Enlarged Council meets in Rome – Orientation address from Fr General. The Expanded council of Fr. General met from September 3rd to 7th . Fr General’s usual Council is joined in this meeting by the Conference Presidents, the Sector Secretariats and the General Treasurer.  The five day meeting of the Expanded General Council (Consiglio Allargato) began with a Eucharist with the Jesuit community. The meeting lays the ground for the January 2019 discernment of the Universal Apostolic Preferences. Below are extracts from Fr General’s opening remarks. Universal Apostolic Preferences Father Arturo Sosa spoke first of the Apostolic Preferences. He emphasised that this process, in which the whole Society of Jesus is involved, can lead to a reanimation of the Society; it can also show a special way to live our relationship with the Holy Father. Discernment has already taken place in most provinces and meetings of conferences of provincials will now move the process forward. Reanimation of the Society “The first (issue) is the importance that the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) can have in the reanimation of the apostolic body of the Society and in the orientation of its apostolic planning in the years to come… [T]here is a great responsibility to find a formulation of UAP that helps as much as possible toward that end”. Relationship to the Holy Father “[We] see in the formulation of the apostolic preferences an occasion to live “sacramentally” the connection of the Society of Jesus to the Church through its availability to the Holy Father circa missiones. The process of discernment in common … seeks to deepen our availability for collaboration in the mission of the Church in the way that the Holy Father thinks best. Therefore, I will go to the Holy Father not only seeking confirmation and blessing…but rather to receive from him the accents of the mission of the Society in the next years through apostolic preferences received from his hand.” Fr. Sosa said that Pope Francis is glad that the process is conceived as one of tension between the future and the present. The Pope also insists on the need to take into account the vulnerability of so many persons. While the word ‘reconciliation’ has in some circles been devalued, we need to explain it and use it well.  “It is at the center of the message of the Gospel from the beginning of the life of the Church” said Fr Sosa. "What I will communicate to the whole Society will be the mission we will have received from the Holy Father with a plan for assimilating it” he added. “This follow up can become an effective instrument to achieve the desire expressed by the members of GC 36 to have a central government focused on mission.” To contemplate the world through the eyes of the poor. Father Sosa then spoke of “the challenge of recovering the proclamation of the faith and the pastoral accompaniment of human and Christian maturation as the axis of all that we do. We need to propose again in a fresh way the first proclamation of the faith.” He emphasized the importance of Christian communities and their ability to discern: “If they are communities able to discern, then they will be communities able to welcome those who are different; to initiate and accompany new ways of giving a word of hope to people who, in the traditional way of focusing the moral teaching of the Church, do not have space, or do not find a place in society but who, as human beings, are also called to live an experience of God. Communities open to the young, to listen to the young. Communities open to promote equality between man and woman, which in contemporary societies still does not exist.” Still on the issue of the Church, he said, “The Church today still faces the challenge of incarnating definitively the ecclesiology of Vatican II. To become a Church “People of God”, a Church community of communities, a Church open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a Church able to discern …  a Church that leaves behind internal power struggles and does not worry about gaining or maintaining social prestige by the standards of those who dominate the world.” Forming universal citizens An inescapable dimension of our apostolic action, in Fr. Sosa’s vision, is to contribute to forming universal citizens in this plural and multicultural world. Safeguarding Fr Sosa emphasized the promotion of a culture of safeguarding of children and vulnerable people. Our apostolic poverty General Congregation 36 insisted on real closeness to the poor. This also implies an austere life on our part said Fr General: “Although poverty is not an ideal but rather the fruit of structural injustice (sin), one of the greatest signs of in-humanity, it is also the way of redemption if we make ourselves poor as Jesus did.” said Fr Sosa. “I propose to invite the apostolic body of the Society to an examen and discernment of our apostolic and religious life in poverty from which will flow not only orientations for the proposed revision but also effective ways to come closer to the life of the poor and to acquire that vision so characteristic of the disciples of Jesus.”
The Christian Life Community is an international association of Christians: men and women, adults and young people, of all social conditions, who want to follow Jesus Christ more closely and work with Him for the building of the Kingdom. Members make up small groups, which are part of larger communities organized regionally and nationally, all forming ONE World Community following the Ignatian Spirituality. The CLC-CVX General Assembly in Argentina gathered 250 participants from more than 70 countries. The purpose of the Assembly is to join the world and national representatives in prayerful collaboration as a World body to discern the orientation and priorities of CLC globally for the next 5 years. Under the slogan “ CLC-CVX a gift for the Church and for the world” the Assembly looked forward the desire of a greater depth and integration in the living out of their charism in the world today. The main events in the assembly were: The visit to the Parish and neighbourhood in San Miguel Austin Iverleigh spoke about the Pope Francis’ option in the Church today. Fr, Arturo Sosa, SJ, General of the Society of Jesus and also CLC World Ecclesiastical Assistant addressed: “A Discernment Lay Community in the Service of Reconciliation” Magdalena Palencia presented the “gift of 50 years of CLC” The ESDAC team (Exercises Spirituels pour un Discernement Apostolique Communautaire) guided the Assembly through their communal discernment. All the events could be followed in the XVII World Assembly CLC-CVX and in many other sites all around the world. In summary CLC discernment opened three new windows for the future: to deepen in their identity and charism as an international apostolic body; to share the gift of Ignatian spirituality, and to go forth to serve those most in need. In addition, administrative and financial matters are discussed, resolved, and confirmed.  Some key business matters covered include: Approval of the activity reports and accounts of the period since the previous assembly. Setting the policies and orientations for the period up to the next General Assembly. Deciding the financial policies to be followed. Deciding on proposed amendments to the General Principles and General Norms. Confirming the establishment of new national communities. On Tuesday 31 July, on the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the General Assembly in Buenos Aires elected the new World CLC Executive Council for the period 2018-2023.  The new Executive Committee was formed as follows:  President: Denis Dobbelstein (Belgium) Vice President: Ann Marie Brennan (USA)  Secretary: Catherine Waiyaki (Kenia)  Consultor: Fernando Vidal (Spain)  Consultor: Daphne Ho (Hong Kong)  Consultor: Diego Pereira (Uruguay)  Consultor: Najat Sayegh (Lebanon)  Executive Secretary: Alwin Macalalad (Philippines)  Resource Executive: Rojean Macalalad (Philippines)  Ecclesiastical Vice Assistant: Herminio Rico, SJ (Portugal)  Recent World Assemblies were held as follows:  2013 – Lebanon:  16th General Assembly in Beirut: From Our Roots to the Frontiers. "This is my son, The Beloved, listen to what He says" (Mk 9:7) 2008 – Portugal:  15th General Assembly in Fatima: Journeying as an Apostolic Body: our Response to This Grace from God. “The apostles gathered around Jesus and told him what they had done and taught” (Mk 6, 30-34) 2003 – Kenya: 14th General Assembly in Nairobi: Sent by Christ, Members of One Body 1998– Brazil:  13th General Assembly in Itaici: Deepening Our Identity as an Apostolic Community - Clarifying Our Common Mission. "CLC, a Letter from Christ, Written by the Spirit, Sent to Today's World" 1994 - Hong Kong: 12th General Assembly: CLC Community in Mission "I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!"
Pope Francis had a private meeting with over 60 Irish Jesuits, including the Irish Provincial Leonard Moloney at the Papal Nunciature in Dublin on 25 August 2018. He greeted them warmly and responded to questions from a number of them. Fr Moloney began by asking Pope Francis if there was anything the Irish Jesuits could help him with in line with their Fourth Vow – special obedience to the pontiff. The Pope responded by asking them directly to help to address clerical sexual abuse, with the healing process and with the reparative work that needs to be done. Brendan McManus SJ, who was the photographer for the meeting, was deeply affected. “It was an amazing day to be a Jesuit priest in Ireland and to meet the Pope”, he said. “He took time out from his busy schedule to meet briefly with the Irish Jesuits, and I was the Jesuit photographer. It made me sit up and ask myself: how can I help uncover abuse and also reach out to the victims for healing? In fact, when Brendan had the opportunity to ask a question, he raised the question of abuse once again. Speaking in Spanish, he asked Pope Francis, “How are you and the Church going to handle this clerical sex abuse scandal, because the impact which the handling of the abuse is having is killing us?” The Pope responded by reiterating his commitment to eradicating it entirely. He spoke passionately about the Jesuits helping him in the work of addressing clerical sex abuse and clearly spelled out the dangers of abuse of power. John Callanan SJ asked how the Pope managed to keep his serenity. He replied that keeping a sense of humour is very important, and alluded to former Superior General of the Jesuits Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach as an example of someone who was well known for his jovial and optimistic spirits. Other questions came from Michael Bingham and from Michael O’Sullivan. And when the Pope spoke emphatically about avoiding sterility and attracting new vocations, novice Matthew Tumulty got a special mention. More broadly, according to Brendan, the Pope urged the Jesuits “to be faithful in prayer and to ‘keep ourselves in consolation’, a Jesuit phrase meaning to be connected to the Spirit and to be compassion in the world”. Reflecting on the whole experience, Brendan said: “On a personal level, it was overwhelming to be with the Pope; it was very emotional and heart-warming.” Jesuit Scholastic Niall Leahy also gave his overall impression of the meeting. “Given the circumstances of his visit, our meeting with the Holy Father inevitably made us painfully aware of some of the dark realities within the life of the church. But we were also consoled to witness how a mere man can courageously face these realities and carry the cross. For me this was a paschal moment.”
Jesuit Refugee Service UK is beginning a new project to provide legal advice for people pursuing asylum claims, whose claims have already been refused before. Jonathan Parr, Assistant Director of JRS UK, said: “We are very excited to be advertising our Legal Officer role as, if successful, it will provide a much needed service “The refugees we serve find themselves let down by an unjust system and have reached the stage in the procedures whereby only intensive and high quality legal work will offer a hope of success. As we accompany refugees, we understand deeply how important it is that they receive the protection that is their right.” Those served by the centre have come to the UK seeking refuge and wanting to rebuild their lives, but found the system for determining their claims is stacked against them. Most of them are pursuing what the Home Office considers new, or “fresh” asylum claims. There are many ways in which the asylum system has let them down the first time round. One of them is that there is inadequate legal support to navigate this very complicated system. Like most legal systems, it isn’t easy to understand without legal training, and there are hoops you have to jump through, so a good lawyer is really important. And once you’ve had an initial refusal, even if that was very unfair, it can be quite difficult to unpick, and it can be even more difficult to get the kind of legal support that is vital to a just asylum process. JRS UK wants to help provide that support. Legal aid is already available for asylum claims, but cuts in this sector mean that most solicitors don’t have the time to work as closely as they’d like with clients on cases, or to work with experts to compile the necessary evidence – such as gathering testimonies from people in other countries. Many, many people who are initially refused are eventually recognised as refugees. In researching this project, the JRS team spoke to a number of immigration solicitors about why this may be the case; often it stems from misunderstandings in the original application that could have been picked up and resolved by good legal advice. This new project would not be an alternative to legal aid. The aim is to hire an experienced immigration solicitor to work really intensively with the people JRS serves, helping to prepare fresh claims for them. They’d have the time to get to know them and really understand their case. This would mean they could lay a case out in the detail it needs and deserves. The case would then be passed on to a legal aid solicitor to take it forward. The project will involve close working relationships and collaboration with others in the legal profession as well. It will play an important part in JRS’ current service to destitute refugees who are struggling to gain recognition, and it will also give the organisation an insight into the asylum process from a fresh angle, which will feed into its advocacy. The legal officer will collaborate really closely as part of the JRS team, and also have the chance to really take the lead on how the project develops.
Lyon. Willkommen! – Bienvenue! – Welcome! The habit of heartiness and hospitality is like a generally understandable language. That is what 28 novices from three noviciates (Birmingham, Lyon, Nuremberg) and nine countries could experience during the Northern European Internoviciate Meeting which took place in Lyon on August 1st-8th. Thereby a tradition of a couple of years has been continued. Certainly the point is to get to know the neighbouring provinces, their focuses, specifics, developments and challenges. And indeed the opportunity to meet the Jesuits working in Lyon was given. Therefore they visited a former Jesuit church, which is now dedicated to high-class music, the Saint Marc secondary school with its more than 5‘000 students and the research institute called Sources Chrétienne. Founded by Henri de Lubac SJ and his colleagues it is still working to discover the texts of the earliest eras of Christianity and to give an access to modern audience by translation and commentary. But the main interest of their meeting was the community, both among them and with Jesus Christ. This could grow by liturgy and spiritual sharing. In doing so the intimacy of spiritual brotherliness develops on the common foundation of Ignatian retreat and the vocation and mission of the Society of Jesus. Of course this process includes also, to speak more concretely, for example doing sports together, visiting the city of Lyon and several activities for entertainment.  As one can easily foresee, digital media will have a growing influence and impact on social life in the whole world. Directed by Fr. Grégoire Le Bel SJ the novices discussed at their meeting’s workshop also about the advantages and risks of digital media for spiritual life and apostolic work. As an huge contrast to this they also visited Le Grand Chartreuse, the main monastery of Carthusians. Not only for Ignatius himself but also for the novices nowadays this radical retreat into contemplation is obviously attracting – even when they had to be satisfied by entering the Charthouse museum nearby and having a look from a non-disturbing distance onto the monastery’s buildings. At the end all participants of this annual international meeting could take back home the consolation of a lively get-together of young religious men and the thankfulness about God’s creativity at calling that manifold characters to the one universal Society of Jesus.
From the 19th to the 26th of August, The Venice Faith and Politics Workshop once again opened its doors to young leaders, with this year’s leitmotif being: “Public service as a Christian calling”. The event's emphasis has been on spiritual growth and the accompanying reflective periods, which are merged with a stunning scenery of Venice. The main mission of the sessions: “This session enables young adults from every part of Europe to explore how faith and politics are related. This will empower them to engage, as Europeans, in public service for the common good in a world of contradictions.” (faithandpolitics.eu, 2018) One of this year’s guest contributor is Luc Cortebeeck, (President of the Workers’ Group and Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body, as well as the head of International Labour Organization’s executive body for the period 2017-2018).  

UPCOMING EVENTS

21-23
Fri - Sun
Sep 2018
LA PAIRELLE
Belgium
A weekend for Europe "Rediscovering the European Common Good" will be the main topic of the European Weekend organised in the Spiritual Centre "La Pareille", close to Namur. READ MORE
21-27
Fri - Thu
Sep 2018
BARCELONA
Spain
JCEP Assembly Meeting of the Mayor Superiors of the European Jesuit Conference READ MORE
29
Sat
Sep 2018
VALENCIA
Spain
Final vows Fr. Juan José Aguilar Diez and Fr. José Maria Segura Salvador will take Final vows at 12 am in the Church of the Centro Arrupe READ MORE
5-6
Fri - Sat
Oct 2018
FRANKFURT A.M.
Germany
Ordination Clemens Kascholke, Sebastian Maly and Jörg Nies will be ordained priest by Bishop Dr. Georg Bätzing of Limburg at 2 pm in the St. Bartholomy Church READ MORE