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    Vol. XVII, No. 26 19 November 2013

    Appointments

     

    Father General has appointed:

     

    - Father Scott R. Santarosa, Provincial of Oregon Province (ORE).  Father Scott, at present pastor of the Dolores Mission (Los Angeles), was born in 1966, entered the Society of Jesus in 1989 and was ordained a priest in 2000.

     


    From the Provinces

     

    PHILIPPINES: A Letter from the Provincial

     

    On 11 November, immediately after the typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck he Philippines, Fr Antonio Moreno, Provincial of the Jesuit Philippine Province, wrote a letter to all communities and institutions of his Province.  He asked for help and solidarity.  Among other matters he noted:

     "Thousands of our people lost their lives; other untold thousands, their homes and properties.  It has already been acknowledged that this typhoon is the worst this year, and perhaps the worst natural calamity ever to strike the Philippines.  Some estimates put the death toll over 10,000.  The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council today reported nearly 2,900,000 families have been affected, some 24,000 houses damaged and major infrastructures devastated.  Many parts of the Visayas still do not have electricity and communications, water, food, shelter and other basic necessities.  Travel to and from some affected areas is still not possible.

    The country still reels from the Zamboanga City siege and the earthquake that struck Bohol and Cebu a few weeks ago. Evacuees in those afflicted regions are still homeless, and yet now new cries arise from people suffering in other calamity-stricken areas.  In view of this, I strongly urge all our Jesuit communities and institutions 1) to mobilize resources to assist afflicted areas, 2) to simplify celebrations, including Christmas parties, so as to be in solidarity with our people, and 3) to gather our constituents, partners and friends to reflect and pray over these events and discern what courses of action to take.

    I had wanted the traditional Province gathering on 1 January to serve as the launching of our Bicentennial Anniversary of the Restoration of the Society.  In the spirit of the times we are in, let us use this occasion to reflect and pray over these events and make them part of a gathering in solidarity. Curtailing pre-prandials and keeping to a simple menu will free funds to assist typhoon victims.  The Restoration of the Society calls Jesuits to rekindle a new spirit in response to emerging peripheries.  Let us reinvigorate that spirit by reaching out to our suffering people and collectively and concretely address these new and pressing challenges".

     

    AFRICA: Book as a Response to AIDS

    Following thirty years of pioneering experience in caring for women, men and children affected by the HIV epidemic, AIDS 30 Years Down the Line...Faith-based Reflections about the Epidemic in Africa, shares the successes and struggles of staff and volunteers in Catholic Church-related and other faith-based organizations who have been in the frontlines in service to women, men, and children. This publication, edited by the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), draws together rich and multi-faceted stories on the impact of the epidemic in many African countries. The book focuses particularly on the real-life situations of people and communities affected by the epidemic. Beyond the medical and logistical challenges that continue to beset Africa, the region's unique context of poverty, conflict and inequalities has brought forward cultural and ethical issues that give the HIV experience its human dimension and highlight the need for a comprehensive response. A wide array of contributions from social, medical, legal, human rights, and ethical specialists provides wide-ranging perspectives, while documenting examples of successful community-based responses. The book has been launched at the meeting of the Catholic HIV and AIDS Network held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16-17, October 2013. Copies of the book can be ordered by sending an e-mail message to: books@jesuitaids.net.

     

    CANADA: From the Jesuit Archives

    The Archives of the Jesuits in Canada have just finished putting online, at http://jesuitarchives.ca (located under the "Resources" tab), a new and unique search facility.  It is related to a catalogue of biographical data on all those Jesuits who died in the Society after working in Canada since 1611, when Frs Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé arrived in the country.  As of 12 July 2013, there are 1906 entries, listed in alphabetical order.  They start with Lawrence Chandler Abello and end with Theodore Zuydwijk.  It is a strange coincidence that both the first and the last names on the list are from the Anglophone Province, and both died only in the last decade.  There are 11 items of information on each entry: surname and given name, grade in the Society, date and place of birth, date of entry, number of years in the Society, the date of Ordination, the date, place and the age of death, and the place of burial.  There are some minor gaps in the data; but, at least, there is some information on everyone.  A total of 41,932 items have been researched and verified.  Br Camille Paulin became interested in the biographical details of his Jesuit forebears when, in the late 1990's, he was asked to care for the graves in the cemetery at St-Jérôme.  Early in 2010, he began posting data onto his computer, and in mid-2011 Jacques Monet joined to help him with the research.  Since then, the two of them worked together for an average of two hours every day, with only very few interruptions.  In the everyday parlance of the archives' staff, the catalogue is referred to as "the Paulin list".

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Against an Unjust Verdict

    During their 27th Assembly, the Major Superiors and Provincials of the Latin America and Caribbean Jesuits expressed their indignation at a verdict which the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic brought down on 23 September.   The Provincials joined "the international community and the people of the Dominican Republic in asking that Dominican authorities respect the rights of migrants and their descendants."  The consequences of the verdict are alarming: the verdict "stipulates that all the descendants of illegal immigrants, who were born in the Dominican Republic since 1929, be registered as foreigners.  This measure deprives four generations, who have been legally and constitutionally registered as Dominican citizens for over 80 years, of their nationality.  This judgement affects more than the 24,000 who feature in the official figures: other estimates of those affected stand as high as 250,000.  As a result of this verdict, all descendants of illegal immigrants born in the Dominican Republic, and who currently hold birth certificates issued and recognized by the government, will find themselves stateless.   They have only known the Dominican Republic as their home."  The statement ends: "As Superiors of all Latin American and Caribbean Jesuits, we are in solidarity with those affected by this verdict of the Constitutional Court.   We add our voices to those of the people affected by this verdict, as well as to those of the national and international communities.   This verdict seriously affects basic human rights.  Laws cannot be placed above human beings. nor should they have retroactive effect.  We ask that it be abrogated." 

     

    INDIA: Saint Xavier Exposition

    Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa, Daman and Diu announced the dates of the decennial exposition of the sacred relics of Goa's patron Saint, St Francis Xavier. The exposition at Old Goa will be held from November 22, 2014, till January 4, 2015. The archbishop issued the decree confirming the holding of the solemn event, which was last held in November 2004-January2005, in conformity with a long-standing practice followed by the archdiocese. The relics will be kept open for veneration of the faithful for 44 days. The sacred relics of the Spanish Saint are taken in a ceremonial procession from its resting place in the mausoleum in the Basilica of Bom Jesus across the church complex to the more spacious cathedral for veneration during the exposition. More than 2.25 million faithful, cutting across religious lines, venerated the relics during the last exposition. Saint Francis Xavier  was born in Navarre, Spain, on April 7, 1506, and arrived in Goa on May 6, 1542. After missionary work in India and other countries of the Far East, he died on December 3, 1552, on the Sancian island on his way to China. Pope Paul V beatified him on October 25, 1619, and Pope Gregory XV canonized him in 1622.

     

    JAPAN: One Hundred Years of Sophia University

    In recent weeks, the centenary of Sophia University was celebrated in Tokyo.  The most important event of the celebration was held in the hall of Tokyo International Forum.  Emperor Akihito and his wife Michiko were present: as a girl, the Empress attended Catholic schools.  From Rome, Pope Francis sent a message through Cardinal Raffaele Farina.  The Pope invited the university "to celebrate its historical and spiritual heritage," and "to reflect on modern society" according to a dialogue which respects and understands differences.   In his speech, President Koso Toshiaki spoke of "a catholic university in a country which has less than 1% of its population Catholic."   He recalled the first steps which led to the return of the Society of Jesus to Japan at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Before the years of the persecution, both St Francis Xavier and his successor, Fr Alessandro Valignano, dreamed of a university in the Japanese capital.  Sophia University was born as a result of dialogue between Pope Pius X and Emperor Meiji, who keenly promoted the modernization of Japan, and who desired to open the country to the outside world.  Sophia University started with three Jesuits: they represented the cultures of Europe, India, China and America.  Today, the university has over 12,000 students.  It specializes in Sciences and Technology, the Human Sciences, Economics, Law and International Studies.  The 1,200 teaching staff come from all over the world.   Since its foundation about 130,000 people have graduated from Sophia.

     

    LATIN AMERICA: CPAL Assembly
    From 5 to 9 November, the Major Superiors of Latin America and Caribbean (CPAL) held their 27th Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The meeting's final statement reflect the issues which were on the agenda.  "There were three main foci during the meeting: first, the Common Apostolic Project (PAC) of the Conference was considered; secondly, the restructuring of Provinces was on the agenda; and thirdly, there were considerations how to commemorate the second centenary of the Restoration of the Society (1814-2014).  With respect to the first issue, the monitoring commission (COSEPAC) of the Common Apostolic Project presented detailed information about the objectives and personnel involved.  The consideration on the restructuring of Provinces responds to the directive of Father General that, by the middle of 2014, all Major Superiors submit a report on the implementation of his letter.  The commission introduced a proposal to work on the issue in the Provinces.  A three-stage approach for this will soon be finalized.  One whole day was devoted to a study of the bicentennial of the Restoration of the Society.  Frs Antonio Menacho (BOL), Arturo Reynoso (MEX), Carlo Contieri (BRC), and Dr Alfonso Alfaro led the discussion.  After studying the issue and its historical implications, Provincials were informed about the meeting of Provincial delegates in Mexico (March 2013).  They exchanged information about activities which will be held in various Provinces to mark the bicentenary.

     

    PARAGUAY: Pilgrimage of the Relics of the Martyrs

    In November, the national pilgrimage of the relics of St Roque González de Santa Cruz and his fellow Jesuit martyrs ended in Asunción, Paraguay.  The occasion marked the 25th anniversary of their canonization.  The Pope had appointed cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, as his personal delegate for the celebration.  Don Virgilio Rodi Alonso, the pastor-rector of the metropolitan cathedral church in Asunción, and Fr Alberto Luna, the Jesuit Provincial of Paraguay, were also members of the pontifical delegation.  In his letter appointing the delegation, the Pope wrote: "These missionaries of the Society of Jesus burned with zeal.  They arrived in Paraguay from Spain and, constantly invoking the Blessed Holy Mother, they preached eternal salvation to the indigenous peoples.  They started many apostolic works, and founded the so-called Reductions.  At the end, they testified to their faith with their blood, and received the crown of glory from the Lord."  The Asunción ceremony marked the conclusion of the relics' pilgrimage.   The relics had travelled throughout the whole country to celebrate the Year of Faith.

     


    New in SJWEB

     

    There is a slideshow of Fr. General's recent visits to the US.

    Click to see http://sjweb.info/ss/fr_gen_USA_2013/

     

    Following are the links to the new videos posted on sjweb.info