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A faith that does justice
Sowing seeds of reconciliation How can we engage with the conflicts of today’s world to create a better future? Issue 113 • Winter 2022 • Jesuit.org.uk
PLEASE PRAY for those who have died recently. May they rest in peace. • Mrs Mary A Attfield • Mrs Margaret Berrie
FREE: please take a copy
A faith that does justice
Sowing seeds of reconciliation How can we engage with the conflicts of today’s world to create a better future? Issue 113 • Winter 2022 • Jesuit.org.uk
• Mr Eric J Bushell • Mr Peter Connor
On the cover: A mother and child in the Dagon Seikkan township in Yangon, Myanmar (Photo: Myanmar Jesuit Missions)
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Jesuits & Friends Winter 2022
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From Fr Provincial In 1550, St Ignatius decided to redraft the ‘Formula of the Institute’ which sets out the vision and mission of the Society of Jesus. Almost as an afterthought, he added a commitment to ‘reconcile the estranged’. It’s not absolutely clear the sorts of situation Ignatius had in mind. Political rivalries? Divisions in the Church? He would have been well aware that not a few family estrangements in his day had arisen as a result of a zealous son leaving home to join the Jesuits… It’s taken us a long time to recognise that the task of reconciliation is not a sideshow but the core substance of Christ’s mission. Reconciling women and men with God by helping them respond to the Creator’s unconditional love. Reconciling them to one another by entering the conflict zones of the world equipped to promote dialogue and understanding. And these days we would add the urgent need to reconcile
humanity with a planet whose delicate equilibria we have ignored and abused. In 2016, our 36th General Congregation officially described the Jesuit mission as one of ‘reconciliation and justice’. This clarity of insight was the fruit of many years of practical service of a reconciling mission. As you will read in this edition of Jesuits & Friends, British Jesuits helped that costly enterprise to bear fruit in countries as far apart as Northern Ireland and South Africa. But one could see equally dramatic examples in places like Colombia and Syria where Jesuits have taken risky and imaginative action to bring people together across the most painful divides. It is perhaps not surprising that in a world hurtling, it seems, away from the values of mutual understanding and tolerance, the Society should reflect on its own experience and set its face decisively in the opposite direction.
Every time we receive the grace of clarity in our mission it comes with an associated temptation. In this case, we can become self-righteous, or believe that we alone know how to bring peace to the world. We can become stubborn and sanctimonious and condemning towards others. To be at the service of integral reconciliation means undergoing a personal spiritual transformation, adopting an attitude that always seeks the good in and of others, that is rigorously humble, self-forgetful and patient whilst at the same time never giving up on one’s ideals and aims. It is no ‘soft’ spirituality but a demanding discipline of transformative living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and nourished by a living relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s what makes the Jesuit vocation so daunting – and so compelling! Damian Howard SJ
In this issue... 04 Michael Lewis SJ and Brendan
MacPartlin SJ describe the journeys on which Jesuits have accompanied the people of South Africa and Northern Ireland.
16 A meeting of Jesuit brothers
in Rome left Stephen Power SJ filled with hope for the future.
Paul Chitnis tells us what fuels his commitment to his work.
07 Pope Francis’ approach to conflict 18 All around the world, Jesuit calls us to acknowledge its reality, says Patrick Riordan SJ.
08 Amy-Leigh Hatton gives us a tour of a new JRS UK housing project.
10 The Jesuits have now left Corpus Christi, Boscombe, but only after helping to set hearts on fire, writes Michelle Ellison.
12 John Paul de Quay follows Ignatius to Jerusalem ... or does he?
14 The Jesuit Fund for Social Justice
is supporting those who have fled Ukraine – John McManus visits a central London welcome project.
Missions and their partners strive to make a difference to the lives of crisis-afflicted communities.
20 Jesuit school pupils got a taste of
Pamplona, Manresa and Rome ... in Derbyshire! Maria Neal reports.
21 Congratulations and thank you to all of those who completed the London Marathon for JRS UK and Jesuit Missions!
22 Praying with the pope: Eddy Bermingham SJ.
SOUTH AFRICA AND NORTHERN IRELAND
The 150-year history of the Society of Jesus in South Africa has seen devastating divisions, which Jesuits have sought to overcome, writes Michael Lewis SJ.
f ever a country needed reconciliation of its people, South Africa did – and still does. I have lived in South Africa for seventy years and seen change, but never enough. Living in a country where one belongs to a privileged white minority inevitably makes one examine one’s conscience constantly as to what one can do against institutionalised injustice. To be a Jesuit and look back at the history of the Society of Jesus in South Africa fills one with both desolation and consolation of different
degrees and intensity: seeing how much Jesuits did, often quietly and unnoticed, knowing we needed to do more, but asking if we could ever have done enough. South Africa was the darling of the press for a few years after the first democratic elections in 1994. There was much talk of the ‘Rainbow Nation’, and the hard painful work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was started under many watchful, optimistic eyes. A number of Jesuits made
A MISSION OF
reconciliation, justice and peace That reconciliation with God requires justice between people is something that the Jesuits have long advocated for – Brendan MacPartlin SJ describes how this has been put into practice in Northern Ireland.
eople are mysteries that recognise, respect and respond to one another. Some live under the illusion of being autonomous and superior, and fail to receive from or confer on others their true worth. This leads to patterns of injustice in social, political and economic formations, from which emerges the need for reconciliation in individual and social exchange. Jesus’s mission is to reconcile and restore all things, and he calls us to join his campaign for right relations with him, with each other and with nature. 4
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The Jesuit approach The Jesuits have just celebrated the 500th anniversary of the beginning of St Ignatius’s process of conversion that entailed reconciliation with himself, with his past way of life and with God. The eyes of his understanding were opened and he began relating to all of creation in a new way. He developed a style of ‘uniting what is divided’ and founded a Society which aimed, among other things, to ‘reconcile the estranged’. By means of the Spiritual Exercises, Jesuits have been known to act as mediators in
depositions to the commission. The Jesuits living and working in South Africa, some having worked against the system of apartheid, now shared in the euphoria. Before the elections, Jesuits in the country helped train people to vote for the first time in their lives, and many Jesuits came from outside to help monitor the elections. Jesuits have lived and worked in South Africa since 1874. Very early on, two Dutch Jesuit fathers came to minister primarily to the very poor Khoikhoi parishioners of Graaff-Reinet. Those mixed-race people were a vignette of the remnants of the complicated conquests and expulsions of different populations in the country. The gentle Khoi and San populations had been forced out of their ancestral lands by pressure from Bantu speakers migrating from the north who were followed by the Dutch and English colonists in the south. Subsequently, Bantu speakers, Asians and people of mixed race were all oppressed by the institutional crime of apartheid.
situations of conflict or animosity, geographical or interpersonal. After Vatican II, the Jesuits’ General Congregations noted explicitly that reconciliation is not just a one-to-one relationship with God but necessarily includes reconciliation with other people, too. It must include justice. Changes in socio-economic, cultural and religious structures are needed to empower our reconciliation with God, with other people and with creation. Such change is the work of God in the world, and we connect with it by means of discernment. General Congregation 36 (2016) suggests closeness to the poor as one of the essential elements of reconciliation and notes practices such as hospitality towards migrants, refugees and internally
Jesus’s mission is to reconcile and restore all things, and he calls us to join his campaign for right relations.
SOUTH AFRICA AND NORTHERN IRELAND Those two Jesuits at Graaff-Reinet were criticised for spending too much time with the poor and not enough with the white settlers of the town, and went some way in reconciling the two groups. Bishop Richards approached the British Jesuits to come and set up a school in nearby Grahamstown for the sons of white settlers, where it was not long before the Jesuits were also ministering to the poor Xhosa and ‘Coloured’ people in their own parishes of St Peter Claver and St Mary. These men often bridged the gap separating white from brown and black people, as they lived in different worlds. St Aidan’s was one of a number of schools that defied apartheid legislation and took Chinese students in 1964.
Fr Gerry Lorriman SJ confronting armoured personnel carriers at the funeral of four black South Africans, who had been killed the previous week in clashes with the police, in the township of Nyanga in 1987
As the Jesuits got to know the people, they established relationships and began to recognise the need for justice. In the mid-twentieth century, the bishops issued statements condemning apartheid, and the Jesuits stood squarely with them but had to watch continued on p.6
displaced people as worthwhile in that regard. In 2019 Fr General Arturo Sosa set the strategic objectives of listening particularly to the desires of marginalised people, youth and the earth, and walking with them and all people on the way to God, as orientations for the current decade of the Society of Jesus’s work.
Mission to Northern Ireland Listening to the signs of the times, the Irish Jesuits decided in 1981 to engage with the troubles of Northern Ireland and positioned themselves as an insertion community in a beleaguered Catholic quarter of Portadown, near the Garvaghy Road. They related to the people of this marginalised neighbourhood through everyday kindnesses, pastoral conversation and community development. For the people it was a reconciling experience of Church. Community development brought them up against the question of violence around Orange Order marches through the area. The Jesuits, through their Faith and Justice Group, Sunday Mass at Churchill Park under army lockdown, July 1997
continued on p.6 jesuit.org.uk 5
SOUTH AFRICA AND NORTHERN IRELAND their tongues and pens as almost all the Jesuits in South Africa were foreigners who feared they would be deported. During the 1960s, the Jesuits at St Aidan’s College were assiduous in making sure the white students were aware of the bishops’ pastoral letters against apartheid, and we were encouraged to help the poor with donations and, more importantly, teach catechism in the townships, which was often our first contact with black and coloured children. As apartheid grew increasingly oppressive, individual Jesuits like George Edmondstone joined with local anti-apartheid groups and activists like Steve Biko. In the 1980s, with more South African Jesuits like Xolile Keteyi and Tim Smith, the Jesuits worked actively against the regime. Other Jesuits worked quietly with students and prisoners, clandestinely subverting the system. We offered accommodation for some activists in hiding: David Dryden performed a daring cross-border expedition
For the people of Portadown, the Jesuit presence there was a reconciling experience of Church. attempted conflict resolution by means of mutual problem-sharing and the redefinition of relations. This was followed by the attempt of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition to settle the conflict by way of negotiation. Under police mediation, the coalition generously conceded to allow the march to proceed down the Garvaghy Road, hoping for a reciprocation of dialogue. That hope was killed when the late David Trimble and Ian Paisley refused dialogue and seized the march as an opportunity for triumphalist mockery. Nevertheless, they then went on to lead the Unionists, at great cost to themselves, in the wider negotiations that landed on the common ground of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The ensuing Northern 6
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bringing an important ANC leader back to the country disguised as his labourer. Reconciliation work was done in the parishes and university chaplaincies by Jesuits such as David Rowan, Gerry Lorriman and Graham Pugin. Graham has the distinction of being water-cannoned by the apartheid police and shot a second time by the democratic government police while he protected the street-people and students under his care. Much of the reconciliation work consisted of bringing different cultures and races together in the parishes and chaplaincies, and so the Jesuits were seen to be on the side of the oppressed.
Looking at the history of the Society of Jesus in South Africa as a Jesuit fills one with both desolation and consolation.
Ireland Act 1998, with its recognition of equality and human rights, amounts to a new constitution for the region of Northern Ireland and transforms the ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’ structure that followed on from the Northern Ireland Act 1921. It has largely brought an end to the violent conflict and killings that dominated the Northern Ireland story for so long, but the process of peace-making still needs the search for truth, justice and relationship-building at all levels.
Newcomers in a post-conflict society Migrants have become a notable social presence as newcomers in post-conflict Northern Ireland. They are potentially an asset in building a peaceful community. In accordance with Pope Francis’ formula, the Jesuits try to welcome, protect, promote and integrate newcomers using the community-based Migrant Support Service as a vehicle. The division in Northern Ireland society, however, has the effect of locking migrants out from
With the arrival of a democratic state, the priority shifted from confrontation to reconciliation. Institutional apartheid was removed, but the lack of unity and peace persisted. South African Jesuits such as Rampe Hlobo continue to work with the Jesuit Refugee Service and migrants in a milieu which is essentially xenophobic. The university chaplaincies, where Bruce Botha, Alex Dakamire and Chiedza Chimhanda work, continue to bring different people together to reconcile their differences slowly. The wounds and prejudices of apartheid are still present and will take many years to eradicate, although one occasionally hears a young ‘born-free’ say with simple sincerity that they have never experienced racism. The system was so deeply ingrained in the culture of South Africa that it will call on all the resources of Jesuits to provide places and spaces for the different and opposing sides to meet and recognise the value of each other as people created by our loving and merciful God.
the inner circle and segregating them as the ‘other’, pushing them to the margins of low-paid work, low-rental accommodation, and under-representation in public and political networks. Integration comes instead from participation in the economic, social, political and cultural life of a society, which in principle is through policy, and in practice is what community organisations attempt to foster. Northern Ireland is on a journey from destructive conflict to healthy disagreement. At the religious level, it means a change in the image of God from a Lord of Hosts to one of a non-violent servant. The political journey goes from authoritarian colonial government to democratic powersharing. Socio-economic decisionmaking is replacing market tyranny with participatory dialogue. If we describe reconciliation as the ability to disagree well, we are slowly getting there. This is our exodus to the promise of God’s Shalom by way of long periods in the desert.
Conflict MANAGED NOT RESOLVED Patrick Riordan SJ considers how the approach to social conflict that Pope Francis takes in Fratelli tutti invites us to dialogue and a commitment to the common good.
ollowing news of his death in July this year, many tributes were paid to David Trimble, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Along with the Nationalist leader, John Hume, he had signed the Belfast Agreement in 1998, for which both were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Their collaboration helped to bring an end to almost thirty years of violence, and to create and implement institutions for the political management of the endemic conflict in the province. Conflict occurs because the goals pursued by different people are mutually frustrating or incompatible. Conflict can be managed by one group or party succeeding in imposing its will coercively on others. The management of conflict is political when it renounces a primary reliance on coercion and attempts to achieve conciliation through negotiation, argument and persuasion. The political management of conflict will usually involve compromise. Not every party to a conflict can achieve the realisation of all its goals – otherwise there would not have been a conflict in the first place. This is one reason to speak of ‘managing’ instead of ‘resolving’ conflict. Conflict persists, but the achievement of politics is that the conflict is conducted by talking rather than with the use of force. Pope Francis, in Fratelli tutti, acknowledges the reality of conflict. He appeals to his readers, especially Christians, not to run away from conflict, but to engage with conflict in the hope of achieving a dialogue and a conciliation that avoids the destructiveness of
Pope Francis appeals to his readers not to run away from conflict but to engage with it in the hope of dialogue and a conciliation.
violence. Francis encourages facing the reality of conflict by engaging with opponents. Outlining the task of building social peace, he repeats the two central themes of the dignity of the human person, and respect for the common good. But he also acknowledges the temptations when engaged in social action to seek ‘revenge and the satisfaction of short-term partisan interests’ (Fratelli tutti §232). He quotes here from a speech he made in Bolivia in 2017, where the challenge of building social peace is very real. He quotes Pope John Paul II from Centesimus annus to the effect that the Church, ‘does not intend to condemn every possible form of social conflict. The Church is well aware that in the course of history conflicts of interest between different social groups inevitably arise, and that in the face of such conflicts Christians must often take a position, honestly and decisively’ (Fratelli tutti §240). Finally, he acknowledges that peace can be achieved in conflict: ‘Authentic reconciliation does not flee from conflict, but is achieved in conflict, resolving it through dialogue and open, honest and patient negotiation. Conflict between different groups “if it abstains from enmities and mutual hatred, gradually changes into an honest discussion of differences founded on a desire for justice”’ (Fratelli tutti §244). From such remarks we can summarise Pope Francis’s position outlined in Fratelli tutti as follows: 1. An acknowledgement of the reality of social conflict; 2. A challenge to engage in that conflict for the sake of human dignity and common goods; 3. Recognition that such engagement will expose Christians to the temptations to resort to violence driven by hatred or desire for revenge; 4. A commitment to renounce the use of force and to engage in negotiation and dialogue. Our response to Pope Francis must be to value politics as activity based on the commitment to manage conflict by talking. And it must surely be to value and honour those persons of character such as John Hume and David Trimble who put themselves forward as political actors, placing their skills and competencies at the service of the common good, peace and security for all. jesuit.org.uk
JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE
MAKING A HOUSE
Amy-Leigh Hatton, JRS UK’s Accommodation Officer, describes how refugee friends have found safety, empowerment and freedom at Emilie House.
milie House opened its doors in 2021 as JRS UK’s first housing project. Situated in south London, the ten-bedroom house now provides asylum-seeking women comfort and protection from a life of uncertainty, vulnerability and, often, possible danger. The house was donated to JRS by the Sisters of the Holy Family of St Emilie. Just like their foundress, after whom the order and the house are named, they have shown a Christ-like mercy and compassion to women who face the trauma of living on the street. After hosting refugee friends through JRS, the sisters recognised how important it was that people have a place to feel safe and secure, and wanted to give more refugees the chance to thrive in their own accommodation.
The effectiveness of stable housing Over the past year, we have been able to offer stable housing at Emilie House to eight women refugee friends, who have been protected from unsafe sleeping arrangements and removed from environments in which they were at risk of abuse and exploitation. Refugee friends are able to settle into a home that feels like their own, for a long-term placement, until other accommodation options become available to them – something hosting cannot appropriately provide. One of the cruellest things about destitution is that it renders a person so preoccupied with meeting their immediate needs that it is almost
St Emilie was completely convinced of the need for love to be shown in action. She wrote: ‘We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and our charity should prove it. The greatest thing we can do in life, and, so to speak, the one and only thing, is to love. Really love each other and let that love reach out to embrace everyone. You already do it, but do it even more, for love never says, “That’s enough”. Love and serve with all your heart, for that’s where you will find happiness.’ Just as the ‘At Home’ hosting scheme does, Emilie House meets the urgent needs of our refugee friends for shelter and safety. For many of our refugee friends, housing insecurity and street homelessness is the most pressing consequence of a complex hostile environment. 8
Jesuits & Friends Winter 2022
Residents get to nurture their creativity as they learn textiles and embroidery (All photos: JRS UK)
JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE impossible to tackle wider and deeply painful issues in their lives, issues such as one’s immigration status, or health and wellbeing.
Inside Emilie House Each refugee friend has their own en-suite bedroom, with access to multiple shared spaces including a luscious garden and a sitting room, which hosts a piano and a sewing machine with a bulging haberdashery
The Sisters of the Holy Family of St Emilie recognised how important it was that people have a place to feel safe. that can be used by the women. With thanks to generous volunteers, we have been able to host multiple skills-based projects in the house and make use of these amazing facilities. During this year’s gardening project, the residents chose to plant tomatoes, rosemary and a range of brightly-coloured flowers. Additionally, we have held weekly piano lessons for one of the residents who has been eager to learn. And our textiles volunteer has run weekly workshops with the residents who, in a number of weeks, have created stunning and intricate embroidery designs for pillow covers and wall hangings that can decorate the house.
JRS volunteer, Pat, supporting Emilie House residents to learn how to care for their garden
The house really is a place where our friends are empowered to restore their identity and be part of a community to which they can positively contribute.
A space to connect When we set up Emilie House, we envisioned a peaceful and healing environment. A sense of community has been built around values of kindness, sharing, welcome and understanding. Our monthly house meetings are a strong driver of this. They are a space to come together and connect, and I have fondly witnessed conversation and laughter increase in length and volume as the year has gone by. Our ritual meal afterwards is always a highlight: each of the residents and I prepare a dish to contribute, and in this way we always enjoy a vibrant meal of food from a variety of cultures. We are so grateful to the Sisters of the Holy Family of St Emilie for such a generous gift. Thank you for offering safety and belonging to those who face so much hardship.
HOSTING AND ACCOMMODATION offer a transformative experience, but are not something everyone has the capacity to provide. There are many other ways you can support refugee friends, visit jrsuk.net/ what-can-i-do to find out more.
Sara* is a natural carer and extrovert. She is at her happiest when sharing conversation and food with other people. It doesn’t matter where someone is from or if they don’t speak the same language, she always makes them feel welcome. When Sara was referred to JRS, her confidence was diminished and she was in a very difficult situation. The trauma she has experienced both in her home country and in the UK has affected her mental and physical health, with which she continues to struggle. Sara still has many battles ahead, but she now has a home at Emilie House. She speaks to the other residents, volunteers and staff, and this distracts her from her difficulties. She is often seen supporting other residents, checking they are taking care of themselves and telling jokes. She has brought so much laughter to the house. Sara joins in with activities, and can now host her friends again, cooking, sharing food and relaxing in the company of others. She has started weekly volunteering, doing something she is passionate about, and her mood seems lifted each time I see her return from a session and hear her stories from the day. Having somewhere stable to live independently has had a huge impact on Sara’s confidence and health. The support of the wider JRS team enables her to keep focused on her asylum case and she is no longer afraid that she is going to be made homeless again at any moment.
* Sara is a pseudonym to protect a vulnerable person’s identity
It takes time to find a solicitor who can take on an immigration case through legal aid. Moreover, the trauma that is relived by retelling one’s story in depth during that process can be overwhelming. Emilie House has offered the safety and privacy that our friends deserve, and need, to process this, and many of the women in Emilie House have been able to move forward with their cases and consider their options for the future. This is empowering and offers a renewed sense of agency. Earlier this year, one of our residents completed a fresh asylum claim with her solicitor and was able to move out of Emilie House into Home Office accommodation. As refugee friends work towards applications, we look forward to celebrating more of these positive steps with them.
‘The house changed a lot of my life, because before I came in, I couldn’t sleep all night. I’m scared at night. I do a lot of thinking about what will happen to me, but now I can support people and people can support me, anytime I talk to them. They give me support, moral support, and I’m much better now.’ Sara
CORPUS CHRISTI, BOSCOMBE
OF THE HEART
This autumn saw the end of 125 years of Jesuit service to the parish of Corpus Christi, Boscombe. Michelle Ellison celebrates the way in which Ignatian spirituality has come to infuse the life of the parish.
gnatian spirituality has a long history in Boscombe. The Jesuits have been present in Corpus Christi parish since the nineteenth century. They brought with them their Ignatian gifts, and have used them in listening to and accompanying people for many decades. Of course, the passage of time has brought huge change in the world and the Church: Vatican II happened, the shape of ministry shifted, Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises were ‘rediscovered’. By the 1970s, many retreats were individually guided, spiritual direction became more widespread, and lay people were trained and became actively involved in these and other Ignatian enterprises. Boscombe has been a living example of how such change has taken place. 10
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The year 2009 saw the first meeting of lay representatives from Jesuit parishes around Britain. A few Boscombe parishioners who were already involved in pastoral ministry attended out of a sense of curiosity. There, they met others similarly engaged and, inspired by the gathering, by 2012 had established a spirituality team locally – Hearts on Fire (HoF). Their task was to develop Ignatian spirituality on the south coast: HoF, as it developed, was rooted in but not bound by the Corpus Christi parish, and Boscombe became, as someone said, ‘a thriving centre of Ignatian spirituality’. The team of laity and Jesuits grew organically and began to lead weeks
of accompanied prayer in and around Boscombe. Christian Life Communities (CLCs) sprouted from these enterprises, groups who meet regularly to ‘pray our lives and live our prayer’. At present, there are some fifty CLC members in eight strong, thriving and lay-led groups, and our local groups led CLC’s national assembly this year. Moreover, three young members have joined the national CLC team for England and Wales. Recently nine of our CLC members and three young adults involved in pastoral care for families were commissioned to attend the Ignatian Pilgrimage/Family Encounter programme in Barcelona, Montserrat and Manresa. This amazing and powerful experience helped to deepen and strengthen their Ignatian gifts individually and as a community. It was indeed an outward-looking and welcoming experience for all involved – one of many fruits that have come from that initial seed planted in the 2009 meeting.
CORPUS CHRISTI, BOSCOMBE The HoF team members themselves have been able to nurture their own hunger for a deeper formation and to respond to a call to share it with others. They have undertaken training in spiritual accompaniment as well as Masters Degrees in pastoral theology. Contacts were established with nearby parishes and, happily, with Portsmouth Diocese’s Spiritual Formation Group. One of the key motivations of HoF’s local work is that very often, going away for a retreat for a few days, let alone a month, is simply not possible for so many reasons: time, employment, other commitments, expense, unease at leaving young families behind ... But Ignatian spirituality encourages us to attend to the presence of God in the experience of our lives – in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, in all that we do and hope for. And so the team now offers retreats in daily life – including the full Spiritual Exercises. The hope and intent is to build community through the gift of Ignatian spirituality – finding or being found by God in the experiences of daily life. As one team member remarked, ‘some effects of our work are very visible, while others are not. What we have learned and been formed by leads us to carry on sharing our mission with others – it has been life-changing for many – and the ripple effects keep going out. As the saying goes, you can’t keep the Holy Spirit in a bottle.’ Allied to HoF is Young HoF, an enterprise that emerged in
Corpus Christi, Boscombe
Our hope is to build community through the gift of Ignatian spirituality – finding or being found by God in our daily life. collaboration with a community of religious women in Boscombe, the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart. Over several years, Young HoF has done much wonderful work in Corpus Christi Primary School; Ignatian spirituality is relevant for a wide range of ages. At present, both HoF and Young HoF are engaged in discerning their way forward in a world of conspicuous and varied change. The context for discernment does not remain constant. That the number of ordained clergy is diminishing in the Catholic Church as a whole is certainly a matter of concern. Nevertheless, this also brings
opportunities for re-imagining lay formation, delighting in activity and creativity within the Church. In Boscombe we have come a long way since the Jesuit parishes’ conference of 2009, and, as has everyone, needed to work our way through many experiences, not least the Covid pandemic. Moreover, as the threat of Covid began to lessen, so the war in Ukraine started, and we all feel the horrendous effects of the conflict. What counts as ‘ordinary’ life is subject to enormous and critical changes – yet God was and is also present in these shifting contexts. There are other changes in the present that affect how we might envisage the future, but in all of them we are invited to ask: what are we learning? The Jesuits left Corpus Christi parish in September of this year, so responsibility for the parish is now fully with the Portsmouth Diocese. Moreover, the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart, who contributed greatly both to the Corpus Christi parish and HoF, have now left Boscombe. However, although the Jesuits no longer have responsibility for the parish, they will continue to offer help, for the Jesuits have not left Boscombe altogether! The Corpus Christi Jesuit Community remains where it is, a hundred yards from the Church, and members of the community continue to contribute to both CLC and to HoF. A new parish priest has been appointed to Boscombe and we look forward to working with him to build on the foundations that have been laid in our parish.
The Young Hearts on Fire in summer 2022
LIFE OF ST IGNATIUS LOYOLA
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LIFE OF ST IGNATIUS LOYOLA
JESUIT FUND FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
he 24th of February changed mine and my family’s life.’
That’s a stark admission of the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began as winter was breaking into spring and has dominated the world’s news in the months since. It’s even more powerful as it comes from the lips of a priest who, until that point, was living peacefully near Lviv – but whose life has since been turned upside down. Sitting in the drawing room of the living quarters that form part of the Ukrainian Catholic cathedral in central London, Father Taras Ditchuk is understandably emotional as he describes in his native language the effect that the war has had on him and those closest to him. Two months after the invasion, he, his wife and two children arrived in London, and since then he’s been working at the cathedral, while his children settle into a new school. ‘It was very difficult for the children at first, but they have been welcomed by their teachers and found many new friends. They’re still learning English.’
Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski
Fr Taras, like several clergy who have arrived in Britain, is now ministering to other displaced Ukrainians, some of whom are living with family members, others of whom have registered with the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. ‘God provides priests for the faithful and there are many faithful here. God directs us to be here. I never thought I would be – but I trust in providence.’
He’s not the only clergyman who has suddenly found themselves uprooted from their lives. Father Vitaly Feolun is also a recent arrival at the cathedral, fresh from the city of Ivano-Frankivsk with his wife and three children.
The UK has long been home to a thriving Ukrainian community, but many more people have arrived since the start of hostilities. John McManus went to see how the cathedral at the heart of the community has rapidly adapted to support their spiritual and practical needs – with help from the Jesuits.
‘We always hope to go back at some point but when we speak with family and friends it’s so hard to know. For example, it’s not known whether schools will reopen for the autumn term as many are hosting internally displaced people.’
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JESUIT FUND FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE ‘Catholics need pastoral care wherever they are, but the profile of people here is different. It’s often a young mother with children, as her husband is in Ukraine defending his country. They relate to the priests – we have also experienced the same tragedies and fears.’ The help that Frs Vitaly and Taras provide at the cathedral is vital. The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Britain, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, says that pre-Covid, 2,000 people on average attended Sunday services, and during Easter this year, nine separate Divine Liturgies were held – at one point the road outside the cathedral
We always hope to go back at some point but when we speak with family and friends it’s so hard to know. often handed out at regular sessions by solicitors and civil servants, but perhaps just as important is the emotional support that can be gained from simply being able to speak to Ukrainian volunteers in a native language. Sometimes relationships with family members or host families break down under the stressful circumstances – the centre can help with that as well, and
support for another recently arrived member of clergy, Deacon Ihor Dyahyk. He was staying with his sister in London when war broke out. His fiancée joined him (they married in London), and to play a fuller part in the life of the cathedral – particularly with younger congregants – he is learning English. ‘Those who are newly arrived naturally speak Ukrainian, but those born here speak English, which means, so must I. My work includes activities and trips – without English I can’t do that.’ The funds from the Jesuits pay for a living allowance and those vital language lessons. The Jewish community, to whom Bishop Kenneth has preached, has also been generous.
(l-r): The Ukrainian Catholic cathedral in Mayfair; the Welcome Centre in the basement of the cathedral; Father Vitaly Feolun (Photos: John McManus)
had to be closed to traffic to allow hundreds of people to stand outside. Unsurprisingly, the war has prompted an influx of Ukrainians – the government says that more than 120,000 people have arrived using hastily-issued visas. Others who were already in Britain have been given permission to stay. Many of them require spiritual and practical support. As Bishop Kenneth leads me down the steps to the basement of the nineteenth century building, it becomes clear how large the Church’s response to that need has been. Rows of desks line the large room, awaiting those who come for help with residence permits, and other necessary bureaucratic problems associated with settling in a new country. The Welcome Centre is a collaboration between the Church and the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain. Advice is
has forged close links with local councils and the Department for Levelling Up to find solutions. Much of the legal work necessary to get the Welcome Centre up and running was carried out pro bono by McKinsey, while the physical makeover was carried out for free by staff from the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate. Dozens of laptops have been donated to help staff and uprooted students, who must continue with their studies. It’s clear that the Welcome Centre and cathedral are not short of friends – evidenced perhaps by a visit by the then prime minister Boris Johnson just two days after the invasion. ‘What do you want me to know that is essential?’ was his question. Bishop Kenneth told him that ninety-day visa extensions were not enough for those who couldn’t go home. Instead, three-year humanitarian visas are now being issued. The Jesuit Fund for Social Justice has also played a part, granting financial
Those running the centre stress that rescuing new arrivals from feelings of isolation is just as important as the practical help – and the volunteers are also learning new things. ‘It’s like switching from a manual transmission to a clutch’, is the analogy that Andriy Marchenko, the former diplomat who is now in charge of the centre, uses to describe tackling the range of new and unusual challenges which are brought by visitors. For those who rely on the help that he, his volunteers and the clergy provide, this was not a journey – in any sense of the word – that they wanted to make; but the cathedral is determined that they will not travel alone.
JESUIT FUND FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE If you are involved with a project that tackles poverty, injustice or discrimination, the fund could help you! Visit jesuit.org.uk/our-work/ jesuit-fund-for-social-justice jesuit.org.uk
‘EN TODO amar y servir’ The Jesuit brothers who met in Rome earlier this year had the experience of feeling joyfully ‘at home’ and of sharing in the one vocation of all Jesuits, says Stephen Power SJ.
he vocation of all Jesuits is, in essence, en todo amar y servir: ‘in everything to love and to serve’. Men with a vocation to the Society of Jesus join the international body of men formed by Ignatius of Loyola, accepting the gift of the evangelical counsels – vows of poverty, chastity and obedience – as an extension of their baptismal promises. Many of these men go on to be ordained priest, but others fulfil their mission as brothers. At an international assembly in Rome from 3-10 July 2022, Jesuit brothers were invited by the Superior General, Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, to share our experiences with a view to renewing our understanding and practice of Jesuit religious life. Topics explored included our history, formation and how better to promote the vocation to brotherhood. It all started with a recognised need to support brothers, particularly in Africa, who are often isolated both in place and in means of communication. To make the meeting as diverse as possible, one delegate from each of the six Jesuit Conferences around the world formed a steering group. The preparation started before Covid-19 and the meeting scheduled for 2021 finally took place, after Zoom preparatory meetings which straddled time zones from 6.30am to 7.30pm. The global diversity was mirrored in the missions of the brother delegates: headteacher,
counsellor, spiritual director, treasurer, social worker, doctor, youth worker, to name but a few. I had ecological concerns about so many people flying into an assembly; however, we had not had such a meeting since the 1990s and, after more than fifteen steering group Zoom meetings, a face-to-face session was deemed to be very beneficial in crystallising new ideas for the coming decades from shared experiences.
The vocation of all Jesuits is, in essence: ‘in everything to love and to serve’.
We invited Sr Nathalie Becquart, appointed by Pope Francis as an Undersecretary to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, to speak to us as a Xavierian sister who follows the Ignatian way of religious life. Speaking as a woman religious, she had a perspective different to ours, as men religious in a clerical order. She also spoke of the recent work on the synodal process, and in fact Fr General later spoke of this meeting overall as an example of the synodal process, coming as it did from the bottom up, facilitated and encouraged from the top.
In addition to his generous hosting of the meeting at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, Fr Sosa took part in the meeting and reflected on the prophetic nature of a brother’s vocation. Fr Mark Ravizza, Fr General’s assistant for formation, also gave a substantial input on the contemporary formation and training of Jesuits. The meeting was designed to be a prayerful discernment on the agenda items. An input each morning – on, for example, the history and identity of the brother, and the experience of effectively promoting new vocations – fed into personal prayer followed by small group sessions which ended with a plenary report. An ‘open space’ session threw up further points for
The points shared in the meeting, and its outcome, will require a period of reflection. Along with Fr General, brothers are keen to stress the one vocation of all Jesuits. Formation for brothers, while being more flexible than for those who are destined for ordination, must nevertheless be ‘excellent’, something which has not always been the case. The experience of the meeting was one of being joyfully ‘at home’, welcomed by and meeting with the Superior General, who values the vocation of all Jesuits equally. It was a huge consolation to have the pope answering our questions at the end of the meeting, and drawing on his Jesuit experience, he unequivocally reaffirmed the vocation of the Jesuit brother.
Pope Francis (centre) and Fr Arturo Sosa SJ (second from right) with Jesuit brothers in Rome, including Stephen Power SJ (front row, second from left)
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discussion: the addressing of clericalism, brothers’ intellectual work and work in art, new ministries, a booklet on good formation practices, and the use of social media and communications. It was interesting to note that the group as a whole was comparatively young, looking to the future.
JESUIT MISSIONS Jesuit Missions supports an Emergency Education Fund in Myanmar (Photo: Myanmar Jesuit Missions)
‘WE CANNOT DESPAIR, we must do something’ Engaging with the work of Jesuit Missions’ partners in Africa and Asia fills Director, Paul Chitnis, with gratitude, anger and determination – do you feel the same?
he suburban south London street on which Jesuit Missions is situated, a stone’s throw from two Jesuit schools and a former Jesuit parish, is both literally and metaphorically thousands of miles away from Myanmar and South Sudan. As I write, a solitary schoolboy, ‘with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school’, is wandering up the hill outside my window. I wonder if he knows how lucky he is. I wonder if we know how lucky we are to be living in a country where the transfer of power after the death of a queen and a change of prime minister is peaceful; where food is plentiful; where climate change is measured in scorched lawns and parched begonias, not lives and livelihoods. Cyclone Nargis swept through parts of Asia, including Myanmar, in 2008. 140,000 people died and millions of people were affected. On a visit to the country shortly afterwards, I met a man who was engulfed by the flood waters along with his wife and young children.
They were not strong swimmers and were swept away in the fierce current. He spent all night in the water holding one of his children who eventually died. He then placed the body on some floating debris and watched it carried away. My visits to South Sudan over many decades have given me the deepest admiration for a people who have suffered immeasurably at the hands of their leaders. South Sudan had little to offer the wider world and so it barely figured in the thoughts of the international community. On my last visit in 2018, I visited a Jesuit priest, Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo, working at a teacher training college in Cuiebet. He was murdered a few days after we met but his words of encouragement resound in my head: ‘We cannot despair, we must do something.’ This call to service – especially of the poor – affirms the work supported by Jesuit Missions in Myanmar, South Sudan and another dozen countries around the world. It builds on the efforts of
hundreds of British Jesuit missionaries who, over the last century, committed their lives to building up the Church. The way in which we express our mission today has changed to respond to the different challenges that people in the global South face: the impact of climate change, lack of access to education, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, and the desperate need to find secure employment. But our raison d’être remains unchanged: working together with local Jesuits and the communities whom they accompany to serve the faith through the promotion of justice and reconciliation. Just as we depend on Jesuits committed to this mission, so we also rely on the thousands of generous people who support our work with their prayers and donations. They are a sign of solidarity and commitment in a world all too often marked by division and selfishness. This is where hope is to be found. These accounts from some of our Jesuit partners in Asia and Africa fill me with a deepening feeling of gratitude, a liberating sense of righteous anger and a growing determination to do more. I hope they find an echo in your heart, too.
TURN THE PAGE Read about the projects around the world that Jesuit Missions supports on pp. 18-19. jesuit.org.uk
Left: Nursery children at St Teresa’s, South Sudan (Photo: Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu SJ) Top : Jesuit Missions is working with local communities in countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda, to address the effects of climate change (Photo: LIFEE Environmental Awareness Madagascar) Bottom: Jesuit Missions supports an Emergency Education Fund in Myanmar (Photo: Myanmar Jesuit Missions)
SHEDDING LIGHT ON
Jesuit Missions supports projects in many countries that do not dominate our headlines but whose most vulnerable communities are under threat from political, economic or climate instability.
MYANMAR On a street near our house in Yangon, Myanmar, there are slogans written on the road. ‘Stop killing our people!’ ‘Save our Future!’ ‘Justice!’ Blood-red military paint had temporarily obscured the words, but the monsoons revealed again the messages and feelings of the people. Last May, 100 soldiers were sent to arrest a poet in southern Myanmar. The next day, he was dead. Khet Thi had been an engineer but retired to write poetry, supporting himself making cakes. 100 soldiers because they were afraid of a baker and poet! His most dangerous line: ‘In heads, they shoot / Never do they know / Revolution lies in hearts.’ 18
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The tragedy raging in Myanmar is a ‘forgotten crisis’. The National League for Democracy overwhelmingly won Myanmar’s 2020 elections, while the military’s proxy party suffered a crushing defeat. Refusing to accept the results, the military seized power and imprisoned State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Following the coup, millions took to the streets in protest. Orders were given to shoot demonstrators in the head or the back. Since then, Myanmar has not known peace. The army is cruelly at war with its own people, foreign investment has fled, the banks are
hardly functioning, inflation is exploding, over half the population lives below the poverty line. Everyone is hungry. Resistance bands have sprung up in townships across the country, armed mostly with home-made weapons, but often trained by the ethnic armies that have long been at war with the Burmese military. Unable to defeat the resistance, the military’s counterinsurgency policy is to destroy communities and villages that shelter them. Over a million people have been forced from their homes. Little is being done by foreign powers to reduce the conflict. Any openness to dialogue, negotiation or compromise within the country appears impossible. Despite unpredictable dangers, the Jesuit region grows steadily in numbers, capacity and commitment. After the coming ordinations there will be fourteen Myanmar Jesuit priests. The region focuses on young people,
JESUIT MISSIONS especially through education, via a partnership with Jesuit Missions; on emergency help for the displaced; and on the Spiritual Exercises, pastoral care and formation of leaders.
for humanitarian assistance. The impact is expected to affect over sixty percent of the population in South Sudan, who also experienced severe food insecurity during the lean season (May-July).
Fr Mark Raper, Director of Development in Myanmar Jesuit Region
The Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the conflict in Ukraine, has been devastating for people in South Sudan. It has affected the exchange rate, which has risen by sixty percent against the US dollar, and fuel prices have gone up from approximately $0.80 to $2.10 per litre. This has had a rippling effect on other products and services. For example, the cost of items such as flour, beans and oil has increased by at least forty percent. The rising price of fuel and staple food items has led those who are most vulnerable (eating one meal a day) to cut down to very basic food items.
SOUTH SUDAN In Rumbek, South Sudan, a parent brings her child to St Teresa Nursery School. Upon arriving, she expresses gratitude that her child is going to school, as it means she will eat on that day. Students get breakfast in the form of porridge, and basic meals such as rice and beans. This mother explains that in recent times, eating food at home is becoming more and more of a challenge. The woman has no job, and her husband works as a police officer, with a low salary (around $4 per month) which he has not even been paid for six months. She further aired her concerns about the rising prices of basic food items and services, and how it affects her day-to-day life. As a result of the high cost of using a motorcycle for transportation, she has had to adjust her daily routine and it is now normal for her and her family to go hungry for long periods of time. The only option she has is to borrow money from her friends or to go hungry. As a result of the increased food prices, her family no longer eats one proper meal a day, instead eating only vegetables (kale, commonly called ‘sukuma wiki’), whose prices have remained the same (SSP 500 or $1 per bundle). Even school meals have been significantly reduced in Wau county, where the Jesuits run a secondary school, as rising food prices impact basic operational costs. The lack of rains from April-June threatened the growth of crops. Food cuts from the World Food Programme (WFP) and other international organisations, exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine, are affecting food security in South Sudan, with more people experiencing extreme famine compared to previous years: up to 1.7 million people are at risk of starvation in South Sudan. WFP funding shortages experienced will mean only a fraction of the target population can be reached
1.7 MILLION PEOPLE are at risk of STARVATION IN SOUTH SUDAN A glimmer of light, however, is that Lakes State, including Rumbek, is currently experiencing a long period of relative peace. The calm and stability in the state is widely attributed to the new governor, General Rin Tueny Mabor. In December 2021, the governor unveiled a security strategy to protect the lives and properties of the people via assertive, consultative and inclusive engagement from the state leadership. Caroline Sanga, Programmes Officer for the Jesuits in Eastern Africa
AFRICA Africa continues to experience significant increases in temperature, a rise in sea level, and other extreme changes in weather patterns. Because of the vulnerability of African populations and communities, these changes
continue to have adverse effects on human health and natural ecosystems, and other dire environmental, social and economic consequences in Africa. The toll that climate change is taking on the socio-economic situation in Africa is gravely exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, worsening food insecurity, and loss of income and livelihoods. Among the poorest and most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations who are hit the hardest are rural and peri-urban communities, the informal sector, as well as women and children. In the face of such immense suffering of its people, what Africa has been asking for is urgent and practical global, regional and national action, and enhanced ambition to combat climate change. Despite contributing the least to causing the climate crisis, African countries have risen to the challenge of addressing the global climate emergency that respects no borders. With COP27 happening, it is important to look back on COP26 and assess what has been accomplished so far. There has been a serious failure in addressing the climate crisis, with rich nations responsible for the bulk of the crisis not honouring their Paris Agreement commitments. To mitigate the effects of climate change, it is imperative to complete the Paris Agreement Work Programme and accelerate climate action. We need the necessary financial flows to enable developing countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, to relieve and adapt to the impacts of climate change, as current allocations remain vastly inadequate. In light of Africa’s volatile natural resource-based economies, and high levels of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment, the global community needs to recognise Africa’s special needs and circumstances. A just transition towards a low-carbon future requires such recognition in order to unlock the necessary financial flows to Africa. Fr Charles Chilufya SJ, Director, Justice and Ecology Office in Kenya
FOLLOW THE STORY Jesuit Missions is on social media: @jesuitmissions jesuit.org.uk
GO AND SET the world on fire
A ‘cannon’ ball experience with a difference!
Maria Neal of the Jesuit Institute is grateful for the graces received at a long-awaited gathering of Jesuit schools earlier this year.
t was with great excitement that pupil representatives from four Jesuit schools arrived at Mount St Mary’s College for the Ignite conference. This annual conference aims to bring together children from the Jesuit junior schools in Britain so that they can share and explore their common Ignatian heritage and discover more about their schools’ Jesuit identity and mission. The first Ignite conference was held at St John’s Beaumont in 2011 and was created to help build links between the Jesuit primary schools and to share ideas and good practice on pupil leadership. Each year a school hosts the conference and all of the Jesuit preparatory schools in the British Province are involved. It is a great opportunity for those chosen to represent their school to contribute to the work of Jesuit education. The conference was cancelled in 2020 and was held virtually in 2021, so to be back together in person was a real joy. The theme of the three days was the Ignatius 500 jubilee year. The activities focused on three periods in the life of Ignatius: Pamplona, Manresa and Rome. Each part was considered within the context of the four Universal Apostolic Preferences: Showing the Way to God, Walking with the Excluded, Journeying with Youth, and Caring for our Common Home.
battlefield! Next was herbology, the use of nature to create medicines and treatments with which Ignatius would have been familiar. We reflected on the sacrifices made by others and our own stance on issues of injustice, poverty and racism. The pupils considered who their personal heroes are, and listened to the inspirational story of St Peter Claver SJ and his commitment to helping slaves in Colombia. Out of the following discussions pupils expressed how it can be difficult to find truth amid the overwhelming volume of media and sometimes fake news. Using discernment to seek truth, especially in leadership, came through as an important skill.
Manresa This was a time for personal reflection and to be attentive to our surroundings. The beautiful grounds at Barlborough Hall allowed for a post-lunch restorative period. Walking along while viewing the world through a mirror pointing to the sky allowed the children to see a different perspective. The clouds, the tree branches, the birds suddenly all became their focus as the children lifted
Pamplona Instead of cannons exploding, the pupils fired water cannons under guidance from the fire service; it proved to be great fun and resulted in a very wet 20
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Ignite 2022 conference delegates (Photos: Jesuit Institute)
their gaze. Then, concentrating on very small details in a collection of chosen objects allowed us all to see things anew – perhaps as God sees them? Embracing different viewpoints and attention to detail are all strengths in good leadership. The pupils also reflected on how they care for the world and what sort of world they want for the future.
Rome As the Society of Jesus grew, so did its schools’ network. Through the ‘Educate Magis Connecting Classrooms’ facility, we were able to connect with other Jesuit schools. This online global network provides an excellent platform for schools to link up with each other to share good practice and ideas, and communicate easily with one another. Three schools joined the virtual link and the children talked about their shared interests, such as football, music and food, as well as the differences in their climate, landscape and school routines. It was wonderful to feel part of something global but also have the familiarity of a school community with a shared identity. This conference aims to bring together pupils from the schools in the British Province to strengthen identity, mission and community. The social activities and the Brothers Walk allowed time for pupils to talk and build friendships with one another. Companionship, which is so important to the Jesuit community, was reflected in the discussions and actions of the pupils. The pupils and staff said farewell but have taken with them much to reflect on and put into action. Ignite 23 is already in the planning stage and we look forward to making more friendships in the future.
Runners for Jesuit Missions and JRS UK were treated to the full London Marathon experience after a few years away.
n October 2022, Alan Fernandes ran his tenth marathon. The first one was in 1996 and ‘certainly the hardest, since you have no idea what to expect’. Although Alan was a much more experienced runner this time, it was still a challenge, particularly the final few miles. ‘You have to be fit physically, but also mentally’. Alan echoes the thoughts of all runners when he talks about the crowd: ‘It’s really helpful to have their support all the time. It’s nearly impossible to put into words. It’s quite something!’ When asked about his motivation for running for Jesuit Missions, however, Alan is not lost for words: ‘I used to work at Jesuit Missions, where I saw first-hand the tangible difference it can make to people’s lives. We are so privileged. I am happy to support an organisation where my money is well utilised, makes a difference in young people’s lives and gives them a better future’, explains Alan, a sentiment shared by those running on behalf of JRS.
The London Marathon is always an electric experience, but something about this year was on a different level. It may be that it felt like the first proper ‘post-Covid’ marathon, in that people felt much more comfortable around each other and in crowds. The electric buzz was tangible wherever you were in the city: navigating tube and DLR stations which were overflowing with patient and kind supporters; or Congratulations cheering on from the sidelines. One to Alan (top) an d Rhiannon (bot JRS team member shared a highlight: tom)! ‘Seeing happiness and the big smiles on runners’ faces when they passed the Jesuit cheer point was priceless!’ years. We would like to invite you all to support or even join Jesuit Missions’ Runners first get to meet family, friends final marathon team. For those of you and the charity they’re running for in who have been considering doing it, but Horse Guards Parade. For the first time have not yet committed, Alan has some in a few years, team members from wise words: ‘Just do it!’ Jesuit Missions and JRS were delighted to meet their runners there, and they’ll APPLY TO RUN IN 2023 be there again at the finish line of the next London Marathon in April. For Visit jesuitmissions.org.uk/takeJesuit Missions, however, it will be for action/london-marathon/ or the last time after more than twenty jrsuk.net/london-marathon/
TO CLICK OR NOT TO CLICK Whilst the internet has made many things easier, the little box that pops up asking you to consent to ‘cookies’ or read the privacy notice is an annoyance of modern life. The Jesuits in Britain website is no different: buried at the bottom is a link to our ‘privacy notice’: jesuit.org.uk/privacy. That’s because relationships are what Jesuit ministry is all about, and in these
relationships, we share information about ourselves. Data protection laws determine how we can use your personal information. For example: • We collect data about people who interact with us, e.g., supporters, staff, volunteers, those enquiring about a Jesuit vocation. • We only hold data that is necessary, e.g., CCTV footage for safety and security at our centres. • We consider why we need data, e.g., contact details for pastoral work, insights about our supporters so our fundraising is relevant to people’s interests, gift aid records to comply with HMRC requirements. • We contact you either if you have
given consent or if we think something is of interest to you, e.g., if you attended an online retreat, we might send you details of a centre-based retreat. • We only share data when necessary, e.g., with the company that printed and distributed this magazine (and if you would like to have Jesuits & Friends delivered to your door, please email email@example.com). If you have any questions, contact our Data Protection Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org St Ignatius was convinced that God could be found in every area of life, and so looking after relationships and the information shared in them is a part of fostering the spiritual life.
PRAYING WITH THE POPE
FOR OUR TIMES In following Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for the coming months, we will find ourselves in alignment with values that the late Queen Elizabeth II lived by, says Eddy Bermingham SJ.
n Sunday 4 September 2022 at 7.15am, a coach-load of parishioners left the church of St Anselm, Southall to join many other pilgrims to celebrate an annual Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, which always attracts a host of international and migrant communities. The programme was to be as follows: 11:30am Reception of flags at the basilica; 12:00pm Pilgrim holy Mass celebration; and 3:15pm Procession and benediction at the original shrine site. I say ‘was to be’, because just after the pilgrims received communion, an alarm went off and the church was evacuated, and Bishop Alan Hopes was forced to wait until benediction to give the final blessing. Fr Jovito, parish priest of Southall, laughed as he told me about this. None of the pilgrims had been told the reason for the evacuation, but the presence of the police and the other services suggests it was not a laughing matter. At best, it may have been a hoax. However, it is not unthinkable, sadly, that there had been a genuine threat against a Catholic pilgrimage of migrants to the shrine in Walsingham.
At the time at which I am revising this piece, many of us are following the journey from Balmoral to Westminster Hall of the body of a woman of deep faith: Queen Elizabeth II. She knew what it was like to live through times in which a bomb targeted at one or other faith community was not hard to imagine. But her faith response, symbolised in that famous handshake on a visit to Northern Ireland, can inspire our hope-filled response to those beliefs and value systems that contradict all that Queen Elizabeth II stood for. Similarly, the pope’s diverse intentions for the next few months invite us to adopt values that strengthen such a response. We will be praying for a strong commitment to the common good, for a teaching of fraternity not competition, and that parishes place communion at their centre. Queen Elizabeth’s life and Pope Francis’ intentions each, in their own way, invite us to hope and believe in God’s desire to bring about a world characterised by such values and the actions that flow from them, a world in which an attack on pilgrims of any faith would be unthinkable. In November, as we pray for the alleviation of poverty among children both in the UK and throughout the world, let us ask how we can offer appropriate signs of affection and encouragement to all children that we meet. In December, as we pray for the work of NGOs, let us ask God to sustain their commitment to the common good and to move us to support their work in whatever way we can.
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POPE’S PRAYER INTENTIONS NOVEMBER For children who suffer We pray for children who are suffering, especially those who are homeless, orphans and victims of war; may they be guaranteed access to education and the opportunity to experience family affection. DECEMBER For volunteer notprofit organisations We pray for volunteer non-profit organisations committed to human development; may they find people dedicated to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths to international co-operation. JANUARY For educators We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all. FEBRUARY For parishes We pray that parishes, placing communion at the centre, may increasingly become communities of faith, fraternity and welcome towards those most in need. In January, as we pray for educators in their work of building fraternal and academic communities, let us also pray that our homes may be the first and best places where children learn the value of fraternity. In February, as we pray for our parishes and their growth as centres of communion, we pray that they may also be creative in offering support to anyone struggling with the cold this winter as we all face such challenging gas and electricity bills.
AN ADVENT RESOLUTION As the Church begins a new liturgical year, why not resolve to re-commit to daily prayer? See page 2 to find out how Pray As You Go can help.
Fr Joseph ‘Joe’ Munitiz SJ Fr Joe Munitiz SJ died on Saturday 16 July, in the Corpus Christi Jesuit Community in Boscombe. He had been in poor health for some time, and his death was peaceful, with some of the CCJC carers with him. He was ninety years old, in the 72nd year of religious life. Joe was born in Cardiff on 23 December 1931, and educated at St Mary’s College in Liverpool and then at the Colegio Santa María de Vitoria in Spain. At the age of seventeen he entered the diocesan seminary at Comillas, but after two years decided to join the Society, moving to the novitiate at Harlaxton in 1950. After first vows, he made a year’s juniorate at Manresa, Roehampton, and then moved to Heythrop in Oxfordshire for philosophy. In 1955, he returned to Roehampton for a third year of philosophy, followed by a year of pedagogical studies. Four years at
Campion Hall in Oxford followed, studying for an MA in Classical Mods and Greats. After a year of regency at Stonyhurst teaching Latin, he went back to Comillas, this time as a Jesuit, for theology, and was ordained there in 1965. Next came a fourth year of theology, after which he made his tertianship at St Beuno’s under Paul Kennedy. From 1967 he was engaged in Byzantine studies in Rome (at the Orientale), Paris, London and Greece, being awarded a DLitt by the University of Paris in 1976. Between that year and 1983, he taught at the University of Louvain in Belgium, and then returned to London to teach at Heythrop and edit the Heythrop Journal. He was superior of the Jesuit community in Cavendish Square between 1987 and 1989, then moved to Campion Hall as master. During these years, he spent some time as a province consultor. After a sabbatical in 1998, he joined the community at Manresa in Birmingham as socius to the novice-master.
Throughout his adult life he continued his research and writing in Byzantine studies, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Birmingham in 2004. In 2010, he returned to Campion Hall as assistant superior, later becoming an emeritus fellow and also the hall’s librarian. In 2017 he moved to London, initially to Mount Street and then to Copleston House, where he stayed until ill health led to a move to Boscombe a few weeks prior to his death.
Queen Elizabeth II On hearing the news of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Jesuits in Britain paid tribute to the life of the Queen, her dedication to duty and her strong Christian faith, which sustained her during her many decades of service to the UK and the Commonwealth. The Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Britain, Father Damian Howard said: ‘No-one could fail to be impressed by
Her Majesty’s faithful and selfless dedication to public service. Her Christian faith, about which she spoke so eloquently in the latter years of her reign, was central to her understanding of her role as Head of State. The strength she found in Christ helped to hold the people of this country together in a surprisingly humble way. The Jesuits pray for her in death as they did during her life. May she rest in peace.’
During her long reign, the Queen met British Jesuits on several occasions, in particular visiting Jesuit schools where Her Majesty heard more about the Ignatian ethos that inspires teachers and pupils. Those school communities remember the Queen’s visits fondly, and join with the rest of the country in praying for her, and her family.
Photo: Queen Elizabeth II visiting Beaumont College in 1961
‘It will not take much more time before people start starving.’ 828 million people across the world go to bed hungry every night, according to the World Food Programme. Rising prices, climate change and conflict are making the situation worse.
In countries such as South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Burundi, Jesuit Missions is supporting projects managed by local Jesuits for people who are struggling to survive. In St Teresa’s parish in South Sudan, the nursery school provides nutritious meals to help children keep healthy and concentrate on their lessons. In Burundi, life for the poorest is becoming more precarious as the price of food and agricultural products increases. ‘It will not take much more time before people start starving. Our resources have not increased, but prices have gone up.’ (Fr Vedaste SJ, Burundi) Jesuit Missions is passionate about building a more just and sustainable world.
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A faith that does justice