Jesuits in Europe

Learning by Doing Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning. From the origins of the Society of Jesus, decisions were made through discernment in common. A group of fifty Jesuits and co-workers met at the end of September in Monte Cucco near Rome to experience Promoting Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning (DiCAP) in the European Conference“Releasing the Power of the Spiritual Exercises”. This process aims to rediscover the experience of the first Jesuits who gained clarity and unity about their mission through spiritual conversation. During this week the group learnt through different practical and theoretical inputs. The target was to foster in our European Conference communal discernment and apostolic planning. The group was assisted by the president of the European Conference of Provincials and an international team of facilitators. Father General has distinguished the Religious Body of the Society of Jesus (composed of the vowed Jesuits) and the Apostolic Body (composed of the vowed Jesuits and all those who work with them). By discerning together, the participants perceived the deeper principles and relationships which hold the Apostolic Body together. Just as muscles and bones unite in a human body, our shared identity, values and practices are what hold us together as one. The exercise of discernment the process which coordinates and strengthens the Apostolic body in the service of the Gospel, aligning it with the body of Christ. Through individual prayer, spiritual conversation, planning tools and plenary discussion, the participants were able to develop the strategic goals and objectives that will help to implement the DiCAP process in communities, works and provinces. One of the participants said, “I like that DiCAP takes seriously that God is already at work in the world and we are called to listen to what God is doing and to cooperate with that.” Many participants were surprised by the profound level of spiritual conversation attained within the groups over just a short period of time. Another participant articulated this experience by saying that “A spiritual conversation is a sharing of what is most essential to me, a sharing of my life with another and listening, and in that way deepening our shared life.” These conversations gave new life and new energy to the group and can give the same to the whole Apostolic Body of the Society of Jesus as it moves toward a stronger and more collaborative future.
Northern European inter-novitiate meeting in Birmingham. Manresa House hosted the French and German Novitiates, including their novice masters, Thierry and Thomas from 2nd to 9th August. The time together was well prepared practically, thanks especially to Brother Mick O’Connor SJ, and spiritually and creatively through stages of the Emmaus journey in Luke. The participants soon grew into a single community. On Saturday morning Archbishop Bernard Longley arrived with Anglican Bishop David Urquhart, a near neighbour and friend. Their dialogue in answer to the novices’ questions showed how close they were in ministry and awareness of the needs of their extensive dioceses. The afternoon was spent walking in the city centre, visiting the two cathedrals, getting in touch with the Composition of Place. Sunday was a day of reflection stimulatingly led by Father Frank Janin SJ, President of the Conference of European Provincials. He led the group in smaller parties for the discernment process on the Universal Apostolic preferences. The evening was dedicated to the ministry of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, a great example of how apostolates can be bonded together in partnership. On the following day, Thiranjala Weerasinghe nSJ, novice from Sri Lanka, explored writings of St Peter Favre SJ and Letters of Tribulation of Fr Lorenzo Ricci SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the time of the Suppression, for the prayer and group reflection. In the afternoon, Father Michael Barnes SJ spoke from his research and years of personal experience on the principles of interfaith relations. He gave an example of an epic on the life of Jesus in an Indian language along with the narrative style of the sixteenth century English Jesuit, Thomas Stephens SJ. This was an early example of communicating faith in another culture. Interfaith These latest sessions prepared the group for a long and rich interfaith day, in Smethwick, a strongly Asian area. It started by being greeted by the Deputy Mayor of Sandwell (on a long railway bridge built by Telford in the early nineteenth century). They enjoyed then a real Application of the Senses in an Alladin’s Cave of a shop run by a Sikh who was Chair of the National Society of Retail Businesses. “My general store”, he said, “is not just for buying things but for people to chat and meet with each other”. Following this, it cannot be forgotten the hospitality of prayer and a meal in the nearby Sikh Gurdwara and in the Anglican Holy Trinity Church as well as a visit to the Abrahamic Centre down the road. The tour ended with sharing Evensong in the Anglican church. There was a lot to assimilate in personal prayer, and Wednesday morning was devoted to this. In the afternoon the group listened to a dialogue between chaplains of different faiths in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where some of the novices have pastoral work each Friday. The Catholic Chaplain, a former married Anglican priest with several children, gave a moving account of his journey to his present ministry. The final day was spent in groups recognizing, interpreting and articulating the experiences of a very full week. Tony Nye SJ, who participated in the meeting, commented: “we all needed our Barmouth holiday after that, joined by a number of the French novices for the first week, keeping up our close-knit community.”
In the Diocesan Delegation of Migrations in Nador, where our colleague Alvar Sánchez SJ works, we observed the decisive importance of the community of origin in the migratory project of the people we accompany. With the mission of connecting our intervention with the sub-Saharan points of origin, our psychosocial team traveled at the beginning of the summer to the country of one of the most represented migrant communities currently in Morocco: Guinea Conakry. This is how we started the new project "La Route Migratoire de l'Afrique de l'ouest. Sensibilisation et réduction de risques liés à la migration en Guinée", with four key objectives: -To make the population aware of the migration situation in Morocco and Europe in order to reduce the risks and establish protection strategies. -Establish collaboration agreements with other organizations in the country that allow us to connect these two key points of the migratory route and thus improve our intervention in both places. -To understand the dynamics of the migration of Guineans to Europe through the Moroccan route. -Promote DDM activities in Guinea. Not less than 6 teams received the necessary training to start research and sensitization activities in the field. Activities in July and August took place in four different cities: Conakry, Mamou, Kindia and Labé. To date, 250 young people and 50 adults have benefited from our activities and more than 600 people have been interviewed. Through the field activities we were able to meet people whose relatives are still missing after having tried to cross through Morocco to Spain; people who decided to return to their country having already undertaken the route; young dreamers who want to seek a better future in Europe and many others who have decided to build that future within the borders of their own country. And we have signed collaboration agreements with two local organizations that have shown excellent commitment and involvement. We have had the invaluable help of the Jesuit Missions Secretariat (Spain), which financed the first phase of this project.
As Jesuits we can find God in all things - and with our love for the urban, are especially able to find God in the business of the city. Finding God in the daily blur of the busy city centre of Amsterdam became the theme of a new kind of retreat in our Parish church, ‘de Krijtberg’ in Amsterdam. An amazing feature of this retreat, facilitated by the parish priest, was that the participants were directed by  scholastics. The retreat was easily accessible because it was short, it was near to people’s home and there was not the sometimes prohibitively high cost of the accommodation in a retreat house. In the course of two weeks we offered two 4-day retreats in our parish in Amsterdam. We wanted people to be flexible in how many days they could join us. If people were not able to commit for the full four days, we still wanted them to have an experience with God in the city. And indeed, some of the participants joined us for just one, two, or three days. On top of that, we invited people to sleep in the own house. So, they could experience the retreat while sleeping in the familiarity of their own bedroom. We invited people to a place on inner silence, a silence in which they could experience God at work, and a silence which is not disturbed by the noise of the city. To help people attain that we started each day with a short opening prayer at 9am. We led three 30-minute mediations throughout the day and ate lunch and dinner together in silence. The retreatants met with a spiritual director each day to talk on how they experienced the retreat. We celebrated mass each day with the parish community at 5:45 pm. And finally closed the day with an evening examen at 9pm. The retreat was mostly offered in Dutch, but we had a notable English-speaking group. We wanted to give people the opportunity to follow the meditations in English to cater to the growing group of international Catholics in Amsterdam. A Scottish scholastic was able to help us provide these. The multiple languages of this retreat are a good reminder of the internationality of the Society of Jesus and the Catholic Church. Finally, an important element of this retreat was that it was mostly run by scholastics. The initial organization was done by the parish priest but most of the spiritual direction was done by the three scholastics of the European Low Countries and one Scottish scholastic. With two of us in studies in Toronto and the other two studying in Paris, we have few opportunities to actually work together. This retreat gave us a chance to work together and to grow in giving spiritual direction. In the end, we never work for the Kingdom of God alone.

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Finding God

The idea was given birth a few years ago in Selva by some families: "bringing together the realities in the Italian territory where experiences of Ignatian spirituality are already being organised in a lay and domestic form," Marco Berti, secretary of the RIA explains. "Families from various areas who form groups and / or organise experiences of Ignatian spirituality for families and couples, can in this way collaborate together, exchange methods, formation material, ideas, programs and can themselves become guides and spread the experience ". This network is being organized in local /territorial meeting places (domus), where the local people can attend for the planned programs. Thus a website has been activated  , which is a forum for discussion and encounter, where one can search for programs for married and engaged couples or subscribe to a newsletter and remain updated with new initiatives. “This reality is open to all and offered to all those who have at heart a form of family spirituality that is focused and directive, well aware that the most important aspect of formation is disseminating the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius so that the family becomes more and more a nucleus which is alive and prophetic rather than simply belonging to a specific pastoral ministry ". This is the specific plan that the promoters are working on for the next meeting, a seminar on the accompaniment of couples scheduled in Bologna from 12 to 13 October. “The wider project within which this event is inserted” Fr Beppe Trotta points out “is that of “rereading” in a pluralistic form the different essential aspects of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in the conviction that there is a possibility of a “plural variation” which can adapt the proposal of the Spiritual Exercises to the specific characteristics of couples and families.” The program in this sense is a deepening of spiritual accompaniment and has some traits and characteristics and elements which are fundamental to the focus of accompaniment of the couple and an approach which is a form of an instrument which was developed by Maria Teresa Zattoni. From these two introductory relationships we can start the true work of elaboration which is done on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings on the theme of spiritual accompaniment of the couple in an Ignatian form. For more information write to
PADIS Project for the LGTBI Brothers.  In September 2017, a few dreamers from La Palma, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria came together to ask ourselves, from the demand of the project of Jesus of Nazareth, what we could offer to the LGTBI brothers and sisters (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex) with whom we shared this piece of Spanish geography at this concrete moment in history. We did not want to wait for them to knock on our door and offer them our help, we bet on "primerear" and offer our house so that it would be a "friendly space" where no one would feel strange and where everyone would feel welcomed. It was not easy, there were many sessions of study, debate and discernment before the Lord that preceded the birth of the project of Pastoral of Sexual Diversity - PADIS. The years 2017 and 2018 were fundamentally to study this reality and to carry out a couple of pilot experiences that would allow us to test the response of LGBT people and those who, in some way, feel linked through a family member or friend or because they want to help include these brothers and sisters of ours in the community of the disciples of the Master Jesus. In January 2019 we jumped into the limelight with a simple program that far surpassed all our expectations. The program was articulated in three areas: formation, sensibilisation and accompaniment. For the first we held a cycle of conferences to know, with academic rigor, the reality of sexual diversity; the second had two moments charged with soul and color: the vigil against homophobia and the retreat "to love, accompany and serve LGBTI people in key of hope" and, the third, which is filling our agendas with requests for accompaniment both in the islands and in the Peninsula. Among the many people who went through the activities, I would like to highlight Chicha's participation in the June retreat. She, a transsexual who has suffered the harshness of life since her earliest childhood, filled us with joy, hope, hope, forgiveness and a deep trust in the God of Life who welcomes us and loves us as we are. Her words, her smile and her generous spontaneity spoke to us of God's tenderness and filled us with reasons to wait.
As every year on September 19, at noon, the Jesuits under the leadership of Bishop Luke Buzun OSSPE came to Kalisz to thank God  for the fact that during the People's Republic of Poland. Thanks to the intercession of St. Joseph, the religious houses of the Society of Jesus were not liquidated. Such a threat was hanging by a thread.  Then the Polish Jesuits trusted the whole order to the care of St. Joseph and were not disappointed. In his sermon, Fr.  Provincial Tomasz Ortmann SJ, commenting on the Gospel about the loss of the Lord Jesus in the temple, said that even those who are companions of Jesus, can lose him.  “If it happened to Mary and Joseph, it can happen to us all the more.  He also pointed out that in the image of the Holy Family worshipped in the Shrine of Kalisz, it is clear that it is little Jesus who guides them by the hands, and not they guide Him. The Jesuit pilgrimage to St. Joseph's Shrine in Kalisz is a time of conversion, which the Jesuit understands as a struggle with himself to change his heart and mind in order to be guided by Jesus.  An important fruit of this conversion should be a deep conviction that wherever the Jesuit is, he should be there, not in his own affairs, but in the affairs of his Father. “ At the end of the common Eucharist, the Jesuits repeated the words of trust with which each year they reassured St. Joseph that they would consistently follow Jesus. As every year, a Jesuit song was sung:  "Mother has, my Order" and all went for a common feast to the Jesuit religious house a few hundred meters away from the Sanctuary.
Prague. On Sunday September 22 a festive Eucharist was held in the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius presided by the Archbishop of Prague Cardinal Dominik Duka, during which the remains of Fr. Adolf Kajpr SJ (+1959) were deposited in one of the lateral chapels of the Church and the diocesan phase of his beatification process was started. Among the concelebrants were the Postulator General of the Society of Jesus Fr. Pascual Cebollada SJ, the Slovak Jesuit Provincial Fr. Rudolf Uher, a representative of the Austrian Jesuit Province Fr. Gerwin Komma SJ and the Czech Jesuit Provincial Fr. Petr Přádka SJ. Fr. Adolf Kajpr SJ (1902–1959) was a Czech Jesuit, active in the apostolate of the word as a famous preacher, writer and journalist. In his time, he encouraged Catholics to enter into the dialogue with the modern secularised society and to be able to fight from the position of Christian humanism for freedom of human person from any kind of totalitarianism. He was imprisoned both by the Nazis (Theresienstadt, Mauthausen, Dachau in the years 1941 – 1945) and the Communists (Mírov, Valdice, Leopoldov in the years 1950–1959). He is considered a martyr ex aerumnis carceris – he died in Leopoldov due to the hardships of incarceration. Preparation of his beatification process started in 2017 with the consent of Father General Arturo Sosa SJ. As vice-postulator of the process was appointed prof. Vojtěch Novotný, Dean of the Catholic Theological Faculty of the Charles University in Prague.

Promoting Justice

JESC Weekend training at La Pairelle. The weekend-long spiritual and theological workshop at La Pairelle near Namur, has concluded. This year’s topic on “Europe and the long-term global challenges” draw over 40 people to learn about, discuss, and influence the future of the European continent and the E.U., and the challenges faced by continent and Union. Like last year, the weekend workshop was introduced by Marie de Saint-Cheron and Martin Maier SJ, representing the co-organisers of the event: The “Passion for Europe”-group and the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC).  The workshop then started off with a keynote speech by Pierre Defraigne, the Executive Director of the “Madariaga – College of Europe” Foundation, who discussed the immediate paradoxical nature of a diverse Europe needing unity to sustain the political and cultural variety found on the continent. Mr. Defraigne then gave an analysis of challenges as a result of the current European systems and conditions, and of the challenges that are likely to appear following his predicted structural changes in Europe. Ms. Eleonora Vitale (JESC) gave a reaction speech, listing a few examples of European challenges within defence, lack of proper market harmonisation and the European tech sector deficit in comparison to the US and China. A short discussion between them followed, and based on this began a session of open debate. This was the foundation of the working groups of attendees, who would each debate and discuss the topics of the sessions, and present their conclusions to the moderator team responsible for the Sunday concluding session. On Saturday, two panels were hosted on the topics of “Europe, trustee of a universal common good”, and “Europe, promoting a fair society; overcoming our differences”. Each panel consisted of motived high-level speakers from the EU institutions and the branches of advocacy surrounding them. The full list of speakers, moderators and topics can be found here. Following each panel was a group discernment process, where each section of the attendees would contribute to the debate during the group discussion sessions. Saturday evening concluded with a piano concert by pianist Maxence Pilchen in the crypt of La Pairelle, followed by an informal meeting at the La Pairelle library/bar. Wrapping up the session, Peter Rozic SJ of JESÒC and recent reinforcement to JESC Botond Feledy, presented the conclusions of the attendee groups, first focusing on the topics and conclusions that were shared among each of the five attendee groups, and then opening the floor for additional speific input to be carried on as output after the workshop. The results of these disusions, and minutes of each panel period, will be available at soon. Both the Jesuit European Social Centre and the “Passion for Europe”-group would like to extend a heartfelt token of gratitude to the many participants of this year’s workshop at La Pairelle, both as speakers, moderators and attendees, and hope that the workshop will bear fruit in the near and far future for the betterment of the European project. We pray that much productive discernment come from this session, and that we may continue to host workshops like these for many years to come.
As part of our ongoing celebration of the half-century anniversary of the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology at the Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome, we have invited the former secretaries to record their thoughts on being part of 50 years of services by SJES. Each secretary shares the unique challenges that SJES faced under his leadership, and his thoughts on the apostolic needs for the social and ecological apostolate today. Watch the testimony of Fr. Fernando Franco. From Gujarat Province in India, Fr. Franco is currently a Research Coordinator at St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, and Coordinator of his Province’s Development Office. Have also a look at: The statements of Michael Czerny and Patxi Álvarez
Do you know the Ecojesuit factsheets? Since 2015, a team of Jesuits and lay people from French-speaking Western Europe has been publishing a bimonthly electronic sheet of advice and good ecological practices. Intended for Jesuit communities, these sheets can inspire all citizens who want to take care of our common House. The 21st sheet has just been published: it is entitled: "Ecological driving". As soon as the encyclical Laudato si' was published, Belgian and French Jesuits wanted to embark on the path of ecology and raise awareness of climate issues. It seemed clear that the companions had to start by reforming their own lifestyle and that of their community. Concrete tools were missing to support this conversion. Fellow Jesuits, coordinated by Jérôme Gué sj, began writing monthly thematic sheets to help with concrete actions. The name Ecojesuit comes from the website, based in Brussels and Manila, "Ecojesuit. Ecology and Jesuits in communication", which brings together all the initiatives of the Society of Jesus Every two months, a theme is discussed: food, energy, transport, waste, water consumption, etc. A brief insert recalls the challenges, followed by concrete action plans: one vegetarian day per week in the communities or the implementation of a compost for organic waste. Links to online videos or sites are provided for "those who want to go further". The authors of the Ecojesuit sheets are not green coaches specialising in change, or strategy consultants, but companions among others, who will draw on the resources available to offer a simple and didactic tool.   Ecojesuit sheet 23 Apps for the Common House! Sheet 23 presents a selection of very practical applications to help take care of our common home. Consumption: knowing what you buy, what you eat Several applications help to know what is behind what we buy: Yuka: best known for its nutritional analysis of food, it shows the proportion of fruit and vegetables, proteins, saturated fats, salt, sugar, the existence of dangerous or even harmful additives. It thus provides an overall estimate of nutritional quality. More than a trendy hygienism, it is a way to get information and make better choices. Buy ot Not helps you to consume better, in full knowledge of the facts. It not only analyses product labels, but also provides information about the societal impact of the company that produces it - and launches awareness campaigns. Ecocompare is more directly focused on ecology. It reveals how the product was manufactured, with what CO2 emissions, whether it has a label, whether it can be recycled, whether it is biodegradable... These applications have a real effect: the greater transparency regarding the composition or impacts of the products marketed obliges industries to better meet these criteria, to which consumers are becoming attentive. It is a good collective pressure, in favour of our common house. Lifestyles: to take the next step Applications have been designed to help us measure the environmental impact of our behaviour, and to give ourselves the means to progress personally in this attention to our common home. WAG offers challenges, tips and tricks for food, transport, waste and energy. 90 days offers various challenges to reduce our water consumption and CO2 emissions. Wastefulness: networking for collective solutions There are countless applications such as Blablacar for carpooling, which make it possible to provide services, exchange goods or services with the neighbourhood. It can also be a way to fight waste. For example: To good to go makes it possible to recover unsold food from the catering industry, at lower prices, before it is thrown away. Good for an evening of community or sharing group, or to bring a dessert to friends' houses. GEEV: the first platform for donations between individuals, allows you to donate and collect objects or food free of charge. A good reflex with what has been going on in our communities for too long: share! The complete sheet can be downloaded on Find all the information on:
The apostolic preference "To take care of the common house" must be grounded in each of the institutions and persons of our province. The University of Deusto has set a first example with the programme of good environmental practices “Haritza (Oak)”, the first phase of which has been successfully completed. A total of 18 teams, representing 10% of the university community, participated in this initiative which offers tools to contribute to the efficient management of resources and the reduction of waste in the working environment. The aim is for workers to acquire sustainable habits that will help them move towards a more aware, responsible and involved university in caring for the environment. The Environmental Sustainability team of the University Social Responsibility Plan (RSU) of the University of Deusto has led this project which is inspired by the Clover Program of the University of Cordoba and the Green Office Program of Harvard University. This programme involves group participation, colleagues from departments, areas or services, and consists of four levels, from lowest to highest commitment, in which a series of sustainable actions related to energy, waste, purchasing, consumption, transport and teaching are put into practice. Using recycled office material, carrying out procedures online or prioritizing the use of digital tools in classrooms are some of the 23 actions proposed in this first phase. Other recommendations that the different teams have been incorporating into their daily activity are the use of natural light and ventilation, using the elevator as little as possible and the use of alternative means of transport to the car, in addition to others. All the teams participating in this first phase have achieved the committed results and new synergies have also been generated, such as the launch of an app to share transport to the university and between campuses. At the end of this first phase, the teams have moved on to the next level. More information about Haritza program here.

Youth & Media

With the conviction that following Jesus commits us to social transformation, in the last week of August young people from all over Spain gathered in Loyola to know, debate and discern our way of being in this world. They did so within the framework of the summer course "Faith and Sociopolitical Commitment", an interecclesial initiative that brings together various organizations concerned with the formation and commitment of Christians today in public life such as ALBOAN, Loiola Zentroa, Caritas Española, CLC - Spain, Focolare Movement, Jesuits Social, Cristianisme i Justícia, JOC - Young Christian Workers, MAGIS. Both from an academic point of view as well as from their vital commitments, a panel of several speakers approached the look of the participants to the current topics: migrations, socio-ecological challenge, feminist theology, social doctrine of the Church, and citizen participation, among others. The young people valued very positively their participation in the meeting, recognizing that "a fundamental piece of our Christian being is probably the call to act in our environment". The program has included sessions to accompany the diagnosis of reality and social, economic and ecological challenges, as well as to deepen the social doctrine of the church and the relationship between faith and politics in the ecclesial tradition. They also valued and were grateful for the opportunity to have this formation and exchange "in a stage in which, after finishing university, we have to guide our steps to see how we can respond to this call: it has been a gift to be able to listen to people who, from different spheres, are dedicating their professional and political work to attending to the needs of this world".
On 18 September 2009 the portal was launched. The Society of Jesus and the WAM Publishing House, which has been operating for over 140 years, looking for new ways to positively influence contemporary society, decided to open a social and informational portal. The mission of the portal is to inform about significant social events and interpret these events from the point of view of the Church, as well as commenting on church events and providing their meaning to the users. Being a link between religion and social life is not possible without offering a friendly place for open and inspiring discussions on religious, social, political and cultural issues. From the very beginning the portal was and is created in the spirit of the Ignatian tradition of "finding God in all things", hence the elements useful in everyday life, such as weather, calendar of names, life advice, culinary advice, etc., could not be missing here. On the occasion of its 10th birthday, the portal has changed visually. Currently, the portal boasts results of almost 2,000,000 unique users per month, generating more than 8,000,000 page views.
Greatness, urgency and beauty, three keys to facing a great global challenge: ecological conversion. Pope Francis, through Laudato Si´, invited believers to take them up in order to take care of the Common House where everything is connected. This care has become for the Society of Jesus its fourth Apostolic Preference. In this context, tutors from different schools of the Society of Jesus have discovered in the formation course offered by EDUCSI “Learning to take care of our Common House”, how each day and each daily action hides a possibility of responding to the call of Laudato Si´. And from there, to involve the entire educational community. Félix Revilla, SJ, José Eizaguirre and Pady Miranda have given this course full of meaning for the future: to educate schoolchildren in the values of caring for the Common House. For many of the tutors, the reading of Laudato Si´, its pedagogical application in the classroom has been a discovery. Some of them have immersed themselves for the first time in Laudato Si´ and have discovered their contributions as believers and as teachers. Each commitment expressed in the encyclical found its response in personal and community actions in the centre. A call to become transforming agents and referents as cloister and tutor. They already have in mind possible actions at school and activities to engage in together. Learning in the care of the Common House has only just begun…
    An attitude, a journey, means and context.A testimony of Fr. Beppe Lavelli SJ. In winter it's in Villapizzone and during Advent, Lent and throughout the summer it’s in Selva di Val Gardena where Fr. Beppe Lavelli, turning 58 in November meets thousands of young people every year. He listens to their anxieties and difficulties, dreams and helps them discover their gifts.  And he recalls: "Since I was a teenager my greatest desire was to build beautiful relationships with people". He came in touch with the Society after his high school diploma in Science at Selva di Val Gardena. "I was very impressed by the way the Jesuits spread the Word of God and by their interior freedom. Today I am a Jesuit because I feel at home with my companions and I came to understand that together we are rendering a precious service to people. But how do you accompany a young person today within this fluid society where families are often fragile and challenged? "I would say that the starting point is an attitude of true welcome, of respecting the young person’s journey and his life.  It is somewhat like Moses who takes off his sandals in front of the sacredness of a person’s life.  Then one should listen profoundly to what the young person is saying as he opens his heart to him.  It is listening confidently.  It is trusting both the young person and what the Lord is doing. In this way the young person himself can start to believe that the Lord himself is speaking to him, and then to understand what the Word of God is saying to him. This is the significance of annotation 15 of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. It is also important to offer young people a journey that has some landmarks, some essential points of reference: - helping the young person to examine his own life in order to discover his gifts.  Let the first step be recognising the good received. - enabling him to get in touch with his desires and to discover his deepest desire so that it becomes the fountain of his existence. In the Gospel of John, the first words of Jesus to the two who were following were: "What are you looking for?". The first thing the Lord reveals that he has very much at heart is the desire of those who follow him.  It is important to nurture this desire, let it surface and believe in it. - Another step is the recognition of our fears. When we identify them, we become free of them and they do not remain the controlling factor behind our actions. We should trust that we can face them with courage and humility.  We can win this battle with our fears as David won over Goliath. - Finally let us allow Our Lord to show us our true identity, our new name. We are constantly growing in our identity.  We discover it gradually.  Our identity is like the gradual development of a film rather than a photograph. To help young people along these stages of their journey we offer them three tools: a prayer method, giving them a lot of space to pray on the Word of God.  Cardinal Martini was a great inspiration to us for this type of prayer; teach them how to apply the rules of discernment of the Spiritual Exercises to their lives and finally teach them how to examine their conscience so that they are able to examine themselves by recollecting themselves at certain periods of the day. Finally, the context is also very important for the spiritual growth of young people. It is not only one’s personal relationship with the Lord that is important but I think the sharing of personal experiences within a group of young people who are undergoing the same journey is very helpful to them as they learn from each other what the Lord is doing in their lives. Let me now return to the respect and trust that the companion should practise when listening. The companion should speak very little and should do so especially after listening to what the young person has to say.  Another suggestion I would give is never to set oneself as an example; the Lord is much greater than what the companion can say or think of and perhaps the Lord has far greater and new things in store for the young person and maybe for the companion also. It is important that the companion is available, he is there to listen and can establish a totally free relationship with the young person and is able also to let go of it. A recommendation I would make to the religious is that it is also important that these young people experience life within communities that are open and welcoming to them.

In-depth Reflection

A new Jesuit outreach centre opened its doors in the heart of Brussels on September 14. The Forum Saint-Michel offers a series of Christian formation activities and spiritual, social and cultural proposals, according to different formulas adapted to each person, in line with Ignatian spirituality. The Forum Saint-Michel is built on three poles: Christian Formation, Pastoral and Spirituality, Culture and Society. The programme is aimed at young adults as well as retired people, lay people and consecrated persons, professionals of all disciplines. The Forum builds on the pedagogical legacy of the Institute of Theological Studies (IÉT), the Jesuit Faculty of Theology in Brussels, which closed its doors last June. "Nurturing faith through intelligence, through the heart and in the midst of this world where we can live in joy, this is the project of the Forum Saint-Michel that we are inaugurating today," expressed Fr. Bernard Pottier, director of the Forum Saint-Michel in his homily. Provincial, François Boëdec sj: "I am happy to share with you this moment of birth and creation. This is an important moment for the Society, especially in this city, for the whole Ignatian family, but also for the Church, of course, in Brussels and Belgium. The Society of Jesus has a long history here, and has tried in different ways to place itself, in the past and still today, at the service of the life of God. Today, she would like to write a new page of this service with you. The evening ended with a lecture by Fr. Nikolaas Sintobin sj, on the theme Surprised by Joy - Living as a Christian in a secularized world. Listen to the lecture by Fr. Nikolaas Sintobin sj
Cologne - On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of his death, an exhibition in Cologne commemorates the Icelandic Jesuit Father Jón Svensson SJ - called Nonni - (1857-1944). The exhibition in the renovated chapel Sankt Maria Magdalena und Lazarus at the Melatenfriedhof in Cologne shows from 14 September to 20 October 2019 under the title "Nonni. Ein Isländer am Rhein" books and biographies of the writer, in which he tells among other things about his childhood in Iceland ("Nonni und Manni") and which became known in Germany also by film adaptations. There are also impressions of Iceland by the painter Renate Marx, and the stonemason couple Frank Heber/Lea Nicolini will exhibit sculptures inspired by visits to Iceland. On the 75th anniversary of the death of the Jesuit, 16 October, the Deutsch-Isländische Gesellschaft e.V. Köln meets with other Nonni friends at 4 pm at the Melaten cemetery in Cologne, where a memorial service is held with Father Heribert Graab SJ in the St. Maria Magdalena Chapel; followed by a memorial hour of the Deutsch-Isländische Gesellschaft e.V. at the "Tomb of the Cologne Jesuits". There Nonni was buried in a bombing night in October 1944. The mezzo-soprano Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir sings Icelandic songs, and Ottmar Fuchs, professor emeritus of practical theology at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Tübingen, talks about "Nonni's hope for a Dawn".
The Blessed John Sullivan Exhibition as part of National Heritage Week attracted an audience of 800 people in the People’s Church, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare, on 25 August 2019. The event, which featured a large collection of newspaper articles on the Irish Jesuit and an audio-visual display on his family, was launched by Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin with the Rector of Clongowes, Michael Sheil SJ, and Conor Harper SJ, Vice Postulator for the cause of John Sullivan, also addressing the audience. The exhibition had its origins at the National Ploughing Championships last year. Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, who organised the Jesuit stand at the event, invited Cait Cullen to display images of John Sullivan at the stand. Cait, who is from the Clane area, has been a tireless promoter of the cause of Blessed John Sullivan for many years, and recently received a papal benemerenti medal for this work. The interest shown in the John Sullivan section at the stand and requests for additional information prompted her to organise an exhibition in Clongowes. She then collaborated with the John Sullivan Exhibition Team, a group of lay people in the locality who have provided assistance to the Jesuits with John Sullivan events in recent years. The exhibition ran from 2 to 5 pm in the People’s Church in the College. The numbers that attended exceeded all expectations. There were long queues at the entrance, which prompted the organisers to extend the opening hours to 6 pm. The newspaper articles featured in the exhibition dated from 1865 to 2017. They were taken from almost twenty different regional and national newspapers. Some of the earlier ones related to history of John Sullivan’s family, but the greater number concerned his pastoral work, his funeral in Clongowes in 1933, and the exhumation and transfer of his remains to St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin, in 1960. More recent articles covered the annual Clongowes Mass and Blessed John’s beatification in Dublin. Articles on the ecumenical dimension of his life also featured. John Sullivan was a member of the Church of Ireland tradition for the first half of his life and a Catholic in the second half. The Church of Ireland was represented at the event by Deacon John Hillis. It is intended to show the exhibition at other venues in the near future. And once again, some of these traces of Blessed John’s life and influence will be on display at this year’s National Ploughing Championships, which will be held from 17 to 19 September in Fenagh, County Carlow. Jesuits in Ireland
JESC: round table hosted in the European Parliament. On 25 September the Jesuit European Social Centre, along with FIPRA consultants, hosted an event called Common home Dialogue (An Ode to Change) at the European Parliament in the framework of Article 17  the Dialogue with Religious and Non Confessional Organisations. This meeting was based on the Laudato Si ́, the encyclical letter written by Pope Francis on ecology and the human approach to the environment. In other words, a call for action regarding the necessity of changing individual and collective habits and performance in an attempt to take responsibility of our Common Home. Edmond Grace SJ, JESC Secretary for Ecology, opened the discussion with a spiritual approach serving as an introductory reflection: ̈When we go too fast we don't see the world around. Looking around gives space for grace ̈. His view shed light on the intersection between corporate environmental responsibility and the Laudato Si ́ which marked the pathway for the dialogue. The conference was a moment of sharing best-practices of sustainable transition mostly in the private sector. There were approximately 40 participants, including representatives from lobby groups, food, primary resources and pharmaceutical multinational enterprises. One of the common discussions about environmental practices was their endorsement of the cyclical economy, in opposition to the linear model, aiming to reduce the waste of production and reuse materials within the production-consumption chain. This was a point which they agreed upon and are separately incorporating to their working methods. It turned out that this process was more necessary than expected, as it gave space to bring together an effused interdisciplinary debate. Green practices were addressed, compared and contrasted in an aim to implement Laudato Si ́ premises within diverse influential entities from the social, economic and political spheres. Essentially, another step was taken towards working together for a Common Home. We invite you to read the article written by Edmond Grace SJ for the occasion.

Preparing for Mission

Four days, four destinations, a quiet side trip to the Flüeli Ranft to the country's patron Brother Klaus - and countless encounters in the works of the Swiss Jesuits: Father General Arturo Sosa SJ, on his first visit to Switzerland from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 September 2019, reached the hearts and minds of many. In Geneva, the city with around 20,000 diplomats, Arturo Sosa SJ met representatives of humanitarian organizations on Thursday at the House of the Jesuit Community in Carouge - including women and men from the UNHCR, the International Labour Organization's UN refugee agency, and the World Council of Churches (WCC). The greeting message at the end of the evening was touching: Students and teachers of the Jesuit Refugee Service JRS and Jesuit Worldwide Learning JWL reported in short videos from Afghanistan to Malawi about their challenges, hopes and dreams. Their stories resonated for a long time, as did the words of Arturo Sosa: "Jesuits often assume that young people must be led to everything and show them the way to God. Do we know this way enough ourselves? Perhaps it is not about helping young people, but rather that young people can help us". On Saturday in Zurich, he met 30 of the 48 Jesuits of the country, including the five Swiss scholastics; four are currently studying in Paris, one is in the Magisterium of JWL until September 2020. Afterwards, 30 members of staff from the Deutschschweizer Werke joined the meeting - a great moment to experience Father General so close, cordial and uplifting.  The afternoon was dedicated to silence: a small Jesuit delegation accompanied Arturo Sosa to Brother Klaus in Central Switzerland. His place of activity, the Flüeli Ranft, radiates far beyond the national border as a place of prayer and peace. St. Nicholas of Flüe (1417-1487) or Brother Klaus stands for the search for God, justice and peace, especially in times when peace often seems impossible. The Venezuelan Jesuit Superior General knows about the fragility of the human search for reconciliation. He used this small pilgrimage in a special way to place his intentions in God's hands in the silence of the Ranft. Afterwards the Jesuits brought him to the Lassalle house above Zug. The name is program and goes back to the German Jesuit Hugo Lassalle SJ, bridge builder between Zen and Christianity. The Lassalle House, a house of silence, is not only the largest work of the Jesuits in Switzerland, but also the largest Christian educational centre in the country. The Jesuit general also appeared twice in public. Some 300 people flocked to the University of Zurich for a panel discussion on Friday evening: Arturo Sosa discussed during two intensive, exciting hours with five personalities of the Swiss churches and media on the topic "Being a Christian today - Church where to? The festive divine service in the Jesuit Church of Lucerne, which is also fully occupied here, was the final event on Sunday. Time for contemplation, time for a polyphonic worship: The Collegium Musicum in Lucerne performed the Missa Palatina by Martin Schmid SJ (1694-1772), who had lived, worked and composed in the former Jesuit missions of South America. Afterwards there was an aperitif for the large church service community. Right in the middle of it was Father General, chief of more than 15,000 Jesuits worldwide - close to people, cordial, genuine. Adieu und auf Wiedersehen, Father General! Pia Seiler – Pictures: Céline Fossati
Rome (CNA/r) – On 1 September Pope Francis announced the appointment of 13 new Cardinals - three of whom are Jesuits: the Archbishop of Luxembourg and President of the Commission of European Bishops' Conferences (COMECE) Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ and the Canadian Jesuit Michael Czerny SJ, Head of the Refugee and Migration Section of the Vatican Development Agency. Furthermore, the Pope wants to elevate the Archbishop Emeritus of Kaunas in Lithuania, Sigitas Tamkevičius SJ, to the position of Cardinal for his services to the Church, but due to his age he can no longer participate in a possible election of the Pope. Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ (61) was born on 9 August 1958 in Differdange, Luxembourg. Since 2011, he has been Archbishop of Luxembourg, a traditional Catholic country. Shortly after taking office, the Jesuit appeared as a crisis manager when the government elected in 2013 around the liberal Prime Minister Xavier Bettel aimed at a stronger separation of the state-church relationship. In 2018, Hollerich assumed the post of Chairman of the EU Bishops' Commission COMECE. In this function he acts as a mediator between different points of view for a European solution of the refugee question. Michael Czerny SJ (73), born 1946 in what was then Czechoslovakia, is a Jesuit from Canada and since 2017 Undersecretary of the "Dicastery for the integral Development of Man". He achieved fame as a migration expert of the Vatican. He repeatedly called for a more open EU migration policy and more action against human trafficking and exploitation worldwide. In May, the Pope appointed him one of the Special Secretaries of the Amazon Synod, which takes place in October in the Vatican. Sigitas Tamkevičius SJ (80) is regarded as a symbolic figure for the Lithuanian church and the Lithuanian resistance in the Soviet regime. As a Jesuit he was persecuted by the regime, Tamkevicius spent several years in Gulags "because of anti-Soviet agitation and deeds". He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the "Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania", a magazine documenting the persecution of the Church by Soviet power between 1972 and 1989. In 1996 he took over the leadership of the archdiocese of Kaunas. He chaired the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference for two terms. When he retired in 2015, the General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference praised Tamkevicius as a "legend of church resistance". As such he once again played a role in the Pope's visit in 2018: Francis was accompanied by Tamkevicius during his visit to the former KGB torture prison.
This 5-days experience, from July 10 to 14, was planned especially for work directors and collaborators of the Provincial House. The aim was to discover – or rediscover – the  roots of the Society. A group of 52 Jesuits and lay people participated at this adventure. It were days of grace: a beautiful mixture of tourism, spiritual experience, liturgies, mutual discovery, which has strengthened the bonds in the apostolic body made up of Jesuits and lay partners… Impressions, by Gilles Barbe sj Passionate hearts, yesterday and today When he was welcomed, Fr. François Boëdec told us: "It is a holiday... but not totally, a retreat... but not totally, a seminar... but not totally..." One thing is certain: on the train, the unknown faces on the way back have become familiar, relaxed and laughing. Here is the effect of the four days spent meeting us at the invitation of the Provincial, in Loyola, then in Javier, on the steps of two of the founders of the Society of Jesus. The setting lends itself to a real change of scenery. Spanish time also helps. Everyone here is a participant in a work of the Society in the EOF Province, and in everyone's heart is overwhelmed with enthusiasm to witness the good news in settings that often exceed the Society. As the conversations progress, passionate hearts discover each other, one sharing an innovative educational project, another a taste for leading group discernments in Brussels and beyond. Another confided his commitment to a political party in a disadvantaged suburb of Paris. Often accompanying their husbands or wives, spouses enrich diversity and give a very special warmth. After a presentation and discussion of the Society of Jesus today under the prism of the four apostolic priorities, we leave what had become our castle in Spain, and which was before us that of Francis Xavier.  
First vows, last vows, diaconal ordinations and priestly ordinations.