Since General Congregation 36 Fr. General Arturo Sosa has started a wordwide process to discern Universal Apostolic Preferences for the period 2019-2029. At our Curia in Rome, this process is supported by Fr. John Dardis, General Counciller for Discernment and Apostolic Planning. To foster this project a website has been developed in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Italian  What’s a Universal Preference? he letters of Fr. General Arturo Sosa A Call to Conversion Establishing a Discernment Process Examen of the Previous Five Preferences Praying about Universal Apostolic Preferences Sharing about Prayer Linking to Universality Final Prayer
Conference Communicators meet in Rome. Did General Congregation 36 and the new Fr. General Arturo Sosa caused a change in the communication policy of our Curia in Rome? No doubt. From 16-20 April, Communicators from the six Jesuit Conferences were invited at “the house of Fr.General” by Fr. Patrick Mulemi, head of the Communication department of our Curia, and by Fr. Dardis, General Councillor for Discernment and Apostolic Planning. Such meetings took yet place in 2013 and 2016 (just before GC 36). The first morning meeting made it immediately clear: for Fr. General Communication is not an empty word, as it wasn’t for Saint Ignatius. The need to communicate is a pure consequence of our mission to proclaim the gospel. So, Fr. Sosa committed himself to ‘say yes’ to many requests for media interviews and to have made video interviews for meetings outside the curia. An important concrete decision is the building of a new curia website and a larger focus on social media. Fr. Robert Ballecer (USA) and Fr. Pierre Bélanger (Canada), also present at our meeting, will join next September the curia communications team, which of course is very promising. A lot of time was foreseen to share experiences in the different Conferences. 4 of them were represented by ladies, which brought a lot of creativity, engagement and dynamism in the group: Anastasia Makunu (Nairobi, Africa), Tracy Primrose (Washington DC, USC), Fernanda Falcone (Lima, Latin-America and Karen Goh (Singapore, Asia-Pacific). South Asia was represented by Fr. Ashok Vaghela (Jescom Gujarat, India) and Europe by Fr. José de Pablo (Assistant JCEP) and Fr. Philip Debruyne (Webmaster JCEP). At the meeting participated also Caterina Talloru, close collaborator of Fr. Mulemi, especially for the Yearbook and the Web site. Which materials we are producing might be useful for the other Conferences and for our Curia communications was a next team of sharing. We also took the time to discuss a better involvement in the communication around MAGIS 2019 and the World Youth Days in Panama in January, and the Youth Synod, next October. We had a very refreshing conversation with Irish bishop Paul Tighe (Pontifical Council for Culture – Vatican communications). For him the key theme in communications is not “how to use” the media but “engagement”: You build an audience - e.g. using the social media - for participation. Listen, converse, encourage – this has to do with mercy. John Dardis informed us too about some taken steps in the elaboration of an Apostolic Planning and the search of Apostolic Preferences. Some folders have been printed and a new simple web site in four languages has been set up. Read also the article about the Universal Apostolic Preferences It was a very intense week and it is the intention of the group to meet again next year. And as usual we finished our meeting in the “Camerette of St. Ignatius” and a fine restaurant.
Source for theology of the future. The German Edition of the Complete Works of Karl Rahner (1904-1984) was celebrated in Munich on April 19th. During the ceremony in the Jesuit School of Philosophy the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, honored the work of the famous Jesuit theologian and philosopher as a "great treasure and source for what we will do theologically in the future". The Edition comprises more than 27,000 pages in 40 volumes and is published by the Publishing House Herder (Freiburg). Marx said that Rahner taught him to think in the present day's horizon. A theology that does not confront the thought and life of its time is superfluous. A self-referential theological approach, which he occasionally experiences, has no future, said the archbishop of Munich and Freising. He wished that as many theologians would be inspired by Rahners works. Rahner is one of the most important Catholic Theologians of the 20th century and a bridge builder between classical and modern theology. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), where he was engaged in the preparation and as Peritus ("expert"), was highly influenced by his thoughts. Rahner found his themes in church history, the Ignatian spirituality and the tradition of the Jesuit order, and the questions that brought readers and listeners to him. So he was not only concerned with God's universal salvific will, but also with the railway mission or with the needs of parish libraries. Until now, his considerations of ecumenism, of some structural problems within the roman curia, priestly celibacy or ordination are discussed, and other hot-button issues. The Edition includes all writings published by Rahner himself, from encyclopedia articles to monographs, as well as his interviews and a few unpublished manuscripts, including a student essay, in which he describes the cleaning and tidying of his teachers at a School trip. The theologian was born in a teacher family at Freiburg and joined 1922 the Society of Jesus. The register of works includes about 1,900 independent publications. Philip Endean SJ (Paris) presented the French Edition „Œuvres de Karl Rahner“ (Cerf) including already 7 volumes.
The pastoral Ministry of the Province of Spain held 10 Easter meetings for 700 young people. The meetings were in many places and formats, but with the same spirit: contemplate and share, to accompany and serve Jesus and others. For a young person who wants to follow Jesus in a demanding and hurried world, living Easter authentically is a unique and central occasion in his journey of faith. Easter has moments of prayer and personal accompaniment, time to share in groups and celebrations with the liturgy of the paschal triduum.
Annual General Meeting JRS-Europe in Belgrade More than 50 members of staff from over 18 different countries gathered in Belgrade at the end of March for JRS Europe’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). "The AGM is an important occasion for exchange on how each national office accompanies, serves and advocates for refugees," says Jose Ignacio Garcia SJ, director of JRS Europe, "And to learn more about what it means to accompany asylum seekers in Serbia, a country on the doorstep of the European Union, where forced migrants feel 'in transit' even if they end up staying for increasingly longer amount of time."  The first day of exchanges included a discussion with Tvrtko Barun SJ, director of JRS South East Europe, Marija Vraneševic, from Philanthropy – a charitable organisation of the Orthodox Church, and Milenko Nikic, a representative of the Serbian government. The speakers highlighted in the discussion how the situation in Serbia, and the broader Western Balkan region, changed before and after the EU-Turkey deal and the closure of the so-called 'Balkan route' bringing fresh challenges for the present day context. On the second day, Marko Štambuk from the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and Jovana Gašic, from the Psychosocial Innovation Network, presented facts about the Serbian asylum system and research findings on the effect of trauma that people experience throughout their migration journeys - in home countries, on the route to Europe and upon arriving in Serbia. Similarly, to the theme of the AGM, the research focused on the psychological impacts of being ‘in transit’ for a prolonged period. Several of the speakers stressed that Serbia kept its borders open in 2015, when many forced migrants crossed the country to seek protection in Western Europe. This is remarkable, as the country was not prepared to receive such numbers. Despite the difficult economic situation of the country, the government considered this the right thing to do, bearing in mind the recent history of conflict and forced displacement in the region. As Vraneševic said, “Everyone in Serbia has either been a refugee or has a refugee among their family or friends.” Despite efforts that are still being made by the local authorities, helping people transiting through the Serbian territory is not the same as providing them with durable protection and integration possibilities. As the Serbian border with Croatia and Hungary is virtually closed, people are staying in Serbia for an increasingly long time without any possibility or perspective to leave. It seems that this reality is also not met by corresponding efforts from the authorities to encourage people to settle in the country. The absence of a long-term reception policy is demonstrated by the fact that asylum seekers are still accommodated in reception facilities meant as temporary accommodation, such as the Krnjaca Asylum Centre near Belgrade that AGM participants visited. Policy gaps in reception are also shown by the lack of adapted accommodation facilities for unaccompanied children, and so the government relies on initiatives such as the Pedro Arrupe House run by JRS Serbia. While it is true that the Serbian authorities must take responsibility for welcoming refugees, it is also important to underline the role, or rather the absence of action, of the European Union. The EU closes its borders and externalises responsibilities to countries such as Serbia that struggle to properly protect them. This has unmeasurable cost for the people concerned, as they may never fully recover from their trauma and society as a whole misses the chance of benefiting from refugees’ contributions. “As far as JRS is concerned,” concludes Garcia, “What we saw and heard during this AGM made us even more aware of the importance of our work in advocating for change and gave us renewed motivation to do it by serving and accompanying refugees.
Pope Francis has published a video following his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate: On the Call for Holiness in our Modern World”. Check it out!  

UPCOMING EVENTS

5-7
Tue - Thu
Jun 2018
DRONGEN
Belgium
Development Officers Conference READ MORE
8
Fri
Jun 2018
LONDON
Great Britain
Final vows Fr James Conway SJ will take his Final Vows at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, on the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. READ MORE
12
Tue
Jun 2018
LONDON
Great Britain
Ordinations Jesuit deacons Philip Harrison SJ and Kensy Joseph SJ will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Nicholas Hudson on Saturday 30th June 12 noon at St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill. READ MORE
13-15
Wed - Fri
Jun 2018
DRONGEN
Belgium
Communications Training Training for Jesuits and co-workers of different apostolic area. READ MORE