Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, has been elected President of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) at their 2018 Spring General Assembly that was held from 7th to 9th of March in the EU capital. Hollerich was given mandate of five years until 2023. Hollerich entered the Society of Jesus in September 1981.  He was ordained a priest in Brussels nine years later. He was sent to the Mission in Japan in October 2002, where he was professor and vice rector of the Sophia University in Tokyo. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Archbishop of Luxembourg on July 2011. The Jesuit Conference of European Provincials welcomes the newly elected President of COMECE and looks forward to working with him to promote vision and values for and throughout Europe. Archbishop Hollerich will succeed to His Eminence Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who held the COMECE presidency for two terms. On Wednesday 7th of March, COMECE hosted a farewell reception together with the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria that included the participation of Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission.
Mrs. Ilse Dekker has been nominated as the new director of JECSE, The European Jesuit Schools Network. Since 2011 she has been the coordinator of Christian identity and Ignatian ethos in our Stanislas-network of six colleges for secondary education in The Netherlands. She will take office on the 4th of June.   Mrs.  Dekker was born in the Netherlands in 1963 and is living and working now in the surroundings of Delft. As a cultural anthropologist - specialized in religious anthropology (after a period of working as a free-lance journalist) she worked as a teacher in religious education at Stanislascollege for 16 years. During that time she was also trained as a school counsellor; the cura personalis is also very important to her. Since 2011 she is the coordinator of Christian identity and Ignatian ethos in our Stanislas-network of six colleges for secondary education. In 2012 she became the delegate for education, succeeding father Bert ten Berge sj. She came to know JECSE in 2005 during an eye-opening formators meeting in Paris, and thereafter she attended many conferences, as well as the first worldwide congresses. Also, at the request of Marie-Thérèse Michel, she joined the temporarily extended Steering Committee to help revise the vision of JECSE several years ago. “All of those meetings have been very important to me, both to me personally and in my role as coordinator and delegate. Likewise, the JECSE conferences became a major source of Ignatian inspiration for colleagues in our schools. I think the work JECSE does is really important, especially in today’s context of secularization, economisation and polarization. Our world - and Europe, with it’s complicated history, in particular - needs reconciliation, compassion and hope. The many young people in our schools, following the example of Jesus, can help to make it so, with our dedicated support”. As Mrs. Dekker said “I feel profoundly grateful to be allowed in my new role to contribute to this and will do that, together with all the education delegates, to my best abilities. Likewise, I feel deeply grateful to Marie-Thérèse Michel, who was a wonderful director, and with all her dedication, wisdom and creativity helped JECSE grow into such a meaningful network”. The Conference of European Provincials welcomes Mrs. Dekker heartfully  and encourages her for this new assignment that will help the Jesuit education networks.
In 2006 the Conference of European Provincials opened a new Tertianship in Dublin under the presidency of Mark Rotsaert. In the grounds of Manresa House Spirituality Centre there was an old novitiate that was completely reformed as a new Tertianship. The first instructors for the formation programme were Jan van de Poll (ELC) and Joseph Dargan (HIB) – who passed away in 2014, being his successor Paul Pace (EUM). Team-work guiding tertians has been one of the main characteristics in this program and now its time to thank Jan van de Poll for his twelve years of outstanding service and to announce the new Tertianship Instructor: Tom McGuinness, from the British Province, who has been working as a Retreat Team member of Manresa House Spirituality Centre in Dublin.  Tom McGuinness, Born in 1947, a Jesuit since 1965 have been working in the field of Ignatian spirituality since 1978, shortly after ordination, in most of the retreat or spirituality centres of the Jesuits in Britain. His final formation year as a Jesuit was spent in an international group in Japan and the Philippines. Where he was drawn to the shared insights of the Ignatian spirituality and Zen practice. Tom has spent most of his ministry engaged with directing the Spiritual Exercises. He gave special attention to music and art. He has written and recorded a number of reflection songs as one way of exploring the spirituality of St Ignatius.  He was recently Chair of the Catholic Network for Retreats and Spirituality (CNRS). This is part of a larger ecumenical network, which offers support, information and opportunities to people across many traditions. From 2008-14 he was director of the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow, joining the Retreat Team in Manresa in 2015. He will begin as Tertianship Instructor in September 2018.  We would like to thank him and his provincial for their availability for this formation mission in the Society of Jesus.  In all fairness, on behalf of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, we would also like to express our most sincere gratitude to Jan van de Poll as founder and instructor for twelve years in the European Tertianship in Dublin. His life experience of many years in Indonesia, his work as novice master and Provincial, his involvement in General Congregation 35, among many other gifts, have been a grace that he has shared helping more than a hundred tertians during these years, enlarging and deepening their understanding of the universal vocation to the Society of Jesus. We wish the best for Jan in his future mission. 
Following the third round of meetings in Madrid, March 1-2, 2018. Across Europe, the Society of Jesus maintains a large network of higher-education institutions and social-policy centres which every day educate tens of thousands of young people and scrutinize untold government proposals and policy initiatives. The HEST initiative (Higher Education for Social Transformation) seeks to mobilise this network of research bodies so as to challenge realities on the ground by advocating for constructive change founded on solid research. Going beyond an expression of our collective social responsibility, HEST is an attempt to put flesh and bones on one of the hallmark slogans of the Jesuit approach to life – that we should be men and women for others. Seven research clusters have been established that seeks to direct this wealth of researching talent towards the issues that are most pressing in Europe today. They are: Ecology and Environmental Challenges Economy, Poverty and Ethics Christian Muslim Relations Dialogue Science and Religion Ignatian Studies Anthropology Migrations and Refugees These clusters, made of experts, analysts and researchers – both “J” and “lay” – from across Europe, are meeting over the period of three years with the intention of providing meaningful and quality research so as to yield real-world advocacy proposals. They also hope to sharpen local recommendations through the pan-European cooperation and to strengthen the Jesuit Identity of Jesuit higher-education institutions. The ambitious, ultimate aim, is that this project would roll for fifteen years, thoroughly transforming the internal self-understanding of Jesuit higher-education institutions and making a concrete difference for the most marginalised in our society. I am a member of the “Economy, Poverty and Ethics” cluster, which seeks to take seriously the commitment made in Decree 1 of the General Congregation 36, that “Global Wealth Inequalities” is one of the issues that Jesuits must pay particular attention to. We met for the third workshop of our group in Madrid in early March. Made up of scholars and experts from Poland, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, and Spain, this group – largely led by economists – are eager to explore below the numbers and examine what is really happening in the European economy. A decade on from the last crash, there is widespread dis-satisfaction with the so-called “recovery”. With this in mind, the group has focused on two critical issues: Models for company-formation Policies to deal with precarious labour The first focus area will draw on Catholic Social Teaching to explore how the legal construction of corporations can place the pursuit of the common good right alongside the pursuit of profit. The second focus area will explore how the response to the economic crash of 2008 has left more and more people on the economic sidelines and how we should seek to address that issue. Europe was struggling with awful weather, so delegates faces snowdrifts and airport delays to make the meetings. Madrid itself was buffeted by storm winds and flooding rains. But every delegate who gathered felt that the trip was more than worthwhile. The contemporary university is geared towards ever more intense specialisation and too often our individual research agendas, directed by abstract government rating-systems, gets disconnected from the real-world problems that we most want to address. HEST represents a different way of researching: inter-disciplinary, grounded in friendship and mutual values, dedicated towards the service of those most in need of help. In this, it is already a remarkable distillation of the finest parts of the Jesuit tradition.
The Loyola Centre of the Loyola Sanctuary has launched a Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project to accompany processes that help to heal the wounds and suffering generated by the different types of violence and the violation of human rights in our country. The Loyola Centre will develop different types of initiatives: Spaces for welcoming and meeting, dialogue and mutual listening. Social and spiritual reflection. Itineraries of healing, recovery and human growth. Training and research regarding forgiveness and reconciliation. The project, coordinated by Jesuit Manu Arrúe SJ, will be carried out in collaboration with other works of the Society of Jesus, the Church, the social agents and the administration. The first activity, launched in February, is a pilot experience of Escuelas ES.PE.RE. (Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation). It is a proposal that emerged in Colombia and has already spread to 22 countries around the world -mainly in America- to help people and communities that have suffered or carried out violence and human rights violations. A group of Jesuits and lay people from Loyola travelled last year to Peru to learn first-hand about the development and results of the project in the American country. For their part, responsibles for ES.PE.RE. from Perú have visited Loyola to help start the project in Euskadi. At the pilot experience that has begun in February, fifteen people have participated. The objective is to start offering ES.PE.RE. schools in 2019. The ES.PE.RE. are carried out in the form of a workshop. The training starts from your own experience, your work and in small groups of three people who usually do not know each other. It is a work aimed at healing: forgiving oneself and reconciling one way or another. Participants attend the meetings once a week for approximately ten weeks. It is not a confessional experience and participation in these workshops is done in complete confidentiality. This project of the Loyola Centre is the result of the definition of the Mission of the Society of Jesus updated by the General Congregation 36 (2016) that calls the Jesuits and lay people in collaboration to be agents of reconciliation in a fractured world.
Works continue at the Pedro Arrupe Centre, where on February 17, the Jesuits of Bucharest celebrated the feast of their patron saint, St. Claudio la Colombière. There were around a hundred people present at the Eucharistic Celebration, presided by the Archbishop of Bucharest, Monsignor Ioan Robu. Fr Michael Bugeja SJ, delegate for Malta and Romania was also present. At the Refugee Center there are over 1500 people who benefit from legal, social and medical assistance. The new building, which will soon be inaugurated, is the result of a project initiated in 2000 by P. Luc Duquenne SJ and supported by JRS Europe. “Taxi drivers for heaven, called to widen our tent” Fr. Bugeja exhorted in his homily, “welcoming the different ethnic groups, even indigenous ones, through programs of human and spiritual formation”. This project is now made possible by the enlargement of the structure – the first floor housing Jesuits’ quarters and the Refugee Service and the ground floor is designed as meeting places where moments of sharing can take place to strengthen the collaboration between the religious and the laity, between the social and the formative dimensions and between the Romanians and people who come from other countries.


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Apr 2018
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May 2018
Love bade Me Welcome A week-long spiritual encounter, inspired by art, culture and ScriptureFriday May 4th (9am) to Friday May 11th (9am) 2018 Mount St Joseph Spirituality Centre, Mosta - Malta Led by Magdalen Lawler SND and Tom McGuinness SJ, this 5-day retreat will focus on the boundless love of God in the person of Jesus.  More info READ MORE
May 2018
Final vows Father General Arturo Sosa SJ will receive the final vows of Fr. Camillo Ripamonti SJ on May 5 at the Church of St. Andrea al Quirinale, Rome, at 5 pm. Fr. Ripamonti joined the Society in 1997. He is currently the director of the Astalli Centre, Rector of the church of S. Andrea al Quirinale and Superior of the house. READ MORE
May 2018
Deaconal Ordination The Hungarian Scholastic László Elek (33) will be ordained deacon. The ordination will take place at the Jesuit Church of the Sacred Heart (Jézus Szíve Jezsuita Templom), celebrated by Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest. READ MORE