Jesuit formation, as I wrote in my last post, aims to prepare us to go anywhere, and this August marks a major step forward in that formation for me, as well as a major change in scenery. I have traded in the skyscrapers of Chicago and the philosophy books of Loyola University for the prairies of south-central South Dakota and parish administration at St. Agnes, St. Bridget, and St. Charles parishes on the Rosebud Reservation.
The Jesuits out here on the prairie don’t often make it into the headlines, but we do work of which the Society can be rightly proud. So take a moment and check out the work of St. Francis Mission here on the web, and if you happen to be visiting the Badlands or the Black Hills take a somewhat longer moment and a slight detour off of I-90 to learn a bit about Lakota culture and the work of the “Blackrobes” over the past century—and today.
And since, as you can imagine, this transition has taught me just how much I still have to learn about everything from parish finances to Lakota burial traditions to how to polish brass, these weeks have left me with a bit less time for blogging than what I’ve been used to. Fear not, however, loyal readers of Whosoever Desires, for this latest assignment promises even more stories and observations to share with all of you in the months and years to come.
And just in case you’re looking for a little extra end-of-summer reading, I thought I’d pass on to you the link to a relatively young literary magazine you all might enjoy called Dappled Things. True Jesuit aficionados will recognize the title as coming from a poem by one Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., and the journal represents a nice contribution to a distinctively Catholic literary culture. You might also find a name you recognize among the most recent issue’s contributors.
In the meantime, keep all of us young Jesuits in formation in your prayers, that God will make us passionate and faithful servants of his Church—and perhaps that he’d send a few more young men our way to join the ranks… maybe even one or two who know something about parish finances or how to polish brass…