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Vol. XX, No. 09 May 6, 2016
From April 30 to May 6, Father General traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador, for a joint meeting of the Jesuit conferences of Latin America and Canada-USA. One of the major discussions of the meeting centered on reflecting on how best the Society can serve the Church in the Caribbean region. In his address to the gathering, Father General focused on the importance of moving towards a universal mission. Serving a common mission, Father General observed, begins from acquiring knowledge about different regions, which will in turn lead to collaboration. It requires building networks, reflecting on common apostolic priorities, and eventually establishing common apostolic projects. The meeting ended with visits to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero in the Cathedral of San Salvador, the hospital chapel where Romero died, and a visit to the site of the martyrdom of the Jesuit priest, Rutilio Grande.
FROM THE CURIA
Original Manuscript of the Exercises restored
The oldest manuscript of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius has been restored. Over the years, acid had corroded the paper inks, perforating many pages and threatening the preservation of the document. Complete with the handwritten notes by Ignatius Loyola, the manuscript was presented at a conference held at the Gregorian University in Rome. Father Ignacio Echarte, the Secretary of the Society, represented the Society at the conference. Melania Zanetti of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, explained the painstaking process that resulted in the restoration of the manuscript. The project was funded by the Fundación Gondra-Barandiarán de Getxo, Bizkaia, a province in the autonomous community of the Basque country. The restoration was designed by Carlo Federici of the Ca 'Foscari University of Venice and the Vatican School of Library Science. The restoration was commissioned by the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, where the manuscript is now safely kept.
Four Jesuits to be beatified
On April 26, 2016, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate two decrees that concern members of the Society of Jesus. The promulgation comes in the light of the approval of a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Father John Sullivan, of the Irish Province; and the recognition of the martyrdom of three Servants of God, Fathers Giovanni Fausti and Daniel Dajani, as well as Brother Gjon Pantalija, all three of the then Venetian-Milan Province and active in Albania. The beatification will take place later this year.
FROM THE PROVINCES
DENMARK: Handover of the apostolate
By decree of April 8, 2016 Fr. General has determined that on July 31, 2016 the responsibility for the Apostolate of Jesuits in Denmark passes from the German Province (GER) to the Northern Polish Province (PMA). The handover will take place at an official ceremony at the Niels Steensens College on September 5. The two central institutions of the Jesuits in Denmark are the Niels-Steensens-Gymnasium (NSG High School) and the parish IBMV in Aarhus. Four Jesuits from the German Province remain in Denmark, four Jesuits from Poland live and study already in Copenhagen.
GERMANY: JesWeb meeting
The annual JesWeb meeting (for web masters and editors of online Jesuit productions) took place at Heinrich Pesch Haus in Ludwigshafen, Germany from 11-14 April. Although JesWeb is officially a gathering of the European Jesuit Conference, it has in recent years attracted participants from other parts of the world. This year, there were representatives from all the six Jesuit conferences. The participants exchanged experiences and shared updates on their work. In addition, media teams of MAGIS Poland and General Congregation 36 gave updates of the communication strategies for the two events.
GREAT BRITAIN: London Marathon for Jesuit Missions
Twenty-four participants ran the London Marathon 2016 on the Jesuit Missions ticket. All 24 completed the course. This year the team was raising money for the Jesuit Missions' Syria appeal which sends much needed medical supplies to the sick and injured in Homs and Damascus. Said Jesuit novice Jacques St Laurent who ran 5 hours 12 minutes in the famous Womble costume "I missed not being able to see the great London landscape as I went around the course, as I could really only see my feet and the road in front of me but in compensation I got huge cheers from the crowd all the way around for the costume." Jesuit novice Chris Brolly was pleased with his time of 3 hours 43 minutes "the crowd was fantastic - one chap misread my tabard which read 'JESUIT MISSIONS' and called out 'Come on Jesus!' which made me smile!"
TAIWAN: New TV series introduces Pope Francis to Taiwan
The Jesuit-run Kuangchi Program Service (KPS) in Taiwan has produced a new weekly series titled "Oh My God - Hello Pope!" The series debuted on national television in Taiwan on April 16. KPS held a preview showing of the weekly series, which in Chinese is called "Hello Pope!" at its Taipei studios on April 9, a week ahead of its official opening broadcast by Dongfeng Satellite TV station. In addition to presenting the values, priorities, and goals of Pope Francis to the Taiwanese audience, "Oh My God" introduces various social and pastoral services of the church in Taiwan. KPS vice director Fr Jerry Martinson SJ explained how the series got its name. During an audience with Pope Francis in 2015, KPS' Fr Emilio Zanetti SJ presented to the Pope a DVD containing KPS documentaries on Church missionary history in China already broadcast widely throughout China. When Fr Zanetti told the Pope that KPS was preparing a TV series about the Pope himself, Pope Francis exclaimed "Oh my God!" thereby confirming the name of the series.
ZAMBIA-MALAWI: Jesuits respond to xenophobic violence
Xenophobic violence erupted in Lusaka, Zambia, in the last days of April, amid rumors that foreigners were behind a series of purported ritual killings in which the bodies of victims were found mutilated. Hundreds of people were arrested after attacks on foreigners in which two people were burned to death. In seeking shelter and refuge, the non-nationals found themselves at the Jesuit run St. Ignatius Parish. The initial number seeking refuge was 83. The number quickly rose to 519. The Jesuit community, under the leadership of Fr Charles Chilinda, together with the parish community teamed up in providing food, drink, shelter and moral and spiritual support to the displaced persons. Working round the clock, the Jesuits and parishioners mobilized resources and worked in conjunction with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ministry of Home Affairs in attempts to finding a solution to the problem. Cardinal Peter Turkson in the company of the Conference of Zambian bishops took time off attending a meeting on Laudato Si' to meet and have a meal with some of the representatives of the victims of violence at the Jesuit community of St. Ignatius Parish on Wednesday 27 April.