The Vineyard – latin vinea - mentioned by the title is the name refering to pastoral institutions run at the Jesuit residence in Poznań.  Vinea Foundation ( The Vineyard Foundation), started in 2010, focuses its  mission on cultural, educational, social and charity activities. Its’ important and the most developed branch is the Vinea Psychotherapy Center, founded in 2016. It offers therapy and pastoral counselling to  people of all ages. Both, the foundation and psychotherapy centre, are the fruit of CLC members initiatives welcomed by the Jesuit community in Poznań. Since 2005, every Lent, the local  CLC members and Vinea have been offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life. In 2020 and 2021 the retreat was guided online. Poznań is one of the biggest population, economic and cultural centres in Poland and it has  rich tradition of Jesuit presence. Presenting the Vinea’s  area of activity one cannot overlook the work which continues the artistic tradition of Jesuits activities in Poznań, both before and after the suppression. Two big halls of the former Dominican monastery, used for decades for theatre performances, since 1992 have been hosting the art gallery “U Jezuitów” (Jesuits’ Gallery). The art exhibitions, lectures and discussions taking place in the Gallery have formed its image as a meeting place of art creativity and religious experience. Since 2015, The Gallery has developed the Creative Activity Workshop  (Pracownia Działań Twórczych). It offers courses and seminars for people interested in training, cultivating  and mastering of their  artistic abilities and skills. Basic programme focuses on  classical arts and crafts, icon painting tradition and derivative types of art  (tempera paint, mosaics, gilding and decorative arts). The very name of Vinea (vineyard) reflects the multiple activities of the Jesuit pastoral centre in Poznań: it is  like a unique vine with many branches. The founding idea, hopefully, shall be  cherished in future in accordance to Jesus Christ’s words: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (J 15, 5).
In Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), on February 20-25, a youth discussion forum entitled "Unity in Diversity" is organized by the State Commission on Religions of Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with the non-governmental organization "Center for Religious Studies of Kyrgyzstan". A Jesuit, Brother Damian Wojciechowski SJ, takes part in the forum. He appears at this meeting alongside representatives of Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church. Br. Damian, thanks to his in-depth knowledge of various religious traditions and the ability to contact young people, is a highly valued speaker on the forum. Young people, aged 18-25, who take part in the conferences and meetings, come from seven regions of the country and represent various religions and Christian denominations. "The main goal of this event is to develop young people's knowledge and skills necessary to build interreligious dialogue," say the organizers. As part of the forum, not only conferences and discussions are planned, but also study visits to various places of religious worship, including the Jesuit parish of Saint Michael the Archangel in Bishkek (photos). The entire project is also an answer to Pope Francis' call to universal brotherhood and to building relationships between people of different religions and with different worldviews. Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim country and knowledge about Christianity among the inhabitants of this country is very limited. The Jesuits working in Kyrgyzstan, seven of them, try to "create bridges" and introduce people to the history and current activities of the Catholic Church. They run parishes, a foundation and a youth centre in Issyk-kul. They also join various initiatives undertaken by other organizations.
They study together, pray and dance together. The Academic Chaplaincy "Studnia" (Well) run by Jesuits in Toruń, city of Nicolas Copernicus, was one of the topics of the program "Closer to Heaven" broadcast by local channel of Polish national TV. "Well" is a place where young people come to "wet their feet" learning how to be ready to walk with others who seek meaning in life and to be generous and creative in supporting them in the creation of a hope-filled future. They come to get spiritual nourishment, pursue their passions and dreams here, find a foundation for further development of their talents, including professional development. They express themselves through creative and pro-social activities. They meet because they want to do something more. Each year the youth meeting at the Well sent their best volunteers to Africa, where the word "well" has a very specific meaning. Last year, a pandemic thwarted their plans, but they are not discouraged and are preparing an team of volunteers for the next summer vacation. Many who graduate from the university do not leave the Well. They help others who come here to deepen their spiritual life under the guidance of young Jesuit priests: Fr. Michał Kłosiński SJ and Fr. Wojciech Werner SJ. The community of young people from Toruń is getting ready for the time after the pandemic and is open to all university students. More on the TVP website: https://bydgoszcz.tvp.pl/51208945/blizej-nieba-6122020? The Academic Chaplaincy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duszpasterstwo.studnia.torun/
Father Wojciech Nowak, SJ, director of the House of Spiritual Formation in Kalisz (Poland), writes about his commitment to offer retreats in one of the Scandinavian countries, whose constitution prohibited entrance of Jesuits in the country. This prohibition was revoked only in 1956. There is not a single community of the Society of Jesus to this day, but ... Let us listen to Father Wojciech, who offered spiritual Exercises beyond the Arctic Circle. Tromsø is a city in northern Norway, located 350 km above the Arctic Circle, with a population of approx. 70 thousand residents, called "the Arctic Gateway". On September 8, 1990, at the invitation of the then Bishop Gerhard Goebel, a group of 9 Carmelite Sisters came to Tromsø as the Carmel Hafnarfjördur Foundation in Iceland. The Carmel in Tromsø has quickly become a point of reference for many people, not only from the Catholic Church, in their existential and spiritual quest. People come to the Carmel with all kinds of questions and problems to discuss them with the Sisters.   The desire to organise the spiritual exercises. Most of the Sisters (now 14) of the Carmel community in Tromsø have experienced the Spiritual Exercises. It was a silent desire of the Sisters to organise the Spiritual Exercises in their place. A Norwegian woman I met in 2018, who is actively involved in the life of the local Church, ventured to come to Kalisz, Poland for a retreat.  The experience of this retreat, and the testimony of it, was so strong that the idea arose to organize a similar retreat also in Tromsø. The first one that I conducted here took place in October 2019. It was not yet an Ignatian retreat, but a Jesus Prayer retreat. It was necessary to overcome a certain distrust towards the Spiritual Exercises associated with the Jesuits and the ideas about them.  The fruit of the retreat in 2019 are weekly meetings of the group praying the Jesus Prayer. One year after the first retreat, time came for the 6-day Spiritual Exercises in October 2020. There were more people willing to participate in them than places. Ultimately, 10 people with very different nationalities took part in the retreat. 3 people flew in on purpose for the retreat. Three of the participants were members of the Lutheran Church, including the pastor's wife. The retreat that I conducted was a kind of synthesis of the Spiritual Exercises based on the "First Principle and Foundation" (SE 23). I focused on how we can come into contact with God and how we can experience Him. The topics included the "language" in which God speaks to us, the manner He reveals Himself to us and communicates with us, and the manner in which we can respond to Him with our lives. Multilingual and from different Christian churches The retreat was in English and I celebrated the Holy Masses in Norwegian. It was wonderful to experience the unity of faith between us, but it was a pain for me that I couldn’t experience Eucharistic communion with everyone, which wasn’t easy for me to explain entirely.  The retreat, as the participants shared at the end, exceeded their expectations. When one of the Protestants heard that God is both father and mother, she said that she didn’t expect a Catholic priest to "say something like that." This allowed her to experience the feminine and the maternal dimension in a relationship with God. The retreat turned out to be for everyone, if not "ascent to Mount Carmel", then certainly the beginning of this path – "the way" also in the Ignatian sense, because, as you know, the Exercises have several stages and I hope they will be continued in that place.
The new academic year has begun at the Jesuit faculty in Warsaw and it is also the beginning of a new transformation. The Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw Collegium Bobolanum (bobolanum.edu.pl), run by the Jesuits in Poland (PMA Province) is transformed into the “Catholic Academy in Warsaw - Collegium Bobolanum”. It is the result of many years of efforts by the present Rector Fr. Piotr Aszyk, SJ and the previous one Fr. Zbigniew Kubacki, SJ, with the support of Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and Father General Arturo Sosa Abascal SJ. After obtaining the consent of the Holy See, the Grand Chancellor, Card. Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, by a decree on the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15, 2020) raised a single-faculty university to the rank of an academy with three faculties. In addition to the existing Faculty of Theology, the Institute of Social Sciences will be transformed into the Faculty of Social Sciences, and a third Faculty of Arts and Culture will be created. The Catholic Academy in Warsaw is a joint work of the Jesuits and the Archdiocese of Warsaw. Seven clergy and religious seminaries and seven secular institutes from all over Poland are affiliated with the Academy, and it is also a place of study for many students from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and other post-communist bloc countries. Diplomas and certificates of the Catholic Academy in Warsaw are guaranteed by the Polish state. They are recognized by states all over the world, including the European Union. Master degrees in theology, STL, and STD are also recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. At present, the Academy offers bachelor studies in political science (3 years), master studies in theology (5 years), canonical licentiate in theology (STL), doctoral (STD), and postdoctoral studies in theology (habilitation). The Collegium Bobolanum has a very long tradition, dating back to a small primary school founded by Jesuit father Piotr Skarga SJ in Połock (currently in Belarus) in the year 1580. This school gradually transformed to theological faculty in 1737, and the Połock Academy in 1812. The College originally educated young Jesuits only. After transformations, it finally moved to Warsaw and continuously expanded its educational offer. This Jesuit educational institution, despite the historical turmoil, continues to grow and develop its activities.
Two important events took place at the Jesuits in Łódź (PMA Province). Grzegorz Ryś, Archbishop of Łódź established the Jesuit parish church – the Holy Name of Jesus Sanctuary. The second event was the start of the school year in the Ignatius of Loyola Primary School founded by the “Mocni w Duchu (Strong in the Spirit) Association”. Fr. Remigiusz Recław SJ became the curator of the Sanctuary and the school principal. “It is not known what school Jesus attended. The Gospel did not write it - said the Archbishop during the inauguration of the first school year. But the gospel recorded what kind of teacher Jesus was. This is the gospel of the today: The Lord Jesus went to the synagogue in Capernaum and taught. And everyone was astonished by His teaching, for He taught with authority. I think it's a very good sentence for all the school years. It's not about how much you learn, it's about whether what you learn will have the power to change you, that the truth you learn will change you as people!”. “Let learning with POWER happen here” Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś wrote on the walls of the newly opened school. Below, the fr. Provincial added: „Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” (For The Greater Glory Of God) and grateful to the “Mocni w Duchu Association” for this bold initiative to open the school. Then he presented the first principal the key statuette with the inscription “Education in the Jesuit key”. “Let this key symbolize not only the power of the keys that the director has but let it allow one to find in the gray, everyday school life the ways of reaching the heart of every pupil and co-worker”, he wrote in thanks.  The ribbon was symbolically cut by Mrs. Joanna Skrzydlewska - Vice mayor of the city of Łódź, Archbishop of Lodz Grzegorz Ryś and Fr. Tomasz Ortmann SJ – the Provincial of PMA Province of the Society of Jesus