Tuesday, July 31, 2007

If the US Government Established A National Holiday For A Catholic Saint

I would have to think the honor would go to Ignatius of Loyola whose memorial is celebrated today by the Church. The Influence of the Order he founded on the United States and the World for that matter is immense. I think the St Francis and the Fransicans are the only ones that come close. The name Jesuit was used by opponents of the order. Now the order proclaims that name with Pride.

Jesuits have been in the United States since the very beginning. They were some of its earlier explorers. The sheer number of people they have educated in this country from young Children to College students is beyond belief. In my small corner of the World, the Jesuits came and offered a education to people that included the haves and have nots all in the same classroom,. Some of these "have nots" Catholics and non Catholics are now some of the leading lights of the community. Amazing to think that was duplicated in so many places.

Here are just a few famous Jesuits in American History

Jacques Marquette, French explorer of the Mississippi area

John Carroll (priest), first bishop of the United States and founder of Georgetown University

Gabriel Richard, co-founder of University of Michigan, "second founder" of Detroit, first congressional representative from Michigan (then a territory, not yet a state)
Thomas Ewing Sherman, son of a US Civil War Union Army Major General William T. Sherman (Father Sherman is buried in Grand Couteau Louisiana)

Michael J. McGivney, Founder of the Knights of Columbus

John Courtney Murray, American theologian (credited with the drafting of the Second Vatican Council Declaration on Religious Freedom)

John M. Corridan, labor activist and "waterfront priest," his story inspired the classic film On the Waterfront.

Edmund A. Walsh, founder of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Anthony Kohlmann, early Catholic priest in New York whose decision not to testify established American precedent for "priest-penitent privilege" or "clergy confidentiality" in law

The Jesuits are a part of the fabric of American society in so many ways. Yet because they gave their lives to serving to the Christ and his Church they produced no descendants to remember their memory and talk about their exploits. That is up for us to do because in many ways we are their children. This American experience was typical and was repeated all over the world.

I have not even got into Loyola's spiritual exercises that have brought so many people closer to their Lord.

Ignatius of Loyola -Pray For Us

1 comment:

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

What about Father Wlodimir Ledochowski?

Why are there no books or movies about him?