (kneeling) Sean Power, SJ: Rob van Alstyne, SJ. A great group of guys! AMDG!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Requiescat in Pace - Edward Bradley, SJ, MD.

Ahhh... the Jesuits. This one was very impressive, even by Jesuit standards. A Lt. Commander in the US Navy, Medical Doctor, professor, Jesuit priest. Makes me wonder what I've been doing with my spare time.

Even though Father went to St. Joseph's Prep and St. Joseph's College... I got to know him as he was a long time subscriber to the Walnut Street Theatre where I work. He had one ticket in the first row center orchestra. Occasionally he would need to exchange his ticket and of course would come into the box office for a chat. Although not in the obituary I could have sworn that Father told me he joined the Society, then left to take care of his mother. When she passed he rejoined.

I last saw Father two months ago when he was in Jefferson Hospital. I went to his room, which was empty, and was told he was receiving dialysis, so I went down to keep him company. He was happy to see me and in great spirits. I brought him a book about Avery Dulles, SJ and a prayer card of Walter Ciszek, SJ, to pass the time. He thanked me and mentioned that he and Fr. Ciszek used to have breakfast together in Wernersville, and told  a few Ciszek stories that I'm sure few people have heard.

Luann Cotton Marziani from the Jefferson Foundation told me that "we have another saint to pray to now. Fr. Bradley was a great influence on my life. He will always be “Father Heart and Soul” to me." So true Luann.

Father never shared the Vietnam story with me. We have Miss Saigon currently playing at the Walnut. He would have really enjoyed that, from the first row.

Mission accomplished Fr. Bradley. AMDG.

The Philadelphia Inquirer printed a similar obituary in today's addition. The arrangements are as follows.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6-8 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:30-10:30 AM
St. John Bosco Church
235 East County Line Road
Hatboro, PA 19040

Funeral Mass:

Wednesday, June 15 10:30 AM
St. John Bosco Church
235 E. County Line Road
Hatboro, PA 19040

Burial will follow at the Wernersville Jesuit Cemetery.

Notes of condolence may be sent to:

John Kezlaw (cousin)
Lakeview Dr.
Dennisville, NJ 08214

Catherine McClure (cousin)
6312 Ballensby St.
Philadelphia, PA 19149

Anne Schuster (niece)
405 Newton Rd.
Halboro, PA 19040

The poor found in him a generous friend. May they now welcome him into the Heavenly Kingdom.

Saints of God, come to his aid!

Hasten to meet him angels of the Lord!

Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,

And let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace. Amen.

Fr. Edward C. Bradley, SJ, dies
Doctor served the poor, counseled medical students

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered Wednesday for Fr. Edward C. Bradley, SJ. Fr. Bradley died of kidney failure June 8, at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, where he practiced medicine and taught for more than 30 years. A Jesuit for 37 years and a priest for 32, he was 82.

The son of Marie Cecilia Wood and Edward Charles Bradley of Philadelphia, he was born July 18, 1928. He was a graduate of St. Joseph's Preparatory School and earned his bachelors degree from Saint Joseph's College (now University) in 1951 and his MD from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1955.

Dr. Bradley interned at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia before going to the U.S. Navy School of Aviation Medicine in Pensacola, Florida, where he served as a flight surgeon and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander.

Additionally, he completed fellowships in cardiology at the University of Goteborg in Sweden and in cardiovascular research at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He joined the USC faculty in 1964 and was made assistant professor in 1966 and was co-investigator of the circulatory shock unit.

When Dr. Bradley learned of a Jesuit priest in Vietnam in dire need of medical supplies and assistance, he gathered equipment and took it to two Vietnamese villages. He opened clinics there, focusing on tuberculosis and polio cases. He appealed to President Richard Nixon for supplies. Nixon responded with supplies and personnel to inoculate some 8,000 villagers, virtually eradicating the disease in these areas.

In 1974, he resigned from USC to enter the Society of Jesus at the novitiate at Wernersville, Pennsylvania. He professed first vows Sept. 11, 1976. He continued the practice of medicine and in 1975 joined the faculty of Jefferson Medical College. In 1977 he went to study for a master of divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. During his studies he practiced medicine at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco and the USC/Los Angeles County Hospital.

Fr. Bradley was ordained a priest June 9, 1979, and served a pastoral year at Old St. Joseph's Church in Philadelphia. The following year, he opened a medical practice in North Philadelphia to care for the poor and rejoined the Jefferson faculty. In 1987, he began serving as a counselor to faculty and students at Jefferson, a position he held until last year.

The medical school honored Fr. Bradley's work several times. The graduating class in 1991 presented his portrait to the university. He received the Clarence E. Shaffrey SJ award from the medical alumni of Saint Joseph's University in 1999. And in 2008, the year after he retired from teaching, Saint Joseph's University Medical Alumni Chapter established the Edward C. Bradley, S.J., M.D. '51 Medical Alumni Award.

Viewing will be held Tuesday, 6-8 p.m. and Wednesday 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. John Bosco Church, 235 E County Line Rd, Hatboro, Pa. The Mass of Christian burial will be offered at the church at 10:30 a.m. with burial to follow at the Jesuit Cemetery in Wernersville, Pa.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

'You go in their door. You bring them out ours.'

Jesuit influence apparent in rugby
By Frank Fitzpatrick

Inquirer Staff Writer

It's probably not too surprising that a Catholic order conceived in the aftermath of battle, one which has always seasoned its intellectual and spiritual fervor with a healthy respect for physical strength, has become the principal force behind the growth of American rugby.

So many Jesuit high schools and colleges are playing and succeeding at the rugged and increasingly popular sport that it seems as if the 477-year-old religious order, founded by a converted Spanish soldier, Ignatius of Loyola, has added rugby devotion to its vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

"The whole idea of what Ignatius inspired in Jesuits, a competitive spirit and the development of the whole person, is really alive in the sport," said the Rev. Bruce Bidinger, a Jesuit counselor at St. Joseph's University and the chaplain for that school's basketball team.

The traditional game, with 15 players on each side, and the hybrid "sevens" version, with seven players per side, of the sport are experiencing an American boom, nowhere more so than at the 80-plus Jesuit high schools and colleges from coast to coast.

While Boston College will be the only Jesuit school competing at this weekend's 2011 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship in Chester's PPL Park, the rosters of the 15 other teams will be teeming with Jesuit high school products.

In a recent Rugby Magazine poll of the nation's best high school rugby teams, five of the top 10 - and seven of the top 17 - were from Jesuit institutions in Sacramento, New York City, Dallas, New Orleans, and Washington.

Though Gonzaga of Washington was the top-rated team for much of 2011, this year's high school championship was won by Jesuit High of Sacramento over Xavier of New York, the latter a Jesuit school in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

The Sacramento school has long been the primary feeder for the dynastic rugby program at Cal, which has won 26 national collegiate rugby titles. Seven players on the U.S. national team - Ray Lehner, Kirk Khasigian, Chris Miller, Kort Schubert, Lou Stanfill, Eric Fry, and Colin Hawley - played at both Jesuit and Cal.

"Those [Jesuit] schools produce smart, tough players who are also good students," said Alex Goff, the editor of Rugby Magazine.

That rugby-Jesuit connection is evident locally, too, as St. Joe's Prep, rated 17th in that same poll, captured this year's Pennsylvania rugby title. Its program - like most, a club-level sport - was formed in 2005 by three teachers at the North Philadelphia school, all graduates of Jesuit universities.

Overall, there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Most, like St. Joe's, Scranton, Georgetown, Santa Clara, and BC, have rugby teams. Almost all play at the club level since rugby is not an NCAA-approved varsity sport.

Bit of spunk
Jesuits, whose guiding philosophy about the union of body and spirit is the Catholic counterpart to the Protestant notion of "muscular Christianity," have long advocated for sports.

Most of their colleges are too small to compete effectively with the wealthier and more populous state schools in football, but they have a history of success in basketball and lacrosse. Rugby fits neatly into that tradition.

"I don't have any definitive answers [as to why the links between rugby and Jesuits are so strong]," said Colin Curtin, a BC star who played scholastically at St. Joe's Prep. "There doesn't seem to be any reason why there are such great rugby programs and rugby cultures at these schools. But there is. The correlation is unbelievable."

According to Curtin, plans are in the works for a 2012 Jesuit collegiate tournament featuring BC, Georgetown, Santa Clara, and Fairfield.

Curtin said that in his senior year at St. Joe's Prep, when the rugby team played in the national championships, "at least three or four of the other teams were from Jesuit schools."

"It's a sport that allows a lot of people to fit in," said Bidinger. "You don't always have to be the most fit or the strongest. In that sense, it's inclusive. For rugby, all you need is a little bit of spunk and a little bit of energy."

Overall, non-Jesuit Catholic schools are also doing well with rugby.

Notre Dame, operated by the Holy Cross fathers, recently reinstated its rugby team, a response, some insiders suggested, to the school's losing too many Jesuit-trained athletes to Jesuit colleges.

Some suggest an Irish connection is at work. Rugby is among the most popular sports in Ireland. And since the student bodies at many Catholic high schools are overwhelmingly Irish, parents and students there naturally have pushed for the sport.

"[Those connections] have made many Catholic school administrators more open to the sport," said Goff.

The progenitor of American football and long a sporting afterthought on this side of the Atlantic, rugby began slowly digging a foothold at Catholic colleges and high schools in California and the Northeast during the 1960s.

While the process of adding another sport in public schools could be bureaucratically challenging, other Catholic institutions were able to establish teams quickly and, in the process, attract new students.

"These schools were finding success on a national stage, and [others] began to follow suit," said Goff. "Enthusiastic coaches realized that they could persuade a Jesuit school to start a rugby program much more readily than any other type of school. . . . Any coach who wanted to coach high school rugby only had to sell [the idea] to one administration at a private Catholic school rather than to an entire school district."

The Jesuits, of course, being a religious order, have not overlooked the opportunities rugby offers for evangelizing.

"It's like St. Ignatius said," the Rev. James Keane, a Jesuit with a passion for the sport, said of that possibility, " 'You go in their door. You bring them out ours.' "

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