Santa Clara University



Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology

Alumni Newsletter     ♦     Vol. 3     ♦     April 21, 2014

In this issue:


John McGarry

Dear JST Alumni,

Greetings to all of you from the JST Jesuit Community!  

One of the great blessings of being formed for ministry and studying Theology at JST is that we are a place where people come from all over the world to prepare to serve the People of God. For example, our JST Jesuit Community is comprised of 88 Jesuits from 25 different countries.  Dinner conversation is never boring!  We learn from each other about the many places from which we come, and yet we have a common language and experience of life and formation in the Society of Jesus.  

Another great blessing of the human, intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral formation that takes place at JST is that it provides for the opportunity for Jesuits, lay women and men, and other religious and priests, to study together, dialogue about important cultural and ecclesial issues in the world, and collaborate in drawing ourselves and others closer to God, who is the source of our desire to serve.  

We are all called to respect, honor and utilize the gifts of each and of all in doing our part to fulfill the mission of Christ in the world.  No one of us alone has all the gifts, talents and abilities to accomplish everything, or anything, for Christ.  We need the faith, the gifts, and the companionship of each other. True partnership for mission and ministry requires that we work collaboratively together from the vocation to which we have each been called.  

As an alumnus, I am very grateful for the education and formation that I received at JST in such a collaborative environment.  So often in ministry over these years I have been aware that what I learned at JST, and how I was shaped as a person and as a minister during my time as a student here, has helped me to put my gifts at the service of others.  Since I returned here almost two years ago to serve as Rector of the Jesuit Community, I am heartened that the core mission of JST to prepare men and women for service and leadership in the Church is still flourishing and providing a rich environment for people to deepen their intellectual, spiritual and pastoral gifts for all of God’s people. 

Gratefully in the Lord,



Fr. Magner, S.J. blessing throats   Ike Udoh at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal

Alumni Spotlight:
Rev. Richard Magner, S.J., Class of 2012

My first year and a half at St. Paul’s Mission on the Fort Belknap Reservation has been a truly blessed experience and a wonderful place to begin my priesthood. Our Native American community here consists of three different tribes: Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, and Metis. And, in addition to St. Paul’s Mission here in Hays, Fr. Joseph Retzel, S.J. and I also serve St. Thomas Church in Lodge Pole, Sacred Heart Church in Fort Belknap, and St. Joseph Church in Zortman. 

The first Jesuits arrived on the Fort Belknap Reservation 126 years ago, founding St. Paul’s Mission in 1887.  A year later, the Ursuline Sisters started the Mission Grade School, which now, under the leadership of three Dominican Sisters, four Jesuit Volunteers, and several lay teachers, educates over eighty children from kindergarten through sixth grade.  Each year, Fr. Joseph and I have the privilege of preparing these children to make their First Confession and First Holy Communion and we also celebrate a school Mass with them each month.

This past summer I attended several pow wows on the reservation and two Sundances. Pow wows are social and cultural gatherings featuring traditional Native clothing, music, and dance performed by elders, children, and everyone in between. My favorite was our Hays Pow Wow held in the scenic Mission Canyon, which is encircled by the Little Rocky Mountains, and at whose base St. Paul’s Mission rests. The Sundance is a more solemn and spiritual ceremony in which participants fast, pray, sing, and dance over four days and usually make the Sundance as an offering to the Creator for a specific intention, such as the needs and intentions of a loved one.

My first winter here was fairly mild by Montana standards, but this winter came on strong, with temperatures reaching as low as 27 degrees below zero!  I am definitely not in Berkeley anymore!  This is the coldest weather I have ever experienced.  But I am learning from the old timers here that when it’s that cold, you just stay inside your nice warm home and count your blessings.  

Life here on the reservation is not without its challenges. Unemployment here stands at 70 percent.  Alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions are widespread.  Suicide is far too frequent. But in the face of such challenges, it is all the more vital that the Church is here on the reservation to offer the Good News of Jesus Christ.  For it is our Lord Jesus that our Native People, and we, need most of all. Thank you, JST, for preparing me so well for my ministry here on the Reservation.  Please keep our Native People and the work of St. Paul’s Mission in your prayers.  God bless.


Student Spotlight:
Rev. Ike Udoh, S.J., M.Div. Student & Jesuit Scholastic

I am a second-year student in the Master of Divinity program at JST and a Jesuit scholastic. I was born in Walnut Creek, California, and when I was two years old my family migrated to Nigeria, where I grew up and was educated through high school before returning to the United States. Prior to joining the Society of Jesus in 2004, I completed an undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. In my most recent mission before arriving at JST, I taught courses in scripture, social justice, and moral theology, worked in campus ministry, and assisted with JV Soccer at Loyola High School in Los Angeles (2009 - 2012).

Theological studies are an integral part of my ongoing formation in preparation to serve the people God as a Jesuit priest. Now, mid-way through my M.Div. program, I feel grateful for my time here at JST, including having had the opportunity to travel to Nepal in January 2014 for Buddhist-Christian interreligious dialogue, the culmination of a fall 2013 “Nepal Immersion” course. After learning some background information about Tibetan Buddhism, it was a gift to be immersed in the context of practitioners, visit their sacred sites, learn directly from Monks, and engage in a Buddhist meditation retreat. This experience captured the spirit and mission of JST—a critical engagement of our Catholic faith tradition—and provided further preparation for us to be leaders in our pluralistic context. It is our belief in God made known to us in the flesh of Jesus Christ that opens us up to the possibility of encountering God in all things, and in all people; “for the whole earth is charged with the grandeur of God.”

At JST, in collaboration with other gifted singers and instrumentalists, I also help to coordinate music for our school-wide Mass on Tuesday evenings and on other special occasions. It is truly an amazing gift to experience the unity of the community as we encounter God together in the celebration of the Eucharist.

For my M.Div. field education, I am a member of the RCIA leadership team at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Pinole. Here, we are guiding seven catechumens through prayer, bible study, exposition of Catholic doctrine, and retreat experiences, into the wealth of our faith tradition, and ultimately, into an encounter and ongoing journey, with Christ.

I ask for your continued prayers and support as we journey towards ministry in the church, and pray that God may send many more laborers to make known the joy of being on the way with Jesus.

Rev. Joseph Chinnici, O.F.M., President of the Franciscan School of Theology

Rev. Joseph Chinnici, OFM

JST would like to congratulate Rev. Joseph Chinnici, O.F.M., President of The Franciscan School of Theology, who will be the recipient of the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at our May 24th Commencement. In February, the executive committee of the board of trustees of Santa Clara University approved our school’s nomination for this annual honorary degree. Joining Father Chinnici on the dais that day will be the great El Salvadoran theologian Jon Sobrino, S.J., who will offer the commencement address.

Our sincere congratulations to Father Chinnici!



  • Are you interested in helping develop a more active JST alumni network?  We are looking for volunteers to serve as alumni coordinators. Contact us to learn more about this exciting opportunity.
  • We know that you have great ideas about how alumni can contribute to the JST community.  Perhaps you know about job opportunities for graduates, have ministerial field experience contacts, are interested in mentoring a current student, would like to network with other alumni, or have some other suggestions.  Please contact us to share your ideas about how you and other alumni can be more involved with JST. 
  • What are you doing now?  We'd love to hear your updates, both personal and professional.   If you aren't receiving the Bridge Magazine, we may not have your most recent contact information on file.  E-mail or fill out our contact update form online to be sure you're on the mailing list. 



Nepal Immersion_2014 JST Nepal Immersion This past January 2014, a group of ten graduate students from JST-SCU traveled to Nepal for three weeks with Professor Anh Tran, S.J. as a part of JST’s annual Interreligious Theological Immersion program.  The immersion program is offered each winter and is a distinctive opportunity for current students to engage in interreligious dialogue and comparative theological study with another world religion. Prior to their trip the students completed a fall 2013 course on Tibetan Buddhism. During the immersion, the students met with Buddhist monks, lamas, and professors and engaged in a shared dialogue, visited Hindu and Buddhist temples, and attended a four day Buddhist retreat at a Tibetan monastery beneath the Himalayas. The students reflected on having a fantastic experience of worshipping side-by-side with the locals and embracing the experience of enormous cultural diversity they were privileged to encounter in the city of Kathmandu.

New Directions_Spring 2014In 2013 the New Directions Sabbatical program of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Founded in 1973 as the Institute for Spirituality and Worship, the Spring 2014 cohort builds on this legacy. The semester-based program comprises fourteen priests and sisters from six countries, with a median age of 54. Participants typically come to Berkeley seeking integration of years of ministry in the ecclesial vineyard, to refresh their theology and spirituality, and to enjoy the remarkable scenic, cultural and intellectual bounty that characterizes the San Francisco Bay Area.  

Program Director Fr. Rob McChesney, S.J. is joined by new Program Assistant Priscilla Lopez to accompany the Spring 2014 cohort. When participants inquire what’s so “new” about New Directions, Fr. McChesney likes to reply, “you are!” The sound bite simply highlights spiritual and sacramental renewal in the covenant of Christ. “You shall be called by a new name”, exclaims the prophet Third Isaiah to the nations, no longer “Desolate” or “Forsaken” but “My Delight”.

During its 40th anniversary year, New Directions received the largest bequest in the program’s history. The grant will be used to support priests and religious who require financial assistance, but JST must still turn away qualified applicants.

For many of our students, the New Directions sabbatical is their first opportunity for personal renewal after decades of direct ministerial work. Sr. Diep Hoang, a Spring 2014 sabbatical student, arrived from service work in Viet Nam, where she has devoted over 30 years to direct ministry, overseeing training and retreats for 150 volunteers ministering in local churches and with field laborers. Most recently, she spent 6 years in the Philippines as both Program Director of her congregation, and leader of her international community. She facilitated formation training for young sisters to prepare for their perpetual vows, and organized support for victims in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Regarding her interest in the New Directions Sabbatical Program, Sr. Diep explained, “I needed a break, to take time for renewing my own energy, and to discover compassion for myself, in order to prepare for my next mission.” She feels confident that through learning new skills in a Spiritual Direction Practicum, and engaging in dialogue with diverse scholars at JST, she will return to Viet Nam with the ability to minister more fully to her congregation, and to her own needs as well.

Sr. Diep expressed her gratitude for JST’s financial assistance towards her tuition at JST, without which her community was uncertain if it could afford to support her study.  If you would like to make a donation to support the students in the New Directions Sabbatical we would encourage you to contact the program director or Kristin Aswell at



The International Fellowship Program (IFP), inherited from the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown, which JST now shares with Boston College, began reviewing its first set of applicants on February 24th for this generous fellowship opportunity for visiting post-doctoral scholars to spend a semester or more on JST's campus. The IFP provides scholars with space, time, and resources to complete the work set forth in their fellowship proposal, and offers 3 types of fellowships: Visiting Fellowship for Jesuits, Visiting Fellowship for Other Vowed Religious, and Visiting Fellowship for Lay Scholars. This program, funded by a generous donor, is a fine opportunity for JST to broaden the presence here of diverse scholars from around the world, and we look forward to welcoming scholars who are selected to join us. 


The Dalai Lama On February 24th, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, visited Santa Clara University for a talk sponsored by the Santa Clara's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. His Holiness spoke on the subject of "Business, Ethics, and Compassion," from the heart of Silicon Valley. JST Professors Thomas Cattoi, Ph.D. and Anh Q. Tran, S.J. were nominated by JST Dean Thomas Massaro, S.J. to be among the small group of ten scholars who met privately with the Dalai Lama during this visit. JST staff and faculty attendees included Dean Thomas Massaro, S.J., Professor Thomas Cattoi, Fr. Anh Tran, S.J., and Shelly Wolf Servatius.

Sr. Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M., Professor Emerita of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at JST, was the selected presenter on February 15th, 2014 for a FutureChurch teleconference entitled, "Moving Beyond Patriarchy." FutureChurch is a Catholic organization that promotes the values of Vatican II and works for just, open, and collaborative structures for Catholic worship, organization, and governance. During the teleconference participants explored patriarchy through the lens of "scriptural interpretation and its influence on the structure and practices of the church." The group also explored "feminist biblical scholarship in interpreting the Word of God." Some of Sr. Schneiders' publications include Women and the Word: The Gender of God in the New Testament and the Spirituality of Women; Beyond Patching: Faith and Feminism in the Catholic Church; and With Oil in Their Lamps: Faith, Feminism, and the Future.

Thomas CattoiDr. Thomas Cattoi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Christology and Cultures, is currently working on two projects: a comparative study of the use of images in early Christian and Tibetan practice, and a volume on the relationship between Patristic and comparative theology, provisionally titled Chalcedon at Lhasa? Early Christian thought and the Future of Comparative Theology. He recently authored a chapter on liturgical theology for the Oxford University Handbook on Maximos the Confessor, as well as a chapter on the inter-religious reading of the Ignatian exercises for another OUP volume on teaching inter-religious dialogue.


All In for SCU

Be on the lookout for a special message from the main SCU campus in a few days.  As we are now a part of Santa Clara University, you may occasionally receive messages that are not specifically directed at the Alumni and friends of the Jesuit School of Theology.

We invite you to learn more about the integration of JST with SCU.  The special Fall 2009 issue of Bridge contains more information about our relationship with the main campus and we encourage you to contact us if you should have any questions or wish to opt out of main campus communications.  E-mail or call the Office of Development and External Relations at 510-549-5041.


For more upcoming events at JST, please see our calendar at



 Vatican II Lecture Series | Jerome Baggett (JST)


"Vatican II and Its Ensuing Dilemmas for American Catholics Today"




JST Baccalaureate Mass


Join us in prayer and celebration with our newest graduates.  A reception will follow.  This event will be streamed live online.

More Information 



 JST Lay Sending


This event will be streamed live online.

 More Information



JST Commencement


Due to space constraints, attendance is limited to invited guests.  This event will be streamed live online.

More Information 
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