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Vol. XV, No. 22 06 December 2011
Father General has appointed:
From the Provinces
ASIA-PACIFIC: Forming Jesuits for Asia-Pacific
The Jesuit Conference of Asia-Pacific has released a detailed document on the formation of Jesuits for its part of the world. It is entitled "Forming a Contemplative in Action: A Profile of a Formed Jesuit for Asia Pacific". The document addresses three major questions - What does a formed Jesuit look like? What specific issues does initial formation need to address? What competencies does a formed Jesuit for Asia-Pacific need to have mastered? The Profile was prepared by a special Committee. The Committee stresses that the Profile is not intended as a one-size-fits-all approach to Jesuit formation, as the Society has always attracted a mix of personalities. Our formation process aims to help a scholastic or brother in formation to recognize and affirm his unique talents, and to develop them further in the service of apostolic mission. The Profile details the fundamentals for a contemplative in action - the Committee says that the Jesuit in formation finds himself at the centre of six interrelated dynamics. If he is open to these, they have the potential to form him as a contemplative in action. The six dynamics are interiority, psychosexual and affective integration, conversation, critical thinking, a universal perspective and discerned action. The Committee recognized that the Asia-Pacific Conference is more diverse than other Assistances, with significant differences in language, culture and experience. It acknowledged that the particularities of formation should appropriately be sorted out at the provincial or regional level. The document can be downloaded from the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific website at: http://sjapc.net/what-we-do/forming-contemplative-action-profile-formed-jesuit-asia-pacific.
AUSTRALIA: A Doorway to Indigenous Leadership
The name of the new Aboriginal Studies Centre opened in St. Ignatius' College at Riverview is Yennibeu, which means "coming together to become one, respect and caring for each other, a unification of spirit." The Centre wants to strengthen the college's commitment to the education of young indigenous men and the promotion of indigenous culture. Yennibeu will serve as a research centre and classroom for year 11 and 12 aboriginal studies students. According to Kurt Bartelme, Riverview's Aboriginal Studies teacher in charge of the centre, this year has seen the largest aboriginal studies class in the last 10 years with 18 boys in the program. Both the name and the location of the centre hold great significance. The name "indicates a need to understand the complexity of language and culture and our commitment with our indigenous brothers. The location is on the top floor, and this is very symbolic for the importance placed on Aboriginal Studies." The opening of Yennibeu adds another marker in the timeline of Riverview's Indigenous program. Starting with a generous bursary in the 1990s, the school began a bursary program which provides indigenous boys the advantage of a Jesuit education. Today, indigenous boarders make up 1.8% of the school's total population - coincidentally the same proportion of indigenous people living in Australian society.
BANGLADESH: Great Success for "MAGIS Bangla Camp"
The 350 applicants for the 72 places at the Magis Bangla Camp (MAGIS means "Marching and Growing in Solidarity"), show that the movement is getting ever more popular. Magis Bangla Camp is the annual camp of a new Catholic youth movement run by Jesuits in Bangladesh. During the camp, which was held in Baromari (Mymensingh diocese) from November 8th to 12th, conventional classroom-type activities made way for practical learning experiences, such as bonding sessions, meditation, swimming, craftwork and sports. This alternative approach to youth formation focuses on the physical, mental and spiritual changes in young people. It helps them observe life more closely and learn from experiences so that they may be more successful in their future careers. Camp members were also expected to carry out daily domestic chores, including the cooking and cleaning. At the end of the camp participants said that it was a great experience and they learned many things there. Here is the comment of one of them: "I've participated in diocese and national level youth gatherings which were boring since we were stuck in a classroom most of the time. Here we've learned practical skills, to be real human beings and to respect one another."
CHINA: Oratorio tribute to Matteo Ricci
The Guangqi Music School Choir of Shanghai diocese has just completed its first tour, performing an oratorio production that depicts the life of the revered Italian Jesuit, Father Matteo Ricci (1552-1610). From November 4 to 6, the 50-strong choir performed at Nanmen and Longgang churches in Wenzhou diocese, and the Assumption Cathedral in Ningbo diocese. Wu Jiagong, the school principal and a noted expert in Chinese sacred music, explained that the eight-part oratorio is still a work in progress. "The composition, in both classical and contemporary Chinese, was started last year and so far only four acts have been completed. It is a huge project involving many people," he said. "Like many Italian and Chinese Catholics, I have prayed for the canonization of Father Ricci and his closest Chinese friend, Xu Guangqi, who was the first Catholic in Shanghai." Wu added: "composing oratorios for the two sages has always been a wish of mine. I hope to promote the deeds of the two early Church figures through music, to encourage local Catholics to learn from them."
COLOMBIA: 40 Years of Fe y Alegría
During 2011, Fe y Alegría Colombia held various religious, educational, sport and cultural events in different regions of the country. This was to mark the 40th anniversary of its work in Colombia, providing primary and formal education, and promoting of social justice through its programs. Each event provided an opportunity for local personalities, teachers, students and families of the centers of Fe y Alegría to celebrate its activities. Father José María Vélaz, S.J. founded the movement and provided it with principles which have made possible a significant improvement in the quality of the education received by children and young people in the poorer areas of the country. Fe y Alegría helps them to work towards the construction of a more just, equitable, and inclusive society.
ITALY: More on Brother Pozzo
On the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the death of Andrea Pozzo (30th October 1642 - 31st August 1709), two important initiatives have been held in recent years. One of them was organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Austrian Historical Institute, in conjunction with the Bibliotheca Hertziana and Max-Planck Institute. It was an exhibition held from the 3rd March to the 3rd May 2010, and a congress that took place from 18th to 20th November 2009. The documents of the congress were presented in a publication launched on November 23rd 2011 at the Austrian Historical Institute. The volume collects the presentations of the speakers at the congress, all of whom were experts from renowned national and international academic institutions. They analyzed the complex artistic work of Pozzo under various headings, offering new insights and interesting reflections which will help future documentary research and criticism. Andrea Pozzo can surely be considered one of the most extraordinary artists of European baroque. His work ranges from painting, to architecture, and to "sacred scenography". He was also a theoretician on perspective and color, and he wrote one of the most famous works in this field: the two large illustrated volumes Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum (Rome 1693/1700).
ROME: New Resources for JRS Service
To commemorate the thirty-first anniversary of the foundation of the organization, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) announced the launch of a new section of its website: Theology, spirituality and ethics, as a basis of the JRS mission. "Surrounded by mindless violence, war and displacement, it is hard to make sense of it all. It seems so meaningless and can lead us to despair. That is why we have launched this new initiative, to give ethical and spiritual meaning to our work", said JRS International Director, Peter Balleis S.J.. The new section explores the key issues facing JRS staff in their service and advocacy work with refugees and other forcibly displaced migrants. It focuses on serving faith, promoting justice and enhancing inter-religious understanding, while also placing emphasis on how best JRS can, in the words of the Superior General of the Jesuits, Adolfo Nicolás, foster reconciliation and Gospel hospitality. In addition to providing theological, spiritual and ethical resources to assist better those working in this challenging ministry, the papers seek to promote understanding of how JRS shapes its project and advocacy agenda as an Ignatian faith-based organization. For more information: www.jrs.net
ROME: Office for Development
The first year's activity of the pilot project to establish development offices in four Provinces - Philippines (Asia-Pacific, JCAP), Madhya Pradesh (South Asia, JCSA), Malta (Europe, CEP) and East Africa (Africa and Madagascar, JESAM) - ended with a seminar on formation in planning, management, and the presentation of accounts. This was held at the end of November in Nairobi, Kenya. Its participants were the directors of apostolic works of the Provinces of East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan). Given the differences in history, culture and current situation, each of the pilot projects travelled an individual path. But each of them centered on the collection of funds locally, on the support they receive from other Provinces, and on international cooperation. These new Offices for Development seem to strengthen the relationship between our benefactors ("companions in the mission") and the sustainability of our apostolic mission in the different regions. In 2012, the Office of the Assistant Treasurer for Development Resources (ATDR its acronym in English) will help to establish a Development Office in the Indonesian Province, selected by the Provincials of Asia Pacific Assistancy. The Philippines Development Office will support this venture by offering what it has learnt in the past year.
SPAIN: The Universidad Loyola Andalucía becomes a reality
On November 23rd the Parliament of Andalusia approved the reform of the law for universities under which the Universidad Loyola Andalucía officially becomes the first private university of the region. The Universidad Loyola Andalucía is sponsored by the Society of Jesus, and academically part of ETEA, the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of the University of Cordoba. In the 2013-2014 academic year, it will begin courses in Business, Economic, Law, Political and Social Sciences, Communication, Education and Engineering at its two bases in Cordoba and Seville. The president of Insa-ETEA and of the Universidad Loyola Andalucía Foundation, Fr. Ildefonso Camacho, said: "This is very good news, because it confirms an andalusian project for the world . . . Loyola aims to be a university for everybody, open to anyone who wants to study and to be trained in it, in which no social or economic differences to be an obstacle." One of the main features of the project is its support of the Society of Jesus. This was demonstrated, at the one hand, by its highest representative, the superior general Adolfo Nicolás. He was in Seville some weeks ago to visit the Province and to meet Felipe Benjumea, president of Abengoa, and other top representatives of the project. On the other hand, the rector of the Loyola University in Chicago, Fr. Michael Garanzini, who is responsible for Jesuit universities all over the world, was also in Seville less than a month ago to strongly support the project.
Starting Cities. In January 1554, Fathers Joseph de Anchieta (now Blessed) and de Nobrega established a mission and school at a small village in Brazil. They celebrated the first Mass there on the feast of the conversion of St Paul, so they called the place São Paulo. São Paulo is now the 7th largest city in the world, with a population of 18,850,000. In 1567 the same pair founded a settlement in what is now Rio de Janeiro, the world's 22nd biggest city with 10,560,000 people. Two Brazilian cities carry his name. Joseph wrote the first dramas in Brazil in Latin, Portuguese and Tupi (an Indian language), so he is named Father of Brazilian literature. He wrote a famous poem to the Virgin Mary, allegedly writing it every morning on the wet sand of a beach and committing it to memory until he could much later transcribe its more than 4,000 verses to paper (AMDG Express).
New in SJWEB
For a new slide show about the visit of Father General to the Betica Province (Andalusia and Canary Islands), Spain, from 7th to 10th November, click on: "sjweb Media".