Vol. XIX, No. 05 March 23, 2015
FROM THE CURIA
Petar Barbaric - A Servant of God
On March 18, 2015, Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Petar Barbaric, novice of the Society of Jesus. A Croatian by descent, Petar was born in 1874 in Šiljevišta, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the age of fifteen, he entered the minor seminary of Travnik, run by the Jesuits. Here, Petar proved to be an excellent student, and he was well liked by his classmates. He strove for perfection, especially in the context of the Marian Congregation, for which he was for many years the prefect. In 1896, he suffered a severe cold, which degenerated into tuberculosis. Eager to become a Jesuit, he obtained permission to enter the Society and two days before passing away Petar took his first vows. He died on Holy Thursday, April 15, 1897. Despite the communist attempt at suppressing his cult, it remained alive for more than a century, not only among Catholics, but also among the Orthodox and even the Muslims of the region.
JRS: 35 Years Accompanying
In 1980, a refugee crisis seized world headlines. Vietnamese were fleeing their county in anything that could float, and images of the "boat people" were seared into many peoples' hearts. Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ, then-Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was one such person. He motivated Jesuits around the world to respond to the crisis, and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was born. The organization's motto - to accompany, serve and advocate - distinguishes JRS from other refugee-service agencies and is the foundation for its response to other refugee crises throughout the world. As JRS celebrates 35 years, it also prepares to welcome a new International Director to its headquarters in Rome.
Father General has appointed:
- Fr. Mario López Barrio (MEX) as the new rector of Collegio San Roberto Bellarmino in Rome. He was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1943. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1973. A graduate of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Fr López has taught Mexico and in recent years at the Pontifical Gregorian University. His other assignments in the past include pastoral ministry, formation work, and provincial. Fr López will take over as rector from Fr Michael-Paul Gallagher on 20th May, 2015.
Pope Francis has appointed:
- Fr. Alojzij Cvikl, (SVN) Archbishop of Maribor, Slovenia. He was born in 1955, entered the Society of Jesus in 1974 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1983.
- Frs. François-Xavier Dumortier (GAL) and Georges Ruyssen (BSE) as consultors to the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
FROM THE PROVINCES
ASIA-PACIFIC: JCAP: Enhancing Collaboration
The Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (JCAP) is developing a coordination protocol that outlines steps for Jesuits within JCAP when responding to disasters that impact the lives of people and communities in this part of the world. Responses to catastrophic events are collaborative in nature, joining local efforts and guiding important international support. This process is ongoing with other organizations and there is much learning from the experiences of Jesuit people on the ground. The effort is also to find ways to collaborate across different phases in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) that demand a wider range of coordination beyond disaster relief. While people in many Jesuit institutions are doing great work in DRRM, having a protocol taps and develops the great potential for magis as more people are reached, networks are broadened, impact multiplied, and response is deepened. A protocol for coordination amongst people provides a system of decision-making and action that outlines procedures and actions to be followed in a particular situation.
BRITAIN: 400th Anniversary of St John Ogilvie, SJ
The celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ began on Saturday evening (7 March) with Solemn Vespers at St Aloysius Church in Glasgow. Eighty-two students from the five Jesuit senior schools performed Mozart's Vesperae solennes de Dominica (K321), accompanied by a professional orchestra and conducted by Keith Roberts, the Head of Choral Music at St Aloysius College, Glasgow. The following day, the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, preached at the parish Mass in Glasgow. In his homily, he urged his listeners not to 'sleepwalk' through their lives, but rather to be inspired by the sacrifices of people like Saint John Ogilvie SJ. When the Scot was hanged at Glasgow Cross on 10 March 1615, the rosary he had been holding struck a Hungarian merchant, John Eckersdoff, a Calvinist, who was visiting the city. The experience led to his conversion and, in his homily, Fr Preston said that we need to be open to similar experiences. In addition to the Mass setting dedicated to St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ, the music at the parish Mass included a newly commissioned piece Ave Verum by the renowned Scottish composer, James MacMillan CBE, who spoke afterwards about the need for good quality music in Catholic liturgy.
CHICAGO-DETROIT: Jesuits Offer Spiritual Retreats for the Homeless
It all began in Chicago in 1998 when Jesuit Father Bill Creed was asked by his provincial to find a way to make the Spiritual Exercises available to the economically disadvantaged. Along with Ed Shurna, executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Fr. Creed developed a format for providing Ignatian retreats to men and women who are homeless and in recovery from addiction. Today the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) is a national network with overnight retreat programs in 26 cities across the United States and Canada. With ongoing training and support from ISP's Chicago-based office, dedicated volunteers in each city deliver the retreats. (http://www.jesuits-chgdet.org )
GUYANA: Jesuits' Amazon Initiatives
Jesuits in Guyana are joining others who work across the vast Amazonian rainforest to protect the world's largest eco-system - and its peoples - from destruction. In January, Jesuits who work in this region of the world launched the Pan-Amazonian Project in Manaus, Brazil. And the beginning of March saw the gathering in Rome of a new international network: the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM). This was established last year in Brazil and consists of bishops whose territories include Amazon regions, priests, missionaries working in the Amazon jungle, national representatives of Caritas and laypeople belonging to various Church bodies. The Pan-Amazonian Project is an initiative of the Conference of Latin American Jesuit Provincials (CPAL) and, at their meeting in January, representatives from seven of the nine countries with a Jesuit presence in them heard experts from various fields speak about the dangers facing the region (Suriname and French Guiana are 'Jesuit-free' zones). Among those at the meeting were Fr Paul Martin SJ, Regional Superior of Guyana (a Region of the British Province), Fr Jim Conway SJ, Coordinator of the Jesuits' Interior Apostolate in Guyana, and Jesuit Missions advocate, Julian Filochowski, who also attended this week's conference in Rome.
NEAR EAST: JRS: Praying with Refugees
At a time of increasing extremism, people drift apart. Consumed by war and subjugated by fear, it is difficult to hold onto hope. The spectre of violence and terror has crept into all of our homes; we must make a great effort not to give in to despair. January and February brought a grim start to the lives of millions of people in the Middle East. The violence in Syria and Iraq has escalated. Living conditions in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have become more difficult for refugee and local host communities. The bad news seems to flood in non-stop. The cold and bitter winter challenged people's resilience to the elements, and also to the war. The prospects of peace seems further away.