Jesuits in Europe

On Friday 9 December, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola visited St. Aloysius College in Malta, where she received her education as a ‘sixth form’ student between 1995 and 1997. Memories, values acquired, and the maturing of her political vocation transpired in the discussion with those present. The questions posed by members of our Sixth Form Student Council included challenges faced by women in politics and the ongoing war in Ukraine. When asked to share a message to students wishing to pursue a career in politics, Dr Metsola asserted, ‘put your hand up, be ready, don’t let anyone hold you back. Just do it.’ She encouraged the students to use their voice and their vote well, and not to take freedom and democracy for granted. 
From November 29th to December 2nd, 2022, Education Delegates from almost all Provinces and regions of the JECSE network (Jesuit European Committee for Primary and Secondary Education) gathered in Dublin for their annual meeting.  The 23 members of JECSE Education Commission* representing Jesuit schools from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Russia, United Kingdom joined together for 3 days of intense sharing, reflection, prayer, and discussion. They were accompanied by Fr. Franck Janin SJ, JECSE President, Ms. Agnieszka Baran, JECSE director, and JECSE executive team, as well as by Fr. José Mesa SJ, Secretary for Education of the Society of Jesus, and Mr. Eamonn McGuinness and Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ representing Educate Magis who gave input as part of the plenary sessions. The meeting offered a combination of plenary sessions with input leading to time for reflection and discussion as a whole group or in small groups, as well as moments for silent prayer in which each Delegate reflected  on their own experience of being accompanied by Jesus, by one another and by JECSE in their mission of service to Jesuit education in their own regions as well as globally. In each of the sessions there was a sense of freedom to share one’s ideas, as well as one’s struggles, disagreements, hopes, and suggestions. In addition to all the work of reflection, to the reports on the past efforts of JECSE in trying to respond to the needs of schools from the various regions, as well as time to explore how JECSE can best continue to do its mission in the future, there was also plenty of time for personal sharing and relaxed conversations.  JECSE Personel Change JECSE has and continues to undergo a lot of changes, particularly in regard to personnel. At the delegates’ meeting we were saying ‘goodbye’ to many excellent and long-serving delegates and welcoming new delegates into the Commission and onto the Steering committee. It is really a case of the old order changing and making way for the new. This influx of new blood with fresh ideas and energy promises another exciting chapter for JECSE in the years ahead.  Belvedere College & Trinity College Apart from the work sessions held at the Dominican Retreat Center of Tallaght, delegates had the opportunity to visit Belvedere College, a Jesuit school at the heart of Dublin City where they were received and guided on a tour led by the students themselves. We also visited Trinity College and had the opportunity to see and learn about the beautiful Book of Kells, a 9th century collection of the Gospels enriched with beautiful hand-painted illustrations. The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, through its Delegate Jonathan Tiernan, hosted a lovely dinner for the group and made everyone feel welcomed. During the work sessions, Jonathan also shared with the group the recent experience of how Irish schools are incorporating the 10 Jesuit Identifiers in their work of reflection, self examination and updating as they strive to address these challenging signs of the times. Challenges and difficulties ahead Overall, we ended our days together with a sense of gratitude and hope for the future, even as we became more aware of the many challenges and difficulties ahead. Being able to meet in person, after prolonged time without being able to do so was a blessing. The director or JECSE and her team also took this opportunity to gather precious feedback from the Delegates which will aid them in their ongoing discernment process and efforts to find the best possible ways to continue supporting the important mission of Jesuit education in Europe. * JECSE Education Commission - the Delegate body comprising all the Delegates and regional coordinators across Europe and the Near East Francisco Machado
The Christmas concert promoted by Centro Astalli in remembrance of the year 2022 that initiated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine consisted of Music compositions by Mozart, Sollima and Arvo Pärt and a performance by the Ethiopian-born singer Saba Anglara  . "The war," Fr. Camillo Ripamonti, president of the Centre highlighted, "has added more victims to the number of innocent people that have been killed and has resulted in millions of new refugees in a world where there are at least 100 million forced migrants owing to wars, famine and the effects of climate change.  The 'Quartetto Henao' played with instruments in the church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale made from the wood of migrants' boats that had arrived in Lampedusa and transformed by inmates of the Milan Opera prison. "What was a desperate journey became a moment of harmony and hope," Ripamonti pointed out. "To transform discarded wood is to perform a symbolic act that brings about social reconciliation". The concert was also attended by many refugees who are now being accompanied in their new life in Italy.    Jesuits EUM 
Poverty…Forced migrations…Climate crisis…International tensions…War! The list of our worries is long.It only seems to grow every year. However…Even the darkness of the night is filled with countless stars.They mirror an even longer list of ordinary, everyday actsof love… hope… and faith.Millions of signs. And the greatest of them all:a child welcomed and loved.“This will be a sign for you:you will find a child wrapped in bands of clothand lying in a manger.”Luke 2: 12 “To you is born a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord!”Welcome the light!Follow the star!Merry Christmas! The Jesuit Conference of European Provincials,  wishes you a peaceful Christmas timeand a blessed new year.

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Finding God

On 31 December, the Jesuit Provincial, Antonio España SJ, has proclaimed that a Jubilee Year of the Camino Ignaciano will be celebrated every seven years, starting in 2022. The Jubilee Year of the Camino, which began on 1 January on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Ignatian pilgrimage, with the initial experience of the first pilgrim, Ignatius of Loyola himself, came to an end on this very day. His arrival in Manresa on 25 March 1522 marks a historic milestone, now taken up in the 21st century by the Society of Jesus in Spain. The celebration of these Jubilee years will apply to the entire route of the Camino, in its almost 700 km along the five Autonomous Communities through which it passes, in towns and cities that wish to join, and especially to the sanctuaries marked by the Jesuit tradition: mainly at the beginning and end in Loyola and Manresa, as well as at the sanctuary of San Pedro Claver in Verdú. The next Jubilee year will be 2029. Every seven years Antonio España's statement records this measure: "Therefore, by the authority granted by Fr. General, I order that a JUBILAR YEAR OF COMMEMORATION OF THE IGNACIAN WAY be celebrated EVERY SEVEN YEARS FROM 2022 onwards, both at the two shrines of Loyola and Manresa, as well as along the Ignatian Way. My invitation to this periodic celebration is extended to all those institutions and persons who feel called to do so". The Ignatian Way is an itinerary that begins in the hometown of Ignatius of Loyola, in Azpeitia, and follows the pilgrimage he made in 1522 to Manresa. The pilgrim Ignatius underwent a profound spiritual transformation on this route. During this pilgrimage of almost 700 km, the pilgrims cross the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia and pass through 12 dioceses. The itinerary links, like a necklace, six sanctuaries: three Marian and three in the Jesuit tradition. Loyola, Arantzazu, El Pilar, San Pedro Claver-Verdú, Montserrat, Manresa-La Cova. Pilgrims walk stamping their credentials and at the end of the route they receive a document accrediting the pilgrimage, following the model of other older pilgrimages. For more information, consult the website: Jesuitas España
The General Curia launches a free “Jesuit Pilgrimage” smartphone app. It aims to give an intimate experience of the locations that helped make Ignatius of Loyola a saint. Through maps, 360-degree photographs, audio and text meditations, users can visit each of the transformational stops on Ignatius’ journey, either virtually from home, or on-site in each of the 44 places covered. The app is available in English, Spanish, Italian and French, both for Android and iOS. More information here
The Parish as Oasis: An Introduction to Practical Environmental Care is the intriguing title of a book by Drs Ciara Murphy (pictured above) and Kevin Hargaden of the Irish Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, published by Messenger Publications. In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, they explain the sense in which a parish can become an ‘oasis’ using a striking example of how churches are conceived and built in Ethiopia. And they outline some of the 20 practical proposals in their book which communities can engage in as part of ‘caring for the earth, our common home’. They also address the issue of ‘climate despair’ where people feel so overwhelmed by the enormity of the environmental challenge facing the world that they actually end up doing nothing. That’s not an option they say, and emphasise the radical and systemic change that can come about as individuals and communities start making small changes together – for example giving up eating red meat even once a week. One of their strong recommendations is that book clubs and parishes get the book and study it with a view to making collective changes in their personal lives and local community. The interview is as practical as the book and both Kevin and Ciara say they are available to visit and work with any groups who want to help save the earth for people now and for future generations. Read More Jesuits in Ireland
A guided tour to Tirana to learn about its five religious traditions is being organised. This project focuses not only on art but also on the history and the coexistence of religions. All this was also discussed during the 'Symposium on Religious Coexistence - Tradition and Culture', which took place in Tirana on 15 October. The Jesuit community of the Church of the Sacred Heart, a much-visited place of worship, was also involved, through Fr. Zef Bisha. "It was very encouraging to collaborate in the preparation. I was personally in charge of preparing tours of the Catholic churches in Tirana," the Jesuit superior of the Tirana community says. "With the completion of the new structure, our church will be a very beautiful place not only for the parish community, but also for the city of Tirana, which is becoming more and more a place of tourist attraction, work and of the presence of people from various nationalities. Today Tirana has more than one million inhabitants and welcomes foreigners from 140 nationalities. 'Faced with this reality,' Fr. Bisha asks, 'how does one operate in this diverse metropolis? It is a beautiful challenge to experience, and it is always changing. Religion has a very important place during this present moment". Download the guide in Albanian and English

Promoting Justice

With 21 participants from 16 European countries, the latest edition of the JRS Europe Advocacy Taskforce – the first in person since September 2019 – was the most numerous since its establishment in 2018. Taking place in Brussels between November 30th and December 1st, the meeting allowed the advocacy experts of each country to discuss ways to improve ongoing collaborations, as well as find new avenues to explore in terms of future work. Emphasizing the importance of the in-person meeting, Claudia Bonamini, JRS Europe Policy & Advocacy Coordinator, highlighted “During the meeting we took some time to re-getting to know each other and re-discuss our way to collaborate. During the pandemic, we could not meet in person, and we were forced to experiment with online meetings. While those were helpful and relevant to exchange punctual information and work on specific topics, we all agreed on the benefits of meeting in person to tackle wider kind of reflections and to establish interpersonal relations that are essential to work as a network.” The taskforce provided the opportunity to share about the different national realities and reflect on advocacy challenges and opportunities at a national and regional level. From this discussion, it sparked that while the national contexts are hugely diverse, the issues covered by the regional strategic framework adopted last year (access to protection, detention, and alternatives to detention and integration and social inclusion) are still relevant and largely common throughout the region. In particular, the shortage of dignified and affordable housing was identified as one of the major challenges in almost all the countries where JRS operates. Another point of discussion was the negative discourse surrounding migration, often criminalizing migrants and refugees, which was found to be a constant throughout the region. In this sense, the meeting provided a positive occasion for colleagues throughout the region to recharge their batteries to continue with the important, but often frustrating, advocacy job in the knowledge that they are not alone at that, but that there is a wide network in the region striving for the same cause. Although participants found that the cooperation within the taskforce can still be improved and the coordination of such a wider network remains challenging, they all agreed that the network has moved in the right direction in the past years: it is increasingly easy for the colleagues at the national level to make connections between the issues the advocate for in their countries and the issues at stake at the regional level. Moreover, the necessity and added value of regional cooperation to align positions and strategies and to initiate joint campaigns is increasingly understood and valued throughout the network, as the record level of participation in this taskforce edition shows. Established in 2018, the Advocacy taskforce has as its objectives to be the reference point for JRS advocacy in Europe by informing the national advocacy strategies on European issues and by being the platform to develop common regional policy positions. Moreover, the taskforce wants to be a place where national advocacy officers can exchange and support each other.
The European Leadership Programme is an Ignatian inspired residential formation for young professionals. The Fellows live and work in the heart of Europe, help marginalized communities, and follow spiritual coaching as well as professional mentoring sessions. An opportunity to meet current and former leaders from the EU ecosystem is provided, facilitating informal discussions and testimonies of their career and ethical challenges. The ELP houses harbour 20 Fellows and are located close to square Montgomery in Brussels. Fellows usually do a traineeship programme in one of the EU institutions or NGOs in Brussels in parallel with their ELP participation, as ELP is designed to offer programs in the afterwork hours and weekends  For further details, information on previous speakers, alumni testimonials and traineeship opportunities please visit the webpage.   Interested in joining the Programme? Apply before 2023 February 15 at  JESC 
The English for Speakers of Other Languages School at St Aloysius church in Glasgow has provided English language lessons for over 4,000 asylum seekers and refugees since March 2016.  The school depends largely on volunteer teachers who come from a wide range of backgrounds. As well as language lessons, they help meet the needs of their students through the purchase of bicycles (many have to walk miles to get to the classes), IT devices, Wi-Fi, clothes, furniture, and household items. They also help by supporting and signposting students with problems to areas of assistance.  This week a Christmas party for around 50 was held in St Aloysius church hall, where most of the daily lessons take place. Teachers and admin volunteers formed a team to purchase, collect and prepare food and festive items. A marvellous spread was laid on and students were served a 3-course lunch including falafels, salads, dips, hot lasagne, pizza, cakes and chocolate desserts, along with various refreshments.  One of the highlights was 'musical chairs'. A break then took place during which a massive raffle was held where the prizes (all donations) included a 55" TV, vacuum cleaner, microwave, DVD player, household items, and much more.  Other highlights included a choir of Ukrainian students who sang some of their national and Christmas songs, singing of Scottish folk songs, and dancing to festive pop songs, which some of our Sudanese friends found amusing but nevertheless joined in!  The party was a great success. Afterwards, many students came up to the volunteers to express their gratitude. To quote from one of the young Ukrainians: "This morning I was feeling very sad, but after this party I feel very, very happy. Thank you so much" - a sentiment echoed by many more. A big thank you to all those who helped. All in all, a job well done!  Jesuits in Britain 
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is happy to announce that Superior General Fr Arturo Sosa SJ has appointed Br Michael Schöpf, from the Central European Jesuit Province, as the new JRS International Director. He succeeds Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, who has led JRS since October 2015. Br. Schöpf, who has been serving as Deputy Director for the past two years, will assume leadership this summer. His appointment ensures continuity and stability to the work of JRS at this time of unprecedented forced displacement, with over 100 million people worldwide having been forced to leave their homes.  Michael Schöpf has extensive knowledge and experience in migration and refugee issues and is well familiar with JRS’s mission. He worked in Africa with refugee projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda on several occasions between 1993 and 1997. He joined Brussels-based JRS Europe in 2005 where he served as Assistant Regional Director until 2008 and then as Regional Director until 2014. He became part of the JRS International Office in 2021 to focus on programming, organisational development, and advocacy at a global level.  Hailing from Germany, Br. Schöpf joined the Society of Jesus in 1989 and graduated in 1993 from the Munich School of Philosophy. In Germany, he was the chairman of the Advisory Board of MISEREOR, the agency of the German Catholic Bishops Conference for development cooperation, and an advisor to the Migration Commission of the German Bishops Conference. He was responsible for the development of projects and partnerships at Jesuiten Weltweit, the work of the German Jesuits for international solidarity. He also taught courses in migration studies and served as a guest lecturer at various universities in Würzburg, Munich and Vienna. 

Youth & Media

The Portugal Province is known for its ministry with the youth. With over 1000 young people in the university centres, the youth apostolate sets an example in executing the third Universal Apostolic Preference practices. Here is an interview with Fr Duarte Rosado, the coordinator of the youth apostolate in the Portugal Province since February 2022 post his Tertianship. He finished his theology (first and second cycle) in Rome, and after his ordination, he was appointed as the socius to the Novice Master for three years. Besides being the full-time youth coordinator, he also functions as the vocation promoter, working closely with the youth. In his free time, he loves playing the guitar and has produced music albums in the recent past. Tell us about the youth apostolate in the Province. “Our history goes back to 1976 when three Jesuits began to think about a new apostolate with the youth after finishing their studies. They started this ministry with the university students close to Coimbra, which was not attached to the University then. A seed sown then has become one of the primary ministries of the Province. We have four university centres right now, with one working with the diocese. We are talking about 1000s of youth who are part of these centres. Every year there are almost 25 summer camps with volunteers and animators who share in the Jesuit charism. A unique thing about these camps is that we promote a cell phone-free space. This experience has got to do with developing imagination and creativity; it is a time to be ‘real’. We have seen this helping the youth create a space inside themselves to reflect. We have Spiritual Exercises given to the youth in the retreat house near Coimbra. In the recent past, we have had almost 1000s of youth doing the Spiritual Exercises, and the university centres have their separate retreats. It’s a culture in our Province to animate the Spiritual Exercises.” Working with the youth is very consoling, but at the same time, it comes with challenges and even more responsibilities. What do you think are some of the challenges you face while you deal with the youth? “Young people have always been challenging. But today, the biggest challenge that I would say is the new world that technology opens, and I guess that is the greatest challenge we have today. In this digital world, people think differently, say things differently, and act differently. It is hard for young people to avoid smartphones and stay away from the culture of the digital world where everything is reachable. I remember when I was a kid listening to music. There was no digital music, and everything was analogical. In those days, we needed to wait to listen to music, and there was this passion for listening to it. I had to save money to buy my favourite CDs, and I had so much love and desire to listen to them when I purchased them. But today, everything is so accessible and reachable. This is a big difference today as we say, ‘faith deals with thirst, and there is a significant dimension of faith in thirst’. Another thing is the fact that beautiful things take time to grow because it is a process. And this is not easy for young people to understand. Time is needed to process and develop. And often, young people need this patience and time to understand this process. We need a critical spirit to enter this reflective world.” As the youth coordinator, what are your expectations for MAGIS 2023, which will be hosted in Lisbon by the Portugal Province? “We have big expectations, honestly. Everything that was planned has been going on well. I have never been in any of the MAGIS programs before, or for that matter, in any World Youth Day. I hope this event will be a beautiful experience to share faith with young people across the world. My other expectation is that we create a culture of vocation promotion in our Province and the Society of Jesus. Having so many young people in one place is a grace and an opportunity to build this culture of vocation promotion.“
At the turn of November and December, Father Mateusz Orłowski SJ visited Kyrgyzstan and gave a series of art workshops called „School of Realistic, Western Landscape”. Classes took place in main educational centers in the south of the country - in the cities of Osh and Jalalabad, and in the north - in Bishkek. In Osh, the participants of the workshop were students of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the State University. In Jalalabad and Bishkek, workshop was given for slightly younger students of local Arts High Schools. Father Mateusz’s classes met with great reception of students and aroused strong interest among teachers. In addition, father Mateusz had the opportunity to meet local artists and see their art. These meetings gave a chance to share the experience of creativity and learn about different approaches to the contemporary art in the West and Central Asia. Father Mateusz's stay in Kyrgyzstan lasted two weeks. It was a part the Jesuit Mission in Kyrgyzstan, who tries to  activate participants in academic, cultural and social life. The field of art was and still is an important ambassador of Christian values.
Storytelling is part of the History of Humanity. Since before writing and books existed, human beings have gathered around a storyteller to share their stories, myths and traditions. This is the basis on which Baúl Magis works: storytelling, especially to the youngest, to bring them closer to the sacred texts and Ignatian stories.  Pastoral innovation, a deepening of the Mystery and the Word of God are the three key ingredients in this experience. Baúl Magis is a pastoral method that, taking elements of the 'Godly Play' methodology and combining them with Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy, aims to help children enter the Word of God through storytelling.  To learn how to implement this method in Educsi (SJ Schools in Spain), the heads of the network's Pastoral Ministry met in Madrid. In his welcome address, Toño Allende, SJ, the Province's delegate for Educsi, invited those present to go deeper into the message and not just the methodology, which, he said, will help many people if the Gospel message is at the centre.  Jonás Fernández, Educsi's North Zone Pastoral Coordinator, gave a practical demonstration of a Baúl Magis session. With the story of the life of Ignatius of Loyola in the background (the cannon fire, the conversion and the foundation of the Society of Jesus) and the help of visual elements, the narrator made the experience present and attractive to all. The following is a round of ordered comments: What did you like the most, what would you take away from the story, what would you take away from the story?  Little by little, Educsi aims to bring Christian and Ignatian spirituality to the youngest children. The stories began with the first human beings and today, in the 21st century, they are still relevant.  Jesuitas España 
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Eucharist Youth Movement.  From November 11 to 13, 350 leaders, supervisors and friends of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM) from France, Belgium and Luxembourg gathered in Bordeaux to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Movement.   Many members of the Ignatian family were present – Magis Network, CLC, MCC, Jesuits, Ignatian nuns, etc.  The event called “Effata” and its theme was “Cheer up! On your feet!".  Songs with gestures, prayers, reunions and times of sharing filled the 3 days.  "As soon as we arrived in Bordeaux, my heart was burning. The joy I felt during the Effata gathering gave me a missionary impulse, a desire to share this around me." said Anne-Sophie Bonnel, who is a manager at the EYM.  On Saturday afternoon, an anniversary mass was celebrated, presided over by Msgr. Luc Ravel, and concelebrated by many Jesuits, including Fr. François Boëdec, Provincial of French-speaking Western Europe.  There have also been times of reflection on the guiding principles of the EYM; among the issues addressed, were summer camps, pedagogy-training and openness to the world for the mission. This time of exchange was based on co-development, a collective intelligence approach based on trust, listening and kindness. Participants were invited to receive each other’s opinions as gifts.  Jésuites EOF 

In-depth Reflection

Filipe Martins SJ, Director of JESC and Béla Kuslits, Ecology Officer, participated in the annual meeting of the HEST Ecology cluster of the Kircher Network, which connects different European Jesuit Universities. Members representing higher education institutions and Jesuit social centres reviewed past results, and planned for next year's main activities. The highlight of last summer was the publication of a booklet titled Wasting Food edited by José Carlos Romero and Jaime Tatay SJ and published by Cristianisme i Justicia. This document takes an interdisciplinary approach of the topic using environmental sciences, sociology, philosophy and theology to think about the root causes and possible solutions for such challenge. JESC will participate in the HEST Ecology efforts of collecting, organising and analysing sustainability projects, good practices and strategies, and making them publicly available in order to facilitate the sustainability transition of various institutions (universities, social centres and beyond) across the continent.
On 1 December, Fr Michel Fédou sj received the Ratzinger Prize from Pope Francis, who hailed "a master of Christian theology". Fr. Fédou is a professor of classics, has a doctorate in theology and teaches patristics and dogmatic theology at the Centre Sèvres - Facultés jésuites de Paris. A worthy heir to the French theologians On 1 December 2022, the Ratzinger Prize* was awarded in the Clementine Room in the Vatican at the end of the morning, in the presence of the Supreme Pontiff, the two recipients: Fr. Michel Fédou SJ and the law professor Joseph Halevi Horowitz Weiler, Cardinal Ravasi, President Emeritus of the former Pontifical Council for Culture, and Father Federico Lombardi, President of the Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, who initiated this award, now in its twelfth year. In his speech, Pope Francis began by evoking the figure of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose thought was "fruitful and effective", before returning to the important work of the two laureates of this 2022 edition, saluting "two eminent personalities for the remarkable work they have accomplished in their respective fields of study and teaching". Fr Michel Fédou SJ, born in 1952 in Lyon, is "a master of Christian theology", said the Holy Father. The French Jesuit, who specialises in patristics, dogmatic theology, and Christology, "has not closed himself off to the past. His knowledge of the faith tradition has nourished in him a lively thought", also able "to address current issues in the field of ecumenism and relations with other religions". "In him, we recognise and pay tribute to a worthy heir and continuator of the great tradition of French theology, which has given the Church masters of theology and theology of the Church. In him we recognise and pay homage to a worthy heir and continuator of the great tradition of French theology, which has given the Church teachers of the stature of Father Henri De Lubac", the Pontiff complimented, mentioning also "solid and courageous cultural undertakings such as Sources Chrétiennes", a review of patristics born eighty years ago. "Without the contribution of this French theology, the richness, depth and breadth of the reflection on which the Second Vatican Council was nourished would not have been possible, the Pope said, and it is to be hoped that it will continue to bear fruit in the long term. On Thursday afternoon, 1 December, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI received at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican the two personalities awarded the Ratzinger Prize by Pope Francis: Fr Michel Fédou SJ and Professor of Law Joseph H. Horowitz Weiler, accompanied by the President of the Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ. Georg Gänswein, the Pope's private secretary, also attended the meeting. The two winners of the 2022 Prize "were able to talk to Pope Benedict XVI and illustrate their work to him," reads the Ratzinger Foundation's Facebook page. At the end of the audience, the Pope emeritus presented each of them with a volume and a medal. Jésuites EOF
The official launch of the Milltown Library, now housed in Woodlock Hall in Dublin City University’s All Hallows campus in Drumcondra, took place on Thursday 8 December 2022. Jesuits, friends, and colleagues as well as staff and students of DCU attended the event. The President of Dublin City University Professor Daire Keogh, The Irish Jesuit Provincial Father Leonard Moloney SJ, and John McDonough, DCU Librarian all paid tribute to the work that had gone into transferring and cataloging the substantial collection which was originally housed in Milltown Park, Ranelagh. The library has been restored to the highest environmental and architectural standards. It has already won one of the Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2022 and was commended in the Royal Irish Architects Institute Awards. The front wall behind the staging area features a series of 18 portraits commemorating the 1916 leaders, by renowned artist Mick O’Dea. The block grid was created in 2016 as part of an exhibition entitled ‘The Foggy Dew’ to mark the destruction of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 1916. Read more
On October 27th and 28th, a symposium on the Catholic social teaching took place at the Newman Institute, the Jesuit University College, in Uppsala. Several speakers were invited to present different aspects of the social teaching, there among Cardinal Michael F. Czerny SJ, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Cardinal Anders Arborelius OCD, Bishop of Stockholm. Cardinal Czerny spoke about sacred scripture and the Church’s mission in the world. He emphasized the need to read sacred scripture “from below” in order to deepen the social commitment of the Church and to enable the Church to be enriched by the development of human social life. Cardinal Czerny also pointed out that the social teaching of the Church always develops in the continually renewed encounter between the Gospel and human history. Cardinal Arborelius treated perspectives of the common good, initially thanking the Newman Institute for organizing the symposium. He said that organizing such a symposium is a real act of mercy, which will help us to become more aware of the social doctrine of the Church. The social teaching, he mentioned, constitutes an important part of the Catholic faith, as its teaching has always had a social dimension given that God wants us to do good. Several other speakers dealt with many of the historical, present, and future challenges that relate to society and Catholic social teaching, which broadened and complimented the perspectives brought forward by Cardinals Czerny and Arborelius. Hopefully reflections on the topics of this symposium will stimulate to further the encounter between the Gospel and human social life. To watch the whole event, see:  Dr. Andreas Mazetti Petersson, Communicator at the Newman Institute

Preparing for Mission

Arturo Sosa SJ, General Superior of the Society of Jesus, has appointed Attila András SJ as the new head of the Jesuit Province in Hungary. The outgoing Elemér Vízi SJ’s successor has been the treasurer of the Province, and a member of the community of Dobogókő. He will take office on 25 February at the Jesuit Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Budapest, starting at 6:00 pm.  Attila András SJ was born on 18 September 1977 in Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania. He completed his primary school education in his hometown and his secondary school education in Gyulafehérvár/Alba Iulia between 1992 and 1996.  After graduation, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1996. He did the novitiate in Szeged, Hungary. After taking his vows, he spent six months at the Juniorate in Budapest, where he studied German language and literature in preparation for his studies in philosophy at the Formation Center in Munich between 1999 and 2001. After his studies in Germany, he completed his magisterium (2001-2003) in Miskolc, at the Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School and College as a dormitory teacher and prefect. Before his theological studies, he spent two years in Taiwan, at Fu Jen University, studying Chinese language and culture. He was greatly influenced by Eastern culture and the thinking of the Eastern people. He continued his theological studies in London at Heythrop College, where he was ordained a deacon in 2009. He served as deacon at St. Ignatius Jesuit Student Hall, and in the meantime he completed his Master's degree in theology and child protection (MA) at Sapientia College of Theology of Religious Orders in Budapest in 2009-2011.  On 18 September 2010, he was ordained priest by Archbishop Csaba Ternyák of Eger in the Jesuit parish church of the Divine Word in Miskolc. In 2012, he introduced the teaching of Chinese language and culture at the Jesuit high school in cooperation with the Confucius Institute, which has been successfully running ever since.  He completed his Jesuit training in Dublin with the tertianship in 2013-2014. He pronounced the solemn vows on 7 April 2015 in Budapest, together with his fellow Jesuit Elemér Vízi.  Since September 2019, he has been the treasurer of the Hungarian Province and overseen the developments of the province as a member of the Dobogókő community.  Jesuits Hungary 
EOF 2022 Province Assembly in Versailles.  The yearly assembly of the Province of French-speaking Western Europe took place from December 27 to 30. Unlike other years, it brought together not only 130 Jesuits, but also 50 lay people from France, Belgium and Luxembourg. The theme of the assembly was collaboration in mission.  These few days were an opportunity to discuss the theme of collaboration, to relax and to pray together.  The participants talked of the links between Ignatian spirituality and collaboration, and shared their experience of collaboration in their various missions – places of collaboration, gratitude and difficulties, hope for the future.  Many lay people underlined the great trust placed in them in the frame of their work. The Jesuits emphasized the importance of the presence of lay people working alongside them or within organisations linked to the Society of Jesus.  At the end of the assembly, Fr. François Boëdec, Provincial, emphasized that everyone – Jesuits, lay people, religious, friends, employees and voluntary collaborators, men and women – are servants and collaborators in the mission of Christ, listening attentively to the Holy Spirit:  “Today, collaboration is an essential characteristic of our apostolic impetus. We could not have the same impetus without you, lay people and religious of other congregations who work with us. It is a chance to discover other ways to serve God. We are engaged in a specific organisation, but we are all connected to a larger action.”  Jésuites EOF   
He was one of the leading representatives of the underground Catholic Church during the Soviet Union. Lithuanian Jesuit Father and Bishop Jonas Boruta sj has died. After the fall of communism, Jonas Boruta served as provincial, church rector and in various capacities for the Church in Lithuania.  After finishing high school in 1962, Jonas Boruta tried to enter the Kaunas seminary, but was refused admission by the Soviet authorities because of his background. In the same year, he started studying physics at Vilnius University and continued to work at the Institute of Physics after graduating in 1970. In 1975, he started to study theology in secret at the seminary. In 1981, he entered the secret novitiate of the Jesuit Province of Lithuania. In 1982, he obtained his doctorate in physics and mathematics and in 1992, he was awarded the title of Doctor of Natural Sciences. On 5 August 1982, Jonas Boruta was secretly ordained a priest in a small town.  After the arrest of Sigitas Tamkevičius sj, the editor of the underground magazine "The Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Church", Jonas Boruta replaced him from 1983 to 1989. On 2 June 1989, the Jesuit took his final vows. He then assumed the responsibility of Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Lithuania until 1997, while serving as Rector of St. Casimir's Church from 1990 to 1997 and as Prefect of St. John's Church in Vilnius since 1991.  Since 1991 he has taught Church History at Vilnius University. In 1997 he was appointed titular bishop of the Diocese of Vulturara and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Vilnius. From 1997 to 2002 he was General Secretary of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference. In 2002 he was appointed Bishop of Telšiai by Pope John Paul II. From 2002 to 2011 he was Chairman of the Liturgical Commission, and from 2002 to 2014 Chairman of the Ecumenical Council of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference.  Since 2017 he has been Bishop Emeritus of Telšiai. Father Boruta had been living in a nursing home in Marijampole since autumn 2022 due to his increasingly poor health. He died there on 19 December.  Jesuits ECE 
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.