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The major superiors of the Central-Eastern European Assistancy met for their annual meeting in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, from 1st to 4th May 2018. While enjoying the beauty of the historical city of Vilnius and the environment of the Trinapolio Monastery, where we were located, we shared the information about important events in our provinces and regions, discussed the topics proposed by the ECO Assistant and CEP President, and prayed together.

The participants were Bernhard Bürgler (ASR), Ivan Bresciani (SVN), Jakub Kolacz (PME), Tomasz Ortmann (PMA), Dalibor Renić (CRO, Moderator), Christian Rutishauser (HEL), Johannes Siebner (GER), Boguslaw Steczek (RUS), Josef Stuchlý (BOH), Elemér Vizi (HUN), our excellent host Vidmantas Šimkunas (LIT), together with Franck Janin (CEP President) and Tomasz Kot (ECO Assistant). Rudolf Uher (SVK) apologized for medical reasons.

Tomasz Kot acquainted us with the newest initiatives from the General Curia. Franck Janin informed us about the worldwide meeting in Rome about Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning, the Ignatian leadership programs in Europe, the preparation for the Ignatian anniversaries in 2020-2022, and presented the points for the next CEP Assembly. We also discussed the development of the Magis Program in Central Europe and the prospective for a Magis Network of young adults’ ministry in Europe. Some time was reserved for the presentation of the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome, which is our Jesuit service for the formation of seminarians and priests from different Central and Eastern European dioceses.

One of the most interesting topics was the restructuring process, in which several provinces invest a lot of energy at the moment. Ukraine is joining as the mission of PME on July 31st this year. Russian Region will establish a stable connection with PMA in 2020. We hope to have the new Central European Province (GER, ASR, HEL, HUN, LIT) in May 2021, for the event of the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Peter Canisius. SVN negotiates the application to Southern European Assistancy. BOH and SVK are strengthening their collaboration.

We couldn’t miss a visit to the historical Old Vilnius and its Jesuit heritage. The Old Society had six large communities in the City, all of them with magnificent baroque churches. Today, the Society’s ministry in Vilnius comprises the Church of St. Casimir at the City Hall Square, the highly regarded Jesuit High School next to it, and the Chaplaincy at the University of Vilnius.

Our next meeting of ECO will be combined with the CEP Assembly in Barcelona, in September this year.

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