Showing posts from February, 2008

My ideal job as a Jesuit

As many regular readers know, I have something of a penchant for the theology of Karl Rahner. To be sure, there is a host of theologians I love to read: James Alison, Jim Keenan, Robert Barron, Thomas Aquinas, N.T. Wright. But if I had to point to a thinker who not only taught me how to pray but who also engage in the craft of theology, hands-down it's Rahner.

With this said, it may come as a shock to many that being a theologian is not exactly my dream job. Don't get me wrong: I'd love to write books that help people learn how to pray better, books that introduce people in the Mystery of God's love for humanity. So I offer to you my three dream jobs:

1. Jesuit Chef. I'd love to prepare meals for those who come calling on various communities, incarnating the charity and hospitality of God's Kingdom as I have come to know it through prayer and a commitment of my life as a disciple of Christ

2. Special Ed teacher. For seven summers I worked in a summer camp that ad…

Catholic Blog Awards

If you're hankering for something to do, consider visiting:
Catholic Blog Awards
in order to nominate my blog.

The Road to Cana

If there is any silver lining to the delays I encountered this weekend on my way to New Mexico, it is that the long hours spent waiting to stand-by on flights provided me an opportunity to read Anne Rice's new work Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. Better known as the author of the Vampire Chronicles, this is Anne's follow up to her 2006 work Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. 
Rice (or her publishers) places at the beginning of the novel an invocation to the Trinity and then a quote from Karl Rahner, SJ: "The truth of the faith can be perceived only by doing a theology of Jesus Christ, and by redoing it over and over again." This is indeed a daunting task, one demanding a constant return to Jesus' own question to Peter "Who do people say that I am" (Mark 8:27). In this short (242 pages) and readable text, Rice sets out to answer that question anew.
Her tactic, however, is narrative rather than dogmatic. Instead of citing conciliar decrees or Church formulat…

A Long Weekend

I had meant to post several times this past weekend, but it seemed that there was no time to write. I'm traveling to New Mexico this weekend to play at a Feis (and to see my dear friend Anne Hall) so I've been trying to get a lot of work done ahead of time in order to leave NYC free and unburdened.
It was, nevertheless, a fun weekend. I went to a lecture on Friday afternoon and then invited several graduate students back to Ciszek Hall (my residence) in order to discuss the lecture. On Saturday Dr. Patrick Hornbeck and I took a group of students to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And finally, on Sunday we had a large vocation event here at Fordham were nearly twenty students come to meet with Jesuits from the Fordham community. It was great to see these students (representing various stages of discernment) and heartening to know that really good guys are attracted to the Society.
Oh, lest I forget, I did take the "Faces of Catholicism" group to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (…

On-Line Pilgrimage

Paul Elie, in his beautifully crafted book The Life You Save Might Be Your Own describes the pilgrimage as "A journey taken in light of a story." Having heard of some great happening through the stories of others, the pilgrim embarks to experience this story. Whereas a tourist goes to the site in order to take a photo, the pilgrim sets out on the journey in order to be transformed. The fruits of the pilgrimage are carried neither by photograph nor videotape, but rather are born on the bodies and live on in the story of the pilgrim.
Many of us will not get a chance to make the sort of pilgrimage made famous by the Canterbury Tales. But during the Lenten season - a season of pilgrimage with Christ - I would like to draw your attention to a new venture at America Magazine.
Jesuit Father James Martin narrates the story of Chimayo, known as the Lourdes of America. Father Martin offers the story behind Chimayo and recounts how it has become an important site for pilgrimage. In this …

Inside Fordham: Passing on the Tradition

Please excuse its length, but I can't find a link to the latest Inside Fordham which is carrying a column I wrote. Several weeks ago I was invited to contribute to the Sapientia et Doctrina section and I put this piece together.

Passing on the Tradition

When I was a little boy, I learned early that the best answer to the question, “Ryan, what do you want to be when you grow up?” was the enthusiastic reply, “A PRIEST!” Such a response earned me a pat on the head, a beaming glance and a couple of quarters from my grandfather. Secretly, however, I harbored another desire: I wanted to be a professional Irish musician.

Fast-forward about 20 years. I am now a Jesuit studying for the priesthood at Fordham. I continue to travel the world playing accordion for Irish dancing competitions known as feiseanna. I even teach a course titled “Introduction to the Irish Tin Whistle” in Fordham’s Irish Studies program. It seems that the innocent response of an eager-to-please little boy turned out to b…

Faces of Catholicism

I just wanted to post a few pictures taken today. We went to the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and after we went out for Brunch.

Because my Niece is the most beautiful baby in the world



I had a very nice weekend away in Seabright, New Jersey. The kitchen at the villa house is magnificent and I had a chance to cook dinner on Saturday evening for five other Jesuits. I marinated some steaks and prepared a bleu cheese butter to accompany them, I prepared a fried polenta (think french fries made of cornmeal), mushrooms stuffed with spinach, garlic, and parmesan cheese, and brownies and ice cream for dessert.

The more I cook, especially for larger groups, the more I realize how much the act of cooking is a crucial dimension of my spirituality. As I prepare the food, I consider those for whom I am cooking: what will they like to eat? Knowing what I do of each of them, are there things I can do/make that will enhance their dining experience? I craft the meal to meet their needs and desires wanting for them to have the best possible experience of our table fellowship.

But the meal itself begins long before we sit at the table. As people wander in through the kitchen, I'm…

Villa Weekend

After last weekend's marathon of cooking, I've decided to retreat to Seabright, a villa house own by Saint Peter's College. From this afternoon until Sunday evening, I'm going away with my laptop, a stack of books, and a thick German dictionary and I'm going to spend the time in quiet study and relaxation.
As I've realized this week: even the good things we do can make us tired!