Jesuits in Europe

SLOVAKIA
From 12 to 15 September 2021, the Holy Father visited Slovakia. His visit was a historic event also for us Slovak Jesuits. Pope Francis received us at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava on the very first evening of his stay in Slovakia. Pope Francis spent almost an hour and a half among 53 priests and religious brothers of all ages.  At the invitation of Pope Francis, Slovak Jesuits gathered from various places where they are active: from Bratislava, Prešov, Košice, Ružomberok, Piešt'any, Trnava, Ivanka pri Dunaji, as well as from Rome and Lviv, Ukraine. At the meeting took part also P. Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica.  In a spontaneous atmosphere, we powerfully felt the fraternal and paternal relationship of the Pope. It was an opportunity for each one of us to get to know him in a very familial, close way, and to be strengthened in our own religious identity.  The Pope's gesture of taking an ordinary chair instead of the prepared one and sitting quite close to us says it all. On behalf of all, the Pope was greeted by Father Provincial Jozef Šofranko. Together we prepared three gifts for the Holy Father. A large paper rose flower made by children, families and volunteers at the Family Assistance Center in Trnava, which is a symbol of prayers for the Holy Father and for his intentions. The paper petals were cut out by the children from photographs of their families' lives and include portraits of beatification candidates Tomáš and František Munk and Father Vendelín Javorka. The second gift was the publication of biblical commentaries on the Book of Psalms, which is the fruit of the collaboration of Slovak Jesuits with biblical scholars from Catholic and Evangelical faculties, as well as with the Jewish community. The third gift expressed the rootedness in the testimony of faith given by the confreres in the times of communist persecution. A newly published book on the personalities of the Slovak Jesuits of that time is in English and is titled Watersource from the Rock. Two days later, on 14 September, a second brief meeting with the Jesuits took place in Prešov, just after the end of the Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. In fact, Pope Francis, at the invitation of one of the Jesuits, whom he had met at the nunciature in Bratislava, personally stopped at the Retreat House to greet the cooks who were preparing refreshments for the bishops. Finally, Francis greeted also the local Jesuit community.   Please click here to read the transcript of the conversation of Pope Francis with the Slovak Jesuits. Jozef Bartkovjak – Jesuits SVK
IRELAND
In September two Tertianships opened in Europe, in Dublin (very appreciated since many years) and for the fist time in Bikfaya (Lebanon). We are proud to publish two fresh eyewitness reports. Dublin Here we come the Tertians 2021-22! We are eight Jesuits coming from different parts of the world: France, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Sri Lanka, US. We gathered in green Ireland, Manresa House - Dublin, last Sep 20th, 2021, and we will live together till the end of May 2022. Fr Paul Pace SJ is our Tertianship Instructor, and Charlie Davy his Assistant. Cool guys… It’s a special opportunity for us to have our Tertianship during the Ignatian Year, the Anniversary in which we remember the beginning of Inigo's spiritual journey by his being harmed. Wounds are part of our story, even inside the Society of Jesus. Misunderstandings, non-communication, negative thoughts are signs that our wounds usually arise from a lack of awareness of God's grace in the here and now. The Tertianship is a time for recognizing that every fragment of our personal story is full of his grace, and nothing will be lost. We hope that by sharing our different stories, our wounds will lead us to a transformative process through which we can become a really reconciled Body at the service of the World.   During our Tertianship experience, we will go through four main experiences: 1) the building of our community: we will become friends through an intensive sharing of our personal stories; 2) the Ignatian Retreat: one month of personal deep reviewing of our life as Jesuits; 3) the study of the Jesuits’ Constitutions to become more aware of our belonging to the Society of Jesus; 4) the “long experiment”: a period of mission among people in need in different parts of Europe. After this experience, we will be ready for the final incorporation into the universal Body of the Society of Jesus. Flavio Bottaro S.J. Bikfaya On Monday 27 September, the anniversary of the foundation of the Society of Jesus, a new European Tertianship was inaugurated in Bikfaya, Lebanon, by Fr Franck Janin, President of the Conference of European Provincials, and Fr Michael Zammit Mangion, Provincial of the Near East. This third year, organised by the Conference of European Provincials with the help of the Near East Province, will be accompanied by Fr Dany Younes, instructor, and Fr Nawras Sammour, superior of the tertianship community. Arriving at night in Bikfaya, I discovered the next morning after having understood how my shutters opened the magnificent setting in which we have the privilege of living this eight-month experience offered by the Society of Jesus. Anchored on the rock of Mount Lebanon, at an altitude of 900 m in the village of Bikfaya, the residence of Notre Dame de la Délivrance, which was the first house of the Society when it was restored, offers a splendid view of the ocean located 7 km away. Such a viewpoint invites peace, leads to contemplation, and the search for the essential. We are 7 tertians from Goa, South Africa, Rwanda, Congo, Poland or France and together we will make community with our instructor and our superior. Two Indian tertians will join us in a few weeks, once their visas are obtained. The theme of our third year will be reconciliation. For this, we will reread our Jesuit history for 9 weeks before the 30 days retreat which will take place from 22 November to 21 December and for which we count on your prayers. Then we will study the Exercises, go on a 9-week experiment before returning to revisit the foundations of our Institute. This reconciliation, which is undoubtedly necessary if we reread any of our Jesuit histories, we discover that it is also necessary in this land of Lebanon, through the witnesses who come to speak to us about the challenges of inter-religious dialogue, the history of the country, and the churches that live together there. This morning Mgr César Essayan, Vicar Apostolic of Beirut for the Latin Rite Catholics in Lebanon, came to speak to us about his work as a pastor and the challenges it represents, with migrants, religious communities and political reconciliation in the Land of the Cedars. An invitation to consent to the death of that which bears no fruit so that resurrection can come into our lives. Vincent Lascève SJ (EOF)
HUNGARY
Hungarian challenge fulfilled. “Run in peace!” – on the last Saturday of September these were the dismissal words of a special open air mass held in the hilly outskirts of Budapest. The occasion that the celebrant adapted the official text of the liturgy for was the III. Jesuit Run organized by the Hungarian province. In the present jubilee year, the theme of this community event was the life of Saint Ignatius. Thus halting at five stations on the route, the participants meditated on the various episodes of Ignatius, spiritually wandering with him from Loyola (“Worldly success”) to Pamplona (“Experiencing failure”), then reaching Manresa (“Conversion”), later sailing to Jerusalem (“To come close to Jesus”), and finally arriving at Paris (“To see all things new in Christ”). The hundred-odd participants hit the road in three groups: fast runners, slow runners and walkers. At each stations Jesuits and their companions waited them with spiritual “munition” and tasks to fulfil while running or walking. Besides organising their run in the Saint Ignatius Year, the Hungarian Jesuits invited all European Jesuits and friends of the Society to join the central event held in Budapest, at least in a spiritual way. There were several positive responses from Spain to Marosvásárhely/Targu Mures, a multi-ethnical city in Romania, and from Rome even to Toronto. In return for their greetings, at the end of the event, Bálint Nagy SJ, the vocational promoter of the Hungarian province and the participants sent the following message to them:  
BELGIUM
20th Anniversary of the Chapel for Europe in the service of European Christians. Starting  September 22, we began celebrating the Chapel’s 20th anniversary. There was an ecumenical thanksgiving celebration, streamed online, presided by the religious Heads in Belgium of the Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Catholic Churches. There was a big Garden Party, a lovely time and an opportunity for many to meet in person after a year and a half of virtual meetings. There will be a series of five concerts “Festival Chapel for Europe” in the following weeks. There will be conferences on European common good and on the interfaith openness.  To give thanks for our past. To share the joy of the present time. To reflect together on the years to come. Dream At the beginning there was a dream. A dream of a Europe which, according to Robert Schuman, should be more than a simple economic and technical project, which should have a “soul”. And a dream of a place for spiritual nourishment for the thousands of staff working each day for the European institutions in Brussels. And the result? The reconstruction – just between the Parliament and the European Commission – of a little Chapel, with history dating back to the 15th Century; a multicultural, ecumenical place of prayer and celebration, of reflection and dialogue. Since its inauguration, it has had an ecumenical profile, being run and supported by EU staff, Jesuits, various Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Churches and even other organisations. A true miracle of “unity in diversity”. Welcome to the Chapel for Europe! Passion Over time, the Chapel gained recognition with a diverse program offering something for all tastes: from multiple prayer groups, spiritual workshops and retreats, to a variety of celebrations, which are often ecumenical. However, the Chapel is not only a place of prayer – it also offers a space for reflection and dialogue on pertinent European issues, promoting a Christian perspective via its conferences, movie nights, exhibitions and workshops. Since the start of the pandemic, in line with sanitary measures in place and the fact that most EU staff were working from home, most of the Chapel’s events have become virtual or hybrid, with a limited number of people being welcomed in the Chapel, and events simultaneously being broadcast online via Zoom, FB Live or YouTube. In this way, the Chapel continued to support its community, showing that even the coronavirus cannot suppress our passion for life and for Europe. Hope The Chapel has been ecumenical since its very beginning, however over the past few years, and particularly following the Brussels terror attacks in 2016, it has become clear that ecumenism is not enough, and that in Brussels there is ever more need for inter-religious events. This is why the Chapel, in collaboration with other partners, cofounded the interreligious network “HOPE” (Homes of Presence and Encounter) in Brussels. In such a way, the interreligious dimension becomes more and more significant among all the Chapel’s activities.

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Finding God

WORLD
From September to July, Fr general will give a monthly special message as a companion to his book for the Ignatian Year “Walking with Ignatius”. The aim is to help people to a prayerful experience. Watch the first video to join Fr General as he reflects on the Society, the Church and World. In the pilot episode, Fr Sosa urges us to testify to others how God moves in our lives. He asks us, “Would you dare?” “Today, in the midst of a reality that is presented as full of signs of discord and division, testimonies of profound humanity, of committed faith, and of a brotherhood capable of breaking down walls and building bridges continue to emerge,” he says. “We know that, like St Ignatius of Loyola, there are men and women today who bear witness to the presence of God in the midst of history. Witnesses who make each simple gesture a proof that kindness and love will prevail.” At the end of the video, Fr Sosa invites us to pray personally and as a community with the prayer points at the end of the first chapter of the book.
CROATIA
On September 9, 2021, the National Catechetical Office of the Croatian Bishop’s Conference published the material for the competition in Catholic Religion, the so-called Catholic Religion Olympics. The topic in the school year 2021-22 is “St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Society of Jesus.” The Croatian Jesuit Province has prepared the material and will sponsor its publication. Most of the material is dedicated to the life and person of St. Ignatius, the fundamentals of his spirituality, and Spiritual Exercises. Furthermore, the material presents both the past and the present of the Society of Jesus, concentrating on Croatia. It also explains the Jesuit formation. Moreover, one can find a brief biography of Ignatian role models: Francis Xavier, Aloysius Gonzaga, Jan Berchmans, Stanisław Kostka, Mary Ward, and Kateri Tekakwitha. The material also contains Croatian Ignatian role models: Petar Perica, a martyr of faith during World War II; the servant of God Petar Barbarić; Ante Gabrić, servant of God and the most famous Croatian missionary; Ruđer Bošković, one of the most important Croatian scientists; Bartol Kašić, the father of Croatian grammar; and Nikola Plantić, the so-called king of Reductions of Paraguay. The Religion Olympics will include almost all Croatian schools, both elementary and high schools, and it is estimated that around 7000 students will participate in the event. Thus, the Religion Olympics will be a great opportunity to promote Ignatian spirituality in schools and among teachers. It will also offer an occasion for promoting Jesuit vocation. In the school year 2020-21, the Jesuit Classical Gymnasium (Osijek) team won the national Catholic Religion Olympics in the category “High Schools.” The team was under the guidance of Fr. Hrvoje Juko, SJ. Luka Ilić, SJ
SLOVAKIA
On the occasion of the celebration of the Ignatian Year, the Ignatian Family Day was held on Saturday, 21th august 2021. This event was a friendly gathering of members of the Society of Jesus, the Sisters of Congregatio Jesu and all Ignatian communities from all over Slovakia.  In the picturesque surroundings of the Trlenska Valley near Ružomberok, the meeting began with a Holy Mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows, celebrated by Father Provincial Jozef Šofranko SJ, who in his homily pointed out the diversity that is the enrichment of life and drew on the example of Ignatius and his first companions. The Mass was followed by a presentation of the various communities living Ignatian spirituality in Slovakia, their work and current activities, moderated by P. Jakub Garčár SJ. In addition to the Jesuits and the Sisters of Congregatio Jesu, these communities include the CVX Community of Christian Life, the community of MAGIS and others.  The program also included sharing in groups, which was a mutual enrichment of how the person of St. Ignatius and his unique spirituality influences our daily lives.  Pleasant conversations continued over a good meal, looking for the beautiful and precious things that unite us.  In addition, it was possible to buy T-shirts with the logo and motto of the Ignatian Year, Ignatian honey or coffee as a souvenir. The whole meeting ended with a common adoration, during which everyone prayed the Ignatian Year Prayer.  Peter Buša – Jesuits SVK
ITALY
The number of participants for the two weeks of initiatives planned for families at Villa Capriolo, Selva di Val Gardena, was low this year due to Covid regulations: There were 80 people who participated for the 2 initiatives offered in July and August. This is a shared holiday, having the opportunity to spend most of the time outdoors. In the morning there was a time allotted to praying together. In the afternoon, two activities took place: Marco Tibaldi, a teacher and director of the Institute of Religious Sciences in Bologna led the first acting activity by making use of his puppets, the Friends of Guido. During this initiative biblical passages and classical texts were read, in which those present took an active role. The second, led by Maria Grazia Prandino, teacher of the history of art was selected from the works of art by Magritte, Fontana and Picasso and adapted to the theme chosen for families. Before dinner, the Eucharist was celebrated where sharing of the day’s experiences and the works of art produced took place. This was led by Frs. Rotelli and Titta. There was also time allotted for housework, from cleaning the rooms to washing the dishes, which was an opportunity for everyone to meet and get to know each other and for growth. Finally, among the evening initiatives the film Woman in gold was shown and an explanation of Ignatius’ wound at Pamplona was given through the application of passages from the New Testament and songs by Fabrizio De Andrè. The theme, for the Ignatian Year and the time of the pandemic, has been that of light entering our wounds. As in the Japanese technique of Kintsugi, one can experience that something even more precious can be born from a wound, not only on the outside. “At Selva we still kept the hand sanitising, wearing of masks and social distancing measures. This is still out of the ordinary, but a strong measure,” Valentina, who was at the Capriolo with her family highlights. “These measures are almost as uncomfortable as a pair of tight shoes that cause blisters. You want to remove them as soon as possible, but if you are determined to keep them on, they will take you to the top for a unique view.” Jesuits EUM

Promoting Justice

SWITZERLAND
Eco Summer Camp for Young Adults August 22 - 28, 2021. The Lassalle Haus magnificently built to fit in the hilly landscape of the beautiful canton of Zug, welcomed on Sunday, 22nd August, 53 young adults from over 14 countries in Europe for the ‘Eco Summer Camp.’ Organized by the Lassalle Institute, Fastenopfer, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern, and Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), the Eco Summer Camp, aimed at raising awareness among the young adults about the severity of ecological crisis and the necessity to act in favor of sustainable world. This camp which was the first of its kind in the Lassalle Institute sought to help the young adults to make the move from wild consumption to responsible engagement. To facilitate this process, over seven specialists from different parts for the world notably Europe and United States were invited to give inputs on sustainability. These presenters based on their varied experienced in different sectors of life showed to these young adults the gravity of the ecological crisis, the necessity to rethink the current pedagogy which detaches us from nature to encourage a pedagogy which connects us to nature, the urgent need to rebuild an economy which puts humans at the centre, and emphasized the worth of feeling connected and build sincere and strong relationships with each other for a more sustainable world. These meaningful and profound inputs left the participants with so much awe and wonder about the gravity of climate change problem. Most remained perplexed by the reality, and some felt overwhelmed by the urgent necessity to act. Climate change is affecting all the sectors of life, and no one is left unaffected by this reality. The effects of climate change are imminent, and many parts of the world are already experiencing the disastrous consequences of climate change. Worth remarking at the end of this camp was that due to the shared common feeling of helplessness the participants found reason to connect and act together. This explains why many left the camp feeling connected to each other. There was a deeper feeling of solidarity and the common sense of belonging in the same boat. This feeling of solidarity made each participant to make a personal resolution to him or herself on concrete ways of living sustainably. It was the conviction of the campers that concrete little steps from each one of us can make a great positive impact towards a more sustainable world. The camp ended on Saturday, 28th of August with the participants returning joyfully and fulfilled for having participated in this first ‘Eco Summer Camp’. The campers who arrived separately could be seen returning in groups reflecting on means of keeping the bond and making it stronger. The camp succeeded in making many rediscover the beauty of interconnectivity and the need to feel like sisters and brothers as Pope Francis emphasized in the encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Worth noting about this camp is that, from the Jesuit perspective, this integrated all the Universal Apostolic Preferences, either directly or indirectly. The daily meditation which marked the beginning of each new day during camp was a spiritual phase setter which favored the discussion of the young adults who were deeply concern about the care of our common home, especially as the neglect of the ecological crisis creates marginalization in our society and makes the poorest of the poor to live in precarious situations. The next ‘Eco Summer Camp’ for the 2022 has been scheduled for 25th of August to the 1st of September.
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
The testimony of Fr. Cassar. Fr. Joseph Cassar, a Maltese Jesuit, who has been in Iraq for 6 years, is responsible for the Jesuit Refugee Service there. His staff in Erbil consists of 12 people, with a further 136 working in the various cities. Among the services offered are accompaniment, education, mental health and psychosocial support. The number of those who make use of these services is 27,426. In Kurdistan Iraq, Yazidi men, women and children managed to escape and saved their lives from the ferocity of the Islamic State who, in 2014, began to persecute their religious community by erasing it from Sinjar, the much-loved land in northern Iraq, on the border with Syria. For seven years they have lived in complete oblivion, forgotten by everyone. There are just under 250 thousand Yazidi who are surviving in various refugee camps run mainly by volunteers from non-governmental associations. In Sharya, a city in the Duhok province, 17,000 have not even managed to set foot in a refugee camp. They live in dire need. The Jesuit Refugee Service in Iraq has for a long time offered them material support and psychological comfort. The pain of not being able to return home "The Yazidi cannot regain possession of their lands in Sinjar" explains Fr. Joseph Cassar "owing to the lack of security. In those places there are armed groups that are continually battling each other. The city of Sinjar and the villages around the district are destroyed. The houses are razed to the ground and some of them completely mined. "There is no electricity, drinking water, and not even a minimum level of health care". The hope of solidarity The mission of the Jesuits is to accompany these people and give them hope, "by visiting the families of the displaced, bringing material aid, restoring rights thanks to the intervention of a lawyer, giving education through a school for more than two hundred children and caring for the mental health of people suffering from an unsustainable existence.” In fact, there are many Yazidi who are so desperate that every year they try to take their own lives, and all this is taking place in a deafening general silence.
FRANCE
Called to walk closer with the Excluded, the social apostolate delegates met in Toulouse for the annual networking meeting. While some delegates were able to join online only, most of us arrived on September 22nd enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the Jesuit community as well as the hosting families. Families from the “Welcome” project of JRS France hosted us generously in their homes – as they do migrants within Welcome – while during the day we held our meetings and journeyed to the various works of social apostolate (SA) in the region. Jérôme Gué SJ, the EOF Province SA Delegate and our host, first organised a visit to the ICAM campus (Institut Catholique d'Arts et Métiers) and its Production School. This school offers an exemplary commitment to the integration, formation and employment of young people aged 15 to 18 with little to no qualifications, while ICAM too continues strongly rooted in the Ignatian tradition, offering quality higher education and the professional formation to its students in collaboration with local companies and businesses. In Toulouse, the SA Jesuits are involved in other projects such as ARPEJ (Accompagner vers la Réussite les Parents Et les Jeunes). The volunteers in this project accompany young people in difficulty through Ignatian pedagogy, support for schooling and professional development in the heart of working-class neighbourhoods. After staying at the ARPEJ workshop, we met representatives of the Muslim community in the Bagatelle neighbourhood and visited their mosque. We learned about their shared projects with the local Catholic parish and Jesuit Community, such as the food bank, common meetings and beyond. We concluded our annual meeting with the final Mass and festive couscous dinner, inviting over our collaborators and friends. Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, the SA Secretary in Rome, introduced the festivity with his testimony and sharing on the life and work of Fr. Stan Swamy. We felt special gratitude towards Jérôme for such a wonderful welcome, organisation and exposure to the works of social apostolate in Toulouse, the families and the community. As a network of Delegates, we were able to learn from one another and share about the projects, work and plans of SA in each of our Provinces. In addition, we were pleased to see that, if we want, we can offset the (plane travel) carbon footprint by taking the train instead. Finally, we have taken a number of steps towards the organisation of the Justice and Ecology Congress that we prepare together with other JCEP Justice networks. The Congress will take place in Loyola from March 28th to April 1st of 2022. Peter Rožič SJ
ITALY
On 16 September, 37 of the 45 refugees who received a scholarship arrived at Fiumicino airport to continue their academic studies at 23 Italian universities thanks to the UNICORE Project- University Corridors for Refugees. The last eight students will arrive in the coming days. 28 universities have so far taken part in this project which began in 2019 and together they have awarded over 70 scholarships during the past three years. The selection of students, carried out by the individual universities, was based on the students’ academic qualifications and motivation. Those who qualified are refugees from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thanks to the partners of the project, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Caritas Italiana, Diaconia Valdese, Centro Astalli, Gandhi Charity, and a large network of local partners, the students will receive adequate support to complete their studies and integrate into academic and social life. The students have completed the quarantine period required by the Covid-19 health protocols, after which they will start their studies at the universities scattered throughout Italy. "Supporting the students arriving through the university corridors project in their academic and inclusion journey," Fr Camillo Ripamonti, president of Centro Astalli, explains "is part of a series of projects aimed at creating new models of co-existence and integration in Italy. Education has always been a priority that characterises Jesuit action in favour of refugees all over the world. We want to be able to offer a different future to those young people who, having for a large part of their lives seen only war, violence and destruction, can creatively invest in their own future, which becomes the key to a future of peace for all. This is why we consider it necessary and urgent that national and international institutions open, in a structural manner and for significant numbers, university corridors that help young people escape war and provide a way for them to build their future in peace". Jesuits EUM

Youth & Media

CROATIA
On the 28th and 29th December 2020, two strong earthquakes hit the Banovina area (c. 50 km south of Zagreb). Seven people lost their lives in the destructive earthquake, many were injured, and many lost their homes. In order to help the earthquake victims, SKAC (The Student Catholic Center) Osijek has started the “Rebuild Banovina” project. Until now, about 130 volunteers – high school graduates, students, and working youth – have participated in the program that began eight months ago. During that time, they were with the afflicted people, helping them and listening to their needs. For example, through the help of donors, they are helping people find washing machines, refrigerators, food, water, stoves, etc. Recognizing the need for an even more concrete action and assistance to the earthquake victims, SKAC Osijek, SKAC Split, and SKAC Slavonski Brod have together organized two spiritual and work camps titled “For Banovina from the Heart.” Their goal is to help the earthquake-afflicted population in the Banovina area and form young people (18-35 years) through volunteering and practicing Ignatian contemplation in action. The program lasted two weeks (12-25 September 2021) and has helped around 15 households that suffered medium or high levels of damage.
ITALY
They were ready to go to the Holy Land. Then Covid changed their plans. So 14 young people between 24 and 33 years of age, fully accepted “plan B”: from 17 to 26 August, walking for 6 days from La Verna to Assisi and a 3-day retreat. “All on the threshold of important, professional and vocational choices” says Fr. Francesco Cavallini who led the initiative in collaboration with Percorsi di Vita. “This was an extremely receptive and humble group who were really prepared to take risks”. So, the initiative was tailored according to their deep desire to understand their own particular calling. The main themes of this process were: purifying oneself from preconceived ideas, living, enjoying creation, being creative and active despite their type of vocation in a spirit of self-abandonment. Then they were to name their obstacles in embracing this way of life (environmental conditioning, fears, others’ expectations) and then discover in the Word of God a living relationship with Jesus that truly helps them to overcome these obstacles. “The Lord heals the wounds and liberates the heart, and calls us to be fishers of men by being who we really are, and not in an artificial way” Cavallini explains “he calls you to risk by giving him your life, – including your mistakes and wounds, as well as your qualities, skills and feelings – in order to allow him to give fullness to your life by putting it at the service of others”. The points for reflection were taken from Genesis: “God creates in an orderly manner. No choice is possible if you do not first put order in your life, work, rest, service, relationships, leisure, and meditation.” The Lord then calls us to take the first step as we are. “Writing our life journal allows us to pause and read between the lines and examine our skills and potential to be able to take the risk and act in life. Without self-awareness you cannot embrace a vocation.” These points of meditation will bear fruit, “which each one will continue to meditate upon on their return home”. This pilgrimage consisted of silence, meditation, meetings and testimonies, and profound sharing… and the life of St. Francis. “The days spent in tranquillity at Assisi have been a source of great peace, such as spending time praying at length at the tomb of the Saint, which is a true gift”. “This pilgrimage was an authentic call: from the Holy Land to the way of Francis. A journey full of rebellion, crises, desires, joys, gratitude, such as I and the other young people experienced, each in a different way,” Chiara, 26, confided. “A way / life, written between the birth and death of Jesus, where you discover that every question you ask yourself has an answer:” you are my son, the beloved! “. It is a journey to be lived in fullness, in a creative and active way. St. Francis, in order to truly understand God’s call, had to take action. Now I feel the call to set out, not only on the path of Francis, but in everyday life.”
UNITED KINGDOM
Stonyhurst College was delighted to be part of the Choral Evening Prayer Service in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court on the occasion of the ‘Gold and Glory’ exhibition on display at Hampton Court Palace. Stonyhurst is honoured to be a major supporter of this extraordinary exhibition, on now, lending the Henry VII Chasuble, among other artefacts. The Choral Service was led by Reverend Canon Paul Wright MA, Sub-Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels, and Reverend Father Damian Howard SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, and was well attended by members of the Stonyhurst family, including alumni, current and past parents. Pupils in the choir as well as pupils from other British Jesuit schools were treated to an in-depth educational visit to the exhibition, led by our Curator, Dr Jan Graffius FSA, before providing our guests with a beautiful performance in the Chapel. Following the Service, guests were invited to gather for a drinks reception in Hampton Court and it was wonderful to see so many members of the Stonyhurst community together again reminiscing about all things Stonyhurst, whilst also looking to the future. This special occasion was a combined effort between the Development Team, Collections, the Music Department, The Stonyhurst Foundation and Hampton Court. Our sincere thanks go to the team at Hampton Court, without whom this event would not have been possible.
BELGIUM
On 1 September 2021, Ms Annie Thumelaire (right on the picture) will take over from Ms Ulrike Neugebauer (left on the picture) as the person responsible for religion classes in the five European Schools in Brussels. She will do this as part of the responsibility for European pastoral care entrusted to the Jesuit Conference of Europe by the Archdiocese of Brussels. The president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, Franck Janin S.J. expresses his gratitude: "For nine years, Mrs Neugebauer has carried out this task with passion, competence and unwavering determination to ensure that religion classes retain their rightful place in the European schools. I would like to thank her very much for this. I wish Mrs Thumelaire all the energy and grace she needs to accomplish her task."  Ms. Thumelaire in the first person  I was born in Ath in 1967, the mother of three grown boys. After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels and, at the same time, Catechetical Sciences at the Lumen Vitae Institute of the Society of Jesus in Brussels (where I met my husband!), I began my career as a religion teacher 33 years ago.  Teaching religion has always been and remains a driving force in my life.  My favourite hobbies are music, which I have been practising since I was a child, reading, travelling and cooking. Speaking of music, Johann Sebastian Bach represents the musical genius in my eyes, although it is Dvořák's cello concerto that always provokes great emotion in me.  As a teenager, I discovered the figure of Saint Francis on a trip to Assisi. The artistic and natural side of his spirituality is certainly not foreign to the fascination he exerted on my spiritual journey. Nevertheless, today I would say that it is above all Teresa of Avila who guides and inspires me through her writings, her journey, and above all her character. I love it when she addresses her sisters and writes in The Book of the Foundations: "...understand that the Lord is in the middle of the pots...". Her formula makes me smile, but expresses so well the presence of Christ in our daily lives.  Among the many challenges I face as coordinator of the Catholic religion courses in the European Schools in Brussels, I would like to highlight two: on the one hand, the importance of making the religion course relevant by providing excellent teaching and, on the other hand, the need to pay particular attention to building a solid team of competent, supportive, invested and committed teachers. I dream of a religion class that is a space where teachers and students find meaning, where everyone feels concerned, included, listened to, trusted and can experience God's tenderness. In my opinion, Ignatian pedagogy, as I know it, is an exemplary reference for moving towards this goal. 

In-depth Reflection

RUSSIA
Of course, the last eighteen months mean a lot of changes for people all over the world. In a special way, the pandemic has affected schools, universities, and other educational institutions. Thus, in March 2020, within five days, the St. Thomas Institute in Moscow had to close its gates to students gathering physically and to shift to online courses. But with the help of devoted co-workers and students who love growing in knowledge, we were able to do this. Until Summer of 2020, we had contact with our students only online. After that, we had another year of only online teaching, but every now and then, students would come and visit the institute building for consultation or in order to use the library. Finally, on Sept 4, 2021, the St. Thomas Institute started a year of hybrid teaching. It has turned out that more people than before participate in our courses. Still, the number of students in our classrooms is limited, there are about 5-6, while the maximum, according to the restrictions, would be eight. But many people take part online, out of whom some live in Moscow but prefer staying at home for safety reasons, whereas others live in other places. Thus, our course on “Faith and Dialogue”, which takes one year with eight classes each Saturday, has 21 participants, some of whom live hundreds of kilometers away from Moscow. Every Tuesday evening, we also teach Latin, predominantly online. We started this three years ago and were happy that there were about 30 participants. But we thought this is a one-time occasion, nobody has ever offered this to adults in Russian, so, it is worth repeating only in around five years. Yet, we tried once more, and there were still many students. Now, we started again, and there are now 19 participants. This shows that classical erudition is worth offering, even more so if we look at the results: after learning the language throughout one semester, there was a group of 8-10 students who read Ambrosius of Milan or Descartes together. Of course, coming together in a classroom is still a very precious part of education, if it is to be more than just sharing information but also an experience of growing together. Yet, the experience of living in different places but learning together is also something precious and important.
IRELAND
David Coghlan SJ, Associate Professor Emeritus of Business Studies at Trinity College Dublin, has been awarded the Passmore-Woodman Award from the Academy of Management, the pre-eminent professional association for scholars of management and organizations established in 1936. The award category was that of Organisational Development and Change (ODC). The award was jointly presented to David and his longtime colleague in that field, Abraham B Shani of California Polytechnic State University. The citation from the Acadamy stated, “In recognition of the longevity of your working relationship and outstanding contribution to ODC research.” David Coghlan wrote his latest book, Collaborative Inquiry for Organization Development and Change, with Abraham Shani, during the Covid-19 crisis whilst living for over a year in what he calls his ‘introverts paradise’. Read more
AUSTRIA
Innsbruck - On the occasion of the 500th birthday of its patron saint, the Collegium Canisianum in Innsbruck has published a commemorative publication (“Festschrift”). Not only does it commemorate St. Peter Canisius, who was born in 1521 in Nijmegen, in what is now the Netherlands, it also aims to continue the history of the College from the last major writing in 1958 to the present day. On more than 180 pages, the commemorative publication gives an insight into the life of the Canisianum with interesting reports and personal experiences, and makes the spirit that it fulfilled during this time and still fulfils today "tangible" and perceptible. The international theological college under the auspices of the Jesuit Order is attended by students from all continents. "The Canisianum wants to help form excellent priests. This includes the formation of the brain and the heart. We Jesuits feel committed to this," writes Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ, Provincial of the newly founded Central European Province. Currently, 40 priests from 15 nations and 30 dioceses live in the Canisianum and are studying for their doctorates at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Innsbruck. "After successfully completing their studies, they will take on key positions in the Church, science, society and culture in their home countries," announces Fr. Andreas Schermann SJ, Rector of the Canisianum. It is not only the foundation of the Jesuit College and the adjoining grammar school in Innsbruck that goes back to Petrus Canisius. "Innsbruck has benefited from his zeal for education. The foundation of the Jesuit College and the academic grammar school prepared the way for the first university in Innsbruck almost exactly 100 years later," writes Georg Willi, Mayor of the Provincial Capital of Innsbruck in his greeting. Following the greetings of the Governor of the Province of Tyrol (Günther Platter), the Diocesan Bishop of Innsbruck (Hermann Glettler), the Mayor of the Provincial Capital of Innsbruck (Georg Willi), the Provincial of the Central European Province (Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ) and the foreword of the Rector of the Canisianum (Fr. Andreas Schermann SJ), there are numerous contributions divided into four chapters: On St. Peter Canisius and the Canisianum, on the Canisianum today and on the Feast of the Sacred Heart at the Canisianum; a particularly large part of the work is taken up by memories of studies and everyday life at the Canisianum from 1945 onwards. A copy can be ordered via: Collegium Canisianum, Mag. Julia Klingler, Tel.: +43 (0)512 59463-25, office@canisianum.at, rector@canisianum.at
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Colloquium of the HEST cluster on Christian and Muslim Dialogue and Third Theological Symposium. From 9 to 13 July, delegates from eight universities and Faculties of Theology of the Kircher Network met in Warsaw – Falenica for the third Theological Symposium and the Colloquium of the HEST Cluster on Christian and Muslim Relation. The themes of the Theological Symposium were “The Trinity and the Images of God perceived from the perspective of various theological disciplines”, and “Belief and disbelief as a problem in Christian-Islamic relations in secular societies”, respectively. The steering committees in charge of the organization of both academic events successfully combined lectures of distinguished keynote speakers and workshops, both in-person and online. Philip Geister, SJ., President of the Kircher Network, explained the mission, strategic priorities and common projects of the Network. The hybrid methodology used for the organisation made it possible to hold the events despite Covid-19. The Theological Symposium on “The Trinity and the images of God perceived from the perspective of various theological disciplines” featured two keynote speakers: Serafín Béjar (Loyola University Andalusia), Jerzy Seremak SJ., Collegium Bobolanum – Warsaw, Dariusz Kowalczyk SJ., (Pontificia Università Gregoriana) and Paolo Gamberini S.J., (University of Rome La Sapienza). Likewise, the HEST cluster’s Colloquium included four keynote lectures by Prof Dr Michel Younès (Lyon Catholic University, Coordinator of Pluriel), Prof. Dr Serdar Kurnaz (Humbolt University in Berlin), Prof Dr Agata Nalborczyk, (University of Warsaw) and Andrzej Saramowicz, Polish Foundation of Dżalaluddin Rumi. The participants to both events also discussed the future plans for the Theological Symposium, which from now on will be a regular conference of the Kircher Network, and the HEST Cluster on Christian and Muslim Relation as a flagship project of the Network. Our thanks to the rector of the Catholic Academy in Warsaw – Collegium Bobolanum, Piotr Aszyk SJ., and to Zbigniew Kubacki, SJ., for hosting and organising the events, and to the HEST Cluster coordinators, especially Gonzalo Villagrán, SJ (Loyola Andalusia University) for their outstanding work.

Preparing for Mission

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
The networking of the European Development Offices is encouraged by the General Treasurer’s office and supported by the President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. A first meeting took place in Drongen, Belgium, in 2018. The meetings created space for sharing good practices, learning from each other and networking. They made us feel part of the Ignatian family, strengthened cooperation and improved our understanding of fundraising in the Jesuit mission. Therefore, last year, a new Steering Committee (Annamária Jacsó - HUN, Lucie Constant – EOF, Gražvydas Bareišis – LIT, and Herminio Rico - JCEP) was encouraged to resume these gatherings, because all earlier participants agreed that meetings are useful and inspiring.   For the first reunion on Friday, May 7, the Steering Committee invited everyone who was actually doing practical work of fundraising at Province level. 7 Provinces were represented by Jesuits or lay professionals. During the first reunion attendees had the chance to hold a short personal and professional introduction and establish professional relationships. Our goal was to address the actual issues and topics being faced by fundraisers.  The next online meeting was held on Friday, September 24. This time the General Treasurer, Thomas McClain SJ, based on the General's letter "On Our Benefactors and the Province's Development Offices", elaborated on the primary and secondary goals of the development offices. He helped the participants to understand clearly the language, the strategies that will enable provinces to seek donations, and focus on establishing long-term, and fruitful relationships with friends. He assured the participants about the assistance of the General Treasurer’s Office. Daniel Villanueva SJ presented the history and the role of the Xavier Network. The participants had the chance to better understand the organization and its fundraising strategy and scope. It was concluded that the Xavier Network and the Development Offices are complementary networks of the mission and development work of the Society of Jesus. In the future the representatives of the XN and DOs will have the opportunity to help each other and create synergies. We were very grateful for those who were able to attend the virtual meeting of the fundraisers' network. Looking forward to the future cooperation!
CROATIA
On December 3, 2020, during a meeting of Croatian Jesuit associates, the participants proposed to start a formation program on Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy for the members of Ignatian associations and institutions. After consulting the organizational team, the Croatian Provincial, Fr. Dalibor Renić, decided to begin the formation of coordinators of Ignatian identity. The first formation cycle began in March 2021, with an online meeting, which was then followed by four other online meetings and a weekend, during which the coordinators were able to meet with other participants and to listen to different talks by Croatian Jesuits. Some 10-20 people from various Ignatian associations participated in each of these meetings, and they learned about the life of St. Ignatius and different aspects of his spirituality. In the concluding evaluation, all participants expressed their satisfaction with the program and expressed their wish to continue it. Some have already introduced similar meetings in their associations and work teams. One participant wrote: “Already after the second meeting, I have felt a change in communication, not only among those members that participated [in the formation program] but also during meetings with other members [of the association] and one can notice a better cooperation. It seems to me that God is calling us to continuous action, to spread Jesuit spirituality, not only in our communities but also beyond them. I think that, once we adopt the acquired knowledge and experience, we should continue as group.”
SLOVAKIA
From 12 to 15 September 2021, the Holy Father visited Slovakia. His visit was a historic event also for us Slovak Jesuits. Pope Francis received us at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava on the very first evening of his stay in Slovakia. Pope Francis spent almost an hour and a half among 53 priests and religious brothers of all ages.  At the invitation of Pope Francis, Slovak Jesuits gathered from various places where they are active: from Bratislava, Prešov, Košice, Ružomberok, Piešt'any, Trnava, Ivanka pri Dunaji, as well as from Rome and Lviv, Ukraine. At the meeting took part also P. Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica.  In a spontaneous atmosphere, we powerfully felt the fraternal and paternal relationship of the Pope. It was an opportunity for each one of us to get to know him in a very familial, close way, and to be strengthened in our own religious identity.  The Pope's gesture of taking an ordinary chair instead of the prepared one and sitting quite close to us says it all. On behalf of all, the Pope was greeted by Father Provincial Jozef Šofranko. Together we prepared three gifts for the Holy Father. A large paper rose flower made by children, families and volunteers at the Family Assistance Center in Trnava, which is a symbol of prayers for the Holy Father and for his intentions. The paper petals were cut out by the children from photographs of their families' lives and include portraits of beatification candidates Tomáš and František Munk and Father Vendelín Javorka. The second gift was the publication of biblical commentaries on the Book of Psalms, which is the fruit of the collaboration of Slovak Jesuits with biblical scholars from Catholic and Evangelical faculties, as well as with the Jewish community. The third gift expressed the rootedness in the testimony of faith given by the confreres in the times of communist persecution. A newly published book on the personalities of the Slovak Jesuits of that time is in English and is titled Watersource from the Rock. Two days later, on 14 September, a second brief meeting with the Jesuits took place in Prešov, just after the end of the Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. In fact, Pope Francis, at the invitation of one of the Jesuits, whom he had met at the nunciature in Bratislava, personally stopped at the Retreat House to greet the cooks who were preparing refreshments for the bishops. Finally, Francis greeted also the local Jesuit community.   Please click here to read the transcript of the conversation of Pope Francis with the Slovak Jesuits. Jozef Bartkovjak – Jesuits SVK
EUROPE
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.