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Southern Film Premiere of Xavier

Loyola press release - September 25, 2006

(New Orleans)--The Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, Loyola University, and Jesuit High School New Orleans proudly announce the Southern premiere of the film Xavier, a documentary about the life of St. Francis Xavier, the 16th century Jesuit missionary whose travels to Asia and India enlightened Western Europe as none had done since Marco Polo.

The film, narrated by acclaimed actor Liam Neeson, will be screened Saturday, September 30 at Loyola University’s Roussel Hall at 7 p.m. The filmmakers, two Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, Jeff Johnson and Jeremy Zipple, will be present to introduce the film and to take questions afterward. A dessert reception follows.

Johnson and Zipple followed Xavier’s footsteps around the world, from Italy to Spain to India to Macau. Like Xavier, they never made it to mainland China. Xavier died on a small island off the coast in 1506; Johnson and Zipple were prevented from entering by the Chinese government.

2006 has been celebrated as a Jesuit Jubilee year, marking the 500th anniversary of Xavier’s birth and the birth of Blessed Peter Favre, as well as the 450th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Xavier and Favre were two of Loyola’s closest companions.

“The province is truly excited to premiere the work of two of our young Jesuits,” said Fr. Alfred Kammer, S.J., provincial of the New Orleans Province. “Focusing on St. Francis Xavier during his jubilee year could not be more appropriate.”

Fr. Alfred Kammer, S.J., provincial, Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J., president of Jesuit High School, and Fr. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., president of Loyola University, are hosting the evening. Roussel Hall is located in the Music and Communications Complex at the front of Loyola University’s campus at 6363 St. Charles Avenue.

The Jesuits of the New Orleans Province is a congregation of priests and brothers working in the vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. The New Orleans Province Jesuits includes more than 230 men seeking to work hand in hand with the laity to bring Jesus to those who seek Him.

For more information on the film and the evening, please contact Kristine Lelong, APR, at 504-861-5888.