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Vol. XXI, No. 01 January 20, 2017
FROM THE CURIA
Father General meets Rome based Jesuits
More than 200 Jesuits from communities around Rome braved the January 7 cold to come to the Curia Generalizia to meet with Father General Arturo Sosa. At the beginning of every year, Father General hosts the Jesuits based in Rome to wish them well in the coming year. This year was particularly special because for some of the Jesuits, it was their first personal encounter with Father Sosa. In his usual manner, Father Sosa shared a light moment with each of the guests. There are over 400 Jesuits currently residing in Rome, spread across the International Roman Houses and communities of the Italian Province.
Father General has appointed:
- Father Arun de Souza (BOM) as provincial of Bombay. Father de Souza was born in 1962; he entered the Society in 1984 and was ordained in 1995. In recent years, Father de Souza has been lecturing in Sociology and Anthropology at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai. He succeeds Father Vernon D'Cunha who has since moved to Rome as Assistant ad Providentiam and Regional Assistant for South Asia.
Centro Astalli: Commemoration of International Day for Migrants and Refugees
Father General participated in the event commemorating the International Day for Migrants and Refugees at Gesù Church in Rome, on 13 January 2017. The ceremony was organized by Centro Astalli (JRS Italy). Speaking at the event whose theme focused on young refugees, Father General recounted some of his experiences in working in Venezuela: "I have encountered similar situations on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, where I lived for ten years before being called to Rome. I met entire families that had been forced to abandon everything to save lives threatened by injustice and violence that has taken hold of our societies. I met children and young people who had been forced to become soldiers and to participate in wars so far away from their dreams, thoughts and desires. But importantly, I also encountered the generosity of many families who welcomed the refugees as brothers and sisters in search of a new life. I came across some schools, teachers, Christian communities willing to lend a hand to the new arrivals." At the end of the ceremony, a group of young migrants presented Father General with a special icon designed by Jesuit Scholastic, Luigi Territto. It is an icon of the Magi visiting the child Jesus. However, in this case, the Magi are not kings but poor immigrants.
FROM THE PROVINCES
CHILE: President visits Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes
Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, was a guest at the graduation ceremony of the Pro Empleo program of Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (Jesuit Migrant Service). President Bachelet commended the 50 men and women who received the certificates of training, which will give them access to the world of work, thus improving their quality of life, and at the same time, contributing with their effort to the development of the country. The President added that while many foreigners have been integrated in Chile throughout history, around 950 thousand compatriots have left the country in search of a better future in Europe, Australia or other countries in the region, many of them did so to escape political persecution. "Chile cannot afford to waste the work of anyone", President Bachelet said, noting that Chile is a country of migrants, where 480 thousand (2.3% of the population) are foreigners, and in many cases with a level of education higher than the national average.
CHINA: Celebrating 90 years of Jesuit presence in Hong Kong
On 3 December 2016, the Hong Kong Matteo Ricci community of the Chinese Jesuit Province marked the 90th anniversary of the arrival of the Jesuits in Hong Kong. His Eminence John Cardinal Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong, presided at the Holy Mass in the St Ignatius Chapel of Wah Yan College in Kowloon. Well over 800 people attended and the atmosphere was solemn and warm. A deep sense of the divine blessings to the Jesuit mission in Hong Kong, and of gratitude for the friendship between the Jesuits, their collaborators and lay people prevailed. The first Jesuits in Hong Kong, Fr George Byrne and Fr John Neary, arrived from Dublin on December 2, 1926 upon the invitation of Bishop Henry Valtorta, Vicar Apostolic of Hong Kong. They celebrated their first Mass on the island the day after, on the Feast of St Francis Xavier. The following year, they were joined by three more Irish Jesuits - Fathers Richard Gallagher, Patrick Joy and Daniel MacDonald - and Australian Jesuit Fr Daniel Finn.
USA: New Province
On 13 December 2016, Father General signed a decree establishing the United States Midwest Province (UMI), which will come into existence on 5 June 2017. The new Province will unify the current Provinces of Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin, which will consequently be suppressed on 5 June. Father General has appointed the current provincial of Chicago-Detroit, Father Brian Paulson (CDT) as the provincial of the new UMI Province. He has also appointed Father Glen Chun (CDT) as Socius. Father Chun has recently been Minister of the Loyola University - Chicago Jesuit Community. Previously, he was vocation promoter.