Thursday, September 20, 2007

News From Around the World

This is the time of year in my community when everyone is sharing their stories of the summer. Last night, one of my brother Jesuits was telling stories of being a newly ordained priest, and the only priest in a refugee camp in Africa. If you read Spanish, you can read some of his reflections in a blog he kept this summer here (if you don't read Spanish, there are still some lovely photographs worth checking out). My superior attended a number of different ordinations this summer. In the period of about a week he was present at the ordinations of some of our Spanish brothers, and that of one from Poland. "Very different," he said, "but both very beautiful."

One of my friends in the community is from Chile. He was also ordained this summer. When I saw him at one of our first masses upon returning, he said, "Remind me that I have something to tell you." After mass I caught up to him and said, "Well . . . " He told me of how he had met a young man this summer who was interested in becoming a Jesuit. They talked about discerning a vocation and this young man explained that where he was from there were no Jesuits nearby and, indeed, there were many in his Catholic community who were critical of the Jesuits. This made things difficult for him. But, he said, the internet helped him to learn more positive things about the Jesuits, despite the negativity around him. He went on to say that especially enjoyed reading the blog of an American Jesuit named Mark Mossa. "Do you know him?" he asked my friend. "Of course I know him, he's a member of my community," he replied. Yet another of many "small world" stories.

Of course, I was happy to learn I have a fan in Chile. But, more importantly, it was nice to know that this blog is, at least in this case, achieving one of its main purposes. I started this blog not because I was hoping that people might become more interested in me, but largely in hopes that through me that people might become more interested in God, the Church and, perhaps a little more selfishly, the Society of Jesus. I also hoped that by reading about my vocation, that others might be helped in discerning their own. So, it makes me very happy to learn that for this young man in Chile this has been the case, and I'm keeping him in my prayers.


Blogger Steve Bogner said...

That's a great story - being a positive influence for a young man so far away in Chile. This past summer I came into contact, quite by accident, with someone who had found inspiration in my blog. It really is a small world!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

If the Holy Spirit -- I remember how you once wrote how the HS gets "forgotten" in favor of The Father and The Son -- ever used me like that, I'd be shivering so hard people would've thought I was sitting on a juicer.



7:56 AM  

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