The Jesuit community of the Holy Land proposes a series of encounter programs to get to know better the three great religious traditions of the Holy Land: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ten days spent with the Jesuit community in Jerusalem provides the occasion to study in depth each one of these religious traditions, encountering members of the  religious community and visiting sites and institutions that are central to them. In the course of the program, members of the Jesuit community share their experience and knowledge in the context of the Holy Land today. An encounter with modern Judaism An encounter with modern Islam An encounter with Christianity in the Holy Land Read more
The Corona Crisis - A crossroads for the European Union? After the lockdown caused by the pandemic, we are in a slow transition towards what we hope will be a normal life. At the same time, we start to reflect on what has just happened. What long-term lessons can we draw from the Corona crisis? What will be the priorities of the post-Covid society? How is the crisis being managed globally at the EU level? What are the solutions? What is the vision? These and other questions were discussed at the first “Virtual Café” organised in June by the Chapel for Europe as a Zoom webinar, also streamed on Facebook live. Mr Herman Van Rompuy (former Belgian Prime Minister and the first President of the European Council) was in dialogue with Victoria Martín de la Torre (spokesperson at the European Parliament, journalist and author of the acclaimed book “Europe, a Leap Into the Unknown”) and Fr Martin Maier sj (Secretary for European Affairs at the Jesuit European Social Centre) on the subject of “Corona Crisis – A Crossroads For The European Union?”. There were no boring papers read, no abstract slides, just a lively discussion from the very beginning and very personal testimonies, followed by an exchange (questions and answers) with the large audience that joined us online, much beyond the physical borders of the European Quarter in Brussels. Reflecting on what matters This pandemic has shaken our everyday lives, our foundations, both at the personal and at the social level. The first shock was a confrontation with our own vulnerability and the loneliness. During the lockdown we were longing for togetherness, but at the same time others could be perceived as a threat – as potential carriers of infection. The second shock was a confrontation with our powerlessness. We thought that we were living in a quite well organised, rational and efficient world, and then our everyday life suddenly changed at very short notice. This experience of vulnerability, powerlessness and loneliness could inspire a reflection about what really matters in life and maybe redefine the priorities – something that would not have come easily in our busy daily routine. “My world may have flipped, but my priorities are falling back into order”: wise words from an unknown older man, quoted during the discussion, apply here perfectly. Solidarity as a European priority  At the EU level, our priority should be solidarity. We are all in the same boat, and we have to help each other. Even if at the beginning Italy and Spain were left alone, after some weeks the EU was regaining solidarity and providing rescue packages; let’s hope that the EU countries can agree on the details. This solidarity should go beyond the tribal solidarity within one group or nation. It should be a search for the common good, which is much more than only the common part of all particular national interests. Even if in the real world it is quite difficult to reach such a perspective – the politicians are not saints – there is always a compromise between particular and general interests, between European and national priorities. Making the world a better place There was something very special and unique during the pandemic: the spontaneous thankfulness to all these anonymous people who were taking risks and laying down their lives in the service of others. Hundreds of thousands of people were applauding doctors, nurses, bus drivers and other “key workers”. In a confrontation with fear (I could be infected and I could die), we need hope. Those people gave us hope. They bore witnesses to the fact that life is stronger than death. However “hope” is not only a noun, not only something I can receive. Hope is also a verb, and it calls to action! It calls us to contribute, to make the world a better place. What can be done at the EU level? Continuous improvement of the three main pillars of the “European model”: political democracy, the social market economy, and peace. Also proposing high and ambitious standards, like the recent European Green Deal which may be the biggest challenge ever for the EU economy. The secret of making people come together Among all the questions put to our distinguished guests by the online audience after the initial discussion, there was one quite personal question addressed to Mr Herman Van Rompuy by a young trainee at the European Commission: “I have heard that one of your biggest strengths as President of the European Council was your ability to negotiate, and make opposite sides if not join forces then at least reach an agreement. What is your secret in making people come together?” Responding, Mr Van Rompuy emphasised three essential talents: First of all, listen to people very carefully in order to understand what is important for them. Second, be creative in proposing solutions “outside the box” which can overcome conflicts. Finally, be a trustworthy person – because it is only in this way that one can convince others to reach agreement. We were together online for almost two hours sharing insights and perspectives about post-Covid Europe and a post-Covid society in this lively and inspiring inaugural edition of our Virtual Café.
Fr Chris Corbally, 74, is a British Jesuit originally from London but has worked at the Vatican Observatory since 1983. He has just had an asteroid named after him. The asteroid, designated 119248 Corbally, measures approximately 1 mile across in size and was discovered in 2001 by Roy Tucker, a retired senior engineer who had worked closely with Vatican astronomers. Fr Corbally has a wide range of research interests spanning decades. These include multiple star systems, stellar spectral classification, activity in solar-type stars, galactic structure and star formation regions and telescope technology. His current research focuses on the characteristics of human sentience in the context of evolution. Naming an asteroid requires approval from a committee of the International Astronomical Union. Of this honour, Fr Corbally said: “I’m not a kind of asteroid guy. For me it came as a complete surprise. That’s why it’s kind of nice.” To read about this story in more detail, click on The Dialog article here. For a list of asteroids named for Jesuits click here. 
The future literary project of the fifth-year students of the Gonzaga high schools, completed during the lockdown was published. The first 50 copies were donated to school leavers. «MATURITY 2020. Avant-garde poetic style by the 50 school-leaving students of the high schools of the Gonzaga Institute (5th year Classical, Scientific and Linguistic), who are about to conclude their studies after the post-pandemic period. This work of art was initiated during a lesson in Italian literature on the poetic avant-garde style of the early twentieth century, on Marinetti's Futurism, obviously through distance learning, and which has now been converted into a video, a text and an appendix of images, calligraphy, drawings and photos. This resulted into a work of art, which was published thanks to the collaboration of a publishing house in Palermo: the first 50 copies were donated today to the students who compiled this work of art. This project came into fruition through their boredom and hope «This project - explains Giovanni Inzerillo, who teaches Italian - is the result of boredom, anger, superstitions and hope. We can still find evident echoes of Futurism today but let us put aside the prejudices we have about the strange language used by young people. It is true that the thunderous Bum Bum Bum or Tumb Tumb Tumb, which young people of today hear and pronounce so loud are no longer those of military bombings, planes and racing cars, but neither are they meaningless words, signs of a subculture generated just for a good feeling or by boredom, by wrong models, as we adults are undoubtedly convinced to believe. Suddenly, when what we believed to be unreal suddenly became real, we started struggling in a state of depression and isolation against an invisible enemy whose name Covid19- Coronavirus seems to have been created in past Avant-garde contexts. However, we must strive to think about this struggle on a much higher scale, as a struggle against ignorance, prejudice, and against the concept of self-sufficiency"  “Distance learning, despite all its limitations”, Fr. Vitangelo Denora, director general of the Gonzaga-ISP Institute recalls, "was an eye-opener, making people reflect upon the reality of education, its power to transform people and the world. The first Jesuits used to say “to educate is to renew the world", as they emphasized the centrality of the pupil and his learning journey which is a life journey, the educational relationship and the importance of teachers as they take up the challenge to be persons of research and embark on the educational journey. This time – Denora continues - was a time of stepping up and of renewal for the school: to finally work for acquiring skills and not only for the accumulation of knowledge, to connect the school to life and its challenges, creating bridges and connections, which can influence the reality and change it.  It was a time to experiment with a less vertical form of teaching and transmission of information to a more interactive form of teaching, that puts the student at the center, giving more value to the student's journey, accompanying him with more continual feedback which is so valuable for his improvement, not in an authoritative and polarized way of control, but as a continuous and interactive process that promotes growth ». Living as citizens of the world «Through this project, the young people demonstrate that there is depth and responsibility in the way they are living in this world - continues Fr. Denora – despite the fact that all that is around us is superficial and frustrating. In this way, this work challenges adults who listen truly little to young people, or "ignore" them completely. Pope Francis always addresses educational institutions saying that such a form of education is really a school of life and research confirms that schools can change, remaining faithful to their ethos but  rediscovering their vocation to make people happy and authentic active citizens of a new world ». «Through this initiative - Professor Inzerillo adds - we have shown that poetry is alive and young people are sensitive enough to appreciate it and internalize it. This is the bitter-sweet saga,  both funny and tragic, of all our fifth year students who day after day demonstrate a profound maturity without even being certain at the moment of the near future, a certainty which until a month ago they believed they had. It is a somewhat strange story as strange as is the moment we are living. These verses contain the emotions of everyone, young girls and boys, the cries of a healthy rebellion that youngsters scream at the top of their voice». And finally, the young professor Inzerillo encourages them: «In all moments of your life be persons for others and shout aloud, very much aloud. Do not worry if you are not always understood. What is important is that your good intentions guide your actions. Shout, act, be annoying or rebellious, be brave. Your ideas will improve this world. "
The photo shows members of the Edinburgh Jesuit community adding our prayer and a public gesture of solidarity to the “Black Lives Matter” movement taking place around the world. At Mass on Sunday we prayed for racial harmony and for racial justice. We then gathered in front of Sacred Heart Church at the same time that people in Edinburgh were assembling for a peaceful demonstration in Holyrood Park. Like so many prosperous cities in the United Kingdom Edinburgh has its own history of involvement in slavery and its citizens are more aware than ever of the need to recognise that history and where possible to make amendments. As one example, the monument to Henry Dundas (Lord Melville) which towers over St Andrews Square will soon have a plaque at its base to remind people of his role in prolonging the slave trade in the 1800s when he held the office of First Lord of the Admiralty. Our own community of seven Jesuits represents a considerable diversity of national backgrounds and as we kneel in solidarity with the renewed call for racial equality we remember how human history has been tainted in every land by the stain of racism. Behind us is the image of a dove. For Christians it symbolises the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, making of many nations a single people. For all of us it is the traditional symbol of peace and at this time of turmoil we remember that where there is no justice there can be no peace. In union with other churches, with civic leaders and community organisers and with all people of good will, we continue to pray for peace and to work for justice. David Pearsall S.J. 
After 18 months of thorough restoration, the Jesuit Spiritual Centre of Penboc'h reopened its doors on 15 June. Located in the Gulf of Morbihan (France), it welcomes young professionals, families, vulnerable people... and all the guests and retreatants in need of renewal for a summer "in transition, with Saint Ignatius". Located near Vannes, Penboc'h is the Jesuit Spiritual Centre for Western France. In a green setting on the banks of the Gulf of Morbihan, it offers a place inviting to prayer and rejuvenation and welcomes each year about 4000 people for retreats and sessions based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius. The Jesuits wished to breathe new life into this place with a complete renovation of the buildings in order to develop an apostolic project open to situations of fragility, poverty and disability, to problems linked to the world of work and to families. Anchored in Ignatian spirituality with the Spiritual Exercises, the proposals for sessions and retreats offer food for the interior life, help in discerning, making choices and deciding freely. At the end of the confinement, this is also a place to reflect on what the future should be. Re-reading will be at the heart of the spiritual accompaniment proposed to the retreatants this summer. Summer in Penboc'h The doors of Penboc'h open on "a summer in transition, with Saint Ignatius". Several sessions for families and young professionals will follow one another with times of sharing, relaxation and prayer. The guiding thread is the encyclical Laudato si'. The theme of ecological and spiritual conversion will be at the heart of these proposals. Penboc'h will be the summer gathering place of the Ignatian Family with proposals made with the Magis network, the Christian Movement of Executives and Leaders (MCC), the Christian Life Community (CLC), Families & Co. A project that respects heritage and the environment The project was designed with respect for the heritage and the environment in this protected area, located in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the Gulf of Morbihan. This construction site also fits in with a sustainable development logic: the site has been labelled "Zero Carbon" by a construction strategy favouring energy sobriety and the planting of 10,000 trees in Madagascar. The new Penboc'h gives pride of place to contemporary art, notably the furniture and stained glass windows of the three oratories. On the façade of the Centre, a statue of Saint Ignatius holding his booklet of Spiritual Exercises is the work of sculptor Jean-Pierre Augier. In terms of equipment, the Spiritual Centre has two lifts and four rooms adapted for people with reduced mobility. A large 85-seat conference room, six meeting rooms, three dining rooms, three oratories, a library and reading room facing the sea have been created. The wish was also to respect the simple and sober character of the Spiritual Centre. Renovation supported by patrons and donors The Society of Jesus has appealed to public generosity in partnership with the Heritage Foundation. More than 1,000 donors and patrons (notably the Heritage Foundation) supported the project. This fundraising campaign is one of the Fondation du patrimoine's top 3 national campaigns.  To find out more On the Spiritual Centre of Penboc'h: On the five Spiritual Centres in French-speaking Western Europe: Jean-Brice Bigourdan, DirectorPictures © Michel Jamoneau


Jul 2020
Ordination Angel Benítez-Donoso (ESP), Pedro Rodríguez-Ponga (ESP), Lluís S. Salinas Roca (ESP) and Michael Ochieng' Otieno (AOR), will be ordained a priest by the Archbishop of Madrid, Mons. Carlos Osoro Sierra, in the Parish of St. Francis Xavier and St. Louis Gonzaga at 7 pm. READ MORE
Jul 2020
Final Vows Hans Brandl (ASR) and Albrecht Holzknecht (ASR) will take final vows at 5 pm in the Jesuit Church. READ MORE
Sep 2020
Final Vows Tomasz Klin (PMA)  will take final vows at the church of St. Ignatius Loyola at 11 am. READ MORE
Oct 2020
Ordination Moritz Kuhlmann (GER) and Martin Föhn (HEL) will be ordained priest in the Liebfrauenkirche. READ MORE