February 2021
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February Reflection
Michael C. McFarland, SJ

Our Lenten Journey

In the article reference in this newsletter, Fr. Craig Morrison of the Pontifical Biblical Institute talks about Lent as a journey following Jesus into the desert to be transformed as he was.  I know from personal experience what an apt and powerful image that is.  Many years ago, I lived in New Mexico on the edge of the desert, which I came to cherish as a place of vast beauty, self-discovery and prayer.

Going into the desert, as Jesus did before beginning his ministry, is to step away from the busyness, distractions, comforts and security of our daily lives.  Alone in that immense, harsh landscape, without the usual protections and supports with which we normally surround ourselves, we face our vulnerability and our dependence on others, especially on God.  That opens up the space to ask the questions that truly matter: Who am I? Where am I going?  What do I really want in life?  How can I make my life matter?  What does God want for me?  What are the forces that threaten to frustrate my achieving my purpose?  With its overwhelming emptiness and solitude, the desert is also seen as the place where spirits dwell, both good and evil; so it was appropriate that Jesus went there to wrestle with his own good and evil spirits and to learn to discern between the two.

Join us for a Lenten Retreat directed by the Jesuits at the Gregorian University
We are pleased to offer our friends an opportunity to deepen your Lenten prayer and draw closer to Jesus Christ through an online Lenten retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. The retreat will be led by Fr. James Grummer, SJ, director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center at the Pontifical Gregorian University and superior of the Jesuit community at the Gregorian.  Fr. Grummer has recruited a team of experts in Jesuit spirituality to provide participants with a rich and meaningful prayer experience.
Zollner: Day for victims of abuse an important moment for the Church

Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, speaks to Vatican Radio about the Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, which many bishops' conferences observe on the first Friday of Lent. 
The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, observed on the first Friday of Lent by several local churches across the globe, is an initiative in response to the request of Pope Francis to all the bishops’ conferences of the world. 

Balancing Confidentiality, Transparency and Accountability

The ongoing work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (TutelaMinorum) continues to bring together experts from around the world, providing renewed attention to strengthening the Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis faced in every part of the world. 

The most recent contribution to these efforts is the publication of ten presentations offered during a seminar sponsored by the Pontifical Commission in December 2019, “Promoting and Protecting the Dignity of Persons in Allegations of Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Adults: Balancing Confidentiality, Transparency and Accountability.”  

The Commission expresses gratitude to the canon law faculty of the Pontifical Gregorian University for publishing these papers and making translations in Italian available on its website HERE.

2021 Colloquium in Rome
10-16 October 

Rome through the eyes of Ignatius
See the Eternal City from a unique perspective - from the heart of the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus. Experience the adventure of Jesuit Rome with its academic, spiritual, social and cultural opportunities. Please join us as we explore from the center to the periphery.
Message from the Holy Father Pope Francis to President Biden
On the occasion of your inauguration as the forty-sixth President of the United States of America, I extend cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.  Under your leadership, may the American people continue to draw strength from the lofty political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the nation since its founding. At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice.  I likewise ask God, the source of all wisdom and truth, to guide your efforts to foster understanding, reconciliation and peace within the United States and among the nations of the world in order to advance the universal common good.  With these sentiments, I willingly invoke upon you and your family and the beloved American people an abundance of blessings. 

Faculty News

Fr Craig Morrison's essay, “Desert Transformation,” was published in the February 2021 issue of Give Us This Day. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2021). Used with permission.

Fr Morrison, O.Carm. is Dean of Near Eastern Studies at the Biblicum.
The board of directors of the Catholic Biblical Association of America has made Professor Emeritus Card. Albert Vanhoye SJ , former Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute an honorary lifetime member of the Association, for his remarkable contribution to biblical studies.
Father Paul Béré was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission. The 54-year-old Jesuit from Burkina Faso, is a full-time professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was a 2019 recipient of the Ratzinger Prize in theology, the first African to get the prestigious award from the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation.

After teaching scripture for a number of years at the Jesuit Institute of Theology (ITCJ) in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire ) he became a permanent member of the Biblicum's faculty in 2019.
Alumni Promotions

HE Msgr.Nivaldo dos Santos Ferreira,
currently Rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of São Jusas Tadeu in Belo Horizonte (Brazil),
Auxiliary Bishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
HE Msgr.Dermot Pius Farrell,
currently Bishop of the Diocese of Ossory (Ireland),
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Dublin (Ireland)

Archbishop Ferrell wrote “I have good memories of my time in the Gregorian University and I pray that my experience during that time will help me in my new ministry as Archbishop of Dublin.”
HE Monsignor Ignace Bessi Dogbo,
currently Bishop of the Diocese of Katiola (Ivory Coast),
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Korhogo (Ivory Coast)
Rev. Francisco José Prieto Fernández,
currently Director of the Diocesan School of Theology and Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization of the Diocese of Orense (Spain),
Auxiliary Bishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
HE Msgr.Juan Antonio Cruz Serrano,
currently Councilor of the Nunciature,
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States (OSA)

HE Msgr.Mark Gerard Miles,
Currently Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States (OSA),
Apostolic Nuncio in Benin elevating him to the dignity of Archbishop

Alumni News

Fr. Thomas Sutherland
Pontifical Gregorian University

Fr Thomas Sutherland celebrated his 60 years Jubliee and was recognized by the Archdiocese of Detroit. Fr. Sutherland is a graduate of the Pontifical Gregorian University. 

James Swetnam, SJ
Pontifical Biblical Institute

Fr Jim Swetnam spent more than 50 years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, first as a student and then as a faculty member. He recently celebrated 75 years in the Society of Jesus. He currently works on his website,  “James Swetnam’s Thoughts on Scripture.”

Fr Luis Marín de San Martín
Pontifical Gregorian University

Pope Francis appointed two new Under-Secretaries to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Sr Nathalie Becquart and Fr Luis Marín de San Martín

Henry Pattarumadathil, SJ
Pontifical Gregorian University & Pontifical Biblical Institute

Pope Francis has appointed Henry Pattarumadathil as a member of Pontifical Biblical Commission. Fr Pattarumadathil, who hails from Southern India was ordained as a priest in 1995 and obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 2000 and a Doctorate in Biblical Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2007.

Diploma in Leadership and Management

Ignatian leadership: testimonies from Asia, the USA and South America
Gregorian study days on leadership theory and foundations of the sciences of institutional organization, to accompany those who work on a local and global scale, in roles of responsibility and service. 

- In Memoriam -
Father Kevin J. O’Reilly
Pontifical Gregorian University alumnus


Father Kevin J. O’Reilly, who served as academic dean and professor of dogmatic theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, died suddenly Feb. 1. 

He was named professor of dogma and academic dean for the seminary in 2006, having served as professor of dogmatic theology there since 2004. 

He was a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Angels parish, the Bronx, 1996-1999, until beginning graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in dogmatic theology. 


Mass Cards
available online

The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to offer Mass cards for the living and for the deceased. 

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Just click HERE to select the Gregorian University Foundation as your charity of choice.
Praying with the Pope in February
Pope Francis' Universal prayer intention for February is: 

Violence Against Women

We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded.

Reflect further on the Prayer Intention for February and unite yourself with the Pope's Prayer Network 
Watch the Pope's Video >>

The mission of the Gregorian University Foundation is to raise funds that provide financial assistance for the Education Consortium of the Society of Jesus in Rome, Italy, which includes the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

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