Since today is the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, I thought I would share some fond memories of learning about the Jesuit order. In my Church History class in high school, Sr. Marie Bernadette (now Mother Marie Bernadette) of the IHM sisters taught us about the true reformation (the Catholic reformation) within the Church following the council of Trent. At that time Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuit order to reform morals by way of Ignatius's own spiritual exercises, to engage in missionary work and to promote education and scholarship. The coolest thing that Ignatius of Loyola did was to require all of his Jesuits to take a fourth vow...a special oath of fidelity to the Holy Father.
I'm so thankful to have some of the true Jesuits still around and doing a fabulous job of living in the original spirit of the Jesuit way of life. Father Mitch Pacwa of EWTN comes to mind as one of these Jesuits. The IHM sisters were coincidentally the first to introduce me to his work. Sr. Mary Catherine's Apologetics class invited him to speak about Catholics and the New Age, his newly-published book at the time. Many times our paths have crossed since then. He taught my husband Old and New Testament scripture in his Master's program, and last year we were fortunate enough to have dinner with him at our pastor's rectory. He is always learning and teaching with a joyful wit that always keeps his company on their toes. Fr. Mitch Pacwa, thank you for being a super-cool Jesuit, just like St. Ignatius and his original followers.