Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP). We have 2 secondary schools (Wah Yan College), a spirituality and retreat center and a students' hall in Hong Kong.  Many of our students are part of the protest movement.  The conflict between the government and protest movement continues to escalate with no end in sight.  There are elements in the protest movement and in the government police that are involved in acts of violence. The broader narrative here is the conflict between the US/some European countries and China, and Hong Kong is caught in between.  There is deep polarization in Hong Kong. We thought a statement like this can express our desires and values and assure our brethren and companions in mission of our support and solidarity.  Read more....  https://www.jcapsj.org/2019/12/jcap-declares-solidarity-with-jesuits-mission-companions-and-the-people-of-hong-kong/  Read the statement
Father General Arturo Sosa visited Andalusia, Spain, from November 20th until November 23rd. The visit included some time in the cities of Seville, Córdoba, Úbeda, Granada and Málaga. In each of these cities he visited the Jesuit communities and the major Jesuit institutions, and he met with Jesuits and collaborators. During his visit he was accompanied by the Assistant for Southern Europe, Fr Cipriano Díaz, the Provincial of Spain, Fr Antonio España, and his Delegate for the third age, Fr Ramón Fresneda.  An important moment of the visit was the official opening of Universidad Loyola’s new campus in the outskirts of Seville, in the town of Dos Hermanas. The new campus has a surface of 29.000 Km2, it has been designed to be sustainable, and disposes of a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure. The inauguration was presided by the president of the regional government of Andalusia, the archbishop of Seville, the mayor of Dos Hermanas and the Rector of Loyola University. All the Rectors and Directors of the different higher education institutions of the Province of Spain, the UNIJES network, were present at the inauguration. There were also present the Director of ICAM Engineering school in France, representatives from Loyola Chicago University, and the President of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Africa and Madagascar. During his visit to Andalusia Fr. General also participated in a Congress on Saint John of Avila, Doctor of the Church, in Cordoba. He visited the Sagrada Familia’s School of Education in Úbeda and Granada Faculty of Theology. He also visited a couple of Jesuit schools in different social contexts in Seville as well as the Jesuit infirmary in Málaga.
Visit of Fr. General from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th October. Upon arrival, p. Sosa met with the Slovenian Jesuits at St. Joseph in Ljubljana. He listened to the presentation of the province by Fr. provincial Ivan Bresciani, then introduced himself and answered the companions’ questions. The evening concluded in a friendly and Slovenian traditional manner, singing brindisi to the Society and other songs. In the following days Fr. general visited the rest of the Ljubljana community at St. Jacob ,in Dravlje and those in Radlje ob Dravi (he also met the parish community at Holy Mass on Saturday 26 October) and Maribor. In brief but friendly, spiritually and work-oriented talks, he was received by the Archbishops of Ljubljana and Maribor (in the latter, Msgr. Alojz Cvikl SJ) and the Apostolic Nuncio for Slovenia and Kosovo, Msgr. Jean-Marie Speich. Along with the Slovene provincial, Fr. Sosa was accompanied by the assistant for the Southern Europe Assistany, Fr. Cipriano Diaz, and a spokesman for the Roman SJ Curia, Fr. Pierre Belanger. The latter was particularly interested in Slovenian Jesuits’ work with students and spouses (The Way of the Two of Us). The highlight of the visit took place on Friday 25 October in the parish church of the Christ’s Incarnation in Ljubljana Dravlje, for a two-purpose meeting. “The purpose of the visit is first of all to express our gratitude for 50 years of independent activity. Compared to other Jesuit Provinces, we are small and young, but in the course of 50 years we have achieved a lot in Slovenia through our spiritual, pastoral, cultural and intellectual apostolates" wrote the Provincial fr. Ivan Bresciani. Referring to the present challenges of the province, he added: “Today we are aware that the structure of the Church is changing, especially in the Western world, because of the scarcity of religious vocations and other challenges that await us. The Society of Jesus is therefore organizing itself in new ways by forming unions among the Provinces.” In gratitude for our service to God, the Slovenian Jesuits, with friends and colleagues remembered the past (1969-2019) in meditation of Fr. Marjan Kokalj and celebrated a solemn Holy Mass under the leadership of Fr. Sosa. The second purpose of the visit and the latter meeting in Dravlje was that Fr. General personally invited the Slovenian Jesuits and their associates to a synodality promoted by Pope Francis looking, reacting, listening and conversing. Before the Holy Mass Fr. Sosa outlined the four universal apostolic priorities for Jesuits and associates in 2019-2029.  We then talked about these priorities in small groups before asking for blessings at Mass to become part of our lives and work. Fr. Sosa summed up the meaning of this process, saying: “Discernment invites hope, because it sees what happens as an invitation to be unveiled, as a great opportunity to know how to better serve society and the church, while freeing us from the temptation to believe that problems are so complex that they become almost impossible to solve. The art of discernment is to learn to read the world looking for the last heartbeat, God's heartbeat" (cf. audio of the homily on discernment during the holy mass).
For their annual meeting, the JECSE Education Delegates were invited in Albania this November by Fr Jimmy Bartolo sj, delegate for the Euro-Mediterranean Province. In Tirana we received a warm welcome, prepared by Fr Zef Bisha sj and the Jesuit communities’ wonderful assistant Ms Nevila Zeneli. They explained the complicated history of their country, as it has been struggling through long periods of Ottoman invasion and devastating communist suppression; and the impressive role of the Jesuits, among which their works of reconciliation among families caught up in matters of blood feuds. Today holistic education, interreligious dialogue, and strengthening lay-Jesuit collaboration are part of their dedicated mission. In Tirana, still a colourful intercultural place, we visited among other interesting spots the cathedral that in communist times was hidden by a concrete wall and turned into a social centre, hoping that people would forget its history and meaning as a sacred place for Catholic religious. For the delegates this was a unique opportunity to get to know the unfamiliar context of the Albanian college that is part of our network. Shkoder Our actual meeting took place in the Seminary in Shkoder, in the North of Albania. An important topic was the role of the Education Delegate, who is indeed in a position of major importance if it comes to supporting different colleagues in the local network (heads, teachers, pastoral coordinators and formators) ánd strengthening the link between important developments at the local, regional (European) and global level. Delegates and a number of coordinators reflected and shared on their specific (sometimes very different) settings and mandates, on their inspiration and challenges, on what they consider key-aspects of their role, and on what may support them in their work. Their reflections are an important ground to proceed from, not only in JECSE but also in ICAJE, to review the role of the delegate at the global level. Also the three JECSE Task Forces (started during last years’ meeting) presented their proceedings. In line with last years’ reflections of the Task Force for Formation on what would be a first need within JECSE, Mr Paul Yperman was asked to present the North-West European (cross-sectoral) lgnatian Leadership Program which he facilitated, and which the Task Force thinks can be of huge importance within JECSE to offer in-depth formation for people in leadership positions in our schools (including the delegates themselves) during many years to come. The focus of the program is very much on learning ‘a style of discernment and spiritual conversation’, that can deepen personal experience but also be transferred to the school community as a way to deepen reflection and sharing on how to shape Jesuit education in the context of today. Universal Apostolic Preferences We feel there is a strong coherence here with Fr General Sosa’s suggestion to ‘start and accompany processes’ linked to the new Universal Apostolic Preferences through this dynamic of ‘leadership and discernment’. And also with the new document on ‘Jesuit education – A Living Tradition’, that Fr José Mesa sj presented during our meeting as ‘ a living document’; and that, as Eamonn Mc Guinnes, director of Educate Magis, emphasized, is unique and extra valuable since it will develop in time through the input and involvement of our school communities. A document that will also be helpful during the virtual colloquium preceding the next global colloquium on Jesuit education in Yogyakarta, in the summer of 2020, on the theme of ‘Education for depth’. Global citizenship Task Force The Global Citizenship Task Force invited Ms Josephine Vassallo, one of the European members of the global team developing this project, to take us along not only in her own enthusiasm and conviction, but also in the good materials now developed - and made available on Educate Magis - presenting Global Citizenship as the key project it actually is in Jesuit education nowadays (in line with Father Generals’ notions on humanization and interculturality). Helpful resources are offered for different stakeholders, that the ‘whole school project’ can be started from. In addition, JECSE’s Task Force asked the delegates to find persons in their schools or networks who would be happy to monitor global citizenship projects in their schools, but also to be a contact person for Educate Magis. JECSE will then organize a conference in the spring of 2021 for these colleagues, together with Educate Magis, to offer them a platform for sharing and learning, so they can support the schools. Safeguarding Likewise, the Task Force that wants to support the schools in the difficult but important field of Safeguarding presented its plans for a conference in the same period, to be organized together with the Centre for Ignatian Pedagogy in Germany (ZIP). For this conference Headmasters from all of our European schools will be invited together with one other (expert or support-) person from their schools to deepen reflection and help implement truly living protocols and training models. As Fr Franck Janin sj emphasized during his introduction of the topic, it is very important not to narrow the subject to prevention of sexual abuse, but to learn to be aware of different kinds of abuse and to establish a true ‘culture of integrity’ in our schools. The plan is to have a follow up procedure to support the schools after the conference. For schools in need of resources in the meantime, various materials developed by - or in collaboration with - the ZIP were made available, like a list of minimum standards, a risk analysis and an introduction and road map to help schools work with both. Collaboration and reflection Apart from the work done in the Task Forces, JECSE’s progress during the last year was focussed on strengthening collaboration and reflection on its further direction. In the coming years, regarding its conferences for different audiences from our European schools, JECSE will be moving into the important theme of ‘accompaniment’. How accompaniment can be truly lived, we witnessed on our last day in Shkoder, when we visited the Atë Pjetër Meshkalla school, where Headmaster Fr Giangiacomo Ghiglia sj told us about past and current challenges, while Sr Valentina told us about the inspiring program the school is providing in spite of these. After some students showed us around, others surprised us with a beautiful Albanian song and a colourful traditional dance. We finished our journey with a moving Eucharist near the confronting museum on ‘Totalitarianism in Europe’, at the very place where the 34 martyrs who remained faithful during captivity in times of a severely brutal communist regime, were held prison or were executed. When we left the country, we could not suspect that within two days it would be hit by a severe earthquake. As Fr Ferenc Holczinger sj, Hungarian Education Delegate, expressed: “This is very sad. I came back feeling blessed and with deep sympathy for the Albanian people. We walked on holy ground, in the country of the martyrs. I pray with them for those affected by this natural calamity.”
The third Steering Committee of the HEST (Higher Education for Social Transformation) project took place on 25 November 2019. The coordinators of the different clusters of the project, together with representatives of the JCEP, JESC and the Kircher network took part in it. Specifically, we met:              - Franck Janin SJ: President of the JCEP              - Peter Rozic SJ: Director of JESC              - Philip Geister SJ: President of the Kircher network              - Susana Ditrolio: Executive Secretary of the Kircher network              - Pedro Linares: Representative of the ecology cluster              - Ricardo Aguado: Coordinator of the economy cluster              - Gonzalo Villagrán SJ: Islam Cluster Coordinator              - Jacek Poznansky SJ: Outgoing Coordinator of the Science and Religion Cluster              - Josef Quitterer: Incoming Coordinator of the Science and Religion Cluster              - Eric Charmetant SJ: Anthropology Cluster Coordinator              - José García de Castro SJ: Coordinator of the Ignatian Studies Cluster              - Philip Endean: Collaborator in the Anthropology, Ignatian Studies and Islam Clusters              - Rafael Silva: Assistant at the JCEP              - Checa Romero: Coordinator of the HEST project The meeting was held in a climate of trust and companionship fruit of the work done in the last 3 years in the project. In relation to the content, the meeting had two clearly differentiated parts: in the morning we dedicated to review what had happened in the last year in each cluster along with a brief evaluation of the project to date. The Afternoon, however, focused on looking together towards the future and proposing action plans that could be constituted as the network's strategic plan for the new 2020-2022 period. The meeting ended with a brief sharing in which both the magnitude of the challenge before us and the illusion of facing it were realistically demonstrated. May God bless these efforts and give us all the wisdom and energy to continue building these minimal research communities for the common good.
JRS responds to new parliamentary report on the safety of migrants and asylum seekers. On Monday MPs published a report indicting the UK’s excessive focus on border security, leading Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to once again call for safe and legal routes to migrate and seek asylum. The report, compiled by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, says that “A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups.” It comes in the wake of the tragic deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in a lorry container in Essex last month.  Sarah Teather, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, said: “This report is further evidence of the harm caused by a migration policy obsessed with making movement as difficult as possible. A new approach, which makes it easier for people to move when they need to and truly prioritises the protection of human life, is urgently required.” The Foreign Affairs Select Committee called for the government to establish more pathways to seek asylum from outside of Europe, and to encourage other European countries to do likewise, echoing longstanding calls for safe and legal routes from the Jesuit Refugee Service. JRS in Europe is involved in advocating for humanitarian visas for those seeking sanctuary. Sarah Teather commented on this recommendation: “We welcome the call for more pathways to seek asylum from outside of Europe. At JRS UK, we work with Vietnamese victims of trafficking. They were vulnerable to traffickers because there were no regular routes by which they could migrate. Many asylum seekers we serve have also been forced to make dangerous journeys, because the alternative was certain death if they stayed where they were. This will continue for as long as governments in safe countries cut off routes to reach them.” For more information about the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK, please visit https://www.jrsuk.net/

UPCOMING EVENTS

8
Sun
Dec 2019
FRANKFURT
Germany
Final Vows Bernhard Knorn (GER), Edwin Rodrigues (BOM) and Niccolo Steiner (GER) will take Final Vows at 11.15 am in the Church of Hochschule Sankt Georgen. READ MORE
31-4
Tue - Sat
Dec - Jan 2020
TOULOUSE
France
Les deux rives Meeting Jesuits involved in the Dialogue with Islam READ MORE
11
Sat
Jan 2020
PARIS
France
Final Vows Fr. Antoine Paumard (EOF) will take Final Vows in the St.Ignace Church at 6.30 pm. READ MORE
31
Tue
Mar 2020
BRUSSELS
Belgium
Final Vows Fr. Gilles Barbe (EOF) will take Final Vows in the St. John Berchmans Church at 5 pm. READ MORE