67/68. Who was this guy called Pierre Teilhard de Chardin? Why is he Famous in the Scientific Community?

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher, who spent the bulk of his life trying to integrate religious experience with natural science, most specifically Christian theology with theories of evolution. In this endeavor he became absolutely enthralled with the possibilities for humankind, which he saw as heading for an exciting convergence of systems, an "Omega point" where the coalescence of consciousness will lead us to a new state of peace and planetary unity. Long before ecology was fashionable, he saw this unity he saw as being based intrinsically upon the spirit of the Earth:

"The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth." Teilhard de Chardin passed away a full ten years before James Lovelock ever proposed the "Gaia Hypothesis" which suggests that the Earth is actually a living being, a collosal biological super-system. Yet Chardin's writings clearly reflect the sense of the Earth as having its own autonomous personality, and being the prime center and director of our future -- a strange attractor, if you will -- that will be the guiding force for the synthesis of humankind.

"The phrase 'Sense of the Earth' should be understood to mean the passionate concern for our common destiny which draws the thinking part of life ever further onward. The only truly natural and real human unity is the spirit of the Earth. . . .The sense of Earth is the irresistable pressure which will come at the right moment to unite them (humankind) in a common passion.

"We have reached a crossroads in human evolution where the only road which leads forward is towards a common passion. . . To continue to place our hopes in a social order achieved by external violence would simply amount to our giving up all hope of carrying the Spirit of the Earth to its limits."

To this end, he suggested that the Earth in its evolutionary unfolding, was growing a new organ of consciousness, called the noosphere. The noosphere is analogous on a planetary level to the evolution of the cerebral cortex in humans. The noosphere is a "planetary thinking network" -- an interlinked system of consciousness and information, a global net of self-awareness, instantaneous feedback, and planetary communication. At the time of his writing, computers of any merit were the size of a city block, and the Internet was, if anything, an element of speculative science fiction. Yet this evolution is indeed coming to pass, and with a rapidity, that in Gaia time, is but a mere passage of seconds. In these precious moments, the planet is developing her cerebral cortex, and emerging into self-conscious awakening. We are indeed approaching the Omega point that Teilhard de Chardin was so excited about.

This convergence however, though it was predicted to occur through a global information network, was not a convergence of merely minds or bodies -- but of heart, a point that he made most fervently.

"It is not our heads or our bodies which we must bring together, but our hearts. . . . Humanity. . . is building its composite brain beneath our eyes. May it not be that tomorrow, through the logical and biological deepening of the movement drawing it together, it will find its heart, without which the ultimate wholeness of its power of unification can never be achieved?"

In his productive lifetime, Teilhard de Chardin wrote many books, which include the following: LET ME EXPLAIN

Most of these quotes were taken from Building the Earth, and The Phenomenon of Man, but as I no longer have a copy, but only old notes, I can't quote exact page numbers.

by Anodea Judith, Dec. 96.

from: http://www.gaiamind.com/Teilhard.html
more on Teilhard de Chardin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin

102. How Many Lunar Craters are Named After Jesuits?

At least thirty-five (35). From the 1600's up to the present, Jesuits can be found in the sciences and their various applications. Not least among this field is astronomy where at least 35 Jesuits have made significant contribution to the understanding of the physical universe and the advancement of scientific knowledge. From Mario Bettini (1582) of Italy until Paul McNally (1955) of the U.S., Jesuits have shown that faith and science need not necessarily clash but can enhance one another in our continued search for who we are and what is our mission here on earth.

Here is the list of the Jesuits whose names are forever enshrined on the surface of the moon.

NASM name latitude longitude diameter

Bettinus 63.4s 315.2e 71.4 km
Billy 13.8s 309.9e 45.7 km
Blancanus 63.6s 338.5e 105.3 km
Boscovich 9.8n 11.1e 46.0 km
Cabaeus 84.9s 324.5e 98.4 km
Clavius 58.4s 345.6e 225.0 km
Cysatus 66.2s 353.9e 48.8 km
De Vico 19.7s 299.8e 20.3 km
Fenyi 44.9s 254.9e 39.0 km
Furnerius 36.3s 60.4e 125.2 km
Grimaldi 5.2s 291.4e 410.0 km
Gruemberger 66.9s 350.0e 93.6 km
Hagen 48.3s 135.1e 55.5 km
Hell 32.4s 352.2e 33.3 km
Kircher 67.1s 314.7e 72.5 km
Kugler 53.8s 103.7e 65.8 km
Malapert 84.9s 12.9e 69.0 km
Mayer 63.2n 17.3e 38.0 km
McNally 22.6n 232.8e 47.5 km
Moretus 70.6s 354.5e 114.4 km
Petavius 25.3s 60.4e 176.6 km
Riccioli 3.0s 285.7e 145.5 km
Riccius 36.9s 26.5e 70.6 km
Rodes* 23.0n 283.0e
Romana* 21.0s 33.0e 33.6 km
Scheiner 60.5s 332.2e 110.4 km
Schomberger 76.7s 24.9e 85.0 km
Secchi 2.4n 43.5e 22.7 km
Simpelius 73.0s 15.2e 70.4 km
Sirsalis 12.5s 299.6e 42.0 km
Stein 7.2n 179.0e 33.7 km
Tacquet 16.6n 19.2e 6.6 km
Tannerus 56.4s 22.0e 28.6 km
Zucchius 61.4s 309.7e 64.2 km
Zupus 17.2s 307.7e 38.0 km

* Not found in (NASM) catalog but is in the1960 Wilkins Moon Map

The map and charts are taken from page 74 of Jesuit Geometers by Joseph MacDonnell, S.J. of Fairfield University. This book concerns the impact the 56 most prominent pre-Suppression Jesuit geometers had on the development of mathematics and science. It is published jointly by the Publications of the Vatican Observatory and The Institute of Jesuit Sources .

For a complete bio of each Jesuit, visit this highly informative site:

Recently, a Filipino astronomer, Fr. Victor Badillo, was honored by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by having an asteroid named after him.

72. How Come No Jesuit Was Ever Famous for Painting?

But there was and he still is!

Andrea Pozzo, S.J.
was a Jesuit Coadjutor Brother who wrote of perspective geometry which was "meant to aid artists and architects". His book Prospettiva de' pittori et architect (Rome, 1693-1700) was one of the earliest on perceptivities and was meant to aid artists and architects. It has gone into many editions, even into this century, and has been translated from the original Latin and Italian into numerous languages such as French, German, English and Chinese, but he is best known for his masterful applications of his perspective art, the cupola, the apse and the ceiling of St. Ignatius Church in Rome

One of the most remarkable sights in Rome is this perspective painting on the ceiling of St. Ignatius Church. On the flat, massive ceiling of the church he painted a fresco, in perspective, of the missionary spirit of Jesuit Society, thereby expressing Jesuit identification with the baroque spirit of Rome. The beautiful ceiling celebrates two centuries of adventuresome Jesuit explorers and missionaries. His theme is the missionary spirit of the Society. Light comes from God the Father to the Son who transmits it to St. Ignatius as it breaks into four rays leading to the four continents.

this article is from http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/jmac/sj/scientists/pozzo.htm
For a brief bio of Brother Pozzo visit this site http://keptar.demasz.hu/arthp/bio/p/pozzo/biograph.htm

Some of Brother Pozzo's Famous Paintings
(Click to enlarge image)

15. Who was the Jesuit Who Inspired the Making of the Blockbuster Film "The Exorcist"?

With the screening of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, talks about real demonic possession resurface. People have been asking whether there was some historical basis to William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, which was made into a blockbuster film and became one of the most unforgettable movies of all time. Here is the story of the Jesuit priest who inspired that movie.

By Catholic News Service
(From the issue of 3/17/05)fr. halloran

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — A funeral Mass was celebrated in early March in St. Camillus Chapel in Wauwatosa for Jesuit Father Walter H. Halloran, who died at age 83 March 1. He was the last surviving Jesuit involved in a 1949 exorcism case in St. Louis that led to William Peter Blatty's 1971 best seller, "The Exorcist," and the hit 1973 movie of the same name.

The priest had been living in retirement at a Jesuit assisted living facility at St. Camillus. No cause of death was reported.

Father Halloran, who was ordained to the priesthood in 1954, was a Jesuit scholastic at St. Louis University at the time he was assigned to hold down a 14-year-old boy known by the pseudonym "Douglas Deen," while Jesuit Father William Bowdern performed the exorcism with the assistance of Jesuit Father William Van Roo.

In a 1988 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch daily newspaper, Father Halloran said he observed streaks and arrows and words like "hell" that would rise on the boy's skin. "The little boy would go into a seizure and get quite violent," Father Halloran recalled. "So Father Bowdern asked me to hold him. Yes, he did break my nose."

The exorcism was performed with the approval of Cardinal Lawrence Ritter of St. Louis. Father Halloran would not presume that the boy's actions were caused by demonic possession. "I've withheld judgment," he said.

News of the exorcism was reported in 1949 by the National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service, Catholic News Service's predecessor. The old United Press news agency published its own article based on the NCWC story, and Blatty said he was inspired to write his novel by the three-paragraph United Press account that appeared in The Washington Post while he was a student at Georgetown University. The boy involved in the exorcism was from the Washington suburb of Mount Rainier, Md.

Father Halloran was assistant director of alumni relations at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., at the time of the 1988 story revisiting the exorcism. "He had no idea that this would create such a stir," a Creighton spokesman said.

Born in Jackson, Minn., in 1921 and the eldest of nine children, Father Halloran was awarded two Bronze Stars for his service as a paratrooping chaplain during the Vietnam War. At age 48, he was the oldest airborne chaplain at the time.

Father Halloran later taught at St. Louis University and at St. Louis University High School. He also was assigned to a parish in north St. Louis for a few years. In 1972 he was named director of national alumni relations at St. Louis University.

Father Bowdern died in 1983 at age 85, and Father Van Roo died in Wauwatosa in March 2004 at age 89.

this article was taken from http://www.catholicherald.com/cns/cns05/halloran.htm

81. Who is this One-Armed Brother Who Bakes and Acts on the Side?

(from Brother Rick Curry — Able Actor by Retta Blaney)

For an actor, being rejected for a TV commercial is disappointing. But when an actor never even gets to audition because he is laughed out of the building, the hurt is devastating.

And then it is life-changing.

Brother Rick Curry S.J., 56, was that actor. In 1977 he went to try out for a mouthwash commercial. His fellow graduate students at New York University were earning high fees doing commercials, so even though acting as a profession wasn't his goal, he decided to give it a go. He received permission from his Jesuit provincial superior and memorized the script, because turning pages is hard for him.

He told the receptionist at the studio he was there to audition for the commercial, and she laughed. She thought her boyfriend was playing a trick on her. The idea that a man born without a right forearm could be in a television commercial was too much for her. For the first time in his life, the then-34-year-old Curry saw himself as disabled.

"It was really a terrible blow to me," he says.''My parents hadn't raised me that way. I thought, what do people do who have greater disabilities than mine?"

He pondered that question while finishing his doctoral dissertation on 17th-century Jesuit theater. St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, encouraged students to practice what we now call visualization when they read the Gospels, to see themselves as stable boys in Bethlehem or in other roles."I thought, why not apply the principles of 17th-century Jesuit theater for the disabled?"

Such was the beginning of the National Theater Workshop of the Handicapped. At first, recruiting was a challenge because so many disabled people were accustomed to shunning attention. The thought of getting on a stage and saying, "Look at me" was foreign to them.

But not for long. Over the last two decades, more than 2,500 students have studied at NTWH's New York studios and another 500 at its two-year-old residential facility in Belfast, Maine.

NTWH's newly opened bakery in Maine has begun catalog and Internet sales of Brother Curry's Bread, based on recipes from Curry's popular book, Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking. Proceeds will benefit NTWH, as will sales of the students' recently recorded CD of choral music.

And lives will continue to be changed as students step out on stage. "You can see the transformation," Curry says. "Instead of thinking of their physical limitations, people have to think of themselves as whole human beings. Dramatic literature can raise the human spirit so people can begin to celebrate who they are."

Trivia: Brother Rick also bakes and cooks delicious soups.

54. A Jesuit Named Hell? Who the H - - - is He?

Maximilian Hell, S.J. died 200 years ago in 1792, after falling victim to the defamation of Jesuits during the Suppression of the Society. Accused of altering his data during the 1769 transit of Venus, he was not exonerateed until a century later when the renowned American astronomer Simon Newcomb found Hell's readings to be correct, his scholarship above suspicion and his accusers guilty of slander. The damage done his reputation, however, survived him because of historians who failed to report his rehabilitation.

Because of his personal qualities as well as his scientific adventures Hell was held in high esteem by all who knew him. He was elected to the most prestigious scientific academies of Europe. The rulers of both England and Denmark offered him large honorary pensions which he modestly declined. At the urging of fellow scientists he attempted to form an imperial academy of science, but was thwarted by political enemies of the Jesuits. He did succeed in publishing a very timely and indispensable journal concerning the latest scientific discoveries. A lunar crater is named after Hell and a 1970 Czechoslovakian stamp honors him dressed as a Laplander recalling his famous scientific expedition.

Maximilian Hell was born into a family of engineers in 1720 in the city of Selmecz (Schemnitz), Hungary. His father was the chief engineer of the local mines and his brother invented an ingenious machine to pump water out of the mine shafts. After joining the Jesuits Maximilian taught mathematics, astronomy, physics and technology and attracted large numbers to his celebrated lectures. He also was a prodigious writer having no less than 35 entries in Sommervogel's Bibliography and requiring 20 pages of narration. Both his teaching and writings promoted a popular understanding and enthusiasm for astronomy, spreading Hell's reputation throughout Europe.

Among his adventures were experiments in magnetism applied to medicine. This was unchartered ground. By assuming very unconventional premises he started something quite remarkable. Using lodestone he devised an arrangement of magnetic plates for the lessening of pain from diseases, including attacks of rheumatism from which he himself suffered. He met with considerable success in relieving the pain. His magnetic medicine attracted the attention of a young man named Franz Mesmer, recently graduated from the Jesuit University of Dillingen in Bavaria. Mesmer disregarded the magnets and developed a different, but even more peculiar theory of healing based on circulating cosmic fluids in the body. The hypothesis of both men were found to be groundless but eventually investigators of these phenomena made mesmerism, or hypnotism, an accepted medical practice.

The story of Hell's detractors can be found in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography, in ISIS and in the modern histories of astronomy. Just before the Suppression, Jesuits directed 30 of the world's 130 major astronomical observatories. Maximilian Hell was so successful in setting up smaller observatories that in 1755 Maria Theresa of Austria and Hungary named him her court astronomer and commissioned him to organize a great central observatory in Vienna. He did so and remained its director for a quarter century. For 37 years he published his unique periodical Ephemerides Astronomicae containing scientific papers and observations which was widely used by the imperial navy, for purposes of the merchant fleet, geodetic surveys and the exact mapping of the empire.

from The Adventures of Jesuit Scientists. Click link for the complete story.

17. Was there ever a Woman Jesuit?

The incipient Society of Jesus had trouble with its experimental acceptance of women Jesuits. A noblewoman, Isabel Roser and her two companions, sought the permission of Pope Paul III to take the vows of the Society of Jesus and form its female branch, sometime in 1545. However, upon entrance to the Society, Isabel made impossible demands and proved problematic as she continued with her old ways. She wore the patience of the Superior General, Ignatius of Loyola, when she asked for very long hours of spiritual direction. As a result, the normal way of proceeding of the order was disrupted. He in turn asked the same Pope to dispense Isabel from her vows and to write a bull forbidding entrance of women into his order.

Then came Juana the recently widowed wife of the heir to Portugal's throne. She was a benefactor to the Society of Jesus and was attracted to its way of life. She was a powerful regent to her brother Philip II of Spain, who was then married to Mary Tudor of England. Her ambitious desire endangered the Society of Jesus who was only 14 years in existence. Her taking of the religious vows forbade her from marrying again, which ran in conflict with the royal plans of her father Emperor Charles V and her brother Philip, for further alliances.

Ignatius made the difficult and perilous decision of accepting her into the order with one absolute condition: that her vows be made in secret. This way she could still live her life as a member of the Royal Family without divulging her new religious identity as a Jesuit. (Her name was not mentioned and Jesuits referred to her as, Mateo Sanchez or Montoya.) This also meant that she could never re-marry, which she observed, and lived a life of poverty (or simplicity amidst opulence). The Jesuits had only one problem with her: she gave orders to Ignatius and Francis Borgia, the two highest officials of the Society.

And after her death, the Society never accepted women Jesuits again into its order. This makes Juana the only woman Jesuit in the entire history of the Society of Jesus.

For a more complete story about her, visit Fr. John Padberg's article in the Company magazine.

34. Is there a Jesuit Ballet Dancer?

Yes. And there were and are many of them! Fr. Bob VereEcke, SJ of Boston College, is one. In 1971, Fr. Bob started his passion to dance ballet. He introduced ballet in the plays he directed for the novices. When he asked his superiors if he could major in dance, he was surprised when they said yes. He then formally studied ballet at Santa Clara University. Since then he has not stopped dancing and tutoring young people to dance ballet for God. He has even formed his own dancing troupe, the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble, which stages plays and musicals with ballet dances. The Ensemble has even performed for the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, when the latter visited Boston.

The ballet tradition is not a recent phenomenon in the Society of Jesus. In fact, beginning 1658, the Jesuits have been part of the rich history of ballet by being teachers, choreographers, innovators and dancers of ballet. An article from the 1911 Encyclopedia has this excerpt about a Jesuit priest who contributed a lot to ballet tradition:

"One of the most complete books on the ballet is by the Jesuit, Claude Francois Menestrier, Des ballets anciens a modernes, 12mo (1682). He was the inventor of a ballet for Louis XIV. in 1658; and in his book he analyses about fifty of the early Italian and French ballets."

Many people thought that the only way to pray was by bowing or kneeling. Fr. Bob and a host of Jesuit ballet dancers and dance enthusiasts believe that to really praise God one must use one's entire body for the greater glory of His name. And dancing ballet is one great and graceful way to do it!

More on Dance and Spirituality here.

62. Did Ignatius Coin the Phrase "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam"?

The ubiquitous acronym A.M.D.G., which means For the Greater Glory of God, did not originate from Ignatius of Loyola. A popular Christian motto during his time; it was fashionable to append it on one's writings or literary pieces. Probably, Ignatius came across it in his spiritual readings or from some monastery or church wall painted or carved with these initials. Ignatius used it very often in his letters and in the writing of his autobiography and spiritual diary, so he was thought to have originated the term. The world-renown classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach was said to have written the A.M.D.G. initials at the end of his compositions. The late Pope John Paul II used it many times in his writings and official letters.

The Society of Jesus was (and is) associated with the term because Ignatius wanted his men to be at the frontier of doing humble service for God's greater glory even if the task required great sacrifice, involved peril and knew little chance of success. It was Ignatius' vision to send Jesuits to all lands of all people, culture, races and religions to conquer hearts and souls for God. So Jesuits could be found doing all sorts of things for this purpose: there are Jesuits in media, in genetic research, astrophysics, economics, literature, music, politics and other fields of expertise.

When Ignatius dreamt of Jesuits being available instruments in the hands of God, he also desired they be the among if not the best instruments there are. This is what A.M.D.G. means.

23. Do Jesuits Pray?

This question came from a mother of a Jesuit aspirant who was worried about her son's spirituality once he got accepted to the Society of Jesus. The mother cautioned her son, trying desperately to dissuade him from entering the religious life, "But the Jesuits-- they do not pray!"

Unlike most religious orders and diocesan communities, the members of the Society of Jesus do not pray the Liturgy of the Hours (or Common Office) as a community. At the time of its founding, the Society was envisioned by St. Ignatius of Loyola as a community of missionaries on the move. He did not want to hold back his men from doing missions by summoning them at the end of the day to a common and organized prayer. Jesuits at that time were assigned to diffirent communities all over Europe, sometimes they were in pairs but many times, all alone as in the case of St. Francis Xavier. The Spiritual Exercises that the Jesuits have taken before their vows ought to have inculcated in them the interiority of the desire to pray, alone and many times while on journey. And this tradition has been carried on until today.

So you won't see for example, Jesuits gathering together everyday to pray together like the Trappist monks whose main charism is prayer and work (Ora et Labora) and whose vow of stability makes it possible to gather six times a day to pray as a community. The Jesuits, however, do pray in groups in selected occasions like noon time prayers, benediction, common penitential rites, everyday masses, etc., and in communities where structures for common prayers are possible (like the Novitiate, Houses of Study, Parishes. etc.).

Anyway, the desperate mother's son I have mentioned above has just been ordained to diaconate and he lovingly and proudly told his mom, "But Ma, they do really pray!"

1. Are Jesuits Catholic?

Some people ask whether Jesuits are Catholic or some kind of a cultic organization doing esoteric works. This question probably comes from the observation that Jesuits, as opposed to other religious congregations, do not have one particular apostolate or mission. The Dominicans are known to be preachers of the Word of God, hence their initials O.P. (Order of Preachers). The Franciscans are popular because of their strict observance of the vow of poverty and their works among the poor. The Order of Hospitaller is famous for its charitable works of caring for hospital patients and indigents.

Since members of the Society of Jesus (SJ) are almost in every field of endeavor and social sciences, aside from their university affiliation, people might take them to be some kind of a special group of religious order. But they are not. They have a fourth vow: a special obedience to the Holy Father. They can be sent anywhere, anytime, do anything, to be anything and suffer anything for the sake of the missions.

They also have jobs and duties outside their clerical/presbyterate functions, therefore many people associate them to be working "outside" the Church and "not of" the Church. The Papal Bull Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae by Pope Paul III puts the Society of Jesus and its men under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

And for this and for record purposes, yes, the Jesuits are Catholic!