To those who have just joined our Jesuit novitiates in Europe. November 5th is the European day of Prayer for Jesuit vocations. Here, Conference President John Dardis shares some reflections for our new novices.  Dear friends and companions By now you have arrived in the Novitiate, unpacked your case and you are adjusting to a new way of living.  You are probably getting up at more regular hours than before. You are being introduced to Ignatian prayer and being helped to deepen it. You are meeting new companions and learning how to live in community with people who are quite different from yourself. You have joined the Society at a time of new beginnings: a new Father General in Rome; a sense of excitement in the Society around the world as we look at new frontiers and how to tackle them. The Jesuit mission is wonderful but can also seem a bit overwhelming – so many challenges, so many inspiring people who have gone before us, all those Jesuit saints and martyrs  But all of those men are just like you - ordinary people with ordinary struggles and concerns. It was God who made them great. Their lives testify that even in frailty the mission can be brought forward. “We hold the treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor 4:7).  It is often in and through our frailty that the Lord works. As we experience the Lord’s loving  and merciful gaze in our daily prayer, we learn to be compassionate to ourselves and to others, to be and to bring Good News. The Pope’s motto ‘miserando atque eligendo’ expresses entirely this idea. In the end, it is not about us, it is about God, it is God’s mission. He is leading it. So, do not be afraid, be open, share with one another and let the Lord reach out to you and to your heart. We are invited to build relations of depth, to be open with each other, even concerning difficult issues. An amazing gift and a core element of Jesuit formation and Jesuit life is transparency.  In that way we let our vulnerabilities become our strengths and we make true the phrase of St Paul “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10) You will be sent on different missions – “experiments” – during your time as novices.  You will learn a lot about yourself and about others.  You will live out of your comfort zone. You will be challenged to grow, to change, to deepen.  All of that is positive – even if sometimes not easy. It is a journey with the Lord Jesus who never abandons us.  Rely on the help of your friends and the prayers and support of others. And be assured of my own prayers and the prayers of 4,000 other Jesuits around Europe who have heard the same call and who are answering it day after day, sometimes in situations of great danger, sometimes in the ordinary call of the everyday, always desiring to love and serve in all things.  With best wishes   John Dardis SJ CEP President
Putting God at the Centre. Launching Leaders, an interfaith project that links religion and business, has become the latest exciting new initiative to make its home at Manchester Universities' Catholic Chaplaincy. The Launching Leaders Group - a 12-week programme which pairs participants up with mentors – had its official launch at the Chaplaincy at the beginning of this month. With the help of online modules, talks, workshops and strategic planning, the participants on the course (many of them university students) are encouraged to develop themselves personally and professionally, whilst putting God at the centre of their decision-making process. The course sees participants from a range of religious and academic backgrounds meeting very Tuesday for workshops facilitated by Chaplaincy Communications Officer Lisa Burns and Catholic languages student Michael Tomlin. During each session, mentors and participants discuss long and short term life plans and goals in workshop settings. Participants are paired up with mentors from different faith traditions - Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, and from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). While the Launching Leaders programme has been tried and tested internationally, it is now being piloted in its interfaith form at Manchester, at the invitation of Lead Chaplain Fr Tim Byron SJ. A buzz of excitement Launching Leaders is part of the Empowerment Plus programme, a fruit of years of research undertaken by Professor Brian J. Grim. Professor Grim, the founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, has looked extensively at the link between religious freedom and economic growth. His findings have shown that there is a positive correlation between the two, and that countries and regions where religious freedom is stifled have experienced economic decline.  View his fascinating TEDx talk The much-anticipated global pilot of the interfaith Launching Leaders sessions at the Chaplaincy instigated a buzz of excitement, as the significance of its potential became tangible. After the first session had ended, Professor Grim shared his thoughts: "The launch of Empowerment Plus at Manchester Universities' Catholic Chaplaincy reflected one of the true great contributions of Ignatian spirituality - we saw God working through people He created, as diverse as Catholics, Mormons and Muslims, all sharing the goal of seeing Him more clearly in the day-to-day." He went on: "I couldn't have been more pleased with the launch - it was amazing to see young adults from multiple faiths come together to share so naturally about life, jobs, faith. Their enthusiasm indeed reflects hope from the Lord."   Hinna Parvez, a member of the Chaplaincy staff team, and coordinator of the Launching Leaders programme in Manchester also runs the Chaplaincy's weekly night shelters.  Inspired by the Empowerment Plus vision, she has devised a timely business proposal to convert disused presbyteries and church buildings into Empowerment Plus Communities.
JECSE Elementary Education Congress. About 100 Directors of Jesuit Primary Schools met from 18 till 31 of October in Ludwigshafen (Germany) for a JECSE (‘Jesuit European Committee for Primary & Secondary Education’) Congress. We came from Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Belgium. All together we were about 107 participants, staff members included. The congress was led by the Delegate of JECSE, Mrs Marie-Thérèse Michel. The Flemish part of Belgium was represented by Mr Peter Knapen, delegate of CEBECO (central colleges’ management). Ignatian education in a changing world What do we take with us? Which tools were given to us? What did inspire us? What did touch us? … The world is changing. From his birth onwards, man has to do with change - and adaptation. To die is also a process of accepting and changing. Everyone has to deal with changing. It is not difficult to seek and find examples of change in your immediate surroundings. The world is changing. Changing is a process. Changing needs time (to adapt). Change slowly. Changing is good. Changing is to step into a way, always looking for ‘the best possible answer’.                                                                  °  Have the courage to dream about the future (how is your school looking in 2050?) and don’t be paralyzed by fear. Don’t be afraid to partake one       another’s different dreams. Put your own aims first.    °  To learn by doing, not doing nothing.   °  To learn whole your life: keep your competences up, knowledge brings you further.                                                                                                     °  To listen is important ! To start conversations, to use the correct attitude: “Yes, we can!”. To complain can only thwart.    °  Changing is a process. To keep connecting in this is important, a transforming plan is necessary.   °  Convince, motivate to change together. In a changing world there are 5 ignatian characteristics (5 c’s), which offer a guideline. Conscience: To be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, emotions, surroundings … Competences: To use knowledge, insight and skills Commitment: Strong commitment, involvement  Compassion: To practice empathy and start a dialogue, to connect Creative:  To be creative, to find new ways to deal with change.
Fr. Arturo Sosa meets the International Press. Just a few days after his election, Father General Arturo Sosa met with some 70 journalists in the aula of the General Congregation, his baptism to this kind of event as Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was introduced by Fr. Federico Lombardi who mentioned that the new General had been part of the 33rd General Congregation in 1983 as the youngest delegate. Fr. Lombardi emphasized the good relationship between Fr. Sosa and the previous General, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás. He noted that Fr. Sosa was the first non-European General of the Jesuits. In his initial remarks, the new Superior General stated that he was at peace, that although he certainly did not expect to be elected, he was confident in God and ready to serve the Society of Jesus and the Church in this new role. He also mentioned how grateful he was, on behalf of the whole Society, to his predecessor, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, who had given himself entirely to his service; he mentioned that the previous Superior General will be returning serve according to the instructions of his superiors, as any Jesuit does whatever his responsibilities has been within the Order. Finally, he stated that this General Congregation was not expected to change the direction the Jesuits have been involved in for decades now, that is, the service of the faith and the promotion of justice. Rather, there is a need to find the best and most efficient ways to serve today in a diversified and multicultural world and in a context that is asking for multiple types of collaboration. There were some 40 minutes available for questions from the journalists. There were a dozen questions asked from media members from a number of countries among them Spain, Chile, Argentina, France, the USA and Italy. The first question was not unexpected: what would the new General say about the situation of his country, Venezuela? Fr. Sosa acknowledged that he had spent a large part of his academic life studying and commenting on the political life of Venezuela. He explained briefly how a country that was living only on the income from one natural resource, within a system entirely managed by the government, could not easily live a true democracy. On the other hand, he insisted on the fact that a large part of the population is hoping for new bridges between all so that a real dialogue could start in view of building something that would profit all. Two or three questions were related to Pope Francis, his expected relationship with him and more broadly the relationship of the Jesuits with the pope whom they vow to serve. The General was also asked if he liked to be considered “the Black Pope”. To this last question, he answered that he was not fond of this designation. He explained that since the beginning the Jesuits have wanted to respond to the popes’ requests to serve where there was need, because they believe in the universal vision the pope has as universal pastor. He also mentioned that he had several opportunities to meet the present Pope, first during the 33rd General Congregation, then within the context of his work with the social centres in Latin America, in Argentina, and more recently in his duties as Delegate of the Father General for the Interprovincial Roman Houses and Works. Their encounters have always been cordial and fruitful.   Father General was also asked about the way he was elected, the reasons for the resignation of his predecessor and the fact that he was elected for life, about his priorities, about the main challenges the Jesuits are now facing. To each one of these questions he shed light on the meaning of his function and moreover on the commitment of the Jesuits to contribute, humbly, and through their attachment to Jesus, to the building of a world that would give the priority to each human person.
Second week of General Congregation 36. Murmuratio Monday 10th to Thursday 13th October 2016. In the Constitutions St. Ignatius insisted forcefully that the election of the General take place in an atmosphere of prayer and discernment, an atmosphere that gives pride of place to the Holy Spirit. The delegates were able to inform themselves about the persons whom they might judge suitable for taking on the governing of the entire Society of Jesus. Traditionally the Congregation has 4 days of murmuratio, after that comes the election. Those days in the Curia have the same schedule, after the customary morning prayer in the Aula, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the main chapel of the General Curia. Day and night, in an atmosphere of silence, the electors take heed under the weight of their responsibility of the information they have gathered from their interchanges. At the end of the day all the electors gather in the same chapel for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. During these four days the Jesuits invited all the men and women who are united with what is taking place here in Rome at the General Congregation, to share in the same spirit of prayer. ElectionFriday 14th October 2016.  Mass of the Holy Spirit  The day of the election of the General, the electors gathered to celebrate the Eucharist; they invoke the Holy Spirit once again that he inspire them at the moment of the vote which commenced immediately after the celebration. The Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit was presided by Fr. James Grummer, who until the election of the new superior general, was acting as vicar general of the Society after the General Congregation accepted of the resignation of Father Adolfo Nicolás. In the gospel chosen for this mass, Jesus appears to his disciples who are gathered in the Upper room in a state of pure fear. The Lord appears to his own with a message of peace and he gives them the Holy Spirit. Fr. James interpreted this passage in the following way: “One will notice that the movement that St. Ignatius proposes is quite simple: a journey from fear to joy and from the gift received to the mission, a journey that is proposed to each Jesuit and each General Congregation.” Click here to read the complete text of the homily in English Election of new General Superior: Fr. Arturo Sosa After the celebration of the Eucharist, the electors returned in silence to the aula where, after a last admonition from one of the Assistants ad providentiam, Fr. Lisbert D’Souza, the vote for the election of a new General of the Jesuits began with an hour of silent prayer. The 36th General Congregation has elected Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, of the Jesuit Province of Venezuela as 31st Superior General after Saint Ignatius. Father Sosa was born in Caracas, Venezuela on 12 November 1948. Until his election, Father Sosa has been Delegate for Interprovincial Houses of the Society in Rome, as well as serving on the General Council as a Counsellor. He obtained a licentiate in philosophy from l’Università Cattolica Andrés Bello in 1972. He later obtained a doctorate in Political Science from l’Università Centrale del Venezuela, in 1990. He speaks Spanish, Italian, English, and understands French. Mass of Thanksgiving at the Gesù Church Saturday 15th October 2016 The electors once they have completed the election work are now called delegates. After a deserved break on Friday afternoon, they met on Saturday morning at the Gesù Church for the thanksgiving mass for the election of the new Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa. In his homily, the new Superior General first recalled that a few days earlier, at the opening of the General Congregation, the Master of the Dominicans had invited the Jesuits to the audacity of the improbable, something that characterizes a person of faith. Fr. Sosa was even more daring: referring to Mary, he opened the way to the audacity not only of the ‘improbable’ but also of the ‘impossible’, because “Nothing is impossible for God”, had said the angel Gabriel. The General added: “We ask the Lord for that kind of faith, because we can make it our own, as Society of Jesus, the faith expressed in Mary’s words in response to receiving the extraordinary appeal: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, all be done according to thy words.’ As Ignatius and his first companions, like so many brothers who fought and lived under the banner of the cross in the service of the Lord and his Church, we also want to contribute to what seems impossible today: a humanity reconciled in justice, living in peace in a common house well kept, where there is room for everyone because we recognize that we are siblings, son and daughters of the same and unique Father.”  You can read the original homily in Italian by clicking here.Official English translation here. While Father Sosa election as superior general completes one of the main tasks of GC 36, the group’s work is not over. Now the delegates will tackle matters of mission, governance and the state of the Society. Topics may range from the Society’s changing demographics to challenges in worldwide ministries, to the Jesuit response to a rapidly changing world, environmental concerns, poverty and violence.
Across the Jesuit world preparations are continuing for the 36th General Congregation (GC36) – the ultimate authority in the Society of Jesus.  GC36 will commence on 2nd October in Rome. The first task of the congregation will be to elect a new General, as Fr Adolfo Nicholas has asked to stand down. Once this task has been accomplished the congregation will discuss future direction and priorities for the international Society. Following consultation at province and conference level two discussion themes have been identified • The Call to a Renewal of Jesuit Life and Mission • The Call for Renewed Governance for a Renewed Mission Commissions are researching and preparing the agendas for these two themes.  Their hope is that GC36 can give an integrated vision of Jesuit life and mission and can propose governance structures to support and develop it. A communications committee has been established and they invite all Jesuits, co-workers, supporters and fellow travellers to sign up for  the GC36 bulletin which will be issued regularly before and during the Congregation.  There is also a new website at Your prayers for the success of the Congregation are specially requested via an online oratory To see this infographic in detail please click here Infographic by Marcus Bleech - JCU News  


Mon - Thu
Nov 2016
University Ministry (JUPC) 6th European JUPC meeting – Dublin, Ireland  Dear University Chaplains and Collaborators,  We are very happy to invite you to the 6th European meeting of Jesuits in University Pastoral Care. This year’s meeting will be held in Dublin from Monday, 7th of November to Thursday, 10th of November in Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality. We are glad to announce the main topic and the main speaker of our meeting! Main topic: “How Pope Francis' 'revolution of tenderness' is changing the perception of the institutional Church and how this might impact on our ministry of university pastoral care” Main speaker: Jimmy Burns - an award winning journalist and author, who wrote the internationally acclaimed book “Francis: The Pope of Good Promise”. His input promises to be stimulating, engaging and also challenging. Our time of discovering the Irish Province will include an introduction to James Joyce, a visit to Trinity College Dublin and Book of Kells, a visit to UCD chaplaincy with talk on Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins by Fr. Noel Barber SJ and an experience of traditional Irish entertainment presented by UCD students. As usual our JUPC international meeting will be an opportunity to broaden our views, have time for formation, discussion, sharing best practices and Magis experiences while finding new ways to collaborate in Europe. Place: Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, Dublin: Price: The cost of the meeting is 220 € (includes accommodation, food, local transportation, etc.) Dates: Monday, 7th of November (7:00 pm) - Thursday, 10th of November (2:00 pm) Please register following this link: We kindly ask you to register as soon as possible and no later than October 15th.   Best regards in Christ, Danas Viluckas, Leon Ó Giolláin SJ, Pedro Azpitarte SJ and José de Pablo SJ, Socius JCEP             READ MORE
Wed - Sat
Nov 2016
Sat - Sun
Nov 2016
Xavier Network meeting READ MORE
Nov 2016
Faculties of Philosophy and Theology - Steering group meeting READ MORE