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*Image: The Miracles of St. Ignatius of Loyola by Peter Paul Rubens, 1617/18 [Kunsthistorisches Museum’s Gemäldegalerie, Vienna Austria]

By Francis X. Maier, The Catholic Thing, Nov. 10, 2022

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.


Tim Russert, the late, great anchor of NBC’s Meet the Press, died in 2008.  Praised as an “honorary Jesuit” in America magazine after his death, Russert had a lifelong regard for the Society of Jesus.  He had a special affection for Father John Sturm, legendary prefect of discipline at Buffalo’s Canisius (Jesuit) High School.  Any man who was a Canisius student during the John Sturm years – myself included – remembers him with a mix of awe, fear, love, and loyalty.  Sturm was that kind of guy, tough but fair; a “man’s man.”

Russert was two years behind me in his studies.  We never met, but I shared his experience of Canisius.  It was an exceptional place.  The Jesuits who taught me History and English, Latin and Greek, changed my life.  Nothing I later learned came close to the exhilaration of those classes.  My respect for the Society of Jesus thus carried over into my professional life.  The work of men like Avery Dulles, James Schall, Joseph Koterski, Henri de Lubac, Joseph Fessio, Robert Spitzer, Paul Mankowski, and so many others – several of them now gone – testifies to the best qualities of Jesuit life. …