"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.
Now that discussions on economic recovery are under way, more than 90 organizations and individuals, including the FGS (NGO of the Portuguese Jesuits), are advocating a fairer, more resource-efficient and more resilient society. More than 90 organisations and personalities from Portuguese society, including the Jesuits NGO Fundação Gonçalo da Silveira (FGS), have signed the Manifesto for a Fair and Sustainable Economic Recovery in Portugal, a statement made public yesterday on the need to promote an economic recovery that places a fairer, more efficient and more resilient society at the centre of concerns. This document argues that the economic measures to be taken in this coming period must be fair and sustainable and based on the European Ecological Pact (EPE), the Paris Agreement, the objectives of biodiversity protection and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDOs), with a view to a more resilient and inclusive society and economy in the future. The signatories believe that the commitment to a fair and sustainable economic recovery should be assumed by all sectors of the Portuguese society, that is why they signed the Manifesto 27 non-governmental environmental, social, agricultural, forestry, development associations and cooperatives and some significant personalities of the Portuguese Society. Together, they give voice and face for a model of recovery based on social and sustainability principles, ensuring a climate-neutral economy that protects and restores nature, health and well-being to people, without leaving anyone behind. For subscribers 'this is not about creating a new economy from scratch'. It is about stating unequivocally that a fair and sustainable economy is the only way for the Portuguese economy to recover, where 'public investment must be clearly marked, and should not be applied indiscriminately to all sectors: not all sectors of activity are able to recover from this shock, not all sectors are economic activities of the future, and not all respond to present and future societal needs. In contrast, the environmental goods and services sector, critical for a fair and sustainable recovery, recorded in Portugal in 2017 growth rates above those of the national economy in employment (3.7%, compared to 3.4%) and exports (20.0%, compared to an increase of 11.6% in total exports). Throughout Europe, between 2000 and 2015, the growth rate of green jobs was seven times higher than in other sectors of the economy". The Jesuits NGO FGS develops projects in the areas of Global Citizenship, Development, Integral Ecology and Right to Quality Education. Occasionally, also collaborates in Humanitarian Emergency initiatives through our international networks.
Action by CREU-IL and Círculo Xavier mobilized hundreds of people who delivered donations of food and hygiene products that will now be given to families in need. The Centro de Reflexão e Encontro Universitário Inácio de Loyola (CREU-IL), a Pastoral Center for Universitary Students, in Oporto (Portugal), in collaboration with Círculo Xavier (former CREU leaders) organized  a collection of basic necessities for families in difficulty. The collection beguin on the 18th and last until the 29th. In order to reinforce the results of this initiative, an action called "Sprint Weekend" took place during 23th and 24tm may weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the Church of Our Lady of Fatima (Jesuits Church in Oporto) was open all day to collect donations. Each two-hour shift was secured by two volunteers who received and packed the various bags in the places of the Church. The objective was that the seats were all occupied. More than 500 bags were collected to fill the seats. This initiative started from the diagnosis of a very significant increase in the needs of the various fringes of the population covered by the works related to the Society of Jesus in Porto. The goods collected will be distributed in three distinct ways: by the Project Pobreza Envergonhada (Hidden Poverty), which for some years now has been collecting food habitually at Sunday Mass, organised by the Christian community of CREU, in the Parish Church of Cedofeita, at 7pm; by Group 10 of the National Corps of Listening, of the Parish of Cedofeita, which will forward the food to the Food Bank of Porto; by the São Cirilo Community Centre (Migrants Shelter) , which will send it to the needy families it supports.
After almost 120 years as a Jesuit culture magazine, Brotéria came out of the paper and moved to Bairro Alto with the desire to become the meeting point between the Christian faith and contemporary urban cultures. The new cultural space of the Jesuits, located in the heart of Lisbon, was opened to the public on January 25th, in a former Palace and is the result of a partnership with the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon. This is a project that has been under construction for two years, but which began to be dreamed and thought about almost thirty years ago. The opening program was born from the relationship with the street, since the cultural activity of Brotéria will try to give voice to the concerns of people who are entering the cultural game that is offered, where there is space for time, spontaneity and discussion. It included conferences about urban life, the relation between tradition, women and the city with the church, artistically performances and DJ actuation.   Until May the gallery will have an exhibition where the historical journey of Brotéria is recreated. The magazine will continue its regular publication. The Portuguese President of the Republic made a private visit to the new cultural center during the inauguration days. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa underlined the importance of putting the different dimensions of live in relation with one another as desired by the new cultural center. "What we believe is that the relevance of Brotéria as a cultural agent depends on constant attention to the urban reality, from a multiplicity of angles, always cemented in five strands of activity: research, dialogues, communication, spirituality and gallery", explains Fr. Francisco Mota SJ, director of Brotéria, adding that "for this to happen, we have a group of people we call Observatory, which meets regularly to listen to reality. We need to continue to nourish a joint reflection that guarantees the vitality, relevance and organicity of all the activity promoted by Brotéria. Then it is from this collective and plural view that new initiatives emerge and from which the themes explored in the programme emerge. Each theme is this: a process of integrated, dynamic and collective research and reflection that takes advantage of the multidisciplinary character of the centre and the programming to look for possible paths to the initial question brought by the exercise of listening to reality". The space includes a gallery, a bookshop, a cafeteria with a patio and rooms for debates, conferences or meetings, among which two large halls stand out, both with worked ceilings and capacity for 80 people each, and the Leather Room, the ex-libris of the building, with walls fully lined with worked leather. The building will also host the famous and vast library of the Jesuit community, which contains more than 160 thousand volumes that are now more accessible to the public. The top floor of the building will house the Jesuit Community House involved in the life of Brotéria. From research to debate, from art to spirituality, through digital and paper communication, Brotéria brings together people from different areas and sensibilities, as well as different institutions, with the desire to generate social transformation. It will be energized by a team of Jesuits in collaboration with people of various ages and areas of interest. For society, Brotéria hopes to be a place of plural, intelligent and creative dialogue, where cultural work has a social impact, be it through awareness raising, research and publications, as well as local intervention projects. For the Church, Brotéria hopes to be a place of theological and aesthetic reflection, with a contemporary language.