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Schöne Grüße! SLUH welcomes Jesuits arriving from Germany with open arms

St. Louis U. High has welcomed two Jesuit guests from the German province to live in the Jesuit residence while they complete pursuits in St. Louis. The two visitors are Fr. Godehard Bruentrup, SJ and Fr. Cristof Wolf, SJ. Bruentrup is an internationally acclaimed philosophy professor who has come to St. Louis to present projects to Saint Louis University and explore a possible teaching job at the university. 

Art: Alex Deiters.

“I'm thinking of teaching part time, one semester in Munich and one semester here for the next few years,” said Bruentrup. “I'm currently here to talk to people at the university, and the Jesuits so that in the future, beginning next year, I will be teaching the fall semesters.”

An integral aspect of Bruentrup’s philosophy and study is jazz music. He believes jazz can represent the process of life in its adaptability and open process.

“I think that jazz expresses my worldview in the most elegant and beautiful way, that the entire world is a process into an open future, which depends on certain underlying rules,” said Bruentrup. “The world is an open process, a lot of risk taking. The outcome is not yet sure, but the fun of it is.”

Wolf uses his talents in filmmaking. 

“So I was here back in 2018 for two months doing some research on a film project I'm working on and I'm writing a script,” said Wolf. “In order to continue with my script, I'm coming here for a month, and I'm writing in English, so it's good to have an environment in English.”

Wolf and Bruentrup have chosen to work in America because of its creative freedom compared to Germany. They feel that most Americans have a mindset that provides the opportunity of more creative and meaningful work. 

“For me, the United States is like coming home, especially in the creative field,” said Wolf. “Germans tend to be extremely negative, so if you propose an idea or whatever it is, it's not an appreciative culture. If you have a non-standard idea, a creative idea, the American attitude is much more often, ‘let's do it, let's try.’”

While they won’t be participating much at SLUH, their presence is very much valued by the other  Jesuits who live at the on campus residence.

“One of the coolest things about being a Jesuit is the worldwide network, we have Jesuit communities on every continent except Antarctica,” said Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Matthew Stewart SJ. “Getting to meet Jesuits from all over the world, and not just sort of like at a conference where you shake a hand but get to live with somebody for an extended time, is really awesome.”

“Being a part of the Jesuits, it's a very international organization and you realize that very quickly when you become a Jesuit,” said SLUH principal Fr. Ian Gibbons SJ. “So it's very cool to have Jesuits from other places and to welcome them and to hear their stories and to show them in our school.”

They arrived in St. Louis two weeks ago, but Bruentrup will be concluding his stay on Dec. 6 while Wolf will stay until Christmas.






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