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    Vol. XV, no. 3 18 February 2011

    Father General

    Trip to India.  From February 26 to March 12 Father General will be in India. The main reason for this trip is to participate in the assembly of JCSA (The Jesuit Conference of South Asia) to be held in Bangalore beginning February 28.  Father General will take the opportunity of this event to visit Jesuits and their works. Four major cities will be part of his visit: Bangalore, Mangalore, Calicut and Kolkata. In all these cities the Society is present, sometimes very significantly. In Bangalore Father Nicolás will visit: the house of the candidates to the Society: they are 20 young people who are preparing for the novitiate; the novitiate and theology students; St. Joseph's College and some of the many other schools directed by the Society; the Indian Social Institute, the Mission of Anekal, not far from town. In Mangalore, apart from the encounter with the Jesuits, he will visit  St. Aloysius College, attended by thousands of young people, and Asha Kiran, where about thirty young Jesuits attending our college study.  Here Fr. Nicolás will meet with the Province council. In Calicut he will meet the Jesuits of Kerala Province and friends and benefactors of the Society. From Calicut he will fly north, to Kolkata, for the closing celebration of the centenary of Bengala Mission. Here he will visit also some Jesuit works, especially St. Xavier's College, the novitiate and the house for Spiritual Exercises; he will meet the Ministry Commission, representatives of Santal Mission (Jesuits and lay) and will participate in the meeting of Major Superiors of religious Congregations in town.  On the agenda there is also the visit to the bishops in every town.  He will return to Rome on March 12.

     

    Twenty years after Father Arrupe's death.  February 5 was the twentieth anniversary of the death of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society from 1965 till 1983. For this occasion Father General sent a letter to the whole Society. "Twenty years have passed since the death of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, yet his memory remains vivid and inspiring, both for those who had the joy of meeting him and for succeeding generations who continue to be touched by Fr. Arrupe's faith and enthusiasm. We rightly remember him as a great leader filled with the Spirit, a man of vision who insisted that the spirit of Saint Ignatius guide us and direct us at a very important time in the life of the Church." And he continues: "I believe we have much to learn from the example of Fr. Arrupe. Without any doubt, he had a universal heart and vision, which he drew from the Heart of Jesus, who was "everything" for him. It was Christ's mission that filled every minute of his service and concern." The letter refers then to the missionary spirit of every Jesuit and underlines three qualities of this spirit: "a total detachment from places, jobs, positions, privileges (...); total immersion in the environment, work, and context of the mission (...); total cooperation with others, be they lay persons, diocesan clergy, other religious or even people from other faith traditions." And he concludes: "It is the responsibility of the Society to ensure that all Jesuits are formed and continue to grow in these three qualities of our missionary spirit, whether the context of a Jesuit's mission is a foreign country or a mission in one's country of origin." 

     

    2010 FACSI Report. In a letter dated  18th February,  Father General presents the 2010 FACSI Report. We present here some data and reflections. "In the course of 2010 - says Father Nicolás in his letter -  we disbursed € 908,794.00 (11.7% lower than last year), divided among 41 projects in different provinces and continents, covering various projects and initiatives of the Society.  63 project proposals were sent to me in 2010. Of these, 41 were approved, in whole or in part, by the committee which I constituted  for the evaluation of project proposals. However, the Committee had to face a new problem: the overall amount requested in the proposals was much higher than the amount actually available. So, except for a few exceptions, we had to limit ourselves to the approval of  one project for each province, taking into account as much as possible, the priorities set by the Provincial concerned.  In the attached report you can also see the type of projects that were funded. In first place is the education sector, which received 55% of the monies available, amounting to € 495,204.00, followed by the pastoral sector, ( 32%) and the social sector(9%). From a geographical point of view, in 2010, the largest amount went to Asia (€ 326,124.00), followed by Europe, Latin America and Africa. Finally, this year, help for emergency cases was not lacking, with substantial assistance provided for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and Chile and floods in Pakistan." The letter ends with two recalls. The first is a call for generosity in contributing to the FACSI fund, as a sign of solidarity and "concern for the universal Society and its most urgent needs." The second is a remind to send reports on the use of the money received.  Finally, Father General encloses to the letter the Practical Norms for the submission of projects. "These norms are only an update and a revision of those already in force."


    From the Provinces

    EGYPT: News of the Jesuits

    News arrived at the Curia about our brethren working in Egypt. "This is the time of the holydays of mid-year, so no problem for the College; also our fathers are on holidays and they were able to join the protesters. All Egyptian Jesuits went to Al-Tahrir Square.  On February 7 the community meeting allowed them to share and express what they feel: for them January 25 will remain a historic day for Egypt: the day of the birth of a nation.  If 1952 was the revolution of the officers, that of 2011 is the victory of the people.  This is Egyptian May '68, with all his richness and hopes, but also the weaknesses and the fears of not getting to anything. The fear of a great confusion for nothing. Great fear because the country is ruined, chaos is complete while young people is sustained only by the hope for a change and a desire for justice. It is a third world revolution, a rejection of the ultra liberalism established by businessmen in the outgoing government. But the concern of our Fathers is great (...). This revolution brings up a new political class completely alien to what existed before in Egypt. The concern of Jesuit Fathers is that they cannot see yet where we are going. A question asked is: What will happen tomorrow?

     

    EUROPE: Jesuits sponsor young film-makers

    The Conference of European Jesuit Provincials is sponsoring a competition for young film-makers. Five Iñigo Awards will be given to the best short films illustrating the theme 'City of God', with prizes of € 2,500, € 1,500 and € 1,000 for the top three films. According to John Dardis S.J., President of the Conference: 'The films should reflect the spiritual yearnings and experiences of young people today. We  welcome submissions that show the presence and absence of God in our modern secularized world and films that take into account the twin dimensions of faith and justice." There are two additional awards, one (non-monetary) for a film chosen by the audience; and one which recognizes the best film by a young film-maker who does not have access to professional equipment and who will receive FCP Studio Pro software and a stipend for the Festival. Each prize is accompanied with a professional software bundle. Entries will be shown during World Youth Day in Madrid this August. Submission form is available on: www.tiffestival.org. Press contact: info@tiffestival.com.

     

    INDIA: Institute to teach African market trends

    A Jesuit management institute in Mumbai has launched a center for its students to study emerging markets in Africa. The Xavier Institute of Management and Research (XIMR) opened the Centre for Africa Studies in collaboration with the Makerere University Business School in Uganda. The Center is currently intended for students but would soon be open to firms wanting to understand Africa and learn how to conduct business there. "Together, XIMR and Markere University Business School will shoulder the responsibility of enhancing the development of people from emerging nations," said Father Paul Vaz, director general of the Institute. The Center will offer enrichment courses and studies on Africa and certificate programs for corporate professionals on "Doing Business in Africa."  Its aim is to serve as a bridge between the people and cultures of India and Africa, and contribute to the economic and social development of both. The students will develop case studies on topics such as African cultures, anthropology, African religions, consumer behavior and market structure.

     

    ITALY: Province blog on-line

    The newly born Communication Office of the Italian Province of the Society of Jesus has already begun to make its voice heard. The evidence is the activation of the new blog in which all the news and information about the various activities of the Province are collected. At the moment the service is in an experimental phase, during which the Italian Jesuits are invited to send comments, suggestions and ideas to improve the service to notizieflash@gesuiti.it. The blog, which will join Gesuiti newsletter sent every fifteen days, can be viewed at www.gesuitinews.it.

     

    ROME: 80 years of Vatican Radio

    It was the 12th of February 1931 when a message of Pope Pius XI in Latin was broadcasted for the first time all over the world by the radio station created by Guglielmo Marconi on request of the Holy See. The event was commemorated on the 10th of February with a press conference held at the Vatican Museums where an exhibition was also organized.  A book on the history of the last thirty years (a first book on the first fifty years has been already published) will be published in September. To celebrate this anniversary Vatican Radio invited the radio section of EBU (European Broadcasting Union, the European Union of Radio broadcasting) to held its annual assembly in Rome, after Easter, to be concluded with a papal audience. The technical realization of Vatican Radio was assigned initially to Guglielmo Marconi, while the management was entrusted from the beginning to the Society of Jesus which is still the responsible of the structure.

     

    SPAIN: Souvenir of Father Arrupe

    As we mentioned at the beginning of this bulletin, it has been twenty years from the  death (5 February 1991) of former Superior General of the Society of Jesus Father Pedro Arrupe, "don Pedro" as he was called affectionately by his brethren. The Province of Loyola, from which Fr. Arrupe came, remembered him in his homepage with a series of photographs of the main highlights of his life and a profile of this man who could see the world with eyes of compassion and committed himself consequently working for justice, which he considered an integral part of faith. He was a man of broad vision, a mystic with open eyes, who saw the contrast between the goodness of God and the injustices of the world, capable as he was to look inside things, and beyond them into the future, facing new apostolic challenges and offering to the Society new ways to be present wherever it was necessary. His enthusiasm was contagious and his commitment towards the new without fear because he knew that God would be at his side, that God who helped him to discover inside himself a heart capable of a goodness he could never imagine. 

     

    SPAIN: The Society of Jesus on Facebook

     Since a few weeks the Society of Jesus in Spain has its own Facebook page, to give an overview of the Society in that country and as an instrument of communication and pastoral care to promote activities, events and news of the Spanish Jesuits and to share links, videos, and photos with those who want to join. You can find it here:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Compania-de-Jesus-en-Espana/123925764335066. For the Society of Jesus there are many reasons to be present on Facebook:  because it is one of the world "borders", where the Pope urged them to go, since in the border area the religious world is still very poorly present; because it's a great tool for ministry and communication; because the Society of Jesus, following its dynamic foundation must adapt to the times and change with them, and it has done throughout its 400 year history; because the Society has an extensive global presence on Facebook, and Spain should have it.

     

    UNITED KINDOM: Jesuit Media Initiatives
    JMI (Jesuit Media Initiatives) is a modern communications initiative with charitable status, founded by the Society of Jesus with the aim of using new media to help people to deepen and develop their faith and to grow in their relationship with God. The work is currently focused on two online projects: Pray-as-you-go and Thinking Faith. The first offers material for daily prayer currently reaches over 140,000 people worldwide each month. The second is the online journal of the British Jesuits and offers comment and analysis with a faith angle on current affairs and society. It has an international readership of over 10,000 people each month.


    New in SJWEB

    podcast with Father Fernando Fernández Franco (born: San Sebastian, Spain 1941). Having received a doctorate in economy, he taught 20 years at the University of Ahmedabad (India), while at the same time working at a Social Center. Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach invited him in 2003 to become head of the Social Justice Secretariat in Rome. He incorporated the issue of ecology and sustainability in the activity of the Social Justice Secretariat and guided the special task group on that issue. Now Fr. General has asked him to spend a couple of years at the African Jesuit Conference in Nairobi to help them in the development of a strategic apostolic plan. Click on "Jesuit Voices".