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Vol. XVIII, No. 3 05 February 2014
FROM THE CURIA
The annual meeting of the CIP (Commissio Interprovinciale Permanens) is taking place in the General Curia 3-6 February. It is a board of Provincials or Presidents from each Conference which meets with Fr. General "to assist him and his Delegate with the ongoing governance of the inter-Provincial houses and works in Rome (DIR)" (GC 34 D 22 n 5). Issues being discussed include: collaboration among Roman academic institutions, young Jesuits studying in Rome, and evaluation of the CIP and of the DIR since GC 35. Attending the meeting as an observer will be Fr. Arturo Sosa (VEN), recently named to become DIR Delegate next Fall.
Father General has appointed:
- Father Bernhard Bürgler Provincial of the Austrian Province (ASR). Father Bürgler, at present superior of Domus Exercitiorum of Vienna, was born in 1960, entered the Society of Jesus in 1991 and was ordained a priest in 1997.
- Father Ivan Bresciani Provincial of the Slovenia Province (SVN). Father Bresciani, at present superior of the Residentia cum Paroecia Incarnationis Christi of Ljubljana, was born in 1970, entered the Society of Jesus in 1993 and was ordained a priest in 2004.
- Father Arturo Marcelino Sosa Abascal (VEN), Delegate for the International Houses in Rome. Father Sosa, at present Rector of the Universidad Católica del Tachira of San Cristobal (Venezuela), was born in 1948, entered the Society of Jesus in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1977.
FROM THE PROVINCES
COLOMBIA: Strategic Alliance
The Society of Jesus in Colombia celebrates an important partnership between the radio station La Voz de María, 14.30 AM - Emisora Kennedy and Minuto de Dios Uniminuto, one of the guilds of the university. The partnership, which was formalized this January, will bring important benefits to Emisora Kennedy. For the past 60 years, the station has contributed to building a society in which Christian values, respect for human dignity, solidarity, and social justice are encouraged. Emisora Kennedy is one of the oldest in Bogota. It was founded in 1955 as a result of an initiative of a group of lay people interested in radio work. They brought an innovative spirit to the promotion of evangelization. Fr José Vicente Echeverry SJ, the parish priest of the Macarena church, has been its Director since July 1964. In the mid 1970s, its programs were mostly classical music, news and sport, but it never took its eyes off its missionary objectives. Fr Jaime Salazar Londoño SJ was the Director from 2002 to 2012. He transformed the station: under him, it became a means of communication concentrating on local community content of interest to a wide section of the population. Fr Oscar David Maya Montoya SJ is the current Director of Emisora Kennedy. The station offers a lively and various program, always focusing on the Catholic perspective.
ECOLOGY: International Jesuit Initiatives
Two Jesuit institutions are promoting interesting ecological initiatives. These are the Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, USA, and the Milanese Jesuit magazines Aggiornamenti Sociali and Popoli. Seattle University's Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability will convene the conference Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons. It will take place in Seattle from 7 to 9 August 2014. Environmental justice and sustainability (EJS) are inextricably connected. True sustainability can only be achieved when all communities have healthy air, water, food, green space, and security, and when all people have some meaningful involvement in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The conference aims to emphasize EJS research across a wide variety of disciplines, to establish an EJS network of Jesuit institution, to inspire EJS work through the arts, and to foster an interdisciplinary conversation, built on research, and teaching. The second initiative is associated with the World Exposition in Milan, or Expo Milano 2015, which will run from 1 May to 31 October 2015. Its theme will be Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. To prepare for this Exposition, the Jesuit Fondazione Culturale San Fedele, through its magazines Aggiornamenti Sociali and Popoli, will collaborate with a number of partners to sponsor a series of three seminars in October and November 2014. These seminars will focus on food, environment and lifestyles. Consideration will be given to the right to food, to one's culture, and to one's religion. For more information: http://ecojesuit.com
FRANCE: Religions in the Public Arena
"Religions in the Public Arena" was the theme of a meeting held in Paris from 27 to 30 January. It was organized by CERAS, the Center for Research and Social Action of the Society of Jesus. The Center organizes an annual conference. This year, it reflected on the "secularization of society" and its consequences, particularly as revealed in the "privatization of belief." CERAS highlighted this in its press release. "Religious institutions currently reflect on their ability to transmit their own traditions," while "the mass media is inclined to emphasize only what is novel, especially if it is distressing. Pedophilia is an apposite example. This gives rise to a concept of secularism which holds that religion is removed from public arena." CERAS also highlighted how "personal life, which was for a long time restricted to the private sphere, now increasingly enters the public arena. This is especially the result of new technologies in information and communication. These now allow individuals to participate in public debates, while remaining in the private sphere." One aim of the CERAS meeting in late January was "to reflect on the contributions that each religion brings to the public arena and how to participate more effectively in common debates." The Society of Jesus founded CERAS in 1903. It is a center where Jesuits and lay people work together to promote a more just society. The organization has three particular goals: to support non-governmental organizations which are engaged in the social field, to initiate debates on social issues, and to train staff who are experts in the field.
INDIA: Peoples' Manifesto in view of General Elections
From 9 to 12 January 2014, around 65 members of South Asian Peoples' Initiatives (SAPI) from all over India gathered at the Indian Social Institute in Bangalore. They prepared the Peoples' Manifesto in preparation for the general elections in May. The gathering divided itself into six groups, and they considered eight issues. These were the economy, society, politics, education, health, culture, the environment, government and security. The gathering prepared its statement, which will be submitted to the various political parties as the peoples' agenda for good governance (SJES Headlines).
ITALY: Sanctuary of St Ignatius
Perhaps only few people know that there is a sanctuary dedicated to St Ignatius Loyola in the dioceses of Turin. It is the only one in Italy. It was built in 1635 on the summit of Mount Bastia, where, it is alleged, St Ignatius appeared to a peasant. A spur of rock is the base of the altar in the middle of the church, which is itself part of a large complex fitted out to receive pilgrims. The sanctuary has been visited by all the well-known saints of Turin. These include St John Bosco, St Joseph Cafasso, St Leonardo Murialdo, and Blessed Giuseppe Allamano. The beautiful Lanzo valley surrounds the sanctuary. It has been a centre for the spiritual exercises since 1807. From 1800 to 1900, it was a center of holiness because Piedmontese Saints and Blessed lived there as rectors, preachers and retreatants. The sanctuary is open only during the summer months. In 1946, the sanctuary was entrusted to the Pious Union of St Maximus. This group also takes care of the adjoining house of spirituality. The Director is a diocesan priest of the Turin diocese, and he is assisted two permanent deacons. These two launched a significant initiative: "during the summer months, they host a meeting for members of parishes dedicated to St Ignatius. Over a number of days, they offer advice about the spiritual life, and they also have times of prayer together. They accompany the pilgrims to places of interest in Turin, such as the Reggia of Venaria, the museum of the Holy Shroud, the Royal Palace, the Basilica of the Consolata, Superga, and the Stupinigi Palace." For more information see: http://www.villalascaris-santignazio.it/
KENYA: Praying for Reconciliation
Refugees pass through painful experiences that leave them emotionally wounded while in a foreign country. They carry the burden of those who have caused, or still cause them this pain. Sometimes they become disconnected from themselves, from others, and even from God. Consequently, some develop complications from a number of illnesses, and frequently enough they suffer nightmares. Some live in fear and want revenge. Others are not ready to associate with those who, they feel, have caused or can cause them pain. Refugees wish to rebuild their lives and come to terms with the experiences in their past lives. But it is often very hard for them. Some doubt God's presence and even lose trust in others. As part of the JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) mission of accompaniment, the Pastoral Program in Nairobi has organized spiritual seminars on the theme of "Reconciliation." It is based on the gospels ("Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this you will be children of your Father in heaven, Matthew 5: 44-45). These seminars help refugees to be reconciled with themselves, with others, and with God. They learn to dwell less on the past, and to refrain from pointing fingers toward those who hurt them in life. Instead, the seminars help them to let go of some of these painful experiences. For more information: www.jrs.net
LATIN AMERICA: Tour Explores Jesuit Heritage
A Jesuit heritage tour of Argentina and Paraguay will follow the footsteps of Jesuits from the early 1600s through the present day - it includes a visit to the hometown of the first Jesuit Pope. California Province Jesuits are sponsoring the tour. Participants have the chance to immerse themselves in South America's rich Jesuit history. Jesuit Fr John Mossi, from the California Province, and Argentinian Jesuit Fr Michael Petty will lead pilgrims on this cultural and spiritual journey from 17 February to 1 March 2014. The tour will begin in Córdoba, Argentina, where a group of Jesuits, missioned from Spain, arrived in 1599. They developed a center of learning in the town. From there, the journey continues to the Jesuit Reductions in Posadas, on the border between Paraguay and Uruguay. In the 17th century, in the jungle areas of today's Argentina, Paraguay, southern Brazil and Uruguay, Jesuits built the famous Reductions, indigenous cities of culture, education, food production and religious evangelization. These thriving cities, according to Fr Mossi, "were renowned for their architecture, systems of government and flourishing community life that empowered the indigenous peoples. As European governments saw the slave trade as a means of profit and commerce, the Reductions became sources of exploitation. The Jesuits kept moving deeper into the jungles in order to protect them. Eventually, the creation of the Reductions and the protection of native people were interpreted as subversive actions instigated by the Jesuits. They became another element of the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773." The tour will end in Buenos Aires. It was planned before Pope Francis was elected, and the schedule has been updated to explore his connections to his native city. To learn more about the Jesuit Reductions Tour, visit www.jesuitscalifornia.org/argentina
USA: Jesuits at the Frontiers
Since the time of St Ignatius, the Society of Jesus has served at the frontiers - whether four centuries ago when the first Jesuits left their homes in Europe to establish missions in China, or today at the US-Mexico border where Jesuits serve undocumented residents. Last summer, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Jesuits' call to teach, pray, and serve when he said: "Your proper place is on the frontiers. This is the place of Jesuits." Frontiers can be found in many forms: geographic, inter-religious, educational and social justice, to name just a few. One example of Jesuits at the frontiers is Fr John Hatcher. He has devoted over 40 years of service to Native American people in South Dakota. In 1972, Fr John Hatcher arrived at the Rosebud Indian Reservation on the sweeping plains of South Dakota: it was to have been a six-week visit. Over 40 years later, he is still there. Rosebud and its people have left a mark on his heart, and he wouldn't have it any other way. At the age of 70, Fr Hatcher shows no signs of slowing down. He is frequently on the road for fundraising trips. He has total confidence in his board of directors and management team, which is completely run by Native Americans. "I'm a teacher by nature and I feel best when my students outshine me, and that's what's happened here... If we trust in Native lay leadership, we can make a big difference." More than 125 years after the first Jesuits arrived on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Fr Hatcher says the frontier spirit is alive and well. "This is a frontier because, in general, Native American people are neglected. Here you have a population that is, by and large, uneducated, that is, by and large, suffering from alcohol, drugs and depression. They have many gifts to share if we bring a healing process to them, if we say you have every ability to succeed." For more information, visit: www.jesuits.org/become.
1814-2014 RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY
New documents can be found in the ARSI website: http://www.sjweb.info/arsi/ARSI-1814/1814.cfm?LangTop=1&Publang=1
Novena of Prayers. At the request of Father General's committee for commemorating the Restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, a group of Jesuits in Rome - Mark Rotsaert (Belgium), Christopher A Fajardo (Philippines), Arokiaraj Patrick (India), Franklin Alves Pereira (Brazil), and Wilfred M Sumani (Africa) - has prepared a Novena that can be used in our communities from the eve of the feast of St Ignatius (30 July) until the anniversary day itself (7 August). The simple format can easily be adapted to different situations. It includes songs, scriptural passages, texts from the Society's history and tradition, petitions, and times for silence. The texts will be made available to all the Socii.
NEW IN SJWEB
There is a slideshow of Fr. General's recent Visit to Korea and East Timor. Click to see: http://sjweb.info/ss/fr_gen_ASP_2014/index.cfm