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Vol. XXI, No. 12 September 5, 2017
Jesuit's mission is fostering reconciliation
The Jesuits are called to work for reconciliation "on three levels: with God, with human beings, with the environment." In an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, Father General Arturo Sosa says that Jesuits are working "to better understand the causes of injustice and contribute to developing alternative models to the system today that produces poverty, inequality, exclusion, and places at risk life on the planet." Read more...
Pope Francis has appointed
-Fr Anthony James Corcoran (UCS) as Apostolic Administrator of the Apostolic Administration of Kyrgyzstan. Fr Corcoran was born in 1963, entered the Society in 1985, and was ordained in 1996. Since 1997 he has served in the Russian Federation. He served as superior of the Russian independent region of the Society of Jesus (2009-2017).
Father General has appointed
-Fr Roland Coelho (GOA) as provincial of Goa Province. Fr Coelho was born in 1972, entered the Society in 1993, and was ordained in 2003. He will take over as provincial on 20 October 2017.
- Fr Stephen Chow Sau-yan (CHN) as provincial of the Chinese Province. Fr Chow Sau-yan was born in 1959, entered the Society in 1984, and was ordained in 1994. He will take office on 1 January 2018.
- Fr Primitivo E. Viray, Jr (PHI) as provincial of the Philippine Province. Fr. Viray was born in 1960, entered the Society in 1984, and was ordained in 1995. He will take office on 17 November 2017.
FROM THE PROVINCES
INDONESIA: International Jesuit group learns about Islam
An international group of Jesuits recently gathered in Indonesia to learn more about Islam, diversity ?and interreligious tolerance in the country with the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. Twelve ?Jesuit priests from Germany, France, Nigeria, Turkey, India, Spain, Italy and Indonesia held a series of ?sessions on August 10 at Tebuireng Islamic Boarding School in Jombang, East Java. "The gathering is part of regular meetings for priests who join the "Jesuits Among Muslims" (JAM) ?programme and this year Indonesia is the host," said the group leader Father Franz Magnis-Suseno, a ?Dutch-born Indonesian Jesuit who teaches philosophy and is noted for his initiatives in inter-religious ?dialogue. ?Read more...
KENYA: Protestant and Catholic academicians meet in Nairobi
Encounters between Catholics and Protestants in Africa was the theme of an Ecumenical Conference held in Nairobi recently. The conference was organised by the Nairobi-based Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA). The Ecumenical dialogue brought together over twenty Protestant and Catholic academicians and an audience of over sixty participants. The weeklong conference was designed as part of the larger commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther. Organiser of the conference, Jesuit priest and Director of the JHIA, Fr. Festo Mkenda says Africans have always known Christianity in its varied form because of the Protestant Reformation. The Nairobi conference was thus an opportunity for Protestants and Catholics to reflect on that experience of encountering one another over the centuries on the African continent. Read more...
MYANMAR: Reconciliation and Justice in Natural Resource Management
The annual Social Apostolate gathering of Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) held in Yangon, Myanmar from 4-7, July 2017 reflected on the theme of 'Reconciliation and Justice in Natural Resource Management'. Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, inaugurating the Conference said, "Today we face environmental and ecological holocaust. It is a scary moment." He called the Jesuits "to think big, never give up. The world needs you." Based on inputs from resource persons and field interaction with environmental rights activists and three organizations the participants analysed, reflected, prayed and committed themselves to act authentically both personally and collectively. Read more...
PHILIPPINES: We cannot build the Philippine nation on cadavers of Filipino people
Jesuits in Philippines have joined other Church voices in decrying the summary killings in the fight against drugs in the country. In a statement released by the provincial, Fr Antonio Moreno, the Jesuits noted, "We agree that the menace of illegal drugs is real and destructive. The imperative to defeat this evil does not belong to the President alone, the Philippine National Police, and the instrumentalities of human government. It belongs to us all. The evil that attacks the human with the power of the demonic, should unite us, not divide us. Battling this enemy, we learn how ineffectual, how flawed, our weapons are. Instead of turning our weapons on one another, we must unite, coordinate, and allow good to ally with good; we must fight this enemy together. Truly, the menace of drugs is not just a political or criminal issue. It is evil that attacks our humanity, turns human beings into zombies, policemen into murderers, criminals into lords, and the poor into the victims of their own security forces." Read more...
SIERRA LEONE: Jesuit North-West Africa Province fundraises for Sierra Leone
The Jesuit North-West Africa Province (whose territory includes Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia) has launched a fundraising drive to help in the long-term reconstruction of areas devastated by the Regent mudslide and flooding in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The North-West Africa Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Chukwuyenum Afiawari, announced the fundraising drive in a Statement of Appeal to Jesuit communities, institutions, collaborators and friends. The Provincial commended the work of organisations that are working to alleviate the suffering in Sierra Leone. He said the Jesuits in the North-West Africa Province also want to participate by partnering with those already on the ground. See statement here...
USA: Jesuit Bishop George Murry, S.J., to chair Bishops committee addressing the sin of racism
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. Initiated by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the USCCB, the committee will focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church, and the urgent need to come together as a society to find solutions. Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, has been appointed by Cardinal DiNardo as Chairman of the committee. Read more...
AUSTRALIA: Companions in Venice
A new hymn by two Australian Jesuits was premiered at the Australian Jesuit Assembly in July. Preparation for the Assembly included reflection on the first companions in Venice. This image was an important one in the deliberations of General Congregation 36 and runs through Decree 1 (nn.4, 6, 7, 39). As Father General has said in reflecting on the Congregation, it is an image that "conveys beautifully" the reality that "life and mission are inseparable for those who choose to follow Jesus Christ in the Society of Jesus in the service of the Church".
In this light, the Australian Provincial, Fr. Brian McCoy SJ, invited composer Fr. Christopher Willcock SJ and writer Fr. Andrew Hamilton SJ to collaborate, as they have done in the past, on a hymn on this theme. Hence, 'Companions in Venice' was born and became the theme song for the Assembly. The chorus gives a taste of the whole:
"Bruised feet, straw beds,
kind hands, bent knees,
refined their plans, refined their plans.
May we, their heirs, conceive and shape our ministry
Through lives well-earthed and God-aware."
Fr. McCoy also wanted to make this hymn available to the universal Society, which the authors were most happy to do. So for those interested, the music and words are available on the Australian Province website at http://jesuit.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Companions-in-Venice.pdf
PHILIPPINES: The story of the 26 year-old Filipino Jesuit on the road to sainthood
Brother Richie Fernando was a 26 year-old Jesuit seminarian from the Philippines when in 1996 he died protecting his Cambodian students from a hand grenade. He is now on the road to sainthood, thanks to a norm issued by Pope Francis this summer that opens the door to canonization for those who have "voluntarily and freely offered their lives for others and have persevered until death in this regard."
Father Antonio Moreno, head of the Jesuits in the Philippines, told Rappler News July 30 that the order had received permission to begin the initial work of opening Brother Fernando's cause for canonization.
On July 31, the feast of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Moreno said Richie is among many Jesuits who have imitated Saint Ignatius, "offering themselves in the self-sacrificing service of God and his people." In his memo to the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Moreno noted that "various expressions of devotion to Richie have sprung up and continued, not just in the Philippines and Cambodia but in other places as well." Read more...