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 From September 16 to 18, 2021, a European meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization took place at the Vatican on the theme "Catechesis and catechist for the new evangelization". The meeting was intended for those responsible for catechesis from various European episcopal conferences. Father André Fossion, a Belgian Jesuit of the EOF province (Francophone Western Europe), theologian, professor emeritus of the International Center Lumen Vitae, was invited to this meeting to speak on "Contemporary catechesis at the service of the Churches of Europe".   In today's secularized context, many of our contemporaries do not feel an appetite for Christianity as it is proposed or as it is experienced. The best contribution that catechesis can make to evangelization, as underlined by Father Fossion, is to enable flow a theology of grace in the veins of the ecclesial body. Grace is what is given freely; it is the assurance of always being welcomed and loved, unconditionally, without having to pay. Christianity is entirely a mystery of grace. Christians announce the Good News of salvation not for the world be saved, but because it is saved.  This gratuity and universality of salvation invites Christians to join the crossroads of existence, to dialogue along the way with anyone as a friend talking to a friend. We are always evangelized by those we evangelize. "He goes before you into Galilee, there you will see him" (Mat 28,7), say the angels on Easter morning.  To labour in mission is always to harvest. Europe, a land of mission, is also a land of harvest. But this mission requires that the Church constantly reforms herself with audacity, in her services, in her liturgy and in her governance, in particular by walking towards a parity between men and women in the decision-making that concerns the People of God, at all levels.  Pope Francis came to greet the hundred or so participants in the meeting, paying homage in particular to the work of catechists. “They are people”, Pope said, “who tirelessly proclaim the Gospel of mercy; people who are capable of creating the necessary bonds of acceptance and closeness that make it possible to better appreciate the Word of God and to celebrate the Eucharistic mystery by offering the fruits of good works.” Andre Fossion S.J. Read the whole presentation
The landscape of Jesuit formation in the JCEP has changed significantly in the past few years. The number of local formation centres has diminished significantly. The overwhelming majority of Jesuits studying philosophy or theology is now concentrated in one of four formation centres: Kraków, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. The cultural, intellectual, and interpersonal richness of this new reality is obvious to both Jesuits in formation and to formators alike. Challenges, however, also abound - challenges such as: How to remain rooted in one's province and local culture while doing (almost) all stages of Jesuit formation abroad. How to accompany a young man in his growth as a Jesuit when he might have to move house, place, and even countries every two or three years. How to avoid getting marginalised while living within a dominant culture when poor languages skills, combined with the pressure to perform in an unfamiliar academic system, tends to strain young Jesuits far beyond their comfort zones. How to avoid escaping from community life into the seemingly more rewarding places of the “virtual world.” These were some of the questions JCEP formation delegates addressed at their recent meeting in Rome. These topics emerged through listening to each other, to representatives of formation centers, and to scholastics at the various stages of formation. The venue of Rome offered us a great opportunity to meet formators of the Roman Houses, as well as Mark Ravizza, formation delegate of Fr. General. There, also, we were exposed to some of Rome’s less-known treasures: the Centro Alletti where several scholastics serve the poor, the Church of Gesù on which we contemplated through the eyes of a volunteer of Pietre vive, and the lively Jesuit community of the Vatican observatory in Castelgandolfo. The first in-person meeting of formation delegates in two and a half years and the many opportunities it provided for weaving personal relationships has hopefully provided a good foundation for closer collaboration in the years to come in the service of Jesuits in formation. János Lukács SJJCEP Delegate for Formation
It was planned two and a half years ago, but only now it was possible to gather the JCEP Treasurers in Madrid for their annual meeting. And that allowed for a wonderful 2-hour guided tour of the Prado Museum, contemplating the most emblematic works of Bosch, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya, followed by a nice dinner out. This was the social part of the meeting, which we had missed during the unavoidable Zoom meetings of the last months. Getting to know each other and enjoying being together, talking about our lives and sharing experiences, discussing technical practices and asking for advice on this or that are among the most valued opportunities of these annual gatherings. Most of the time was hard work, however. After a first morning dedicated to prayer and spiritual conversation on the topic of the apostolic mission of the Jesuit Treasurer, there was sharing and conversation on the financial figures of the different provinces/region and time to present some of projects being implemented. For a full morning we listened to in depth reflections on the process of merging of the ESP and EOF provinces, analysing the work demanded from the Treasurers’ Offices, but also exploring the spiritual and apostolic revitalisation promoted by the administrative restructuring. A practical exercise of decisions on investments, both financial and in real estate, was guided by two expert consultors who work habitually with the ESP province. The General Treasurer of the Society, online, offered an update on the working being done in Rome, particularly on the revision of the Statutes on Poverty and the new Instruction for the Administration of Goods. A particular mention to the Arca Praevisionis Tool explained and graciously shared with all by its creator, Rik Vanwijnsberghe, Executive Treasurer of the ELC Region. This tool helps determining in anticipation the long-term year by year needs of the Fund to support elder and infirm Jesuits, helping to plan well in advance for its sustainability. A grateful thank you to Jaime Badiola for the reception in Madrid. Until next year, in Paris, at the end of November, centred on the topic of ecological transition. Herminio Rico SJ JCEP Treasurer
JRS-Europe Regional Coordination Meeting. On 16-17 November 2021 the bi-annual Regional Coordination Meeting (RCM) took place in Drongen, Belgium. JRS Europe and the Directors from JRS national offices attended to work on common goals to pursue our mission to serve, accompany and advocate refugees and forcibly displaced people in Europe. Following last year’s online RCM, all participants welcome the occasion to meet in person, in full respect of Covid safety rules. “For the national directors and JRS Europe staff, the RCM is a very important time both to meet each other and to move forward on common projects. It’s a time for planning and evaluating shared programmes and activities, but it’s also a moment to share a common vision.  Our approach is based on the experience of the refugees and displaced people with whom we walk, accompanied by the work carried out by our professionals and volunteers,” said  JRS Europe director Alberto Ares. New strategic framework for JRS-Europe Key point on the agenda was the drafting of a new Strategic Framework for the region for 2022-2024. Based on feedback on the previous framework, JRS Europe and country Directors had the chance to discuss the programmatic areas and work together to develop a coordinated strategy for the future, to effectively fulfil common goals. The discussion also covered new challenges presented by the pandemic and best practises. “We agreed on the main lines of the Strategic Framework, the paths we want to walk together in the coming years. JRS Europe works towards a Europe where human rights, protection, hospitality, integration, and reconciliation all have a place to flourish within a larger vision for inclusive and welcoming societies. In every RCM we find time to celebrate and commemorate the people we serve,” said JRS Europe director Alberto Ares JRS Europe also provided an update on the activities done at European level, including projects, funding, advocacy and communication. Fundraising Coordinator Christopher Klotz showed a breakdown of current and pending funding from JRS donors. In terms of projects, JRS Europe is currently running several activities, including the Oak Foundation sponsored ‘Monitoring Detention’ and the school programme for awareness raising ‘Change’, and more will come next year. Advocacy and Policy Coordinator Claudia Bonamini shared the latest updates on EU migration policies, which JRS Europe is involved in through advocacy efforts on the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum and participation in Frontex Consultative Forum. All country Directors also had the opportunity to present the current context and activities in their countries. The presentations showed the diversity of JRS activities across Europe, always based on true understanding of local needs and ranging from detention monitoring, reception and psychosocial support, language learning, and more. The two days allowed participants to reconnect with the network, to strengthen capacity across countries, share best practises and make use of each other’s support and capabilities. “The most important thing of all was to meet again, to share our lights and shadows in this common work we all carry together, through the people we accompany, serve and advocate … to keep hope alive.” concluded JRS Europe director Alberto Ares.
The Jesuit School in Gdynia has prepared several Ignatian activities for the Ignatianum Year, one of the initiatives being international meetings for parents of Jesuit school students from all over the world.  Because at Jesuit schools we care for the whole person in their own context, our educational model involves the cooperation, personal development and spiritual growth of parents. Our school offers monthly lectures on various aspects of parenting education. In this particular year we have decided to go one step further, namely to invite parents to participate in international meetings with parents from other countries, where they can not only gain a basic knowledge of Ignatian spirituality, but also understand the context of the global aspects of our school. This is what our students learn during international projects and we want parents to try this experience too. Schools from different countries were invited to our Ignatian Spirituality meetings for parents. Some schools could not join us due to time difference or language difficulties, but in the end we have participants from schools in Italy - Gonzaga Instutute in Palermo, Spain - Colegio San Estanislao in Malaga, Chile - Colegio San Ignacio in Santiago de Chile, Hungary - Fényi Gyula Jezsuita Gimnázium, Lithuania - Šiauliai Jesuit School, Guatemala and Poland - Zespół Szkół Jesuit w Gdyni. The project consists of 4 online meetings, where we first have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other, then we have a lecture - our lecturer is Rafał Huzarski SJ from Gdynia, who has prepared a series of 4 topics: 1) Ignatian spirituality and family life, 2) My life roles, 3) Is it worth making plans? 4. Examination of conscience and evaluation. During each meeting parents also have the opportunity to work in small groups where they can talk and share.  We are happy that there are parents who not only want to support their children's development, but also want to develop themselves. We know they work and have many responsibilities so this is another time-consuming item on their calendar. Meeting other parents and talking in a foreign language also takes courage, but we see that these meetings bring joy to all of us, we are happy to be together, to get to know each other and to understand the idea of introducing Ignatian spirituality into our daily lives. Damian Czerniak SJ
On November the 12th, two hundred people attended the premiere of the musical "Conversion” (#Ignatius500) at the Caja Blanca in Malaga. The audience, which consisted mainly of employees of the Malaga schools and relatives of the actors, enjoyed the 90 minutes of the performance very much, sometimes clapping along to some of the well-known melodies and letting themselves be carried away by the superb performance of Manuel in the role of Ignatius of Loyola. The voice and interpretation of Belén, who plays an old woman with whom Ignatius is already in Manresa, was also highly praised. The musical begins with the coming into the world of Ignatius. A carpenter carves a small cradle. After a happy childhood with his brothers, Ignatius leaves the house of Loyola in search of adventure and glory. "My fatherland is the world and Castile is my flag", sings the young Ignatius, who wants nothing to do with devotions and dances with the girls of Arevalo. The French assault on Pamplona, the wounding of Ignatius and his transfer to Loyola, all this is presented to us before we reach the central moment of the musical, the moment of Ignatius' first conversion in Loyola and his subsequent pilgrimage in which he meets different people who reveal to him God's love for all his creatures. The journey to Monserrat, the change of his clothes and the beginning of the composition of the book of the Spiritual Exercises are narrated in a very visual way and, in general, well accompanied by the corps de ballet. The story ends with an Ignatius who has not only discovered, but who has felt God's love within himself. Completely abandoned into God's hands, the musical bids farewell with Ignatius setting off again in search of adventure, bound for Jerusalem. Only this time it is no longer he himself who is at the helm of his life. Hence the song at the beginning changes and now becomes "my homeland is the world and Love is my flag". Outside the plot of the musical, and always bearing in mind that we are dealing with an amateur production, the audience's satisfaction was remarkable. The voices, the corps de ballet and the intervals between scenes that ended up turning the stalls into a medieval market with vegetables and cloths made for a very special evening that was crowned with a prolonged round of applause. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see it live, the intention is to distribute copies so that it can even be reproduced in schools, universities, etc.

UPCOMING EVENTS

7-8
Tue - Wed
Dec 2021
ROMA
Italy
Final Vows Renato Colizzi, Giangiacomo Ghiglia and Diego Mattei (EUM) will take  Final Vows at the Gesù Church, at 7 pm.  READ MORE
11
Sat
Dec 2021
BUDAPEST
Hungary
Deaconal Ordination Tran Van Ngu József SJ and Phamdinh Ngoc József SJ will be ordained deacons. The two young Vietnamese Jesuits have been living in the capital of Hungary and studying theology since 2018. Tran Van Ngu was born in 1987, entered the Society in 2010 and came into the Hungarian Province in 2015. Phamdinh Ngoc, born in 1986, applied for admission to the Society in 2011 and came from Vietnam in 2016. READ MORE
12
Sun
Dec 2021
GENOA
Italy
Final Vows Fr. Leonardo Vezzani (EUM) will pronounce his Final Vows at the Gesù Church at 17.00  READ MORE
21-22
Tue - Wed
Dec 2021

Consult of JCEP Consult of the president of Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. The meeting is online. READ MORE