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    Vol. XIX, No. 14 September 4, 2015


    General Congregation 36

    Preparations for General Congregation 36 have begun in earnest with the first gathering of the Coetus Praevius (Preparatory Committee) in Rome from August 31 to September 12, 2015. The committee is comprised of two representatives from each of the six Conferences of Africa and Madagascar; Latin America; Canada and United States; Europe; South Asia; and Asia Pacific. Father General Adolfo Nicolas and Father Douglas Marcouiller from the General Curia in Rome are also members of the Coetus Praevius.


    Pope Francis has appointed:


    - Fr David E. Nazar (CDA) Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. Fr Nazar was born in 1952, entered the Society of Jesus in 1973, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1983.  His previous assignments include pastoral ministry with the native peoples of Canada in Ontario, teaching at Regis College in Toronto, Canada, Provincial of the Jesuits of Upper Canada (1996 - 2002), and recently as District Superior of the Jesuits of Ukraine.


    - Fr Paolo Bizzeti (ITA) bishop and apostolic vicar of Anatolia, Turkey. Fr Bizzeti was born in 1947, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1966, and was ordained priest in 1975. Since 2007, Fr Bizzeti has been director of a centre for the formation of lay Catholics in Padua. He is founder of an Italian association called Friends of the Middle East. He will be consecrated bishop on 1st November at the Basilica of Saint Justina in Padua, Italy.


    Father General has appointed:


    - Fr Tomasz Michal Ortmann (PMA) as provincial of the Poland and Masovia Province. Fr Ortmann was born in 1969, entered the Society in 1988, and was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 2000. He begins his ministry as provincial on 17 September 2015.


    - Fr Gian Giacomo Rotelli (ITA) as personal secretary to Father General. Fr Rotelli was born in 1939, entered the Society in 1965 and was ordained in 1972. Until recently, he was Socius to the Provincial of Italy.


    Australia: Jesuit highlights parish role in climate action

    Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ, parish priest at Holy Family Parish at Mount Druitt, New South Wales, Australia says the parish can play an important role in climate action. 'The parish remains the archetypal Church community, and as such retains an essential place and space for any Christian to live out their commitments to God, to each other and to the world', he writes in his essay. 'Pope Francis continues these themes in Laudato Si' by expanding our horizons to include nature alongside the poor as needing constant care and protection by the Church. The parish, he writes, is a natural place for prayer, liturgy and the sacraments; for the living out of human relationships and, as a community, going out into the world to fulfil our mission of caring for the poor. 'But we have not always looked at the parish as the place and space for exploring our connections with the earth.


    JCU: Social Justice Short Film Contest

    America Media and the Ignatian Solidarity Network have announced a new social justice film contest, "Voices from the Margins '15," for college undergraduates. Winners will premiere their films at a new film festival at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice this November. Entrants are invited to create short films focused on a variety of topics, including poverty, immigration, race, gender, human rights, the environment and ecology. Entries will be evaluated on three criteria: adherence to the contest theme, artistic/production merit and creativity. Read more >>


    JESAM: African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN)

    "AJAN is found where AIDS and Jesuits meet." At first glance, this statement could seem somewhat odd. But if you take a moment to think about it, you'll find a precise way of defining just where the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) is at work. And this is by no means easy because AJAN, like many other networks, suffers sometimes from a lack of understanding - or diverse understandings that can cause confusion - of its identity, even by those who created and belong to it. It was participants of a recent meeting held by AJAN in Nairobi who coined this helpful statement. The meeting, held at Roussel House in Karen from 26 to 29 July, drew together nearly 50 Jesuits and co-workers involved in AIDS ministry in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. An external evaluator of AJAN, Ochieng Oloo, facilitated the discussion. Asking participants what they think AJAN is, Ochieng summarized their answers in the simplest way possible. Some later expanded the definition to be more inclusive: "AJAN is found where AIDS meets Jesuits and their co-workers." Happily, it was clear from the responses of participants that they do feel that "AJAN is all of us in this room", "we are AJAN".


    Korea: Inter-Province Solidarity and collaboration for peace

    Solidarity in social apostolates is rapidly increasing between the Japan and Korea Jesuit Provinces.  In another step towards increased collaboration, the two provinces will hold a bi-province meeting, timed to coincide with the 2015 Gangjeong Peace Conference to be held from September 7 to 9. Gangjeong Village in Jeju Island, South Korea, is the site of an ongoing peace movement protesting the construction of a Korean naval base on the island.  The Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 16 Jesuits from Japan attending the peace conference will remain on Jeju Island for one more day for the social apostolate meeting with nearly all the Jesuits working in social apostolate in the Korean Jesuit Province. Both provincials will attend the peace conference, which will be held at the new St Francis Peace Center of the Jeju Diocese.