The École de Provence in Marseille has celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was actually a second centenary, that of the establishment of the school (founded in 1873) in the current district of Saint-Giniez in 1921. Chaplain of the École de Provence, Fr. Charles Hervieux sj tells us about the celebration. The festivities actually started as early as May 20. The entire school, students, staff and teachers, were asked to dress in the fashion of 100 years ago. I had to wear the cassock! Everyone gladly played the game. Then on May 24, Fr. Dominique Salin sj gave a conference on “Pedagogy and Spirituality – the Jesuit synthesis”. Lastly, on June 24, the great celebration took place: a mass was presided by Fr. François Boëdec sj, Provincial of French-speaking Western Europe, and concelebrated by a dozen Jesuits. We were an assembly of about 500 people, including the children. After the religious ceremony, primary school children gave a show, middle and high school students a musical entertainment. 100 years of history In 1973, the École de Provence celebrated its 100th year of foundation. Fr. Léon Drujon sj, then rector, recalled the mission of this institution: to announce Jesus Christ and to promote a community of believers, young people and adults, who can bear witness to their faith. May the celebration of today’s centenary remind us once again of this vocation, so that we dare, without being lukewarm, to announce Christ so he may be known, recognized, met. Nevertheless, in the context of a rigid conception of secularism, we might be tempted to water down the evangelical dimension, being satisfied with a few humanist values, however noble they may be. With no spirit of conquest, but with respect for other beliefs, École de Provence has room to implement one of the characteristics of any Jesuit school – “Pave the way for meeting the God of Jesus Christ, in complete freedom”.
An Tobar (the well) was the aptly titled retreat centre where the ISP (Ignatian Spirituality Project) women’s team held their summer retreat for women in recovery from addiction and living in transition hostels. Christine Halloran is co-ordinator of the ISP women’s team Ireland and below is her report of how the team and eight women reflected, shared deeply, and prayed together on Saturday 8 June and Sunday 9 June, 2022. Grace and Gratitude The ISP women’s team was delighted to finally host their first retreat for women in over two years. After several thwarted attempts due to Covid outbreaks and restrictions, team members finally got to facilitate an overnight stay on the 8/9th June at An Tobar retreat center near Navan in Co. Meath. Women from 3 hostels in Dublin, Sancta Maria, Regina Coeli, and Suaimhneas, were picked up by retreat team members early on Saturday morning and ferried to An Tobar in time for a 9.30 am start. There were 11 women in all, 8 from the hostels, and 3 team members. Sadly, Susan Jones, a key team member had tested positive for Covid on Friday afternoon and so could not join us – she was greatly missed. Give hope and healing The aim of ISP is to give hope and healing to men and women recovering from homelessness and addiction. The overnight retreats combine both Ignatian and 12 Step spirituality. During the course of the weekend participants along with the retreat team are invited to share their personal and sacred stories in the light of their relationship with God or their Higher Power and to ask for a special grace that they would want to receive during their retreat time together. The group ranged in age from early 20’s to mid 70’s and we were all astonished and grateful at how quickly the group came together. We bonded as a community from early on when retreatants and team members shared instances from their own lives in small one-to-one sessions and in the larger group setting. Honesty and trust A real sense of honesty and trust emerged as the entire group, team members included, engaged, and shared deeply from the wellspring of their own woundedness over the course of the weekend. Input sessions covered topics such as trust versus fear, and a healing of memories para-liturgy was led by ISP team member Ber Danaher. One of the highlights of the weekend came on Saturday afternoon when one courageous retreatant bore powerful witness to her painful personal journey into addiction and her ongoing recovery. Creation of personal mandalas Another highlight was the Fellowship Art Activity facilitated by team member Pat Coyle on Saturday evening. The exercise involved the creation of personal mandalas, using all sorts of arts and crafts materials, beads, stars, furry bobbles, glitter glue, paint – you name it. Each of us created a mandala that told our unique life story and relationships. As we worked on them we laughed, we sang, we chatted, and we danced. Then when we had finished, each of us in turn, presented our mandala to the group. What emerged were not only powerful but also painfully and unforgettably beautiful stories…the Spirit we could see had turned our mandalas, like She turns our lives, into prayer-infused, wondrous masterpieces! (See photo). The group left on Sunday with a real determination to meet share and support one another again and we are already looking forward to early August when we regroup again. Christine Halloran
The Jesuits of the Milan community - San Fedele, Leone XIII and Villapizzone- responded to the crisis created by the outbreak of war in Ukraine by identifying the Leone XIII Institute as the most suitable place to welcome refugees. "The building has a large area set aside as quarters for guests, part of which could be dedicated to this type of hospitality, after making some adaptations," Fr Francesco Cambiaso states. "It was a matter of preparing the premises: kitchen, laundry and common room. The rooms only needed minimal alterations". The collaboration with the Cooperativa Farsi Prossimo of the Ambrosiana Caritas was invaluable. In the meantime, another small reception experience had begun at San Fedele." As is the case in almost all cases, a Ukrainian woman with her daughter was introduced to us with her urgent need in an indirect way, and we felt we could not refuse her." Both spoke English. "This is rare among Ukrainian refugees: of the eleven others who were given assistance and then housed at Leone XIII, only a mother and daughter knew a little Italian". The difference in language proved to be a significant obstacle. "Of course, the smartphone and Google translator help, but for the refugees, to fend on their own is obviously very limited because of the language barrier and not speaking any other language but Slavic". Now thirteen people in all have been welcomed, mothers with their young children, and an elderly couple. A further eight people are arriving at the Schuster Centre, where the 'palazzina', a building behind the church that is currently not being used, has been converted into a reception centre thanks to the prompt response of the Steering Committee, several volunteers, the Jesuits and the generosity of a Milanese bank.
On July 16th, a German Jesuit, Philipp Jeningen, a man dedicated to the spiritual well-being of the many people he met in the ‘missions’ he gave throughout Bavaria. This beatification adds another festive moment as the Ignatian Year comes to an end. Philipp Jeningen was born in 1642 in Bavaria and exercised his priestly ministry as an itinerant preacher, mostly in that same region of Germany. For many years, he was attached to the Jesuit Basilica in Ellwangen. That is where he died and was buried in 1704. A life in accord with the Spirituality of St Ignatius The Provincial Superior of the Central European Province, Fr Bernhard Bürgler, wrote “Father Philipp Jeningen’s life was entirely in accord with the spirituality of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius. He was thus able to help many people be renewed by God in their lives. Thanks to his simple language, his edifying lifestyle, and his philanthropy, he had a great influence everywhere he went. People felt that he believed what he said and - perhaps more importantly - that he demanded nothing of them that he did not demand of himself.” In a chapel dedicate to Our Lady The desire to join the Jesuits was already firmly anchored in Philipp at the age of 14 but determined opposition from his parents forced him to wait seven years. When his father, recovering from a serious illness, changed his attitude, Philipp entered the novitiate in 1663. After his studies, he first taught in colleges, and in 1680 he began his missionary activity in Ellwangen, where he was put in charge of a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. His presence attracted many pilgrims, and he obtained permission to build a church in Schönenberg. This church soon became a Marian shrine at a time when such spiritual centres were rare in Germany. Beatification Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, Archbishop of Luxembourg, and President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) presided over the beatification celebration of Father Johann Philipp Jeningen SJ (1642-1704), in Ellwangen. Mgr. Gebhard Fürst, Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, and Mgr. Nikola Eterović, Apostolic Nuncio to Germany, have concelebrate the beatification Mass. Connection between love of God and love of man In his address, Mgr. Hollerich praised Jeningen as an example of the connection between love of God and love of man. As examples for today's life, the Cardinal mentioned the commitment to creation, the reception of refugees and the commitment to peace. According to Hollerich, Jeningen managed to "find God in all things of life". Bishop Gebhard Fürst of Rottenburg spoke of "a happy day for Ellwangen, the diocese and far beyond".
From the 24th to the 30th of July, the first session of the Summer Theology School was inaugurated.  For the first time, these potential lay leaders of the Catholic Church in Central Asia had the possibility to participate in academic courses devoted to theological studies. Twenty participants from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan participated each day in four lectures.  Courses were conducted in Russian.  During the current summer session, the organizers offered the following courses: History of Christianity in Central Asia; Introduction to Moral Theology; Introduction to the Bible; as well as Selected Questions in Christian Anthropology. The courses were conducted by Fr. Tomas Garcia, SJ, professor at the Papal Gregorian University in Rome; Mr. Kevin White, scholar of Church History from Almaty, as well as by Jesuit Fathers from Kyrgyzstan—Fr. Anthony Corcoran and Fr. Rafal Bulowski. The main idea of the Summer Theologica School was to provide local Catholics with the possibility of academic and intellectual experience in the sphere of Theology.  In addition to receiving specialized knowledge, participants likewise had the possibility to engage in discussion and in interesting intellectual arguments. Each day a “round table” was conducted in which participants of the school shared impressions which were inspired during the day.  In free time between course lectures the participants of the school prayed together, socialized, and shared experiences of their local Churches. Unfortunately, Catholics from Tajikistan were unable to participate in the Summer Theological School because of the tense circumstances at the Kyrgyz-Tadzhik border. The Jesuit community in Kyrgyzstan organized the Summer Theological School.  Participants were sent by local Ordinaries.  Both participants and organizers completed the current meeting in Issyk-Kul with the desire and hope to continue next year.
The International Jungmann Society for Jesuits and Liturgy, a worldwide group of Jesuit liturgists, held its 9th biennial congress in Rome June 15-17. Twenty-three Jesuits from fourteen countries were able to attend in person as well as about fifteen virtually, in different parts of the world. The theme of this congress was the connection between liturgy and the four universal apostolic preferences (UAP) of the Society of Jesus. In his address the Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal-named Roche invited us to take an active part in liturgical formation in the Church. John Baldovin (UEA), president of the Jungmann Society 2019-2022, took up the expression of the Vatican II: Liturgy as the “summit and the fount” of the Church's life to emphasize the connection there can be between liturgy and our community or institutional life. Thus, if the UAP are called to permeate our life-mission, the liturgy can become a place of source and recapitulation. Important conferences were held during this congress: John Dardis (HIB) showing how the liturgy lived by Father General's Council had been a source for discerning the UAP; Cardinal Michael Czerny (CAN), prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development insisting that the liturgy helps us to move from the "I" to the "we" and for example a "we" with migrants and the excluded; Erik Oland (CAN), provincial, pointing out the parallels in attitudes between the liturgy and the Spiritual Exercises; Msgr. Kevin Irwin, of the Diocese of New York, seeking to develop a theology of the liturgy after Laudato Si'. The theme of journeying with youth could not be considered, but it should be done a future congress. Pascual Cebollada (ESP), General Postulator and in charge of liturgical matters at the General Curia, also encouraged us to promote fruitful liturgies and good formation within the Society. Finally, Father General presided at the final Mass of the Congress: in his homily, he insisted, following the Holy Father, on the pre-eminence of community prayer and discernment to live the UAP well. Jérôme Guingand SJ (EOF), president of the Jungmann Society 2022-2024


Sat - Sun
Aug 2022

Faith and Politics Workshop This week-long Summer workshop in Venice is dedicated to young Europeans aged 20-35 who want to learn more about the relationship between Faith and Politics. Register here. READ MORE
Thu - Thu
Aug - Sep 2022

Eco Summer Camp The Summer Camp will take place at the Lassalle-Haus in Switzerland. Target: young people between the age of 18-35 and a small number of older participants From wild consumption to responsible engagement. The struggle against environmental degradation and the preservation of our planet must first and foremost become a cultural movement in which everyone assumes their own responsibility, as individuals and in cooperation with their peers; knowing, however, that any true and lasting change is only possible through a deep change in one’s own inner attitude. Thus, we are all called upon to make our personal contribution as well. The time to merely delegate our future to others is over. Only in this way can we bring about changes in the long term that will deeply transform our society from within, so that we can look to the future with confidence – for ourselves and for the generations to come.  More details at: READ MORE
Fri - Sun
Sep 2022

Passion for Europe The group “Passion for Europe” together with the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) are proposing a session to discuss democracy and the digital age. The debate will be led by experts, including members of the EU institutions and religious organisations,  fostered by participants’ intervention. This session will serve as a space to discuss these major challenges with decision makers from the political, institutional, NGO and church spheres. More info: READ MORE