PASTOR’S PEN – MAY 21, 2021


The great feast of Pentecost has arrived, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit of Jesus upon the first disciples, the mystery of His presence that continues in the church community to this day.  In his  prototype Pentecost sermon, St. Peter proclaimed “Convert and be baptized, every one of you… and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

It is worthwhile to probe the meaning of “convert.” And we have a great opportunity to do just that.  The Jesuit order began the worldwide celebration of an Ignatian Year (U.S. website) this week on May 20, the 500th anniversary of the cannonball wound of Ignatius of Loyola that led to his “conversion.” Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, the international head of the Jesuits, is inviting all of us to take this year to reflect on the experience of conversion in our own lives and to open ourselves now to new levels of conversion, “to see all things new in Christ.”  How do we let go of the past and become ready and willing to begin anew, to participate in the creation of a new post-pandemic reality that will be more loving and just for all people?

On Pentecost Sunday evening (May 23) at 8:00PM, please join in an online prayer event at with the entire Ignatian global community, to begin the public celebration of this Ignatian Year.  (You can also watch it later after the event.)  There is also a 10-minute introductory video by Fr. Sosa online HERE (it was the basis of my own video “interview” with him this week).

Speaking of the post-pandemic reality. Let me appeal to you – plead with you! – once again to nominate young adults (age 24-39) for CLA, our Ignatian leadership development program that we are hoping to re-start this fall. (Just email me.) We need a minimum number by June 1 to participate in this national program and we need just a few more to make it. Click HERE for information and the application.

Finally, I just received news that the Jesuits of India are mobilizing to provide aid and relief to the countless Covid victims in their country. There are almost twice as many Jesuits in India as there are in the U.S., so they are well-positioned to distribute the aid on the ground directly to those most in need.  You can contribute HERE.  And let us continue to pray with Pope Francis throughout May for Mary’s intercession to bring an end to this pandemic.