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
"Bible Art Journaling" in a Jesuit Formation Community in Munich. Acrylic paints, chalk, crayons - the kitchen of the Jesuit community Alberto Hurtado in Munich Sendling became a studio for one evening. Aquarelle colours, brush pens, washi tapes, stickers, brushes and palettes also found their place at the large dining table. The Jesuits invited Katharina Sichla from "Believing creatively" to their weekly community evening. She showed them how the Bible can become a diary. Because that is what "Bible Art Journaling" is all about. This form of Bible study combines two things: classical Bible study and Art Journaling, a form of diary keeping. Instead of writing, something is painted or drawn every day. The large selection of pens and colours helps later to find the right material for you. A spiritual process At first - after a short silence - the selected biblical passage (Matthew 6:5-15) was exchanged. Similar to the Ignatian view of Scripture, one passage in the text is illustrated. With Bible Art Journaling, however, it is not the imagination that remains, but the page of the Bible is actually given concrete form. For Father Christoph Soyer SJ the exchange with the confreres was important: "It was a spiritual process and not just painting. A special artistic talent for the method is therefore not necessary. Perfection is not expected! Soyer later took up acrylic paints. He liked to experiment with them: "I've never used the material before". Using the material For the design, the bible passage was provided on slightly thicker paper and with an extra wide white margin. So you can paint along the text or over the letters. As it is suitable for everyone. (There are also extra journaling bibles, which make the bible really a personal diary by the design of the pages.) Jonas Linz SJ, who is currently studying philosophy, has already worked with various materials and illustrated Bible passages, but painting directly into the text was also new for him. The 25-year-old was able to "express himself powerfully" through the colourfulness of the pastel chalk and the intensity of the material. Getting to know brothers differently On community evenings, it is important to spend time together with the confreres. "We are not a purpose-based community," says Linz, stressing: "To be called to the Jesuit means also to be called to the community. Bible Art Journaling offers besides the personal discussion of the text a "different possibility to get to know the confreres". Because every picture is unique, in which the personal relationship to Jesus and to the text became clear - his conclusion: "Pictures say more than words".  
Schwäbisch Gmünd - During Easter week 200 Jesuits from the German, Lithuanian, Austrian and Swiss provinces met for the common province symposium in Schwäbisch-Gmünd. Beside praying and celebrating together, the focus was on reflection and exchange on the mission in the areas of spirituality, social responsibility and education: the Jesuits of these countries are growing ever closer together. In two years' time, in April 2021, they will form the Central European Province ("Europa Centralis" - ECE). Fr. Franck Janin SJ, President of the Conference of European Provincials, explained the process and the impact of the new Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus. The entire meeting was held under the motto "Beyond ourself" and informed the nearly 200 Jesuits from Austria, Switzerland, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany who had taken part about the previous process of founding the province and the planned further steps. The seat of the new ECE-Provincial shall be in Munich, informed the Austrian Provincial Bernhard Bürgler SJ. Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ had confirmed in a letter that the Canisius-House in Munich should become the seat of the new ECE-Provincialate. An important topic was the ecological challenge (“caring for our common home”) and how the Jesuit Order responded to it. Fr. Gaël Giraud SJ (EOF), chief economist of the Agence Française du Développement and research director at the CNRS, presented the state of research and reported that climate change affects the already disadvantaged parts of the earth's population the most. We Jesuits see ourselves challenged to rethink our own lifestyle and to increasingly include ecological implications. On different levels and through professional competence the Order with its works and apostolates can help to shape social processes. It is also necessary to deepen the spirituality of creation. Fr. Claus Pfuff SJ, JRS-country director, professed last vows at a solemn Mass on Wednesday. The fraternal meeting allowed Easter to be celebrated as a feast of resurrection and new creation. The strength and motivation that grew out of the common mission of the Order were palpable.