Jesuits in Europe

From May 20th-25th, sixteen Vocation Promoters and YAM (Young Adult Ministry) Coordinators from across Europe gathered in Gent, Belgium. Coordinated by the Conference of European Provincials (JCEP), the annual meeting is jointly organised by the Conference Steering Groups for Vocation Promotion and YAM. This year, the meeting was held at the historic and scenic Oude Abdij (“Old Abbey”), a retreat centre of the European Low Countries  Region (ELC) at Drongen, near Gent. The four days spent together were a time of spiritual conversation, mutual learning and enrichment, and deepening of the call of the Lord to the Society in Europe today. The keynote speaker was Sofi van Ussel, Director of Interdiocesane Jeugddienst (IJD), the inter-diocesan youth service of the Flemish bishops. Mrs van Ussel shared with the group recent learnings from the work of IJD with youth and young adults in Flanders. The group also took a day to reflect and pray on relevant sections from the De Statu Societatis Iesu 2023 (DSS), promulgated by Fr General last year. There was time for sharing of vocation promotion strategies from across the provinces, and planning for the future. Not all was work, however. The delegates took the opportunity to visit the historic city of Gent on Thursday afternoon, see the local sights and taste local delicacies. The highlight of the afternoon was the visit to St Bavo’s Cathedral and contemplation of the famous 15th-century ‘Gent Altarpiece’, the ‘Adoration of the Mystical Lamb’ by the van Eyck brothers. Past met future as the group had the privilege of a special Virtual Reality (VR) presentation of the history and meaning of the piece. In the closing mass to the meeting, Fr Dalibor Renic, President of the CEP, highlighted the tension faced by young people today between being at the margins of society, yet looking outwards, and being at the centre. This tension between being drawn outwards and being at the centre is a characteristic of the Jesuit vocation as well. As the vocations promoters and YAM coordinators returned to their respective provinces and ministries, there was a renewed sense of hope in the mission of the Society to young people and prospective Jesuits in Europe today.
The third batch of tertians in Bikfaya have just graduated their school of the heart. Theirs has been a very particular class. It is true of every class, and of each tertian. But armed conflicts leading to displacements and disruptions are not a common tertianship experiment. I am so grateful that all participants kept safe and well, and even drew no little spiritual profit from the difficult situation in which they found themselves. As I listened to them sharing the fruit of the review of the year, I was all the more convinced that tertianship is what tertians give to each other. To be sure, only God gives what God gives: spiritual freedom and consolation, inner awareness and reconciliation, the calling by one’s name and the gift of one’s vocation. The unique way in which one’s own journey becomes part of the spiritual journey of the Society of Jesus across her history, the unique way by which each one is “put with the Son”, “under the banner of the Cross”, “serving the mission of Christ”, collaborating with Him in his grand undertaking of helping souls reconcile with their Creator, is what tertianship aims at bringing to one’s awareness, shaping in the Jesuit the heart of an Apostle. For this to happen, you need a safe space. My spiritual father once said to me that religious superiors expect abnegation from their brothers without first loving them; no one can go through authentic abnegation if they are not aware that they are loved. No one can integrate into the Body of the Society of Jesus if they do not feel they are loved, and this is where community life is key. What tertians can give to each other is a space of hospitality and security, governed by a covenant whereby “you shall be safe in my deeds, in my speech and even in my thoughts… I will defend you against my own thoughts”. The quality of community life that the tertians allow among themselves is both an indicator of, and a condition for the quality of their tertianship. The Jesuits reach tertianship with “bumps and bruises”, many of them originate in their early background, but so many are caused by the poor quality of community life they had during their Jesuit years. The healing they experience during their time in tertianship – and tertianship is about time! – relies oftentimes on the way they build community among themselves and with their formators. One aspect of integral ecology is the safeguarding of the communication environment. Unhealthy communication will lead to violence, hot or cold. The care we give to the space of communication is a fundamental dimension of the love that binds us in Christ and among us. Spiritual conversation is the art of seeking and finding the good spirit within our conversation and clinging to that spirit. What tertians can give each other is spiritual conversation. When we were discussing the best course to take, after the eruption of violence in and around Gaza, we were able to move beyond frustration and accusation towards welcoming the different ways in which the one spirit was moving each of us according to his own spiritual challenge. The result was that our dispersion did not weaken our bond, it rather strengthened it. The welcoming attitude allows yet another healing process. So many of us carry the burden of an unnamed disappointment, a pernicious sadness, that comes from a representation of spiritual life as being in a state of detachment, or freedom, or commitment, or what have you! If I learned something from Gregory of Nyssa, it is that perfection is not a state, rather an orientation. Perfection as a state would be mere idolatry. Idols persecute us. They produce guilt and sadness in us. Because I regret being merely who I am, I cannot properly find God. When tertianship is conceived as an opportunity to finally address the pending decision to live according to the standards of a holy life, then tertianship will only add to my disappointment. The reconciliation process requires an “authorization”: I am allowed to be who I am, a human being in process, son of God in the making. This authorization is what God gives; it’s the community that mediates it. Tertians give each other the occasion of unmasking the idols that drain our affectivity, because they move in the opposite direction: where idols provoke persecution, the brothers offer forgiveness. I read somewhere that the desert fathers used to consider the novitiate to have ended when the young monk has discovered the devil. It is a dramatic way to say that the monk can go on his own when he has identified the place of his own spiritual struggle. There, no novice master, no instructor, no mentor can do the work in his stead. He will benefit from the counsel of his companions, but the greatest thing he can offer the community, the Church, indeed the world, is to take on his own struggle, learning in the process how to fight well. This is what the former tertians can give us now that their novitiate has finally come to an end. Taking final vows in the Society of Jesus is becoming responsible for the whole apostolic body that we form. Should the Society of Jesus come to be extinguished in some place, or some time, the professed member can reignite her, because he has the Jesuit “DNA”. The Society of Jesus will be what the tertians will be. They offer us the Society that God has given us. Dany Younes Bikfaya, May 13, 2024
The annual in-presence meeting of the European Social Delegates took place this year in Hungary, from 5th to 9th May, in the beautiful premises of the Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School in Miskolc. Apart from the usual group (provincial social delegates, the Xavier Network, and JRS-Europe representatives, under the coordination of Filipe Martins SJ, JESC Director and European Social Delegate), the gathering was attended by Dalibor Renić SJ, President of the European Jesuit Provincials, Roberto Jaramillo SJ, the new Global Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, and János Lukács SJ, European Delegate for Formation. The intense 3-day agenda included updates on the social work of the Provinces, a reflection on the new calls to the European Jesuit social sector, a sharing on different provincial models of formation on Identity and Mission, and an engaging session with Dr. Miklós Vecsei, national Commissioner for the Integration of Roma people in Hungary. A visit to the Jesuit project with Roma people in Arló and to the JRS Hungary office in Budapest (see here) completed the programme, wonderfully hosted by the Hungarian Jesuits and lay collaborators.  
How can we effectively frame our messages to capture media interest? How did the Jesuits use the media during Pope Francis' visit to Hungary last year? How should we reach out to young people so that the fruits of our work should result in Jesuit vocations? These were the central themes discussed at the annual meeting of the European Jesuit webmasters and communicators (JesWebCom), held from May 6th to May 9th. This year's gathering was hosted by the Communication Office of the Hungarian province in Budapest and at the Cardoner Hotel in Dobogókő. 20 representatives from nine provinces, the Jesuit Roman Curia and from the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials (JCEP) convened in Budapest and Dobogókő for this year's European Network of Webmasters and Communicators (JesWebCom) conference. The opening mass took place at Christ the King Church in Budapest. The meeting itself was hosted at the Hungarian Jesuits’ Cardoner Hotel and Conference Centre in Dobogókő. The hotel is not an apostolic work but a for-profit investment, whose funds will support the Manréza Spiritual Retreat House and the Jesuits’ Roma mission in North-Eastern Hungary. This year's program had two primary focuses. On the first day, SJ Bálint Nagy, the vocation promoter of the Hungarian province, gave insights into his work, detailing his efforts to support individuals called to family life or Jesuit ministry and priesthood. The Communication Office of the Hungarian Province presented the Montserrat Jesuit vlog, also aimed at promoting vocations. Members from the Hungarian Communications office also delivered presentations and practical sessions based on their journalistic experience, followed by discussions on media coverage of Pope Francis' visit to Hungary last year. During the Budapest segment of the three-day event, the Hungarian socius, Zoltán Koronkai SJ guided the participants through the Jesuit centre of the Hungarian capital, offering an engaging presentation on the province's history and current activities. The team then visited the Hungarian Jesuit Refugee Service, where Emese Kővágó and Andrea Kormos detailed the organization's initiatives in the presence of some of their users. Before the evening dinner and Tokaj wine tasting, the participants had a few hours of sightseeing, some exploring Budapest on foot, others venturing by bike to visit major attractions of the Hungarian capital. On the final day, representatives from the Curia in Rome and the European Jesuit headquarters in Brussels showcased the revamped and websites, along with the latter's newsletter and the Jesuit Pilgrimage app. Finally, Herminio Rico SJ, socius of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, announced that next year's JesWebCom will be hosted in Paris.    

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Finding God

"Leadership Conference: Follow Your Calling", organized by the Center for Spirituality and Culture Ignatius, brought together prominent speakers from the worlds of business, sports, journalism, science, and the Church. This conference on Christian leadership featured, along with the keynote speaker, Zlatko Dalić, the coach of the Croatian national football team, eleven speakers who shared their experiences in leadership and management, highlighting the importance of ethical and courageous leadership for the development of both business and society. The keynote speaker, Zlatko Dalić, revealed how to walk proudly and humbly through successes and failures. "I joined the national team as a man without a great career. I was aware that I could not build my authority in the wrong way, but on knowledge and by giving my team support and faith to be even better at what they do. I approached the team with great respect, which they wanted and needed, and I was an example to them on how to behave and act. They received authority from me, but the authority of knowledge," said Zlatko Dalić at the conference, reflecting on leading the Croatian national football team. Inspiration and Encouragement for Social Change The Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Croatia, Monsignor Giorgio Lingua, also shared his thoughts on Christian leadership with the participants, speaking about servant leadership in his speech titled "Jesus as the Leader." The conference was opened by entrepreneur and founder of the portal, Kristina Ercegović, and other speakers shared their thoughts on leadership and development: Ivana Petrović, journalist for Nova TV; Antonia Hrvatin Roth, editor and journalist for Croatian Radiotelevision; Krešimir Ćosić, tenured professor and lieutenant general; Matija Kopić, entrepreneur and co-founder of Gideon Brothers; Aleksandar Stanković, editor and host of the show on Croatian Radiotelevision; Ivan Gadže, entrepreneur and partner at Kaizen Institute; Ana Ljubas, assistant director for nursing and head nurse at Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb; Ivana Kalogjera, founder of the association Nismo same, and Andrej Grubišić, consultant and economic expert. The idea originated from Father Tvrtko Barun, a Jesuit, founder and head of the Center Ignatius and the Academy for Christian Leadership. "There is a lack of quality leaders iIn society, competent, fair, and ethical individuals who serve and burn for the common good. The Leadership Conference is another contribution to such a commitment of the individual, guided by Christian values. With this, we want to inspire and encourage everyone to take responsibility, empower them for growth, to be readier and braver for changes in society, business, and the Church," said Father Barun. Center Ignatius and the Academy for Christian Leadership The main goals of the Academy for Christian Leadership program are the education and promotion of leadership within Christian communities and the formation of young leaders to be ready for the challenges of reforming and renewing the world and the Church. As part of the program, the Center Ignacije organizes educational sessions on Christian leadership led by Croatian and international experts, public forums aimed at promoting prominent individuals who live Christian values and leadership through their work, and numerous one-day workshops for developing specific leadership skills.
The first graduates have completed the Hungarian Jesuits' four-year spiritual training and spiritual guidance training based in Székelybő. The aim of the workshop is that with the knowledge acquired here and the strengthening of the Ignatian spiritual companion attitude, spiritual companions with the spirituality of St. Ignatius serve the Christian community as a whole, and in a narrower sense, the Hungarian community in Transylvania. Report of one of the participants, Ferenc Mihalkov SJ. Before its dissolution in 1773, the Society of Jesus could boast of thriving communities and missions in Transylvania. After the storms of the last century, in 2008, the long-cherished dream of the Hungarian order to found a monastery in Transylvania came true.  IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY IS BACK IN TRANSYLVANIA The Jesuits returned to Marosvásárhely after 235 years, where they received the former Minorite church and the dormitory building next to it for use. In addition to church, university chaplaincy and dormitory work, they accompanied spiritual exercises and held spiritual days throughout Transylvania from the very beginning. More and more often, they experienced the initiative of lay people and the way in which Ignatian spirituality was able to provide answers to the questions they raised.  Thanks to the generally felt cooperative openness, the Ignatian way was made available to more and more people throughout Transylvania. It is encouraging to see that more and more people are recognizing the power of Ignatian spirituality, and it is encouraging to see how it awakens a desire for renewal in many. Barnabás Jakabos SJ, head of the Marosvásárhely Jesuit community, testifies to this:  "One of the most important goals, light and strength of our spirituality is the development of a dedicated life based on reflection in the Holy Spirit. Those who reach the turning point in their personal life where they no longer want to live in anxiety and selfishness as a victim of their environment and talents, but instead want to act freely and enthusiastically in a way that is given to God in the hands of the Good Lord, will instinctively begin to be attracted to the spirituality of St. Ignatius towards, often not even consciously at first. These people used to say: »Saint Ignatius is so free and at the same time so committed...«, »I like that this is a meaningful spirituality - understandable and so normal...«. Whoever wants to organize his life in this way, to make a good decision in the Holy Spirit, to release vital energy for a devoted life, will sooner or later find himself in some kind of spiritual exercise at St. Ignatius." THE TRAINING OF ASSISTANTS HAS STARTED On the vigil of the Year of St. Ignatius 2021-2022 - commemorating the 500th anniversary of the conversion of the founder of the Jesuit order - the long-standing wish of the Hungarian Jesuits was realized, that in response to the spiritual needs of the people of Transylvania, they could start training for spiritual practice guides and spiritual guides with the spirituality of St. Ignatius. for those who perceive this call of God, but need to be able to help accompany others in a grounded and appropriate way.  The duration of the training is four years, during which the participants learn the skills of listening, the method of spiritual accompaniment, and learn the specifics of accompanying spiritual exercises. In the meantime, they complete the thirty-day retreat, and after the second year, they also participate in supervised accompaniment practice. The conditions for applying are proficiency in St. Ignatius spirituality and the fact that the applicant already has a spiritual guide and knows a longer accompanying process behind them. The workshop follows James Empereur's concept of spiritual guidance, that is, it trains the participants in how to accompany someone for a certain period of time in order to clarify together the religious, spiritual - and sometimes psychological - issues of the accompanied person, so that they can have a deeper relationship with God and contribute to the Christian community for internal service. He does all this by trying to teach future companions how to use St. Ignatius' book of Spiritual Exercises as a "map" in the process of accompanying.  THEY LEARN TO ACCOMPANY The term workshop in the name of the training refers to two things. On the one hand, to the practical orientation, and on the other hand, to the fact that the participants already arrive with certain knowledge and experience in the field of St. Ignatius spirituality, and by sharing this "brought" knowledge and experience, they also help each other, "mutually educate".  Participants learn the method of accompanying - not "leading" or "managing". They practice to interfere as little as possible in the life of the haunted person, not to give him instructions on how to live his life, and not to force different ways of prayer on him. At the same time, they learn not to remain completely passive, but to participate intensively in the spiritual process of their haunting. They learn how to ask clarifying questions or how to look back at the topics of previous sessions, and how to tactfully formulate specific suggestions or give "invitations" during the process of spiritual accompaniment. The training prepares the future companions to use the text of the Spiritual Exercises as a "manual" and "map" in the process of spiritual accompaniment. The aim of the workshop is that with the knowledge acquired here and the strengthening of the Ignatian spiritual companion attitude, spiritual companions with the spirituality of St. Ignatius serve the Christian community as a whole, and in a narrower sense, the Hungarian community in Transylvania.
 As part of his visit to Albania, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ inaugurated the new cultural centre of the “Sacred Heart” parish in Tirana. “A project that has been anticipated for years and is finally coming to fruition, born out of the need to have spaces next to the church to better carry out pastoral and social activities,” the Superior, Fr. Zef Bisha, said. In 1939, when the church was built, the Jesuits had already planned a centre for cultural and social activities, but this was never realised due to the outbreak of war. “The church is located in the heart of Tirana,” he says, “a rapidly expanding city that has grown from 350,000 inhabitants in 1991 to more than a million today. It represents more than a quarter of Tirana’s population, 15% of whom are Catholic. The church is also frequented by people of other denominations. Many were present. The presence and unity of the religious leaders was significant: the Imam of Albania, the world representative of the Bektashi, some Orthodox and Evangelical Christians, together with several ambassadors and representatives of the community. There was a private meeting with the Archbishop of Tirana, Archbishop Arjan Dodaj, and then the ceremony took place. “Today is a great celebration,” Fr. Zef, highlighted “not only for us, but also for the whole city, because it will have a new centre for social, cultural and spiritual formation, and a new architectural work, I would say a work of art, which will beautify and enhance the street of Kavajës. We thank God and the sensitivity of so many benefactors and supporters”. The centre, named after Fr. Giuseppe Valentini, one of the foremost experts of the Albanian language and culture, aims to be a place where people can meet “to promote dialogue between secular thought and the values of the Christian tradition, to educate university students with an open and critical spirit, to create a more cohesive parish community, and to listen to those who need material or psychological assistance or who seek protection from various forms of abuse”. It is built on two floors in an L-shape form with an internal courtyard next to the church and with a similar architectural design of the church.
On 23 May, we had our online meeting for directors of European Spirituality Centres. The group meets in person every two years and, in-between, meets online every six months.This meeting was organised differently than previous meetings. Instead of having a keynote presentation and discussion, it was an open meeting with three breakout rooms where people could join freely to discuss the topics that were chosen: Formation programmes, Facilitating communal discernment and the ecological commitments in our centres. Here is what some people shared at the end of the meeting: “It is nice to see known faces, feeling a kind of connection among us.” “I found it very enriching to LISTEN to the others.” “I have valued the time together very much.” We intend to have two other similar online meetings in October 2024 and May 2025 before meeting in person in October 2025.May this network help us grow towards a better service in the Lord's vineyard.

Promoting Justice

In the framework of the upcoming World Refugee Day (June 20th), JRS Europe, the Chapel for Europe, Don Bosco International, and Sant’Egidio held an event celebrating the positive stories and best practices with people on the move. Under the title “Voices of Hope”, the event started with Tetiana Romanchenko sharing her story of integrating in Belgium after fleeing Ukraine. She highlighted the difficulties she found along the way, including finding housing or recognition of her doctorate diplomas, but also the multiple triumphs, such as her children learning French and finding friendships in the migrant community in Belgium. Afterwards, Claudia Bonamini (JRS Europe) moderated a round table on best practices on integration with:  Pedro Ayala (Don Bosco), who presented the Salesian Youth project in Oostende and underlined the importance of safe spaces for youngsters. Eliane Maes (Saint Egidio), who highlighted the achievements of the humanitarian corridors that allowed refugees to arrive in Belgium and how it helps open the door to recognising the shared humanity and dispel fears. Geert Bukkems (Global Environment Champions and partner of JRS Europe in the Change Environment programme), who shared his experience on empowering climate refugee activists in the Global South and connecting communities from around the world who are excited to take action on Climate issues. The event concluded with snacks prepared by a refugee entrepreneur from Ukraine and a networking session amongst the participants.
16,000 people from 19 Spanish cities have participated in the 13th edition of  Run for a Cause , the  circuit of solidarity races that Entreculturas and Alboan organize  throughout the first half of the year. Thousands of people have thus supported the  right to education of boys and girls in situations of refuge or forced displacement  in countries where we carry out our projects, such as Ukraine, the Central African Republic or Colombia. After the first test held in Bilbao at the beginning of February, the rest of the races took place successively in Madrid, León, Valladolid, Logroño, Seville, Tudela, Úbeda, Vitoria, A Coruña, Cádiz, Pamplona, ​​Zaragoza and Cornellá de Llobregat. In addition, school races have also been organized   in Vigo, Oviedo, Gijón, Córdoba, Badajoz and La Rioja. The  150,000 euros  raised will be allocated to international cooperation projects with which we work to guarantee refugee and displaced children a safe space in which they can play, train and grow away from violence. Something essential in a world with nearly  420 million girls and boys affected by wars and armed conflicts. This edition of 'Run for a cause' would not have been possible without the support of the  950 volunteers  who, from different parts of Spain, have invested their time, ability and effort in carrying out this solidarity racing circuit. Likewise, the support of the nearly  60 collaborating companies  that have been involved has also been essential. 
JRS launches “Dear European Parliament”, a campaign to vote for a welcoming Europe The upcoming European Parliament Elections, held between 6 and 9 of June, represent an opportunity for all citizens to use their vote to help co-create the Europe they envision.  In this context, JRS Europe has launched “Dear European Parliament”, a campaign calling on all EU citizens to vote by highlighting how the EU parliament decisions can foster solidarity and hospitality, end migration detention, stop policies outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need and expand safe and legal ways of reaching Europe. In terms of solidarity and hospitality, the campaign highlights that the current reception system is failing both asylum seekers (by imposing inhumane reception conditions) and Members states (by placing disproportionate amount of responsibility on the countries at the borders of the EU). In contrast, it calls on the European Parliament to question the status quo and create a common hospitality-driven system based on EU values. With regards to migration detention, the message is clear: detaining thousands of people, including children, for their immigration status is harmful and ineffective. The next European Parliament should strongly question the use of such an extreme measure and ask for the implementation of alternatives to detention. The EU and its Member States are increasingly trying to outsource their responsibilities to protect refugees by signing agreements with countries outside the EU who agree to readmit asylum seekers. Many of these countries violate human rights and represent a risk for the people who are sent back. In the face of this worrying trend, the campaign calls on the EU to act as watchdog and look critically into this kind of agreements. Finally, the campaign underlines the lack of legal and safe ways to reach protection in Europe. The procedures and criteria to obtain existing visas do not adapt to the situation of people fleeing conflict or persecution. JRS Europe calls on the next European Parliament to be vocal on the need to expand safe and legal access to protection and to invest in robust reception systems.  The campaign hopes to particularly mobilize young voters by not only raising awareness on these four issues in an engaging and easy to understand manner, but also highlight that there are alternatives and solutions.  Through four short fast-paced videos exploring one topic each, the campaign makes the case for understanding these topics from a human perspective and understand how the European Parliament decisions can spark change around the continent. Videos are available in English, Flemish, French, Polish, Romanian and Spanish and you can access them here: If you want to learn more about the European Elections and how to use your vote, visit    
Building a culture of safeguarding is a paramount consideration for all Jesuit and companion schools within the JECSE (Jesuit European Committee for Primary and Secondary Education) network. In 2019, the Secretariat for Education of the Society of Jesus underscored that "Jesuit schools are committed to creating a safe and healthy environment for all" (Jesuit Schools: a Living Tradition in the 21st Century – An Ongoing Exercise of Discernment), thus making safeguarding a key indicator among the ten identifiers guiding our schools. Although awareness of the need to take action in the area of safeguarding has significantly increased in recent years, many schools still face challenges due to a lack of resources, qualified staff, and experience to address these needs adequately. Consequently, JECSE, in collaboration with ZIP (Zentrum für Ignatianische Pädagogik - the Centre for Ignatian Pedagogy), aims to continue supporting schools in the field of safeguarding and to work collaboratively with them to strengthen the culture of protection. A survey conducted jointly by JECSE and ZIP in September 2023, along with interviews involving stakeholders engaged in safeguarding implementation across various levels within schools, has identified several key needs: - Enhanced access to model materials and tools - Sharing of best practice - Staff training on safeguarding - Guidance on staff training methodologies - Assistance in implementing activities, personalized advice, and expert support. In response to these identified needs, the new ZIP-JECSE project entitled "Safeguarding – From Awareness to Action" has been established to offer comprehensive support to our schools in these critical areas. Preparing a detailed school safeguarding roadmap In April 2024, a new Safeguarding project commenced in Ludwigshafen, Germany. An international Safeguarding Advisory Group, comprising representatives from various Provinces including Safeguarding and Education Delegates, School Safeguarding Coordinators, and Heads, convened for its initial meeting. During this session, they formulated a comprehensive school safeguarding roadmap and developed supplementary tools and materials aimed at enhancing schools' engagement in fostering a culture of protection. These resources will undergo consultation with schools to ensure their effectiveness. „We are developing a culture of protection in all the schools that belongs to the JECSE network. Schools will facilitate a proactive, ongoing process of reflection and discernment about the safe school environment more broadly, and encourage methods and activities that support a positive, safe `Ignatian school climate´“, said Ulrike Gentner, Director of the Center for Ignatian Pedagogy (ZIP) in Ludwigshafen. The members of the advisory group were very convinced of the project and its necessity: “I’m happy to collaborate in this project around safeguarding. Our pedagogical project calls us to create a safe environment for our students, inspired by authentic Cura Personalis. It gives joy to work with a group of committed colleagues who want to care, from a shared concern, for the children entrusted to our schools“, emphasized Frederik Van Rampelberg (Education Delegate - Belgium North). „Thank you for this moment of sharing, it is also formative for me, generative of new ideas. It makes me feel on a journey, beautiful and shared, and shows me a vocational ideal that it is beautiful to feel in myself and in others. Together we can do something!”, added Prof. Giuseppe Mannino (Psicologo Clinico, Psicoterapeuta, Analista esistenziale, Esperto in formazione umana e psicologia della pace). “It has become obvious during our recent conversations that different schools in the various jurisdictions covered by the JECSE network are at different stages of Development in relation to Child Protection. Many of our schools cannot rely on a legal framework as of yet. We believe that it is important that best practice is shared and effectively disseminated so that Children in all our schools enjoy the safest possible environment where they can flourish and thrive.” (Damon McCaul, Headmaster, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin, Ireland). Making schools safe places For Cathrin Rieger, education officer at Heinrich Pesch Haus and ZIP, it is a pleasure to be involved in this international prevention project: “Learning from each other, exchanging ideas and continuing to work together to make schools and institutions safe places for children, young people and adults. We also have to face new challenges — prevention never stops! Cyber-bullying, dangers on the Internet, peer violence, parental work, etc. are new challenges that we have to face,” she said. “We will not be able to carry out this huge task only with wise documents but spreading and sharing all around a sense of enthusiasm, hope and commitment. We have the chance to foster safeguarding culture in our schools throughout Europe“, said Manuel Fariñas de Alba (Director Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid). Safeguarding is an ongoing process JECSE Director Agnieszka Baran expressed her confidence that the joint effort and cooperation of all involved in the project will yield positive outcomes for the schools within the network. "It is paramount that our network continues to collaborate to reinforce the culture of safeguarding in our schools. We are heartened by the significant progress we have achieved in this realm in recent years. However, safeguarding remains an ongoing endeavour, and there is still much to be accomplished," she remarked. Agnieszka Baran extended gratitude to the Centre for Ignatian Pedagogy for its support and coordination of this project with JECSE. "I am also deeply impressed by the dedication of all participants in this meeting to engage with us on the challenges confronting our schools in the realm of safeguarding and how we can best address them," stated the JECSE Director. She further expressed appreciation to the entire Heinrich Pesch House team for warmly hosting the group and for fostering a supportive environment conducive to addressing the challenging issue of protecting the most vulnerable from abuse.

Youth & Media

The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education (ICAJE) convened in Rome from May 21st to 24th, 2024, to address significant topics for Jesuit secondary and pre-secondary education. Attendees included representatives from the six conference networks that form the Jesuit Global Network of Schools (JGNS), the General Coordinator of Fe y Alegria, the Secretary for Education, members of Educate Magis and the Assistant to the Secretariat. This year, the meeting included a special audience with Pope Francis. During this encounter, the Pope expressed his gratitude for the work done in our Jesuit schools and Companion Schools, as he highlighted the transformative potential of Ignatian education and emphasized the importance of keeping Jesus at the heart of our mission. In his message, he urged educators to lead by example, and our schools to put the formation of educators at the center, offering the necessary training to discover their vocations as educators. Pope Francis also recalled the Global Compact on Education, calling for a shift from a culture of the ‘I’ to the culture of the ‘we,’ and stressed the importance of patience and perseverance in the long-term task of education. Some of the key discussions and presentations held during the meeting:  Each ICAJE member delivered a presentation on the current state of Jesuit education in their region, focusing on the preparation for the II Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024, engagement with Educate Magis, and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. The reports highlighted the enduring impact of the pandemic, including long-term changes in educational practices and strategies for fostering resilience among schools. The Secretary for education shared updates on various projects and initiatives, emphasizing their alignment with the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) and their ongoing support to global educational collaboration. ICAJE members shared their proposals on initiatives for enhancing inter-regional collaboration, sharing best practices, and establishing spaces for joint reflection. Participants engaged in a spiritual conversation to discern ways for Educating for Faith in the 21st Century. This dialogue builds on the topics that a group of Jesuit educators from around the world will be discussing in the Global II Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024, that will take place in June 2024 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Fr. James Hanvey SJ, Secretary of the Service of Faith participated in this conversation. The representatives of Educate Magis presented updates on their projects, emphasizing their role in building an online apostolic community of Jesuit educators. The feedback from ICAJE was gathered to better meet the needs of the network and enhance their offerings. The Organizing Committee of JESEDU-Jogja2024 presented the updates on the organization for the upcoming seminar in Indonesia. ICAJE members provided valuable feedback to refine the event. John Guiney SJ and Dr. Sandra Racionero joined the meeting to share with ICAJE the details of the PCCP Project (Promoting a Consistent Culture of Protection in our Schools), that was introduced by Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ in late 2023.  Special Highlight: Audience with Pope Francis On Friday the 24th, the meeting participants had an audience with Pope Francis. The purpose was to express the commitment of the Jesuit Schools to support and promote the New Global Compact of Education launched by Pope Francis. We also presented the Pope with a copy of the document Jesuit Schools: A Living Tradition in the 21st Century, and a special edition of the Educate Magis Global Map of the Schools. As part of this encounter, the Pope shared an inspiring speech in which he expressed his gratitude to Society of Jesus for her work in the schools, highlighting the immense evangelizing potential of education that St. Ignatius and his companions soon realized. He emphasized that Jesuit education must keep Jesus at its center, integrating the Gospel into the schools and “accompanying young people so that they discover in service to others and in academic rigor the construction of the common good”. Pope Francis reminded us that Fr. Arrupe’s call for “educating people for others” means to define education by “its humanizing results and not its economic results”. The Pope praised the effort to turn education from a personal success mindset to one that focuses on collective well-being, advocating for a shift from the culture of ‘I’ to ‘we’. He stressed that true education involves leading by example and urged educators to accompany and develop their students, especially those at the margins of our societies. Finally, he highlighted the importance of the upcoming JESEDU-Jogja2024 Seminar in deepening the meaning and connection of the first Universal Apostolic Preference and the others: “without a true relationship between educators and the Lord, none of the rest is possible”. Read full speech Closing remarks The meeting concluded with a Eucharist in the “rooms of Ignatius,” where St. Ignatius of Loyola spent his final days. Fr. José Mesa SJ remarked, “This meeting was pivotal in reinforcing our mission as a global network. The topics we addressed are crucial for the future of Jesuit education, and ICAJE remains a vital force in our journey toward becoming a universal body with a universal mission.” After the Eucharist, the participants went to St. Ignatius Church asking, before the tomb of St. John Berchman’s -patron of the Jesuit Global Network of Schools, for strength and perseverance in our service to the mission of the Society entrusted to us by the Church.    
The Jesuit Weeks were launched in France in 2017. It was the second time that the event was organized in Belgium after the 2022 edition in Erpent. The Jesuit week in Brussels brought together 35 Jesuits from Belgium, France, Poland, Cameroon, Vietnam and India. Over five days, the event allowed students aged 6 to 18 to meet them and experience the “4Cs” at the heart of Jesuit establishments: conscience, compassion, skills and commitment ( commitment in English). “Our goal is for young people to become aware of Jesuit values. We want to train future adults who are focused on others,” explains Benoît Gallez, director of Saint Michel college. A program designed around Universal Apostolic Preferences Coordination workshops in which older students offered an introduction to the subject of their choice to younger students in a transmission posture; fresco for the climate around ecological issues; sporting and solidarity challenge… all activities explored the 4 Universal Apostolic Preferences . “Passion” workshops on 70 themes also allowed you to pass on your tastes (saxophone, jewelry creation, improvisation, etc.). “We couldn't wait to share our interests,”  says Sybille, aged 12, “our teachers helped us for months to prepare everything . ” Gabriel, 15, was waiting for the solidarity race in support of a school in Bolivia: “I like to tell myself that when I run for this school, I also take care of my health”. Louis Tonneau testifies in 3T class The week was an opportunity to get to know the Jesuits better through informal discussions. An agora was organized for the 600 primary school students in the Saint Jean Berchmans church. The children were able to question Jesuits about their missions abroad such as Etienne Degrez sj on his experience in Nepal and Jean-Baptiste Roy sj in Burundi but also scholastics from India and Vietnam. “The Jesuit week is a real discovery for me,” confides a new teacher. Classroom testimonies offered even more direct exchanges. Louis Tonneau sj spoke in several classes: “'Why you became a Jesuit' and 'why there are no women among the Jesuits' are the most frequent questions ,” he reports. Vocation, studies, family… among teenagers, the questions abound . “A week ago, I didn’t even know what a Jesuit was ,” admits Emilie, 14 years old. “He not only spoke to us about the Jesuits, he told us his own story,” notes his comrade, Mathieu. Rereading sessions allowed students to meditate and question themselves: what words or what encounter do I remember? For Clémence, 12 years old, “being more respectful is the most important thing” . For some teachers, what a surprise: they had never seen their students remain silent, with their eyes closed, for fifteen minutes! The week was punctuated each evening with thematic conferences open to all, including Jesuits for Dummies . It closed with the show “Un peu d’audace,” a theatrical and musical creation on discernment , written, directed and performed by two Jesuits, Louis Lorieux sj and Benoît de Dimanche sj. A parable of life and the decisions that shape it, it is aimed at young people and the adults who accompany them. The play will be performed in Paris on June 1 and  2. See you in February 2025 in Verviers, Belgium, for the next Jesuit week!    
A new edition of the Ignatian Leadership Programme (ILP) kicked off on Monday, 11 March. This is a training organized by JECSE for a group of 18 school headmasters and executives. We gathered in Rodizio near Lisbon at the 'Casa de Exercícios de Santo Inácio', a retreat house beautifully located near the Atlantic Ocean. Five days later, we concluded the programme and enthusiastically said to each other 'See you in Warsaw in October'. Looking back on this week of formation, for me the reflection text at the start also goes to the core of the programme for this first module: 'Called as a leader for and with others'. Participants come from Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Portugal, Albania, Spain, Italy and France. The context in which we work is often very different, but one element we all share is the challenge of leading in a school rooted in Ignatius' vision. Guidance of the ILP is in the expert hands of Paul Yperman, Bart Van Emmerik s.J., Brian Flannery, Anne-Sophie De Decker and Lourenço Eiro s.J. I see the very diverse composition of our group as a unique opportunity to exchange and find inspiration. In doing so, I experience great gratitude for the fine, enriching conversations, the international contacts and the opportunities in this group to gain a broader view and be challenged in vision and identity. The programme in Rodizio was well filled, following a predictable pattern. For the bravest (and the Belgian delegation lived up to Caesar's famous words there), the day started each time with an inspiring walk along the beautiful coast. This morning activity could perhaps not count on enthusiasm because of the less matinal companions; I gladly accepted Bart and Anne-Sophie's offer for this pleasant morning ritual. After breakfast, we started the programme with a moment of reflection followed by a number of plenary sessions. In these, we could also exchange among ourselves each time about the content we were offered. From different frames of mind about emotions, relationships, choices, behavior and communication, we were offered valuable input for a week in a very multi-faceted programme on leadership and Ignatian spirituality. The great added value lay in the connection between these two perspectives. We also held small-group reflection discussions each time. Using the ignatian spiritual conversation methodology, we tried to discover on a personal level the deeper movements we experienced with the insights we were offered each time. Each day we gathered in the evening in the house chapel where a very simple but deeply symbolic work of art gave the space sacredness. We ended our working day here each time with a celebration of mass: a moment of reflection and singing together, of retrospection and peace. At lunchtime and in the evening we shared a typical Portuguese meal: at the table we got to know each other better and, as usual, we always ended the day with a "social" for which each brought a speciality from their country. On Wednesday afternoon, a visit to Sintra was also planned: a relaxing trip during which we happened to meet a group from a Jesuit college from Dallas. By then the group atmosphere was already good, especially after the evening dinner on site with accompanying conviviality. When CEBECO invited me to participate in this programme, I gratefully and curiously accepted the invitation. On the one hand, the content of the programme is familiar because it takes up a number of familiar frameworks on leadership, but the depth lies in the bridge to the Ignatian perspective. This link was offered in very different ways each time: a presentation on Ignatius' choices in leadership, an interview with a Jesuit at the head of a youth centre in Lisbon on the challenges he had experienced in his leadership, a session on using the ignatian 'modo de proceder' in leading a school, the discussion of spirituality within an ignatian listening conversation, a presentation on the examination, discovering the space for the Spirit's working in your actions. With a suitcase full of inspiration, I returned from Portugal. The objective now is to hold on to the insights and inspiration of the ILP. En route to the second training week in October, our facilitators keep the spirit alive and we stay connected through the assignments we were given. In the hustle and bustle of running a school, it will be a challenge to still walk, not run, thus securing Rodizio's ideas in word and deed.
It was during the Easter Octave, from April 2 to 5, that the second Jesuit week at Caousou, an educational establishment in Toulouse, took place, against a backdrop of spring and Easter joy. Certainly, the threats of capricious weather and reinforced security protocols complicated the organization to the end, but without preventing the smooth running of this true missionary festival filled with multi-faceted events. The first meeting of October 2019 left very good memories, and everyone saw better what such a week could be. Also, the program for this second edition did not lack ambition! To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Caousou , this week concentrated large gatherings (2,300 students), celebrations (including the sending off mass at the secondary level, during to which Damien Sala sj, professor of History-Geography, was appointed reader and acolyte); theater shows (including an evocation of the entire history of Caousou, performed by teachers and students!); conferences and workshops on various themes ranging from “Faith and science” to “Art and Spirituality” including “discernment” and “commitment to solidarity” or even “Jesuits for Dummies”; classroom testimonies; a solidarity march mobilizing all students for the benefit of the St François Xavier Jesuit college in N'Djamena (construction to expand); exhibitions (on the Company, Matteo Ricci, Teilhard… but also the Lego model of the establishment, created by the students!); competitions (eloquence, Greek culture, photos, quizzes, etc.); student concerts; courses co-taught by Jesuits (history, mathematics, literature, etc.); film clubs; Web radio reports produced by students; sport (traditional “Caousienne” race, football match between students and young people from JRS Welcome, etc.). Friendly, fraternal, (inter)cultural, sporting, supportive, creative, prayerful, surprising, interior… this week was all of that… and profoundly joyful and Easter!

In-depth Reflection

The II International Symposium on Secularity was a two-day event held in Frankfurt on May 30 and 31, 2024. The symposium was organized by the Kircher Network, Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy, Universidad Loyola and Saint Joseph University of Beirut, and featured a diverse range of panels and discussions on various topics related to secularity, spirituality, and the role of religion in modern society. The program included three panels: "Common Good," "Democracy," and "Pluralism." Each panel features a series of presentations and discussions by experts in the field, including Jesuit scholars and theologians. The topics covered include the role of religion in public life, the relationship between spirituality and democracy, and the contribution of religion to dialogue and pluralism in a plural society. The event aimed to provide a platform for scholars and practitioners to engage in discussions and reflections on the significance of secularity and the role of religion in contemporary society. The group took the opportunity to discuss the strategic plan 2024-2028 for the cluster. From the Kircher Network, we would like to express our gratitude to Saint Geogern Graduate School of Philosophy for hosting the event.
During a ceremony that brought together more than 700 people at the Pierre Y. AbouKhater amphitheater at the Human Sciences Campus, Saint Joseph University of Beirut (USJ) announced on April 30, 2024 the launch of two major events : the activities of its 150th anniversary, thus marking a century and a half of academic excellence, significant contributions to society and deep commitment to the Francophonie and the signing of a pact for the creation of USJ-Côte d'Ivoire (USJ-CI), an opportunity for quality higher education in a spirit of excellence and openness to all.   The audience was composed of numerous representatives of the Lebanese State, as well as the diplomatic and academic corps, a large delegation from Côte d'Ivoire, donors, alumni, friends, students and the USJ staff. In her opening remarks, Professor Nadine Riachi, Secretary General of the USJ, spoke of the mixed feelings of pride and optimism accompanying this event. As for Mr. Naji Boulos, marketing and communications advisor, he underlined the importance of this ceremony, highlighting the historical links between Lebanon and Ivory Coast, in particular thanks to the French-speaking world and the presence of a dynamic Ivorian community of Lebanese origin in this region of Africa. The ceremony also highlighted, through videos, the achievements of USJ while paying tribute to those who have contributed to the construction and sustainability of the University since 1875. Inspiring speeches and moving testimonies, highlighting the key role of the USJ in the development of education, research and Lebanese society, were delivered by various personalities such as Professor Salim Daccache sj, Rector of the USJ, SEM Georges Kallas, minister of Youth and Sports, HE Abbas al-Halabi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, as well as prominent members of the university community: the President of the USJ High Council, Mr. Joe Saddi, Dr. Christian Makary, President of the Federation of USJ Alumni Associations, Miss Hala Dalloul and Mr. Marc Chalhoub, student representatives. On this occasion, the Rector presented the 150th anniversary medal to Ministers Abbas al-Halabi and Georges Kallas. The second part was placed under the sign of the USJ-CI partnership. Professor Carla Eddé, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at USJ, traced the genesis of the USJ-Côte d'Ivoire project. The CEO of the Farah Polyclinic and also CEO of the Ivorian Academy of Sciences, Dr Oualid Zahreddine, praised the USJ's commitment to serving Lebanese and soon Ivorian youth, thus expressing his love for his two countries, of origin and adoption. As for the Regional Director of the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), Mr. Jean-Noël Baléo, he insisted on the importance of the USJ in the Lebanese educational and scientific system, and in the French-speaking university world, and promised attentive listening from the AUF regarding the USJ-CI. Professor Salim Daccache spoke of the University's many successes and declared that the upcoming opening of USJ-Côte d'Ivoire will be a landmark moment in the history of USJ. Mr. Vamara Touré, representative of HE Adama Diawara, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Côte d'Ivoire, for his part, thanked the USJ for its welcome and its involvement in this project and underlined the role of education in the development of lasting relations between the two countries.
Europeans will be called on to vote for their representatives in the European Parliament, from Thursday to Sunday, June 6 – 9, 2024. In a year marked by elections in many key countries (United States, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan to name only a few), the European elections might be an outlier, not being national elections, but they are certainly not the least important. Almost 400 million European citizens are eligible to vote. This makes the elections second only to India’s federal elections in terms of representative democracy worldwide. Insofar as they influence EU policies, their impact is global. While the European Union might not be the economic powerhouse it once was, it still belongs, with the United States and China, to a very select group of states defining world politics at large. European elections are also a unique affair. They span many different countries with wildly different history, traditions and languages. They mobilize dozens, if not hundreds, of political parties at national level, all offering their take on the issues of the day. They belong to a supranational system linking nation-states in a network of institutions and common obligations, in a setup that still is largely one of its kind. The following pages do not pretend to offer a comprehensive view of all that is at stake in the 2024 European elections. A few pages obviously would not be enough. They only aim to present some challenges facing the elections, highlight their potential impact and identify a few crucial issues which Europe faces today, from a Catholic perspective. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
On April 25, 2023, the Ignatianum University in Krakow hosted a Scientific Symposium entitled "The Crime of Pedophilic Acts: Social, Therapeutic, and Legal Aspects" organized by the Child Protection Center (COD). The event took place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of COD. The symposium was held under the honorary patronage of Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Primate of Poland, Monika Hornej-Cieślak, the Ombudsman for Children's Rights, and Professor Tomasz Homa, the Rector of Ignatianum University. The introductory speeches were delivered by: Dr. Krzysztof Biel SJ, Dean of the Faculty of Pedagogy at Ignatianum University Dr. Adam Żak, Director of COD Professor Tomasz Homa, Rector of Ignatianum University Monika Hornej-Cieślak, Ombudsman for Children's Rights, with a lecture on "Child Protection in the Light of the Kamilka Act" The sexual exploitation of minors is a global social problem. Recent reports on the scale of the phenomenon indicate a continuous increase in cases of sexual violence against children and youth, despite increasingly restrictive legal regulations aimed at perpetrators. The aim of the symposium was to reflect on the phenomenon of child sexual exploitation in its three aspects: social, therapeutic, and legal, and to seek new possibilities for preventing these crimes, also at the legal level. The above topics were discussed within three thematic panels.The first panel focused on the social aspect. In the social sphere, attention was drawn to the scale of the phenomenon, risk factors for becoming a victim, and possible aspects of prevention. The speakers included: Dr. Krzysztof Biel, Ignatianum University Dr. Monika Sajkowska, FDDS Mgr Sławomir Nowotny, ISKK The panel was moderated by Dr. Krzysztof Biel SJ. The second panel concentrated on the therapeutic aspect. The discussion revolved around the effects of sexual exploitation of minors and proposals for therapeutic interventions for victims of pedophilic acts. The speakers in the second panel included: Dr. Barbara Smolińska, Dialogue Workshop Professor Bogdan de Barbaro, Fundacja Na Szlaku Mgr Tomasz Franc OP (moderator) The third panel discussed the adequacy and effectiveness of legal regulations in the field of criminal and canon law. During the third panel, speakers examined the latest legal provisions. The speakers included: Professor Paweł Wiliński, Adam Mickiewicz University - Fundamental rights of the victim. Foundation and minimum standard Dr. Jan Dohnalik, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University - Canon law on sexual exploitation of minors and the vulnerable - where are we and where are we heading The panel was moderated by Professor Hanna Suchocka, Adam Mickiewicz University.

Preparing for Mission

What are you doing in Ankara? This is often one of the first questions I hear when I travel. Each of the four of us of course has our usual activities: Michael writes for various publications (now on the “universal call to holiness”); Changmo studies Turkish, begins to engage with young people at the parish and gradually acclimatizes to Turkey; Alexis, responsible for this Turkish-speaking parish and the training of its catechumens, is also involved in media and the practical management of the residence; As for me, superior of the latter, I work in training and support in the service of the Church of Turkey, and have some commitments outside the country for interreligious dialogue, in various capacities.          Activities and meetings also break up everyday life. This is how Michael, originally from a family who gave three of his sons to the Company, spent the month of April in his native land on the occasion of the accession of one of his brothers, already a bishop. and who attended the recent Synod on behalf of Ireland, at the Belfast headquarters. Changmo invites and is invited by his course companions but also Koreans living in Türkiye; thus during the Ramadan holidays, he was in Ephesus with a group of Korean religious working in the Middle East, while Alexis participated just nearby in the national training meeting for catechists. For my part, just before these days of celebration, I was at that of the Jesuit superiors of the Province which was held in Cairo; after that, following training activities in Istanbul for future local permanent deacons, I accompanied the local delegation to Bursa, while the diocese is expanding to this city by opening a new presbytery there. I took advantage of this stay in this former capital of the Ottoman Empire (before Istanbul) to go right next door to İznik (Nicaea), where the universal Church is preparing to celebrate next year the 1700th anniversary of the first ecumenical council (325) which defined the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father and fixed the date of Easter. By a happy coincidence, all Christians will celebrate Easter on the same day in 2025: will this be prophetic of what could happen, as Patriarch Bartholomew pleads in this direction? In any case, it seems that the Pope will come on this occasion: and you?          At the community level, thanks to Changmo, we have welcomed new companions: four goldfish now frolic alongside us in a magnificent aquarium, while we take our meals served by one of the best cooks in the province ( says the Provincial! )… when she is not “in the village”, where she is now absent for a month… More seriously, we have just welcomed Dalibor Reniç, president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials and currently our major superior, with whom we thought about our current projects. In this context, we went as a community to the neighboring town of Eskişehir (250 km to the west, 1.20 hours by fast train) for a time of relaxation and reflection on a possible extension of our parish activity to this university town. crossed by a canal which gives it a seaside town atmosphere. Just before his arrival, we welcomed Zarina for a few days, a young Kazakh Christian, originally from one of the Central Asian countries where our Türk cousins ​​live. She was stopping over in Ankara, returning to her native country, Almaty after studying theology in Poland. This gave us the opportunity to compare our ecclesial presences and to create links which could perhaps give rise to a twinning, while the Company which, if not present in this country, is responsible for the Church in Kyrgyzstan, on the southern border. If you want to know more about Kazakhstan and its Church, I invite you to watch an excellent report from KTO in French (2022, 50 min), where you will also hear Zarina ( 00409071/under-the-sky-of-the-Kazakhs ). For Kyrgyzstan, you will find an interview in French with the new apostolic administrator on the curia website ( -kirgyzstan/ ) and numerous articles on the Conference website ( ). I am delighted to see several of you again in Berlin at the beginning of July at the meeting of the Jesuits Among Muslims (JAM) but even more to see you all again at the end of the same month in Taanayel on the occasion of the Province meeting where our entire community will be present. Jean-Marc Balhan, SJ
Malta Fr Sosa returns to visit the Euro-Mediterranean Province (EUM).After a visit to the Centro Astalli in Palermo in 2017, and in Trieste in 2018, a frontier of migration and reconciliation, and other places in Italy in the following years, the visit to the other countries of the EUM Province begins with the sojourn in Malta from 9 to 12 May. “A renewed attention to the territories of our reality, born in 2017”, the Provincial, Fr Roberto Del Riccio SJ, highlights. “A precious opportunity to get to know first-hand the needs and solutions to current difficulties, to support the journey that is in progress and the future steps to be taken.” “The journey sees all of us moving forward with determination in mission, keeping in mind the Universal Apostolic Preferences advocated by the Society at the global level”, Fr Michael Bugeja, EUM Delegate for Formation, adds. “Fr Sosa’s presence is a guide and inspiration at a crucial time of reflection and discernment on our common future. The purpose of the visit is multifaceted, mainly to foster closer ties with the Jesuits present, the network of Ignatian collaborators, friends and the local church community. It is a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by the Society in the territories of our Province by visiting the various apostolic works and communities.” Fr Arturo Sosa SJ visited the Paulo Freire Institute in Zejtun on 9 May, followed by a meeting with Maltese Jesuits at Loyola House in Naxxar. On 10 May he will be at St Aloysius College. On 11 May, he will meet the Archbishop, make a stop at the Jesuit Refugee Service and visit the University chaplaincy and residence. On 12 May, he will travel to Gozo, to the Jesuit Retreat House. The encounter with the different realities of the apostolic work will be a precious opportunity to deepen one’s direct knowledge and to reflect on current and future challenges. Romania "To experience being an active part of the Society in the world. To foster the desire for closer collaboration with the laity: on a cultural, social and spiritual level. To help them experience the importance of their mission in the Church and the special attention given by the Society. To promote close relations with the academic and ecclesial world, also through concrete proposals." These are some of the expectations of the Jesuits of the Community of Cluj, Romania. “We want to emphasise the apostolic value of community life”, Fr Henryk Urban, the Superior, explains, “and the importance of living one’s mission with passion. It will also be an important occasion to focus on some indications of how to face apostolically the current change of times.” From Bucharest, where the other community is located, the importance of being present in social and educational assistance given to the victims of the armed conflict resonates. “It can be helpful to view the situation from this perspective, at a time when strategic decisions are being taken at the level of the government of the Society in this part of the world.” “Fr Sosa, arrived on May 9th in Romania and he was in Cluj-Napoca to meet with the Rector of Babes-Bolyai University, the Dean of the Faculty of Greek-Catholic Theology, the Rector of the Seminary of Cluj and some professors”, Fr. Marius Talos, who is in charge of the community, explains. The university - now considered the best in the country - was originally founded by the Jesuit order in 1581 and last year awarded Fr Sosa an honorary doctorate. In the evening, Fr Sosa met members of Ignatian spirituality groups at the Manresa Centre, as well as friends and collaborators of the Jesuits. On Wednesday he travelled to Oradea, where he met the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic Bishops of the Church in Romania. In the afternoon, he travelled to Bucharest, where he visited JRS Romania and met with the Jesuit community. Albania After 30 years, a Jesuit General returns to Albania. “This is a very important moment for us Jesuits and for the collaborators with whom we share the mission”, Fr Zef Bisha, SJ, Superior highlights. “It was Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach who visited the country in 1994 after the fall of the regime. In these days we are living in the liturgy the time when Jesus confirms his disciples in love, hands over and prepares them for the mission. It is with these sentiments that we welcome Fr Arturo Sosa, who has come to visit the Jesuits in Albania, the good that the Society has done for so many years in this small place, but with a great history, a place of martyrdom and witness to the faith, a significant place that gathers so many realities committed to the mission. He comes to confirm the brethren in joy, to work together as companions of the least Society of Jesus. Many would have liked to be with us for this beautiful moment. They will follow us wherever they are. Welcome Fr Arturo in Albania.” At present there are three Jesuits in Albania, two are in Shkodra, working at the Pjeter Meshkalla College, and one in Tirana, parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart. Fr General is visiting the school in Shkodra today. Tomorrow he will be in Tirana to inaugurate the new Cultural and Social Centre and the Catholic library in the new premises built next to the church.
Father General has appointed Miguel Almeida, Provincial of Portugal as the new JCEP Consultor, succeeding Miran Žvanut, Provincial of Slovenia, who had completed his three-year term. Miguel had recently been elected Moderator of the Southern European Assistancy (EMR) and, in that condition, proposed to Fr. General for the nomination. In the Jesuit European Conference, there are three Assistancies: Central and Eastern Europe (ECO), whose Moderator is currently Jozef Šofranko, Provincial of Slovakia; Western Europe (EOC), with Marc Desmet, Regional Superior of the European Low Countries independent Region, as Moderator; and Southern Europe (EMR). Together with the Socius (Herminio Rico POR), these constitute the Consult or Council of the JCEP President. The Consult usually meets four times a year for a couple of days. The last meeting was online, on 19 and 20 of March. After a session to share news from the provinces, gathered by each Moderator, and from the works and networks of the Conference, the Consult discussed the plan and main topics for the next General Assembly in late April in Lyon. Hermínio RicoJCEP Socius
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.