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Vol. XVI, No. 07 19 April 2012
From the Curia
Meeting of USA Socii at Curia. The meeting of the USA Socii took place in the Curia from April 15-18. The Socii meet bi-annually, and gather in Rome once every four years. As in past years, the meetings serve to orient the Socii to the works of the international Society, to facilitate communication between Provincial offices and the Roman offices. The meeting provides the opportunity to update on matters related to Practica Quaedam, as well as other pertinent matters.
JESAM Meeting. The Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) will gather for their regular meeting in Rome from 23 to 30 April. Their primary concern is to work together for an effective Jesuit presence in Africa and Madagascar. They will continue to seek ways and means of increasing the co-operation which already exists between Provinces and Regions of the Society of Jesus. This meeting has to consider whether and how to implement the Strategic Action Plan for the Houses of Formation of the Assistancy: this was commissioned by the Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar last year in Antananarivo. Naturally, the Superiors will examine carefully the reports of the Boards of Governors of the JESAM Centres of Formation in Harare, Nairobi and Abidjan. As usual, they will meet with a number of Father General's assistants, including the Delegate for the Roman Houses, the Secretary for Tertiary Education, and the Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service. Every year, the Major Superiors also consider the reports of the JESAM commissions - those of the Treasurers, the Development Offices, the Deans, Principals and Rectors of our common houses. There will be reports on the social apostolate, secondary education, the apostleship of prayer, as well as the report on Aids Jesuit Network. This year will see a new direction, as there will be a report from the first full-time JESAM social apostolate coordinator. The Major Superiors will also meet with the Director of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa. Many aspects of the mission of Jesuits in Africa and Madagascar will be considered and discussed during the course of this annual meeting.
From the Provinces
CHAD: A Medal to the Society of Jesus
King Juan Carlos of Spain has awarded a medal (a Plaque of Honor of the Order of Isabel the Catholic) to the Society of Jesus in Chad. The delivery ceremony took place on 1 March 1 in Yaoundé (Cameroon) at the Residence of Mr Spiegelberg de Ortueta, the Spanish ambassador in Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic. The ambassador handed the award to the Jesuit Provincial, and six other Jesuits were present. In his speech, he said that the King of Spain grants the award to people and organizations which distinguish themselves in reflecting Spanish spiritual values. The award was in recognition for the work done by Spanish Jesuits in the field of education in Chad. In responding, the Jesuit Provincial stressed that the honor was a tribute to all the Jesuits who worked in Chad. "Through the Spaniards who live and work among us, we all share the credit for this work. For us, it is an invitation to do more, an encouragement to continue to help people and society achieve their full dignity through our charitable work."
CUBA: Interview to Fr Jorge Cela Carvajal
In our Bulletin 22 of December 6, 2011, we reported about the appointment of Fr Jorge Cela Carvajal, who is Cuban by birth, as President of CPAL, the Conference of Latin American Provincials. In an interview for the Cuban magazine, Espacio Laical, journalist Lenier González asked him: "You will soon take on a very responsible position in the Society of Jesus at the continental level. What will be your future relationship with our country, Cuba, and its Church in need?" Fr Carvajal noted in response: "I would not say so much that the Church needs me, but that it is rather a Church and a country that I need. I was named President of the Conference of Latin American Provincials. That is a position of coordination for the whole of Latin America, which naturally includes Cuba. Cuba will be part of my work from a new perspective, not from the inside but from the outside. I consider this appointment, not so much as a personal matter, but it is an honor and a recognition for Cuba to be invited to play its part in the Society's process of coordination for the whole of Latin America. In a real sense, there is a responsibility in the appointment. But there will also be an opportunity to link the island to the processes of other churches in other countries of the hemisphere. In today's world it is very important that we begin to look to the future without looking up but looking down, taking that horizontal look of solidarity. Through Jesus of Nazareth, our neighbor and brother, the cross gives us strength here and now, without waiting for any magic salvation from above."
HAITI: The Jesuits Denounce the Smuggling of Migrants
In February, 3,353 Haitians, including 1,032 women and 345 children, were victims of migrants' trafficking at the northern border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This fact was reported by the JRS in Ouanaminthe (Haiti), when it launched an alert on the increase of the phenomenon. According to the missionary agency, Misna, women are also among the traffickers: they pretend to be the mothers of infants who have lost track of their parents and who become the victims of trafficking. The Human Rights Commission in the northern area of the Dominican Republic has warned repeatedly that the country risks international sanctions if it will not put a stop to human trafficking. According to the Fides agency, JRS has also published the complaint of a "Collective" which includes some of Haiti's civil society organizations. It brought to light what happened last March 24: a series of "suspicious" fires flared in some of the camps for displaced people in Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti. Some owners of the land, on which displaced person had erected their tents after the earthquake on 12 January 2010, seemed to be behind the fires. Their intention was to dislocate and disperse the displaced people and free the land.
SOUTH ASIA: Jesuits Reflect on Ecological Concerns
Fifty Jesuits, including the Conference President, one Provincial, fifteen theology students and many Jesuits involved directly in the ecological concerns, came together at Tarumitra in Patna (India) from 10-12 March. They shared their personal experiences, and their concerns about deforestation, pollution, global warming, the plight of the poor and tribals (indigenous people). They reflected on the eco-spirituality which draws them to eco-action today. They also reflected on the SJES (Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology) document Healing the Broken World, and they prepared five priority concerns for South Asia. They issued a Final Statement of the meeting entitled, "God's Dream With Us". The last paragraph of the Statement, whose theme is dream to realize, follows: "We resolve once again, in response to the Father General's appeal, to appreciate and relish the wonder of this creation; to labour for the preservation of the bio-diversity of our planet; to reduce pollution in whatever way we can and to struggle with the poor for dignity and sustainable living. We hope to do this as individual Jesuits, to implement it in all our communities from the novitiates to the apostolates; to undertake serious research on ecological issues and interact with research institutes and policy makers in our areas of ministries. We dream to adopt strategies and net-working in this regard and to take up advocacy to elicit global support and to enhance local expertise. Our institutions of higher learning and research can certainly play a major role in this regard". For the full document see: http://www.jesaonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=557:south-asian-ecojesuit-meet-2012&catid=911:documents-a-reports&Itemid=79
SPAIN: "Learn to Look"
The Ministry of Education and the BBVA Foundation offers the XXVII Francisco Giner de los Ríos Awards for the Advancement of Educational Quality. The purpose of the Awards is to recognize "innovative educational initiatives which support student learning and which promote the quality and improvement in teaching practice." On 10 April, eight awards were granted for the year 2011. They covered all stages of education, from primary to secondary school, and they included professional formation. One of the winners in the category of primary education was the Jesuit college Jesús María El Salvador, from Zaragoza. Its program, Aprende a mirar, was taken by 225 students aged 6 and 7, under the direction of ten teachers. Mrs Mari Paz Rodríguez, the project coordinator, explains its meaning: "Today, we are always taking just a look, a glance, because we have so many visual stimuli. We have to learn to stop, to reflect, to look closely. It is not important that students learn knowledge, but that they say "Look!" We do not explain to the children the difference between one thing and another - they can study that in a book. But we put them in front of something and let them discover the differences." According to Mari Paz the project is a "way to teach students to describe the world, to apply the knowledge they already have." They do so through many activities, through art, literature (such as workshops of poetry and of story writing and telling), and theater . . . The program also involves the emotions. For instance: "Look closely at the other person to resolve conflict. There is no need to talk about, and to explain the concept of what is right. Let people look at each others' faces and read what has been done."
SPAIN: Full Immersion in Ignatian Spirituality
For the past two years, the International Spiritual Centre of the Cave of Saint Ignatius in Manresa (Spain) has offered a five week course in English on the subject of Saint Ignatius. Now, in response to several requests, a new version of the same course will be offered in Spanish. The course will start on 14 November and will end on 19 December 2012. The course will study the heritage of Saint Ignatius of Loyola in some depth, so that he may inspire us to live a Christian life in today's society and Church. The course is meant principally for Jesuits and those lay persons who are interested in Saint Ignatius and who belong to educational, pastoral or social entities which wish to benefit from the study of St Ignatius. Those interested may contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information: http://covamanresa.cat/docs/immersio_ignasiana_castella.pdf.
The preparation of the Yearbook 2013 of the Society of Jesus continues. The 2013 edition will address two important issues. First of all Africa: taking advantage of the fact that the next Congregation of Procurators will take place in Nairobi next July, the Yearbook will present a fairly complete overview of the Society's commitments and priorities in this continent. This overview will focus more on images rather than on long articles. Another very significant part of the Yearbook will be devoted to the Society of Jesus and ecumenical and interreligious relations: the eight counselors of Father General for this area have agreed to contribute, each one for his field, a presentation on this important work of the Society of Jesus. Their articles will be followed by examples of concrete experiences of dialogue from all over the world. The reservation for the copies of the Yearbook has to be received in Rome by 15 June. A form for this will be available for the Socii of the Provinces on our sjweb.