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“God founded you as Jesuits”, Pope Francis reminds Jesuit students in Rome

On December 3, the Collegio Internazionale del Gesù in Rome celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding by Fr Pedro Arrupe. Pope Francis received some 60 staff and students from the college’s international community and urged them to base themselves in Jesus, to grow and take root against every spiritual worldliness and to mature in their mission.

The Pope recalled that it was the feast of St Francis Xavier, who wrote to his companions, “I beg you, in all your matters to base yourselves totally in God”. Pope Francis reminded them: “God founded you as Jesuits: this Jubilee is a moment of grace for remembering and feeling you are with the Church, in a Company and with a belonging that has a name: Jesus”.

The Pope also reminded his companions that they are called “to grow, sinking your roots” because “to have roots is to have a well-grafted heart, which in God is able to expand”. The heart that does not expand atrophies, he cautioned.

“To God, semper maior, we respond with the magis of life, with a clear and irrepressible enthusiasm, with the fire that blazes inside, with that positive tension, always growing, that says ‘no’ to any compromise”, he said.

Pope Francis told them, however, that “there is no growth without crisis” but assured them, “do not be afraid as there is no fruit without pruning or victory without struggle”.

He described spiritual worldliness, which leads to clericalism, as the greatest danger of our time, just as Fr Henri de Lubac SJ referred to it as “the worst evil that can happen to us”.

“If the worldliness affects the roots, goodbye fruit and goodbye plant”, said the Pope, but “if growth is a constant action against one’s ego, there will be much fruit.”

He identified two signs of growth: freedom and obedience. These two virtues advance if they walk together, he said. Freedom is essential, because “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. He wished them “to be free sons who, united in diversity, struggle every day to conquer the greatest freedom: that of yourselves”. In this, “Prayer will be of great help”, he said. “It is the legacy that Fr Arrupe left us, his ‘swan song.’”

He continued that just as for Jesus the food of life is to do the will of the Father, they too must obey the Father and of the fathers that the church gives. “Freedom and obedience”, he said, “give life to that creative way of acting with the Superior.”

Finally, he told them: “One does not mature in the roots and in the trunk, but by putting out the fruits, which fertilise the earth with new seeds”. Thus Jesuits are called to be present “at the most intricate junctures, in the border lands, in the deserts of humanity”.

Pope Francis said a Jesuit may find himself like a lamb among wolves, but he should not be like the wolves. Instead, he should remain as a lamb. “In this way the Shepherd will reach him there, where his lamb is.”

Photos courtesy of Collegio Internazionale del Gesù Facebook page

10 Dec 2018 - 05:11

 

Jesuit Superior General Fr Arturo Sosa SJ told students of the Ateneo de Manila University to be agents of reconciliation, reiterating the call of General Congregation 36 to seek and promote reconciliation between man and God, reconciliation among men and reconciliation between man and God’s creation.

Fr Sosa met with the grade school, high school and college students on the morning of December 8 for a tête-à-tête after his tour around the campus aboard the university’s electronic jeepney. Student leaders asked Fr Sosa many questions, including how he became Superior General of the Society, why Jesuit homilies are short but profound and his message to young people, to which he responded by stressing the need for reconciliation.

Fr General Arturo Sosa aboard the Ateneo e-jeepney during his campus tour

In the afternoon, it was the turn of the Jesuits to have an audience with their Superior General. Around 200 Jesuit priests, brothers, scholastics and novices gathered at the Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola School of Theology for a dialogue with Fr Sosa. Philippine Provincial Fr Primitivo Viray Jr SJ presented the situation of the Philippine Province, highlighting opportunities and challenges. Fr Sosa responded by giving an update on the status of the Society’s “Universal Apostolic Preferences”, which will be presented to Pope Francis to ensure that the Society’s mission in the next five years will come from the Holy Father himself.

Fr Sosa also talked about the critical challenges facing the Society such as living fully their vow of poverty, the development of a culture of safeguarding minors and vulnerable adults in our communities and ministries, and the issue of “clericalism,” one of the cardinal sins in the Church pointed out by Pope Francis early on in his pontificate. Fr General then answered some questions from the congregation.

Fr General Sosa addresses Philippine Jesuits

As it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Fr Sosa presided at the Mass held in the Oratory of St Ignatius de Loyola. In his homily, Fr General underscored the virtues of the Immaculata and prayed that like Mary, the Jesuits may also say “yes” to the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society.

Fr General Sosa celebrates the Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with JCAP President Fr Tony Moreno and Philippine Provincial Fr Jun Viray concelebrating

The evening concluded with dinner prepared by the Loyola House of Studies and entertainment from scholastics of the Philippine Province and Arrupe International Residence. [Jesuit Communications Philippines]

10 Dec 2018 - 04:59

Oran, Dec 8, 2018: The Catholic Church on December 8 beatified in the city of Oran seven French monks and 12 other clergy killed during Algeria’s civil war, the first ceremony of its kind in a Muslim nation.

May “Monsignor Pierre Claverie… and his 18 companions, faithful messengers of the Gospel, humble artisans of peace… from now on be called blessed,” said papal envoy Cardinal Angelo Becciu, reading the decree of beatification, the penultimate step on the path to sainthood.

Claverie, 58, was killed with his driver on August 1, 1996, when a remote-controlled bomb exploded at his residence in Oran.

He was among 19 clergy to be beatified, after their murders in a series of grisly atrocities between 1994 and 1996.

The ceremony was held under tight security at the esplanade of the Chapel of our Lady of Santa Cruz overlooking the Mediterranean city.

Some 1,200 people attended the ceremony, including pilgrims, relatives and friends of the beatified, many of whom came from abroad.

Opening the ceremony, Archbishop Paul Desfarges of Algiers paid tribute to “the thousands and thousands of victims of the Algerian civil war,” describing them as anonymous heroes.

A minute of silence was then observed.

Algeria’s 1991-2002 war between government forces and Islamists left up to 200,000 people dead.

In a message read during the ceremony by Becciu, Pope Francis spoke of his hope that “this celebration helps to heal the wounds of the past and create a new dynamic of meeting and living together”.

The 19 clergy were declared martyrs by the Vatican in January 2018, since they were slain “in odium fidei”, or out of hatred for the faith.

Pope Francis himself spoke of the beatification in prayers at Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Saturday.

“May this beatification be an incentive for all to build a world of fraternity and solidarity together,” the pope said.
(India.com)

by Matters India

10 Dec 2018 - 04:33

Jesuit Superior General elected President of Union of General Superiors

Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ has been elected president of the Union of Superiors General (USG). 

This group represents religious orders and congregations of brothers and priests around the world in almost all countries.

"I feel humbled to be chosen" said Fr. Sosa. “Religious provide an important and prophetic contribution in the Church today. They are working at dangerous frontiers and in difficult situations bringing the Good News and helping people find reconciliation and peace." 

The USG exists since 1955 and brings together General Superiors of the male religious orders and congregations.

Fr. Sosa committed the USG to ongoing collaboration with its sister organization, the UISG, which represents the female General Superiors.

Finally Fr. Sosa also thanked the outgoing president Fr. Mauro Jöhri, O.F.M. Cap. and Fr. Michael Brehl C.Ss.R., acting President, for their dedication and service.

29 Nov 2018 - 09:56

On Thursday, 15th November, at 2AM a Kenyan Jesuit, Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo, 62, was killed during the attack against the Jesuit community in Cueibet, South Sudan. Three other members of the community, who were already asleep during the incident, are reported safe [read more here]. A letter with condolences was addressed to the Eastern Africa Provincial, Fr. Joseph Oduor Afulo, by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa:

November 15th, 2018

Dear Father Provincial, P.C.,

It is with great pain that I received the sad news of the attack of our companions in Cueibet and the violent death of Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo, S.J., the Principal of Mazzolari Teachers’ College (MTC) and Vice-Superior of the community.

Father Victor Luke Odhiambo leaves a name, not only in South Sudan as the first Jesuit to die at the service of its people, but in the whole of Eastern Africa as a teacher of thousands of students in the Starehe Boys Centre in Nairobi-Kenya and in Loyola High School in Dar Es Salaam-Tanzania.

He was a very courageous man, intelligent, caring, creative administrator and above all a believer in the value of education. He was not afraid of venturing into the unknown even into the most dangerous of places once he was convinced it was the Lord’s mission. His example of selfless dedication as Headmaster and Principal remains a challenge to many of our younger brothers in the Society of Jesus. He is a light, which has been extinguished, after enlightening other lights. Like a grain of wheat that dies in order to bear much fruit. And this is our consolation.

Kindly assure all our companions especially those in South Sudan my closeness and prayers. Fr. Odhiambo gave his life for the people, the sons and daughters of God, following Jesus’ example. Our merciful Father will receive him with an open heart. Let us also pray for those who attacked the college premises and  killed Father Victor and for those who promote violence, may the Lord change their hearts.

Please do pass on my sincere condolences to all the members of your province and to his biological family, with the assurance of my prayers that the Lord grant them consolation. May the soul of our brother Victor rest in God’s peace and eternal happiness.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Arturo Sosa, S.J.
Superior General

19 Nov 2018 - 08:44

Dhaka: Magis Bangla, the Bangladeshi chapter of an international Catholic youth movement sponsored by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), is marking its 12th anniversary in the country.

The Nov. 8-10 celebrations at Jesuit-run Novojyoti Niketan (Home of New Light) in Gazipur district near capital Dhaka include a gathering of more than 150 current and former members of the movement, meditation, formation sessions and cultural programs.

"Go for the Greater" is the theme of the celebrations.

Over the years, Magis Bangla has aimed to transform and transmit Christian values and spirituality with cultural and intellectual foundations for Bangladeshi Catholic youth, said Father Pradeep Perez, the movement's coordinator.

"Our aim is to embody and present Christian life and living in an alternative and extraordinary way, which breaks away from traditional classroom formation but is close to our daily living of life. Our formation is based on the teachings of Jesus with an emphasis on knowledge and culture," Father Perez told ucanews.com.

Year-long Magis programs including youth camps, a carol and photography competition, musical drama on the life of Jesus, and celebrations of national and cultural festivals encompass the true spirit of Christian values, he said.

"Magis wants young people to have a better life, a life in fullness, for the greater glory of God," Father Perez added.

Magis Bangla members say the movement has changed their lives for the better.

"I have made some great friends since I joined the movement more than four years ago. Magis has taught me essential values including equal respect for everyone including women," photographer Amit Leonard, 26, told ucanews.com.

"Moreover, I have learned how I can connect spirituality with everyday life. This is very important for young people."

Magis Bangla is a platform for "latent talents" and promotes awareness about social and family responsibilities, said Tithi Agatha Halder, a member since 2010.

"Everyone has got talents, but some are shy to express them in public. Magis gives young people a forum to express and manifest our talents through various activities. It gives young people confidence for their future lives," Halder told ucanews.com.

"Magis helps us attain and use knowledge from practical experience of life, which is way more effective than conventional lecture-based formation."

Holy Cross Brother Ujjal Placid Pereira, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Youth Commission, applauded the Magis movement.

"We are aware that Magis Bangla is very popular among young people, which means they find it interesting and useful. We appreciate this Jesuit initiative for youth formation, and I believe it can bring good for youth and the church," he told ucanews.com.

However, Brother Pereira noted that Magis programs seem more about celebration than spiritual formation.

"The church teaches us that catechism and spiritual formation should be at the heart of the church's youth programs. Magis Bangla is a creative program, and it can do better by emphasizing more on catechism and spirituality," he said.

"Magis" is a Latin word meaning "more, better and fuller" and it also stands for "Marching and Growing in Solidarity." Magis came into being in 1997 before World Youth Day in Paris. It has become a major global Catholic youth movement.

Magis draws inspiration from Ignatian spirituality, initiated by St. Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. The Magis program focuses on prayer, spirituality, life sharing, reunions, volunteering, social help, art and music. 

Jesuits in Bangladesh started Magis Bangla on Sept. 9, 2007.

Source: UCAN

12 Nov 2018 - 07:39

The Annual Conference of JHEASA on Oct 19-20, 2018 was held at Dhyana Ashram, Chennai with support of  Loyola College, Chennai. There were 68 participants including 9 lay principals. We had short presentations and discussed in groups all 6 themes of Bilbao Assembly 2018. Fr. Joye James, the Secretary Higher Education in South Asia cordinated the meeting, which came up with a time bound action plan for our Colleges and Universities. 

10 Nov 2018 - 14:18

All the PCE’s of South Asia under the able and dynamic leadership of Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ, Secretary JEA SA gathered together for the Annual meeting in Arrupe Institute, Raia, Goa, the First Jesuit Province of South Asia. The theme of our deliberations was Connect – Collaborate – Transform.  Three day meet began with the Key note address by Fr. William the Socius of Goa Province in the absence of Fr. Roland, the Provincial of Goa. He reminded us of our Jesuit Legacy in Education Apostolate and asked us to be relevant in our ministry.

Fr. Lancy Lobo gave an analysis of socio – political scenario of India. He also focused on the educational scenario of India. In present political and social situation he asked us to have some models such as constitutional model as well as neighbourhood model. He also recommended that we need to re – imagining the nation and to have an interreligious approach in our educational institutions. He also called upon to have citizenship of education focusing on the rights and duties of each citizens of our country. He called upon to be aware of the KEY( Know your Enemy)

Fr Tony and Fr Sunny Jacob helped us to have a recap of Bhuvaneshwar Trianniel2017 and JESEDURIO2017 Statement.  Fr Sunny focused on the JESEDURIO which focused on the mandate of GC 36, the three fold reconciliation and told us that we need to focus in our educational apostolate.  We had a beautiful sharing of Different provinces their rich fruitful ministries based on the action plans undertaken by different provinces of India and South Asia.

On the second day we had an input session from Ciara Buestur, from Ireland, a Community leader of Educate Magis a global networking of all Jesuit schools of the world. She spoke of the beginning of this great initiative which focuses on Together we can do better. She also called upon to share our resources in the website so that other schools of the globe could know what is happening in our schools in south Asia. Educate Magis is a forum where in we can access to our Jesuit Legacy of Secondary education as well as other spiritual practices we can have and practice in our schools. All the Jesuit schools of South Asia were called upon to be part of this global networks of Schools, and also to be the part of Global Citizenship.

On the second day afternoon we had a pilgrimage to Bom Jesu. It was really a spiritual experience. We had Mass at Main alter offered by Fr. Norbert Menezes, which helped us to get into the spirit St. Francis Xavier and our first fathers. We were enthused to be the persons of Magis and work for the greater Glory of God.

On the third day we had input session on Ecology by ADO, Lourdes Baptista from Delhi. He explained the module of Healing the broken world – the task force on Ecology which appreciates the great concerns which are taken up by  different provinces of South Asia from the  past 50 years. He also gave us the two modules which are well recognised of Taru Mitra and GJEM(Gujarat Environment Movement). He was also appreciative of the Karnataka province initiates to have a Eco  Commission and Province Eco policy. He called upon to focus on Ecology in our schools. Fr. James PJ of Hazaribag explained the Eco Policy of JEA SA. Fr Ajith Xess of Ranchi and the Secretary of Central Zone Education Bureau. He gave us the model of 5 central zone provinces working together in the field of Education.

Human rights culture through Human rights education an initiative by Madurai Jesuits was explained to us by Fr. Aloysius Irudayam SJ and Fr Cyril from IDEAS Madurai which was started in 1997. Fr Cyril explained how his work in preparing the text books on human rights and how it has impacted on the students in Tamil Nadu and some schools in Bangalore.

 Human Rights Education is a need of the hour is mainly because general public are very much aware of their rights. Therefore we need to be part of this movement. Secondly the government is becoming very repressive and we need to create awareness about their rights. Thirdly constitution itself is at stake. Therefore it is the need of the hour to educate our children on Constitution and human right education. HRE focuses on Human dignity. it is inborn,, it is universal. The prepared models on human Rights Education for 6th, 7th,8th,9th standard were given an explanation. The prepared text books were also presented to the delegates.

Fr Norbert Menezes enlightened us regarding the election scenario of India. He called upon to emphasise on secular aspect of our nation to our children and parents.

At the end of our deliberations Fr. Sunny and Mr. Lurdue Baptista helped us to have a concrete and time bound action plan. We in our 4 Zones sat together and came out with the action plans on the issues like Global Citizenship, Human rights and constitution education and Ecology for Education Apostolate in South Asia.

As concluding remarks Fr Sunny Jacob, the secretary thanked all the resource persons and all the delegates for participating actively in this three day deliberations and time bound action plans in the Assistancy.

We the delegates of JEA SA are indebted to the Goa province for the opportunity to have this meeting in Arrupe Institute, Raia. We are grateful to the great hospitality that we cherished during our stay. We are grateful to Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ for his vibrant leadership. It was the first JEA SA meet which had input sessions by the national and international level resource persons who focussed on the mandate given by the GC 36. At the end of these three days deliberations and prayerful reflections we commit ourselves connect with each other to bring about needed change in our education system based on our context, we commit ourselves to transform the society through collaboration and networking in all levels.

By Rohan Almeida SJ (Karnataka)

(8 November 2018)  

*To see the photos go to the Gallery

10 Nov 2018 - 09:20
By Jennie Hicke

From July 29 through August 2, 2012, for the first time in the history of the Society of Jesus, with the encouragement of Father General, and under the guidance of the International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education, the leaders of our secondary schools from around the world assembled in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. for the International Colloquium on Jesuit Secondary Education. With over 400 participants from across the globe, their goal was to strengthen our global network by providing a venue to share ideas and resources and to discuss their strengths and challenges in the light of our Jesuit mission and identity as expressed in the documents from the thirty-fifth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus.

The Colloquium concluded with a statement of commitment that acknowledged that the international network of schools is uniquely suited to educate global citizens who would be able to participate in a globalization of solidarity, cooperation, and reconciliation that fully respects human life and dignity, and all of God’s creation. Participants committed to networking as a universal body, to raise awareness of the world and effectively help students face global challenges.

In 2014, a smaller representation of international key leaders gathered in Manresa and a much larger number joined via various social networks and live streaming to participate in the SIPEI (International Seminar on Ignatian Pedagogy and Spirituality). This Seminar focused on the four C’s – conscience, competence, compassion and commitment – as the pillars of and background for Jesuit Education. The seminar provided a unique opportunity to discuss, in depth, the meaning of each one of the four C’s and their implications for defining Jesuit/Ignatian education/pedagogy today.

The deliberations of the Seminar concluded that we should be a courageous collaborative network, forming people who actively seek the greater glory of God in the complex nature of our contemporary world and strengthen our commitment to justice locally, regionally and globally.

In 2017, the JESEDU-Rio2017 (International Congress for Jesuit Education Delegates) was held in Rio de Janeiro. The Congress was conceived as the final stage of the three-staged discernment process that began in 2012, recognizing the global character of our network, identifying our common roots and discussing current challenges. The Congress committed to thirteen action statements broken into four key areas: the experience of God; tradition and innovation; caring for our common home – reconciliation with God, humanity and creation; and sent into a global network. These key areas have been identified as areas for continuous review and focus for the education apostolate internationally.

This first nine-year cycle of discernment, called Discovering Our Apostolic Global Potential, has provided a way to ensure that our work as a global community is not only sustainable but is constantly cognoscente of our changing world and the need to be mindful of this as educators.  While meetings alone are not sufficient in our quest to serve our universal mission, they provide structure, direction and an important element of human connection that is critical in our work.

The next cycle of discernment, called Walking as a Global Network at the Service of the Mission, begins in 2020 with the JESEDU-Jogja2020 Colloquium, which will take place in Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

To know more about this Colloquium download the official announcement, which has been translated from English to Spanish and French.

– JESEDU-Jogja2020 Announcement (English)
– JESEDU-Jogja2020 Comunicado (Español)
– JESEDU-Jogja2020 Annonce (Français)

This Colloquium will aim to bring together members of our school leadership teams, with the intent to experience first-hand the interconnectedness of the Jesuit network and to collaborate for the common good of our universal mission of serving a faith that does justice. The theme of the Colloquium is: “Educating for Depth and Reconciliation”. As clarified by GC36, we are companions sent on “a mission of reconciliation and justice.” The goal is to reflect and explore, as a global network, our responsibility and methods to educate for depth and reconciliation in our world today.

The Colloquium will be followed by a Seminar in 2023 and a Congress in 2026 to complete the second cycle.

31 Oct 2018 - 06:50

Holy Father, brothers and sisters,

The confrontation with reality (No. 118-119) as part of discernment presupposes an adequate analysis (interpretation) of the reality that has been recognized. I perceive in the “Instrumentum Laboris” a simplified and negative view of secularization. Being a characteristic of the change of epoch in which we live is hardly mentioned in part I as a kind of dark stage in the process of overcoming, disappears in the second part in which it seeks to interpret reality and discern the action of God in history, to reappear hardly mentioned in some numbers of the third part, always in a negative tone.

What if we dare, instead, to see secularization as a sign of the times, in the theological sense that the Second Vatican Council gave to this expression? It is about seeing secularization, and the secular world that emerges from it, as one of the ways in which the Spirit is speaking and guiding us in this time. Instead of multiplying regrets for an idealized past that is gone, let us ask ourselves sincerely what the Lord is telling us through secularization, where the Holy Spirit leads us through that path that humanity is living.

Let us ask ourselves, for example, what secularization liberates us from. Answering leads us to differentiate the various types of secularization.

(a) One is the fighting secularism that fights against any form of religious faith from a militant atheism.

(b) In other cases, secularism is shown to be indifferent to religious experience.

(c) One of the frequent effects of secularization is the interruption of social conversations about religion that leads to ignorance about faith, religious experience, and religion itself.

(d) When society becomes secular, there arise in many the desire to know the experience of religion and faith.  At this point, the fight against religion has been overcome and indifference is transformed into an investigation of the religious phenomenon. In this way, out of curiosity many young people come to see what they find.

Perceiving the process of secularization as a “sign of the times” leads to:

1) Making us aware of how the secular world frees us from being Christians automatically, out of habit, because we live in a Christian environment, because we are part of a Christian family in a Christian society. In a secular society, you are Christian because you want to be, because the question has been asked, it has been answered, and you choose to be a Christian.

2) Secular society also liberates us from basing religion in tribal identity, a national identity or any other identity alien to the spiritual experience that invites us to recognize ourselves as humans, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same father.

3) Secular society leads us to recover the importance of the announcement of the faith and the pastoral accompaniment of human and Christian maturation. The first announcement of the faith thus becomes a key dimension of the work of the church in these types of societies. The announcement of the faith is based on the testimony of the apostles of whom Jesus, the crucified-resurrected, let himself be seen. Today there are witnesses who have had a personal encounter with Christ and testify with their lives as disciples.

4) The announcement follows the long and complex process of accompanying the maturation of the faith. The experience of faith does not produce subjects of a lordship but voluntary followers of the Universal Kingdom of the crucified-resurrected of whom they have freely chosen to become disciples. Hence the importance of Christian communities. We know that the Christian faith is not lived in isolation; the Christian faith is lived in community and it is the community that guarantees that accompaniment of the process of maturation in the faith.

[Original Spanish text]

 

31 Oct 2018 - 06:22

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