Altavilla Milicia
Reggio Calabria
San Mauro




St Paul’s Bay
    An attitude, a journey, means and context.A testimony of Fr. Beppe Lavelli SJ. In winter it's in Villapizzone and during Advent, Lent and throughout the summer it’s in Selva di Val Gardena where Fr. Beppe Lavelli, turning 58 in November meets thousands of young people every year. He listens to their anxieties and difficulties, dreams and helps them discover their gifts.  And he recalls: "Since I was a teenager my greatest desire was to build beautiful relationships with people". He came in touch with the Society after his high school diploma in Science at Selva di Val Gardena. "I was very impressed by the way the Jesuits spread the Word of God and by their interior freedom. Today I am a Jesuit because I feel at home with my companions and I came to understand that together we are rendering a precious service to people. But how do you accompany a young person today within this fluid society where families are often fragile and challenged? "I would say that the starting point is an attitude of true welcome, of respecting the young person’s journey and his life.  It is somewhat like Moses who takes off his sandals in front of the sacredness of a person’s life.  Then one should listen profoundly to what the young person is saying as he opens his heart to him.  It is listening confidently.  It is trusting both the young person and what the Lord is doing. In this way the young person himself can start to believe that the Lord himself is speaking to him, and then to understand what the Word of God is saying to him. This is the significance of annotation 15 of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. It is also important to offer young people a journey that has some landmarks, some essential points of reference: - helping the young person to examine his own life in order to discover his gifts.  Let the first step be recognising the good received. - enabling him to get in touch with his desires and to discover his deepest desire so that it becomes the fountain of his existence. In the Gospel of John, the first words of Jesus to the two who were following were: "What are you looking for?". The first thing the Lord reveals that he has very much at heart is the desire of those who follow him.  It is important to nurture this desire, let it surface and believe in it. - Another step is the recognition of our fears. When we identify them, we become free of them and they do not remain the controlling factor behind our actions. We should trust that we can face them with courage and humility.  We can win this battle with our fears as David won over Goliath. - Finally let us allow Our Lord to show us our true identity, our new name. We are constantly growing in our identity.  We discover it gradually.  Our identity is like the gradual development of a film rather than a photograph. To help young people along these stages of their journey we offer them three tools: a prayer method, giving them a lot of space to pray on the Word of God.  Cardinal Martini was a great inspiration to us for this type of prayer; teach them how to apply the rules of discernment of the Spiritual Exercises to their lives and finally teach them how to examine their conscience so that they are able to examine themselves by recollecting themselves at certain periods of the day. Finally, the context is also very important for the spiritual growth of young people. It is not only one’s personal relationship with the Lord that is important but I think the sharing of personal experiences within a group of young people who are undergoing the same journey is very helpful to them as they learn from each other what the Lord is doing in their lives. Let me now return to the respect and trust that the companion should practise when listening. The companion should speak very little and should do so especially after listening to what the young person has to say.  Another suggestion I would give is never to set oneself as an example; the Lord is much greater than what the companion can say or think of and perhaps the Lord has far greater and new things in store for the young person and maybe for the companion also. It is important that the companion is available, he is there to listen and can establish a totally free relationship with the young person and is able also to let go of it. A recommendation I would make to the religious is that it is also important that these young people experience life within communities that are open and welcoming to them.
The idea was given birth a few years ago in Selva by some families: "bringing together the realities in the Italian territory where experiences of Ignatian spirituality are already being organised in a lay and domestic form," Marco Berti, secretary of the RIA explains. "Families from various areas who form groups and / or organise experiences of Ignatian spirituality for families and couples, can in this way collaborate together, exchange methods, formation material, ideas, programs and can themselves become guides and spread the experience ". This network is being organized in local /territorial meeting places (domus), where the local people can attend for the planned programs. Thus a website has been activated  , which is a forum for discussion and encounter, where one can search for programs for married and engaged couples or subscribe to a newsletter and remain updated with new initiatives. “This reality is open to all and offered to all those who have at heart a form of family spirituality that is focused and directive, well aware that the most important aspect of formation is disseminating the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius so that the family becomes more and more a nucleus which is alive and prophetic rather than simply belonging to a specific pastoral ministry ". This is the specific plan that the promoters are working on for the next meeting, a seminar on the accompaniment of couples scheduled in Bologna from 12 to 13 October. “The wider project within which this event is inserted” Fr Beppe Trotta points out “is that of “rereading” in a pluralistic form the different essential aspects of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in the conviction that there is a possibility of a “plural variation” which can adapt the proposal of the Spiritual Exercises to the specific characteristics of couples and families.” The program in this sense is a deepening of spiritual accompaniment and has some traits and characteristics and elements which are fundamental to the focus of accompaniment of the couple and an approach which is a form of an instrument which was developed by Maria Teresa Zattoni. From these two introductory relationships we can start the true work of elaboration which is done on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings on the theme of spiritual accompaniment of the couple in an Ignatian form. For more information write to
At a time characterized by an imposing leadership model, it is urgent to offer the Ignatian leadership model for the service of others. The video contains the reflections of some EUM Province Jesuits and lay people. Formation within the Society is of utmost importance as it is a tool to discipline the conscience, enabling leaders to place people at the main focus of attention, accompanying them on their journey, in particular the most vulnerable.  
Young people of Eucharistic Youth Movement on a missionary trip. In July eleven young people from the different areas of MEG went on a missionary trip to Brazil: "We have discovered a love that moves everything, that gives colour to life and nourishes faith. We have discovered a land where faith is so tangible and people experience the Lord and see Him present in their daily lives", one of the young people wrote." This has been a deep life experience. Each of us had fears which we needed to discard and desires to fulfil. The meeting with the different communities and the experience of deep welcome were preceded by the National Conference of MEG Brazil, which was attended by about 150 young people, delegates and coordinators of the various countries where the Movement is present today. "In those days we felt as if we were at home, at our conferences, both during the assemblies, led by Fr Claudio Barriga SJ, as well as during the time of prayer animated by guitar music and the illumination of many candles in front of an icon of Jesus. This moment seemed to express to us the simplicity of an vital and spontaneous faith. In those days the music was continuous and contributed to making us all feel even more united". The days were marked by traditional local songs and dances, accompanied by the rhythm of large drums and the fluttering of colourful clothes. "We were left speechless by the wonderful discovery of the concrete presence of the Lord with us during the mission: we felt that Jesus was there and that he accompanied us and welcomed us into the homes of the people we were visiting. We were His instruments to simply carry His Word and His Love to the people. What we did was just go out and knock on people's doors to get to know them and support them. It was incredible to observe the spontaneity of the young people of the MEG of Brazil who read a passage from the Bible to each person we met and always found the right words to say in the situation, bearing witness with faith to the Lord. The stories of suffering and love that people have recounted will always remain in our hearts. In this country we have experienced how the realities of poverty, suffering and pain can be lived joyfully without any difficulty because they are embraced with a deep faith. The people we have met have taught us that one can always find value in the smallest of things, that we must have the same courage as those who have nothing and that we can always offer our nothingness as a gift to those we encounter. We have experienced acceptance without measure. Faith and love have overcome the fear of not being able to communicate even where the language seemed an obstacle, when the words seemed incomprehensible, we managed to create a strong fraternal bond with all the Brazilian young people we met. In a very short time, we discovered that we shared not only fears, but also many dreams and desires. Each of them was an instrument of love, an example of a deep faith and immense joy that seemed to us to belong particularly to that land. We thank the Lord for all His work, for every single moment and for meeting Him in the eyes of those whom we have encountered in this incredible journey".
60 students from the University of Malta have done voluntary service abroad. Six different groups of young people have served among the poor and marginalized in Palermo, Florence, London, Romania, Ethiopia and Egypt. A simple send-off ceremony took place on Saturday 27 July at the university chaplaincy during which the chaplain, Fr. Patrick Magro, augured these young students to live this experience to the full, thanking them for devoting their time and energy to those in need. Each one was given a personal diary and sunflower seeds. The young people heading for Palermo, Florence, Romania and London have worked with children in institutions run by the Sisters of Charity. The group volunteering in Egypt have run a summer camp for about 200 children in the so-called “garbage village”, where the inhabitants live in extreme conditions, on mountains of garbage. Fr. Anthony Fenech SJ, a Maltese Jesuit who has served in Egypt for many years accompanied the students throughout their experience. The youngsters who have gone to Ethiopia devoted themselves to the care of the sick and the marginalized. “Every young person returns home changed by these experiences”, Fr. Patrick said. “These are experiences that mark the beginning of a new life.They have been generous in giving, they will receive something even more precious. This voluntary work experience shared with their peers increases their sensitivity towards those in need. It is an effective way to form leaders who are active in promoting true social justice.” Thanks to funds donated, these experiences are now made accessible to a greater number of young people for another three years. Finally, a further group of students journeyed on the Camino de Santiago during the first two weeks of August, accompanied by Patrick Magro SJ and Mark Cachia SJ.
255 teenagers, 150 young people, 300 families and 30 Jesuits. This is the number of participants who applied for the Selva experience taking place between June and September in north Italy. 100 adolescents and over 50 families stayed on the waiting list. There were three programs for adolescents, three for families, two for young people, one for Jesuits as well as the experience of the Spiritual Exercises. This initiative was made possible through the work of more than 150 volunteers who helped in the preparation of meals, administration work and animation programs for the children. 30 teachers were engaged as speakers. "The aim is to invest in the formation of people, including non-believers, to help them become interiorly free and responsible persons, offering them tools to read the word of God, to discern, to communicate with others and to live a good life.  This is the pedagogy of the Exercises: giving tools, offering a method, helping people to encounter the Lord", Beppe Lavelli SJ, director of Villa Capriolo, emphasised.  The Jesuit Mario Laner and 17 adolescents initiated this work of Providence as they benefitted from the generosity of Carlo Padrali-Noy and his wife Almarosa who donated their holiday home to them and contributed to the construction of the second building. Many choices have matured in this place, where Card. Martini, after leaving the chair of the diocese of Milan, spent some time of rest every year.