|Vol. XIX, No. 13||July 23, 2015|
Father General has appointed:
- Fr. Tomasz Kot (PMA) as Regional Assistant for Central and Eastern Europe and General Counselor. He replaces Fr Severin Leitner (ASR) who until his tragic death in a mountain climbing accident on June 7, 2015, was Regional Assistant for Central and Eastern Europe and General Counselor. Fr Kot will commence his service on October 1, 2015. He is currently the Provincial of Northern Poland and Mazovia Province (PMA). Earlier, he served as Scripture professor in our Theology Faculty at Bobolanum in Warsaw, as Secretary of the same Faculty, as Director of the publishing house, Rhetos and as Editor of Przeglad Powszechny (Universal Journal).
EAST TIMOR: Bringing quality education within the reach of children in rural areas
The Jesuits in Timor-Leste have launched a new education endeavor for the children in Ulmera, a rural part of the country where the still under construction Jesuit education project is located. Through the Ulmera Project, they aim to increase the chances the children from the Ulmera community have of getting into Colégio de Santo Inácio de Loiola (CSIL), the Jesuit secondary school in Kasait, Ulmera. Fr Joseph Raymund P.S. (Weyms) Sanchez SJ, CSIL principal, says that the project grew out of the recognition of the challenges these children face in gaining access to the quality education the Jesuit school offers. These include their lack of preparedness to face the high standards of the school, their own or their parents' attitudes toward education, and their families' limited resources. With the Ulmera Project, the school can do more than provide a good education; it can contribute to the community as a whole by helping to increase access to the quality education it offers.
GREAT BRITAIN: Award for Jesuit Linguist
Indian Jesuit Fr Vijay D'Souza SJ - based in Oxford - has been awarded graduate funding by the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Foundation. It will help him undertake three years of research on and documentation of the Hrusso Aka language of Arunachal Pradesh in North East India. Fr Vijay is a member of the Kohima Region of the Society of Jesus, an area known for its linguistic and cultural diversity: it is estimated that it is home to more than 200 distinct and indigenous cultures and languages. Kohima Jesuits work mainly in extremely remote areas and among some of the most neglected people in the country, running schools and parishes, a research centre and a centre for legal aid."Hrusso Aka is an endangered language of Arunachal Pradesh, a remote Indian state in the Himalayan foothills," Fr Vijay explains. "At present, it's spoken by only about 3,000 people, and more and more younger members of the Hrusso Aka tribe are switching over to Hindi. Hrusso Aka is staring at extinction in a matter of a couple of generations if the present trend continues."
GREAT BRITAIN: Noah reimagined
A re-imagining of the story of Noah and the Flood with focus on environmental issues has won a Jesuit-funded student film award. Never Land, by law student Robyn Forsythe, is a short film about a nine-year old boy from Boscastle in Cornwall who terrified of the rising sea levels and wakes up one day to find the whole world flooded. Her treatment of the film which will be shot in November, won the Insight Student Filmmaker Award which is given to films about faith and believe, and supported by the Jesuits in Britain. Part of her prize includes a six-month placement at Loyola Productions, Inc., a Jesuit film company in Hollywood, California. [The Tablet, 27 June 2015, p.18]
INDIA: Delhi - National workshop on Peace and Harmony
The Department of Tribal Studies (Centre for Research, Training and Action for Socio-Economic Development and Human Rights) organized a two-day Workshop on Peace and Harmony for the state representatives of the project Social Healing through Holistic Development at the Indian Social Institute on 29-30 June. Thirty-four representatives from eight states who have been associated with the project and Indian Social Institute for the last several years participated in the workshop. The objectives of the workshop were: (1) to learn from the experiences of the past three phases of the project; (2) to understand the importance of peace and harmony in schools and villages in the challenging multi socio-cultural, religious and caste and ethnic context, (3) to prepare a complete programme for the 4th phase of the project, and (4) to promote and strengthen co-operation between different states in the target area. As a way forward, the next phase of the project aims to prepare 5,000 student and youth leaders for peace and harmony through 320 Peace and Harmony Match in 8 states.
SINGAPORE: Jesuit writes mass for 50th year of independence
As Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence this year, a Jesuit from the Malaysia-Singapore Region of the Society of Jesus has written a mass for the anniversary. Fr Mark Aloysius SJ wrote the Mass of Freedom with Corrine May, a Singapore singer-songwriter who is perhaps best known among Christians for her song Five Loaves and Two Fishes. The mass was celebrated in the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore's Joy SG50 Thanksgiving Mass on July 4. "As the mass is entitled the Mass of Freedom, its style is rather buoyant, and it's contemporary," said Fr Mark, who is assistant parish priest at the Jesuit parish of St Ignatius in Singapore. "The main goal of this new mass setting is to help people at the pew pray better, especially young people. We hope that more people will feel drawn into the beautiful mystery that is our Eucharist and to celebrate with great gratitude the 50th anniversary of our independence."
Biography of Alfonso Salmerón, the youngest among the founders of the Society
To commemorate the 5th Centenary of the birth of Fr. Alfonso Salmerón (1515-1585), the Communication Group of Loyola (Sal Terrae - Mensajero) published his biography in Issue no. 54 of the Collection MANRESA. Fr. Salmerón was the youngest among the nine companions that joined St. Ignatius in founding the Society of Jesus. He was also the longest living (almost 70-years-old), apart from Nicolás Bobadilla, and lived together with the first five Generals.
His participation at the Council of Trent with Diego Laínez is quite known, but he is better known for other missions, undertaken in obedience to some of the seven Popes he had the occasion to meet: he was papal legate to Ireland and Scotland; he was sent to the Diet of Augsburg; he travelled to Poland and Latvia; he went to Belgium twice for the peace issue between Paul IV and Philip II; he taught for one year at the Ingolstadt University (Germany) and, in 1561, Fr. Laínez, who had been sent to the Colloquy of Poissy by Paul IV, appointed him as Vicar General of the Society during his absence. He lived the last 25 years of his life in Naples and, for 18 years, he was the first Provincial there.
At the very beginning of the Council of Trent, he was requested to write the panegyric of Saint John the Evangelist, which was published after three months, in March 1547, in Rome, and in the same year in Paris. It is the first published work written by a Jesuit. His reputation as a preacher, requested all over Italy, was extraordinary. He was called "the other Solomon" in Naples. Even Pope Pius V, in 1569, requested him to preach for Lent in St. Peter's Church.
He did not leave any autobiographical work but his plentiful collection of letters published in Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, very attentively selected, studied and translated by Miguel Lop Sebastià, SJ gave an excellent biography as a result. In it may be found plenty of controversial anecdotes and situations related to the beginnings of the Society.
The 156 letters, all reproduced almost entirely, the 213 paragraphs of the Chronicon written by Polanco, all the ones in which Salmerón is mentioned, and the 350 quotations taken from other documents published by Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu witness the importance of this biography.