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Open Letters of JCAM & Xavier Network to Boris Johnson and AU-EU Leaders. The preoccupation with Corona and the postponement of the COP 26 meeting at Glasgow raises concern that efforts to combat Climate Change are postponed as well.  Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar and Fr. Franck Janin, President of the Xavier Network sent a letter to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a second one to the President of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Council of the European Union, Angela Merkel and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. In their letters they want to emphasize: Covid 19 is a serious problem, but Climate Change also continues. When billions of USD and Euro are released to fight Corona, they need to be spent in a way that adaptation, mitigation and resilience in view of climate change is part of the package. We need a social and ecological transformation to tackle the multiple crises of our time. Africa suffers more (most?) from COVID 19 since its already existing problems of debt and poverty have been exacerbated while nothing is left to tackle the increasingly felt consequences of climate change and other plagues arising from the overuse and pollution of natural resources. Europe historically and presently belongs to the largest polluters and it has therefore to honour its commitments given at the Paris Agreement (contributing to the 100 bn annually) and in Rio 1992 (Principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility). This can be done directly via the transfer/investment of money and technology, or indirectly by assisting Africa in improving in Domestic Resource Mobilizationand fighting Illicit Financial Flows. Time is running out, tipping points are fast approaching. Hence NDCs need to be formulated not by looking backwards to 1990 figures, but ahead to the global CO2-budget remaining before the 1.5/2 degree threshold is irrevocably crossed. Here, synergy between Europe and Africa can be exploited. For example: Helping Africa leapfrogging fossil industry is more effective to combat climate change than “cheating” by exporting dirty industry to poor countries, thus polishing own statistics by merely shifting the problem. Therefore: Given problems in the global, UN sponsored COP process, the Jesuits argue for speeding up an Enhanced AU-EU cooperation. Download the letter to Boris Johnson Download the letter to Cyril Ramaphosa, Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen. Find the Detailed paper backing up our argument
According to the wishes of the 36th General Congregation. A glimpse of history: I joined ARSI in 2012, as an assistant to the Director. The main mission of ARSI has been to preserve the documents of the archive, and to make them available to researchers who come for consultation. The 36th General Congregation (2016) invited the Society of Jesus to grow in discernment, in collaboration and in networking. From then on, a committee began to meet at the Curia to reflect on the mission of ARSI and Father General’s Library. At the beginning of 2018 we began a process of consultation with some Jesuits in the historical field, and with some academic institutions about the possibilities of collaboration with ARSI, with the idea of creating a “network of Jesuit archives”. In May 2018 we - Jesuit archivists in Rome - began to meet in order to promote collaboration. The idea then arose to organize a meeting of archivists from some of the main archives of the Society. In September 2018 I was appointed Administrative Director of ARSI. An international meeting of the Society’s archivists was held on 12-15 February 2019 here at the General Curia. As a result, we created a “digital space” to share information from our archives. Three groups of archivists started working online, with specific themes. We then began to think about organising meetings of archivists from the Conferences of Europe (JCEP), Latin America (CPAL) and Asia Pacific (JCAP). From May 2019 we have held video conferences with the participants of the February meeting. Meeting of JCEP archivists: In July 2019 a proposal was made to organise a meeting of European archivists at KADOC (Leuven, Belgium) in the year 2020, with the aim of promoting collaboration and networking between the Society’s archives in Europe. Due to the COVID crisis, we decided in April 2020 to suspend the meeting in Leuven, and to have instead an “online meeting” of two days, 29 and 30 September 2020. From that moment on, we worked on the preparation of this meeting via email and TEAMS conversations with the archivists. The virtual meeting of the European archivists took place 29-30 September 2020. The participants included 13 archivists of the JCEP, Fr Franck Janin (President of JCEP), and ARSI staff. On the second day, a proposal was made to prepare a list of some materials in our various archives for the period 1939-1958 (considering that the Vatican Apostolic Archives made documents from the pontificate of Pius XII accessible in February 2020). This proposal was received with enthusiasm. The evaluation of the online meeting was positive. In particular, the archivists were impressed by the presentation made by Christian Taoutel, of the Beirut archive, showing the damage caused by the explosion in the harbour in August 2020 and the work that remains to be done. I am happy and satisfied with this new step towards collaboration between the Society’s archives and I hope we can continue on this path. Virtual meetings with the Asia-Pacific and Latin American Conferences are being planned for 2021.
The new academic year has begun at the Jesuit faculty in Warsaw and it is also the beginning of a new transformation. The Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw Collegium Bobolanum (bobolanum.edu.pl), run by the Jesuits in Poland (PMA Province) is transformed into the “Catholic Academy in Warsaw - Collegium Bobolanum”. It is the result of many years of efforts by the present Rector Fr. Piotr Aszyk, SJ and the previous one Fr. Zbigniew Kubacki, SJ, with the support of Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and Father General Arturo Sosa Abascal SJ. After obtaining the consent of the Holy See, the Grand Chancellor, Card. Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, by a decree on the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15, 2020) raised a single-faculty university to the rank of an academy with three faculties. In addition to the existing Faculty of Theology, the Institute of Social Sciences will be transformed into the Faculty of Social Sciences, and a third Faculty of Arts and Culture will be created. The Catholic Academy in Warsaw is a joint work of the Jesuits and the Archdiocese of Warsaw. Seven clergy and religious seminaries and seven secular institutes from all over Poland are affiliated with the Academy, and it is also a place of study for many students from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and other post-communist bloc countries. Diplomas and certificates of the Catholic Academy in Warsaw are guaranteed by the Polish state. They are recognized by states all over the world, including the European Union. Master degrees in theology, STL, and STD are also recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. At present, the Academy offers bachelor studies in political science (3 years), master studies in theology (5 years), canonical licentiate in theology (STL), doctoral (STD), and postdoctoral studies in theology (habilitation). The Collegium Bobolanum has a very long tradition, dating back to a small primary school founded by Jesuit father Piotr Skarga SJ in Połock (currently in Belarus) in the year 1580. This school gradually transformed to theological faculty in 1737, and the Połock Academy in 1812. The College originally educated young Jesuits only. After transformations, it finally moved to Warsaw and continuously expanded its educational offer. This Jesuit educational institution, despite the historical turmoil, continues to grow and develop its activities.
Young People Being the Change in Their Communities “Be the Change” was the motto of this year’s project “72 Hours without Compromise” (72 sata bez kompromisa), an international volunteer project that animates young people and promotes solidarity, community, creativity, and volunteering.  The project took place from October 16 to 18 in 15 Croatian cities and municipalities.  In Zagreb, the project began on October 15, 2020, with the evening Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Tomislav Špiranec SJ (SKAC Palma) in the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Jordanovac. In his homily, he encouraged young people by saying that they will not only be meeting the current needs of many people, but they will also do many things that will not be seen: bring joy to the lonely, dignity to those who feel worthless, peace to those who are restless, and conversation to those who are lonely.  “That is, in a word, love,” concluded Fr. Špiranec. After receiving their assignments, more than 2000 young people all over Croatia uncompromisingly offered their talents, forces, and skills in the following two days to bring a change to their local communities through more than 300 voluntary activities, which is especially significant in this time of epidemiological crisis.  The goal of the project is to gather young people, making them aware of the importance of volunteering, listening to the needs of others, and participating in concrete changes.  The participants accomplished this through tidying up schoolyards, building wheelchair ramps, painting houses and benches, cleaning up the environment, and through many other deeds.  Through their solidarity, love, commitment, and compassion the young volunteers truly made a difference in their local communities. “72 Hours without Compromise” was devised and launched in Germany in 1995 when a group of young people decided to find a way to encourage their peers to volunteer and give themselves to others uncompromisingly and unconditionally, especially to those on the margins of society.  Since then, the project has gathered and continues to gather thousands of young people all over Europe who are working together to transform their local communities through volunteering.  The project is being implemented in ten European countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, and Croatia.
A new Cohort of ELP Fellows. We officially open the 4th Edition of the European Leadership Programme. The long-awaited opening session of the Fall Cohort of 2020 was held at Josefa Foundation on October 4th. The event, hosted by Gilber Granjon and Annabelle Roig, Fouders of Josefa Foundation, was followed by a cycle of presentations from speakers such as Peter Rožič SJ, director of JESC, Botond Feledy, ELP Manager and Secretary for Leadership at JESC and Mahmoud Qeshred, International volunteer HQ Coordinator at Serve the City. "Dear ELP Fellows: Today you join a distinct and growing Programme. Let the ELP principles guide your future growth". Peter Rožič SJ welcomed the 14 ELP Fellows and encouraged them to learn how the Jesuit Education can be transformative. Showing kindness, serve people in need and become part of the change we want to see in the world. Mahmoud Qeshreh, International volunteer and Serve the City Coordinator shared the importance of serving others. Our ELP Fellows will have the opportunity to partner with Serve the City to serve homeless shelters, refugee centers, orphanages, and other associations. The session featured a round of presentation of the Fellows, facilitated by Eleonora Vitale,  External Relation and Development Officer at JESC. The session ended with an Ignatian moment with Peter Rožič SJ.
To interiorize and grow spiritually in the Universal Apostolic Preference (UAP) "Care of the Common House" and to outline together the elements of a provincial plan that will help to make this preference more effective and real in personal, community and institutional life. These two objectives were sought at the online Meeting of the Province of Spain on the theme of ecology on October 8th and 9th. The 65 participants from different sectors, areas and platforms of the province collaborated intensely to make them happen.   In his words of welcome the provincial, Antonio España SJ acknowledged with gratitude the journey undertaken as a province with different ecological initiatives and as a global Society he reviewed the milestones with which the last General Congregations and the publication of important documents have made us reflect until 2019 when Fr. General approved the UAP. The meeting included a prayer of contemplation in an ecological key, two talks (Talk Jaime Tatay SJ: The believers facing the environmental challenges; Talk of Jose Ignacio Garcia SJ: The care of the Common House from the Ignatian Spirituality) and work in groups. In the sharing of the work various ideas were repeated such as the theological-spiritual integration in our ecological activities; the perception that there is still a need for ecological conversion at the personal, community and institutional levels. Also the fact that ecology should be mainstreamed in the province, the need for greater networking not only with internal actors; the promotion of experiential activities - some already existing such as the EE in ecological key, but which must be strengthened - the need to increase training in this area. From this first meeting, the way begins to define a provincial plan in this area. A plan on which the provincial, in his final words of thanks, insisted: "It is not like adding a new area, but trying to make a common awareness of what environmental justice inspired by the Gospel means in a transversal way".  Other materials: Booklets Ecological Conversion (in Spanish)

UPCOMING EVENTS

7-8
Mon - Tue
Dec 2020

Consult JCEP Online Consult of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. READ MORE
9
Wed
Dec 2020

Brussels European Works Meeting Meeting of the members of the European Jesuit Works (JCEP, JESC; JRS Europe, Chapel for Europe) READ MORE
10-12
Thu - Sat
Dec 2020

Leadership and DICAP Online Meeting of Leadership and Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning  READ MORE
14
Mon
Dec 2020

Consult JCEP Online consult of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials READ MORE