It was 11 years ago that Krystian Sowa became the director of the Chapel for Europe in Brussels. It is a unique Chapel, located in the middle of the EU quarter and it has a clear ecumenical, European and inter-religious mission.  Thanks to Krystian this very special place of worship has become the Soul for Europe where people meet, pray, exchange views, learn, enjoy, deepen their faith, discover….  It all happened thanks to Krystian’s natural ability to bring people together. When I started working with him 9 years ago it was one of the first things he told me about as his vision for the Chapel. To connect people in faith and create understanding through knowledge. It was clear that is was his calling and this is what he has been doing for the last 11 years. It is not an easy task but he managed to create a common space, friendly atmosphere and an exceptional welcoming spirit within the Chapel so that anyone who comes by, regardless of background, opinions or beliefs can feel like at home.  It has been a wonderful experience for me to work with Krystian through all these years. He is an exceptional person, dedicated to his work and his friends and I am honored to say I am one of them.  I am of Spanish origin and with Krystian I rediscovered my own country. He is a enthusiastic lover of the Camino de Santiago, which he has walked at least five times! And he still plans to walk it in new, other ways. He speaks Spanish like a native and listens to Spanish audio-books while riding his bike.  His next adventure will take him to Rome, working at Radio Vaticana in the Polish section. He already has experience in making of a radio show thanks to collaborating in our monthly radio program “A Soul for Europe” in RCF station in Brussels.  He will be much missed by all our team, Esmeralda, Laura and myself, and also by all the friends of the Chapel. For his new chapter in life we all wish him a MUY BUEN CAMINO and he will be in our prayers!  Thank you Krystian for being you and sharing it with all of us!   Sabina Gonzalez Vilas Communications and Fundraising Manager at the Chapel for Europe - Brussels
Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, has appointed Fr Nuno da Silva Gonçalves SJ , as the new editor in chief of “La Civiltà Cattolica”, effective 1 October. He will replace Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, who has led the international Jesuit journal for 12 years. Born in 1958 in Lisbon, Portugal, Fr Gonçalves was ordained a priest on 12 July 1986. He has served as Provincial Superior of the Portuguese province of the Society of Jesus and Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and has published various works on the missionary history of the Portuguese Church and on Jesuit history. “Proud of our identity and of our history, we wish to be a journal that is capable of speaking to everyone”, Fr Gonçalves stressed. “In a world that is divided, wounded and in need of healing, “La Civiltà Cattolica” offers a message of hope, and is committed to a Christian reading of the world today with a gaze turned to the future”. “After 25 years spent in continuous service to this journal, 12 of which as editor, the time has come for me to thank you, and to pass the baton to my successor”, Fr Spadaro wrote in a farewell letter to readers. Because the Journal is “a journalistic and not an academic publication”, he noted, it “expresses ‘opinions’” that are open to debate. “Today I feel grateful to all of you: both to those who agreed with the thoughts expressed in our pages and to those who criticized it in a serious and intelligent way, thus widening the concentric circle of reflection on our chosen topics”, Fr Spadaro said.
More than 3,000 people have lost their lives in Morocco as a result of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the southern part of the country on 9 September. Initial estimates confirm that more than 380,000 people have been affected and more than 5,000 injured, but the numbers will continue to grow as many areas are remote and rescue services have not yet been able to reach them.  "The people and communities affected by the earthquake remain resilient and ready to overcome adversity. Sometimes one cannot help but wonder what sustains their hope amidst the rubble and in the face of the death of their loved ones. Alhamdulillah, they respond, as they discover your question in your eyes, as if to remind you that life is a gift and that they are still there, in pain but standing, ready to continue to be grateful for it". Alvar Sánchez SJ, from Morocco.  Since 2015, Alboan and Entreculturas have been supporting the Diocesan Delegation for Migration (DDM) with projects to assist migrants in the north of the country, most of whom come from sub-Saharan African countries in conflict situations. Different Types of Support Provided  Our aim is to improve their socio-health conditions, with a special focus on the most vulnerable people on the migratory route: women, children and sick people. Specifically, we focus on: Social accompaniment: first reception to assess needs, demands and capacities and to distribute basic necessities (food, hygiene, mother and child kits) Accompaniment and medical assistance: in Nador, initial medical assistance is offered at the headquarters and medical assistance is provided in the camps through the displacement of a mobile unit. In all the sites, we also provide support for referrals to public health structures (health centres, hospitals). In some cases, coverage is also provided for consultations with specialists and/or the payment of medicines and tests. Legal/administrative support for civil registration procedures (births, deaths), for asylum cases and for people who wish to benefit from the voluntary return programme. Psychosocial support through workshops and spaces that enable the psychosocial rehabilitation of migrants. Safe residential spaces in which migrants in the most vulnerable situations: pregnant women, sick migrants, victims/survivors of violence of all kinds and traumatic events, are welcomed for a period of up to 3 months in emergency situations. From the first moment after the earthquake, we have been assessing the situation with the DDM and the network of church organisations present in the country, in order to know first hand the needs of the affected population and to coordinate the emergency response. As Alvar tells us, "the expressions of gratitude from those who have lost almost everything are delicate, simple, discreet. An old man prepares tea, a woman comes with some nuts, two young people offer a mat to sit on... In the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Marrakech, the parish community does what it can. Yesterday we went out to different valleys in nine cars, forming three caravans with food and basic necessities". Your help is very important
In a recent visit to Rome, Leon O’Giolláin SJ attended a conference hosted by the leader of the Jesuits worldwide, Father General Arturo Sosa SJ. The aim of the conference was to explore what it means to be a Jesuit in todays world. To do this the assembled Jesuits were addressed by a number of fellow Jesuits who specialize in the Constitutions of the Society (a work by founder Saint Ignatius describing what it means to be a Jesuit) and first published in 1540. Father Arturo Sosa SJ said he hoped that by exploring this foundational document, in particular a section known as the Formula of the Institute they would find light cast on the challenges facing Jesuits in modern world. Challenges such as declining numbers in the Order, the loss of social status for the Order, and the impact of the sexual abuse scandals within the Order and the Church in general. Father Sosa also addressed the issue of Jesuit lay colleagues whom he described as collaborators and saying “We don’t have collaborators, we are collaborators [with our lay colleagues]”. In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, Leon O’Giolláin the Jesuit delegate for spiritual formation explains what he learnt over the course of the conference.
On September 2-3, the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Aarhus celebrated its 150th anniversary after the Reformation. Earlier, there were already Catholic communities in the city and they developed until 1537. The jubilee celebrations began on Saturday at 12.00 with the Eucharist celebrated in the Chaldean rite in the Chaldean church of Saint Nicholas. The liturgy gathered the Iraqi community, which is an important Catholic group in the city. The Mass was presided over by a Jesuit – Father Antoine Audo SJ, Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo in Syria, who accepted the invitation to preside over the jubilee celebrations. Main Sunday Holy Mass in the Latin part of the parish gathered many people from the parish community, as well as guests from neighboring parishes and other cities. The church was filled to capacity. Many people followed the liturgy on screens prepared in the parish house, because the church could not accommodate all the guests. Bishop Antoine presided over the Holy Mass together with Bishop Czesław Kozon from Copenhagen and the Jesuits from Aarhus and Copenhagen. Fr. Vasyl Bahlei from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community, a friend of the Jesuits, was invited. The Superior of the Greater Poland-Mazivia Province of the Society of Jesus, to which Denmark belongs, was represented by Father Mateusz Ignacik SJ. Priests of the Danish Lutheran Church were also present at the ceremony. After the Holy Mass, the celebration continued at a nearby Catholic school. There was time for speeches and sharing of gifts. One of the gifts was especially touching. The Ukrainian community presented a special relic – part of a rocket brought by soldiers from the front in Bakhmut decorated with the image of Saint Ignatius. Many Ukrainians expressed their gratitude for the welcome they experienced in the Aarhus parish.
Prague. Saturday, September 23, marked the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Czech (Bohemian) Province of the Society of Jesus. The Czech Jesuits celebrated this anniversary with several events in the third week of September. For the general public, two talks with the British historian Prof. Gerard Kilroy were held in Prague and Brno on 19 and 20 September. He introduced the figure of the English martyr St. Edmund Campion (1540–1581), who spent the years of his Jesuit formation in the Czech lands just in Brno and Prague. The main event of the celebrations was the international historical conference, which took place on 21–23 September in Prague.  The conference was organized by the Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Catholic Theological Faculty of Charles University, Prague, in cooperation with ARSI and the Catholic University of Leuven. More than forty historians from the Czech Republic and abroad took part in the conference. The language of discussion was English and German. Papers covered topics such as: hagiography, political and historical thinking, contacts between Jesuit provinces, Jesuit education, inspiration and competition, Jesuit school theatre, Jesuit university festivities, overseas missions, order houses and residences, spirituality and iconography. Among other things, the conference helped to place the history of the Czech Jesuits in the period 1623–1773 in a broader Central European context, thanks to the contributions of scholars from Poland, Austria and Hungary. With their contributions at the conference also spoke Jesuits P. Robert Danieluk SJ and Br. Wenceslao Sota SJ from Rome (ARSI) and P. Pavel Gábor SJ from the Vatican Observatory (Tucson). The anniversary celebrations concluded with a solemn mass on Saturday 23 September in the former Jesuit Church of the Most Holy Salvator in Clementinum, Prague. Jan Graubner, Archbishop of Prague, presided over the eucharistic celebration together with the Czech Jesuits. (Petr Havlicek SJ)


Thu - Thu
Oct 2023
JCEP Assembly General Assembly of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, taking place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. READ MORE
Oct 2023
Priestly Ordination A member of the Hungarian Jesuit province, Ferenc Mihalkov SJ will be ordained a priest on 14 October at 12 PM (noon) in Târgu Mureș / Marosvásárhely (Romania) by the auxiliary bishop of Alba Iulia / Gyulafehérvár archdiocese, László Kerekes.   READ MORE
Mon - Thu
Oct 2023
Safeguarding Meeting Meeting of the delegates for Safeguarding from the Provinces in Europe and the Middle East READ MORE
Wed - Fri
Oct 2023
Xavier Network Meeting of the Xavier Network at Lassalle-Haus, Switzerland READ MORE