Blueprint Expands


In September 1964, at the same time when Twomey's Institute of Industrial Relations was renamed the Institute of Human Relations, Blueprint's 17th year saw it renamed Blueprint for the Christian Reshaping of Society. While candidly admitting his sentimental attachment to the old title, Twomey noted that "sentiment can be reasonably indulged only up to a certain point. That point, we believe, has been passed... Henceforth the single word, Blueprint, will designate our written efforts to be an aid in the social formation of Jesuits not only in (America) but wherever (Jesuits) feel that we can be of some help in making the social teachings of the Church essential guidelines in the pursuit of their apostolate" (October 1964, p. 3).

Why was Blueprint intended only for a Jesuit audience? Although the name change implied a broadening of scope beyond the south, even in the Vatican II days of the emerging layperson, Twomey still insisted that Blueprint was to be read only by Jesuits: "As already indicated, the Blueprint and its services are restricted to Jesuits. Thus in our 'intra-family' efforts we enjoy greater freedom to analyse (sic) our Jesuit social deficiencies, to criticize constructively our failures adequately to respond to the needs of our times, and to suggest positive measures of how within the Society we can more effectively actualize our tremendous potential in aiding the Church to implement its updating and ecumenical movements" (September 1965, p. 2). So Twomey wanted the freedom to be "constructively critical" within the Jesuit family without giving scandal (or, perhaps, further ammunition!) to those outside the Society.
Twomey was always very concerned about the internal deficiencies of the Society of Jesus both in educating our own scholastics and brothers in Catholic Social Teaching and in putting this challenging teaching into practice, especially in Jesuit-sponsored institutions. The two major themes of his prophetic preaching and writing revolved around the issues of racism and the rights of the worker to organize into unions -"two sides of the same social justice coin," as he often put it. But Blueprint's scope widened just as the social teaching of the church expanded to cover many other issues such as economic development, international relations, and the whole spectrum of human rights.

Twomey's methodology was always very practical. Over the years, with the help of other Jesuits such as the late Revs. Emmett Bienvenu and Jacques Yenni, he published a thorough set of teaching guides to help Jesuits integrate the social message of the gospel into their classes, from arithmetic to zoology. Twomey's "gospel" clearly included the 1947 letter of "On the Social Apostolate" of then-Jesuit Superior General John Baptist Janssens, S.J., which Twomey seemed to regard as having with only slightly less divine inspiration than Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

The Twomey years of Blueprint came to an abrupt end with his untimely death on October 8, 1969. For the five years before his death, Twomey was clearly exhilarated by the many changes taking place in the Church and the Society as a result of Vatican II and the Jesuit General Congregation 31 which incorporated Vatican II's aggiornamento into the Society of Jesus. It was in those years that Blueprint became the "Official Publication of the National Office of the Jesuit Social Apostolate," thereby gaining official status and wider circulation among the Jesuits in the U.S. and abroad.

As the Jesuits emerged more and more into the inner cities of the U.S., especially in our formation programs for young Jesuits, Twomey seemed to take great joy in documenting these changes in Jesuit seminary formation following upon Vatican II in many issues of Blueprint which seemed to quietly preach "go and do likewise." Perhaps the high point of his later years was the central role he played in the drafting of Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe's 1967 challenging letter to the American Jesuits on "The Interracial Apostolate." With the publication of this letter, Twomey lived to see many of his own priorities and practices become the official policy of the worldwide Society of Jesus.