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.
Two complex entities, the Near-East and Maghreb Province (Lebanon, Syria, the Holy Land, Jordania, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco) and The European Region of the Lower Countries (Flanders - North Belgium - and The Netherlands) received a new Major Superior.   Near-East and Maghreb Province. On January 28, 2020, Fr General appointed Fr. Michael Zammit Mangion Provincial for the Near-East and Maghreb Province. He will take charge of the Province on June 28, 2020. Fr. Zammit Mangion, born in 1962 is actually province consultor,  assistant of the province treasurer and superior of the Syrian communities of Aleppo, Homs and Damas and of the Jesuit Residence and Retreat House Our Lady of Consolation in Taanayel (Lebanon). May the Lord grant him strength and wisdom, that he may lead the Province in the paths of God.   European Low Countries On January 29th Father General has appointed Fr Marc Desmet SJ  to be the  new Regional Superior of the European Low Countries . Marc will take office on July 31  - until that moment Fr. Jan Stuyt remains Vice-Regional. Marc has been consultor of the Region since its beginning two years ago.  Father Marc Desmet was born in Roeselare (West Flanders) in Belgium 1956. He studied medicine and practiced as a medical doctor during a few years, before joining the Jesuits in 1984. He studied philosophy in Paris and Theology in Louvain, and was ordained a priest in 1992. Since 1992 he has specialized in palliative care and is one of the leading voices in Belgium on this topic. He published several books on medical ethics and on discernment.  He has been invited professor at the theological faculty of Centre Sèvres in Paris. Father Desmet is since 2013  superior of the Jesuit international community Leuven, where there are eight Jesuits from the Region ELC plus eight Jesuits from other countries who study at the Catholic University of Leuven. The Dutch Province of the Society of Jesus and the North Belgian Province merged in 2017 and became the Region of the European Low Countries. At present the Region has 125 members and hosts another 25 other Jesuits who are returned missionaries.
At the beginning of December last year, the Jesuit journal "Renewed Life" celebrated its centenary. The first issue appeared in 1919 under the name "Life". When the communist regime came to power in 1945, the journal had to stop publishing. In 1971, the publication was restarted under the name "Renewed Life". The celebration was organized under the high sponsorship of the HAZU (the Croatian Academy of Science and Art), the Faculty of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the publisher, the Philosophical-Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus. First of all, the journal has a theological profile, also philosophical, with all disciplines related to it. For a long time, the journal tried to make a substantive contribution to solving the central questions concerning the human spirit in its historical path: at the beginning of the 20th century in the face of modernism's question about the relationship between faith and reason. In the second half of the century it addressed the central anthropological challenge about the nature, vocation and meaning of human life. Nowadays the magazine tries to work according to its subtitle "for Philosophy and Religious Sciences". The journal is intended for all those seeking "healthy spiritual food". It enables the dialogue between religion and ideas and problems of our time. That is why it is so unique.
The Jesuits at the National Meeting of Christians in High Schools in Strasbourg. On 1 and 2 February, the National Meeting of Christians in High Schools (CGE) takes place in Strasbourg. Several Jesuits, chaplains of high schools are present for this event which brings together 700 students. "Student & Christian: influencer or follower? "It is on this theme that the next National Meeting of CGE (Christians in the Grande Ecole) opens on 1 and 2 February in Strasbourg. On the programme for the 700 students expected: 31 workshops, 6 round tables and an inaugural conference on the place of Christians in society, bringing together Mgr de Moulins-Beaufort, the historian of Catholicism Guillaume Cuchet and Anne Lécu, a Dominican woman and doctor in prison. Four Jesuit chaplains of CGE students from all over France accompany their chaplaincies to this event: Fr. Nicolas Rousselot sj (Polytechnique and associated schools), Fr. Dominique Degoul sj (Centrale Supélec and HEC), Fr. Jacques Enjalbert SJ, who is also CGE regional chaplain for the Ile-de-France region (Sciences Po in Paris), and Fr. Kostia de Leusse SJ (ICAM and Purpan). Present in the chaplaincies of the grandes écoles for more than a century, the Jesuits maintain a close link with CGE, having given impetus to its creation by federating different circles of Catholic students in the 19th century. Helping young people to take their place in the Church and in society "Our role is to accompany students in building up living Christian communities on campus," explains Fr. Jacques Enjalbert SJ. Recognized as an association in its own right in student life, "these communities make it possible to develop dimensions of fraternal life, deepening of spiritual life, formation with the organization of conferences, service and commitment, and finally witnessing to the faith among other students. Several baptisms take place each year at Sciences Po," says the regional chaplain. Faithful to the Ignatian tradition, the dimensions of personal accompaniment of the students in the discernment of their vocation and the unification of their Christian life with their studies remain deeply rooted in the chaplaincies animated by Jesuits. The MAGIS network Some young people from the MAGIS network, a platform of activities for 18-35 year olds throughout France, will also be present at the event, accompanied by the director, Fr. Gabriel Pigache SJ. Gabriel Pigache sj. "The MAGIS network supports the educational mission of the Jesuits among students," he emphasizes, "by acting as a bridge between the different youth pastoral networks. »   The objective for this weekend is therefore to make the students aware of the activities carried out by MAGIS and more widely by the Ignatian network: sessions in Spiritual Centres, the Magis House, the MAGIS teams and the summer of 2020 in Penboc'h. https://www.jesuites.com/les-jesuites-presents-a-la-rencontre-nationale-des-chretiens-en-grande-ecole-a-strasbourg/ 
Jesuits in Britain together with 10 other institutional shareholders have taken formal action at Barclays, asking the bank to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies that are active agents in driving the climate crisis. The group of 11 institutional investors which manage over £130billion includes Brunel Pension Partnership, LGPS Central, Sarasin & Partners and Folksam Investors. Coordinated by the responsible investment charity, ShareAction, they have filed a shareholder resolution at Barclays alongside over 100 individual shareholders. It will be voted on by investors at Barclays’ annual general meeting in May 2020. This landmark resolution – the first climate change resolution filed at a European bank – requests that Barclays publishes a plan to gradually stop the provision of financial services (including project finance, corporate finance, and underwriting) to companies in the energy sector, and to gas and electric utilities that are not aligned with the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Stephen Power of the Jesuits in Britain, said: “Climate change is the most pressing challenge the world faces. The Jesuits in Britain support the resolution to align Barclays with other banks taking steps to meet Paris targets, both in response to the increasing scientific evidence that effects of climate change are accelerating and for reasons of sound business sense. The scale of the challenge means large global banks should do all they can to help avert the severe financial risks that could result from a failure to meet the Paris goals.” Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, Barclays has provided more than US $85 billion of finance to fossil fuel companies and high-carbon projects such as tar sands and Arctic oil and gas. This makes it the world’s sixth largest backer of fossil fuels, and constitutes the highest level of fossil fuel financing of any European bank, exceeding its peers by over US$27 billion. Mr Power explained: “The resolution seeks to ensure that major energy sector companies take the Paris targets seriously but also that the finance and banking sector do not allow deviation from them.” In May 2019 a group of Barclays' investors backed a letter from ShareAction to the bank asking it to stop funding companies involved in coal mining or oil sands exploitation. The proposal also encourages Barclays to consider the social dimension of the transition to a resilient and low-carbon economy, as per the Paris Agreement. This makes it the first climate change resolution to include a so-called ‘just transition’ ask in its supporting statement. Investors representing more than US $5 trillion have already expressed support for the just transition. Given the systemic threats posed by climate change, and the rising regulatory scrutiny of banks’ resilience to accelerated decarbonisation and climatic impacts, this resolution supports the long-term economic interest of shareholders.

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