News Detail
Jesuit Father Fred Kammer
"It is a gift to each of us for which we should be grateful and a cause for rejoicing in our calling." — Jesuit Father Fred Kammer
Jesuit Tells Law Students Defending Rights of the Poor is a 'Noble Profession'

October 28, 2013 — To care for the poor, defend their rights and enable them to shape their own destinies is a noble profession, Jesuit Father Fred Kammer told a gathering of law students from Saint Louis University Oct. 7.

"It is a gift to each of us for which we should be grateful and a cause for rejoicing in our calling," said Fr. Kammer, former president of Catholic Charities USA and a lawyer himself.

Fr. Kammer recalled his own days as a law student looking for an intern position. He landed at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, spending several years there before leaving and then returning as director of the Senior Citizens Law Project in Atlanta.

"While people inside and outside legal services often were surprised that I was both a priest and a lawyer, I always felt that my legal services work fit hand-in-glove with my sense of myself as a Jesuit priest," he said.

Fr. Kammer, now the director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University in New Orleans, said, "I cannot imagine a more fitting place to exercise my ministry than in representing poor clients, working to change unjust laws and regulations and trying to help the poor gain access to society's institutions."

In almost every nation, he said, those who are poor are women, children and those who are different than the majority. “The responsibility to care for and defend the least among us is shared by multiple religious traditions," Fr. Kammer said.

Pope Francis is underscoring "this profoundly religious insight" in both his statements and his actions, Fr. Kammer said. It "underscores the connection for those in this room between lawyering for the poor — which is an obligation of every lawyer — and religious faith."

Pope Francis, he said, recently spoke of a "globalization of indifference" where so many people pass by those in need. Fr. Kammer pointed out that "we can't live in a bubble and not look at the world around us."

According to Fr. Kammer, the goal is to advocate for the right of people to be “artisans of their own destiny.” [St. Louis Review]





Recent News

October 14, 2017 — The story of American-born Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek (1904-1984), who spent 23 years in Russia in Siberian labor camps and Soviet prisons.

October 10, 2017 — The Clinic has intensified its efforts in the wake of the rescission of DACA by the Trump Administration.

October 5, 2017 — Fr. Jean Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, has been named the new Secretary of the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.

October 4, 2017 — Meet the 38 men who have answered God’s call to ministry in the Society of Jesus in the U.S., Canada and Haiti this year.

October 3, 2017 — We join the Jesuits of Puerto Rico in asking you to contact your senators and Congressional representative and ask them to deliver aid to the people of Puerto Rico.

October 3, 2017 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572), the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

September 29, 2017 — The Loyola Early Learning Center, the brainchild of Fr. William Watters, SJ, is a preschool dedicated to serving lower-income families in Baltimore.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 10/2/17

America 9/18/17

America 9/04/17



Bellarmine Retreat Center
Bellarmine Retreat Center is located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains by the Appalachian Trail on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. It is scheduled to close on Labor Day 2018.