I consider myself lucky for number of reasons, and not just because I inherited the uncanny ability to whistle TV theme songs from the 60’s. (My “Mayberry” is not to be believed!). But beyond the good fortune of being blessed with 2 great parents, I consider myself incredibly fortunate because I was educated by the Jesuits.
At the risk of committing what a good Jesuit might call the sin of hubris, I am compelled to admit that I attended a Jesuit high school, college, and graduate school before working for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and later at a Jesuit high school for 10 years.
I don’t know if there is such a thing as “Jesuit cred,” but I can say that I was delighted to learn that Pope Francis is himself a member of the Society of Jesus. Because UCC is a non-sectarian school, some of you may not know all that much about the Jesuits, so I offer 5 fun facts, courtesy of James Martin, SJ.
- The Jesuits invented the trap door. Drama, and not Big East basketball, was the co-curricular priority for Jesuit schools throughout most of their history.
- St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, is the only saint with a police record. (He was found guilty of intent to cause bodily harm – before his conversion!)
- There are 35 craters on the moon named after Jesuit scientists.
- The Jesuits inspired the making of my favourite film, “On the Waterfront.” (The Karl Malden character was based on Jesuit priest John Corridan, who worked in labor-relations.)
- The Jesuits educated Descartes, Voltaire, Moliere, James Joyce, Peter Paul Rubens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Fidel Castro, Pierre Trudeau, Alfred Hitchcock, Bill Clinton, Bing Crosby, Vince Lombardi, Robert Altman, Chris Farley, Amy Pohler,Salma Hayek, Michael Wilbon, Tom Babits, and Denzel Washington.