Sept 10 — Belize in 1931

Wednesday September 10 —  11 Teachers in a Storm

On this day in 1931, two hurricanes struck Belize where Jesuits taught students in St. John’s College.   The pattern of the two storms created an out-bound surge that then reversed direction and pounded Belize City and the school.   I learned about the storm because it created an anomaly in the Midwest Jesuits’ “Necrology”  (a paperback chronology of the Midwest Jesuits who died on each day of the year with ages and the year of death.  I usually check it in the morning, mostly to remember friends who died on the day.  A couple of years back, though,  I noticed that 11 Jesuits all died on September 10, 1931.    V Deodato I. Burn was the youngest, 24;  Francis J Kemphues the oldest, 67; most were in their 20s and 30s.  I emailed the Midwest Jesuit archivist asking what happened on that day.  He sent several articles with sketches of the teachers who’d died trying to rescue terrified students or, at least, to be with them as they drowned, some trapped at the ceiling of school rooms as the storm surge rose.  The stories came from people who survived; they are earthy and eloquent and brave.

Were those teachers more brave that the c. 1300 UDM employees who will work today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow to engage and challenge and comfort UDM students, and sustain the health of a university on Six Mile Road in 2013?   No way to answer such questions.  Teaching requires courage and hope . . . and persistence.   We do that every day here.

More rain today tells us — between 3:00 and 7:00 they are using red letters for the words  “Strong Storms” (winds between 15 and 19 mph).  Rain is predicted to continue well into the night but, apparently, not at the red letter strong storm level.  I hope we get through this without too much more wear on our homes and streets, our bodies and spirits.


john sj

Here’s an eloquent prayer that comes from the heart of Ireland, another place not unfamiliar with pain.

Today’s Post – St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,
GTod’s ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
God’s heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in the hearts of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend or stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same,
the Three in One, the One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation;
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word,
Praise tothe Lord of my salvation;
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

1931 short articles about the Storm in Belize

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