Seeking the possibility to gather, integrate and collaborate is at the heart of our Jesuit mission today. One of such examples is the ministry of Fr. Leszek Gęsiak SJ, the spokesman for the Polish Bishops Conference. Since autumn of 2020, the beginning of his service, Fr. Gęsiak used the opportunity to integrate the spokesmen from different male religious congregations in Poland, initially through online meetings, but later through meetings in person. In November 12-14, 2023 there happened to be the third of such meetings in person. This time we were hosted by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Kodeń, a town precisely at the Polish-Belarusian border - from the windows of the guest house one could easily watch the Belarusian territory. It was a good time of sharing experiences in our spokesperson ministry and expanding our knowledge of crisis management. The special guest of the meeting was Capt. Dariusz Sienicki, Spokesman for the Commander of the Nadbuzanski Branch of the Border Guard, who presented his work and the challenges associated with the service at the Polish frontiers, expanding our knowledge in a complex issue of migration. This branch of the Border Guard has under their custody the borders not only with Belarus but also with Ukraine. They were responding to the migration crisis in the fall of 2021 and to the enormous wave of war refugees from Ukraine since February 24, 2022. During the meeting, we also discussed some of the issues included in the final report after the first Rome session of the Synod on synodality. We also addressed the issue of cooperation between religious orders in media communications and the development of existing information channels.The working sessions were combined with visits to places of pilgrimage. In addition to staying and praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Kodeń, Mother of Unity, we also visited the Shrine of the Blessed Martyrs of Podlasie in Pratulin and Catholic Neo-Uniate Byzantine-Slavic rite parish in Kostomłoty, the only parish of such rite in the world. In the past, before WW2, the Jesuits made a strong influence on that rite through our mission in Albertin, which included the Byzantine-Slavic rite Jesuit novitiate, and where one of the members of the community was Fr. Walter Ciszek SJ, the Servant of God.
JCEP President Dalibor Renić made his first canonical visit to the Jesuit community in Turkey from 29 October to 6 November. He first visited the St Ignatius Residence in Ankara and the four Jesuits who live there. Jean-Marc Balhan (originally from Belgium), Alexis Doucet (France), Michael McGuckian (Ireland) have recently been joined by Changmo Cho (Korea), who arrived in September and began his Turkish language programme. Two young Jesuits from Vietnam completed their summer immersion programme in September and returned to their province. The Jesuits work in various apostolates in Ankara and throughout Turkey (religious formation, international ministry, intellectual apostolate, media), but their focus is on building a local Church of the Turkish-speaking faithful.  Accompanied by Jean-Marc, Dalibor then travelled to Iskenderun to visit Bishop Paolo Bizzeti SJ, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, and Antuan Ilgit, also a Jesuit, who has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the same Vicariate. Antuan will be consecrated Bishop on 25 November in Istanbul.  Antuan took Dalibor and Jean-Marc on a visit to the Catholic communities of Mersin and Tarsus, where they were warmly welcomed by the Capuchins and the monks of the Institute of the Incarnate Word.  The next day they visited the ancient city of Antakya (Antioch), which has been destroyed by the earthquakes in February. Some 60 per cent of the buildings have to be demolished and that process is still underway. The reconstruction will last for years. But just a week ago the Catholic priest returned to celebrate the Eucharist for the small group of Christians who still live there. The diocesan Caritas is very active in providing all sorts of help in the area and will also continue to help in the reconstruction.
Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia was renamed Ruđer Bošković Airport on 2 November, after one of the most significant Jesuit scientists. Ruđer Bošković (1711-1787), who was also known as Rogerius Boscovicius and Roger Boscovich, was born in Dubrovnik and gained fame as one of the most influential physicists and mathematicians of his era.  Bošković entered the novitiate in Rome and then worked mainly as a professor and researcher in Italy and France. He also wrote poems and worked for the diplomatic service of the Republic of Dubrovnik.  Dubrovnik is a well-known tourist spot. Dubrovnik Airport has been active since 1936 and is Croatia's third major terminal, with 2.3 million passengers in 2022. The Society of Jesus has been active in Dubrovnik since its beginnings, with Nicola Bobadilla serving there for a few years from 1558. Boscovich received his education from the Dubrovnik Jesuit College, which began operating in 1658.
Accompaniment in the search for hope.  At the end of October, more than one hundred secondary school heads from the JECSE (Jesuit European Committee for Primary and Secondary Education) network met in Sacrofano (near Rome), Italy.  After 5 years break, they came together again for this unique formation meeting for our school leaders to deepen our understanding of our common mission and to strengthen relationships among colleagues from schools across our region. This year's meeting we focused on the theme: “He sent them two by two …” Accompaniment; walking with our colleagues ‘from’ and ‘into’ the heart of our Ignatian tradition.  During the meeting we heard from three distinguished speakers. The meeting began with a talk by Mr Iván Mirón, coordinator of the Northwest Zone of the Spanish Province and former head of the school in Vigo. He inspired us to think about our vocation and mission, to reflect on what we are called to do as Jesuit school leaders? The following day, Prof. Ana Berástegui - Director of the Institute of the Family at the University of Comillas - explored with us the various challenges facing education in today's complex context of post-pandemic Europe and showed us where to draw hope in these uncertain times. Dr John Stoer - Delegate for Education in the United Kingdom - deepened our understanding of accompaniment in this challenging times, sharing his extensive professional experience. The testimonies of three Hades from three different countries and contexts helped us to reflect on the accompaniment we need in our own roles and reminded us of the importance and necessity of networking. In group work, we reflected on how we can accompany others so that they can experience the hope of Jesus personally and be better able to pass it on to those they serve. The meeting in Sacrofano allowed us to pause for a moment, to take a break from our daily routines and busy lives. We had time to pray, to reflect together, to listen and share in a prayerful atmosphere, to sing and to celebrate. On the last day we also had the great opportunity to travel to Rome to visit Il Gesù and the Camaretas and to celebrate a Eucharist of thanksgiving. We return to our countries with grateful hearts, new hope and the feeling that we are walking together in the same direction. Thanks to everyone who made this meeting possible: EUM of the Province for the hospitality, the JECSE team and the Delegates for its preparation and organisation, all the participants for co-creating with us this wonderful event!
Deciding together better ways to collaborate. On October 24 and 25, JRS Europe country managers met in Brussels with the regional office team for the Regional Coordination Meeting (RCM). The meeting provided an opportunity for all offices to discuss the latest updates on European policy, evaluate opportunities for joint programmes and take decisions on how to better work together. Reflecting on the meeting, the regional director Alberto Ares highlighted “The RCM is always a great opportunity to share ideas and developments from across the continent. But this time, we wanted to focus on how to improve our collaboration”. Led by the regional office team, country managers evaluated how cooperation is working on Programmes, Fundraising, Advocacy and Communications and explored opportunities to improve. Throughout the different discussions, the common threads were the enthusiasm for more collaborative work that would maximize impact while reducing the workload on the teams by avoiding duplication of tasks. In addition, there was consensus to pursue standardization of procedures to facilitate continuous results regardless of personnel changes, to share easily adaptable resources and to create more capacity-building programmes that allow to quickly deploy expertise where it is needed the most. Dalibor Renic, SJ, the new president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials and one of the two guest speakers, kickstarted the meeting by reflecting on “De Statu Societatis”, a document done by the leader of the Jesuits worldwide, Fr Superior General Arturo Sosa. After summarizing some of the key insights of the document, he reflected on the centrality of JRS’s work within the Society of Jesus. The second guest speaker was Fr. Filipe Martins, SJ, president of the Jesuit European Social Centre, who invited the JRS country offices to connect with the other Jesuit social networks present in the continent, including the social delegates, Eco Jesuits, Justice in mining and the Global Ignatian Advocacy network. During the meeting, the regional office also provided all countries with an update on the One Proposal. You can read the latest information on the Jesuit response to support those fleeing the war in Ukraine here.
A few weeks ago, the Jesuit community of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain) had the honour of receiving the visit of Father General Arturo Sosa. His main reason was to enjoy a few days of rest and to carry out his annual Spiritual Exercises in the Tafira Hourse. During his stay, we shared special moments with him in our community in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In addition, we organised a small meeting with the apostolic nucleus of Gran Canaria, where we celebrated an emotional Eucharist and shared a fraternal dinner in the open air. This event allowed for a valuable exchange between all those present and the General. Father General also took time to visit ECCA, where he had an enriching talk on the Identity and Mission of the Society of Jesus. In the days leading up to the Spiritual Exercises, there was an opportunity to get to know a little of Gran Canaria and Father General left grateful for the opportunity to get to know this land, with which he has family roots.


Sun - Fri
Nov - Dec 2023
Treasurers Meeting Meeting of the European Network of Treasurers. The event takes place in Ludwigshafen, Germany. READ MORE
Tue - Fri
Nov - Dec 2023
Education Delegates Meeting of the Education delegates in Europe and the Middle East READ MORE
Dec 2023
Final Vows  Mariusz Balcerak SJ will pronounce his solemn profession on Friday, December 8, 2023, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Krakow, during the Eucharist at  6:00 p.m.   READ MORE
Mon - Wed
Dec 2023
Consult of JCEP Consult of the president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. The event takes place in Ivanka Pri Dunaj, close to Bratislava, Slovakia. READ MORE