The Jesuit Refugee Service Portugal (JRS) welcomed in early November the Portuguese government's decision to extend the temporary regularisation of migrants until March 31, 2021 and - following the recommendation made by JRS in March 2020 - to include migrants with requests for regularisation submitted after the declaration date of the State of Emergency (March 18, 2020). These extraordinary measures will have a significant impact on the lives of migrants seeking an opportunity in Portugal to rebuild their lives in a dignified manner, but also on the national economic recovery, given the significant contributions of foreign citizens to the Portuguese state. The JRS recalls that in 2019 they reached a net positive balance of 750 million euros, contributing to the sustainability of Social Security. However, the Jesuit Refugee Service questions why foreign citizens are only allowed to live regularly, with full rights, on a temporary basis. People arriving in Portugal should have the opportunity to contribute to our community and consequently have full labour rights, access to the NHS and social benefits in return for their work, thus ensuring their integration into Portuguese society. Not only during the current pandemic, but always. In this sense, the JRS appeals to the Portuguese Government to consecrate definitively the access to essential rights for people with pending regularisation processes.
The Patriarchate of Lisbon announced on November 19 that D. Manuel Clemente (Patriarch and Bishop of Lisbon) has scheduled the Closing Session of the diocesan supplementary process for the cause of canonization of the Servant of God Francisco Rodrigues da Cruz, sj (known simply as Padre Cruz) for December 17, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., in the church of St. Vincent de Fora in Lisbon. The celebration is open to those who wish to attend, being observed the sanitary measures in force. The decision to close the case by the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon was taken after the hearing of the Court constituted for the cause and of the Vice Postulator, Fr. Dário Pedroso, sj. A long process The canonization process of Father Cruz began on March 10, 1951 and the diocesan phase lasted until September 18, 1965. Subsequently, it was necessary to complete the process with the elements required by the new norms for the instruction of the canonization processes. After several moments of hearing various witnesses about the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, the third Historical Commission of this process, appointed on December 11, 2018 by Cardinal-Patriarch Manuel Clemente, delivered the documents and their critical analysis on October 1, 2019. After the closing of the Supplementary Process, it will be presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints by the Postulator of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Pascual Cebollada, sj. This Congregation will appoint a Reporter who will deposit with the Postulator of the Society of Jesus and the Vice-Postulator the task of writing the Positio which is the final document that will summarize Father Cruz' entire life, his biography, as well as the documents and testimonies that intend to attest to his life of holiness. Who was Fr. Francisco Cruz? Fr. Francisco Rodrigues da Cruz was born on July 29, 1859 and died on October 1, 1948. He was admitted to the Society of Jesus on September 2, 1940 by decision of Pope Pius XII and on December 3 of the same year made his final vows. We know how he was a priest who lived his whole life committed to assist and console the most fragile, having traveled all over the country to help the "salvation of souls". Despite his health problems, his willingness to serve his neighbor has never attenuated the radiance of his apostolate, characterized by giving himself to the poorest. In a letter sent to the Jesuits of the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus, the provincial Fr. Miguel Almeida, sj welcomed this news and left an appeal to his Jesuit companions: "In a time like the one we are living, the life of Fr. Cruz can and should inspire us. Deepening and spreading our knowledge of his life and deeds is an important contribution so that his 'holiness' can touch a greater number of people".
The Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus has assumed the responsibility of another parish in the Algarve, in Odiáxere. However, it will be run on a different model from the traditional one because, although Fathers Domingos Monteiro da Costa, Nuno Tovar de Lemos and Francisco Campos are parish priests in solidum, a permanent deacon will be responsible for the entire pastoral dimension of the parish. The inauguration of the new parish entrusted to the Society took place last November 18th. This commitment with the Diocese of Algarve will make the person of reference in the parish of Odiáxere the permanent deacon Nuno Francisco, and the Jesuit community will provide him with all the support he needs. This is an option to contribute to a model of Church that does not depend so much on the presence of the priest and that, in this way, can go beyond an exclusive dispensation of sacraments, while still meeting the people in their concrete realities. It will also allow, believes the Society, to foster a more participative church model. Deacon Nuno Francisco and his wife are part of a group of couples/families who since adolescence have received catechetical and pastoral formation in the Parish of Mexilhoeira Grande with Fr. Domingos Monteiro da Costa, sj Besides the new parish of Odiáxere, the presence of the Society of Jesus in the Algarve is currently in Portimão and Mexilhoeira Grande.
"Joy and Mercy" [Alegria e Misericórdia, in the original]  is the name of the book that gathers together articles from various theologians on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Miguel Almeida, provincial of the Portuguese Jesuits, is the book’s coordinator, and presented it in Lisbon on the 11th in Brotéria, the cultural space of the Portuguese Jesuits in the capital. Austen Ivereigh, Antonio Spadaro, sj, James F. Keenan, sj, Conor M. Kelly, Andrea Grillo, Irene Guia, aci, or Stella Morra are some of the authors who analyze and reflect on the impact of Pope Francis' document dedicated to families. The coordinator of the book stressed that the creation of this work is linked to the desire not to let go of a document as important as Amoris Laetitia, where important theological concepts for married and family life, such as freedom, conscience and accompaniment, are addressed. The presentation relied on the testimony of two couples, from different generations, who stressed the most relevant aspects of the pastoral transformation that the Exhortation points out. The book is edited by Frente e Verso, a publisher of the Society of Jesus.
The Leigos para o Desenvolvimento (Laypeople for Development), a DNGO linked to the Jesuits, will send seven volunteers on mission this year. The destinations of the six young women are Angola, Portugal (Caparica/Pragal) and S. Tomé and Príncipe, where they are expected to arrive soon. In an atmosphere of celebration and thanksgiving, they celebrated their Sending Mass yesterday in the Church of the Colégio São João de Brito in Lisbon. Virginia Gabriel, Inês Rocha and Mello and Beatriz Lopes will leave for Angola (Ganda), Sara Teixeira and Sara Silva for Caparica/Pragal and Mariana Viana Baptista and Inês Sampaio for São Tomé and Prínicipe (city). The volunteers chose as their motto a passage from the Gospel of Luke: "Seek first his kingdom, and the rest will be given to you in addition" (Lk 12:31). Fernando Ribeiro, sj, national assistant to the LD, who presided over the celebration, stressed the importance of not forgetting this phrase and praying for it, and said that "This is a text that calls for trust. Do not worry, do not worry in vain. Give yourselves to the essentials. Do not be afraid of what you will leave, do not be afraid of the reality you will encounter, do not be afraid of the future. Trust. If God calls, He will provide". In a year marked by so many new circumstances, in which reinvention was the watchword for the Laity for Development to remain faithful to their mission, it was with joy that we witnessed the unfolding of yet another chapter in a history that began to be written more than 30 years ago.
Each year during the month of September, the Christian family unites to celebrate the Season of Creation, a worldwide celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home. This year’s theme Jubilee for the Earth presents an invitation to consider the integral relationship between rest for the earth and ecological, social, and political ways of living. Britain Jesuit Missions has organised a number of ways that you can get involved and help to create a sustainable legacy for future generations. This includes web reflections from around the world, including Fr James Martin SJ and Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ, as well as a webinar with Amazon activist, Leah Casimero.  Check out the Season of Creation website here Portugal Ponto SJ, portal of the Jesuits in Portugal, launched an initiative in their social networks to mark the Season of Creation. Every day, a thought is made available online, calling for the mobilization of people in the care of the common home. The challenges, expressed in a short sentence, invite to reflection, action, contemplation, prayer, thanksgiving, information and to savor the gifts of Creation. Also to mark this special time, Ponto SJ offers an online retreat in association with “Rede Cuidar da Casa Comum”, to be done individually, with hints of prayer and reflection inspired by the seven verbs: to give thanks, to reflect, to be informed, to act, to contemplate, to pray and to savor. This proposal will be put into practice between 28 September and 4 October. The meditations, signed by a young laywoman, are broadcast in podcast and last for one minute daily.