The official blog of Rev. Francis X. Hezel, SJ

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Another Homecoming Tale
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My Hot Homecoming: Return to MIcronesia
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Immunization Against Microbes and the Hard Knocks of Life
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Reflections on Two Years Stateside
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We Used to Be Just Odd… Now We?re All Sick
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Easter 2012: He is Risen…Or Is He?
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The Century of the Pacific
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Doing Time

My Hot Homecoming: Return to MIcronesia

It?s hard to explain to others how comforting it is to be uncomfortably hot.? Since I landed on Yap three days ago I?ve been sweating constantly.? What a relief!? It doesn?t hurt that I?ve had a 5 PM basketball game set up every afternoon, courtesy of Dickson Tiwelfil, the young man from Woleai who will entering the Jesuits later this summer.? I knew that I?ve been homesick, despite the wonderful people I?ve worked and recreated with in the US over the past two years, but I never reflected on how Read More

Immunization Against Microbes and the Hard Knocks of Life

Those hand sanitizers that I wrote about a few months ago are still on the credence table in our church here at Oceanside to keep parishioners safe from germs.? But there is plenty of other evidence germophobia is here in the US to stay.? Last night a woman from the parish told me that some families are taking their kids to see allergy specialists at the first sneeze during the pollen season. I wish I?d had that option years ago when my eyes watered so much with rose fever that I could barely see the book in my hand. Some parents seem to live in fear that Read More

Reflections on Two Years Stateside

Let?s just call this blog posting an update.? Since my time here in the US is coming to an end, let me offer a few thoughts on what these past two years here have given me.? They?ve been very different years?last year at America Magazine and this one at a parish.? Each has played to one of the two facets of ministry that has been especially important to me in the past: speaking to public issues, and personal care for the needy. Read More

We Used to Be Just Odd… Now We?re All Sick

Once upon a time, long ago, we were all just ordinary people. Well, some of us might have had our quirks and been teased about them, but at least we were accepted as fundamentally sound members of the human family, oddities and all.? This woman was skinny, while that one was fat.? One person in our neighborhood was known as ?loopy,? while another had graduated to being outright crazy.? The woman across the street was hot-tempered, as I recall, while her husband was known to have a strong liking for the ?sauce.?? There were the moody people, and others who shed tears profusely at any little thing that happened. Then, too, there were also those who were up-tight. Read More

Easter 2012: He is Risen…Or Is He?

Long ago when I was ordained a priest, I promised myself that I would never say anything in a homily that I didn?t fully believe.? So for my Easter Sunday homily here at Oceanside, NY, I fell back on a message I?ve used before.? It?s less about pulling Easter bunnies out of hats, or finding that golden Easter egg in the hunt.? It?s more about the problems that the Easter promise presents for anyone who gives a second thought to the world around Read More

The Century of the Pacific

Did you say the ?Century of the Pacific??? What century was that?

Was it perhaps the sixteenth, when Spanish caravels discovered the sea route to Asia and its fabled wealth?? When their navigators began naming the little specks of land they happened upon along the way and sprinkling them on the European maps of that great watery void for the first time?

Or was it the seventeenth, when Read More

Doing Time

When a person entered the walled town he might be greeted by the sight of heads impaled on stakes or a decaying corpse swinging from a tree. Centuries ago, long before there was a United States of America, European kingdoms had their macabre ways of posting warnings that crime was not tolerated there.? Beware, all you who think that you can plunder and kill and plot against rulers, for this will be your fate. Read More