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The Pedro Arrupe International Volunteer Program (VOLPA) celebrates its 30th anniversary. The Pedro Arrupe International Volunteer Program VOLPA is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021. This long-term international volunteer program was born in 1991 inspired by the legacy of Pedro Arrupe. His call to go out to meet other cultures and to change the unjust structures that generate suffering in our world was undoubtedly the flame that ignited this dream that today looks back to be grateful for so much transformed life. During this time more than 1,000 people have participated in this international volunteer program that emerged as a volunteer network of the Society of Jesus in its different Provinces in Spain. Throughout its history, this program has been promoted by Volpa Catalunya, Entreculturas and Alboan and currently, it is the last two that coordinate to give continuity to the program. To celebrate this 30th anniversary, a recreational meeting was organized to which many people linked to the program were invited: volunteers of these three decades, trainers, companions, local host organizations in Latin America, Africa and Europe, VOLPA in training, the people who have coordinated the program in these years of Alboan, Entreculturas and VOLPA Catalunya, as well as some of the founders and staff of the cooperation organizations involved in the training process. Finally, more than 220 people gathered online in March to celebrate and thank all that this experience of international volunteering has meant in their lives, and for many it has been "a lever of change that has marked our lives" as Gerardo Molpeceres commented, who was VOLPA in Ecuador and today is a trainer and volunteer of Entreculturas. Jesuitas España
Marko Rupnik's mosaics transform the Cave of St. Ignatius The Slovenian artist and Jesuit Marko Rupnik and his team, are working intensely these days in the Sanctuary of the Cave of St. Ignatius, in Manresa, installing the set of mosaics they have created for the side chapels of the Sanctuary. A work that is still unfinished but that captivates those who contemplate it, for the strength of its message, its beauty and the fascinating process involved in its creation. There are more than 550 square meters of mosaics, which show the Christian pilgrimage through the Spiritual Exercises. "An itinerary of prayer," the artist himself has explained, "in which one moves from a declared Catholicism to a lived faith." A space of encounter The work is full of details, and all of them are telling us something. Many of them are closely linked to Ignatian spirituality. But the artist has defined this work, above all, as a space of encounter. Marko Rupnik explained that the mosaic is an extraordinary art that implies a communal experience. "A church experience, as a communion of people, which expresses who we are." The materials he uses come from all over the world and the artist assures that, in this technique, a dialogue is established with the stone. "The first lesson to cut the stone is to take it with love, with tenderness". To be able to carry out this work right in the place where St. Ignatius of Loyola began to write the book of the Exercises, represents, for this Jesuit artist, a gift that he receives with "immense gratitude" and also as "a culmination of what throughout my life I have thought and studied". Eight side chapels A few days ago, Monday, Marko Rupnik and his team spent a few minutes presenting the work they are doing to the media and representatives of institutions of the city of Manresa and the Society of Jesus. However, the work did not stop during the presentation. The mosaics occupy the eight side chapels of the Sanctuary and there will also be one on the inside wall of the entrance door which will be dedicated to the parable of the sower. Throughout this week the installation is expected to be completed and then the work will be finished with the lighting and cleaning tasks. The Sanctuary could reopen to the public probably from April 10, while the solemn act of inauguration will take place coinciding with the day of St. Ignatius, July 31, and with the presence of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Arturo Sosa SJ. Part of the celebration of Ignatius 500 The remodelling of the interior of the Sanctuary is part of the celebration of Ignatius 500, the year that commemorates between May 2021 and July 2022 the conversion of the founder of the Jesuits. A celebration that will be lived intensely in Manresa, since it coincides with the 500th anniversary of his arrival in this city. Image album in this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jesuitasesp/sets/72157718743208268/ Jesuitas España
Ignatius 500 is the Ignatian Year that we celebrate to commemorate the fifth centenary of an experience that transformed Ignatius of Loyola forever, and gave rise to a spirituality that has facilitated the encounter with God for a multitude of people from generation to generation. Ignatius 500 will be celebrated worldwide between May 20, 2021, the anniversary of the wound suffered by Inigo de Loyola in Pamplona, and July 31, 2022, the feast of St. Ignatius. Ignatius 500 is more than a commemoration. In addition to remembering a historical event of universal importance, we live it as an opportunity to actualize that experience in ourselves, in our relationship with God, with others and with Creation. It is therefore key to encourage us to live the Ignatian year deeply and to participate deeply in its activities as an opportunity to renew our experience with God. The motto of this anniversary: "See all things new in Christ", invites us to always keep our senses open to grasp the needs of our environment, asking ourselves at all times how we can help transform reality; it is to assume our own limitations, as Ignatius himself did; it is to go out on the road, to go discovering that God who dwells and works in all creatures, and to contemplate Him in everything that happens to us. The new Ignatius500 website and the social networks that are being launched in Spain province have the mission of helping to raise awareness throughout in this direction in the months leading up to and during the celebration of this Ignatian year. Follow us! #ignatius500 Web: www.ignatius500.org Video launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opmeCJ6tPZo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ignatius500/ Twitter: @ignatius_500 Instagram: @Ignatius_500
Honour, joy, silence and solemnity. The atmosphere of this year's ordinations of deacons, mediated by the health measures resulting from the pandemic, breathed these essential sentiments. A few days before, the ordinands had already sensed it in the words of one of them: "The pandemic has made everything that has to do with the celebration of the ordination slimmed down and perhaps allowed us to focus on the essential". And so the Provincial had asked: "On this occasion, I ask you to focus on the essentials. Grateful that God continues to call people to this Society". Despite the limited attendance in person, health protocols, and the fact that many people could only attend via online streaming, the ordinands felt the presence and support of those who wanted to accompany them, united with them in God through prayer. The ceremony was held in the parish of St Francis Borgia and St Aloysius Gonzaga on Saturday 6 February. Thirteen Jesuits were ordained, seven of them Spanish - Alberto Cano Arenas SJ; Andrés Cándido González González SJ; Carlos Maza Serguenet SJ; Francisco de Borja Miró Madariaga SJ; Iñigo Merello Terry SJ; Jaime Espiniella García SJ and Manuel Santamaría Belda SJ. The other six belonged to the Province of Bohemia (Czech Republic), the Province of West Africa, the Province of East Timor (ETR), and three of them to the Province of Southern Europe (EUM). In this way, the ordination also represented the universality and diversity of the Society of Jesus, which was also reflected in the community formed by the more than 1.100 people who followed the live broadcast on You Tube from so many places in Spain and from other countries: Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Benin. All the symbols of the ceremony - promise, litanies, laying on of hands, putting on the diaconal stole and the dalmatic and the handing over of the Gospel - helped to understand the meaning of the mission of the new deacons, the generous dedication of their lives and the solemnity of the moment. The final words of thanksgiving were given by Andrés González on behalf of all the new deacons, who pointed out the markedly different character of this celebration after a year in which suffering and death have come close, and hence the greater importance of thanksgiving. You can watch the recorded ceremony on the Society of Jesus channel:
This month of February, the Bioethics Group of UNIJES (Jesuit Universities in Spain), formed by the Institut Borja de Bioètica-URL, the Chair of Bioethics of the University P. Comillas, the Andalusian Chair of Bioethics of the University Loyola and the Bioethics Group of the University of Deusto, has reflected on the proposed law on euthanasia in Spain and has presented a statement which is summarised below. It raises fundamental questions such as: Establishing a law on euthanasia means weakening the fabric of life; it does not favour the most vulnerable people. Establishing it as a health service provided by doctors does not help medicine or doctors, and establishing it at this time of economic and social crisis will have a devastating effect on palliative care. Establishing a law on euthanasia begs the question of whether we are taking people's autonomy and dignity seriously. They consider that this bill is not a law of dialogue and is not being demanded. And they conclude: "We want a society that increases aid for dependency, psychological and psychiatric support that listens to and addresses the pain and deep suffering of so many sick people, social and economic support for the most vulnerable, the creation of more specialised centres, quality palliative care for all, social and cultural participation for the most excluded and marginalised, the humanisation of hospitals, home help, cultural resources that give meaning and elevate life (music, art, cinema, leisure, humour), etc. It is not so easy to die well and it cannot be reduced to simply choosing a way and a moment". Access the text in Spanish
The renown of few contemporary church figures has grown as much over time as that of the charismatic General of the Jesuits, Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991). Born into a bourgeois family in the industrial city of Bilbao, he studied medicine in Madrid, but after several years of study he left medical school to join the Society of Jesus, where decisive events awaited him. Expelled from Spain during the Republic, Arrupe was a citizen of the world by vocation and formation. During World War II he worked as a missionary in Japan, where he was accused of being a spy and imprisoned. He directly witnessed the explosion of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and he used his medical knowledge to attend to the victims.  In his position as Superior General he became one of the most captivating agents of change in the Church of the 20th century. At the same time he was a prophet for the 21st century, which he anticipated with many of his brilliant intuitions regarding justice, education, racism, globalization, the marginalization of women, and the plight of refugees and drug addicts. In the last fifty years, nearly one hundred Jesuits, inspired by Arrupe’s insistence on both service of faith and promotion of justice, have given their lives for defending the poor. Pedro Miguel Lamet researched Arrupe’s life for five years in Rome, Japan, and the Basque Country, and he had the privilege of spending many hours conversing with Arrupe after he had suffered a debilitating stroke. Drawing on a vast variety of sources, Lamet has written this entertaining and captivating biography, which has been revised several times and is already a classic, available now for the first time in English. Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus states in the prologue, "this biography has the merit of being the very first to trace with fidelity [Pedro Arrupe's] human and spiritual profile and to make it available to a larger public. This book is part of the Jesuit Sources imprint, IJS Studies: Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus. You can order the book here Jesuitas España