A number of students from the Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy attended the vigil for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in Albert Square on Tuesday evening. Fr Michael Holman SJ reports “I was in a group that went along with Neil Jameson and Furqan Naeem from the Greater Manchester Citizens group based at the chaplaincy. We carried Citizens banners which attracted some attention from the media, hence the photograph  below taken by a reporter from the Independent. Also in the group was the Muslim chaplain to the University. The vigil, which lasted around 25 minutes, was a witness to the people of Manchester's determination to stand together in solidarity at this most difficult time. Those who spoke echoed in their different ways the words of the Bishop of Manchester that "Love is always stronger than hate". There was a minute's silence to remember those who had died and their grieving loved ones. One contribution which captured the imagination of everyone there was from Tony Walsh who read his poem about the city, "this is the place". It was an inspiration and a source of uplift to all as we left the square as was the sight of a group of Sikhs generously handing out free bottles of water and Coca Cola to anyone who wanted. A very sad and very moving event.” Fr William Pearsall SJ remained behind last evening to say mass at Holy Name. “It has been strangely quiet on Oxford Road,” he observed “many of the busses are on diversion so there is less traffic. Students are busy with exams, older people are staying at home, perhaps out of fear. It’s very subdued.”   The Holy Name Church was open all day yesterday and many candles were lit in a special place at the altar. 
The Holy Father was on Portuguese soil for less than 24 hours. Nevertheless, a marathon of meaningful and prophetic gestures and words moved and called into action the thousands who joined his pilgrimage to Fátima. It occurred on May 12th and 13th, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady Apparitions of 1917, and for the canonization of the Children of Fátima, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. These were days of celebration of the Portuguese Church. Pope Francis, who stressed the major role Mary must be given in Christian life, prayed nearby the image of Our Lady of Fátima and was as moved as many other pilgrims who approached the Sanctuary. “We have a mother!”, He said twice, remembering the crowd that Mary is not just a «"plaster statue” from whom we beg favours at a little cost». She is the Mother of God and the one who makes us “believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness”. The Holy Father spoke not only to the Portuguese faithful, but rather to the whole world and asked for a Church “poor in means and rich in love”. It was a favourable time also for the Portuguese Jesuits who took part in this celebration. They were present in several ways: accompanying youth pilgrimages, concelebrating with the Holy Father at the canonization Mass of the Children of Fátima or giving support to the organization and broadcast of the event, by their intervention in the national media. Four Portuguese Jesuits, Father Provincial José Frazão Correia, among them, had the opportunity to personally greet Pope Francis, stating the support of the Society of Jesus in Portugal in his mission as the successor of Peter. Picture: Portuguese Jesuits before the concelebration with Pope Francis in Fatima
Fr. Antonio José España Sánchez has been appointed Provincial of the Spanish Jesuit Province.  Francisco José Ruiz Perez, current Provincial, wrote to Jesuits and partners in mission to inform them about this appointment by Fr. General Arturo Sosa. The new provincial will start his mission in Madrid on July 8th. Fr España, 50 years old, has served many years in education and his last assignment was director of Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo, one of our schools in Madrid. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1984 and studied Philosophy, History, Theology and Education in different universities in Madrid and Boston. The Jesuit Spanish Province has now 1,040 Jesuits as the result of the integration of five provinces in June 2014. The Province of Spain has 150 Jesuit Communities from where they attend many spiritual centres and sanctuaries like Loyola, Javier or Manresa. There are many educational institutions (68 schools with 75,000 students; 3 main universities and several centres for higher education and Education by Radio). The province is involved in many different social works in 50 centres and NGOs attending migrants, minors in risk, and international cooperation among others.
8 days ESDAC training/retreat in April in Rome. We were 24 participants + a team of 4 facilitators, from 19 countries.  11 Jesuits, 17 women whose 2 from the Lutheran denomination (both of Ignatian spirituality, one is a priest). "Learning by doing" was the motto.  Personal prayer, sharing in small groups and in plenum.  One participant said : "I thought it would be a training... I made a retreat".  As we did not live or work together, we had no communal decision to take, but we developed a way to become a "corporate person".  We received tools to empower the groups, teams, couples, communities we belong to. During the session we had a presentation by John Dardis about the importance of communal discernment in the Society of Jesus. ESDAC is an international team of facilitators leading communal discernment retreats and organizing trainings in communal discernment.  If you are interested, have a look at www.esdac.net.
A new and dynamic relationship. Sunshine, music, prayer, reflection, laughter. These are the words summarising this year’s meeting of the high level group that promotes collaboration between African and European Jesuits. This year’s meeting took place in Kigali, Rwanda. Memorial shrine to the 17 people killed in 1994 at Jesuit Centre Christus. “As I write this report I can hear music and singing from a Mass which is being celebrated just outside my room” said John Dardis, CEP President.  “Rwanda is a society that has come through a genocide in 1994, has picked itself up and is moving through the challenging and painful process of reconciliaion. Faith is playing a key role in that reconciliation. In Africa, faith is never far from people’s minds and hearts. Europe can learn a great deal from this wonderful continent.” The Commissio Mixta was set up to develop, deepen and promote mutuality between African and European Jesuits and our mission partners.   It comprises the two Presidents, the head of the Xavier NGO and mission office network, three provincials from JESAM and three from CEP. When the meeting is in Europe, three Provincials from Europe attend; when it is in Africa, three provincials from JESAM attend. “Mutuality is our guiding principle” said John Dardis “In the past, Africa was receiving from Europe and Europe was giving.  That is changing; the relationship is becoming one of mutual benefit.  Africa has so much to give in terms of ideas and relationships.  There is so much richness of vision”. This year’s meeting included an update from the Conference Presidents on new events in the two Conferences. We also shared about our Solidarity in Formation Programmes. We reviewed the visit of some of the CEP Provincials last year to Kenya, Rwanda and Congo and discussed possible future visits by European Provincials to Africa and by African Provincials to Europe. The meeting acknowledged the financial aid given by CEP to the Historical Institute in Nairobi to fund its work. We reviewed the joint project in Madrid where a scholastic from Zimbabwe-Mozambique and a scholastic from South Poland are working side by side in a project for migrants at La Ventilla. It is a small but significant symbol of the desire in both Conferences to reach out to migrants and refugees and of a commitment to tackle this crucial issue of our time. “We are working together to challenge stereotypes from the past and to build a new understanding” said John Dardis. “Things are moving, many changes are afoot, the mission is going forward, watch this space!” The Commissio Mixta meeting was on 27th April in Kigali, Rwanda. The next meeting will take place on October 13th 2017 in Ludwigshafen Germany, just before the annual assembly of CEP Provincials. Picture slider: Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator (JESAM President), John Dardis (CEP President), José Minaku (Provincial Central Africa), Klaus Väthröder (Xavier network), Michel Istas (Socius JESAM), Chiedza Chimhanda (Zimbabwe-Mozabique), Chukwuyenum Afiawari (North West Africa). 
«The social apostolate can´t be a mere matter of study, of advocacy of the deprivileged ones: it must be rooted in an effective sharing of the realities of poverty. To feel oneself what it is like to be without voice, the exclusion, the frailty». This was the challenge raised by José Frazão Correia, Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Portugal, to the Ignatian Social Assembly that gathered for two days in the Almada seminary. Quoting Pope Francis priorities, as well the strategic guidelines of the Apostolic Plan for the Portuguese Province, he once again reaffirmed that to be present in the areas where exclusion is more serious is “a desire” that the Society of Jesus has for Portugal. «To not protect yourself, not to defend oneself, but to take chances, to think from the outside, with others, with different habits of living and reading the reality», he said, in a video-message recorded to set the tone to two days of hard labor. More than 80 participants, cooperators, leaders, voluntaries and Jesuits from 26 institutions or movements belonging to the social apostolate of the Society of Jesus, gathered for reflection, formation and sharing  experience. In an environment of informality and closeness, it was possible to go deeper in our sense of «body», to grow in companionship between the participants and their mission and institutions, from the «Leigos para o Desenvolvimento» (Lay people for development) to «Serviço Jesuíta aos Refugiados» (JRS), and to the work realized in parishes and in our schools. The mission of every christian Besides the interventions of cooperators of our various institutions of Ignatian inspiration, the Assembly could also listen to Manuela Silva, former president of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, a person deeply involved with and knowing the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. She reminded us that it is «the mission of every Christian and the communities that he has to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel. From this reaching out to the peripheries comes the joy of knowing that the Revelation is reaching the poor and the little ones». Well acquainted with the dramatic reality of the poorest, she told the assembly that «peripheries are born of our strong or weak aversion to inequality», and quoted recent statistics indicating that in Portugal inequality did not generated a social uproar. «We must be more aware of the demands that sprung from solidarity and fair income distribution. While we can’t denounce the gap between the pay of the modest worker and the CEO, we will not get far in inequality solving matters». During this encounter, there was time for personal prayer and reflection, for getting to meet each other and for a intercultural dinner, where we were introduced to several typical foods from other countries.

UPCOMING EVENTS

25-28
Thu - Sun
May 2017
FRIBOURG
Switzerland
Editors of Cultural Reviews READ MORE
29-31
Mon - Wed
May 2017
ROME
Italy
Formation Delegates READ MORE
10
Sat
Jun 2017
MADRID
Spain
Ordination Alberto Domínguez Munáiz, will be ordained priest by the archbishop of Madrid, Fr Carlos Osoro Sierra. at the Jesuit Parish of San Francisco Javier and San Luis Gonzaga (C/Martires de la Ventilla, 34, Madrid) at 17:30. Alberto will celebrate his first Mass on June 17th  at noon, in the Parish of San Bartolomé (C/Sarmiento 51, Pontevendra). READ MORE
18
Sun
Jun 2017
TIRANA
Albania
Last Vows Fr. Zef Bisha and Fr. Stefano Corticelli will take last vows in the Sacred Heart Church at 11 am. READ MORE