Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Jesuit Celebration

The Jesuits are celebrating the 200th anniversary of their restoration. Frank Brennan provides a classic Australian flavour to the  jubilee.

The first Jesuit I ever knew was Brian Stoney who mentored me into solidarity with vulnerable people as we worked in Fitzroy creating a space for men with chronic alcoholic issues.

My days in Melbourne were enriched with a connection with the Jesuit House at Parkville and some study under the wise guidance of Noel Ryan. Friends from those days included the witty Michael McGurr and the urbane Michael Smith.

As I ventured into the mosh pit of Catholic journalism I looked to the experience of Michael Kelly, Andy Hamilton and Richard Leonard. 

The list would not be complete without acknowledging the poetry of Peter Steele who like Gerard Manly Hopkins I admired from the written page.My shelves have been populated with the writings of Christopher Gleeson, Brendan Byrne and John Wilcken.I have sung the music of Christopher Willcock and stayed awake for my Trinity classes with Peter Beer.

And now firmly immersed into the commitment to social change and solidarity with the First peoples of this land I tip my biretta to those great "meddlesome priests" Frank Brennan and Mark Raper

Finally I give thanks to the Jesuits for one of my regular places of pilgrimage at St Canice's Church in Kings Cross. 

Celebrate with these men who have been challenging, inspiring,nurturing and salt of the earth

Australian Jesuit Province Statement on Refugees and Asylum Seekers
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