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    Vol. XVII, No. 18 03 September 2013

    Father General


    The Feast of Saint Ignatius 


    In a letter written to the whole Society on 31 July, Father General speaks of the gathering which Jesuits had with the Pope in the Church of the Gesù in Rome to celebrate the feast of Saint Ignatius.  Among other matters, he mentions the following.


    "We also experienced some surprising moments that have deeply touched our hearts:

    1. The simplicity of the encounter, from beginning to end: A brother among brothers.

    2. The opportunity to experience how Francis celebrates Eucharist, without liturgical flourish.  On the contrary, he has a heartfelt and meditative style, like one who is in contact with mystery, a style that we Jesuits are used to.

    3. After he lit a votive candle to Saint Ignatius, the Pope expressed the desire to visit the altar of Saint Francis Xavier, whose "sunset" on the island of Sancian he had mentioned in the homily. I am sure that before the altar of the saint, he asked the Lord to preserve the apostolic dedication of the Society, so that it never fades away but continues to support the dedication and zeal of many others in the Church. 

    4. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Pope's desire, personal and full of affection, to visit the tomb of Father Arrupe. The Holy Father prayed there, placed a bouquet of flowers on the pavement, and gently touched the gravestone and image at two different moments. It was an intense moment of deep prayer and gratitude, and it was obvious that the Pope would like to have remained longer.

    Pope Francis has personally met Xavier and Arrupe: Saint Francis Xavier through his spiritual empathy and his missionary dedication, Father Arrupe through meetings and conversations in difficult moments and through that interior communion that exists in those who are deeply immersed in Ignatian spirituality.

    The homily was the style we Jesuits are accustomed to: a biblical, spiritual, Ignatian, and ecclesial reading of the texts for the day, illustrating some principal aspects of our founder.

    Our experience was similar to that of many who have already met Pope Francis. We can say, in sync with the youth of Río de Janeiro we have seen and heard our brother Francis, and we feel closer to our Lord Jesus and to his successor Peter."


    Interview with Father General

    After his journeys this summer, we asked Father General for some of his impressions. Here are his answers.

    Q. This summer has been a time of many journeys for you. You have visited the two Brazilian Provinces, and participated in the MAGIS preparation for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.  There was the CLC meeting in Lebanon, and visits to the Provinces of Colombia and Ecuador.  You took part in the World Congress of Former Students in Medellin.  Which of these experiences made the deepest impression on you, and why?


    A. Clearly, it was the Mass with the MAGIS young people.  I was impressed by so much energy and hope, and their desire to do something for the Gospel and the Church.  The event was well organized, with great attention to detail, but you could also see the dynamism of the youth, as well as their desire to live with enthusiasm and to dedicate themselves to something that is worthwhile.


    Q. What has changed in young people as a result of their participation in the MAGIS days in preparation to the World Youth Day?


    A. The specific fruit for them was to meet other Christians who, amid great difficulties, live their faith with joy and dedication to others. Right from the start, that was a very positive experience of their meeting each other in Brazil.


    Q. it was courageous for CLC to assemble in Lebanon.  It took place in the Middle East, which is still in turmoil.  What value do you give to this decision?


    A. I think it was a decision that indicates the maturity and serenity of CLC at the present time.  Precisely because of the delicate and difficult situation, I believe it is important to be present. We tell the local people that we are with them and share in their pain and anxiety for the future.


    Q. it was also new territory for the alumni to select Latin America for their meeting.  Does this have any special significance?


    A. There are many alumni in Latin America.  It made sense to have the World Congress there.  I hope that the Congress was also an opportunity for greater participation by people from Latin America.


    Q. You have now visited a number of Provinces in Latin America.  Can you give an impression of the life and activity of the Society on this continent?


    A. I found these Provinces full of energy, creative initiatives, and enthusiasm.  I think Latin America has gone through very difficult times.  It has experienced many transitions.  It is clear that this has led to human and spiritual depth, which is good for all of us.  It is a young continent, full of life and vitality.  It also has important tasks that are not easy to implement.  But they are doing it. 

    Q. Could the selection of a Latin American Pope have positive implications for vocations, and for our Jesuit apostolates?


    A. The effects are being felt even in vocations, but that does not mean that we should change the way we do things.  It has certainly raised the interest of young people in the Society of Jesus.  But our tradition of testing and carefully examining a candidate's vocation remains as it is, and I hope that this does not change.  In the Society, we want those whom God calls and wants among us.  Any motivation is good for a first contact.  But then comes the process of discernment.  It is important that this continues to be solid and well done.  I certainly hope it remains so in the future.


    Decisions of Father General


    - On July 2 he signed a decree which came into effect on July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius, by which he has suppressed the independent Region of Cuba. All the members, houses and works of this Region have been integrated into the Province of Antillas.


    - On the feast of St. Ignatius, he signed a decree by which he has suppressed the Region of Maghreb, which was dependent on the Province of France, and this has come into effect on August 31. In this case, the Province of Near East will be responsible for the members who work in the Region of Maghreb and the resources of the Region will be integrated in that Province.


    From the Curia


    The Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations will hold its annual meeting with Father General from September 9 to 12 at the Curia. The Advisors expected to attend are Mpay Kemboly (ACE), Advisor for African Traditional Religions, Felipe Jaled Ali Modad Aguilar (MEX), Advisor for American Traditional Religions, Thomas Rausch (CAL), Advisor for Protestant Churches, Gregory Sharkey (NEN), Advisor for Buddhism, Noel Sheth (BOM), Advisor for Hinduism, Jean-Pierre Sonnet (BML), Advisor for Judaism, Christian Troll (GER), Advisor for Islam, and Milan Zust (SVN), Advisor for Orthodoxy and Eastern Churches. Each Advisor will present a brief précis of the report he has prepared on the general situation of relations with the group for which he is responsible, and on the Society's involvement with that group over the past year. In addition the Advisors will share their responses to the particular question on which Fr. General has asked them to reflect: how does each of these religions or traditions understand "faith"?


    Meeting of the Presidents of the Conferences of Provincials.  As mandated by GC 34 (d. 21, n. 25), Father General has called the Presidents of the six Conferences of the Society to Rome for the purpose of heightening their sense of the universal character of the Society, gaining a better understanding of the global priorities of the Society, and working with him in overseeing and encouraging the development of regional and global cooperation.  This year's meeting will take up five specific topics: the progress being made toward solidarity among the Provinces and Conferences for funding formation around the world; collaboration in the Society's ministries; the role of the Presidents and Conferences in the Society's organization; the various forms of study, prayerful reflection, and implementation that have taken place in response to the 2011 document, The Renewal of Province Structures in the Service of Universal Mission; and the importance of creativity in governance.  Please pray for all those who will take part in the meetings that will be held September 16-19.  




    Father General has appointed:


    - Fr Brian G. Paulson Provincial of Chicago-Detroit Province (CDT). Father Brian, at present Rector of the Loyola University Jesuit Community in Chigago, was born in 1960, entered the Society of Jesus in 1981 and was ordained a priest in 1992.


    - Fr Zaoro Hyacinthe Loua Provincial of the Western Africa Province (AOC). Father Hyacinthe Loua, at present general director of CERAP of Abidjan (Ivory Coast), was born in 1966, entered the Society of Jesus in 1989 and was ordained a priest in 2003.


    - Fr Chiedza Chimhanda  Provincial of Zimbawe Province (ZIM). Father Chiedza, at present Rector of Saint George College and Residence, was born in 1972, entered the Society of Jesus in 1992and was ordained a priest in 2007.


    - Fr David Rowan Regional Superior of the South African Region (SAF). Father David, at present Rector of Saint Francis Xavier Seminary of Cape Town, was born in 1952, entered the Society of Jesus in 1971and was ordained a priest in 1982.




    - On July 31, the Provincial offices of Northern Belgium (BSE) and the Netherlands (NER) have been moved to one place, in Brussels (Provincial House - BSE and NER, Koninginnelaan 141, Brussel, Belgio).


    - The headquarters of the Conference of Provincials of Latin America (CPAL) has started functioning from its new location in Lima (CPAL - Conferencia de Provinciales Jesuitas de América Latina, Avenida Fulgencio Valdez 780 - Breña, Lima 5 - Perù).


    New in SJWEB


    Mass with the Pope. The photo repository of 31 July 2013 St. Ignatius feast day Mass with Pope Francis is available on sjweb.  Click here to visit: http://www.sjweb.info/photo-repository/a/

    Here is the link to the Video of the Mass with Pope  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufUAhjgcLHI

    Or you can visit our homepage: http://sjweb.info/  to find these links.


    A Slide Show on Fr. General's visit to Colombia and Ecuador from 11th to 21st of August. Please follow the url:  http://www.sjweb.info/ss/index.cfm