Statement by the President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) on Cyclone Idai. My thoughts are with the hundreds of thousands in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi who have been affected by Cyclone Idai over the past week. The devastation this storm has caused deserves the attention and support of the international community to rebuild. I’m encouraged by the level of humanitarian assistance to the affected countries. The Jesuits in Africa and Madagascar join the rest of Africa and the world in mourning the loss, interruption and destruction of lives and livelihoods caused by Cyclone Idai. The scale of devastation it caused is enormous. 90% of the city of Beira is reported to have been destroyed, floods have wiped out entire villages, key infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, schools, have been destroyed; one St Charles Lwanga Catholic School in Chimanimani in Zimbabwe was buried by a mudslide, causing the death of some students. The devastation has made the affected areas difficult to access, hampering aid efforts by individuals and organisations. The scale of the destruction can thus only be fully ascertained later once these communities are accessible.  The real devastation, however, is the lives that have been lost. As of 22 March, the death toll is reported to have surpassed 500 across the three countries. This number is expected to rise as water recedes and more bodies are discovered and retrieved. The Cyclone has affected about 1,7 million people in the three countries, who stand in need of humanitarian aid.  We are in close solidarity with the communities that have been affected. The Jesuits in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Malawi have already initiated campaigns and appeals to raise resources needed to bring relief to these communities. The Jesuit Relief Fund of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province has already managed to send the first batch of aid they have gathered so far within Zimbabwe. This comprises clothes, non-perishable food and blankets. This has been sent to Chimanimani, the worst affected area in Zimbabwe, through the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of that area’s diocese. More aid in cash and kind is still being gathered in Zimbabwe and South Africa and from further afar. It is encouraging that alumni of Jesuit schools within Zimbabwe who are based abroad have been forthcoming and supportive through offering cash donations. The response to the plight of the affected people, especially within Catholic circles, has been overwhelming. Such moments help us restore our faith in humanity.  However, disasters such as this one need not awaken only our sympathy towards humanity, but also our sympathy towards our planet, to God’s creation itself.  As humanity, we need to respond to the distress of our planet. Global increase in adverse and calamitous weather conditions is a manifestation of climate change, which we humans are largely responsible for. While the poor are the least responsible for global warming and environmental degradation, it is them who bear the brunt of its effects. Caring for our Home is the surest way of preventing the frequent occurrence of such disasters and of taming their severity. Humanity needs to undergo an ecological conversion spoken of by Pope Francis in his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si.   Let us especially use this time of Lent to help those in need in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in whatever means possible, as individuals, communities and organisations. Even the smallest of gestures can bring hope to those who have no reason to have any given these circumstances.  God bless you all, Fr. A.E. Orobator, SJPresident of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar
European Treasurers Meeting in Krakow. While it is true that the Society of Jesus in Europe is aging and that vocations are scarce, this does not stop the treasurers of each province from doing their best to care for our elderly. The situation is different in every area of Europe and the Middle East: some countries such as Spain have numerous infirmaries and more than 400 Jesuits of the 950 members of the province are over 80 years of age; in others like Lithuania there are some rooms reserved for the elderly since only 5 of the 34 Jesuits of the province are over 80 years of age. These discussions were the main focus of the second meeting of treasurers of the European Conference of Provincials in Krakow. The approach wanted to be as holistic as possible including aspects of quality of life, pensions, living environment and religious, among others. The Jesuits have funds for the care of the elderly and health, but we need to encourage the development of campaigns of donation, fundraising and help to care for our sick and elderly. Before the meeting, Fr. Jaime Badiola, Spanish treasurer in the Steering Committee, prepared a useful actual analysis of the situation in each province and in the whole Conference. The speakers who participated live or by videoconference gave many keys to address the challenges we have in the provinces and regions of the JCEP:  Ms Beata Leszczyńska, director in Orpea Poland, explained the topic: How to manage health care business. Br. Luckas Dmowski Provincial Saint John of God Brothers, together with Dr. Alfonso Cruz, from Spain and Fr. Clement Nguyen SJ, from France, both specialists in health care, participated in a panel about How to take care of our elderly, sharing important criteria and ideas for a adequate care of the elderly (regarding to personal care, design of spaces, management, residence size, etc. and also physical, psychological and spiritual aspects). With the study of the situation in each province the treasurers declared their desire to continue with an actual analysis that would best help each of our units. Thanks to the presence of the General Treasurer of the Society, Fr. Thomas McClain, and his team, Fr. Antonio Delfao and Fr. Michel N'Tangu, the meeting was in contact with the world Society and the central directives from Rome. At the closing Mass the President of the Conference, Fr Franck Janin, stressed the importance of solidarity between the provinces in the light of the new Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus  The participants in the meeting stayed at the Ignatianum College and the Writers House. The logistics prepared and the welcoming given by the Southern Polish Province was outstanding. We have to thank both communities and to make a special mention to the Provincial, Fr. Jakub Kolacz, and to the treasurer, Fr. Artur Demkowicz, for the care of the group and the reception at the curia in Krakow. Finally, to deepen the experience the treasurers they also visited the Wieliczka salt mines. Fantastic.
Lecture series at the Centre Sèvres (Paris). From 26 March to 14 May 2019, the Centre Sèvres is offering a series of six conferences on pastoral relations and respect for people. The Church has been deeply shaken by cases of sexual abuse, including paedophilia. It is also wounded by abuses of authority, and even, in some groups, by sectarian divergences. We must talk about it, recognize what is unacceptable, name it and take steps to prevent it. But we can't stop there. The aim of this set of lectures is also to reflect positively on how the pastoral relationship can be lived in a chaste way, from an interpersonal and institutional point of view. This is the most effective way to limit abuses. Moreover, it gives the Church the possibility to share what it is all about at such a crucial moment. This cycle echoes the words of Pope Francis in his letter to the people of God of August 20 2018: “It is impossible to imagine a conversion of ecclesial action without the active participation of all the components of the people of God.” The dynamics are the following: by welcoming current events in terms of power, abuse of power and sexual abuse, everyone agrees to accept the facts, reflect, let themselves be moved and ask how they can act from their standpoint. The series does not claim to be exhaustive but takes into account several aspects. The questions we ask ourselves will not all be dealt with at once! Together with Bishop Luc Crépy, president of the Permanent Unit for the Fight against Paedophilia (CPLP), we will start by taking a look at the current situation of the Church in France. It should however be noted that all ranks of the Church worldwide are concerned. The credibility of the its message is at stake. It is thus invited to deeply question itself and convert. Mrs. Geneviève de Taisne will kick off the second lecture by offering a psychoanalytical perspective , followed by Christopher Asprey from the Arche community of Jean Vanier, who will share his experience of working with vulnerable people. These two inputs will shed light on the path to follow for an adjusted practice. The contribution of a theologian, Fr. Patrick Goujon sj, on Ignatius' way to freedom, will give us the opportunity to hear about the Church's wealth in terms of respect for the people. Clara Pavanello’s experience as mistress of the novices of Saint-André, will shed light on the roots of chastity and how it can be concretely lived by religious people nowadays. She will also talk about the proper practice of spiritual accompaniment and how to transmit it to the youngest in formation. Finally, through a philosophical approach to the sacred, Fr. Guilhem Causse sj will invite us to make a broader detour by considering the whole of humanity in its relation to the body. This journey will end with an evening of work in small groups to allow for more exchanges between participants and give them a greater opportunity to position themselves, including on remaining issues. More info
On July 31, 2018, the Ukrainian District was formally incorporated into the Southern Poland Province and became an integral part of it. This was part of the restructuring process setting out new boundaries for the Society's Province in this part of Europe. Several Jesuits from PME have been working in Ukraine for years, but this new reality will provide more impetus for cooperation in the field of pastoral ministry. Seeing the success of Pray As You Go had in many countries, including Poland since 2011, the next logical step was to develop the Ukrainian version, iMolytva. In autumn 2018, plans to launch the project started taking shape thanks to Fr. Віталій Осмоловський (Vitaliy Osmolovskyy) sj. It was only natural to build on the experience and achievements of Modlitwa w drodze (the Polish version of Pray As You Go). The project is the fruit of inter-provincial cooperation. Thanks to a dedicated team, it offers audio clips, texts for reflection and much more. Since Ash Wednesday, iMolytva is available on www.imolytva.org in both desktop and mobile versions. Those looking for an application will have to wait a couple of months. Work has already started but there remains some technical glitches to solve before the application is fully functional. In the meantime, we are happy to share with you the fruit of our collaboration and encourage you to spread the message.
The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, international disaster relief and Child Safeguarding were top of the agenda for the Xavier Network Directors when they met in Nuremberg last week. Founded in 2004, the Xavier Network is an international mission and development partnership between 13 Jesuit organisations united in their commitment to global justice. All are passionate in their belief that they can achieve more together than by working separately. In total, the members support pastoral, development and aid projects in 87 countries working in partnership with local, mainly Jesuit partners. The Network has four Working Groups which focus on Emergencies, Volunteers, International Programming and Advocacy. In addition, members are committed to three strategic partners: Fe y Alegria in Africa, Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Amazonian project with the CPAL conference. Three main priorities were discussed at the Nuremberg meeting: (1) The Safeguarding of Children: we approved a policy and protocol for the implementation of procedures for the protection and promotion of a culture of Safeguarding both in our own organisations and in those of our international partners. Emer Kerrigan from the Jesuit Missions office in Ireland led the discussion and was warmly commended on her skilful steering of the discussion. (2) Advocating for a more just world: Xavier Network members share a commitment to advocacy not least in response to the recently published Universal Apostolic Preferences. We discussed specific examples of recent advocacy including work led by the Hakimani centre in Nairobi and Fr Joerg Alt from the German mission office on Tax Justice. We also discussed how we work together with GIAN (the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network) and were joined by Fr Xavier Jeyaraj from the Social Justice and Ecology Desk in Rome. (3) Reviewing our response to recent humanitarian emergencies (mainly in Asia), and how we might respond to the crisis in Venezuela.  Fr Tom Smolich, International Director of JRS talked to us about the potential synergies between the Xavier Network and Jesuit Refugee Service International. Fr Klaus Vathroder SJ, Coordinator of the Xavier Network said: “The Xavier Network is a thriving example of Jesuit networking. Our meeting in Nuremberg was historic because of the commitments we made to building a safeguarding culture for children at home and overseas, advocating for justice on several fronts, and working together with global Jesuit partners to strengthen our impact.” While originally conceived as a European Network of Mission Offices and Jesuit NGOs, the Xavier Network now includes members from Canada and Australia. In Nuremberg, we also welcomed several invited guests from the United States, South Korea and the Claver Network (Development offices of CPAL) in South America. Our aim continues to be to build alliances with like-minded partners across the Jesuit world so that we can strengthen our networking and increase the impact and reach of our work.
Young Jesuits in Austria, Germany and Switzerland go into series production with a new social media format. The first German speaking "One Minute Homily" (OMH) was published just in time for Lent. On Sundays and church holidays a Jesuit sums up the gospel of the day in one minute. While the number of churchgoers on Sundays is constantly falling, the number of clicks on the Internet is rising. Therefore, the message of the Gospel is now to be transmitted to the social media channels of the Jesuits in order to bring the message to believers and interested people in an understandable everyday language. The idea for the "One Minute Homilies" comes from young Jesuits from the USA. In Advent Dag Heinrichowski SJ and his fellow companion from the Berlin Canisius-Kolleg had tested the format for the German-speaking area. "It is of course a challenge to get a thought on the Gospel to the point in such a short time, but the feedback was very positive - especially from our young people at the college," he says. The number of hits on the YouTube channel and the Facebook page of the Jesuits were also so convincing that a group of ten younger Jesuits from Austria, Germany and Switzerland came together to bring the message of Jesus to the internet with their mini homilies. The "One Minute Homily" started with an extraordinary one on Ash Wednesday. Dag Heinrichowski SJ looks at the gospel about correct fasting (Mt 6, 1-6.16-18) and talks about the temptation to use fasting for self-optimization and performance.  The YouTube link Channel for Austria https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYR3zkhjRSQj_QxWFme0GOQ/featured Channel for Germany https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfRuclDg5Z6Vcxsg72OapWg

UPCOMING EVENTS

23-26
Tue - Fri
Apr 2019
BELGIUM
Jesuits in Charismatic Renewal Meeting READ MORE
25
Thu
Apr 2019
ROMA
Italy
Ordinations Marco Piaia (EUM) and Angelo Stella (EUM) will be ordained priest by Mons. Daniele Libanori, Aux. Bishop of Rome in the Gesù Church at 4 pm. READ MORE
25
Thu
Apr 2019
MILANO
Italy
Final Vows Fr. Antonio Pileggi will take Final Vows at the Church of San Fedele at 6 pm READ MORE
29-4
Mon - Sat
Apr - May 2019
ROME
Italy
JCEP General Assembly General Assembly Jesuit Conference European Provincials READ MORE