January 2020
Gregorian University Foundation
Support our Mission • Build the Church

Greetings from the President

I am delighted to be joining the Gregorian University Foundation as President. It is the culmination of a lifelong adventure in Jesuit education. I had the great good fortune of finding my way to the Jesuits’ Xavier High School in Concord, MA, which was a life-changing experience. The intellectual preparation and values I received there sustained and guided me through college and afterward and finally drew me to joining the Jesuit Order myself, a decision that has given me a richer, more meaningful life than I ever could have imagined. Once in the Jesuits, I received a deeper theological education and spiritual formation, then went on to share that with others, teaching computer science and ethics for many years at Boston College, then serving as an administrator as Dean at Gonzaga University and President of the College of the Holy Cross. In each of these positions, I was able to see the tremendous power of Jesuit education to liberate and empower people, to form them in integrity and generosity, to build strong communities, and to bring healing to a broken world. After Holy Cross, I was asked to be Province Treasurer at a time when we were consolidating and streamlining our administrative structures in response to the changing demographics in the Jesuits and expanding apostolic opportunities and needs. In that role I had a chance to learn and be a part of the inner workings of the Society of Jesus, not just locally but throughout the world.

Now I feel that I have arrived at the very heart of Jesuit education. The Gregorian University was originally founded as the Roman College by St. Ignatius Loyola himself in 1551, not long after he formally established the Society of Jesus. It educates Jesuits, men and women of other religious orders, diocesan seminarians and priests, and lay men and women from every part of the world, giving them both the intellectual and the spiritual formation they need to become strong, thoughtful and compassionate leaders in the Catholic Church, in other churches and in society as a whole. The faculty, many of whom are Jesuits who work without receiving a salary, carry very heavy teaching loads, but still find time to produce groundbreaking scholarship, to serve as tutors, mentors and spiritual guides to students and others, to give talks throughout the world, and to advise congregations, commissions and other bodies in the Vatican and elsewhere. The two related institutions, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, also provide the highest quality teaching, scholarship and advising in their respective areas. The impact of these institutions on the Church and many other religious institutions, as well as the wider society, is enormous. Yet they constantly struggle just to get by financially. The tuition they charge is minimal; and many of their students, an increasing number of whom come from the developing world, have trouble paying even that. They have virtually no endowment of their own; and their alumni, as prominent as many of them are, are not in positions that provide a lot of disposable income. Our role at the Gregorian Foundation is to make up as much of that difference as possible, to insure that the education that these important institutions provide remains of the highest quality, is accessible to the most promising and deserving students and is sustainable over the long run. That is why I feel compelled to take on this work.

I hope those of you who are our friends and supporters will work with me and our staff and trustees to continue and expand our efforts. As many of our most loyal and generous leaders and benefactors have aged out or passed on, we need to grow both our board of trustees and our overall base of support and to expand our fundraising revenue to meet the needs of the Gregorian and the related institutions and to allow them the flexibility and creativity to respond to the growing and ever-changing needs of the Church they serve. To that end the staff and I have been planning our travel, events, and other outreach efforts for the coming months. I am sure you will be hearing from us; and I hope you will be able to respond with generosity and enthusiasm.

As an example of the way the Gregorian is responding to the challenges our Church faces, Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, a full-time faculty member in psychology and an administrator at the Gregorian, is coming to the U.S. at the beginning of February to speak about his work with the Center for Child Protection, which he heads. This new initiative works with dioceses, religious orders, and other institutions throughout the world to raise consciousness, establish protocols and train administrators to prevent child abuse and deal with it where it has occurred. We have been helping him raise money for this crucial work and have scheduled a couple of meetings with groups of donors in D.C. to highlight his efforts and the opportunity to support them. You will be hearing about this in future newsletters.

I want to thank you all for your interest and support. You are the backbone of everything we do. I hope you will join with us as we strive to identify additional friends and supporters and to expand both our base of support and the resources we can provide to our outstanding Jesuit educational institutions in Rome.

Michael McFarland, SJ

Alumni News
Bishop Edmund Whalen
Pontifical Gregorian University

On December 10, 2019 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cardinal Timothy Dolan served as principal ordaining bishop and celebrant at the Mass of Ordination of Bishops for Bishop Edmund J. Whalen, a 1983 graduate of the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Alumni News
Bishop Brian Farrell, LC
Pontifical Gregorian University

Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is the main presenter at an ecumenical afternoon of prayer and reflection, organized by The Lay Centre and the Centro Pro Unione, to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, observed worldwide from Jan. 18 to 25.

Alumni News
Fr. Robert Hagan, SJ
Pontifical Gregorian University

Congratulations to Fr Robert Hagen, SJ, who recently celebrated 60 years as a Jesuit. Fr Hagan currently serves as associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Kansas City, Mo., where he has served since 2017. He completed his doctoral studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Alumni News
Fr. Andrew Ciferni, O. Praem
Pontifical Gregorian University

Fr. Andrew Ciferni, O. Praem.,  a 1969 graduate of the Pontifical Gregorian University, was recently named chairman of the board at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI.

Student Profile
Jelson Moises Camacho
Pontifical Gregorian University

Jelson was born on January 22, 1984 in the city of Buenguela in Angola on the southwest coast of Africa. Although it is a small place the bishop of his diocese was created a cardinal by Pope Francis on October 5, 2019. At the age of 16 Jelson entered the congregation of the Poor Servants of the Divine Providence which is active in Angola. That is also where he studied philosophy and theology and was ordained to the priesthood in 2014.

After ordination, Jelson was sent to Kenya where he lived with other members of his religious community and worked with the poor for three years. He then joined a community which lives in a poor and very difficult area on the edges of the city of Rome. His community is hard pressed to provide even the necessities for its members, including books. At the Gregorian Jelson is studying Biblical Theology. He is in the second and final year of work toward a Licentiate degree which he hopes to obtain in 2020. He says that he especially likes the quality of his studies and the fact that the professors are always willing to help out the students. He mentioned in particular Fr. Scott Brodeur, SJ, from the Northeast Province of the United States.

When he finishes his degree at the Gregorian University Jelson believes that he will return either to Angola or Kenya. He will probably be asked to teach in a seminary preparing other young priests in his area of expertise and sharing all that he has learned in Rome. He says that at the moment he is open to anything. In addition to his native Portuguese Jelson speaks some English from his time in Kenya and Italian which he has learned in Rome. He should be a great asset to any program or ministry which he undertakes. He asked me to emphasize that because of the circumstances of his community he would not be able to study at all if it were not for the generosity of donors to the Gregorian scholarship fund.

Profile by David Books, SJ

Mass Cards
available online

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

When you shop online, did you know that Amazon gives a percentage of your purchases to nonprofit organizations?
Just click HERE to select the Gregorian University Foundation as your charity of choice.
Praying with the Pope in January
Pope Francis' Universal prayer intention for January is: 

Promotion of World Peace
We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote peace and justice in the world.

Reflect further on the Prayer Intention for January 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.

1055 Thomas Jefferson St NW Ste 302
Washington DC 20007-5243

Toll Free: 1-855-854-8008
Office: 202-333-1551
Fax: 202-333-1553
Office of the Roman Delegate [DIR]
Borgo Santo Spirito 4
00193 Roma, Italia

Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.