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Vol. XVII, No. 1 16 January 2013
Solidarity in the Formation of Jesuits. In a letter dated January 12, 2013 to all Major Superiors, Father General "requests assistance in addressing a major difficulty in the Society: some Regions and Provinces do not have enough money to pay for all the expenses for their men in formation. At the same time, however, others have more resources than they can use. After giving special attention to this situation, GC 35 decided to stress the Society's shared responsibility for supporting Jesuits in formation throughout the world. A helpful summary of conclusions can be found in decree 5, nn. 12 and 18 and in the section about Finances included in the Issues for the Ordinary Government of the Society of Jesus Studied at the 35th General Congregation. To respond to the directives of the Congregation and to promote our solidarity, interdependence, and mutual support as members of this least Society, I ask that we take some steps together toward finding a way to sustain the costs of formation throughout the world." And after having given some practical guidelines, concludes: "Through this letter I would like to encourage an ongoing process at the local and Conference level for taking the steps I have outlined and to help prepare the work that must be done at the universal level (...).This is the beginning of a process that will unfold differently because of local circumstances, but it will help us grow in solidarity with one another as companions of Jesus."
From the Curia
"Tempo Forte." Soon after the New Year, from January 2nd to 5th, the Council of Father General had its "tempo forte": four days of reflection on various topics related to the mission and governance of the Society. This time the counsellors, with the participation of the Secretaries for the Service of Faith, Promotion of Justice and Ecology and Collaboration with Others, examined the implementation of the restructuring of Provinces going on in different parts of the Society, the support that could be given to the Provinces in the apostolic discernment on our apostolic institutions and the planning of personnel for the Interprovincial Roman Houses, one of the preferences of the universal Society. They also discussed reports of the various working groups created by Father General to take care of matters like mission, governance, training and organization of the Curia. It was also introduced the work done by the Commission in charge of the preparation of the celebrations for the anniversary of the restoration of the Society in 2014. The celebration of the Eucharist together, and in one occasion with the entire community, was a privileged time to ask the light of the Lord. Finally, a session was devoted to a personal sharing among the counsellors of consolation and desolation, concerns and hopes for the coming year. The "tempo forte" is held three times a year, and helps Father General to review the work done and plan the future ahead.
Fr. General has appointed:
- Father Antonio Moreno Provincial of the Philippine Province (PHI). Fr Antonio, at present Superior and President of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University in Zamboanga City, was born in 1961, entered the Society in 1983, and was ordained a priest in 1993.
From the Provinces
CHILE: Mission Among the Mapuches
Fr. Carlos Bresciani, vice-superior of the House "Padre Mariano Campos" and in charge of the Mission among the Mapuches, pronounced his final vows in the Society of Jesus last 15 December. During the celebration was also commemorated the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of 3 Jesuits and 5 Mapuche leaders in Elicura. The celebration was a meeting of pastoral workers in the Province of Arauco in the spot called "la agüita de los padres", and was animated by Fr. Hernán, who from the beginning invited to celebrate an intercultural Holy Eucharist, a true feast celebrated with much consolation. Fr. Carlos was accompanied by pastoral workers of the communities of Quidico, Tirúa and other places with which he collaborates, family and friends, members of RAI in Concepción and several priests of Arauco Province and also by Jesuits of Santiago, Concepción, Osorno and Puerto Montt. It was a nice gathering that allowed to celebrate and praise the God of life, togetherness in diversity, integrating people and cultures. "To participate in this celebration has been a grace and a blessing that God has given us in this time of Advent. A sign of hope, a sign of the Kingdom, " wrote the Provincial of Chile.
CHINA: Catholic Shanghai
A guidebook is now available to those who wish to experience the richness and vitality of the Catholic Church in Shanghai, a Chinese city that is rampantly commercial and surprisingly spiritual. Written by Fr Jeremy Clarke SJ, Catholic Shanghai: A Historical, Practical and Reflective Guide, is a pilgrimage guide to Catholic Shanghai. Fr Clarke gives clear directions on how to get to each of the sites presented and explains some of its history and significance. He also provides practical information such as the character of the area, nearby landmarks and public parks, and pointers about etiquette and local customs. Given that many of the locations are active places of worship, material that may be helpful for quiet reflection or prayer is also provided. Catholic Shanghai: A Historical, Practical and Reflective Guide can be purchased online from the Institute of Jesuit Sources website (www.jesuitsources.com). Fr Jeremy Clarke SJ, is an Australian Jesuit who is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Boston College in the United States and a Research Affiliate of the School of Culture, Language and History at the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific.
COLOMBIA: The Best Hospitals in Latin America
The St. Ignatius University Hospital of the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota finds itself listed in the 19th place among the best forty hospitals and clinics in Latin America, according to the fourth edition of the classification of hospitals and clinics in Latin America produced by the magazine América Economía. The award is given according to the high quality standards, the results of managements processes and the professionals who focus their efforts to provide a good service and care to the patients. América Economía underlines that in this assessment, which takes into consideration various data such as the safety and dignity of the patient, human resources, management skills, efficiency and prestige, Colombia seems to be the most advanced country with institutions having the highest proportion of specialists or almost specialists (From Noticias al Día of the Jesuit Province of Colombia: http://www.jesuitas.org.co/523.html).
INDIA: Award to the Founder of Chitrabani
A group of film enthusiasts in Mumbai has awarded a 77-year old Canadian Jesuit for "pioneering film academia in India". The Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society awarded Jesuit Father Gaston Roberge, who with the support of late Satyajit Ray, the doyen of Indian cinema, started Chitrabani communication centre in Kolkata in 1970 and directed it for 26 years until 1996. The award citation recognized the priest work "for establishing the unique enabling institution of Chitrabani and thus pioneering film academia in India as well as cultivating and nurturing several generations of cineastes and filmmakers." Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society was set up in 1997 to champion the cause of sensitive cinema and keep film maker Bimal Roy's unique legacy alive. Roy (1909-1966) is known as the silent master of Indian cinema who ushered in the golden age of Indian Cinema in the 1940?s of last century. Besides starting Chitrabani, Father Roberge started the Educational Media Research Centre (EMRC) of St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and directed it for ten years until 1996. After a three year stint as Executive Secretary for Social Communication at the Society of Jesus, Rome Headquarters, he was also Head of Department of Communications, St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, until 2001. Author of some 15 books on cinema and communication, Father Roberge is still a faculty member of St. Xavier's College's Departments of Mass Communication and Film Studies.
PHILIPPINES: Centre for Effective Mission
The East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) is setting up a new unit to provide consultancy and on-site training programs for local churches in Asia Pacific. The new Centre for Effective Mission will complement EAPI's current formation and educational programs in Manila. The initiative for the Centre springs from a recognition of the challenges local churches face in a fast-changing region, and the desire to help them respond. The Centre's services will be offered primarily to dioceses, religious congregations, lay societies and other Catholic institutions and organizations. From this year the Centre hopes to provide accompaniment in areas such as pastoral renewal, apostolic planning, leadership, networking and collaboration, governance and psycho-spirituality. The Centre also aims to offer customized on-site training programs by partnering with organizations in the local churches. This will particularly benefit those who are not able to attend the longer residential programs EAPI offers in Manila. In addition, the Centre plans to engage in research as well as animate greater networking in the church. Expertise for its services will come from EAPI's long-established network of resource persons around Asia and beyond. It hopes to work closely with the Jesuit network in Asia Pacific.
ROME: 450 Years Ignatian Lay Communities
The year 2013 will mark 450 years of Ignatian Lay Communities. In 1563, Jean Leunis SJ started the Prima Primaria in the Roman College. This became the primary community to which were affiliated the many Marian Congregations (or Sodalities of Our Lady) that soon flourished throughout the world. These lay communities were instrumental in preserving and transmitting the Ignatian charism in all areas of life, a role which became all the more invaluable during the Suppression of the Society (1773-1814). The Congregations had a powerful impact on social and moral life down the centuries. In 1967, the Prima Primaria became part of the World Christian Life Community (CLC) and thus continues its uninterrupted transmission of the Ignatian charism amongst the laity. This Jubilee of 450 years is an occasion of importance for the whole Ignatian family. World CLC has taken the initiative to celebrate this landmark and invites other Ignatian groups to join in. Different types of events are being organized at the local and international levels. Other events will promote a reflection on the role of lay Ignatian communities in the Church and in the world. One event coming up soon is a Pilgrimage in Europe this April. For further details, look up the World CLC website: www.cvx-clc.net.
SLOVAKIA: Twenty Years of the Republic
"Only a life according to Christian values can assure a good future." This is what Cardinal Ján Chryzostom Korec, S.J., bishop emeritus of Nitra, said on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Slovak Republic celebrated in recent weeks. Mons. Korec encouraged everybody not to be afraid, to have a strong faith, to help each other and to show devotion to the Church and the Holy Father. The Cardinal, among the most respected figures in Slovakia, made a public exhortation to the citizens to refrain from placing their hopes only in material values. "Christ is the light of the world. The only light that shines on our path, that accompany us and that shows us how to live," he added, recalling the early days of 1993 when John Paul II sent a telegram to the representatives of the Catholic Church to express his best wishes to the country just born, writing that Slovakia "has so much to offer Europe" through its saints and martyrs.
SOUTH SUDAN: With Renewed Hope and Courage
Fr. Michael J. Schultheis, SJ, writes from Juba, Republic of South Sudan: "Last year, Christmas was celebrated with a measure of exhilaration and renewed commitment to the challenge of building a new nation. This year communities in South Sudan are anxious - the northern military continue to bomb border communities and displace thousands who seek freedom from oppression. The reasons are partly over oil and other resources, but Northern leaders use Islamic ideology and weapons to obstruct the growth of a strong South Sudan and to destroy the largely Christian African communities in the border areas. The "Arab Spring" remains a threat to dictatorial regimes who give up power reluctantly. Yet communities here celebrated Christmas with a renewal of hope and courage, even as they recognize that International pressure on North Sudan is critical, to avoid return to open war. There is no easy path to building a new nation. This is the context and background of South Sudan today. On a positive note, the Catholic University of South Sudan now in its fifth year has more than 750 students."
THAILAND: Burmese University in Ranong
The seafood factory on the southwestern coast of Thailand is sometimes referred to as the Burmese University in Ranong. It is one of the few opportunities available to many Burmese migrant children denied an education due to chronic poverty and social pressure. "Once the students are 12 years old, their parents encourage them to leave school to work in the factories so that they can support the family," said Irene Ho, who as project director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) migrant learning centers encourages communities to value education and seeks to mitigate the barriers facing Burmese children trying to go to school. But, as many representatives from international organizations have found, economic hardship often pressures families to withdraw children before completing secondary school. "Poor wages in low skilled jobs mean that every member of the family has to work," explained Pakpoom Sawankhum, a field officer with Raks Thai, a grassroots NGO working with Burmese migrant communities throughout Thailand. Economic hardship is not the only obstacle faced by children in their search for an education. Family and peer pressure encourage children to join their friends and parents in the factory, while limited quotas and exclusion of Burmese children from some Thai schools are also major stumbling blocks. To read more: http://sjapc.net/content/moving-tides-education-ranong