Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., died in April earlier this year at the age of 91. He was one of those remarkable old Jesuits who joined the Order before the time of rebellion. There are some like him left, and I have been fortunate to know a few. Recently, Fr. “Z.” (Zuhlsdorf) pondered how horrid a victory hell had with the corruption of the Society of Jesus, echoing ancient Latin wisdom, corruptio optimi pessima. It has been a profound loss, and it sickens and angers me to see the Order’s universities decay into soul-perverting whorehouses of ugliness and irrationality.
When I visited Rome, I knew that I had to visit the Chiesa del Gesù, the Jesuits’ mother church. I walked around, paid my respects to the relics, and waited to witness the show in the Ignatian chapel. A young novice struck up a conversation with me and learnt that I was Jesuit-educated. He then took me on a private tour of the Collegio del Gesù, including the historic rooms where Ignatius lived, prayed, and wrote. I hope that the fellow and his cohorts eventually restore the Society to its former sanity. For Christians, there is always hope (even for Jesuits).
Below, you may watch Fr. Schall’s final lecture at Georgetown University on the occasion of his retirement, titled “The Final Gladness” after a passage from Belloc. Listening to Fr. Schall reminds me how grateful I am of my own Jesuit education . . . and how I wish that such opportunity endure for future students whose souls spark with wonder.
May his memory be eternal!