Lithuania Father General Arturo Sosa‘s 45-hour visit on the 450th year of the Jesuit mission in Lithuania on May 6 and 7, served to encourage and inspire Jesuits, their coworkers and Ignatian groupings. Assisted by Fr. Tomasz Kot and Fr. Marc Ravizza, Fr. General spent one day in Vilnius, celebrating Mass at St. Casimir‘s church, and in Kaunas, with Sunday Mass at St. Francis Xavier‘s on Mothers Day, both Masses enriched by the local Jesuit school choir and a daffodil for each mother present. People appreciated clear homilies with four (not the traditional three...) points and the guests‘ friendly approach and disposition. In both Jesuit Schools teachers, parents, staff, CLC groups, religious Sisters, ministries gathered to hear responses to questions they posed in advance, as well as spontaneous additions. Two Jesuits came from Riga, Latvia, more than 20 persons came from St. Ignatius church and the Jesuit Primary School in Šiauliai. The guests also visited the four Senior Jesuits and spent time with both Jesuit communities, sharing stories, impressions, questions, hopes and plans. There was little time for sight-seeing except for the schools and the immediate surroundings of the Jesuit houses, and a moment in the bell-tower of Sts. John Church of Vilnius University, celebrating 440 years since its founding by Jesuits, who serve in this church now as well. Antanas Saulaitis SJ   Father General in Poland  From May 6-18, Fr. Arturo Sosa, General of the Order, was a guest in the Polish Provinces. During his visit he visited Krakow, Gliwice, Nowy Sącz, Tricity, Warsaw, Łódź and Lublin. He also had several meetings with Jesuits working in Poland, Ukrane, Denmark and Russia. During his visit, the general also met with lay people working with the Jesuits. He visited the Ignatianum Academy in Krakow, where he said that the Jesuit university is a place of reconciled life, and its graduates should be recognized more by their human qualities and pro-social sensitivity than by the way they cope with the labour market or the wealth of their wallets. During his meeting at the WAM Publishing House with the employees of the Jesuit media, he said that the media should never remain silent, but should tell the truth in such a way as to make it liberating and not stigmatizing. The general also answered the question of how to reach those who have moved away from the Church, the role of women in the Church and the Jesuit understanding of the "borders" to which the Jesuits are sent. During the meetings with the students at the school in Krakow, Nowy Sącz and Gdynia, he answered questions: Why do the Jesuits have a general, what is the best in this work and to whom is the Jesuit general cheering?  The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, for his part, encouraged the students not only to increase their knowledge, but above all to develop their ability to think and act in a civic way in terms of the common good and to build good relationships with other people based on the Christian faith and its values. During the Mass in the Gdansk academic pastoral ministry, he encouraged students to go beyond the safe framework of the "fold that provides comfort and security" to go to the life-giving pastures of freedom that enables us to love. He said: "Let us follow Him from the safe-haven of our lives and let others join us, even if they think or live differently than we do. During the meeting with the Jesuits and lay people involved in the work in the retreat centres, he spoke: The retreat centres are not "factories of true Christians" where the Ignatian method is a kind of technology for the transformation of human hearts. The Spiritual Exercises are effective in so far as the spiritual guides have allowed themselves to be transformed by them and they live this experience daily. The Jesuit general in Warsaw encouraged lay people to cooperate in the work of reconciliation with God, humanity and creation during a meeting with representatives of communities and movements working at Jesuit-led centers. During the indulgenced feast (May 16) at the Sanctuary of St. Andrew Bobola in Warsaw, Father Arturo Sosa said that the blood of the martyrs is a foreshadowing of the Spring of the Church. The preacher recalled the martyrdom of many Jesuits over the centuries who preached the Gospel in various parts of the world. There was no shortage of Poles among them. Even if today we are not always threatened with death for belonging to Christ, His love requires us to respond to contemporary challenges, such as migrations, wars or natural disasters. By helping their victims, we will probably not remedy all the misfortunes of the world, but even a drop makes the sea bigger - said Fr. General.   Reverie and silence... - General's visit in Auschwitz-Birkenau 9 May, this day of the General's visit to Poland, was a day of silence and deep reflection on the most painful aspects of history, which was the extermination of many people during the Second World War. Father Mark Ravizza SJ, who was accompanying the General Father, and who presided over the Eucharist celebrated in the Carmelite Sisters' monastery in Oświęcim, invited to remain silent. This Mass was the culmination of the visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, which, as a museum of extermination, is at the same time a timely warning against all that hatred, hostility, racism, and contempt for others can lead to.   Jesuits of Russia, Belarus, Kygrzyzstan celebrate the solemn vows and meet Fr General. On Saturday, May 18, after the Mass during which three fellow brethren Stephan Lipke, Tadeusz Drozdowicz, Piotr Kropisz took the solemn vows, the Jesuits of the Independent Russian Region met with Fr Arturo Sosa in Warsaw-Falenica on the last day of his visit to the provinces of Poland and Lithuania. This was an opportunity to tell about the ministry in those places where the Jesuits are currently present in the territory of Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, as well as to have a “question and answer” session with the Father General. For the confreres of the Region, often separated by vast distances, such events are a rare occasion to meet and socialize with each other in person. Some assistants of the Fr General from the Roman Curia, as well as Jesuits from Poland, collaborating with the apostolates of the Region also joined the meeting. The expression “ad dispersionem” was pronounced several times, reflecting the reality of Jesuit missionaries, who nevertheless seek to maintain unity of spirit thanks to a common vocation and charisma. Father General reminded his fellow brothers that for Ignatius, the Society of Jesus, despite its impressive growth in the first decades of its existence, always remains the “mínima Compañía”, not because of the number of members, but because the mission of the Society is always integrated into the universal mission of the Church, from which stems the need to cooperate with everyone who seeks to bring closer and embody the reality of the kingdom of God. Victor Zhuk SJ  
From the 23rd to 31st of July 2019 the Lithuanian Province of the Society of Jesus in collaboration with other Jesuit Provinces is organizing a summer Magis Europe 2019 event for young people. It’s a program for 18-35 year old youth, who are interested in Ignatian spirituality, intended for young people from Europe but everyone from all over the world will be very welcome. The meeting is divided in two parts: Ignatian experiments and the Closing event. The Ignatian experiments are the most important part of the Magis experience. Magis Europe 2019 experiments will take place in Lithuania and Latvia from the 23rd to 29th of July. The activities are designed to show young people the meaning of teamwork, to give them a sense of international community and to place them into unusual situations which contribute to their human and spiritual growth. Magis Europe 2019 event will offer a number of different experiments to choose from, grouped in several categories: Pilgrimage, Spirituality, Service, Ecology, Arts and Culture. The Closing event will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania from the 29th to 31st of July. All the participants of Magis Europe 2019 will gather in one place to share their experiences from the experiments, to participate in Magis workshops, to experience the Evening of Reconciliation and to celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola together. Magis Europe 2019 program will be linked to the world MAGIS 2019 event in Central America and World Youth Days in Panama. 2019 marks the 450th anniversary of the Jesuit Mission in Lithuania. The jubilee will be celebrated throughout the year and European Magis 2019 program will become one of the key events of the celebration. The main theme for the Magis Europe 2019 event will be the same as of the jubilee year - “To know, love and share”. Participation fee: 120,- EUR.The price includes the entire stay (including accommodation, food, event merchandise and transportation from the experiment to the Closing event in Kaunas). The price doesn’t include the transportation from your country and back – it must be arranged personally. Registration:www.magis2019.eu/registration Contacts:info@magis2019.euww.magis2019.euwww.facebook.com/MagisEU
Schwäbisch Gmünd - During Easter week 200 Jesuits from the German, Lithuanian, Austrian and Swiss provinces met for the common province symposium in Schwäbisch-Gmünd. Beside praying and celebrating together, the focus was on reflection and exchange on the mission in the areas of spirituality, social responsibility and education: the Jesuits of these countries are growing ever closer together. In two years' time, in April 2021, they will form the Central European Province ("Europa Centralis" - ECE). Fr. Franck Janin SJ, President of the Conference of European Provincials, explained the process and the impact of the new Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus. The entire meeting was held under the motto "Beyond ourself" and informed the nearly 200 Jesuits from Austria, Switzerland, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany who had taken part about the previous process of founding the province and the planned further steps. The seat of the new ECE-Provincial shall be in Munich, informed the Austrian Provincial Bernhard Bürgler SJ. Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ had confirmed in a letter that the Canisius-House in Munich should become the seat of the new ECE-Provincialate. An important topic was the ecological challenge (“caring for our common home”) and how the Jesuit Order responded to it. Fr. Gaël Giraud SJ (EOF), chief economist of the Agence Française du Développement and research director at the CNRS, presented the state of research and reported that climate change affects the already disadvantaged parts of the earth's population the most. We Jesuits see ourselves challenged to rethink our own lifestyle and to increasingly include ecological implications. On different levels and through professional competence the Order with its works and apostolates can help to shape social processes. It is also necessary to deepen the spirituality of creation. Fr. Claus Pfuff SJ, JRS-country director, professed last vows at a solemn Mass on Wednesday. The fraternal meeting allowed Easter to be celebrated as a feast of resurrection and new creation. The strength and motivation that grew out of the common mission of the Order were palpable.
Bad Schönbrunn - At the beginning of 2019, 45 participants of the 'Formation Gathering' met at the Lassalle-Haus in Bad Schönbrunn, Switzerland, from 2 to 5 January. Formation Gathering' is the meeting of the Jesuits still in formation from the countries of the future Central European Province (ECE: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lithuania). Since many young Jesuits are involved in youth work or work there, the meeting in Switzerland was about the Youth Synod and its consequences for the Jesuits in the four provinces. In order not to start with vague future scenarios but with the concrete present, it was the Jesuits currently working with young people who gave testimony about their experiences. What was striking is the broad variety of how Jesuits are engaged in working with young adults: at University and in school chaplaincy, in associations of Catholic students (KSJ) and in charismatic movements of young adults. From all these areas Martin Föhn SJ (HEL), Sebastian Maly SJ (GER), Arndt Gysler SJ (GER) and Beat Altenbach SJ (HEL) shared their experiences. They encouraged to accept all the ways youth are living their faith today and at the same time to help with Ignatian ways of pastoral care where possible and necessary. The longing for development in silence and in the security of spiritually shaped communities seems unbroken. The Youth Synod was approached in two ways: first, by a reading session of some text extracts from the Synod’s final document; second, by the reports of their participants: The Auxiliary Bishop Alain de Raemy (Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg), the youth chaplain Claude Bachmann (Lucerne) and Bernd Hagenkord SJ as director of the press office of the Youth Synod. Encouraging and sobering résumés were spoken, but above all there was the consensus: The Youth Synod should not be regarded as concluded, but as a prelude to an ongoing process of renewal of pastoral care, which not only works for, but especially with the young people on changing our lives in this world. Rahel Kölbener, chairwoman of the worship movement "Adoray" in St. Gallen, also emphasized this missionary perspective. She knows from her own experience that young adults are openly searching for ways of expressing and deepening their faith. Andreas Schalbetter SJ, chaplain of the University of Lucerne, showed us what possibilities there are to help students in their spiritual research. It was the first part of our excursion to Lucerne, followed by a guided tour through the Jesuit Church by “Living Stones”: Students accompany tourists – in this case, also young Jesuits! – explaining the meaning of art and architecture of the church, thereby opening up access to the faith traditions contained therein. After a visit to the room of silence in the University of Lucerne and the rooms of “horizonte“ (“horizons”, the name of the university chaplaincy) and a mass with the four provincials, the day ended with an amusing variety evening in the Lassalle House, which the Jesuits themselves designed. We concluded by a session with information on the trends in Jesuit Formation and looked ahead to the Formation Gathering 2020 in Prizren (Kosovo) which will be prepared by the newly elected ECE JIF committee. Before saying goodbye, the participants celebrated Mass with the newly ordained priests from Hungary, Lithuania and Germany, followed by an individual blessing - not least for everything that the still young year has in store.
Eugenijus Puzynia was ordained to the priesthood on December 1 in St. Francis Xavier church by Kaunas archbishop Lionginas Virbalas SJ. Exsultet choir, formed by Fr. Puzynia years ago, sang, and the reception was held in the Kaunas Jesuit School. Eugenijus is already the chaplain of Vilnius University, part of campus ministry at St. John‘s church in Vilnius. Artūras Sederevičius pronounced his solemn profession on December 15 in Kaunas, in the presence of provincial Fr. Vidmantas Šimkūnas and of the archbishop emeritus of Kaunas, Sigitas Tamkevičius SJ, and his relatives and friends. Artūras had taught at the Kaunas Jesuit School, teaches at the Vilnius Jėsuit School, where he was headmaster for five years, vicerector at St. Casimir‘s church,  and is province treasurer and consultor.
Exhibit in Vilnius. The Church Heritage Museum of the Archdiocese of Vilnius opened an exhibit „One Hundred Years of Missions and Missionaries“ on December 13, to last until May, 2019 as the principal exposition of the museum with a fine catalog, activities for young people and special monthly programs. Arranged by color according to the „Peace and Justice Rosary“ are artifacts from five continents to inform about Lithuanian missionaries and the missionary spirit and service of every Christian. It is sponsored by the Jesuits of Lithuania in cooperation with a unit of Senior Girl Guides. A small mobile exhibit is moving every two weeks from town to town until the summer, also in conjunction with the anniversary of Jesuits coming to Lithuania. On January 6 the official commemorations of 450 years of Jesuits in Lithuania begin with Mass at our four churches. An alumni conference is planned for February, another on leadership in April, Fr. General‘s visit in May, several Magis events, an exhibit in the Vilnius University library, a Jesuit school theatre festival and a final concert „Called to sing for the love of God“ a year from now.