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Albania

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Malta

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Josef Beck is a Maltese Jesuit, who entered the EUM Noviciate in Genova and studied Philosophy in The Gregorian University in Rome whilst residing in the community of San Saba. So what is San Saba all about? If I were to sum up my experience over these two years, two words come to mind: Creating Relationships and Discernment. CREATING RELATIONSHIPS San Saba is an international community, and I was lucky that we had 6 nationalities represented: Malta, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Portugal. This composition brought about many challenges in communicating and relating to one another due to the different cultural sensibilities and the luggage of formation that each one of us brings along from each Province. Many a times, it was also a reminder of the international aspect of the Society and the well-known dynamics lived by Ignatius and his early companions. Nonetheless, I believe that the environment we created - and I put emphasis on the word created as it requires effort and not something that simply falls from the sky - has made my experience at San Saba a memorable one. As in any family, each one of us has different needs and ways of relating, for example some prefer staying at home and watching TV in the evenings, others like to go out for walks in the mountains or just socialise over a delicious ice-cream. Even though the environment might differ, we tried to be there for one another, to listen and to learn and to share what we are passing through - formally known as ‘spiritual conversation’ - in times of crisis, during challenges in our respective pastoral work and during examination periods. I believe that this element of creating meaningful friendships with the Society is very important as establishing good friendships in our formation is be the way forward for the future; in a future where by we will be ever less and the need to collaborate is evermore important. A real desire to share and put in common our resources for the greater glory of God and for the people we serve is - I believe - a testimony to people within an outside of the Church. Evidence of this is that many friends that have stopped by to visit at San Saba all felt a sense of ‘home’ and welcome by the whole community Other than the relationships established in the community with other Jesuits, I also had the opportunity to meet Jesuits living in other communities here in Rome like the Canisius, the General Curia, the Istituto Massimo and the Biblicum, just to name a few. It is beautiful to feel ‘at home’ and welcome when I had the opportunity to visit some other community over lunch. (if the article is too long, you can leave out this paragraph) Attending lectures at the Gregorian University has been a great exposure to the catholic world. People from all over the world come here to study, and this creates a very rich classroom environment. I feel lucky that in our class year, we were blessed to have a large number of laypeople studying, and as a group of Jesuits we manage to create meaningful relations. We frequently organised meals over at San Saba and invited our friends over or organised outings together during the weekend. DISCERNMENT At this point in my formation, I see studying philosophy not as an end in itself, but as a means for future missions. Philosophy has helped me integrate all my previous experience done during the novitiate. It fosters a critical attitude towards myself, life and the environment I live in, in the sense that stopping the process of question everything may bring about spiritual stagnation - contrary to the constant process which is discernment. Investigating the deep questions that have accompanied man since the beginning of time has helped me shed a renewed light to the complex situations men and women alike are facing in today’s contemporary world. Spiritually, philosophy has also challenged the boundaries of my interior freedom. I frequently questioned the ‘simple things’ I might have come to take for granted, examined habitual ways of going about my decision making and tried to push my intellectual limits of understanding complex contemporary human realities. As the space of interior freedom grows, so does the complexity of discernment and taking decisions. Undergoing such a laborious process is tiresome to say the least, but it has also been for me a spiritual consolation and a way of growing in freedom to search what the Lord is asking of me, depending on the context, people, culture and environment I find myself in. NEXT STAGE: ALBANIA! When I was younger, it was fascinating to hear stories of Jesuits and missionaries recount their work and adventures in places where few people dared to work or had the courage to be present. For sure, it requires much courage to leave one’s country, but I believe that sharing the joy of the Good News with others - wherever they are - and committing to learning from another country’s way of proceeding is an enriching experience that no words can describe. The international aspect of our Province is a gift for each one of us if we can learn to overcome our differences and have an open heart to listen what the Lord is telling us, albeit in a different ‘language’ to what we might be used to! This call requires much spiritual freedom. Notably, the continuous challenge of spiritual freedom I was speaking about was very present during my second year at San Saba in the period during which I was waiting for my destination. Looking back, it was quite a tough time: my expectations, my fears, waiting of a reply and all the emotions and spiritual movements, proved to be a source of purification and returning once again to the core aspects of the vocation for the Society and being available to the Lord and his mission. When Fr. Provincial communicated that my destination was to start my regency in Albania, I felt very much at peace and motivated to start this next step in my formation. The idea is that during the week I will be working in the pastoral activities of our college in Shkoder (“Atë Pjetër Meshkalla”), and then going over to Tirana during the weekend to help in the parish activities (“Kisha Zemra e Krishtit”). The destination to Albania makes me feel connected to the many friends of mine that, because of work or study related purposes, have to travel and spend so much time away from their home countries. In a world and Europe with a closed heart towards ‘foreigners’, feeling as a citizen of the world in an ever more globalised and interconnected world, and as a young Jesuit regent in our Euro-Mediterranean province, is a testimony of the Lord’s love that goes beyond any of our spiritual boundaries. To close off with two words I’ve learned this week during my Albanian language classes: Faleminderit dhe mirupafshim! (Thanks and Goodbye!)
This week of formation in Selva, having as a theme "The proclamation of the Gospel to the younger generations (what concrete notions can be drawn from the Synod for evangelisation in the Province?)" will be led by Frs Raffalele Lanzilli and Carlo Casalone. The program includes some information on the synodality of the Church, as well as suggestions, recommendations and proposals for young people and for youth ministry as proposedby the Synod dedicated to young people and the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus vivit. The program will conduct an in-depth study of some issues of ethical importance that young people commended to the Synod and how these will affect in general the community: affective relations, discernment and conscience, new technologies and the communication of values. To conclude, the meeting will focus on the law 19/2017 of the so-called "biological will" and the path that the Province will adopt to implement the new legislation.
The magazine and think tank of the Italian Jesuits, Aggiornamenti Sociali (Social Updates), has updated its website radically. The new site can be accessed through the link www.aggiornamentisociali.it It is more easily accessible on smartphones and tablets, sharing of content on social networks has been made easier, and it has been designed with "neat" and clean graphics. The site primarily offersthe digital version of the monthly edition (in some cases the articles are freely accessible, in others reserved for subscribers), and improved with additional images, videos and links to related articles. This database is a real gold mine containing over 6,000 articles published during the 70 years of the magazine’s history. Through it the social, political and economic development of our country (and not only) can be traced while continuing to search further with articles that are of interest to the reader. Two completely new sections are dedicated to projects and networks in which the team of Aggiornamenti Sociali is involved. These include the areas of political and ethical formation, the environment, work, etc.. This is a commitment that goes beyond simply publishing the magazine monthly and that has developed particularly in recent years. To complete the site there is also a multimedia section, dossiers to delve into current issues, the Aggiornamenti Sociali calendar of events, an e-shop where one can subscribe to the magazine and buy features written by the editorial staff (with special discounts for subscribers), image galleries and more. The launch of the new site and of a short video presentation followed the recent launch of the online edition of the magazine, which can be purchased from the same site or from the main online bookstores. More noveltiesare in the pipeline for the coming months.
Art exhibitions and spirituality meetings, concerts and services for people in need: all this describes San Fedele in Milan, a reality of the Society of Jesus known at local and national levels as an open space for cultural and artistic discussions, for socio-political reflection, for profound spiritual experience and for the practice of solidarity and justice. The Jesuits and lay people who work here, keeping alive the legacy of Ignatius of Loyola and following the style of Carlo Maria Martini, promote events where questions concerning the men and women of today are fully addressed. A short clip is being produced in Italian and English to promote this activity. Ever since the arrival of the Jesuits after the Second World War (1948), the Cultural Centre and the San Fedele Gallery have been - together with the Parish - the nucleus of San Fedele, with prospects of development within artistic, musical and cinematographic fields. Since 1950, this nucleus has been flanked by Aggiornamenti Sociali, a magazine and think tank that delves into the most important social, political and ecclesiastical issues, from the perspective of the Christian faith and justice. Since 1994, these realities have merged into the San Fedele Cultural Foundation, now considered a leading cultural centre in Milan and Italy. The most recent innovative event took place in 2015, when San Fedele Museum was founded – Here, art and faith programs are organised and the public can enjoy the extraordinary artistic heritage of the Foundation which coordinates and supports the network of the present associations working directly with the civil society of Milan. Service is offered to prisoners (Sesta Opera), in the field of health and immigration (Assistenza Sanitaria) and in the formation of young couples (Centro Giovani Coppie). It also hosts and collaborates with the Carlo Maria Martini Foundation and the Jesuit Education Foundation. Info www.sanfedele.net
Thousands of beneficiaries from 26 of the most vulnerable countries will be benefitting from a total of 62 projects, amounting to €1,446,241.84. This is a snapshot of Magis as explained in its "Mission Report 2018". Magis has also recorded growth compared to 2017, both financially and in the number of projects. Over 2,000 donors, i.e. private donors and commercial entities (representing about 70% of the funding) together with the Italian Episcopal Conference (representing the remaining 30%) have supported Magis in implementing its projects around the world, which are also carried out in collaboration with local partners, Jesuit works and networks. Magis also supports and promotes the work, activities and missions of 29 Italian Jesuit missionary fathers who left Italy a long time ago and chose to dedicate their lives to the missions. In the countries where they live, they directly manage or have initiated education and formation institutions, agricultural, health and social projects for the promotion of local development in line with social justice.
"A vital place for the preservation of identity and an inspiration for the future, an icn of the new Province reality." Fr Provincial Gianfranco Matarazzo inaugurated the Archives situated in via degli Astalli: "in the house where St. Ignatius of Loyola lived and is buried, where Fr Arrupe wanted to set up the first reception centre of the Jesuit Refugee Service and where meals are served every day and people fleeing from war and poverty are visited, next to the Gesù International College, the Curia and the government of the Province, a place has been born, an icon of the new Euro-Mediterranean reality" he underlined.  These important spaces which are professionally certified are very much treasured, and I hope they will be a vital place for the preservation of memory and identity, a support for current affaris and issues, and an inspiration for the future ". 850 metre-long documentary heritage. Mons. Renzo Giuliano, parish priest of S. Marco, blessed the place.  He highlighted the value of the handing down of memory that unites, auguring that "the best of humanity is conveyed to history". This 850 metre-long documentary heritage includes registers, correspondence, files and a photographic collection. "The Archive gathers the documentation produced by the 5 old Provinces: Venetian-Milanese, Torinese, Roman, Neapolitan, Sicula and the former mission of Albania, today part of the Province, starting from the re-establishment of the Society in 1814", Dr. Maria Macchi, curator of the archive of the EUM Province  “The documents produced by the individual provinces, by the institutions dependent on them and by individual Jesuits are preserved in the Archive. The documents of these Institutions include those of Massimiliano Massimo of Rome, those of St. Frances Xavier College of Livorno and those of the Opera Massaruti ”. Through these documents one can make research on the Society of Jesus, on certain Jesuits and also on the cities where the Society operates, examining historical events through the life of the communities present also in numerous missions such as Brazil, India, China and Albania. Requests and exhibitions. During the first year of its opening 137 requests were made for access to the Archive, during the second year 200 requests were made and during the third year the requests made reached almost 400. "Three exhibitions were prepared for the occasion namely, the writings of Fr. Alagiagian, an Armenian Jesuit imprisoned in Russia until 1954, the sermons of Fr. Giuseppe Massaruti and the spiritual writings of Fr San Francesco De Geronimo, one of the oldest collections dating back to the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. The diaries of the novitiate situated at Sant'Andrea al Quirinale in Rome until 1870 and today in Genoa were also exhibited. There are also diaries containing the memoirs of the novices, including those of Fr. Angelo Secchi, a document through which his biography could be written. One can also find an account of the First World War told by Jesuit chaplains ministering on the front or in Rome itself where many treated the wounded at the Massimo institute which was then a hospital. The documents which were studied and filed, are kept in fascicles made of non-acid material for proper conservation and can be searched from the inventory which is being prepared. Among the special documents are the report book and school documentation of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, photographs of Ettore Majorana, his brothers and cousins who were all students at the Massimo Institute in Rome, the handkerchief of Pius X, a second class relic, and the Last Vows and the signatures of renowned Jesuits such as Fr. Angelo Secchi, Fr. Tacchi Venturi and Fr. Pietro Pirri: The historical archive also has its own editorial column on-line where twice a month, articles are published on particularly interesting documents or current affairs: https://news.gesuiti.it/category/archivio-storico/