CEL – The Liaison Committee of Jesuits connected with the Charismatic Renewal

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a spiritual movement that places an emphasis on having a personal relationship with Jesus and expressing the gifts of the Spirit.

As Jesuits, we are involved in the prayer meetings and guidance of several Charismatic groups across the continent.

The CEL Euro-group meets every year and gives the Jesuits involved the opportunity to share their experiences, pray together and deepen some aspects of the spiritual life of the movement.

Neither the cold weather nor the distance stopped people from meeting at the CIE (Alien Internment Centre) of Barcelona. They gathered to pray in solidarity with the inmates and for violence to stop in such centers. The vigil was organized by the volunteers’ group of the Jesuit foundation Migra Studium. These volunteers are regular visitors but this time round, they were joined by many entities and groups. The prayer time consisted of a simple act of words and music. Detainees were given a voice thanks to the testimonies collected and read out by the volunteers who accompany them daily. They are witnesses of the differents forms of violence in these centres : one’s identity reduced to a number, physical and verbal aggression, the deterioration of one’s health, isolation... CIEs violate the rights of individuals and criminalize a basic right of a person to migrate. In the street, people lit candles to accompany the words, music and silence, while they heard the cries for freedom of the 200 inmates. It was a simple gesture to "bring light to a dark place, which symbolizes the worst of our societies when they close themselves." This is already the third edition of this prayer vigil.
Interview with F. Adolfo Nicolás SJ. For the premiere in Spain of the film "Silence" by Martin Scorsese, the Press office of the Spanish province conducted an interview with Fr. Adolfo Nicolás SJ. Fr Nicolás reflects on evangelization in the country, inculturation, dialogue with Buddhism and the real history on which the film is based. Watch the interview Fr Alberto Núñez SJ is a Spanish Jesuit resident in Taiwan, who was helping on the film set and shared anecdotes of his work. In Madrid, a group of 150 Jesuits and laypeople went to a previous release (see video) of the film. The press office distributed a dossier about the film and the history of the Jesuits in Japan.
21 december 2016 He is born in a cotton shelling factory. They are talking everywhere about the East Aleppo's displaced persons. At the start they are received at Jibrine in the halls, built to become factories. When we went there to help, we were told there was no place any more, and people were placed in the cotton shelling halls (mphalege al-koton). Thousands of children, women and old people (clearly, men are lacking) are huddled up in makeshift shelters, submitted to cold and shortage of sanitary conditions: 4 W.C. for 500 people. Drink water is slightly salted, at night temperature goes down till -6°C, and the halls are 20 m. high; and it is forbidden to lit a fire, because there are everywhere mattresses and blankets. People's hands, their faces and their clothing are dirty. No possibility to take a bath, nor even to wash their faces with icy water. People are burning outdoors whatever fire can consume and they regroup around the fire, to get some warmth. I leave the word to Fr. Ziad's camera. First photo: these twins are born orphans' in the camp, and their mother is away to get the food ration, the twins are outdoor's in the winter sun, carefully looked after by their "older sister" of nine years. We are five days before Christmas. A baby in the crib! The three other photos don't need commentary. The last two are a sign of joy. Our column is on the road. And our JRS volunteers are in action, Muslims and Christians. We did then organise a column to go to the "cotton shelling place": 6 trucks and delivery vans, 85 volunteers. At the program: To record the families in order to determine the needs, and to distribute in accordance with the needs: blankets, fruit, hoods, socks, and ... originality bisquits for the children. As far as water is concerned, one pack weighs 9 kilograms. A family of 7 people - the average number per family - will get 3 packs. It is difficult for the children to transport them. Our trucks, with our volunteers went round the tents and halls and delivered the packs at the door! Never seen before in this camp! Usually international organisations do ask people to queue up, and the police beat the unrulies with a silicone pipe. Here they are served 'at home', with respect for human dignity. Our way to proceed: teams are going from one shelter to another, filling formularies in and giving tickets to the families. One member of each family comes to the place of distribution, he is received by a volunteer who accompanies him kindly to help him take successively bags of fruit, blankets, hoods, socks and bisquits, depending on what is written on their tickets. If he or she is not able to bear it all, because it is often a child, an aged person or a woman bearing a baby, the volunteer accompanies him or her until their place. Outdoors with a temperature of 3°C in the shadow, we were working without any stop from 10 H. until 17 H.. According to the statistics, 4000 people were served with respect and dignity, without queuing and without T.V. filming them. This astonished all the associations, even the international organisation. I am proud of this. Here is an anecdote: a child aged 6 years takes a banana and start eating it with the skin. Embarrassed, his mother explains to us that the child had seen them at the grocery, but had never eaten them, they were too expensive. In the evening there was a feast on Azizyé place, nearby our place. The Armenian scouts, with "SOS-Christians from the East" (a French organisation of the Front National) want to inaugurate a great Christmas's fir-tree. State authorities and catholic bishops were present, and also T.V. The event became rapidly a political gathering where all speeches were oriented towards the socalled "victory" of Aleppo. I was anxious and rightly so. A bomb exploded and made material damages, but luckily no casualties. People became immediately panic stricken. Direct T.V. was immediately cut off, and after half an hour people were called, I don't know where, to start again, as if nothing happened. Once again I did try to be a good Jesuit, obeying church authorities. Last week I did warn the bishops, through the channel of my friend, the latin bishop, about the dangers of this kind of festivities: politisation of Christmas, provocation of the Sunnites, lack of respect for the people who are suffering, etc.. They didn't listen. 22 december 2016 Yesterday it was snowing the whole day and during the night. What happens to the displaced persons? But a small comfort came to my mind: we have done what we should have done. Today I came to an agreement with an association who has milk for babies and small children, but doesn't distribute it, because water available in the camps is salty and harmful for the children. We give 540 bottles of drinking water for the babies and the small children. The distribution will happen to-morrow. The displaced persons burn everything that can be burned, in order to get warm. To-day we have distributed to the displaced persons 2 tons of wood for fireplace. Our Christmas holyday begins on Saturday, and urgent work is knocking us about. We work without any respite, just as in a bee-hive, in order to celebrate with a fairly good conscience. In fact, my conscience is not quite so peaceful: this morning a baby has died from the cold in the cotton shelling halls. I refused to get his photo. I prefer he remains anonymous, just as the childhood of his Master and Saviour. To everyone, woman or man, I wish a joyful Christmas !  Sami Hallak s.j.
Uninterrupted since 1993, under the auspices of the Academy of Ignatianum, Zbigniew Marek SJ leads the Bible Correspondence Course. So far, nearly 10.000 people from all corners of the globe have attended the course. The target audience of the course are those who want to deepen their knowledge of the Scripture. For those interested, there are no such restrictions as age, location or education level, etc. The course involves the reading of various books of the Scripture, beginning with the New Testament. The supplied course materials enable the participants to understand the Biblical narrated in the context of the events. Specific methods of reading and exploring pericopes are proposed, helping in discovering the message that they contain. Currently, course materials are available in two versions: paper and electronic.
Meeting of the Jesuit European Works in Brussels. Strengthening collaboration across apostolates, building relationships, reconciliation, understanding, coming together… relevant goals in a time defined by fragmentation and polarisation in Europe. Not an easy task, certainly, but the Jesuits in Europe are determined to pursue this goal step by step. One of the steps was the meeting that took place at the Chapel for Europe on the 29th of November 2016 organised by the Jesuits in European works in Brussels. The participants of this meeting were 30 people working at JRS Europe, JESC, the European Schools, Foyer Catholique Européen, the Chapel for Europe and the Conference of European Provincials, namely, Jesuits and Partners in Mission.  The evening started with a presentation on GC36 from Father John Dardis SJ and Father José Ignacio García SJ who had been electors at this important worldwide event. They gave their impressions of what it felt to be there and shared with the participants some takeaways. “It was an extraordinary moment” said Father Dardis talking about the General Congregation,  “more than 200 people saying: we really believe in the Holy Spirit, something will move in our hearts that will make a difference in our world”. Father García shared some of the challenges that the Society of Jesus is facing nowadays, he send out an open question to participants “as the minima Societas,how can we, with reduced capacities, keep the Spirit and build from there?” He linked this with the idea of change, how following Jesus sometimes requires constant change. This was the experience of Saint Ignatius who had to change plans many times in his life, Loyola, Manresa, Jerusalem, Paris, Venice, Rome…  The participants then had the chance to ask some questions to the two keynote speakers. Later, the whole group would enter into prayer and reading some passages of the Gospel like the one of the good Samaritan (Luke 10, 25-37), which is an example coming together even in our differences. Finally, participants shared a dinner and discussed their views on the presentation they heard and on their works in Europe. We end this article with the a pictured shared during the presentation. The picture is from the newly appointed Father General, Arturo Sosa SJ, standing in front of the Basilica of Saint Peter. “Father Sosa, a symbol of a new beginning, of change.” said Fr. Dardis, “we can see him quite informal, at ease with his own person, a man not imprisoned by his new role but who is rather ready to serve the Society of Jesus and its mission.” We invite you to join us in this mission!
A Retreat inspired by Sieger Köder. Dates: April 30th – May 5th 2017 with optional pilgrimage weekend on 29th-30th April Led by Magdalen Lawler SND and Tom McGuinness SJ, this 5-day retreat will draw on some of the beautiful and challenging paintings by the priest and artist Sieger Köder. Köder uses images from Scripture and daily life to show that we can find God in everything – if only we have eyes to see! The retreat will be held at Mount Saint Joseph, a Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Malta. Prior to the retreat, there will be an optional pilgrimage around Malta, visiting the oldest standing Neolithic temples, Saint John’s Cathedral that houses a Caravaggio masterpiece, Mdina, the catacombs of Saint Paul and other places of spiritual significance. Bookings and enquiries: For more information, kindly contact Mount St Joseph via info@mtsjoseph.org or phone on +356 2276 0000