Jesuits in Europe

SPAIN
From GC36 to Ecology, Spirituality and Collaboration Socal Apostolate Delegates Annual Meeting. Bilbao 22.-23. september 2017 At this year’s annual meeting we sought conversion in social apostolate with regards to ecology, spirituality, collaboration and more. The meeting started with short, realistic and encouraging reports from nine province delegates, joined by the incoming Europe and Near East delegate Peter Rožič, the SJES secretary Xavier Jeyaraj, and close collaborators from the Spanish social apostolate sectors. We followed with a discussion on the 36th General Congregation through the lens of social apostolate, trying to see God at both transformative work and our governance elements of discernment, networking and collaboration. We discovered that our role in these necessitates our conversion. We also found the need of continuous conversion with regards to our relationship to ecology, as demanded and encouraged by the Pope and the Society. Finally, a conversion and continuous work are needed in the fostering of our collaboration within the social apostolates as well as in connecting them better with the Society’s educational, research, vocational and other apostolic efforts. Our proceedings were illuminated by the contribution of Patxi Alvarez on the spirituality of the Social apostolate. Patxi, the former SJES secretary, invited us to ponder various spiritual sources and the characteristics of justice promotion through the Ignatian way of embracing tension and its possible fruitfulness. The sharing on these issues was accompanied by times of reflection and prayer, by visiting a number of Jesuit social projects in Bilbao (ALBOAN and Fundación Ellacuria) and San Sebastian (Arrupe Etxea), and by enjoying the local tapas and pinchos as well as music. For example, we were much enriched by our visit to Arrupe Etxea, a welcoming Community of Hospitality in San Sebastian, where we prayed and shared meal with the community members: those that just left a prison, Jesuits, lay collaborators and a diocesan priest. Before our next meeting in Milan (April 9-10 2018), we decided to further elaborate our identity, characteristics and goals as people engaged in the social apostolate. We also desired to keep the rich dynamic of the group - as shown by the video [link] - that has been nurtured over the past years by the untiring work of José Ignacio Garcia, to whom we are grateful for coordinating the group so well. The annual meeting was organized by José Ignacio Garcia (the outgoing Conference coordinator), Alberto Ares and Jérôme Gué.
SLOVAKIA
Slovak Jesuits gather in Prešov. The first week of September saw more than 50 of us Slovak Jesuits gather at St. Ignatius Retreat House in Prešov for the annual Province meeting. This year’s call was to evaluate our pastoral work and efforts throughout the past five years, and discern the signs of our times in preparation for a new Apostolic Plan for the Province. Another urgent and important task ahead of us is to consider of where we see ourselves on the changing map of the European Provinces. After all that reflection, it was time for celebration/s. During the concluding Eucharist celebrated by our Provincial, Fr. Rudolf Uher and the Czech Provincial, Fr. Josef Stuchlý, the second-year novices from the common Czech-Slovak novitiate in Ružomberok, Slovakia, took their first vows. Congratulations to Sch. Branislav Dado (SVK), Sch. Matej Sandtner (SVK) and Sch. Vojtěch Fojt (BOH)! May God keep accompanying them on their journey. The 7th of September also happened to be the feast of the Saints martyrs of Košice, patron saints of the Province.
PORTUGAL
This summer, Portugal was scourged with wildfires. leaving behind a trail of destruction and causing 64 deaths, the wildfire that broke out in Pedrógão Grande, a municipality in the centre of the country, was the worst prequel to what was to follow. As soon as the real extent of the tragedy became clear, many students and young professionals close to the Jesuits in Portugal, rushed there to help the local people and the firemen, providing the needed assistance and logistical support. A month later, at the end of July, Missão Aqui e Agora (Mission for here and now) was born thanks to the initiative of two of the volunteers, who rapidly mobilized other young Catholics willing to bring some hope and joy to a place devastated by pain and death. For two weeks, volunteers stayed in Castanheira de Pêra, one of the hard-hot districts, helping out Médicins du Monde, responsible for coordinating aid on the ground. In all, there were some 40 people aged 18 to 30 and coming from every corner of the country. Although many of them had never met before, they were united in their desire to do whatever was needed: they distributed food, clothes, wood and other essential goods; removed debris from burnt houses; planted vegetable seeds in gardens; visited and comforted those feeling lonely. All this, while bringing along their joy. To keep the team of young volunteers going for weeks, a big spiritual and emotional support was put at their disposal. Several Jesuits were also there, accompanying and helping alongside volunteers. Father Provincial José Frazão Correia was one of those who witnessed the mission first-hand . He was deeply touched by the inner freedom with which volunteers decided to leave everything behind to “make the Lord’s presence felt in the midst of such desolation”. Thanks to a local parish priest, daily mass was celebrated outdoors with the community, enriching the experience of missionary work. Already a month has gone by since the tragedy and some have paid a second visit, given the huge manpower needed to rebuild the place. However, the main purpose of their visit stems from their need to be among locals as they contribute to the reconstruction process. They not do this out of their own initiative, but remain strongly attached to the cause by bringing with them more friends. We hope that many more keep returning!
GERMANY
Nuremberg - The new school year is here - and with it the run on the stationery shops. According to research by the "Tagesspiegel", families spend an average of 65 euros per child and school year on paper, pens and notebooks alone. An alternative to the assortment in the specialty store and supermarket are the exercise books and college blocks of "Mercy in Motion": as an eye-catcher, as a message - and for a good cause! In Germany, around 11 million pupils are just starting the new school year. According to UNICEF, almost 50 million children and young people are fleeing the world; at least 3.5 million of them have no chance of attending school. The action Mercy in Motion of the Jesuit mission helps to bring these contrasting realities of life closer together. Mercy in Motion helps children and adolescents in crisis areas in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to enjoy their right to education. Schools give stability, provide a piece of normality and open up perspectives for the future. Each picture tells its own story With the sale of exercise books, college blocks and through donations, refugee children are able to provide school education. The covers of the booklets and notepads were painted and designed by refugee children in the Middle East and Africa. Each picture tells its own story. Mercy in Motion intends to use the proceeds to create a further 100,000 school and training places for refugees worldwide by 2020. The money goes directly into the school education of children and the education and training of young people and teachers in refugee camps. The place in an educational program of the Jesuit Refugee Service costs about 100 euros per year and child. Per month this is 8,33 Euro - 28 Cent per day. A small sum that can change everything in a child's life! Education is a key to breaking the vicious circle of violence, to give people in desperate situations hope, to build peace and to rebuild destroyed countries. The offer ranges from elementary school to university qualification and also includes vocational and teacher training. Schools provide children with the support they need to cope with the loss, fear and violence they have experienced. Visiting a school can protect children from gender-based violence, recruitment as child soldiers, child labour and forced marriage.

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Finding God

UKRAINE
From 3 to 12 September 2017, the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) was held in Brzuchowice near Lviv, Ukraine. It is the supreme collegial legislative body of the Church. It meets every year to make important decisions for the life of the clergy and the faithful of UGCC. This year, the Synod's theme was "The Prayer and Liturgical Life of the UGCC".During the session, a special function of the Synod, preacher, was held by Father Marek Blaza SJ, a Polish Jesuit, who has been associated with the UGCC for years. Since 2001 he has been a lecturer in Ecumenical Theology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, and since 2007 he has been a students’ chaplain for Greek Catholics in Warsaw, helping with his pastoral work in the recently established parish of St. Blessed Mikołaj Czarnecki in Warsaw. The task of the Synod Preacher was to preach sermons in the morning Divine Liturgies (Eucharists), as well as to lead the day of recollection. In his homilies fr. Blaza referred to the readings planned for the given day. On the day of recollection, however, he addressed three themes: the mystery of the Incarnation, the evocation of the Holy Spirit (epicliasis) and the interdependence between word and sacrament. Fr. Blaza in his way of preaching provoked the listeners to discuss the topics undertaken in the sermons and teachings given during the day of recollection. There were plenty of threads directly related to Ignatian spirituality and especially to discernment of the spirits, which play a very important role during the Synod.
SPAIN
The new Spanish Missal and Lectionary of the Society of Jesus, published by the Loyola Communication Group, are reaching the Jesuit communities. This special edition for the provinces of Spain and Colombia cannot be purchased in bookstores. The previous edition was from 1998. The reason for this reprint is to adjust to the new translation of liturgical and biblical texts. On this occasion both texts are presented separately (Misal on the one hand and Lectionary on the other), since the practice acquired after these years told us that in many of our churches and parishes two copies were being used in each celebration. The book has a more manageable size. A list of all Saints and Blessed with name and status in the Society has been added on the day of their death. The work has been done for some years by a group of Jesuits of the Province and the Loyola Communication Group for editing, layout and printing.
AUSTRIA
Pilgrimage of a Lithuanian and an Austrian novice from Nuremberg to Vienna. There are many reasons for a pilgrimage. But why should someone go without money and ask strangers for food and lodging? Ignatius of Loyola asks exactly this from the novices of the Society of Jesus. His reason: “so you can accustom yourself to eat bad and to sleep bad, and to abandon all the hope into money and manmade things, so you can focus in true faith and imploring love in your creator and lord.” Pilgrimage is a so called “experiment” at the Noviciate. It’s meant to test essential positions and attitudes which are important for a live in an order, to train them and to deepen them.  In case of the pilgrimage it’s first of all faith in God. It is also about freedom: How free am I from claims to my living conditions? Do I also bear less comfort? Both attitudes are important not only for later apostolic ministry, but also for a general expression of our faith in God, which alone gives us all that we really need. In the summer of 2017 we, Donatas Kuzmickas and Lukas Kraus, set us to this experiment. Our journey started directly at the front door of the Novitiate House in Nuremberg and led us through the Upper Palatinate, Niederbayern, Upper and Lower Austria to Mariazell and further to Vienna, where we finally after four weeks, a little tired and a few kilograms lighter, but otherwise well preserved were gladly received by our fellow companions. On the way there was not every day a hot meal for us and not every night a soft bed. But we never seriously suffered from hunger and we always found some roof over our heads. Often our accommodations were quite comfortable. The real challenge was to leave us in the providence of God each day, and to remain patient and joyful even after ten or more hours had elapsed and still thinking where we would probably spend the night. Surprisingly challenging for us was also to go the way every day in true fraternal harmony and to always reconcile the differences of opinions and to understand each other better. The exam prayer (a one-day retreat in the form of a prayer), the daily trustworthy exchange and prayer together, helped us greatly. The "learning effect" of the experiment has actually ceased. We were especially moved by the great warmth and helpfulness of many people we met on the way. For example, an old farmer in Upper Austria spontaneously invited us to a large glass of wine (Most) on a particularly hot day. Such experiences took place almost every day. The best thing for us was when we were admitted to a house and were allowed to partake in the life of our hosts for an evening. The many conversations about faith and life will be remembered for a long time. It was also nice to stop in some of the numerous cloisters and monasteries on the way. We have been able to get to know the diversity of the Church and religious life, and we are grateful for the experience of brotherhood. We were particularly grateful to the Benedictine people in Niederaltaich, the Graz School Sisters in Mariazell, and the Cistercians in Heiligenkreuz, as we were able to recover from the hardships of the road for a whole day. Finally, through our pilgrimage experiment, we have also become better acquainted with the Society of Jesus. We wanted to set a sign of the growing connection between our provinces, a Lithuanian and a German novice on their way to Austria. In the communities in Linz and Vienna, we were also very cordially and in brotherly love received. After the many very different quarters on the long pilgrimage we had the feeling to be really at home. Nuremberg, September 2017.
AUSTRIA
European Delegates Apostleship of Prayer meet in Vienna. The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network is the new name of the Apostleship of Prayer. European representatives met in Vienna from 21-25 September. 29 delegates representing national teams attended the gathering which was facilitated by Fr Frederic Fornos SJ, who was appointed as International Director of the network in July 2016 by Pope Francis. Fr Frederic outlined the process of recreation of the Apostleship of Prayer as the Pope’s Worldwide Network since 2010. This process included the adoption of a new logo and vision for the network and the creation of digital tools such as The Pope Video, a ninety-second clip in which Pope Francis introduces his monthly intention; and Click to Pray, an app to encourage young people to pray at three moments of the day, that includes challenges to live out the Pope’s monthly intentions. Pope Francis entrusts to the network these intentions, which address the challenges facing humanity and assists the mission of the Church. In January 2017 the Pope specifically asked all Catholics to participate in the network. The Pope’s intentions “call our attention to the worldwide issues that preoccupy the Pope”, Fr Frederic remarked, explaining that praying with the Pope for his monthly intentions is not meant to be done alone but with others. “It is an outward act, which is connected to the world and opens oneself to the other”, he said. According to Fr. Frederic “prayer is oriented apostolically towards the world”, and in this way it should lead people to encounter others and “get out of the culture of indifference”. Digital services alone are not sufficient for the recreation of the Apostleship of Prayer, Fr. Frederic asserted, explaining that “we must meet people in the parishes”. Mission to the Parishes is the next step of the recreation process. We need to go out into the world and find the missionary spirit that the Apostleship of Prayer had in the beginning, he said, explaining that the goal of the network is “to help people to be available and ready for the service of the mission of Jesus Christ in their daily lives”, as outlined in ‘A pathway with Jesus in apostolic readiness’ the document approved by Pope Francis in 2014, which describes the re-creation process. Directors of the network in each country presented about where they are in the recreation process of the Apostleship of Prayer as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

Promoting Justice

WORLD
Rome (KNA) - The German Jesuit Hans Zollner SJ has called on the Catholic Church to deal more intensively with the consequences of sexual abuse. There is a lack of "theology in the face of abuse, a theology of childhood", said the president of the Child Protection Centre at the Pontifical University of Gregoriana at an event in Rome. He also called for a "culture of protection of the particularly vulnerable". Although sexual abuse has been reported in the church for about 30 years, there is still no theological discussion of this topic, said Zollner. Whereas in the 19th century a number of Christian communities were formed, which took on the social problems of that time, there were no initiatives for those affected today. Zollner said at the presentation of the German translation of the book "Father, I forgive you!" by Daniel Pittet in the German Embassy at the Holy See. In it, the Swiss man describes how a Catholic Capuchin priest raped him for four years. The then youth priest abused the boy from 1968 to 1972 in the most brutal way. To face the sexual abuse of minors by priests is "shocking and heartbreaking,"said Zollner. "It's about sexuality and violence, abuse of trust, destroyed life, and hypocrisy - all in the bosom of the Church." But if you don't face your own dark side, sooner or later you'll catch it all the more vehemently. Christians must "arrive in reality", the Jesuit said. Zollner said that no one could ever completely defeat evil, including the abuse of children. That is a fatal misjudgement. However, much could be done to "minimize the risk of assaults".
SPAIN
ALBOAN and Loyola Sanctuary present an educational proposal. The proposal contains several stages, including a three-day stay in the Sanctuary of Loyola, where the students will feel experientially what it means to be a migrant or refugee in the different stages of the migration process: forced displacement, transit, borders and arrival in the host country. There will be a total of 3,135 young people, around 150 educators and 29 schools in Euskadi and Navarra who will be involved in the next two years. According to Ms. Mar Magallón, director of ALBOAN, "we try to respond to a suffering reality that challenges us, that questions us and that forces us to stop a bit. To look at that reality and to involve ourselves, not only in the Humanitarian Action but also in the change of perceptions on refugees and migration".
PORTUGAL
FGS - Fundação Gonçalo da Silveira, an ngo of the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus, has renewed its logo. The aim was to consolidate the identity of the organization as help to position itself as a promoter of social transformation processes, ranging from reflection to knowledge and practice. In the new graphic image, is the acronym "FGS" who gets the spotlight and a new claim was included: "Transformation and Social Justice", which is the organization’s statement. The symbol, a good balanced between the concept of hand and tree (the African Baobab) and the orange color, both graphical components strongly linked to FGS, was kept. FGS’s work is marked today by various activities and participatory processes in the area of Global citizenship, aiming to act on the challenges of the contemporary world. FGS has recently redefined its mission: to fight inequalities and social injustices by building a Global Citizenship that promotes the common good and contributes to changing situations that kept generate poverty at a local and global level. To meet this mission, FGS works, mainly, on educators training, production and dissemination of knowledge, promoting and strengthening networks, engaging and contributing to public policies and, also, improving the well-being of different communities. The Portuguese agency COMUNICA was the responsible for the image renewal.
WORLD
ROME - Pope Francis’s right hand man on migration is calling for legal and secure channels to guarantee that tomorrow’s migratory movements aren’t marked by the “travesty” of human trafficking. He also urged nations to recognize the “forces of demand,” such as labor below minimum national standards that makes human trafficking “very profitable.” Jesuit Father Michael Czerny said that the migration process often begins with “high hopes and expectations” for a better future, but that since “regular and affordable routes are generally not available, many migrants employ smugglers.” Traffickers, he said, can “easily take advantage of the desperation of migrants and asylum seekers,” after which they end up in an irregular or undocumented status, which puts them at further risk of being exploited and enslaved. Czerny - handpicked by Pope Francis to be Undersecretary of the Section for Migrants and Refugees at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development - was speaking at a United Nations’ Fifth Thematic Session on the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration on Monday. The topic of the session is: “Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrants and trafficking victims.” The priest also said that factors contributing to vulnerability, such as “poverty, statelessness, joblessness, lack of education, discrimination of women and girls, do not in and of themselves necessarily lead to trafficking.” It’s the combination of factors, “mutually reinforcing each other,” that increases the vulnerability. Here, the prelate called on societies of the countries of destination for immigrants to recognize the role they play, through the forces of demand, “for example, for prostitution, or for labor below the minimum national standards - that are at work domestically to make human trafficking very profitable.” Human trafficking is the world’s third most profitable illegal industry, after drug trafficking and the arms trade. The low estimate puts the numbers of yearly victims of trafficking at 21 million, half of whom are women and 28 percent children, most of them girls. A great number of them become slaves. “Slavery must not be an unavoidable aspect of economies,” Czerny said on Monday. “Instead, business should be in the vanguard in combating and preventing this travesty.” The prelate then praised the meeting for focusing on trafficking and contemporary slavery in the migration scenario, one which he said, quoting Francis, is sadly characterized by “new forms of slavery imposed by criminal organizations, which buy and sell men, women, and children.” Czerny praised the “great achievements” of international agreements, which have helped asylum seekers and migrants, but acknowledged that despite these, many “are still and ever more vulnerable, especially to criminal organizations.” As representative of the Holy See, he called on nations to guarantee assistance to victims of these crimes - trafficking and slavery in all its forms - providing them with psychological counseling and other support and rehabilitation. Victims, Czerny said, should be allowed to stay in the country for the duration of their therapy and have their stay extended with the opportunity to work. Once again quoting Francis, the Canadian Jesuit said, “We ought to recognize that we are facing a global phenomenon which exceeds the competence of any one community or country. In order to eliminate it, we need a mobilization comparable in size to that of the phenomenon itself.” For this matter, he urged not only political bodies to come together to face the migrant crisis, which in Europe has long been labeled the worst since WWII, but also business, academia, civil society, and communities of faith.

Youth & Media

POLAND
On September14 the leading Polish Catholic news service DEON.pl, managed and financed by the Jesuit Southern Poland Province celebrated its 8th birthday. A special mass was celebrated on that day in St. Barbara Jesuit church in Kraków, Poland, by Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, the new Metropolitan archbishop of Łódź and a long-time supporter of the service. Deon. pl is a Catholic social and information portal established and operated by the Society of Jesus and the WAM Publishing House. The portal was launched in beta version on September 18 2009. The name itself refers to the abbreviation of two words - Deus (God) and On-line (Network). It’s a number one Cahtolic service in Poland, visited by over a million unique visitors a month.
VATICAN
The Convention between the Secretariat for Communication and the Society of Jesus was signed on 21 September. The Jesuits are thus willing to make themselves available for a new form of collaboration within the process of reforming the Vatican media. The Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication, Monsignor Dario Edoardo Vigano and the Delegate of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves signed the Convention. The Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication expressed his personal gratitude and that of the whole Dicastery to the Society, with which in the last year and half a work of discernment and rethinking was started on the presence of Jesuits no longer within Vatican Radio but in a much larger reality. In addition, Monsignor Vigano mentioned the Pope’s gratitude and satisfaction for this new form of collaboration within the process of reform. “Times change,” said the Delegate of the Society of Jesus, Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves. “It is part of the vocation of the Society of Jesus to serve the Church, as the Church requests. Our contribution in the realm of communication makes us happy because we can contribute to the reforms desired by the Holy Father.   Interview with the Prefect of the Vatican Department, Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò by GesuitiNews First of all, it is a very important stage that is the point of arrival of a path of discernment that has lasted two years, because of course the reform of the communication system wanted by the Holy Father demanded a change, a rethinking. I must say that I am also very pleased that this Convention took place just a few days after Father Stefanizzi’s 100th birthday. Why? Because Father Stefanizzi was director of Vatican Radio at a time when the universal Church was transforming its skin, that is, during Vatican Council II: a time when the Church was rethinking concrete ways in a renewed context. Therefore, this Convention marks the will to be present as Holy See and as Society of Jesus in an apostolic mission that is called to change the ways of production. Then, it is important because it says a continuity, that is the fact that the Jesuits - who since 1931 have followed and put themselves at the service of what was Vatican Radio - today as a community remain and live the apostolic mission of communicating the Gospel within a new reality that is the Secretariat for Communication; as the Pope says, not a unification but a reality from scratch. The Convention is also a more general stage in the reform of the Curia. What will be the new role of the Jesuits in the Secretariat for Communication? The reform of the media is a small part of the more comprehensive reform of the Curia, a reform made, not as some say against the Curia, but together with the Curia. The role of the Jesuits is what they have today: a community of professionals - most of them editors - who live a profession, a professionalism in God's way, that is, they live their own personal path of sanctification within a way of living their profession in a community that is the community of editors, the community of professionals and the community of technicians of the Secretariat for Communication. It is therefore a very important role indeed. Let us not forget that some Jesuits are already taking on roles of particular centrality in designing the new media communication system. Therefore, that competence, that humanity transfigured by the experience of faith, which is a very important contribution in a working community, will continue to be valued. How is the communication system of the Vatican media changing? In recent months we are all experimenting. Meanwhile, we have experimented with multimedia production for the trip to Colombia; we will make another one for the next trip to Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is not produced for the radio, television or portal: there is a multimedia production where the outputs, these media that I mentioned before, then draw on or value for their own output channels. This is a great global change, one that also rethinks the productive system. The role of the journalist also changes, which is precisely a role with more multitasking skills. Then I think that some changes have been made. For example, at this moment we are talking about Vatican Radio Italy and in these days we have a digital terrestrial channel, the 777, with which we can follow throughout Italy this radio station, which is a radio of information, of deepening, of meeting with many realities of our country and also with international openings.
GERMANY
Nuremberg - The new school year is here - and with it the run on the stationery shops. According to research by the "Tagesspiegel", families spend an average of 65 euros per child and school year on paper, pens and notebooks alone. An alternative to the assortment in the specialty store and supermarket are the exercise books and college blocks of "Mercy in Motion": as an eye-catcher, as a message - and for a good cause! In Germany, around 11 million pupils are just starting the new school year. According to UNICEF, almost 50 million children and young people are fleeing the world; at least 3.5 million of them have no chance of attending school. The action Mercy in Motion of the Jesuit mission helps to bring these contrasting realities of life closer together. Mercy in Motion helps children and adolescents in crisis areas in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to enjoy their right to education. Schools give stability, provide a piece of normality and open up perspectives for the future. Each picture tells its own story With the sale of exercise books, college blocks and through donations, refugee children are able to provide school education. The covers of the booklets and notepads were painted and designed by refugee children in the Middle East and Africa. Each picture tells its own story. Mercy in Motion intends to use the proceeds to create a further 100,000 school and training places for refugees worldwide by 2020. The money goes directly into the school education of children and the education and training of young people and teachers in refugee camps. The place in an educational program of the Jesuit Refugee Service costs about 100 euros per year and child. Per month this is 8,33 Euro - 28 Cent per day. A small sum that can change everything in a child's life! Education is a key to breaking the vicious circle of violence, to give people in desperate situations hope, to build peace and to rebuild destroyed countries. The offer ranges from elementary school to university qualification and also includes vocational and teacher training. Schools provide children with the support they need to cope with the loss, fear and violence they have experienced. Visiting a school can protect children from gender-based violence, recruitment as child soldiers, child labour and forced marriage.
PORTUGAL
Ignatian youth meeting in Portugal. Around 40 Jesuits and more than 300 young people gathered in Cernache, Portugal between the 1st and 3rd September. The idea was to reflect together on Pope Francis’ recent visit to Fatima on the special occasion of the centenary of the apparitions. The opening on Friday was as artistic as impressive, with music, canoes on the lake, lanterns, coloured powders and even fireworks. This introduced participants to the meeting’s theme: “I need to feel you close”, an appeal taken from Pope Francis’ message in Fatima. He then continues by inviting the Portuguese people to be “one heart and one mind” with him. For bedtime reflection, participants had a panel share its impressions and testimonies of the Pope’s visit. Throughout the weekend, morning and evening prayers were a harmonious mixture of silence and music. An exceptional choir guided these moments, with all those gathered, singing and praying in perfect communion. On Saturday morning, it was time for individual prayer followed by a moment of sharing in groups. Participants then had the chance to take part in one of the workshops, according to their age group. Topics varied greatly, ranging from the daily examen to ecology and from the Pope’s hidden prayer life to the refugee crisis. At night, a vigil of adoration and reconciliation , united the group in prayer with Pope Francis, as together they contemplated God’s infinite mercy. The day ended with an open air concert, thanks to some in-house talents who put a very lively atmosphere. On the last day, more people were invited to join the youth meeting. After talks to different age groups on the theme The Church, servant, as Christ, Father Provincial José Frazão Correia offered to give his testimony and answer to questions. Finally, the announced celebration and closure of the meeting was the ceremony of Fr José Maria Brito SJ’s last vows. A beautiful outdoor Holy Mass crowded with the three hundred participants plus his friends and family. To sum up, a great weekend. Jesuits and youth gathered on the Pope’s request to be with him. On an environment of celebration and prayer, lots of encounters, re-encounters and emotions.

In-depth Reflection

SPAIN
The Cluster on Christian-Muslim Relations of HEST holds its first meeting. HEST (Higher Education for Social Transformation) is a research project promoted by the European Conference of Provincials. It aims to bring together in a collaborative effort professors and researchers from our Jesuit universities and faculties in Europe and Near East, together with social centres. The ultimate objective is to produce research results on seven key themes (Ecology, Economics and Poverty, Dialogue with Islam, Dialogue between Science and Religion, Anthropology, Ignatian Studies and Migration) that contribute to the transformation of our society from the level of everyday life to the highest political level where decisions are taken that affect us all. One of these seven themes, i. e. the dialogue between Islam and Christianity, is the one that gathered us last September 3 and 4 in Granada to a group of professors and researchers from different Jesuit institutions with experience in this subject. The Faculty of Theology of Granada hosted and coordinated the event. We met with three primary objectives: (1) to get to know each other personally, (2) to learn what we do in dialogue with Islam, and (3) to design a plan of collaboration for the next three years. The meeting began on Saturday evening in the convent of the “Comendadoras de Santiago” (which we should thank warmly for taken care of every single detail we needed). We had the first dinner together and took a stroll along the incomparable “Paseo de los Tristes” of Granada, admiring its impressive views of the Alhambra. On Sunday, we divided the day into two distinct parts. The morning was dedicated to the presentations; we began by introducing all the attendees to the HEST initiative, and we continued with a roundtable presentation of the work that each institution was doing in the topic. After those presentations, we were already able to take the next step: to discern what we could do together. Sunday afternoon was dedicated to this, presenting an open and sincere dialogue in which various possibilities of collaboration emerged. Among them, one seemed to be particularly relevant: the organization of an Academic Workshop in 2018 from which a first joint publication could emerge. The place could be Innsbruck, and the most probable theme: an Ignatian approach to the Dialogue with Islam. The mass and a cultural night tour, accompanied by “Granada tapas”, served as a perfect ending to the intense Sunday day. Monday began with another must-see visit: the Alhambra. We dedicate the morning to enjoy this unique historical enclave that distills memories of encounters and misunderstandings between our two cultures. At the end, we enjoyed a hearty lunch at the Convent and marched to the Faculty where we had our last afternoon session. It began with a master lecture on Al-Andalus by Juan Antonio Macias, and continued with a plenary session devoted to the elaboration of a concrete action plan for the coming times. God willing, this group, will meet again in September or October 2018 in Innsbruck to continue with this exciting task of learning together to dialogue with our Muslim brothers.
PORTUGAL
The Strange Case of Giovanni Battista Riccioli Cosmology, a book of Alfredo Dinis, SJ. This study aims to contribute to the research in the history of science, specifically, in the area of the seventeenth century cosmology, which had in Riccioli, a contemporary of Galileo, an undeniable protagonist. In many histories of science, Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598-1671) is either omitted or mentioned only briefly in relation to his main cosmological work, the Almagestum Novum (1651), which is generally taken as little more than a source of useful information. When it comes to evaluating Riccioli’s philosophical views or his contribution to the development of modern science, especially in observational astronomy, contrasting opinions have been expressed. Several scholars believed especially in the past, but some still in the present, that although during the dispute over Copernicanism Riccioli was personally convinced that the official positions of Catholic theologians were untenable, he kept his own views private, and mentioned in his works only official opinions, as if he fully agreed with them. Depicted as “a spokesman for the Society of Jesus” who was asked by his superiors to uphold a lost cause, Riccioli has been accused of behaving like a bad advocate, one who acted by commission, rather than by conviction, and who did not make a real effort to argue convincingly against the Copernican views. Since no comprehensive and contextual study of Riccioli’s cosmological views has ever been carried out, references to his thought are often put forward out of perspective. The present study attempts thus to achieve a more complete view, and sets out to illustrate the context of Riccioli’s work in the Society of Jesus, and more generally within the seventeenth century research and debate on cosmology.
IRELAND
Studies: An Irish quarterly review (Autumn 2017): Democracy in peril? (Purchase here » ) The current political climate in the West looms large behind the Autumn 2017 issue of Studies. The issue takes its cue from what the editorial calls the “apocalyptic question” raised by Professor Timothy Garton Ash recently: “Is this the end of the west? Or at least of the Anglo-Saxon west?” He was alluding to “the dangerous dysfunctionality of President Donald Trump’s White House and the disastrous unfolding of Brexit in his own country”. The lead article, ‘Democracy in crisis’ by Professor Thomas N Mitchell, former Provost of Trinity College Dublin, begins with a summary account of the great civilizational achievement that was Athenian democracy. He looks then at what he calls the ‘second coming’ of democracy: European countries in the aftermath of the Enlightenment and the Atlantic revolutions. These early models provide a context for some reflections on the current – mostly discouraging – state of affairs. Prof. Mitchell notes that the euphoria at the end of the Cold War, with the democratisation of Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, was not well founded. For the following decade there was indeed an increase in the number of democratic states in the world, but after that there have been sure signs of a decline. “The most recent survey shows that 2015 marked the tenth consecutive year of decline in global freedom and brought the number of free countries in the world down to forty-four per cent”. He further notes some ominous signs of contemporary democracy falling victim to some of the vulnerabilities that afflicted Athenian democracy and brought it to an end. “The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States,” he remarks, “on a blatantly populist platform designed to woo the discontented, combined with another crowd-pleasing pledge to put America first and make it great again, does not augur well for internal cohesion or international cooperation.” And Britain’s departure from the European Union he sees as a further sign “of a swing towards isolationism and narrow nationalism”, a trend observable in other European countries too. In conclusion, Prof. Mitchell notes that democracy “is not just a form of government. It is a culture of shared values and of shared responsibility to safeguard them and live by them. It is the pathway to fairer, more stable societies, and a more collaborative, harmonious world… There is no room for complacency about its future.” Irish historian and politician Martin Mansergh also begins his critique of the current state of democracy with an historical survey. He notes in particular the emergence in post-revolutionary times of a form of democracy that became not only acceptable to the traditionally Catholic nations of Europe, but – especially in the case of Ireland – went hand in hand with their Catholic world views. In the Irish case, even though some theocratic elements remained long after the foundation of the state, “the pronounced Catholic character of the Irish Free State was a reflection and an expression of a long-delayed Irish democracy, underpinned by – on the whole – progressive papal encyclicals”. Mansergh identifies populism as a phenomenon which can undermine democracy. In particular he expresses concern about “a form of populism encouraged by plutocracy”. The danger arises when wealthy individuals use their money to buy influence, especially by acquiring media through which they can protect themselves from criticism while they manufacture consent to a set of changes which serve their own interests. “The plutocrats’ programme is nearly always: cut taxes, especially for the wealthy, even when they reside offshore; cut ‘wasteful’ social expenditure that requires people to be taxed; and reduce regulation, which stands in the way of their becoming even richer.” Another reflection on the crisis of democracy comes from the pen of Irish Jesuit Patrick Riordan. Like Mansergh he is concerned by the danger of democracy being pulled away from its core purpose of securing common goods and being undermined by “sectional interest”. Stephen Collins, retired political editor of the Irish Times, takes a largely upbeat look at Ireland’s political and democratic success, citing in particular the recovery from the financial crisis in the last decade. John Bruton’s contribution, ‘New fault lines in Europe: the political consequences of Brexit’, takes a highly critical view of what the British electorate voted for in 2016. He laments Britain’s failure to stay true to its longstanding commitment to Europe, and he notes that it had tapered its engagement in the EU in such a way that it “had the best of both worlds the day before the referendum. It was sufficiently ‘in’ to exercise influence on the EU, but sufficiently ‘out’ to maintain the sort of freedom of action that befitted its historic role”. And then it threw this enviable position away. In the last article on the central theme Edmund Grace SJ addresses the barrier that is often raised between elected leaders and ordinary citizens thanks to “the elaborate democracy of the modern state”, and he discusses his own initiative, PeopleTalk, as a practical move to encourage dialogue between state and citizens in many areas of public life. Although it appears to stand apart from the main articles in the issue, Prof Fáinche Ryan’s essay on consulting the faithful in the Church on matters of doctrine, from the time of Newman’s famous essay of that title until the aftermath of Vatican II, does indeed consider a rarefied form of the democratic impulse to extend responsibility for the identity of a community to all of the people who share in its life. She addresses the challenge which lies before the Church in the years ahead – that of giving due force to “an ecclesiology of equality in the Holy Spirit”.
FRANCE
An interview with the new President of the Centre Sèvres. Etienne Grieu SJ has just taken up office as President of the Jesuit Faculties in Paris, otherwise referred to as the Centre Sèvres, after the street where it is located, SJ Europe spoke to him about how he sees his new role. Etienne, you’ve just started as President here in Paris. What’s your vision for the Centre Sèvres? Obviously we’re trying to be a university institution helping people understand their faith better. This involves us in a number of struggles – struggles we share with many others involved in education, and not just inside the Church. But you seem such a peaceful person. Why are you talking about struggles? Well, perhaps the language is a bit dramatic. But ‘struggle’ is the best word I can think of in English. For a start, it’s become a struggle to insist on proper thinking and on the use of reason. Many factors in today’s societies encourage us to go for the quick slogan and the easy answer. University education is a matter of learning to listen closely to what is actually going on in the cultures within which we live. We have to get beyond being frightened of what’s unfamiliar and unknown. Obviously this isn’t a matter just for the Church – we are in this struggle along with lots of other good people. But the Centre Sèvres is also a Jesuit institution, part of the Church? Indeed so. And within the Church there’s also a struggle to insist that faith has everything to gain from being submitted to proper rational scrutiny. We need to learn to express our faith convincingly, to listen to why people find faith difficult and objectionable, and take what those people say seriously. At the same time we also have something to say in return, even though it’s always true that what we’re really talking about goes far beyond our understanding. So how does this encounter of faith with reason work? Along with the rest of the Church, we believe that rational thought – and this is another point of struggle – operates better when it takes faith seriously, and doesn’t just write it off as an intellectual cop-out. There’s something profoundly true and human about committing yourself, about taking the risk, about trusting a reality beyond yourself. If the academic life blocks out that possibility, it can end up running round in circles. It can become something of a game, with nothing really serious at stake any more. University life in the West these days is in danger of falling into that trap. Religious believers have an important mission to help the university world be true to itself. But isn’t there a more evangelical way of thinking about this? After all mission is meant to be about converting people. Of course. This struggle about the quest for truth and seriousness can – if we stay with it long enough – become an encounter between human reason and the newness of the Gospel. The process here involves lots of tensions: hard-nosed reason and the gift of grace; the simplicity of the gospel message and the variety of human languages; the development of human culture and the seeming negation of the Cross. There’s a real power in your voice as you say this. Yes indeed. To borrow a phrase, I have a dream. If we can really do this kind of work, and stay with the struggle of living the Gospel in an academic setting, I believe that we will be able to reach out to people who would otherwise never go near a university, people who found school a dead end or even a nightmare. And these people in their turn have things to say that will enrich the university. When that kind of encounter happens, the Gospel comes to life. That’s my deepest desire for the Centre Sèvres and for other faculties like it. What does all this mean in practice? These struggles I’ve been talking about may sound a bit up in the air, but they play out in the daily life of the institution, in how we work together, how we deal with each other: teachers, students, administrators, the people who work in the building, the people who work with us in different ways. Everyone is involved in the learning process, and it needs constantly to be under review. That’s why we are in the middle of a process to redesign our teaching structures. Is there anything Ignatian in what you’ve been saying? Well, obviously anyone serious about the academic life brings their whole self to the enterprise, and many of us here have been formed in the Ignatian tradition. Ignatius teaches us to let Christ, in all his humanity, come near to us, whatever our situation is. If we can do that, then we believe that he himself will lead us forward, and that we can gradually learn to respond. In that process, we discover a God who is endlessly patient with us. Yes, I’ve talked about struggles, and I don’t want to deny that there’s something of the Cross involved here. But as we engage in the struggles, the Spirit will help us be patient with human shortcomings, not just those of others but also our own. And a sense of humour will never be far away. Thank you, Etienne – and good luck.

Preparing for Mission

WORLD
Programs 2017. Program 1: March 28th – April 15th 2018  Holy Triduum and Easter in Jerusalem + 7-days Retreat + Visit of the Galilee of Jesus. This year we offer the special opportunity to live the Holy Week (or part of it) and the Easter Days in Jerusalem before attending the the proposed annual 7-days Retreat (Spiritual Exercises) following the journey of Jesus in Jerusalem. After the retreat, we shall visit in Galilee some towns & sites. The different celebrations taking place each day of the Holy Week in the different Churches and sites where the events of the last week of Jesus in Jerusalem are a beautiful opportunity to celebrate liturgically in an unique way those central days of the Year. Schedule Wednesday 28th: Arrivals Thursday 29th – Saturday 31st: Holy Triduum in Jerusalem Sunday 1st: Holy Easter Monday 2nd – Sunday 8th: 7-days Retreat The Retreat will be shaped with short points given daily in  different places in Jerusalem according to the journey proposed, leaving all the time of the day for the prayer. The sites could provide a very useful "compositio loci" where to make meditations and contemplations. During each day the Staff offers the possibility for a personal dialogue (colloquium) in  different languages to help the personal journey of each participant. Tuesday 10h – Friday 13th: Galilee Saturday 14th: Bethlehem and Ein Karem Sunday 15th: Departures Cost: € 55 per diem For the Program an extra € 500 is asked for the program itself, the visits, the stay in Galilee and the buses.   Program 2:June 2nd - 21st 2018 8-days Retreat in Jerusalem with a week visiting the Galilee of Jesus Proposal: to live the annual 8-days Retreat (Spiritual Exercises) following the journey of Jesus in Jerusalem. After the retreat, we shall visit some Judean and Galilean towns & sites. Schedule Friday June 1st – Saturday 2nd: Arrivals Sunday June 3rd –  Tuesday 5th: Introduction – getting in touch with Jerusalem Wednesday 6th – Wednesday 13th: 8-days Retreat The Retreat will be shaped with short points given daily in  different places in Jerusalem according to the journey proposed, leaving all the time of the day for the prayer. The sites could provide a very useful "compositio loci" where to make meditations and contemplations. During each day the Staff offers the possibility for a personal dialogue (colloquium) in  different languages to help the personal journey of each participant. Friday 15th – Monday 18th: Galilee Wednesday 20th: Bethlehem and Ein Karem Thursday 21st: Departures Cost: € 55 per diem  For the Program an extra € 500 is asked for the program itself, the visits, the stay in Galilee and the buses.   Program 3: July 4th – August 1st 2018 Immersion Program for Jesuits: Bible and Spirituality in the Holy Land The Program will be an opportunity to pray, visit, study and share the Land of our roots, where everything began. It can be a wonderful opportunity to live with other Jesuits in their formation journey from different parts of the world, a unique experience of faith and of the Society. The Bible, the Holy Land, Jesus and Ignatius will be our companions on this journey.  The Program offers an 7-days Retreat session in Jerusalem, followed by a “Pilgrimage” in the Land focused on the discovery of the Incarnation of God in the History of the People of Israel (Visits in the Judean Desert and into the Negev Desert) and in the Journey of Jesus (Visits in Galilee). The last days will be focused on Ignatius and his Journey to Jerusalem and our way of proceeding in the Society.   July 4th: Arrivals July 5th – 8th: Introduction and a first glimpse of Jerusalem July 9th – 15th: 7-Days Retreat in Jerusalem July 17th – 18th: Judean desert and Negev July 20th – 25th: Galilee July 26th – 30th: Jerusalem July 31st: St. Ignatius Day August 1st: Departures Cost: € 55 per diem For the Program an extra € 650 is asked for the program itself, the visits, the stays in Judean desert and Negev, Galilee and the buses.   “Sabbatical” Personalized Programs Personal journeys can be provided to all those companions who desire to spend some time in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Here we can offer individual guidance for Retreats, visits in the Holy Land, Biblical Courses, Ignatian deepening and other opportunities. The cost of the stay in our Community is $ 55 per diem. The costs of all the different parts of the Sabbatical Programs can be arranged with the Staff. *** N.B. The Language of all the Programs (with the exception of the Program 5 and, eventually, of the Sabbatical Programs) is English. During the Retreats, though, the personal dialogue can be in many other languages.  For further information: contact: Fr. Stefano Bittasi, S.J. Director of SJ Programs, Pontifical Biblical Institute3, Paul-Emile Botta Str.P.O.Box 497, Jerusalem 9100401, IsraelEmail: jerusalem.sj.programs@gmail.com mob. +972.052.3757288
UNITED KINGDOM
Sometimes life feels like a revolving door, and 31 August 2017 was a day of farewells and welcomes in the Jesuit Curia in London.  At an evening Mass, Jesuits from the London houses prayed in thanksgiving for the outgoing provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ.  The new provincial, Fr Damian Howard SJ preached in appreciation of Dermot’s careful stewardship of the province over the last six years. Reflecting on the gospel, Damian said, “Leadership in Christ’s Church is rarely an affair of virtuosic omni-competence. It’s actually about good, honest service in the Lord’s household”.  After communion, the assistant to the provincial, Fr Paul Nicholson SJ read out the official letter from Father General in Rome missioning Damian to his new apostolate as provincial of the British Province. It is an onerous responsibility in a time of many changes, and his brothers showed their appreciation and support with a spontaneous round of applause.  In a moving end to Mass, a final blessing was given to the new provincial who knelt before the outgoing provincial who had presided at Mass. Earlier in the day the support staff at the Curia offices had organised their own farewell and appreciation to Dermot. Refreshments were enjoyed to a soundtrack of film themes, a nod to the frequent movie references that have emanated from the provincial’s office in the last six years. The affection in which Dermot is held by his colleagues was very clear. Fr Nicholson paid tribute to Dermot’s dedication and long hours, and his care for so many people under his watch. Dermot himself thanked the team whose behind-the-scenes work was so important, enabling the Jesuits to do ministry in an increasingly complex world. They had often, he said, ‘been asked to help at short notice and consistently produced high-quality work’.  Governance is a profound ministry of service and there was much gratitude to Dermot, and prayers and good wishes for Damian. 
BELGIUM
Two weeks after the opening ceremony of the new European Low Countries Region in Antwerp, many Jesuits and Friends gathered again, this time in Heverlee (Leuven) for the Priestly Ordination of Wouter Blesgraaf by Cardinal Josef De Kesel. It was a moving ceremony with the Trinity choir from Louvain and the Saint-Ignatius Caribbean Choir from London, soloists, a trumpetist and a great organist at our Cavalier-Coll organ. During his homily Cardinal De Kesel asked the question: “Are there then within the people of God no priests? Still, it is. But not to replace Christ himself. Their only task, moreover, is that of referral. In everything they do and are, they want to express that one: He is it, the Only. When they proclaim the gospel, preaching in liturgy and especially the Eucharist, directing the people, they want to mean precisely that it is He who proclaims, that it is He who always leads us in prayer and celebrates with us the liturgy and above all the Eucharist, that He is He who guides his people and builds up his Church. That is why within the people of God there are also priests ordained: to be signs of Him who, in all truth, is our only Shepherd and High Priest. Look at the pictures of the ordination ceremony.
GERMANY
Nürnberg - Birmingham  - Prešov. First vows of six Novices in Nürnberg. Nürnberg – Six Novices pronounced their first vows in the Society of Jesus on 10th of September in Nürnberg: For the German Province S. Manfred Grimm, Br. Arndt Gysler and S. Dag Heinrichowski; for the Lithuanian Province S. Lukas Ambraziejus, for the Hungarian Province Br. Ferenc Kiss and for the Swiss Province S. Mathias Werfeli. It was the first celebration for the common Novitiate for the German, Austrian, Swiss, Hungarian and Lithuanian Provinces. The Hungarian Provincial Fr. Elemér Vízi was the principal celebrant in the church St. Klara; the Provincials Fr. Bernhard Bürgler (Austria) and Fr. Vidmantas Šimkūnas (Lithuania) concelebrated, the German Provincial Fr. Johannes Siebner gave the homily. Fr.Toni Kurmann was the representative for the Swiss Province. Lukas Ambraziejus (born 1995 in Kaunas, Lithuania) and Manfred Grimm SJ (born 1992 in Friedberg near Augsburg, Bavaria) will start with their philosophical studies in Munich. Mathias Werfeli SJ (born 1977 in Basel, Switzerland) will start the integrated cycle of Philosophy und Theology at Centre Sèvres/Paris. Arndt Gysler SJ (born 1981 in Germersheim, Rhineland-Palatinate) will collaborate in the youth pastoral in Hamburg, and Dag Heinrichowski SJ (born 1991 in Hamburg, Germany) will collaborate in the youth pastoral in Berlin. Ferenc Kiss SJ (born 1991 in Hungary) will start a catechetical Formation and do social work in Budapest. Three new Jesuits take first vows in Birmingham. We congratulate the three Jesuit novices took their first vows at St Mary’s Church, Harborne, Birmingham on Saturday. The novices have completed their two years in formation at the Novice House in Birmingham which looks after novices from the three Jesuit provinces of North West Europe - Britain, Ireland and Flanders-Netherlands. Taking vows were two novices from Britain: Christopher Brolly and Stephen Noon, and Teodor Avram from Ireland. Presiding at the mass was Fr Provincial Damian Howard. Fr Bruce Bradley, representing the Provincial of Ireland, and Fr Walter Ceyssens, representing the Regional Superior of the European Low Countries concelebrated with Fr Simon Bishop, Fr Brendan Callaghan and Fr Kevin O’Rourke, who have all served as Novice Masters over the past two years. In his Homily Fr Damian described how the noviciate prepares men for life as a Jesuit: "What we do is to build up a man’s dreams about a life of love and selflessness, cramming his imagination with stories of Jesuits who were brave martyrs, intrepid explorers, brilliant scientists, accomplished artists and all sorts of other things. And then we place a broom in his hands and tell him to sweep the leaves in the drive. And, to add insult to injury, we tell him to him to find God in it." Fr Damian reflected on the temptation to follow in the path of the past heroes of our shared Jesuit heritage, but reminded us of the need to work in close partnership or true communion with others in order to fulfill our mission: "the vows are really pathways to communion. I close my arms around no one person because I open to all. I live a simple life because I depend on the generosity of benefactors, because I’m accountable to my companions and want to be closer to the poor. And I’m obedient because sometimes others know me better than I know myself and see where I can do most good. Teodor, Stephen and Christopher have all learned not to try to be heroes; you won’t catch them preening themselves, calculating their way to the next triumph, indifferent to the little ones who stand in their way. They know the real call is communion. They have become men who know how little they are and how little they can accomplish on their own. But they also know that together with God, gathered together by God, they can do anything." After the mass the novitiate community hosted a party for the novices, their families, and friends and the many Jesuits from around North West Europe who had travelled to witness the occasion. Please pray for Christopher, Stephen and Teodor as they begin Philosophy studies in France and Canada as Jesuit scholastics, and for the three new novices who have joined the novitiate this month to begin their Jesuit journey. First vows of three novices in Slovakia. The 7th of September at the SVK province meeting in Prešov, during the Eucharist celebrated by the Provincial, Fr. Rudolf Uher SJ, and in the presence of the Czech Provincial, Fr. Josef Stuchlý SJ, the second-year novices from the common Czech-Slovakian novitiate in Ružomberok, Slovakia, took their first vows: Fr. Branislav Dado SJ (SVK), Sch. Matej Sandtner SJ (SVK), Sch. Vojtěch Fojt SJ (BOH).