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    Vol. XVIII, No. 13 5 June 2014

    FATHER GENERAL

     

    On  Jesuits  Missioned  to  the  Intellectual  Apostolate.  On 24 May, Father General wrote a letter to the whole Society on Jesuits missioned to the intellectual apostolate.  "The long tradition of the involvement of the Society of Jesus in the intellectual apostolate forms part of our religious identity.  We know that the first companions came to know one other in Paris while they were studying to become Masters of Arts," he writes.  "I am now sending this letter to all Jesuits to invite the Society to a renewal of the intellectual apostolate, particularly in the field of research."  The topics dealt with in this letter are the following: 1. An apostolate at the service of the mission of the Church; 2. Various ways of living out the intellectual apostolate; 3. The spiritual attitude required for the intellectual apostolate; 4. Strengthening the "ministry of research".  Father General concludes: "Thanks to the labors of previous generations, we have many instruments at our disposal that can help us to renew the intellectual apostolate so that it may be a true service to the mission of the Church in today's world.  In the present context, in which the number of Jesuits is diminishing in some parts of the world and growing in others, we need to continue our efforts in this field, seeking to adapt our efforts to present realities."


    Visit to Portugal.  From 1 to 4 June, Father General visited the Portuguese Province.  He was involved in a number of meetings: on collaboration in mission (Lisbon), on leadership (Coimbra), and on education at the College in Caldinhas.  He also met the teaching staff of the Faculty of Philosophy in Braga, with whom he explored the relationship between faith and culture.  In Lisbon, he opened a conference organized by the Foundation of the East.  Its subject was "The Restoration of the Society of Jesus in Portugal and the East."  Well known international historians took part in this symposium.  Both in Lisbon and Oporto, Father General presided at Eucharists for many university students and young adults.  These are associated with the pastoral centers which the Society conducts in these places.  In contrast, the Eucharists in Braga and Coimbra were restricted to Jesuits.  Father General took part in a Province Consult, at which he received detailed information about the Province.  He paid courtesy calls on the bishops of the places he visited.  The visit certainly achieved the aims which Father Nicolás proposed: these were to meet his brother Jesuits and their lay collaborators.  His words greatly encouraged and inspired all.  They served to expand the apostolic and geographical horizons of the Province.  One mark of the Province of Portugal has always been its generous missionary vocation.

     


    FROM THE CURIA

     

    Higher Education: Board of Directors. Bringing higher learning to the camps, where millions of refugees spend time, often years, waiting for a better life, has been the dream of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).  A collaboration with American and other Jesuit universities is making this dream come true for many of these refugees.  Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) is a program that has brought hope and confidence to several hundred refugees who are able to take courses in practical skills, such as organization and leadership or health care, as well as a two-year degree program in the liberal arts.  This summer, several of the camps are celebrating their first graduations.  A new grant of several million euros from a strong supporter of the program will allow more students to enter the program and will provide for continuous study of the impact of these programs on life in the camps and on those who are fortunate enough, and hard-working enough to complete the program.  Through a creative use of internet technology and a system of screening, students, who are capable of managing these demanding courses, are getting the higher education they feel they need and want.  The professors, too, are beneficiaries.  They must learn to use the technology in preparing their lessons and do so in a manner that is truly Ignatian, that is, one that insists on reflection and action in each course.  JRS and JC:HEM also work closely with a number of other partners.  Recently, the United Nations High Command for Refugees has taken a keen interest in joining with JC:HEM and JRS to find additional support, and add new camps to the four camps which currently offer the programs. 

    A recent meeting (28-30 May) of the Board of Directors of the program was held at the Curia.  This group, which oversees the program, is co-chaired by JRS Director, Fr Peter Balleis and Fr Michael Garanzini, Secretary for Higher Education.  The board includes presidents of Jesuit universities (Georgetown, Regis, USF, and St Joseph's Beirut), technology experts, curriculum experts, and those intimately familiar with the plight of those stranded in the camps in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Anyone wishing to know more about the project or how to volunteer as a professor, should contact JRS directly or go to the JC:HEM website (www.jc-hem.org) for additional information.

     

    The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education (ICAJE) met in Rome from 28 to 31 May.  The annual meeting provides an opportunity for the six regional delegates, the Secretary for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education, and his Assistant to come together, to share the state of Jesuit Education in the world, the projects of the secretariat, and to discuss initiatives that can support the construction of the Jesuit School network.  Important topics covered in this meeting were: (1) the upcoming (November 2014) International Seminar on Jesuit Pedagogy and Spirituality (SIPEI), in Manresa, Spain, and its virtual version which is already being developed.  We see the SIPEI as a learning opportunity that will allow us to work globally, taking advantage of new online technologies.  (2) Educate Magis: the Commission had the opportunity to discuss the current development of this project which is aimed to connect schools to collaborate together in service of mission.  The project, already approved by Father General, will soon be announced to the whole Society.  (3) A New Document: The New Signs of the Times: the Commission continued the discussion of a new document that can assist Jesuit schools in their on-going effort to respond creatively to the contexts of our schools which are always changing.

     


    APPOINTMENTS

     

    New General Counselors and Regional Assistants. In conformity with the procedures of our law for the appointment of Regional Assistants outside the time of a General Congregation (NC 381, §2), after having received ternae from the Provincials of the Southern Latin American and United States Assistancies and after having heard the opinions of his Council, Father General has decided to appoint Fathers Miguel Cruzado (PER) and Douglas W. Marcouiller (MIS) General Counselors and Regional Assistants for their respective Assistancies. Father Marcouiller has been Provincial of Missouri since 2009, and Father Cruzado has been Provincial of Peru since 2010. Father General has also decided that Father Marcos Recolons (BOL) will finish his ten-year service in the Curia and will receive a new mission from his Provincial. Father James E. Grummer (WIS) will continue as General Counselor and Assistant ad providentiam.

     

    Father General has appointed:

     

    - Father John Chong Che-chon Provincial of the Korea Province (KOR). Father Chong Che-chon, at present Superior of Xavier Community of Seoul, was born in 1957, entered the Society of Jesus in 1990 and was ordained a priest in 1996.

     


    FROM THE PROVINCES

     

    IRELAND: Freedom of Dublin Award

    The city council of Dublin, Ireland, honored Irish Jesuit, Fr Peter McVerry, with its Freedom of Dublin award for his work with the homeless over the past 40 years.  The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, nominated Fr McVerry for the honor, whose previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, John F Kennedy and U2.  Fr McVerry set up the Peter McVerry Trust in Dublin to reduce homelessness and to combat social disadvantage and drug abuse. The Trust provides an informal drop-in center, often the first point of contact for many young homeless people, as well as temporary accommodation and drug treatment facilities.  Other services offer resources and housing for homeless children aged between 12 and 18, and for individuals battling mental health issues.  The Peter McVerry Trust provides housing and drug treatment for about 175 homeless people on any given night.  According to Fr McVerry, there are a lot of "new homeless" seeking help, due to struggles resulting from the current state of the Irish economy.  These are in addition to the many homeless the McVerry Trust helps on account of problems associated with addiction and dysfunctional family life.

     

    ROME:  America has a Full-Time Rome Bureau

    On 21 May, Fr Matt Malone SJ, Editor in Chief of America, announced the appointment of Gerard O'Connell as full-time Associate Editor and Vatican Correspondent.  Mr O'Connell will serve as the Rome bureau chief for America, the first appointment of its kind in the 105-year old history of the magazine.  "We are delighted to welcome Gerard O'Connell to America as our full-time Vatican correspondent.  He will provide comprehensive coverage of this extraordinary moment in the life of the papacy and in the life of the Society of Jesus," said Fr Malone.  "Mr O'Connell is a senior member of the Vatican press corps and has an extensive network of contacts throughout the world."  Gerard O'Connell is an Irish-born journalist, graduate of Cambridge University (England), and has been resident in Rome for the past three decades.  Mr O'Connell began his career in journalism in 1985 when he was asked to report on the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops twenty years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council.  Since then, he has reported on all the Synods of Bishops and, from 1990 onwards, on all of the major events at the Vatican, including the consistories and the foreign trips of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.  Beginning on 1 August 2014, he will write a weekly column in the print edition of the magazine and will file reports regularly via America's other digital platforms.

     

    SPAIN: Ignatian Immersion Course

    The 4th Ignatian Immersion Course, organized by the International Center for Ignatian Spirituality in Manresa, is in full swing.  It is being presented in English and will last for six weeks, from 27 April to 7 June.  This year, 34 participants were accepted.  They come from 19 countries, and speak 18 different native languages.  There are 11 lay people, 15 priests and male religious, and 8 religious women. 18 women and 16 men comprise the group.  The course approaches Ignatian spirituality through an appreciation of the Ignatian holy places in Manresa (the Cueva, the Hospital of the Poor, the Illumination at the Cardoner, etc.).  The teaching sessions, the study and workshops are conducted in the Manresa context.  The participants also share their life stories, and read the Autobiography of St Ignatius.  In this way they create a temporary Ignatian community of people who have come together from different cultures, languages, and apostolic activities.  The participants mainly come from Asia and Oceania: from New Zealand, Australia, China, the Philippines, India, and Vietnam.  All the participants share a prior contact with Ignatian spirituality.  In fact, in one way or another, all belong to the "great Ignatian family."  To see the detailed program visit: http://covamanresa.cat/docs/ignatian_immersion_course.pdf

     

    SPAIN: The History of Ethiopia

    On the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the birth of Pedro Páez, Ediciones del Viento has published his History of Ethiopia.   Páez was the Jesuit who discovered the source of the Blue Nile.  On 20 May 1622, Pedro Páez completed his History, a work of nearly one thousand and one hundred pages.  It languished, forgotten, in the archives of the Society of Jesus in Rome.  Now, almost four hundred years later, the work has been published - in full - for the first time in Spanish.  Pedro Páez entered the Society of Jesus in 1582, and he was ordained a priest in Goa in 1588.  From there, together with Fr Antonio de Montserrat, he left for his first trip to Ethiopia. They were arrested and spent seven years in captivity in harsh conditions.  For some time they were considered "lost in action."  Páez and de Montserrat were the first Europeans to explore the Hadramaut region, and the Rub'al Khali ("The Empty Room") desert.  Philip II ordered that their ransom be paid.  After their release, they returned to Goa.  Finally, in 1603, Pedro Páez managed to reach Ethiopia.  There, he captured the hearts of the people because of his ability to learn the language, his appreciation of Ethiopian culture, his effective pastoral skills, and his winning personality.  The History was originally handwritten in Portuguese, and preserved in the archives of the Society of Jesus.  Only a Portuguese edition has been published in 1945.  In its four volumes, Páez records the events and history of the country about which he had read or heard.  He had got to know about these from the Coptic religious in Ethiopia, or even from the Emperor himself.  The author also recounts his personal experiences: these are full of excitement and adventure.  For more information: http://jesuitas.es/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=884:primera-edicion-completa-en-espanol-de-la-historia-de-etiopia-de-pedro-paez&catid=34:jesuitas-espana&Itemid=63

     

    UNITED KINGDOM: 400 Years of Heythrop College

    During the 2013-2014 academic year, Heythrop College is celebrating the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the English Jesuits.  It was established in 1614 in Louvain, Belgium, as a base to study philosophy and theology.  In its 400 year history, it has been located in Liège (Belgium), Lancashire, Oxfordshire, and London.  Heythrop is a College of the University of London.  It retains a modern Catholic ethos, and offers an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives.  In addition to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, Heythrop also provides a resource for faith communities and others, especially through the work of its Centers and Institutes.  Heythrop College's 400th anniversary celebrations reach their climax over the next few weeks, with a series of academic, liturgical and social events.  Among the highlights will be a visit by the Jesuit Superior General, Father Adolfo Nicolás SJ (18 to 20 June).  He will attend the two-day conference in June at which scholars from Britain and overseas will explore the character and significance of the Jesuit educational tradition with respect both to the study of theology and philosophy, and to science, letters and the arts.  The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will be one of the principal speakers with a conference entitled "For the Greater Glory of God and the More Universal Good".  On Friday, 20 June, Dr Williams will reflect on the Jesuit tradition of liberal education and its continued importance today.  "We shall continue to serve the Church by developing as a center of ministerial training," said the Principal, Fr Michael Holman SJ.  "Heythrop now is essentially what it was 400 years ago, namely, a center for the education of priests for the Catholic Church; and . . . (we shall develop) by offering excellent educational opportunities for those who want to deepen their understanding of their faith and other faiths; by continuing to engage in research; and by organizing conferences and seminars on topics where faith meets contemporary culture."  For more information: www.jesuit.org.uk

     

    ZIMBABWE: Teacher Training Program

    The Jesuit Education Apostolate, whose office supports the running and functioning of 18 schools (primary, secondary and a tertiary college), has launched the Jesuit Graduate Teacher Development Program.  This is a Post-graduate program that targets high school teachers in Jesuit schools.  These teachers have a first teaching degree but do not have a professional teacher qualification.  This is a two year program that will include practice-based learning, Ignatian pedagogical learning, mentorship, and educational research.  Speaking at the introductory workshop for School Heads, Mentors, and Scholars, the Education Delegate, Fr Joe Arimoso SJ stressed the need for Jesuit Schools to entrench the characteristics of Jesuit Education in their practice.  "This program will ensure that teachers in our schools have skills that facilitate 21st century learning themes, such as collaborative learning, relevant communication skills, creative thinking skills, and critical thinking skills.  These are all Ignatian in nature," he said.


    1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY


     

    "The Suppression of the  Society in Mozambique" is the theme of the June issue of the ARSI Bicentenary webpage: http://www.sjweb.info/arsi/ARSI-1814/1814.cfm

     

    An International Symposium to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus will be jointly organized by Boston College (11 to 15 June 2014) and the Macau Ricci Institute (28 to 31 October 2014).  The two Symposia are introduced as follows: "The year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus, one of the most significant events in nineteenth-century cultural and religious history but also one of the least well-studied.  Our jointly organised Symposium aims to shed new light on neglected aspects of this vital subject and to take part in the worldwide commemoration of this event.  The history of the Society's survival after 1773 and its Restoration two centuries ago deserve closer attention and the anniversary year of 2014 provides an ideal opportunity.  We plan to look at three hotspots, arguably the three most important engine-rooms of Jesuit activity during this turbulent period: (1) East-Central Europe/Russia, (2) China, and the (3) United States.  What happened in and between these far-flung places defined the future of the Jesuit Order and also had momentous consequences for the broader religious and cultural history of three continents.  Adopting a global perspective and recruiting some of the finest scholars working in this muddled but fascinating field will go a long way toward plugging a lamentable historiographical hole."