For the first time the consult of the JCEP President met in Paris, and for the first time Ivan Bresciani, Slovenian Provincial, joined the consult from 20-22 November. The main goal of these two days was to discuss the next steps in the discernment of the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) and the future of the European Formation Centres, following the developments of the Conference of Provincials held in Barcelona last September. The report of the UAP from our conference, according to the experience of Barcelona, is now in Rome. There, it will join the other five reports of the conferences to continue the steps of discernment in the first months of 2019. Concerning our discernment about the European Formation Centres, the consult studied several ways to move forward before the next general assembly, which will be in Rome at the end of April. The consult brought together the President of the JCEP, Franck Janin, the moderators of the three assistances: the British Provincial, Damian Howard, for Western Europe; the Croatian Provincial, Dalibor Renić, for Central-Eastern Europe, and the Slovenian Provincial, Ivan Bresciani, for Southern Europe, and also the Socius of the President, José de Pablo. The local provincial, François Boëdec, hosted the consult at the curia of the Western European Francophone Province We were warmly welcomed by the community of rue de Grenelle, located in the same building. There was no time to visit the Ville Lumière, but the view from the terrace at the top of the building was merveilleux.
The annual meeting of the Steering Committee of the HEST project on 21 November in Brussels. If last year it was the Universidad Pontificia Comillas that hosted this event, on this occasion the meeting took place in Brussels, specifically in the meeting room of the Ecumenical European Chapel of the Resurrection, a work entrusted to the Society of Jesus in the European capital. The place chosen was not by chance. The Chapel represents this meeting place for Christians of different confessions at the very heart of the political and economic life of the Belgian capital. We are Catholics, but with very different backgrounds, and HEST is for us, in some way, the Chapel of the Resurrection. Franck Janin, president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials chaired the session, which was attended by the coordinators of the 7 clusters that make up the project, as well as representatives of other networks that collaborate with HEST, namely, Father Philip Geister for the Kircher network, Father Peter Rozic for JESC and Father Jaime Tatay for the network of European cultural magazines. The meeting began with a moment of shared prayer and an address by Father Janin himself in which he welcomed all those present and invited us to celebrate the meeting and to look to the future of the project with renewed hope. Later, Father Philip Geister took the floor, and made a presentation of the Kircher network, which will become the matrix of the HEST project in the future. Once this introductory round was over, we moved on to the core of the meeting, which consisted of a presentation by the coordinators of the state of their different clusters. It was a long and enriching session in which we could see the magnitude of the work done, as well as the difficulties we have encountered along the way. After a brief shared lunch, we moved on to the afternoon session, during which the results of a survey on the evolution and future of the project were briefly presented, and the coordinators were asked to work on some questions arising from the results of the survey. Finally, the meeting closed with a plenary round where the answers to the previous questions were shared. The coordinators of the project finished the day exhausted but at the same time very satisfied to have been able to verify that HEST is already a fact. The project is underway, bearing fruits and looking to the future with optimism. Now is the time to start designing together what we want HEST to become in the long term.
Documentary "U-TOPOS" to be released. The Jesuits succeeded in creating a utopia in the Amazon. The Jesuit missions in Paraguay helped the Guaraní Indians to improve their living conditions and to create an internal market among the different villages and peoples that inhabited the jungle. Producer and director Vicente Herrero has made this documentary to tell the lights and shadows of the Jesuit presence in America. It relates the relationship of the Jesuits with successive states over three centuries and its expulsion from the crown of Spain. The documentary had the collaboration of the Spanish TV (RTVE) and a local TV of Valencia. The director prepared it for a year. The recording lasted 12 weeks in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Spain and Portugal. Some Jesuits collaborated: Enrique Climent SJ, Bartomeu Melià SJ or Wenceslao Soto SJ and the film has been documented in the Jesuit archives in Spain, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. The documentary also includes interviews with Portuguese and Spanish historians and will be released at the University of Comillas by November 23rd. See trailer:
On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the creation of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Centro Astalli presented its research Forget the Borders of Europe, carried out in collaboration with JRS Europe and the Pedro Arrupe Institute of Political Formation in Palermo. The report tells to the story of forced migrants who have managed to arrive in Europe in the last three years. Forget the Borders of Europe is based on 117 qualitative interviews carried out in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, Sicily, Malta, Greece, Romania, Croatia and Serbia. Its aim is to give a voice to migrants and refugees, to make clear the link between what they have experienced and the European policies that governments have adopted. Luca Liverani, a journalist with Avvenire, moderated the meeting which was held on 13 November in Rome. In his introductory words, Fr. Camillo Ripamonti, President of Centro Astalli, stressed that there is a real emergency at Europe’s borders when it comes to the protection of human rights. Research shows this is due to the lack of legal access and the closure of major migration routes by EU countries. “What got us here is the lack of foresight of the states/countries involved”, he added. Momodou, a young refugee from Senegal, told of the difficulties of his long journey, of his detention in Libya, of his difficult sea crossing in a rubber dinghy with 117 people and of his integration in Italy, where he now lives and works, thanks to the humanitarian protection that has been granted to him, but not without concern for the uncertain future that awaits him. As Chiara Peri who is responsible for the Italian version of the research pointed out, "protection will be less and less accessible even in Italy" following the examination of new measures in the field of asylum by Parliament. This push is oblivious to Pope Francis’ repeated call about "protecting people being more important than protecting borders". For Fr. Jose Ignacio Garcia, JRS Europe Director, "EU policies have succeeded in reducing the number of arrivals by sea in Italy and Greece, but they have clearly failed, and continue to fail, in their goal of improving the situation of the many people seeking protection who continue to find themselves forgotten at the borders of Europe". That is why we need "to join your voices with ours in calling for a radical political change for a Europe capable of offering reception, protection and integration opportunities for refugees".
More than 120 works by fifty artists from the Vera Icon Community of Christian Artists can be admired at the Świadectwo exhibition at the Jesuits’ Gallery in Poznań. The exhibition was inaugurated on 29 October with the participation of Father Emmanuel Parvez from Pakistan and Bishop Damian Bryl. It is the first such initiative of the Pontifical Association to Aid the Church in Need (PKWP), organized in the capital of Wielkopolska. The event is aimed at collecting material resources for the legal support of Christians in Pakistan. "We would like to thank you for the courage to share your experience of faith and the testimony of the artists' solidarity with those who are persecuted because of their faith in Christ. This is our gift to Christians in Pakistan," said Bishop Bryl. The person behind the exhibition, Tomasz Zawal from the KPWP’s Regional Office in Poznań, drew attention to the symbolic title of the exhibition: "On the one hand, it is a testimony of faith of artists from various Polish cities. On the other, it highlights the attitude of solidarity with Pakistanis going through the plight of religious persecution." The works on display vary in technique and medium (paintings, graphics, sculptures and photos). Among them are the works of Fr. Tomasz Biłka OP, a painter, poet and art theorist, who is also the pastor of the community. Friar Emmanuel Parvez from Faisalabad diocese in Punjaba, Pakistan, was the special guest of the vernissage. A lecturer in biblical and dogmatic theology at the Diocesan Seminary in Karachi. He is also engaged in activities aimed at improving the living conditions of the local Pakistani community - both Christians and Muslim. His intervention shed light on the situation of Christians in Pakistan. Parvez thanked Polish artists for their gesture of solidarity and support for the local community. The event was being organized on the occasion of the 10th Day of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church, celebrated on Sunday, October 28th. Under the patronage of  Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of the city of Poznań, Świadectwo will be on display daily until 16 November. Admission is free.
A Jesuit priest, Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo, was killed by unknown assailants who broke into the Jesuit residence in Cueibet, South Sudan on the night of 14 November 2018. Fr Odhiambo, originally from Kenya, was an educationist with vast experience. He previously headed a Jesuit school in Tanzania. He moved to South Sudan about ten years ago and has been involved in teacher training in Wau and Rumbek. Fr Odhiambo was passionate about the Jesuit mission in South Sudan, and believed that education was the best of helping the young country. On the night of 14 November, Fr Odhiambo was in the living room watching television when the assailants broke into the house and shot him dead. There were four other Jesuit companions in the house who had already retired to bed at the time. When they heard commotion and gun shots ring out in the house, the other companions raised alarm. The assailants fled, but they had already killed Fr Odhiambo. Security personnel responded to the alarm, and secured the residence. Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo was born on 20 January 1956. He entered the Society of Jesus on 4 July 1978, was ordained to the Priesthood on 22 August 1987, and made final vows on 30 May 1993.  Reaction of Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, President Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar The news of the tragic murder of Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo SJ in Cueibet, South Sudan, has shocked and saddened us all. May his soul rest in peace.His death also wakes us up to the almost-forgotten tragedy of South Sudan. The violence that daily convulses the lives of millions of South Sudanese beggars belief.Victor-Luke died a painful death, but it was for a cause. I know from personal experience that he believed the Jesuits should be in South Sudan because it was the greatest place of need in the province of Eastern Africa.His death calls us and the world to wake up to the sad reality of South Sudan. We need to send a strong message to the international community.Kindly find attached a Press Statement by the Jesuits of Africa and Madagascar on Fr. Odhiambo’s death and witness and the situation of South Sudan. The Statement not only describes and denounces the tragedy of violence and conflict, but is also intended to serve as a tool for international advocacy on behalf of South Sudan.


Tue - Sun
Dec 2018
Les deux rives Dialogue with Islam READ MORE
Feb 2019
Final vows Fr. Grégoire Le Bel (EOF) and Fr. Olivier Paramelle (EOF) will take Final Vows in the St. Ignatius Church  READ MORE
Feb 2019
Final Vows Br. Marco Ciavarella (EUM) will take Final Vows in the Church of the Nuovo Gesù at 5 pm. READ MORE
Feb 2019
Final Vows Fr. Piotr Aszyk (PMA) will take final vows READ MORE