On February 3rd to 6th, 2020, over 30 educators from nine European countries attended a four-day Conference on “Learning by Refraction,” a 21st-century approach to Ignatian Pedagogy proposed in a book of the same title by Fr. Johnny Go SJ and Ms. Rita Atienza of the Ateneo SALT Institute in Manila. The four-day conference, organized by Mr. Brian Flannery, Education Delegate of the Irish Province, was held at Mount St. Anne’s Retreat Centre in Killenard, just a couple of hours’ drive from Dublin. Half of the participants were from Jesuit schools in Ireland, while the remaining half  flew in from Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. The European delegation was led by Ms. Ilse Dekker, the Education Secretary for JECSE (Jesuit European Committee for primary and Secondary Education). Introducing a novel approach Fr. Johnny Go, one of the authors  of Learning by Refraction, introduced the novel approach to the participants, walking them  through the framework of the new approach and selected exercises from the workbook. The participants were encouraged to focus on the context of their work, to reflect on their teaching practice, and to exercise their own judgment as to which of the strategies discussed could help them promote better learning among their students. The discussions were frank and rich, and while coming from different contexts, the participants shared the same strong desire to understand this Ignatian approach to learning and teaching, and to allow it to inform their teaching. Reflection and action The conference focused on the two defining ingredients of “refractive  learning”: Reflection and Action. The teachers were challenged to design their courses in such a way that students would  be empowered not only to construct meaning by reflecting  on what they have learned, but also to use them and apply them in the real world. Bellarmine Centre for Learning and Teaching The participants took a break on the third day to visit the oldest Jesuit school in Ireland, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare, founded in 1814, where they visited the newly built Bellarmine Centre for Learning and Teaching, a  space especially designed for innovating learning and teaching. The visit showed the participants the possible innovations they themselves  could undertake if they promoted the practice of Ignatian Pedagogy. As pointed out by Gabriel Codina, former Jesuit education secretary: “The first Jesuits went to ‘the supermarket of education’, to find the best ingredients and recipes for an educational approach consistent with their spiritual experience.” One of the key takeaways from the conference is that we who are teachers in Jesuit schools are expected to do the same today. IPP – Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm Among the things best appreciated about the workshop was its practical approach. One participant said, “In my country we speak a lot about IPP, but we don’t know practical examples.” Another noted “a much deeper insight regarding the IPP, and – as a consequence – a higher esteem for this approach of teaching and learning. IPP has become more concrete for me and more accessible, less ‘artificial’.” Future Already there are discussions about a possible  trainers’ training workshop especially after the publication of the Spanish and French versions of this teacher’s workbook. This Conference on “Learning by Refraction” was also a great opportunity for the participants to reflect on–and  discuss–the Jesuit mission of education in light of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus.  It enabled them to discuss, in particular, what it might mean “to accompany young people” and “to show them the way to God” in today’s world.
An Arabic-language prayer app has launched this week It is a collaborative effort between Christian Life Communities and Jesuits working across five countries and offers similar content to Pray As You Go, the app launched by Jesuits in Britain in 2014. These are the yet existing language versions of Pray as you go Inji Fayez (President of Christian Life Community in Egypt), is one of the coordinators of the new app: “Christian Life Community in Egypt and the Jesuits in the Middle East were involved in putting this app together with the help of lots of friends and choirs from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. We pronounce the app in Arabic as “Fi Tariqi Osally”, which means ‘On my way, I pray”. We would like the world to know that everyone involved in this project is doing it totally voluntarily with lots of love and passion and that we are feeling God’s blessings in every step.”  Emma Holland, who produces Pray As You Go, said: “We are thrilled that Fi Tariqi Osally has joined us as the tenth language version of Pray As You Go. The successful launch is the result of many countries working together at a time when the need for collaboration is most critical.” Those wanting to listen to the app can do so here: iOS Android Website  
The EU Green Deal and the contribution of religious actors. On the 28th of January, at the European Parliament, in the framework of Parliament’s Article 17 dialogue with religious and non-confessional European organisations, First Vice President Mairead McGuinness called on JESC Secretary of Ecology Edmond Grace SJ to briefly present developments in the Common Home Dialogue that was first announced at a the meeting on 25 September. Fr. Grace has worked with Mr. Willem Vriesendorp of Sustainable Public Affairs and a number of business leaders on a Charter for Change. It aims to bring business and the Church together around the theme of ‘integral ecology’ in line with the Green Deal. The Charter will be completed shortly and then presented to the new Commission and the new Parliament. You can see a recording of the entire livestreamed Dialogue Seminar here Fr. Grace’s contribution can be found here:
The first-ever retreat for women experiencing homelessness took place in Manresa Jesuit Centre for Spirituality from Saturday 15 February to Sunday 16 February 2020. Eight women living in temporary accommodation joined a team of facilitators who accompanied them over the two days of the retreat, known as the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP). Eddie Cosgrove SJ is the co-ordinator of the ISP in Ireland. He conducted the first ISP retreat for homeless men here in August of last year. The project itself began in 1998 in Chicago when Fr Bill Creed SJ was invited to make the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius available to people who were economically disadvantaged. The ISP now runs retreats for people experiencing homelessness and in recovery from addiction in over 30 cities in the US and Canada, and now in Ireland. The retreats are spiritual but not religious, in the sense that while they have a Christian and Ignatian foundation, they are open to people who would like to connect with God/Higher Power as they find helpful, similar to 12-step programmes. Each person is free to share about their own experience of God/Higher Power, however, they understand that. Denise McDermott led the women’s retreat and was joined by facilitators Noreen Mackay, Anne Boland and Susan Jones. Jan O’Halloran of the ISP in Chicago flew to Ireland earlier in the week to assist the team and work on the retreat also. Read Denise’s report below of the two ‘Spirit-filled’ days. Read more
Portugal Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ, appointed Fr. Miguel Nuno Maria de Siqueira de Almeida, 52 years old, as the new Portuguese Provincial. Fr. Miguel Almeida is born in Lisbon on 6 November 1967. He is graduated in Philosophy from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Portuguese Catholic University, in Braga, and in Theology from the Gregorian University, in Rome. He did his Masters in Moral Theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA - USA. He was Socius of the Master of Novices, director of several university centres and was currently the Superior of the Juniorate in Braga. He was elector in the General Congregation 36.   Slovakia Fr. Jozef Šofranko - new Provincial of the Slovak Province        On 6th of January 2020 Fr. General Arturo Sosa appointed Fr. Jozef Šofranko as a new Provincial of the Slovak Province. Fr. Šofranko will take charge of the Province on 9th of May 2020 during the Mass at 12.00 in the Jesuit Church of the Most Holy Saviour in Bratislava. Fr. Jozef Šofranko was born in Prešov (Eastern Slovakia) on 25th of May 1977. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1996 in Trnava. After Novitiate, he studied philosophy and theology at the Theological Faculty of Trnava’s University in Bratislava. Then, after his ordination in 2006 he served as a Chaplain in the Jesuit Parish in Banská Bystrica. From 2008 he was doing his licentiate studies of Canon Law in Rome at Gregorian University. From 2011 to 2013 he was responsible for the Slovak section of Vatican Radio. He did his tertianship in 2013 in Portland – USA. Actually Fr. Jozef Šofranko is the Socius of the Provincial and teaches Canon Law at the Theological Faculty of Trnava’s University in Bratislava.
On February 10 Fr. Alfred Darmanin deceased in Naxxar, Malta. From April 1998 till May 2000 he served as President of the Conference of European Provincials. In the “Jesuits in Europe News Service” of 6 April 1998 he wrote: “Part of my role as President will be to defrost rigid partitions existing among the various sectors of our European apostolates and to solidify already existing areas of collaboration. With your help and support, of course.” Fr. Alfred was born on 22 November 1940 in Senglea, Malta. He joined the Society at Loyola House, Naxxar on 10 October 1958 and pronounced his Final Vows on 22 April 1976. He studied in Spokane, USA and Leuven and obtained a PhD in psychology from Berkeley. In the then Maltese Province he served as Provincial's Delegate responsible for the formation of Lay Collaborators, Director of the Psychology section in the Education Faculty and later Head of the Psychology Department. Fr. Darmanin was very much sought after for courses or conferences on Management in Malta and abroad. He also assisted Religious Orders in evaluating their apostolates or prepare for their Chapters. He gave retreats, recollections and conferences to youths and religious. He authored books on psychology and on leadership. He contributed various articles to newspapers and magazine. He was also invited to participate in TV and radio programmes. He accompanied and supported many religious and laity in their spiritual and academic jouney. In 2015 he moved to the Province lnfirmary at Naxxar and spent his final years in a wheelchair in peaceful acceptance of God's will.

UPCOMING EVENTS

15
Sun
Mar 2020
OSIJEK
Croatia
Deaconal ordination Hrvoje Juko (CRO) will be ordained deacon by msgr. Đuro Hranić Archbishop of Đakovo-Osijek Archdiocese at the former Jesuit Church of St. Michael in Osijek at 10.30 a.m READ MORE
16-20
Mon - Fri
Mar 2020

JCEP Treasurers Meeting READ MORE
18-20
Wed - Fri
Mar 2020

Xavier Network Meeting READ MORE
22-26
Sun - Thu
Mar 2020

Formation Delegates Meeting READ MORE