The meeting of the Jesuit missions and Jesuit development aid organisations from Europe, North America and Australia from 14 to 17 March in London was marked by friendly encounters and substantive work. 1.5 days were dedicated to the joint training of the Directors and project managers in safeguarding. The training was greatly enriched by the expertise of Dr. Sandra Racionero Plaza, who is working with the Jesuits’ project based in Rome : "Promoting a consistent culture of protection". There was discussion about joint projects and strategic cooperation with other networks of the Society of Jesus,  such as Jesuit Refugee Service, the education network, Fe y Alegria and the Ignatian advocacy group, "Justice in Mining". We were joined by the leader of this group, Guillermo Otano, and also, Richard Solly, Coordinator of the London Mining Network. With Alberto Ares SJ, Regional Director of JRS Europe, there was discussion about the Xavier Network’s support for Ukraine which is being coordinated with JRS. The Fundraising and Communication working group’s work was warmly encouraged at a time when many members face significant challenges to their income. Gill Donoghue, a collaborator with Mark Raper Sj the Regional Superior in Myanmar, updated the Network about the situation in Myanmar and the work of the Jesuits. Finally, the Directors heard encouraging and appreciative words from the Provincial of the British Province, Fr. Damian Howard SJ, who rounded off the very successful meeting.
The theme of women's leadership took over the Chapel for Europe during the month of March. Five weeks, five evenings, organised jointly with the Vicariate of Brussels, a veritable five-pack of complementary events: a conference on “The Catholic Church and women. Herstory in a nutshell”, a movie night: “The Swimmers”, a photo exhibition about “Beguines: wounded memories”, an interreligious artistic evening: “Sacred dances and songs”, and above all an interconfessional panel “The women’s spiritual leadership” which brought together six women in positions of leadership and responsibility within different religious and spiritual traditions. Each of the invited speakers presented respectively her own background: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Tibetan Buddhist and her current commitment. Without evading the difficulties encountered in winning the recognition of their communities and institutions, they witnessed their enthusiasm and their gradual insertion - sometimes by pushing the doors open not enough - into circles still predominantly represented by men. What they shared, was both down-to-earth and serene. A real complicity between them that transcended their differences could be felt, a determination to continue step by step on their path of faith and leadership in their respective institutions with a very open mind and a great dose of humour. The meeting was so encouraging that the participants decided to meet again to deepen their dialogue and create a circle of exchange. A follow-up is thus assured. Chapel for Europe
Father General Arturo Sosa has appointed in March a new provincial in Spain and in the French-speaking Western European Province. Spain. Fr Enric Puiggròs Llavinés SJ will be the new Provincial of Spain of the Society of Jesus. The appointment, will take effect at the end of this academic year, between June and July. He will replace Fr Antonio España SJ, who has held this position since July 2017. Enric Puiggròs was born in Barcelona in 1974 and after attending EGB, BUP and COU at the Colegio Sant Ignasi de Sarrià, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Zaragoza in 1993. He later studied Contemporary History at the University of Barcelona and did his teaching at the Claver School in Raimat (Lleida). He studied Theology at the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia and at the Institute of Fundamental Theology in Sant Cugat del Vallès, where he did a degree in Fundamental Theology on Ignatian Pedagogy. He was ordained a priest in 2006 and, after completing his studies in 2007, he joined the mission of the Society of Jesus. Between 2007 and 2011 he was assigned to the Professional Technical School of El Clot (Barcelona). His training was completed with the third probation, which he did in Cape Coast (Ghana) between January and June 2012. That same year he spent a few months working with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Yei (South Sudan). On his return, he was appointed consultant for the Tarragona Province, and began working as vocations promoter for the Province of Spain, a position he held for eight years, combining it first with the pastoral direction of the Jesuit Education Foundation and then, stationed in Madrid since 2017, with the coordination of the pre-novitiate team of the Province of Spain. In 2014, when the Jesuit provinces were united into one, he became the consultor of the Province of Spain, a responsibility he has held until now. In 2020, the Provincial appointed him Delegate of the Apostolic Platform of the Society of Jesus in Catalonia, a position he has held for the last two years. His artistic facet is well known, with a special sensitivity to pastoral work through music, which has led him to participate in various Christian music groups and to initiate musical production projects. Perhaps the best known of these at present is the group Jesuitas Acústico. In the Provincial Congregation, in February 2022, Enric Puiggròs was elected Procurator, so he will participate in the next Congregation of Procurators of the Society of Jesus, which will take place in Loyola from 15 May and brings together representatives of all the provinces and regions of the Society of Jesus in the world. Jesuitas España   New Provincial of EOF Father General has appointed Fr. Thierry Dobbelstein as the next Provincial Superior of the Jesuits of French-speaking Western Europe. This Province includes France, the Walloon Region of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as Greece, Mauritius and Réunion. Thierry Dobbelstein will succeed Fr François Boëdec and will take office on 31 July 2023, the feast of St Ignatius. "Thierry Dobbelstein knows the Province well thanks to the position of socius which he held until recently. His many qualities will help him to fulfil his mission as Provincial with fidelity, courage and spiritual sense," explained Fr Arturo Sosa sj on the occasion of this appointment. Thierry Dobbelstein was born on 22 May 1968, in Eupen, Belgium. As a student at the Collège Saint-François-Xavier in Verviers (in eastern Wallonia), he met the Jesuits and got to know Ignatian spirituality through CLC-Youth groups. He entered the novitiate in 1988. He then went on to study physics (which he had started before joining the Society) Philosophy in Namur and Paris, two years of Regency as a teacher in Liege, and theology in Frankfurt and Brussels. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2000. He dedicated fifteen years to teaching and youth ministry in Liege and was superior of the community between 2010 and 2016. In 2016, he was appointed Socius of the Provincial of the Jesuits of Southern Belgium and Luxembourg and, in this capacity, participated in the creation of the French-speaking Western European Province. In 2017, he became Socius to the current Provincial, François Boëdec. In 2022, he returned to his native country to coordinate the Jesuit educational institutions of French-speaking Belgium in Namur. Jésuites EOF
Rob Marsh SJ has been a leading light in the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises over the past few decades. His subtle insights have not only been a mainstay of training courses for spiritual directors, but have enlightened the lives of many others through their ministry. His latest collection of essays will be primarily of interest to those involved in spiritual accompaniment, but will also provide a useful background to someone who has made the Spiritual Exercises, or anyone with an interest in deepening his or her understanding of discernment.  Imagination, Discernment and Spiritual Direction proves that it is still possible today for a Jesuit priest to think up, write up, and share with his readers helpful new insights into Ignatian spirituality and the old craft of spiritual direction.  Outside Britain, Rob Marsh may not yet be a household name among those who circuit-preach on the art of accompaniment. One hopes that this book, compiling insightful Ignatian papers he has published over the years, may make him known more widely. The exquisite nature of some of these insights, expressed in crisp, engaging English, makes them a treasure to which one can profitably turn time and again. In short, this reviewer hopes the book might become a classic. A classic—not one of those thick historic manuals on which experts rely to contextualize Ignatius Loyola; still less, one of the faddish pamphlets which de- and re-construct him selon la critique du jour. A classic, rather, in the sense of a well-loved family recipe book which provides food of godly comfort to the hungry soul.  As can be expected from the title, the Ignatian imagination is central to the book. In chapter 1, the reader can ponder how Ignatius invites anyone engaging in prayer to look at God looking at that person—a path away from being “mind-blind” to God. Chapter 2 gives new insights into sloth, using the 1999 film American Beauty to highlight the dangers that the apparently dormant capital sin still offers today—and remedying them with a sense of marvel at beauty. In Chapter 3, Fr Marsh renews the ancient Jesuit practice of humbly sharing spiritual advice on the basis of his experience both as directee and as director: by perceiving spiritual ‘movements’ and ‘counter-movements’, both can find a way in spiritual direction.  While the word ‘discernment’ is thrown about so much these days it risks becoming irrelevant, Chapter 4 explores the practice on two planes—the ordinary and the extraordinary—giving the classic Ignatian ‘spiritual grammar’ of ‘good spirit’ and ‘bad spirit’ a new spin. Thus, the discernment of spirits becomes less a slogan or a technique than a true, consoling path of prayer and union to God. Chapter 5 delves deeper, giving discernment of spirits a welcome cosmological dimension within our modern culture. Dr Marsh’s initial expertise in chemistry lends sound credence to his discussion of the tensions between science and spirituality. Patiently evincing how contemporary Ignatian commentators might skirt around the embarrassing question of what spirits actually are, his thought-provoking cosmology can help make discernment wonderful again.  In an amusing pastiche of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, acting as a literary, imaginative intermezzo, Chapter 6 broaches temptations and motions of the Second Week in one’s Lenten trip through the desert. Chapter 7 is imaginative in a different way, using the Spiritual Exercises to imagine how to carry on ‘day-to-day’ spiritual direction, analogically and painstakingly applying the structure of a classic Ignatian prayer period to an hour of accompaniment. Differently again, Chapter 8 uses Irish philosopher Richard Kearney’s 1988 The Wake of Imagination to explain how the imagination can be used in the discernment of spirits to make faithful decisions that are anchored in the real. Coasting on those key notions, Chapter 9 asks the grave question of what spiritual direction might be if director and directee took God for ‘real’ rather than as a mere ‘notion’ (to use Newman’s old distinction), making a convincing case based on experience. The Examen viewed as storytelling in Advent is the focus of short Chapter 9, while Chapter 10 presents the reader’s imagination with an engaging tryptic of ecology, angels, and virtual reality. Thus, she might marvel once again at the angelic beauty of the human imagination that helps make the invisible visible in contemplation.  The varying length, tone, and topic of each paper in the book does not warrant reading it in one setting—but that is not necessary for the book to become a favourite reading of those who practice spiritual direction following the school of Ignatius. Fr Rob is a worthy disciple and imaginative master.  Nicholas Steeves SJ 
Prompted by the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit Collections has launched a virtual timeline showcasing the history of the Jesuits in England, Scotland, and Wales over the past four centuries. The timeline charts the early days of English Jesuit martyrs, via the rapid expansion of the 19th century, right through to new developments and changing needs in more recent years. The timeline provides a framework of the Province’s development, allowing the Jesuits’ history to be seen as part of the larger national and international religious, political and social history, while also giving context to individual Jesuit Works. Each event is illustrated by one or more items from the British Jesuit Archives, Stonyhurst College Collections or Campion Hall, which you can click to enlarge and scroll through. Most have links to resources to find out more. Feel free to share your own story at the end of the timeline. Jesuits in Britain
A large majority of the works in the Spanish province got involved in the celebration of the first Day of Good Treatment and Care through numerous and varied activities and simple gestures, as well as with an extensive digital presence on social networks. Above all, they achieved one of the objectives sought by Secure Environment: to raise awareness among the people who form part of the works, whether users or recipients, workers or volunteers, of the importance of taking good care of ourselves, as a fundamental step in the prevention of abuse. Children and adolescents The children and adolescents in the schools celebrated in different ways. Most of them were able to see in their classrooms or common rooms the posters prepared for this day, and received bracelets with this year's motto "Take care of me, Take care of you, Take care of us". In the upper stages, they worked on the didactic proposal "The Cube of Good Treatment", where the students had to help celebrity couples, or couples usually in conflict, to overcome their difficulties through 6 good practices of good treatment: Recognising Potentialities, Empathy, Positive Interactions, Effective Communication, Resolving Conflicts and Analysing Consequences. There were also reflection talks and reading of the manifesto in the playgrounds by students. At the same school, several students shared their reflections on caring for relationships, conflict resolution, respect, tolerance of others and recognition of all the good that others bring to us, as well as appropriate solutions to everyday conflicts. In other schools they carried out activities on expressing emotions and listening in both ESO and infants. The manifesto was also posted on school websites and some schools created special websites for the day.  Universities Universities raised awareness in different ways. At Loyola University they organized an activity in which they invited students and staff to think about how to take care of themselves, care for others and take better care of ourselves, and to write it on post-its that they stuck on murals placed for this purpose. At Comillas, the day focused on two actions: the design and distribution of stickers to the entire university community as an awareness-raising action, and the filming and sending of a video with testimonials on mutual care. The University of Deusto joined the 1st March, with several communication actions. The video was shown on the screens on both campuses. A communiqué was sent to staff and students, the content of which was published on the intranet, the student app and the Deusto website. The news was included in the weekly newsletter and wristbands were handed out at Deusto Campus and the Loiola Forum, which was held on the same day with the attendance of 150 people, representatives of the university's student body. The news was also published on social networks. The pastoral works The pastoral works disseminated the manifesto and some worked on the materials in catechesis with minors and distributed the bracelets at the Mass for Families, as in the parish of San Francisco de Borja in Madrid. The social works As for the social works, most of them disseminated the manifesto and different copies on their websites and networks. Some that work with minors carried out activities with them and some took to the streets to read the manifesto, such as ecca social and ecca edu. They interviewed the coordinator of the Safe Environment System (SES), Susana Pradera, who explained the reason for celebrating this day: "Because we still have a long way to go to live in Safe Environments and because in the midst of so many negative messages, so much lack of hope, so much pain, we need to refocus our gaze". Pradera affirmed that of course it is possible to take good care of ourselves and that "everything will work better if we treat each other well, with respect, justice and acceptance". He invited to take care of oneself first in order to be able to take care of others and spoke of the advances in the implementation of the Secure Environment programme. This celebration leaves a good taste in our mouths, despite the failures and mistakes, which there were. It is a great first step for future years. We leave you a photo gallery with some moments of the 1st of March: Jesuitas España


Mon - Tue
Apr 2023
Deaconal Ordinations Francis Xavier Pham Quang Khanh, SJ (VIE), António Santos Lourenço, SJ (POR), Thomas Sridhar Marneni, SJ (AND), José Antonio Lama, SJ (MEX), Sandeep B. Bage, SJ (RAN), Gauthier Mafuta, SJ (ACE), Mathias Werfeli, SJ (ECE), José Luis Cruz, SJ (CAM), Gerald Lukwe, SJ (MYN), Lukas Kraus, SJ (ECE), Simone Nie, SJ, Carlos Alomfa, SJ (PER), James Ocholi, SJ (ANW), Kuldeep Linda, SJ (RAN), Dominik Dubiel, SJ (PME), Zlatko Brauchler, SJ (CRO), Paul Bui Duc Thien, SJ (VIE), Vincent Tran Van Dinh, SJ (VIE), Simon Rabemaharavo, SJ (MDG), José Yamid Castiblanco, SJ (COL) will be ordained a deacon by the prayer and imposition of hands of Jean-Claude Card. Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxemburg, in the church of the Holy Name of Jesus, at 4 pm. READ MORE
Sun - Sun
Apr 2023
JCEP Retreat Retreat of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. It takes place at St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Wales, UK. READ MORE
Mon - Sat
Apr 2023
JCEP GA General Assembly of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. It takes place in Ireland. READ MORE
Mon - Thu
May 2023
JesWebCom Meeting of the network of European Communicators. It takes place in London, UK. READ MORE