In the centre of Vienna, at Steindlgasse 6, in the immediate vicinity of the Hofkirche, is the house where St Stanislaus Kostka and his brother Paul lived during their formation with the Jesuits. Stanislaus left there in 1567 to enter the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Rome after his vocation had been examined by Peter Canisius in Dillingen. In 1583, Stanislaus' former living room was converted into a chapel, which is still available for prayer and church services today. The house at Steindlgasse 6 had been owned for about 100 years by the professional association of employees in domestic service, whose members lived there. As the professional association will be dissolved due to a decline in membership, the members decided to donate the house to the Society of Jesus, also to ensure the preservation of this special place. Our great thanks go to the women of the professional association, to whom we will remain particularly attached in the future.
At the start of the jubilee year marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of Peter Canisius, Bishop Hermann Glettler of Innsbruck called for renewal to give the life of faith a new freshness and relevance to life. Giving new strength to the baptismal confession The radio service on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Innsbruck parish of Petrus Canisius was broadcast live by ORF-Tirol. "Renewal is called for, but it can neither be done nor prescribed," said Bishop Glettler in his sermon. Even though the history of life and culture in Tyrol has been shaped by the Christian faith, the question is: "What power does our baptismal confession have today?" The Bishop recalled Peter Canisius who, in difficult times and despite much opposition, had committed himself to the renewal of the faith. The biblical narrative of Jesus' baptism shows that Jesus ignites "in us the heart-fire of his love". "This is the origin of the most beautiful conflagration that we want to rekindle this year with the help of Peter Canisius," Glettler said. Encouraging life and strengthening cohesion At the same time, Petrus Canisius was not to be "celebrated as a genius of ecclesiastical popular education or a hero of Catholic reform". Glettler: "As baptised people, we want to place ourselves even more consciously at the service of all people this year". This year, the Bishop said, "we want to light 500 heart fires of faith and charity, encourage people to live, make the treasure of faith understandable again and, above all, strengthen social cohesion". Associations and culturally and socially engaged groups are invited to join, he said. First German Jesuit Peter Canisius was chosen as the patron of the diocese of Innsbruck when it was founded in 1964. Born on 8 May 1521 in Nijmegen in what is now the Netherlands, he was the first German to enter the Jesuit Order in 1543. His great concern as a passionate preacher and writer was the reform of the Catholic Church. Canisius wrote a total of three catechisms in which he wanted to bring the faith of the Catholic Church closer to children, young people and adults in an understandable way.  Long stays in Tyrol Peter Canisius frequently stayed in Austria.  In 1554, he was administrator of the bishopric in Vienna for a year before he was commissioned to found a Jesuit college in Prague. He took part several times in the deliberations of the Council of Trent and finally stayed mostly in Innsbruck from 1560 to 1580. In 1562 he opened the Jesuit College in Innsbruck, and in 1569 one in Hall. From 1571 he served as court preacher to Archduke Ferdinand II in Innsbruck and travelled the country as a preacher and popular missionary. Last years of life in Fribourg In 1580 Peter Canisius left Innsbruck and went to Fribourg in Switzerland, where he made preparations for the foundation of a Jesuit college. After suffering a stroke in 1591, he had to curtail his activities. On 21 December 1597, Peter Canisius died in Fribourg and was buried there. In 1864, Peter Canisius was beatified by Pope Pius IX, and on 21 May 1925, Pope Pius XI canonised him. His memorial day is celebrated on 27 April. Innsbruck Diocese
Gratitude campaign in response to the crisis Jesuits from Germany, Austria and Switzerland start the campaign "Nevertheless grateful!” With this, they are giving an answer to the increasing sense of crisis in the middle of the second wave of the Corona pandemic with the help of Ignatian spirituality. The past year was challenging for the whole of society. Social life has now been shut down for the second time, people have to keep their distance, fear for their livelihoods and many institutions have closed. The crisis reveals our problems like under a burning glass; the insecurity and fears are changing our society. There would be enough reasons to despair. On the other hand, there are studies that underline that a grateful lifestyle can strengthen the immune system and make people more resistant to crises. St. Ignatius of Loyola was already convinced of the effects of gratitude and practiced this lifestyle in his daily review, remembering every evening what good things happened to him. With the campaign "Nevertheless grateful" the Jesuits bring the Ignatian Daily Review closer to the people. "In countless conversations we experience that it is difficult for many at the moment to discover the positive in their lives. We want to help the people. The campaign 'Nevertheless grateful!' calls for a conscious change of perspective, especially in the face of the pandemic. Even under difficult circumstances, something can be found for which one can be grateful. Ignatian spirituality offers an effective method for this," explains Father Martin Stark SJ, Head of Communication & Fundraising. In the Ignatian Daily Review one reflects on one's day and looks back on what was experienced, always starting with the good. For this I would like to thank explicitly. Only then can everything else come into view. "This of course requires a certain amount of training," knows Pia Dyckmans, public relations officer of the German Province of the Jesuits. "Therefore we have created a gratitude diary, in which the daily review is explained and a month-long diary can be kept about what one is grateful for. By writing things down, things become more clearly recognisable, which increases the effect. With the gratitude diary, we are giving people a tool to help them focus on what is important and thus to be able to approach Christmas in a positive way, especially in this special year.  On a community wall, concerns can be shared. "This should sensitise us all and we are sure that there will be many surprises to be found there. Sharing multiplies the effect of gratitude and then encourages others as well". Jesuits, too, will report on various channels during the campaign, for which they are personally grateful nonetheless.
At the beginning of the year the Jesuits created the so-called Future Lab in the Jesuit College Innsbruck, a place where young adults find time to put their own lives in order, are allowed to ask important questions about the future, are invited to spiritual exercises and times of silence and find space in the company of us Jesuits to learn to read their own lives. The Future Lab has been open and running for a few months now. The first residents have moved in and we started the programme with a mountain weekend, spiritual exercises and vacation stays. The rooms and halls are brought to life! On 19 September 2020, Innsbruck’s bishop Hermann Glettler celebrated mass with us to inaugurate the Future Lab and provincial Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ blessed the premises. Afterwards, there was opportunity to visit the rooms. „To me, the Future Lab is above all a place and space for listening: listening to myself, listening to my longing and listening to the needs of our time and to the Word of God. This threefold listening, this triad slowly enables me to hear God’s calling to me, lets me recognize my life‘s trace and gives me courage and strength to live my life,“ said Fr. Bürgler SJ. "We look back gratefully on these first experiences. Despite the exceptional circumstances of the Corona pandemic, many young people have been happy to participate in the programme of the Future Lab from the very beginning. Some came to us with specific questions about life and found room for important questions, thoughts and conversations in the beautiful new rooms and the hospitality of the community in the Jesuit College. There was great interest in the introduction to Ignatian Spirituality and the sense of community, good spirits and openness in our house were especially appreciated. We don’t convey a finished image of God. Everyone is invited to come as they are, we offer an atmosphere for personal searching and thinking, all questions allowed", says Fr. Helmut Schumacher SJ, director of the Future Lab.  Young people from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, South Tyrol and even Poland found great value in their time at the Future Lab and many are planning to come back soon. You can find the programme of the Future Lab via www.zukunftswerkstatt-innsbruck.org
The Jesuits in Central Europe found on April 27th 2021 a new Province. For this the Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, appointed this Friday 31 July, on the Feast of St. Ignatius, a new Provincial, who will take up his office next year. The choice fell on Father. Bernhard Bürgler SJ, the present Provincial of the Austrian Province of the Jesuits. Munich/Rome, 31 July 2020 - Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ becomes first Provincial of new Central European Province. Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, appointed him this Friday. Bernhard Bürgler will take office as the Provincial on 27 April 2021 upon establishment of the new province. It will replace the previous provinces of Austria, Germany, Lithuania-Latvia and Switzerland. Provincial in Austria Bernhard Bürgler is currently the Provincial in Austria and thus is one of the Jesuits who have been instrumental in preparing the merger over the past years. Consequently, he is well aware of the challenges awaiting him: ‘We can only convincingly present our way of life if we grow together to embody unity in diversity. To do so, we must shape our institutions and activities in view of the needs of our time and our limited resources’. He sees transnational collaboration as offering tremendous opportunities in this respect. “Our charisma as Jesuits is that we think in broader categories and act jointly. National differences will lose significance over time, which will enable us to more fruitfully disseminate the treasure of Ignatian spirituality in our engagement for faith and justice, in dialog with different cultures and in the quest for reconciliation.” Jesuit Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ emphasized in his letter of appointment that the new province will simplify apostolic planning: “The mission of the Society of Jesus has been universal and larger than the borders of countries or languages from its very inception. The structures of the order exist to facilitate this mission.” He also made reference to the universal apostolic preferences with which the order has defined the thrust of content matters for the coming ten years. The Superior General wished the future Provincial energy and vigour but also faith in God and serenity. A proven expert in the areas of spirituality, retreats, meditation and psychoanalysis Bernhard Bürgler is a proven expert in the areas of spirituality, retreats, meditation and psychoanalysis. The 60-year-old was born in Lienz in Austrian East Tyrol. After his secondary school leaving examination, he studied theology in Innsbruck. Upon completion of his studies, he worked in the German retreat house Haus Gries, which is operated by the Jesuits. After additional years as a religion teacher in Austria, Bürgler entered the Society of Jesus in 1991. After the novitiate he received his doctorate in theology and also received training as a psychotherapist. His activities in the order were that of Spiritual Director in the international Collegium Canisianum (Innsbruck), Director of the retreat house ‘Haus Gries’ (Wilhelmsthal), Area Director for spirituality and retreats in the Cardinal König Haus (Vienna). In 2014 he became the Provincial in the Austrian Province of the Society of Jesus. The rules of the Society of Jesus call for the Provincial to be appointed by the Superior General in Rome. As a rule, the term of office is six years. In addition to the administrative task of directing the province’s affairs, the central duties of a provincial include especially what is known as the “cura personalis”, or regular talks with each Jesuit about his work and life in the order. The new province will comprise 442 Jesuits at 36 locations in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.
Munich/Vienna - Under the title Zeitschrift für Theologie und Philosophie (ZTP) the two renowned journals Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie (ZKTh) and Theologie und Philosophie (ThPh) will be united and continued from 2021. Reason for this step is the union of several Jesuit provinces to the Central European Province on April 27th 2021. The ZTP is a joint project of the three academic institutions in the German-speaking area, which are supported or co-supported by Jesuits: the College of Philosophy in Munich, the Philosophical-Theological College Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt am Main and the Catholic-Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck. The editorship is interdisciplinary with Alexander Löffler SJ (Theology/Frankfurt) and Bruno Niederbacher SJ (Philosophy/Innsbruck). The international and interdisciplinary editorial team also includes Godehard Brüntrup SJ, Boris Repschinski SJ, Georg Sans SJ and Oliver J. Wiertz. In the Editorial Board, the six-strong editorial team is supported by proven national and international academic experts* from the fields of systematic theology and philosophy. Through excellent and original German or English academic treatises and book reviews, the ZTP aims to promote research in theology and philosophy through systematic studies in the Jesuit tradition and, in addition, to be a forum for the concrete encounter of theology and philosophy. A corresponding review process (blind peer review) guarantees that the contributions meet the highest scientific standards and are present on the Web of Science. Beginning with volume 143, the ZTP will be accessible in both online and print format from 2021. Jesuits Austria and Germany