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    Vol. XVIII, No. 2 20 January 2014

    FATHER GENERAL

     

    Visit to Korea and East Timor.  From 14 to 17 January, Father General has visited the Province of Korea.  This is a young and growing Province of the Society: its 174 members have an average age of only 43.06.  Father General will meet with the Jesuits of the Province.  There will be a separate session for formands.  He has also addressed the Administrators, Faculty and Staff of Sogang University, the Society's University in Seoul. Father General had the opportunity to meet a number of Korean bishops, including the newly nominated Cardinal Archbishop of Seoul, Andrew Yeom.

    From Korea, Father General has travelled to Dili, East Timor, to attend the Assembly of Major Superiors of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.  Father. General used to be the President of the Conference.  He will also visit the Independent Region of East Timor, of which he was formerly the Major Superior.  The Region of East Timor has 52 Jesuits, with an average age of 27.06.  Most of these are still in formation outside Timor.  Father General will meet with the Jesuits in East Timor, and receive the final vows of several members of the Region.  On the last day of his visit, 25 January 2014, Father General will be the guest of honor at the inauguration of the Jesuit Education Project of East Timor.  This is a new high school and teacher training college.  Planning for this was already under way when Fr Nicolas was the Major Superior of East Timor.

     


    APPOINTMENTS

     

    Father General has appointed:

     

    - Father José Francisco Magaña Aviña Provincial of the Province of Mexico (MEX).  Father Magaña Aviña, at present Superior and Master of Novices at Ciudad Guzmán, was born in 1958, entered the Society of Jesus in 1978 and was ordained a priest in 1991.

     

    - Father Brian McCoy Provincial of the Province of Australia (ASL).  Father McCoy, at present Superior and tertian Instructor at Park Drive Community in Melbourne, was born in 1948, entered the Society of Jesus in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1977.

     


    FROM THE PROVINCES

     

    CHINA: An Invitation for Jesuits

    The Chinese Province is offering a 10-day introduction to China for Jesuits interested in learning about the country and the Society's mission there.  China is one of the apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus.  The Jesuit Chinese Provincial, Fr John Lee SJ, said that the aim of China Contact Program is to provide young Jesuit priests and scholastics with "a better knowledge and first-hand experience of China."  It will also "form better and solid young Jesuits for foreign mission in our Society today, especially for the China mission."   "This program is not only about the history of the Catholic Church and the Jesuits in China, but also about the contemporary issues of China in terms of economics, culture, politics," said Fr Thierry Meynard SJ, the director of The Beijing Centre, the Jesuit work at which the program will be based.  "It is important that Jesuits learn from China, so they can better understand the impact of China in the world and in their own culture and country.  In this way they can also develop educational or cultural exchanges with China."  The China Contact Program will be held in Beijing from 2 to 11 August 2014.  It will be conducted in English.  The program will include lectures, sharing, formative activities, and visits to Jesuit sites, including the old Jesuit Observatory, the old Summer Palace, and the tomb of Matteo Ricci.  There will also be opportunities to experience some Jesuit works in nearby areas.  The invitation is open to all Jesuits, particularly those aged 40 and under, who are personally mature and firm in their vocation; open to change in their ways of thinking and behaving; open to learning from a new culture; open to cooperating with others for God's Mission; and who have the desire to be sent to a foreign mission.  Questions or applications should be directed to scholastic Vincentius, the Chinese Province Curia Assistant, at sectpo1@gmail.com before January 31, 2014

     

    FRANCE: Monetary Illusion

    The French Ministry of Economy and Finance awarded its Lire l'économie 2013 prize for high school publications to the Jesuit economist Gaël Giraud for his book Illusion financière (Financial Illusion).  Editions de l'Atelier published the book in 2013. The prize was decided by 3,000 high school students in 150 classrooms. It recognizes works which promote economic analysis and reflection, which have a significant educative role, and which contribute to the spread of economic culture.  Once again, the award acknowledges the great clarity and educational skills of Gaël Giraud, 43.  Fr Giraud is the director of research at the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research), a member of the School of Economy of Paris, and a member of the National Council which debates issues associated with ecological transition.  In their choice, the current generation of students were clear and hard-headed.   They rewarded a clear and independent point of view which makes a lucid analysis of the economic and financial crisis.   In his book, Financial Illusion, Fr Gaël Giraud brings to light the illusions that darken the current public debate and explains the responsibilities which flow from the financial and economic crises.  Going beyond mere analysis, he also showed that there are other ways to deal with the issues beside austerity plans, deflation, and taxpayers bailing out bank debt.  In particular, the book focuses on the fact that the energy and climate crisis is crucial for long-term prosperity of Europe.

     

    HAITI: International Forum of the Society of Jesus

    To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 12 January 2010 earthquake which destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, and much of the social, economic and cultural infrastructure of Haiti, Jesuits working in the country organized the International Forum of the Society of Jesus. They did so in collaboration with the inter-provincial committee of Jesuits in Haiti (CIJH).  The forum was held from 9 to 12 January, in Tabarre, Port-au-Prince.  Its main objectives were: (1) to publicly express gratitude to all those who showed, in one way or another, their active solidarity with the Jesuits and the people of Haiti during this tragic time; (2) to seriously reflect on the impact of the calamity on Haiti - how humanitarian aid was used after the crisis, and how development evolved after the earthquake - and to reflect on the current physical, socio-political and economic situation of the country, as well as on her future prospects; (3) to analyze what Jesuits have done in Haiti after the earthquake, either through CIJH, or through the various Jesuit institutions in the country; and (4) to wind CIJH up, and start a new apostolic plan for the area.  This apostolic plan is the result of a long participative process.  The process allowed Jesuits and their collaborators in Haiti to pray, reflect and discern together to discover the great challenges which face Haiti today, to identify a common vision and mission, and to set the main priorities and lines of action for the next five years.

     

    ITALY: Monitoring Migration

    In Palermo last December, the Jesuit Pedro Arrupe Institute launched the Monitoring Migration program.  It is the result of a research project of the Institute, jointly sponsored by, among others, the SYLFF program of the Tokyo Foundation.  At the same event, representatives of the Institute and of the Palermo municipality signed a memorandum of understanding.  "Before our eyes, we still have images of immigrants and refugees coming to our shores.  So often, they tragically drowned.  We fear they will continue to die on our shores," wrote the promoters of the initiative.  "And so, we need to stop and reflect on the issue of migration.   There is an ever-increasing divide between solidarity and development.  We, the members of the Arrupe Institute, reflect through our Monitoring  Migration program.   We wants to make a contribution with those who wish to address the phenomenon with rigorous analysis, research, documentation, and policies."  For more information: http://gesuitinews.it/2013/12/17/palermo-allarrupe-nasce-losservatorio-delle-migrazioni/

     

    ITALY: An Award to Centro Astalli

    On Thursday, 19 December, the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, awarded the Centro Astalli (the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy) the Rome for Peace and Humanitarian Action award.  "This is an award," declared the mayor, "that the Centro Astalli wins this year.  But it is an award which the Center wins every day for its constant and concrete commitment.  Centro Astalli turns to look at and care for the many refugees who arrive in Rome, the women, men and children who knock on our doors every day.  All of us embrace the feelings and sentiments of Pope Francis.  We must be ready to serve, to accompany, and to defend those in need.  We recall these words of the Holy Father during his visit to the refugees of Centro Astalli.  Similar words inspired the far-sighted Fr Pedro Arrupe, the founder of the Jesuit Refugees Service.  The prize Rome for Peace and Humanitarian Action Prize is fitting recognition for all the past, present and future volunteers of the Center.  The award represents how in tune Rome is to the values of Centro Astalli, to the work of its collaborators, and to the invaluable work they have carried out for these many years."  In receiving the award, Fr Giovanni La Manna, the Director of Centro Astalli declared: "I want to dedicate this award to all the refugees we meet every day at the Centro Astalli.  But it is especially important for us this evening to remember the 366 Eritreans who died off the coast of Lampedusa in their attempt to reach Europe to seek asylum.  Let us feel so moved by those deaths that we commit ourselves so that such tragedies will not happen anymore."

     

    VATICAN: A Step Forward for Matteo Ricci

    On 10 January, the results of the diocesan process for the beatification of Fr Matteo Ricci were handed over to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  Msgr Claudio Giuliodori, the apostolic administrator of the diocese of Macerata, Ricci's hometown, declared this during the launch of a book on Armida Barelli.  She was the founder of the Girls' Youth of Catholic Action Movement.  She, too, experienced the deep desire for mission in the Asian country.  With the hand-over of the documents to Rome, the diocesan phase of Ricci's beatification process is officially completed.  The Jesuit missionary was born in Macerata in 1552.  He died in Beijing, China in 1610.  He is a figure very dear to Pope Francis.  The historian Filippo Mignini also hails from Macerata.  He notes that the phrase which Pope Francis pronounced immediately after his election as pontiff (about his origin "from the end of the world") is just a quote from Ricci.  For Msgr Giuliodori, Ricci's cause of beatification fits in the context of the "challenges which face the Church in China.  I hope that with the input of Pope Francis, there will be a renewed effort to evangelize and dialogue with China."

     

    VIETNAM: A Special Holy Year

    On 18 January, the Society of Jesus in Vietnam inaugurated a special Holy Year in preparation for the four hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first Jesuit missionaries in the country.  The first Jesuits, accompanied by some Japanese Christians, landed in the port of Hôi An in central Vietnam on 18 January 1615.  Vietnamese Jesuits have launched a special website to mark the anniversary.  This announced that this Holy Year began on 18 January 2014 and will conclude on 18 January 2015.  The year of celebration began with a solemn Mass in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Ho Chí Minh City.  Msgr Paul Bùi Van Ðoc, the bishop of My Tho, presided at this Mass.  The initiative aims to encourage renewal among the members of the Society of Jesus in Vietnam and among all those who follow Ignatian spirituality.  The Holy Year will also contribute to strengthen the missionary spirit and to help the Vietnamese Christians to learn more about the history of the mission in their country.  Before the arrival of the Jesuits, isolated attempts at evangelization took place during the sixteenth century.  Some records indicate that, in 1533. the presence of a westerner called "I-Ni-Khu," was committed to the spread of Christianity in the Nam Dinh region.   Later, in 1550 and 1580, some Dominicans were present in Vietnam.  In 1584, it was the turn of four Franciscans.  However, it is with the arrival of the Jesuits that the process of evangelization was confirmed in a consistent manner.  Jesuits played an important role in the development of the national language, and they adapted their catechesis to the Vietnamese people. See: www.loanbaotinmung.net.

     

    ZIMBABWE: Sharing resources

    The wealth of natural and human resources of Zimbabwe must benefit the poor of the country, not simply its elite, according to the Jesuits in Zimbabwe.  Their call for a more just distribution of the country's resources has been echoed by Zimbabwe Bishops' Conference in a pastoral letter issued in December.  In that letter, they said that three months after the July elections, "there are no visible prospects for improvement in the spheres of life in Zimbabwe that cry for restoration to give people hope for a better life."  Writing in the magazine Jesuits and Friends, Fr Roland von Nidda SJ, parish priest of St Peter's Kubatana in Zimbabwe, says that Zimbabwe's wealth of resources includes "the best educated people in Africa, the biggest diamond fields in the world, and the second largest platinum deposits world-wide.  But not much of this wealth trickles down to the mass of the poor."  In his article, he points out that the poverty rate in Zimbabwe is estimated to be around 70%, unemployment is approximately 80%, and the gap between the rich and poor is among the highest in the world.  Zimbabwe was, until 1978, part of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, and Jesuit Missions in Britain continues to support the Jesuits who work in Zimbabwe.  In his magazine article, Fr von Nidda details initiatives that the Jesuits in the country have instigated over the past 50 years, in particular "to offer educational opportunities to young Zimbabweans who were financially poor and who otherwise would roam the streets with no chance of a future."  Read the full story at www.jesuit.org.uk/latest/131205.htm


    1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY


     

    Another website for 2014: www.sj2014.net.  Fr Timothy Byron (BRI) is responsible for it.  E-mail: timbro@jesuits.net 

     

    Jesuits in Britain: An Online 2014 Calendar. As the Society of Jesus commemorates the 200th anniversary of its Restoration, the Jesuits in Britain have launched an online 2014 calendar.  The calendar features illustrations of 12 Jesuits from across the world and has been produced to acknowledge and celebrate the work that has been done by so many over the past 200 years.  The online resource includes brief descriptions about these Jesuits in French, Spanish and Chinese, as well as English, plus audio reflections about them and the illustrations by Ellen Reilly/Cédric Charleuf.  The calendar includes also specially-commissioned essays which explore the lives and ministries of each of the 12 featured Jesuits in greater detail. See:  http://calendar2014.jesuit.org.uk/

     

    Eastern Africa: A Calendar of the Restoration. As part of the work of the Eastern Africa Province (AOR), the Development Office promotes the apostolates of Jesuits in this area by publishing a calendar every year.  The first issue was published in early January 2013, with aim to circulate it throughout the Province.  This is an important initiative.  The calendar reminds partners and friends of the presence of Jesuits in Eastern Africa.  2014 remains important in the annals of the history of the Society of Jesus because it marks the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus.  To commemorate this important event, the AOR Development Office has published a calendar for the year 2014.  Its theme is: "200th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus".   The calendar gives a brief history of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus and the Jesuit Province of Eastern Africa.  In an effort to commemorate this very special event, a collection of pictures has been collated to represent the apostolic works and engagements of the Jesuits in Eastern Africa.  Each month has daily scriptural readings accompanied by quotes from the GC 32, and 35, the Formula of the Institute of the Society, Father General Adolfo Nicolás, Pope Francis, and Pope Benedict XVI.  These quotes are intended to promote the values behind the mission of the Society of Jesus, and to remind us of our commitment to this mission.

     


    NEW IN SJWEB


    Yearbooks of S.J. Online.  From today, the special issue of the 2014 Yearbook (whose theme is the universal restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814) is available online (on sjweb) in pdf format, together with four other previous issues.  Please follow the link to download or read the yearbooks.  http://www.sjweb.info/resources/annuario/Yearbook/  Earlier issues will be added to the site in due course.