Bad Schönbrunn
Schwäbisch Gmünd - During Easter week 200 Jesuits from the German, Lithuanian, Austrian and Swiss provinces met for the common province symposium in Schwäbisch-Gmünd. Beside praying and celebrating together, the focus was on reflection and exchange on the mission in the areas of spirituality, social responsibility and education: the Jesuits of these countries are growing ever closer together. In two years' time, in April 2021, they will form the Central European Province ("Europa Centralis" - ECE). Fr. Franck Janin SJ, President of the Conference of European Provincials, explained the process and the impact of the new Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus. The entire meeting was held under the motto "Beyond ourself" and informed the nearly 200 Jesuits from Austria, Switzerland, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany who had taken part about the previous process of founding the province and the planned further steps. The seat of the new ECE-Provincial shall be in Munich, informed the Austrian Provincial Bernhard Bürgler SJ. Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ had confirmed in a letter that the Canisius-House in Munich should become the seat of the new ECE-Provincialate. An important topic was the ecological challenge (“caring for our common home”) and how the Jesuit Order responded to it. Fr. Gaël Giraud SJ (EOF), chief economist of the Agence Française du Développement and research director at the CNRS, presented the state of research and reported that climate change affects the already disadvantaged parts of the earth's population the most. We Jesuits see ourselves challenged to rethink our own lifestyle and to increasingly include ecological implications. On different levels and through professional competence the Order with its works and apostolates can help to shape social processes. It is also necessary to deepen the spirituality of creation. Fr. Claus Pfuff SJ, JRS-country director, professed last vows at a solemn Mass on Wednesday. The fraternal meeting allowed Easter to be celebrated as a feast of resurrection and new creation. The strength and motivation that grew out of the common mission of the Order were palpable.
Two evenings about Syria. Syria in its ninth year of war: a country that longs for peace, normality, everyday life, a country whose women bear the main burden for their families. Many men are lost, dead, in prison, in war as soldiers, looking for work abroad. The hopes in the war-weary country are high, the reports by Sr. Fabienne Bucher and Nawras Sammour SJ revealing: At the end of May, the two invite to a discussion evening in Zurich and Wil/ St. Gallen. Nawras Sammour SJ is director of the Jesuit Refugee Service Syria and was already there with his team before the Syrian war. The Jesuit priest, born in 1968 in Aleppo and closely rooted in the country, initiated social projects across all religious and cultural boundaries. So when the war broke out in 2011, he was able to help the weakest from a standing start. His team provided survival assistance, built soup kitchens, and provided medical and psychosocial support. In 2018 the Jesuit Refugee Service set up three neighbourhood centres in Damascus, Aleppo and Al Kafroun - three centres that point to the future and maintain hope for peace in a war-weary country. At present, 900 children and 600 women are being cared for with school and social programmes. Nawras Sammour SJ is now also director of the Mena region and as such responsible for educational, social and spiritual projects of the Jesuits in countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Sister Fabienne Bucher is a diocesan hermit in the tenant house of the Appenzell monastery of Wonnenstein. She is Swiss and has followed the call of her heart throughout her entire life, always feeling God's guidance: Schoenstatter Sister of Mary, pastoral assistant, pastor at the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen and now hermit. With energetic help, she is in contact with the people in and around the Jesuit-influenced Syrian monastery of Mar Musa, whose director Paolo dall'Oglio SJ became a victim of the war (see below). His life project fascinates them, and his fate occupies them very much. In the course of her research she came into contact in 2014 with Sister Friederike from the monastery Mar Musa in the Jesuit Lassalle House in Central Switzerland. Back in Syria, she soon had to flee and, together with a brother in a monastery in the Syrian Nineveh plain, set up a centre for 200 people displaced by the IS. The two women are united in prayer, occasionally they were able to visit each other and exchange advice and relief supplies.  Mar Musa, a monastic centre in the mountainous desert inside Syria, is known as the "Taizé of the East" and has roots as far back as the 6th century. The formative figure of our days is the Italian Jesuit Paolo dall'Oglio SJ. He revived the monastery and presided over the centre, which was largely self-sufficient and attracted spiritually interested people - men, women, Christians, people of other faiths, agnostics. Father dall'Oglio was kidnapped by the IS in 2013 and has been missing ever since. Conversation evening with Sister Fabienne Bucher and Father Nawras Sammour SJ Tuesday, 21.5.2019: Centrum 66, Hirschengraben 66 Zürich, 18.30 Wednesday, 22.5.2019: catholic parish centre Wil, 19:00   Registration required: Tel. 044 266 21 30 prokur@jesuiten-weltweit.ch
Films and seminars on the 100th anniversary of his death. He was able to inspire a generation of young Catholics in reformed Basel: Abbé Joye (1852 - 1919), youth chaplain, photographer, cineaste - and founder of the first Basel cinema. On the 100th anniversary of his death, the work of the Jesuit comes alive once again: The aki Zurich commemorates him with the documentary film "A propos de Joye", the Lassalle House with seminars distributed throughout the year. Joseph Alexis Joye is born on 18 April 1852 in Romont FR as the first of five sons. The father dies when he is eleven. Financially the family has probably little worries. Joseph transferred to the St. Michel grammar school in Fribourg. Even the 17-year-old expressed the desire to become a Jesuit. He is admitted to the novitiate. He then studied in Germany, Holland, Belgium and England, interrupted by the medical service he had to provide during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. In 1882 he was ordained a priest. He would have liked to have become a missionary overseas, but his superiors sent him to Basel. He became vicar in the parish of St. Clara, then in the new parish of St. Mary, where he took care of the French-speaking Catholics. During the 25 years of his ministry his focus shifted to youth work; from 1911 to 1915 he was also provincial in the German-speaking area. Youth Chaplain, Photographer, Cineast Abbé Joye conquered the hearts of Basel's Catholic school youth in a short space of time. Especially in Sunday school he was able to develop his abilities to the full. He knows how to tell exciting stories from the Bible, and in his narrative theology his hobby comes to the fore: photography. Eyewitnesses remember the slatted crate in the attic of the parsonage - his darkroom, where he cuts photo plates with a diamond made of window glass remains. Old crockery is used for film development, a bathtub for washing the developed plates. He collects his pictures in books and magazines. He creates 16,000 hand-colored slides for school and adult education - his Tuesday lectures are legendary. One employee reports: "Mr. Abbé mostly photographed and developed all the pictures himself and sacrificed rest and sleep for his slides. He particularly enjoyed painting the pictures. It was a pleasure to watch him transform the black and white slides with a sure brush stroke." Joye maintained contact with the chemist Auguste Lumière in Lyon, the inventor of the cinematograph, and with "Pathé Frères" in Paris and Berlin, the first film company. In 1901 he came to his first short film strip, from 1905 he regularly showed movies - only two years later there was the cinema "Fata Morgana" in Basel. A film distributor doesn't exist yet, you have to buy the movies. Abbé Joye procured new ones from everywhere. This creates a collection of over 2000 films. Abbé founds the Vinzentianum Orphanage and the Borromäum Youth Home. He fought against much resistance for the construction of a hall in Borromäum, where a diverse activity developed: The Jünglingsverein stages theatre and music performances, with the father always being the driving force. From the "scientific student circle", founded by him in 1907, the academic association "Renaissance" later developed. On 1 March 1919 Joseph Joye died at the age of 67. He is buried above Zug, in the Jesuit cemetery near the Lassalle House. The Joye Collection Of the films Joye collected, around 1200 have survived today. In 1976 the Jesuit Stefan Bamberger handed over the collection to the "National Film Archive" in London for professional restoration. The Joye Collection is considered a sensation in film circles. For the film historian Mariann Lewinsky-Sträuli it documents "in a unique way" the history of film production in its most dynamic phase of development and through it "the world and culture of its epoch". The collection contains milestones in the early history of cinema that had long been thought lost. The copies are all in 35 mm format. "It would be great if a project could be realized so that the Joye films could be made available to the general public on restored film copies in saved colors," says Beat Schneider, Deputy Director of the Stadtkino Basel institution. Hansruedi Kleiber SJ, Franz-Xaver Hiestand SJ   On the 100th anniversary of the death of Abbé Joye SJ: “Speaking of Joye”: Documentary film by Isolde Marxer Friday, 15 March 2019, 19.30 hrsaki Zurich, Hirschengraben 86, Zurich | aki-zh.chJesuits as film pioneers and main characters in films Seminar on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Abbé Joye SJSaturday, 16 March 2019, 15 - 22 o'clockaki Zurich, Hirschengraben 86 | aki-zh.ch   Work with films Moving and moving images Retreats with Films: Christof Wolf SJ and Franz-Xaver Hiestand SJ explore the inspiring power of contemporary films in this special form of Ignatian retreats in the best Abbé Joye tradition. Spiritual Exercises with Films13 - 18 October 2019, Sun 17 - Fri 13 hrs Registration: www.lassalle-haus.org
Bad Schönbrunn - At the beginning of 2019, 45 participants of the 'Formation Gathering' met at the Lassalle-Haus in Bad Schönbrunn, Switzerland, from 2 to 5 January. Formation Gathering' is the meeting of the Jesuits still in formation from the countries of the future Central European Province (ECE: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lithuania). Since many young Jesuits are involved in youth work or work there, the meeting in Switzerland was about the Youth Synod and its consequences for the Jesuits in the four provinces. In order not to start with vague future scenarios but with the concrete present, it was the Jesuits currently working with young people who gave testimony about their experiences. What was striking is the broad variety of how Jesuits are engaged in working with young adults: at University and in school chaplaincy, in associations of Catholic students (KSJ) and in charismatic movements of young adults. From all these areas Martin Föhn SJ (HEL), Sebastian Maly SJ (GER), Arndt Gysler SJ (GER) and Beat Altenbach SJ (HEL) shared their experiences. They encouraged to accept all the ways youth are living their faith today and at the same time to help with Ignatian ways of pastoral care where possible and necessary. The longing for development in silence and in the security of spiritually shaped communities seems unbroken. The Youth Synod was approached in two ways: first, by a reading session of some text extracts from the Synod’s final document; second, by the reports of their participants: The Auxiliary Bishop Alain de Raemy (Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg), the youth chaplain Claude Bachmann (Lucerne) and Bernd Hagenkord SJ as director of the press office of the Youth Synod. Encouraging and sobering résumés were spoken, but above all there was the consensus: The Youth Synod should not be regarded as concluded, but as a prelude to an ongoing process of renewal of pastoral care, which not only works for, but especially with the young people on changing our lives in this world. Rahel Kölbener, chairwoman of the worship movement "Adoray" in St. Gallen, also emphasized this missionary perspective. She knows from her own experience that young adults are openly searching for ways of expressing and deepening their faith. Andreas Schalbetter SJ, chaplain of the University of Lucerne, showed us what possibilities there are to help students in their spiritual research. It was the first part of our excursion to Lucerne, followed by a guided tour through the Jesuit Church by “Living Stones”: Students accompany tourists – in this case, also young Jesuits! – explaining the meaning of art and architecture of the church, thereby opening up access to the faith traditions contained therein. After a visit to the room of silence in the University of Lucerne and the rooms of “horizonte“ (“horizons”, the name of the university chaplaincy) and a mass with the four provincials, the day ended with an amusing variety evening in the Lassalle House, which the Jesuits themselves designed. We concluded by a session with information on the trends in Jesuit Formation and looked ahead to the Formation Gathering 2020 in Prizren (Kosovo) which will be prepared by the newly elected ECE JIF committee. Before saying goodbye, the participants celebrated Mass with the newly ordained priests from Hungary, Lithuania and Germany, followed by an individual blessing - not least for everything that the still young year has in store.
Managing and teaching Business Ethics: Global trends and challenges is the title of the European conference held from 13 to 16 May 2018 at the Lassalle-Haus, the Swiss Jesuit centre in the canton of Zug in Switzerland. It was organised together with ESADE (Barcelona), one of the leading Jesuit business schools, and the Munich School of Philosophy, and constituted the second in a three-part series focusing on business ethics in different cultures and continents. The series kicked off with a conference in Manila (Philippines) in 2017 and will close in Santa Clara (California) in 2019 year. The Lassalle-Haus was chosen as host for the conference covering the regions of Europe and Africa. The aim of the conference series is to explore the possibilities and difficulties of maintaining ethical standards in one’s business activities in a globalised world, and what contributions the Ignatian tradition can make in this context. Among the initiators of the series was the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS). Both theory and practice of business ethics were spotlighted. Day one was dedicated to academic exchange. In his keynote speech, John Dardis SJ, General Counsellor for Discernment and Apostolic Planning, Rome, introduced some key terms for business ethics informed by Ignatian teachings: incarnation and vulnerability, gratitude and vision, inner freedom and inhabitor of two worlds. The prime goal must be to nurture a passion for commitment in young men and women. With over 100,000 Jesuits and non-Jesuits employed in its teaching facilities around the world, the Jesuit order is ideally placed to do so. In 12 sub-groups, researchers from around 40 universities presented their research questions and results regarding business ethics in practice. The topics selected centred around the teaching of business ethics and ways in which interest among the young generation can be stimulated. With a view to executive education, the key question was how leadership and spirituality can be combined. Finally, several topical corporate culture issues were broached, such as digitalisation and whistle-blowing. The second day was marked by exchanges between business ethics researchers and academics on the one hand and practitioners in the form of over 20 Swiss company executives on the other. Representatives of a Swiss asset management firm, an HR consultancy with a global reach, and an internationally operating toolmaker based in Liechtenstein each gave a presentation outlining their vision of ethics in the business world, which initiated a lively discussion. Evidence of cultural differences in business ethics led to a particularly animated debate.  While business ethics in the Anglo-Saxon sphere are primarily understood as an adherence to legal standards and regulations (compliance),  the continental European view tends to take the interests of stakeholders and society as a whole (e.g. environmental aspects) into account as well. Input from emerging economies in Asia emphasised the importance of relationships. In China, however, recent developments suggest a shift from relationship-oriented to rule-oriented business leadership. It was pleasing to note that participants at the conference included representatives from Uppsala, Geneva, Innsbruck, Vienna, Budapest and Vilnius, in other words from all five provinces that are due to merge into one in the coming years. The fact that the conference coincided with the publication of the Vatican’s document entitled “Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System“, which also emphasises the importance of teaching business ethics, is no doubt an encouraging sign. The event represented a further incentive for the Lassalle-Institut to continue to pursue its goal of fostering international and interprovincial networking. In terms of content, it gave rise to a new research project on Ignatian spirituality and leadership. The follow-on conference in Santa Clara is scheduled for July 2019.
Pope Francis was in Geneva on June 21, 2018. The faithful were ecstatic! And the Holy Father once again won hearts with his benevolent smile and comforting words. Some reflections of the Jesuit Provincial of Switzerland, Fr. Christian Rutishauser. A visit in three stages © Céline Fossati Christian Rutishauser sj observes that the day had three distinct highlights. The Pope's arrival on Swiss soil first of all, with the Pope's meeting with the President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset: "An interview that took place on a political level, with human rights and commitment to ecology as strong themes. The Pope was speaking as head of state, that of the Vatican. Nothing very concrete was to be expected from this meeting, but a confirmation of the common interests between our two States. It was nevertheless important to remember in these unstable times when Donald Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Human Rights Council and so many other international treaties." © WCC/AlbinHillert The second time, of course, was his visit to the World Council of Churches (WCC). "This presence of Francis was a strong gesture, the witness of the Catholic Church's commitment to ecumenism at a time when the question had been bogged down for several years," notes Christian Rutishauser sj. "Francis came as a pilgrim from the unit. That is not insignificant. To opt for ecumenism is to accept to lose part of one's own identity in order to empty oneself of one's convictions and to be more welcoming towards the other. The Pope is well aware of this", underlines the provincial of Switzerland. "The Church is on the road with all Christians, on the road to unity, a road to be travelled together. The Pope's visit was a sign of hope and commitment on this path." In the opinion of Christian Rutishauser sj, this visit would have gained in strength if it had been the scene of a concretization, of a common declaration of intention on the theological level. "I was a little disappointed that the words exchanged did not lead to a concrete project about any of the theological details we are discussing at the moment such as the Eucharist. We have remained on a level of fraternal exchange and reaffirmation of the need to walk together, without any profound debate having been initiated. And it is a pity", notes the one who participates in the Vatican's discussions on interreligious relations as consultant to the Commission for relations with Vatican Hebraism. It also regrets that the sharing of deep humanist convictions - especially in peacebuilding - has not resulted in a joint official statement with the WCC. "We work together for peace, but no concretization has been sketched out in Geneva, whereas the Pope does on other occasions." © Diocèse LGF/Jean-Claude Gadmer The third and final time was the Mass at Palexpo, which closed the papal visit to Switzerland. A Mass lived by some as a strangeness when the Pope's coming had been placed under the sign of ecumenism. It was a celebration, of course, for Catholics. But it was above all a traditional mass that resembled the one the Pope celebrated in Saint Martha. A mass of daily life, not so solemn or festive, an opportunity for all to pray together. And this simplicity touched Christian Rutishauser sj. Picture heading © CNS Photo/Paul Haring