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  • Alumni Spotlight - Maureen Pratt

    Maureen Pratt, MTS ‘21, is the author of Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness. She is also the founder of the Peace in the Storm Project, a national pastoral ministry for people with chronic pain and illness.

  • JST-SCU Commencement 2024 - A Graduating Class En Camino

    BERKELEY, Calif., May 18, 2024—The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU) today celebrated its commencement, with the graduate school’s newly minted theologians encouraged to build bridges across cultures as a way of reconciling our fractured world.

  • Alumni Spotlight - Fumi Tosu

    Fumi Tosu graduated from JST in 2003 with an M.Div. Since then, Fumi has taught at Bellarmine High School in San Jose and now manages The Dandelion House, a Catholic Worker House in Portland, Oregon.

  • Santa Clara University Leaders Visit the Vatican

    A delegation of leaders from Santa Clara University (SCU) and its Jesuit School of Theology (JST) visited Rome on March 17-19  to meet with various senior Vatican leaders and leaders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).  

  • Celebrating the release of The Jerome Biblical Commentary for the 21st Century

    As one of the four editors of the third edition of the Jerome Biblical Commentary, Professor Gina Hens-Piazza worked for ten years to help create a brand-new global representation of contemporary Catholic interpretation of the Bible. JST faculty and alumni contributed to the volume, and JST students supported the work over the years by checking footnotes, Hebrew diacritical marks, and gathering other resources.

  • Beyond Bad Apples: Exploring Clericalism as a Structural Reality

    Professor Julie Hanlon Rubio worked with SCU Professor Paul J. Schutz to investigate how structural clericalism in the Catholic Church enables sexual violence. Their report, “Beyond ‘Bad Apples’: Understanding Clergy Perpetrated Sexual Abuse as a Structural Problem and Cultivating Strategies for Change,” was released in August 2022.

  • Celebrating Women of Wisdom and Action

    The Women of Wisdom and Action program at the Jesuit School of Theology provided graduate education in theology and on-the-ground networking for women religious across Asia.

Pictured above: The Institute of Lay Theology, the precursor to the School of Applied Theology. Sourced from SAT's visual archive.

After 58 years of service, the School of Applied Theology (SAT), a sabbatical program located in Oakland, CA, and affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), has closed their operation. In their closing, SAT made a generous gift of $40,000 to support the JST Renewal Program, which will be used to further their enduring mission.

The mission of SAT has long aligned with that of JST. According to their website, “In 1960…Eugene Zimmers, S.J., had a radical idea that the Church would need trained lay ministers. So he founded the Institute of Lay Theology (ILT) which was founded at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit institution.” In 1968, responding to the calls of renewal of Vatican II, SAT affiliated with the newly established GTU and moved to Berkeley. In the same spirit, SAT opened the school to religious sisters and brothers and priests, integrating the education of all ministers. To learn more about the history of SAT, and the legacy they leave behind click here.

JST would like to thank the School of Applied Theology for its decades of ministry to lay women and men, clergy, and men and women religious.  JST is especially grateful to SAT for its generous gift of $40,000 and will use it to continue to advance our shared mission.

Oct 11, 2018
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  • In Memoriam: Rev. James 'Jay' Matthews

    October 25, 1948 - March 30, 2019

    The JST community remembers Fr. Jay Matthews, a long-time friend of the Jesuit School of Theology and a well-respected leader in the Bay Area, both in the Catholic Church and beyond.

September 24, 1939 - November 8, 2017

Thomas Edwin Buckley, S.J., passed away on November 8, 2017 at the age of 78.  Tom Buckley, Professor Emeritus of History, Santa Clara University, was a beloved professor at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley from 1996 – 2012.  A historian by training, Tom Buckley taught Church History at was then known as JSTB.  One of his former students, Julia-Claire Santos (Landry), M.Div. ’06 recalls of Tom:

"He taught me how to learn—to really learn—long after I️ thought I️ “knew it all.” Rather than confronting me with my hubris, he simply made the experience of discovery a fascinating, compelling adventure.

I️ still quake when I️ recall the words “—for an A or an F!!—” and how you’d rather be caught dead than caught having skipped last night’s reading when, mid-lecture, he’d point at you with this proclamation and ask some pop quiz query to inspect if you did the work."

Professor John Endres, S.J., remembers Tom Buckley as an effusive enthusiast with a love for life.  Endres recounts his colleague’s love for JST, “Tom Buckley was a very effusive personality.  So when he was a great mood, he would go around saying this was the greatest place in the world!  Tom was always full of ideas.  We sometimes said that his nickname was “We Should! Buckley”…in many ways he was just a breath of fresh air, an enthusiastic and effusive man…a very popular teacher, and a great lecturer.”

Tom entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos in 1957 and was ordained a priest in San Francisco on June 20, 1970. His academic interest was in history and he earned an MA at Loyola Marymount University in 1969 and a Ph.D. at The University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974.  Particularly interested in American history of the colonial period, Tom published many books and articles throughout his life that focused on this time period, including Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia (1977), Establishing Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Statute in Virginia (2013).

Before his death, Tom had been researching a new history book project: the history of Alma College’s move from the Santa Cruz hills to Berkeley, CA, where is became the Jesuit School of Theology and joined the Graduate Theological Union.  John Endres, S.J. notes that “he had all the historical materials collected.  In this project he saw how this move was for the Society of Jesus an expression of Vatican II.” 

Tom is survived by his brother, Fr. Mike Buckley of Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, and 12 nieces and nephews.  Tom’s funeral Mass was held at the Mission Church at Santa Clara University, and Tom was buried at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. 

Oct 3, 2018
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November 11, 1927 - June 22, 2018

Sister Anne Brotherton, SFCC, passed away on June 22, 2018, in Augusta, Georgia, at the age of 90.  Anne was a long-time faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology, her tenure lasting from 1978 to 2000.  In 2011, JST awarded Sister Anne a Doctor of Divinity degree honorus causa.

Sister Anne joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1950 and transferred to the Sisters For Christian Community in 1975.  She received a doctorate degree in Cultural Sociology from Fordham University while teaching at City University of New York.  Her most celebrated publication was The Voice of the Turtledove: New Catholic Women in Europe (1992), which united voices of Catholic women demanding their rightful place in the Church and in church ministries.  Throughout her long career, Sister Anne worked for nonviolence and peace and equal rights for women in our Church.

Sister Anne was a beloved professor at JST, teaching systematic theology and running the Field Education Program.  Luis Calero, S.J., Professor of Anthropology at Santa Clara University, offered this reflection on Sister Anne’s work at JST, her mentorship of future leaders of the Church, and her prophetic call to discipleship.  In Professor Calero’s words, she was

"a dedicated mentor who stubbornly insisted that the only way to do Christian theology was through prayerful reflection on the experience of the people we were called to minister—many of whom were poor, uprooted, and marginalized. Her time in Berkeley was, I believe, the height of her professional and spiritual career as she trained generations of Jesuits as well as other men and women in ministry from different denominational backgrounds. Through her intelligent, elegant and personable manner, she helped shape the culture of our institution as she invited us to academic rigor without losing sight of people’s daily struggles. The test of our learning was the degree to which we were sensitive and responsive to the needs of the people of God."

Anne is survived by her brother, Richard Lenz Brotherton and his wife, Ann Lawless Brotherton, and numerous nieces and nephews.  Her funeral Mass was held at St. Mary-on-the-Hill Catholic Church in Augusta, Georgia, where she is also buried. 

Oct 3, 2018
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Gods, Heroes, and Ancestors: An Interreligious Encounter in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam

Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Anh Tran, S.J., recently published Gods, Heroes, and Ancestors: An Interreligious Encounter in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). 

The core of this study is a thoroughly annotated translation of a never-before-published document discovered by Professor Tran in the archives of Mission Etrangeres de Paris.  The document, “Errors of the Three Teachings,” is designed as a missionary’s dialogue with representatives of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism.

Professor Tran’s book has been well received, being reviewed in Reading Religion, a publication of the American Academy of Religion, as well as in the Asian-American Theological Forum by Judith Berling, Professor Emerita of Chinese and Comparative Religions at the Graduate Theological Union.  Berling notes that “Tran’s volume is particularly helpful in providing a detailed and well-researched description of the historical and religious context, and what is known about beliefs and practices of the Three Religions, before he turns to the text. His book provides one of the fullest accounts of Vietnamese religions available in English, which is a boon for the religious studies scholar.”[1] 

Professor Tran's book can be purchased from the Oxford University Press here.

[1] Judith Berling, Graduate Theological Union, in Asian American Theological Forum

Oct 3, 2018
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Art and the Sacred Journey in Britain, 1790-1850

Assistant Professor of Art History and Religion, Kathryn Barush, recently published Art and the Sacred Journey in Britain, 1790-1850 (London: Routledge, 2016).  A second, paperback edition will be published in the coming months. 

Professor Barush’s book has been well received.  It was named Book of the Year by Dame Marina Warner in TLS, was the runner-up for the AAR Best First Book in History of Religions, and an honorable mention for the Borsch-Rast Prize and Lectureship at the Graduate Theological Union. 

A review in the European Romantic Review notes that Art and the Sacred Journey insists on “Catholicism’s influence on English Romanticism, via Chaucer, Dante, Piers Plowman, and the contemporary fascination with medieval culture and antiquities as part of the nation’s ‘reclaimed heritage’ (50).”[1]   In the review, Alexandra K Wettlaufer goes on the say that “Kathryn Barush’s rich and erudite study, scrupulously documented and illustrated, provides a welcome supplement to our understanding of religion’s influence on Romanticism, and the author is to be commended for her efforts ‘to restore the place of devotional image-making and image-viewing within a period of British art that has been largely dominated by studies of secular landscape painting and portraiture’ (243).”[2]

Professor Barush's book can be purchased on the publisher's website, and will soon carry a paperback version.

[1] Alexandra K. Wettlaufer, University of Texas at Austin, in European Romantic Review, August 2017.

[2] Ibid.

Oct 3, 2018
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The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience: Atheism in American Culture

This summer, Jerome Baggett, Professor of Religion and Society, published The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience: Atheism in American Culture (New York: NYU Press, 2019). In this book, Professor Baggett re-envisions a group often stigmatized in the United States: atheists.

Through hundreds of interviews and questionnaires, he finds what American atheists believe about morality, religion and the meaning of life. The book gives voice to the experiences of American atheists. Baggett says, “I aim to introduce readers not to some abstract, formulaic thing called “atheism” but instead to as many particular, flesh-and-blood people as possible—in all their varieties—in order to provide a granular sense of what they think and how they go about living both without God and very much with a purposefulness of their own design (xvi).”

This work is a fresh contribution to the conversation about religion in American culture, challenging conventional ideas about atheism while offering meaningful spiritual insights. Readers have the opportunity to encounter the experiences of atheists, reflect on the American religious experience, and engage with these important dialogue partners.   

Oct 3, 2018
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Chris Wemp, M.T.S. '18, composes liturgical music that he hopes will enliven and inspire.

 A spark can start a fire! Such is the case with Jesuit School of Theology alumnus Christopher Wemp, the 28-year-old Director of Liturgy for the San Jose Diocese.

“Going to Mass was pretty boring,” recalls Christopher as he spoke about growing up in Aptos, California. He explained how he didn’t understand the liturgy and how this resulted in weekly fights with his parents over why he had to go to Mass each week. It wasn’t until junior high that things changed for Christopher when the parish music coordinator asked him to play the piano during Sunday liturgy. Having taken lessons for a few years, young Christopher agreed to give it a try.

Playing the piano was an opportunity to actively participate in the liturgy, to give back to the people of the parish using his still-developing skills, and to offer a musical prayer to God. Christopher continued his music ministry through high school when he began writing small pieces of liturgical music.

When it came time to apply for college, he looked for one with a strong music and campus ministry program. He chose Santa Clara University. In his junior year at Santa Clara, Christopher studied abroad at Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador. It was a tremendous experience. It was here that he met Salvadoran artist Guillermo Cuéllar, the composer of the Popular Salvadoran Mass and a contemporary of the late Blessed Oscar Romero. Through his interaction with Cuéllar, Christopher realized that he wanted to spend more time abroad, working with liturgical composers in different contexts. He travelled to Lima, Peru, and collaborated with a group of musicians that had known theologian Gustavo Gutierrez. He journeyed to India and then to Kenya, all the while developing his musical skills and learning about how music impacts communities both near and far.

Back in the United States, Christopher graduated from Santa Clara in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in music and continued to develop as a musician with the support of Bob Hurd and Father Jan Michael Joncas (two big names in the contemporary Catholic music world).  Christopher returned to Santa Clara for a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership (2015) and a Master’s of Theological Studies from the Jesuit School of Theology (2018).

Fast forward to his current role as the diocesan director of liturgy. It’s here where Christopher’s talent, hard work, global experience, and openness to God’s call are paying off. He works with liturgists and music leaders at the parish level, encouraging them to grow their skills, build their confidence, and bring vibrancy and hope to their communities.

Because of his childhood experience, Christopher takes a particular interest in today’s youth. “How do we engage with young people and get them involved? How do we get them to care for their communities?” Christopher adds that his own life changed when someone asked him to get involved in the liturgy through his love of music. That sparked an interest that has taken him to different places where people growing in faith, positively changing their communities, and using their God-given skills to put their faith to work.

Christopher continues to do this, too. What he does, where he goes from here — one thing is certain — his life, his music, the way he chooses to praise God are not going to be boring.

To listen to Christopher’s music, visit christopherwemp.bandcamp.com.

Written by Carlos Rodriguez, M.Div. '21

Oct 4, 2018
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Students from all across the world come to study at JST, and connections and friendships forged at our school on holy hill in Berkeley, California, span the lengths of the world.

After completing their studies at JST, our Jesuit graduates return to their home provinces to be ordained as priests.  Fellow classmates often travel across the United States to witness and celebrate their friends’ ordinations.  This past June, a large contingent from JST traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to see their fellow classmate and friend, Oscar Momanyi, S.J., M.Div. ’17, S.T.L. ’18, be ordained as a Jesuit priest.  Scattered across the world, the group descended upon Nairobi, Kenya for the joyous celebration of their friend’s ordination. 

Part of a Global Church

Sara Prendergast, M.Div. ‘16, who teaches at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR, Sullivan Oakley, M.Div. ’16, who works at the Ignatian Spirituality Center in San Francisco, and Caroline Read, M.A. ’18, traveled from California.  Victor Setibo, S.J., S.T.L. ’17, Th.M. ’17, joined the group from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he has been running a refugee camp for Jesuit Refugee Services; Jeremy Dunford, M.T.S. ‘17, traveled from Texas, where he just concluded his first year as a teacher at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston; and Luke Hansen, M.Div. ‘17, came from Rome, where he has been studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University.  Kathleen Shrader, who was a Jesuit Volunteer in Berkeley, ’16 - ‘17, and came to know the JST community well during her JV year, joined the group from Malawi, where she had just concluded a year working with Jesuit Refugee Services. 

The group enjoyed the generous hospitality of the Jesuit community in Nairobi where they stayed, explored downtown Nairobi, and even got a chance to go on safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve.  While they enjoyed their sightseeing, the group remarked on how special of a privilege it was to be present for their friend’s ordination.  Kathleen Shrader remembers that “seeing Oscar with his family, his home parish community, and the vibrant community at St. Joseph the Worker parish where the ordination was celebrated was such a gift.  A particularly special moment was when Oscar said an outdoor Mass the evening of our safari in Masai Mara – it was a beautiful way to cap our celebration of him and our time in Kenya.”

Oct 4, 2018
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Drawing from his own experiences, George Williams, S.J., helps students engage in theology and encounter Christ in prison ministry.    

Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology encourages students to go to the margins and accompany those that others have forgotten. JST’s prison ministry practicum provides a tangible opportunity to serve where there is a critical need. George Williams, S.J., designed the course to equip students with the practical skills needed to serve at San Quentin State Prison and Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin.  

    Engaging in real social justice work was vital to Fr. Williams’ own theological studies. He says, “It was the prisons, the prisoners, who formed me and who taught me the most about what theology is. It’s certainly not something you can get out of a book. It has to come from people and from hearts.”

    The prison ministry practicum involves both praxis and theory, focusing on the current United States’ prison system and its inherent structural racism. Through their service at the prison each week, students form relationships through simple conversation, finding authentic human connection.

    Sarah Ash, M.Div. ’19, is a student chaplain at FCI Dublin. Through moments of authentic encounter, she sees the gift of each woman. “As much as these women are punished by being separated from society, society is punishing itself by separating itself from the talents of these women.” She is inspired by the positive attitudes and the determination of the women.

    Ultimately, prison ministry is a work of hope. It is about finding light amidst darkness and negativity. “But the light’s already there,” says Williams “We don’t bring Christ to prison. He’s there. But we have to witness his presence to the people there. Showing them where to look at the light.” After experiencing and participating in so much violence, people in prison are hungry for forgiveness and reconciliation. Prison ministry embodies the Jesuit charism: finding God in all things. Even in the dark place that is prison, God is there.

To learn more about this and other ministries at the Jesuit School of Theology visit jst.scu.edu/info.    

Written by Maddie LaForge, M.Div. ’21.

    Maddie LaForge comes to JST after teaching for two years in Tacna, Peru through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Prior to JVC she studied theology and psychology at Spring Hill College. For Maddie, the M.Div program is an opportunity to integrate these passions while actively engaging with a faith that does justice.

 

Jan 28, 2019
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St. Ignatius’ mission was to touch souls. Drawing upon the innovation and imagination of Ignatian Spirituality, we can enrich the spiritual lives of others... and our own!

    As a part of the Dean’s Lecture series, JST welcomed Dr. Erin Cline, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, for a conversation about adapting the Spiritual Exercises for people of other faith traditions. Dr. Cline specializes in Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy and religion, with a particular focus on early Chinese ethics, religious and political thought. Her new book, A World on Fire: Sharing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with Other Religions, was inspired by her own experience with the Spiritual Exercises. Dr. Cline made the 19th Annotation, an adaptation of the Spiritual Exercises for everyday life. Retreatants proceed through the four weeks of the Exercises over the course of a year. Throughout the experience, the retreatant gets to know Jesus more intimately as she or he journeys with Jesus. Dr. Cline was deeply moved by Jesus’ long, quiet walk. Throughout the 19th annotation, no area of her life was untouched. She said, “Even on a daily basis my responses were changed by the relationships that were built at the heart of the Exercises. I knew that a part of the call for me would involve my scholarly work.” 

    Parts of the Exercises have been adapted for other religions, but Dr. Cline’s work is unique in that she proposes an adaptation of the full four weeks. Her goal is not to change or replace Christian practices with those of other traditions. Ignatian Spirituality is rich in traditions that lend themselves to an adaptation for other religions, such as the use of imagination. Historically, contemplative traditions, such as Buddhism, have deepened Christian spiritual practices. Erin Cline asks if this sharing can go both ways. In addition to proposing an adaptation, her task is to “draw inspiration and innovate new Spiritual Exercises that represent a combination of Ignatian Spirituality and other religions. The most compelling reason for sharing them is to enrich the spiritual lives of others.”

    Cline’s lecture spoke directly to our mission here at JST: to culturally contextualize theology, bringing theology into dialogue with communities.  For Erin Cline, that means sharing the Spiritual Exercises. “I believe that the experience of walking with Jesus and having one’s perspective transformed is something that can be shared by people from other traditions. I believe that something that crosses those lines.”

 

Jan 28, 2019
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  • Exploring Pilgrimage in Different Ways

    JST faculty member Dr. Kathryn Barush has shared her pilgrimage experiences through lectures, publications, and offers unique experiences for those who cannot travel afar. She has become a sought after expert in this area. JST and GTU students have benefited from her creativity and knowledge.