Former editor Thomas J. Reese, S.J., shared this story with us: “When Thurston Davis, S.J., was editor of America, he received a call in the early 1960s from Jack Egan, an influential Chicago priest, telling him about a young parish priest who just finished his doctorate in sociology. ‘You should encourage him to write,’ said Egan. Neither recognized that they were opening a floodgate of prose and fiction that would have such a profound impact on the church.”
I was a “4th-year father” at West Baden (Ind.) College, finishing my 14th year of Jesuit training, when Andrew Greeley, who died day before yesterday, wrote in one of a dozen or so articles offered by America Mag about the “Jesuit college administrator” who
observed: “For four hundred years we [Jesuits] have been in the apostolate of Christian education, and now we suddenly find that our seminarians are demanding that we justify this apostolate.”
And a confrere added: “Jesuit seminarians are the most radical people in the American church–bar none.” Neither of the two was opposed to the New Breed, just puzzled by them.
I go into this phenomenon in Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968, now available as Nook or I-Pad download.
For instance, this on page 119:
We younger Jesuits were said to think that each had the Holy Spirit to guide him individually, as opposed to church authority, its divinely licensed leadership, whose guidance should have been enough for us. We did think that way. We thought each had the Spirit, whom we had got at confirmation and had been relying on ever since. So did Martin Luther, and there you had a problem.
More later about Andrew Greeley.