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    Archive: news after March 2009


    Vol. XVIII, No. 16 18 July 2014

    FROM THE PROVINCES

     

    AFRICA: Jesuits to the Frontiers

    Eastern Africa Province (AOR) Development Office has published a reflection booklet: Jesuits to the Frontiers: Reflection on Vocation and Mission. The booklet features several Jesuits, representing a variety of age groups, who share stories of their ministries and spiritual journey in the Society of Jesus. Each story reveals the striking uniqueness and richness of Jesuit life. At the same time, the stories give testimony to God's generosity towards us in various apostolates, even as we look creatively to a future bristling with hope and promise. We hope to use this booklet in promoting vocation, edifying the companions of the Province and sharing our mission with partners. Copies of the book can be ordered via development.aor@gmail.com or communications.aor@gmail.com

     

    CAMBODIA: The Second Jesuit

    On May 31, a Cambodian national, Chour Damo, 29, pronounced his perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Society of Jesus. He is only the second Cambodian to become a Jesuit, after Ham Toeun, who is presently doing his regency in Svay Sisophon, Cambodia. There are around 30,000 Catholics in Cambodia representing only 0.15% of the total population. Damo is from the province of Kampong Cham, northeast of Phnom Penh. As a young boy, from the age of 8, he was already attracted to the life of priests. He met many priests in Cambodia and saw how they were happy while busy helping other people. His heart resonated with theirs as he felt the deep desire to help the poor too.  Damo's awareness of and introduction to religious life began while he was at university, when he lived with other students at the Catholic Church Student Centre.  There he met Jesuit priests such as Fr Ashley Evans SJ and Fr Kang Ingun SJ. Following the voice of God in his heart, Damo entered the novitiate in the Philippines in 2012, where he spent two years with novices from the Philippines. One unforgettable experience was his labour trial, when he worked as a caregiver in a home for special children. For six weeks he lived with children with mental and other disabilities, feeding, bathing, grooming, and caring for their varied needs.  Although he found it difficult at first, eventually he grew to love and appreciate all the children and the staff.

     

    EUROPE: European Social Week

    The European Jesuit Social Apostolate organized from 24 to 27 June the European Social Week. The Italian city of Naples hosted the event that focused on the influence of volunteering on the commitment and involvement of citizens. The participants were 67 coming from 16 European countries: Jesuits, collaborators in social organizations, Jesuit Refugee Service, centres for migrants and children at risk, Mission offices and NGOs, as well as volunteers in various programmes of the Society of Jesus. Under the theme "Volunteering and public good: a commitment for active citizenship," the Social Week 2014 was the opportunity for collaborators and members of the Social Apostolate to share the Ignatian vision and the work of the Society in this area. Volunteering was examined as a way to promote active citizenship, a long-term project that from emotion becomes commitment and from knowledge becomes action. The motivations of volunteers are many and different, but in our case the social commitment leads to a faith that promotes justice. In the agenda there were lectures and small group discussions. The workshops focused on the welfare state; ecology and natural resources; asylum and migration and international volunteering.

     

    GERMANY: 350 Years from Goswin Nickel Death

    On July 31st , 2014 the 350th anniversary of the death of the tenth Superior General of the Society of Jesus takes place. Goswin Nickel (1584-1664) was the first German Jesuit in this function. After him, there was only one more German Superior General, namely Franz Xaver Wernz from Rottweil, who was the 25th Superior General and whose 100th anniversary of death is on August 19, 2014. Goswin Nickel was born on May 1, 1584. He lived at the time of the chasing of witches, the inquisition and the censorship through clerical and mundane rulers, as well as the commotions of the Thirty Years' War. He fought against the injustice of these days, especially against the chasing of witches. He also warned his brethren in one of his writings hauntingly against the dangers of nationalism. From 1630 to 1637 and from 1639 to 1643 - i.e. during difficult times of war - Nickel was Provincial of the Lower Rhine Province. The General Congregation of the Society of Jesus elected Goswin Nickel tenth Superior General in March 17, 1652.  During his twelve years term in office, Nickel fostered the increasing development of the colleges and the mission abroad, especially in Asia and America. In his letters and circulars, he requested obedience, humility, and poverty from the members of the Order. The latter was aimed against the attacks of the Jansenists.

     

    ITALY: Martini, Memory and Prayer

    Cardinal Martini loved the hermitage of Montecastello, a retreat house nestled between earth and sky on a rocky promontory overlooking Garda Lake (North Italy), and used to retire in this place to pray and meditate. Periodically he returned there with the bishops from Lombardia, to share the experience of the spiritual exercises. The hermitage belongs to the diocese of Brescia and was founded in 1950 by Pierino Ebranati (1885-1959), a layman engaged in the formation of young people and adults through the spiritual exercises. That house of retreats, renewed between 1993 and 1997, is located next to the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Montecastello, dating back to the ninth century. On July 4th  the hermitage was named after Carlo Maria Martini. A tribute to the Jesuit Cardinal and biblical scholar, Archbishop of Milan from 1979 to 2002, an authoritative master of the Word of God, an authentic and passionate disciple of the Word. The memory of Cardinal Martini is still alive and active as shown by recent initiatives such as the concert (Verdi's Requiem) in the cathedral of Milan on June 25, the second edition of Martini International Award (see our Bulletin, n. 14, June 23, 2014) and the uninterrupted pilgrimage to his tomb in the cathedral of Milan.

     

    ITALY: Music from the "Reductions"

    The eighteenth edition of the festival of sacred music O flos colende, on July 3 in Florence proposed an evening entitled San Ignacio: una festa nelle missioni gesuitiche del Paraguay (San Ignacio: a celebration in the Jesuit Missions of Paraguay). The programmes was composed on the popular festivals organized by Jesuits in their Missions of the ancient Province of Paraguay, the vast territory today belonging to Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Everything began with a processional hymn, followed by two villancicos (written by Juan de Araujo and Roque Ceruti), simple polyphonic songs in Spanish, which were exported from the Iberian Peninsula to the so-called New World and there mixed with local folkloric elements. The evening included also the representation of a spiritual drama for soloists and orchestra dedicated to the holy founder of the Society of Jesus. The hagiographic drama San Ignacio was found in the archives belonging to the ancient Jesuit Reductions of Chiquitos and Moxos, in eastern Bolivia. In the words of the organizers, it is "the only musical drama achieved from the territory of the ancient 'Jesuit Republic of Paraguay'". It is mostly a work son of the European Baroque culture. In some sections one can recognize the hands of two Jesuit composers who worked in the South American Reductions: the Italian Domenico Zipoli and the Swiss Martin Schmidt.

     

    KENYA: Working for Peace in "the Mess"

    For the past 10 years, Jesuits have been working in the peace-building process in Kenya, finding "God in the mess", as Fr Peter Knox SJ at Hekima College in Nairobi describes it. The latest attacks of terrorists in Kenya have highlighted the dangers to both Kenyans and visitors. The murder of 48 locals in the coastal town of Mpeketoni in June is reinforcing the climate of mistrust and fear in the country. But for Jesuits working in Nairobi, these events have emphasized the importance of their work in peace building and reconciliation. The Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) in Hekima College is helping people to analyze the conflict in Kenya and elsewhere in the African continent. Fortuitously located in the capital, the college was founded in 1984 as the Jesuit School of Theology for African young Jesuits training for the priesthood. It marked its 20th anniversary in 2004 by opening HIPSIR, where each student has to conduct original research in one area of conflict. The programme includes courses in human rights law, diplomacy, economics and international relations. It approaches conflict from various perspectives, including African culture, identity and the ethics of war. And it has a strong emphasis on conflict resolution and peace-building.

     

    MEXICO: Biennial Congress on Liturgy

    The International Jungmann Society for Jesuits and Liturgy celebrated in Mexico, June 23-28, 2014, his V Biennial Congress in his 10th anniversary and as part of celebrations for the 200 years of the Restoration of Society of Jesus. There were 59 participants, 54 members and 5 guests, from all over the world. The Congress stressed the fundamental significance of Liturgy in the life of Jesuits, in three  main fields: Liturgy and Ignatian Spirituality. Liturgy and Jesuit community life. As well as the strong link between Liturgy and our Apostolic Mission. With this Congress Father Cristóbal M. Orellana, S.J. (MEX) finished his term as President of the Jungmann Society and begins the term of Father Andrew Cameron-Mowat, S.J. (BRI).

     

    MICRONESIA: First Senior Class Gaduation

    On May 31, 2014, the Yap Catholic High School (YCHS), located on a small Micronesian island in the Western Pacific Ocean, celebrated its first graduating class. Jesuit missionaries first established a mission in Micronesia in the late seventeenth century. At the end of the World War II, the mission was placed in the hands of American Jesuits.  Now Jesuits serve in a number of ways on the islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam, Yap and Palau. YCHS is the newest responsibility of the Jesuit mission on the islands. Frs Michael Corcoran SJ and John Mulreany SJ were missioned to the island of Yap in 2011 to start YCHS. Within five weeks, they, along with two volunteer teachers, welcomed 35 students into its first freshman and sophomore classes. This year, all members of the YCHS Class of 2014 were accepted into four-year colleges in the United States, with many receiving generous scholarship support. YCHS and Xavier High School on the island of Chuuk are staffed by Jesuit priests, scholastics, local people and volunteers. The schools provide students with educational and spiritual enrichment and resources, such as a student centre and Internet access. "The people of Micronesia, and particularly the students there, are wonderfully faith-filled and incredibly hard-working," said Fr Ciancimino, Provincial of the New York Jesuit Province, who has overall responsibility for the Micronesia Mission.

     

    PHILIPPINES: Prize to a Documentary Film

    A documentary produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) in the Philippines was the only Asian finalist out of 74 nominees around the world for Best Documentary Film at the XXIX International Catholic Film and Multimedia Festival in Niempokalanow in Teresin, Poland. Bagong Buhay: Mga Kuwento ng Pagbabalik-loob was produced as part of JesCom's annual Lenten presentation in 2013.  It was first aired on ABS CBN, the leading television network in the Philippines.  The documentary features stories of the personal darkness of three people - an alcoholic, a womanizer, and a wife-beater - and how faith brought them to conversion and restoration to new life.  It also features reflections by the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, as well as Fr Ramon Bautista SJ. Festival Niepokalanow is an annual event organised by the Catholic Film Association in honour of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Niepokalanow Monastery of the Franciscan Fathers.  It is a review and a summary of Polish and worldwide achievements in the evangelical film and multimedia industry.  Two other JesCom programmes, The Word Exposed and Ang Kuwento ng mga Peregrino, were also screened during the festival. For more information on Bagong Buhay, go to www.jescom.ph

     

    ROME: Father Cappello, the "Confessor of Rome"

    On June 24 at the Vicariate of Rome was closed the diocesan phase of the process of canonization of Father Felice Cappello (1879-1962) which began in 1986. Now the documentation will go to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, that will evaluate and verify the collected proofs to ascertain the heroic virtues of the Jesuit.  Father Cappello, internationally renowned canonist but better known as "the confessor of Rome", is buried in the church of St. Ignatius next to the confessional where he carried on his ministry for about forty years.  At the closing session were present delegations from the Province of Italy, from the Pontifical Gregorian University where Fr. Cappello taught for many years, and especially from Caviola, the birthplace of the Servant of God, and from the Diocese of Belluno-Feltre.  At the end of the ceremony the Bishop, Mons. Andrich, recalled what Fr. Cappello meant for the Church, while Card. Piacenza, who could not be present, wrote that "among other things the revered Father did in an exemplary way the precious service of confessor." The next day, June 25, a large banner reminded him in St. Peter's Square during the general audience, next to the name of his birthplace and that of the Dolomites. It was hoisted from Belluno's pilgrims who reported also the words "Thank you Papa Francesco." It is known that the Pope himself, on the evening of his elections, praised Father Cappello as "a great confessor." 

     

    SPAIN: Manuel García Doncel Bibligraphical Fund

    Among the activities to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the birth of the Deparment of Science, Technology and Religion, the University of Comillas inaugurated the Bibliographical Fund Manuel García Doncel. Ciencia, Filosofía y Teología, a section specialized in such disciplines within the general library, in the Cantoblanco campus. The core of this collection is the legacy of the private library of the Jesuit teacher who gives the name to it, professor of theoretical physics in the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and founder of the Institute of Science's History. Along with these volumes there is a part of the Alberto Dou, S.J. Fund, from San Cugat del Vallés, other book donations from other Jesuit teachers as well as other Funds already belonging to the department. Professor García Doncel, representing the Provincial of Spain, was present at the opening ceremony, presided over by the Rector, Julio L. Martínez, S.J.

    1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY

     

    Zimbabwe. Four years after the death of St Ignatius the first attempt by the Society of Jesus was made to penetrate the interior of Southern Africa. Portuguese Fr Gonzalo de Silveira reached the court of the most powerful ruler in the north of what is now Zimbabwe in 1560. Within months he baptised the king but shortly after intrigues led to Silveira's death and the close of the mission. It was the restored Society in the nineteenth century which took up the challenge anew and in 1879 eleven Jesuits, six priests and five brothers, from five countries, travelled up by ox-wagon from Grahamstown on the south coast of the continent at the speed of 17 miles a day to this country. Our Province is marking the occasion of the Restoration by remembering these eleven brothers of ours who encountered huge obstacles. Their mission also failed but it laid the ground work for the third attempt, in 1890, which was successful. They were: Fr Henry Depelchin (Superior) (Belgium), Fr Charles Croonenberghs (Belgium), Br Francis de Sadeleer (Belgium), Br Louis de Vylder (Belgium), Fr Salvatore Blanca (Italy), Br Peter Paravicini (Italy), Fr Charles Fuchs (Germany), Fr Anthony Teroerde (Germany), Br Joseph Hedley (England), Fr Augustus Law (England) and Br Theodore Nigg (Lichtenstein). These are the founders of the modern Province of Zimbabwe which now has 118 members, of whom 77 are "sons of the soil."

     

    NEW IN SJWEB

     

    There is a new video. Tony da Silva, SJ shares about his experience and vision as the first Secretary for the Secretariat for Collaboration. Click to go to the video archives: http://www.sjweb.info/video/ or go to the multimedia section on the homepage: http://www.sjweb.info/

     

    NOTICE

     

    The next issue of the DIGITAL SERVICE will be published in September.