Gregory Hartnell: I lived right across McAllister Street from the Ignatius Press publishing house, so did not have far to go to deliver my inked drawings, or to go to Mass at the lovely Spanish colonial Carmelite chapel right around the corner, or in the huge Saint Ignatius Basilica

The University of San Francisco: Saint Ignatius Institute
usf lone mountain
USF Saint Ignatius and Golden Gate Bridge

Saint Ignatius Institute

 The St. Ignatius Institute (SII) is a Great Books program offering a curriculum founded in the Western intellectual tradition, focusing on texts in Philosophy, Literature, Classics, and Theology that include those by such thinkers and writers as Homer, Dante, Austen, and Nietzsche. Students who complete the SII curriculum are awarded certificates with their diplomas. The SII curriculum largely replaces the University’s Core Curriculum requirements with smaller, often seminar-style, courses on a variety of subjects in the Liberal Arts.

Courses offered include, among others, Ancient Greek and Roman Literature, Medieval Thought, Modern Philosophy, and Music and Art. Class sizes in the SII are typically half of the size of standard Core classes. Students of any major can complete the SII requirements. Many SII students spend time studying abroad, including in a program of study at Oxford University, UK, available only to SII students. All SII courses incorporate primary sources as much as possible. The SII is an academically challenging course of study geared towards students who want a rigorous academic college experience while having the opportunity to live and study in a community of like-minded individuals. The Institute also sponsors lectures for the wider University community on topics of contemporary importance.

 In addition to a rigorous academic program, SII students have the option of participating in a vibrant SII-only residence hall community as well as regular community activities that include opportunities for service, foreign travel, and spirituality.  For more information, call 415-422-2427 or email Barbara St. Marie, Assistant Director,

I studied at the Saint Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco, and earned a Batchelor of Arts degree in Modern European and Modern Latin American History.

The Institute was founded by Father Joseph Fessio, S. J., who also founded Ignatius Press, at that time a still struggling little Catholic publishing house on McAllister Street.

I got to know this vivacious genius polyglot Italian American Jesuit priest when he invited me to join a supper club of Saint Ignatius Institute students, Ignatius Press employees, tenants and a revolving cast of international visitors in the basement of one of  a number of rooming houses that he managed.

There we would typically eat pasta, mop up the tomato sauce with sourdough bread, and wash it all down with red wine, while someone would read out loud from Shakespeare, G. K.Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Mother Teresa, Patrick Buchanan, Malcolm Muggeridge, Sainte Therese de Lisieux or the just published Ratzinger Report.

After that, we would often debate what we had just had read to us, or rather, we would interupt the reader to make smart remarks and get a laugh or two happening, then let the reader get back to the section for the evening.

We often would get into very heated debates about philosophy, politics, culture and the arts, and I often found myself to be more liberal-libertarian, more of a nationalistic Canadian, much more pacifistic and certainly consciously Christian when I was out of Canada than when I was in it.

Now with what I know about how Canada has completely succumbed to evil New World Order colonialism, engaging in unjust never-ending aggressive illegal and wasteful wars at the behest of shady banksters in guilded Parisian salons, I feel more alienated from all Globalist nation states than ever, and so therefor less consciously Canadian, and also less American.

I am less interested in imperialism than ever.

I find that the older I get, the more libertarian-pro-life-pro-peace I am becoming and I like it.

 Consequently the more liberated I am from false paradigms, in light of Dr. Ron Paul’s wise and prudent Campaign for Liberty, the more this feels like true revolution!

Dr. Ron Paul’s economic thought, influenced by the Church Fathers, the Founding Fathers, and the Austrian School of economics, is found in a half dozen of his books, and is based on common sense and Natural Law.

The Campaign for Liberty entails the time-tested fiscal and social conservative philosophy of protecting and nurturing life and liberty, restrained republicanism, friendly relations with foreign nations, peace, prosperity, free markets, private property, contracts and sound money (gold, silver standards).

Father Fessio’s supper club was an instance of an unusual tradition of convivial Christian hospitality to me, but I soon came to love it, and saw it as in the long and noble tradition of intellectual student fellowships coming out of the great medieval universities of Europe.

I lived right across McAllister Street from the Ignatius Press publishing house, so did not have far to go to deliver my inked drawings, or to go to Mass at the lovely Spanish colonial Carmelite chapel right around the corner, or in the huge Saint Ignatius Basilica, which was right across the street on the campus itself.

Emily Carr lived on McAllister Street in the 1890s at another address, while studying at an art school in downtown San Francisco.

I usually did original commissioned illutrations in China black ink on white ‘d’Arches watercolour paper (including two rare full colour posters), for a number of Ignatius Press books, Saint Paul’s Children’s Magazine of Kansas, Apostleship of Prayer pamphlets, Students United for Life posters, Committee to Save Saint Bridget’s Church, and many of my own posters of saints and angels, inspired by Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist illustrations of the late 19th century which I enthusiastically would put up with push pins all around the campus and down around the Haight, many long years before Shepard Fairey was out postering at night for the false Messiah Obama.

San Francisco is a great, decadent, and fascinating city… The City, as they call it in the Bay Area, and the hip Haight Ashbury neighbourhood was close by, so I haunted that and nearby Clement Street bookstores like the Green Apple, Russian cafes and Italian pizza restaurants when I wanted to pretend to be a bohemian.

It is still worth a visit, although the tragic homeless problem of addicted men, many of them vets, seems to be as intractable there, at least in the nearby Golden Gate Park and the Tenderloin slum downtown, as it is in some parts of Beacon Hill Park, Pandora Avenue or Pioneer Square, at certain times of the day in Victoria.




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