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Vol. XVIII, No. 4 20 February 2014
Pope Francis has appointed:
- Fr. Massimo Pampaloni (ITA), Fr. Philippe Luisier (HEL), Fr. Michael Kuchera (MAR), Fr. Georges Ruyssen (BSE), Consultants of the Congregation for Oriental Churches.
Father General has appointed:
- Father Gianfranco Matarazzo Provincial of the Italian Province (ITA). Father Matarazzo, at present director of the "Centro Studi Sociali Pedro Arrupe" of Palermo, was born in 1963, entered the Society of Jesus in 1993 and was ordained a priest in 2003.
FROM THE PROVINCES
ASIA PACIFIC: Environment Outlook 2013
Environment Outlook 2013 is a report issued by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP). It presents a brief overview of key environmental concerns, advocacies, events, policies, and experiences in Asia Pacific region. It is based on a number of responses and initiatives which Jesuits and their collaborators have come across in their attempts at reconciliation with creation. The findings in the report come from initiatives of Jesuit Provinces, institutions, and schools in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. In the publication's foreword, JCAP President, Mark Raper SJ, sets the agenda. He notes that Jesuits and their collaborators in the region have to embrace the serious challenge to link ecology with migration. This is one of JCAP's top priorities for action. It implies a program of action on the institutional level. There have been many positive responses in compiling the report, even though Jesuit Provinces and institutions struggle to develop and implement their ecological agenda. Some have translated Healing a Broken World, a document on ecology prepared by the Secretariat for Social Justice (Rome 1999). This is now used to inform Jesuits, school faculty members and students, to care for the environment. Others are establishing waste management and recycling systems. Yet others are reviewing their curriculum in order to integrate ecology in subjects such as geology, geography, ethics, business, and economics. While many ecological initiatives are taking place, the challenge remains to bring all these local experiences and studies together, so that others may learn from them. Collaboration in this area is also a challenge. Father General Adolfo Nicolás continues to encourage all to pursue reconciliation with creation. To read the report: www.sjapc.net , then click: "Ecology".
BELGIUM: The Xavier Network
The Xavier Network, the group of Mission Secretariats of the European Jesuit Provinces, was recently augmented by the five units which were not yet its members: Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, England and Ireland. This took place in Drongen (Belgium). At the same time, this network of Mission Secretariats was reorganized with four emphases: humanitarian aid, volunteering, cooperation projects, and advocacy. The Xavier Network was legally constituted as a Foundation in December 2004. It was formed by da Alboan and Entreculturas (Spain), Fundación Gonçalo da Silveira and Leigos para o Desenvolvimento (Portugal), Jesuitenmission (Germany), and Magis (Italy). All these organizations are associated with the Jesuits. They work to cooperate in international development. They share a common identity, and understand solidarity in the same way. The reason behind the creation of this enlarged network was to encourage greater interagency collaboration. The amalgamation will enhance the impact and efficiency in the promotion of justice. With the recent incorporation of the Mission Secretariats of these five Jesuit Provinces (with Malta also possibly joining soon), the Xavier Network agency will have an enhanced potential to promote equitable development, to defend of human rights, and to work for universal justice.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Jesuits Run Program Amid chaos
A Jesuit-led team of young people at the University of Bangui has kept its doors open despite the extreme violence and political upheaval that have rocked the Central African Republic (CAR) over the past few months. The group usually focuses on HIV prevention. Since March 2013, when the Seleka rebel alliance marched on Bangui and ousted President François Bozize, spiraling violence has uprooted more than 935,000 people across the country. There are nearly half a million internally displaced people in the capital. Tit-for-tat fighting has been raging between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels and the Christian self-defense militias. Recent days have seen killings, the burning of mosques and churches, and bodies on the streets of Bangui. Because of the rapidly worsening security situation, there are no students on the Bangui university campus. The Information Education and Listening Center (CIEE), which is run by the Jesuits as part of the Catholic University Center, has been unable to organize any activities. But the team has stayed put: "We are already starting again. The core team is always present at the center, so we are working even if not as we usually do," said CIEE coordinator Pierre Yèra Boubane SJ. Throughout 2013, CIEE continued to offer at least a minimum of services, persevering with seminars for students. CIEE is now surrounded by chaos, but it is getting ready to launch a mass voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) campaign as soon as the situation improves
ITALY: Martini International Award Assigned
On 15 February, at the archdiocesan headquarters in Milan, the presentation of the Martini International Award took place. The award was established by the Milan archdiocese on 15 February 2013 (see our Bulletin n. 04 of 19 February 2013) to honor Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The award aims to "preserve the faith heritage of the man who, as archbishop of our Church, always focused on the whole and every person." The award consists of two categories: one is reserved for works on the personality and thoughts of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the other focuses on works which celebrate the relationship between the Bible and culture in its many aspects, ranging from music to cinema. 140 works by 152 international contributors were submitted by 31 August 2013. Three young Vietnamese scholars were among the winners. Their work, The Bible and Asian Culture, opens up the vast field of the relationship between Sacred Scripture and Asian culture. For the future, the award presentation will be organized by the Fondazione Carlo Maria Martini, an entity founded by the Society of Jesus, together with the archdiocese of Milan, as well as a number of members of the late Cardinal's family. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote the knowledge and study of Cardinal Martini's life and work, and to preserve the spirit that animated his pastoral work and study.
RUSSIA: Sochi Chaplains
Last August, the Jesuits received a request from the Archbishop in Moscow for volunteers to serve as chaplains at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Frs Janez Sever and Olvin Veigas were happy to volunteer. Fr Janez writes from Sochi: "For myself, this was a dream of many decades come true! I would be going to the Olympics! Not as an athlete, but as a Catholic chaplain for athletes, their support staff, and other volunteers. Our chaplaincy service is offered in the Inter-Faith Center in one of three Olympic Villages. The Inter-Faith Center is a service required by the International Olympic Committee. It is place where athletes are given the opportunity to worship and practice their faith. In the Center, I share a chapel with the Russian Orthodox priest. The Jewish rabbi, the Muslim imam, the Protestant chaplain and the Buddhist priest have rooms of their own where they welcome believers. In praying in preparation for this mission, I received two words that guide me in what I do in the Olympic village: 'serve' and 'ambassador for Christ'. As 'ambassadors for Christ' in this very intense sporting culture, Olvin and I are learning to serve in a spirit of ecumenism. This is especially the case with the Orthodox and the Protestants, but there is a wider spirit of interreligious dialogue and inculturation. Hopefully, Sochi 2014 will be a place where some old stereotypes and prejudices fall by the wayside."
RWANDA: Jesuit Strives to Improve Health Care
Nearly 20 years after the genocide which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Rwanda, Jesuit Fr Jean-Baptiste Mazarati is among those in the country working to ensure its residents receive the best possible health care. Fr Mazarati serves as deputy director general of the Rwanda Biomedical Center's National Reference Laboratory (NRL). "With the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda hit rock bottom. It is now slowly but surely emerging from its nightmare," said Fr Mazarati. He lost family members during the 100 days of tyranny that began in April of that year. In 2012, Fr Mazarati completed his doctoral studies in tumor biology at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He now oversees biomedical services at the NRL. "As applies in so many developing countries, Rwanda is still striving to eradicate all infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, etc. We are running programs to see malaria eliminated. We are taking on the daunting task to fight non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes", Fr Mazarati said. Non-communicable diseases account for 29 percent of the deaths among Rwanda's more than 11 million citizens. According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy in Rwanda is about 52 years.
SPAIN: ETEA celebrates its 50th anniversary
The Society of Jesus founded ETEA, the Higher Technical School of Agricultural Business, in Cordoba fifty years ago. Its first location was the courtyard of the Jesuit residence of San Hipólito. The number of its students was then just over twenty. This took place in 1963. On 1 December 1964, one year later, ETEA was established as a private university teaching center, recognized by the Ministry of National Education. Today, 50 years later, ETEA has developed into the prime private academic institution in Andalusia, the Universidad Loyola. It has two campuses, one in Seville, and the other in Cordoba. The number of its students exceeds 1,500. This academic year is the first in its incarnation as the Universidad Loyola Andalucía. Since Jaime Loring first had the idea of founding an academic center in Cordoba, and opened its doors on 2 October 1963, more than 11,000 students have graduated from ETEA. These became managers, experts in finance and marketing, and consultants in many companies. To mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of ETEA, civil authorities, alumni, and faculty and research staff gathered on 30 January in the Provincial Council of Cordoba. The Jesuit Provincial of Andalusia and the Canary Islands, Fr Guillermo Rodríguez-Izquierdo Gavala, recalled that the institution "has made a great contribution to the study of economics and social science in Andalusia, especially in the field of agriculture." To this must be added "ETEA's great contribution to international cooperation in El Salvador, Nicaragua... as well as many other countries where its graduates have contributed to agricultural development."
TAIWAN: Castiglione and the Chinese New Year
On the occasion of the Chinese New Year of the Horse, one of the twelve animals of the zodiac, a special relationship between China, Milan and the West generally was celebrated through an artist who lived in the imperial palace for fifty one years. He specialized not only in portraits of emperors and their concubines, but also in painting the imperial horses. The artist in question was the Jesuit brother, Giuseppe Castiglione (Lan Shining). He was born in Milan in 1688 and died in 1766. On his death, he was honored by the great Emperor Qianlong with an imperial funeral. Castiglione masterpieces are treasured in the museums of the Imperial Palace in Taipei and Beijing. To inaugurate the Year of the Horse, the museum in Taipei prepared a giant animated digital version of his "100 Horses", painted entirely on one scroll 7.7 meters long. This is undoubtedly Castiglione's masterpiece. But commemorations of Castiglione's artistic talents do not stop there. Kuangchi Program Service in Taipei, in cooperation with Jiangsu TV in Nanjing (China), has produced a docu-drama about the Jesuit artist. The last part of the shoot took place in the huge film studios of Hengdian where major Chinese productions are filmed and edited with digital post-production. Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation, the biggest television company in China in terms of investment in original drama and third most important Chinese television network, collaborated in the venture. Gao Wei, Jiangsu TV director, supervised the entire docu-drama. He says that "commemorating Castiglione, at the same time the humble artist and one of extraordinary depth, is a priceless human and spiritual experience." The final version of the docu-drama will be in Chinese, for airing on national television. Versions in English and Italian will also be prepared.
1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY
New material online on the Bicentenary in the website of ARSI (Rome):
- On the Expulsion of Jesuits from Brazil (1760)
- Statement of Fr General Lorenzo Ricci (1775)
- Videos: Gesù (Rome), where in 1814 the Bull for the Restoration of the Society was read; and on Jesuit Buildings, Mumbai, India (1549-c.1760). Click: http://www.sjweb.info/arsi/ARSI-1814/1814.cfm
Philippines. The Jesuits in the Philippines have responded to the call of Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior-General of the Society of Jesus, to all Jesuit communities to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society in 2014 "with humble and sincere gratitude to the Lord, with a desire to learn from our history, and as an occasion for spiritual and apostolic renewal." Fr Antonio Moreno, Provincial of the Philippine Jesuits, formed an ad-hoc committee to plan how the Province can celebrate the bicentennial. Led by Fr Aristotle Dy, Director of Xavier School, the committee has lined up special activities for the year. These include Province retreats, conferences and talks on the Suppression and Restoration (given by Jesuit historians Frs Tony de Castro and Rene Javellana), art exhibits, plays and a concert. To kick off the year of activities, Jescom Philippines has produced a short video on the Bicentennial. In the video, Fr Moreno says that the celebration should not be "triumphalistic." He recommends three themes for reflection and prayer: (1) Gratitude for God's many blessings to the Society, including the fruits of Jesuit ministries since the Restoration; (2) Renewal of life based on the lessons that this historical epoch presents to every Jesuit; and, (3) Mission which spurs from personal renewal or conversion and which could lead to new directions or new frontiers for the Philippine Jesuits.