Fr. James Heft

On June 27, the Spirituality Committee, with the support of the Defense of the Faith Committee, hosted an hour of spiritual reflection via Zoom. Our guest speaker was the Rev. James Heft, S.M., who spoke on Commandments and Community, stressing the critical role that structure and rules play in creating a vibrant religious community. Father Heft is the Alton M. Brook Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California, founder and president of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC, and a chaplain with the Western Association.


Some 50 members and candidates of the Federal Association signed on for this Saturday morning reflection. After Father Heft’s opening remarks, we divided into virtual chat rooms so that small groups could reflect together. The chat rooms allowed individuals from different regions to reconnect or, in many instances, meet for the first time. This event was an experiment to see if reflection by Zoom would be fruitful in this time when many of us are isolated at home. Feedback from the participants indicates that the experiment was a success, and we are now working on a follow-up Zoom reflection.