Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Court of the Two Mothers

The lastest from CANS:

Jesuits Courting Two Ladies

By Steven Assom

Rome, April 1, 2006--Reports from Rome suggest that the Society of Jesus, which operates 28 universities in the United States, is prepared to make a bid to add two more universities to its network. Unconfirmed sources report that a meeting took place here last week attended by Jesuit Father General Peter Hans Von Kolvenbach and five U.S. Jesuits including Fr. Charles Current, Fr. Joseph Fussio, Fr. Brian O'Daily, Fr. Kevin Wilder and Fr. Michael Garbanzo. Current is president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Washington; Fussio is chancellor of Ave Maria University; O'Daily teaches at the University of Notre Dame; Wilder is president of Loyola University in New Orleans; and Garbanzo is president of Loyola University in Chicago. The topic of the meetings was reportedly efforts by the storied 450 year old religious order to take over operations of one of the United States’ premier Catholic universities, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and one of its newest, Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.

Speculation has been fueled by the approach of hurricane season. Plaisant Boudreaux, a member of Loyola New Orleans’ Board of Directors would not confirm the rumor, but did say, “We have been exploring ways of minimizing our risk of having to shut down for another semester, having another campus in the same region would certainly be of help.” Wilder would only say, “Our focus right now is rebuilding New Orleans.” Displeasure with some recent statements by Notre Dame’s new president have also reportedly led to a movement among Notre Dame’s faculty to bring the Jesuits in. Outspoken faculty member Brian McRichard told this reporter, “Most of the country thinks Notre Dame is a Jesuit university anyway, it’s likely that most people wouldn’t even notice the change.”

A reported rift between Fussio and Ave Maria University founder Dominic Monahan has set off a power struggle at the fledgling university. Fussio evidently turned to the Jesuits for help when the administration started receiving complaints from students that Fussio seemed far too liberal to lead the university into the eschaton. In a moment of candor, Monahan admitted that the Jesuit “may no longer be the horseman for the job.”

Catholic University expert Rick Riley is concerned about the implications of such a move by the Jesuits. “This would open up two more venues in which young, impressionable Catholic minds would be exposed to heretical commencement addresses,” said Riley, “not to mention the danger of morally complex theatrical productions.” Dick Newsome of the Catholic publication, Second Chances, offers a more positive spin, “Don’t forget these are two universities named for the Blessed Mother. Start your prayers now and what we may see as a result of this move is the conversion of the Jesuits. Imagine the impact thirty orthodox Catholic universities could have on the promotion of capitalism throughout the world.”

Garbanzo would not comment on the matter except to say, “We’ve already got plenty of universities named after Loyola, it would be nice to add a couple of ladies to our family.”

Current promises that we can expect a statement in May about the nature of the Rome meeting. Until then, he said, “You may just want to treat this as if it were all one big April Fool’s joke.”


Blogger Lisa said...

Wow -- this is quite a scenario! Keep us posted, please, Mark.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

This is my first post to your site. I like it a lot. My comments on this post:
I went to a Jesuit University-Marquette University. Didn't shatter my faith. My faith grew. I like Jesuit Universities. You get people that think out of them.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous "omis" said...


I couldn't figure out why you would post an article like this.

Until I read the last line.

You duped me, Mark! And I in turn let myself be duped by you.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh! good one...!

7:22 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Ha! I was duped. :-) for a whole couple of paragraphs!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

You are lucky I like you. Otherwise, I'd be going into great detail about what a jerk you are!!!!

I read the entire article thinking (1) Why didn't Mark correct the spelling? and (2) Why haven't I heard any of this?

But at least it explained why my e-mail hasn't been answered.

We SO owe you one.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Amy L. Cavender, CSC said...

I was all set to correct you on the spelling of Fr. Daley's name--then I took the time to actually read the post, instead of just glancing at it.

Nicely done!

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Hahahha! This is definitely the best April Fool's ever. You know exactly how to tweak the Catholic blogosphere. Can you imagine the reaction if this were real? Forget about the homosexuals, THE JESUITS ARE TAKING OVER THE WORLD!! The end is nigh!! LOL

11:31 PM  
Blogger angelmeg said...

You Big Dope!

You got a lot of people, what are you trying to give Maureen a run for her money, or are you just picking up the slack now that her other apostolates are keeping her so busy? You had me fooled for about a paragraph!


12:26 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

sweet prank!

and to think i was catching what i thought were typos...until i read the end.

6:17 PM  
Blogger JohnE said...


Definitely duped!

And, perhaps hoping a little? :*D


John E.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Crusader Coyote said...

Heh. I was totally duped until the last line. . .

(Grad of Loyola New Orleans myself, I was a bit puzzled by the . . . extreme rationale presented. . .heh. . .)

2:27 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

You got me too, I couldn't figure out what Fr. Fessio was doing with Charles Curran, but figured you just couldn't spell. None of it made any particular sense (I mean the Jesuits taking over Ave Maria - come on now- the founder would burn the place down first), but I'll admit you had me going right up to the end. Best April Fool's gag of the year!

8:05 AM  

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