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The last book of the Old Testament. A new version of the Book of Wisdom has been published:  the last Book of the Old Testament is written in Greek towards the end of the first century B.C., perhaps when Jesus was already born.  Philo of Alexandria highlights it, Flavius Josephus knew about it and the New Testament quotes it.  The novelty and strength of the book do not only derive from its chronological position, but from the fact of it being a bridge between the two Testaments.  The Book of wisdom is therefore an interpretation of the whole Old Testament within the perspective of the internal transformation which was developing in the biblical tradition before the novelty of Christianity.  During the formation process of the biblical canon, the pharisees – the only group which remained existing after the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. – eliminated some recent texts, or those judged to be so,  from  the  sacred books. These had been imbued with a diverse and new spirit different from the Pentateuch and show a closer affinity to the announcing of the Good News.  The version which was edited and commented upon up to chapter 12, by Fr.  Saverio Corradino, was completed by Fr. Giancarlo Pani and was given to the editor Vittorietti of Palermo to publish it. 
The Kairos experience in the Ignatian Schools. This experience aims at helping young people re-read and make peace with their life story, examine their  relationships, and grow emotionally. "Young people always live outside themselves," explains Fr. Renato Colizzi, Director of CIS. "The great emotional knots that mark their age are always left on the sideline of their education" Therefore we are proposing: "the experience of the spiritual exercises in a different form: this experience does not consist of prayer or meditating on the tenets of faith in the traditional way but consists of working on relationships with parents and siblings in  a simple way: this is the Kairos experience. Rather than concentrating on the academic profile, this program focuses on the relational and affective life of young people.  The method used for this journey is sharing between peers, as well as with teachers and Jesuits and a 3-day residential experience ". This is a journey that allows one to experience the depth and richness of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in a form suitable for high school students. This is a very significant initiative in the pastoral activity of the schools.  In fact 50 high school students coming from 8 different colleges of the Province took part in it in Susa from October 9 to 12. This is an opportunity to question and deepen even one’s personal relationship with the Lord. Doubts and questions come to light in the re-reading and in the recounting of their own experiences. "This experience," explains 17-year-old Federico of the Istituto Massimo di Roma "has given me a knowledge of myself that I was not aware of before. Through self-discovery and using my time well, I was able to reflect on subjects that were previously frightening. It will be useful for the future ". "This is not just a retreat, but an experience organized by young people for other young people" 18-year-old Alessandro, of the Social Institute of Turin highlights. "Before arriving, I had some prejudices," admits 17-year-old Nicolò, "I received a new awareness of the present and of myself that leads me to a deeper relationship with today and tomorrow." The young people who were the first to go through the experience during the scholastic year, will then accompany, as "Ignatian leaders", their other companions in this experience. Among the other programs planned in the schools’ pastoral activity, there is the experience of the spiritual exercises given to young people in the fifth year of high school, the prayer journey for the Ignatian movements - MEG and Student Mission League – and the prayer journeys and summer camps organised for service-giving.  About 8 thousand students attend the Ignatian schools of the Euro-Mediterranean Province.
15-Year-old Gabriele wins the essay competition promoted by  the Astalli Centre with “There is always a door that opens and you can choose to enter or not.” The competition saw a thousand participants. This intense and emotional story is inspired by the story of Yusra Mardini, a Syrian girl who started practicing swimming at the age of 3. Then she escapes civil war with some family members. First, they arrive in Lebanon, then in Turkey where they paid the smugglers and set off for Greece on an August night. The vessel begins to take in water. Yusra, her sister and another girl who can swim start to pull the boat towards the shore while the others throw their luggage into the sea. "There were 3 of us in the water and 17 on the boat. I started moving my feet like crazy. The more I pushed, the more the fear disappeared ". Arriving on land, they journeyed to the Balkans on foot and then took a train to Berlin where, welcomed as refugees, they took up swimming again. In 2016 she was chosen to form part of the newly set up team of the Refugee Olympic Athletes of the XXXI Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. From the starting position of the race Gabriele began interpreting the past. "Winning? It is just one detail ".  This is how 15-year-old Gabriele concludes his story entitled " All the dreams of the world "with which he won the XIII edition of the essay competition entitled "Writing never goes into exile" promoted by Centro Astalli. "It is an extraordinary story that I discovered some years ago, and I have made it the banner of all the dreams that those who leave on a journey, carry with them," he explains. "I had the opportunity to meet on a personal level and also with my school colleagues, refugees and migrants. In particular, passing by the Termini station on several occasions, I recognized stories and glances that revealed a world of crushed dreams that I tried in a really small way to support with a look, a word, a little time or some bread ". "Writing never goes into exile" and 'Let's write in colour" This competition entitled "Writing never goes into exile" for high school students and another one entitled "Let's write in colour” for middle school students for which a thousand students from various Italian cities participated is an instrument, adopted by Centro Astalli to encourage and give value to the attitude of sensitivity. This was a celebration for the students and institutes involved in the educational projects "Windows" and "Encounters" which address the right to asylum and the interreligious dialogue and through which the Center comes into contact with over 27,000 students in 15 Italian cities each year.  This is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of encouraging encounters with those different from us and to acquire mutual knowledge in order to create a more inclusive and welcoming society, free from racism and xenophobia. There were representatives from the world of culture, journalism and entertainment who took turns on the stage of the Auditorium of il Massimo in Rome, to reward the young winners of the literary competition.  Present among them were, Fr. Camillo Ripamonti (President of Centro Astalli), Flavia Cristiano (Director of the Book and Reading Centre - MiBAC), Andrea Monda (Director of L'Osservatore Romano), Fr. Giovanni La Manna (Rector of the Istituto Massimo ), Melania Mazzucco (writer), Aboubakar Soumahoro (trade unionist and writer), Sabika Shah Povia (journalist, member of the Associazione Carta di Roma), Takoua Ben Mohamed (graphic journalist), Phaim Bhuiyan (actor and director), Sara Jane Ceccarelli (singer and author), Paola Michelini (actress), and many others. The event was also an opportunity to deliver the award “A School that is a friend of refugees ", to educational institutions that are committed to promoting the creation of programs of active citizenship among students for the establishment of a more just, more open and more welcoming society. This is an initiative of Centro Astalli in collaboration with ASCS - Scalabriniana Agency for Development.
"An agreement between generations": this is the significant title of the Civil Ethics Forum held in Florence on 16 and 17 November. Present among the organizers was also the team of Aggiornamenti Sociali. "This is an expression used to convey the idea of ​​an agreement between those who occupy different positions, but it also creates a bond that lasts over time. In other words, it is not a question of signing a simple contract, which lasts for a period of time, but a real alliance between the generations explains Fr. Giuseppe Riggio SJ. At the meeting a lot of positive sharing regarding the areas of politics, economics, work, communication, interreligious dialogue, the environment, formation and education took place. These themes are being strengthen in particular through the linkage with important youth realities, such as the Catholic Action, the Opera for youth Giorgio La Pira or the MEG, that are investing time and energy, proposing ideas and offering a new outlook to the issues addressed. "The first attempt to put in action this agreement between the generations was made precisely by the group of promoters of the Forum, in which people of different ages have learned to work together towards a common goal". The speakers included Alessandro Rosina, Benedetta Tobagi, Enrico Giovannini, Marco Tarquinio and Erio Castellucci. This was an encouragement and a means of support to all those who work for the common good in different areas " We also feel confirmed and encouraged in this initiative by the encyclica Laudato si 'of 2015, where the proposal of integral ecology offers us an indispensable frame of reference", he points out. As this Forum was being concluded, the Coordinating team of Civil Ethics stressed how the Forum was a moment of overcoming the civil solitude that many realities experience in their daily actions.  This meeting was an opportunity to overcome the mutual stereotypes that exist between generations and augured that through this Forum a new collaboration between the promoters and the many participants who have animated it will be created. Click here to download the text of the "Agreement for generations". Among the promoters there were Catholic Action for young people, Social Updates, "Bruno Longo" Center, "Giuseppe Toniolo" Institute for  the International Right for Peace, Giorgio La Pira International Student Center, Association Finding an Aim, Lanza Foundation, Foundation for Financial Ethics, FOCSIV, FUCI , Il Regno, Association for Meetings, Pedro Arrupe Institute for Political Education, Student Mission League, MEIC, Focolare Movement, Youth Eucharistic Movement, Umbertata Project, Giorgio La Pira Youth Workshop.
They’re between 22 and 43 years old. They are graduates in Economics, Philosophy, Medicine but also in Energy and Nuclear Engineering, Physics, Performing Arts, Law. Among them there is also a craftsman, specialized in painting canvases. They share a common desire for searching in depth, a desire to pursue something "better"; it is not ambition that these young men are after, but a certain quality of life that can generate serenity. It’s in parishes or through friends, teachers and acquaintances, that they came in touch with the Society of Jesus, the Religious Institute to which Pope Francis also belongs. They are fascinated by the inner freedom of the religious who are part of it, "by their style of spiritual accompaniment, their approach to reality, the depth of their prayer life and their capacity of finding God in all things" explains Nicola, 32 years of age, currently in the Novitiate in Genoa with 16 other young men, for two years of discernment. Many are deeply marked by the important experience of the Spiritual Exercises: "My relationship with the Lord has changed, as I understand now that it is intimately connected to my emotions and my desires, a relationship that will continue to grow, no matter what happens during my journey", shares Nello, 43 years old. Some are already priests such as Giovanni: "I was experiencing a certain uneasiness. Then the Exercises and a conversation with two young Jesuits put me back on my journey, which is a vocation within a vocation". In Genoa, the Jesuit house welcoming young people for a discernment process is located in Castelletto.  The windows and the terrace overlook the big harbour and the vastly open horizon. The young people spend two years here seeking to understand well whether their deepest desire can be fulfilled by joining the Society and journeying within it. Fr. Agostino Caletti, master of novices together with Fr. Raymond, Br. Paride and Fr. Ignazio are available to accompany them in this discernment process. "This is a two-years’ period of experience and of community life; it’s a deeply interior experience that can confirm one’s profound desire to follow the Lord," Fr Caletti explains. This experience is based on three main elements: "The most important is daily prayer (personal and in community); some profound and particular experiences are proposed, such as Thirty Days retreat, a month of service in a hospital, a pilgrimage in poverty and insertion in a community preparing for Lent. The second element is community life: "this includes from studying to serving, from sport to free time enabling to build up relationships.  Finally, the third element is the introduction to our Charism carried out reading the most important Ignatian texts. These young people are attracted to this vocation through experiences offered by Jesuits, such as programs for young people in Selva, Bologna, Milan, through the Eucharistic Youth Mouvement, and in other ways, "including Internet, which they access with their desire for fulfillment". They make contact at the local level with the various vocation promotors before arriving at the novitiate. "Ours is not just a novitiate for Italians" Fr. Caletti highlights " but rather for Europeans, since it welcomes also novices from other countries such as Malta, Slovenia and Romania. This Novitiate has been in this city for 30 years after the previous novitiates of the former Italian Provinces were united into one". These two years are a privileged time of formation.  "In order to help young persons to discern their vocation well, it is important to allow them the freedom to be themselves, to talk about themselves and to become authentic in their strengths and limitations.  It is necessary that together we both encourage and challenge them to grow, in order for them to be confirmed in this vocation which is beautiful but also demanding.” The formation process is indeed long and demanding. The basis of it is the discernment of spirits. "Through it, we learn to recognize the good existing in each situation and to choose the one that leads to the greater good". The overall formation process consists of two years in the novitiate, three years devoted to Philosophy studies in Rome and from one to three years dedicated to apostolic work (Regency). Three more years are devoted to Theology studies, two years for the Licence and six months for Tertianship which is the last stage that re-reads, confirms and deepens this Way that continues with ongoing formation. Pope Francis himself entered the Society as an ordained priest, after a time of illness which culminated in the removal of the upper part of his right lung. He had a strong desire for missionary work. Discernment is the most precious legacy that he treasures as a Jesuit, that is that quest to understand better the Lord’s will and to follow him closely, looking upon reality just as Jesus did. This art of discerning is also what the families of the young men who are on this journey appreciate. Last March they spent a day together with their sons in the novitiate. "Ignatian way of proceeding is particularly necessary nowadays, considering the situation of the world," one of the dads highlighted. "I am delighted because, with the help of their Novice Master, they are learning to understand through the Holy Spirit what is really important and what they are called for." Getting to know how to choose every day. This is what the Jesuits of the future dream. This is a great gift for these religious, but also for the many lay people, who are being formed within this charism and who collaborate with them in the various works. This is a treasure that urgently needs to be disclosed and shared with many contemporary women, men and young people in search of a direction for their life.
A network of non-profit organizations has been set-up in Palermo, coordinated by the Jesuits’ Gonzaga Institute, which will manage Universal Civil Service (SCU) Projects and which includes “Pedro Arrupe” Institute for Political Formation, Palermo’s Centro Astalli, Polisportiva Gonzaga, Arces and social cooperatives Al Azis and Parsifal. After a long and rigorous procedure, which began in June 2018 and took just over a year, the Department for Youth Policies and Universal Civil Service has registered the network and the school, as lead institution, in the new National Register established by the recent Third Sector Reform.  In the spirit of an educational tradition that this year is a hundred years old, the registration will now enable the Institute, and other Network’s entities, to select  young people aged between 18 and 28 years who will offer their voluntary collaboration in specific projects and support the many activities in place. A network made up of 7 entities, providing 31 possible sites for young volunteers, enabling to overcome barriers and “protagonisms” in order to serve the community in a new and creative way. According to Father Vitangelo Denora SJ, director of Gonzaga Institute, responsible and coordinator of the Network, "the Universal Civil Service provides an extraordinary opportunity of growth for our young people. It is an opportunity to get involved and be confronted with the deepest desires of the heart, by opening up to meaningful relationships in a community context”. The next step of the newly established Network will be to elaborate and submit project proposals to the Department for Youth Policies and Universal Civil Service. The next phase will be, instead, that in which the young volunteers will be selected, and introduced in the different projects and in the various agencies. Projects will cover the following areas: care of the historical, artistic and cultural heritage; education and promotion of local culture, landscape and environment, sustainable and social tourism, sport; peace promotion between peoples, non-violence and unarmed defense; promotion and protection of human rights; development cooperation; promotion of the Italian culture abroad and support to Italian communities abroad.