Jesuits in Europe

During this month of October, the magic of Zoom brought together the 19 Major Superiors of the JCEP, including seven new members. Two of the three Regional Assistants were present and many guests also joined us. A year has passed since our last full assembly. In four days we discussed 14 different topics (!) with striking lightness, consolation, and great alignment among the participants. A culture of vocation promotion A highlight was the session with Father General. He spoke to us mainly about the importance of creating a real "culture of vocation promotion" in the Society. He urged each Province as well as the Conference to develop a plan in pursuit of this goal. The General Curia will work to support the common effort. The appeal was heard. The urgency is felt by all. God calls unceasingly and always. This is our faith but our collaboration is required. It does not only concern Jesuits, but all those who have the mission of the Society at heart. New JCEP apostolic plan Under the leadership of Sandra Chaoul as facilitator, another highlight was the adoption of the eight priority calls that will form the backbone of the new JCEP apostolic plan. In line with Father General's intervention, the following objective was underlined: "to support and resource the vigorous promotion of the Jesuit vocation in Europe to help attract gifted and generous young men to dedicate their lives to the service of Christ's mission". A lot of topics requiring our discernment skills Safeguarding; formation centres; primary-secondary and higher education networks; the works of the Conference: the Jesuit European Social Centre, the European Tertianship; JRS-Europe accompanied by an intervention from JRS International and JRS Middle East and North Africa (MENA); the approval of the accounts and our new statutes; staffing needs... are some of the other topics that were discussed and required our discernment skills. Sharing the difficulties, challenges and dramas we face Covid 19, earthquake in Croatia, explosion in Beirut… What a grace it is to come together to share the difficulties, challenges and dramas we sometimes face. Life in each Province is so intense. It requires all the attention and strength of the Provincials. But none is alone. We carry a common mission. During these four days we have experienced a great fraternity (Fratelli Tutti) which has also activated the thirst to find ourselves, one day, face to face, side by side, hand in hand, sitting at the same table to brake the daily bread, the one that restores our bodies and the one of the Eucharist. Bodies and minds aligned.
Europe and Near East, 62 novices in 9 novitiates. The call for a consecrated life can be felt in many different ways and in many different places. This year, 26 young men from all over Europe and the Middle East took the brave decision of knocking at the door of our Jesuit novitiates.  Some of them studied in Jesuit schools, others were involved in youth groups with Ignatian spirituality and some heard about us from a friend or on the internet. Each one of them has a unique story, but all of the share the same passion of serving God. Jesuit training begins with a two-year programme called novitiate. This instruction begins only after a period of vocational discernment. The role of a Jesuit spiritual director is key in this process. This Jesuit's tasks is mainly focused on helping the young man discern what God is calling him to do, and how best to explore his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only when mutual knowledge between candidates and Jesuits is mature enough the person will be admitted in the novitiate. Discerning a Jesuit vocation is an exercise of freedom, commitment and openness to find where God is willing to meet each one personally. You want to know more about how to become a Jesuit? Check our page: All together there are 62 novices in the ten European novitiates, 26 in the first year and 36 in the second year. A novice learns to create a community of brothers who grow in prayer, knowledge of the Society, apostolic work, and personal enrichment. He meets the Lord through the 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat. At the end of these two years, he pronounces vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. We invite you to pray for the journey of the Jesuit novices and also for all that may feel the vocation to become a Jesuit. In the Jesuit Conference of Europe and Near East there are currently 9 novitiates. These are the details from each one: Bilbao (Spain) First year: 3 Second year: 2 Total novitiate: 5 Country: Spain      Birmingham (U.K.) First year: 4 Novices Second year: 1 Novice Total novitiate: 5 Countries: Northern Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Czechia and Slovakia.   Cairo (Egypt) First year: 3 Second year: 3 Total novitiate: 3 Countries: Egypt, Lebanon and Syria   Coimbra (Portugal) First year: 4 Second year: 3 Total novitiate: 7 Country: Portugal     Gdynia (Poland) First year: 4 Second year: 11 Total novitiate: 15 Countries: Poland, Russia, Ukraine           Genoa (Italy) First year: 3 Second year: 6 Total novitiate: 9 Countries: Italy, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Denmark   Lyon (France) First year: 3 Second year: 5 Total novitiate: 8 Countries: France, Southern Belgium and Luxemburg    Nuremberg (Germany) First year: 2 Second year: 3 Total novitiate: 5 Countries: Austria, Germany, Lithuania and Switzerland    Split (Croatia) First year: 1 Second year: 2 Total novitiate: 3 Countries: Croatia
On October 20 and 22, JRS Europe team along with the national directors from the 22 JRS Offices around Europe held the second virtual Regional Coordination Meeting of 2020. Reconciliation The meeting opened with a reflection on reconciliation. JRS International’s expert staff members presented the work that JRS carries out worldwide in different geographic contexts about reconciliation, with an approach that prioritize the capacity building and, above of all, the recreation of relationships among the different groups.  They also invited the whole JRS European network to think about the concept’s applicability in Europe, which led to the recognition of the necessity to deconstruct racism and stereotypes within the host communities as well as among the refugees’ ones. JRS Europe’s updates on advocacy, communications and programmes The discussions moved toward another current important topic on the migration agenda: the newly proposed EU Pact on Asylum and Migration. Claudia Bonamini, JRS Europe’s Policy and Advocacy Officer, presented and analysed the legislative measures contained in the proposal, which raised several doubts and concerns about the sufficient level of protection of the refugees’ rights.  The JRS Europe’s staff members presented recent updates in their respecting working areas, such as communications and programmes, highlighting important spaces for cooperation. JRS Europe’s Regional Director showed a presentation on how to ensure the wellbeing of JRS staff during these challenging and worrying times of physical distance, which was followed by an open discussion among the participants. A special Annual General Meeting Finally, the day ended with the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Despite the impossibility to meet in person, over 150 staff members and volunteers of the JRS offices all around Europe managed to celebrate the 40 years anniversary of JRS by gathering together online, dressing in blue and sharing what JRS means for them. Download the JRS-Europe Annual Report 2019
Fr Stan Swamy SJ (Stanislaus Lourduswamy), 83 years old is a well-known human rights activist. He was arrested and detained on the 8 October by the National Investigation Agency of India. They accused Fr Stan Swamy SJ of having links with terrorist organisations.  Read more about Fr. Swami Worldwide, the Catholic community and social rights activists are calling for Fr Stan Swamy’s immediate release. Many protests have already taken place in major cities across India, including Ranchi, in the state of Jharkhand where Fr Stan Swamy SJ has spent the last five decades fighting for the rights of Dalits and Adivasi people. Also in Rome and different European Countries there have been protest actions against this intervention of the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA). As of 14 October 2020, almost 100 representatives of human rights and grassroots organisations and other supporters of Father Swamy are on hunger strike to draw attention to his situation. Various petitions for the release of Father Swamy on already had over 50,000 signatures as of 15.10.2020. Germany On Thursday, 15 October, the German Jesuit Province and its international aid agency jesuits worldwide wrote a letter to the German Foreign Office in which they call on Foreign Minister Heiko Maaß to lobby the Indian government for Father Swamy. Jan Roser SJ, Provincial of the German Jesuits, explains: "It seems obvious to us that the Indian state is taking the opportunity to intimidate him and others because of their opposition to state repression and discrimination against minorities and their rights. Father Swamy's work included documenting abuses of power and arbitrariness against indigenous youth, those wrongly arrested and those held in prison. For example, he initiated public interest litigation in favour of 3000 indigenous prisoners. In the letter to the Foreign Minister, Jan Roser SJ clarifies: "Human rights defenders must be sure that their work is respected and protected. Also and especially in a large and complex state such as India, where there has been increased oppression and violence against non-Hindus and minorities since Prime Minister Modi's BJP party came to power and the increasingly unbridled agitation of Hindu nationalists. It is necessary to support those who continue to work for human rights and peaceful coexistence among the many peoples and groups in the Indian Union". United Kingdom Jesuit Priests and their lay associates working for the Jesuits in Britain protested on October 22 outside the High Commission of India. The protest was organised by Jesuit Missions in London. Fr Damian Howard SJ, the Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, attempted to hand in a letter to the Indian High Commissioner, Ms Gaitri Issar Kumar, calling upon the Indian government to guarantee Fr Stan Swamy’s well-being and to obtain his release him from prison. Fr Howard said: “Fr Swamy is a fellow Jesuit who has given his life to solidarity with a group of marginalised people. Now he is the one who is suffering and it is our duty to stand in solidarity with him.” The High Commission refused to meet anyone from the delegation nor to accept the letter in person. The letter was later posted to the High Commissioner after the protest took place. Update on Fr. Stan Swamy by Fr Xavier Jeyaraj (SJES, Rome) - 29 October  Update en Español - Update en Français  

Search articles

Finding God

“I worked in a bank. Things were going well. I thought that my life was sorted. Then a friend of mine decided to participate in 3 days of Spiritual Exercises in silence…” In this video Rob Rizzo tells how he surprisingly ended up in the Jesuit novitiate from his work in a bank and how he learned to discover God in a completely different way.
The online prayer project, rezandovoy (Pray as you go), is continuing, about to complete (this coming 2021) it’s ten years journey. During this time it has not stopped growing, and one of the latest developments has been the incorporation of thematic series, in addition to daily prayer and specials. These are particular projects that have to do with some area of life or vocation - such as education, the examination of the day, the figure of St. Ignatius...- On the horizon is the preparation of a series of prayers that will help in the discernment of vocations. On the feast of St. Luke, one of these series was published. 14 prayers prepared to accompany the illness. Precisely because of the times, it seems more pertinent than ever this believing look at aspects of life such as bad (or good) news related to health, fear of the operating theatre, the nearness of death, the beginning of life, letting oneself be cared for, caring for others… All this is in these 14 prayers. It was a team effort, in which the Jesuit Alberto Cano SJ coordinated a group of people linked to the world of health to prepare the prayers. We encourage you to visit the section and spread these prayers that surely can accompany many joys and sorrows in these complex times. Access the series:
Covid-19 has changed but not daunted the work of the Ignatian Spirituality Project both in the USA and Ireland. The ISP aims to give hope and healing to men and women recovering from homelessness and addiction, through retreats, spiritual accompaniment, and building community. The retreats combine both Ignatian and 12 Step spirituality. Participants and retreat givers are invited to share their personal and sacred stories in the light of their relationship with God or their Higher Power. Read below an update on the work of ISP in Ireland over recent months from Eddie Cosgrove, SJ, the director of ISP Dublin. Adapt and Thrive Pre-Covid, ISP had got off to a good start, with separate overnight retreats for both men and women at the Tertianship building at Manresa, and a follow-up men’s retreat at Gardiner Street Parish. Due to the interest of the men who attended, this led to a regular ongoing men’s spiritual accompaniment group at Gardiner Street. Since Covid-19 arrived we have had to cancel retreats until at least the end of the year. Nonetheless, we have adapted as best we can to the situation to keep the project alive. Some of our activities include the following: Ongoing Online Spiritual Accompaniment. Both the men’s and women’s volunteer teams have run ongoing group spiritual accompaniment via Skype. In this way, we could offer people in temporary accommodation a connection by mobile phone to a free conference call. Women’s follow-up online retreat. The women’s team ran a follow-up to their first in-person retreat, this time online, again using phone in/out via Skype. Team formation workshops. We ran four online workshops on twelve-step spirituality based on meditations by Richard Rohr. We are continuing our team formation gatherings every two weeks, currently using Jim Harbaugh SJ’s book ‘A 12-Step Approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius’. A friend of mine, Paddy, who I met on our first retreat over a year ago, reminded me recently of what it was like for him when I and another team member went into his hostel and spoke about the weekend retreat we were offering. “You were the only people who came in and offered us a weekend away, time to reflect, no one else did that”. Since then, Paddy has moved into his own apartment (see photo with me September 2020) and has just begun a university course in social care and social policy. His encouragement and passion to do what we can for the men and women in hostels, especially during Covid-19  times, is inspiring us to move forward, to continue to explore how we can do that. To this end we are offering: Men and women who have not been on our retreats the opportunity to join one of our online spiritual accompaniment groups. A ‘retreat in the park’ days – walking retreat days in the Phoenix Park; One to one spiritual conversations over the phone. An ISP app, created by ISP Chicago, with whom we are affiliated, to help the community of volunteers and retreatants pray together, and stay connected and supported. We ask you to pray for this project. If you are interested in finding out more about us or wish to support it in any way, visit our webpage or contact Eddie at (The group photo was taken at the induction day for ISP facilitators in Manresa in June 2019.)
Fribourg (Switzerland) - Nulla die sine linea, no day without drawing a line This is the title of the winning project for the new monument in Fribourg Cathedral with the relics of Nicholas of Myra, Nicholas of Flüe and the Jesuit Petrus Canisius. The relics of the first two are in the cathedral, while the mortal remains of Canisius will be transferred from the church of the College of St. Michael at the end of April 2021. An important date for the Jesuits: On the commemoration day and in the 500th year of Canisius' birth, the new Central European Jesuit Province will be founded, to which Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lithuania belong. Fribourg has a saint who had a decisive influence on the city: Petrus Canisius (1521-1597), Jesuit from the pioneering period of the Society of Jesus. He came to Fribourg in 1580, at the time of the Counter-Reformation. Born in Nijmegen in today's Netherlands, he had worked as preacher of the faith in half of Europe, lived in Rome, Ingolstadt, Vienna and Prague and founded another Jesuit College in Friburg - at the end of his life there were 18 - the St Michael College, which exists until today. He is buried there, and now the Cathedral Chapter of the Freiburg Cathedral of St. Nicholas wants to create a new resting place for the Canisius relics in the Holy Sepulchre Chapel of the Cathedral. This will bring together the relics of Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of the cathedral and the city, of Nicholas of Flüe, patron saint of the country, and of Petrus Canisius. Canisius is the patron saint of the future Central European Jesuit province, to which Switzerland also belongs. It will be founded on 27 April 2021, the day of commemoration and the 500th anniversary of Canisius' birth. Today, the relics of Nicholas of Myra and Nicholas of Flüe are kept in the cathedral's treasury. They are only occasionally accessible to the faithful, as are the mortal remains of Petrus Canisius in the church of the College of St Michael. Hence the desire to bring them together in one place for veneration. The Cathedral Chapter has launched a competition for the creation of a new religious monument to the three saints. Fifteen projects from Switzerland and abroad were submitted. The jury selected three for a second phase. The winners are Marc-Laurent Naef and Frédéric Aeby from Fribourg. Nulla die sine linea - no day without drawing a line is the title of the winning project.  "Besides the blessing hand of Nicholas of Myra and the praying hand of Nicholas of Flüe, we will have the writing hand of Petrus Canisius," explains Frédéric Aeby, painter and sculptor. Together with the architect Marc-Laurent Naef, he wants to create three niches in the wall of the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. "In this ceremonial room, dominated by the impressive tomb from 1430 and illuminated by the blue-violet stained glass windows of Alfred Manessier, our intervention must be discreet," says Marc-Laurent Naef. The relics of St. Peter Canisius SJ will be transferred on Monday, 26 April 2021, the day before the new Central European Jesuit Province is founded.

Promoting Justice

Hungarian Jesuits have joined an initiative focusing on helping families in underdeveloped areas to have a better future. The mission to which the Hungarian Province of the Society of Jesus is now making its contribution, was launched by Franciscan sisters in a village called Arló in the Borsod area of North-East Hungary. The project is supported by the “Redeveloping villages” initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The village is located in a picturesque landscape in the mountainous Bükk area. During the Socialist era before 1990, the village suffered from the industrialization of the time, but after the transition, because of the downgrade of the heavy industry, many people lost their livelihood. They mostly include the Roma community of the village, who make up 60% of the 3700 inhabitants of the village. „Most of them are undereducated and don’t do well with commitments, so they have a difficult time finding a job”, says Mrs István Vámos, the local mayor. The employment difficulties are deeply rooted in local education problems, which often include “spontaneous segregation”. The Arló elementary school has 360 pupils, all of whom are Roma. “The reason of this is that non-Roma or even more selective Roma parents take their children to another school, in search of better chances there”, says the mayor. The Franciscan sisters have already contributed a lot to helping children, who often don’t even finish elementary school. In recent years, five local Roma youngsters were admitted to the Jesuit high school in Miskolc, locally referred to as „Jezsu”. „Even though the high school has become an elite institution, due to its apostolic mission and its close location to the problematic Avas residential area, it is important to conduct missionary work”, emphasizes the vice principal of the school, Balázs Velkey. Continuing this streak, the Jesuits have joined a social initiative, cooperating with the Franciscan sisters and the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, whose vice president Miklós Vecsei, as ministerial commissioner of redevelopment, is responsible for Roma issues as well. The Jesuits will be in charge of Arló in the “Redeveloping villages” program, aiming at the redevelopment of villages. The project includes more than 60 settlements as to date and is coordinated by the ministerial commissioner. The Jesuits will be represented by Balázs Velkey as coordinator, and he will spend one day every week in the village. The aim in Arló is that even the children coming from disadvantaged background could take responsibility for their own future. „Working on this cannot be started too early, because a lot of children are fallen behind in nursery school, and some of them even have developmental disorders”, says Balázs Velkey. These efforts all have the same purpose: that the children should have better future than their parents. Besides Velkey, the Jesuits send Ferenc Kiss SJ, who previously worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service, to Arló, who will spend two days a week in the village. The Jesuits will have two more people working in the area, where they first assess the needs of the local community, in order to come up with a redevelopment plan. Plans made in a cosy room, far away from the reality of the village, will not stand, underline the coordinators of the program unanimously. Instead, they need to be present in the area, as they also say, not to educate, but to learn first, and then, using these experiences, Roma and non-Roma Hungarians can ask and answer the right questions together.
A network of 250 researchers, journalists, activists, entrepreneurs and expert’s on migration called "GREI250" prepared an advocacy document about the EU “New European Pact on Migration and Asylum” to propose changes for the current migration situation in the EU.  Download the document
3 faces and 3 stories of  3 people welcomed and assisted by Centro  Astalli. They are not just refugees, but individuals with their particular faces, names and stories full of suffering and hope. Their stories have been assembled by Centro Astalli and recounted on Vatican Radio. Charity Nanga, from Cameroon “I have been in Italy since 2017. My mother and my two sisters are in Cameroon. My father had to flee to another country to save himself. My older brother has been arrested and I don't know where he is. My parents were teachers in a public school. There was a period when everything was going very well". She graduated and then found work at an NGO. She specialised in Economics and Business Management. The political situation in Cameroon was deteriorating. "My father was a member of an opposition party and, after my brother's arrest, he had to flee to another country. The internal crisis in Cameroon apparently linked to the rivalry between the Anglophone and Francophone groups actually resembles a real war. To date, there are over two thousand dead, more than 500,000 displaced and 40,000 refugees in neighbouring Nigeria.” In 2016 a very severe repression took place. Charity was arrested while looking for her brother in jail. Through a relative she managed to get a visa for Italy. She flew to Rome accompanied by a person who left her alone and without references on arrival. She was met by a wall of indifference "until one day by chance a lady....". Moussa, from Mali He arrived in Italy in 2014, at the age of 21. He was a mechanic and repaired government vehicles. His mother who was a merchant died after a long illness and he took care of his father of his 4 brothers. Everything happened abruptly with the coup d'etat of 22 March 2012. Arrests and torture followed. “They entered our workshop. They arrested us, questioned us, tortured us and locked us in a prison camp. Then I escaped to Algeria. “I had been wandering around for days. I found shelter in a mosque. Here a gentleman heard my story and offered to send me to Libya to work with his son. I was actually sold as a slave. When I realized this, I ran away and took refuge in a camp with other migrants. I had a day job then was arrested by some traffickers and boarded desperately a boat that arrived in Italy after two nights at sea. From Sicily I went to Genoa where I applied for asylum and given a refugee status. I searched in vain for a job. Then I left again for Rome where “I slept under bridges and at the station. In the afternoon I was at the Centro Astalli. Here I started to orientate myself. Now I work at a Japanese restaurant. I took hold of my life again, together with the emptiness I feel because of the loss of my land and my loved ones”. Shadamgul Zadran from Afghanistan “I arrived in Italy in 2008, at the age of 23”. He comes from a large family, the eighth of eleven children. "My father was a merchant; he travelled a lot". He studied languages. Shadamgul was born during the last years of Soviet occupation. The conflict turned into a civil war and in 1992 the mujahideen took over power and founded the Islamic State of Afghanistan. This event caused a fierce clash between the 'warlords'. The Taliban regime collapsed in 2001 following US military intervention, but this was only a new stage in the endless war. "My whole childhood was marked with fear. You couldn't play outdoors, and you didn't feel safe even at home. Groups of militiamen roamed the villages to recruit young people. At 23 I decided to leave my country. I had heard of Europe. There it would be possible to build a life in peace "He left with 5 friends, paying 13,000 euro to the head of a network of traffickers. “In the end, there were 300 of us. This was a huge business: Indians, Sri Lankans, Afghans and others. We travelled only by night.”  It took them one year to arrive in Greece, travelling under the frost of the mountains in Iran and then marching in the snow in Turkey and finally reaching their destination. In Athens he bought a fake passport and arrived in Spain and then in Italy in 2008. It took him long to integrate in a reception centre in Crotone. “Now I work in court as a mediator and interpreter. I married an Italian girl, and we are expecting a child. I would like to open a restaurant one day”.
A new Cohort of ELP Fellows. We officially open the 4th Edition of the European Leadership Programme. The long-awaited opening session of the Fall Cohort of 2020 was held at Josefa Foundation on October 4th. The event, hosted by Gilber Granjon and Annabelle Roig, Fouders of Josefa Foundation, was followed by a cycle of presentations from speakers such as Peter Rožič SJ, director of JESC, Botond Feledy, ELP Manager and Secretary for Leadership at JESC and Mahmoud Qeshred, International volunteer HQ Coordinator at Serve the City. "Dear ELP Fellows: Today you join a distinct and growing Programme. Let the ELP principles guide your future growth". Peter Rožič SJ welcomed the 14 ELP Fellows and encouraged them to learn how the Jesuit Education can be transformative. Showing kindness, serve people in need and become part of the change we want to see in the world. Mahmoud Qeshreh, International volunteer and Serve the City Coordinator shared the importance of serving others. Our ELP Fellows will have the opportunity to partner with Serve the City to serve homeless shelters, refugee centers, orphanages, and other associations. The session featured a round of presentation of the Fellows, facilitated by Eleonora Vitale,  External Relation and Development Officer at JESC. The session ended with an Ignatian moment with Peter Rožič SJ.

Youth & Media

A videospot, produced, shot and edited directly by Carlo Acutis to promote volunteering, is available at the Historical Archive of the Leo XIII Institute in Milan, where he was a student. His opinion, his joy, his contemplation of the world can be understood from the few sentences that constitute this advert, because, as he states at the end of this short brief, "from whatever point you look at it, life is always fantastic", while the last shot is the fading of sunlight. The young man beatified on 10 October by Pope Francis, attended the fourth high school year of the Leo XIII Institute in 2006, one of the schools of the Jesuit Education network, which together with all other schools prepared for the beatification involving students and teachers. A group of parents, teachers and ex-students took part in the celebration on 10 October in Assisi where some students acted as "reporters" and "special correspondents". "He is a saint very close to us, who walked and lived until a few years ago within the walls and in the classrooms of one of our schools" Fr. Jimmy Bartolo SJ, President of the Foundation highlighted, "sitting at the same desks where our students sit every day ". The Teachers Fr. Roberto Gazzaniga, who at that time was responsible for the pastoral care of Leo XIII, talks about Carlo’s cleverness, “He was so gifted that he was known by all as a clever boy, but without arousing envy. His goodness and authenticity have won over the tendency to lower the profile of those with outstanding qualities. He never concealed his faith, respectful of the positions of others, but without renouncing the clarity of voicing and bearing witness to the principles of his Christian life ». “He was lively and intelligent and had a profound look” recalls his math’s teacher Maria Alessandra. “He had a lot of interests. He didn't seem particularly passionate about my subject. He did not always do his homework. He justified himself by saying that he had other things to do. Only after his sudden death did I realize that this boy really had something much more important to do.” "He had a deep faith and a particular devotion to the Eucharist", Gabriella Tona, Director General of Leo XIII and former Rector of the Institute in Carlo’s time states. "Being so normal is the main lesson that we can learn from him and communicate to his peers today". The students "With regards to peer pressure, the obsession with fashion, the fear of being judged by others" Sofia, one of the students of the Institute, writes "we now realize the relevance of his example." "Carlo was just enthusiastic, he didn't impose anything on others" Marta adds. "Now with his sneakers, sweatshirt and jeans he walks smilingly in paradise" concludes Federico. “I love recalling that those same shoes walked the earth, leaving a mark behind”.
In different places in Poland Jesuits since many years are involved in student ministry. The 10th anniversary of student ministry DACH in Wroclaw. This year student ministry called DACH, placed in Wroclaw, Poland and led by the Jesuits, celebrates its 10th anniversary. The group came to existence in August 2010 as an initiative of father Paweł Witon SJ. Here is how he remembers the decision to start a new student ministry: DACH gave me the opportunity to meet amazing people and taught me how to create a community. I wish DACH would always be a place where we can meet God, other people and develop our faith and creativity. At first the group included students who were previously part of a ministry called ,,Christianum” and students from outside of Wroclaw (graduates of another Jesuit youth group called MAGIS). Ola shares her memories and feelings with us: My university friends often laughed at me because my answer to their question what I was doing in the evening was always “I am going to DACH!” (I was lucky to live very close to the church where we were meeting). My friends were always very surprised because when they asked “Do you really pray there every day?” I answered “among other things”. I explained that we not only attend Holy Mass but also have sleepovers with movie marathons, dances, cooking events, board games evenings, trips to different places and so on. I especially recall our Holy Masses - familiar faces, singing together, standing side by side with friends so very close to the alter, praying for one another because we knew each other so well. We felt God was among us! Conversations that we had sometimes ended at dawn, and it all resulted in friendships that last till today. Trips to Biały Dunajec for the student camp were also amazing, our team was attracting everyone’s attention there with all our extraordinary ideas. Praise be to God for the enormous amount of work put into creating this community and for all these meetings with God and with people. Praise the Lord!   Today DACH consists of many students and it concentrates its activity around the spirituality and teachings of St. Ignatius, the founder of Jesuits. Students participate in Holy Masses on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and on Saturdays at 7.30 p.m. After Mass young people meet at the parish rooms to relax, talk, drink hot tea or to discuss some serious topics. Monika, the current leader of the ministry, says: A very important element of the activity of our ministry is the Prayer Group. During meetings we meditate on a fragment from the Bible, using the rules of the Ignatian contemplation prayer. By listening to God’s Word we can become contemplative in our own actions and by following His inspirations we can fulfill the commandment to love! The effect of this is the Formation Group, which provides space for reflection and discussion, as well as the Volunteering Group, which tries to go out to help the needy in the parish and beyond. This is the place where we share our talents, for example by tutoring students from primary and secondary schools. An integral part of the activity of our ministry are weekend events, especially trips. On September 11-13, 2020, in Wroclaw there was a meeting called ,,LoyoLove”, during which everyone had a chance to get to know DACH better. It was a time of getting to know one another, discovering and rediscovering both practical and theoretical aspects of our community and spending time together. We prayed, together, cooked together, played board games and talked a lot. That is how we got to know one another. And in that way we also got to know student ministry DACH, which we create. Even if somebody missed ,,LoyoLove”, not everything is lost yet. We have our student Mass every Sunday at 7.30 p.m. You can find more information on our web page at and on our Facebook fanpage. Fr. Jakub Biela SJ   Students’ creativity during COVID-19 in Kraków Since the beginning, the year of 2020 is special because of the unexpected circumstances of COVID-19. All pastoral plans and activities have been challenged because of the lockdown solutions introduced throughout the entire world. The same happened to “WAJ” – campus ministry at the Jesuit University “Ignatianum” in Kraków. Being unable to do the regular pastoral work for the college students we were forced to change the way how we invest our apostolic energy. We have discovered the power of internet and social media in our ministry. But we did not narrow ourselves to the virtual space. We came up with the idea to use the time of limitations to renovate our community space. Creativity, fun, brainstorming, and common work in small groups helped us to stay together, to do something positive, and to be ready for a new start as soon as it will be possible, while not ignoring the COVID-19 safety regulations. We found that even though we could not have spiritual meetings and prayers together in large groups, we still could share our spiritual thoughts and dreams through decorating our walls, trying to find the way of helping the new students to find God and be inspired by the Ignatian spirituality content found on our walls and in our common rooms! We renovated not only the community rooms, but we also refreshed the visual emblem of “WAJ” by introducing a new logo of our community. New design contains two major element: 1) open hands - a symbol which helps us to live as a community according to the words of Pedro Arrupe: “to be men and women for others”; 2) rays of the sun known from the emblem of the Society of Jesus to underline that we want to grow in the Ignatian spirituality. Thanks be to God for the power of a community which is able to use its own potential and many particular gifts and talents to serve even behind the doors of the world full of restrictions! Fr. Waldemar Paweł Los SJ  
On the 11th of September, the Lithuanian-Latvian province of the Jesuits had two reasons to celebrate the otherwise unhappy date: it was the 25th birthday of the reopened Vilnius Jesuit High School as well as the official opening of a Jesuit library named after Ignatius of Loyola – Lojoteka. Right in the centre of the old town, on the ground of the historical Jesuit college from the 16th century, now stands a small, smart, newly built educational media centre. This centre serves three purposes: making accessible theological and philosophical literature, advancing media literacy education and promoting Ignatian spirituality. For one, it opens for the wider public a vast array of books, collected by Lithuanian Jesuits during the last decades. During Soviet occupation, religious figures in Lithuania were persecuted and most of religious literature was banned. Hence some Lithuanian Jesuits, operating in the underground, privately collected all sorts of valuable spiritual, theological and philosophical literature. In addition, Lithuanian Jesuit diaspora in the United States, Canada and Brazil did the same in their respective regions. After the fall of the Soviet Union these books were flown back to Vilnius and added to the aforementioned private collections of the Jesuits. In this way around 40,000 books in various languages and from various times came to be stored on two top floors of Vilnius’ historic Jesuit college. And now all of it will be accessible to researchers and anyone interested in intellectual inquiry on religion, spirituality and thought.  Lojoteka is also the media education centre of Vilnius Jesuit High School. On the one hand, it’s there to offer pupils up-to-date literature on the various disciplines they take in school. But in addition to that the basement floor host an audiovisual media centre that includes a sound recording studio, a video studio, another photography studio, and a small cinema. This audiovisual media centre is there to teach our pupils on how to create quality audio and video content and thereby become better equipped to navigate themselves in the media world. Finally, Lojoteka is there to hold middle-sized events on the topics ranging from Jesuit identity and Ignatian pedagogy to Lithuanian and European cultural and social realities.  Combining legacy and creativity, Lojoteka strives to become a living example of Our way of proceeding in the times of today. For the greater Glory of God and the benefit of all people.
Young People Being the Change in Their Communities “Be the Change” was the motto of this year’s project “72 Hours without Compromise” (72 sata bez kompromisa), an international volunteer project that animates young people and promotes solidarity, community, creativity, and volunteering.  The project took place from October 16 to 18 in 15 Croatian cities and municipalities.  In Zagreb, the project began on October 15, 2020, with the evening Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Tomislav Špiranec SJ (SKAC Palma) in the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Jordanovac. In his homily, he encouraged young people by saying that they will not only be meeting the current needs of many people, but they will also do many things that will not be seen: bring joy to the lonely, dignity to those who feel worthless, peace to those who are restless, and conversation to those who are lonely.  “That is, in a word, love,” concluded Fr. Špiranec. After receiving their assignments, more than 2000 young people all over Croatia uncompromisingly offered their talents, forces, and skills in the following two days to bring a change to their local communities through more than 300 voluntary activities, which is especially significant in this time of epidemiological crisis.  The goal of the project is to gather young people, making them aware of the importance of volunteering, listening to the needs of others, and participating in concrete changes.  The participants accomplished this through tidying up schoolyards, building wheelchair ramps, painting houses and benches, cleaning up the environment, and through many other deeds.  Through their solidarity, love, commitment, and compassion the young volunteers truly made a difference in their local communities. “72 Hours without Compromise” was devised and launched in Germany in 1995 when a group of young people decided to find a way to encourage their peers to volunteer and give themselves to others uncompromisingly and unconditionally, especially to those on the margins of society.  Since then, the project has gathered and continues to gather thousands of young people all over Europe who are working together to transform their local communities through volunteering.  The project is being implemented in ten European countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, and Croatia.

In-depth Reflection

Pope Francis published last Sunday, October 4, the encyclical letter Fratelli tutti, on fraternity and social friendship. The encyclical was signed the day before in Assisi. We have spoken with some Spanish Jesuit theologians, who offer us their opinion and the keys to reading this text. It is a document that does not constitute great novelties with respect to the magisterium of Francis, but rather gathers and deepens his messages, homilies and discourses, with which, as Gabino Uríbarri SJ points out "it takes on a clear flavour of personal synthesis of a fundamental aspect of his magisterium. For his part, Víctor Codina SJ defines it as "a work of maturity on fraternity and social friendship". Its great importance lies, according to Jaume Flaquer SJ, in elevating all these documents to the highest magisterial rank, "so that their content cannot be rejected from certain ecclesial sectors". In this way Fratelli tutti will be a reference for the official doctrine of the Church of the future pontiffs. Victor Codina reaffirms this, saying that "many will be scandalized and think that these are unrealistic and utopian dreams, but it is in perfect coherence with the Gospel and the social doctrine of the Church", which "is strengthened, updated and with a vision from the poor". Access the report (in Spanish)
On Sunday 4 October Pope Francis published his long-awaited new Encyclical “Fratelli tutti”. The title is a literal quotation from Saint Francis of Assisi, who addressed his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel. It is a call to love others as brothers and sisters, even when they are far from us; it is a call to open fraternity, to recognizing and loving every person with a love without borders; it is a call to encounter others in a way that is capable of overcoming all distance and every temptation to engage in disputes, impositions, or submissions. It is an invitation in continuation of his groundbreaking Encyclical Laudato sí from 2015 to contribute to a new civilization of love, justice, solidarity and care for our common home. As the Pope was writing this Encyclical the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. It would mean denying reality if the only lesson to be learned of it was the need to improve what we are already doing. The pain, uncertainty and fear brought on by the pandemic made it all the more urgent to rethink “our styles of life, our relationships, the organization of our societies and, above all, the meaning of life”. The pandemic has made evident that everything is connected: “no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together.” The first chapter of the Encyclical describes the dark clouds over a closed world; these clouds extend to all parts of the world, hindering the development of universal fraternity; they are the circumstances that leave many people wounded by the roadside, discarded and rejected. The clouds plunge humanity into confusion, isolation, and desolation. In the second chapter the Pope offers a catechesis of the parable of the Good Samaritan as a ray of light in the darkness. When we come upon an injured stranger on the road, we can assume one of two attitudes: we can pass by or we can stop to help. The type of person we are and the type of political, social or religious group we belong to will be defined by whether we include or exclude the injured stranger. God is universal love, and as long as we are part of that love and share in it, we are called to universal fraternity, which is openness to all. There are no “others”, no “them,” there is only “us”. We want, with God and in God, an open world (Chapter 3), a world without walls, without borders, without people rejected, without strangers. To achieve this world, we must have an open heart (Chapter 4). We need to experience social friendship, seek what is morally good, and practice a social ethic because we know we are part of a universal fraternity. We are called to solidarity, encounter, and gratuitousness. To create an open world with an open heart, it is necessary to engage in politics, and a better kind of politics (Chapter 5) is essential. Politics for the common and universal good. Politics that is “popular” because it is for and with the people. It is politics with social charity that seeks human dignity. The politics of men and women who practice political love by integrating the economy with the social and cultural fabric into a consistent and life-giving human project. Knowing how to dialogue is the way to open the world and build social friendship (Chapter 6) which manifests an open heart and provides the basis for a better politics. Dialogue seeks and respects the truth. Dialogue gives rise to the culture of encounter, which becomes a way of life, a passionate desire. Whoever dialogues is generous, recognizing and respecting the other. But it is not enough just to engage in encounter. We have to face the reality of the injuries of past mis-encounters, and so we have to establish and walk the paths of re-encounter (Chapter 7). We need to heal the wounds, which requires seeking and offering forgiveness. To forgive is not to forget. We need to be daring and start from the truth—the recognition of historical truth—which is the inseparable companion of justice and mercy. All this is indispensable for advancing towards peace. Conflict is inevitable on the road to peace, but violence is inadmissible. That is why war is a recourse that must be rejected, and nuclear weapons and the death penalty must be eliminated. The different religions of the world recognize human beings as God’s creatures. As creatures, we are in a relationship of fraternity. The religions are called to the service of fraternity in the world (Chapter 8). In dialogue and with hearts open to the world, we can establish social friendship and fraternity. In our openness to the Father of all, we recognize our universal condition as brothers and sisters. For Christians, the wellspring of human dignity and fraternity is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that is what inspires our actions and commitments. This Encyclical addressed to all men and women of good will confirms Pope Francis´ spiritual and moral leadership.  Faithful to the the Second Vatican Council he presents a Church serving the unity of humanity and promoting justice and peace. Faced with those injured by the shadows of a closed world and still lying by the roadside, Pope Francis invites to make our own the world’s desire for fraternity, starting with the recognition that we are “Fratelli tutti”, brothers and sisters all.
The Leadership diploma organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Alberto Hurtado Faith and Culture Centre of the Gregorian University of Rome offers some answers to the following topics -  The manner of combining ​​in a fruitful way growth with values, reflecting on one's talents and continuous development, managing different life and work situations and the strength of direction, inspiration and charism.  “We try to link this introductory and theoretical study of leadership and management to the principles of Christian anthropology, with a theological reflection on the link between evangelization and contemporary culture” Fr. Stefano Del Bove, the Jesuit, director of the program and university chaplain explains. A clear model "We propose a type of leadership that is sustainable, service-giving, capable of facing actual challenges, to a virtuous and heroic extent, because it encompasses the theme of the frontiers, risks and courage as virtues of the magnanimous person. We are now in the third phase of the course, but we can count on several years of experience and previous knowledge, on a selection of teachers who combine the theories of traditional leadership with Christian culture, with well-defined public ethics and with the social doctrine of the Church. Today, access to information is very vast” "he underlines, “and for this very reason discernment is a necessary supplement to transform information into knowledge and, ultimately, into wisdom ". The contents The course offers not only technical material, but a political and ecclesial vision, as well as a commitment to ethical reflection on leadership and management. “The reality of life is not alien to us. It is not a course of mere theory detached from the times in which we live. This year, for example, one of the lessons will be on leadership sustainability after Covid-19. And again: what changes must society bring about in order to respond to the issues that are emerging from the crisis we are going through? " The Participants Renowned professionals and students from 5 continents enrol in the diploma course. "The program aims to provide participants with personal development, a deepening of their skills, tools for orientation and regeneration of social, cultural and ecclesial life practices". The course duration The course is intensive and enhances face-to-face formation, but it is also enriched with digital resources. "The schedule and sequence of the course- one Saturday a month from October to June - are intentionally planned so that the participants will have the necessary time available for course work between each meeting as this gives more opportunity for personal development". The complete program can be found on this link.
A new innovative centre. The rector of the Pontificia Comillas and Deusto University and the Director General of Esade have signed the constitution of a new foundation, "Jesuit Advanced Management School". The three Jesuit-inspired institutions have combined their strengths to promote the creation of a new innovative centre in Madrid for postgraduate training with an international scope. The project will take the form of a new postgraduate training centre, with its own identity and autonomy, specialising in the disciplines of management and business, and which will be based in a newly constructed building in the city of Madrid. The centre will focus on the development of master's programmes in different areas of business management and leadership training, and will be complementary to the current higher education activities of the three institutions in Madrid, capitalising on the experience and prestige of the three institutions. These programmes will use the most advanced teaching methodologies, an intensive use of technology and a highly international approach. Likewise, the educational proposal, taking into account the values shared by the three institutions, as centres linked to the Society of Jesus, will be oriented towards the training of "people for others", people who are recognised as being the best leaders for the world, that is, men and women who are characterised, in addition to their professional competence, by the integral development of all facets of their personality, as well as by their ethical commitment to a society that is increasingly fair and sustainable, and which includes everyone in solidarity.

Preparing for Mission

What is meant by Ignatian formation of leaders? At a time characterized by an imposing leadership model that tends to be very heavy weight, it is urgent to offer that Ignatian leadership model for the service of others”. The video, with English captions, contains the reflections and experience of some EUM Province Jesuits and lay people, on one of the four points of the EUM Apostolic Plan.
On Saturday 5 September, at the Loyola Sanctuary, three Jesuits took their first vows in the Society of Jesus: Anselmo Jesus Rabadan Linares (Baena, 1993), Francisco Delgado Oliver (Palma de Mallorca, 1995) and Luis Arranz Gil-Albarellos (Valladolid, 1997). The limited capacity and the measures of distance and the use of masks were not an obstacle to the emotion and affection that every glance and gesture of family, friends and fellow Jesuits transmitted in the Basilica. On this occasion a vocational video was shown with their testimonies and those of other Jesuits of the province. In it. Francis explained the steps involved in taking the vows: "This journey brings its harshness, its difficulties, but this is not at odds with the fullest happiness and the beauty of meeting people, on the road, with whom you would never have imagined establishing such a full relationship”. In their words and in the promise they made, you can sense the passion that beats in each one of them - and in so many others like them. Passion for Jesus and his Gospel, for serving his project in the Church, and for doing so with others with whom they share dreams and devotions.
According to the wishes of the 36th General Congregation. A glimpse of history: I joined ARSI in 2012, as an assistant to the Director. The main mission of ARSI has been to preserve the documents of the archive, and to make them available to researchers who come for consultation. The 36th General Congregation (2016) invited the Society of Jesus to grow in discernment, in collaboration and in networking. From then on, a committee began to meet at the Curia to reflect on the mission of ARSI and Father General’s Library. At the beginning of 2018 we began a process of consultation with some Jesuits in the historical field, and with some academic institutions about the possibilities of collaboration with ARSI, with the idea of creating a “network of Jesuit archives”. In May 2018 we - Jesuit archivists in Rome - began to meet in order to promote collaboration. The idea then arose to organize a meeting of archivists from some of the main archives of the Society. In September 2018 I was appointed Administrative Director of ARSI. An international meeting of the Society’s archivists was held on 12-15 February 2019 here at the General Curia. As a result, we created a “digital space” to share information from our archives. Three groups of archivists started working online, with specific themes. We then began to think about organising meetings of archivists from the Conferences of Europe (JCEP), Latin America (CPAL) and Asia Pacific (JCAP). From May 2019 we have held video conferences with the participants of the February meeting. Meeting of JCEP archivists: In July 2019 a proposal was made to organise a meeting of European archivists at KADOC (Leuven, Belgium) in the year 2020, with the aim of promoting collaboration and networking between the Society’s archives in Europe. Due to the COVID crisis, we decided in April 2020 to suspend the meeting in Leuven, and to have instead an “online meeting” of two days, 29 and 30 September 2020. From that moment on, we worked on the preparation of this meeting via email and TEAMS conversations with the archivists. The virtual meeting of the European archivists took place 29-30 September 2020. The participants included 13 archivists of the JCEP, Fr Franck Janin (President of JCEP), and ARSI staff. On the second day, a proposal was made to prepare a list of some materials in our various archives for the period 1939-1958 (considering that the Vatican Apostolic Archives made documents from the pontificate of Pius XII accessible in February 2020). This proposal was received with enthusiasm. The evaluation of the online meeting was positive. In particular, the archivists were impressed by the presentation made by Christian Taoutel, of the Beirut archive, showing the damage caused by the explosion in the harbour in August 2020 and the work that remains to be done. I am happy and satisfied with this new step towards collaboration between the Society’s archives and I hope we can continue on this path. Virtual meetings with the Asia-Pacific and Latin American Conferences are being planned for 2021.
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.