Caldas de Saúde
Charneca de Caparica
Póvoa de Varzim
The Jesuits in Portugal launched an Ignatian formation program. The purpose is to disseminate and share, in a structured way, the inheritance of the Society of Jesus in four fundamental areas: Ignatian pedagogy, Ignatian spirituality, Ignatian leadership and discernment. Throughout the year, training modules will be developed that "can contribute to a greater apostolic efficacy and fruitfulness of the works and institutions of the Company and of the Church, with a relevant impact on society," explains Fr Domingos de Freitas, sJ, responsible for this sector. These formations will deepen the Ignatian tools and practices such as the exam, the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm or the discernment. These formations are addressed to the collaborators of the works and sectors of the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus, educators of Jesuit and Ignatian colleges, members of the Christian Life Community (CLC), as well as works, ecclesial movements and people from other communities. The Casa da Torre in Soutelo and the Casa de Exercícios de Santo Inácio in Praia Grande (retreat Jesuits centers)  offer as part of their respective 2018-2019 Programs, a set of formative possibilities in the abovementioned dimensions, open to the general public. However, the Ignatian Formation Service is available to accommodate requests and concrete requests that meet the training needs of people who collaborate in Jesuit and Ignatian works in Portugal and other movements or ecclesial groups. This flexibility concerns both the dates / calendar, as well as the training content and its duration. Father Domingos Freitas, sJ, says that "there is a desire, always dissatisfied, for Jesuit and Ignatian apostolic works to be characterized by a proper course of action that identifies them as being aligned with a set of values, criteria, instruments and differentiating methodologies. "In this way, he adds," there are distinctive marks of this Ignatian proceeding that cannot be invisible or go unnoticed when entering a Jesuit or Ignatian institution. "
The university centres of the Society of Jesus in Portugal have launched a special programme for students who participate in the European university exchange programme Erasmus. The Erasmus Spiritual Programme is aimed at all those studying outside Portugal for a semester or a year during this academic year and offers a spiritual accompaniment throughout this period. Thanks to an internet platform, students can find a bi-weekly prayer proposal with reflections that help to see the Erasmus experience in a different light and to live this academic time with quality. Those who wish can go for distance spiritual accompaniment, whereby they are invited to get in touch with an assigned Jesuit via Skype. Young people enrolling in the programme will also benefit from an Erasmus notebook with information on Ignatian places, nearby Jesuits organizations as well as mass celebrations and times in their Erasmus city/country. For those interested, there is even the possibility of getting in touch with other Portuguese students in the city, so that they can meet or eventually form a group following the reflections offered by this project.
These are the vows professed at the end of Jesuit formation. At this point, the Jesuit is fully accepted by the Society of Jesus. On Saturday, September 8, Fr, João Carlos Onofre Pinto, SJ, and Fr. António Valério, SJ, reached this moment as Jesuits. The liturgical feast of the Nativity of Our Lady and the Jesuit retreat house Casa da Torre were the time and place chosen by the two Jesuits to profess their final vows, among Jesuits, relatives and friends. At the beginning of Jesuit formation, after the two years of Novitiate, Jesuits profess vows of perpetual poverty, obedience and chastity. In his first vows, each Jesuit also promises to become part of the Society at the end of their formation, if the Society decides to receive him definitely as part of its apostolic body. At the time of final vows, Jesuits also profess a special vow of obedience to the Pope, making themselves available to work actively in any mission he might entrust to the Society. The love of God makes all things possible The Provincial, Fr, José Frazão Correia, SJ, said during his homily: “Mary is not only the one who gives birth; she was also delivered. Her story does not start with the Incarnation, but when she was conceived, loved. It is so important to go back to the first love. Jesus was the perfect son because he knew he was loved and he learned to share. (…) Is it possible to be poor, chaste and obedient? Not with our own strengths, it’s the love of God that makes it possible.” Father Provincial asked João Carlos and António to “mark your lives with the name and love of God, in spiritual and actual poverty, desiring for you the worst and for your brethren the best (…) make your hearts each day more similar to the hearts of Jesus and Mary, crazy for Christ and not wise to the eyes of the world.” A testimony from Fr. João Carlos, SJ: “God aroused from my talents the vocation to consecrated life and I quickly understood that I cannot do anything without him. Despite my limits, God invites me to be part, as a Jesuit priest, of his mission of consoling, showing to others the meaning only he himself can give.” A testimony from Fr. António Valério, SJ: “To profess the final vows in the Society of Jesus means, in the first place, to be sure of God’s grace in my life, always capable of multiplying as good fruits my abilities and weaknesses. I come to this day very consoled with everything I was given through the companions and so many people who awakened in me the values of friendship and service.”
The Philosophy of Nature International Congress was held in Braga, from September 10th to September 12th, under the auspices of the Philosophy and Social Sciences School. This School is one of the missions of the Society of Jesus in Portugal, one of the educative complexes of the prestigious Católica University. This year’s theme was: “The insides of nature: Causalities, Causal Processes and Conceptions of Nature”. This initiative has gathered over fifty speakers of international repute, from the universities of Madrid, Seville, Córdoba, Navarra (Spain), Rome (Italy), Sheffield, Glasgow (UK), Warsaw, Krakow (Poland), Brussels, Namur (Belgium), São Paulo, Pará, Santa Maria, Bahia, Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil), Berkeley, Boston, New York (USA), Osnabrück, Potsdam (Germany), Kogashi (Japan), Santiago (Chile), Pori (Finland), Braga, Porto, Beira Interior, Coimbra, Lisbon and Évora (Portugal). The Congress wished to spark a debate at an international level about the different images of Nature, particularly as fundamental matter for the construction of more inclusive societies and a more sustainable interaction with our planet. This is one of the most challenging discussions of the day, who bequests interdisciplinary effort between scientists, philosophers, theologians, politicians and educators.   During these days we had the privilege to assist to wonderous and stimulating debates, of an encyclopedic magnitude, which provided very exciting reflections. This reflections, not only made dialogue possible, as has made it unavoidable, promoting the building of bridges between History and Philosophy of Nature; Nature, Philosophy and Metaphysics; Nature and Contemporary Science; Nature, Emergence and Complexity; Nature and Ethics Conceptions; Nature and Human Being Conceptions; Nature, Cognitive Sciences, Psychology and Neuroscience; Nature, Art, Esthetics and Literature; Nature and Theology, Nature and Communication and Language Sciences. Keynote lectures available online: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCarEUGRqHu4CnNn7yvcG_tQ Picture: Shutterstock
Centro Comunitário S. Cirilo and JRS were the winners of the D. António Francisco award, given for the first time by the Associação Comercial do Porto, the Irmandade dos Clérigos and the Santa Casa da Misericórida do Porto. The award ceremony happened on the first anniversary of the death of the bishop at Palácio da Bolsa. Both institutions work with refugees and vulnerable people. The D. António Francisco award receives its name from Bishop António Francisco dos Santos (February 21, 1948 – September 11, 2017), who passed away suddenly and left a great legacy of social justice and social awareness, as an example of love of neighbor and solidarity. The award was thought in line with Pope Francis’s ecclesiology of the poor. The prize of seventy-five thousand euros is awarded to citizens known for their work in the promotion and advocacy for the dignity of the human person, the advocacy and promotion of human rights, the interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, and the promotion of peace. Award received with joy JRS will use the prize for their work in the Unidade Habitacional de Santo António -UHSA (public housing), Centro de Instalação Temporária for migrants in irregular situations held in custody. “It is with great joy and gratitude that we receive this award, which acknowledges the work so often done silently in the accompaniment of migrants and refugees, especially the most vulnerable. We feel also moved by the memory of Bishop António Francisco, an inspiration to keep us working in a bold, creative and steadfast way,” says André Costa Jorge, President of JRS Portugal.  Costa Jorge remarked, “Our work at UHSA since 2006 is unique in Portugal and in Europe, due to its specificity. We follow up migrants in irregular situation and kept in custody, the major part in a deep vulnerable and fragile situation. Our technical team has the required profile for the job and counts also with several volunteers working permanently. This award encourages us to keep our work seeking justice and defending human rights.” Centro S. Cirilo also received the award with enthusiasm and gratitude: “We feel very grateful for this award, which confirms the work developed by the Center through the years. Besides the monetary prize, the acknowledgment and visibility brought by this award represent a meaningful contribution to better develop its mission onwards,” says Fr. Luis Ferreira do Amaral, SJ, Director of the Center. “We thank Associação Comercial do Porto, Irmandade dos Clérigos and Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto for this good initiative and we rejoice with the name chosen for the award -D. António Francisco,” concludes the Jesuit. This Jesuit work in Porto seeks to enable people and families (both national and foreign), who might be passing through a fragile temporary situation. The goal is always the reintegration in the society. Since its opening in 2010, the Center helped more than 7500 people from 114 nationalities and achieved more than 400 work placements. “The key values promoted by this award –the defense and promotion of the human person, the interreligious dialogue, and the promotion of peace- are the same values Centro São Cirilo brings up and seeks in the pursuit of its mission,” says Fr. Luis Ferreira do Amaral, SJ. Picture: Left to right (André Jorge – JRS Portugal Director; Fr. Luís Amaral, sj – São Cirilo President; Nuno Botelho - Associação Comercial do Porto President; Mauel Linda – Porto Bishop; António Tavares - Provedor da Misericórdia do Porto; Fr.. Américo Aguiar - Irmandade dos Clérigos.
The Portuguese Parliament is preparing to discuss, on May 29, four laws that seek to regulate the non-punishable practice of euthanasia. The Jesuits in Portugal feel it their duty to take a public position on this issue. Consequently they published an Editorial in its official portal, PONTO SJ. The Portuguese Jesuits accept that the intention of the authors of the different laws is to alert to the suffering and loneliness that so many experience in the terminal phase of life. However, they deny that the path recommended by the different laws is the one that responds to the need to accompany those who are approaching the end of life. The Portuguese Jesuits regret that the deputies have not been sensitive to the calls of the Order of Physicians, the National Ethics Council and other civil entities. They also call for policies to be developed that give greater attention and care to those who suffer and to make these policies accessible to all.