Jesuits in Europe

LEBANON
The Ignatian Leadership Programme reaches Lebanon with a lot of energy and purpose “We focus on the flower that is growing, not the destruction” said Fr Fouad Nakhla SJ, the JRS Syria director, “At the frontiers, what is truly important is hope.” With these words, Fr. Nakhla gave a clear statement on what it means to really lead an organization in the midst of a crisis, at the physical and spiritual frontiers of our world. It was exactly this word: “frontiers”, the one that accompanied the participants of the Ignatian Leadership Programme throughout the whole 4th module named “Leadership for Frontier Mission”. We have already talked about the important relation between “leaders”” and “mission” in past articles (see: Link) and in this module participants had the chance of seeing this relation in action by meeting and hearing the story of several real life leaders like Fr. Fouad Nakhla SJ (JRS Syria), Kim Issa (Arc en Ciel), Fadi Halisso (Basmeh & Zeitooneh), Fr. Michael Zammit SJ (JRS Middle East), Fr. Estaban Velazquez SJ and Fr. Dany Younès SJ (Provincial of the Jesuit Near East Province). The place for this module was also very carefully chosen, it was in Taanayel, Lebanon (the Near East Province), very close to the Syrian frontier, a place of big challenges but a lot of hope. Right in the border participants had the chance to visit a Refugee Camp of 40 people (25 children and 15 women). “We have already been 5 years in this camp. Each day here is difficult, the only thing that keeps us moving forward is our kids and working to provide them with a decent future” said one of the women in the camp with watery eyes that expressed the difficulties of living in those conditions and at the same time a constant smile that gave her children strength, peace, and hope, key elements to be able to build the future that their mothers are looking forward to giving them.  This module also tried to reach back to the first module that put emphasis on how from our vulnerabilities we can grow to become better leaders, the first week of the exercises. In this module we focused on how we can help those who are most vulnerable, thus, closing the circle. Furthermore, it was not devoid of several input sessions on Ignatian Leadership at the frontiers, Adaptive Leadership, Stakeholders, Creativity and Innovation, Ignatian Freedom, Change Management, etc. Sessions that gave participants tools to implement once they went back to their respective works. After the whole week, the general feeling was of consolation, many participants were able to reflect on how much they have grown these last two years and how has this helped their works and their personal lives. We finish this article with an excerpt from the letter of GC36 “Witnesses of Friendship and Reconciliation”, a message and a prayer for Jesuits living in zones of war and conflict: “You risk your lives daily in order to reach out, humbly yet persistently, for what sometimes seems impossible, namely the peace and reconciliation longed for by Jesus Christ. […] We take this opportunity to acknowledge the testimony of humble service of all who have given their lives in such situations. […] Yours* is a testimony to the power of the Gospel; to the beautiful but painful fragility of human life; to a commitment to a ministry of friendship; to the need to witness, even to the point of death; to the fact that suffering, risk and the call to courage are part of our Jesuit lives and of our Christian vocation”. *On the original document the word “Theirs” is used but it was changed to “Yours” to make it more suitable to the lines chosen. Stay tuned for a future article on the whole Ignatian Leadership Experience!
EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Jesuit European and Near East Higher Education Meeting takes place at Centre Sèvres, Paris Are the challenges of our institutions and societies distinct one from the other depending on our context? Or are there common sets of challenges that we all need to face together? These two statements are non-mutually exclusive, so an affirmative answer could be given to both questions. However, the balance between them in different times in history is relevant. In the last century, the first statement (independent challenges depending on the context) had by far much more weight and thus it took more space in our minds and on the time we dedicated to address these local challenges, as individuals and as institutions. In this 21st century, the global challenges have gained far more importance and this calls us to review the way we do things. Traditional ways of governing our institutions seem to become each year more and more obsolete. An excellent metaphor for this is presented in a documentary called “In the Same Boat” released in February 2016. In this documentary the experts interviewed share the idea that every human being is currently travelling in the same boat and that we need to coordinate ourselves better to redirect it to go wherever we consider it needs to go. Imagine if someone wants to row in one direction and the other person on another direction. Neither one nor the other will ever reach their destination. We need to understand this dynamic and most importantly we need to agree on where we want to go, the final destination. This was one of the key underlying messages during the recent Jesuit European and Near East Higher Education meeting that took place at Centre Sèvres, Paris from the 9th to the 12th of July 2017. The participants of this meeting were Rectors, deans and people involved in the intellectual apostolate coming from institutions with and ignatian background. There were many highlights from the meeting, starting with the excellent inputs of Madame Sylvie Goulard (Member of the European Parliament) and Sébastien Maillard (from the Croix and the Institute Jacques Delors). These two experts gave an interesting look at the current context we are living in and the challenges we face and what Jesuit institutions can do to address these challenges. This is a very ignatian approach, starting by looking at the reality. Participants also had the opportunity to hear Father Michael Garanzini SJ (Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus), Father Friedrich Bechina (undersecretary for the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education), Susana di Trolio the Executive Secretary of AUSJAL and Jaime Oraa the president of UNIJES. These four people were responding and giving information to participants about the previous call from Father General to the Universities and Faculties of the Society of Jesus in Europe and the Near East. Father General sent a video to the participants asking them to consider new ways of collaboration and to do that he asked them to reflect on a possible structure for the Higher Education institutions in Europe and the Near East. We are talking about institutional conversion, words used by Father General in his first letter to the whole Society, to reviewing our modes of organization and to examine our institutions. He also reminds us the words of GC36, the governance of the Society is personal, spiritual, and apostolic (GC36 D2,1) From here the participants started working. Many good ideas came to light, which included the risks, and challenges, and benefits that a new structure and way of collaboration might entail. At the end, the participants decided to name a Steering Committee to look into it with more detail and to take into consideration all that was said during the meeting and come with a more concrete proposal in the Worldwide Meeting in Deusto 2018. The cherry on top of the cake was the presentation of the HEST programme by its coordinator José Carlos Romero. This links to our initial point made earlier about being on the same boat. The Higher Education for Social Transformation Programme tries to put institutions in touch and encourage them to work together to reflect on the shared challenges of our societies and to offer sound research and creative ideas to promote changes that will make ours a better world for those who suffer the most. The journey is long but in this meeting good progress was made and the reached agreements will allow our Ignatian boat to reach a safe harbour, our next stop towards our common mission.
CZECHIA
During Magis Central Europe 2017 17 experiments took place in the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Kosovo, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. On Sunday 23 of July the summer meeting of Magis CE 2017 has officially ended. Participants were coming to Prague from their experiments during the afternoon on Thursday afternoon. The opening evening began with a blessing from father Jan Regner, SJ for the upcoming days. Then the program continued with a dance evening with an opportunity to learn some Czech folk dances and also listen to folk music performed by a folk band from Hradec Králové. On Friday participants were invited to listen to and then join with their own questions a panel discussion on the topic: „Contemplative in action and what comes next?“. Father Waldek Los, SJ from Poland, sister Dorothea Gnau from Austria, and mister Danas Viluckas from Lithuania shared their experiences with being contemplative in action in their own lives. Reconciliation Later that day Evening of reconciliation took place. It was prepared by the Chemin Neuf community in the Church of St Ignatius. There was space for individual prayer, reflection or confession all in a meditative atmosphere with music. Saturday morning was time for discovering beautiful places connected with Jesuits in Prague during Prague city game. Participants divided into smaller groups visited the Church of St. Nicholas, the Church of St Bartholomew, the Charles bridge and many other places, on which they had to complete various tasks requiring cooperation in the small groups, in the end, they all joined common Eucharist in the Church of St. Ignatius celebrated by father F. Hylmar SJ. Festival of Nations Later that day participants could get to know better cultures of other nationalities during a Festival of nations. The festival started with a spontaneous street dance party in front of the church lead by the Hungarian and Polish groups and continued by beautiful performances of dance, music, traditional foods and presenting some interesting information about countries in form of videos, quizies, and others. Sunday morning continued in a joyful mood when participants set off for the final part of the program - boat trip on the Vltava river. This was a symbol and invitation to set out for a journey and ignite the world. „The boats were reminding us about missionaries who sailed to the far islands and lands,“ said father Jan Regner SJ a Jesuit who was part of the team organizing Magis CE 2017. He reminded this mission to participants also in his homily saying that to be the yeast of the world as said in gospel means to bring hope, joy, and peace to this world. This was also meant as an invitation to join the „Magis of everyday life“ which started on that very same day and is unique for every participant. Read also 'Magis in Poland' 
WORLD
Conference of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists, July 2017. Jesuits from Sweden, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Slovakia, gathered with others from Asia, the Middle East, and North America at Centro Ad Gentes in the Roman hills for the 24th Conference of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists.   This informal group of Jesuits working in all sectors of Jesuit ministry gathers ever two years for a week of discussion and sharing information about the work of rebuilding Christian unity through fostering friendship and practical cooperation between Christians.    In this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this year’s conference focused not only on the split in Western Christianity, but also relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches following the troubled Pan-Orthodox Council held in Crete in 2016, the current situation of Middle Eastern Christians.  The topics discussed included theological discussions but also the pastoral realities of Catholics living with other Christians in a range of situations ranging from Sweden to Japan, Russia and South India. At the same time that Christianity appears to be on the wane in many sectors of Europe, it continues to grow and give birth to new forms of life and action, in Africa, India and China. Traditionally Catholic countries in Latin America have seen a rapid rise in conversations to Pentecostalism and Evangelical Christiantiy.  Along with Pope Francis’ encouragement of local pastoral and social cooperation, all these factors mean that the search for Christian unity is an urgent and rapidly shifting reality, in which Jesuits will need to continue to contribute and collaborate. The 25th Anniversary Conference of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists will take place in Ireland in July 2019. For information and updates, contact Tom Layden SJ, tnlayden@jesuitlink.ie.

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Finding God

WORLD
Conference of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists, July 2017. Jesuits from Sweden, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Slovakia, gathered with others from Asia, the Middle East, and North America at Centro Ad Gentes in the Roman hills for the 24th Conference of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists.   This informal group of Jesuits working in all sectors of Jesuit ministry gathers ever two years for a week of discussion and sharing information about the work of rebuilding Christian unity through fostering friendship and practical cooperation between Christians.    In this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this year’s conference focused not only on the split in Western Christianity, but also relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches following the troubled Pan-Orthodox Council held in Crete in 2016, the current situation of Middle Eastern Christians.  The topics discussed included theological discussions but also the pastoral realities of Catholics living with other Christians in a range of situations ranging from Sweden to Japan, Russia and South India. At the same time that Christianity appears to be on the wane in many sectors of Europe, it continues to grow and give birth to new forms of life and action, in Africa, India and China. Traditionally Catholic countries in Latin America have seen a rapid rise in conversations to Pentecostalism and Evangelical Christiantiy.  Along with Pope Francis’ encouragement of local pastoral and social cooperation, all these factors mean that the search for Christian unity is an urgent and rapidly shifting reality, in which Jesuits will need to continue to contribute and collaborate. The 25th Anniversary Conference of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists will take place in Ireland in July 2019. For information and updates, contact Tom Layden SJ, tnlayden@jesuitlink.ie.
SPAIN
The CLC World Executive Council in partnership with Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid, Spain, arranged the International Formation Encounter on Family 2017 on 16-21 July 2017 in El Escorial (Madrid). The meeting was inspired on the “Amoris Laetitiae” bearing the theme of: “See how they love one another.” A lay Ignatian look at Family. The Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Fr Alexandre Awi Mello, attended the meeting so as lay people from 30 countries: Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippiness, Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Canada, USA, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Poland, Germany, England and France The objectives of the meeting were: • Share and deepen the universal experiences of family as a lay community, and strengthen the commitment of service to families as an Ignatian Apostolic Body. • Broaden individual connections / networks on family ministries and knowledge. • Identify and articulate immediate steps that can help the mission in the family frontier in national communities. • Strengthen CLC as an Apostolic Body by forming a discernment group on family that can continue the conversations after IFE and move them into long-term action. In Lebanon 2013, the CLC World Assembly adopted “Family” as one of our four frontiers. In Spain CLC has implemented the tool “The Family Clock” to help families' reality from faith, in churches and communities all over the country. More info here: Site International Family Encounter  and in Facebook
UNITED KINGDOM
2017 is the second year the Jesuits in Britain have run a friend-raising campaign in July called 31 Days of St Ignatius. Friends and supporters sign up to receive a daily email during July.  The email drives traffic to the websites and services of the different Jesuit works and offers prayer and other resources to the reader.  In 2016 the province communications office focussed each day on a different apostolic work of the Jesuits in Britain: each of our parishes, social justice, volunteering and spirituality works had a day.  “We interviewed people whose lives had been impacted by the work in question, to create an emotional connection rather than just “who we are and what we do” which would have become dull for the reader,” explained Jane Hellings, Director of Development & Communication at the provincial office.  “Alongside the stories about the Works we included prayers and profiles other  related material from our we resources.” The 2016 campaign gained over 4,300 subscribers, over double the predicted number.  This was achieved by asking all the works to invite everyone on their mailing lists to subscribe.  Leaflets were put in parishes.  “We were really delighted with the response in 2016” said Grey Msonthi, Campaigns Manager, “especially as we finished with the number we started with, showing that there was little drop off and people stayed with the campaign.”  You can still find the 2016 campaign on the British province website http://www.jesuit.org.uk/31-days-st-ignatius The team undertook a survey of the subscribers at the end of the campaign to find out more about what they liked best and if a repeat campaign would be welcome in 2017.  “The results were very encouraging” said Grey.  “The feedback showed that people were most appreciative of the prayer content so in 2017 we decided to focus on Ignatian spirituality and make the tone more reflective”. In 2017 the campaign is hosted on the Jesuits in Britain spirituality website https://www.pathwaystogod.org/31-days-st-ignatius    “The theme for 2017 has been “My Ignatian Formation” Jane explained. “We invited 31 people in our networks to write a short piece on what their Ignatian formation – whether  in a school, parish, chaplaincy or retreat centre – meant to them and how it had influenced their life path.  We wanted to get a range of voices – young and old, male and female, Jesuits, co-workers, and others. People have responded very generously with their beautiful stories.”  “The 2017 campaign worked more within our network of eleven schools to recruit subscribers with the result we have exceeded last year’s number,” Grey explained.  “In fact the number of subscribers is continuing to grow with new people joining – we now have 4,864!” So many people who come into contact with the Jesuits know only about the one school or parish with which they have a connection.  “With these campaigns we have been able to show the breadth and depth of the work we do and the wider influence we have.  It has been very useful in introducing people to our online ministries which have a much bigger audience,”  commented Ruth Morris, Digital Communications Manager.  “The spirituality website has had 22,000 visits during July so far, and 2,500 of these came directly from the email in the first week of the campaign.” The aim of the campaign has been raise awareness rather than to raise money.  Nevertheless a “soft ask” was made in 2016 at the end of the campaign and a few hundred pounds was raised.  Grey added  “this year we have asked for donations once per week and so far £2000 has been raised.  A more direct ask will be made on the Feast Day so we hope to double that.” Sign up to receive bi-weekly emails from Jesuits in Britain with news and prayer resources; http://eepurl.com/2S8wn
SPAIN
The new Via Crucis of Loyola. First station: People displaced by war in Masisi, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The image reminds us that migrations are part of the history of humanity and that we all are children of immigrants. Second station: Refugees of the war in Syria passing through Hungary towards Germany. They are the reflection of the more than one billion people who have been forced to leave their homeland in the last decades. Eleventh station: A Burundian displaced woman, in the refugee camp of Kiyange, Burundi. She, in her cheerful dress of colors, represents the danger of migratory traffic for women. The garden of the Sanctuary of Loyola is the scene in which a new Via Crucis has been installed, composed of images of great size, quality and depth of the migratory phenomenon, biblical quotations that invite to prayer and texts that inform and move to reflection and commitment. This is an initiative of the Sanctuary of Loyola in collaboration with the Jesuit NGO Alboan. There is also a new station added to the traditional ones: it represents the Resurrection. The image shows a demonstration in Barcelona in favour of the refugees. The biblical quotation, taken from Matthew 25, recalls: "... I was hungry and you gave me food ... I was an immigrant and you welcomed me." A QR code allows, through your mobile, to carry out a spiritual itinerary with the Via Crucis or to take a more focused tour of the social dimension of this reality. The project is completed with fifteen small images located in the lower left corner. They show the Via Crucis made by the Cameroonian Jesuit Engelbert Mveng (1930-1995). The original work is in the Nairobi theology, has been photographed by Benedict Mayaki SJ for this Loyola project in which spirituality, justice, art and nature are united.

Promoting Justice

ITALY
The last formal visit of the current President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials to Centro Astalli in Palermo “What keeps me hopeful and energised is seeing those who have been assisted in the past, offer help to those who have just arrived” says Vidjaya, a Dutch volunteer in Centro Astalli Palermo. She continued to explain how one of the services they provide in Centro Astalli is a shower where migrants can go for free and wash themselves everyday. One day they were working until very late and had a lot of work to do, amongst many things they had to clean the showers but there were several migrants who still had to shower. Instead of just making use of the service, several of them offered to clean the showers themselves after they used it. Vidjaya, an anthropologist student, was offering this example as something that gets her and the rest of the team optimistic and motivated about the work being done at the Centre. And we need to understand that the work with refugees and migrants it is not always easy. There are many barriers to overcome like language, cultural differences, lack of resources to cover all their needs, etc. But at Centro Astalli in Palermo they work unceasingly to reduce these barriers in many creative ways like involving the migrants in the volunteering work. This July, Father John Dardis SJ the current president of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials until the 28th of August went to visit Centro Astalli in Palermo to get a glimpse of the challenges and needs that migrants and refugees deal with in the South of Europe. He was greeted by Simone (the Vice President of the Centre) and Alessandro (a worker in the Centre), both of them showed him around the centre and all the services they provide there like: breakfast, legal help, showers, Italian classes, sewing and needlework, handcraft centre, and many more. That being said, probably the most important service that they offer at Centro Astalli is a place for people to feel minded, well treated, and where they feel they matter. Father Dardis saw this in first person when he met with three migrants who were there to just to speak to other people and if possible give a helping hand to the volunteers. One of the three, an 18-year-old boy from Burkina Faso told Father Dardis about all of his hopes for the future. A very moving experience all together. There is a clear need for further support in this project, financially and in terms of human resources but the team managing this project is doing an excellent job. Therefore, if you think you can contribute in any way, please visit the website http://www.centroastallipalermo.it/ for more information.
SPAIN
The Jesuit university institution INEA (Valladolid) hosted a few weeks ago a theoretical-practical week of ecological conversion for Consecrated Life. A challenge. A joy. A path to follow for conviction and social justice... 15 religious people from different congregations talked about the ecological conversion they lived. They were guided by José Eizaguirre and Teresian Conchi Peláez. This was the third edition of an experience whose core is the care of the Common House, today under the inspiration of the encyclical of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si'. Awareness towards conversion is necessary among religious congregations. They have visited the office of rezandovoy.org and now they are going to cook the dish of the day, with ecological products, recycling the waste and saving the maximum water. The whisper of the air and the rooster's song interrupt. Nature becomes present and turns theory into a claim. In need. In conversion. The first challenge after this week will be to convince their communities "that it's worth and makes us happy," they explain. And yes, to share this experience for them is to learn more and spread the illusion to advance in this path of eco-solidarity conversion.
SPAIN
In order to state our rejection towards the public policies as continuous infringement of basic human rights of more than 65 million people in the world who are forced to flee their homes due to violence, war, poverty, inequality or climate change, we have delivered 30.131 signatures to the General Secretary of Immigration and Emigration. we call upon the government to defend with leadership in the EU institutions fair migratory policies whereas dignity and human rights are in its core. Thanks to citizen pressure of organizations and people like you, we will keep on demanding to Spain to commit to their duty and guarantee the rights to those who arrive to our country in need of protection, allocating the necessary resources to receive these people with warmth and dignity. From Hospitalidad.es, we will keep on claiming the fairly International Cooperation policy allocation of budget resources, and not undermined on the frontiers control and the incorporation of the Global Citizenship Education lens to the education policies, to foster a peaceful and cohesive society. Follow us on http://www.hospitalidad.es
SYRIA
Rama, a thirteen year old girl, is typical of so many other children her age and below, who belong to what is regarded as a “lost generation”. These children have been living in the midst of violence; their daily bread is ‘suffering’ having to flee from one place to another seeking safety and security. Deprived of their childhood, they tend to become reclusive and aggressive; shunning the normal spontaneity of children who are brought up in a different environment. Rama’s story is painful: she was born and brought up in the old city of Homs. The escalating violence forced the family (Rama, her parents and two sisters, one younger and another older) to flee. They lived in Darayya in rural Damascus, in Wadi Barada (in the one room tenement of their grandfather) and in many other places: fugitives in fear. When things got a bit better in Homs they decided to return ‘home’ only to find as Rama says, “We had to move at least twenty times from one place to another. When we finally returned to our ‘original home’ it had been completely burned down and destroyed ". But they had absolutely no choice; the family just went back to live in it. The condition of their house is absolutely pathetic: there are no doors or windows; no access to electricity or water. The neighbourhood is abandoned. To add to their misery, Rama’s father is still unemployed and the family finds it extremely difficult to make both ends meet. A major concern for Rama’s mother was the education of her three daughters. The war had interrupted their schooling. The continual suffering impacted on Rama very negatively: she started becoming violent and withdrawn; she hardly smiled or interacted with others. The JRS Centre in the Old City however became a refuge of hope. Their mother enrolled Rama and another of her daughters there. It was difficult for Rama at the beginning: she refused to mix with others; she was a lost child who preferred isolation to other children. The social worker and the animators gradually and gently reached out to her. The child protection programme and the other activities were also instrumental in helping Rama regain her self-esteem. Love and laughter came back to her life. On her transformation Rama says, “We have suffered much and also discriminated against in the schools; here at the JRS Centre everyone is our brothers and sister. They love us and we love them all”. Rama’s mother is unable to hide her joy and gratitude to the animators for all that they have done for Rama and the elder daughter who able to pass her exam in spite of having partial vision. “All what we ask is the safety of our children; you at JRS have provided it; you have warmly welcomed us; you have accompanied us”, she says very effusively and she continues, “above all, you have returned to me my Rama the lovely girl that I used to know”. As for Rama she dreams of a bright future. Her joy and laughter is contagious: no one can ever miss today that sound of hope in the activities in which Rama participates in! Rama symbolizes the return of hope!

Youth & Media

POLAND
St. Stanislaus Kostka’s Jesuit School Complex in Gdynia has roots dating back to the interwar period, when the first Jesuit High School in Gdynia-Orłowo was established. During the 2nd. World War and communism the school was closed but in 1994 Jesuit education returned to Pomerania. At the moment the Jesuits run a high school (since 1994), a secondary school with a bilingual Polish-Spanish programme (since 2001) and a bilingual elementary school (since 2017). In our schools we work in line with the Ignatian pedagogy, creating an environment of comprehensive and harmonious development of children and young people. We support students in the natural need to know oneself, others and the world around us so that everyone can find their unique way of realizing fundamental values: truth, goodness and beauty. We support the development of such qualities and skills as reflection, critical thinking, positive attitude, sensitivity, teamwork. The strong sides of our school are: close cooperation with parents, experienced and devoted staff, optimal school size (about 300 students) and classrooms (about 18 people), international projects, good infrastructure (modern building and sports center with swimming pool). We believe our school is an excellent proof of a renewal of Jesuit education in Poland.
POLAND
Nearly 200 participants from all over Poland gathered in Stara Wieś (Southern Poland) for the 13th edition of the Ignatian Youth Days, Ignatian Youth Days is a unique summer event targeted for secondary school students and high school students from all over Poland. Young people spend five days in Jesuit gardens in Stara Wieś near Brzozów. During that time they can be convinced that the faith in Jesus is the source of maturity and strong friendship. The IYD is primarily a celebration of young people who belong to the Jesuit youth ministry of Magis. July's rally is the culmination of the whole year of weekly meetings in dozens of communities spread all over Poland. The meeting creates space for young people to answer their questions about their place in society, the Church and their role in the world. They combine their openness with new ideas, willingness to take on challenges and readiness to meet people from different regions of Poland. A good opportunity to do so is primarily the proposed workshop. By taking part, they discover their abilities, talents and get to know cultural and religious values. Video 1: https://web.facebook.com/ignacjanskiednimlodziezy/videos/1632406856792839/ Video 2: https://web.facebook.com/ignacjanskiednimlodziezy/videos/1632956376737887/ Read also Magis 2017 Central Europe
POLAND
Catholic schools’ headmasters from Ukraine, Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Syria and the Czech Republic in Warsaw. 20 years ago no one expected that the just established Pedro Arrupe Centre for the Formation of Leaders and Educators would reach multiple European, Middle East and Asian countries. On these days, the Centre completed an international course for 28 Catholic schools’ headmasters from Ukraine, Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Syria and the Czech Republic. The two-week classes lasted from 8 July and were the next stage of professional formation launched last summer. Between these two summer courses (2016-2017), fr. Wojciech Żmudziński SJ - Arrupe Center director, along with management specialists, teaching and learning methodologies, visited Catholic schools in Ukraine, Latvia, Croatia and Albania, training teachers and motivating local organizations to create more schools, whose agenda would be based on the Christian vision of the world. Another Catholic school in Ukraine will be set up next year, and four public schools have declared their willingness to become Catholic schools. In Syria, the founded Catholic schools are called ”private schools” (instead of ”Catholic Schools”), because the local law does not permit their official existence. However, they gain more and more prestige. This year, advocacy and training activities are planned in Albania and Ukraine and next year in Croatia and Syria.
RUSSIA
UNESCO Conference for Physical Education and Sport. From July 13-15th, 2017, I had the privilege of representing the Holy See at the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI) organized by UNESCO and held in Kazan, Russia. As the Conference was about to start, all dressed up with my accreditation as a “Permanent Observer” (The Holy See is a Permanent Observer at UNESCO in Paris) and riding the elevator at the conference venue, I imagined myself having to give answer to representatives of a more “radically secular” persuasion, What business does the Holy See, have being here at a UN conference? And on the subject of sport at that!  I had noticed myself and others eyeing each other’s accreditation passes trying to figure out who was who.  Over the course of the two days of “diplomacy”, I was to find out why I was there for the Holy See. Approximately 200 member states, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations met to discuss, redact and approve a previously-prepared plan attempting to establish a framework for action in three main challenges facing sport and physical education today: giving inclusive access to sport for all (women, children, elderly and the physically and mentally challenged); maximizing the potential of sport in the areas of sustainability development and peace; and, integrity in sport.   Improving the human condition I very soon realized that as a representative of the Holy See, I was in the right place.  Gathered were a group of sports and educational professionals interested in improving the human condition.  These were “people of good will”.  The Church with her unique perspective as specifically a religiously-motivated entity has a unique perspective on the human condition.  The Church can always bring something “extra” to the dialog table. Just being present as an official representative of the Church was a very tangible way of lending support to the common endeavor for good.  My presence was a statement: the Church is interested, is involved and walks together with all people of good will in all aspects of their lives. I partook in many interesting fun and even serious conversations. It is not rare to meet participants who are alumni of Our institutions of higher learning.   Perhaps my most interesting conversation over the course of the two days was the Minister of Education for Zimbabwe, who sat in front of me during the proceedings.  As we were flying back home, I asked him at the airport if this Conference was helpful to him.  He answered without hesitation.  Above all, it served as a sign of confirmation for him and for the educational reforms of the last two to three years that he was enacting in his country.  Returning to his country, he was now ready to face the opposition with renewed confidence.  It had been tough going since there was opposition to certain aspects of the reforms.  I also asked in a friendly way if the I hoped the Jesuits were not causing too many problems!  He assured me that on the contrary, they, along with a congregation of Dominican sisters, were of help to him in education. Being a female and religiously motivated athlete One keynote address especially resonated at the Conference. Ms. Aya Medany, a former modern pentathlon champion from Egypt and now a “Champion of Peace and Sport” related her very personal experiences and challenges of being a female and religiously motivated athlete in Egypt.  Her sport federation challenged her on several occasions not to wear the hijab during competitions which she had chosen to wear as a sign of her giving glory to God. Interventions, especially from the richer nations, highlighted the issues of match-fixing, making sports and physical education accessible to the elderly and disabled (or better, “differently-abled”), protection for whistle-blowers and the importance of independent and free investigative journalism.  The developed nations reasserted the need for clean sport if there is to be a future for sport; while for the poorer nations, the Conference served as an impulse of renewed hope and energy for reform in their contexts. Overall, there was a very good spirit about the Conference.   In this unexpected request from the Vatican, I was given to realize yet another long forgotten desire of mine since high school.  I was always very interested in international relations and diplomacy.  I actively participated in “Model UN”, an extracurricular activity where each school’s team represented a particular nation at the “general assembly” of all participating schools in a “model” United Nations.  Never had I imagined that this would somehow play out in reality some 35 years later!  

In-depth Reflection

EUROPE & NEAR EAST
Jesuit European and Near East Higher Education Meeting takes place at Centre Sèvres, Paris Are the challenges of our institutions and societies distinct one from the other depending on our context? Or are there common sets of challenges that we all need to face together? These two statements are non-mutually exclusive, so an affirmative answer could be given to both questions. However, the balance between them in different times in history is relevant. In the last century, the first statement (independent challenges depending on the context) had by far much more weight and thus it took more space in our minds and on the time we dedicated to address these local challenges, as individuals and as institutions. In this 21st century, the global challenges have gained far more importance and this calls us to review the way we do things. Traditional ways of governing our institutions seem to become each year more and more obsolete. An excellent metaphor for this is presented in a documentary called “In the Same Boat” released in February 2016. In this documentary the experts interviewed share the idea that every human being is currently travelling in the same boat and that we need to coordinate ourselves better to redirect it to go wherever we consider it needs to go. Imagine if someone wants to row in one direction and the other person on another direction. Neither one nor the other will ever reach their destination. We need to understand this dynamic and most importantly we need to agree on where we want to go, the final destination. This was one of the key underlying messages during the recent Jesuit European and Near East Higher Education meeting that took place at Centre Sèvres, Paris from the 9th to the 12th of July 2017. The participants of this meeting were Rectors, deans and people involved in the intellectual apostolate coming from institutions with and ignatian background. There were many highlights from the meeting, starting with the excellent inputs of Madame Sylvie Goulard (Member of the European Parliament) and Sébastien Maillard (from the Croix and the Institute Jacques Delors). These two experts gave an interesting look at the current context we are living in and the challenges we face and what Jesuit institutions can do to address these challenges. This is a very ignatian approach, starting by looking at the reality. Participants also had the opportunity to hear Father Michael Garanzini SJ (Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus), Father Friedrich Bechina (undersecretary for the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education), Susana di Trolio the Executive Secretary of AUSJAL and Jaime Oraa the president of UNIJES. These four people were responding and giving information to participants about the previous call from Father General to the Universities and Faculties of the Society of Jesus in Europe and the Near East. Father General sent a video to the participants asking them to consider new ways of collaboration and to do that he asked them to reflect on a possible structure for the Higher Education institutions in Europe and the Near East. We are talking about institutional conversion, words used by Father General in his first letter to the whole Society, to reviewing our modes of organization and to examine our institutions. He also reminds us the words of GC36, the governance of the Society is personal, spiritual, and apostolic (GC36 D2,1) From here the participants started working. Many good ideas came to light, which included the risks, and challenges, and benefits that a new structure and way of collaboration might entail. At the end, the participants decided to name a Steering Committee to look into it with more detail and to take into consideration all that was said during the meeting and come with a more concrete proposal in the Worldwide Meeting in Deusto 2018. The cherry on top of the cake was the presentation of the HEST programme by its coordinator José Carlos Romero. This links to our initial point made earlier about being on the same boat. The Higher Education for Social Transformation Programme tries to put institutions in touch and encourage them to work together to reflect on the shared challenges of our societies and to offer sound research and creative ideas to promote changes that will make ours a better world for those who suffer the most. The journey is long but in this meeting good progress was made and the reached agreements will allow our Ignatian boat to reach a safe harbour, our next stop towards our common mission.
SPAIN
Barcelona, 30 june-1 july.- One hundred people participated in the II Workshop on Thinking Faith and Justice, organized by the Cristianisme i Justicia Jesuit study center in Barcelona.  The meeting is called to update the classic concept of justice, incorporating ecological challenges, the gender perspective or the recognition of cultural minorities. The guest speaker was Jorge Riechmann, mathematician, poet, ecologist, philosopher and one of the most recognized voices of a new non-anthropocentric thought. Riechmann talked about the almost apocalyptic perspective of being immersed in the century of the "great test", in which the future of humanity and the planet will be resolved, with the symptoms of exhaustion that we see at all levels. His proposal places the human person not above and outside nature, but within and in clear symbiosis with it. His approach, despite being from an unbelieving perspective, clearly links with spirituality and with human acceptance of its finitude. During the conference, there were four workshops about: the growth of inequalities and new authoritarian populisms feminism and care in social and theological thinking the re-reading of Human Rights the challenge of Christian singularity and spiritualities without Jesus. One of the novelties was a space for testimonies and a moment for art, specifically for the theater at the service of reflection on justice. The meeting was the closure of a very special course of celebrating 35 years of Cristianisme I Justicia and more than 200 booklets published. The meeting is "full stop to find new ways to dialogue with those who look for references to transform the world, in and out the Church." The meeting was followed very actively on Twitter in #JornadaFJ where you can find some of the impressions of the participants.
VATICAN
Rome, 4-5 July. The Pluriel network hold a meeting at the Pontifical Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies (PISAI) and at the Gregorian University in Rome. The Pluriel network is dedicated at the study of Islam in Europe. The Faculty of Theology of Granada is part of this committee.  Prof. Michel Younès of the Catholic University of Lyon leaded the meeting. It was mainly about preparing last details of the next congress of the network that will also take place in Rome in June 2018. Among the members of the committee are represented different institutions, several Jesuits: Catholic University of Lyon, Catholic University of Milan, Sankt Georgen Superior College of Philosophy and Theology, Saint Joseph University and our Faculty. This meeting included a visit to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in which Archbishop Khaled Akashed, Secretary of the Commission for Dialogue with Muslims welcomed the Pluriel Committee and had a long talk for a better understanding of the activity of the network. There was also an opportunity to greet Archbishop Miguel Ayuso, secretary of the Pontifical Council and former student of the Faculty of Theology of Granada.
RUSSIA
On June 28, 2017, at Tomsk State University in Tomsk (Siberia), Father Stephan Lipke from the Independent Russian Region of the Society of Jesus defended his dissertation for the degree of candidate of philological sciences with a specialization in Russian literature. In other countries, the Russian candidate’s degree is equivalent to a doctorate. His topic was: Антропология художественной прозы А. П. Чехова: неизреченность человека и архитектоника произведения (The Anthropology of the Belletristic Prose of Anton Chekhov: The Ineffability of the Human Person and the Artistic Structure of his Works.) Fr. Stephan completed his course work for his master’s degree and his doctorate, wrote the required eleven articles and his dissertation while working full time in the parish and school in Tomsk. (http://www.ams.tsu.ru/TSU/QualificationDep/co-searchers.nsf/newpublicationn/LipkeS28062017.html)

Preparing for Mission

BELGIUM
Fr. General Arturo Sosa accompanies birth of new province in Namur (Belgium). Around the Feast of St. Ignatius 700 members of the Ignatian Family, included 300 Jesuits met in Namur (Belgium) to have baptized a new European Jesuit Province. The French speaking Jesuit Province of Western Europe (EOF) unites the former provinces France, Southern Belgium and Luxemburg, together with some communities from Greede and the islands Mauritius and Réunion. The new province counts 532 members, included 40 in formation, divided over 42 communities. Fr. General Arturo Sosa and new Provincial Fr. François Boëdec Fr. General appointed the Breton Fr. François Boëdec as the first Provincial of this new Province.  More information about the new province EOF     On the 31st of July 2017, the Feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Dutch and the Northern Belgian Provinces of the Society of Jesus have merged to the new Regio of the European Low Countries (ELC). Fr. Johan Verschueren (picture right) who already was the provincial superior of both provinces has been appointed as Regional Superior. On August 26th this new Formation will be celebrated in Antwerp. On that occasion Fr. Ward Biemans and Br. Wiggert Molenaar will take final vows.
VATICAN
Spanish Jesuit Archbishop Ladaria Appointed. “The Holy Father expressed his gratitude to His Eminence, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller at the conclusion of his five-year mandate as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the “Ecclesia Dei” Pontifical Commission, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission,” stated a statement issued by the Holy See Press Office on July 1, 2017. “Pope Francis,” it specified, “has called to succeed him, His Excellency, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Titular Archbishop of Tibica, up to now, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” Cardinal Müller leaves his post at 70, the mandate passing to the dicastery’s ‘number two,’ Luis Ladaria Ferrer. Born in Mallorca, on April 19, 1944, the new prefect is a Spanish Jesuit archbishop and professor at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. In 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him member of the International Theological Commission and in 1995, consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In March of 2004, he was appointed secretary general of the International Theological Commission. On July 9, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, assigning him the Titular See of Tibica with the dignity of Archbishop. He is a member of the Holy See group in charge of dialogue with the Saint Pius X Priestly Fraternity, which began in 2009.
GERMANY
The new home for the German Provincialate. At the same time as the beginning of the new Provincial, Fr. Johannes Siebner SJ, the Provincialate moved to the newly built Canisiushaus in Kaulbachstraße 29a in Munich. With the move to this location in Munich-Schwabing, the province ties up with the history of the former Upper-German province, which had its seat on a neighboring property until 1971. At the time, the Berchmanskolleg with the School of Philosophy moved from Pullach to Munich. The new Canisiushaus, which has now been completed after exactly two years of construction time, is a combined residential and administrative building. The provincial administration covers four floors and approximately 40 percent of the total area. The Canisiushaus is the new home for Frs. Johannes Siebner (Provincial), Martin Stark (Socius), Ralf Klein (Treasurer), Christoph Soyer (Formation Delegate) and Markus Franz (Delegate for the Elderly). They work together with a team of 13 lay people in different departments. The inauguration ceremony on July 11 took place with the Provincial’s Office, the architect team of Sebastian Illig, representatives of other religious communities, as well as numerous employees, neighbors and craftsmen, who had contributed to the success of the project over the past two years. Fr. Provincial Johannes Siebner, who took the blessing of the new house, acknowledged in his greeting the commitment of his predecessor Fr. Stefan Kiechle, as well as the professionalism and commitment of Markus Lichtenwald and Klaus Seitz from the provincial administration, who have been working in the past two years almost round the clock for the construction of the house and coordinated the logistics of the move. Photo: Canisiushaus and Inauguration Ceremony with Fr. Provincial Johannes Siebner (left) and Fr. Stefan Kiechle © SJ-Bild
SPAIN
New provincial inaugurated in Spain. The change of the Provincial of Spain on July 8th came with the serenity of the new one, Fr Antonio España and gratitude to the former provincial Francisco José Ruiz Pérez SJ. The place chosen for this celebration was the school that Fr Antonio España SJ has directed the last four years: Ntra. Señora del Recuerdo in Madrid. He was accompanied by his mother and sisters and Jesuits and lay people from the Spanish province. Antonio España SJ, presided the Mass with Francisco José Ruiz Pérez SJ, EMR Assistant Joaquín Barrero Díaz SJ, the delegate for the Elderly, Cipriano Díaz Marcos SJ and the Portuguese Provincial, José Frazão SJ. Many Jesuits concelebrated, all dressed in red, for the celebration of the memory of St. Leo Ignatius Mangin SJ, Maria Zhu Wu and his fellow martyrs of China. At the beginning, Fr Socius, José María Bernal SJ, read the patent announcing the nomination of the new Provincial by Fr General, Arturo Sosa SJ. During the homily, Antonio España thanked God for the new task entrusted, explained his sense of leadership, that today's leaders are people to "unite and inspire" (Gandhi). After naming the skills that a Provincial must have, he says "if there is any lack of these... at least, kindness and love for the Society of Jesus" (Constitutions 735). That is why, for him, this leadership asks for both goodness and love and to unite and inspire. A long applause for the former provincial Before concluding the Mass, Fr Francisco Jose Ruiz SJ addressed to the audience a thanksgiving where he remembered all the gifts that the provinces integration has brought to the Jesuits and lay people. Finally, Fr. Assistant, to the surprise of the former provincial, read a letter of thanks from Fr. General Arturo Sosa, to his work and his person where he recognized "so many years of unselfish work for the Society, integrating several provinces with such diverse history and personality, and consolidating as a single apostolic project”, making a serene transition. After the reading, there was a prolonged applause. Photos here: (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jesuitasesp/sets/72157683599531061/) and vídeo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu699qfeONM&feature=youtu.be )