That would be The Jesuit Post, the rambunctious, thoughtful, fun and enlightening site staffed by about 50 young Jesuits, three of whom I am very pleased to announce, have taken up residence here at Patheos.
Some of you may be asking why a growing, jumping site like TJP would offshoot over here, or why Patheos would take them on — it seems to fly in the face of the notion of competitive markets, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s kind of the point. If the goal of Catholic blogging is to serve the Kingdom of God, advance the New Evangelization, inform and instruct on church teaching and engage the minds and souls of both believers and those in doubt, competition should not enter into the equation. When we are all sailing the same seas aboard or around the Barque of Peter, a rising tide will lift all boats; everyone benefits in ways visible and invisible, and the Jesuit Post is a rising tide. The fellas over there, headed up by Sam Sawyer, SJ, intend to use their platform at Patheos to engage broadly with other bloggers on a variety of ideas:
. . .we’re looking to get more involved in the back-and-forth of the blogosphere. We want to engage more deeply in the conversations — about current events in the Church, about faith and atheism, about the interplay between religion, politics, and culture — that make Patheos such an active and important part of the web.
We also want to help improve those conversations. We’d like this blog to help people understand each other better across differences in theological and philosophical styles and (we hope) even across the gap between belief and non-belief. We’d like to set the standard for ourselves of being primarily interested in understanding what other people are saying and not just why we might disagree with them.
In other words, TJP on Patheos aims to be about the work of reconciliation.
What is the work of reconciliation? I find I like their definition — a clear vision of what I believe our good Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI meant when he urged Catholics to get online and give the internet a soul, and what Pope Francis meant when he urged the internet to bring warmth and stir hearts.
As Rumer Godden said, “Mind on mind kindles warmth,” and it is my belief that this little partnership between Patheos and The Jesuit Post could spark a bit of a bonfire as readers who might not ordinarily knock at our respective doors encounter writers, voices, and perspectives outside of their comfort zones and echo chambers and take on a bit of joyful engagement, themselves.
Will it get messy? It might. I’ve found that sometimes the best way to keep house is to throw everything — left and right — into the center of a room, clean out the corners and then put things back where they belong. In the process, one tosses accumulated, pointless junk and appreciates-anew the stuff that got buried or shoved aside in the day-to-day process of being. The house is the better for it.
Stop off and say howdy to Sam and the rest of team, who will be showing up over the next few days. Maybe take a gander at what they’re inviting you to do with your bookcase. You’ll want to bookmark the site, or better yet subscribe to it. I think we’re in for a good time with some energetic young voices. Welcome to Patheos, you Jebbies!