Jesuits in Europe

FRANCE
A space for dialogue between science, technology and spirituality. The Plateau de Saclay, 20 km from Paris, is destined to become a world-class centre for training, innovation and academic research. The Society of Jesus and four dioceses of the Île-de-France region have decided to join forces to establish the Teilhard de Chardin Centre in order to offer a Church presence and a space for dialogue between science, technology and spirituality. An innovative space in many ways, it will open its doors in September 2022. South of Paris, the Plateau de Saclay is set to become one of the most visible places in France for the importance given by the public authorities to synergies between Grandes Écoles, universities and businesses. In five years' time, this area will bring together some 34,000 students, teachers and researchers around the Université Paris-Saclay and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris. Many employees and families will be present on the site, which will eventually be visited by 64,000 people. This is why several Church partners have decided to create the Teilhard de Chardin Centre on this plateau. On 8 April 2021, Bishop Michel Pansard of Evry and Fr François Boëdec sj,On 8 April 2021, Bishop Michel Pansard of Evry and Fr François Boëdec sj, Provincial of the Jesuits(picture : first on the left), blessed the building site of the Centre Teilhard de Chardin in the presence of the architect, Mr Jean-Marie Duthilleul, Bishop Michel Dubost, Fr Dominique Degoul, future chaplain of the Centre (third on the picture), and Fr Sylvain Cariou-Charton, Provincial's delegate for Jesuit schools. The work will take 18 months and the Centre will open its doors in September 2022. More info, videos and pictures Jésuites EOF
HUNGARY
“The Mission – What have the Jesuits ever done for us?” This is the title and subtitle of the board game that the Hungarian province of the Society of Jesus is about to launch for the Saint Ignatius Year. The game includes a board, figures (including Saint Ignatius), tokens, question and surprise cards, as well as cards for practical tasks. The aim is to establish missions, institutions of education and healing throughout the world in the course of several tasks to fullfil, true or false questions on Jesuit history to be answered, combining entertainment, education and fun. The game also includes elements fostering cooperation among the players: there can be no victory without selfless good deeds for the community, so the natural desire to win will be accompanied by the need to help one another as well. The game has been developed with the professional counselling of the Hungarian Jesuits, and will be published by the end of the summer. Besides Hungarian, it will be available in other languages as well, and these versions might include elements – characters, true or false questions, etc. – from those Jesuit provinces that show considerable interest in the game. As was agreed with Fr Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar, there is also a charity element included in the project, to aid one of the Jesuits’ top priority, Africa. Accordingly, three percent of the price of each game will be donated to aid a Jesuit mission in Africa on the decision of the provinces that would like to cooperate in the development and distribution of the game. More details to be found at www.themission.world . Jesuits Hungary
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
On April 26th, Father Stan Swamy turned 84 years old. On this occasion the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials addressed a letter to Josep Borrel (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU). The letter signed  by the president of JCEP and co-signed by the 19 provincials of the European Conference is demanding the EU to take action. It calls the European Union to defend Father Stan Swamy SJ from this unjust persecution by asking the Indian Government for his liberation. Attached you will find the letter. On 8th October 2020, Fr Swamy was unjustly imprisoned and he has been in jail since then.
SWITZERLAND
Open the gate and enter with Valerio Ciriello SJ into the Jesuit Church in Lucerne for MittWortsMusik: the noise of everyday life falls silent, the word opens the soul, the music hits the heart.   Like all Swiss schoolchildren, Valerio Ciriello first worked his way dutifully on the recorder before he was allowed to move up instrumentally. "My choice fell on the trumpet, but the success was moderate," he says and smiles, "I wasn't exactly the most diligent, ergo my willpower puff was too weak". That makes his performance today all the more powerful: the Jesuit and university chaplain in Lucerne since August orchestrates the MittWortsMusik in the Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier. On Wednesdays at 12.15 p.m., he invites people to the church on the Reuss for music and words. "Whether devout or not, old or young: people have the opportunity to sit back for half an hour in this magnificent baroque church and leave their everyday life behind," says Ciriello about the low-threshold offer, "a real luxury for many, as I gather from the feedback." What his predecessor Franz-Xaver Hiestand SJ and Prefect Hansruedi Kleiber SJ once started together with the Lucerne School of Music, he wants to firmly anchor in the music metropolis, known for its Lucerne Festival in the KKL: MittWortsMusik is to be extended from about 20 times a year during the university semesters to the whole year - with speakers from all walks of life "and sometimes with more women than men. For the summer semester, for example, he has engaged a young sociology student, co-founder of Pfasyl, a scout group for children from asylum-seeking families; a female doctor from the organisation "Doctors for Environmental Protection"; and a female journalist involved in civil society. He is not interested in whether and how Catholic or of a different faith the speakers are. "What matters is that they have something to say, something to share," says Ciriello. "Priests, theologians, and religious do not have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit - fortunately not. The Spirit blows where it wants. And often where you least expect it." He leaves the choice of pieces to organist Susanne Z'Graggen, lecturer at the Lucerne School of Music, who can offer students performances in small ensembles with MittWortsMusik. Every now and then, she chooses a chamber piece by Beethoven, Ciriello's favourite composer, whose symphonies he loves above all else. "Whenever I get to hear the 9th 'Freude schöner Götterfunken' - preferably in a large concert hall, of course, and not canned - I get moist eyes." Music can also make you dizzy, "but that's not what I mean when I say: music hits you right in the heart. Music can open, sensitise, make us more permeable. Music and words, as we cultivate it at the MittWortsMusik events, is a unique pair."

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Finding God

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
The European Jesuit Spirituality Centres is a new group which met only once in person - in Manresa in November 2018. The progress of the pandemic has meant that those concerned with spirituality centres in Europe have met online only since then. An online meeting on Thursday 8 April 2021 was the third such meeting. Over 50 participants from many centres across Europe,  responded to the invitation to join a meeting in preparation for the Ignatian anniversaries.  With the historical events of 500 years ago in mind, the steering committee had invited Barton Geger of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies in Boston to describe the emergence of key ideas in Ignatius thinking. Having previously circulated a number of documents for reading and reflection, Barton offered some reflection on key Ignatian ideas before inviting those online to discuss them in small groups. Barton described how Ignatius’ insights differed from the prevailing spirituality of his time, developing an apostolic understanding that was confirmed on the banks of the Cardoner and elaborated as he offered the Exercises and helped the meaning of ’the more universal good’ to be understood embodied in the emerging Society of Jesus. When back together in the plenary, everyone have a chance to vote on screen as  compared our judgements to those of Ignatius. Participants took time to express their appreciation of the helpful content offered and for the opportunity to meet one another online.  A further Zoom meeting is planned for Wednesday 6 October 2021 and  it is hoped this will be possible for centre directors to meet in Malta in May 2022.
PORTUGAL
The Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus has created the Ponto de Escuta (Listening Point), a listening service to welcome and talk to people who feel more alone and disoriented in these months of confinement unleashed by the pandemic. The service, staffed by volunteers, consists of a confidential, free, and non-specialized telephone service to listen and encourage those who need to get things off their chest. After two months, more than 100 people have contacted this service and the feedback is very positive. They are essentially women, of all ages and from all over the world, and in the majority of cases manifest difficulties in family and work relationships, aggravated by the loneliness in which they find themselves and the greater difficulty in asking for help, even if informal, from people with whom they previously lived - friends, relatives, work colleagues. Besides the referral to support services in the community (psychological, social), the volunteers can also accompany those who wish to do so to spiritual accompaniment with a Jesuit, something that has already happened in about twenty cases. “Ponto de Escuta” is available through Ponto SJ, the Jesuits' portal in Portugal, and was born within the Province's Service of Protection and Care. In addition to about 50 volunteers who provide assistance, it is composed of a multidisciplinary team which includes a jurist, a psychologist, a Jesuit and a person from the Province's Communication Office.
SPAIN
Marko Rupnik's mosaics transform the Cave of St. Ignatius The Slovenian artist and Jesuit Marko Rupnik and his team, are working intensely these days in the Sanctuary of the Cave of St. Ignatius, in Manresa, installing the set of mosaics they have created for the side chapels of the Sanctuary. A work that is still unfinished but that captivates those who contemplate it, for the strength of its message, its beauty and the fascinating process involved in its creation. There are more than 550 square meters of mosaics, which show the Christian pilgrimage through the Spiritual Exercises. "An itinerary of prayer," the artist himself has explained, "in which one moves from a declared Catholicism to a lived faith." A space of encounter The work is full of details, and all of them are telling us something. Many of them are closely linked to Ignatian spirituality. But the artist has defined this work, above all, as a space of encounter. Marko Rupnik explained that the mosaic is an extraordinary art that implies a communal experience. "A church experience, as a communion of people, which expresses who we are." The materials he uses come from all over the world and the artist assures that, in this technique, a dialogue is established with the stone. "The first lesson to cut the stone is to take it with love, with tenderness". To be able to carry out this work right in the place where St. Ignatius of Loyola began to write the book of the Exercises, represents, for this Jesuit artist, a gift that he receives with "immense gratitude" and also as "a culmination of what throughout my life I have thought and studied". Eight side chapels A few days ago, Monday, Marko Rupnik and his team spent a few minutes presenting the work they are doing to the media and representatives of institutions of the city of Manresa and the Society of Jesus. However, the work did not stop during the presentation. The mosaics occupy the eight side chapels of the Sanctuary and there will also be one on the inside wall of the entrance door which will be dedicated to the parable of the sower. Throughout this week the installation is expected to be completed and then the work will be finished with the lighting and cleaning tasks. The Sanctuary could reopen to the public probably from April 10, while the solemn act of inauguration will take place coinciding with the day of St. Ignatius, July 31, and with the presence of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Arturo Sosa SJ. Part of the celebration of Ignatius 500 The remodelling of the interior of the Sanctuary is part of the celebration of Ignatius 500, the year that commemorates between May 2021 and July 2022 the conversion of the founder of the Jesuits. A celebration that will be lived intensely in Manresa, since it coincides with the 500th anniversary of his arrival in this city. Image album in this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jesuitasesp/sets/72157718743208268/ Jesuitas España
POLAND
The Vineyard – latin vinea - mentioned by the title is the name refering to pastoral institutions run at the Jesuit residence in Poznań.  Vinea Foundation ( The Vineyard Foundation), started in 2010, focuses its  mission on cultural, educational, social and charity activities. Its’ important and the most developed branch is the Vinea Psychotherapy Center, founded in 2016. It offers therapy and pastoral counselling to  people of all ages. Both, the foundation and psychotherapy centre, are the fruit of CLC members initiatives welcomed by the Jesuit community in Poznań. Since 2005, every Lent, the local  CLC members and Vinea have been offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life. In 2020 and 2021 the retreat was guided online. Poznań is one of the biggest population, economic and cultural centres in Poland and it has  rich tradition of Jesuit presence. Presenting the Vinea’s  area of activity one cannot overlook the work which continues the artistic tradition of Jesuits activities in Poznań, both before and after the suppression. Two big halls of the former Dominican monastery, used for decades for theatre performances, since 1992 have been hosting the art gallery “U Jezuitów” (Jesuits’ Gallery). The art exhibitions, lectures and discussions taking place in the Gallery have formed its image as a meeting place of art creativity and religious experience. Since 2015, The Gallery has developed the Creative Activity Workshop  (Pracownia Działań Twórczych). It offers courses and seminars for people interested in training, cultivating  and mastering of their  artistic abilities and skills. Basic programme focuses on  classical arts and crafts, icon painting tradition and derivative types of art  (tempera paint, mosaics, gilding and decorative arts). The very name of Vinea (vineyard) reflects the multiple activities of the Jesuit pastoral centre in Poznań: it is  like a unique vine with many branches. The founding idea, hopefully, shall be  cherished in future in accordance to Jesus Christ’s words: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (J 15, 5).

Promoting Justice

UNITED KINGDOM
Offering more than food Farm Street's lunch service for the homeless and vulnerably housed has already been successfully providing an excellent hot meal on Wednesdays and Saturdays, during lockdown, but Fr Dominic and the team wanted to provide more – including a space for creative writing where people could get to know each other and themselves in a more profound way.  End of term report After 15 sessions, we have delightful experiences and lessons to report. The first lesson: prepare to be surprised by the way the Holy Spirit brings the most healing encounters from the most unexpected people. First through the doors was a guest who spoke 5 languages and who continued to bring us gems from the world of Latvian literature. He also translated two of my own poems into Russian. His goal was to finish his own short stories that had been written on the backs of A5 leaflets and now he had the chance to work on them and to create some new poems that he was rightly proud of. Next through the door was  a guest who was an 81 year old translator of French and Italian. His take on most of our exercises was to produce touching and romantic pieces. He reminded me of one of one of my most favourite characters in literature – Beppo Roadsweeper in Michael Ende’s ‘Momo’, who only tells the truth and so he only speaks occasionally, but always has something wise to say. He has also written a play in Esperanto that he is looking forward to sharing with us. The second lesson was that God really does make up for all the things you cannot do yourself. Planning matters, preparation and ethos guidelines matter, shared goals written on the board matter and resilient boundaries matter, but most of all love and prayer matter – praying in advance for each of the guests that might come, asking for inspiration to bring the right  exercise, trusting the charism you’ve been given by God and trusting that others will bring their charisms into the room which will produce a marvellous ‘alchemy’. What marvellous pieces they made from the Russian word ‘Taska’, the Japanese phrase ‘Mono no aware’ and the Spanish word “Querencia”. Leaving on a high People leave the class feeling delighted because they have discovered the treasure inside of themselves.  They become convinced of the truth of an idea that I introduce at the beginning of the class - That each of us has a pocket of keys, that we might not know about, but that those are the keys to other peoples’ dreams.
BELGIUM
2001-2021 : JRS Belgium celebrates its 20th anniversary! 4 conferences: 22 April, 29 April, 18 May and 2 June 20 years ago, the Belgian Jesuit Eddy Jadot founded JRS Belgium to accompany, serve and defend people on the borders of the democratic world - detained in closed centres. In this 20th anniversary year of JRS Belgium, we want to take an updated look at the borders of countries and disciplines: closed and open, dividing and welcoming lines. In collaboration with the Forum Saint-Michel, MigratieMuseumMigration and the Centre Avec, JRS Belgium offers four online round tables with academics and artists. Four evenings of debate with the central theme of the border as a welcoming line. Should borders be set aside to support the migration transition? What does a theologian have to say about migration policy?  How does art contribute to political change? Read more   
ITALY
The Centro Astalli report 2021. 17,000 people were being listened to. 882 were welcomed. "Services were improved but never suspended". The 2021 Annual Report was presented live online on Centro Astalli's YouTube channel, with the testimony of Mpemba Umba, a Congolese refugee in Italy, who fled the war: "I am the mother of an eight-year-old girl. Before the pandemic I worked as a receptionist. I lost my job. The Centre helps me pay the bills, the rent and provides for my human needs. Through them I'm about to realise one of my dreams: to become a social and health worker. This is a guaranteed job for me and my daughter's future and offers me the possibility to help others"."The pandemic has managed to expose the refugees’ reality," Fr Camillo Ripamonti, President of the Centr, highlighted. "making them unique citizens of deserted cities". The report details about this reality as seen from the office in Rome and from the various territorial centres: Bologna, the new reality of the network, Catania, Grumo Nevano, Palermo, Trento, Vicenza and Padua. "17,000 refugees, who are trapped and victims of short-sighted, ideological and instrumental policies," he added. "This is a time of great challenges, where emigration is a top priority that the international community must tackle in unity and solidarity," highlighted David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, in his greeting message. "As Europeans we have a duty to enhance the idea of global citizenship and solidarity. We need rules that humanise global mechanisms. We must work on concrete and realistic policies". https://youtu.be/vWNdaARw9jA The report A Global ObservationVenezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar are the main countries of migration. In 2020, some 168 countries closed their borders and 90 countries denied access to refugees. Arrivals in Italy by sea were around 34,000: 13,000 people left from Libya, 11,000 were brought back and over 1,400 lost their lives during the crossing. For many, the pandemic is one of many evils, but not the worst. Surviving in detention centres, being brought back to an unsafe port, and dying at sea are much worse. The Balkan route was also back on the news in 2020, highlighting Europe's tendency to externalise borders and push back refugees from one state to another'.  This was witnessed by Fr Stanko Perica, a Croatian Jesuit, director of JRS Southeast Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia). "We distribute food, water, clothes, charge their mobile phones, and solar panels. We have 18 cultural mediators, and medical volunteers. Many cannot take a shower or change clothes. From nursing their physical injuries to translating for them legal issues, we stay close to them as we want to show the hospitable face of Europe. Nothing unites human beings as much as hardships faced together. Living together in Italy More than 17,000 people were accompanied by Centro Astalli, of whom 10,000 were accompanied in Rome alone. "The pandemic has exposed what was hidden, showing the extremity of their condition". Over 50,000 meals were distributed at the Centre's canteen, and medical assistance was also provided. In March and April, the refugees were joined by homeless Italians and EU nationals. "The Centre's door has never been closed. It was a constant point of reference. The same applies to all the territorial centres. The services have been improved but never suspended. The admissions continued: 882, is the number of admissions in Italy.Those who had embarked on a journey of integration had to interrupt it abruptly. A social network supported them. 178 single mothers were welcomed in Rome.  This is 54% of the total number of those who make use of this service. The loss of a job, for those who had one, generated problems and difficulties.A word of thanks and looking towards the futureBuilding a culture of encounter, is the dream of the Centre, which was born out of Fr Arrupe's desire."In 2020, awareness-raising activities continued in schools, "windows" and "meetings". This took place in15 cities, involving 15,000 students.Thousands of refugees, together with volunteers and workers did not give up, but together they found a way to come out of this crisis much better than before."."We thank the Lord for the 40 years of service given by Centro Astalli" Cardinal Tagle highlighted in his message. "This is a testimony of humanity, love in action and compassion. It is not a simple account of activities. Migrants are human bridges between countries of origin and destination. They are brothers, sisters, unique persons, but also, they mirror who we are. You have borne witness to the presence of God who walks together with his people. Download the report (in Italian)
VATICAN
The climate crisis has a very human face. It is already a reality for multitudes of vulnerable people worldwide. The Catholic Church shows a warm pastoral care for those who have been displaced from their homes by its effects. The Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People explains the new challenges posed by the disturbing perilous phenomena of climate disruption in many parts of the globe and suggests appropriate pastoral responses. Please take a look at our best practices doc for helpful tips. Download this resource in the language and format of your choice

Youth & Media

WORLD
The Conference Communicators met once again, for the second year online for five two-hour sessions. In this meeting, the communicators addressed several actual topics in the Society of Jesus namely the Apostolic Preferences, the Ignatian Year and Vocation Promotion. The Roman Curia Communications Office (4 Jesuits and 5 lay co-workers) organized and moderated the meeting. All six conferences were represented: Africa, Latin America, North America, South Asia, Asia Pacific and Europe. For the JCEP Philip Debruyne s.J. and Rafael Silva attended the sittings. Fr. Marc Ravizza, Fr. General’s Delegate for formation made a warm appeal to use all means of communication for vocations promotion throughout the world, including the new site vocations.jesuits.global. During the meeting, the Roman Jesuit Curia Office shared the fruits of their work: A brand new image, video and documents database “Brandfolder” is being developed and several videos and templates have been created. The director of the project “One Gospel Step at a time” Mikołai Cempla announced that  this year 40 one minute videos have been published already. This can represent a tremendous opportunity for each conference (and provinces) to improve the quality of their communications and to improve the time efficiency of their work. There was also a time to share each conference’s experiences and learn from the other. It was extremely enriching to understand how different each Conference’s reality is. It is clear that the future is digital, but it is even more clear that unity and cooperation are the key words for the years to come. In the end, we all have the same mission: to spread God’s word to the World.
ALBANIAITALYMALTA
From Ignatian education to global citizenship education. And also: human resources, communication, fundraising and sport. These are some of the contents of the recently published third volume of the Jesuit Education Network Guidelines. An additional step towards constant improvement and growth in the service to students and their families. Jimmy Bartolo SJ, President of the Jesuit Education Foundation, explains: "According to Ignatian pedagogy, the student is always at the centre, he is the only true actor of his own educational growth, accompanied by the many professionals who work at different levels in our schools. These guidelines help us to accompany our students following an Ignatian style.”"We are going to meet a period - adds Guido Bigotto, Director of the Foundation - that will certainly be complex and that will call us to “re-write” our world, both inside and outside the realities of our schools. The awareness that we are part of a common plan and that the Society of Jesus is at our side, to accompany us in the high-level challenges that await us, will give us even more strength and resolution to try to accomplish the Lord's will in our apostolic works dedicated to young people, which are of such great value in our Province".The network includes schools in Italy, Albania and Malta. Sports centers are also part of it, as well as CeFAEGI and the Fe y Alegría Italia network. In all, there are eleven Institutes, 6.400 pupils and 977 teachers and support staff. The three countries follow different curricula and are governed by different local legislation. Even within Italy itself there are many differences. However, the meaning of the network is precisely that of calling everyone to work together and support each other, at different levels and in collaboration with the other institutions of the Society's EUM Province.The volume, confirms, enriches and updates the 2017 texts. Download the INDEX to vol. 3 of the Guidelines 
SPAIN
Academia Play is a quite innovative educational project born in 2015, which seeks to train in an interactive way through the audiovisual format. Although it has some paper publications, its main format are didactic videos of 1 to 15 minutes in length, disseminated from its website and other social networks such as the Youtube channel in which they have almost two and a half million subscribers. Although they cover different didactic fields and curiosities (cinema, art, music, science, current affairs...) their main field is history. On April 14, they launched a new historical video on the figure of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the initial impact of the nascent Society. This video, which combines narration and drawing, was made with the collaboration of José García de Castro sj. as scriptwriter and with the revision of the historian Fernando García de Cortázar sj. It tells the story from the origins of Íñigo de Loyola until the suppression of the Society in 1773, and its great value is that it manages to do so in an agile, visually very attractive way and capturing in depth the Ignatian spiritual foundations.
PORTUGAL
Schools’ Ignatian Week 2021. Portuguese Jesuit schools, Colégio das Caldinhas and Colégio S. João de Brito, work together Every year and devote a week to celebrate the life and work of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Inspired by the theme of the year of the Iberian Peninsula Jesuit Schools “Acolher-Te, um fogo que acende outros fogos” (Embrace You, a fire that kindles other fires), this year’s Semana Inaciana (Ignatian week) made the light of God shine in the hearts and souls of their students, educators, families, and alumni. In such challenging times as the ones we are going through, both Pastoral teams decided it was the moment to spread the fire that ignited the life of Ignatius: the Love of God. A Love that impels men and women to be in love with the world, to be moved by the joy of believing, by the enjoyment of learning and make learning, by the desire of caring and healing others. Brilhe a Vossa Luz (May Your Light Shine) was the motto of this week which purpose was to help the schools’ communities to be light to others, both in words and actions, and let God’s inner fire shine within their hearts. (Mt 5,16) Putting all their creativity at work, the Pastoral teams were able to reach all students from kindergarten to 12th graders (seniors), as well as all educators, families, and alumni, involving them in a variety of tasks, challenges and suggestions where they had to make their presence and light fill the life of others within their school. From the grand opening of the week to the audio pilgrimage proposal, all activities were thought taking in consideration the present times of physical distancing and online teaching. The highlight of the week was the online Saint Ignatius Mass, in which all students and educators participated with great enjoyment and delight. In this Semana Inaciana each student, educator, family, and alumni found the strength and courage to let God’s inner light shine and were a fire that made the light of others shine better and stronger. May this Light keep dwelling among us – may your light shine. Sara Freitas Pastoral team member - English teacher

In-depth Reflection

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Last April 20th, the Kircher Network´s HEST Cluster on Christian – Muslim Relations celebrated a Democracy and Religious Traditions webinar. The HEST Cluster´s coordinators (professors Tobias Specker, Michaela Neulinger and Gonzalo Villagrán) invited two keynoted speakers. Professor Wolfgang Palaver from Innsbruck Faculty of Theology discussed the topic of religion and democracy in Jeffrey Stout’s work. And Professor Amir Dziri from Fribourg University, Switzerland, addressed the concept of tradition in Islam and its social implications. 11 researchers from the Philosophisch – Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen (Frankfurt), Innsbruck University Faculty of Theology and the Loyola University Andalusia attended the seminar. The webinar began with professors Palaver and Dziri´s speeches, which helped the participants discuss and foresee ways to understand the concepts of tradition in Christianity and Islam and how they can enter in a dialogue with modern pluralistic societies. The participants had the opportunity to engage in discussion with the speakers invited. They stressed the need to develop a dialogical understanding of traditions and acknowledge pluralism inside religious traditions. They also examined the particular circumstances of Europe and their implications for the public presence of the religious traditions. At the end of the webinar, the participants had a short moment of an Ignatian Exam and shared the emotions that moved them during the event. Thankfulness for the opportunity of sharing and dialogue was a shared feeling among all participants. The HEST Cluster´s coordinators also thanked both the speakers, especially professor Amir Dziri for giving voice to the Muslim tradition and the researchers for sharing their knowledge. The participants concluded the event by greeting their Muslim companions attending the webinar for the holy month of Ramadan. They are celebrating these days, Ramadan Mubarak!
ITALY
The Child Protection Centre transforms and expands its field of action: Institute of Anthropology. On April 15 the Congregation for Catholic Education approved the Statutes of the new “Institute of Anthropology. Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care (IADC)”, a transformation of the Centre for Child Protection (CCP). This conversion – proposed by the CCP, approved by the Board of Directors following the Senate hearing, and now confirmed by the Congregation for Catholic Education – creates a new institutional framework for the work the CCP has done so far. Furthermore, the new Institute will be able to have its own faculty and award, in addition to the diploma, the academic degrees of Licentiate in Safeguarding and Doctorate in Anthropology. The new Institute of Anthropology will officially begin its activities on 1 September 2021, managing all activities entrusted currently to the Centre for Child Protection. With this new Institute of Anthropology, the Pontifical Gregorian University reiterates and intensifies its commitment to the work of protecting minors and vulnerable people and supporting safe environments which promote respect for human dignity.  At the same time, this conversion will deepen the interdisciplinary dimension of education and research, recognized by all as fundamental to addressing issues surrounding abuse and its prevention. «At this time of transformation, I would like to thank Fr. Hans Zollner and the current CCP team for their work since the founding of the Centre in 2012, and wish the best of luck to the future Institute of Anthropology that will take its place», wrote the rector Fr.  Nuno da Silva Gonçalves. «In this occasion, I would also acknowledge and thank the many donors and partners who, with their generosity, make the CCP’s daily work possible. They also deserve recognizion for their contribution to this important event of transformation that represents a new beginning». Gregoriana Press
PORTUGAL
In January 2021 Portugal entered a second lockdown in an attempt to cope with the consequences of Covid. The first lockdown happened between March and May 2020; and this second one, starting mid-January, is still effective as of today. For the last 12 months, Portugal was under lockdown for roughly 5 months. For Brotéria, a brand-new cultural center the Jesuits opened in downtown Lisbon in January 2020, the succession of lockdowns was both an extreme nuisance and a challenge readily accepted by a team eager to work. With all its hardships, this was a most fruitful time in terms of exhibitions, conferences, and new partnerships. In particular, the last couple of months allowed for Brotéria to experiment with new online models. Starting in January, three online courses were offered under the titles “The Enigma of Evil”, “Discernment in a Time of Pandemic”, “Architecture, Transcendence, and the Liturgical Space” and “Christian Philosophers”. All four courses were offered by Jesuits, with three sessions each running between 9pm and 10:30pm, Tuesday through Thursday. The response was strong: the first course counted roughly 90 participants; the second one 863 (!); the third 101 and the fourth 65. Not giving in to tiredness and boredom too quickly, but keeping an attitude of curiosity and intellectual rigor towards the world: that was the purpose of these courses and the reason why they were so well accepted. Brotéria was born out of the intuition that in order to remain relevant, Catholic faith has to be able to connect and engage in a permanent dialogue with our contemporary urban cultures. Proximity is key for that. Our work with contemporary artists, or with political, social, or economic agents, can only be successful as long as the Church engages in a process that asks questions and that actually seeks dialogically for the most appropriate answers. We walk alongside those who share similar concerns to ours, regardless of their vantage point.
ITALY
In the African Great Lakes region, MAGIS Foundation, in September 2020, launched the “Gold Without Conflict” Project, that aims to analyze "the gold routes" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Italy, through research on the supply chain, from extraction to sale. The tragic death of the Italian ambassador and the two men who were with him, occurred last February 22 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have put the spotlight on a country that is extremely poor, despite its vast natural resources, and torn apart by years of conflict, misgovernment, instability and corruption. Stefano Liberti, journalist and essay writer who collaborates with MAGIS Foundation on the Project, writes on the Espresso: “It is from the mines scattered throughout the province of Nord-Kivu, that a significant part of the raw materials essential to many tools of our daily lives are extracted. It is from here that coltan comes, a mixture of columbite and tantalite present in cell phones, cameras, micro-chips, as well as in various medical devices. It is also here that we get the gold used in wedding rings, jewellery, but also as a conductor in various electronic devices. About 2,000 extraction sites, one third controlled by armed groups, and 200,000 people employed in these informal mines, including many children, particularly appreciated for their ability to squeeze into narrow tunnels, without protection, often digging with their bare hands. Final destination our cell phones There is a red thread between our everyday devices and items and what is happening in eastern Congo. If the smartphone is now available to everyone, it is also because the extraction of raw materials necessary for its operation takes place in conditions of exploitation, with no respect for the dignity of workers nor for the most basic environmental standards. And without the Congolese state receiving proper royalties: the militiamen or intermediaries who control this trade smuggle the mineral resources into neighbouring countries. The path of gold After being brought illegally to Uganda or Rwanda, gold is exported to South Africa or Dubai, where it is refined and transformed into ingots. In this form, it reaches Europe, the United States, China and India. The length of the supply chain makes the traceability process complex. But the good news is that this process is now mandatory, at least in the European Union: on January 1, Regulation 821/2017 came into force, obliging European importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten, their minerals, and gold to fulfill due diligence duties, to prevent this trade’s profits from financing conflicts. From now on, those who import coltan and gold into the EU will have to indicate their origin and movements along the supply chain. The regulation has just come into force. It will be necessary to see how it will be applied in practice. A first important step towards improving living and working conditions in Congolese mines. And to make more transparent a supply chain in which we are more involved than we imagine.”

Preparing for Mission

AUSTRIAGERMANYSWEDENSWITZERLAND
Four becomes one: On 27 April the previous Jesuit provinces Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lithuania-Latvia became the new Central European Province (ECE), which also includes locations in Sweden and Chicago/USA. It will be led by Fr Bernhard Bürgler SJ. As Provincial he is responsible for 36 locations with a total of 419 Jesuits. With its cultural and linguistic diversity, the new Province ties in directly with the original charism of the Order's founder Ignatius of Loyola, emphasises Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ, who already appointed the new Provincial on 31 July 2020. "Europe, the world and the Church still need people who are capable of contributing to reconciliation in conflict, people who are capable of creating unity in diversity," the General said in his greeting. "We are founding a new Province across linguistic and national borders not only because we Jesuits are becoming fewer, but because times have changed and continue to change so that we can better carry out our mission," underlines the new Provincial. "For this we need even more cooperation across borders and for this we need to use synergies." Fr Bernhard Bürgler SJ had been Provincial of the Austrian Province of the Jesuits since 2014 and had been intensively involved in preparing the merger for the last few years. On the feast of St. Peter Canisius The new Province was founded on the feast of St. Peter Canisius, who is the patron saint of the "Jesuits in Central Europe". This year is his 500th birthday. On the eve of the feast of St. Peter Canisius, there was a solemn bishop's mass in the cathedral of Fribourg in Switzerland with the Nuncio, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the UN authorities, the Bishop of Innsbruck Hermann Glettler and the new Provincial Bernhard Bürgler SJ. During this ceremony, relics of St. Peter Canisius were transferred from the previous burial place in the Colleg St. Michel to a new reliquary in the cathedral. Bernhard Bürgler SJ: "The example of St. Peter Canisius motivates us. His pair of shoes, worn out from so much walking and kept in his hometown of Nijmegen, are for me something like a symbol of his tireless readiness, in a turbulent time of upheaval, to let himself be called into service again and again for the message of the Gospel and to translate it clearly and comprehensibly into the respective time and culture. In this way he literally travelled through Europe - probably 2,000 kilometres a year on average! - and in this way became a bridge builder between the increasingly divergent intellectual, cultural and religious worlds." Prayer novena All Jesuits prepared for the foundation of the new Central European Province with a prayer novena prepared by Stefan Kiechle SJ and Fabian Loudwin SJ (both Francfort) with impulse texts by Father General on the Universal Apostolic Preferences. A series of solemn masses and a film As no big celebration could take place due to the corona-restrictions, the foundation of the new province was celebrated with solemn masses in various places, to which staff and friends were also invited. A film was shown, which has since also been seen on social media channels and has been widely distributed. Provincial Fr Bernhard Bürgler SJ and Press Officer Pia Dyckmans therefore take a personal tour of the Province with short portraits from areas of life and work of the Order as well as impressive pilgrimage sequences on the Canisius Way from Vilnius to Fribourg. The highlight of the 45-minute film is a message by Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, the Jesuit Superior General. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbzpv_QGXz4&t=424s)  Virtual meeting with Fr. General On the first day of the new province, the new Provincial invited all the Jesuits to a Zoom-meeting, which was also attended by Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ and Fr. Franck Janin SJ, the President of the Conference of European Provincials. Fr. General stressed that the new Province was just a beginning, which would be followed by further changes. Like a newborn baby, the new Province must be well nourished and grow. Everyone shares the responsibility for this, and a conversion of hearts is still necessary. During the Zoom-meeting the members of the province prayed together and also in silence, pleaded for the Holy Spirit and remembered their vows.  Revised homepage The foundation of the new Province is also the starting point of a revised homepage with news, stories and reflections from all regions of our Province. A new feature is a members' page with portraits of (almost) all Jesuits. The homepage is currently trilingual with a German, Lithuanian and French version and is maintained by a joint editorial team. Have fun discovering and browsing: https://www.jesuiten.org/
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Again, the JCEP Assembly was held online, from the 19th to the 21st of April, with morning and afternoon two-hour sessions. Planning for the future was the big story line this time. One third of the Assembly was dedicated to finalising the Conference Apostolic Plan. A process of discernment that started two years ago was concluded: nine calls, each one further concretised in specific objectives, set now the direction for the apostolic workat the Conference level in the next few years, pending the formal approval by Fr. General. Sandra Chaoul, from Lebanon, facilitated the whole two-year process with competence, patience, and grace. We are all grateful for her work. The long-term future of our mission depends greatly on the young men joining the Society of Jesus now. A process of discernment regarding the Novitiates in the JCEP was launched, starting by looking to identify the fundamental criteria for a quality Novitiate,which may provide the best possible formation for the mission of the Society. Some statistical data and a short introduction by Mark Ravizza, the General Counsellor for Formation, initiated the reflection and conversation. The structure of the future, already present, new Central European Province was introduced by its new provincial, Bernhard Bürgler in a way that raised a lot of curiosity. Another big topic was Safeguarding. Saoirse Fox, Delegate for Safeguarding and Professional Standards of the Irish Province, presented the conclusions of her study of the situation of Conference in these matters, developed in the last months through interviews with those responsible in each province or region. Different possible ways forward were proposed, in terms of structures at the Conference level, with the goal of better helping each other in the promotion of a consistent culture of protection. There was time to listen to Peter Rožič, JCEP Delegate for Social Apostolate, presenting the Congress on Justice that will take place in Loyola in March 2022; and to Krystian Sowa, Director of the Chapel for Europe (with Sabina González, fundraiser and communications manager), who presented this JCEP Work in Brussels. The presentation and approval of the Accounts 2020, issues related to the financing of the Networks of Jesuit Schools (JECSE and Educate Magis) completed the agenda. Last but not least, a good time was devoted to spiritual conversation, which, together with the many opportunities to discuss the issues in small groups, continues to strengthen the sense of community and shared mission. That was manifest in the warm welcome to the new member of the Conference, Roberto Del Riccio, provincial of EUM, and, at the conclusion, the farewell to the four provincials who are soon finishing their mandates: Christian Rutishauser, Swiss Province, Tomasz Ortmann, North Poland, Vidmantas Šimkunas, Lithuania-Latvia and Jan Roser, German Province. Hopefully, these bonds will be reinforced next time with an Assembly where we can meet face to face, we pray for that. Herminio Rico sj. JCEP Socius
SPAIN
The Vocational Culture team of the Jesuit Universities of Spain (UNIJES) in collaboration with Radio ECCA, launched in March 2021 the podcast "VOCARE". The title "VOCARE" refers to the call we all receive: the one that asks us to give the best of ourselves wherever we are; to be our best version; the one that calls us to be more aware, competent, committed and compassionate people. "VOCARE" is a fresh space preferably addressed to the young students of UNIJES who will find in these audios a friendly word to accompany their human potential. It will do so through three sections: A first one, in which they will warm up engines from news; A second one, in which they will interview a person who will offer from his life experience an approach to what it means to live the vocation; And a third and last one in which UNIJES students themselves will take voice to express their own vision of key related issues such as vocation, accompaniment, commitment, future or life project. The program will be presented and technically directed by Javier Bailén SJ and Juan Carlos Hernández, who together with the Vocational Culture team, have prepared this space with great enthusiasm. In addition to the UNIJES website, the audios of the program will always be available through the Podcast "VOCARE" of Radio ECCA in IVOOX (subscribe here). The first program opens with an interview on Vocational Culture with José María Rodríguez Olaizola SJ. Now available to listen here. More information about the work on vocational culture in Jesuit universities in this report.
EUROPE
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.