Uganda, Croatia, India and the USA - once around the world you could travel around the world if you wanted to visit the language students of this year in their home countries. As usual, the Formation Center Munich at the Faculty of Philosophy in Munich hosts every year Jesuits from all over the world who, as a preparation for their theological or philosophical studies, train German language for a month. On the picture you see the group of the advanced, who under the expert guidance of Cornelia Wellner aim to reach the level B2. On the far left of the picture, Aloysious Lubega from Uganda came along, although the teacher of English and geography belongs to a second group of very beginners. Only a few days in Germany he tries to make conversation with a few words. In his working place in South Sudan, he is accustomed with internationality - there are Jesuits from Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. In Germany he likes "the way of life" and the sense of order. Also the security in Germany - no comparison to his homeland. Surprisingly, he considers the Germans to be very quiet people, an observation that Bojan from Croatia confirms. "At home, people are much louder, more talkative, everyone is talking to everyone." He is amused by the fact that there are always words to be learned, such as “Schraubenzieher“ (screwdrivers) or “Essbesteck” (cutlery). These are the remnants of the influence of the Habsburg Empire. For the Croatian generation of Bojan Germany is the great model: "The Germans do everything better, there is more work here and you work more efficiently," he says. Jörg Nies (GER), who studies spirituality at the Bellarmino in Rome, was asked to organize the language course during August. For him it was a bit exciting, because there was much back and forth. A student from India had not been granted a visa for Germany; vice versa a Lithuanian and an American joined the group. But during the excursions through Munich, the English Garden and the pedestrian zone on the way to mass in the St. Michael’s, the Jesuit church, the young men experience how colorful Munich is, almost as multi-coloured as the Society of Jesus. On the picture: FLTR: Aloysius Lubega (AOR), Benjamin Bevc (SVN) , Francisco Martins (POR), Bojan Bijelić (CRO), Fr. Cornelia Wellner, Henry Shea (MAR), Artur Patalong (POM), Marius Jocys candSJ (LIT), Kim Kundong (KOR), Šimo Marinović (CRO); not on the photo: Edwin Ritesh Dungdung (RAN).
Novices from 12 European Provinces meet in Nuremberg. Between the 2nd and the 8th August 2017, 30 novices and their novice masters from twelve countries and almost as many languages met in Nuremberg for their annual meeting. The motto of this year’s gathering was “Jesuit figures – life and spirituality”. As it is 500 years since Reformation, the focus lay on encounters with other denominations and worldviews. In his talks on the Jesuits Peter Faber and Egied van Broeckhoven, Fr. Dominik Terstriep SJ stressed the high regard that both Jesuits had for the Other. Peter Faber was one of the founding fathers of the Society of Jesus and was entrusted with many missions during Reformation times, in which he travelled through various parts of Europe. He strived for a human approach in his encounters rather than engaging head-on in dogmatic-theological disputes. Egied van Broeckhoven lived as a working priest in Brussels in the 20th century and saw friendship as a key to his spirituality. Friendship, in his view, possesses a sacramental quality as it opens up a path to God through the encounters with others and vice versa. “When we seek God in others, we wait impatiently for the completion of friendship in God, for the fulfilment of the dawn in the full light of the sun.” (From the Diary of E. v. Broeckhoven, 30th September 1964). Apart from the thematic approach to friendship, the different encounters we enjoyed with one another strengthened our own bands of friendship across countries and novitiates. The novices had a choice of different leisure time activities through which they explored Nuremberg. Additionally, we went on a day trip to Munich to visit and celebrate Mass at the tomb of Blessed Rupert Mayer SJ, the patron of the Nuremberg novitiate. The international touch was palpable both in our daily prayers and in the celebration of Holy Mass, which was conducted in the use of different languages. A spiritual way of encountering everyday life was introduced by Fr. Christian Herwartz SJ, who developed retreats in the streets and who taught us to find our own burning bush in the streets of Nuremberg. The week concluded with a Novice-General Congregation, collecting the fruits of our time together in a document that centred on the following topics: “Encounter with God – Encounter with people of different worldviews – Encounter with partners in mission – Encounter with Fellow Jesuits”. “We aspire, as agents of God’s Grace, to utilize and adapt traditional means of encountering God, so that this experience becomes more accessible for others. We are called to share our experience with all of God’s people. We must not keep this encounter to ourselves but hand on what we have received; we should hand on the fire, not the ashes.”
The new home for the German Provincialate. At the same time as the beginning of the new Provincial, Fr. Johannes Siebner SJ, the Provincialate moved to the newly built Canisiushaus in Kaulbachstraße 29a in Munich. With the move to this location in Munich-Schwabing, the province ties up with the history of the former Upper-German province, which had its seat on a neighboring property until 1971. At the time, the Berchmanskolleg with the School of Philosophy moved from Pullach to Munich. The new Canisiushaus, which has now been completed after exactly two years of construction time, is a combined residential and administrative building. The provincial administration covers four floors and approximately 40 percent of the total area. The Canisiushaus is the new home for Frs. Johannes Siebner (Provincial), Martin Stark (Socius), Ralf Klein (Treasurer), Christoph Soyer (Formation Delegate) and Markus Franz (Delegate for the Elderly). They work together with a team of 13 lay people in different departments. The inauguration ceremony on July 11 took place with the Provincial’s Office, the architect team of Sebastian Illig, representatives of other religious communities, as well as numerous employees, neighbors and craftsmen, who had contributed to the success of the project over the past two years. Fr. Provincial Johannes Siebner, who took the blessing of the new house, acknowledged in his greeting the commitment of his predecessor Fr. Stefan Kiechle, as well as the professionalism and commitment of Markus Lichtenwald and Klaus Seitz from the provincial administration, who have been working in the past two years almost round the clock for the construction of the house and coordinated the logistics of the move. Photo: Canisiushaus and Inauguration Ceremony with Fr. Provincial Johannes Siebner (left) and Fr. Stefan Kiechle © SJ-Bild
Ai-un: Hugo Makibi Enomiya-Lassalle. Bridge Builder between Zen and Christianity. The movie is a Telly Award Winner in the categories: documentary, biography, history and religion/spirituality! Now that inter-religious dialogue has become a great buzz-term, it is more important than ever that we do not content ourselves with the term alone. The encounter between Christianity and Buddhism illustrates how religions can learn from one another. A key figure in this success story, the Jesuit and Zen instructor Hugo Makibi Enomiya-Lassalle (1898–1990), first went to Japan as a missionary. He left us an unparalleled example of how dialogue comes to life in the encounter between people who are both firmly rooted in their own tradition and yet willing to become part of another culture. Although his success did not come easily, neither external criticism nor self-doubt could ultimately deter him from pursuing what he regarded his appointed task: the integration of Zen and Christianity. The film traces the path of Lassalle´s life and the development of his work, and introduces the teachers and students of the Glassman-Lassalle Zen lineage, who carry on his spiritual heritage today. “M‘illumino d‘immenso. Ungaretti’s minimalist poem could also be Lassalle’s motto: Immensity fills me with light. Can a human life have a better lodestar?” Godehard Brüntrup, Philosopher “A remarkable film about the spiritual dialogue between East and West. The story of a visionary who clearly saw what the rest of us can only suspect.” Niklaus Brantschen, Zen Master “Artful organization gives the production a living, multi-dimensional, and extremely informative picture of the gaunt Jesuit, whose physical appearance reflects a lifelong practice of Zen meditation.” Josef Lederle, Film Critic for Filmdienst The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. Christof Wolf—Founder, CEO and President of Loyola Productions Munich, Inc. and DOK TV & Media, Inc., two film production companies especially producing / specialists in documentaries, promotionals, and educational films. He has directed and produced the award winning feature length documentary „In Spite of Darkness. A Spiritual Encounter with Auschwitz.“ (Best Documentary, Redemptive Storyteller Award, Silver Telly Awards). He has become a specialist in animated documentaries, including scenes of the ZDF/ARTE production “Challenging Churchill”. - -
German Jesuits open social centre in Munich. The opening ceremony for the Zentrum für Globale Fragen (ZGF), the reconfigured social centre of the German Jesuits in Munich, took place on 21 June 2017 with more than 160 guests from academia, church institutions, private foundations, partner organisations and students. After an introduction into the renewed mission of the centre by its director Michael Schöpf SJ, Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research gave a highly-praised keynote speech on “Three narratives of capitalism – liberty, equality, sustainability”. The work of the centre will focus specifically on three thematic areas of global justice: environmental sustainability, migration and intercultural issues. While academic reflection will remain the key contribution to the public debate and to the work of the social sector, new links have been formed with grassroots organisations and networks, among them Jesuit Refugee Service, Jesuit Worldwide Learning and Misereor. This should enable the centre more directly to involve those who suffer most from injustice in the formulation of research questions. The new generation of projects are also designed in a way that their results can support more directly processes of change. Many research projects combine in their methodological approach empirical social science research with a philosophical reflection. The work of the new centre is based on the perception that global justice issues today impact people in the global South and the global North on equal terms, and this directly. Through its activities, the new centre aims at building new links in this context. The “Zentrum für Globale Fragen” researches, among other issues, criteria for successfully teaching values in the context of migration. While current integration courses often focus on a simple adoption of a set of norms by migrants, this research wants to establish criteria for value education as an element of community building. The outcome of the research will serve as an input to the policies pursued by the Bavarian ministry of social affairs that commissioned the study. In addition to this research, the centre runs a series of training workshops for professionals, volunteers and migrants on value education. Further activities include the preparation of a book publication on environmental ethics; research on intergenerational justice issues in the context of climate change; a series of online courses on environmental education for refugees and marginalised people; and the preparation of a summary study and a conference on post-growth theories and options for action. Partners are as diverse as the Munich Re Foundation, the University of Tasmania and the German Catholic Bishops Conference. The Zentrum für Globale Fragen succeeds the Institut für Gesellschaftspolitik which had been founded in 1971 as a classical academic platform. It is also attached to the Jesuit faculty of philosophy in Munich. Further information (in German) and detailed contact information can be found on
Baroque meets indigenous music culture. You can experience history in the museum, reading books and looking at old pictures. However, living history – penetrating into past times and getting knowledge of past cultures –  requires more senses. The "Sonidos de la Tierra" (“Sounds of the world”)  from Paraguay offer a living history experience on their concert tour through 17 cities in Europe. From 22 June to 7 July, the orchestra is giving concerts in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany and Hungary and playing in church services. Under the motto "Baroque meets indigenous music culture", compositions by the Italian and Swiss Jesuit missionaries in Latin America, Domenico Zipoli SJ (1688-1726) and Martin Schmid SJ (1694-1772), as well as by Julian Atirahu, are performed. Atirahu was an indian musician from the Guaraní ethnic group who had been trained in Paraguay in a Jesuit mission village (so-called reductions) in the 18th century. In addition, the "Misa Guaraní" (Guaraní Fair) is on the agenda, which is oriented to the liturgical songs of that era. In 2002, the musicologist Luis Szarán, conductor and director of the Symphony of Asunción (OSCA), founded the music and social project Sonidos de La Tierra. Szarán, a multi-award-winning musician, pursues the approach of education through art. Music changes the lives of the disadvantaged, of which Szarán is convinced. He puts it this way: "Who plays Mozart during the day, does not throw windows at night." The aim of the music project is to bring together young and poor people about making music and singing, giving them a task and building a culture of responsibility and respect. Over the past 15 years, 18,000 children and young people and their families have participated in the project. Sonidos de la Tierra is now a nationwide network of free music schools, orchestras, choirs, music festivals and crafts companies for instrument making in more than 200 localities of the country. The members of Sonidos de la Tierra were honored by UNESCO as "artists for peace" at the end of 2016 in Paris. All information about the concerts and the dates can be found here: The tour is  accompanied by the exhibition "The Jesuit Reductions of Paraguay": The DVD "The Heritage of the Sacred Experiment", edited by the Jesuit Missions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland in cooperation with "Loyola Productions Munich", makes the reductions experienceable. Three films illuminate new discoveries and reconstruction of the reductions from 1958 to today: On the project page you can find all information about the social project "Sonidos de la Tierra":