Jesuits in Europe

7000 people gathered in Marseille for the Ignatian Year. At the heart of this anniversary year for the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits of the EOF and the whole Ignatian Family met in Marseilles, on All Saints Day, for the great gathering on the theme "In the deep, with Ignatius! For three days, 7000 pilgrims - including nearly 2000 young people - from France, Belgium, Luxembourg and even further afield, experienced unforgettable times of recollection, celebration and festivities. Three days in which everyone was able to see the different faces of the great Ignatian Family. Jesuits and lay people reflect on what they experienced during this strong time of open and joyful Church. Recognition and wonder: all the participants underline the exceptional quality of the organisation which required audacity, creativity but also professionalism to welcome so many participants and to offer them a rich and varied programme, in the difficult health context. There was also a formula for families and programmes for the 2,000 young people who came with the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM), the Jesuit schools and the young adults of the Magis Network. On Saturday, 500 small groups from 17 locations braved the rain and wandered through the streets of Marseille to discover its treasures and committed actors. In the evening, 14 evening events were offered: round tables on the Church of tomorrow, integral ecology, inter-religious celebration, theatre, concert, testimonies... The highlight of this day was the Rejoice concert-show of the gospel group Dionys' Voice directed by the Jesuit Louis Lorieux. On Sunday morning, the pilgrims went to meet the Christians of Marseilles: they were welcomed by 30 parishes in the city to celebrate the Eucharist and then share a convivial lunch. The mass celebrated in the church of Saint-Ferréol, entrusted to the Jesuits, was broadcast live on the national television channel France 2. It was presided over by Fr François Boëdec, Provincial of the Jesuits. In the afternoon, the "Festival of the Ignatian Family" was a great time of exchange and encounter. On the programme: 50 stands, conferences on ecological transition, spiritual life, service of the poorest or pedagogy, workshops on initiatives and projects carried out by congregations, movements and associations of Ignatian spirituality... A round-table discussion particularly attracted attention: "Which hope after the CIASE-report on abuses in the Church? In the evening, after a festive meal, a great vigil brought together the 7,000 participants. Introduced by a concert of the EYM, the show was one of the highlights of the gathering. It evoked the life of the fiery Ignatius and his inner journey: taming his emotions, he is touched by grace and chooses to follow Christ.   The vigil continued with a common prayer, introduced by the Pope's words to the whole Ignatian Family. On the last day, the participants began the day with a time of reflection to gather the fruits and to hear the message of Fr Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits. The All Saints' Mass, broadcast live on the KTO TV channel and RCF radio from the Palais des Congrès, closed this great Church event. To go further Photos, videos (of the show and of the Masses in replay) and echoes of the Jesuit reporters, texts of the homilies, meditations and speeches, the video message of Pope Francis and the press articles and broadcasts on the gathering "Au Large avec Ignace". 
Dr Ciara Murphy, Environmental Policy Advocate at the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, reflects on her experience as an observer at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) summit in Glasgow. She discusses whether or not the summit met its aim to bring parties together to accelerate climate action and she speaks of her experience collaborating with other Jesuit organisations and faith groups. Dr Murphy also participated in a pilgrimage from Edinburgh to Glasgow which culminated in a march for climate justice. Click here for the previous story ». One question of a large and interesting interview: What was your experience of collaborating with other Jesuit organisations and faith groups? During my time in Scotland I had the opportunity to work alongside and get to know other people working in Jesuit organisations and faith based groups as well as Jesuits and novices from the UK and Indian Provinces. The Pilgrimage between Edinburgh and Glasgow, organised by Jesuit Missions UK, provided ample time to meet others who are experiencing an ecological conversion as part of their faith. Arriving in Glasgow and joining the climate justice march in the faiths block was an incredible experience. The sheer number of people who are active in the climate movement because of their faith is a sign that the climate movement is one that can be inclusive and diverse, gathering people of all faiths and none together to care for our common home. EcoJesuit played an important role in the preparation for COP as well as the amplification of the climate justice message throughout the duration of the summit. The online event ‘Faith at the Climate Frontiers’, which took place on Monday 8th November was an exemplar of collaboration between the EcoJesuit team based in the Philippines and the delegates in Glasgow. Not only did Jesuit Missions UK organise a lot of these events but they also obtained badges into the blue zone as official observers. As part of their delegation I had the opportunity to attend events with those from Jesuit Missions who are working on similar areas to me. This familiarity will enable us to collaborate more closely together on future projects. Read the complete interview with Dr. Ciara Murphy Jesuits in Ireland
Eucharistic Youth Movement meets again.   Limited numbers, one day less than in previous meetings and an organization aimed at guaranteeing the safety of all participants as much as possible. This was the setup of the national conference entitled "As I have loved you" in Frascati between 30 October and 1 November. The theme that the Movement will delve deeply into this year is fraternity. "Perhaps everything we have experienced during the last two years has been a blessing," Adriano says. "It has given me the opportunity to live every moment, experience every encounter, every smile I receive as a gift that I am not sure I deserve. The meeting consisted of assemblies, times of prayer and sharing in groups and moments of celebration. Mariachiara, a PRE-T from Milan, wrote that "the Convention was a moment of joy, sharing, and fraternity. It's a discovery that God is your friend and brother, it's "returning home", at the place where you always feel welcomed and loved just as you are. I felt the Lord taking my hand and lead me into the midst of wonderful brothers". Moussa, a young man from Mali, was one of them. We met him through the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy, the "Centro Astalli", and he came to visit us to describe his difficult story with simplicity. He concluded his speech by deeply touching the hearts of those listening, telling us precisely that "brother is anyone who gives you his time, who knows how to listen to you". Music as usual was a means of prayer and a privileged channel of emotions and desires. In particular, this year's hymn entitled "One", was sung many times throughout the days and was a great stimulus to that desire to be together with the Lord and with each other. Elisa, one of the voices of the MEGband, commented: "In Frascati, I was the voice that sang His words, hoping to get right to the heart of those who were listening and to become, together with them, a single voice. It was a single melody that expressed and shouted all the love, joy and beauty of finding each other, of being together and of finding a brother in each of those who sang with me. I really felt the strong emotion of becoming 'ONE' in Him: This is the only way we can be forever.’ The Movement, which is a section of the Apostleship of Prayer for youth, initiated in France and was promoted by the Jesuits at the beginning of the last century. Its aim is to accompany and educate young people between 8 and 24 years of age to make mature choices during important stages of their life. Approximately 3500 young people in the Province are members of this Movement.  Jesuits EUM
How nice to be able to just take a breath in the hustle and bustle. One year after its opening, the Christian chapel and the Room of Silence at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) were ceremoniously inaugurated with an ecumenical prayer service. In addition to the Catholic Archbishop Heiner Koch and the Protestant Bishop Christian Stäblein, Cantor Esther Hirsch from the Jewish Sukkat Schalom congregation and the head of the Muslim pastoral care telephone, Imran Sagir, also took part. Both 25-square-metre tent-like rooms made of dark bricks belong to the ecumenical airport chaplaincy and have already been accessible for a year. They are run by the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia and the Archdiocese of Berlin. Together with around 30 volunteers, the Jesuit Fr. Wolfgang Felber SJ and the Protestant pastor Sabine Röhm offer pastoral care to travellers and airport employees regardless of their religion or ideology. They cooperate with a social worker from the Catholic Welfare Work Association “In Via” for Girls and Women. "A very successful room," says Kirsten Specht. She looks at the dark bricks that structure the wall in the chapel of the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport BER. "But it could have been more color," says the alternative practitioner from Braunschweig. Only a square opening on the ceiling of the five-metre-high, tent-like construction, light strips and a recess in the wall in the shape of a cross illuminate the semi-darkness. Specht has taken a seat on one of the few chairs. "I totally enjoy the peace and quiet here," says the 53-year-old. She discovered the simple chapel with altar table, Bible and reading desk by chance, as well as the neighbouring "Room of Silence", an almost identical room also covering 25 Square Meters. On Friday, Berlin's Catholic Archbishop Heiner Koch and the Protestant Bishop Christian Stäblein, together with the cantor Esther Hirsch from the Jewish community and Imran Sagir, the head of the Muslim chaplaincy telephone, will ceremonially inaugurate both rooms. "We are in the center of the airport," Sabine Röhm and Wolfgang Felber are pleased about the location of both rooms in Terminal 1. The Protestant pastor and the Catholic Jesuit priest are the main airport chaplains at BER. "From our point of view, it could have started earlier," they assure us. But the opening of the airport had been postponed several times since 2012. It wasn't until a year ago that the time had come. Until then, both were involved in the now closed Tegel and Schönefeld airports. A team of 30 volunteer chaplains Röhm and Felber also used the time to train a team of now 30 volunteer chaplains, among them teachers, judges, police officers and nurses. "They are indispensable for us," emphasizes the 53-year-old Röhm. With half a job, she is also responsible for the Berlin fire brigade. "Compared to other airports, we have a particularly large number of volunteer airport chaplains," says 60-year-old Felber. He also works part-time at BER and is otherwise a chaplain in a hospital. Both are particularly attached to the service at the capital's airport. With their purple waistcoats, on their backs a white ribbon with the inscription "Flughafenseelsorge - airport chaplaincy", they stand out even among colorfully dressed tourists. After months of the Corona pandemic, their numbers have risen sharply again. A watchful eye As always, Sabine Röhm keeps a watchful eye on the people she passes on her tour of the wide halls. One of them has tears in his eyes. "Can I help you, may I help you?" the chaplain asks. Shaking of the head. So this time it remains open whether joy or sadness is the cause. "Anyone who wants to pour out their heart can trust in our duty of confidentiality," she explains. Often it is small problems that the chaplains encounter, but sometimes not. Heinrich Becker, one of the volunteers, remembers an airport employee who could not get the open eyes of a traveler who had suddenly died out of his mind. "Only when he was able to talk about it with us did he feel better," says the 72-year-old, who used to manage a nursing home. Like his colleagues, he also has an open ear for the worries and needs of the airport staff. Even though operations are starting up again, some are on short-time work or even threatened with dismissal. Prepared for extreme cases The chaplains also have to be prepared for extreme cases like plane crashes. "Although they are rare, they have a long-lasting effect," explains Father Felber. For example, friends and relatives in Berlin-Schönefeld regularly remember the 189 people who died in a crash in the Dominican Republic in 1996. Far more common, however, are practical difficulties that travelers turn to the chaplains with. They can then call in Friedemann Müller, with whom they share a common counter not far from the chapel. On behalf of the Catholic In-Via Association, the 45-year-old becomes active when a social worker is needed. "If someone misses a flight and has no money for another one, I see what can be done," Müller explains. Open to visitors of all religions Kirsten Specht has finished her little sabbatical at the chapel. "How nice to be able to just take a breath in the hustle and bustle," she says before heading off to a seminar on the Greek island of Corfu. Meanwhile, in the "Room of Silence" next door, some of the airport's Muslim service staff have rolled out their rugs to pray. A metal plate embedded in the floor points out the cardinal directions and helps them face Mecca. "We are open to visitors of all religions and world views," emphasizes Father Felber.

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Finding God

All you wanted to know about the Jesuits, in 36 cases. As part of the offer of the ELC Region (North Belgium and the Netherlands) for the Ignatian Year, a small travelling exhibition was set up. This exhibition has already passed through Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Heverlee and has now been in Mechelen for several weeks. In three exhibition cabinets with 12 boxes each, there are interesting objects that tell something about the beginnings of the Society, about the most important fields of apostolate in the first centuries, and some remarkable Jesuits from history. But also the four universal apostolic priorities are presented. For each object there is a short presentation and per section also a QR code that refers to a longer story or a video. It is interesting to know that the city of Mechelen, where the exhibition is currently on display, has two Jesuit churches. The former St Francis Xavier Church, built at the end of the 17th century, is part of the complex where the Jesuits came in 1606, the old palace of Margaret of York. The exhibition is set up in the side aisle of this beautiful baroque church. The other Jesuit church is a former monastery church of the Norbertine sisters, where the Jesuits came after the suppression of the Society, at the beginning of the 20th century. In this church of Our Lady of Leliendaal, we celebrated the feast of Saint John Berchmans and the 400th anniversary of his death on November 26. The fact that Jan attended school in Mechelen at the then newly founded Jesuit College and also entered the Society here is certainly something special for the people of Mechelen. In addition, the particularly precious relic of the heart of St. Jan Berchmans is preserved in our church and was beautifully decorated and honoured during this jubilee celebration. Philip Debruyne s.J.
It all started when someone suggested a book he should read. Then he went to a bookshop to buy the spiritual book. Consequently, he met the Jesuits and discovered the Spiritual Exercises, and his journey began. "I met the Jesuits through a priest in charge of a bookshop in Cluj-Napoca. I wanted a good spiritual guide, since I did not have much knowledge and experience in the area of faith and the spiritual life." This is the experience of Alexandru, 29 years of age, from Romania. After his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at the Faculty of History-Philosophy, of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, he now works as a librarian/researcher at the Romanian College. "What struck me about the Jesuits," he says, "is their spirit of sacrifice, of perfection, of continuous closeness to God!"A path of discernment Through the knowledge of the Spiritual Exercises he went through a period of spiritual accompaniment. "Fr. Bosa SJ was my guide, meeting him regularly for almost a year. He taught me how to open myself to Christ and to live my faith in silence, in my room, to help others and to involve myself in the lives of those most in need. I concluded the experience of the Spiritual Exercises in daily life with 7 days of Spiritual discernment to discover what to do with my life."Fear and Freedom At first, the journey was not easy. Then day after day, I felt that my faith was strengthening, and my fears started to disappear. At the Manresa Spiritual Centre, I felt I was born anew. I learned to talk to Him, to offer my life to Him, to be more sensitive to others. Perhaps the greatest spiritual fruit was my decision to become a Roman Catholic.""The Spiritual Exercises opened a door for me: that of the Soul. I became aware of what I needed to work on in my spiritual life, how to do this, and most importantly, who to ask for help in my time of need." 
The Jesuits of French-speaking Western Europe are launching the new portal Prie en Chemin (Pray as you go), the French-speaking digital space of reference to discover and experience the Spiritual Exercises at the heart of one's daily life! Building on the success of the podcast launched in 2017, the Jesuits of EOF are launching the new Prie en Chemin to discover and experience the Spiritual Exercises. Nurturing and supporting the spiritual life by offering a range of services to "Seek and find God in everything" is its ambition. Open to all, it offers a gold mine of proposals for growing in freedom and humanity at the school of Saint Ignatius. 4 proposals to discover in the heart of daily life: - The podcast: every day, a 15-minute guided audio mediation of a passage from the Word of God from the liturgy of the day: (Downloadable app) - Towards Sunday: throughout the week a meditation to pray with the Gospel of the coming Sunday (downloadable app); - The Minute: a weekly video to enlighten our faith. - Spiritual retreats: online retreats are offered during liturgical times or according to the wishes of Internet users, to be followed from home and at your own pace. A search engine gives access to all the retreats offered by the 16 Ignatian spiritual centres using a number of criteria (place, theme, dates, etc.). A lot of contents to enter into the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises: - Discernment: the Ignatian pedagogy for making a free choice by listening to one's inner motions and rereading one's life; - Commitment: according to the choice of four orientations for working with God in the world: showing the way to God, journeying with the poor and the excluded, accompanying young people and working to safeguard our common home. To be discovered in application and on  
On 22 January 2022, the diocesan process for the beatification of Father Nicolas Kluiters, a Dutch Jesuit who worked in Lebanon, will begin in Beirut. He entered the novitiate in 1965, and after his studies in philosophy and theology, he studied social work. He was also a painter. He arrived in Lebanon in 1966 and was kidnapped, tortured and killed in March 1985. He lived in the turbulent period after the Second Vatican Council, when many religious left their congregations. His former Father Master, Father Piet van Breemen, said how Nicholas lived through this period: "He did not uncritically approve of everything that happened. Because he was to some extent 'unconventional', he could easily keep his distance from trends that wanted to impose themselves. Facing spiritual and material poverty  Nicholas' apostolate was in the northern part of the Bekaa plain. A poor, neglected region. He had to face spiritual as well as material poverty. He often shared the life of the inhabitants, eating and sleeping in their homes. In the village of which he had become parish priest, appointed by the Maronite bishop, he lived for several years without a house of his own, lodging with the people. He travelled a lot in this region: catechesis, Bible evenings, baptisms, training of children for the first communion, visits of the few priests who were often very poor and not very well trained. He worked especially in the village of Barqa which was part of a triangle between Chlifa, Aynata and Nabha. In the interior, all the villages were Maronite. The whole area around was Shia Muslim. This minority situation in the midst of the tensions of the war was an invitation for the inhabitants to emigrate. The social worker in Nicolas saw a clear choice: either to give the inhabitants the means to survive there or to encourage them to leave. He chose the first option and spent all his energy on developing the village. Building a road and waterpipes with the inhabitants He succeeded in building, with the active collaboration of the inhabitants, a road to the agricultural land above the village; he set up, with them, water pipes, allowing the cultivation of fruit trees. In his mind, this was a way to combat the hashish cultivation that was common in the whole region. He built a new church in the hills so that the inhabitants could pray there during the summer season, when the goat herds were there. He succeeded in having an additional school built in the middle of the village, thus uniting two parts of the village that had long been in conflict. He obtained the arrival of nuns from the Congregation of the Holy Hearts to look after the school. On the same site, he succeeded in obtaining the establishment of a dispensary, open to the inhabitants of the whole region, supported by the Order of Malta. He was also able to bring in a sewing workshop in collaboration with a factory in Beirut which supplied the material, thus creating work for the women of the village. The village priest did not have his own house. For a long time, Nicolas slept in the homes of the inhabitants. He was finally able to build a house for the priest, thus ensuring a place of prayer and rest for the priest, as well as a parish hall and another room for a visiting priest who could give the priest a hand. Threatened He had thus become an authority in both spiritual and civil matters. He was very popular, and to this day his portrait can be found in every house in the village. The propaganda of the political parties, pro-Syrian, left-wing and Shi'ite parties had no hold on Barqa. This is where Nicolas became "troublesome". He knew that his life was threatened. Believing that his mission was perhaps accomplished, he seriously thought of expressing his availability for a new mission in Sudan. At the end of a five-week session on Ignatian spirituality in Rome in 1984, he spoke to Father General, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, with whom he had had excellent relations since his theological studies in Beirut. The decision was made to return to Barqa to consolidate his work, despite the real dangers in the region. He therefore resumed his work. In March 1985, after a visit to the region of Hermel, he was in a hurry to return to Barqa and took the road that passes through Nabha and Qaddâm, a road that he advised against all those who wanted to come to him. It was on this road that he was ambushed. He was tortured and murdered. Thom Sicking SJ (Beirut) Vice-postulator

Promoting Justice

The European Laudato si Alliance – known as ELSiA – hosted an eco-spirituality workshop for its six faith-based member organisations in Taizé, France, the weekend of November 12- 14. With the goal of reflecting on the ecological spirituality described in Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ encyclical, 14 representatives of COMECE, Caritas Europa, Justice and Peace Europe, CIDSE, Laudato si’ Movement and JESC gathered in Taizé. The workshop included lectures by renowned speakers and focused on issues like re-thinking theology, the place of human beings on Earth, personal hopes and fears related to environmental challenges, inspirational accounts of Christian saints and personalities. First, Professor Michael Rosenberger, from Linz University, gave an introductory, in-depth lecture on integral ecology. He reminded the audience of some of the most threatening current environmental problems and the relevance of Laudato si’ in helping us address these challenges. Martin Grüger, a Benedictine oblate, gave an account of Saint Hildegard’s path, offering insight from her visions and writings. Having lived in the 12th century, Saint Hildegard already had visions related to how humans treat nature and how nature can react to that maltreatment. She also reflected on the fact that every being is held by another, a concept which is intimately connected with Laudato si’s message. JESC’s Secretary for Ecology Edmond Grace SJ gave a lively presentation about Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Saint Ignatius endured hardship, delved into dark places within himself, and faced despair. From this place of darkness he cried out with an open heart to God who showed him, like a teacher with a pupil, how to live a new life. In his visions, Saint Ignatius also saw God as being present in all of creation. Brother Alois, prior of Taizé, reflected on Taizé’s founder Brother Roger’s legacy. Brother Roger grew up in the Jura mountains of Switzerland, in close contact with nature, which nurtured in him a deep love of nature. He believed in simplicity and beauty, and held that “simplicity of heart leads to simplicity of life”. Another inspiring concept of his is that solidarity with creation leads to engaging in changing our lifestyles. Doctor Ottilia Lukacs, a Biblical expert from the Theological College of Pécs, Hungary, gave an in-depth overview of the account of creation in Genesis chapter one. She spoke of how the ‘formless void’ reflected the dislocation of exile and how this experience coloured their attitude of care for the Earth. She presented the Earth Bible project with its six eco-justice principles. Professor Eric Charmetant SJ from Centre Sèvres in France spoke about the challenge of changing lifestyles and of spirituality as a trigger for change. He also reflected on the possibility of shifting away from our current strong anthropocentrism towards a more ecocentric or balanced vision. As human beings, we have a special responsibility for the care of our common home. Professor Charmetant also referred to Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess’ Deep Ecology concept and related it to Laudato si’. The last speaker, French eco-journalist Christine Kristoff-Lardet, took the audience on a voyage of numerous communities of Europe and beyond and their efforts to develop and implement eco-friendly measures. She reminded us that communities are imperfect, as individual human beings are. Importantly, she inspired the audience by showcasing the variety of initiatives that can be sought and the efforts being made in so many different places towards an ecological conversion. The weekend concluded with the group reflecting on what they themselves had received from their time together and on what they would like to say as a group to the  various organisations of ELSiA. Victoria Reynal
The Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus (PPCJ) opened on 18th november a Listening Service. This service is intended to welcome, listen and support people who may have been victims of sexual abuse committed in the institutions of the Society of Jesus in Portugal, whether by Jesuits, collaborators, employees or volunteers, and regardless of the date of the facts. This service, which officially opened on the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, can be contacted by email, telephone or letter and has a specialized team dedicated to attending to people and hearing complaints. The Listening Service aims to meet the needs of each possible victim of abuse, minimize their suffering and seek to repair, in some way, the harm they have suffered, in the certainty that nothing can erase the pain caused by sexual abuse. All cases reported to the Listening Service will be analyzed and treated, initiating the necessary and appropriate processes, whether in the civil or canonical forum. The Listening Service stems from the Catholic Church's desire to place victims at the centre of its work on sexual abuse and to heal their wounds to the extent that this is possible. Recognizing that there may be people suffering from such harsh and devastating experiences, the Society of Jesus in Portugal is committed to creating all the conditions of trust and safety so that victims can reveal their story. The service has a team to receive and listen to the victim. This team is made up of people with specific training who will help identify the needs of each possible victim and find the most appropriate answers, whether at a psychological, spiritual, or other level. Through these people, the victims will be accompanied throughout the processes that may be triggered by the denunciation, such as, for example, a canonical or civil process. The Listening Service is part of the Protection and Care System for Minors and Vulnerable Adults (SPC) that the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus began implementing in 2018 in all institutions and organizations linked to the Jesuits in Portugal, such as schools, parishes, youth associations or social institutions. This system is dedicated to promoting safe environments and healthy relationships within these organizations, therefore focusing on raising awareness and training their employees and preventing situations of mistreatment and abuse.  The creation of the Listening Service is also supported by an advisory group composed of people inside and outside the Society, with expertise in different areas of intervention, who will help the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus to design and implement it according to the best practices and the purpose of its mission.
Young people and artists joined together with a common desire: to carry out a project of solidarity for the Ignatian Year. This was the reason behind the “Ave Maria” concert, which took place on 24 October in the parish of Tirana. “This was an opportunity to revive talents and involve as many people as possible: students of the conservatory, artists, painters, actors, educators. Thus, from an individual initiative,” Fr Zef Bisha highlights, “we moved on to a project where others will participate, and which was organized in the Fr. Anton Luli Centre in Vaqarr. The children of Kombinat will be offered free transport, lessons, and after school activities. We experienced the joy of collaborating together, sharing gifts to do great things, rediscovering the importance of being attentive and creative towards our reality".
The staff of the Irish Jesuit Curia gathered to plant a willow tree outside the Province headquarters in Milltown Park on Monday 4 October 2021 at 2 pm (see photo). They were taking part in a Province-wide tree-planting project suggested by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice as a fitting way to mark the end of the Season of Creation. The fourth of October was designated as National Tree Day 2021, as well as being the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, renowned for his love of animals and nature. It was fitting that a willow tree was chosen, as tree surgeons had that very day recommended the removal of a dying willow just beside the spot where the new tree was planted. Bill Toner SJ gave a powerful, impromptu blessing for all gathered there. He gave gratitude for the gift of nature and of trees that purify the air, taking in toxic carbon dioxides and giving back oxygen, the breath of life for all creation. He prayed that people, on this special day, would strengthen and renew their commitment to ‘care for the earth, our common home’. Meanwhile, other Jesuit works, schools and communities were planting trees in their own patch of land. Dr Ciara Murphy, Environmental Policy Advocate with the JCFJ, who instigated this project, gives the following report

Youth & Media

The Jesuit School in Gdynia has prepared several Ignatian activities for the Ignatianum Year, one of the initiatives being international meetings for parents of Jesuit school students from all over the world.  Because at Jesuit schools we care for the whole person in their own context, our educational model involves the cooperation, personal development and spiritual growth of parents. Our school offers monthly lectures on various aspects of parenting education. In this particular year we have decided to go one step further, namely to invite parents to participate in international meetings with parents from other countries, where they can not only gain a basic knowledge of Ignatian spirituality, but also understand the context of the global aspects of our school. This is what our students learn during international projects and we want parents to try this experience too. Schools from different countries were invited to our Ignatian Spirituality meetings for parents. Some schools could not join us due to time difference or language difficulties, but in the end we have participants from schools in Italy - Gonzaga Instutute in Palermo, Spain - Colegio San Estanislao in Malaga, Chile - Colegio San Ignacio in Santiago de Chile, Hungary - Fényi Gyula Jezsuita Gimnázium, Lithuania - Šiauliai Jesuit School, Guatemala and Poland - Zespół Szkół Jesuit w Gdyni. The project consists of 4 online meetings, where we first have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other, then we have a lecture - our lecturer is Rafał Huzarski SJ from Gdynia, who has prepared a series of 4 topics: 1) Ignatian spirituality and family life, 2) My life roles, 3) Is it worth making plans? 4. Examination of conscience and evaluation. During each meeting parents also have the opportunity to work in small groups where they can talk and share.  We are happy that there are parents who not only want to support their children's development, but also want to develop themselves. We know they work and have many responsibilities so this is another time-consuming item on their calendar. Meeting other parents and talking in a foreign language also takes courage, but we see that these meetings bring joy to all of us, we are happy to be together, to get to know each other and to understand the idea of introducing Ignatian spirituality into our daily lives. Damian Czerniak SJ
The fifth edition of the course of Pastoral Pedagogy took place in Spain. From the first edition (Nov. 2019) until now, more than 200 young people (18-30 years old) have participated in the course on Pastoral Pedagogy Initiation. Besides, another 36 young people have participated in the in-depth course, designed for pastoral agents who have or will assume leadership roles in their communities, groups or movements.  In addition, next semester the new training proposal will be launched: the Apostolic Leadership courses, in their Initiation and In-depth versions, and these proposals will be made available to other countries or provinces that see in them a useful and accessible tool to train more young people.  This training is carried out thanks to the collaboration of MAG+S, DEUSTO University and the disinterested and essential participation of a large team of tutors, who accompany the students individually throughout the four modules that make up the course. From the line of work of Formation and Vocation of the Pastoral MAG+S, specifically from the team led by Lola Vegas ACI, the second edition of the course of Pastoral Pedagogy in Depth and the first edition of the new course: Apostolic Leadership will be launched next term. It is with great enthusiasm and hope that we see how this proposal continues to find a response from young people due to its flexibility, modality and subject matter. Jesuitas España
The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (CoP 26) was the motto of the Mini Climate Hub that CREU, a Jesuit university centre, organized on November 10 in Porto (Portugal). With this initiative, the university centre of the Portuguese Jesuits sought to promote a dialogue capable of contributing to an ecological awareness that ensures an ambitious commitment as a response to the current climate situation. About 100 people participated in this meeting. The highlight of the evening was the intervention of three experts on environmental issues: Sandra Araújo (Executive Director EAPN / European Network against Poverty - Portugal and deputy director of the magazine Focus Social - Social Economy); Ana Milhazes (Sociologist, founder of the movement zero waste Portugal and author of the blog "Ana, Go Slowly"); Gustavo Rochette (lawyer, specializing in Energy Law and Natural Resources).The conversation was moderated by Jorge Mayer (Environmental Engineer who has developed projects in the area of Social Economy). The meeting allowed, among other things, to make clear the link between environmental issues and other social problems, especially poverty. Jesuitas Portugal
The Faber Companions are a group of young laymen who live and pray together in community, in Leinster Rd, Rathmines. They came together in Dublin in 2018 under the direction of Myles O’Reilly SJ who assists them in exploring the spirituality and legacy of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The Companions have developed a strong outreach and ministry to young adults, now known as the Faber Community. Below is an account by Callum Douglas, a member of the Faber Companions, of the wide variety of activities, events, faith sharing, prayer meeting, and liturgies that the Faber Community have been taking part in over recent months. Stronger Than Ever The Faber Community grew and changed during the challenges of COVID-19, and now that Zoom’s stranglehold is slipping we are being reinvented once again. A lot more goes into running events and launching new projects in person, so we are building a stronger, more long-lasting network for life after the pandemic. Our first Mass, on the second Saturday in October, was a gathering charged with the joy of real communion and served as a fitting launch to this year’s adventure. Afterwards, nearly all of the 25 young adults who came to celebrate the Eucharist crammed into the kitchen of the community house in Rathmines, delighted to be able to sit down and continue the feast together. The second monthly Mass will be celebrated this weekend, Saturday 13th, in St Michael’s College Chapel, Rathmines, at 5.30pm. All are welcome to join our intimate, music-filled liturgy, and of course the meal that follows! A large offer of activities We now have a team that broadcast a guided Examen of Consciousness every Thursday evening, a choir that will lead the music at Mass, a fortnightly book club, and a dedicated retreat team planning a year-long series of Community retreat experiences that follow the themes of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. The first of these retreats, drawing content from the Pre-Exercises’ focus on understanding the depth of God’s love, took place on the October bank holiday weekend. Ten community members travelled to Clare together to surf, pray and delve into scripture. Stunning surroundings, good friends, and a house flooded with the Spirit combined for a deeply restorative weekend. Our next retreat is a day spent walking the Dublin mountains on 28 November, with reflections aimed at meeting God in nature and one another. In close contact with students Financial support given by the Jesuits has also allowed two members of this retreat team to bring some of the spiritual richness of their Community experiences to young people in schools across the country. Crescent College Comphrensive SJ Limerick, Our Lady’s, Terenure, St Mary’s, Naas, Coláiste Mhuire, Cabra, St Joseph’s, Killiney, and Gonzaga, Belvedere and Clongowes colleges, have or will all benefit from an Ignatian presence on their school retreats this year. The Faber Community is also running an Alpha course for Transition Year students in Belvedere College, teaching Religion to sixth class kids at Gardiner St Primary school (see photo), providing a parish-based after school club for kids in the same area, planning a collaborative young-adult retreat with Scripture Union, and bringing boys from Belvedere and Clongowes to Gardiner St to give peer-to-peer mentoring and literacy support to disadvantaged children there. Promoting Justice Finally, just last week, Community members attended the launch of a new report put together by the Jesuit Refugee Service. It was an incredible feeling to connect with this global network of people heeding God’s call to respond to the migrant crisis at every level, and we are full of a new desire to build links with refugees in Ireland at a relational level, something we were prevented from doing last year due to COVID -19. In the new year we will partner with Gonzaga College and the JRS’s Fáilte Project to run welcoming sports and orientation days for newly arrived asylum seekers. And next month we aim to launch a community soccer team for people around Rathmines who are in transition out of Direct Provision and want to build links and relationships in the city. Living in the passionate way God calls us to is its own reward, but the need to build things up again has still been tiring at times. Taking this walk back through the last few months, reflecting on the experiences, and seeing them now collectively, has made it much easier to appreciate the foundation-building currently being done among us and the great potential for growth that is on our horizon. Transformation comes in God’s time, and for now, it is a privilege and joy to serve the Faber Community. Callum DouglasFaber Companion Jesuits in Ireland

In-depth Reflection

 From September 16 to 18, 2021, a European meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization took place at the Vatican on the theme "Catechesis and catechist for the new evangelization". The meeting was intended for those responsible for catechesis from various European episcopal conferences. Father André Fossion, a Belgian Jesuit of the EOF province (Francophone Western Europe), theologian, professor emeritus of the International Center Lumen Vitae, was invited to this meeting to speak on "Contemporary catechesis at the service of the Churches of Europe".   In today's secularized context, many of our contemporaries do not feel an appetite for Christianity as it is proposed or as it is experienced. The best contribution that catechesis can make to evangelization, as underlined by Father Fossion, is to enable flow a theology of grace in the veins of the ecclesial body. Grace is what is given freely; it is the assurance of always being welcomed and loved, unconditionally, without having to pay. Christianity is entirely a mystery of grace. Christians announce the Good News of salvation not for the world be saved, but because it is saved.  This gratuity and universality of salvation invites Christians to join the crossroads of existence, to dialogue along the way with anyone as a friend talking to a friend. We are always evangelized by those we evangelize. "He goes before you into Galilee, there you will see him" (Mat 28,7), say the angels on Easter morning.  To labour in mission is always to harvest. Europe, a land of mission, is also a land of harvest. But this mission requires that the Church constantly reforms herself with audacity, in her services, in her liturgy and in her governance, in particular by walking towards a parity between men and women in the decision-making that concerns the People of God, at all levels.  Pope Francis came to greet the hundred or so participants in the meeting, paying homage in particular to the work of catechists. “They are people”, Pope said, “who tirelessly proclaim the Gospel of mercy; people who are capable of creating the necessary bonds of acceptance and closeness that make it possible to better appreciate the Word of God and to celebrate the Eucharistic mystery by offering the fruits of good works.” Andre Fossion S.J. Read the whole presentation
Carlo Maria Martini knew well the risk of the word charity: "Not many people immediately think of some act of human compassion, or of taking something out of their wallet, or of gestures and attitudes that are not very effective in truly changing history." But this is not the testimony of Christians, men and women who have stopped thinking about themselves because they have experienced the power of God's love. FARSI PROSSIMO, the sixth volume of the Opera Omnia of Carlo Maria Martini, is available in bookstores from November. It collects the speeches and documents on the theme of charity and proximity, one of the cornerstones of Martini's episcopate. With a Preface by Card. Luis Antonio Tagle and an Introduction by Father Giacomo Costa, the volume is edited by Paolo Foglizzo.In this 1997 interview, Martini explains the foundation that inspired the path of Farsi Prossimo: "Charity is not something we construct ourselves... it is something that starts from God, it is the free love with which God loves us. Because we are loved, we feel loved, we can love."That is why the first care is to put every Christian in touch with the Word of God. When a community is nourished in this way it can then care for others. Not out of pure altruism but because this responds to the intimate movement that the Holy Spirit has placed in the hearts of men. Making ourselves close - Bompiani  "Farsi Prossimo" by Carlo Maria Martini
50 years of Berchmanskolleg. The Munich School of Philosophy (HFPH) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Munich's Kaulbachstrasse this year. At a keynote speech the Potsdam climate researcher Ottmar Edenhofer pleaded for the creation of a European Central Climate Bank (ECCB) to advance emissions trading. According to him, politics cannot solve the climate problem without new institutions. The ECCB should issue certificates in the future and ensure a stable development of the CO2 price. This could break the strategic restraint of investors. The ECCB should be flanked by the establishment of a long-term investment fund that pre-finances technologies such as negative emissions and synthetic fuels for a limited period of time, Edenhofer said. Governments and parliaments must be relieved of technocratic issues, he justified his proposal. This would require a social learning process. It is necessary not only to formulate distant climate goals, but also to find feasible ways to achieve them, the researcher said. Science can provide an infrastructure for this and help distinguish good from bad compromises. However, it should leave negotiation processes and finding majorities to politics and not commit itself to a certain path. The climate economist is a graduate of the HFPH. "We need philosophical impulses and advice," emphasised the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, in his welcome address on behalf of the Bavarian state government. Especially in the day-to-day decisions, he said, politics should not lose sight of thinking about the foundations of living together and the principles and long-term perspectives. HFPH President Johannes Wallacher announced a more in-depth treatment of philosophical, ethical and social science questions in connection with the development of artificial intelligence. To this end, he said, his university will soon establish a joint centre with the University of Augsburg and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). A new professorship for philosophy of science, natural philosophy and philosophy of technology with a focus on artificial intelligence, financed by the Free State of Bavaria, has just been filled at the HFPH. The Karlsruhe researcher Benjamin Rathgeber received the call. Christian Rutishauser SJ, Delegate of the Central European Province for Higher Education, called the "daring project" of moving the Order's educational institution from Pullach to Kaulbachstrasse in Munich in November 1971 a success. Teaching a philosophy that reflects social processes and lays solid systematic foundations is the brand profile of the HFPH, he said. "Transformative knowledge and critical thinking are in demand." With its own character in the Bavarian university landscape, the university wants to create added value, he said. In this context, he recalled the prehistory of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, which had been founded in Ingolstadt, where St. Petrus Canisius, whose 500th birthday is celebrated this year, had already been active from 1549. The Munich School of Philosophy sees itself in this tradition of Christian humanism.   Formation Centre Munich The university also functions as an international place of study for Jesuits studying philosophy who are in the phase between first and second vows in their religious life. These so-called scholastics form a small but important part of the student body. They live in the training community "Aloisius Gonzaga" and study philosophy at the HFPH. 
Educating for an in-depth understanding of the Theology of Christian-Muslim Dialogue: Successful launching of the joint Graduate Online Course  Eighteen graduate students from the Kircher member institutions are enrolled in this new Course offered by the Loyola University Andalusia (Spain), Innsbruck University-Faculty of Catholic Theology (Austria), and Sankt Georgen Jesuit College of Philosophy and Theology (Germany). The Course is the first formation experience of "HEST Teaching", a new phase of the HEST Programme (Higher Education for Social Transformation) seeking to develop joint courses on strategic academic themes. The coordinators of the HEST cluster on Christian-Muslim Relations, Prof. Dr Gonzalo Villagrán, SJ., Prof. Dr Michaela Quast-Neulinger and Prof. Dr Tobias Specker, SJ., and Prof Dr Fermín Rodríguez CMF, comprised the organization team of the Course. They will be teaching it with invited lecturers from the Kircher universities (Innsbruck University, Sankt Georgen Jesuit College of Philosophy and Theology, Saint Joseph University), and prestigious universities in Europe (Humboldt University, University of Freiburg, University of Warsaw, and the Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen). Through a collaborative methodology and pedagogical use of E-Learning, this Course will take advantage of the academic experience of the different faculties of theology, philosophy, and religious studies of the Kircher Network and their partner universities in Europe. The interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives will undoubtedly enrich the theological discussion and the formation of the graduate students. More information

Preparing for Mission

On 18 September, Fr Theodore Kodidis, 65, was ordained Archbishop of Athens and Apostolic Administrator of Rhodes. The ordination took place in the Cathedral of Saint Denis the Areopagite in Athens, in the presence of the Greek bishops, Orthodox priests, the Mayor of Athens and two government representatives: the Minister of Education and the Minister of Development. The Catholic Church in Athens is about 200,000 Catholics of which only 20% are Greek. Over the last few decades, many foreign Catholics have settled in Greece: Albanians, first of all, who were oppressed for a long time by an atheistic communist regime, then Poles from the 1980s onwards, then Filipinos, who are very much appreciated in the service of the houses, expatriates, Italians, Germans, English, French and finally, recently, many refugees who gather at Saint Theresa's, an English- and French-speaking catholic community. Bishop Kodidis has many assets to take up the challenge of this diversity as he speaks not only Greek but also Italian, French and English and his experiences of living abroad will certainly help him to understand the diversity of situations he will discover in his diocese. Theodore Kodidis studied in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), at the Centre Sèvres (Paris) and in Rome. He was director of the magazine Open Horizons. Read the portrait of Fr. Kodidis
Province Assembly EUM: "an experience of fraternity". One month after his First Vows in Genoa and now in Rome to study philosophy, the scholastic Gugliemo Scocco describes the Province Assembly held in Frascati from 26 to 28 October as “a profound experience of fraternity”. It's Tuesday afternoon, the morning's lessons are over and lunch at San Saba is finishing. The members of the community belonging to the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus - six scholastics, one brother and three fathers - are preparing to leave for Frascati, where a three-day assembly open to the whole body of the Province is being held (26-28 October). Among the topics planned are the Ignatian Year and its activities, the de statu of the Province and the realities of Malta and Romania. The questions and the enthusiasm of the participants made it possible to expand the agenda. In fact, there were almost one hundred Jesuits present, with different backgrounds and even more diverse ages.  Almost all the communities of the Province were represented, and certainly all the stages of formation and the different ministries entrusted. It was a time dedicated to meeting and sharing, which had no specific objective, other than that of being together, sharing, getting to know each other and understanding each other better, spending different times together: plenary assemblies, sharing in small groups, meals and social moments, as well as spontaneous meetings and face-to-face sharing, also made possible by the time available.  The Eucharistic celebrations were then an occasion to give thanks to the Lord of life for having come together as a body in this form, and to nourish ourselves together with His body and His blood, which make us a one and same apostolic body, capable of discerning, hoping, continuing to think and reworking projects that help souls for the greater glory of God. Gugliemo Scocco SJ, Scholastic
The landscape of Jesuit formation in the JCEP has changed significantly in the past few years. The number of local formation centres has diminished significantly. The overwhelming majority of Jesuits studying philosophy or theology is now concentrated in one of four formation centres: Kraków, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. The cultural, intellectual, and interpersonal richness of this new reality is obvious to both Jesuits in formation and to formators alike. Challenges, however, also abound - challenges such as: How to remain rooted in one's province and local culture while doing (almost) all stages of Jesuit formation abroad. How to accompany a young man in his growth as a Jesuit when he might have to move house, place, and even countries every two or three years. How to avoid getting marginalised while living within a dominant culture when poor languages skills, combined with the pressure to perform in an unfamiliar academic system, tends to strain young Jesuits far beyond their comfort zones. How to avoid escaping from community life into the seemingly more rewarding places of the “virtual world.” These were some of the questions JCEP formation delegates addressed at their recent meeting in Rome. These topics emerged through listening to each other, to representatives of formation centers, and to scholastics at the various stages of formation. The venue of Rome offered us a great opportunity to meet formators of the Roman Houses, as well as Mark Ravizza, formation delegate of Fr. General. There, also, we were exposed to some of Rome’s less-known treasures: the Centro Alletti where several scholastics serve the poor, the Church of Gesù on which we contemplated through the eyes of a volunteer of Pietre vive, and the lively Jesuit community of the Vatican observatory in Castelgandolfo. The first in-person meeting of formation delegates in two and a half years and the many opportunities it provided for weaving personal relationships has hopefully provided a good foundation for closer collaboration in the years to come in the service of Jesuits in formation. János Lukács SJJCEP Delegate for Formation
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.