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Vol. XVII, n. 16 22 July 2013
Appointments of Father Generale in July and August:
Trip to Brazil. Father General arrived in Recife on 11 July, where he gave a conference at the Universidad Católica de Pernambuco and visited the Brazilian Interprovincial Juniorate. He then moved to Salvador, where he met with the Jesuits of the North-Eastern Brazil Province. On Sunday, 14 July, he "sent out on mission" the 2,500 young people from 50 countries who are participating in the Magis pastoral experience in preparation for World Youth Day. On 16 July, Father General travelled to Porto Alegre and São Leopoldo, where he spoke at the UNISINOS University and met with the Jesuits of the Southern Brazil Province. On 19 July, he left Brazil for Rome.
Trip to Lebanon. Father General will be in Beirut, Lebanon, from 2 to 4 August 2013. He will participate in the General Assembly of World Christian Life Community (CLC). Around 200 delegates (both lay and Jesuit) from 65 different countries will attend the Assembly. The theme of the Assembly is From Our Roots to the Frontiers. This theme holds an invitation for delegates to deepen their Christian and Ignatian identity and to respond positively to today's challenges. In his sharing with delegates, Father General will speak about the importance and challenges of Ignatian Spirituality for the Laity.
Visit to Colombia and Ecuador. On August 10 Father General Adolfo Nicolás will travel to Colombia to visit the Province of Colombia and take part in the 8th World Congress of Alumni of the Society. During his stay in the Colombian Province from August 11 to 14, he will go to the cities of Cartagena, Bogotá and Medellín. On August 15 he will participate in the Alumni Congress to be held at the Colegio San Ignacio de Medellín, and on August 16, he will travel to Ecuador for the visit to that Province. On August 17 and 18, he will remain in the city of Quito and on August 19 and 20 will visit the city of Guayaquil. He returns to Rome on August 21. In both Colombia and Ecuador, Father General will have several meetings with Jesuits, with students from our schools, with apostolic collaborators and friends and benefactors of the Society. His trip includes meetings with the Apostolic Nuncio of each country and with the Archbishops of each of the cities visited.
Fr. Joseph Daoust, Father General's delegate for the Roman Houses, appointed:
- Fr. Gonzalo Silva Merino, of the Province of Chile (CHL), Superior of the Residence of San Pedro Canisio in Rome from 1 October 2013. The community of San Pedro Canisio is composed by 55 Jesuits working in different apostolates and in the Vatican offices. The house is also home to the infirmary of the General Curia, for the Delegation for Roman Houses and is also guest house for visitors. Fr. Goncalo Silva was born in 1956, entered the Society of Jesus in 1975 and was ordained a priest in 1987.
From the Provinces
AFRICA: Mineral Resources and Common Good
Many African countries are ranked among the poorest in the world. However, these countries are rich in natural resources. This was the starting point for a seminar, held in late June, conducted by JascNet (the network of African Jesuits Social Centres) in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. The aim of the workshop was to try to establish viable regulations concerning the natural resources in Africa. Among the issues addressed during the meeting were mining production, access to information on oil extraction procedures, the struggle against deforestation which threatens climate change, and land grabbing, drought and migration. Participants of the workshop were divided into four working groups. The one dealing with mining regulation decided to open a blog on the subject, and to hold a second workshop next October. The group which focused on oil management decided to devise a map which highlights where crude oil is extracted in Africa. The group, which took environmental governance as its theme, planned to intensify their efforts for ecological education: it plans to make official texts on forestry issues readily available. Finally, the group which focused on land management decided to study the issue of land grabbing by elites, both indigenous and foreign. Jesuit participants in the meeting came from Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar, Tchad and Democratic Republic of Congo.
CAMBODIA: New Educational Project
The Jesuits have launched a new educational project in Cambodia: a secondary school will be established in Battambang. It will be of medium size, with four classes per year. There will also be an elementary school. The project includes a training centre for teachers, and a residence for teachers undergoing formation. "This educational project is very dear to the Jesuits working with young Khmers," explains Fr Ashley Evans in a note to Fides. Fr Evans is an Irish missionary who arrived in Cambodia in 1993. He is the director of Education Mission Leadership Team. After years of evaluation and discernment "we are very pleased that the process is going to start," he said. The Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang and local school authorities are local partners in the project. "We are also seeking international partners, who could include other Provinces of the Jesuit Conference of Asia-Pacific, as well as other religious congregations, both male and female." Fr Ashley, who is director of the new educational project, reports that the first 12 years of the project will involve raising funds to buy land, to build the buildings, and to provide scholarships. After that, the school should be self sufficient. For more than 20 years, Jesuits have worked in the field of education and professional training in Cambodia. The Society of Jesus financially supports primary school students and teachers in remote areas. The Society also takes care of the training of teachers at the Royal University in Phnom Penh. Jesuits manage a centre for disabled children in Phnom Penh, as well as a centre for disadvantaged children in Battambang.
COLOMBIA: World Congress of Jesuit Alumni
Fr Donald Ortiz SJ and Dr Fabio Tobon are the organizers of the Eighth World Congress of Jesuit Alumni. It will take place in Medelin from 14 to 18 August. This is the first time that the Congress will be held in Latin America. "We have been planning now for two years to have alumni from 120 countries around the world come to Colombia. These Congresses are a great resource and encouragement for alumni. It is at these Congresses that we are really able to share Jesuit thinking and Ignatian principles with many people from all over the world," says Dr Tobon, the President of the Congress. The theme of the Congress is: "Jesuit Education and Social Responsibility. How can we serve?" Following the example of St Ignatius, as alumni, how can we love and serve in all things? There will be six keynote speakers at the Congress. Father General, Adolfo Nicolás, will open proceedings. "The parallel discussion groups are very important. Alumni associations from all around the world will have the opportunity to share what they do, what their social involvement is, and what we, Colombian alumni, can learn to improve our efforts in the social field," said the President of the Congress.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Olomouc Theological Faculty
The Czech government has granted twenty million Czech crowns to the Olomouc Jesuit Theological Faculty for a research program led by Fr Pavel Ambros. The program will run for five to six years. In this program, a research team of twenty young theologians will be established, a number of books and reports will be published, it has a lecture and conference component, as well as some other obligations. The program has already started, and contracts were signed with the twenty young theologians: they will receive their salaries through the program. The theologians in the research team are doctoral students, post-doctoral professionals, and a number of part-time collaborators. Fr Ambros is the key figure in the venture, and he is responsible for the whole program to the Czech government. The program is prestigious, and Fr Ambros is the only theologian who received state funds for this type of research. It is the state's aim to support the creation of research teams in different areas of scientific and humanistic studies. The grant to Fr Ambros guarantees him, as well as the twenty other theologians, a position for the next five to six years. It will be interesting to see how the new theological center will develop in Olomouc around Fr Ambros. The program has captured the imagination of the whole Theological Faculty in Olomouc. Even the Czech Minister of Education noted that "there were only two theologians capable of handling such a large sum of money in the Czech Republic today". So, expectations are high and many people will closely follow the work and development of Fr Ambros' research project.
ISRAEL: A Forest for Cardinal Martini
Last month, in Galilee, a start was made to planting a forest in honour of the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. He was a man of dialogue between religions, and especially of dialogue with the Jewish people. Civil and religious representatives from Israel, Italy and the Vatican were present at the ceremony, during which the first trees were planted. Numerous messages were received to mark the occasion. Among them were reflections from Giuseppe Laras, the former Chief Rabbi of Milan and President Emeritus of Italian Rabbinical Assembly, from Pope Francis, and from Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Cardinal Martini's sister was also present. It is planned to plant five thousand trees in the memorial forest. Elia Richetti, chairman of Italian Rabbinical Assembly, highlighted the deep significance of the tree as a symbol of "memory which endures over time, and especially as a symbol of growth." Father Nicolás, in his turn, recalled the biblical tree of Mamre, and the mustard seed of the Gospel. "To plant small trees and let them grow, is what God asks from us", concluded Eugène Korn, representing the American Jewish Committee.
ITALY: Sanctuary and Nutrition
On the occasion of the World Refugee Day (20 June), JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) organized, at the Gesù Church in Rome, a photographic exhibition on the strength of refugees and the hospitality of their host communities. Hospitality, it was declared during the presentation, "is a profoundly human value. It is to recognize the right of everyone to be accepted and respected. Sanctuary and nutrition express a global vision of hospitality offered to refugees, a hospitality which includes food, shelter, tolerance, and education." Why the title Sanctuary and Nutrition? Food, explain JRS, supports through nutrition. "To feed is not only to meet the material needs of people, but it includes also the attempt to satisfy their spiritual and psychological needs." The reception - the welcome - protects and provides a sanctuary. "A place of asylum, be it a physical building or an entire state, offers refugees protection from physical danger, but also protection from anxiety and uncertainty. To find acceptance means more than having a roof over one's head. Welcome is a place where refugees can overcome trauma and regain mental and physical wellbeing." For a number of days, a video on the lives and difficulties of refugees was projected, during the night, on the facade of the Gesù Church. After Rome, the exhibition has moved to other Italian cities.
PORTUGAL: The Writings of Fr. Antonio Vieira
Jesuit Antonio Vieira (1608-1698) was one of the founders of modern Brazil. He was born in Lisbon, but grew up in Bahia (Brazil), where he joined the Society of Jesus. Sent back to Europe, he busied himself with intense diplomatic activity. He was back in Brazil between 1651 and 1661. There he made numerous trips defending the indigenous people against the brutality which he witnessed against them. He denounced this brutality through his words and in his letters to the king of Portugal. But his activity as a writer goes much deeper than these letters. At his death, he left a rich corpus of spiritual sermons, as well as political, theological and literary writings. Many of these have never been published. Recently the University of Lisbon, under the direction of José Eduardo Franco, director of the university's Lusofone Centre for Literature and Culture, announced the publication of the complete works of Antonio Vieira. About 5,000 pages, many of them still unknown, will be published in 30 volumes, three of which have already appeared. The rest will be published by the end of 2014. The work has been made possible because of the collaboration of some fifty scholars. This work is a tribute not only to a great missionary, but also to a great scholar and a lover of the Portuguese language.
SPAIN: Loyola Communication Group
The Jesuit publishers, Sal Terrae and Mensajero, both belonging to the Society of Jesus, are completing the process of unification. They have been working towards this for over two years. This is in response to the mandate of Father General, Adolfo Nicolás, through the 35th General Congregation which requests that apostolic plans respond better to local, regional and universal needs. The union of the two publishers is part of this process, and enables the new body to respond more effectively to the challenges of the 21st century. The shared original mission of the two publishing houses binds them strongly today. The merger will be completed in September this year. Instead of the two publishers, the new entity will be known Grupo de Comunicación Loyola. It will retain both the Sal Terrae and Mensajero trademarks. The editorial desks and the commercial departments have been working together closely since the start of the process, being, for example, jointly represented at industry exhibitions. This collaboration between the two centuries-old publishers has led to, and will lead to more effective service of the church and society. There will be innovations in the new Grupo de Comunicación Loyola. Other groups will be integrated in the merger, and the product will be adapted to the reality and language of the 21st century. The office of digital production, sjdigital in Valladolid, will be incorporated in the new venture. Among other projects, sjdigital develops and maintains the webpages rezandovoy.org and pastoralsj.org. For more information: www.grupocomunicacionloyola.com
SPAIN: Award for the Cave of St Ignatius
The Cave of St Ignatius received the Ambassador Award from the Regió 7 newspaper and Televisión Manresa. Each year, these two media outlets make the award to people and organizations in central Catalonia. In the citation, it was noted: "nothing has projected the name of Manresa throughout the world more effectively than its being the birthplace of the thought of St Ignatius." According to the jury, "the Ambassador Award is granted to a religious entity which projects Manresa to the world. This is especially significant this year, when a Jesuit, who was formed in the spirit which St Ignatius conceived in Manresa, was elected Pope." The award was presented on 21 May in Barcelona.
UNITED KINGDOM: Preparation for World Youth Days
Around two million young Catholics make arrangements to travel to Brazil this week for Magis and World Youth Days (WYD). Several youth in the UK are been offered the opportunity to take part in an Ignatian experience closer to home. The Ignatian preparation for WYD@Home for young adults aged 18-30 will begin on Monday, 22 July 2013, with three days of experiences, times of service and reflection rooted in the Ignatian tradition. At the end of this initial period at Broadstairs in Kent, the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, will celebrate a missioning Mass for them on Friday, 26 July, before they travel to Aylesford Priory where they will join other young Catholics from across the country for WYD@Home. The Magis initiative is a pastoral experience of Ignatian programmes and events in the days leading up to World Youth Day for pilgrims from Jesuit institutions. It was started in 1997 before the WYD held in Paris, although it was not officially known as Magis until 2005, in Cologne, Germany. Since then it has been celebrated prior to WYDs in Sydney and in Madrid. Organized by the Society of Jesus and other institutions inspired by St Ignatius Loyola, Magis gets its name from the Jesuit phrase meaning 'the more', to follow Christ, to serve with their ability, to do more for him and, in turn, for others. It is an expression of an aspiration and inspiration of Ignatius and is a tenet of Ignatian Spirituality. For those young Catholics who are unable - for whatever reason - to travel to Brazil for this year's World Youth Day WYD@Home at Aylesford will provide the chance for them to gather, serve, reflect and celebrate being a younger member of a very universal Church. Read the full story at www.jesuit.org.uk/latest/130612.htm
USA: Examen for a New Generation
Jesuit Fr Rick Malloy doesn't have to go far to get to his "mission territory:" he simply walks down the hall from where he lives in a college at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. While the journey isn't far, Fr Malloy says it can be difficult to be noticed in the territory where he's sent: the minds, hearts and imaginations of young adults. As vice president for university ministries, Fr Malloy searches for ways to get today's young adults to be open to God's action in their lives. He's found that one way to get there is the short spiritual exercise made famous by St Ignatius of Loyola: the Examen which involves a review of one's day, listening for where God was present and active. According to Fr Malloy, University of Scranton students are finding the 10 to 15 minute Examen transformative and comprehensible. "St Ignatius championed this form of prayer and counseled this was the one spiritual exercise that should never be left aside," says Fr. Malloy. "In order to make this prayer even more accessible, I offer this description of the traditional five steps of the Examen: 1) the prayer to the Spirit for inspiration; 2) thanksgiving; 3) examination of conscience; 4) firm resolve to improve; and 5) trust and hope for the future." Paralleling St. Ignatius' five steps, he has developed the five "P's" of the Examen - presence, praise, process, penance, promise - in order to make this prayer even more accessible to young adults.
VATICAN CITY: The Pope Meets with Astronomers at the Observatory
"We are thrilled. It was a great pleasure that Pope Francis lunched with the Jesuit community of the Vatican Observatory." So began a series of tweet messages with which the Jesuit astronomers at Castel Gandolfo spoke of their meeting with the Pope on Sunday, 14 July. "Before lunch, the Pope visited the offices of the Vatican Observatory, in particular, the meteorite museum. Looking through a microscope, he viewed a meteorite which fell on Buenos Aires. During lunch, we talked about the activities and projects of the Vatican Observatory." At the end of his visit, the Pope signed a parchment which contains the signatures of all the Popes who have visited the Vatican Observatory. Fellow Argentinians, Frs Jose G Funes, the Director of the Observatory, and Sabino Maffeo, the historian of science, are members of the Observatory community. Pope Francis congratulated Fr Maffeo on the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research insitutions in the world. It is located in the grounds of the pontifical villa at Castel Gandolfo, in a building close to the Albano cathedral. The original home of the Observatory was just above the papal apartments in the Papal Palace. A number of domes, together with their telescopes, are still in place there.
The Jesuits Meet Pope Francis. On July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, Pope Francis, on his expressed desire, will meet with his "brother" Jesuits. The meeting will take place in the Church of the Gesù with a Mass presided by himself, and with the participation of Father General, his assistants and with the Jesuits from the Roman Houses. It will be a fraternal and familial meeting which will allow the Pope to feel even closer to his fellow Jesuit companions and at the same time the Jesuits to feel even stronger the bond that tie them to the Supreme Pontiff and renew their "readiness to be sent to the vineyard of the Lord, in accordance with the spirit of our special vow of obedience to the Holy Father that unites us in a specific way," as Father Nicolás had written in his letter to the Pope immediately after his election.
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The next issue of the DIGITAL SERVICE will be published in September