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    Archive: news after March 2009


    Vol. XVIII, No. 23 20 October 2014

    APPOINTMENTS

    Father General has appointed:

     

    - Fr Jean Baptiste Ganza, Regional Superior of Rwanda-Burundi Region (RWB).  Fr Ganza, at present Superior and Director of the Education Centre of Kigali (Rwanda), was born in 1968, entered the Society of Jesus in 1994, and was ordained a priest in 2005.

     

    FROM THE PROVINCES

     

    AFRICA: Colloquium on Leadership Development

    As a result of a 2012 Strategic Action Plan for Centers of Formation, and the obvious need for good leadership, the Major Superiors of JESAM (Jesuit Superiors of Africa and Madagascar) decided to conduct a Colloquium on Leadership Development.  This was open to both Jesuits and their collaborators.  Forty-four representatives from all the Regions and Provinces of Africa took part.  Participants were selected and missioned to the Colloquium, which began in 2013.  These participants came from the wide variety of Jesuit works in Africa and Madagascar.  They included Rectors of the houses of formation, Provincials, Headmasters, parish workers, and media personnel, to name but a few.  The Colloquium lasted eighteen months, with intense, concentrated one-week modules every six months.  The three sessions took place in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Nairobi (Kenya), and Spain.  The first module dealt with the attitudes required for good leadership.  The second module concentrated on the skills required for leadership.  The third module tied the entire experience together with an exposure to the significant Ignatian places in Spain - Loyola, Monserrat, and Manresa.  This module sought to link Ignatian spirituality to the kind of leadership which Africa requires today.

     

    ITALY: An Award for Fr Dall'Oglio

    The Missionary Association, Cuore Amico Fraternità, awarded this year's "Nobel Missionary Prize" to Fr Paolo Dall'Oglio.  It cited "his great witness and strong commitment to interreligious dialogue."  Sr Bruna Charini, a missionary in Burundi, and Giuseppe Tonello, a lay missionary in Ecuador, received awards together with Fr Dall'Oglio.  This award, which includes a cash component, was presented in Rome on 18 October.  Don Mario Pasini founded the Association Cuore Amico Fraternità in Brescia in 1980.  He was both priest and journalist, and died in 2002.  As a result of a serious car accident, he worked for over twenty years from a wheelchair.  The aim of the Association is "to help missionaries who stand in the front line, close to the poorest and the weakest, and who often find themselves in very difficult situations."  This so-called "Nobel Missionary Prize" has been awarded every year since 1990.  It highlights "the work of the Church in the field of human dignity through evangelization among the poor."  The prize is awarded to "exemplary missionary figures, who witness to Christ' love for the poor, with whom they share their poverty and work."  For more information visit: www.cuoreamico.org

     

    JAMAICA:  Serving God's People

    Fr Rohan Tulloch SJ became pastor at St Anne's Church, in West Kingston (Jamaica), on 21 June 2011, after serving a year as associate pastor at the parish.  It was his first assignment as a Jesuit priest.  He is the first Jamaican-born pastor to serve at St. Anne's in its 119-year history.  Serving as the father of his parish is a demanding role, because, in Jamaica, fathers are often absent from the lives of their children.  He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2000.  The seeds for this decision, he says, were planted while attending a Catholic high school and participating in a Christian service program.  As a Jesuit in Jamaica, Fr Tulloch is associated with the New England Province.  Jesuits from the New England Province have been serving in the Jamaica Region since the Province was founded in 1926.  Fr Tulloch struggles with the chaos which surrounds him.  He takes one conversation at a time, encouraging, for example, young couples who come to his parish to get married and who wish to raise their children together.  He has also presided over funeral Masses for gang members who have died in gunfights.  These funerals present an opportunity for Fr Tulloch to emphasize the presence of God's love amidst the ruins of their surroundings.  There is reason for hope.  Some of the young people he has counseled have stood their ground in Jamaica, found work in their home country, and stayed close to their families.  It is a tough choice for them, but one that Christ calls them to make.

     

    PERU: Meeting on Experiences at the Frontiers

    The Conference of Latin American Provincials (CPAL) supported the Jesuit Network for Migrants (Red Jesuita con Migrantes, SJM) when it held its first meeting on Ministry at the Frontiers (Primer Encuentro de Fronteras).  Representatives were invited from all the border projects that the Society promotes in Latin America: the borders between USA and Mexico; Mexico and Guatemala; Panama and Colombia; Colombia and Venezuela; Colombia and Ecuador; the Dominican Republic and Haiti; Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia; Chile and Peru.  The aim of the meeting was threefold: (a) to share and strengthen projects in these areas, (b) to invite institutions to rethink their presence in border areas, and (c) to promote the dignity of the people living there.  The meeting took place from 22 to 24 September in Cucuta, on the Colombian-Venezuelan border.  The Society has been involved in the apostolate among border communities for many years.  This ministry mainly takes the form of education, pastoral and spiritual guidance, development programs, and advocacy for migrants and refugees.  Participants released a statement at the end of the meeting.  It noted: "In reflecting on the long journey we have already travelled, we are conscious of lacunae, and what we must do to meet the challenges which arise in these border areas.  We are called to work in these areas with a "broader perspective," to network more effectively, and to collaborate with other parties in the enterprise.  All this invites us to conversion of mind and heart." 

     

    ROME: New Altarpiece in the Church of the Gesù

    The Chapel of the Passion in the Church of Gesù (Rome) has been without an altarpiece after the the Deposition, painted by Scipione Pulzone, was removed in 1800.  On 27 September, a new painting on the same subject, by Bosnian Safet Zec, was unveiled.  Fr Daniele Libanori, Rector of the Gesù declared: "We always felt the need to fill this void: the second centenary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus gave us the opportunity.  Another aspect of the project, equally important to us, was the attempt to get back in touch with artists.  The Society of Jesus has always been very eager to nurture the skills of those artists who were able to express the feelings associated with the contemplations of the Spiritual Exercises.  That is what we want to communicate to people who seek God through our ministry."  Venerated in the chapel are the remains of St Joseph Pignatelli, a key player of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus.  Also there is the burial place of the Servant of God, Jan Philip Roothaan, the second Superior General of the Society of Jesus after it was restored.  Finally, the chapel is the resting place of Superior General Fr Pedro Arrupe.  The Bosnian artist, Safet Zec, gave their faces to the men who take the lifeless body of Christ down from the cross, and embrace it.  The signs of the Passion are clearly evident on the body.

     

    SPAIN: Dictionary of Ignatian Leadership

    In September, the Alumni La Comercial, the association of alumni of the University of Deusto, published the new Diccionario de Liderazgo Ignaciano (Dictionary of Ignatian Leadership).  It was the work of Jesuit Fr Jose María Guibert Ucín, the rector of the University.  During the presentation ceremony, Fr Guibert explained the process of project, and what it had meant to him personally.  He noted that for each word in the dictionary, one or more texts, originally from Ignatius, were added to help illustrate the quotes.  There are also explanatory comments, which apply a term's meaning to contemporary situations.  The essence of Ignatian leadership, he added, must be sought in original sources, such as the "Constitutions of the Society."  The secondary texts provide an understanding of Ignatian leadership in the current context.  These throw light on other key issues, such as on the characteristics of a leader, on the relationships between groups, and on the mission which everyone seek to pursue.  Fr Guibert claims that there is no perfect and single form of leadership in the Diccionario de Liderazgo Ignaciano.  Leadership has to be adapted to, and transform reality.  Since 2010, Fr Guibert has worked on designing and implementing a training plan on Ignatian leadership for executives of Jesuit institutions in a number of apostolic sectors.

     

    SPAIN: Radio ECCA in Madrid

    On 25 September, the new headquarters of Radio ECCA opened in Madrid.  Radio ECCA provides education via radio and the internet.  ECCA has a three-fold educational thrust: it provides teaching materials, recorded lessons, and tutorial help.  It focusses its material on those people who - for personal, family or employment reasons - are not able to attend educational institutions.  Another of its foci are those people who live in remote areas.  Radio ECCA Madrid prepares its students for the final stage of secondary education in Spain, and for the baccalaureate.  ECCA also directs its attentions to social projects through job training programs, especially for young people, women and refugees.  Jesuit priest, Francisco Villén Lucena, founded Radio ECCA in 1965.   It was then based in the Canary Islands.  Initially it broadcast its courses by radio, but for the last ten years, students are able to follow lessons via the internet.  A new application now allows students to listen to, and download lessons at any time.  Last year, Radio ECCA offered students a mobile app to access programs or lessons.  Radio ECCA is a joint project of the Society of Jesus and the Canary Islands government.  Over seven hundred people are involved in the Radio ECCA: they come from other church organizations, government, and a number of private, civic, and professional associations.  For more information visit: www.radioecca.org

     

    USA: Leadership According to Pope Francis

    American writer, Chris Lowney, has published a new book on the leadership style of Pope Francis.  In the book he analyzes the reasons why Francis is operating in his particular way, and his mode of leadership in the Church.  Lowney comes to conclusions which apply to us all, and which have implications for leadership generally.  Presently, the book is only available in English and Spanish, but it will probably be translated into other languages soon.  Lowney analyses what Pope Francis has said and done from the moment of his election.  But he also explores the values of his leadership in previous years, relying on the testimonies of both Argentinian Jesuits and friends of the erstwhile Bergoglio.  He also focuses on the period of his formation as a Jesuit.  Lowney spent seven years in the Society of Jesus, and was the director of JP Morgan Bank for seventeen years.  A number of years ago he wrote Heroic Leadership.  This was translated into Italian under the title: Leader per Vocazione (with the sub-title, i principi della leadership secondo i gesuiti (Milan, Il Sole 24Ore, 2005).  In Heroic Leadership, the author explores the 450 years' history of the Society of Jesus, trying to discover the reasons behind the Order's success.  In the new book, Lowney focuses on Francis, the first Jesuit Pope.

    1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY

     

     

    Belgium: International Conference on the Restoration of the Society of Jesus in the Netherlands.  From 23 to 25 October, the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe will host an international conference on the Restoration of the Society of Jesuit in the Netherlands.  The meeting will be held in two places: in Leuven (23 and 24 October), and at the Faculty of Humanities in Namur (25 October).  Experts from around the world will participate.  After a number of introductory sessions, the conference will focus on three major themes: the Suppression of the Society, the Dispersal of Jesuits, and finally the Restoration and the gradual spread of the Society in the Netherlands.

     

    Goa: The Return of the Jesuits.  The Society of Jesus is one of the most prominent catholic Orders in India, thanks to its significant contribution to education in the country.  The expulsion of the Jesuits by a Portuguese decree 255 years ago had a profound impact on the history of Goa. Francis Xavier was the first Jesuit to set foot there.  In Goa, the Jesuits left behind an indelible footprint through the Basilica de Bom Jesus, the Rachol seminary, the first printing press in the college of St Paul (crumbled now in ruins), the scores of parish churches, and even the old Patto Bridge (built between 1632-1634) - this is to list just a few.  So the suppression of the Society of Jesus brought a heavy cost in its wake.  Goa lost out on the fine Jesuit educational institutions that came to be set up in other parts of India.  Jesuits would return to the country formally only in 1935.  On the evening of 27 September, Jesuits from the Goa Province celebrated a Mass at the Basilica de Bom Jesus to mark two hundred years of their Society's Restoration.  Celebrations have been kept rather low key, but they have been going on in the form of seminars and talks throughout the year.  "This is not an occasion to glorify ourselves.  But it calls us to revisit our past and to reflect on why we were suppressed.  We are invited to consider how loyal we have been to our vocation, and what our role now is," says Fr Gregory Naik SJ, the director of the Province Archives.

     

    Rome: In unum corpus coalescerent - The Society of Jesus from its Suppression (1773) to its Restoration (1814).  The Pontifical Gregorian University will mark the two hundredth anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus with an international colloquium.  This will be held at the main campus of the University, in Piazza della Pilotta 4, Rome, from 6 to 8 November.  The meeting will present the results of research on the crisis at the end of nineteenth century, the relatively unfamiliar period between the "old" and "new" Society, and the gradual return of the Jesuits during the nineteenth century.  A variety of contributions will present wide perspectives - indeed a global horizon - on the transition from the modern to the contemporary world.  Historians from all over the world will contribute to the following themes: the Suppression in the Historiography of the Revolutionary Era - the "The Nameless Society"; the Restoration in Different Places; the Literary and Artistic World at the Time; the Restoration in the Americas; The Historiography of the Society in the Nineteenth Century; and Spirituality in the Nineteenth Century.  Besides the conferences and workshops, the program also includes a Eucharist in the Chapel of the Nobles, where the decree of Restoration was proclaimed.  There will also be a visit to the exhibition Jesuits and Science between the Old and New Society.  For the detailed program please visit: www.unigre.it.