Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on July 8, 1974 · Page 7
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 7

Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, July 8, 1974
Page 7
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The Demise of the Swinging Jesuits; the Experiment Has Left its Mark ByJobuLeu (EDITOR'S NOTE: This Is the second of two related articles on Jesuits in America.) NEW YORK - (NBA) Woodstock College means something to Catholics. It is the oldest and most prestigious Jesuit theology school in America. It lived in isolation for a hundred years in Maryland before moving to New York City in 1969. amid great publicity, to show the world how the new post-Vatican Council Jesuits could operate in the middle of the urban culture. Now it is dying. Many think it was a successful experiment, brought to an end because the Pope himself was appalled by the publicity about Woodstock's swinging Jesuits — the near-total freedom, casual dress and easy tolerance of female guests for coffee or dinner. Others think the experiment was a failure, that Jesuits today are too confused by the rapid changes in the Church to make any contribution to the teeming city. A few things are known for certain. Two of the five American Jesuit theology schools had to be closed. Vocations have fallen off drastically in recent years, and there are not enough Jesuits to fill them. And it is known that conservatives, inside and outside the order, maneuvered with Rome to make sure that Woodstock would be one of the two closed. The announcement came some months ago. Woodstock is shutting down gradually and will close fully by next summer, though some Jesuits will remain as a loose West Side community with an uncertain future. Bob is a 33-year-old Woodstock Jesuit from Scranton. He has been a Jesuit for 15 years, but has not been ordained a priest — which means he has passed up ordination twice. He is about to do it again, taking one more year to think about the decision and plans to take an undemanding job, perhaps in a library somewhere, to support himself. Like so many Jesuits, he has reported to his superior that he finds celibacy destructive — it saps energy that should go into meaningful work. But sex is not the real problem. He wonders if the person he is becoming would or should fit in the Jesuit order. He spent a year in India, and was outraged when people called him a missionary. "I felt like shouting; 'I'm not an operative, not a cog in a machine, I'm me, and I'm here because I feel called on to help." His only regular roommate in a sprawling seven-bedroom apartment, once filled with Jesuits, is Sam, a 35-year-oldChicano from El Paso. Sam knows where he's going. Times Herald, Carroll, la. Monday, July 8, 1974 8 He is developing an expertise in urban affairs and heading back home to help his fellow Mexican-Americans. He talks passionately about the illiteracy and mortality rates of his people in Texas, and what he plans to do in the local settlement house and Pentecostal movement to advance their struggle. He is at peace with himself and with the Jesuits but he thinks Woodstock may have been run too loosely — the sudden and near-complete freedom has been a burden to many men who have been taught to do without it. "I entered the order late —at 26,' he says, "and I know who I am. Many of these guys don't, and they can't cope. They need more structure." Some of the Woodstock men are working hard on their studies. Other are just putting in time, or pouring their energies into outside projects. Some are preparing to fit themselves into the old scholastic grooves — teaching in Jesuit high schools or colleges — either because it is less threatening than a broader project, or because it is the career they really want. One man, a leftist activist, was prominent in the antiwar movement. Another is deep into the New York music world. A third, who recently moved elsewhere, has been helping organize New York Filipinos to call attention to the plight of the Philippines under U.S. economic domination. Despite all the vitality, and the obvious ecumenical impact at nearby Columbia University and Protestant and Jewish institutions, there has been a sense of aimlessness about Woodstock. Catholic author Garry Wills, in a 1971 article mainly celebrating the rebirth of the college in New York, wrote that "Personal crises and uncertainty mix with ill-defined institutional goals — no one knows what Woodstock will be like two years from now, or whether it will exist." Most people at Woodstock are bitter about that Wills article, citing it as a heavy factor in Rome's decision to close the place. But many now agree with the Wills quote 'above. Ed, a young activist priest, says, "It was unrealistic to think that our Jesuits, so concerned with emerging into personal freedom, would have much impact on New York. The actions were bound to be individualistic, isolated and swallowed up by the society at large." But Jack, another Jesuit here, argues that most journalists have missed the point: "We didn't move here to save the city; we moved here because the city could help make us better Jesuits, and in that sense, the experiment succeeded." GALLON 2% 5-Lb. BEET 1-Lb, BUTTER-NUT LAND-O-LAKE SUPER VALU SUGAR COFFEE BUTTER WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET THIS AD IN EFFECT ONE FULL WEEK ANOTHER B & H "PLUM CRAZY SALE" PLUMS Plenty of Plums From California • Red Santa Rosa • Queen Ann • Nuriana • Mariposa • Wickson •ajswuib. WASHINGTON GROWN BiNG CHERRIES SWEET CORN HOME GROWN CABBAGE 1-Lb. CELLO RADISHES SCHICK SUPER II CARTRIDGE EDGE 7-Oz. SHAVE CREME OVAL RUGS BANQUET FROZEN CREAM PIES 10-Oz. VASELINE INTENSIVE CARE ... GEDNEY SALAD DRESSING Quart ROYAL 3-0?. for FLAV-O-RITE 1 2-Oz. 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