Jesuits in Europe

LITHUANIA
When the quarantine started in March, various upcoming Christian events in Lithuania started to be cancelled one after the other. This was especially hard for the Lithuanian youth that was eager to go on summer camps, take part in a mass Christian youth gathering in July, deepen their faith in retreats and so on. Sometime in April MAGIS Hungary had to be cancelled as well. So a team of younger Lithuanian Jesuits and non-Jesuits got on Zoom, went through a process of discernment and decided to host a Lithuanian Magis event.  The Lithuanian Magis is planned to take place between the 26th and 31st of July with four experiments being organised in different places in Lithuania as well as one in Latvia. Each experiment is accompanied at least by one Jesuit and involves a daily morning impulse, time of activity, the Eucharist and a discerning reflection at the end of the day. This year we have a team of coordinators for theatre, service, ecology and pilgrimage experiments in Lithuania. There is also another pilgrimage being planned in Latvia (in English). As faith in Latvia is much less well-established than in Lithuania, hosting this particular experiment is very important for us. With so much uncertainty around the organisation of this event, we ask you for your supporting prayers
SPAINITALY
In June, multiple Jesuit institutions created campaigns to call for action on the occasion of the World refugee day. We will present to you some actions taken by the Centro Astalli in Italy, Alboan and Entreculturas in Spain and the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology (SJES) of the General Curia. Centro Astalli’s Campaign for world refugee Day. Centro Astalli presents #traccesolidali: the social campaign for the next World Refugee Day. We can take care of each other as we travel together on this long journey respecting each other’s rights. Deep dark eyes carefully follow the movement of the sewing machine. They are the eyes of Zainab, Lin and Fatou.  They come from Nigeria, Somalia, Chine and Eritrea. These women have crossed the desert and the Mediterranean and have survived incredibly difficult journeys. With needle, thread and fabrics they have brightened their days at Casa di Giorgia, the center for women refugees that has hosted them, during the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Their skilled hands have guided young and inexperienced hands in the making of masks out of fabric that arrived from all over the world. Today these refugee women are starting all over again, using a sewing machine and a handmade design. They found some fabric and drew sketches and models to create a commodity that has become precious and indispensable for the protection of each of us. The look on their faces is one of solidarity, women who have decided to take care of the community that hosted and protected them, and which now has become their home. To place an order, one can contact Centro Astalli 0669925099 astalli@jrs.net During this time, solidarity and integration are hanging on thin but strong threads, interwoven with shared values ​​and care for the common good. We can take care of each other as we travel together on this long journey respecting each other’s rights.#traccesolidali   Activities in Spain. An escape room The proposals have been varied. For example, the ngo Alboan has launched an Escape Room with the name "Breaking the wall", with the aim of breaking down the walls built with false messages, stereotypes and prejudices about migrants and refugees. With a donation you can play and invite up to three more players. The money raised will go towards the COVID-19 global emergency campaign, which seeks to alleviate the effects of the pandemic among the most vulnerable communities in Latin America, Africa and India. Sharing a photo of our walking shoes The traditional Paths of Hospitality or marches with refugees and migrants, this year have been celebrated virtually by sharing a photo of our walking shoes on social networks accompanied by a message of solidarity with migrants and refugees. For its part, the Jesuit Migrant Service will present in early July its annual report on Foreigners' Internment Centers (CIE 2020 Report), which on its tenth anniversary will re-read the evolution of this last decade, in the hope of knowing if the CIE will reopen and in what situation, after the closure caused by the pandemic. The report will be available on its website from 6th July. 7.1 million refugee children and adolescents of school age The NGO Entreculturas has invited us to look more deeply into the reality of the 7.1 million refugee children and adolescents of school age, of which 3.7 million do not normally attend school, but whose numbers have increased due to the emergency caused by Covid-19. In their campaign Escuela Refugio they ask for our signature so that education is preserved as an essential right within any humanitarian response in an emergency or crisis and they offer us different teaching materials and resources to work on the issue with children. "Migratory Flows at the Borders of our World" Finally, the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology (SJES) of the General Curia, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), the Migration Network, GIAN (Global Initiative Advocacy Network) and the Institute for Migration Studies of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas celebrated the online presentation of the book "Migratory Flows at the Borders of our World". The seminar in which this presentation was held on Thursday, June 18, was attended by Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ, Fr. Here you can dowloan the book. More information about the webinar here: https://infosj.es/noticias/16588-el-p-general-invita-a-trabajar-juntos-para-abordar-el-desafio-de-las-migraciones   Read also: “To know in order to understand” - Faith-Based Organisations on World Refugee Day 2020
ITALY
Villapizzone, "a founding community". At present five Jesuit fathers living as a family together with other families form part of the community. Founded in 2003, this experience brings together around thirty realities spread throughout Italy. The principle foundation of this life sharing experience is a vocational journey that fosters a common life in a context of trust, honesty, solidarity, hospitality and responsibility. The roots of this community lie in the post-conciliar atmosphere of the seventies. It is in that rich ambiance of international volunteering, the search for different family models and a Church where men and women, priests and lay people, are living the word "in a common way" as fellow pilgrims, that Villapizzone was born, in the northern suburbs of Milan, an experience that years later will be defined by sociologists as "founding community". Bruno and Enrica Volpi, on their return from Africa where they have spent some time, are looking for a place where they can continue to live the value of solidarity and hospitality, together with others. It is the same question which is being raised by certain Jesuit fathers who are seeking knowledge and growth and “motivated” by the changing times. "Forty years ago we felt that it was important to live together in community, simply as brothers outside the complexity of large structures, living the simple values of the Gospel and witnessing to them, working for a living like all other people", Fr Silvano Fausti, one of the founders of the community who is also a biblical scholar said. We are looking for some space in an old dilapidated farmhouse, where scoundrels, addicts and other people with social problems had already found refuge. With some hesitation from Cardinal Colombo, the full support of Fr. Arrupe and an agreement with Radice Fossati, owners of the farmhouse, in 1978 the Jesuits and the families who had in the meantime gathered around Volpi were given possession of one of the wings of Villapizzone. The photo albums manifest broken roofs, dangerous stairs, walls with peeled off paint and smeared with political slogans. Everything had to be built anew even the way of being together. Today, five Jesuit fathers, living as a family together with other families, are part of the community. "We shared our desires and acted upon them and only afterwards did we reflect on our experience, so much so that the "deed on common life " was established ten years after we started", Elisabetta Sormani, married to Tullio and President of Community and Family World explains. Founded in 2003, this association brings together around thirty experiences scattered throughout Italy with Villapizzone as a point of reference. The principle behind their cohabitation is a vocational journey that promotes a common life in a context of trust, honesty, solidarity, hospitality and responsibility. «Everyone must follow his vocation. For us couples, the Jesuits helped us understand the sacredness of marriage », Elizabeth says. And she explains this with the following example: when someone proposes to pray the lauds together regularly before going to work, the Jesuit fathers always say a firm no, explaining that husband and wife should pray together at home, in their room. "This is the place where they should live their vocation." Living together with families, the Jesuits explain, helps them to feel normal persons and certainly special "uncles" of the many children who run around the farmhouse. Another initial insight was the desire to live in an open reality, where the community does not become a security, but rather a welcoming space.  Villapizzone is open to everyone: families welcome foster children or young people in difficulty or priests, seminarians and religious who need a time of reflection. But each household is free to decide for itself.  Finally, one also chooses to live honestly. As a result, there is a common fund and families receive a blank cheque every month. The community - seven families, including the Jesuits - has only one fixed appointment, the monthly meeting, and a snack every day in the courtyard for those who are there, announced by the toll of the bell. Every day the Jesuits celebrate Mass for those who want to take part. And once a week there is a lectio of the Word of God, which attracts people from all over the diocese (many people follow the lectio through the website www.gesuiti-villapizzone.it). For some years now, some initiatives for young people (La Bussola and il Veliero: one meeting a month) have also been taking place, which are very popular and which focus on listening to the Word of God and on some instructions on Ignatian spirituality (method of prayer, rules of discernment etc.), in an atmosphere of fraternal sharing. The garden, the halls and the outdoor spaces, surrounded by gigantic cedars of Lebanon, are frequented by the people of the neighborhood, especially mothers - many of them foreigners - who organize birthday parties and play time for the little ones. Some members of the community work outside, others are stationed permanently in Villapizzone and several are engaged in the “From Hand to Hand” cooperative that sells second-hand items. It has two offices, more than 40 members, engaging a work force of 100 people. It has a small market of used items and antiques with a diversified clientele, from the gypsy to the collector. It is an experience that over the years has strengthened, changed, given birth to other realities, and encountered thousands of people.
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
The Jesuits mourn the passing of former Superior General. The Jesuit General Curia in Rome today announced that former Superior General, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás died, today, in Tokyo, Japan. He was a member of the Jesuit community of Loyola House in Kamishakujii, and had been ill for a number of years. He is deeply mourned by the Jesuits of Japan and Asia Pacific, his family and compatriots in Spain, and his many friends around the world. Fr. Franck Janin, President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, shared this message in thanksgiving for Fr Adolfo Nicolás’ life. A man of depth and wisdom Father Adolfo Nicolas has returned to the Father. In fact he never left Him. Shortly after his election I had the chance to meet him. He made a strong impression on me that has always remained: that of a cordial and accessible man, deeply humble and rooted in God. I am not surprised that he so often stressed the importance of depth and wisdom for our contemporary world, for the Church and the Society of Jesus. Two words which, for me, stay associated with his memory. Faced with what he called "the globalization of superficiality" he never ceased to call for depth. Spiritual depth. He wondered why the Spiritual Exercises did not transform us more. He also said that if we were to overloaded by all our activities it was because perhaps we had not sufficiently multiple opinions that are expressed, he advocated the need for a view of the world and a reflection that takes time for analysis and discernment in order to judge in truth. And he liked to emphasize the role of the Ignatian imagination "a creative process that goes to the depth of reality and begins recreating it”. For Father Nicholas, this need for depth at the heart of our contemporary world indicated another aspiration: that of rediscovering the importance of wisdom. Wisdom is what allows us to "find God in all things". It allows us to find Him present in our daily life, in our work and in our relationships, but also in the other, in the stranger, the one who is different in culture, in religion and also in the one who does not profess any faith. The call to go to the frontiers or to the peripheries, which is part of the mission of the Society of Jesus and which the Popes have often reminded us of, requires that wisdom that listens to divine music at the heart of reality. Thank you, Father Nicolas, for having called us to depth and wisdom. We entrust ourselves, the Society of Jesus and its mission to your intercession. Franck Janin SJ   His Life Fr. Adolfo Nicolás was born in Villamuriel de Cerrato, Spain, on 29 April 1936 and entered the Jesuit novitiate of Aranjuez in 1953. He studied at the University of Alcalá, where he earned his licentiate in philosophy. In 1960, he was assigned to Japan where he studied theology at Sophia University in Tokyo. He was ordained to the priesthood on 17 March 1967. From 1968 to 1971, Fr Nicolás studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from where he earned a doctorate in theology. Upon his return to Japan, he was made professor of systematic theology at Sophia University, teaching there for the next 30 years. Fr Nicolás was appointed Director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines, in 1978 – a post he held for six years. He then went on to serve as rector of the theologate in Tokyo before being appointed as the Jesuit Provincial of Japan. Following his term of office as Provincial, Fr Nicolás remained in Japan, doing pastoral work among poor immigrants in Tokyo. In 2004, Fr Nicolás returned to the Philippines after he was appointed President of the Jesuit Conference of Provincials for Asia Pacific. He was elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus at its 35th General Congregation in Rome on 19 January 2008 and he renounced in November 2016 being the 30th General Superior of the Society of Jesus. After his time in Rome he decided to go back to Philippines, and finaly to his belowed Japan.   - REST IN PEACE - A Memorial Website, dedicated to Fr. Nicolás in English, Spanish and French is to be found here.

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Finding God

BELARUS
As the options for gathering live were still closed, the Jesuits in Belarus were forced to cancel the retreat which was planned since last year to be held in June 2020. Following the example of the Jesuits who found creative ways to reach out to God's people who remain closed in their homes, Fr Victor Zhuk SJ took the initiative to offer an online retreat, based on 9 pre-recorded video inputs for personal prayer, with the option to be accompanied by a spiritual guide - a member of the team of the Jesuits and non-Jesuit collaborators. The response to this proposal was far greater than expected (initially thought for those who had to give up on the "live" retreat), with several hundred Russian-speaking participants from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine (and perhaps other countries). Some stated that they had had the desire to take part in an Ignatian retreat, but never got an opportunity to do it because of the travel distances or other difficulties, while the online option was just right to have a deepened experience of prayer and to approach the treasures of Ignatian spirituality. As the retreat is coming to an end, we are still gathering the feedback for the evaluation of this initiative, but it is already clear that God's Spirit has worked through this means! There is also a request to the Jesuits to continue offering regular spiritual inputs, so this opens a door to a new apostolic opportunity in the web. a.m.d.g.
IRELAND
Brendan Comerford SJ presented a six-day online retreat entitled To Love the Earth from 1 to 6 June 2020, involving talks and responses to selected questions on poets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Patrick Kavanagh and Denise Levertov. Themes included our relationship with God, our own human nature, and the gift of the earth as our sacred sanctuary. The booked-out event was one of a series of online retreats from Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, Dollymount, Dublin. Due to demand, another poetry retreat will take place from Monday, 13 to 18 July, 2020. Click here for details ». Fr Comerford reflects that the lives and poems of the six different poets all had something in common. “They are deeply sensitive to the Sacramental presence of God in nature and in the everyday,” he remarks. The retreat’s title, To Love the Earth, comes from a line in Denise Levertov’s poem ‘Beginners’. In it she begins, “We’ve only begun to love the earth.” Each day, the retreatant was invited to fully participate in the experience through following a structured approach. This involved watching a 30-minute video on a selected poet and reading selected poems and suggested scripture passages in the morning. Then the retreatant was invited to pray and ponder over the material and to submit a response or question to Fr Comerford by early afternoon. Later in the evening, all retreatants met up for an hour-long online meeting where responses and questions were dealt with and where there was time for group interaction. Read more 
SPAIN
The end of the confinement opens the possibility of offering again the experience of the Spiritual Exercises in our Spirituality Centers and Houses. Many christians usually take advantage of them during the July and August holidays. Thinking about those more vulnerable groups to the Covid-19, that some of our Retreat Houses will have limited capacity and that not all of them will be able to open, the Jesuits of Spain have launched this year, together with the on site offer, other proposals of online retreat sessions. The program #AsolasconDios is made up of the online offer and of the on site offer provided by some of the centers and houses of spirituality of the Society (Loyola, Manresa, Salamanca, Dos Hermanas-Sevilla, Celorio-Asturias, Javier, Pedreña-Santander), with the necessary adaptations of social distancing and of hygienic and sanitary protection. These groups can be consulted in their respective web pages (See link). Already last Easter, due to the situation of confinement, the Society of Jesus launched its first 8-day online exercise offer, in which 400 people participated and which was very positively evaluated. Now, they have embarked on this new online proposal. Six rounds of eight-day spiritual exercises are offered, suitable for lay people, religious and priests who have already made an exercise. What are these online Exercises like? The exerciser will receive at a time, at the beginning of the morning and beginning of the afternoon of each day, an e-mail with a link that will give him access to a YouTube video (only available 24 hours) where he can follow the points for prayer. You will also receive in Pdf an outline of the points for prayer and suggestions of biblical texts to pray with. Although the ideal is that the exerciser has a companion in person, whoever wishes can receive spiritual accompaniment online through these free tools: Skype, Google Meet and Zoom. The celebrations of the Eucharist can be followed daily in person if the exerciser has the opportunity, or online. More information and registration on this website: https://asolascondios.infosj.es/
GERMANY
In the night from 22 to 23 June, the Heinrich Pesch House in Germany was bathed in red light. The conference house and hotel, which is run by Jesuits, has thus participated in the nationwide "Night of Light" campaign, which aims to draw attention to the plight of the event industry in the COVID 19 pandemic. Since mid-March the event industry has been largely at a standstill. The official regulations in the course of the Corona pandemic have deprived the entire event industry of the basis for its work. Due to the ongoing crisis, larger events are currently still prohibited until the end of October, which places heavy demands on companies and, as a consequence, on their employees. Of course, the industry is not alone with this problem. In contrast to other sectors of the economy, however, the service industry does not have the opportunity to make up for the losses it has suffered after the crisis or, for example, to produce "in stock" while the crisis is over. With the "Night of Light", those affected signalled their interest in a sector dialogue with politicians in order to discuss economically effective aid. The Heinrich Pesch Hotel and Meeting House is also affected by the effects of the pandemic and therefore took part in the nationwide campaign to set a shining example for the event industry. The hotel's long-standing technology partner, around GmbH from Mannheim, provided the necessary technical equipment. The company's technicians spent the whole of Monday installing and aligning the floodlights. Further information on the campaign is also available at www.night-of-light.de

Promoting Justice

POLAND
On the occasion of celebrating the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Encyclical of Pope Francis Laudato si'. In the interest of the common home and the proclamation of the Year of Laudato si', the Rector of the Ignatianum Academy in Krakow, Prof. Józef Bremer SJ, issued a declaration concerning the environmental policy of the University. This is the first step towards creating a green campus at 26 Kopernika Street. In the declaration we read that the academic community not only feels responsible for the protection of the natural environment and climate, but also wants to take concrete long-term actions, both through practical changes in the functioning of the University, as well as scientific research and education of young people. More on: https://ignatianum.edu.pl/misja-i-historia 
SPAIN
The recent health crisis has disrupted the activities proposed by the Province of Spain. The initiatives that year after year the pastoral agents offer to young people and families during summer have had to be suspended. It is in this context that the project Servir Juntos Verano 2020 (#SJV2020) was born. It is about being able to have experiences of voluntary work, service and spiritual experience, during the summer, in the context that is now ours. Servir Juntos Verano tries to put forces, volunteers and resources at the disposal of the concrete needs of each city and village in which the Province has a presence. #SJV2020 is not a set of activities only for young people; it is an invitation to the whole Ignatian network in Spain to get underway to identify needs and put themselves at service. It is an opportunity to understand that the place of mission is our own life, our usual streets, and to learn to see our surroundings with new eyes. More information at: https://sites.google.com/view/servir-juntos-verano-2020/
SPAIN
This month began at the Spanish National Court the trial for the murder of the five Jesuits who were Spanish citizens, in El Salvador in 1989, the case of the UCA martyrs. The trial is the result of the efforts of several families of murdered Jesuits, the Association for Human Rights of Spain, and the Center for Justice & Accountability of the United States. The provincial of Spain, Antonio España SJ, welcomed the beginning of this trial, pointing out that although "it would have been preferable that the trial be held in El Salvador", given the impossibility of that happening, it is positive that it takes place in Spain. The Society of Jesus itself in Central America hopes that universal justice "will contribute to the functioning of the Salvadoran justice system". The trial could be followed online from the Basque television website: https://www.eitb.eus/es/. The first session served to exonerate Lieutenant René Yusshy Mendoza, one of the members of the battalion that perpetrated the crime, from criminal responsibility due to the statute of limitations on the crime of which he was accused. His defense asked for it, and the accusations supported it. Mendoza is one of only two people in El Salvador who were convicted of the case before the amnesty law. He will thus go from defendant to witness, which may prove decisive for the trial. His statement will be heard on 8th July. In the second session, the awaited statement from former Colonel Inocencio Orlando Montano arrived. He did so for barely an hour and answering only his lawyer's questions. If the Central American Province of the Society of Jesus had encouraged Montano to "take advantage of this great opportunity" to contribute to the clarification of the truth "by making known all that he knows about said crime," it soon became clear that this would not be the case. Montano denied the charges against him. He recalled that in 1989 he served as Deputy Minister of Public Security, a position that placed the police forces under his command, but not the military; his functions were "merely administrative”. He acknowledged that in the days prior to the massacre, information had come in that the rebels were storing weapons at the UCA and so sent the Atlacatl battalion to carry out searches at the university - these searches, in which no weapons were found, were the prelude to the crime - but "militarily there was never any intention of harming him [Ellacuría], the Church or the university”. Montano said he always thought the crime was committed by the rebels, not the military. The prosecution, on the other hand, claims that the decision to kill Ellacuría and the rest of the Jesuits was taken by an elite group of officials to which Montano belonged, and is asking for 150 years in prison for participating in "the decision, design or execution" of those five murders - the trial only refers to the five Spaniards killed in the massacre. Finally, the first witnesses testified. The members of two delegations sent by the Spanish Congress of Deputies to El Salvador in November 1990 and September 1991 testified. The next session will be on July 8, beginning with the statement of Rene Yusshy Mendoza at 10:00. The process in the Audiencia Nacional, which is scheduled to conclude on July 16, is a new occasion to remember that episode that marked an entire generation. Its victims are remembered today, more than three decades later, as an example of commitment and sacrifice for justice. In the Spanish media we have been able to hear testimonies from various Jesuits these days.
WORLD
Faith-Based Organisations on World Refugee Day 2020.  In his 2020 Message, Pope Francis invites all people of faith and goodwill to get to know migrants and refugees and, this year in particular, those who have been forced to flee but have been unable to cross an international border, the internally displaced persons (IDPs). Pope Francis encourages all of us to “know in order to understand” -- personal knowledge is a necessary step towards appreciating the plight of others and making it our own. On World Refugee Day 2020, we wholeheartedly support the Pope’s invitation because the plight of IDPs is an often unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated. Today, there are more than 50.8 million internally displaced persons who have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict, violence or persecution. IDPs live in very difficult situations as they struggle to find safety within their home country or are unable to reach and then cross an international border to seek refugee status. Millions more are IDPs because of natural disasters. As humanitarian organizations and communities, we accompany, serve and involve IDPs around the world and call on policymakers and practitioners to listen to their needs and draw attention to their struggles. In this time of COVID-19, we have seen this already radically vulnerable group running increased protection risks from their own governments. The profound social and financial crisis brought about by the pandemic could result in the concerns of IDPs receding further into the background. Some of our organizations are advocating for enhanced legal protection, non-discriminatory access to services, respect for their dignity and the enactment of peace building and reconciliation programs for IDPs. By engaging with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs and the Global Protection Cluster, which have taken the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the landmark Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, and the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, we call for renewed attention to the plight of IDPs around the world. “It is important that internally displaced persons not be abandoned in this crisis. I call on States to exercise their sovereign responsibility to protect them based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and without diverting from existing delivery of humanitarian assistance”, says Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, UN Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs. Displacement is about real people, and we must always remember that Jesus was once a displaced person. It is likely that most of us have displacement of some kind in our own family histories. If we engage with present day forcibly displaced persons in our midst, we will know more about the urgency of their predicament. Opening our eyes and mind will lead to a clearer idea of what we need to do to help them. COVID-19 has stirred us to reflect on the displacement in our own hearts and on the flaws in our economic and political systems. Greed can so easily displace compassion. Deep in our hearts we know that care for others - not exploitation of them - makes us truly human. Mantras like "me and my country first" lack depth and are the products of misguided thinking. In these uncertain times, Pope Francis exhorts us to be close in order to serve. On World Refugee Day 2020, we call for transformation. We call for eyes and hearts to open to action by recognizing, contemplating, and sharing the life of refugees, IDPs, and migrants. Through them we can see more clearly the truth about ourselves, our societies, and the direction we must follow. We therefore unite our voices with Pope Francis in his 2020 Message: “It is not about statistics, it is about real people! If we encounter them, we will get to know more about them. And knowing their stories, we will be able to understand them.”   Signatories: Alboan Amala Annai Capuchin Province, Northern Tamil Nadu, India Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Siem Reap, Cambodia Claretian Missionaries Congregation de Notre Dame of Montreal Congregations of St. Joseph Dominicans for Justice and Peace Dominican Leadership Conference EcoJesuit Entreculturas Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario (FOCSIV) Fondazione Italiana di Solidarietà Marista Champagnat Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus (Claretian Presence at the UN) Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale (FMSI) Global Ignatian Advocacy Network for the Right to Education (GIAN Education) Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on Migration (GIAN Migration) Instituto Universitario de Estudios sobre Migraciones (IUEM), Universidad Pontificia Comillas Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Loreto Generalate International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) International Presentation Association International Union of Superiors General (UISG) Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Justice Peace Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic Medical Mission Sisters Mercy International Association: Mercy Global Action People’s Watch - India Red Jesuita con Migrantes de Latinoamérica y el Caribe (RJM/LAC) Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Salesian Missions Inc. Salvatorian Office for International Aid (SOFIA) Scalabrini Missionaries School Sisters of Notre Dame Service of Documentation & Study on Global Mission (SEDOS) Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) Sisters of Charity Federation Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill Generalate Sisters of Charity US Province Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership Sisters of Mercy Brisbane, Australia Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, Society of Jesus Society of the Sacred Heart Solidaridad y Misión de los Misioneros Claretianos de América (SOMI-MICLA). Tamil Nadu Catholic Religious India (TNCRI) THALIR - Casey Capuchin Holistic Welfare Centre, India The Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Unanima International Union of Superiors General (USG) VIVAT International World Faiths Development Dialogue Youth Action for Transformation (YATRA)   On the picture: Children living in the JRS Safe Haven play and sing during morning activities. Kakuma camp, Kenya. ©F.Lerneryd

Youth & Media

BELGIUM
Stay connected in confinement. Barely six months after its opening, Matteo Ricci, the new Jesuit secondary school in Brussels, competed creatively to maintain academic and spiritual support throughout the period of confinement. Laurent Salmon-Legagneur, a Jesuit regent at the college, testifies to how the educational community was able to stay connected with the students and their families during the confinement. How do you stay connected in containment? This question has been asked of all of us forcefully throughout this very special time. It was not different for the educational communities. Even upstream of the academic training issues, we had to work carefully on the link between colleagues and with our students. At the new Matteo Ricci College in Brussels, we proceeded step by step... as we have done for the past six months. As a first step, the students received a weekly "mission" per subject, missions which allowed them to review or deepen notions already seen together before the beginning of the confinement. Our Smartschool intranet platform (open to students and parents since January 2020) made it possible to centralize communication with students and parents. During the first three weeks of the confinement, it was necessary to accompany the students at a distance so that they could find their bearings in this new way of working: resetting a good number of passwords, initiating them to sending attachments. Luckily, we had just finished the second term class councils when the confinement began. The second step was to send out the bulletins to help the students become aware of the missions they had to work on in particular. It was especially an opportunity to call each family in the third week of confinement, to encourage the students verbally and to take stock of the means available to each one for their work. On the eve of the holidays, the development of a song and a video involving the entire educational team also helped us rebuild the bonds of our school community. An excerpt: "And then don't forget / That this retreat at home is a challenge / But when it's over / It will allow us to connect our lives / To find ourselves together, together with Matteo Ricci / Don't forget...". With the confirmation that the containment would last, we were able to take a third step which I think was appreciated by all. The students continued to receive subject assignments. Regular videoconference appointments helped to further structure the week and to share our emotions in this prolonged confinement. A new series of original missions were offered to the whole school: a "Where's Charlie?" game on a Breughel painting, sports challenges in the apartment, an activity to make coloured pigments, invention writing, a Home Art Challenge in the style of the Getty Museum Challenge, an enigma inspired by Einstein's enigma? After the joy of finding each other again, even in dotted lines, we were able to end the year in beauty, with beautiful times of re-reading and moments of interiority. Laurent Salmon-Legagneur S.J.
FRANCE
The Magis Paris Network organizes every year two sessions of the Spiritual Exercises in Ordinary Life for young people between 20 and 30 years of age. The 15th edition, between Easter and Pentecost, took place in 100% Zoom. It was a great success: 123 young people were able to experience a great closeness to Christ during one month... despite the distance! For this edition the number of participants doubled compared to the previous one  for two reasons. First of all, the strange and trying period of confinement has given rise to a great desire to turn to the essential and to pray. The young people were looking for a framework for prayer; they felt carried along by the other young people and those accompanying them. The distance meetings also enabled about twenty young people from outside Paris to take part in this edition. They live in Lille, Lyon, Rennes, Auvergne and also abroad, in Ireland or Switzerland... During the four weeks of the Exercises in Ordinary Life, the participants commit themselves to a daily time of prayer (the texts and indications are in a booklet). They have a weekly meeting with their spiritual guide and participate, once a week, in a sharing of experience in small groups and in two or three short topos (talks). The Exercises are animated by young people for young people. These young people in charge (true "missionary disciples", some of whom come from the "Long Course Exercises" over eight months) impress us by the quality of their interventions and their witness. A few figures for this distance edition: 40% of the young people knew about the Exercises in Ordinary Life by word of mouth (friend, roommate...). 46% of the young people did not know Magis Paris (the pastoral aspect of the Magis House). 60% discovered the Spiritual Exercises. 180 people embarked on this adventure: 123 participants, 50 companions, 10 young people in the animation, 13 sharing groups, an organizational team composed of 3 young people and 2 Jesuits. Confinement, at least and most... Certainly, for this edition, we did not taste the good dishes cooked in the Maison Magis, nor did we sing beautiful songs together. The Eucharistic celebration of the sending off, which is usually a very strong moment, was also cancelled and the "goodbyes" by Zoom clearly lacked warmth... Certainly, the exchanges during the accompaniments and times of sharing are more provided in the presence of others because all the senses (or almost all) are awakened. However, this original edition also had its advantages. In addition to the participation of young people from outside Paris, the topos (a nice challenge to talk about consolation/desolation for seven minutes) were more creative and more striking because the technique allows presentations that strike the spirits. The young people will long remember the jug filled with water that symbolizes the grace of God, the stethoscope of a nun or the breathtaking intervention of a young person on "the presence of the Risen One in our daily life". The accompaniers were amazed at the trust of the young people and their journey. May the Spirit of Pentecost accompany us in this new stage! Paul Catherinot S.J. and Claude Philippe S.J.
ITALY
The future literary project of the fifth-year students of the Gonzaga high schools, completed during the lockdown was published. The first 50 copies were donated to school leavers. «MATURITY 2020. Avant-garde poetic style by the 50 school-leaving students of the high schools of the Gonzaga Institute (5th year Classical, Scientific and Linguistic), who are about to conclude their studies after the post-pandemic period. This work of art was initiated during a lesson in Italian literature on the poetic avant-garde style of the early twentieth century, on Marinetti's Futurism, obviously through distance learning, and which has now been converted into a video, a text and an appendix of images, calligraphy, drawings and photos. This resulted into a work of art, which was published thanks to the collaboration of a publishing house in Palermo: the first 50 copies were donated today to the students who compiled this work of art. This project came into fruition through their boredom and hope «This project - explains Giovanni Inzerillo, who teaches Italian - is the result of boredom, anger, superstitions and hope. We can still find evident echoes of Futurism today but let us put aside the prejudices we have about the strange language used by young people. It is true that the thunderous Bum Bum Bum or Tumb Tumb Tumb, which young people of today hear and pronounce so loud are no longer those of military bombings, planes and racing cars, but neither are they meaningless words, signs of a subculture generated just for a good feeling or by boredom, by wrong models, as we adults are undoubtedly convinced to believe. Suddenly, when what we believed to be unreal suddenly became real, we started struggling in a state of depression and isolation against an invisible enemy whose name Covid19- Coronavirus seems to have been created in past Avant-garde contexts. However, we must strive to think about this struggle on a much higher scale, as a struggle against ignorance, prejudice, and against the concept of self-sufficiency"  “Distance learning, despite all its limitations”, Fr. Vitangelo Denora, director general of the Gonzaga-ISP Institute recalls, "was an eye-opener, making people reflect upon the reality of education, its power to transform people and the world. The first Jesuits used to say “to educate is to renew the world", as they emphasized the centrality of the pupil and his learning journey which is a life journey, the educational relationship and the importance of teachers as they take up the challenge to be persons of research and embark on the educational journey. This time – Denora continues - was a time of stepping up and of renewal for the school: to finally work for acquiring skills and not only for the accumulation of knowledge, to connect the school to life and its challenges, creating bridges and connections, which can influence the reality and change it.  It was a time to experiment with a less vertical form of teaching and transmission of information to a more interactive form of teaching, that puts the student at the center, giving more value to the student's journey, accompanying him with more continual feedback which is so valuable for his improvement, not in an authoritative and polarized way of control, but as a continuous and interactive process that promotes growth ». Living as citizens of the world «Through this project, the young people demonstrate that there is depth and responsibility in the way they are living in this world - continues Fr. Denora – despite the fact that all that is around us is superficial and frustrating. In this way, this work challenges adults who listen truly little to young people, or "ignore" them completely. Pope Francis always addresses educational institutions saying that such a form of education is really a school of life and research confirms that schools can change, remaining faithful to their ethos but  rediscovering their vocation to make people happy and authentic active citizens of a new world ». «Through this initiative - Professor Inzerillo adds - we have shown that poetry is alive and young people are sensitive enough to appreciate it and internalize it. This is the bitter-sweet saga,  both funny and tragic, of all our fifth year students who day after day demonstrate a profound maturity without even being certain at the moment of the near future, a certainty which until a month ago they believed they had. It is a somewhat strange story as strange as is the moment we are living. These verses contain the emotions of everyone, young girls and boys, the cries of a healthy rebellion that youngsters scream at the top of their voice». And finally, the young professor Inzerillo encourages them: «In all moments of your life be persons for others and shout aloud, very much aloud. Do not worry if you are not always understood. What is important is that your good intentions guide your actions. Shout, act, be annoying or rebellious, be brave. Your ideas will improve this world. "
LITHUANIA
When the quarantine started in March, various upcoming Christian events in Lithuania started to be cancelled one after the other. This was especially hard for the Lithuanian youth that was eager to go on summer camps, take part in a mass Christian youth gathering in July, deepen their faith in retreats and so on. Sometime in April MAGIS Hungary had to be cancelled as well. So a team of younger Lithuanian Jesuits and non-Jesuits got on Zoom, went through a process of discernment and decided to host a Lithuanian Magis event.  The Lithuanian Magis is planned to take place between the 26th and 31st of July with four experiments being organised in different places in Lithuania as well as one in Latvia. Each experiment is accompanied at least by one Jesuit and involves a daily morning impulse, time of activity, the Eucharist and a discerning reflection at the end of the day. This year we have a team of coordinators for theatre, service, ecology and pilgrimage experiments in Lithuania. There is also another pilgrimage being planned in Latvia (in English). As faith in Latvia is much less well-established than in Lithuania, hosting this particular experiment is very important for us. With so much uncertainty around the organisation of this event, we ask you for your supporting prayers

In-depth Reflection

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Inspired by the spirit of collaboration and networking, the Kircher Network proposed to the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) to develop a common project on "Best Practices in Jesuit Higher Education". The IAJU Board approved the proposal, and the project is going to be carried out by the six regional networks of Jesuit higher education (AJCU, AUSJAL, AJCU-AM; AJCU-AP, JHEASA and the Kircher Network).  The project is one of the initiatives of the first action priority of the Operational Plan of the Kircher Network (2019-2020). The priority seeks to promote academic collaboration among the Kircher institutions (Ad Intra) and with other Jesuit higher education networks (Ad Extra).  The "Best Practices in Jesuit HighEd Project" will be common service platform that will combine the publication of an Online Quarterly Newsletter on best practices and know-how on Jesuit higher education, with the organization of Webinars with the authors of the articles. The webinars will be open to all faculty and professionals of Jesuit higher education institutions around the world. The online letters and recoded webinars will be displayed in the "Best Practices" blog of this website, as well as on the webpages of IAJU and the other regional networks. The Online Quarterly + Webinars will focus on themes and management areas that are key for the Ignatian identity and mission of universities and faculties, as well as for the good management of the institutions. The first issues of the Online Letter + Webinars will focus on good practices on Pedagogical Innovation and Ignatian Pedagogy in Jesuit Higher Education Institutions around the world. Future issues will focus on other relevant topics for the mission and the management of Jesuit universities and faculties. The first stage of the project will be a two-year pilot experience, which will be coordinated by the Kircher Network. A global IAJU Steering Committee has been established for the general coordination of the initiative. The committee is integrated by representatives from IAJU AJCU, AUSJAL, AJCU-AM; AJCU-AP, JHEASA, Kircher Network and UNIJES. Given the spirit of collaboration, a delegate from Educate Magis has been invited to the committee. The Steering Committee met last June 11th and is preparing the next steps of the project.  The project will be officially launched this Fall, through a global webinar. The first issue of the Quarterly Online letter + Webinar is expected to be published this Fall.  The Kircher Network is currently identifying and developing a directory of faculty members and professional staffs working on pedagogical innovation and Ignatian Pedagogy in its member institutions. A Kircher network of peers on pedagogical innovation and Ignatian Pedagogy is expected to be established as a part of the project.  If you are faculty or a staff member of a Jesuit higher education institution and are interested in participating in this exciting global project, you can contact us.     
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
‍A website for academic Collaboration of Jesuit higher education in Europe and the Near East. The newly launched website provides updated information on the Kircher Network and features resources for academic Collaboration. It offers updated news on the network and its 28 universities, faculties and Jesuit centres in Europe and the Near East.  The site shows the information on the Projects of the network (HEST Project and Pakistan Project). It provides a one-click direct email connection to the researches working on the HEST Project. One of the resources of the Kircher website presents opportunities for academic Collaborations, both in-person and online (open lectures and webinars), offered by the member institutions.  An incoming blog will present a selection of Best Practices and know-how experiences developed by faculty and staff members of the institutions of the Kircher Network, as well as by the colleagues of the Jesuit higher education sister institutions around the world (Best Practices Project). The first edition of the blog will be on best practices on pedagogical innovation and Ignatian Pedagogy in Jesuit higher education institutions. The call for articles will be announced soon.   As a part of its communication strategy, the network will also soon announce the launching of our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, along with our current YouTube channel. Visit us: https://kirchernetwork.org/  Kircher Network
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
The Corona Crisis - A crossroads for the European Union? After the lockdown caused by the pandemic, we are in a slow transition towards what we hope will be a normal life. At the same time, we start to reflect on what has just happened. What long-term lessons can we draw from the Corona crisis? What will be the priorities of the post-Covid society? How is the crisis being managed globally at the EU level? What are the solutions? What is the vision? These and other questions were discussed at the first “Virtual Café” organised in June by the Chapel for Europe as a Zoom webinar, also streamed on Facebook live. Mr Herman Van Rompuy (former Belgian Prime Minister and the first President of the European Council) was in dialogue with Victoria Martín de la Torre (spokesperson at the European Parliament, journalist and author of the acclaimed book “Europe, a Leap Into the Unknown”) and Fr Martin Maier sj (Secretary for European Affairs at the Jesuit European Social Centre) on the subject of “Corona Crisis – A Crossroads For The European Union?”. There were no boring papers read, no abstract slides, just a lively discussion from the very beginning and very personal testimonies, followed by an exchange (questions and answers) with the large audience that joined us online, much beyond the physical borders of the European Quarter in Brussels. Reflecting on what matters This pandemic has shaken our everyday lives, our foundations, both at the personal and at the social level. The first shock was a confrontation with our own vulnerability and the loneliness. During the lockdown we were longing for togetherness, but at the same time others could be perceived as a threat – as potential carriers of infection. The second shock was a confrontation with our powerlessness. We thought that we were living in a quite well organised, rational and efficient world, and then our everyday life suddenly changed at very short notice. This experience of vulnerability, powerlessness and loneliness could inspire a reflection about what really matters in life and maybe redefine the priorities – something that would not have come easily in our busy daily routine. “My world may have flipped, but my priorities are falling back into order”: wise words from an unknown older man, quoted during the discussion, apply here perfectly. Solidarity as a European priority  At the EU level, our priority should be solidarity. We are all in the same boat, and we have to help each other. Even if at the beginning Italy and Spain were left alone, after some weeks the EU was regaining solidarity and providing rescue packages; let’s hope that the EU countries can agree on the details. This solidarity should go beyond the tribal solidarity within one group or nation. It should be a search for the common good, which is much more than only the common part of all particular national interests. Even if in the real world it is quite difficult to reach such a perspective – the politicians are not saints – there is always a compromise between particular and general interests, between European and national priorities. Making the world a better place There was something very special and unique during the pandemic: the spontaneous thankfulness to all these anonymous people who were taking risks and laying down their lives in the service of others. Hundreds of thousands of people were applauding doctors, nurses, bus drivers and other “key workers”. In a confrontation with fear (I could be infected and I could die), we need hope. Those people gave us hope. They bore witnesses to the fact that life is stronger than death. However “hope” is not only a noun, not only something I can receive. Hope is also a verb, and it calls to action! It calls us to contribute, to make the world a better place. What can be done at the EU level? Continuous improvement of the three main pillars of the “European model”: political democracy, the social market economy, and peace. Also proposing high and ambitious standards, like the recent European Green Deal which may be the biggest challenge ever for the EU economy. The secret of making people come together Among all the questions put to our distinguished guests by the online audience after the initial discussion, there was one quite personal question addressed to Mr Herman Van Rompuy by a young trainee at the European Commission: “I have heard that one of your biggest strengths as President of the European Council was your ability to negotiate, and make opposite sides if not join forces then at least reach an agreement. What is your secret in making people come together?” Responding, Mr Van Rompuy emphasised three essential talents: First of all, listen to people very carefully in order to understand what is important for them. Second, be creative in proposing solutions “outside the box” which can overcome conflicts. Finally, be a trustworthy person – because it is only in this way that one can convince others to reach agreement. We were together online for almost two hours sharing insights and perspectives about post-Covid Europe and a post-Covid society in this lively and inspiring inaugural edition of our Virtual Café.
FRANCE
Centre Sèvres (Paris). Fr. Étienne Grieu sj, President of the Centre Sèvres (Jesuit Faculty of Paris), testifies of how students and lecturers quickly adapted to the confinement to continue following and giving their teachings. Mid-March: when the containment measures came into force - among them the closure of the universities - we were ready. On the previous Saturday, teachers had gathered at the Centre Sèvres for a reduced version of what should have been a working weekend. During this meeting, under the leadership of Patrick GOUJON sj and Alain GOYE, we set up distance learning via Zoom and Moodle and practiced the use of Zoom, which allows group video-conferencing. The policy we adopted was the following: to pay more attention to the personal accompaniment of the students (tutoring) so that no one is "left out in the wilderness". With special attention to more isolated students; use Zoom for teaching that requires a lot of interactivity (seminars, workshops, tutorials); use Moodle for lectures: Moodle is a digital platform that allows the teacher to post, for example, his or her lecture notes as well as complementary or illustrative texts or documents. Almost all of the teaching that had begun could thus be completed in this way. On the other hand, the few courses that were supposed to start during the period of confinement had to be cancelled or postponed to the next academic year. All in all, the students continued to work more or less normally. Of course, a seminar on Zoom is not quite the same as a "face-to-face" session, because the body really plays a role in the development of intelligence, especially through all the subtle perceptions it allows: eye play, breathing, overall posture, signs of fatigue or repeated presence, etc... The exams also took place at a distance. This requires awareness that questioning someone via a screen is not quite the same thing as having them in front of you. We had to pay extra attention to understand and welcome each other. What about the free listeners at the Centre Sèvres? Generally older, they are not necessarily very familiar with tools like Moodle. They are the ones who are likely to have suffered the most from this temporary closure. To keep in touch with them, we have set up a weekly Newsletter during the eight weeks of the confinement. It has been very well attended. Many listeners were able to discover the wealth of information we have at our disposal: recorded lectures, evening debates on this or that issue, and texts from our teachers. We hope to see those familiar faces from the Centre Sèvres again! The revival, precisely, what will it look like? We are preparing for different scenarios and are ready to reorganize ourselves if health standards remain drastic for the reception of the public. All in all: the year has been turned upside down. Teachers have shown remarkable adaptability; and this crisis has made us take a step forward in mastering digital tools! Étienne Grieu,President Centre Sèvres, Paris

Preparing for Mission

ITALY
The 90 years of Fr. Domenico. Sociologist, blogger, writer, social worker, Professor Emeritus of sociology at the PFTIM (Pontifical Faculty of Theology of Southern Italy) ... reaching the ripe age of 90,  Fr. Domenico Pizzuti has always been a clear and sharp voice, an intellectual whose voice from the suburbs has reached the heart of institutions. Today, from the infirmary of the Gesu Nuovo community in Naples, he continues to inspire the civil and ecclesial communities. "I am ninety years old, and for about a year and 8 months I have been under medical care and observation at the Infirmary of the SS.Nome di Gesù Residence, Naples. For the last 8 months, besides the ailments of age, I have been quite well despite continuing medical treatments. Jokingly I say, "I am a sick person who is still alive!" I keep up to date via the computer and TV also to keep the blog going (which a young friend in Genoa takes care of) and Facebook, where I write articles read by followers from Scampia, Naples, Italy. I appreciate the efficiency of the Infirmary, in the community of Scampia situated in the northern suburbs of Naples where I live , where twice during my active days I resided and worked. I appreciate also the care shown by the community, by the superiors and the fraternity between the members. I have very few external relationships except through the media, and the friends of Scampia with whom I maintain contact especially through Facebook and the blog. I am living this period of my life with a certain heaviness because of lack of activity, even because of the two periods of quarantine we had in the infirmary as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus ". I have had many rich and significant experiences among which the commitment to faith and justice that characterized the post-Council time, the generalate of Blessed Pedro Arrupe and the General Congregations 31 and 32, which I believe are being lost because they are never spoken of in our communities and are being replaced by a general accompaniment of the poor and a more cultural approach towards the commitment to justice and dialogue with other cultures and religions. I believe that - beyond the commitment towards refugees and the cultural and editorial centers of Aggiornamenti Sociali e la Civiltà Cattolica - the Jesuits in Italy have not assimilated and put into practice the real messages of the last General Congregations and the Social Apostolate which is operating only within some works. The Covid emergency highlighted the fragility of our social normality with its inequalities and injustices, starting with private healthcare; and the difficulty of the Italian Church to face this emergency, if not with the usual sacramental recipes; but on the other hand, during the lockdown , many Christians took the initiative of celebrating the Word within the domestic churches set up in families, and of voluntary forms of solidarity to respond to the weaker sections of the population. It is a matter of starting afresh by consolidating these experiences and developing them in renewed social relationships». A true social expert in matters relating to the Society’s identikit and its priorities: «I am only highlighting some of these priorities after the pandemic: to fight the growing economic, social, cultural, religious, age, gender, ethnic and race inequalities and develop a universal welfare to respond to the social needs of the population. It is the manner of living our faith that does justice. On the ecclesial level: to promote finally the centrality of the "People of God" in Christian communities and the role of women not only in their growing participation in ecclesiastical institutions. As for religious - including Jesuits - it is a question of overcoming the temptation of reducing the mission to the "presbyterial" model of activity and to rediscover the richness of the charisms and traditions of the respective religious congregations ».
HUNGARY
This May and June saw the heavenly birthday of two Jesuits who were born in Europe, but embraced Japan as their second home. On the 20th of May 2020 the Spanish Adolfo Nicolás, former superior general of the Society of Jesus, passed away in Tokyo, shortly followed by his Hungarian master and professor, Péter Nemeshegyi on the 13th of June in Budapest at the age of 97. The two Jesuits, like many of their predecessors throughout the history, spent decades in Japan in missionary work, bringing the Gospel to thousands of locals. While doing so, they were both intermediators as well, enriching the Christian notion of life with the values of the Japanese way of thinking. Born in 1923 in Budapest, capital of Hungary, Péter Nemeshegyi attended a Lutheran high school. Having finished his legal studies at university, first he worked as a bank clerk. However, he soon felt the call of God, so he entered the Society of Jesus in 1944. He became a Jesuit in times of turmoil. After World War II drew to its end, the reconstruction of Hungary hardly began when the Communist party commanded an increasingly harsh campaign against all the churches. His superiors advised him and his associates to leave the country before it was too late, and the religious orders would be banned, as it did took place in 1950; he did so with many of his fellow Jesuits, and first escaped to Austria, and later went to Italy. It was in Rome where he became a doctor of theology at Pontifical Gregorian University and was ordained a priest in 1952. Then he was sent to missionary work to Japan, where he spent more than 40 years. At Sophia University in Tokyo he taught theology and was professor of patristic studies; he was appointed a dean of the faculty of theology for six years, in which capacity he did a lot for the inculturation of the Catholic teaching and the formation of the Japanese theological and liturgical language. He oversaw the Japanese translation of the Bible and the Church Fathers, authored more than two dozen books and essays in Japanese. Between 1969 and 1974 Pope Paul VI. appointed him as member of the International Theological Commission, and also worked in the Society of Japanese Christian Scholars. He launched the series of the local Catholic Encyclopaedia and held university lectures on various subjects, including the morals and lessons of Mozart’s music. Besides his scientific activity, he was involved in apostolic work, too, bringing the Christian faith to hundreds of Japanese believers. He returned to Hungary in 1993 for “missionary work”, and did more or less the same as he had done in Japan, but this time in his native land. He worked as professor at theology, published several books, guided spiritual retreats, soon becoming a spiritual authority, especially with his famous sermons at the Jesuit church in Budapest. He remained active even when he was well above 90 years of age and lived in a home for the elderly, using wheelchair to fulfil his duties. He was a person for whom the words “a living legend” are neither a banal commonplace nor undeserved exaggeration. What is more, he has always been a man of God and a friend of Jesus, who was able to be a distinguished scholar and to convey the Christian message with simple and expressive words for anyone to understand. And a man whose death does not bear only grief and mourning, but first of all deep gratitude for a rich and fruitful life of someone with whom we were privileged to be contemporaries. Szőnyi Szilárd
HOLY LAND
The Jesuit community of the Holy Land proposes a series of encounter programs to get to know better the three great religious traditions of the Holy Land: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ten days spent with the Jesuit community in Jerusalem provides the occasion to study in depth each one of these religious traditions, encountering members of the  religious community and visiting sites and institutions that are central to them. In the course of the program, members of the Jesuit community share their experience and knowledge in the context of the Holy Land today. An encounter with modern Judaism An encounter with modern Islam An encounter with Christianity in the Holy Land Read more
EUROPE
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.