The third meeting of European Jesuits and lay collaborators working in fundraising gathered at Oude Abdij Drongen last week.  Twenty participants from twelve provinces met to share learning from each other’s successes and failures, and to receive inputs from industry experts. “St Ignatius was a great fundraiser.  Many of his letters were to donors, asking for money, to be sure, but more importantly, thanking them and explaining diligently to them how their money had been spent. He recognized that important truth that fundraising is not principally about money but about relationship and partnership in mission,” said Fr Jorge Serrano SJ, Fr General’s Assistant Treasurer for Development.   Fr Jorge reminded the group of the history of Jesuit networking in fundraising.  His role was created in 2007 by Fr Kolvenbach, at which time across the world there were twelve development offices, of which ten were in the USA, also home to the only Jesuit fundraisers’ network.  Now there are 60 offices worldwide and each conference has its own network.  Europe has been a relatively late developer in this field, with fundraising mainly focused on missions and international development, and most provincial development offices being established less than five or six years.  Delegates from France, Slovenia and Austria were in the process of setting up provincial development offices, while Ireland is still discerning. Fr Jose de Pablo SJ, Socius of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, led a workshop in which groups looked closely at ways to reach their audiences, including internal audiences. He observed, “The Jesuit conference supports groups in ministries with the expectation that they will first get to know each other and share problems and solutions, then begin to collaborate, and ultimately plan together.  Collaboration and planning is crucial as the Society faces diminishing numbers across Europe; we have to be smarter and more effective in everything we do.” Other inputs were from John Chandler and Ryan Bergin from the development office of St Ignatius Prep School in Chicago. They described the Ignatian journey offered to their alumni and parents which combines opportunities to give, to belong to an extensive social and professional network and to receive ongoing faith formation for themselves and their families.  They raise around $10 million each year. “Giving is important and people want to show their support in this way,” explained John, “but feeling a part of the Ignatian family is also highly valued.” Finally, fundraising consultant Friederike Hofmann reminded the group of Henry Rosso’s definition of fundraising – “the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”
From the JCEP we are delighted to announce the HEST project website is now up and running. As many of you already know, the Higher Education for Social Transformation (HEST) is a programme promoted by the JCEP (the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials). It is envisioned as a fifteen-year, pan-continental, cross-disciplinary endeavor. The goal is to produce meaningful and quality research on 7 concrete topics that can be communicated to a range of audiences so as to promote progressive advocacy in each area. The objectives of the HEST website are: - To provide information on the general objectives of the programme, the 7 clusters, the people and the institutions participating. - To inform all interested parties about the activities of the different clusters through the news section. - To serve as a meeting point for researchers, who have at their service an intranet where they can share documents related to the research in each area. At the same time, the calendar of activities of the 7 networks is always accessible. We encourage all interested parties to enter the website and to participate: we will be happy to receive questions, advices, complaints,..., everything will be very well received! José Carlos Romero HEST Coordinator
The annual meeting of the European Cultural Reviews edited by the Society of Jesus took place this year in Budapest, Hungary, between the 16th and 20th of May. This year there were eleven editors  and the President of the Conference of the European Jesuit Provincials, Franck Janin SJ. At this meetings, each of the participants has the time to share about the new developments in his/her editorial house. This time the main issue was the question "What could be our contribution to support dialogue and to open our societies in a world, where there are quite clear tendencies to undemocratic developments. We invited Botond Feledy, an expert in political sciences, professor of the Catholic University Pázmány Péter in Budapest. He spoke about the so called Visegrad Countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary), comparing these countries with each other and comparing this group of countries to the rest of Europe. We also visited Tihany, a Benedictine monastery at the Balaton lake, where the newly elected very young prior, Jeromos Mihályi (32 years old), introduced us in the situation of the Church in Hungary. The Benedictine prior tod us: "there are very clear tendencies of renewal in the church of Hungary, and this was in putting new priorities in many dioceses, according to which it is not so much the hard pastoral work that counts, but the spiritual and mental integrity of people who are in charge of the faithful. Many bishops try to keep their priest from too much work, which leads to burning out." On the picture: Arpad Horvath SJ, A Szív, Hungary, Stefan Kiechle SJ, Stimmen der Zeit, Germany, Tadija Milikić SJ, Obnovljeni Život, Croatia, François Euvé SJ, Etude, France, Antonio Júlio Trigueiros SJ, Revista Brotéria, Portugal, Antonio Spadaro SJ, La Civiltá Cattolica, Italy, Jan Koenot SJ, Streven, Belgium, Lucienne Bittar, Choisir, Switzerland, Ulf Johnson SJ, Signum, Sweden, Jaime Tatay SJ, Razón y Fe, Spain, Theodoros Kodidis SJ, Anoichtoi Orizontes, Greece, and Franck Janin SJ, President of the European Jesuit Provincials Conference, Brussels
Based on the pilgrim story, a comic strip about Ignatius was created in the SJ workshop of the future. Dr. Tobias Andrea, a former student from Leipzig, drew him. An emotional approach to the person of Ignatius should be made possible, and Ignatius should be portrayed as the patron saint of seekers. The message is: "Despite crises and broken plans,  Your way can succeed with God!" Therefore, at the end of the comic you will find some hints on vocation and help for vocation clarification from Ignatian spirituality. 1st edition for the altar boy pilgrimage The first edition will be published for the international altar server pilgrimage to Rome, which will take place from 28. July to 04. August. 45,000 altar servers are expected from Germany who will have an audience with Pope Francis on 31 July. For travel reading we have offered the dioceses the comic as a gift. 35,000 orders were received for Germany and Austria. 2nd edition Now we have a second edition. Enclosed is a reading rehearsal. The Ignatius comic is suitable for young people, students, friends, family, employees, brothers... as a gift, teaching material... 72 pages, size B5, stapled.Per issue we ask for a donation of 50 cents. Delivery by the end of July If you would like to receive the comic, please send an e-mail with your name, address and quantity by 29 June to: Of course you can also order later. First of all, it is a matter of planning the run length. Actually different Vocation promotors are preparing translations of this strip. So, the Comic will be published in 4-7 different languages (Portugiese, Tchec, French, English, Dutch,… perhaps Hungarian and Russian)
“Why do Christians around the world prefer the narrative of populist nationalism and political exclusion to the message of the Gospel?” was the question posed by expert on the theology of migration, Dr Joshua Ralston, at a conference at Heythrop College to mark World Refugee Day. JRS UK and the Heythrop Institute for Religion and Society hosted Refugee Stories: Changing the Narrative - the fruits of a collaboration between academics working in theology and related disciplines, practitioners serving refugees, and – most importantly – refugees themselves. Dr Sophie Cartwright, JRS UK Policy Officer, explained that the aim was to put the voices of refugees at the centre of the current narratives about the “migrant crisis” and to re-shape the conversation: “we wanted to ground this project in the expertise of refugees [rather than just] gather raw data for academics to fashion into theology and ethics. While academe has something to bring, we learn more from refugees than they do from us.”  Dr Nick Austin SJ agreed: “the academic theoretician needs to think about people and to encounter them… not speak on behalf of refugees because they can speak for themselves.” Sarah Teather, Director of JRS UK, gave the first paper, in which she described the UK government’s hostile environment policy and how it actively works against the asylum seeker telling his or her story in a coherent way. She explained how Home Office caseworkers and legal aid lawyers do not have the time or training to listen to and understand how to interpret these stories. Tribunals tend to default to suspicion, disbelief, and rejection. The asylum system relentlessly pushes asylum seekers onto the wrong side of the law. Professor David Herd of Kent University, co-founder of Refugee Tales, went further, describing in his paper how talking and listening creates community – “storytelling is integral to human sharing [the story] it becomes the responsibility of the community who hears it and the detainee becomes a member of the community.”  He proposed that one purpose of the 2016 Immigration Act is to disrupt the telling of stories.  This, along with the well-established practice of dispersal and denial of the right to work or to study, keeps refugees outside the community, outside the law, and enables popular opinion to deny their human dignity. Dr Ralston’s answer is that narrative has been seized by men of power, and that the focus needs to move back to innate human dignity, as reiterated by Christ’s own storytelling: “Theologically, human value is not determined by law; we are claimed as brothers and sisters by Jesus of Nazareth who was himself tried and found guilty before the law.” Refugee voices were also heard during the day: JRS showed a video featuring the stories of  four people who attend their day centre. Cecile, a refugee friend of JRS, came to the conference to tell the story of her experience in the UK asylum system over many years.  It was a story rejection, disruption and isolation, “what is the point of asking for asylum if my story is not believed?” asked Cecile.  But Cecile has retained her courage and her dignity shone through as she awaits a sixth tribunal decision. In a short paper Dr Liam Hayes reminded us of Pope Francis’ efforts in Laudato Si to disrupt the prevailing narratives around refugees, to “challenge the globalisation of indifference… dwell together in our common home …and recover the narrative of inclusion and solidarity.” The conference concluded with Scorn not the Least - a Reflection with Words and Music at the Assumption Chapel.  Dr Michael Kirwan SJ read two reflections – on St Robert Southwell SJ, poet and martyr of sixteenth century England, and on Fr Friedrich Spee SJ a poet and professor who spoke out against torture in seventeenth century Germany.  Several of  Spee’s poems were sung by Heythrop’s Schola Cantorum, along with the Magnificat of Palestrina. Pictured top: the conference organisers and speakers, from left, Dr Gillian Paterson, Dr Joshua Ralston, Dr Sara Silvestri, Dr Liam Hayes, Sarah Teather, Professor David Herd, Cecile, Dr Nick Austin SJ, Dr Sophie Cartwright, Dr Theodora Hawksley CJ, Dr Michael Kirwan SJ
63 young people, between 20 and 30 years old, are following the Spiritual Exercises in Ordinary Life organized by the Platform & Co (Paris). That number could have been higher, but we were forced to refuse people.... Last November there were 52, which is also a record for the fall session. The surveys carried out for more than a year in the context of the preparation of the Synod on "young people, faith and vocational discernment" (next October) also confirm the very great demand for spiritual accompaniment. What are Spiritual Exercises in Ordinary Life (SEOL, in French EVOs)? For four weeks, the participants commit themselves to a daily prayer time (the texts and indications are in a booklet). They have a weekly meeting with their spiritual guide and meet together, once a week, for a sharing of experience in small groups, a convivial time as well as two or three short interventions (ex: spiritual accompaniment, the rereading of prayer, feeling and tasting, entering into the presence of the living and risen Jesus in daily life, etc.). The proposed Exercises are various: praying from a biblical text, but also reading and listening to the news, in a queue or on the subway, etc. We invite them to "anchor their lives in prayer and prayer in their lives. » Who are they? 40% are students, the others are young professionals or looking for work 60% women, 40% men 30% discover the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola 15% foreigners (Italy, Spain, Lebanon, etc.) They join the Exercises in Ordinary Life to "weave a more special relationship with the Lord", "take a break and[ask] the right questions", "refocus on the essential. "It's about "making an important decision and meeting other young people who have the same desires[as themselves]", etc.   For example, a young professional (former of Ginette and a Grande Ecole) wishes to revitalize her life of faith and discern her commitments in society; one student is currently taking a competition to be a teacher and is asking herself the question of consecrated life; another is preparing for confirmation; another has come on the recommendations of her Dominican accompanier, etc. They heard about this session by word of mouth, by a priest or thanks to the MT (the Mass which takes its Time gathers about 200 young people every Sunday evening in Saint-Ignace Church in Paris). 25 guides were mobilized, including 16 Jesuits, 6 religious and 3 lay people. The organizer of the EVO is himself a young PhD student... He forms a binomial with a Jesuit and he relies on cooking and music teams. The diversity of facilitators in the session itself gives value to the proposal. The themes have different tonalities, whether one is French or Portuguese religious, Japanese or Belgian Jesuit, Jesuit journalist, etc.. The Exercises in Ordinary Life have initiated a new session: "the Exercises in the long run". This proposal is aimed at more experienced young people and draws on experiences in Portugal and Spain. It was launched last October, thanks in particular to the support of Remi de Maindreville (Christus). 23 young people participate. We are also talking about exporting the session (the historical version, the 4 weeks version) to other locations...   It is a grace to be a witness of a soul which, more, understands the action of the Spirit and knows how to respond to it.   He is happy to share with a greater number one of the treasures of our spirituality, AMDG.


Fri - Mon
Jul - Aug 2018
EJIF Meeting European Jesuits in Formation READ MORE
Jul 2018
Final vows Ferenc Patsch will take final vows in the church of the Sacred Heart at 7 pm READ MORE
Sat - Sun
Aug 2018
Faith and Politics READ MORE
Wed - Mon
Aug - Sep 2018
JesPhil Jesuit Professors of Philosophy READ MORE