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The 90 years of Fr. Domenico. Sociologist, blogger, writer, social worker, Professor Emeritus of sociology at the PFTIM (Pontifical Faculty of Theology of Southern Italy) ... reaching the ripe age of 90,  Fr. Domenico Pizzuti has always been a clear and sharp voice, an intellectual whose voice from the suburbs has reached the heart of institutions. Today, from the infirmary of the Gesu Nuovo community in Naples, he continues to inspire the civil and ecclesial communities. "I am ninety years old, and for about a year and 8 months I have been under medical care and observation at the Infirmary of the SS.Nome di Gesù Residence, Naples. For the last 8 months, besides the ailments of age, I have been quite well despite continuing medical treatments. Jokingly I say, "I am a sick person who is still alive!" I keep up to date via the computer and TV also to keep the blog going (which a young friend in Genoa takes care of) and Facebook, where I write articles read by followers from Scampia, Naples, Italy. I appreciate the efficiency of the Infirmary, in the community of Scampia situated in the northern suburbs of Naples where I live , where twice during my active days I resided and worked. I appreciate also the care shown by the community, by the superiors and the fraternity between the members. I have very few external relationships except through the media, and the friends of Scampia with whom I maintain contact especially through Facebook and the blog. I am living this period of my life with a certain heaviness because of lack of activity, even because of the two periods of quarantine we had in the infirmary as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus ". I have had many rich and significant experiences among which the commitment to faith and justice that characterized the post-Council time, the generalate of Blessed Pedro Arrupe and the General Congregations 31 and 32, which I believe are being lost because they are never spoken of in our communities and are being replaced by a general accompaniment of the poor and a more cultural approach towards the commitment to justice and dialogue with other cultures and religions. I believe that - beyond the commitment towards refugees and the cultural and editorial centers of Aggiornamenti Sociali e la Civiltà Cattolica - the Jesuits in Italy have not assimilated and put into practice the real messages of the last General Congregations and the Social Apostolate which is operating only within some works. The Covid emergency highlighted the fragility of our social normality with its inequalities and injustices, starting with private healthcare; and the difficulty of the Italian Church to face this emergency, if not with the usual sacramental recipes; but on the other hand, during the lockdown , many Christians took the initiative of celebrating the Word within the domestic churches set up in families, and of voluntary forms of solidarity to respond to the weaker sections of the population. It is a matter of starting afresh by consolidating these experiences and developing them in renewed social relationships». A true social expert in matters relating to the Society’s identikit and its priorities: «I am only highlighting some of these priorities after the pandemic: to fight the growing economic, social, cultural, religious, age, gender, ethnic and race inequalities and develop a universal welfare to respond to the social needs of the population. It is the manner of living our faith that does justice. On the ecclesial level: to promote finally the centrality of the "People of God" in Christian communities and the role of women not only in their growing participation in ecclesiastical institutions. As for religious - including Jesuits - it is a question of overcoming the temptation of reducing the mission to the "presbyterial" model of activity and to rediscover the richness of the charisms and traditions of the respective religious congregations ».
The future literary project of the fifth-year students of the Gonzaga high schools, completed during the lockdown was published. The first 50 copies were donated to school leavers. «MATURITY 2020. Avant-garde poetic style by the 50 school-leaving students of the high schools of the Gonzaga Institute (5th year Classical, Scientific and Linguistic), who are about to conclude their studies after the post-pandemic period. This work of art was initiated during a lesson in Italian literature on the poetic avant-garde style of the early twentieth century, on Marinetti's Futurism, obviously through distance learning, and which has now been converted into a video, a text and an appendix of images, calligraphy, drawings and photos. This resulted into a work of art, which was published thanks to the collaboration of a publishing house in Palermo: the first 50 copies were donated today to the students who compiled this work of art. This project came into fruition through their boredom and hope «This project - explains Giovanni Inzerillo, who teaches Italian - is the result of boredom, anger, superstitions and hope. We can still find evident echoes of Futurism today but let us put aside the prejudices we have about the strange language used by young people. It is true that the thunderous Bum Bum Bum or Tumb Tumb Tumb, which young people of today hear and pronounce so loud are no longer those of military bombings, planes and racing cars, but neither are they meaningless words, signs of a subculture generated just for a good feeling or by boredom, by wrong models, as we adults are undoubtedly convinced to believe. Suddenly, when what we believed to be unreal suddenly became real, we started struggling in a state of depression and isolation against an invisible enemy whose name Covid19- Coronavirus seems to have been created in past Avant-garde contexts. However, we must strive to think about this struggle on a much higher scale, as a struggle against ignorance, prejudice, and against the concept of self-sufficiency"  “Distance learning, despite all its limitations”, Fr. Vitangelo Denora, director general of the Gonzaga-ISP Institute recalls, "was an eye-opener, making people reflect upon the reality of education, its power to transform people and the world. The first Jesuits used to say “to educate is to renew the world", as they emphasized the centrality of the pupil and his learning journey which is a life journey, the educational relationship and the importance of teachers as they take up the challenge to be persons of research and embark on the educational journey. This time – Denora continues - was a time of stepping up and of renewal for the school: to finally work for acquiring skills and not only for the accumulation of knowledge, to connect the school to life and its challenges, creating bridges and connections, which can influence the reality and change it.  It was a time to experiment with a less vertical form of teaching and transmission of information to a more interactive form of teaching, that puts the student at the center, giving more value to the student's journey, accompanying him with more continual feedback which is so valuable for his improvement, not in an authoritative and polarized way of control, but as a continuous and interactive process that promotes growth ». Living as citizens of the world «Through this project, the young people demonstrate that there is depth and responsibility in the way they are living in this world - continues Fr. Denora – despite the fact that all that is around us is superficial and frustrating. In this way, this work challenges adults who listen truly little to young people, or "ignore" them completely. Pope Francis always addresses educational institutions saying that such a form of education is really a school of life and research confirms that schools can change, remaining faithful to their ethos but  rediscovering their vocation to make people happy and authentic active citizens of a new world ». «Through this initiative - Professor Inzerillo adds - we have shown that poetry is alive and young people are sensitive enough to appreciate it and internalize it. This is the bitter-sweet saga,  both funny and tragic, of all our fifth year students who day after day demonstrate a profound maturity without even being certain at the moment of the near future, a certainty which until a month ago they believed they had. It is a somewhat strange story as strange as is the moment we are living. These verses contain the emotions of everyone, young girls and boys, the cries of a healthy rebellion that youngsters scream at the top of their voice». And finally, the young professor Inzerillo encourages them: «In all moments of your life be persons for others and shout aloud, very much aloud. Do not worry if you are not always understood. What is important is that your good intentions guide your actions. Shout, act, be annoying or rebellious, be brave. Your ideas will improve this world. "
In June, multiple Jesuit institutions created campaigns to call for action on the occasion of the World refugee day. We will present to you some actions taken by the Centro Astalli in Italy, Alboan and Entreculturas in Spain and the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology (SJES) of the General Curia. Centro Astalli’s Campaign for world refugee Day. Centro Astalli presents #traccesolidali: the social campaign for the next World Refugee Day. We can take care of each other as we travel together on this long journey respecting each other’s rights. Deep dark eyes carefully follow the movement of the sewing machine. They are the eyes of Zainab, Lin and Fatou.  They come from Nigeria, Somalia, Chine and Eritrea. These women have crossed the desert and the Mediterranean and have survived incredibly difficult journeys. With needle, thread and fabrics they have brightened their days at Casa di Giorgia, the center for women refugees that has hosted them, during the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Their skilled hands have guided young and inexperienced hands in the making of masks out of fabric that arrived from all over the world. Today these refugee women are starting all over again, using a sewing machine and a handmade design. They found some fabric and drew sketches and models to create a commodity that has become precious and indispensable for the protection of each of us. The look on their faces is one of solidarity, women who have decided to take care of the community that hosted and protected them, and which now has become their home. To place an order, one can contact Centro Astalli 0669925099 astalli@jrs.net During this time, solidarity and integration are hanging on thin but strong threads, interwoven with shared values ​​and care for the common good. We can take care of each other as we travel together on this long journey respecting each other’s rights.#traccesolidali   Activities in Spain. An escape room The proposals have been varied. For example, the ngo Alboan has launched an Escape Room with the name "Breaking the wall", with the aim of breaking down the walls built with false messages, stereotypes and prejudices about migrants and refugees. With a donation you can play and invite up to three more players. The money raised will go towards the COVID-19 global emergency campaign, which seeks to alleviate the effects of the pandemic among the most vulnerable communities in Latin America, Africa and India. Sharing a photo of our walking shoes The traditional Paths of Hospitality or marches with refugees and migrants, this year have been celebrated virtually by sharing a photo of our walking shoes on social networks accompanied by a message of solidarity with migrants and refugees. For its part, the Jesuit Migrant Service will present in early July its annual report on Foreigners' Internment Centers (CIE 2020 Report), which on its tenth anniversary will re-read the evolution of this last decade, in the hope of knowing if the CIE will reopen and in what situation, after the closure caused by the pandemic. The report will be available on its website from 6th July. 7.1 million refugee children and adolescents of school age The NGO Entreculturas has invited us to look more deeply into the reality of the 7.1 million refugee children and adolescents of school age, of which 3.7 million do not normally attend school, but whose numbers have increased due to the emergency caused by Covid-19. In their campaign Escuela Refugio they ask for our signature so that education is preserved as an essential right within any humanitarian response in an emergency or crisis and they offer us different teaching materials and resources to work on the issue with children. "Migratory Flows at the Borders of our World" Finally, the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology (SJES) of the General Curia, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), the Migration Network, GIAN (Global Initiative Advocacy Network) and the Institute for Migration Studies of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas celebrated the online presentation of the book "Migratory Flows at the Borders of our World". The seminar in which this presentation was held on Thursday, June 18, was attended by Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ, Fr. Here you can dowloan the book. More information about the webinar here: https://infosj.es/noticias/16588-el-p-general-invita-a-trabajar-juntos-para-abordar-el-desafio-de-las-migraciones   Read also: “To know in order to understand” - Faith-Based Organisations on World Refugee Day 2020
Villapizzone, "a founding community". At present five Jesuit fathers living as a family together with other families form part of the community. Founded in 2003, this experience brings together around thirty realities spread throughout Italy. The principle foundation of this life sharing experience is a vocational journey that fosters a common life in a context of trust, honesty, solidarity, hospitality and responsibility. The roots of this community lie in the post-conciliar atmosphere of the seventies. It is in that rich ambiance of international volunteering, the search for different family models and a Church where men and women, priests and lay people, are living the word "in a common way" as fellow pilgrims, that Villapizzone was born, in the northern suburbs of Milan, an experience that years later will be defined by sociologists as "founding community". Bruno and Enrica Volpi, on their return from Africa where they have spent some time, are looking for a place where they can continue to live the value of solidarity and hospitality, together with others. It is the same question which is being raised by certain Jesuit fathers who are seeking knowledge and growth and “motivated” by the changing times. "Forty years ago we felt that it was important to live together in community, simply as brothers outside the complexity of large structures, living the simple values of the Gospel and witnessing to them, working for a living like all other people", Fr Silvano Fausti, one of the founders of the community who is also a biblical scholar said. We are looking for some space in an old dilapidated farmhouse, where scoundrels, addicts and other people with social problems had already found refuge. With some hesitation from Cardinal Colombo, the full support of Fr. Arrupe and an agreement with Radice Fossati, owners of the farmhouse, in 1978 the Jesuits and the families who had in the meantime gathered around Volpi were given possession of one of the wings of Villapizzone. The photo albums manifest broken roofs, dangerous stairs, walls with peeled off paint and smeared with political slogans. Everything had to be built anew even the way of being together. Today, five Jesuit fathers, living as a family together with other families, are part of the community. "We shared our desires and acted upon them and only afterwards did we reflect on our experience, so much so that the "deed on common life " was established ten years after we started", Elisabetta Sormani, married to Tullio and President of Community and Family World explains. Founded in 2003, this association brings together around thirty experiences scattered throughout Italy with Villapizzone as a point of reference. The principle behind their cohabitation is a vocational journey that promotes a common life in a context of trust, honesty, solidarity, hospitality and responsibility. «Everyone must follow his vocation. For us couples, the Jesuits helped us understand the sacredness of marriage », Elizabeth says. And she explains this with the following example: when someone proposes to pray the lauds together regularly before going to work, the Jesuit fathers always say a firm no, explaining that husband and wife should pray together at home, in their room. "This is the place where they should live their vocation." Living together with families, the Jesuits explain, helps them to feel normal persons and certainly special "uncles" of the many children who run around the farmhouse. Another initial insight was the desire to live in an open reality, where the community does not become a security, but rather a welcoming space.  Villapizzone is open to everyone: families welcome foster children or young people in difficulty or priests, seminarians and religious who need a time of reflection. But each household is free to decide for itself.  Finally, one also chooses to live honestly. As a result, there is a common fund and families receive a blank cheque every month. The community - seven families, including the Jesuits - has only one fixed appointment, the monthly meeting, and a snack every day in the courtyard for those who are there, announced by the toll of the bell. Every day the Jesuits celebrate Mass for those who want to take part. And once a week there is a lectio of the Word of God, which attracts people from all over the diocese (many people follow the lectio through the website www.gesuiti-villapizzone.it). For some years now, some initiatives for young people (La Bussola and il Veliero: one meeting a month) have also been taking place, which are very popular and which focus on listening to the Word of God and on some instructions on Ignatian spirituality (method of prayer, rules of discernment etc.), in an atmosphere of fraternal sharing. The garden, the halls and the outdoor spaces, surrounded by gigantic cedars of Lebanon, are frequented by the people of the neighborhood, especially mothers - many of them foreigners - who organize birthday parties and play time for the little ones. Some members of the community work outside, others are stationed permanently in Villapizzone and several are engaged in the “From Hand to Hand” cooperative that sells second-hand items. It has two offices, more than 40 members, engaging a work force of 100 people. It has a small market of used items and antiques with a diversified clientele, from the gypsy to the collector. It is an experience that over the years has strengthened, changed, given birth to other realities, and encountered thousands of people.
Every child is so naive when he dreams about his future. And so was I, when I imagined myself exploring the world or as a missionary in Africa. All this contrasted with my reserved character and the small world of Sardinia, the island where I was born and of which I am so fond. I lived the traditional way as a young boy: school, catechism, the sacraments, but I also had a desire for truth and for deep relationships. And so, as I grew up, I changed from "dreamer" to "lawyer of lost cases", affectionately defined, as my concept was that sensitivity towards the most vulnerable and the sense of justice that I cultivated was a beautiful value but something that couldn’t be put into practice in concrete reality. I studied Jurisprudence, more as a second-best solution rather than by choice and, in the meantime, I met the groups linked to the Jesuits, with whom I began a journey of human and faith maturity. There I found space to share and experience that desire for deeper friendships, renew my traditional and formal faith, learning also what affect the Gospel has on my life, and experiencing ways of giving service which in reality were still unknown to me at the time. The Astalli Center in Rome, which hosts refugees from Ethiopia comes to my mind: here it was possible to experience that across border encounter that I had always dreamed of! And during those years, during one of these experiences, I met two novices, species I had never met before but who opened up a new world to me, because I realized there were other possibilities of a state of life besides marriage. I therefore embarked on a time of experimentation which lasted almost ten years, where I continued my journey with the CLC Community to which I belonged with an even greater commitment. I did a retreat every year and was accompanied by a guide during the experience of the spiritual exercises.  I was in charge of a youth group. In recent years I was preparing to become a guide of the Ignatian Retreat.  This was the type of life I had been searching for.  In my everyday life I sometimes experienced a distressing restlessness, because I could not find prospects of work that would give me peace, allow me to live the values ​​that were close to my heart and in the most radical way that I desired. I was unable to make up my mind and I was looking for compromising solutions, as it made more sense to me to put into practice the legal studies which I had by now completed and which cost me a lot of effort. But while I was preparing for public competitive examinations for the judiciary, during a time when I was more at peace, the Lord gave me His word, during a school camp for young people: "Do not be afraid, I will be with you, you belong to me" ( cf Is 43: 1-6). In a few minutes I understood what I had experienced in previous years and from then on, I never doubted again. It was the call to follow Him and the choice for a concrete way of life was pointing towards the Jesuits and their spirituality which had also become my spirituality. I entered the novitiate in 1994, so glad of having finally fulfilled my childhood dream and my desire to spend my life closer to those on the periphery. After years of formation my mission in Albania was a gift, a fulfilment of that desire that had such distant roots. This is all God's timing ... and the necessary journey to arrive there. I have learnt so much from the eight Albanians of the community; The not so simple language and the new culture have been a great challenge; I was immersed in a human element that overcame me and made me acknowledge that I had finally found that dimension of life that I had always sought. Then I was asked to leave everything and offer a delicate and important service to the Society as a master of novices. It took me a lot of effort to leave everything, but I was so grateful for having fulfilled my desire and for an experience that has really matured me as a man and in my understanding of the priesthood. This is how the Lord works, always introducing new challenges. And this is our charism, to be available to go where there is the greatest need.  In this vocation of being a pilgrim today I find my roots and desires for the future.
A first step on an already common path. This meeting has been scheduled some time ago. Then the lockdown was implemented and so we followed the example of the European meeting. It was a sign that came at the opportune time. So, on 18,19 and 20 May the meeting of the communication officers of some EUM works took place online: Magis, CIS, Jesuit Education Foundation, JSN, Malta, San Fedele, Jesuits-Youth and EUM Office. Writing for the web There were 16 participants in all. This was a new experience. It was a means to deepen knowledge between the different realities and to share formation courses on common themes. Among the chosen themes, was "Writing for the Web", an in-depth study by journalist and web writer Simona Sciancalepore. Three online seminaries Language is a means of engaging into a relationship. The new technique Bert (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) has been open sourced to improve language presentation online starting from the relevance to the contents.  Attention is particularly directed towards the user who reads little and poorly by skimming through the page. In order to make users aware that the web opens unimaginable resources, it has to connect with them. Therefore, one is invited to make use of charts or lists to plan the texts, thus aiming at the quality of the contents, placing first the most important information followed by details and insights. A simple language is recommended, using the present tense, avoiding stereotypes and technicalities, limiting the use of abbreviations and using clear words – a language, which is not complicated, but which can be easily understood. Communication on social media follows. The challenge is to initiate "conversations" and to share one's identity. Search in all directions, find time for others or try to save time. Start from what you have to say and not what instrument to use. Share events, appointments, general info, campaigns, project updates, stories, insights. Try to interact by citing sources and try to be concise and clear, not posting too much data.  Make use of hastags without exaggerating and thus distorting one's identity. Always check your contents, always examine your sources when writing on a particular topic, remain relevant, test the information in several ways and anticipate trends. Focus in particular on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Telegram Podcast, Tiktok. Finally, activating "Policies for the web". Make a list of existing sources and content. Express in a sentence what you do, for whom you are writing, and the method you are using. Publish regularly. Define an editorial plan. Ask yourself the right questions At the end of the online meeting give some time for reflection on "Communication risks and opportunities during the period of the Coronavirus Pandemic". There are many possible ways of keeping contact during this time of isolation, which are precious in order to "maintain the continuity of activities, dedicate time to one another, keep in contact and encourage resilience" Valentina Gagliardi, psychologist and psychotherapist highlights. But there are also many risks. "It is the so-called zoom fatigue", which include excessive exposure of oneself, managing silence, and giving attention to what is being said.  Hyper connectivity changes our perception, facilitates multitasking, lowers concentration, promotes the risk of functional illiteracy and triggers laziness. " These risks must be kept in mind to improve opportunities.