Jesuits in Europe

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
After having been limited last year, by the pandemic, to a brief online meeting, this summer, EJIF-European Jesuits in Formation returned to its traditional format. Representatives of the JCEP provinces met in South Poland from the end of July to the third week of August. The general theme was the motto of the Ignatian Year – to see all things new in Christ – with a particular accent on poverty. The gathering opened with a Zoom conversation with Father General. St. Ignatius day was celebrated with the Jesuits of Krakow in a mass presided by the PME Provincial Fr. Jaroslaw Paszynski. There followed a visit to Auschwitz and 3 days of experiments Magis-style in which they contacted with elderly people and orphans, with a daily time of shared reflection on the experience. The 8-day Spiritual Exercises took place in Stara Wieś, directed by Javier Melloni (ESP). At the end, there was time for the evaluation of the meeting and the election of the new CoCo. The JCEP President, Franck Janin, accompanied the group in the opening days and at the conclusion. A big thank you to the 2021 organising CoCo: Domingos Perloiro (POR) Michał Król (PME) and Sébastien Majchrzak (EOF). And best wishes for the new CoCo as they are already planning next year’s EJIF: Luis Delgado del Valle (ESP), Filippo Carlomagno (EUM) and Karol Klimaszyk (PMA). The new Coco with Fr. Janin and the old Coco
KYRGYZSTAN
On August 14 this year, the second building was officially consecrated at the Jesuit Centre (Children's Recreation and Rehabilitation Centre) at the lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan. Father Anthony Corcoran SJ, Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Church in Kyrgyzstan presided at the Holy Mass and the celebration of the dedication. The building was put into use last year, however, due to the pandemic, the blessing of the house was postponed. The new building has several dozen sleeping places, several rooms and a medical facility. The great advantage of the building is the large and spacious conference room, which enables the organization of various meetings, as well as the celebration of the Holy Mass for larger groups. The first building was opened in 2010. Since then, every summer season it has hosted both Catholics and groups from various Protestant churches, as well as Muslims. Special guests were, from the very beginning, groups of handicapped people from poor families for whom the centre was adapted. In the summer, tent camps were springing like mushrooms after the rain on the territory of the centre, in which volunteers, youth, students and often also Jesuits lived. This situation was due to the lack of space in the house. Hence, after a few years of operation, the desire to construct a second building. Thanks to the generosity of the supporters and the commitment of Brother Damian Wojciechowski SJ last year this dream came true. For the second year in a row, the centre is able to accommodate 100 people. Several groups can be hosted in the centre at the same time. From June to September it is packed to the brim. And there are also days when unannounced guests, e.g. tourists, can only be hosted in a yurt! Father Remigiusz Kalski SJ is responsible for the centre and he manages it together with a team of associates. The activities of the centre fit into the context of the Jesuits' ministry in Kyrgyzstan. In addition to supporting the Catholic environment, it is a meeting place for many Christian confessions and other religions. It is another bridge through which the small Kyrgyz Catholic Church can actively engage in the social life of this country and co-create it. It serves families, children and the poorest by example by proclaiming the message of the Gospel.
HUNGARYSLOVAKIA
Due to the pandemic, it’s been a long year’s wait, but it was well worth it. All the joyful gifts opening us to the deeper still echo in our heart after the wonderful nine days we spent with the 200 participants of Magis Europe 2021 in Hungary and Slovakia. A report from one of the organizers. A place and time for encounters with ourselves, others and God. An occasion to open up our heart through service, prayers, challenges and in the community. A harvest of fruits and gifts in reflection on our day, a moment for reconciliation, recreation and renewal. Despite all the uncertainties in the preparation, the Magis Europe 2021 event could become all the above – and more. Thanks to all the support and prayers from people all around the world, we were given the opportunity to see all things new in Christ. It all began on the 7th of August with the experiment groups meeting for the first time. Magis Europe 2021 included 11 experiments in five different “characters” connecting to five aspects of Ignatian spirituality. In the last days all the participants gathered in the closing festival in Miskolc. Arts The Dance to God, dance with God experiment connected the gestures of our body to our feelings, experiences and even our relationship with God. The Magis Taizé experiment near Ruzomberok, Slovakia invited participants to share their talents with each other inspired by the music of Taizé. Their musical service at the Closing Festival showed that prayer always enriches others in the end. The Living Stones group drew on the abundant riches of church buildings to engage with tourists coming by. Service Guided by the Helping Sisters in Csobánka, Hungary, people at the Sharing life experiment spent time with the elderly and the disabled.  The Playing together group spent their week at Arló, one of the poorest villages of Hungary.  Taking care of our created world is an important but difficult service, as participants of the Green heads, hearts and hands could experience. Pilgrimage Magis people of the Hungarian Camino Benedictus and Walking in God’s presence experiments found that a pilgrimage always changes those who depart. Even if not all change is as radical as the conversion of Inigo, they are important nevertheless. Spirituality One week as a Jesuit offered a glimpse into the Jesuit lifestyle for a group of young men, from meals to prayers and service. The Silent retreat experiment created a week of encounter with God in the closeness of nature, in the silence of the chapel and in the discussions with the spiritual director. Culture The Word on Papyrus experiment allowed participants to feel how the physical process of writing the Scripture in the same way as the first scribes did creates a unique connection to the text and to the words of Jesus. Closing Festival Finally, on the 13th of August over 200 Magis people from almost 30 countries met in Miskolc, Hungary for the weekend. With the blessing of Pope Francis and the video message of Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ, the Closing Festival was always meant to be great, and it turned out to be just that. On Friday, the focus was on spirituality, with a roundtable on the topic of vocation and an evening prayer of reconciliation with adoration and songs. Saturday was the day of adventures in and around Miskolc with the optional programmes provided by the organizers (spiritual field trip, city tour, sports, a taste of Hungarian culture and more), with the Festival of Nations in the evening and also the chance to learn some Hungarian folk dance. On Sunday, we took the time to close, say goodbye and go on with the daily theme: mission. Fr. Elemér Vízi SJ, the Hungarian Provincial connected our mission to the “yes” of Mary on the feast mass of the Assumption. Kristóf Hódsági - Jesuits HUN    
ITALY
"It is by force of thinking about flowers that flowers grow". These are the words of Riccardo Muti, the famous Italian Conductor, who chose to spend his morning in Scampia among the young musicians of the neighbourhood taking part in the "Musica libera tutti" project. And he adds: 'Paradise does not exist anywhere. Putting the negative emphasis on this part of Naples is criminal'. "This experience is comparable to painting with Michelangelo or singing on stage with Freddie Mercury or dribbling in front of a stadium full of supporters with Maradona. You can appreciate the grandeur of those who for decades have demonstrated to the world the magic and power of music, as well as having the honour of being born in Naples ". Andrea, aged 21, one of the musicians of the orchestra, is still incredulous. “I started playing the clarinet almost for fun, without ever thinking what it would mean to me or where this would lead me. I started this journey with people who form an important part of my life today. Sometimes someone joined us or welcomed us, and we grew up together joyfully. Usually, the future unfolds in this manner: you can never really know what it holds for you: there are always some surprises around the corner. I still find it hard to believe what I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears this morning, a few meters from the squares where famous scenes of Gomorrah were shot. Everyone’s idea is that in Scampia no beauty will ever be found and that its young people are destined for evil. I, together with the young people, women and men of Musica Libera Tutti will continue to play music and show the world that art and beauty can also be found here. " “This is a gift for everyone” Graziano Calci, head of the Alberto Hurtado Cultural and Professional Training Centre, founded by Fr. Fabrizio Valletti in 2001, highlights. "After having recently met the young people of" Musica Libera Tutti ", a free online classical music formation initiative for children and teenagers and having then invited them to Caserta for his musical concert “Un’estate da Re”, he came to visit the Hurtado Centre in Scampia, with great discretion and prudence, to see where our young musicians practice their music. He then gave them a lesson of about an hour and a half on the first movement in G minor of Mozart's opera 40 at the Jesuit rectory ".  This was an intense, intimate, friendly and funny moment thanks to the good-nature and wit of the Maestro, where the young people, family members and volunteers were also present. "He shared his love for music, for Naples, for culture and history, inviting us to get out of the banality of the common mentality that relegates our city to repetitive and boring jargon that does not justify the wealth it bears. He spoke about the music in Naples and said that for this city to make progress one must love it and cultivate its values rather than highlighting the most backward Neapolitan character, because ... it is by means of thinking about flowers that flowers grow ". Click here for the RaiNews video on Maestro Muti in Scampia  https://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/media/Riccardo-Muti-a-Scampia-E-a-forza-di-pensare-ai-fiori-che-i-fiori-crescono-3922ab2d-554c-4a5c-951e-afd4c100e63f.html  Jesuits EUM

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Finding God

FRANCE
The Colocations (or Colocs Magis/Flatshare) are proposed by Jesuits and Ignatian nuns in Paris, Lyon and Toulouse.  They are aimed at young people aged 18 to 30, students or young professionals, and are based on three pillars: fraternal life, prayer and service. Between four and five young people (mostly men, except in Lyon where one of the rooms is mixed) are welcomed in a flat close to a Jesuit community or Ignatian nuns. The Roommates provide a framework for human, spiritual, cultural and social enrichment by living close to a religious community and benefiting from the presence of a referent religious who helps to set up this framework. In the Christian tradition, following St Ignatius of Loyola The Magis Flatshares are situated in the Christian tradition of community life and in the spiritual dynamic of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who inspired several religious communities.  They are therefore also places to deepen one's faith, to seek and find God in all things, to unify the different dimensions of one's life by walking with other young people in the MAGIS Team, for example. In concrete terms? At the beginning of the year, the inhabitants of the Magis Flatshares draw up the charter that will govern their life together: prayer, Eucharist and other spiritual times; meals, relaxation and sport; meetings with the community; insertion in the life of the Church, in youth ministry, in the service of the most needy; participation in the weekly evening of the Coloc... Spiritual accompaniment is possible, as well as a proposal for Spiritual Exercises during a retreat in a spiritual centre or in one's daily life (we then speak of Exercises in Ordinary Life). Testimony of a roommate "This roommate was first of all a beautiful meeting between the four of us. A fraternal bond was woven throughout the year, through the time spent together, especially the weekly sharing and prayers and with our common MAGIS team. Another strong point of the rooming house was its openness to the outside world, through the services of each one for the EYM but also through the link with the Jesuit community which welcomed us with great warmth. I think I was very lucky to be part of this project! Etienne, 22 years old
GERMANY
Father Arturo Sosa SJ in an exclusive interview with katholisch.de. For almost five years, Father Arturo Sosa SJ has been at the head of the Jesuits. In an interview with katholisch.de, the General Superior explains what fascinates him about Ignatius, the founder of the order, the current situation of the Society of Jesus and his personal relationship with the Pope. This year the Jesuits are celebrating an “Ignatian year” on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the conversion of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. In an interview, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Arturo Sosa SJ, explains why the founder of the Jesuits can be a role model for today's believers, what the abuse scandal means for the Jesuits and what the Pope's relationship with his order is like. Question: What does St Ignatius of Loyola still have to say to the faithful of our day? Sosa: The life of Ignatius can teach us two things above all: The first is the great capacity to change oneself and one's life - even quite unexpectedly. St Ignatius did not frantically stick to his plan for a successful life, but allowed himself to be guided by unforeseeable events, such as being wounded in the Battle of Pamplona or the failure of his plan to live in the Holy Land, which he had actually wanted so much. He did not let setbacks get him down and went new ways. In doing so, he trusted in the Holy Spirit and finally founded the Jesuits. Ignatius dared to let himself be changed by trusting in God. Question: And what is the second remarkable point about the life of St Ignatius? Sosa: The deep personal encounter with Jesus Christ. That was the centre of his life and is also the centre of the Society of Jesus as well as the whole Church - yesterday and today. As Christians, we are called to place Christ at the centre of our lives, our feelings and our motivation. This was eminently important to Ignatius when he founded the Society of Jesus. Therefore, in this Ignatian Year, we have resolved to place the orientation towards Christ more and more at the centre of our mission. Hence the motto for this year: " To see all things new in Christ." This unusual perspective is an enrichment for today's world. Question: But do the people of today really need this new look of Ignatius, who allows himself to be changed by the unfamiliar? Sosa: Definitely, because Ignatius experienced that God was working in his life. The Second Vatican Council gave the so-called "signs of the times" a special significance for the Church. This is precisely what Ignatius also learned: God speaks to people, to the Church, in the present, and gives them signs for the journey he invites them on. In view of the current state of the Church, it is especially necessary to be able to read the signs of the times. This includes the ability to discern which signs really come from God and which have their origin in other sources, such as ideologies or political ideas. Question: Especially in Europe and North America, but also on other continents, believers are demanding the opening of the ordained ministry to women and more participation in the Church. Are these also "signs of the times"? Sosa: There is nothing wrong with making these demands, because they pick up on significant developments in society. But one must learn to read whether they are signs of the times that are in the spirit of the Gospel. We have to ask ourselves what makes the Church in Germany or any other local church a better Church of Jesus Christ in the light of the Good News. With the signs of the times, it is not a matter of making oneself comfortable in the present and causing as little offence as possible. The Church must also distance itself from some tendencies in society. That is why it is important to learn to discern. This means to decide where to go with the gaze of Jesus Christ. It is about being guided by the Gospel, by the Holy Spirit. This is indeed a very difficult task, because it is not always obvious what God wants from us. And it takes time: discernment is not something you learn from one day to the next. Question: The Pope's decisions and statements are not always easy to understand and are sometimes contradictory. Is this due to the discernment of spirits? Can the Pope be better understood by those who know his Jesuit influence and Ignatian spirituality? Sosa: Those who know more about the history of the Jesuits and know our spirituality definitely understand the Pope better, because he is, after all, a Jesuit. But it must also be said that the discernment was not a discovery of Ignatius. It has been part of the people of God since biblical times. Even Jesus Christ knows this practice: a good example is the night in the Garden of Gethsemane before his Passion. Jesus wonders what to do. He weeps, prays and sweats blood because there is such fear of the impending suffering. But he finally decides to go that way. Or the prophets in the Old Testament: they have a message from God to proclaim and, despite adversity, choose the best way to carry out their mission. So, discernment already occurs in the Bible and is not a proprium of the Catholic Church, but also takes place outside of it, worked by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, I believe that the Synod of Bishops on Synodality and the preparation for it in the local Churches will sharpen the sense in the Church of the importance of discernment. Question: But can you understand the people who cannot understand the Pope's decisions and statements because they are based in discernment, that is, in a very personal act? Sosa: It is important to note that we are not only talking about the discernment of one person, but of the whole ecclesial community. That is why it is so important to stimulate the synodal spirit in the Church. This concerns everyone, from ordained ministers to the faithful in parishes. They all have the task of discerning spirits in their personal lives, but also in the community of the Church. Question: What can the Jesuit Order contribute to the synodal development of the Church? Sosa: Synodality is not an invention of Pope Francis, but is based on Vatican II. The Council Fathers wrote synodality into the DNA of the Church. The Constitution Lumen Gentium defines it as a wandering people of God guided by the Holy Spirit. The people and the community are at the centre. Only from this are the roles of bishops, priests and religious in the Church described. We need to rediscover this today and to realize this structure of service and community more and more in the Church. The contribution of us Jesuits, who are particularly involved in the areas of theology, education and pastoral care, is the obligation to implement the Second Vatican Council. We are called to do all that is necessary now to advance synodality in the Church. Question: If we look a little at the history of the Jesuits: What is the greatest achievement of the Order? And where has it been guilty? Sosa: I do not presume to answer this question, because it is a history of more than 500 years, countless persons and thousands of departures. The Society of Jesus was and is so diverse and present in so many different countries that such a judgement seems impossible to me. Question: That is of course understandable. But I am taking up a painful subject: The abuse that has also happened in Jesuit parishes and schools. Is this a big problem for the Society of Jesus? Sosa: The issue of abuse is unfortunately present in us Jesuits, but it is also prevalent in other bodies and institutions. I think we have responded very strongly to the problem and today we are fully committed to the welfare of children and young people in our schools and parishes. First of all, we acknowledged what had happened and started detailed discovery processes in many countries, for example in Germany, but also in Ireland, Canada, the USA or in Chile. It was important to us to do everything as transparently as possible. We asked for forgiveness and also made amends. Now the focus is on the prevention of abuse. We want to create a "safe environment" for everyone in our institutions, a "culture of child well-being". Unfortunately, this is not always easy, because the cultural differences in the individual countries are very great. However, it is important to us to achieve a high level of prevention and transparency on the topic of abuse everywhere as soon as possible. The time of covering up is over. Question: In Germany, the Jesuit Province was recently dissolved and a Province for Central Europe was founded. Has the number of vocations in Europe decreased so much that this step became necessary? Sosa: Jesuit membership has changed a lot, especially in Europe and the USA. However, we do not base our structures so much on numbers, but on fulfilling our mission in the best possible way. Europe has become a strong political community in the past decades, where communication with each other is much easier and borders have less and less meaning. Therefore, it is no longer so important for us to align our provinces exclusively with national borders. These decisions are also linked to considerations of how we can best use our resources for our mission. The establishment of the new Central European Province was a very long process of discernment. But it stands in a series of similar mergers in recent years, for example into a Francophone Province in Europe or a single Province for Spain. Similar changes are also in the offing on other continents. Moreover, these structures are not created for eternity, but can be adapted in 20 years or so if external or internal circumstances should have changed. In this respect, the Jesuit order is a very flexible organisation, unlike the Benedictines, for example, who have associations of individual monasteries as their congregation. There, changes are more difficult. We are also flexible in our religious institutions. For example, the Jesuit Refugee Service has an international structure and adapts to current needs. As the paths of refugees change, so does this service. Question: Let us look at the figures: Where is the Order growing, where are there fewer Jesuits? Sosa: If we look at the numbers alone, Europe is still our focus. However, that is also where the oldest members are. Vocations are rather few in Europe compared to the numbers of 75 or 50 years ago. In Africa, the Society of Jesus has very high entry numbers and is growing steadily. This also has to do with the population development in most African countries, because there are many young people there. In Europe, on the other hand, there are fewer young people and therefore not so many vocations. In Latin America, for example, the number of Jesuits is very stable, but India is home to a quarter of all Jesuits: 21 provinces with more than 4,000 members. Question: You are at the head of the Society of Jesus. How do you keep this order together, whose members have the reputation of being great individualists? Sosa: (Laughs) That is only possible because the unity of the Order is not only guaranteed by its leadership, but by each Jesuit himself. We are one body and Jesus is our head - not me as Superior General. On this subject, the vow of obedience is particularly important. But obedience is not to a human association, but to the Holy Spirit, to our mission. Therefore, it is not the task of the leadership of the Order to command, but to see where in the Order and beyond each Jesuit can best serve our mission. This requires that all members are as well educated as possible, can think for themselves and are diverse. Diversity is a distinguishing feature of us Jesuits. You can see this in the multiculturalism of our community: never before have Jesuits come from so many different cultural contexts. This is a great richness, but also an enormous challenge. We always have to ask ourselves how we use this diversity for our mission. It is precisely my task as General to keep this alive. Question: You mentioned obedience, for which the Jesuits are known. But obedience can also be misunderstood... Sosa: Of course, that's true. There are so many satirical comparisons of the Society of Jesus with the military. But it is exactly the opposite with us. We don't want cadaver obedience, but we are looking for men who can think and discern for themselves. Obedience means seeking together how and where one can best make one's contribution to the whole. I have experienced this throughout my life as a Jesuit. Question: As Superior General of the Jesuits, you have great influence and are therefore also called the "black Pope". Recently you vehemently rejected this designation. Why? It is also a kind of distinction... Sosa: I don't like this designation at all! Because it is the exact opposite of what the Jesuits see as their mission. People want to say with this expression that the Superior General of the Jesuits has a power similar to that of the Holy Father. This is not true and I cannot accept it, not even as a joke. Jesuits want to serve the people and the Church by putting themselves at the disposal of the Pope. Therefore, there must not be a second Pope. We Jesuits therefore take a special vow not to aspire to ecclesiastical offices and titles, not even the office of bishop - let alone the papal chair. Question: But today the successor of Peter in Rome is a Jesuit. What is the Order's relationship with the Pope? Sosa: Pope Francis is first and foremost the head of the Church and not a Jesuit. He spent many years of his life in the Society and that has of course shaped him - positively, I mean. (laughs) But the Jesuit relationship with him is no different than with any other Pope. We always submit to the Pope, whoever he may be. But of course there is another level of relationship with the Pope, because we know each other personally, speak the same language and have a similar spirituality. But the Pope is the Pope. There is a huge respect for him and his office on the part of the Jesuits, but also respect on the part of the Pope for the work of our Order - but not only for the Jesuits, also towards other Orders. Pope Francis is very close to all religious orders and spiritual communities. Question: So there is no special affection of the Pope for the Jesuits? Sosa: Often no one believes me, but I don't have a shorter line to the Pope than other Superiors General. If I want to speak to Francis, I have to request it through his secretary just like everyone else. From Roland Müller
BELARUS
Last year the Covid pandemics made it impossible to continue the 5-year-old tradition of offering an Ignatian 7-day retreat in the city of Navahrudak, Belarus, to lay people and religious. (An online retreat on YouTube was offered instead.) Since this summer the anti-Covid measures were attenuated, the opportunity for the “offline” version of the retreat in July of this jubilee year opened up, and immediately it found enthusiastic response, so that another series had to be planned in August. The particular feature of this “preached retreat” this year was the presence of three non-Jesuit guides, together with Victor Zhuk SJ, who was suggesting “impulses” for prayer to the group: a lay person (a long-term collaborator in online projects of the Jesuits), a diocesan priest and a nun, who went through some training in spiritual accompaniment and supervision. The result for the participants, as many said during the final sharing, was a good balance between a careful guidance and a freedom in individual approach to everyone’s particular spiritual stage. We are determined to continue this kind of collaboration with our non-Jesuit partners, as the recent documents of the Society of Jesus suggest, pursuing one of the UAPs – showing the way to God to all those who are willing to draw from the treasures of the Ignatius’ heritage.
ITALY
The testimony of Fr Jean-Paul Hernandez.  “With the young confrere Narciso Sunda, we had put up posters in (and outside of) the bulletin boards, in many Faculties. Would they be read? The first evening we waited restlessly at the entrance to the Centro Poggeschi. A few minutes before the indicated time, unknown students began to enter. We had never seen so many, for such a challenging proposal. In that event, all my apostolic convictions coagulated: what we can do best, what is most urgent, what everyone hungers for, most deeply, is… the encounter with God”. This is how Fr Jean Paul Hernandez, priest, Jesuit, theologian - who in this liturgical year explains and comments on the Sunday Gospel with wise simplicity for TV2000 - recalls the beginning of his service with young people. From big dreams to the invitation of John Paul II, from the stages of formation to the discovery of true theology. Read the complete interview on the brand new site of the Mediterranean European Jesuit Province. Studio di Comunicazione - Agenzia Pubblicitaria Rimini | Kaleidon  5A Design \ We design and build digital products and service experiences MAGIS – Opera missionaria della Provincia Euro-Mediterranea dei gesuiti (fondazionemagis.org)    Home - Centro Ignaziano di Spiritualità (cis-esercizispirituali.net)    Home - Jesuit Social Network (jsn.it)  

Promoting Justice

ITALY
"It is by force of thinking about flowers that flowers grow". These are the words of Riccardo Muti, the famous Italian Conductor, who chose to spend his morning in Scampia among the young musicians of the neighbourhood taking part in the "Musica libera tutti" project. And he adds: 'Paradise does not exist anywhere. Putting the negative emphasis on this part of Naples is criminal'. "This experience is comparable to painting with Michelangelo or singing on stage with Freddie Mercury or dribbling in front of a stadium full of supporters with Maradona. You can appreciate the grandeur of those who for decades have demonstrated to the world the magic and power of music, as well as having the honour of being born in Naples ". Andrea, aged 21, one of the musicians of the orchestra, is still incredulous. “I started playing the clarinet almost for fun, without ever thinking what it would mean to me or where this would lead me. I started this journey with people who form an important part of my life today. Sometimes someone joined us or welcomed us, and we grew up together joyfully. Usually, the future unfolds in this manner: you can never really know what it holds for you: there are always some surprises around the corner. I still find it hard to believe what I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears this morning, a few meters from the squares where famous scenes of Gomorrah were shot. Everyone’s idea is that in Scampia no beauty will ever be found and that its young people are destined for evil. I, together with the young people, women and men of Musica Libera Tutti will continue to play music and show the world that art and beauty can also be found here. " “This is a gift for everyone” Graziano Calci, head of the Alberto Hurtado Cultural and Professional Training Centre, founded by Fr. Fabrizio Valletti in 2001, highlights. "After having recently met the young people of" Musica Libera Tutti ", a free online classical music formation initiative for children and teenagers and having then invited them to Caserta for his musical concert “Un’estate da Re”, he came to visit the Hurtado Centre in Scampia, with great discretion and prudence, to see where our young musicians practice their music. He then gave them a lesson of about an hour and a half on the first movement in G minor of Mozart's opera 40 at the Jesuit rectory ".  This was an intense, intimate, friendly and funny moment thanks to the good-nature and wit of the Maestro, where the young people, family members and volunteers were also present. "He shared his love for music, for Naples, for culture and history, inviting us to get out of the banality of the common mentality that relegates our city to repetitive and boring jargon that does not justify the wealth it bears. He spoke about the music in Naples and said that for this city to make progress one must love it and cultivate its values rather than highlighting the most backward Neapolitan character, because ... it is by means of thinking about flowers that flowers grow ". Click here for the RaiNews video on Maestro Muti in Scampia  https://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/media/Riccardo-Muti-a-Scampia-E-a-forza-di-pensare-ai-fiori-che-i-fiori-crescono-3922ab2d-554c-4a5c-951e-afd4c100e63f.html  Jesuits EUM
WORLD
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Haiti on August 14, 2021; its people need your help. To date, over 2,200 people have died with many still missing. More than 12,200 have been injured and close to 50,000 families rendered homeless. The Xavier Network is responding to this emergency by launching a global fundraising effort to support the response and recovery efforts by Jesuits and Jesuit organizations in Haiti.     Funds will be used by local Jesuit partners, including Foi et Joie and Service Jésuite aux Migrants, to support the two regions most affected by the earthquake and tropical storm Grace – Sud and Grand’Anse. With a Foi et Joie school and a Jesuit parish in these regions, a Jesuit Bishop Rev. Gontrand Décoste in the affected diocese of Jérémie, and many Haitian Jesuits born and raised in this part of the country, the Jesuits know the area and its people well. Response will take place in two phases: emergency relief and recovery. During the emergency relief phase, partners will organize to distribute clothing, food, household goods and hygiene products to meet the most immediate basic needs of the population. In the recovery phase of this disaster, Jesuit organizations will implement mid-to-long-term strategies focused on the reconstruction of homes and schools, and helping people rebuild their lives.   Donate Please support our Jesuit partners on the ground as they help the people of Haiti. Donate to any of the members of the Xavier Network listed below so we can all help the people of Haiti recover from the latest natural disaster to hit the country. ALBOAN (Spain) ENTRECULTURAS (Spain) Canadian Jesuits International (Canada) Jesuit Missions (UK) Jesuitenmission (Austria)  
RUSSIA
For the Moscow Jesuits, celebrating Mass in English in St. Louis Church in Moscow (right in front of the KGB building) every Sunday used to be a little bit like a "hobby", until covid-19 came into our lives. The pandemic has affected many, but migrant workers (predominantly from the Philippines) have been hit harder than others. They find it hard to avoid infection, since they have to move around a lot. They live together in big groups, where all get sick as soon as one catches the virus. Besides, getting sick is worse if you are far from your family and do not understand the local language.  Add to this the fear for your family and the fact that you cannot visit them and, due to quarantine protocols, you cannot even arrive in time for the funeral if a close relative passes away. One thing has also completely changed: If people got sick, say, from cancer, before the pandemic, they would go to a doctor, find out about their situation and go home soon. Now, they postpone going to a doctor, they find out when it is late and they cannot travel. The situation is similar for foreign students in Russia, most of them from all over Africa. Maybe, the risk of an infection is lower for them, but they are strictly isolated, all classes take place only online. So, the Moscow Jesuits (for the time being, Fr. Sebastián Prieto Silva, Fr. Stephan Lipke, Br. Vladimir Pashkov) recognized their responsibility. Prayer and conversation online, visits, and a safe celebration of the Eucharist have become crucial. There are less people in the church now but the connection is closer and they started helping each other more. Of course, sometimes the pandemic also causes fear and aggression, and yet, this is a special time to "love and serve" in a context where covid-19 keeps causing a lot of harm.   Stephan Lipke S.J.
BELGIUM
The closing ceremony of the 5th European Leadership Programme edition took place on July 2nd at the Press Club Europe, in Brussels, and joined over 60 participants and friends of the ELP from all corners of the globe. The First Vice-President of the European Parliament (MEP), Roberta Metsola, left a special video message about Leadership to our Fellows. The ceremony started with the Welcome address by Peter Rožič SJ, Director of the Jesuit European Social Centre and by Dr. Stijn Latré, Director of the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA) and was followed by an inspiring prayer by Mgr. Hrvoje Škrlec, chargé d'affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature to the EU. Jaume Duch Guillot, Director-General for Communication of the European Parliament and its Spokesperson, delivered the key-note address. “History has proven many times that leaders driven by strong values obtain the best results and leave the most lasting legacies. And those leaders are always crucial when times are difficult, as they are now” said Mr. Jaume Duch Guillot in his speech. Our ELP Spring Cohort Fellows shared their testimonies about the Programme to celebrate the 5th Cohort's final moments. On July 26, our Spring Cohort Fellows presented and defended their Research Papers at UCSIA, Antwerp. The jury was formed by members of various institutions: JESC Director, Peter Rožič SJ, ELP Manager, Botond Feledy, JESC's Secretary for Ecology, Edmond Grace, members of UCSIA, Director Stijn Latré and UCSIA scientific advisor Barbara Sagaert, and members of KU Leuven, Geertjan Zuijdwegt and Pieter De Witte.

Youth & Media

BELGIUM
On 1 September 2021, Ms Annie Thumelaire (right on the picture) will take over from Ms Ulrike Neugebauer (left on the picture) as the person responsible for religion classes in the five European Schools in Brussels. She will do this as part of the responsibility for European pastoral care entrusted to the Jesuit Conference of Europe by the Archdiocese of Brussels. The president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, Franck Janin S.J. expresses his gratitude: "For nine years, Mrs Neugebauer has carried out this task with passion, competence and unwavering determination to ensure that religion classes retain their rightful place in the European schools. I would like to thank her very much for this. I wish Mrs Thumelaire all the energy and grace she needs to accomplish her task."  Ms. Thumelaire in the first person  I was born in Ath in 1967, the mother of three grown boys. After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels and, at the same time, Catechetical Sciences at the Lumen Vitae Institute of the Society of Jesus in Brussels (where I met my husband!), I began my career as a religion teacher 33 years ago.  Teaching religion has always been and remains a driving force in my life.  My favourite hobbies are music, which I have been practising since I was a child, reading, travelling and cooking. Speaking of music, Johann Sebastian Bach represents the musical genius in my eyes, although it is Dvořák's cello concerto that always provokes great emotion in me.  As a teenager, I discovered the figure of Saint Francis on a trip to Assisi. The artistic and natural side of his spirituality is certainly not foreign to the fascination he exerted on my spiritual journey. Nevertheless, today I would say that it is above all Teresa of Avila who guides and inspires me through her writings, her journey, and above all her character. I love it when she addresses her sisters and writes in The Book of the Foundations: "...understand that the Lord is in the middle of the pots...". Her formula makes me smile, but expresses so well the presence of Christ in our daily lives.  Among the many challenges I face as coordinator of the Catholic religion courses in the European Schools in Brussels, I would like to highlight two: on the one hand, the importance of making the religion course relevant by providing excellent teaching and, on the other hand, the need to pay particular attention to building a solid team of competent, supportive, invested and committed teachers. I dream of a religion class that is a space where teachers and students find meaning, where everyone feels concerned, included, listened to, trusted and can experience God's tenderness. In my opinion, Ignatian pedagogy, as I know it, is an exemplary reference for moving towards this goal. 
LITHUANIALATVIA
Youth Summer meeting in Lithuania. In July, an event organised by the Jesuits and their collaborators took place in Lithuania, bringing together over 80 young people aged between 18 and 35 for a week. This year's motto was the scripture verse from the Book of Revelation, "Behold, I make all things new!" These words identify the charism that accompanied the MAGIS community throughout these seven days – to experience the transforming presence of God in their daily lives. This summer's MAGIS event consisted of three parts: the opening event, the Ignatian experiments and the closing event. The opening and closing events took place in Kaunas, at the Jesuit Gymnasium and Church, while the experiments were scattered throughout Lithuania. Each participant had the opportunity to choose the experiment that was closest to his or her heart: to travel on foot along the partisan trails in the Dainava District, to get to know oneself more deeply through various arts in Kulautuva, to experience the fullness of silence during a retreat in Palendriai, to endure the hardships, but also to admire the trails of the Camino Lituano in Suvalkija, and to learn authenticity during theatre classes in Vilnius. Each of these experiments, in its own way, taught one to look at everyday or unusual activities with the eyes of faith and gave a deeper understanding of how God works in the life of each person.  The opening and closing events at the beginning and end of the week gave the participants of all the various experiments the opportunity to get to know each other and to be reconciled to God. A special highlight of the opening event was the optional lectures on the theme "Christianity and Culture". Experts from different professional fields shared their thoughts on what it means for them to work and act in a Christian way in society and the world. Topics covered included Islam, politics, business, ethnology and art. The closing event was marked by an evening concert on the terrace of the Jesuit residence with the artist Linas Adomaitis and his band.  "A faith that is rooted in life is what a young person needs right now," says MAGIS coordinator in Lithuania, Lukas Ambraziejus, SJ. "If we want to attract young adults to the Church, we have to learn how to communicate the Gospel message to them in the language that they speak – a language that is full of verbs of stress, worries, anxieties, relationships, joy, hopes and searching," says Br. Lukas. This is the purpose of MAGIS – to help a young person to recognise how God is at work in his or her daily life, which is sometimes calm and clear, but more often difficult to understand and chaotic. The grateful and vibrant faces of the participants on the last day of the MAGIS week testified that this goal was achieved – despite the aching legs, the patched feet or the hunger they endured, despite the Instagram that went unread for a week, despite the uncovering of frightening corners of the soul, and despite the fear of meeting and opening up to strangers after such a long time in isolation. Liucija Rėksnytė, coordinator of the Partisan Pilgrimage, testifies that "this experiment, every day, was full of lessons in love: how to love someone not like you, how to love someone like yourself, how to love God and yourself". Salomėja Puskunigytė, a participant of another pilgrimage, the Camino Lituano, describes her personal experience of the MAGIS week as "a return to God in leaps and bounds". MAGIS is a Jesuit pastoral programme for young people aged 18-35. In addition to summer events, MAGIS also organises winter/spring retreats and year-round MAGIS clubs in Vilnius and Kaunas.  You can find out more about MAGIS activities in Lithuania by visiting our facebook page "Magis LT".  Jesuits ECE
HUNGARYSLOVAKIA
Due to the pandemic, it’s been a long year’s wait, but it was well worth it. All the joyful gifts opening us to the deeper still echo in our heart after the wonderful nine days we spent with the 200 participants of Magis Europe 2021 in Hungary and Slovakia. A report from one of the organizers. A place and time for encounters with ourselves, others and God. An occasion to open up our heart through service, prayers, challenges and in the community. A harvest of fruits and gifts in reflection on our day, a moment for reconciliation, recreation and renewal. Despite all the uncertainties in the preparation, the Magis Europe 2021 event could become all the above – and more. Thanks to all the support and prayers from people all around the world, we were given the opportunity to see all things new in Christ. It all began on the 7th of August with the experiment groups meeting for the first time. Magis Europe 2021 included 11 experiments in five different “characters” connecting to five aspects of Ignatian spirituality. In the last days all the participants gathered in the closing festival in Miskolc. Arts The Dance to God, dance with God experiment connected the gestures of our body to our feelings, experiences and even our relationship with God. The Magis Taizé experiment near Ruzomberok, Slovakia invited participants to share their talents with each other inspired by the music of Taizé. Their musical service at the Closing Festival showed that prayer always enriches others in the end. The Living Stones group drew on the abundant riches of church buildings to engage with tourists coming by. Service Guided by the Helping Sisters in Csobánka, Hungary, people at the Sharing life experiment spent time with the elderly and the disabled.  The Playing together group spent their week at Arló, one of the poorest villages of Hungary.  Taking care of our created world is an important but difficult service, as participants of the Green heads, hearts and hands could experience. Pilgrimage Magis people of the Hungarian Camino Benedictus and Walking in God’s presence experiments found that a pilgrimage always changes those who depart. Even if not all change is as radical as the conversion of Inigo, they are important nevertheless. Spirituality One week as a Jesuit offered a glimpse into the Jesuit lifestyle for a group of young men, from meals to prayers and service. The Silent retreat experiment created a week of encounter with God in the closeness of nature, in the silence of the chapel and in the discussions with the spiritual director. Culture The Word on Papyrus experiment allowed participants to feel how the physical process of writing the Scripture in the same way as the first scribes did creates a unique connection to the text and to the words of Jesus. Closing Festival Finally, on the 13th of August over 200 Magis people from almost 30 countries met in Miskolc, Hungary for the weekend. With the blessing of Pope Francis and the video message of Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ, the Closing Festival was always meant to be great, and it turned out to be just that. On Friday, the focus was on spirituality, with a roundtable on the topic of vocation and an evening prayer of reconciliation with adoration and songs. Saturday was the day of adventures in and around Miskolc with the optional programmes provided by the organizers (spiritual field trip, city tour, sports, a taste of Hungarian culture and more), with the Festival of Nations in the evening and also the chance to learn some Hungarian folk dance. On Sunday, we took the time to close, say goodbye and go on with the daily theme: mission. Fr. Elemér Vízi SJ, the Hungarian Provincial connected our mission to the “yes” of Mary on the feast mass of the Assumption. Kristóf Hódsági - Jesuits HUN    
ROMANIA
The youth festival MAGIS of 2021 took place between the 2nd and 8th of August in 6 different locations. It’s an ignatian festival based on spirituality and work, creating new connections between youth than can discover new vocations, companions or even new friends in Christ. This year, with the occasion of the jubilee of 500 years from Ignatius’ conversion, the main motto was Să reînnoim toate în Cristos (Seeing all things new in Christ). The festival was organized by the Jesuits from all over Romania (EUM Province) and the lay people consecrated to the ignatian spirituality, and it was dedicated to nearly 60 youth, between 18 – 35 years old. The youth were split in 6 groups, each group having a different domain of activity. There were 6 experiments between the 2nd and the 6th of August organized in different corners of Transylvania: Ora et labora: took place in Ghimes, a village in the eastern Carpathians, that proposed to enjoy the spirituality living a simple life, praying, cooking and working together in the middle of simplicity and silence. Pietre vive: took place in Sibiu, Transylvania, tried to discover God’s presence using the art and the architecture of the churches, stones, bricks and colors. The challenge was to discover ourselves how the work of man can lead us to God, and then, to explain to the others. Bibliodrama: proposed an approach to God and to ourselves by trying to live in the stories of the Bible, to interact with the persons described in the Gospels, to live and to feel like we were presents in these actions. Volunteering: there were destructing floods in the Occidental Carpathians so we decided to respond to the community’s needs. The experience was based on spirituality in the morning and physical work in the afternoon, trying to meet God’s presence by constructing houses,  listening to people in needs and trying to resolve their urgent necessities. The experience proposed to the participants to live in simple conditions (living in a camp, cooking together) and to dedicate time to the prayer in the local church. We started the week 8 persons, we ended 60. Via Transilvanica: was proposed in order to discover God in nature’s beauty and to experience to be on the road with the others. The 5 days on walking in the middle of the nature, tens of kilometers per day is not always easy, but it can turn your regard and your concern to the others and to God. Music and theatre: this experience proposed to discover the beauty of God in arts. The participants were invited to learn how to meet God by interpreting a scene of St. Francis Xavier’s life. The music had also a big contribution by animating the local daily masses in the parish of Jesuits in Satu Mare. After these experiences, all the participants were back to Muntele Baisorii (located in the middle of the Occidental Carpathians) for the festival. For 3 days, every group had to share its own way to find God, and the highlights of its experience. Each day finished with a mass celebrated together, with camp fire, music and a relaxed atmosphere. At the end of the evening, after the conscience exam, everybody shared and received the joy of making all things new in Christ.   Jesuits EUM

In-depth Reflection

AUSTRIA
Innsbruck - On the occasion of the 500th birthday of its patron saint, the Collegium Canisianum in Innsbruck has published a commemorative publication (“Festschrift”). Not only does it commemorate St. Peter Canisius, who was born in 1521 in Nijmegen, in what is now the Netherlands, it also aims to continue the history of the College from the last major writing in 1958 to the present day. On more than 180 pages, the commemorative publication gives an insight into the life of the Canisianum with interesting reports and personal experiences, and makes the spirit that it fulfilled during this time and still fulfils today "tangible" and perceptible. The international theological college under the auspices of the Jesuit Order is attended by students from all continents. "The Canisianum wants to help form excellent priests. This includes the formation of the brain and the heart. We Jesuits feel committed to this," writes Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ, Provincial of the newly founded Central European Province. Currently, 40 priests from 15 nations and 30 dioceses live in the Canisianum and are studying for their doctorates at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Innsbruck. "After successfully completing their studies, they will take on key positions in the Church, science, society and culture in their home countries," announces Fr. Andreas Schermann SJ, Rector of the Canisianum. It is not only the foundation of the Jesuit College and the adjoining grammar school in Innsbruck that goes back to Petrus Canisius. "Innsbruck has benefited from his zeal for education. The foundation of the Jesuit College and the academic grammar school prepared the way for the first university in Innsbruck almost exactly 100 years later," writes Georg Willi, Mayor of the Provincial Capital of Innsbruck in his greeting. Following the greetings of the Governor of the Province of Tyrol (Günther Platter), the Diocesan Bishop of Innsbruck (Hermann Glettler), the Mayor of the Provincial Capital of Innsbruck (Georg Willi), the Provincial of the Central European Province (Fr. Bernhard Bürgler SJ) and the foreword of the Rector of the Canisianum (Fr. Andreas Schermann SJ), there are numerous contributions divided into four chapters: On St. Peter Canisius and the Canisianum, on the Canisianum today and on the Feast of the Sacred Heart at the Canisianum; a particularly large part of the work is taken up by memories of studies and everyday life at the Canisianum from 1945 onwards. A copy can be ordered via: Collegium Canisianum, Mag. Julia Klingler, Tel.: +43 (0)512 59463-25, office@canisianum.at, rector@canisianum.at
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Colloquium of the HEST cluster on Christian and Muslim Dialogue and Third Theological Symposium. From 9 to 13 July, delegates from eight universities and Faculties of Theology of the Kircher Network met in Warsaw – Falenica for the third Theological Symposium and the Colloquium of the HEST Cluster on Christian and Muslim Relation. The themes of the Theological Symposium were “The Trinity and the Images of God perceived from the perspective of various theological disciplines”, and “Belief and disbelief as a problem in Christian-Islamic relations in secular societies”, respectively. The steering committees in charge of the organization of both academic events successfully combined lectures of distinguished keynote speakers and workshops, both in-person and online. Philip Geister, SJ., President of the Kircher Network, explained the mission, strategic priorities and common projects of the Network. The hybrid methodology used for the organisation made it possible to hold the events despite Covid-19. The Theological Symposium on “The Trinity and the images of God perceived from the perspective of various theological disciplines” featured two keynote speakers: Serafín Béjar (Loyola University Andalusia), Jerzy Seremak SJ., Collegium Bobolanum – Warsaw, Dariusz Kowalczyk SJ., (Pontificia Università Gregoriana) and Paolo Gamberini S.J., (University of Rome La Sapienza). Likewise, the HEST cluster’s Colloquium included four keynote lectures by Prof Dr Michel Younès (Lyon Catholic University, Coordinator of Pluriel), Prof. Dr Serdar Kurnaz (Humbolt University in Berlin), Prof Dr Agata Nalborczyk, (University of Warsaw) and Andrzej Saramowicz, Polish Foundation of Dżalaluddin Rumi. The participants to both events also discussed the future plans for the Theological Symposium, which from now on will be a regular conference of the Kircher Network, and the HEST Cluster on Christian and Muslim Relation as a flagship project of the Network. Our thanks to the rector of the Catholic Academy in Warsaw – Collegium Bobolanum, Piotr Aszyk SJ., and to Zbigniew Kubacki, SJ., for hosting and organising the events, and to the HEST Cluster coordinators, especially Gonzalo Villagrán, SJ (Loyola Andalusia University) for their outstanding work.
IRELAND
The June 2021 issue of ‘Working Notes’ tackles the thorny subject of debt from many angles. In a series of substantial articles, the issue, edited by Martina Madden of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, examines the manner in which debt – or the many forms of indebtedness – constitutes the governing trope of our culture. At a literal level most lives in the developed world are dominated by a series of debts (student loans, mortgages, other bank loans) and poorer countries are shackled by massive national debts from which they can practically never escape. But there is also the deployment of debt-language in respect to justice and penal systems and to the relations between liberated countries and their former colonial masters, and perhaps most significantly of all, in the Christian language of sin, atonement, redemption, and liberation. All of these matters are probed in this issue. Reframing of our understanding of debt In her introduction, Martina Madden notes that even though we are trained to think in terms of personal agency and accountability, this is mostly illusory: “We may enjoy the illusion of control over our lives, but in many ways we are just cogs in the machine of neoliberal capitalism; a system that relies on our indebtedness for its existence”. Many injustices and inequalities follow. What Madden argues for, then, is a complete reframing of our understanding of debt. When it comes to the goods of the earth, we need to return to the original Christian vision, as expressed for example by St Ambrose of Milan: “It is not from your own goods that you give to the beggar; it is a portion of his own that you are restoring to him. The earth belongs to all. So, you are paying back a debt and think you are making a gift to which you are not bound”. This understanding has been translated in Catholic Social Teaching into the principle of ‘the universal destination of goods’ – the earth and its resources belong to everyone. The satisfaction of an infinite debt caused by sin Kevin Hargaden also adds to the theological backdrop behind the matter of debt. He turns to St Anselm of Canterbury, the 11th century Benedictine monk whose theory of atonement as the satisfaction of an infinite debt caused by sin has been immensely influential in Christian theology. In Hargaden’s reading of Anselm, all of humanity lies under a basic and universal existential debt, from which only God could save us. Hence Christ’s torture and death both constitutes “a cosmic rebalancing” and exposes “once and for all the violence at the core of human civilisation”. Rather then than argue that we abandon the language of debt, Hargaden proposes that we acknowledge it, not in the narrower sense of a sum that must be repaid, but instead as a broad metaphysical fact of human existence. We are in debt, immense unrepayable debt – debt to our parents, teachers, family members, and friends, and to all the people who have brought us to where we are. And just as humanity was unable to restore the balance lost by sin and needed Christ to wipe out the debt, so too are we constitutively incapable of returning all we owe to those on whom we have relied. As Hargaden puts it: The claim that Anselm makes is that a universal human constant of ‘indebtedness’ was exposed by Jesus of Nazareth’s death and resurrection. The cross exposes the universal debt and the empty tomb obliterates it. Through Christ’s actions “we are credited without debt”, and so “gratitude is the appropriate response”. “We are not debtor subjects, but grateful recipients.” Fulfilling a civic obligation A similar reframing of the notion of debt is proposed in an essay that queries the usefulness of the metaphor of ‘paying one’s debt to society’ in the context of the justice system. ‘False accounting: Why we shouldn’t ask people who commit crimes to pay their debts to society’ was written by three researchers at the University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology, Alice Ievins, Ben Jarman and Thea Thomasin. The authors note the pervasive role played by what they call ‘retributive thought’, an attitude to wrong-doing that is “deeply concerned with questions of social responsibility, social order and social membership”. The limits of the usefulness of this mindset are illustrated through the story of ‘Derek’, a man imprisoned for murder in England who found himself subject to various forms of persecution and exclusion because the system required him to pay “an unpayable debt”. The article argues for understanding the restorative function of the penal system as a community affair that truly tries to address the harm done through a sense of “fulfilling a civic obligation” rather than “paying one’s debts”. Other essays in ‘Working Notes’ examine Modern Monetary Theory as an alternative to the debt-oriented neoliberal capitalist model, atonement and reparations for historic injustice, especially in the context of the slave trade), and the destructive alienating effects of debt addiction. All of the articles in the June 2021 ‘Working Notes’ can be read here »
SPAIN
The International Symposium on Ignatian Reconciliation closed on May 12 with an address by Fr. Joseph Christie, SJ, the future Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus. This three-day Symposium, prepared by the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid) and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Pontifical Xavierian University, Bogota), was also atended by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Arturo Sosa, SJ, Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, President of AJCU, and the Rectors of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Fr. Julio L. Martínez, SJ, and Fr. Jorge Humberto Peláez Piedrahita, SJ, respectively. The Symposium was a valuable synthesis of theoretical and practical viewpoints by recognized experts in the field, and of nearly 50 consolidated experiences on peacebuilding and reconciliation from around the world, carried out by institutions, and works, affiliated with the Society of Jesus.   At the Opening Session, Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ highlighted the importance of the main issue discussed at the Symposium: “The topic selected has such an enormous significance that it is impossible not to approach it from the perspective of University Institutions identified with the mission of reconciliation and justice fomented by the Society of Jesus ”, he stated vigorously. Superior General Fr. Sosa invited Jesuit institutions to be "universities of discernment for reconciliation", aligned with the Church and all people of good will in the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. This orientation also has the support of Pope Francis Himself. This challenge, as the Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus recalled during the closing ceremony, "puts the Ignatian spiritual root of common discernment at the centre of the mission of reconciliation." Christie also invited the participants to continue working on a “reconciliation network”, which after the closing of this Symposium was launched to respond to the challenges that have arisen. Ultimately, the purpose is that "we co-create this Mission together," he added. This "reconciliation network" was concretized at a networking meeting, so that the learning community of reconciliation practices may continue at the Assembly of the IAJU (the International Association of Jesuit Universities), which will take place in Boston in August 2022. This Symposium, in summary, brought to the forefront the importance for all of us to become better agents of reconciliation in a violent and unjust world, now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous sessions of the Symposium may be found here. Jesuitas España

Preparing for Mission

MALTA
3 minutes to explain briefly, the history of Jesuits or of the ignatian family in Malta Situated strategically between Europe and Africa, Malta has very rich Jesuit foundations dating back to the times of St Ignatius, who had seen Malta as a good stepping stone between the continents. By 1593 the Jesuits had opened the ‘Collegium Melitense’ (eventually the University of Malta), a church and novitiate, whilst also serving the poor, preaching and establishing marian congregations. Over 170 years ago, Jesuits returned to Malta, following the suppression. Today we focus on 4 main areas: youth, education, spirituality and migrants, with 37 Jesuits in Malta, 19 of whom are under 75. The vibrant Chaplaincy of the University of Malta has a Jesuit Chaplain and welcomes students all year round, offering accompaniment and voluntary work opportunities. Dar Manwel Magri, the Jesuit residence next door to the University is a hub of activity for young people, a place to meet for study, relaxation, formation and CLC meetings.  Jesuits residing in this community have various missions working with youth, pastoral work and the spiritual and intellectual apostolates. Education has of course always been central to the mission of Jesuits in Malta. The excellent support offered by the management team, staff and Jesuit community at St Aloysius College reaches some 1400 students from primary level through to secondary and right up to sixth form.  Jesuits residing at the College community work at College as well as in other areas including pastoral work, formation and publishing. Pastoral care, hospitality and spiritual support remain a priority for the Communities at Mount St Joseph retreat house in Malta and Manresa House in Gozo.  Paulo Freire Institute in Zejtun continues to offer support to the most vulnerable in the local community. The Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta plays a leading role in advocacy, support and awareness-building for the asylum-seekers who reach our shores. Community members at Loyola House in Naxxar remain active in pastoral work and prayer ministry, while those who receive special care reside in the infirmary there. The challenges are many, but we remain devoted to our mission, together with scores of lay persons who share our vision.
GERMANY
Munich - He was one of the best-known Vatican Journalists in Rome: On July 23, the German Jesuit Bernd Hagenkord SJ died in Munich at the age of 52. Only on Friday, the Father had resigned from his office as Spiritual Director of the Synodal Way, the reform debate in the Catholic Church in Germany, which he had held since 2019, for health reasons. Hagenkord previously headed the German-language department of Radio Vatican, called Vatican News from autumn 2017, for ten years. He thus became a sought-after interlocutor for many German media and also helped shape the reform process of the Vatican media. Since 2019 he was Superior of the Berchmanskolleg in Munich. The Catholic world has bid farewell to Father Bernd Hagenkord with countless tributes, and the Jesuit's services to dialogue and understanding within the Catholic Church have been highlighted in many media. Hagenkord's "legacy" is seen precisely in his balanced and objective attitude, his capacity for discernment and his consideration of the entire breadth of Catholicism. As a journalist, he had demonstrated poise and stature and had been a "communicative multi-talent". Tributes The President of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, said Hagenkord had built "an indispensable bridge to the secular world". "He was an excellent journalist who lived his profession. His apt comments and analyses as a Vatican expert have made us understand many things better." The religious had provided valuable food for thought for the Synodal Way. "This path is truly not easy, and it was precisely Father Hagenkord who was a mediator in complex situations, sometimes also in situations of conflict, and who contributed to defusing the situation and to mutual understanding". The President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, said that for the Jesuit "the unity of the Church was not conceivable without a willingness to change." Hagenkord also belonged to the ZdK as an individual. Sternberg quoted the deceased as saying: "Church does not represent a contradiction to democratic procedures. I cannot think of any fundamental theological argument whereby democracy would exclude the Holy Spirit." Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich also expressed his shock at Hagenkord's death. He had been an "authentic mediator of events in the Catholic Church, especially from Rome". "For me, Father Bernd was a guide," the Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications, Paolo Ruffini, paid tribute to the Jesuit. At the beginning of his own work in the dicastery, Hagenkord had accompanied him so that he would not get lost in this labyrinth. “For Vatican Radio, he was a captain who stayed the course even in stormy seas.” Journalist, Spiritual guide, Jesuit Father Bernd Hagenkord SJ was born on 4 October 1968 in Hamm and entered the Society of Jesus in 1992 at the age of 24. He pursued his path in the Order unwaveringly, was ordained priest by Felix Genn in Cologne on 7 September 2002 and professed his final vows on 7 April 2010. He was ordained in Cologne in 2002 and initially worked as a youth chaplain in Hamburg. Hagenkord studied journalism, history, philosophy and theology in Gießen, Hamburg, Munich and London. He never gave up the fight against his cancer, but lost in the end. He leaves behind his mother, stepfather and siblings, alongside countless people whose path he had crossed and for whom he meant something great - indeed, whose life's journey he may have had a decisive influence. Now he is there from where he can continue to accompany them. You can find a digital book of condolence on www.jesuiten.org Read the article "The Synodal Way is like loosening knots" Bernd Hagencord wrote in December 2019 in jesuits.eu
SPAIN
Ignatius500, a grateful memory of a historical event that took place in 1521 and is celebrated in the 21st century, brings back to the present the meaning of Ignatius of Loyola's conversion and makes a universal community vibrate. The logo created for this anniversary is form and substance of all this. And to share it today is to join in the celebration in many ways: in reading, in music, in prayer and in everyday life. Everything is imbued with its stamp as a call and invitation to share inside and out the exceptional fact of conversion. With a great deal of creativity, the most ordinary things bear the same symbol and become a reminder of the memory celebrated. Many have joined in the celebration by wearing objects distinguished by the Ignatius500 seal, which has generated a great demand among the Ignatian community. Therefore, in order to channel the desires of many to buy these special souvenirs, the Loyola Communication Group provides this online space where they can be purchased: https://tienda.ignatius500.org/ The official Ignatius500 shop provides access to various products bearing the commemorative seal: designer speakers, useful cotton bags, ecological notepads, ceramic mugs, fabric bracelets, caps, T-shirts and polo shirts... The selection responds to orders already placed by many Ignatian friends and also by large communities - schools and institutions - depending on the service they provide and the price. Between them, they have already purchased various quantities of each one. The page is very intuitive, with easy steps, for the purchase of these small details. When the purchase exceeds 40 euros, shipping costs are free on the Peninsula. The portal is also available for the purchase of large quantities. It has this catalogue where the works of the Society of Jesus and Ignatian institutions can find the objects that can best help to share the identity of this anniversary. Little by little, among all, Ignatius500 gains presence and conversion is a shared and celebrated good.
EUROPE
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.