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.
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.
On September 8th four companions made their first vows in Loyola: Lucas Alcañiz (Madrid, 30 years); Luis Argila (Barcelona, ​​36); Alejandro Escoda (Barcelona, ​​26) and Alejandro Toro (Los Santos de Maimona, Badajoz, 21). On September 10 five young men made their first vows in the Society of Jesus in Nuremberg after a two-year novitiate period and thus bound themselves to the Order for their whole lives with the promise of full commitment for others. For the German Province Lukas Kraus SJ and Jonas Linz SJ made the vows, for the Lithuanian Province Donatas Kuzmickas SJ, for the Hungarian Province Árpád Tóth SJ and for the Austrian Province Gerald Baumgartner SJ. September 15 Giacomo, Cornel, Janez, Piero and Andrei have pronounced their First Vows in the Church of the Gesù of Genoa in the EUM province.