Father General Arturo Sosa SJ received the Nihil obstat from the Vatican and appointed Father Ansgar Wucherpfennig SJ Rector of the University of St. Georgen with immediate effect. The University Conference had re-elected Wucherpfennig in February for a third term of office. Sosa is Grand Chancellor of the university and as such appoints the elected rector. For the appointment the so-called Nihil obstat, the declaration of no objection, was necessary. The Vatican's Congregation for Education has now issued this declaration, after Father Wucherpfennig had issued a declaration in which he emphasized that as a religious and priest he was committed to the authentic teaching office of the Church. Where required by his ministries, he fully and comprehensively explained the Church's teaching on the possibility of ordination of women (Ordinatio sacerdotalis) and of blessings for same-sex couples (letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on pastoral care for homosexual persons). As pastor and scholar he will continue to mark the questions he addresses to this doctrine as his personal interpretation. As a Christian and scientist, he had the personal hope, according to Wucherpfennig, that the ecclesiastical doctrine presented in the two Roman letters would continue to open up and develop further. His public statements on the diaconate of women and on blessings for couples who are unable to marry sacramentally were aimed at such a further development. Wucherpfennig will now publish articles on these two questions and present the results of his research - in faithful and creative continuity with the fundamental doctrines of the Church. The Provincial of the German Province of the Jesuits, Father Johannes Siebner, SJ, was relieved that the elected Rector of the University could now be appointed and thanked Father Sosa, Superior General, expressly for his commitment. "I am very grateful for the broad support that Fr. Ansgar Wucherpfennig and the University of St. Georgen have received in recent weeks. At the same time he thanked Prof. Thomas Meckel, who had represented Ansgar Wucherpfennig SJ as Prorector since October 1st, on behalf of the Order.
On the 6th of October, Sebastian Maly SJ, Clemens Kascholke SJ and Jörg Nies SJ were ordained to the priesthood in Frankfurt/M. by Bishop Georg Bätzing (Limburg). More than 800 guests - including families, friends and many Jesuits - gathered in the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Frankfurt. Bishop Bätzing spoke in his sermon about consolation and vocation: “Only who knows himself exactly and knows what he wants, will also know what God wants from him. ... Finding the will of God is closely connected with getting involved in one's own path of life. ... This shows a specific understanding of vocation, namely that man in the totality of his destinies may be understood as a call of God. He does not receive the call of God, he is ‘God's call’.” Subsequently, the three candidates for ordination gave the first blessing to the faithful. Afterwards there was the possibility to congratulate the newly ordained priests at the reception in the "Haus am Dom". Their first mass the newly ordained celebrated one day later in the Jesuit Church St. Ignatius in Frankfurt.
On September 8th four companions made their first vows in Loyola: Lucas Alcañiz (Madrid, 30 years); Luis Argila (Barcelona, ​​36); Alejandro Escoda (Barcelona, ​​26) and Alejandro Toro (Los Santos de Maimona, Badajoz, 21). On September 10 five young men made their first vows in the Society of Jesus in Nuremberg after a two-year novitiate period and thus bound themselves to the Order for their whole lives with the promise of full commitment for others. For the German Province Lukas Kraus SJ and Jonas Linz SJ made the vows, for the Lithuanian Province Donatas Kuzmickas SJ, for the Hungarian Province Árpád Tóth SJ and for the Austrian Province Gerald Baumgartner SJ. September 15 Giacomo, Cornel, Janez, Piero and Andrei have pronounced their First Vows in the Church of the Gesù of Genoa in the EUM province.
Shortly before the state elections in Hesse and Bavaria, the Jesuits sent a so-called "Wahlprüfstein" (election test stone). The respective top candidates received this touchstone in the form of the current issue of the publication JESUITEN with the title "Die Welt - unser Haus". The main topic sets a clear counterpoint to current political movements and discussions. Despite global upheavals and global connections, nationalism seems to have returned in recent years, and the signs point more to demarcation and isolation. The fear of what is one's own is disguising the link to what is common, and political actors are not initially seeking social cohesion, but exclusively their own interests. This stands in contrast to the basic idea of the Jesuit Order. The Society of Jesus was founded as an international order; Jesuits go to the limits of society; they often live and work abroad. The editors and authors of the current issue of JESUITEN, entitled "Die Welt - unser Haus" (The World - Our House), explore this topic. In the first part of the issue, the authors of Universality with all its advantages and disadvantages get to the bottom of it. The structure of the Order today relies on local units (provinces) across national and linguistic borders, and Jesuits who have never seen each other before find themselves in internationally composed communities. In the second part of the issue it becomes more political. Beatrice von Weizäcker remembers the courageous confession of Alfred Delp SJ: "A Christian can never be a nationalist". In a remarkable plea she updates this for the 21st century. A letter from the Provincial Father Johannes Siebner SJ and editor-in-chief Tobias Zimmermann SJ was enclosed with the booklet as a touchstone for the election test. The two men of the order appeal to the politicians not to stir up further fears and encourage them to promote compromises: These are the basic figures of a democratic and open society. The editorial staff of the publication JESUITEN wants to use this campaign in the last weeks of the election campaign to give politicians a thought-provoking impetus and remind them of their responsibility for democracy.
Ahead of the upcoming EU Heads of state meeting in Salzburg, Jesuits in Africa and Europe express concern based on original research. Johannes Siebner SJ (Provincial of the German Jesuit Province), Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ (President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar - JCAM), Bernhard Bürgler SJ (Provincial of the Austrian Jesuit Province) were among many of the signatories of a joint letter titled "Flows of migrants, flows of money", a petition for justice. They protest against any narrative depicting migrants as a threat to Europe’s stability and prosperity, the treatment of migration from Africa as a criminal offence ("illegal migration"). Rather than going tough on symptoms, they argue, there is need to deal with the underlying root causes for those migratory movements, e.g. illicit financial flows, which prevent African countries from developing. “Currently there is more money leaving Africa in illicit financial flows through aggressive tax evasion and money laundering, than is entering Africa in combined developmental aid and foreign direct investment. If Europe would support African governments in curbing those outflows, African states could secure much more funds for investing in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. This would, in the long run, keep Africans in Africa and ultimately curb illegal migration,” says Fr Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM). In the fight against illegal migration, Europe and Africa need more cooperation at various policy levels. The Jesuit Provincials of Germany and Austria, Frs Johannes Siebner and Bernhard Bürgler add: “We perceive a lot of mutual benefit in developing and deepening relationships, for example, those based on a fairer trade system and exchange of technology versus one-way natural resources extraction or even balancing the demographic decline in Europe with demographic growth in Africa. Europe and Africa are in fact bound together as signatories to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Accord, to the forthcoming Global Compact on Migration and several other accords. All this has to be transferred into pragmatic and binding political and legal instruments for mutual benefit. We, Jesuits, are willing to help build bridges so that this will come about. These are topics worth discussing at the forthcoming informal EU Summit in Salzburg; not border fortification, abandonment of the ‘Sophia’ mission, the closing of harbours, deportations or  establishment of regional reception centers in North Africa.” So far, no reply has been given by the Austrian government. Today, 18th September, ahead of the informal EU-Summit in Salzburg, the Jesuits went public on their initiative with a press release. Read the full letter and the backup-factsheet. 
Lyon. Willkommen! – Bienvenue! – Welcome! The habit of heartiness and hospitality is like a generally understandable language. That is what 28 novices from three noviciates (Birmingham, Lyon, Nuremberg) and nine countries could experience during the Northern European Internoviciate Meeting which took place in Lyon on August 1st-8th. Thereby a tradition of a couple of years has been continued. Certainly the point is to get to know the neighbouring provinces, their focuses, specifics, developments and challenges. And indeed the opportunity to meet the Jesuits working in Lyon was given. Therefore they visited a former Jesuit church, which is now dedicated to high-class music, the Saint Marc secondary school with its more than 5‘000 students and the research institute called Sources Chrétienne. Founded by Henri de Lubac SJ and his colleagues it is still working to discover the texts of the earliest eras of Christianity and to give an access to modern audience by translation and commentary. But the main interest of their meeting was the community, both among them and with Jesus Christ. This could grow by liturgy and spiritual sharing. In doing so the intimacy of spiritual brotherliness develops on the common foundation of Ignatian retreat and the vocation and mission of the Society of Jesus. Of course this process includes also, to speak more concretely, for example doing sports together, visiting the city of Lyon and several activities for entertainment.  As one can easily foresee, digital media will have a growing influence and impact on social life in the whole world. Directed by Fr. Grégoire Le Bel SJ the novices discussed at their meeting’s workshop also about the advantages and risks of digital media for spiritual life and apostolic work. As an huge contrast to this they also visited Le Grand Chartreuse, the main monastery of Carthusians. Not only for Ignatius himself but also for the novices nowadays this radical retreat into contemplation is obviously attracting – even when they had to be satisfied by entering the Charthouse museum nearby and having a look from a non-disturbing distance onto the monastery’s buildings. At the end all participants of this annual international meeting could take back home the consolation of a lively get-together of young religious men and the thankfulness about God’s creativity at calling that manifold characters to the one universal Society of Jesus.