The Fulton Sheen House of Formation was pleased to have Fr. James Swetnam, S.J. teaching an intensive three week course on the Letter to the Hebrews.
Fr. James Swetnam's academic accomplishments are many and impressive. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate after taking a spiritual retreat in 1945 and when he was ordained in 1958 he had a Licentiate and Masters degree in Philosophy (L.Phil / M.A.) and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L) from Saint Mary's College of St. Louis University. He earned a Doctorate in Theology at Oxford with a dissertation on the Epistle to the Hebrews.
As a professional teacher, Fr. Swetnam's primary assignment was the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome where he taught for 40 years (1963-2003) and remains a professor emeritus of the Biblical Institute to this day. He has made his subject material available online so as to facilitate "a better understanding of the Word of God." Thanks to extensive research and publications on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Fr. Swetnam can be called one of the foremost experts in the world on this book of the Bible and demonstrates this knowledge in his "Interpretation of Hebrews," which can be found on his website.
Fr. Swetnam has been very friendly with the Institute of the Incarnate Word ever since he first met some of its members as students in the Biblical Institute. He has given numerous presentations at the Fulton Sheen House of Formation.
For the Greater Glory of God (Ad Majorem Gloriam Dei) Fr. Swetnam has been able to preach, teach, and minister in many countries in the world. He preached the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to over 50 Filipino Bishops in the Philippines and in four other continents, he taught Mother Teresa's Novices in Rome for 31 years, and ministered in many different parishes in the USA and Europe. He calls his many apostolates with the Missionaries of Charity his most memorable experiences and met Mother Theresa herself many times.
The members of the FSHF were able to appreciate the personal life of Fr. Swetnam in the three weeks that he spent at the seminary. He would rise at 4:30 in the morning to pray before celebrating the morning mass, with a constant smile he was a pleasant dining companion, and always ready to share a good story. He showed himself to be a great role model of the priestly life.
We pray for Fr. Swetnam's continued ministry and look forward to his next visit which will come in the 2011-2012 school year.
St. John Baptist de la Salle, Patron Saint of Teachers, Pray for us.
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