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Vol. XVIII, No. 12 20 May 2014
Announcement of General Congregation 36. In a letter - with today's date - to the whole Society, Father General announces that at the end of this year he will convoke the General Congregation 36 to be held at the end of 2016.
Restructuring of Dimensional Secretariats. In a letter to all Major Superiors, dated 24 April, Father General has decided to restructure the Secretariats for the Service of Faith and Collaboration with Others. "It has been my conviction as well as that of our recent General Congregations that our mission today must always involve three vital dimensions: the service of faith, the promotion of justice, and collaboration with others in works of faith and justice. Whatever ministry or apostolate Jesuits are involved in, all three of these dimensions must be present and active." After recalling the experience of the last three years with the two Secretaries for the promotion of Faith and the Collaboration with Others, Father General adds: "Instead of focusing on Secretaries, that is, individuals who are responsible for encouraging these dimensions, it would be more effective to organize Secretariats, that is, working groups composed of representatives from each of the Conferences, who can together cooperate to strengthen and deepen these dimensions of mission in our ministries." The General Councilor, Fr James Grummer, has been appointed as Coordinator of these "dimensional Secretariats".
FROM THE CURIA
Meeting of Social Coordinators of the Conferences, and Leaders of Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN). From 12 to 16 May, the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology convened a meeting of the Social Coordinators of Conferences, and the Leaders of Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN) at the General Curia in Rome. This joint meeting allowed the participants to share how advocacy networks in the various conferences are evolving and developing. Topics considered included migration, ecology, peace and human rights, the right to education, and the ways natural and mineral resources are used. The coordinators discussed how to promote the social dimension in the Society, and the role of the social sectors in these fields. Father General presided at the Eucharist on Thursday, 15 May. He thanked all the participants for their work, and he encouraged them to continue with energy and enthusiasm. The following participated in the meeting: Benny Juliawan SJ (IDO), Dani Villanueva SJ (CAS), Joe Xavier SJ (MDU), José Ignacio García SJ (CAS), Josep Buades Fuster SJ (ARA), Leonard Chiti SJ (ZAM), Pedro Walpole SJ (PHI), Rigobert Minani SJ (ACE), Roberto Jaramillo SJ (COL), Stanny Jebamalai SJ (GUJ), Tom Greene SJ (NOR), Julie Edwards (ASL), and Lucía Rodriguez Donate (CAS).
FROM THE PROVINCES
CAMBODIA: Carbon Offset Program
In late 2012, the Jesuits in Cambodia have initiated a carbon-offset program in conjunction with the modest seedling nursery set up in Banteay Prieb. This is the Jesuit-run vocational school for people with disabilities. The program is primarily intended for Jesuits within the country, for their volunteers and for visiting friends. It provides an opportunity for air travelers to counterbalance the carbon emissions of their flights to or from Cambodia. The following process has been set in place. Anyone who agrees to participate in the carbon-offset program has to complete a form which indicates the plane travel route: included in the list are the transiting airports of the journey to and from Cambodia. Then, using standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, their approximate carbon emission is calculated. Factors, such as the type of aircraft used, the number of passengers, and the known fuel consumption rates, are taken into consideration. The CO2 emissions are then translated into the number of trees needed to absorb the emissions of that particular trip, and for how long these trees need to be grown. The cost of planting and maintaining the specific number of trees - including the number of years needed to absorb the emissions of their journey - is then given to the traveler. The traveler confirms his participation in the program by paying this cost. The traveler is given a code number, which applies to a particular tree that has already been planted somewhere in Cambodia. "Hopefully, when our website is up and running this year, customers will be able to identify their trees and track their growth through pictures which will be updated periodically," said Fr Gabriel (Gabby) Lamug-Nañawa SJ, who is part of the Ecology Program team of Jesuit Service Cambodia. For more information: http://sjapc.net/content/supporting-forests-and-communities
CHINA: Christian Missionaries
The Jesuit television studio in central Taipei - Kuangchi Program Service (KPS) - looks anything but the home of a pioneer. It is now fifty six years old. This summer, the studio will launch its third TV series on Christian missionaries in imperial China. In partnership with Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), a joint docu-drama on the 18th-century Italian Jesuit, Giuseppe Castiglione, (see our Digital Bulletin, no.14, 20 February 2014) will be completed. CCTV, the world's biggest television broadcaster, will then beam the series into hundreds of millions Chinese homes "probably around the end of this year," says KPS Vice President Fr Jerry Martinson. Kuangchi was able to shoot a film about Ricci for a Chinese audience, a first. It was screened on Chinese television in January 2006. Kuangchi waited for a sign from the very echelon of Chinese Communist authorities before it went ahead with its second missionary film, the story of the 17th century German Jesuit, Johann Adam Schall von Bell. During a state visit to Germany in 2005, President Hu Jintao recalled Bell's "significant contributions" to China's efforts to align its calendar with that of the West. KPS took it as a green light. "So we got together with Jiangsu TV and said: now I think we can do a program." It premiered in China on CCTV in March 2009. Later this year, Chinese audiences will be able to watch the Castiglione film. The timing was again carefully calculated. The film ties in with the Chinese Year of the Horse. Castiglione's hybrid east-meets-west-style paintings which enchanted 18th century China. The Italian Jesuit missionary's most famous work is the 7.7 meter long scroll, One Hundred Horses. A copy of the original, which is housed in Taipei's Palace Museum, is shown on screen by KPS.
DEMOCATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: The Arrupe Centre at Lubumbashi
In April 2014, the Arrupe Centre for Formation and Research, (Centre Arrupe pour la Recherche et la Formation, CARF) was established. The mission of the Centre is to foster a Christian vision of economic, socio-political and cultural development. It is primarily directed to people concerned with social thinking and action at Lubumbashi and Katanga, but it also focuses on the DRCongo more generally. To achieve this aim, the Arrupe Centre will work with two emphases: research and formation. A computerized library will drive research on economic, social, political and juridical matters. The Centre has three departments: "Faith, Justice, Peace and Reconciliation", "Support for Development", and "Management of Natural Resources". The formation arm will offer training and workshops in economics, in program-building and data-base maintenance, in digitalized networking, in design, and in multimedia. The Centre will also organize formation sessions to enhance the professional abilities of Directors and Principals of Schools. Another aspect of formation centers on the partnership with the School of Electoral Training in Central Africa (EFEAC): with their help, CARF will offer training in electoral processes and civic education. To improve efficiency and to secure maximum apostolic effectiveness, the Arrupe Centre is forging agreements with church people, with members of the academic and political world, with the private sector, and the civic groups.
GUYANA: The Queen's Baton Reaches Jesuits
"What's a baton, then?" asked a small boy standing in front of the Jesuit priest in the crowd in southern Guyana. He was one of the many primary school students who had gathered, with their teachers and parents, at the airstrip in Aishalton. They waved their flags as a number of Commonwealth delegates alighted from two small aircraft. One of them carried the much-travelled Commonwealth Queen's Baton which was swiftly handed to one of the young students who proudly held it in the air for all, curious onlookers, to see and welcome. The Queen's Baton is travelling across the globe connecting, over the course of 288 days, 70 Commonwealth nations and territories. It started its journey on 9 October 2013, when it was launched from Buckingham Palace in London by Queen Elizabeth II. It then made its way to New Delhi in India, host nation of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, before starting its long journey home. Since its launch it has passed through three continents before heading East across the Atlantic to Europe. It will reach its final destination - Glasgow in Scotland - just before the start of the Commonwealth Games. A message, inserted into the baton, contains the speech which the Queen will give at the opening ceremony of the Games on 23 July 2014. By that time, it will have travelled over 190,000 kms and passed through the hands of thousands of individuals, especially pupils and students, who have received it as a sign of peace and unity across the globe. The Queen's Baton Relay, similar to the Olympic Torch Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games. The Relay was introduced at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. For more information: http://www.glasgow2014.com/queens-baton-relay
POLAND: Meditation in Prisons
Scholastics, young Jesuits in formation, have started to offer Ignatian meditation to prisoners in the high security prison of Warsaw. The new initiative has been well received by prison authorities and by the inmates. The prayer meetings are held once a week. They are part of a rehabilitation program. After the meditation, group members share their experiences. The testimonies of those people, their lives and spiritual experiences are deeply moving. A number of them desire to continue meditation in their free time. This new ministry is developing quite dynamically. The method of prayer is based on the power of the name of Jesus, using the "Five Keys" method of Neal Lozano.
SPAIN: Fr Jacinto Alegre Pujals
On 9 May 2014, Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing the heroic virtue of the Servant of God, Fr Jacinto Alegre Pujals SJ. The now Venerable Fr Alegre was born in 1874 in Terrassa (Spain). He entered the Society of Jesus in 1892. He frequented the hospitals of Barcelona, where he felt a great love for those poor whom everyone else had abandoned. He grew to know the work of St Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo in Turin. He was impressed by its trust in Divine Providence, and he desired to open a similar Institute for the sick and dying poor whom he visited. But Fr Alegre died in Barcelona on 10 December 10 1930, before he could put his plan into effect. In the last moments of his life, his superior and a lay directee pledged to make his dream come true. In 1939, the "Cottolengo del Padre Alegre" was founded.
SPAIN: The Hospital of Magdalena Built Again
In early May, the old Hospital de la Magdalena in Azpeitia (Guipúscoa), was re-established. It was reconstituted by the Society of Jesus. Its purpose now is to be a centre of Ignatian reflection and interpretation. It is located in the district of Magdalena in Azpeitia, the place where St Ignatius lived from April to July 1535, on his return from Paris. Two Jesuit Provincials were present at the opening ceremony: Juan José Etxeberria SJ, Provincial of Loyola, and Francisco José Ruiz Pérez SJ, Provincial of Spain. The dedication Mass took place in the chapel of the Magdalena, located in front of the hospital. During the Mass, Fr Juan José Etxeberria declared that "we see Ignatius live in the hospital. He begged for food and alms at the doors of his relatives and neighbors. He brought the proceeds back to the hostel, to feed and clothe the poor and sick. He also dedicated himself to preaching and teaching, and he invited people to reform their lives. This is a brief summary of the apostolic charisma which would lead to the Society of Jesus." In his address, the Mayor of Azpeitia, Eneko Etxeberria, stressed the values symbolized in the Magdalena. Fr José Manuel Añón SJ was the Jesuit responsible for the reconstruction project. He declared that the project was an "experience of love and gratitude on the part of the citizens of Aspeitia." They felt that "it was time to do something for the Magdalena."
USA: New Interactive Vocations Website
US Jesuits have launched an innovative new vocations website, www.jesuitvocations.org. The website features a series of interactive video "chats" hosted by Jesuits. These were filmed and edited by Loyola Productions in their Los Angeles studios. The video's cutting-edge technology allows users to "direct" the conversation by choosing questions from a broad range of topics - these range from the training, ordination and vows of Jesuits, to questions about Jesuit spirituality and their commitment to social justice. The site walks users through every aspect of the vocation journey, from the first stirrings of interest in the Jesuit way of life to the actual process of applying to the Order. The site employs high-impact graphics, professionally produced videos, FAQs, and special features. These include content specifically designed for the friends and families of those considering a vocation to the Jesuits. Since the election of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope, the Society of Jesus has reported a surge in vocation inquiries. While the new website is not directly linked to the surge in inquiries, Fr Thomas H Smolich SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference, said that responding to growing interest in the Society is a priority for Jesuits. "In a world that's increasingly engaged with technology, we need to be on the front lines, reaching out to young men who are interested in living creatively and generously in service to Christ." According to Fr Smolich, the site is, more than anything else, an invitation. "US bishops have repeatedly called for religious Orders to develop a 'culture of invitation.' This new vocations site is one of several efforts on our part to respond to that call." For more information: www.jesuitvocations.org
ZIMBABWE: Herbal Remedies Against AIDS
Seventy year old Matthew Ngwerume has found himself at the center of a life-saving initiative for people living with HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe. Mr Ngwerume, who is a strong Catholic and pensioner, has retraced his footsteps back to the Makumbi Mission for his final years. He has now received support from the British and American embassies, as well as from the Jesuit Mission team. "I left Harare to see out my last days here," he told the Jesuit newsletter In Touch. "I used to operate an 'ambulance' services with my truck, carrying people from the showgrounds to the Makumbi Mission hospital. I would also carry them back once they were discharged from the hospital. What struck me most was that the patients we carried back from the hospital were usually unwell and still in need of care and support. They were let out to go for home-based support, but the reality there was no one prepared to offer such support. With the help and support of my wife, we then started the Chinamhora Peace of Mind Support Group, an initiative that sought to offer social and pastoral care to home-based care patients. We would organize home visits where we went, and we discussed the procedures and benefits of positive living." Mr Ngwerume's efforts did not go unnoticed. Fr Heribert Mueller SJ, the Mission Superior at Makumbi, appreciated the work that was being done and offered his support. He introduced them to Sr Yullita Chirawu, a Sister the Little Children of Our Blessed Lady (LCBL). She deals with herbs to treat human ailments. "When we got in touch with Sr Yullita, we thanked God for that big breakthrough," says Mr Ngwerume. "Getting medication in pharmacies is expensive, and not everyone can afford it. Sr Yullita introduced us to traditional herbs that do treat a number of ailments. We were given space within the Mission to plant herbs and since then, we have never looked back. We have thriving gardens with a variety of herbal plants. We also have two other gardens outside the Mission." The herbs from the gardens are now being processed and packaged for domestic use within the Makumbi Mission.
1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY
Australia. In the first of a series of Province Express (Australia) articles marking the 200th anniversary of the Suppression and Restoration of the Society of Jesus, Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ explores why these events are an important part of the story we live today. "For Jesuits our central stories echo the freeing of Israel and the building of a people. They are stories of growth. We remember how Ignatius was led from enslavement by the values of his class and culture to find freedom in his discovery of Christ, how he gathered people around him and built a religious congregation that grew and consolidated after this death. It is the triumph of God's providence, told certainly with many hints of dying and rising. But essentially it is about growth. That is why for Jesuits the stories of the Suppression and Restoration of the Jesuits are so important. They are stories of death and the vulnerable beginnings of life. The missionary reverses in China and Latin America, the expulsion from Portugal and Spain and suppression in France were followed by the suppression by Pope Clement XIV, the devastation of Jesuit works and reputation, small local attempts to preserve the spirit of the Society, the larger enterprise of building a nucleus in Russia and parts of Italy, tacit encouragement by Popes, and finally the Restoration by Pope Pius VII in 1814." Read the full text in: Province Express (May 7, 2014), "The Exile and the Return": www.express.org.au
Peru: "The Jesuit Road". Last April, as part of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus, the parish of Fatima, Lima, inaugurated "the Jesuit Road", a project of artistic and spiritual pilgrimage. In his address, Marco Rosales, of the Department of Tourism of the Centro Cultural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, stressed the institutional arrangement between La Casona and the Society of Jesus. Fr Armando Nieto SJ gave a conference on the Restoration of the Society in Peru. Fr José Francisco Navarro SJ spoke of the project as a spiritual and artistic pilgrimage. He noted that he was responsible for the pilgrimage visitations to the Church of San Pedro. These visits are scheduled to continue on Saturday, every fortnight, until next September. Finally, Fr Carlos Cardó SJ gave the address which officially opened proceedings.
The Andhra Pradesh Jesuit Province (AND) has a new web site: http://andhrajesuitprovince.org/
NEW IN SJWEB
The Suppression of the Society in GOA, India, is the theme of the May edition of the ARSI webpage: http://www.sjweb.info/arsi/ARSI-1814/1814.cfm
There is a new Slide Show of Fr. General's visit to Latin America (25 April to 11 May 2014 ). Please follow the url: http://sjweb.info/ss/index.cfm or on the "Slideshow" Tab on our homepage.