Jesuits in Europe

International Symposium on Psychology and Exercices. The more than 200 participants of the International Symposium of Psychology and Spiritual Exercises, held in Loyola from 20 to 24 June, showed great satisfaction with what has happened during these days in the form of more than 50 activities (conferences, communications, meetings with experts, workshops, round tables, etc.) with the major international specialists in the item. The main focus of the meeting was how to interpret psychologically Ignatius Loyola's central proposal for his Spiritual Exercises: "To feel and know the various motions..." (EE 313). The chosen theme sought to understand, from a current perspective, the Ignatian leap between the diversity and superficiality of emotions and thoughts that we experience at the depth of the motions of the Spirit, which show us how to decide in our concrete christian life. Inaugurated by the provincial of Spain, Antonio España SJ, at the opening ceremony a video message from Father General was projected. It was about the union between the Universal Apostolic Preferences and the Exercises. The themes presented during these days have been many. For example, the balance between the Exercises and psychology or the theme of motions, since a generalist vision to the specific one of the image and imagination in the spiritual world, the Spiritual Exercises with people with intellectual disabilities, the itineraries of the Exercises or motions in groups and discernment in common. Also, the contemporary Emotionalism and Emotivism seen as a threat or possibility for our spirituality was the protagonist of one of the round tables; the complexity of the world of the unconscious that makes us be able to project in God our own desires and interests if we do not discern well the motions. Women and the Spiritual Exercises, and if there is a feminine perspective of Ignatian spirituality, were themes interesting during the Symposium, as well as the search for Ignatian contributions to psychology and the possibility of the existence of an Ignatian Psychology. Franco Imoda SJ, Carlos Domínguez SJ, Luis María García Domínguez SJ, R. Dawson, J.P. Núñez, Stefano Guarinelli, Margaret Scott, Elizabeth Liebert, Francisco José Ruiz Pérez SJ, José María Rodríguez Olaizola SJ and María Prieto (U.P. Comillas) were some of the experts that spoke during these days. Finally, with the motto "They have made God credible and human beings possible" the Symposium paid a sincere and emotional tribute to the Jesuits Carlos Alemany, Jordi Font, José Antonio García-Monje and Nacho Boné. The first three were present in the hall, while our beloved Nacho was represented by family members and friends. They have been personalities in the world of university knowledge, good people and great Jesuits who have contributed to making the Society of Jesus an apostolic body that follows the ideals that Saint Ignatius marks for us in the Spiritual Exercises. Organized by the University Institute of Spirituality of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, the following entities collaborated: the Jesuit Province of Spain, the Fifth Centenary Commission, the CEL-Sanctuary of Loyola, the Loyola Communication Group, and UNIJES (Jesuit Universities of Spain). It was offered on the thirtieth anniversary of the meeting that took place in Salamanca in 1989. And it was celebrated on the threshold of the fifth centenary of the conversion of Ignatius; hence its thematic focus reflects the psychodynamics of the conversion of Ignatius in parallel with that of the exercitant. More about the Congress on Twitter: #LoyolaPsi2019
This summer, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne is showing 90 particularly impressive drawings from its Jesuit collection for the first time in a special show entitled "Wir Glauben Kunst" (We Believe Art). The collection has been on permanent loan to the museum since the 1880s. Together with the drawings collection of Ferdinand Franz Wallraf, the collection of some 500 works forms the basis for the collection of more than 65,000 prints to this day. The exhibition explores the special character of the Jesuit collection: Is it a purely educational collection? According to which criteria did the Order collect? Did questions of quality and connoisseurship play the decisive role, or were content aspects more decisive? And finally: Where did the Jesuits buy their drawings? In addition, the concept of the Jesuits as pictorial artists is also discussed, since the Order had developed its own pictorial theology. When Pope Clemens XIV abolished the Jesuit Order on 21 July 1773, the Old University of Cologne and the so-called Artist Faculties were also dissolved, to which the Tricoronatum grammar school with its important teaching collection, which had been headed by members of the Jesuit Order since 1556, belonged. In the course of the French occupation all art objects were confiscated and brought to Paris. In the 1880s, the Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds, the then legal successor of the Order, succeeded in bringing the collection back to the Rhine in order to give it on permanent loan to the museum. In contrast to the drawings that remained in Paris, the Cologne drawings have their historical origins written, as it were, in their faces. At the upper right edge of the picture, all drawings bear the note Col. (Cologne) in black printing ink. After their arrival in Paris, this note was printed on the visible side facing the viewer, a seal that the drawings were to bear once and for all on their physical carrier, the paper. But it was only because of this seal that all the stamped drawings returned to Cologne after the collapse of the French Republic.
MEG, Faith that comes to terms with life. More than 100 people from different parts of Italy, gathered together to reflect on the difficult present day choice of bearing witness. This is a summary of the conference of the Friends of MEG held in Vitorchiano, just outside Rome, between 31 May and 2 June entitled Fragile Witnesses. Faith that comes to terms with life. Fr. Jean-Paul Hernandez SJ led the "Friends of the MEG" conference consisting of former members of the Movement, parents of children and young people, present members of MEG , friends of Friends, people who came into contact with Ignatian spirituality through other means. Biblical,Theological, Anthropological and human extracts were presented for reflection: "a deep and compelling reading of the Bible comparing biblical figures with modern personalities, transforming the protagonists of the Old Testament texts into real present-day people who question and engage themselves" explains Maria Cristina and Daniela, among the participants. A study was made on the figure of Moses, an Egyptian Prince during the conference. "We understood that we too are - or can be - so many Moses", explains Maria Cristina: "witnesses through every choice of life we have made, fragile in ourselves and fragile in front of our personal pharaohs. We are called to accompany, educate and hand down despite the signs of opposition and despite our doubts and incomprehension. We are called to intercede for others and - more than that - to bless them and send them forth at the right time. All this is possible by bearing in mind the passages of the Lord in our journey and by choosing, as witnesses of the New Testament, to keep our eyes fixed on the Risen One".
Now in its fourth year, the 31 days campaign by the Jesuits in Britain is returning for our 2019 edition. This is a series of 31 daily emails delivered to subscribers each day and available from the spirituality website Pathways to God, leading up to the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, celebrated by the Jesuits and our friends all over the world. Since 2016, the initiative has helped people to get to know more about the Jesuits, their works, and Ignatian Spirituality. From introducing the audience to the many works around the country, to learning to pray in Ignatian ways: the positive feedback and the possibility of engagement coming through it has guided us in continuing the project. Among the comments received at the end of last year’s campaign, one of the subscribers told us that “It was lovely having something to follow, to share and keep the link for reference.” While another one wrote: “As a Jesuit, I have already been using this methodology, but it was wonderful to have it articulated clearly so that I could share it with various prayer groups.” This year, the focus will be on Finding God in All Things. Each week we will look at a theme from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius and use scripture and prayer to help you find God in moments of Conversion, Call, Challenge and Consolation. Each of four main subjects will be treated by four different writers. After seven meditations, there will be a more general reflection, offering further resources to ponder on the theme of the session, and looking back at our experiences and thought with the help of the Examen, a review prayer. The Scripture passages are taken from Nick King SJ’s bible translation, whereas the main image for 31 days 2019, a colourful portrait of St Ignatius, has generously been offered by the artist, John Bateson. This is a striking painting that beautifully fits with the desire to provide resources and spiritual nourishment to seek or rediscover God in our lives, no matter how varied and different they may look. The background of subscribers doesn’t matter, nor their level of familiarity with this type of reflections or prayer: we hope to attract subscribers in the hope to share rich material and prayer tools helpful for their own pathway to God. SUBSCRIBE to receive your 31 daily prayer emails

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Finding God

A new Jesuit parish in Vitebsk, Belarus. On June, 16, St Ladislaus parish in Vitebsk, Belarus, was entrusted to the care of the Jesuits of the Russian Region by the local bishop, mons. Aleh Butkevich. Fr Victor Zhuk, the new pastor of the parish, is joining two other Jesuit priests, Stanisław Pomykała and Klemens Werth, who have been ministering for a number of years in the Vitebsk diocese, but with restrictions which the Belarusian government imposes on the priests and the religious from abroad.  The Society of Jesus plans to build a church for the growing Catholic community in a new part of the city, together with a small pastoral centre, in order to offer activities characteristic of our charism. This is a new initiative in the area which in the past has seen a much larger presence of the Jesuits: Polotsk, the seat of the general curia of the Society during the period of suppression, is just 100 km away from Vitebsk. The foundation of a new chapel in Belostok (Siberia). On the eve of the liturgical memory of St Anthony of Padua, the Catholics in Belostok in Siberia (near Tomsk, where the Jesuits run the parish and the school) gathered for a joyful event – the foundation of a new church. The previous wooden church, built in 1908 by Polish settlers, burnt down in a fire in 2017, which broke off for an unknown reason. The Jesuits of Tomsk are entrusted with the pastoral care for a number of small (sometimes quite tiny) communities in the vicinity of the city (which means up to a few hundred kilometers; the area of Tomsk parish is larger than the whole of Poland).
Farm Street Church is accustomed to solemn and spectacular liturgies wherein all our senses are assailed with the glorious sights, sounds and smells of praise and thanksgiving. Wednesday night’s liturgy of dedication of the new altar broke new ground in compelling awe and beauty.  In the words of the chief celebrant Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Farm Street Church is “beautified in a way which draws people to contemplate the mystery which is at its heart.”  The new stone altar is the final step in the restoration of the sanctuary.  The high altar by AWN Pugin was restored to its original splendour last year, making the 1990 fibreglass copy adorning the old front altar somewhat redundant.  “The old front altar was preventing the congregation from seeing Pugin’s masterpiece,” explained parish priest Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, “so we wanted to commission something simple yet beautiful to allow views through. The result is quite stunning.” Master stone mason Paul Jakeman used marble from Carrara, Tuscany, which has been quarried since antiquity for material to give glory to God.  The pedestal moulding and gilding reflects that on the altar rails, and the front is garlanded with a stone vine. “It was an amazing ceremony,” he commented, “I have never carved an altar before so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was quite humbling.” It was also the first time Bishop Hudson had dedicated a new altar.  The altar is a place of sacrifice and tradition requires that the relics of a martyr are deposited within its frame.  Bishop Hudson remembered especially the Jesuit saints martyred in London: “On this day that we dedicate a new altar just yards from Tyburn, it’s good to unite ourselves to all those Jesuit priests who made the supreme sacrifice .. and ask that they unite themselves to the Eucharistic sacrifice every time we offer it on this altar: Campion, Southwell, Whitbread, Harcourt, Fenwick, Turner and Gavan.” He then deposited the relic of a third century Roman martyr – St Tranquillinus – in an aperture beneath the table top which Mr Jakeman then sealed with mortar. A close observer will notice a bee on the carved vine above the relic repository.  The bee is a symbol of martyrdom. The Rites of Dedication were carefully explained in the Order of Service.  The altar and congregation were first sprinkled with holy water, before the Liturgy of the Word.  Following the depositing of the relics, the altar was anointed at each corner and in the centre with chrism oil and then incensed both from a cauldron of coals on the altar itself and with two censers. Members of the worshipping community at Farm Street were then invited to come forward to dress the altar. Yasko Kurahachi and Marta Albert spread the linen altar cloths.  Jane Lowe, Dame of the Holy Sepulchre, and Gabrielle Quinn placed the altar candles; and Dumle Kogbara and Ben Smith, Chair of LGBT+ Catholics in Westminster, placed a beautiful floral arrangement before the altar.  The Bishop then handed a lighted taper to Fr Dominic, who lit the candles. The Farm Street Choir, under the direction of David Graham, provided a stunning accompaniment to these solemn rituals, the highlight of which was the Salve virgo florens set by Christopher Walker, specially commissioned for the dedication by former parish priest Fr Andrew Cameron Mowat SJ, who was among the seventeen concelebrants.
Some 600 pilgrims with more than ten buses, accompanied by a dozen Jesuits from the Hungarian Province of the Society of Jesus hit the road at the end of May to journey to Romania. Their destination was a Hungarian national shrine to the Virgin Mary called Csíksomlyó (Șumuleu Ciuc), in Transylvania region, where they attended a mass celebrated by Pope Francis. It was an event of historic importance for the Hungarian minority in Romania totalling 1,3 million. The reason: when John Paul II visited the country in 1999, being the first pope to have been invited by a country with an Orthodox majority, he failed to set foot in Transylvania. The region, once part of Hungary, became Romanian territory in 1920, and due to diplomatic reasons Karol Wojtyla confined his visit to Bucharest, the capital of the country. This left ethnic Hungarians (and Greek Catholics) living in Transylvania disappointed, so John Paul II assured them: if he ever returned, he would give priority to enter their homeland. Now, after 20 years, it was Pope Francis by whose visit this promise was fulfilled, what is more, it was the historic national shrine Csíksomlyó (Șumuleu Ciuc) where he celebrated a mass for some hundred thousand people. Hungarian Jesuit provincial Elemér Vízi concelebrated with the pontiff, among a number of bishops and priests, while some other members of the Society administered the Holy Communion. Accidentally, there are 12 Jesuits of Transylvanian origin working in the Hungarian Province, including the provincial, this way it was a personal plus for them to have this privilege. The papal visit was a historic courtesy for the four, predominantly Hungarian speaking Catholic dioceses in Transylvania, and the pilgrims attending the mass were aware of the uniqueness of the event. They had been waiting for the liturgy to begin patiently in the wretched weather with rain, fog and wind – some of them under Jesuit flags and equipped with umbrellas decorated with the logo of the Society –, symbolizing the endurance of the Hungarian Catholics back in Communist Romania. In those times, although it was not advised to attend the annual Pentecostal mass in Csíksomlyó, many still found their way there, so the place became a symbol of faith, tenaciousness and persistence. As for Transylvania itself, the region played an important part in the history of Hungary; in the 16th century even a papal legate, an Italian Jesuit named Antonio Possevino was sent there to inform the Holy See of the political, cultural and religious scene of the time. Accidentally, it was this very dear Jesuit who, in his work titled Transilvania, documented first the brewery of the once famous local beer, which sees its revival nowadays by a local manufacture. The papal visit meant to promote reconciliation among the various nationalities and denominations of the multi-ethnical and -religious country: between Romanians, Hungarians and communities of German and Roma origin, Roman and Greek Catholic and Orthodox Christians, as well as Bulgarians, Slovakians and Croatians, just to name a few. In doing so, Pope Francis urged every faithful to stick to their roots, acknowledge one another’s values, thus walk together on the way of atonement. This message was all the more acute that Romania has long been criticised by Hungarians over the curtailment of minority rights. While on local levels there are many examples of peaceful and even fruitful cohabiting, ethnic Hungarians and Romanians have a long and troubled history in sharing the same country, with regular tensions frequently fuelled by officials and other political agents. While the Society of Jesus in Romania belongs to the Euro-Mediterranean Province, the Hungarian Jesuits run a community house with a church, a university chaplaincy and a boarding house for students in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mures), and share a binational house in Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare). Their primary focus is the pastoral care of the Hungarians there, but they serve German speaking and Romanian faithful as well, this way continuously facing the challenges and at the same time fruits of cohabiting and -working with the representatives of other cultures and denominations.
Brendan McManus SJ and Jim Deeds, with the help of Presbyterian Minister Reverend Steve Stockman, launched their book Deeper into the mess: Praying through tough times in Belfast’s Fitzroy Presbyterian Church on 19 May 2019. The event, which featured faith sharing and live music, attracted a packed audience consisting of people across all denominations and none. The follow up to their best-selling first book, Finding God in the Mess: Meditations for Mindful Living, this collaboration was based on a Facebook survey of what people reported were the ‘messes’ in their lives. Accordingly the book offers practical meditations for dealing with depression, anger, suicide, breakdown etc., as well as celebrating hope and optimism. Loosely based around the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola, each chapter has a quote from the saint and an imaginary ‘conversation with God’ which voices doubts and fears as a two way conversation. Fitzroy Presbyterian Church was the ideal venue for a book based in Belfast that sought to reach people of all denominations united in their human solidarity and desire to find God. Hosted by Rev Steve Stockman, the evening comprised live interviews with Brendan and Jim about their faith journeys, friendship and writing method. This was interspersed with music from Jim and Brendan aided by the Christian singer Beki Hemmingway. Midway through was a dramatised ‘conversation with God’ from the book (played by Sharon Arnold from Fitzroy) and a meditation called ‘All will be well’ from the book read by Caren Collins of Living Church. Finally, Donal Neary SJ, editor of Messenger Publications (the book’s publisher) spoke a few words of encouragement. The hospitality was provided by the Fitzroy team and over 120 people attended. While there was a casual tone to the evening, there was no mistaking the Christian commitment to prayer, faith and helping those in need. One attendee remarked that everyone there was having a good time, praying, singing and chatting together and that no one knew or cared what tradition (if any) people came from. Caring about each other and especially those in trouble was enough. What was very evident was that the book was the result of Brendan and Jim’s close friendship, shared faith and complimentary style of writing and working together – they also offer a retreat/workshop around Ireland.

Promoting Justice

JRS opened a Refugee Transition Centre (CTR) in Évora (south region of Portugal) with capacity for 30 people with the aim of ensuring the initial reception of families from Turkey and Egypt under the Resettlement Programme from ACNUR. The stay of refugee families should not exceed three months, after which they will be redirected to the Refugee Support Platform host institutions throughout the country. The period of stay at the centre aims to adapt the residents to the Portuguese culture, while their profile is studied to facilitate the selection of host institutions that will host them. "This solution is the one that best suits and enables the preparation of the reception and we believe that a better integration in Portuguese society. It's not enough to do good, we need to do good, well done", says André Costa Jorge, general director of JRS Portugal. Team The centre will have a JRS team composed of a technical staff, with two Portuguese teachers, a social technician, administrative and logistical coordination, a psychologist, in addition to a security component for proximity monitoring. Nine families from Syria and Iraq are expected to arrive at the Centre next July. The Portuguese government has committed to welcoming 1010 people under the Resettlement Programme by the end of 2019. Projects in Portugal In addition to the center now open in Évora, JRS-Portugal  is involved in different projects: Lisbon: Pedro Arrupe Center– a Shelter for homeless refugees; autonomous residence for refugees living an integration process; technical direction of a municipal attendance center; runs its own attendance center which has different valences: job search; psychological help; formation center. In Oporto the centre is responsible for accompanying refugees living in a detention centre.
This June, the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM) presented the 2018 Annual Report on Centers for the Internment of Foreigners (CIE) at various events in different Spanish cities. The report is entitled 'Discrimination of Origin', referring to the differential treatment given to people of Maghrebi origin, who on arrival in the country go to police station to end up in the CIE. More than two thirds (68%) of the total number of people interned in 2018 were from one of these two nationalities: Moroccan or Algerian. On the contrary, since August, it has been observed that people of sub-Saharan or Asian origin have not been interned in CIE, since on arrival they go to the Temporary Foreigners Reception Centres (CATE) and from there to humanitarian reception resources due to the impossibility of returning to their country of origin. In 2018, a total of 7855 persons were interned, representing a decrease of 11% with respect to the previous year. Of these, 98% were men. More than 78% were interned due to the opening of a return file for illegal entry into the country. A total of 89 minors were interned at CIE in 2018, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The figure is significantly higher than in 2017. In addition, the number of applications for international protection since CIE in 2018 increased to a total of 1,776, of which 30.6% were admitted for processing. The total number of forced repatriations (sum of expulsions and returns) increased by 22% to 11.384, so more than 31 persons were repatriated per day during 2018. Visits in the centres Teams of people from the SJM network entities visited a total of 807 people in five centres in 2018. These visits continue to reveal situations of vulnerability and possible violations of rights: structural deficiencies in most centres; lack of detection of minors and care for persons with physical and mental illnesses; lack of legal assistance and language interpretation; limitations on the use of communications; degrading and humiliating treatment; and difficulties and obstacles in accessing asylum applications. The SJM continues to identify serious deficiencies in the management of crisis situations within some CIE, as well as serious episodes of violence. Faced with this, the dialogue that is articulated around the work of denunciation and defense from the entities that visit the internment centers, together with institutions such as the Ombudsman, the control judges and other instances of the administration, continues to be key to defend the rights of migrants. In short, it consolidates the abusive use of internment as a tool in the fight against irregular immigration at the southern border, however it still does not have a deterrent effect, generating in any case much suffering. This work of denunciation addresses a fundamental demand: the end of internment and deprivation of liberty, the closure of the ICE and the need to explore more humane alternatives that facilitate processes of social integration. Download the report here:
Edmond Grace, JESC’s secretary for ecology and justice, gives an overview on the achievements and challenges of European climate policy. Not all news relating to climate change is bad. The EU is on track to meet its emissions reduction target of 20% by next year. In fact, there was a 22% reduction of emissions between 1990 and 2017 while the economy grew by 28% over the same period. The main driver behind the emission reductions is innovation, including progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency. All of the above appears on the offical website of the European Union ( which also tells us that 2020 target excludes emissions from the land sector but includes emissions from international aviation. Nothing is entirely straightforward in this area of climate action and there are those who say that these targets are not ambitious enough. Differences between the Kyoto Protocol and the 2020 targets These developments are linked by the European Commission to the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol, which is part of the COP process. COP stands for “Conference of the Parties” to the United Nations Climate Change Convention which was first adopted in 1992. Kyoto was adopted in 1997 and came into force in 2005. It requires annual reporting on emissions of seven “greenhouse gases” along with measures taken to reduce them. Its first commitment period ran from 2008 to 2012.  We are currently coming to the end of the second commitment period which began in 2012. The Europa website tells us that “the Kyoto targets are different from the EU’s own 2020 targets”. We are not told why this difference exists. Why, for instance, do Kyoto targets cover land use but not international aviation, while EU targets cover international aviation and not land use? These differences are not fortuitous. They play a significant part in the ongoing role of powerful vested interests in the development of climate action policy. The 2030 EU climate and energy framework has been in place since 2014 and, as with the 2020 targets, is based on the Kyoto process. The commitment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, increase renewable energy input to 32% and increase energy efficiency by at least 23.5%. The plan allows for an upward revision of these targets in 2023, though last year, in the lead up to Katowice, Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, was confident that emission reduction would reach 45% by 2030. He suggested this as a new target. Powerful vested interests Fourteen EU member states including France and Germany had requested such a target and some of them wanted it to be as high as 55%. At the last moment however, Angela Merkel, demurred after the Federation of German Industries, announced its opposition to “ever more ambitious goals”. Poland and other eastern European states were already of this view which, with Merkel’s, support, prevailed. In any discussion on climate change policy it is easy to get lost in one of two ways – or both! Firstly the sheer complexity of some provisions is such that few outside select group of technical experts can understand the detail. Secondly, the array of powerful vested interests at work in this area are in the best position to employ those with greatest expertise and to use them to make the issues even more complex. With climate policy, there is no simple solution – no silver bullet – and if anything is to be learnt from the events from the past year, well intended provisions can lead to discouraging results. The gilets jaunes phenomenon reflects a legitimate sense of grievance on the part of those left behind by the neo-liberal dominance of recent decades, but it also feeds into a political narrative in which the governed are seen as the victims of those who govern. Care for our common home The challenge in the forthcoming elections is to find political representatives who are able to imagine a future in which humanity has triumphed over the dangers which currently threaten us and where we share a common home with pure air, fresh clean water and fertile wholesome earth. It’s a tall order for this generation of politicians, but they will have to learn to strike the note of pathos. The only way to challenge the self-centred world of populism is by generating hope. Climate policy poses a unique challenge not just with regard to what must be done but in relation to how the issue itself can affect us. To put it mildly, it can be discouraging. If we fail to stand well back and take a simple look at this planet which we all share, then the love, which we need to care for it, will wither. The love in one person, against the background of this reality, may seem a puny thing but this puny individuality is the only form which human love takes on this planet. It’s like life itself which cannot exist apart from the puny single cells which make up every organism on earth. Unless we experience to some degree this combination of fragility and power, all talk about politicians, and policies and elections, is futile. In other words, we need hope. It is vital if we are to face the dark side honestly and to challenge what we find. Edmond Grace SJ, JESC This article has been published in ‘Europeinfos’ the newsletter of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU and the Jesuit European Office
Guillermo Otano, from the Spanish NGO Alboan, has been appointed by Franck Janin SJ as the new head of the Justice in Mining Jesuit Network. The network began many years ago in Ranchi, in India, and since expanded all over the world. Dr Otano, Which are your priorities as a new coordinator of Justice in Mining? It is a tricky question since networking is not about pushing for individual priorities but achieving shared goals. The latter has not always been easy in the case of Justice in Mining. On the one hand, due to the geographical distance and the internal diversity of the network, as we have members from each Jesuit Conference who speak different languages and come from very different cultural backgrounds. On the other, the fact that, even though most mining conflicts have global roots, the struggles are often local, meaning that the challenges faced by each member organisation are context dependent.   Nonetheless, over the last decade, the network has managed to build up a shared purpose and a collective identity around the idea of “Ignatian advocacy”. The real challenge for the coming years, in my view, is to strengthen our ability to work together, connecting the local struggles with the global dynamics that lay behind them. We need to collaborate in order to stop the criminalisation of human rights defenders and those who defend our “Common Home”; to speak out against the unethical behaviour of companies and governments involved in mining projects; and to open a public conversation about the environmental degradation produced by mining (specially, regarding the use of water). These are the three thematic priorities included in the global strategic plan of the Justice in Mining Network for the next four years. While debating and drafting this document, we realised that we have much more potential than we thought, because we know each other much better than we did ten years ago. So, we just need to keep on sharing experiences, building capabilities for advocacy and keeping one eye open to identify those opportunities that allow us to collaborate with each other. Read the entire interview: Susan Dabbous Photos:  Social Forum on Mining and Extractivist Economies (Johannesburg, Nov 2018)   

Youth & Media

The Portuguese Province of the Jesuits announced on last June 12th, that one of their educational institutions will close next academic year. The High-School of Imaculada Conceição (CAIC) was inaugurated in 1955, in Cernache, district of Coimbra, and since then was responsible for the formation of more than 10.000 students, assuming itself, all along 64 years, as a milestone of excellence in education. This difficult decision proceeds three years of financial crisis, unexpectedly triggered in 2016, after the end of 40 years of financial partnership, once created, between the Portuguese Government and private schools, to ensure the educational rights of Portuguese students, more precisely, those who live in regions with lack of educational institutions. The main cause for that unsustainability comes with the reduced number of students, who have attended CAIC in the last two years, reduced number of registrations for the next school year, and negative prospects for their evolution in subsequent years. In the last two years, all efforts were made to reconfigured the High-School of Imaculada Conceição (CAIC) to the new condition of private school. Despite the involvement of families, investment in educational innovation and the reinforcement of marketing, measures have been taken to reduce the burden, to involve donors and to attract new students, offering a demanding educational proposal, centred on personal and community development, as dictated by the principles of Ignatian pedagogy. The results obtained in terms of new student enrolment were not, however, as desired. This way, the immediate closure of CAIC, which will no longer open its doors next school year 2019/2020, it will ensure to those who make up the teaching and non-teaching staff an indemnity for the years of dedication to the service of this apostolic work. Maintaining CAIC in operation would most probably mean being able to fail these people at a particularly demanding time, given the certain worsening of the current financial conditions. The Jesuits in Portugal pursue, with the same determination, their fundamental option in the Education sector, through their two other High-Schools, located in Lisbon and Santo Tirso.
MEG, Faith that comes to terms with life. More than 100 people from different parts of Italy, gathered together to reflect on the difficult present day choice of bearing witness. This is a summary of the conference of the Friends of MEG held in Vitorchiano, just outside Rome, between 31 May and 2 June entitled Fragile Witnesses. Faith that comes to terms with life. Fr. Jean-Paul Hernandez SJ led the "Friends of the MEG" conference consisting of former members of the Movement, parents of children and young people, present members of MEG , friends of Friends, people who came into contact with Ignatian spirituality through other means. Biblical,Theological, Anthropological and human extracts were presented for reflection: "a deep and compelling reading of the Bible comparing biblical figures with modern personalities, transforming the protagonists of the Old Testament texts into real present-day people who question and engage themselves" explains Maria Cristina and Daniela, among the participants. A study was made on the figure of Moses, an Egyptian Prince during the conference. "We understood that we too are - or can be - so many Moses", explains Maria Cristina: "witnesses through every choice of life we have made, fragile in ourselves and fragile in front of our personal pharaohs. We are called to accompany, educate and hand down despite the signs of opposition and despite our doubts and incomprehension. We are called to intercede for others and - more than that - to bless them and send them forth at the right time. All this is possible by bearing in mind the passages of the Lord in our journey and by choosing, as witnesses of the New Testament, to keep our eyes fixed on the Risen One".
In March of this year, the Collège de la Sainte Famille in Cairo celebrated the 140th anniversary of its founding in 1879. These celebrations brought together people of all ages tied to the school, past and present. Festivities kicked off during the second week of March with an awards ceremony recognizing the valuable contributions of all the teachers, staff and Jesuits who have worked at the College de la Sainte Famille over the years, especially those who have since moved to other jobs or retired. This all felt like a big family reunion, and I felt welcomed by all as though I had been at the school for years, even though it is still my first year in Egypt, where I am currently doing my regency. The annual “Kermesse” took place on the 22nd of March. This year it again took place at one of our two primary schools, the Petit College du Heliopolis, and was livened by the theme of our celebrations. Food, stalls, crafts, games and a music festival showcasing the talents of our students all contributed to this wonderful occasion for students, staff, families and friends. It was also a good occasion for me to get to know students and their families outside the strictly scholastic context. On the 23rd March, Jesuits, staff, ex-alumni and numerous special guests, including the Egyptian Minister of Education Dr. Tarek Galal Shawki, the Papal Nuncio to Egypt Mgr. Bruno Musaro, the French Ambassador M. Stéphane Romatet, the Hungarian Ambassador Dr. Péter Kveck, the Polish Ambassador Dr. Michał Łabenda and the Indian Consul Mr. S. R. Sanil, were treated to an evening where we had a chance to reflect together on the history of the school, watching videos and photos recording the school’s past, listening to testimonies of students past and present, and reflecting on possibilities for the future. A lot seems to have changed over the years! Also present at this event were the Assistant of Father General Fr. Victor Assouad SJ, the Provincial, Fr. Dany Younes SJ, and the Secretary for Education (Secondary and Pre-Secondary) of the Society, Fr. José Alberto Mesa, SJ.    Celebrations concluded with a Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 24th March. All those present were given a small card with the image of St. Ignatius and the Suscipe at the end of the Mass as a reminder of the roots of the school’s spirit and the spirit we desire going forward. It was also a reminder for me, approaching the end of my first year of regency, to continue trusting in God and his plans for me in this great country filled with wonderful people!
The beginning of May saw the launch of action #ShowTheRosary, which is designed to encourage organizers to show their own faith through the rosary. - It is one thing to pray for the show, what Jesus warned us against, and other thing to be ashamed of one's own faith. We must avoid the former, but when we pray in a public place, we must not be ashamed of it - explains the initiator of the action, Daniel Wojda SJ. Action #ShowTheRosary is an initiative encouraging public prayer of the rosary. In his film, the initiator encouraged those who pray the rosary during a walk not to put the rosary in their pockets, but to dare to take it out. The virtual part of the initiative consists in photographing the rosaries and publishing their photos in social media together with the #ShowTheRosary #Header. The initiative was very interesting in the first few days. Almost 2,500 users made the film available on Facebook. Famous Catholic leaders and bloggers, including the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland, Archbishop Savatore Pennaccho, joined the action.

In-depth Reflection

"A vital place for the preservation of identity and an inspiration for the future, an icn of the new Province reality." Fr Provincial Gianfranco Matarazzo inaugurated the Archives situated in via degli Astalli: "in the house where St. Ignatius of Loyola lived and is buried, where Fr Arrupe wanted to set up the first reception centre of the Jesuit Refugee Service and where meals are served every day and people fleeing from war and poverty are visited, next to the Gesù International College, the Curia and the government of the Province, a place has been born, an icon of the new Euro-Mediterranean reality" he underlined.  These important spaces which are professionally certified are very much treasured, and I hope they will be a vital place for the preservation of memory and identity, a support for current affaris and issues, and an inspiration for the future ". 850 metre-long documentary heritage. Mons. Renzo Giuliano, parish priest of S. Marco, blessed the place.  He highlighted the value of the handing down of memory that unites, auguring that "the best of humanity is conveyed to history". This 850 metre-long documentary heritage includes registers, correspondence, files and a photographic collection. "The Archive gathers the documentation produced by the 5 old Provinces: Venetian-Milanese, Torinese, Roman, Neapolitan, Sicula and the former mission of Albania, today part of the Province, starting from the re-establishment of the Society in 1814", Dr. Maria Macchi, curator of the archive of the EUM Province  “The documents produced by the individual provinces, by the institutions dependent on them and by individual Jesuits are preserved in the Archive. The documents of these Institutions include those of Massimiliano Massimo of Rome, those of St. Frances Xavier College of Livorno and those of the Opera Massaruti ”. Through these documents one can make research on the Society of Jesus, on certain Jesuits and also on the cities where the Society operates, examining historical events through the life of the communities present also in numerous missions such as Brazil, India, China and Albania. Requests and exhibitions. During the first year of its opening 137 requests were made for access to the Archive, during the second year 200 requests were made and during the third year the requests made reached almost 400. "Three exhibitions were prepared for the occasion namely, the writings of Fr. Alagiagian, an Armenian Jesuit imprisoned in Russia until 1954, the sermons of Fr. Giuseppe Massaruti and the spiritual writings of Fr San Francesco De Geronimo, one of the oldest collections dating back to the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. The diaries of the novitiate situated at Sant'Andrea al Quirinale in Rome until 1870 and today in Genoa were also exhibited. There are also diaries containing the memoirs of the novices, including those of Fr. Angelo Secchi, a document through which his biography could be written. One can also find an account of the First World War told by Jesuit chaplains ministering on the front or in Rome itself where many treated the wounded at the Massimo institute which was then a hospital. The documents which were studied and filed, are kept in fascicles made of non-acid material for proper conservation and can be searched from the inventory which is being prepared. Among the special documents are the report book and school documentation of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, photographs of Ettore Majorana, his brothers and cousins who were all students at the Massimo Institute in Rome, the handkerchief of Pius X, a second class relic, and the Last Vows and the signatures of renowned Jesuits such as Fr. Angelo Secchi, Fr. Tacchi Venturi and Fr. Pietro Pirri: The historical archive also has its own editorial column on-line where twice a month, articles are published on particularly interesting documents or current affairs:
In the recent years the Jesuits have taken an active part as  organizers and contributors to the annual conference on issues in bioethics and medicine, which takes place in Vitebsk, Belarus in the beginning of June. Fr Klemens Werth, a member of the diocesan curia team, oversees the organization of this international event: the participants come from nine different countries, and they include representatives of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Roman hospital “Bambino Gesù”. Fr Piotr Aszyk, the rector of our Theological Faculty “Bobolanum” in Warsaw, contributes to the discussion of the topics. This year the specific theme of the conference was dependence and codependence, but papers included a range of other issues which are on the agenda of the scientific community.
A discussion was organised by Centro Astalli, the Jesuit Refugee Service , on June 17, at the Gregorian University, between Luciano Manicardi, Prior of the Community of Bose, Massimo Cacciari, Philosopher, and Marco Damilano, Director of L'Espresso, on the theme of migration "Refugees: on the margins of humanity". "Thirty years ago, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, we had dreamt of a unity of diversity," Fr. Ripamonti said at the introduction. "We do not know the exact number of people who died while trying to reach West Berlin through the wall, perhaps a few hundred. Instead, it is estimated that more than 30,000 people have lost their lives since 1990 trying to reach Europe by sea or by land ... the human cost of building barriers in a European Union born to break them down is definitely unacceptable. A Europe that is irreparably "old and frightened", says Massimo Cacciari. And inspite of this, "Europe's purpose is to be welcoming because otherwise it will disappear: it will be a long and probably tragic process, unless a ruling class is formed, a qualified elite, which understands the historical, economic and social need to welcome and integrate". The only possible European policy to save the old continent is "a Mediterranean policy", which will be able to connect to the great question of the next century, "Africa, and its enormous resources" in terms of wealth and youth. "The great cultures that have founded Europe", the philosopher says," the liberal, socialist and Christian ones, "have managed to survive but they must make a new narrative about Europe", "a new cultural and anthropological understanding". Even the laws of the Old Testament drew up a "code of the rights of the migrant", in which "there is first of all a "culture of memory", "Do not oppress others because you too have been foreigners", the biblical God reveals Himself to the Jews when they were foreigners in Egypt", recalls the prior of Bose, Luciano Manicardi. In the immigrant, he adds, the son of Israel sees his own image, "the foreigner allows you to see yourself by making you a foreigner, and thus giving you a possibility of revelation. Finally, ancient laws evoke concrete integration, economic, social and religious measures, such as the addition of the sabbatical rest or the payment of fair wages. "At the heart of the Christian message", explains the prior of Bose , "there isn't something religious, but something human, the concrete person with a history, a face and his suffering". From the Gospel narrative we therefore grasp that "becoming neighbor is first of all acting on oneself".
The core group of HEST (Higher Education for Social Transformation) met in Braga, Portugal, between 26-29th of April 2019. Five of us turned up for the meeting in person (Bruno Nobre, Francois Euvé, Ulf Jonsson, Josef Quitterer, Jacek Poznański) and Georg Gasser from Innsbruck joined us on Skype at Saturday’s evening session. We were guests of the Jesuit Community of the scholastics (Jesuits in formation) in Braga. We spend two nice days with them, celebrating masses, eating together and discussing philosophical, theological and everyday questions. Saturday we dedicated to the organizational issues. We started with discussion on our conference which is to take place in Centre Sèvres in Paris, 8th-9th of October 2019. The title of the conference is “A Powerful Universe – Levels of Powers. Dispositions and their applications in Science, Metaphysics, and Theology”. It is the final event of the three years of existence of the Science and Religion Cluster of the HEST Programme. We invited for the conference a number of key scholars on powers and dispositions. We will try to enter in dialogue with them on the important issues concerning metaphysics, anthropology, sciences and God. Francois Euvé informed us about the preparations in Paris, accommodation and other things. Bruno Nobre will take care about the registration issues. We spoke about our guests and the arrangements of the talks. We will design also a website of the conference. The second big issue was the social transformation dimension of our project. Firstly, we would like to get together the scholars from European Jesuit institutions who are interested in science and religion. We want to invite to the conference our colleagues from places like Madrid, Barcelona, Muenchen, Namur, Zagreb, Bratislava, Vatican Observatory. Secondly, we plan to put together the results of our research and conference in an influential publication. We hope to find a renowned publisher house willing to help us in this task. We agreed to continue our cooperation after the finishing the three years period of HEST project. Our proposal is to organize a regular International Science and Religion Seminar for the PhD and MA students. The seminar could use the structures of our universities, and probably we can try to insert this seminar into curricula of our PhD or MA students and provide them with ECTS. We will work a bit more on this proposal and we send this to others for discussion. Sunday, the second day of our seminar, was dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the working papers we had been preparing for the conference. We cleared out our understanding of the concepts and ideas in powers and dispositions, as well as confronted the materials prepared by us with other points of view. We are thankful to the Jesuit community in Braga, and especially Bruno Nobre, for all the great efforts to make our time there as nice and fruitful as possible. We thank also the dean of the Jesuit Faculty of Philosophy and Social Science in Braga for the financial support.

Preparing for Mission

Fr. Antun Cvek lived for the poor and in most cases, with the poor. He was caring them in his heart and in his mind. He got his nickname “the good ghost of Zagreb”” since he would usually work day and night for the poor, sick, needy and the neglected elderly of Zagreb for over 40 years. News of his death spread like wildfire trough Croatian religious and secular media as he was regarded as an extraordinary man and priest. Fr. Cvek was born in Zagreb, Bizek, February 10, 1934. After completing primary school in Vrapče, he enrolled in the School of Economics, where he studies the carmaker's craft. Subsequently, when he was already an employee of the Zagreb Electric Tram (ZET), he enrolled and completed his secondary economic school. In those years he reminisces that he was far from faith, but God has not parted from him. After an intense experience of Christ's presence, he realized that Christ is the purpose of life and that his own vocation is in the religious and priestly life. Thus, in 1967, at the age of 33, he joined the Society of Jesus' novitiate, then studied philosophy and theology in Zagreb at Jordanovac, and in 1974 was ordained a priest by the hands of Archbishop Franjo Kuharić. In 1968 he founded a small group with his fellow Jesuits to visit the old, sick and neglected people. Later, in 1975, as a chaplain at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Zagreb he also included parishioners to this group. He soon established a Community of Christian love as a spiritual and prayer support for field work of his charity. In 1990. from this apostolate, together with his closest associates, he formed a Catholic Association " Kap dobrote" (A drop of goodness). In 2002 he was a founding member of the Bishop Josip Lang Foundation. For years, regardless of weather conditions, fr. Cvek visited the neediest old and poor people who eagerly awaited him. He would visit them often on his bicycle, which became his staple, together with his “proverb” – “The most human needs, is a human”. With material help, he also carried Christ to the poor through the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist, which he considered to be his most valuable contribution. On the way, he did little repairs, using the knowledge he had acquired as a car bodyworker in ZET. He spent most of his religious life as a member of the Jesuit community in Palmotićeva, and last year as a member of the community at Fratrovac in Zagreb. He has presented his work and spirituality in four books: "The Social Way of the Cross", "From the Journal of Discarded", "I Live, yet I do not Exist", "Remember Me". For his work, and contributions to the people of Zagreb he won numerous awards, witch include; "City of Zagreb Award" (2003 and 2012), the annual award of the Association for the Promotion of Courage, Humanity and Honor "Pride of Croatia" (2008), the Republic of Croatia Award for Life Work in the Field of Humanitarian Work (2012), the annual Red Cross award "Merciful Samaritan" (2013). Croatian Radio and Television broadcasted in 2001 a documentary film about his life and work. He was buried on Thursday, May 30, at Zagreb's Cemetery Mirogoj.
Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ guest in Vienna, Austria. Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, visits again and again provinces of the Society of Jesus in order to get an overview of the Order and the work of the Jesuits on site. In 2021 the provinces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Lithuania-Latvia will found the new Central European Province ECE. In the course of this Father General travels to all four provinces. From the 21th to the 23th of June he was a guest in Vienna in order to get to know the Austrian Province. Under the topic Building Bridges, the Jesuits in Austria introduced themselves to him. The three days that Father General spent in Vienna were packed. The first item was a press conference with representatives of the Austrian media. He asked himself questions about his home country Venezuela as well as about the international developments of the Society of Jesus and the forthcoming Amazon Synod. He also mentioned the new universal apostolic preferences which will give the Order its orientation over the next 10 years. After the press conference, public transport was used to travel to the centre of Vienna, where lunch was served together with the Jesuits from Vienna, staff and refugees. The refugees found help and support through the projects Locugee (a project of the Jesuit Refugee Service JRS) and CONCORDIA social projects. Just two examples of social projects of the Jesuits in Austria and beyond, which, with the commitment of many supporters, enable refugees and people pushed to the edge by society to have a future worth living. After a short, private city tour with Father Gustav Schörghofer SJ the meeting with the members of the Altkalksburger Vereinigung took place. Here already a full hall of interested people waited for Father General. Education and schools were and still are a big and important part of Jesuit work. Prayer was celebrated in the Stanislaus Chapel. Afterwards Father General and Bishop Christoph Schönborn met for a private conversation. The evening was completely reserved for the Jesuits. It is a tradition that Father General meets with his fellow companion on site for an exchange. On Saturday Father General was introduced to the works of the Austrian Province in a playful way. In two teams he and Provincial Bernhard Bürgler competed against each other. In Jesuit tradition, each team was accompanied by two assistants. They had to answer specific Austrian related questions and collect Mozarttaler. During the game there were stations where the individual locations of the Jesuits in Austria - Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and Vienna - were presented. Staff members and Jesuits talked about their work and its significance for them and the Jesuits. There were lots of opportunities for exchange and networking among the Jesuits and co-workers with Father General. In the evening people were invited to a Vespers followed by a conversation in the Konzilsgedächtniskirche. The blessing of the new "Pedro Arrupe" event room and the mass in the full Jesuit church formed the conclusion of Father General's visit.
In the midst of the whirlpool at the end of the school year, priestly ordinations are first and foremost a moment of joy for Jesuits. It is a time of a sense of body, of endorsing one's own vocation. This shared joy was felt on June 1 at the priestly ordination of Roberto Quirós SJ and Carlos Gómez-Vírseda SJ (Charlie) in the Jesuit parish of San Francisco Javier and San Luis Gonzaga (Ventilla-Madrid), on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, D. Carlos Osoro Sierra, concelebrated, among others, the provincial of the Society of Jesus, Antonio España SJ, the bishop emeritus of Ethiopia, the Jesuit Rodrigo Mejía, the delegate of the Third Age (Cipriano Díaz Marcos SJ), the delegate of Formation (Pablo Alonso SJ), superiors and formators of both Jesuits. The readings referred to the feast of the Ascension. After the call and presentation of the ordinands, the Cardinal gave a homily in which he invited them to: consolidate their life in a single security, that of Jesus Christ; to begin a way to announce him in the midst of the world and to always be witnesses of the Mission. At various moments of the ceremony the ordinands had in mind his formator, the recently deceased Jesuit Nacho Boné. As in the final and joint thanksgiving pronounced by Roberto, where he also thanked the Lord for the gift of vocation and all the Jesuit companions for accompanying them on their journey, those present, and those who preceded them. See photos in this album:
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.