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Principal's Blog

In this blog, Principal Paul Hogan will regularly shares with us his insights and observations. We hope you enjoy Paul's posts!

Our Superior

Last weekend, on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, Fr. JK Adams, SJ, the Superior of the Jesuits at JHS, celebrated his 30th year as a Jesuit and 20th as an ordained priest. This week he is with his family in Spokane, resting and rejoicing and rejuicing for what will be another big year for him and for Jesuit High.

Father JK is a wise, genial mentor and friend to hundreds in our community, from faculty and trustees to the students he loves so well. His mission is to "love everyone I meet as Jesus loves them." As Superior, JK is the school's most direct connection to the Society of Jesus. In large part because of JK’s amazing tutelage as Superior, the Society continues to send us Jesuit novices and regents (men in different phases of pre-priestly Jesuit formation).

In recent years, we have been blessed to have Jesuit novices like Perry Petrich, San Mai, and Mike Manalastas and regents such as Patrick Couture, Ryan Rallanka, Rob Van Alstyne, Billy Biegler, and John Guyol brightening the lives of all of us at JHS.

JK himself began his teaching career as a regent at Jesuit High, back in the all-boys days. He went on to teach and serve as Superior at Gonzaga Prep, then as Treasurer and the Provincial’s Assistant for Secondary Education for the Oregon Province.

Since returning to Jesuit High nine years ago, JK has been Superior, teacher, trustee, and most importantly, priest. His students know him as a lover of Christmas, a fantastic homilist, and a guy who manages to be both holy and wholly approachable.

Father JK is also rather busy these days. At the end of the 2013-14 school year, JHS lost three brilliant Jesuit priests, leaving JK to carry a heavy load indeed. Fr. Paul Grubb, SJ went on to tertianship in Australia, the third and final phase of his formation as a priest. Fr. Kevin Connell, SJ suffered a devastating stroke on St. Patrick’s Day and went to Spokane to recover. Fr. Bill Hayes, SJ, Jesuit’s legendary former President, also moved to Spokane to pray for the Society (and watch Kyle Wiltjer play for the Gonzaga Bulldogs!).

The exodus of such talented teachers and preachers left JK and Fr. Larry Robinson, SJ to take up all of the priestly duties on campus—which are considerable. In addition to teaching full-time, last year JK served as the priest for almost every Encounter, as well as the Freshman Day and Overnight retreats. He preached frequently and brilliantly at Masses (all-school, Friday, and daily), led the Board of Trustees through a series of lessons on Ignatian discernment, and served as a key member of the administrative team.

That is indeed a heavy and holy load for any one man to bear, but somehow JK kept his senses of perspective, equilibrium, and humor.

For 2015-16, JK is looking at a similar path. So as we celebrate this good man and great priest, let us wish him a happy 20th, a happy 30th, and a hearty “Alla Famiglia!” We hope you are enjoying your time with family in Spokane, JK, and looking forward to returning to your home here with your other family—the community of Jesuit High.

Paul Hogan
Posted by etuenge on Friday August 21 at 01:19PM
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A Lesson for the Feast Day

July 31 is the Feast of St. Ignatius. In honor of the 459th anniversary of our founder’s death, I offer this lesson on the Suppression of the Society of Jesus, from the perspective of Argentina.

Argentina is 7000+ miles from Portland. Still, throughout my family's recent journey to South America, I felt strangely at home, because the Jesuits have had such a profound impact on the country. If you have seen the film The Mission starring Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro, you know the story of the first Jesuits in South America. In the 17th century, Jesuit padres came to the rural areas of Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina to create missions known as "reducciones." The reductions were meant to protect the local people from the worst ravages of the colonial powers, especially Spain and Portugal.

These early fathers came seeking to bring Christ to the Guaraní people, and ended up defending the Guaraní against the savagery of Spanish and Portuguese slave-hunters. Jesuits also established the first schools in Argentina, funded through a vast network of ranches that allowed the local people to create a sustainable lifestyle and educate their children.

In large part due to their loyalty to the Guaraní in the face of colonial exploitation, the Society of Jesus was expelled first from Portugal and Spain, then Argentina, and finally globally suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. If you are interested in a history of the Suppression, check out these sites (you will have to navigate to get to the good stuff!).

In my family’s travels through Argentina, we came across examples of the Jesuits' influence everywhere. In Córdoba, we visited the famous "Jesuit Block," which includes a beautiful 400-year-old cathedral and Jesuit residence, as well as Monserrat Secondary School. The latter was founded on August 1, 1687 by Father Ignacio Duarte Quirós, SJ. As Jesuit-Portland prepares to celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, imagine a high school founded by Jesuits that is 328 years old! Monserrat (named for the site where St. Ignatius laid down his arms) is now the most prestigious public school in Córdoba, the Jesuits having lost it during the Suppression.

When we visited Iguazu Falls, site of the most spectacular “waterfall scenes” in The Mission, we encountered the Guaraní people. Guaraní still live in the town of San Ignacio, a reduccion that preserves some of the four-century old structures shared by the Jesuits and the Guaraní.

Each Argentine town and city has a central plaza, most of them named for military heroes. All of them have a large cathedral that serves as the anchor of the plaza, many built by Jesuit architects and many still overseen by Jesuit priests. In Buenos Aires, the famous Plaza de Mayo is fronted by the archdiocesan cathedral, until recently led by Most Reverend Jorge Bergoglio—now Pope Francis I. The “Jesuit Pope’s” image is ubiquitous in Argentina, included in family homes, restaurants, and public spaces.

In Buenos Aires, we visited an exhibit of mesmerizing Guaraní and Jesuit art at the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes. The combination of primitivist masks and Christian iconography was striking—and a fine portrait of the Jesuit way of proceeding. From the founding of the order in 1540, the Jesuits have traveled the world, not only to bring the Good News, but also to understand how God already lives and works within local cultures. The early Jesuits’ insistence that God was already much alive in India, China, and South America before Christians ever arrived got them in trouble with both colonial and church authorities. Still, the Jesuit’s global “openness to growth” has proven resilient over the centuries, and God is still smiling on the “least Society,” founded by St. Ignatius 475 years ago.

Happy Feast Day!

Paul Hogan
Posted by etuenge on Friday July 31
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