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From September 4 to 6, 2023, Dalibor Renić SJ, the new President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, was in Ukraine, where, together with Father Jarosław Paszyński SJ, Superior of the Southern Poland Province of the Society of Jesus, visited the places where Jesuits serve: Lviv, Chernivtsi and Khmelnytskyi. It was Father Renić’s first visit abroad, immediately after taking up his new position on August 31, 2023. Its goal was to show solidarity with our brothers in Ukraine in the context of the ongoing war.   On September 2, 2023, Dalibor Renić SJ flew to Krakow. On the same day, he met with his brothers from the Residence in Krakow. The next day he concelebrated Holy Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and then met with the College community and the scholastics, who would begin their philosophical studies at the Ignatianum University a month later. During the meeting with the scholastics, Father Renić pointed out that in the European context, the challenge for the Jesuits is the constant care for a deep spiritual life and the ability to discern in order to help people encounter God. On the Sunday evening (September 3, 2023), Fr. Dalibor Renić SJ together with the Provincial Jarosław Paszyński SJ started his journey to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Mission is an integral part of the Southern Poland Province of the Society of Jesus. On Monday, Father Renić met with the Brothers who serve in Lviv and Kyiv. He visited the refugees’ house in Lviv, run by Jesuits (JRS Ukraine ), and a house in Briukhowychi , where JRS Ukraine cooperates with nuns in helping refugees. On Tuesday, Father Renić saw intensive preparations in Chernivtsi for the opening of the “SPACE OF HOPE” project of the Jesuit Center for Spiritual and Psychological Health, Dialogue and Communication next year. The mission of “SPACE OF HOPE” is to be spiritual and psychological help for people from Ukraine who have experienced the effects of the war, then dialogue supporting efforts for a just peace, then forgiveness and reconciliation, and finally communication enabling a meeting on the basis of truth. On Wednesday, Father Dalibor Renić SJ met with the community of Jesuits in Khmelnytskyi, who run a parish and a retreat house, which was transformed into a refugee aid house immediately after the beginning of the war. The next day, Father President returned to Krakow, and in the afternoon he came back to Brussels, where his headquarters is located. For the Jesuits in Ukraine it was a special time of meeting and reflection in an atmosphere of brotherly solidarity. It was very important for Father President to personally be with his brothers where the war was going on.
Fr. Marek Inglot, SJ was appointed chairman of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences Pope Francis has appointed Father Marek Inglot SJ as the new president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences. This appointment was announced on September 14, 2023. Father Marek Inglot belongs to the Southern Poland Province of the Society of Jesus. He is a professor at the Department of History and Cultural Properties of the Church of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and serves as a consultor of the Congregation (currently Dicastery) for the Causes of Saints. He was the director of the Roman Archives of the Society of Jesus. He published several books, among others biography of priest Jakub Wujek – a 16th-century Polish Bible translator. In 2020, he became a member of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.
On September 13, the Jesuits came to Kalisz, under the leadership of Fr. Bishop Damian Bryl to thank God for the fact that in the times of the Polish People's Republic, thanks to the intercession of St. Joseph, the religious houses of the Society of Jesus were not liquidated. Then the Polish Jesuits entrusted both Polish provinces to the care of Saint Joseph and they were not disappointed. At the beginning of the Eucharist, the bishop wished that God's grace would touch every Jesuit and the entire Society of Jesus, and that the good God would strengthen the sons of Ignatius of Loyola in the challenges they face. During the sermon, the superior of the Greater Poland-Masovian Province, Father Zbigniew Leczkowski SJ, said, among others: “Today, here in Kalisz, we are all looking at Saint Joseph, who was close to Jesus, united with Him. In Joseph's attitude we see three important elements: he took responsibility for Jesus and Mary, he believed in the mystery to which he was invited by God, and finally he made his life a gift to Jesus and Mary”. At the end of the Eucharist, the Jesuits uttered the words of trust to Saint Joseph as they did every year for 73 years. They promised, that they would consistently follow Jesus. The superior of the Province of Southern Poland, Father Jarosław Paszyński SJ, said how much the Jesuits owe to Saint Joseph and recalled the history of Jesuit pilgrimages to the Sanctuary, which dates back to 1950.
On June 24 this year in Taiwan, Deacon Przemysław Mąka SJ was ordained as a priest. The newly ordained comes from the Province of Southern Poland and was applied to the Chinese Province. Along with Przemysław Mąka, Michael Nguyen Phuoc Bao Dai Loi and Philip Fung Hon Chung were also ordained presbyters on this day, and Paul Pham Khanh Linh was ordained a deacon. His Excellency Most. Rev. Stephen Chow Sau Yan, SJ, Bishop of Hong Kong, was the ordaining prelate. He is also the former Provincial so it was a joy to see him in Taiwan again. At his side were Fr. Stephen Tong Chak Long, SJ, Provincial of the Chinese Province and Fr. Louis Gendron, SJ, rector of the St. Robert Bellarmine theologate community. The liturgy was held on a hot and humid afternoon at Holy Family Church filled with the faithful in Taipei, Taiwan. During his exhortation, Bishop Stephen Chow invited the ordinandi to serve others rather than seek to be served. He encouraged them to live today in way that leads Jesus to say on the last day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Fr. Provincial Stephen Tong said that the ordinations we see today are the result of a long process. The path to ordination has joy as well as many struggles, challenges and tensions. Some of these challenges are known only to the ordinandi and God. Yet God’s love and grace have prevailed and brought these four Jesuits to ordination today. Since the ordinandi hail from different countries, the liturgy had a distinctly international flavour. The prayer intercessions were read by family and friends in Polish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tayal (Taiwan indigenous language), Mandarin Chinese and English. Multilingual songs also helped the congregation to appreciate the beauty of these cultures. The Chinese Province has local vocations in Taiwan, however, most Jesuits serving here come from other Provinces or regions.  Participants at the Mass included many healthcare professionals (Fr. Philip Fung is a medical doctor), priests and religious from many countries as well as the former vice-president of Taiwan and his wife. At the closing of the liturgy, it was time to hear from the four Jesuit ordinandi themselves. They creatively used the four weeks of the Spiritual Exercises as a structure, each ordinand sharing words in relation to the theme of one week. A clear motif emerged—gratitude—for family, Jesuits, collaborators and benefactors. Jesus has called each of these men personally. May what God has begun with much grace and care be brought to fulfillment in the years of service, sacrament and shepherding ahead. Sources: jezuici.pl, amdgchinese.org
Release of an Ignatian board game by a Polish Jesuit in Australia. It’s been roughly two years since Fr Mariusz had the initial idea. The notion of the board game came to him during the pandemic and his initial instinct was to create something around the Battle of Pamplona, which took place in 1521. But during a phone call to his brother Tomasz in Poland, he was strongly dissuaded from focusing solely on the battle during which Ignatius of Loyola was wounded. Instead, the brothers decided that it would be best to use a much broader lens. “So after that conversation,” says Fr Mariusz, “I came around to the idea of a game that would acquaint us with a difficult period in history and reinforce the abiding spirituality of St Ignatius.” In Poland, the importance of board games is widely recognised by all age groups. Fr Mariusz shows us one that is probably the most famous of all games in his birth country. Called ‘Wojtek the Bear’, it is based on the true story of a bear who became a World War II cult hero to Polish troops, an army talisman who was eventually honoured by being included in a Polish regimental emblem and whose life was narrated in this Time magazine story. “Central to the creation of the game are these issues: Can an event from five hundred years ago, pertaining to only one person, have an influence on our present-day decisions and resolutions? Could the wound sustained by the young knight, Inigo, in the battle for Pamplona really have an impact on the destinies of people in modern times? Could the strange interaction of events between Heaven and Earth, the Cross and the Sword, really decide the shape of the Church and its mission? Listen to Fr. Han explaining the game: The game’s official website is loyola-knight-pilgrim.com Jesuits Australia
Fr. Andrii Zelinskyi SJ Presented His New Book "Semen’s Stars".  On 13 June 2023, a presentation of the book „Semen’s Stars” by Fr. Andrii Zelinskyi SJ took place at the Ivan Franko State University of Zhytomyr (Ukraine). The presentation brought together a wide range of teachers, students, military personnel and volunteers, as well as friends of the author.  "Semen's Stars” is a book about what Fr. Andrii considers his main mission, namely the „art of star lighting”. Star lighting is the ability to release from a person his light, energy, potential, thanks to which he shines, like a bright star, and can brighten the world around him.  Fr. Andrii started to write this book in 2015. The book contains much of the author's experience. The main characters of the book are a whole generation of Ukrainians who believe that a better life is possible, a better world is possible, and they are ready to fight for these ideals. The narrative shows free people in a free world. However, it is important to remember that freedom requires an open heart that knows how to listen. Free people are also masters of their own lives, able to create the future.  The author himself describes the genre of his book as a fairy tale, but everything in the book is based on true events. A fable, on the other hand, is a condensation of folk wisdom. In a fable, good triumphs over evil and beauty is stronger than ugliness. This is what helps to cope with traumatic realities.  The overarching theme of the book is that of a journey. For Fr Andrii, a journey is not just about distances. Above all, the journey means encounters and events, interaction with the world and with oneself. And all of this generates an experience to be realised.  "Semen's Stars” is not Fr. Andrii's first book. Books published in previous years have become bestsellers on the Ukrainian book market. However, the author himself notes that „Stars of Semen” is the most important book of all those he has written.  Fr. Andrii Zelinskyi is a Jesuit priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), chief military chaplain of the UGCC, advisor to the head of the UGCC on communication strategy, lecturer of the Ethics-Politics-Economics programme at the Ukrainian Catholic University, lecturer at the Leadership and Management Institute of the Ukrainian Catholic University, co-founder and lecturer of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, political scientist, publicist, book author and public figure.  Jezuici.pl