Northern European inter-novitiate meeting in Birmingham. Manresa House hosted the French and German Novitiates, including their novice masters, Thierry and Thomas from 2nd to 9th August. The time together was well prepared practically, thanks especially to Brother Mick O’Connor SJ, and spiritually and creatively through stages of the Emmaus journey in Luke. The participants soon grew into a single community. On Saturday morning Archbishop Bernard Longley arrived with Anglican Bishop David Urquhart, a near neighbour and friend. Their dialogue in answer to the novices’ questions showed how close they were in ministry and awareness of the needs of their extensive dioceses. The afternoon was spent walking in the city centre, visiting the two cathedrals, getting in touch with the Composition of Place. Sunday was a day of reflection stimulatingly led by Father Frank Janin SJ, President of the Conference of European Provincials. He led the group in smaller parties for the discernment process on the Universal Apostolic preferences. The evening was dedicated to the ministry of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, a great example of how apostolates can be bonded together in partnership. On the following day, Thiranjala Weerasinghe nSJ, novice from Sri Lanka, explored writings of St Peter Favre SJ and Letters of Tribulation of Fr Lorenzo Ricci SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the time of the Suppression, for the prayer and group reflection. In the afternoon, Father Michael Barnes SJ spoke from his research and years of personal experience on the principles of interfaith relations. He gave an example of an epic on the life of Jesus in an Indian language along with the narrative style of the sixteenth century English Jesuit, Thomas Stephens SJ. This was an early example of communicating faith in another culture. Interfaith These latest sessions prepared the group for a long and rich interfaith day, in Smethwick, a strongly Asian area. It started by being greeted by the Deputy Mayor of Sandwell (on a long railway bridge built by Telford in the early nineteenth century). They enjoyed then a real Application of the Senses in an Alladin’s Cave of a shop run by a Sikh who was Chair of the National Society of Retail Businesses. “My general store”, he said, “is not just for buying things but for people to chat and meet with each other”. Following this, it cannot be forgotten the hospitality of prayer and a meal in the nearby Sikh Gurdwara and in the Anglican Holy Trinity Church as well as a visit to the Abrahamic Centre down the road. The tour ended with sharing Evensong in the Anglican church. There was a lot to assimilate in personal prayer, and Wednesday morning was devoted to this. In the afternoon the group listened to a dialogue between chaplains of different faiths in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where some of the novices have pastoral work each Friday. The Catholic Chaplain, a former married Anglican priest with several children, gave a moving account of his journey to his present ministry. The final day was spent in groups recognizing, interpreting and articulating the experiences of a very full week. Tony Nye SJ, who participated in the meeting, commented: “we all needed our Barmouth holiday after that, joined by a number of the French novices for the first week, keeping up our close-knit community.”
Cologne - On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of his death, an exhibition in Cologne commemorates the Icelandic Jesuit Father Jón Svensson SJ - called Nonni - (1857-1944). The exhibition in the renovated chapel Sankt Maria Magdalena und Lazarus at the Melatenfriedhof in Cologne shows from 14 September to 20 October 2019 under the title "Nonni. Ein Isländer am Rhein" books and biographies of the writer, in which he tells among other things about his childhood in Iceland ("Nonni und Manni") and which became known in Germany also by film adaptations. There are also impressions of Iceland by the painter Renate Marx, and the stonemason couple Frank Heber/Lea Nicolini will exhibit sculptures inspired by visits to Iceland. On the 75th anniversary of the death of the Jesuit, 16 October, the Deutsch-Isländische Gesellschaft e.V. Köln meets with other Nonni friends at 4 pm at the Melaten cemetery in Cologne, where a memorial service is held with Father Heribert Graab SJ in the St. Maria Magdalena Chapel; followed by a memorial hour of the Deutsch-Isländische Gesellschaft e.V. at the "Tomb of the Cologne Jesuits". There Nonni was buried in a bombing night in October 1944. The mezzo-soprano Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir sings Icelandic songs, and Ottmar Fuchs, professor emeritus of practical theology at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Tübingen, talks about "Nonni's hope for a Dawn".
After the arrest of "Sea-Watch 3" captain Carola Rackete in Italy, Jesuit Refugee Service called to stop the criminalization of the helpers immediately. "It is not understandable that people who help other people in need therefore have to expect criminal prosecution", explained Stefan Keßler, JRS policy officer in a statement. "Humanity is not a crime.” Carola Rackete, 31, the German captain of 'Sea-Watch 3' was arrested end of June in Italy. After two weeks of waiting on the high seas, the captain had steered her ship to the port of Lampedusa. The situation for 42 Africans whom the 'Sea-Watch 3' had rescued from distress at sea had become unbearable. But this operation violated the instructions of the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, according to which ships with people rescued from distress at sea may not dock in the ports of his country. The captain is now threatened with legal proceedings. How can that be? Rackete and her crew have simply done what both humanity and international maritime law require: Refugees rescued from drowning and taken to a safe haven. What is macabre about this case is that if Sea-Watch 3 had taken the refugees to Libya, no public prosecutor would have been interested in it, even though refugees in Libya have to fear for life, limb and freedom. The case of 'Sea-Watch 3' and her captain makes three things clear. Firstly, the European Union must finally develop a procedure to ensure that it is not only the Mediterranean countries that have to take in refugees rescued from sea distress. If the EU does not succeed in this, there must be at least one "coalition of the willing" of receptive states. Many German municipalities have recently declared themselves willing to accept such people. These initiatives must be taken up and implemented. Secondly: Salvini's policy of isolation at any price, even that of human life, must have consequences. It violates fundamental rules and values of the European Union. Infringement proceedings against the Italian Government are inevitable. Finally, the criminalization of the helpers must be stopped immediately. It is incomprehensible that people who help other people in need should therefore expect to be prosecuted. Humanity is not a crime".
Whether holiday flight or business trip: In many situations, emissions of greenhouse gases can hardly be avoided, but at least "offset". With the CO2 calculator, the Jesuit Mission Germany invites air travellers to follow the call of Pope Francis to "a new and universal solidarity": Solidarity with those who suffer most from the effects of the man-made climate crisis. The CO2 calculator of the Jesuit mission helps to calculate the individual compensation for air travel. A donation calculated from this will support eco-projects in India and Cambodia. Klaus Väthröder SJ, head of the Jesuit mission: "Our climate protection projects contribute to reducing CO2 emissions through reforestation - and they support the local population in countries of the global South. They reduce poverty by empowering women, protecting health and creating prospects". On the project page, air travellers can determine their CO2 footprint and donate it as compensation! The money flows into an ecology project of the Jesuits in Cambodia and into the "Watershed" program in Maharashtra / India. Link to the site
This summer, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne is showing 90 particularly impressive drawings from its Jesuit collection for the first time in a special show entitled "Wir Glauben Kunst" (We Believe Art). The collection has been on permanent loan to the museum since the 1880s. Together with the drawings collection of Ferdinand Franz Wallraf, the collection of some 500 works forms the basis for the collection of more than 65,000 prints to this day. The exhibition explores the special character of the Jesuit collection: Is it a purely educational collection? According to which criteria did the Order collect? Did questions of quality and connoisseurship play the decisive role, or were content aspects more decisive? And finally: Where did the Jesuits buy their drawings? In addition, the concept of the Jesuits as pictorial artists is also discussed, since the Order had developed its own pictorial theology. When Pope Clemens XIV abolished the Jesuit Order on 21 July 1773, the Old University of Cologne and the so-called Artist Faculties were also dissolved, to which the Tricoronatum grammar school with its important teaching collection, which had been headed by members of the Jesuit Order since 1556, belonged. In the course of the French occupation all art objects were confiscated and brought to Paris. In the 1880s, the Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds, the then legal successor of the Order, succeeded in bringing the collection back to the Rhine in order to give it on permanent loan to the museum. In contrast to the drawings that remained in Paris, the Cologne drawings have their historical origins written, as it were, in their faces. At the upper right edge of the picture, all drawings bear the note Col. (Cologne) in black printing ink. After their arrival in Paris, this note was printed on the visible side facing the viewer, a seal that the drawings were to bear once and for all on their physical carrier, the paper. But it was only because of this seal that all the stamped drawings returned to Cologne after the collapse of the French Republic.
A Jesuit novice experiment at the Lasalle House in Switzerland. Fabian is a second year novice from Germany. His last experiment led him to the Lassalle House, a retreat house of the Swiss Jesuits. Here he talks about his experiences in front of and behind the scenes. I already knew that Jesuits went to the Far East to inspire people in Japan and China with the Gospel message. But I hardly suspected that the novitiate would bring me very close to testimonies of Far Eastern culture. And that even in Central Switzerland, which I had previously associated more with raclette, church bells and cowbells than with incense sticks, gongs and singing bowls. How did this come about? I was sent from January to the beginning of March to the Lassalle-Haus in Bad Schönbrunn in the canton of Zug to do my so-called "pastoral experiment" there. That means: I should get to know an institution in which the Jesuits offer retreats and educational work. There I had the opportunity to get to know the community of seven confreres - inside this impressive building and outside during the typical Swiss hiking tour. One of my tasks was to help in the kitchen regularly in the mornings. So I was able to see the business, which serves up to 100 guests, from a completely different angle. The Jesuits take responsibility for many employees, but do not have to work here as lonely heroes. I am very glad that there are many highly motivated people here who support the ministry. That gives courage for the future, because even today the Jesuits are not left alone with their concerns. Here I have learned important things about the cooperation with non-Jesuits. For both sides it is helpful when mutual respect prevails and Jesuits sometimes "get their hands dirty" with simple, perhaps less attractive activities. Ignatius also wants obedience when working in the kitchen: "I do it the way the chef wants, because it goes faster and simply helps him more. But peeling potatoes wasn't all I did. So I took part in different courses. For example, during the Hebrew week I worked with 35 other guests on texts from the Old Testament and experienced how Jesuits cultivate the interreligious dialogue with Judaism today. I also participated in an introduction to Zen meditation. Jesuits like Hugo Lassalle and Niklaus Brantschen brought it to Europe decades ago. These courses not only serve the dialogue with Buddhism, but are also elements of Jesuit pastoral care. It is not only in Switzerland that people are inspired to perceive the present in silence through these very old forms of meditation. I really like the fact that the Jesuits remain so courageous and eager to discover and offer us Westerners such opportunities for spiritual experience. At first it was strange to me and sitting still for hours is more difficult than it sounds - but with a little practice this form of meditation helped me to find myself again in the presence of God. Of course the Jesuits in the Lassalle-Haus also cultivate their own spiritual traditions of contemplation and the Ignatian retreat. Many people come here to "order their lives" in various courses, as Ignatius says. Also in this area I was allowed to try myself a little: As an accompaniment to an introductory course for young adults. There I was amazed at how God works in the soul of each individual. The participants, although older than me, placed their trust in me and told me what was moving within them through the silence and prayer with the biblical scenes. I know from my own retreat experience how crucial a careful and attentive conversation about this is and have entrusted myself in prayer to God to guide the event. From the beginning it has been one of the principles of the Jesuits' pastoral care to adapt their work to the present conditions. In Switzerland today, this means accepting the widespread religious disrootedness and still making trusting progress in the cause of finding God in all things. I have experienced that the confreres do exactly that and do not let themselves be discouraged by setbacks or worries. That is why I return to the novitiate with still living impressions of Jesuits who with all their heart "help the souls" strengthened. Jesuits Germany