News
Ruined for Life – A Jesuit’s Inspirational Tale

Father John "Jack" Morris, SJ, died in 2012 before he could finish his book, "Ruined for Life." Still, through the help of his associate Barbara Underwood Scharff, his story is largely told through his own words.

Scharff spent eight months interviewing Fr. Morris, the founder of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps movement, before his passing, learning about his philosophy and life experiences. Before he died, Fr. Morris asked Scharff to complete his then half-finished book. Over the next four years, Scharff compiled, co-wrote, researched, and edited the manuscript, drawing materials from Fr Morris's personal journal, letters, poetry, homilies, and other documents. Scharff also conducted interviews with many people who knew Fr. Morris.

The book, which bears the motto of the Jesuits volunteers, describes the interior changes of heart that happen to volunteers after a year or two of companionship with the poor; JVs will forever be challenged by Christ's counter-cultural call to service and love.

"Ruined For Life" is available for $15 in paperback and $9.99 for the Kindle version on www.amazon.com. A portion of the book's proceeds are being donated to JVC Northwest.

Scharff has been involved with the Jesuits since 2001, having served in leadership at St. Ignatius Parish in Portland and on the board of JVC Northwest for seven years. Her two sons attended Georgetown University, and one son served as a Jesuit volunteer in Tacna, Peru for two years. She says that Ignatian spirituality has transformed her life and credits Fr. Morris for living his life in such a way as to be a beacon of hope and commitment for her and thousands of others.

A pilgrim, philosopher, and gypsy at heart, Fr. Morris changed every soul he encountered by pointing the way to Christ's love and mercy. Though he has passed, his book shares his poignant memories of a life lived on the frontiers of the heart.

"Ruined for Life" has received positive reviews:

"Jack Morris was an extraordinary Jesuit who worked for peace until his death. I first met Jack in the 1990s, when we were both working with the Jesuit Refugee Service in East Africa - he in Uganda, me in Kenya. Jack's lifelong work for peace offers us a question: How do we put peace in the center of the Church's thinking? Jack was the founder of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps movement, which has enabled thousands of college graduates to serve the poor, experience Christian community, deepen their prayer, and meet God in surprising new ways."

Fr. James Martin, SJ, Editor at large, America magazine;
author of "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything," and "Between Heaven and Mirth"

"Jack Morris's life from Sheridan, Ore., to Copper Valley, Alaska, from Butte to Bethlehem, was no ordinary adventure. His enthusiasm always carried along dozens of people in his wake. Now, in his own clarion voice, we hear the call to the depths of our own spirit to live the more authentic, more daring life of the Gospel of Jesus. Barbara Scharff has offered this further votive of love by offering up his memoir."

Fr. Patrick Howell, SJ, distinguished professor,
Institute of Catholic Thought and Culture, Seattle University





Recent News

June 20, 2018 - Pope Francis has criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world’s immigration problems.

June 15, 2018 - This year, the Jesuits West Province of the Society of Jesus chose to hold its Ordination Mass a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border.

June 14, 2018 - Rep. Juan Vargas read a letter on the U.S. House Floor by Jesuit West Provincial Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, calling for support for the peaceful negotiation of a solution to the crisis in Nicaragua and for respect for the physical safety of all Nicaraguans.

June 13, 2018 - Jesuits West is grateful to the William H. Hannon Foundation for being the first Foundation in Los Angeles to join the Provincial Circle with their gift of $400,000.

June 11, 2018 - Bishop of San Diego, Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy ordained on Saturday, June 9, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro, California, four Jesuit Priests: Fr. JT Tanner, SJ , Fr. Elías Puentes, SJ, Fr. Alejandro Báez-González, SJ, and Fr. Thomas Flowers, SJ.

June 10, 2018 - The Jesuits West Province of the Society of Jesus held its Ordination Mass near the U.S.-Mexico border to call attention to the plight of immigrants. Province leaders and priests also participated in a Prayer Rally on June 8 at Chicano Park in San Diego in support of immigrants.

Jesuits West sponsored a spiritually enriching Portugal Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima and the renown cities of Porto and Lisbon, May 21-31. Father Sam Bellino, SJ, and Father John Mossi, SJ, were the spiritual directors for the journey which included daily Masses at Fatima.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Spring 2018

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016


Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017


Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra
The Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra is an adult, youth, and family retreat center in Applegate, Placer County, California, for nonprofit groups of 20-130 (105 guests overnight; +25 additional beds in summer only).