Showing posts from 2005

St Stephen's Day

I have often shared details about how I pray or how I think about things, so I think it's appropriate for me to share how I spent my Christmas:

My eyes began to well up with tears as I looked around the table last night. Here, gathered in my grandmother's kitchen, I scanned those around me to see my mother, my aunts and uncles, and a few cousins who had all gathered together to spend the holiday together. There were others around, of course - kids playing in the living room, other relatives chatting merrily in the family room recounting events of the past, but here in the kitchen, here in the heart of my grandma's house, I felt tears in my eyes as I saw all those gathered around me...

and I had to blink back the tears induced by the foul and malodorous gases my uncles seemed to draw forth from the very depths of hell to share with the rest of the family. I mean, I'm all for the Christmas spirits, but PLEASE - the federal government would do well to monitor the gas emissi…


Howdy! The novices leave this evening for our Christmas Triduum which will end on Thursday. SO, until that time, there'll be no posts nor any way for me to answer phone or email messages. It is with great eagerness that I have been awaiting this retreat and I feel that I need it quite badly both to put some time into my prayer and to spend some time reading and sleeping.

When we began the semester, I made it my personal goal to be able to bench press 135lbs four times. Being sick for many weeks, coupled with other stresses, I really struggled to achieve this goal. Even on Friday I could get 135lbs up twice, but had a heck of a time getting beyond that. Well, today I managed to get all four - not just one set of four, but TWO. Then I struggled to get 155lbs twice...which didn't go quite as well but I did manage to do it with help.

I mention this as I go away for Triduum because it seems to me that this is an apt image for many of our spiritual lives. We put in the time and effort…
This was my first Hockey Game (Motor City Mechanics versus the Quad City Mallards).
A group photo of us with our new pool table. We also have a cover for the table that allows us to play table-tennis on it. Last night, for our Christmas party, we covered the table and used it for our buffet for the dishes we served. I'll write more about that when I have time!

Updated Recipe!

Yes, at long last, I have updated the Recipe Site. Tonight's offering is a delicious Spice Bread that will be a sure hit at any gathering.

Open House

In keeping with the new tradition, we will be having an Open House at "La Casa Duns" on the 26th of December. Since it's an open house, it means that anyone/everyone is invited so if you'll be around that evening, please stop by the house for some food and libations. There will hopefully be some music (I expect Mike and Brian will bring their whistles/flute/accordion) and hopefully much laughter.

Things have been very busy in Ryan's life of late. I administered and graded two exams last week. I wrote one of the final exams I'm giving next week and I'll try and write the other one in a few minutes. I'm also in the planning stages of next weekend's "2006 Loyola House Christmas Party" which everyone is invited to attend: 2599 Harvard Road, Berkley, MI 48072. The party begins at 7:30 and there will be much food and much fun to be had by all.

I will be very glad Thursday evening when my final grades are submitted. Until then, I'll be work…

Oireachtas Musings

I have a few minutes before I go downstairs and watching episodes 7 & 8 of "OZ" season three, so I thought I'd post some thoughts about the Oireachtas.

First off, it was really great to return to playing music. For those of you who don't know, before I entered the novitiate I used to play for Irish dancing competitions (feis, pronounced fesh, not fetish). Many of my dearest and closest friends are affiliated with Irish dancing and I count it as one of the greatest singular graces in my life to have been able to serve my culture and heritage by providing music for its dancers.

This being said, I had a very difficult time transitioning back into the fray. I found the number of people and the absolute "excess" of the whole affair to be overwhelming. I'd like to say that I am concerned on a day-to-day basis with the needs of starving babies and the poorest of the poor, but that'd be a bit disingenuous. I am, however, much more acutely aware of the ne…
Ben Krause produced this composite picture. Under the aegis of Coach Walter Farrell, Team Detroit battled Team Chicago, led by Coach Bill Verbryke.

Turkey Bowl

In every age, the cry of the people rings out calling for new champions, new titans to represent the hopes and dreams of the masses. This cry echoes far and wide and here at Loyola House, the weary world found its champions, its gladiators of sport who would play out on the theater of the football field the eternal drama of good versus evil, light versus darkness, Detroit versus Chicago.

The Arena: Turkey Bowl 2005

It's probably an annual tradition (read: if it's done for more than two years at this house, it becomes somehow a tradition) for the Chicago novices to play the Detroit novices every Thanksgiving. While Denis Weber and Richard Beebe slaved away in the kitchen, I got to go out and play football (I was the "center" and I caught one interception). It was a lot of fun, despite the frigid weather and wicked wind.

After memorizing a great victory on the gridiron (Detroit 35 to Chicago 21), some of us repaired to the kitchen where we worked slavishly to prepare for…
Team Chicago
Team Detroit
All of the players post-game.

Return from the Oireachtas

Well, it's over!

Oireachtas 2005 has come and gone and I couldn't be happier. I'm going to be busy for the next few days, but I hope to find time this week to write down my reflections on the event and the great relief I feel now that it's over.

My trips to and from Columbus were wholly uneventful.

So that's it for the moment. I'm WAY behind in some grading so I need to set about marking a slew of papers, then I need to prepare for class tomorrow!

Quiet Weekend at Loyola House

It's hard to belive that it's already Sunday evening...where has the week gone?

Sadly, Adam's grandfather passed away this week. On Thursday, several novices drove down to Cleveland to attend the funeral mass/burial. I was honored to be invited to play a slow-aire for the mass. I could not attend the burial services as I had to turn around and drive out to Chicago for my CPE interview.

Without going into too much detail, I am now officially accepted for the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Loyola University Medical Center. I met a number of the other chaplains and residents and I'm so excited to have this opportunity. My goals are many, but I really want to cultivate an ever-present disposition of attention, reverence, and devotion. That is, I hope to be attentive to God's presence in the life of the person with whom I am dealing, I want to reverence that person as being a bearer of God, and then be devoted to that person in order that I might companion that pe…

Sons of Luther

My Uncle Jack commented that I have not made much, if any, mention of the influence my father's Lutheran faith has had on my life. I'm sure that it was a conscious slight against the Missouri Synod Lutherans (as my father sez, the "Defenders of the Faith").

Because my mom went to church, we children went to church. My father preferred to worship at the altar of the Blessed Pillow on Sunday mornings after, of course, he had made eggs and bacon for breakfast. Dad did acquiesce and joined his family for mass on Christmas and Easter. It was kind of a treat, sort of like ecclesial show-and-tell, to bring my Dad to church - he was the token Protestant in attendance! Indeed, I can still recall vividly sitting in the back pews at Easter Sunday Mass with my father who pulled out his Watchman (mini-tv) and watched, I believe, some type of sporting event.

I consider myself to be a Mudblood (like in Harry Potter), the product of the union of a Catholic and a Lutheran. If there&#…

Home on a Friday Night

I can tell I'm getting old because it's Friday night and I'm glad to be home for the evening. I remember the old days of boarding planes and spending evenings talking the politics of Irish dancing, only to stay up too late and wake up far too early to play for thousands of Irish dancers at the feis, go out to dinner, and talk more of Irish dancing.

I don't miss that part at all.

Not much to say, really. My professor liked the paper I wrote proposing a narrative context against to situation the debate concerning ordinary and extraordinary means of treatment for persons in persistent vegetative states. It's a mouthful, to be sure, but he liked it well enough to suggest that I send it off for publication. So I spent the better part of my afternoon putting a few touch-ups on the essay.

Tomorrow morning I'm running TWO miles. Yeah, it's far away from the goal of 13 miles, but please recall that I am by no means a runner and two miles will be something of a stretc…


Well, a new twist has developed in my life:

I think I'm going to train for a half-marathon (that's 13.1 miles).

It was during time spent in prayer that it came to me that this might be something to do. As I trace the scope of my life, I've always been pretty self-conscious about the way I looked when I ran. But it seems to me that my ungainly stride doesn't necessarily mean that I can't try to do something new and wholly out of regular character. I mean, as I see it, why not? What's there to lose? Going to the gym didn't kill with any luck neither will this.

I don't know yet when any such marathon will be. To be honest, I don't reckon it matters as I'm interested more in the training process than in the actual race. This is more for personal benefit and proving to myself that I can do it than it is anything else.

It also advances me one step further to my ultimate goal of being a member of a super-secret and elite Jesuit ninja squad.

So this…


Okay, so it's time for me to stroke the ego. I'm including in this post the (rather lengthy) story that was written about mein the Midwest Irish Focus. It was written by Mary Lewis who works at Rockhurst University.


Jesuit Finds Calling in Irish Accordian

This month we introduce you to Ryan Duns. We first became aware of Ryan when we read a short paragraph in the Jesuit Magazine Company, which lists new seminarians each year. Ryan is in his second year of seminary, preparing towards professing his first vows in the Society of Jesus. The fact that Ryan plays the Irish accordion professionally caught our eye. Through a bit of research, we caught up with Ryan via email, and he shared some wonderful stories from his life.

Ryan stated he had a pretty traditional Catholic upbringing; his mother is Irish Catholic, he had two great-aunts who were nuns, and his grandmother was always encouraging him to be a priest. “In fact, it was my astute observation as a child that if I were…

Ho Hum

So I'm now killing the last thirty minutes of my weekly office hours. Having worked two crossword puzzles, developed a bank of twenty word problems, and written an exam, I'm not officially bored.

The fact that I'm still a bit sore from my infection doesn't make sitting here any more pleasant!

I'm going to update the blog again this evening, provided that the soon-to-be released article about me arrives in the mail. I want to make sure that the advanced copy I received matches the one in the paper. It's a nice piece - quite long, in fact, and it goes a long way in capturing all of my endearing qualities...if there were any.

I have class today at 4:00. This means I need to find sustenance and I fear that means I'll make a run to the border at good 'ol Taco Bell. Come to think of it, I shall wrap this post up here: I have a new task to find out the nutrional information for some of the things I eat there. This ought to be fun!

Health Update

I saw the specialist today. It turns out that I've had quite a stubborn infection that moved into my ureters (leading to the bladder from the kidneys) which is what accounts for the pain in my side. My doctor gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine as well as a potent antibiotic, so with luck this will clear up within a few weeks.

Remember that tomorrow night is the concert. You'll also be able to buy the cd on

That's it for now. I'll be working on a paper tomorrow during the day and then we've the concert tomorrow evening. After the concert, a group of us will be going out to see "Saw 2" in the theater -- not a bad way to celebrate the Halloween weekend!


Okay, there has been a proliferation of "ad posts" in my comment boxes. Since I don't want to read comments about Viagra or New Car deals, I've made it so that you have to put in some randomly generated security word in order to post a comment.

For Janet Lehane Cooney, let this serve as my response to your email: you don't need to be a member of this blog to leave a comment. Just type something in the comment box and it'll get posted. This goes for others, too.

I'm going to post the story written about me later this weekend. I want to see the final editorial changes before I put it up here.

Oh oh oh! I finished reading "The Magician's Nephew" by C.S. Lewis last night. I read the Chronicles of Narnia as a little boy and it's such a treat to allow myself to be transported back into my childhood by these stories. If you've not dones so, please do read them as they are just wonderful. One might hazard one of any number of allegorical interp…


Well, as you can see below I've posted several pictures. My dad likes the fact that I write captions for each of them...he seems to be more interested in the way that the picture is seen than in the picture itself. One could reasonably engage in a deep philosophical debate concerning the viewer's hermeneutical vantage point and whether the caption influences unduly the viewer's perception of the picture or whether it enhances the viewing experience. But that would be kind of boring, so we'll skip that discussion for now.

As the pictures show, the Detroit Marathon was held this past weekend. Eric Sundrup and Drew Marquard participated in it and managed to run 26.2 miles. It took them ~about~ 3 hours and 45 minutes to do so. I marvel at the fact that in the time it takes them to RUN 26.2 miles, I could have left Detroit, stopped at a Thruway Panera's for a leisurely lunch (stressing here leisurely) and I'd still make it home to Cleveland before they finished. Need…
Have you ever wondered what it looked like to watch a marathon? Well, this is it. You stand, you wait for a long time, you cheer briefly as your runner(s) whiz by, and then you move on to a new position. Actually, after departing from this position we went out to breakfast (Greektown). Eric Sundrup and Drew Marquard ran (Eric's first marathon) and we are all very proud of the fact that they did so well.
Eric and Drew running in the Detroit Marathon. Would you believe that really old people beat these two spry young men? Eric and Drew aver that "it's endurance! They train a lot." I suspect, though, that these two aren't the athletes they thought...especially as women and men as old as Grandma Hagan beat them!
Drew and Eric after running 26.2 miles. How is it that they look happy?
I just found this photo: it's the first official group picture for the SMMSJ (Society of Mothers of Members of the Society of Jesus). From Right to Left: Adam's Mommy and Adam, Ryan and Ryan's Mommy, Drew's Mommy and Drew, and our Loyola House Den Mother, Denis. (The official roster as of today is: Loretta Marquard, SMMSJ; Nancy Loren, SMMSJ; and Michele Duns, SMMSJ)

26 Years!

Well, according to the calendar, I'm now one-year older than I was yesterday. This is all well and good, I suppose, but I can't say that I feel much different. The only ostensible change is that I now have to tell people I'm "26" rather than "25" and, if my track record holds, it'll take 3-4 months for me to get that straight.

At the age of 26, I'll confess to feeling pretty immature. There are so many things out there that I haven't done or experienced yet! But it dawned on me today that, by the time she was my age, my mother had one child already and (give or take a few months) another one on the way. I'm barely responsible for myself and it's hard to imagine having kids.

I look to my friend Eric and his family - he's 28 and has a son, his wife is in medical school (finishing up) and he's earned two MA's in the last three years and now works full time. I can't help but marvel at the love he has for his wife and son an…
My new "action pose" with my accordion. This is the picture that will be used in an upcoming newspaper story about my Jesuit vocation.
Watching the horror flick "High Tension" at Omena. As you can see, there was much tension with some of us.
Yes, Ryan can play football.
Enjoying a chili dinner at Omena

Return to Omena

Well, it's been two months since my last vacation, so I think I'm due for a fall holiday. Tomorrow, we'll be heading back up to Omena for the weekend (Friday-Sunday). This is a good thing - I could really use a break from math books! Besides, it'll be so nice to return to Omena to see the beautiful colors of the leaves.

It's funny to think that it's already time for midterms at UDM. In some ways, it's as though the semester just began. If I weren't so tired, I think I'd be more shocked that it's already the middle of October. For that matter, I turn 26 next Wednesday (October 19th, Feast of the North American Martyrs). I can remember my 13th birthday pretty well, so it's sobering to think that I'm twice as old now as I was then. I can actually remember my 10th birthday, too, but I don't know what it was that was significant about that birthday except, maybe, that I moved into a double-digit age bracket.

I may have mentioned this befor…
Believe it or not, this isn't really a posed picture. I was enraptured by the glory of this ice cream parlor (found in Cincy). They make the best dang chocolate sodas!
Giving a talk on Entrance Day.
Group Shot after miniature golf.

CD Release (Part II)

The CD And It's So Clear will be released on September 29th. If you've tried to buy it online, it's not yet on so you'll have to check back in two weeks or so. You may, however, pre-order it by calling the Province office at the number listed below.

Betsy or Agnes: 1-800-445-1621

Pumpkin Pancakes

Well, if something was going to get me to post this weekend...

Yep, I tried a new recipe: PUMPKIN PANCAKES.

Now, before you go thinking "Geez, he's gone whacko" [too late for that] let me hasten to say that these were really quite delicious. We had a Candidates Weekend (men who are interested in joining the Society of Jesus come and spend a weekend with us and, following liturgy on Sunday, we have a nice brunch for them.) so Drew Marquard (my usual co-chef along with Denis Weber who, sadly, was away this weekend) and Mike Singhurse and I prepared the brunch. If you'd like to try this recipe, go to and look it up. As I keep threatening to do, if I can get around to updating the Recipe site I'll put my interpretation of this recipe on there.

In other news, things are going well here with me. I was glad to hear from my old friend Dianne Alaimo who was a fellow grad student at John Carroll. She left a message for me in the comment box and also sent me a v…

CD Release!!

This first portion of the post is brought to you by Province Update which is a newsletter for Jesuits of the Detroit Province:

Father Bob Scullin, SJ (the provincial of the Detroit Province) recently recorded his first CD entitled And It's So Clear. The CD contains 14 songs written by Bob and performed by a number of artists, including yours truly. I provide the tin whistle and accordion accompaniment for the song "Ellis Island." While there are no jigs or reels on this CD (we'll have to wait until I record my own for that kind of music!!) I think listeners will enjoy Bob's creativity and song-writing ability as well as the musical stylings of a number of talented musicians.

Proceeds from the CD are slated to benefit the Jesuit Refugee Services. You can order it online at or you can contact Betsy or Agnes at the Detroit Province Office at 1-800-445-1621.

Now that the commercial is over, let us returned to our usual broadcast.

It seems that I've mad…

Sundry things

Well, let me tell you: you need to go to and download the recipes I mentioned on Wednesday. They are SO GOOD! The meal was a big hit here at Loyola House and I suspect they'd go over well anywhere. Preparing the meal for seventeen men and one woman was relatively inexpensive...about $5.00 per person is my estimated cost. Of course, we had some things around the house that I was able to make use of rather than having to buy them. The real expenses were the chicken stock, gorgonzola cheese, and arugula. Otherwise, it was pretty inexpensive.

On a more sober note, the same medical malady that afflicted me back in April has returned with the same painful symptoms. I'm going onto my second week of antibiotics and, sadly, they don't seem to be helping. The only consolation is that they pain is more chronic and less acute, so I'm getting used to it...but it does make sleeping pretty difficult. The doctor gave me a prescription for pain medicine but, as it seems to b…

Office Hours

Well, I just arrived at UDM to begin office hours. Since there's a test tomorrow, I expect that at least a few students will stop by to seem me for help; I also have an appointment at 1:00 with a student, so I'm glad that I'll have some social interaction during this period. It gets lonely in this office!

A major SHOUT-OUT to Mother Nancy Loren, SMMSJ [no, not a religious least not yet! SMMSJ = Society of Mothers of Members of the Society of Jesus] for sending us some very delicious cakes this week. We've pretty well worked our way through the Pineapple Not-Upside Down Cake. Most delightful - so moist and, well, DELICIOUS. One caveat, though: I love pineapple and must confess to making a pretty mean pineapple upside down cake of my own, but Nancy's recipe has encouraged me to learn a new recipe to share with others.

Speaking of recipes: I know, I keep threatening to update the recipe site. Well, I really will just as soon as I make something worthy of post…

Another use for cooking

This weekend I've been working on my application for the Clinical Pastoral Education offered through Loyola Medical Center in Chicago. It's a laborious process requiring both a personal history and a spiritual autobiography.

To be honest, I find it terribly difficult to start autobiographical essays. Sure, you could start with "As I look back upon my life" or "I was born in the usual way" or something cliche, but who'd want to do that?

So, I took a totally different and bizzarre approach:

"My life is akin to the recipe for Cajun Jambalaya..."

The entirety of my autobiography is held together by the controlling image of a Jambalaya recipe. It may sound strange, but it actually appears to have worked pretty well: my family as the stock and meat base, Irish music as the spice, twenty-five years of cooking time, and various persons tossed into my life (Enyak, Anne Hall, Abba Gray, Joan Nuth, etc.) like vegetables. So my bio accomplishes two things in…


Well, there's not much to say this morning. It's been a busy week and I'm really tired. A lot of grading, teaching, reading, etc.. Hopefully it'll be a quiet weekend and I'll be able to get some work done.


-if anyone happens to have good "science fair" project suggestions for a 6th grader, please post them in the comments box. Brian English is looking for one and asked if I could help; as the 6th grade is a long way from my mind and as I'm more into science at a smaller scale (cells and tissues rather than whole organisms) I'm pretty useless. So any ideas?

I'm heading now to mass. I just wanted to post in order to give the lunching members of SMMSJ something to talk about!


More News!

I'll be playing the Mid-American Oireachtas this year. I'm very excited to have been asked to play there and am looking forward to getting back to the world of Irish dancing!

So many changes!

Well, as you can see, there's been some more changes here. I grew tired of the old format so I selected a new one. I also procured a new "hit counter" to tell me how many people stop by to visit.

Also, in the links section, you'll see a new link to the blog of my psuedo-cousin Justin Petitt. Take a gander and read of his recent European exploits.

A few quick remarks:

Thanks - belatedly - to KEVIN HANEY who wanted public recognition for delivering my birthday cake last year. I could have sworn that I thanked him on the blog but, since I'm hopeful that he'll drop another one off this year (October 19th, we eat dinner ~5:30!!) I'll thank him again.

That's it. I'm going to review some material for my course in "Health Care Ethics" and then I have class tonight - yeah! We'll be discussing "The Life of Antony" and Ignatius of Antioch's Letter to the Romans. Not that any of you will care about this, per se, but I thought that I…


It's been kinda hard to post this week as I'm now into the full swing of taking/teaching my classes while keeping the day-to-day schedule of Loyola House.

Spiritual Thought for the week:

This week we celebrated two feasts: the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It's interesting that they fell back to back. I'll share with you why in a moment.

When Jesuit theologian Michael Buckley teaches his course on St John of the Cross (known for the phrase "Dark Night of the Soul") he begins the course by reading the "Living Flame of Love." This is notable only insofar that, as St John intended it, the Living Flame of Love would be read only after the reader has worked through "The Dark Night of the Soul" and "The Ascent of Mount Carmel" (Note: This is Carmel - the religious mountain - and not the creamy delicious CARAMEL. If there were a Mount Caramel, I'd certainly live there). The rationale is si…


One thing I forgot to mention:

I signed a contract yesterday for my encyclopedia entry on "The Jesuit Volunteer Corps" to be included in the soon-to-be-printed ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE. It's not necessarily a big deal (it's one of MANY entries) but it's kind of cool to see your name in print.

New Pictures

Just a quick post to get a few more pictures up on the net. I'm not much for taking photos when I travel, so I'm glad that Adam has a photo-fetish and insists on capturing EVERY minute of our exploits on film.

These pictures are from our trip to Mackinac Island (almost a month ago!). Actually, they're from our trip back to Omena after spending two days on the island.

I'm not above "inside jokes" on this site, so Abba Enyak -- these are the pictures I was talking about!

Not much else going on. I spent the day working on class materials for my two courses (including finding homework sets and making up some quizzes) and going to the gym. I'm now feeling pretty sleepy so I'm going off to bed - only to rise tomorrow by the awful hour of 9:00 to beging the dreaded HOUSE JOBS! If I get up early enough, perhaps I'll run to Einstein's for a cup of delicious coffee...

Have a good weekend!
Four of us in front of the WORLD'S LARGEST CRUCIFIX. If you listened to her complain, you'd think my mother carried the world's biggest cross. Now we know: it's actually located in Northern Michigan.
People wonder if I really do pray. Well, here's photographic evidence that I'm praying very hard. This is St Peregrine...
St. Peregrine is the *LAST* Saint you want to mess with! Actually, he is the patron saint of persons living with cancer.
So, on our way home from Mackinac we decided to stop by the NUN DOLL MUSEUM. Yes, such places do exist.

First Day of Teaching!

As the chalk dust settled at 12:35 yesterday afternoon, I inclined my head and strained my ears: there was no weeping or gnashing of teeth. In fact, it seemed that everything went pretty well. No one got hurt and, it seems to me, the students felt much more comfortable upon leaving the class than they felt when they entered.

I remember *hating* math when I was in grade school and even for the first two years of high school. Luckily, as I said in an earlier post, I had a teacher who taught me how to learn (in all subjects) by encouraging a disciplined and organized approach to studies. So I'm not shocked at all to hear the students' horror stories about crazy math teachers and reasons they are afraid of numbers. With any luck, I'll be able to do for them what one great teacher did for me.

Today I change roles (and clothes!!) and assume the posture of the student rather than the teacher. I'm taking a course in "Health Care Ethics" this semester and, as it's…


I just wanted to thank everyone who emailed/called/commented on my last post. At the risk of feigned humility, I must say that it was not my intention to do any soul-searching the other night. Rather, I wrote what I felt and found that, much to my delight, my own experiences have proved and are proving to be helpful to others.

You'll notice that I've changed the name of my blog. One year after its inception, it seems that there aren't very many letters "TO" Ryan and, although there are a number of posts "from" Ryan, none of them are in letter format. Since my own self-image has changed this last year - captured most aptly as by "Wounded Knower" - I thought I'd change the name of my blog to be in keeping with what I see as my own evolution.

Now don't be afraid. I'll still post snippy remarks about my sister Hagan (Oh, she's not off the hook by ANY means!) and rant about how it took my parents TWENTY YEARS to replace my Paddingt…

Shrinking Wardrobe!

After consultation with my superior and with my new boss at UDM, it has been suggested that I wear clerics to work each day. By clerics I mean, of course, the universally recognized black shirt with the white tab at the throat. While pants are a matter personal discretion (what doesn't go with black??) I reckon that I'll stick to black slacks, although I will admit to owning a pair of kickin' pin-striped pants that are both comfy and stylish. While I mourn the curtailment of my clothing options, I do think it's kind of cool that I won't have to fret over "What am I going to wear?"

I'm wracking my brains in an attempt to find something funny/witty/insightful to post this evening. Sadly (and par for my course) I've not much to offer. We're getting back into the daily grind here at Loyola House so there's a regularity to the schedule and our new guys seem to be settling in very well. It's hard to believe that a whole year has transpired!



So there are two new pictures on the site and it is my hope that folks will find the "old time" photo to be somewhat entertaining. We had fun taking it!

I received a nice email expressing thanks for my showing a very "human" face to my novitiate experience. This is good as it is my goal to show that religious life isn't nearly as mysterious and forbidding as some think. We're regular guys on fire to bring about God's kingdom...but that doesn't mean we can't have a good time doing it!

I picked up the textbooks I'll be using to teach my two math courses this semester. It's pretty daunting to be on the other side of the Math Desk!

One of the most important aspects of my early formation was the Grad-at-Grad document from St Ignatius High School. The ideal graduate at graduation was:

Intellectually competent
Open to Growth
Committed to doing justice

In taking on this new adventure of teaching math, I hope that I'm starting to i…
Picture of the Mustang Lounge on Mackinac. Jim, Tony, Ben, and I played music here during our visit to the island.
Sometimes people wonder what Jesuit novices do for fun. Well, we dress up in funny costumes and pose for pictures! This picture (Adam, Ben, Ryan, and Drew) was taken earlier this month when we were visiting Mackinac Island.

Moving on Up


I've a bit of an update for everyone about my semester. Initially, I had planned on facilitating a spiritual support group here in Detroit, but my well-laid plans were dashed today when I found out that the fellow who trains facilitators for the groups was leaving and would not be replaced until mid-October.


So, in God's own inimitable fashion, I will be doing something that most people - especially my parents - will gasp in horror and awe.

I, Ryan Duns, will be an Instructor for "Basic Math" and "Elementary Algebra" at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Me, a math professor!!!

This is funny because I was a terrible math student in high school. It took two EXCELLENT teachers to teach me how to learn math and, if I owe anyone thanks for the academic success I achieved later in my life, it is my junior year algebra teacher (Ms Gobel) who taught me how to learn. If I can offer to these students 10% of the quality she imparted to me, I will count myself …

Prayers Needed!!

Okay, here we go:

Brian English, he who desires nothing more than to "live the life" will be an international star tomorrow morning. At 8:30 am, go to:

Brian will be the STARTING PITCHER!!

He will be in a red uniform sporting #4.

So please pray for Brian that he pitch a good game. Jim Shea, nSJ is praying for him this evening and that is a good thing as he knows everything about baseball and will be sure to let God know exactly what Brian needs for tomorrow. I'm ignorant of such things, so my prayers will be used to support Jim's prayers and to let God know that I'm keeping and eye out for Brian. Nancy, if you read this in time, use your vast prayer power to aide my student!!

I'm going to try to put more pictures up later this week.

Other news:

This week, I was appointed Beadle. The beadle is something of a coordinator, chosen from the novices, who acts as a liason between the novice director and the novices. I'm responsible for coor…
Note my pensive expression. No, it's not Rahner, it's a wine list!
Jesus walked on water, I am carried over it on a deck chair by a team of novices.