Jesuits in Europe

ALBANIA
A three-storey building, in harmony with the style of the church and the urban context will provide several meeting spaces, and a conference hall will be built at the same time as the bell tower. About three years are planned for the works. At 700 metres from Tirana's central square, the Jesuit community will become more welcoming to accompany believers and non-believers alike, in programs of growth and formation. For 25 years, the Jesuits who have been at the Tirana mission have wanted to see the Sacred Heart parish extended. A month and a half ago, work finally began. Interview with the parish priest, Fr Zef Bisha SJ follows: "With the support of many friends and partnerships, we are managing to move forward despite the many difficulties," says the parish priest, Father Zef Bisha SJ, superior of the Albania cluster. The project also includes the construction of a bell tower, which had not been built with the church in 1938. "Many people have welcomed the project of completing the church," says Fr Zef. "These days we start digging, after completing the piling of the building." How many people attend the community? "The Sacred Heart parish covers more than a quarter of the city of Tirana and was a co-cathedral until 2000. For more than two years now, the capital has exceeded one million inhabitants. The percentage of Catholics is around 20%. At the moment we do not know how many believers there are in our parish. We started a census two years ago, but it was interrupted because of Covid. There is a very strong internal and external immigration caused by the need to find work. However, a good number of Catholics attend church. Every day we celebrate two masses and on Sundays we have four, three in Albanian and one for the Italian community in Tirana. The latter are numerous and many attend our parish. Before Covid, we also used to celebrate Mass in the villages, in people's homes, taking it in turns to go from one place to another. It should be noted that along with the Catholic community, many people of other religions attend our activities for various needs". Which activities also attract non-Catholics? "Our mission in Tirana is also distinguished by various activities connected with the universities, particularly for socio-political training, in collaboration with Magis Italia and Centro Arrupe in Palermo. These activities are now reduced, but we manage to maintain connections with the universities by still continuing to run training courses'. Which needs do you perceive? "One of the main needs is training. As a city that is developing a lot, people wish for many things. To put one’s life in order and be prepared to live in a metropolis like Tirana is very important. It is just as important to have reception areas and spaces for young people, suitable for study and meetings. Which works exactly does the extension project envisage? Which additional spaces will be created? What will they be used for? "The new building will provide additional spaces for our activities, for pastoral and social use. At the moment we only have the interiors of the church, which do not meet pastoral needs. We will have different spaces to carry out pastoral and social activities, meeting places, a conference hall for 130 people, areas that will help to sustain our activities. Two underground floors to be used for the various needs of the church and not only for storage and parking. In addition, as I said, we would also build the bell tower. Our church is central, we are about 700 metres from the main square of Tirana. Our church is also important for the city of Tirana as a place of art, it is very much visited". How are you experiencing this particular time between Covid and dreams for the future? "It is a period of reflection. We are managing to carry out several activities, but with more effort. Many things have been put on hold for the time being and we only have them online for now. However, people are still searching and responding to the proposals we make.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINACROATIA
Systemic solutions and meaningful EU support, including safe pathways, could prevent recurring humanitarian emergencies. Hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers remain abandoned in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the wasteland that hosted camp Lipa, erected last year as a temporary accommodation during COVID-19 pandemic and closed down on December 23. For the third week, they have been sleeping under open sky with sub-zero temperatures. Due to the inability of the politicians at all levels of government in the country to reach an agreement, all attempts to relocate the Lipa residents to winter-ready centres elsewhere in BiH have failed. Leading human rights organizations urge the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure immediate humanitarian support, including suitable shelter and assistance, to migrants and asylum-seekers on its territory. Read the statement of 4 NGO’s  (Refugee Rights Europe, Amnesty International, JRS-Europe and Médecins du monde): https://jrseurope.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2021/01/Statement-1.pdf Picture: Bira camp in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Photo: Kristof Holvenyi/JRS Europe).
AUSTRIA
At the start of the jubilee year marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of Peter Canisius, Bishop Hermann Glettler of Innsbruck called for renewal to give the life of faith a new freshness and relevance to life. Giving new strength to the baptismal confession The radio service on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Innsbruck parish of Petrus Canisius was broadcast live by ORF-Tirol. "Renewal is called for, but it can neither be done nor prescribed," said Bishop Glettler in his sermon. Even though the history of life and culture in Tyrol has been shaped by the Christian faith, the question is: "What power does our baptismal confession have today?" The Bishop recalled Peter Canisius who, in difficult times and despite much opposition, had committed himself to the renewal of the faith. The biblical narrative of Jesus' baptism shows that Jesus ignites "in us the heart-fire of his love". "This is the origin of the most beautiful conflagration that we want to rekindle this year with the help of Peter Canisius," Glettler said. Encouraging life and strengthening cohesion At the same time, Petrus Canisius was not to be "celebrated as a genius of ecclesiastical popular education or a hero of Catholic reform". Glettler: "As baptised people, we want to place ourselves even more consciously at the service of all people this year". This year, the Bishop said, "we want to light 500 heart fires of faith and charity, encourage people to live, make the treasure of faith understandable again and, above all, strengthen social cohesion". Associations and culturally and socially engaged groups are invited to join, he said. First German Jesuit Peter Canisius was chosen as the patron of the diocese of Innsbruck when it was founded in 1964. Born on 8 May 1521 in Nijmegen in what is now the Netherlands, he was the first German to enter the Jesuit Order in 1543. His great concern as a passionate preacher and writer was the reform of the Catholic Church. Canisius wrote a total of three catechisms in which he wanted to bring the faith of the Catholic Church closer to children, young people and adults in an understandable way.  Long stays in Tyrol Peter Canisius frequently stayed in Austria.  In 1554, he was administrator of the bishopric in Vienna for a year before he was commissioned to found a Jesuit college in Prague. He took part several times in the deliberations of the Council of Trent and finally stayed mostly in Innsbruck from 1560 to 1580. In 1562 he opened the Jesuit College in Innsbruck, and in 1569 one in Hall. From 1571 he served as court preacher to Archduke Ferdinand II in Innsbruck and travelled the country as a preacher and popular missionary. Last years of life in Fribourg In 1580 Peter Canisius left Innsbruck and went to Fribourg in Switzerland, where he made preparations for the foundation of a Jesuit college. After suffering a stroke in 1591, he had to curtail his activities. On 21 December 1597, Peter Canisius died in Fribourg and was buried there. In 1864, Peter Canisius was beatified by Pope Pius IX, and on 21 May 1925, Pope Pius XI canonised him. His memorial day is celebrated on 27 April. Innsbruck Diocese
TURKEY
Fr. Alexis Doucet is at the service of the Turkish-speaking Christian community in Ankara. In spite of the Covid which has strongly affected the level of religious practice of many of the Christians in the region, he continues to receive "masked" many curious people and he spends a certain amount of time responding to the many messages he receives via social networks. Fr. Alexis Doucet and Pope Francis For the last 8 months, the elderly and frail people have stopped coming to church, only the young and the most "motivated" have been coming. Masses with an audience were interrupted in the spring. They have since resumed, as has the Christian formation of pre-catechumens and catechumens, which is partly done by skype or zoom. He recounts that in September he celebrated two funerals connected with Covid, which were held directly at the cemetery without assistance, and that it was particularly sad, reflecting the general situation in the world. On the other hand, Father Doucet spends his time writing, first of all the Miras, a Turkish Christian spirituality magazine. Miras is a collaboration. The Society supports the magazine financially, thanks to those who give to the Society. He writes articles on subjects as varied as happiness, healing, persecutions, prayer, spiritual warfare, Christmas... He discovers the joys and sorrows of working with the Turks but also with the evangelical Protestant world. He is currently finishing the rewriting in Turkish of Tom Michel's book "Introduction to Christendom". He is also preparing a small book in Turkish on Christian mysticism. Remarkably, he is very active on the internet to offer quality Christian "content" in Turkish (Wikipedia, Daily Gopel in its Turkish version...).

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Finding God

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Interreligious dialogue in the Chapel for Europe in Brussels People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should get to know one another. (Coran, al-Hujurat 49:13) “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) “First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24) Actually the dream started already with the first Sunday of Advent, the day we sent the first of 7 interreligious video clips, for every Sunday of Advent – Christmas – Epiphany period, with readings, sharing and musical moments, inviting to meditations of about 15 min. This was the fruit of a collaboration between InTouch Association (fostering intercultural dialogue in Brussels), Kerkebeek Brussels Pastoral Unit (local Church), the Chapel for Europe and our interreligious friends. The particularity of this project consisted in the fact that the Christian message was accompanied by a corresponding message from other religions: Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, allowing peoples of different cultures to “rediscover” each other. A long expected virtual evening Then at the end of January, just after the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and before the World Interfaith Harmony Week, some days before the new established UN International Day of Human Fraternity (4 February 2021), inspired by the Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb as well as by the Encyclical "Fratelli Tutti" (3 October 2020), we organized together a long expected Virtual Evening: “A Bishop, a Rabbi and an Imam Dream Together of a Fraternal Society”, with Jean-Pierre Delville, bishop of Liege, Rabbi Armand Benizri from the Sephardic Jewish Community in Brussels and Imam Jamal Habbachich from Molenbeek - the “Muslim” district of Brussels. An emotional journey To get to know our guests better, they took us on an emotional journey into their past and into their families, recalling some personal moments which shaped today their view of fraternity. Then, speaking about religions, everyone of the panellists commented some key quotations concerning fraternity from his own religion and presented some elements that spoke to them in the other religions.  Finally, the time came for an exchange with the public – more than 150 people online. The questions, some of them not easy at all concerned among others things links between religion and politics, the sources of extremism and how to prevent them, the added value of religions while promoting fraternity or the place of women in religious communities. A culture of dialogue Even if not all the questions could be fully answered (now we have enough material for a big follow-up conference), the speakers confirmed that they and their religious communities are already on the way to developing a culture of dialogue within wider society and that interreligious “get together”, mutual respect and solidarity are possible. by Krystian Sowa S.J., Chapel for Europe, Brussels
ROMANIA
The experience of the Spiritual Exercises in Romania is growing. Besides the experience of the Spiritual Exercises which was carried out online because of the pandemic, even the one-hundred-kilometre journey of the Via Transilvanica took place. Between November 17th and December 17th, the 30 days experience of Spiritual Exercises online was given to 65 young people who were accompanied by 9 spiritual guides. The theme was: "Called to love". Three principal meetings were held each week: one with all the participants to explain the points for meditation, one for sharing in small groups and one with one's personal spiritual guide. "We have experienced that God can also work online" Fr. Jani explains "even if we certainly prefer face-to-face meetings". The collaboration of the two scholastics Ambrozie and Edi, that of the nuns who follow the Ignatian charism and of a lay collaborator was very helpful. The Way that unites Another significant experience was that of the journey of the Exercises which takes place on foot through the Transylvanian Road. "The project has existed in Romania since 2018," he explains. "It is about following a route, like that of Santiago, called Via Transilvanica - the journey that unites. It is about 1000 km long walking through 10 counties. We have already travelled through some parts of it together with Magis in 2018 and 2019. This year, together with 8 young people, we travelled 70 km in four days, following the program of the Spiritual Exercises, as we meditated on the biblical texts of the encounter with God on the mountain. When we started it was very foggy with a temperature of -7 ° and as we came towards the end of the journey the sun came out and the temperature rose to + 8 °. In the morning, the points for meditation were given, then during the journey an hour of silence followed with the possibility of spiritual direction while walking. In the evening, we celebrated Mass. This is truly an animating journey, an experience rich in listening, with beautiful spiritual conversations, surrounded by the wonders of nature ".
FRANCE
The path to Christmas in EOF. To accompany families during this 'confined' Advent, the Jesuits of French-speaking Western Europe proposed a journey towards Christmas to the rhythm of Advent Sundays, to be lived at home with the family. In concrete terms, each week, two family moments were proposed: (1) a time of family prayer on Sunday, to live differently, in an exceptional and nourishing way, the sharing of the Eucharist. The forms of prayer (contemplation, covenant prayer) varied, to discover each time a new way of praying as a family. (2) A time of sharing and action as a family, on another day of the week, to re-read family life and prepare for Christmas, to stop together and to decide on small steps or big leaps. Echoing the Gospels of Sunday, the four themes chosen were: taking the time to wait, straight paths or crossroads, tasting and sharing joy, living the unexpected... The proposal, in the colors of the artist Arcabas, is (and remains) accessible for free online. This initiative, new and modest by its means, convinced ... and word of mouth followed. In a few days, more than 750 families from all over the world took part in this proposal, while groups of parents spontaneously formed to discuss this proposal and to make their way towards Christmas. Supported by FR. Provincial François Boëdec, the pastoral care of families is being deployed in the French-speaking Western European Province because "Jesuits and families can support each other in their search for God. »
CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague. The beatification process of the Czech Jesuit Adolf Kajpr, which began in September 2019, was concluded at the diocesan level and will continue in Rome. On Monday, January 4, 2021 in the church of St. Ignatius the diocesan tribunal of the beatification process met for the last time and the collected acts were sealed. This was followed by a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by the Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka OP. Due to anti-pandemic measures, only a limited number of people could participate, but it was broadcast by the Internet streaming and NOE Christian television. At the end of it, Cardinal Duka declared the diocesan investigation into the life of A. Kajpra to be over. Procedural acts of a closed diocesan inquiry are now traveling to Rome to be forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Father Adolf Kajpr (1902–1959) was a Czech Jesuit, active in the apostolate of the word as a famous preacher, writer and journalist. In his time, he encouraged Catholics to enter into the dialogue with the modern secularised society and to be able to fight from the position of Christian humanism for freedom of the people from any kind of totalitarianism. He was imprisoned both by the Nazis and the Communists. He is considered a martyr ex aerumnis carceris – he died in prison due to the hardships of incarceration. If Adolf Kajpr is declared blessed, he will be the first Czech Jesuit in history to be raised to the altar.

Promoting Justice

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
In addition to being JESC Secretary for Leadership and the European Leadership Programme (ELP) manager, Botond Feledy was appointed as the new Deputy Director of JESC. Botond Feledy has worked in the Hungarian province of the Jesuits as director of St Ignatius College and later as director of the Institute for Social Reflection. In 2017 he was elected as member of the NewEurope100, a joint initiative of Google, Financial Times, Visegrad Fund and the Polish Res Publica Foundation to choose yearly the hundred most transformative person of the Central European region.  In his new role, Botond will lead JESC internal and daily operations, including finance, budgeting and management. Botond will play a key role supporting JESC in its growth in the coming years, reaching out to Jesuit networks and Brussels-based constituencies. His decade long experience working with Jesuits will greatly contribute to achieve the JESC goals. You can get to know Botond Feledy better by reading his interview here.
SPAIN
On Thursday 21, the Spain provincial, Antonio España, accompanied by Susana Pradera, head of Entorno Seguro, Antonio Allende sj, delegate of the education sector and José María Rodríguez Olaizola sj, secretary of communication for the province, presented to the mass media the work carried out in the creation of safe environments (see more here). At a press conference held in Madrid (Maldonado), the four shared information on the implementation of protocols and plans to prevent, train and ensure that Jesuit institutions are safe spaces for minors and vulnerable people. The reality of abuse makes us very aware of the need to work in all our institutions in this direction. What we know about past abuses This presentation (the first time a Safe Environment report has been presented) also included other content. Two years ago, in the context of the Pope's extraordinary meeting in Rome with the presidents of the bishops' conferences, one of the commitments that we as Society of Jesus made to the victims, to public opinion and to ourselves, was to be able to investigate and systematise what we know about past abuses. At the press conference, the provincial team presented the results of this investigation, in the report attached here (see report). The effort for transparency is a duty. First of all, towards the people who have suffered abuse. Their wounds, their journey and their willingness to know has been a spur for the Society of Jesus to try to respond. The provincial reiterated at the press conference the request for forgiveness for the abuses that Jesuits have committed, for the insufficient responses that have been given in the past, and for the enormous pain caused to the victims and their families. The road to healing is still long. The will to respond and to establish channels of reparation is underway, but we are aware that this is a long and difficult road. We hope that this effort to clarify the past will help to bring justice and will also contribute, in the present and in the future, to ensure that such a thing does not happen again in our institutions.
LEBANON
Driven by poverty and conflict in their homelands, some 250,000 people from the Philippines, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan have immigrated to Lebanon. Nearly 95 percent of them are women, and most arrive having been recruited by Lebanese agencies that contract domestic workers in African and Asian countries. Migrant workers in Lebanon are employed under the kafala (sponsorship) system, which links a worker’s legal status to their employer. Because they are not Lebanese nationals, they are not protected under the country’s labor laws. Afro-Asian Migrant Centre On Sundays, many of them gather at the Jesuit-run St. Joseph’s Church, and afterward go upstairs to the Afro-Asian Migrant Centre to meet up with their friends. There they spend their day together, having fun, sharing a meal and being spiritually nourished in their common Catholic faith. The Centre was established at St. Joseph’s in 2000, by an American Jesuit, the Rev. Martin McDermott, now 86. He has been working with migrants since the early 1980’s, in partnership with a Dutch Jesuit, the Rev. Theo Vlught, who recently returned to his homeland at the age of 90 and deceased on January 3th. But Father McDermott is not working alone in providing pastoral care to migrants. The Jesuit-run Centre he founded forms part of a pastoral care committee, established by the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon, for migrants throughout the country. The charity of the Catholic churches in Lebanon, Caritas Lebanon, operates safe houses and shelters for migrants in distress. And since September 2017, the American Jesuit has been joined in his work at St. Joseph’s by the Rev. Henry Ponce, S.J. — the first time the Jesuit Province of the Philippines sent one of their own priests to the Middle East. Father Ponce, 45, began his Lebanon mission as an assistant to Father McDermott, who had been serving as director of the Afro-Asian Migrant Centre. But after one year, the provincial of the Jesuits in Lebanon switched the roles of the two. Father McDermott gladly accepted, Father Ponce recalls, and told the Filipino priest, “you’re the boss now.” “I’m only 86. Thank God, I’m in good health. I’ve slowed down, but I can still do the job of taking care of the migrants easily. I’m glad the work has a future, with Father Ponce here,” Father McDermott says. Together, and in their own special way, the two priests each have a great heart for their mission, keeping migrants on the path of their Catholic faith and giving them an outlook of hope, regardless of their circumstances.
UNITED KINGDOM
The Jesuits in Britain have joined a coalition of asset owners, asset managers and other finance industry stakeholders to express concern over reports that food boxes provided by the catering company, Chartwells, to the most disadvantaged families in the UK, are falling short of expectations. Chartwells is a subsidiary of the British multinational contract foodservice company, Compass Group, and in a joint open letter to Compass CEO, Dominic Blakemore, the coalition have called for reassurance as to how future food parcels will meet the needs of the most disadvantaged families in the UK. The coalition has been mobilised by CCLA - the UK’s largest investment manager for charities and local authorities. James Corah, Head of Ethical and Responsible Investment said: “As responsible investors, we are concerned by the disproportionate impact the disruption posed by COVID-19 has had on the poorest members of our society. All children have the right to access nutritious diets to support healthy development, and we are particularly alarmed about the increase in child hunger during this period. As a company that says it is committed to good nutrition and responsible business practices, Compass Group risks falling foul of its own guiding principles. "We acknowledge Compass Group’s public apology and public clarifications on this matter. However, given the potential ramifications, the company must be completely transparent, make adjustments and improvements as required and move quickly to restore faith in its business.” James Bevan, Chief Investment Officer at CCLA Investment Management, concluded: “At times it is necessary to seek answers, not only as investors in the company, but also as members of society. The Coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone and particularly for lower-income families. It is incumbent on us all to do our part. As responsible investors, we will call upon companies to demonstrate commitment to sustainable business practices that meet the needs of all stakeholders.” Brother Stephen Power SJ, Manager of the Jesuits in Britain’s ethical investment strategy, said: "The disruption caused by COVID-19 has been felt the hardest by the most vulnerable members of society. Child hunger has increased during this period." (Image: @Roadsidemum)

Youth & Media

POLAND
They study together, pray and dance together. The Academic Chaplaincy "Studnia" (Well) run by Jesuits in Toruń, city of Nicolas Copernicus, was one of the topics of the program "Closer to Heaven" broadcast by local channel of Polish national TV. "Well" is a place where young people come to "wet their feet" learning how to be ready to walk with others who seek meaning in life and to be generous and creative in supporting them in the creation of a hope-filled future. They come to get spiritual nourishment, pursue their passions and dreams here, find a foundation for further development of their talents, including professional development. They express themselves through creative and pro-social activities. They meet because they want to do something more. Each year the youth meeting at the Well sent their best volunteers to Africa, where the word "well" has a very specific meaning. Last year, a pandemic thwarted their plans, but they are not discouraged and are preparing an team of volunteers for the next summer vacation. Many who graduate from the university do not leave the Well. They help others who come here to deepen their spiritual life under the guidance of young Jesuit priests: Fr. Michał Kłosiński SJ and Fr. Wojciech Werner SJ. The community of young people from Toruń is getting ready for the time after the pandemic and is open to all university students. More on the TVP website: https://bydgoszcz.tvp.pl/51208945/blizej-nieba-6122020? The Academic Chaplaincy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duszpasterstwo.studnia.torun/
BELGIUM
The Magis Network Belgium has launched online weeks of accompanied prayer for 18-35 year olds under the name SEPAC (SEmaine de Prière ACompagnée) in Brussels. The objective? To allow each participant to taste a long prayer during a week and to reread this prayer with the help of daily accompaniment. The approach was successful and is being renewed in the form of a four-week journey during Lent. The SEPAC project (Week of Accompanied Prayer) is supported by the Magis Belgium Network and the Brussels Youth Ministry. Thirty-five retreatants participated in the first edition and were accompanied by about fifteen guides (Jesuits, religious and lay people). Very quickly, we had found the formula "SEPAComme d'habitude" (Sepa As Usual) to qualify this week. - The format: a completely online approach given the health circumstances. The "virtual" approach made it possible to bring together people who would not otherwise have participated. Because one can pray together, even through a screen; - The participants: the contemplative prayer process was new for more than one person. New horizons are discovered when we dedicate time to prayer, which can then be fully developed. We discover new horizons when we develop a taste for it and wish to place God more and more at the heart of our lives. We also discover new horizons through the exchange and sharing with the other person ( guide or participant). A special feature of this edition, although most of the participants were from Brussels, part of the audience came from very different backgrounds: Brussels, Belgium and France.   In order to explore these new horizons, a four-week accompanied prayer journey was launched to "pray in Lent". Testimonies : "I discovered all the richness of Scripture, how much God reaches me through his word. "(Gwenaëlle) "It's a beautiful moment of renewal and (re-)discovery. "(Thibault) Pierre Charles de LA BROUSSE and Caroline VITAL
SPAIN
Interview with the director. It was clear to Imanol Uribe that the massacre of the Jesuits in El Salvador in 1989 was a story that had to be told. In this video interview with the film director and with Juana Acosta, the main actress in the film that will finally be called "La mirada de Lucía", they reveal how the only witness to the massacre serves to narrate the events and the whole context, from a very humble, very innocent point of view, and for that very reason very tenacious, because Lucía Cerna admired and loved the Jesuits of the UCA. In Uribe's words, "the film speaks of the constancy of maintaining the truth above all else" and unfortunately "the same causes that provoked that are still alive today". This is also the opinion of the Provincial, Antonio España SJ, who says that the main point of the film is "to remember, not to forget what happened in El Salvador in 1989 and what has been happening in many places in Latin and Central America, which is the persistent experience of injustice and violence, to which the Society of Jesus is still trying to respond through the educational and social institutions it has there". Look at the video interview:
UNITED KINGDOM
Light up a language. Over the last fifteen years, Pray As You Go has helped millions of people around the world to reflect on the presence of God in their lives. Producer Emma Holland explains how the new ‘Light up a Language’ campaign aims to help even more people to deepen their relationship with God. On 1 March 2021, Pray As You Go will turn fifteen. If you can’t quite remember 2006, modern social media emerged as Facebook and Twitter were unleashed onto the world, and the word ‘podcast’ made it into the dictionary for the first time. As podcasts began to capture global audiences, Fr Peter Scally SJ had an idea: create an easy way to pray daily, using music and Ignatian Spirituality. And so, Pray As You Go (PAYG) was born. What started as a simple way to pray on your way to work is now available to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, in ten languages. Each language has adopted their own culture, music and style; you get a different feel from each one. The languages currently available include: English, Dutch/Flemish (Bidden Onderweg), French (Prie en Chemin), Hungarian (Napi-útra-való), Polish (Modlitwa w Drodze), Portuguese (Passo a Rezar), Spanish (Rezandovoy) , Ukrainian (iMolytva) and Vietnamese (Phút cãu nguyên). Some versions naturally stretch over to other continents of like-languages, drawing audiences from further afield such as parts of South America and Africa, Australia, the US and more. See also the overview on Jesuits.eu The tenth and most recent language to join the PAYG international family was Fi Tariqi Osally (‘on my way, I pray’), the Arabic version in 2019. This has been the most ambitious and collaborative language creation yet. Fi Tariqi Osally is a joint project between CLC (Christian Life Community) Egypt and the Jesuits of the Near East (based in Beirut), working together with volunteers spreading across Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Inji, one of the directors of the project has said: ‘We would like the world to know that everyone involved in this project is doing it totally voluntarily with lots of love and passion, and that we are feeling God’s blessings in every step.’ Making PAYG available to the Arabic-speaking world has been an exciting step and a cause for great celebration by all involved. In August 2020, we were all shaken by the sight of the explosion in Beirut, particularly holding in prayer our Jesuit friends and collaborators, who were very close to the blast. We are therefore keener than ever to support our friends financially and help to maintain Fi Tariqi Osally as a point of support for so many around the world. A campaign has now been launched called ‘Light up a Language’, with the hopeful aim of supporting not only Fi Tariqi Osally, but also other new language versions on the cusp of joining the international PAYG family. Talks are being held with listeners and friends of PAYG who are interested in starting a version in their native languages, so that we can continue expanding the accessibility of Ignatian Spirituality through PAYG around the world. We have begun working more closely with all the other language versions PAYG, strengthening our ties as a collaborative family, discerning our joint calling, sharing ideas and content, and encouraging one another towards a greater global reach. In a world facing fragmentation at the hands of political decisions and separation owing to global restrictions, there couldn’t be a more poignant moment to answer God’s call of drawing nearer to each other and, in turn, help the world to pray. Emma Holland

In-depth Reflection

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Deans of Theology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies met online. In January, 23 deans and delegates from 19 Kircher faculties of Theology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies met online to identify common projects in teaching and learning that are concrete, add value to the fulfillment of our apostolic mission, and can be started this year. The meeting was chaired by the President of the Kircher Network, Philip Geister, S.J., while the deans of the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Loyola Institute – Trinity College, and the Loyola University Andalusia, Philipp Renczes, S.J., Michael Kirwan, S.J., and Gonzalo Villagrán, S.J., moderated the brainstorming sessions of the groups. The deans agreed to start preparing the following projects: Mobility Project for Faculty and Students:It will foster and increase short time faculty mobility and student mobility using Erasmus+ and other resources. Sharing and Opening Courses and Expertise Project: The initiative will foster the sharing of existing curricula and online materials among the faculties and open up online courses to the extent that intellectual property rights allow. The project will also organize periodical Online Lectures with scholars from the faculties. The webinars will be offered to students as a part of their academic programs. Preparing an online course on one of the HEST´s topics:The initiative will seek to prepare online materials and prepare a blended seminar on one of the HEST’s topics. The course would be offered in English to baccalaureate and license students. The deans agreed to postpone preparing an online interdisciplinary course on the challenges facing theology in Europe until the conference on the Role of Theology in Europe can take place.
ITALY
The experience of "Community of Connections" An association that promotes commitment and debate on the major issues on today's political agenda. Created from the experience of the school for political formation founded in 2009 by Fr. Francesco Occhetta, it promotes formative meetings, one of which in an institutional setting, and publishes articles, books and multimedia material themes regarding justice, work, Europe, cities and sustainable development. The Association promotes the connection of local realities and participates in conferences, seminars and training events organized by other associations active in the territory. A project that originates from the perception of a deep need, as Fr Occhetta explains: “The project  originated from a feeling of loneliness on the part of many young people and their desire to experience political commitment. Connessioni has therefore become a community of young people who, since 2009, have been meeting to discuss and learn about the issues on the political agenda. The commitment is to "think politically" in accordance with the Social Doctrine of the Church. It is a non-partisan and plural aggregation, but it is not neutral on democratic issues”. What is it actually proposing? Since then, more than 1,000 young people have joined us, many of whom are getting involved in various ways. We are connecting new people that have skills and are united by a common method. This is also the subtitle of our book " “Le politiche del popolo. Volti, competenze e metodo” (The people's politics. Faces, skills and method) with a preface by David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.  How do your meetings take place?  Each meeting, both in-person and online, has a spiritual introduction, in which we learn about the keys to spirituality, such as rules of discernment, contemplation, examination of conscience, etc. Then we deepen a theme. Ministers, constitutional experts, journalists, ambassadors etc. have come to help us.  Each meeting includes group work on concrete cases relating to the theme of the year, led by young experts and professionals. It is a sort of "gymnasium" on deliberative democracy, with the objective of bringing out the values in conflict in order to understand what choices to make. It is the ancient method of Jesuit case studies. What's new for this year? In these difficult times we have opened a new newspaper:  https://comunitadiconnessioni.org/  We have been quoted in Parliament and by national agencies such as ANSA, signs that “the return to thinking” is rewarded. We are also organizing a Conference at the end of September, in which the 100 most involved in the project will participate.  What feedbacks have you received? Many, even too many, and we are becoming better structured. Local administrators, parishes and dioceses, foundations and associations are asking to join our project. We are involving them, everything we do is a service and we do it in a spirit of poverty, we pay our own expenses, but we are rich in relationships. What does politics need today? It needs more European culture, new words, rules that simplify the game, credible and prepared personalities. What we are wants to respond to Hannah Arendt's warning: "It is in the emptiness of thought that evil is inscribed". Young people who wish to do so can contact us: connessioni.formpol@gmail.com
ITALY
The conservation process of the Antique Library Fund which consists of 22 thousand volumes, kept at the Gonzaga Institute in Palermo has been completed. “This heritage will give the opportunity to the younger generations to move forward on the shoulders of giants. At a time when we are looking towards the future with trepidation, we relaunch it on the foundation of a solid and beautiful past” Fr. Vitangelo Denora, the director, states. Inside the rooms of the library of the Gonzaga Institute, an area can be found dedicated completely to a third of the ancient book collection of the Society of Jesus. The collection was formed following some administrative, pastoral, charitable and educational changes which in recent decades, have taken place within religious houses, theological schools, Jesuit institutes and seminaries, as well as after the closure of certain Jesuit houses and Institutes, thus determining the need to transfer certain assets elsewhere. These assets always included a library with extensive collections of ancient books. As a result of these movements and changes, tens of thousands of books collected over the years have been transferred to places where they could be stored and preserved, thus constituting three huge collections of ancient books, one in Gallarate, at the Aloysianum Institute, another in Naples at the 'Gesù Nuovo' Community, and a third in Palermo, at the Gonzaga Campus. The books that have been collected in three different cities following the closure of certain Houses in the north, centre and south of the Province has actually led to the creation of three distinct libraries which, through the conservation and enhancement project, we have decided to bring together and establish one "Ancient Book Fund” which, considering only the books published by 1830, presently amounts to over 100,000 books. The cataloguing of the books is still being implemented as the ancient books are still being transported to the three areas of the Province. Such a patrimony of books, consisting of incunabula and numerous sixteenth-century books, is of absolute importance and constitutes an extraordinary collection which is comparable to the ancient collections of the great historical libraries; that is, it represents an event of great cultural importance and, due to its intrinsic characteristics, has a unique historical and documentary significance. This huge and precious heritage is accessible through the online catalogue. A part of this heritage, which has been selected precisely because of the rarity and value of certain texts of some of the literary works of the Jesuits and the history of the Society of Jesus, has been digitized.
ITALY
Adolfo Nicolas' speeches to refugees published. Three speeches delivered by Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus between 2008 and 2016, and former Provincial of Japan, when on three different occasions he was invited by Centro Astalli to meet refugees have been assembled in a book, edited by Centro Astalli. Fr. Federico Lombardi is the author of the introduction of this book. “The tone of Fr. Adolfo's words was never that of a prepared and formal speech,” he writes, “they always had an unmistakable tone of genuineness and lived experience. Suffice it to read the beginning of his first speech: "One thing is true: of all the work I have done in my life as a priest and a Jesuit, the four happiest years - in which I felt most at ease as a priest - were those at the Tokyo Migrant Pastoral Centre. There are many things that I did not expect and that I definitely found in my encounter with migrants ... ". So, Fr. Nicolás knew what he was talking about. The themes of these conversations – being open to the other and the encounter of cultures, overcoming prejudices, welcoming beyond the closure of borders, the importance of education, reconciliation, protection of children ... - do not remain abstract concepts or proclamations of principle, but are spiritual attitudes, normal behaviour, active commitments. The first account of the three reported is about the first months of his generalate. The third, on the other hand, is about the last part and concludes with words that are truly characteristic of his way of being and of the lesson he left us: "We can learn from migrants and refugees how to be merciful to others. We learn from them how to be human despite everything. We learn from them how to look upon the world as our horizon, and not stick to our small, narrow culture. We learn from them how to be citizens of the world». We learn from them and we look upon the world as our horizon. The text has been launched online through the contribution of the historian Anna Foa, Imam Izzedin Elzir, president of the Florentine School for Education in Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, and Fr Camillo Ripamonti, president of Centro Astalli. The opening message of the video by Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal highlights two aspects: the "conversion of the heart" which "can change the world to make it a place of welcome for the marginalized and for refugees" and "advocacy" which "requires courage to make your voice heard, at times even by going against the grain, in favour of those who have lost their voice or feel too weak to make known their suffering.” On the fortieth anniversary of Centro Astalli, Fr. Sosa expressed "all his appreciation and sincere thanks for the immense work you are doing to adequately accompany the refugees here in Rome and, more generally, throughout Italy". "The essence, the heart and the meaning of the commitment of Centro Astalli - he continued - are expressed in the words: welcome, hospitality, dialogue, reconciliation, education. And they are reiterated in the speeches of Fr. Nicolás.”  As he continues to highlight the commitment of the Jesuit refugee service (JRS), whose Italian headquarters is Centro Astalli, Sosa stresses how "advocacy is necessary at the frontiers of the countries of the world, and of the Church to ensure that justice is implemented. It has a political dimension, in the noble sense of the word”. The launching of the book “Come Orizzonte il mondo”, Adolfo Nicolás' speeches to refugees” is available on the Centro Astalli Youtube channel. Jesuits EUM

Preparing for Mission

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
The 2021 EJIF meeting will take place in the area of Krakow, in the South Poland Province, from the 29th of July to the 19th of August. The theme of the Ignatian year, “See all things new in Christ”, will guide the delegates of the Jesuits in formation from all over Europe during these days. The main goals of this meeting are: a) to experience the belonging to the universal body of the Society of Jesus; b) to share the Spiritual Exercises as a common spiritual root; and c) to move towards the conversion of heart as Father General asks, especially in what concerns our vow of poverty. Three scholastics, Domingos Perloiro (POR), Sébastien Majchrzak (EOF) and Michal Król (PME), will take the responsibility, together with the Conference of European Provincials, of preparing and leading the meeting. Domingos is in the Juniorate, studying Philosophy and Humanities, in Pedro Arrupe Community, in Braga, Portugal. He will move to the San Saba Community (Rome), in September, to finish his studies of Philosophy. Sébastien is in the second year of a five-year cycle of studies in Philosophy and Theology, in Centre Sèvres, in Paris. He lives in Saint Pierre Favre Community. Michal is a second-year theology student at the Jesuit Academy Collegium Bobolanum, living in the college community. He would like to work in the pastoral ministry and will be ordained deacon next year.
BELGIUMFRANCE
Cogito, ergo Zoom Traditionally, the Jesuits of French-speaking Western Europe (EOF) meet between Christmas and New Year's Day to live their Province Assembly. This year, because of the health crisis, the meeting did take place, but by videoconference. The large souvenir photo of the group gave way to a constellation of faces on a screen. For the closing, on December 31, friends and relatives of the Jesuits were invited to re-read 2020 and offer the coming year. For these two days of remote meeting, the program of the annual assembly was composed of four parts – re-reading, workshops, information, celebration -, led by a trio of three Jesuits: Jacques Enjalbert S.J. (Paris), Pascal Gauderon S.J. (Lyon) and Perrin Lefebvre S.J. (Paris). The re-reading of the year was proposed by Remi de Maindreville S.J.(Province Consultor). Everyone was invited to seek the consolations that the painful aspect of 2020 has taught us, especially the awareness that we hold our lives from the attention of others. This was the introduction to the meditation on the Good Samaritan echoing Fratelli Tutti: who has done me good during this past year? And who will I be next tomorrow? After the personal meditation, the participants were divided by the magic of the computer into small groups where each one could share the 'experience' of his year: mourning, sadness, trials, but also creativity, generosity, interiority, community... The afternoon was devoted to the different workshops. The themes focused on one country (Greece, Lebanon, Mauritius and Reunion Island), on one work (the new Jesuit Matteo Ricci College in Brussels, JRS and the ‘jungle’ of Calais), or on two more transversal concerns in the Province (the Laudato si' ecological worksite and the pastoral care of families). We do not have enough space to report here the observations made the next day by Fr. Provincial François Boëdec, and by Antoine Kerhuel, Secretary of the Society of Jesus. As for the final celebration of Vespers in the Church of St. Ignatius, it is not to be told: it is sung... and it is to be followed in replay on our website! You can find the video of the final celebration, the meditations, homilies and intentions here.
GERMANY
Logo for a new Jesuit province Munich - The Jesuits in Central Europe are getting a new image for the foundation of their new province. With this, they not only want to make the new beginning clear, but also bring together the different traditions and structures, create a common identity and open up spaces for growth. The new logo takes up the traditional sunlit IHS signet of the Order's founder Ignatius of Loyola, which is used in various forms in the universal Society of Jesus. The reduced and clear design recalls the modern-simple design of the previous square IHS logo used by the Central European Assistance of the Order since 1998. In the centre of a halo - symbol of the sun and the exaltation of the crucified Lord - are the three letters "IHS", the so-called monogram of Jesus, which originated from the Greek form of the name of Jesus. Before Ignatius was elected General in 1541, he put it in the head of his list of candidates to make clear the real head of the Society of Jesus. It was the explicit order of the founder of the order that it was placed above the entrances of the buildings of the Jesuits. He wanted to underline thereby his request vividly, namely that the new Order should be known as "Companions of Jesus" ("Society of Jesus") and not as "of Ignatius" ("Ignatians"). Since then the IHS signet stands as "distinguishing mark" at the beginning of all important letters and documents. It can be found to this day on the facades of Jesuit churches and colleges, on altars, on engravings, and on the covers of books by Jesuit authors. Ignatius had already recognized at that time that an institution can only develop a distinctive profile if it communicates in a clear and recognizable way what it stands for. Already in Ignatius' time the IHS signet was understood as an anagram and resolved with "Jesus Christ Redeemer" (Iesus Hominum Salvator), in the Order also the reading "We have Jesus as companion" (Iesum Habemus Socium) is usual. Even before the merger of the existing provinces of Germany with Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia, Austria and Switzerland, scheduled for April 27, 2021, the new logo will be on the new website, and it will be used on letterheads and brochures and in social media channels. The confreres, communities and institutions are invited to participate.
EUROPE
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.