Jesuits in Europe

ITALY
255 teenagers, 150 young people, 300 families and 30 Jesuits. This is the number of participants who applied for the Selva experience taking place between June and September in north Italy. 100 adolescents and over 50 families stayed on the waiting list. There were three programs for adolescents, three for families, two for young people, one for Jesuits as well as the experience of the Spiritual Exercises. This initiative was made possible through the work of more than 150 volunteers who helped in the preparation of meals, administration work and animation programs for the children. 30 teachers were engaged as speakers. "The aim is to invest in the formation of people, including non-believers, to help them become interiorly free and responsible persons, offering them tools to read the word of God, to discern, to communicate with others and to live a good life.  This is the pedagogy of the Exercises: giving tools, offering a method, helping people to encounter the Lord", Beppe Lavelli SJ, director of Villa Capriolo, emphasised.  The Jesuit Mario Laner and 17 adolescents initiated this work of Providence as they benefitted from the generosity of Carlo Padrali-Noy and his wife Almarosa who donated their holiday home to them and contributed to the construction of the second building. Many choices have matured in this place, where Card. Martini, after leaving the chair of the diocese of Milan, spent some time of rest every year.
FRANCE
From 31st July until 20th August, 24 Jesuits in formation from 17 different European countries (and beyond) met in Paris for the annual EJIF meeting (European Jesuits in Formation). The meeting began with Holy Mass, celebrating the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at ‘Eglise Saint Ignace’. Afterwards there were welcoming addresses from Fr Franck Janin SJ (President of the Conference of European Provincials) and Fr. Xavier Nucci SJ (Provincial’s delegate for formation for the EOF province). The participating scholastics were reminded that, for Jesuits,  « the world is our house » (Jeronimo Nadal SJ, 1507-1580), that the challenge for Jesuits is to be locally involved but, at the same time, to keep our hearts and minds on the universal. Building a spirit of universality among Jesuits is, therefore, one of the main reasons behind the annual EJIF meeting. With this in mind, the meeting began with participants enjoying two days of orientation – exploring Paris by bike tour, visiting famous sites such as the Louvre or the Versailles Palace and celebrating a ‘festival of nations’ together – in order to better know the cultural surroundings, as well as each other. After these moments of fraternity, the meeting moved into it’s second phase – a week-long session on the subject of Ignatian Leadership led by Fr. John Dardis SJ (General Counsellor for Discernment and Apostolic Planning of the Society of Jesus). Far from being an arid, business-like series of conferences, this was a deep, personal experience infused with the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. We began by considering our personal experiences of leadership, imagining our dreams and desires for ourselves and our respective provinces, and then considering the traditions of leadership in the Society of Jesus (including the example of Pope Francis). As the week progressed we moved towards a consideration of leadership in our contemporary context, the challenges of our world today and, finally, the experience of leadership at the frontiers of society (inspired by a visit to the vibrant yet troubled city of Saint Denis). In terms of method and pedagogy, there were daily morning ‘inputs’ from a variety of different guest speakers, followed by a time for personal prayer to ‘taste and feel’ how the presentation resonated with us individually. We then met in small sharing groups to engage in a spiritual conversation on the topic, attempting to distill the movements of the Spirit we each experienced in order to understand how the Holy Spirit was communicating to us and through us through these experiences. In a final step, we returned to the larger group to share and appreciate each group’s contribution to our communal search for the message God was trying to communicate to us, this synodal process being inspired by Karl Rahner SJ’s idea that « each of us is a letter of God and together we spell out something great, a great word to the glory of God ». With participants engaging generously and the various speakers inspiring us with their insights, we left with a strong shared sense of gratitude and consolation for the session, an invitation to once more root ourselves in Christ and prepare to serve him in the mission ahead. May we, in the words of Ignatius on formation, continue to « make progress towards » Our Lord so that we can be ready to lead others in whatever situation we find ourselves. The third phase of EJIF 2019 took place at the Carmelite retreat centre in Avon, nearby the forest of Fontainebleau, where participants embarked on their annual 8-day individual guided retreat. Retreat director José de Pablo SJ (Socius to the President of the Conference of European Provincials) lead participants through the Spiritual Exercises, with a particular accent placed on the Society’s new Universal Apostolic Preferences. Upon leaving the retreat we visited the nearby Campus for Ecological Transition before returning to Paris in order to bring our time together to a close with an appreciation of « Ignatian Paris ». Jesuit students ourselves, we visited the key sites of Ignatius’ own studies in Paris (alongside early companions St Pierre Favre and St Francis Xavier). The meeting then came to a fitting culmination as participants renewed their own religious vows together in the same chapel of Montmartre where the original companions had done the same some 485 years before us. We give thanks to God for such a formative, grace-filled and fruitful time together, with particular gratitude for the ‘Coco’ (Co-ordinating Commitee) who organised the meeting and the various people who contributed to making this meeting such a memorable and transformative experience. Look at the EJIF 2019 Paris video
WORLD
Ecojesuit has expressed strong support for the Global Climate Strike this September. Organisers of the event are calling on people from around the world to disrupt business as usual by walking out of their homes, their classrooms, their offices, their farms, their factories, wherever they are on September 20 and 27. The event is happening in parallel with the UN General Assembly from September 17 to 30 where global leaders will convene for the Climate Action Summit on September 23 and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit on September 24 to 25 at the UN Headquarters in New York. “The Global Climate Strike is a strategic and opportune time to encourage local and global leaders to embark in greater efforts to address the climate emergency”, said Ecojesuit in its statement. Ecojesuit, which stands for Ecology and Jesuits in Communication, is an online platform for sharing in the critical work of reconciliation and responding to ecological concerns (General Congregation 35 Decree 3). It was initiated by the Jesuit European Social Centre and the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific. “We encourage schools, universities and all places of learning to hold dialogues, discussions and other educational activities that support the climate strike. Climate action need not always begin on the streets; it can begin in the classroom and at home”, the statement said. Ecojesuit also urged Jesuits and collaborators who are already engaged in climate action to use the time leading up to the Global Climate Strike to reflect on and discern how their apostolates can take further action. “In this, the Universal Apostolic Preferences identify collaboration with others as essential and some of us are already heeding this call”, they said. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a special report in 2018 that found climate change to be accelerating at a faster pace than previously expected, indicating the need for broader and more urgent action. In June this year, Pope Francis declared a climate emergency. “Though the challenges before us are great, we are confident that we can overcome this climate emergency”, said Ecojesuit. Last year, Ecojesuit called on Jesuit institutions to commit to making ethical investments and to divest in fossil fuels. Read Ecojesuit’s statement supporting the Global Climate Strike here:
LITHUANIALATVIA
MAGIS Europe 2019 in Lithuania and Latvia. More than 210 participants from 25 countries came together “to know, love and share” in Magis Europe 2019 summer event. The Ignatian program for young adults took place in Lithuania and Latvia from the 23rd till the 31st of July, 2019. This year 2019 marks the 450th anniversary of the Jesuit Mission in Lithuania and The Magis Europe 2019 event became one of the key parts of this celebration. The program was based on the official theme of the anniversary year “To know, love and share”. The event was also linked to the world Magis 2019 program and the World Youth Days in Panama. Magis Europe in Lithuania and Latvia was divided in two parts: Magis experiments and the Closing Festival. Experiments There were proposed 11 different experiments, grouped in the categories: Pilgrimage, Ecology, Service, Spirituality, Arts and Culture. The Ecology experiments invited to focus on the practical ways of relating Catholic faith with personal ecology through environmental workshops and education. These experiments were inspired by the impulses from Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” and his call to foster inner spiritual ecology. In the three Pilgrimage experiments young adults not only walked, but also canoed and cycled their way through different terrains in Lithuania and Latvia. Pilgrimages took place on the way of Santiago de Compostela, as well as on the beautiful Lithuanian seaside in Curonian Spit and in the “blue lakes land” area in Latvia. Participants who chose the category of Arts and Culture attended Choir, Taizé music, Theater and Food experiments. Young people were invited to reach out to God through worship, improvisation and even through the preparation of food. An important part of these experiments was sharing the fruits of these experiences - music, acting performances and food - with others. The Spirituality experiment invited young people to explore the ‘more’ of God in the beauty of silence. Participants had the possibility to take a break from the chaos and noise of the modern world and concentrate only on the inner spiritual movements. Mother Teresa’s sisters welcomed Magis participants in Riga for a Service experiment. Young people were invited to join the sisters in their daily acts of kindness for the homeless, addicted and for the children from the socially challenged families. Closing Festival After the fruitful and moving Magis experiments participants gathered in Kaunas, Lithuania for the celebration of the Closing Festival. Young people participated in the Evening of Reconciliation with the Lithuanian Youth Days choir. Next day participants attended Magis education workshops, Kaunas tours and took part in the choir Exaudi concert-meditation "The Face of Christ" which is based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The evening was dedicated to get a glimpse and taste of Central American culture through traditional music, food and drinks. Magis Europe 2019 was closed on the 31st of July with an uplifting celebration of the Solemnity of St. Ignatius. Also, the announcement of an invitation to the next Magis event was made - Magis Europe 2020 will take place in Hungary from the 1st to the 9th of August. Remember to book these dates in your Magis calendar!

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Finding God

POLAND
On July 29, 2019 an agreement was signed between the Archdiocese of Bialystok and the PME Province of the Society of Jesus in order to permanently entrust the Jesuits with the parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Wasilkowo near Bialystok. The Archdiocesan Curia was signed by His Excellency Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda SAC and the Superior of the PME Province Father Tomasz Ortmann SJ. The erection of the parish was established on September 18, 2019, and the square for the construction of the church is already being prepared at Nadawki Street. For the time being, parish activities will be carried out in the premises rented nearby in the "Dolina Cisów" housing estate. In article 8 of the agreement we read that "the parish and the religious house can and should carry out their own pastoral works belonging to the apostolic charism of the Society of Jesus". Therefore, we are planning to build a Recreational and Formation House, which we hope to build with the support of our donors. In Białystok and its surroundings we have many friends and collaborators in the mission entrusted to us by Pope Francis. Among them, there is the Community of Christian Life, which has been active for many years. We recommend this new initiative, confirmed by Father General and resulting both from our long efforts and from the invitation addressed to the Society of Jesus for the previous Pastor of the Archdiocese, to the intercession of St. Stanislaus Kostka and the prayers of the faithful.
UNITED KINGDOM
On Saturday 27th July, refugees and team from JRS UK attended an interactive exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral that showcased some of their work. In June, 10 of our refugee friends attended a Silk Painting workshop at JRS UK's centre in Wapping. The workshop focused on ways to depict sacred spaces using silk painting. The activity was facilitated by Stitches in Time, an arts charity working with different community groups in Tower Hamlets. They were collaborating with St Paul’s Cathedral to organise the exhibition, which also included hands-on craft activities during the day. Through sharing ideas, participants combined their work to construct a textile sacred space within St Paul’s Cathedral. The focus was on gathering, reflection and making. During the exhibition, all those who attended were encouraged to weave a few pieces of fabric together to ultimately be woven into a larger, integrated rug, fostering a greater sense of community development and solidarity. Tickets to the exhibition for the general public granted our refugee friends entry to the whole site of St Paul’s, giving them the opportunity to explore the cathedral. Many of our friends commented on the crypt, and spent hours learning about the famous tombs and religious works of art. At 6pm, the Choral Evensong began. One of the member of the group said: “I stayed at St Pauls for Evensong and spent some time in the space. It was thanks to this opportunity that I now know that I can go there.” Weaving at St Paul's The exhibition was not just about different community groups coming together to see their work and participate in activities, but it also gave them a chance to relish in a sacred space, to explore and feel part of London life. The exhibition gave our friends the freedom to learn and uphold some of the wonders dwelling within the walls of St Pauls, offering them time and a chance to develop and reflect on their own faith.at St Paul's At JRS UK, the refugee-led activities focus on improving skills, confidence, health and well-being by locating the skills, interests and desires of refugees at the centre of the planning process. In line with the centre's mission to walk alongside forced migrants, these projects are an essential ingredient of JRS's service. They are based on the belief that encounter, mutual relationship and community are fundamental to human integrity and development. The arts projects are both fun and practical ways to help those made destitute by hostile environment policies. They encourage personal growth and confidence, and grant our refugee friends the opportunity to learn new skills and the principles of leadership.
IRELAND
Gavin T. Murphy, mental health and well-being blogger, speaks to Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications about the publication of his first book entitled Bursting Out in Praise: Spirituality and Mental Health with Messenger Publications. In the interview, he describes a typical day in his life trying to live well with bipolar disorder, and he encourages the general public to live a balanced life too. In Bursting Out in Praise Gavin takes the reader through the six steps of his journey to better mental health, drawing on the wisdom of St Ignatius of Loyola, St Hildegard of Bingen and St Francis of Assisi and well-known mental health experts. Editor of Messenger Publications, Donal Neary SJ, asked Gavin to write the book after hearing him present a series of reflections on RTE Radio One’s A Living Word programme. Gavin expanded on these reflections to include research while studying for an MA in Applied Spirituality at Waterford Institute of Technology. Speaking to Pat Coyle, he hopes the book will encourage readers to ‘burst out in praise’ in the midst of pain or suffering. Click here to listen to the interview
CROATIA
Since decades many catholic families in Croatia have been reserving summer to attend Family Summer School organized by the Family Institute at the Philosophical-Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb. This year the Family Summer School was organized by the Family Institute and the catholic movement Cursillo from 24th to 31st August on the small Dalmatian island Krapanj. This Summer School programme was the combination of the Cursillo programme and the usual Summer School approach through lectures and sharing experience coming from the experts from various fields: psychology, theology etc. As always it was combined by leisure time (swimming, playing... especially for children) and the spiritual programme.

Promoting Justice

WORLD
Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, Special Secretary of Amazonian Synod, pointed out that, “as the Good Samaritan,” and through the forthcoming Synod on the Pan-Amazonian region, the Church puts into practice in Amazonia her commitment “with the compassion and justice of the Gospel.” Father Czerny, Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, and Special Secretary of the Amazonian Synod, wrote an article entitled “The Church in Amazonia and Integral Human Development: Prophetic Commitment to the Dignity of All Human Beings,” published in the July 31, 2019 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and translated by “Vatican News” the following day, August 1. The Synod’s Commitment According to this article, the Synod of Bishops entitled “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for An Integral Ecology,” convoked by Pope Francis, will make it possible to “initiate pastoral and environmental action in Amazonia, and reaffirm the way ‘of being Church,’ which such actions imply.” The article also points out that the mentioned commitment of the Church is concretized especially in the last chapter of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL), the Synod’s working document, which “synthesizes the challenges and hopes of a prophetic Church in the Amazonian region.” Pastoral Ministry and Integral Ecology In the context of Amazonia, as Pope Francis highlights in the Encyclical Laudato Si’, “everything is connected,” the “social and the natural, the environmental and the pastoral cannot and must not be separated,” explains the article in L’Osservatore Romano, which adds that intellectual, spiritual, business and political reductionism “have endangered human life on earth, humanity’s common home.” Therefore, the Synod is committed to solving this problem, to collaborating in the “healing” of the violations committed in the Amazonian territory, given that — as is included in the very title of the meeting, “New Paths for the Church and for An Integral Ecology,” and in the title of the IL’s last chapter, “The Prophetic Role of the Church and Integral Human Promotion” — pastoral ministry in the Church “is not separated from human promotion and integral ecology.” Conditions of Amazonia Both the Encyclical Laudato Si’ and the IL offer an exhaustive analysis of the conditions of the Amazonian region, summarized in Pope Francis’ following words: “Amazonia is a disputed land on various fronts: (. . .) the neo-extractive nature and strong pressure of the great economic interests, which focus their avidity on oil, gas, wood, gold, and agro-industrial monocultures.” The causes of Amazonia’s situation are diverse. Father Czerny refers to “the local and multi-national <bodies>, which support and foment public or private extractive investment, at the cost of devastating impacts on the Amazonian environment and its inhabitants, so that, in fact, the indigenous communities “see their lands threatened by interests that exploit them and are often denied the right to their own land.” Violation of Rights and Agreements   This constitutes a violation of International Law and Agreements, such as the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which the Holy Father has alluded on several occasions. The Declaration champions rights such as the free determination of the said communities (Article 3) and their autonomy in internal and local matters (Article 4). In parallel, Article 6 of Agreement 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries of 1989, ”acknowledges their right not to be touched by legislative or administrative measures that can affect them directly, without their prior consultation (. . . ),” in order to give their free consent. Deaths in the Indigenous Communities The article goes on to lament the lack of recognition of the demarcations and titles of the Amazonian lands, which has resulted in “an alarming number of deaths caused by new illnesses or violent in nature.” Quoting the IL’s point 145, it states that “to question today the power in defense of the territory and of human rights is to risk one’s life, opening a path of cross and martyrdom.” The IL also reported the 1,119 Indians killed between 2003 and 2017 in Brazil alone “for defending their territories.” Although there are several causes, in general, in any case, these deaths can be identified “as a consequence of environmental, social, structural causes and problems stemming from the lack of demarcation of territories and their invasion by powerful and violent outside interests.” The Church’s Pastoral Role The article goes on to state that in her pastoral role, the Church “works for the victims, is opposed to abuses and is called to defend justice and the poor. She also observes “with a critical conscience” how there are attitudes and realities in the indigenous peoples that aren’t evangelical. In this regard, since the end of the 19th century, with Pope Leo XIII and later Vatican Council II and the Social Doctrine of the Church, the different Pontiffs have offered “clear guidelines.” And, in keeping with the Synod’s Special Secretary: “in response to a prevailing model of society, which produces exclusion and inequality, and an economic model that kills the most vulnerable and destroys the common home, the Church’s mission includes a prophetic commitment to justice, peace, the dignity of all human beings without distinctions, and to the integrity of creation.” The text adds that the “good living” of the indigenous people depends fundamentally on “the demarcation of the Indian territories and their scrupulous respect.” Then, referring to Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, it reminds that the “fundamental task of politics is to ensure a just social order, and the Church ‘cannot and must not remain on the margin in the struggle for justice.” Despite great difficulties, threats and promises present in Amazonia, Father Michael Czerny quotes Pope Francis’ words, which open the last chapter of the Synod’s IL for Amazonia: “From the heart of the Gospel we recognize the intimate connection that exists between evangelization and human promotion, which must necessarily express itself and develop in all evangelizing action.” Caption: Putumayo Basin In The Amazon © Repam / Martina Conchione
SWITZERLAND
"Be yourself the change": Gandhi's words accompanied Valerio Ciriello SJ during his academic summer break. The Swiss scholastic about the ecological weeks at the Campus de la Transition in Paris and at Schumacher College in England. The ecological question began to interest me already in my youth in Italy, I became a member of the then Green Party (Verdi) in the mid-90s. The threat to the environment has taken on another dimension since I joined the Order in 2014. I am currently studying philosophy and theology in Paris and I am influenced by the inputs of Cécile Renouard and environmental scientist Gaël Giraud SJ. Cécile Renouard, professor of philosophy and nun, is the founder of the Campus de la Transition: an ecological project that seeks to root itself beyond academic reflection in everyday life and compassion for the earth. Through her I also learned about Schumacher College in Dartington/South England.  And so I spent my two-month summer break at the two institutions. The inner reversal of our way of thinking and living has received great urgency for me. A credible repentance must begin with me before I can "help" others to repent. So today I mainly eat vegetarian food and avoid air travel whenever possible. By the way, I have rarely eaten so excellently in my life as on Campus de la Transition and at Schumacher College, another proof that vegetarian and vegan dishes can be very tasty - they are cheap and healthy anyway. These are only small steps towards global ecological conversion - but many such steps multiply daily, hourly around the world and will make a difference for mankind. Instead of waiting for the reversal from above, from politics and economy, we can here and now in our own lives take fate into our own hands - and thus that of the world. "Be yourself the change you wish for this world," Mahatma Gandhi said.   It is also the guiding principle of the Campus de la Transition and the Schumacher College: There is the academic with master studies and courses, but the formative are experiences and encounters at eye level. Students, employees, professors, volunteers, course participants: Everyone helps with cooking, cleaning, field work, planning educational activities. Everyone has his own and general responsibility for the whole. The aim is not to flood the heads with even more knowledge, but rather to let the acquired knowledge seep from the head into the heart. I have experienced openness, depth, women, men, young people, believers, seekers who, beyond hedonism and egoism, participate every day in a more humane and just world. Unobtrusively, step by step, steadily. This is how a lively community emerges. That makes me hopeful for the world!    www.campus-transition.orgwww.schumachercollege.org.uk  Caption: Valerio Ciriello (44) gets down to business with organic onions: The Swiss scholastic at Schumacher College in Dartington/Southern England.
ROMANIA
The Jesuit Georg Sporschill, who is known far beyond Austria's borders for his commitment to street children and Roma in Romania, will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Udine on 16 September. At a ceremony held by the Italian university, which has 17,000 students and is medium-sized in size, Rector Prof. Alberto Felice De Toni handed over the honorary decree for primary school education (Scienze delle Formazione Primaria) at 6 p.m. in the university "Centro di Accoglienza E. Balducci". The decree of the Italian Minister of Science, Marco Bussetti, states that the honorary doctorate is awarded to Sporschill for his educational work in Romania, which saves disadvantaged people. Sporschill's pioneering work was aimed at "developing forms of education and qualitative support for children and young people with very specific needs in extremely complex contexts". Franco Fabbro, professor of psychology at Udine University, who was a supporter of the Sporschill Prize, stresses: "His thinking and his works put Georg Sporschill on the side of a few Italian priests who, in the last century, dealt with abandoned and needy young people, which considerably increased the progress of educational science". "We go where the need is greatest." Georg Sporschill, born 1946 in Vorarlberg, studied theology, education and psychology in Innsbruck and Paris. He then worked as a consultant in adult education in the Vorarlberg state government. At the age of 30 he entered the Jesuit Order and two years later was ordained priest. As a young chaplain in Vienna-Lainz he founded and accompanied many youth groups. From 1980 onwards, Sporschill's commitment applied to young people who had been released from prison, drug addicts and homeless. He founded the Caritas Youth Centre and three other shelters for the homeless. He sent the "Canisibus" with soup to the homeless and opened the "Inigo" restaurant in downtown Vienna, which gives long-term unemployed people work and self-confidence. Georg Sporschill went to the street children of Bucharest in 1991. Together with Ruth Zenkert he founded the relief organisation "Concordia Sozialprojekte" and took thousands of children from the streets and canals of the Romanian capital to children's and youth homes. Since 2004 he has been working in the Republic of Moldova for orphans, neglected teenagers and needy elderly people. Four years later, Sporschill began his work for children and families in Bulgaria. The principle "We go where the need is greatest" finally led him to the Roma in Transylvania/Romania, where he founded the association "Elijah" (www.elijah.ro) with Ruth Zenkert after leaving the "Concordia" board in 2012. In the region, tens of thousands of Roma families live on the outskirts of the villages, in the most confined of spaces, in poorly constructed mud huts, expelled from society. Illiteracy, unemployment and hopelessness prevail. The association "Elijah" has the aim to help the families with many children to get out of misery by their own efforts in order to break the cycle of poverty. New centre in Hosman near Sibiu Father Georg Sporschill wants to give the children and young people in particular new prospects for the future through social centres, homework supervision, music lessons and training workshops. He lives and works in Hosman, 30 kilometres west of Sibiu, in the Elijah community.
GERMANY
After the arrest of "Sea-Watch 3" captain Carola Rackete in Italy, Jesuit Refugee Service called to stop the criminalization of the helpers immediately. "It is not understandable that people who help other people in need therefore have to expect criminal prosecution", explained Stefan Keßler, JRS policy officer in a statement. "Humanity is not a crime.” Carola Rackete, 31, the German captain of 'Sea-Watch 3' was arrested end of June in Italy. After two weeks of waiting on the high seas, the captain had steered her ship to the port of Lampedusa. The situation for 42 Africans whom the 'Sea-Watch 3' had rescued from distress at sea had become unbearable. But this operation violated the instructions of the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, according to which ships with people rescued from distress at sea may not dock in the ports of his country. The captain is now threatened with legal proceedings. How can that be? Rackete and her crew have simply done what both humanity and international maritime law require: Refugees rescued from drowning and taken to a safe haven. What is macabre about this case is that if Sea-Watch 3 had taken the refugees to Libya, no public prosecutor would have been interested in it, even though refugees in Libya have to fear for life, limb and freedom. The case of 'Sea-Watch 3' and her captain makes three things clear. Firstly, the European Union must finally develop a procedure to ensure that it is not only the Mediterranean countries that have to take in refugees rescued from sea distress. If the EU does not succeed in this, there must be at least one "coalition of the willing" of receptive states. Many German municipalities have recently declared themselves willing to accept such people. These initiatives must be taken up and implemented. Secondly: Salvini's policy of isolation at any price, even that of human life, must have consequences. It violates fundamental rules and values of the European Union. Infringement proceedings against the Italian Government are inevitable. Finally, the criminalization of the helpers must be stopped immediately. It is incomprehensible that people who help other people in need should therefore expect to be prosecuted. Humanity is not a crime".

Youth & Media

POLAND
XV Ignatian youth day in Poland. Under the slogan "So little needed" in Stara Wieś near Brzozów in the Podkarpacie region, the XV Ignatian youth days (IDM) took place - a meeting of young people from older grades of middle and upper secondary schools. Five days of fun and joy, but also a great opportunity to develop. The Ignatian Youth Days began with a solemn Eucharist. Almost 400 young people from all over Poland came to Stara Wieś, where for the next four days they considered the slogan "So little needs to be done". Father Tomasz Ortman SJ in his homily encouraged the participants to ask themselves the question "There id not much needed to meet God." At the end of the day a folk band "Graboszczanie" played on the IDM stage. Their music made even the resistant ones dance. IDM are conducted in a workshop form. This year 32 different workshops took place. Among other things, sports, artistic culinary, knightly or even bartending activities were organized. IDM's goal is to offer young people a range of initiatives and ways to develop their personalities. The meeting is the culmination of an annual formation in the Jesuit Youth Pastoral Ministry MAGIS, preceded by a 10-day retreat, but it is also open to people not connected with the pastoral care. Thanks to their workshop form Ignatian holiday meetings create a space for young people to discover and develop their skills and seek an answer to the question about their place in society and the Church. This is the time when young people can see that faith is the source of maturity and lasting friendship.
ITALY
Young people of Eucharistic Youth Movement on a missionary trip. In July eleven young people from the different areas of MEG went on a missionary trip to Brazil: "We have discovered a love that moves everything, that gives colour to life and nourishes faith. We have discovered a land where faith is so tangible and people experience the Lord and see Him present in their daily lives", one of the young people wrote." This has been a deep life experience. Each of us had fears which we needed to discard and desires to fulfil. The meeting with the different communities and the experience of deep welcome were preceded by the National Conference of MEG Brazil, which was attended by about 150 young people, delegates and coordinators of the various countries where the Movement is present today. "In those days we felt as if we were at home, at our conferences, both during the assemblies, led by Fr Claudio Barriga SJ, as well as during the time of prayer animated by guitar music and the illumination of many candles in front of an icon of Jesus. This moment seemed to express to us the simplicity of an vital and spontaneous faith. In those days the music was continuous and contributed to making us all feel even more united". The days were marked by traditional local songs and dances, accompanied by the rhythm of large drums and the fluttering of colourful clothes. "We were left speechless by the wonderful discovery of the concrete presence of the Lord with us during the mission: we felt that Jesus was there and that he accompanied us and welcomed us into the homes of the people we were visiting. We were His instruments to simply carry His Word and His Love to the people. What we did was just go out and knock on people's doors to get to know them and support them. It was incredible to observe the spontaneity of the young people of the MEG of Brazil who read a passage from the Bible to each person we met and always found the right words to say in the situation, bearing witness with faith to the Lord. The stories of suffering and love that people have recounted will always remain in our hearts. In this country we have experienced how the realities of poverty, suffering and pain can be lived joyfully without any difficulty because they are embraced with a deep faith. The people we have met have taught us that one can always find value in the smallest of things, that we must have the same courage as those who have nothing and that we can always offer our nothingness as a gift to those we encounter. We have experienced acceptance without measure. Faith and love have overcome the fear of not being able to communicate even where the language seemed an obstacle, when the words seemed incomprehensible, we managed to create a strong fraternal bond with all the Brazilian young people we met. In a very short time, we discovered that we shared not only fears, but also many dreams and desires. Each of them was an instrument of love, an example of a deep faith and immense joy that seemed to us to belong particularly to that land. We thank the Lord for all His work, for every single moment and for meeting Him in the eyes of those whom we have encountered in this incredible journey".
CROATIA
A lot of youth activities at the Dalmatian Coast this summer: Spiritual exercises in an austere previous imprisonment camp, or a Laudato si camp. Spiritual exercises on the "Bare island" On the Croatian island Goli Otok (goli = naked, bare, otok = island) for a fifth year in a row groups of young people come to experience Ignatian spiritual exercises, organised by the Magis association and guided by Croatian Jesuits. The island of Goli used to be a notorious imprisonment camp for the political enemies of Tito's communist dictatorship from 1940s through 1950s and 1960s (started with Tito-Stalin split in 1948). Now, several decades after the last of the prisoners left, young people from different parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina come here to deepen their connection to God, nature and themselves. The conditions of accommodation are modest to say the least. The young people are sleeping in their sleeping bags on the wooden floors of old buildings. There is no electricity, no water supply (drinking water must be transported in canisters from the nearby island of Rab), no TVs, no smartphones or any kind of modern gadgets. The daily routine consists of three meals, an hour of work, lecture about Ignatian Spirituality, free time in which they are encouraged to pray and meditate. The day ends with the Holy Mass and adoration. Apart from a 30-minute daily conversation with their spiritual guide, they spend the week in complete silence. But the hard conditions in which they spend their time seem to have a beneficial effect on their spiritual exercises. It seems that in this silence and isolation from the outside world they have a better chance of hearing God's voice. It also seems that with their presence and prayer camp is in those days transformed in the place of holiness and that each one of them experiences a transformation of his own. And after a week, they go back to their homes enriched with this new experience and encouraged to search for and find God in all things. Youth camps based on Laudato si' In the Nature park of Lastovo this summer there were two youth camps based on the Papal encyclical Laudato si. Forty young people participated in a program as well as in practical outcome which means cleaning costal and island’s areas from different kind of rubbish. The biodiversity of Lastovo island nature park and its history were learned by visiting historical and sacral places, climbing and celebrating Mass. The camp has a missionary role also for many local people participated in spiritual and working activities. Having prayer and meditating out in a nature participants recognise God’s presence in their lives. Main emphasis in the program is integral ecology which connects experiences in natural and human environment. The main purpose of this camp is to restore relationships with God, neighbour and nature.
MALTA
60 students from the University of Malta have done voluntary service abroad. Six different groups of young people have served among the poor and marginalized in Palermo, Florence, London, Romania, Ethiopia and Egypt. A simple send-off ceremony took place on Saturday 27 July at the university chaplaincy during which the chaplain, Fr. Patrick Magro, augured these young students to live this experience to the full, thanking them for devoting their time and energy to those in need. Each one was given a personal diary and sunflower seeds. The young people heading for Palermo, Florence, Romania and London have worked with children in institutions run by the Sisters of Charity. The group volunteering in Egypt have run a summer camp for about 200 children in the so-called “garbage village”, where the inhabitants live in extreme conditions, on mountains of garbage. Fr. Anthony Fenech SJ, a Maltese Jesuit who has served in Egypt for many years accompanied the students throughout their experience. The youngsters who have gone to Ethiopia devoted themselves to the care of the sick and the marginalized. “Every young person returns home changed by these experiences”, Fr. Patrick said. “These are experiences that mark the beginning of a new life.They have been generous in giving, they will receive something even more precious. This voluntary work experience shared with their peers increases their sensitivity towards those in need. It is an effective way to form leaders who are active in promoting true social justice.” Thanks to funds donated, these experiences are now made accessible to a greater number of young people for another three years. Finally, a further group of students journeyed on the Camino de Santiago during the first two weeks of August, accompanied by Patrick Magro SJ and Mark Cachia SJ.

In-depth Reflection

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
A call to sense and taste things interiorly. How many times have we heard the words “discernment in common”, “ignatian leadership”, or “apostolic planning” and wondered what they truly mean? Now we have the answer at the tip of our fingers. The General Curia of the Society of Jesus with the support of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials (JCEP) and many other institutions have been developing content in these areas and making them accessible to all the ignatian family.  All the information can be found in the following website: Essential Ignatian Resources. Currently the information in this website can be found in the following languages:   Discernment in Common - in English, Spanish, Italian, and French Apostolic Planning - in English, Spanish, Italian, and French Ignatian Leadership – only in English All of these resources are offered for free and are continuously being improved. In addition, sometimes formation is being offered on the aforementioned themes through webinars. Behind the content of the webinars there is a series of high-level experts that make easy to understand a series of concepts that initially might seem complicated. But what more is there to these online resources apart from the obvious? Well, one might say that it is important to see them more than resources as a call. On the one hand it is a personal call to take care of our interior life. It is a call to sense and taste things interiorly, a call to let them change us, to make us grow and to help us get closer to God. It is a call that launches us to the world and invites us to share with others our life experience. On the other hand, it is a collective call that invites us to take care of the institutions where we work, what Saint Ignatius of Loyola once recognised as the cura apostolica.  As we mentioned earlier, there is still a lot to discuss on these topics. We invite you to take part of this family and to be inspired by this exciting challenge. If we all work together, adding our grain of sand, the fruits and ideas that we attain will be better in terms of quality and depth.
ITALY
The magazine and think tank of the Italian Jesuits, Aggiornamenti Sociali (Social Updates), has updated its website radically. The new site can be accessed through the link www.aggiornamentisociali.it It is more easily accessible on smartphones and tablets, sharing of content on social networks has been made easier, and it has been designed with "neat" and clean graphics. The site primarily offersthe digital version of the monthly edition (in some cases the articles are freely accessible, in others reserved for subscribers), and improved with additional images, videos and links to related articles. This database is a real gold mine containing over 6,000 articles published during the 70 years of the magazine’s history. Through it the social, political and economic development of our country (and not only) can be traced while continuing to search further with articles that are of interest to the reader. Two completely new sections are dedicated to projects and networks in which the team of Aggiornamenti Sociali is involved. These include the areas of political and ethical formation, the environment, work, etc.. This is a commitment that goes beyond simply publishing the magazine monthly and that has developed particularly in recent years. To complete the site there is also a multimedia section, dossiers to delve into current issues, the Aggiornamenti Sociali calendar of events, an e-shop where one can subscribe to the magazine and buy features written by the editorial staff (with special discounts for subscribers), image galleries and more. The launch of the new site and of a short video presentation followed the recent launch of the online edition of the magazine, which can be purchased from the same site or from the main online bookstores. More noveltiesare in the pipeline for the coming months.
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Official launching of the Kircher Network. The name Athanasius Kircher SJ is back on the spotlight (if it ever left). This man, considered by some as “The Last Man Who Knew Everything”, and as the “Master of a Hundred Arts”, was a seventeenth century Jesuit polymath expert in areas like religion, geology, medicine, and many more. One might ask, why is he relevant for us nowadays? Well, in addition to all his discoveries that helped us in many fields of knowledge, he has been a key inspiration to launch the Kircher Network, the family of Jesuit institutions of higher education in Europe and the Near East. But what can the Kircher Network do? What is its vision for the intellectual apostolate in Europe and the Near East? These are good questions. They actually were the key focus of the first official General Assembly of the Kircher Network that took place in Innsbruck, Austria, from the 7th to the 9th of July 2019. The group of rectors and deans of the institutions that form the Kircher Network, and who are members of the General Assembly, met together for two full days to put their hearts, minds, and souls to the task of answering the two aforementioned questions. Fr. Franck Janin SJ, president of the JCEP, and Fr. Philip Geister SJ, president of the Kircher Network, both emphasised the importance for “the mission [to be] at the heart of our project and give it is full meaning”. This is the starting point. From there we moved to the Universal Apostolic Preferences. The Jesuit Roman Curia recently announced them after a deep and inclusive discerning process that finished with their approval by none other than Pope Francis. Fr. John Dardis SJ, a key figure in the whole process, came to speak to the whole group of rectors and deans. “If the world is our home…” said Fr. Dardis referring to the famous Jesuit Jerónimo Nadal SJ, “… our home is in a critical state.” “There is a dominant narrative of division, which is our narrative of reconciliation?” he challenged participants. This powerful talk was followed by a similar motivational speech by Fr. Michael Garanzini SJ who spoke of the recent developments at the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) and its working groups. “There is energy and a momentum we need to sustain, the whole world is moving forward…” Fr. Garanzini explained, “… the networks in the other regions are also slowly taking shape”. These two talks served as the kick-off for a reflection process in which the different participants of the General Assembly tried to answer the following three questions: a) What one or two things moved you after hearing Fr. Dardis and Fr. Garanzini? What gives you energy? b) How, from within my institution, can I imagine these visions be realised? c) How can we help each other do that? The personal reflection was followed by some group work and then the participants all got together in a plenary to discuss the different ideas that came out. Throughout these sessions, the specific ideas that gained more support were: Exchanging Staff and Students. To do this in a specific way. Strategic partnerships (bilateral or trilateral). Cooperate in seeking joint EU funding for concrete projects Idea of discerning university and what this means Ignatian Pedagogy in Europe and the Near East Theology in Europe and the Near East Intellectual work as a service of liberation At one point during the meeting participants heard a great talk from Prof. Dr. Katherine Dormandy, expert on the topic of trust. This came at the right moment since most of the topics that the members of the Kircher Network were discussing, required trust as a necessary mean for their well functioning. She said: “Trust involves reliance: putting yourself in someone’s hands. But it involves more than this. It also involves a relationship of care.” This is something that the members of this network will have to truly work on if they want this enterprise to succeed and bear fruits. The meeting was also a good moment to see familiar faces and to meet the new people who will be helping the network move forward. Here we want to emphasise the role of Susana Ditrolio Rivero, the new Executive Secretary, who has been working for more than 15 years in the homologue network of the Kircher network in Latin America, AUSJAL. Prof. Dr. Ditrolio will be starting her new role in September. She has a large background on networking and in political sciences. Finally, the Higher Education for Social Transformation Programme (HEST) received a lot of attention. It was presented by its coordinator, Prof. Dr. José Carlos Romero. This programme, launched two years ago, was a key element for developing this Kircher Network. The idea behind it is that several experts working in the same field gather in research clusters and develop a common advocacy strategy to help address a current social issue. The areas in which they have gathered are: ecology and environmental challenges, poverty and ethics, Christian-Muslim relations, dialogue science and religion, Ignatian studies, anthropology, and refugees and migration. We can imagine that these are areas that Fr. Athanasius Kircher SJ would surely be delighted to know that the Society of Jesus is involved in.
PORTUGAL
"The new approach to families will be one of Francis's great legacies." Austen Ivereigh, the Pope's biographer, and Fr. James Keenan, an American Jesuit and moral theologian, spoke to more than 400 people about how Pope Francis has invited the Church to a conversion in the area of family ministry. On 19th July, the auditorium of S. João de Brito Scholl was filled for the conference "The Pope of the Families" organized by the Pastoral of the Family of the Society of Jesus and by Brotéria. Austen Ivereigh and Fr. James Keenan, SJ, gathered to help people understand the context in which the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) arose, what the Pope's vision of the Church and the family is, and how the Apostolic Exhortation has been received and implemented in different parts of the world. Fr. Miguel Almeida, sj, responsible for the Pastoral Care of the Family for the Portuguese Province, emphasized that the objective of the meeting was "not to allow the Pope's concern for the Pastoral Care of Families to die". The Jesuit gave several examples of how the action of Francis in this field has been a driving force for change in different groups of the Portuguese Church. In his speech, Austen Ivereigh was convinced that "the new approach to families will be one of the great legacies of Francis". The English journalist emphasized the fact that with Francis there was no change in the doctrine of marriage. For him what happened was a change "in the mentality of the Church regard to approaching the reality of marriage". According to the Pope's biographer, we have moved from a way of viewing marriage "as an institution supported by a convention, by the law and validated by the Church" to the consideration of marriage as "a path of conversion and openness to grace. This way of looking at things "is much closer to the Gospel," concluded Ivereigh. It is a demanding way of understanding marriage in the midst of a culture marked by transience. For Austen Iverigh, more than "blaming the culture", the Church must ask herself what She must change "in order to evangelize in a new context". The theologian James Keenan chose seven words to synthesize Francisco's vision, which is reflected in Amoris Laetitia. The first of the words chosen by the Jesuit was pastoral. Keenan explained that in the apostolic exhortation that followed the Family Synod is "a new understanding of the Church as profoundly pastoral”. On the other hand, "the word "pastoral" links Pope Francis to Vatican II which was the Council of Pastoral Doctrine”. The pastoral dimension of the Church is intimately linked to the second word uttered by the Jesuit: local. It is up to each local Church to understand the way in which the accompaniment of families must be put into practice, without this implying the loss of the bond with the universal Church. In choosing the word synod, Keenan emphasized the fact that Francis clearly bet on a Church that listens, knowing that "listening is more than hear". This attitude of listening is also reflected in the fourth idea emphasized by the moral theologian, the centrality of conscience. Recalling the number 37 of AL, the theologian recalled that as Church "we have been called to form consciences, not to replace them". However, the Jesuit did not fail to mention that "true conscience only works with humility". The call to closeness and the formation of conscience would be impossible without two more dynamics enunciated by Keenan: moral discernment and accompaniment. The last of the seven words chosen by Keenan is deeply associated with the pontificate of Pope Francis and is central to understanding AL: mercy. Defining mercy as "the decision to enter freely into the chaos of another person," the American priest underline that before approaching others, we need to understand what Christ has done for us, how far He has gone.  James Keenan ended his speech by giving examples of how the reception of LA has transformed the practices of the Church at different levels and contexts. Fr. Francisco Mota, sj close the conference on behalf of Brotéria, underlining the importance of organizing moments of reflection such as this that meet the issues that people face in their daily lives.

Preparing for Mission

ITALY
At a time characterized by an imposing leadership model, it is urgent to offer the Ignatian leadership model for the service of others. The video contains the reflections of some EUM Province Jesuits and lay people. Formation within the Society is of utmost importance as it is a tool to discipline the conscience, enabling leaders to place people at the main focus of attention, accompanying them on their journey, in particular the most vulnerable.  
FRANCE
From 31st July until 20th August, 24 Jesuits in formation from 17 different European countries (and beyond) met in Paris for the annual EJIF meeting (European Jesuits in Formation). The meeting began with Holy Mass, celebrating the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at ‘Eglise Saint Ignace’. Afterwards there were welcoming addresses from Fr Franck Janin SJ (President of the Conference of European Provincials) and Fr. Xavier Nucci SJ (Provincial’s delegate for formation for the EOF province). The participating scholastics were reminded that, for Jesuits,  « the world is our house » (Jeronimo Nadal SJ, 1507-1580), that the challenge for Jesuits is to be locally involved but, at the same time, to keep our hearts and minds on the universal. Building a spirit of universality among Jesuits is, therefore, one of the main reasons behind the annual EJIF meeting. With this in mind, the meeting began with participants enjoying two days of orientation – exploring Paris by bike tour, visiting famous sites such as the Louvre or the Versailles Palace and celebrating a ‘festival of nations’ together – in order to better know the cultural surroundings, as well as each other. After these moments of fraternity, the meeting moved into it’s second phase – a week-long session on the subject of Ignatian Leadership led by Fr. John Dardis SJ (General Counsellor for Discernment and Apostolic Planning of the Society of Jesus). Far from being an arid, business-like series of conferences, this was a deep, personal experience infused with the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. We began by considering our personal experiences of leadership, imagining our dreams and desires for ourselves and our respective provinces, and then considering the traditions of leadership in the Society of Jesus (including the example of Pope Francis). As the week progressed we moved towards a consideration of leadership in our contemporary context, the challenges of our world today and, finally, the experience of leadership at the frontiers of society (inspired by a visit to the vibrant yet troubled city of Saint Denis). In terms of method and pedagogy, there were daily morning ‘inputs’ from a variety of different guest speakers, followed by a time for personal prayer to ‘taste and feel’ how the presentation resonated with us individually. We then met in small sharing groups to engage in a spiritual conversation on the topic, attempting to distill the movements of the Spirit we each experienced in order to understand how the Holy Spirit was communicating to us and through us through these experiences. In a final step, we returned to the larger group to share and appreciate each group’s contribution to our communal search for the message God was trying to communicate to us, this synodal process being inspired by Karl Rahner SJ’s idea that « each of us is a letter of God and together we spell out something great, a great word to the glory of God ». With participants engaging generously and the various speakers inspiring us with their insights, we left with a strong shared sense of gratitude and consolation for the session, an invitation to once more root ourselves in Christ and prepare to serve him in the mission ahead. May we, in the words of Ignatius on formation, continue to « make progress towards » Our Lord so that we can be ready to lead others in whatever situation we find ourselves. The third phase of EJIF 2019 took place at the Carmelite retreat centre in Avon, nearby the forest of Fontainebleau, where participants embarked on their annual 8-day individual guided retreat. Retreat director José de Pablo SJ (Socius to the President of the Conference of European Provincials) lead participants through the Spiritual Exercises, with a particular accent placed on the Society’s new Universal Apostolic Preferences. Upon leaving the retreat we visited the nearby Campus for Ecological Transition before returning to Paris in order to bring our time together to a close with an appreciation of « Ignatian Paris ». Jesuit students ourselves, we visited the key sites of Ignatius’ own studies in Paris (alongside early companions St Pierre Favre and St Francis Xavier). The meeting then came to a fitting culmination as participants renewed their own religious vows together in the same chapel of Montmartre where the original companions had done the same some 485 years before us. We give thanks to God for such a formative, grace-filled and fruitful time together, with particular gratitude for the ‘Coco’ (Co-ordinating Commitee) who organised the meeting and the various people who contributed to making this meeting such a memorable and transformative experience. Look at the EJIF 2019 Paris video
WORLD
As is already tradition, Pope Francis has visited his Jesuit brothers near the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which falls on July 31 each year. On July 7, the Holy Father went for a private visit to the General Curia of the Jesuits where he dined with Father Arturo Sosa the Superior General and with his brothers of the Society of Jesus.” “As is known, the Pontiff has already privately visited the General Curia and his brother Jesuits in past years near the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola.”
EUROPE
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.