St. Ignatius FEST

St. Ignatius FEST

St. Ignatius FEST

As a Jesuit “works” we celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) each July 31st. This year, we’re having a particularly festive celebration under the white tent at Cheverus High School with food, live music, games, good fun – and YOU are invited! 

We hope you’ll join us for this inaugural St. Ignatius Fest from 4-7 at Cheverus. It’s a FREE event, but please register here, so we’re sure to have enough food:

https://cheverus.almabase-beta.com/e/st-ignatius-festival/

Welcome – Fr. Larry Smith, SJ

Welcome – Fr. Larry Smith, SJ

Welcome – Fr. Larry Smith, SJ

We welcome Fr Larry Smith SJ (back) to Portland!

Fr Joseph O’Keefe, SJ, Jesuit Provincial, has missioned Fr. Larry Smith SJ to serve our parish as a senior priest “In Residence”. In this capacity he will be assisting us with parish liturgies, coverage of our nursing homes, health care facilities and senior residences and other works to be determined.

Fr Larry is no stranger to Maine. He initially served at Sipayik with the Passamaquoddy Community and later returned as pastor of the Passamaquoddy community at Dana Point. From 2004-07 he was Jesuit Superior and Pastor at St. Pius X Church here.

He served as a Navy Chaplain for a number of years, and after coming out of the military was a civil service Catholic priest at Hanscom Air Force Base in MA and Boling Air Force Base in Washington, DC, a total of 26 years of government service.

Most recently he was Senior Priest at St. Ignatius Church, Port Tobacco, Maryland. He brings to us a wealth of experience and we welcome him to our parish staff. He will be living at the St. Ignatius Residence (rectory at St. Pius X)  We expect is arrival in mid-June.

Remembering Fr. Jack d’Anjou, SJ – with Much Gratitude

Remembering Fr. Jack d’Anjou, SJ – with Much Gratitude

Remembering Fr. Jack d’Anjou, SJ – with Much Gratitude

For over 15 years Fr. Jack has brought his good humor, kindness, and a great care for people to our parish.

He was always willing to say “yes” to a need for a pastoral visit, Communion call or a funeral Mass.

Until this past year he was a regular at K of C Council meetings, in the past several years serving as Chaplain to both Councils in the parish and helping them to work closer and closer together for the benefit of the parish and their fraternal life. During this time of service, he received the award of K of C Chaplain of the Year for the State of Maine.

Always with a story to tell, he was a kind and gentle presence and a good Jesuit. We give thanks for his life, and we will miss him.

Fr. Paul, SJ

Welcome Fr. John Michalowski, S. J.

Welcome Fr. John Michalowski, S. J.

Welcome Fr. John Michalowski, S. J.

We are happy to welcome Fr. John Michalowski S.J. as the new parochial vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish. He will arrive (actually, return, to Maine) in mid-May joining us
from St. Peter Church in Charlotte North Carolina where he has served as Parochial Vicar since 2016.

Fr. Michalowski entered the Society of Jesus in the then New England Province on September 1, 1973, the same day as Fr Paul; he was ordained to
the priesthood on June 20, 1981, and pronounced his final vows in June 1990.

Fr.Michalowski has served in a variety of roles in his time as a Jesuit, including serving as a religion teacher and chaplain at Cheverus here in Portland from Fall of 1982 to Spring of 1999 with a sabbatical in 1991 for Tertianship. After completing the associates’ program at Loyola in Guelph, Ontario, he became the director of Campion Renewal Center in Weston, MA until 2005. He was then pastor at Saints Mary and Joseph Parish in Salem, NH until 2016. Fr. Michalowski will replace Fr. Brian as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Hope Parish.

Fr. Brian remains Superior of the Jesuit Community of Maine and will remain active in our retreat ministries through the ACTS ministry and the Ignatian Partnership of Maine. He will also expand his role at Cheverus High School.

Fr Michalowski brings years of experience in parish and retreat center settings and will enable us to continue to grow and integrate the Ignatian ministries in Maine.

Be With Us in Caring

Be With Us in Caring

Be With Us in Caring

This parish-wide initiative lines up beautifully with the worldwide work of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).

In a recent letter to all Jesuits, Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits quoted the most recent General Congregation – or GC36 –  (the highest governing body in the Jesuits – there have been 36 since the order’s founding in 1540). Both documents describe a transforming encounter with the mercy of God as being at the heart of Ignatian spirituality This encounter with the mercy of God moves us to a generous personal response. “The experience of the merciful gaze of God on our weakness and sinfulness humbles us and fills us with gratitude, helping us to become compassionate ministers to all. Filled with the fire of Christ’s mercy, we can inflame those we meet.” (GC 36, Degree 1, paragraph 19).

As with all ministries of the Society of Jesus, Our Lady of Hope Parish seeks to be a place where everyone can encounter the profound mercy of God and where all will be moved to act with compassion in the world.

How do we show this care and compassion?

We do so by “Living the Eucharist, and Becoming a Beacon of Hope.” In the brochure that we recently sent out, we describe three activities that help us to show this care and compassion:
1. Coming to Know Jesus as a Friend
2. Celebrating God’s Love For Us
3. Feeding, Connecting, Healing.

In inviting others to come to know Jesus as a friend or to deepen that friendship, we hope to invite everyone to a transformative encounter with God’s mercy. We celebrate that transformative encounter throughout our lives – from 39 baptisms to over 80 services for those who have died. The twenty-seven ministries, close to 100 liturgical ministers, the many donations to charity and the service provided through organizations like the Knights of Columbus give evidence that the encounter with the merciful love of God has elicited a generous response from many in our parish. In the Society of Jesus we often describe these ministries as cura personalis – translated care of the whole person.

On the fourth page on the inside of that brochure we include information on income and expenses. Very often people think that issues like dollars and sense are secondary to the work of cura personalis. In the Society of Jesus, this fourth page is a part of what we call cura apostolica – translated care of the organization or apostolate. The Jesuits see Our Lady of Hope Parish as an apostolate.

Care for Mission: People, Communities, and Organizations

In 2020, Arturo Sosa, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, wrote a letter to the whole Society entitled “Care in the governance of the life-mission of the Society in this era of change.” In this letter, Fr. Sosa emphasized the need for unity between cura personalis and cura apostolica. Fr. Sosa traces both our care for one another and our founding institutions to that transformational encounter with God’s mercy described in the GC36. From the very founding of the Society of Jesus by Ignatius Loyola, we have had one single cura that is care for our mission. This care for mission focuses on persons, communities, and works. Care for the whole person and care of the organization must be united for us to carry out the mission.

We invite you to be with us in encountering the merciful love of God. We invite you to be with us in a generous response to that encounter. We invite you to be with us in living the Eucharist and becoming a beacon of hope. We invite you to join us in caring for one another (cura personalis) and caring for Our Lady of Hope Parish that helps to facilitate this encounter and to make this encounter available to all (cura apostolica).

Fr. Brian Conley, S.J.

Celebrating Our Jesuitness on the Feast of St. Ignatius

Celebrating Our Jesuitness on the Feast of St. Ignatius

Celebrating Our Jesuitness on the Feast of St. Ignatius

The feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), occurs on July 31 each year. For Our Lady of Hope, this feast provides an opportunity to consider what it means to us to call ourselves “a Jesuit Ministry.”

At the Thirty-First General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in 1975, we Jesuits asked ourselves this question, “What is it to be Jesuit?.” The answer that we gave was, “It is to know that one is a sinner, yet called to be a companion of Jesus as Ignatius was…To be a companion of Jesus today is to engage, under the standard of the cross, in the crucial struggle of our time, the struggle for faith and that struggle for justice that it includes” (GC 32 Decree 2, 1975).

Fifteen years later, as I began to respond to God’s Call in my life, I was deeply moved and inspired by this mission of the Society of Jesus – the service of faith and the promotion of justice remains for me an orienting principle.

Called as Ignatius Was

Ignatius Loyola’s story may be very familiar to many of us. Ignatius, a Spanish nobleman born in 1491, was wounded when a cannonball shattered his leg while he was defending the city of Pamplona from an invading army. Beginning during his recuperation and over the next decade, Ignatius experienced a profound conversion experience. In these years, Ignatius traveled widely. He begged, preached, and helped the poor as he traveled. His insights began to coalesce into the manual that became the Spiritual Exercises. The Spiritual Exercises are a series of biblical and non-biblical reflections designed to help individuals draw closer to God and to discern God’s call in their lives. He began to share these exercises with others and many began to have profound spiritual experiences. After being questioned by the Spanish Inquisition, Ignatius decided to complete his education – ending up at the University of Paris where he met the other men who would become the first companions – the original Jesuits.

Rooted in the Spiritual Exercises

Jesuit life is deeply rooted in these Spiritual Exercises and the answer the Jesuits gave to the question “what does it mean to be Jesuit” draws from the Exercises – which are divided into four periods referred to as weeks (but not necessarily a 7-day period):

  • The grace of the first week is a deep understanding of oneself as “a sinner loved by God.”
  • The grace of the second week is “accompanying Jesus on mission.”
  • The grace of the third week is accompanying Jesus through the events of his passion and death (the Standard of the Cross).
  • Finally, the grace of the fourth week is experiencing the joy and sharing the consolation of the risen Lord.

Responding to the Call today – On Mission for Justice

In 2008, at the conclusion of the Thirty-fifth General Congregation, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the delegates, saying in part, “As my Predecessors have said to you on various occasions, the Church needs you, relies on you and continues to turn to you with trust, particularly to reach those physical and spiritual places which others do not reach or have difficulty in reaching.”

What this Means for Our Lady of Hope

Our desire to join others in the struggle of faith and the struggle for justice is the basis of this parish’s decision to seek to be a welcoming parish – especially to those on the margins – members of the LGBTQ community, new Mainers, refugees, and those who may be separated and divorced. The challenges that Pope Benedict named as a context for GC-35 have only grown more challenging since that time. These challenges included social, political, and economic change; ethical, cultural, and environmental problems; and conflicts of all kinds.

The animating spirit – based in the Spiritual Exercises and the history of the Society of Jesus – asks us to focus on the now and to stand on that border between the sacred and secular – helping all to “find God in all things.” As a parish, we seek to share the graces of the Spiritual Exercises with others.

  • We seek to help all people to experience themselves as deeply loved.
  • We join in Jesus ministry of healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and proclaiming the Kingdom of God all around us.
  • We seek to respond particularly to places of human suffering as an orienting principle – confident that Christ crucified is present in those places.
  • We seek to do all of this a community that knows the Joy of the resurrection and is open to the guidance of the Spirit.

Fr. Brian Conley, S.J.

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