In our elder Jesuits communities Following the footsteps of Jesuits who came face to face with the disease like St. Louis Gonzaga and Blessed John Beyzym, a group of ten Jesuits in formation have been during several weeks caring for their elderly companions in the infirmaries of the province of Spain located in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and Villagarcía de Campos (Valladolid). The experience has been hard because a group of elder Jesuits have died and others have fallen ill, but both, the elders and the youngers, have told that this has been a strong experience of the Society of Jesus. Several of them are health professionals, such as nurses or doctors. Others had to learn quickly the work of nursing assistants. Fr. Rafael Mateos,  the superior of the infirmary of Alcalá, acknowledged that he had experienced what Francisco Javier said from the far east: "Society of Jesus, company of love" and the absolute availability of the Jesuit. For him, the experience is "to live this Society of love, this union between older and younger Jesuits, who help each other, care for each other. For them as well as for us, this is a strong experience of the Society". For the superior of Villagarcía de Campos, Fr. Salvador Galán, their presence "has is a blessing of God. In addition to the excellent work they are doing with professionalism and total dedication, there is the moral support it has given to the Community and, above all, to the service personnel of the house. They are giving a testimony of what the Society is, a body". We asked several of them to reflect on this experience. Read their answers in this interview (in Spanish). As deacons in the cemetery Other Jesuits in formation have been involved in other social and pastoral work of the Society. Nubar Hamparzoumian SJ and Daniel Cuesta SJ have offered to take responsibility for the dead and to accompany the families with prayers in the cemetery of Madrid. With this service they have seen the most painful side of the crisis, with all the suffering of the human losses that it leaves and the desolation that it causes, the impossibility to say goodbye to their loved ones. But theirs is also a hopeful testimony: because they appreciate the faith of so many people who know that death is not the end; because in them we appreciate the social value of a vocation, that of priests and deacons, who in moments when anguish and distress reign, carry out an irreplaceable mission. Access the interview (in Spanish).
Last Wednesday, May 20th, a webinar was organized by the Sankt Georgen Theological Faculty of Frankfurt, the University of Innsbruck and the University of Granada on Islam-Christian relations. The meeting was also attended by a person from the Centre Sèvres in Paris. The webinar was to replace a more ambitious joint study week that was to take place in Granada and which had to be suspended due to the COVID 19. The webinar was attended by the research teams and professors interested in the subject from the three institutions, and the participants included a significant number of Muslims from different backgrounds. After a first round of presentation of each other, the webinar had two main parts: an introduction to the theoretical framework from which we want to work, given by Tobias Specker SJ, who seeks to reflect on the possibility of a contemporary Islamic-Christian civilization; and an introduction to the problem of the presence of religions in society, given by Ignacio Sepulveda, from the University Loyola Andalucia. This webinar, and the study week it replaces, is part of the work of the cluster on Islam-Christian relations of the HEST project (Higher Education for Social Transformation) of the Society of Jesus in Europe. The aim of these efforts is to create a research network on various topics of capital importance for the Society in Europe, such as Islam-Christian dialogue. The joint work and the mutual knowledge of the teams of these three institutions committed to research in Islamic-Christian relations is intended to advance the development of a joint doctorate on this topic.
Like many other network groups of the European Jesuit Conference, we had our annual meeting online. To be frank, we missed the discovery of a beautiful country (Slovenia), tasting delicious beers (in a bar in Ljubljana) and above all simply being together walking, sharing our projects for the mission, praying together. Yes online meetings are handy but… we miss something! Anyway this was a great meeting, even more ‘awesome’ as would say our main invited speaker Michael Rossmann, the ‘one-minute-homely’ guy, in charge of vocation promotion for the Midwest Jesuit Province of the USA. As my father uses to say when I start an homely: ‘Make it short, Father!’ This advice fits perfectly with online meetings. So we decided on a nice and light program. One hour of presentation and sharing per day, during 3 days. After a common prayer, we started on Tuesday by sharing the journey of a young guy until the novitiate. It was nice to see the global similarity among the presentations and also the specificities of each Provinces. Unity in diversity! The second day we gave the microphone to Michael Rossmann, followed by a nice time of Q&A. Michael is part of a 5 Jesuits dream team (including 3 full time!) for a Province of 490 members, but covering a quarter of the USA! I was struck by the creativity, the desire to meet young people where they are, the constant question ‘Where are young dedicated catholic men, how to reach them and what are their needs?’, and finally the attention paid to the candidates, being frequently in contact with them personally and in groups. On Thursday, we discovered the first ‘Jésuit paper ball project’... (Click here and enjoy the show!) and split in little workshops: Giving Spiritual Exercises to Young people - What content to propose for the candidates - Should we put a focus on male spirituality? Working with men only - Where do you find ‘fertile ground’ in terms of vocprom? - Using Podcasts for Vocation Promotion. At the end of the meeting we had no choice but sharing a beer, called “Apero-Zoom”. Well, this was a great moment. But next year, definitively, we’ll be Ljubljana...
Communicators, Webmasters, Content Producers and Community Managers from all over the world participated in another edition of JESWEBCOM. Due to the current circumstances, this year’s meeting was done in a special way: online. Once a year we have an annual meeting of the network of communicators and webmasters of the Society of Jesus in Europe, the so-called JesWebCom. It all started 15 years ago with a small group of Jesuits and co-workers who wanted to have a platform to exchange information about new technical possibilities of their websites. In the meantime, JeswebCom is much more. JesWebCom has grown to a place for exchange, project development and global networking in all areas that affect the public relations of the Society of Jesus. The participants come mainly from Europe, but we also welcome colleagues from Australia, Kenya, the USA, Canada, and India. This year’s meeting was planned to be in Vienna and its preparation went on for several months. Unfortunately and regretfully the meeting in person had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. But the event was not cancelled. Instead the program was adapted to an online concept, taking all the possible advantages of it.  This offered the chance to welcome more participants from all over the world who would have not been able to travel to Vienna for the meeting. After 15 years of JesWebCom we were able to welcome participants from Russia for the first time. About 40 people participated this year. The program consisted of 3 sessions of around 1 hour each split among 3 days. “How to Communicate in an Ignatian Way” On the first day, Nikolaas Sintobin SJ from the ELC Region talked about: “How to Communicate in an Ignatian Way”. He approached several important aspects like the importance of always being aware that proclaiming the kingdom of God should always be the goal of our job as communicator.  "Creating a communication structure - Apostolic body of communicators" On the second day, we were awarded by Robert Ballecer SJ, member of the communication team of Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ in Rome, with inputs related to "Creating a communication structure - Apostolic body of communicators". The last day was very interactive. The participants were split into 4 groups, each group adapted to an area of communication: Social Media, Public Relations, Webmasters and Digital Content Producers. The groups had some time to get to know each other, share some common issues and possible ways to solve them. The response to COVID-19 was also approached, but the largest emphasis was given to the Ignatian Year, which will take place in 2021/2022. It commemorates two important moments in the life of this religious Order: 500 years of the conversion of Ignatius of Loyola and 400 years of his canonization. The meeting ended with an open discussion with all the participants present. The feedback on this form of meeting was positive and we were very grateful that we were able to set up JesWebCom online. It was good to see colleagues again - even if only online - and to network and exchange new ideas. All in all, we can look back on a successful JesWebCom 2020 despite the circumstances. New aspects for our meeting have opened up and in retrospect we have to think about which new ways we can go for future meetings. 
An analytical and research project for marginalized and homeless people in the city of Rome has been set up by MAGIS Foundation, a missionary work of the Jesuits of the Euro-Mediterranean Province, together with the Solidarity Medicine Association, Intersos, and the shared COVID 19 Laboratory of the University of Rome, Tor Vergata. Magis’ responsibility was the procurement of kits for rapid testing and providing human resources which amounted to a total of 15,000 euro. The screening phase commenced at the end of April. It is estimated that about a thousand people will be reached through the Solidarity Medicine clinics (including that of St. Peter’s Portico) and by the INTERSOS mobile clinics in the peripheral areas of Rome. In the case of patients suspected with covid-19, rapid testing will be performed. At the same, in the case of a positive test outcome, a blood test will follow for a serologic confirmation. Cryolab, a spinoff of the Tor Vergata University of Rome will perform research in epidemiology thus contributing towards the research of the vaccine as well as research in cryopreservation will be carried at a recognised facility of  the Ministry of Health, National Transplant Centre and National Blood Centre. "The virus", the General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ reminds us, "is showing us that we are one humanity and we can only live as one body". "And we are also moving as a single body during this time of emergency" Fr. Renato Colizzi SJ, president of Magis recalls. "The challenges that we are being faced with during the present moment are enormous but, with the support of many, we can manage to be close to the most vulnerable". MAGIS – The Action Movement of the Italian Jesuits for Development - is the foundation that coordinates the international collaborative activities of the Italian Jesuits. 38 projects have been established in 21 countries. Set up in 1988, MAGIS has always been committed to supporting vulnerable communities in the poorest countries of the world through the implementation of humanitarian aid programs. In addition to the traditional international collaborative activity, MAGIS carries out informative, educational and formation activities and projects in Italy, education activities for global citizenship and intercultural and interreligious dialogue to foster and promote the culture of solidarity.
This year's Holy Week presented itself in an unusual way. It was a real ordeal for everyone. In St. Ignatius, we asked ourselves whether it would be appropriate to film the celebrations in order to give the faithful the opportunity to experience them through the media and social networks, failing which they would not be gathered together as a Christian community. We thought that we could provide them with spiritual nourishment inspired by the exercises of St. Ignatius. A dozen companions from the community of the Centre Sèvres went to work to give a retreat. A virtual community was going to be formed in anticipation of the new day of Easter. Starting on Sunday, April 5, Palm Sunday, we broadcast daily the video of a prayer time of about twenty minutes filmed in the church of Saint Ignatius, to live with Jesus his pilgrimage from death to life. A hymn gave the harmonic of the Gospel of the day, before its proclamation. Then, with a brief commentary, a Jesuit illuminated what was happening on the way to Jesus and proposed points to guide the meditation. Everyone was invited to take as much time as was appropriate, ten minutes, half an hour, enough, however, for the Spirit to invade his heart. We gave this retreat through the websites of St. Ignatius and Maison Magis, but above all our novena became an offer of the prayer site Hozana. This one is presented as follows: "Hozana is an association carried by lay Catholics, in an ecumenical perspective. Its mission is to allow each one to help his brothers and sisters to come closer to Jesus, by creating a vast community of prayers on the internet". It was a beautiful experience for all at the end of the journey, 5,500 people followed him regularly, coming from all over France and far beyond! This opportunity made it possible to make our spirituality known in new networks! Deo gratias! A novena to the Holy Spirit Christians will still be "deprived" of celebrations in churches until further notice. So we decided to resume the exercise to offer a "novena to the Holy Spirit", between the Ascension and Pentecost, in those moments when the disciples are gathered in prayer, with Mary, in this expectation. Signs of joy We have received many letters re-reading this experience. Here are some of them. They tell of the joy we had in this service of the Word and of Contemplation. "My husband and I enjoyed living with you this week, and I think that rarely have we experienced it so intensely. It was sober, clear, and very well framed. Your meditations allowed us, then, to bounce back ourselves, and were not a "ready to wear" to consume, but rather, tracks to pursue ourselves. » "A huge "Thank you" for this retreat so beautiful, so deep, that you have allowed us to live in our own home, confined. I must have been in Penboc'h, I'm in St. Ignatius, it's beautiful. With Arcabas, moreover! Thank you for this journey that I have been able to live thanks to you to the joy of the disciples of Emmaus. Bless you for this beautiful initiative! » "We shared our prayer on this text as a family this morning. I discover in the proposed paths this serenity of Jesus which, at the same time, impresses me and reassures me. I ask him to share it with all of us, in these times of doubt, fear, suffering and mourning. May she accompany the whole community of care-givers to which I belong. » "I don't know the Exercises of Saint Ignatius. I am discovering them with you. Your video expression literally plunged me into the depths of the Holy Spirit. It is an excellent experience during this confinement. »

UPCOMING EVENTS

7
Sun
Jun 2020
KRAKOW
Poland
Final Vows Fr. Damian Mazurkiewicz (PME) will take final vows at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at 11.00 am. READ MORE
13
Sat
Jun 2020
WARSAW
Poland
Deaconal ordination Przemyslaw Gwadera (PMA), Mateusz Kowalcze (PME), Damian Krawczyk (PMA), Tomasz Matyka (PME), Piotr Stanowski (PME), Adam Szymański (PMA), and Łukasz Wysocki (PMA) will be ordained deacon at the St. Bobola Church at 11.00 am.   READ MORE
20
Sat
Jun 2020
WARSAW
Poland
Ordination Paweł Gołaszewski (PMA) will be ordained priest  at the St Andrew Bobola Sanctuary at 11 am. READ MORE
27
Sat
Jun 2020
ROME
Italy
Deaconal ordination Csaba András (HUN), Raul D’Souza (GOA), Sahil Gill (DEL), Dominique Savio Habyarimana (RWB), Joslin Noël Harifidy (MDG), Max Heine-Geldern (ASR), Petr Hruška (BOH), Mariano Iacobellis (EUM), Samuel Jackanič (SVK), Jeevan James (KAR), Stanislas Kambashi (ACE), Jude Deluxion Kathiravel (SRI), Lindsay Lobo (GOA), Ernest Ngiyembere (RWB), Zefarinel Rabemanantsoa (MDG), Rephin Kamal (KER), Eliash Sarkar (CCU), will be ordained deacon in the Gesù Church. READ MORE