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s2smodern

After two months of living in the university chaplaincy Innsbruck, we have settled in nicely into our shared apartment of Jesuits. “We” are Gernot, the former Austrian Provincial, Hernán, a fellow Jesuit from Chile, living in Innsbruck to write his doctoral thesis, and I, Benjamin, ordained priest about a year ago. This new little community is a collaboration of the Jesuit community with the diocese, founded to offer different spiritual activities for the students of the university of Innsbruck: Monday through Friday we have a morning prayer, 50 minutes of meditation at noon and an evening prayer. Every Friday we offer a guided look back at the past week (“The Examen”).

The idea of the project is for us three Jesuits to celebrate Mass and pray in the chapel on a regular basis and invite students to join us. We believe that the students who come here will experience the power of praying together and come to a new appreciation of intentional silence. Once a month we offer a Taizé prayer and so far, it was the most crowded event with more than 25 people. What a beautiful surprise that so many people came! People also responded very well to a workshop on decision-making. In addition to these activities through weekly meetings we accompany a group of six students, who are looking to deepen their life as Christians and their faith. We live next door to them and at their suggestion, we threw a housewarming party in October. It was a fun night!

In our community we live the ordo solitus, which means that throughout the week we have lunch together most days at the university cafeteria, cook together on Wednesday nights and have a nice long breakfast on Sundays. Of course we also have disagreements, every Jesuit is different! Saturdays and Sundays we usually eat at the Jesuit College to stay in contact with our fellow Jesuits.

Our shared apartment has two guest rooms which students can use for simply taking some time alone, for studying, or for enjoying days of silence or spiritual exercises. In this way we welcome people to our community and try to respond to the students’ needs.

We developed this project of a flat-sharing community of Jesuits at the request of our provincial. Gernot, Hernán and I exchanged ideas about offering different programs to the students and thoughts on our living together. Everybody’s opinions were considered. In one year we will evaluate the project and change things if necessary. For the moment, our living room could use some more decorating ;-).

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s2smodern