Vol. XX, No. 1 January 20, 2016
FROM THE CURIA
South Africa Region
On December 31, 2015 the South African Region (SAF) ceased to be a Dependent Region of the British Province (BRI). It is now a Dependent Region of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province (ZIM).
On January 14, 2016 Father General visited Centro Astalli (JRS Italy) to commemorate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees which fell on January 17. He was accompanied by Father Ken Gavin (Assistant Director - JRS International) and Father Joaquín Barrero (Superior of the General Curia Community). He was taken on a tour of the JRS project at Centro Astalli by Father Camillo Ripamonti (Director - JRS Italy). Father General visited the various sections of Centro Astalli including the health desk, the soup kitchen, and the legal department. Later he shared a cup of tea with several refugees and migrants. Father General later met with about 500 migrants, refugees, JRS staff, and journalists in the Church of the Gesù.
Father General has appointed:
- Fr. Herminio Rico (POR) as the new Vice Ecclesiastical Assistant for the World Christian Life Community (CLC). Father Rico was born in 1961, entered the Society in 1981, and was ordained in 1994. He will take over from Father Luke Rodrigues (BOM) who will complete six years as Vice Ecclesiastical Assistant for World CLC in February 2016.
FROM THE PROVINCES
IRELAND: Jesuits assist at Youth 2000 retreat
Nine Jesuits attended the Youth 2000 Christmas retreat in Newbridge Co.Kildare where seven hundred young adults spent the last weekend of Advent preparing for Christmas by praying, attending talks and workshops, celebrating the Eucharist and going to confession. Youth 2000 has a philosophy of 'youth leading youth' so the Jesuits, along with Dominicans and other leaders were there to assist them. According to Niall Leahy SJ, one of the nine Jesuits who attended, "All of us Jesuits were so moved and enthused by the events of the weekend that we felt compelled to meet early in the new year to prayerfully reflect and share on the experience, just as St. Ignatius himself would have done. With one mind and heart we made a commitment to continue going to and serving at future Youth 2000 retreats." Niall Leahy is leading a group of young people to World Youth Day in Krakow later this year as part of Magis2016.
JCU: Jesuit Father Robert VerEecke Illuminates the Spiritual Exercises through Dance
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola have been adapted and modernized over the years, but one Jesuit has given them a whole new meaning: through dance. Jesuit Father Robert VerEecke plays the role of St. Ignatius in his combination dance and theater performance, "For the Greater Glory of God." Originally created by Fr. VerEecke in 1990 for the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Jesus and the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Ignatius, the work weaves together music, dance and scripture in dialogue with the text of the Exercises. Over the past 25 years, "For the Greater Glory of God" has been performed in many theaters and churches associated with Jesuit parishes, colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and Jamaica. See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxaDYmMZazA#t=83
SWEDEN: Common action needed - Unilateral border controls not the answer
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is concerned at the recent news that Sweden has reinstated identity checks at its border with Denmark. Sweden has a long tradition of protecting refugees and defending human rights. In fact, in 2015, the country received the highest number of refugees per capita in the EU, approximately 163,000 asylum applications in total. Civil society and NGOs like JRS Sweden have worked to welcome the new arrivals. Although many countries in Europe are dealing with high numbers of new arrivals from war-torn countries, unilaterally setting up border controls will only exacerbate problems regarding migration and asylum and hinder the development and implementation of international solutions.