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& friends The 30th successor of St Ignatius Fr Arturo Sosa SJ is new Superior General
Issue 95 â€˘ Winter 2016 â€˘ jesuitsandfriends.org.uk
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Cover: Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ. Credit: SJ Curia
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& friends The 30th successor of St Ignatius Fr Arturo Sosa SJ is new Superior General
Issue 95 • Winter 2016 • jesuitsandfriends.org.uk
Registered Charity No. England and Wales: 230165 Scotland: 40490
2 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
From the editor... IT’S NOT OFTEN that the Jesuits and Friends editorial office hears the traditional journalists’ cry “Hold the front page!” But that has been the position we’ve been in this time around. For the last couple of months, we have had a mock-up of a front cover, with the text “Jesuits Elect New Superior General” beneath a black silhouette, waiting for it to be replaced with a photo of the one chosen. Now the choice has been made. Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, a Venezuelan Jesuit, has become the 31st General of the Society of Jesus. Inside this issue you will find a brief biography of Fr Arturo, and a report
of the 36th General Congregation, including, of course, the historic visit of Pope Francis. The delegates now take time to consider the main challenges facing the new General and the Society in the months and years ahead. It is clear that, with a Pope and a General both from South America, changes are taking place in the leadership of the Church, and the countries of the global South are growing in influence. It is too early to say what this will mean for Jesuits and our works world-wide. Whatever else, it’s not going to be boring! Not
that there has been any danger of that recently in any case. You’ll find in these pages an appreciation of Dan Berrigan, a Jesuit whose commitment to peacemaking dates back to the days of the Vietnam War. At the other end of the spectrum one of the current novices, Stephen Noon, describes what the first months of Jesuit life feel like. From the Philippines to South Africa, and from the 16th century until today, Jesuits – with our friends – have worked creatively to spread the gospel and share news of the missions. Paul Nicholson SJ
In this issue... 04 Ged Clapson reports
14 Rampe Hlobo SJ brings us the
06 The Jesuits in the Philippines
15 David Stewart SJ invites us
on GC36 and we introduce the new Superior General
are facing a dilemma, according to Karlo Abadines
07 Despite food reaching thousands
in Zimbabwe, the situation remains critical: Richard Greenwood
08 What lies ahead for the Jesuits’
Intellectual Apostolate in Britain? asks Frank Turner SJ
10 George Pattery SJ explains why Guyana is South Asia’s best kept secret
11 The opening of St Ignatius’ Church
in Rupununi: Colin Smith was there
latest news from Nyanga, the murder capital of South Africa
to pray with Pope Francis
16 Life for Jesuit novices is a time of
discovery, transition and renewal, writes Stephen Noon nSJ
17 The Jesuits “lost a giant” with
the death of Daniel Berrigan SJ. Luke Hansen SJ explains why St Ignatius would approve of our current pastoral strategy
20 A new book highlights the influence Africa is having on the universal Church
21 Frances Murphy looks forward to
13 JRS UK’s “At Home” project is
22 On the move: keep abreast
a practical expression of the Year of Mercy, writes Nicolette Busuttil
18 Ken Vance SJ believes that
12 St Claude La Colombière SJ is
back in London after 340 years: Jane Hellings
the eagerly awaited film about Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan of who is going where in Britain and overseas
18 jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 3
GENERAL CONGREGATION 36
Putting out into the deep Ged Clapson reports on the 36th General Congregation at which the Society of Jesus’ first non-European General was elected
FOR ONLY the 36th time in its 476 year history, the Society of Jesus met in the autumn of 2016 for a General Congregation (GC). The first fortnight of GC36 concentrated on the election of a successor to Fr General Adolfo Nicolás SJ, who had announced his intention to resign at the age of 80. Delegates spent four days in an atmosphere of prayer and discernment, taking part in what is known as Murmurationes. They met one to one – not in groups – and discussed possible candidates for the office of General, considering of each what his strengths and possible weaknesses were. Before the start of GC36, Fr Nicholas Austin SJ of Heythrop College wrote an article in which he considered the qualities a Superior General would require today; and he concluded that St Ignatius’ own criteria – as listed in the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus – have contemporary validity. “Above all,” he wrote, “Fr General is to be a person of spiritual depth, friends with God in prayer, action and relationships. With freedom of heart, he leads with a humble, just and courageous love. He is proactive: a person of initiative and perseverance in the good, always displaying equanimity in the face of ‘success’ or ‘failure’.”
would be chosen not to ponder unduly on his inadequacies. “Like the rest of us you are a broken human being seeking the healing and inspiring graces that the Lord offers to those He loves,” wrote Fr Dermot Preston SJ. “God will provide those graces in so many ways – directly through the heart, certainly; but also indirectly through the very imperfect structures of the Church and the Society of Jesus which, as Ignatius knew, would hold and protect its General and allow him graciously to do great things for God.”
“Everything that is ours (should be) placed in common and for service” On the morning of Friday, 14 October 2016, the announcement was made that Fr Arturo Sosa SJ from Venezuela had been elected as the Society of Jesus’ 31st Superior General. His Provincial, Fr Arturo Peraza SJ, described the new General as “a Jesuit with a large
capacity to listen and take decisions”, saying he is used to working in complex situations. “He taught me how to find God in the eyes of the most vulnerable,” he wrote.
Visit of Pope Francis Ten days later, Pope Francis came to the Jesuit Curia and addressed the members of the Congregation. Previous General Congregations had had audiences with Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but this was the first time that a Jesuit Pope had joined the assembled fathers and brothers for one of their sessions. Francis offered them reflections on three elements that he regards as central to their shared vocation. Firstly, they should be asking insistently in prayer for the gift of what St Ignatius called “consolation”, the joy of God’s presence in all that they did. Then, they should be prepared to suffer with Christ crucified, sharing in the suffering of the poor of this world. And finally, they needed to be men deeply rooted in the reality of the Church. Jesuits must be “men for others”, the Pope insisted, “with
Doing great things for God This was a theme developed further by the Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain when, on the eve of the election, he urged the man who 4 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
Pope Francis addresses GC36. Credit: SJ Curia
GENERAL CONGREGATION 36
nothing of our own which cuts us off from others, but rather everything that is ours placed in common and for service”. When Ignatius came to describe in the Constitutions the qualities desirable in a Superior General, it is said that he unwittingly drew a self portrait. The same might perhaps be said of Pope Francis as he outlined the core values of Jesuit life.
OUR NEW SUPERIOR GENERAL Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal SJ Institute, the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Vatican Observatory and La Civiltà Cattolica, as well as international Jesuit colleges in Rome.
Direction and priorities Unlike previous General Congregations, the Commission charged with considering the State of the Society (De Statu Societatis) started working several months ago, so the electors had more time to reflect on its findings for an enriched conversation. Having completed the task of electing a new Superior General and heard the challenging words of the Pope, the Congregation went on to discuss the future direction and priorities for the international Society. The logo for GC 36 was inspired by an earlier message from Pope Francis, in September 2014, when he urged Jesuits to discern in difficult times; to be receptive of and obedient to the will of God; and to row with him in the service of the Church according to the call of Jesus to his disciples: “Put out into the deep”. The IHS represents the Society’s boat in the Church, and the waves represent the sea which Jesuits are invited to enter and row out into, toward frontiers. As Jesuits and Friends goes to press, discussions continue at GC36 with a view to charting the course of the Society of Jesus in the years ahead, through the difficult waters faced by humanity, addressing the issues that are most challenging in the world today – from poverty to injustice, the environment to global insecurity, refugees to the aspirations of young people. From these discussions, decrees and direction shall emerge. The boat of the Society of Jesus looks forward to continuing the journey under the guidance of its new ‘captain’, Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ. l
FIND OUT MORE Visit gc36.org
Fr General Sosa SJ. Credit: SJ Curia
“As companions of Jesus we want to ... identify ourselves with human beings (who) suffer the consequences of injustice.” From Fr General’s first homily, 15 October 2016
FATHER ARTURO Sosa Abascal SJ of the Venezuelan Province was elected as the Superior General of the Society of Jesus on Friday, 14 October 2016. He succeeded Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, whose resignation was accepted at the beginning of the 36th General Congregation in Rome. During the previous General Congregation in 2008, Fr General Nicolás appointed Fr Sosa as General Counsellor, based in Venezuela. In 2014, Fr Sosa joined the General Curia community in Rome where he served as a Counsellor on the General Council and as Delegate for Interprovincial Roman Houses of the Society of Jesus in Rome. These include the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical
Fr Sosa was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on 12 November 1948. He obtained a licentiate in philosophy from l’Università Cattolica Andrés Bello in 1972 and a doctorate in Political Science from l’Università Centrale del Venezuela in 1990. He was coordinator for the social apostolate for the Jesuits in Venezuela, during which time he was also director of Gumilla Social Centre, a centre for research and social action. In 1996, he was appointed as Provincial Superior, a post he held until 2004. The 30th successor of St Ignatius Loyola, Fr Sosa has dedicated his life to research and teaching. He has held different positions in academia and speaks Spanish, Italian and English; he also understands French. He was a professor and a member of the Foundation Council of the Catholic University Andrés Bello and for 10 years he was the Rector of the Catholic University in Táchira. He has done most of his research and teaching in the area of political sciences, in a variety of centres and institutions. In 2004, Fr Sosa was invited as a visiting professor by the Centre for Latin American Studies of Georgetown University, in the United States, and was Professor of Venezuelan Political Thinking of the Catholic University of Táchira. He has published a number of works, mainly about the history and the politics of Venezuela. l
READ MORE Visit gc36.org/first-homilyfr-general for the full text of Fr General’s first homily after his election. jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 5
THE PHILIPPINES Jesuit Missions
Healing a deeply divided society Jesuit workers in the Philippines – along with the Filipino people – are having to come to terms with a new administration, as Karlo Abadines explains
IT IS SEVERAL months since Rodrigo Roa Duterte, more commonly known as “Digong”, was inaugurated as President of the Philippines. By appealing to many different groups of voters, he garnered 18 million votes in the 9 May polls and won under the banner of eliminating drugs, crime and corruption. In his public speeches and interviews, he projects empathy and power, and expresses anger against the “oppressors” of the Filipino people – oligarchs, the powerful in “imperial” Manila and those involved in crime and drugs. And, in contrast to traditional politicians, he has brought the discourse from the margins to the seats of power. In his State of the Nation Address, he promised that
THE COCO LEVY In September 2014, 71 farmers marched from Davao City to Metro Manila to call for government action on the controversial Coco Levy fund – amounting to 71 billion Philippines Peso – accumulated during the Marcos regime. This tax should have been used for the benefit of the coconut industry, but was instead used for corrupt purposes during the Martial Law Period. During the election campaign, Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised his government would restore the levy to the farmers, leading one to state: “I am for Duterte, for change…. yes because Duterte committed to those in the Quezon province regarding the Coco Levy and surely it will happen because that is how we, from Davao, know him.”
6 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
A farmer-leader from Casiguran in Aurora, whose land, that he has tilled for decades, is being threatened by a government-owned operation. Credit: SLB
his “administration shall be sensitive to the State’s obligations to promote, and protect, fulfil the human rights of our citizens, especially the poor, the marginalised and the vulnerable, and social justice will be pursued, even as the rule of law shall at all times prevail”.
“We cannot afford to forget the poor in these tumultuous times” This promise of change came with his brand of iron-fisted approach to governance and with it came collateral damage. The war on drugs has taken its toll on the country. In less than 100 days, more than 3000 lives have been claimed and the numbers continue to rise. Despite warnings by various human rights advocates, the administration continues with the campaign. Ironically, the victims
of his war against drugs come from some of the poorest sectors in society, the same people who trust the administration’s promise of change. Many civil society groups – including Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), the Jesuits’ socio-political apostolate in the Philippines – face a somewhat awkward predicament. On one hand, there are elements of hope in an administration that is finally taking action against injustices (issues such as land, labour and the environment). On the other, we face a leadership that favours political allies (including the family of the ex-dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos), allows vigilante killings on the streets of the country and continues to control more power in our democratic institutions.
Areas of collaboration With his unconventional governance, it is not surprising that Digong has gained both avid supporters and outspoken critics. The population remains polarised
Jesuit Missions ZIMBABWE
and divided, a spillover from the toxic campaign season of the 2016 elections. Civil society remains fragmented, as different organisations pursue different advocacies, which often overlap. How then do we respond as a Church institution? Last August, the Jesuit Superior in the Philippines, Fr Antonio Moreno SJ, called on the Church to “exercise prayerful discernment in dealing with the state and civil society”. He highlighted the role of the Church in “healing our deeply divided society…” and cautioned that, in engaging the new administration, the faithful should see that there are “areas of collaboration, but there are contentious issues that could trigger Church-State conflict”. It is a continued challenge for us as a Church at this point not to look at the administration as a monolithic structure to be painted black or white. Trying to simplify the complexity of engaging this administration has already led to the creation of walls where avid critics clash with ardent supporters, and meaningful conversations and dialogue are lost in the foray. At the end of the day, it is the poor who are once again the losers if we remain caught up in bickering with each other. We cannot afford to forget them in these tumultuous times. Yes, we are called to speak up against matters that are principally wrong (killings, historical injustice etc); but we must also be proactive in engaging where we see expressions of goodness and hope, where social reforms and development are promoted – what some of our partners have called “principled collaboration”. And above all, we are called to prayer and discernment as a community – to retreat from the noise, with the continued hope that the Holy Spirit will prompt us to take the proper next steps forward. SLB is still on its way to learning how to dance to the rhythm of Digong. l
FIND OUT MORE At jesuitmissions.org.uk
Aid for those at risk
Children are receiving emergency food relief throughout Zimbabwe. Credit: Isabel Corthier/Caritas
THE FOOD situation in Zimbabwe remains serious. The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that in the first quarter of 2016 there were 2.8 million people who were food insecure; and this is predicted to rise to 4.1 million by March 2017. Our appeal in the last edition of Jesuits and Friends raised over £30,000, for which we thank you most sincerely. In addition to this, Jesuit Missions had already committed £30,000 to help the Jesuits provide food for vulnerable children in key areas. Working with Jesuit Missions Germany, our support means that the Jesuits in Zimbabwe have been able to make a significant contribution to tackling Zimbabwe’s serious food crisis.
What has happened since our appeal? With your help, Jesuit Missions has been able to increase the number of children it will help from 2000 to 3000, working in collaboration with the local Church, local political, traditional institutions and community structures. The Jesuit Food Relief Officer, Faith Chiutsa, says that the food delivered by the Jesuits targets the most marginalised: “Our food aid programme has played a major role in alleviating hunger and improving household security in our areas of operation. This immediate relief entails general distribution in areas
experiencing acute food shortages and we have successfully targeted those in the greatest need. We have also seen a decrease in school dropout rates. A lack of food meant that some pupils were unable to carry on with their education. Additionally, some schools in our intervention areas have now implemented a feeding programme for the students at the schools and this has also improved the school attendance. Our grateful thanks to all those who have responded generously to this appeal.”
The future At the moment, the situation is critical; but it is expected that famine can continue to be avoided. However, major agencies such as the WFP are reporting shortfalls in funding, so there is concern that many of the most vulnerable will not receive the assistance that they need. Jesuit Food Relief will distribute food until the end of the year, so that those who face critical food shortages continue to get this urgent assistance. Thank you again for your support and please keep the people of Zimbabwe in your prayers. l
HOW CAN I HELP? Visit jesuitmissions.org.uk and follow the Zimbabwe Food Relief Appeal link. jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 7
HIGHER EDUCATION Intellectual Apostolate
A ministry at a crossroads Frank Turner SJ considers the Intellectual Apostolate of the British Jesuits and its future
BEING A faithful follower of Jesus Christ does not only challenge our goodwill and generosity. It takes all the intelligence we have got. The disciplines of theology and philosophy (as well as other means of understanding the human and material world more adequately) are therefore central to the life of the Church. In the 11th century, Saint Anselm famously defined theology as “faith seeking understanding”. By an “intellectual apostolate” we mean just that: the consistent attempt to serve God by seeking, understanding and communicating more fully the truth of the Gospel, and the Christian community’s reception of that truth. The Jesuits in Britain do this through three kinds of instrument: we have a college of the University of London, Heythrop, and a “permanent private hall” of Oxford University. We serve university students pastorally (in their personal lives and not least in their search for truth and wisdom) at
Heythrop, Oxford, and in Manchester. We produce an internationally respected academic journal, The Heythrop Journal; publish regular online comment at thinkingfaith.org; and offer informal summer programmes in philosophy and theology under the collective name of “Living Theology”. In all these works, Jesuits work alongside lay colleagues, and sometimes alongside members of other religious congregations and diocesan priests.
“The move to London inserted Heythrop within the public higher education system, with its regulations and funding structures” As the educational scene in Britain changes rapidly, and as the Jesuits available for the work sadly become fewer, all these apostolates will change too, in each case with the emphasis on partnership. However, given the
Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy
8 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
widespread public interest in the matter, the rest of this article will focus on just one institution, our largest, and on our most immediate challenge. This arises from the difficulties affecting Heythrop, and what we have done and plan to do to meet these difficulties.
A specialist college What is now Heythrop College London was established by the Jesuits in 1614 in Louvain, Belgium, when such an institution would have been impossible in England and Wales. It has gone through many changes. Prior to 1970, it was located in Oxfordshire (its name derives from the nearby village) and was a “Pontifical Athenaeum” educating religious and priests and awarding ecclesiastical degrees to those qualified. In 1970, it moved to become a college of the University of London, retaining a Catholic ethos whilst foregoing the ecclesiastical degrees (which it has since re-assumed). After its move to Kensington Square in 1993, it grew considerably to teach a maximum of some 800 full-time equivalent students.
Campion Hall, Oxford
Intellectual Apostolate HIGHER EDUCATION
Heythrop College Oxfordshire
Heythrop is a specialist college of philosophy and theology. But the move to London inserted it within the public higher education system, with all its regulations and its arcane funding structures. Though its students would usually receive personal grants, Heythrop never received structural funding. Therefore, despite precious and crucial staffing support from other religious congregations and the diocesan church, the Society of Jesus remains the sole funder of last resort. For this reason, and because of its specialised nature and modest size, Heythrop has been deeply vulnerable to recent changes in the financing of higher education. Over the last decade, the field has become more competitive. The steep and progressive raising of fees (especially for undergraduates), coupled with the lifting of the cap on enrolment, has had two major results: the largest colleges, with facilities Heythrop cannot match, such as access to internships and sports facilities, have the incentive to maximise their student intake, inevitably at the expense of smaller colleges. Secondly, most students now leave university with high levels of debt. Enrolment suffers accordingly, since theology, for example, is hardly an attractive degree in terms of employment marketability. It has become clear that Heythrop, highly regarded and applauded in its field (to take just one example, 62% of its research was officially judged to be of international standard or world-leading) simply could not survive
Heythrop College Kensington Square. Credit: Mazur
alone. The Jesuits in Britain, together with Heythrop’s leadership and academics, have carried out a series of more or less promising discussions about partnership. Could we achieve an agreement that would enrich our academic life, continue in the manifest service of the Church, fulfil our sense of Jesuit mission
We have the urgent task of charting the Jesuit mission in a new institutional form in terms of the service of faith and the promotion of justice? At the same time, could we join an institution that would significantly share the heavy financial burden of the elaborate administration that is now part of the higher education environment?
Building on existing networks So far, even the most promising discussion has failed to secure the support from beyond the Society needed to enable the partnership to succeed. The Kensington premises were put on the market in September 2016 and Heythrop is due to leave the University of London in 2018, after honouring its obligations to its present students. The Jesuit mission, its “intellectual apostolate”, will endure. But we have the urgent task of charting that mission in a new institutional form. We hope to retain a significant institutional base in London to
continue the fundamental mission of Heythrop. Two other perspectives will feature prominently in our exploration. As mentioned, the Jesuits are present in Oxford at Campion Hall, with senior academics and research students from all over the world, not only Jesuits. The Hall has ample potential to develop its mission at this world-famous university. Second, in today’s interconnected world, no Jesuit “province” plans or implements its mission alone. Academics are often highly mobile, especially Jesuits who have the specific vocation to work anywhere according to a superior’s discernment of the need and the potential fruit. Therefore, we see promising possibilities of building on existing networks with our Jesuit neighbours in Flemish Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands (and indeed with universities elsewhere) to plan collaborative forms of intellectual ministry in teaching and research, and not least in the kind of social and political advocacy that depends on serious research. The academics, staff and leadership of Heythrop College find themselves at a crossroads, in a predicament we would never have chosen freely. Amidst the undeniable sadness, it is our task to plan, without haste but without loss of time, something new that will continue the Jesuits’ and Heythrop’s core intellectual mission. l
FIND OUT MORE Visit jesuit.org.uk/our-work and select Education and/or Chaplaincies jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 9
GUYANA Jesuit Missions
Guyana – South Asia’s best kept secret Earlier this year, George Pattery SJ, the Provincial of South Asia, visited Guyana, where many of the missions and pastoral initiatives are staffed by Jesuits from India
SINCE THE YEAR 2000, 37 Jesuits from South Asia have served the Guyana Region. At present there are 14 Jesuits from India working in the country, the latest being the first from the Calcutta Province, Joseph Raj. South Asian Jesuits are working on the coastal belt and in pastoral ministry in suburban areas, and in remote interior missions on the Venezuelan and Brazilian borders. Guyana shares its history with India, Africa, Europe, China, Latin America and the Caribbean, and their cultures continue to infuse her peoples today, making it a fascinating and challenging place. Jesuits from South Asia are serving people with African and Indian origins, as well as its indigenous population and Chinese descendants. The country celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence earlier this year and I was able to spend ten days there in what a can only describe as an apostolic adventure!
Stamina and pastoral zeal Having started my visit to Guyana in the capital, Georgetown, I soon found myself travelling in a small ten-seater plane for an hour or so to Mabaruma in the North-West Amazonian region on the Venezuelan border. This was followed by an hour-long walk with 75-year-old Guyanese Jesuit Malcolm Rodrigues through thick forest to reach the boat bay where we embarked upon a three-hour boat ride to the border itself. All along the river bank, there are mission stations where Amar Bage from the Ranchi Province provides pastoral ministry for the indigenous communities, which means long and daring travels by 10 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
British as indentured labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to work in the sugarcane farms. They are mostly Hindus and Muslims, with some new settlers with African origins. Guyana is religiously a very tolerant country and, with a university close by, the Centre looks promising for a new paradigm of inter-religious dialogue.
Setting off for Mabaruma. Credit: SJ Guyana
“The government of Guyana is seriously considering including the Wapishana tribal language in the curriculum”
An even greater adventure awaited me the next day, as a 90-minute flight took us to Lethem on the border with Brazil and from there on a four-hour drive along dusty and bumpy roads that led us to Aishalton – an interior mission with the Wapishana indigenous tribe. This mission is looked after by Varghese Puthussery, former provincial of Dumka-Raiganj Province, and Karnataka Jesuit, Edwin Anthony. Varghese has learned the Wapishana language and has proposed an education model that seeks to include this tribal language in the curriculum, something the government of Guyana is seriously considering. Resembling much of the North Eastern tribal community in India, the Wapishana people are a joyful and promising group for the Church in Guyana.
boat and ministering to the dispersed communities along the river. A large heart, good physical stamina and burning pastoral zeal characterise Jesuit missionaries in this region and it was both an exciting and daring trip, occasionally churning up our stomachs as the waves dangerously tilted our boat.
Culture, language and community
The following day, a two-hour drive from Georgetown took us to Berbice, where the Jesuits run a Human Development Centre, reaching out to the poor and the unskilled of all religions. The population of Berbice is predominantly made up of people originally from India, brought by the
We returned to Lethem, just before the rains that would have flooded the creeks on the road, where we visited the St Ignatius mission, looked after by Paulose Vallakada and Ronnie Fernandes – both from Karnataka – along with Guyanese Jesuit brother Medino Abraham and Jim Conway from Britain. I met Jim with the Regional Superior,
Jesuit Missions GUYANA
is to introduce and to learn from non-formal education pedagogy, interacting with the Fe y Alegria model – the grass-roots educational movement founded in Venezuela in 1955 by Fr José María Vélaz SJ.
Fr Pattery meets with Jesuits and Ursuline Sisters in Karasabai. Credit: SJ Guyana
Paul Martin, in the village of Karasabai, along with Ranchi Ursuline Sisters who work in the mission. I would have also liked to have travelled to Kurukabaru, in the interior mountains, where Elias Surin of the Ranchi Province works, but sadly time constraints prevented us from visiting that mission. The story of Guyana is largely untold; but it has considerable potential. South Asian Jesuits have already initiated a model of intervention with the indigenous community in terms of augmenting their culture, language and
community living: Varghese Puthussery has taken the lead in this initiative. This could be further strengthened with enthusiastic young Jesuits from South Asia joining the Region. It seems to me that the traditional Catholic approach to a pastoral ministry remains in Guyana, although the country also offers a platform to experiment in a new paradigm of dialogue in the multicultural and multi-religious situation. This is particularly significant because of the tolerance and collaboration between religions in Guyana. A third significant potential for Jesuits from South Asia
Pegged on the northern tip of Latin America and bordered by Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil, Guyana is an amazing territory and a fascinating story. As a juridical entity in the Society of Jesus, Guyana is looking to the Latin American Conference for greater support and is actively searching for collaboration with Antilles in the Caribbean belt. But it continues to depend on Britain for support and on South Asia for Jesuit personnel resources. My ten days in Guyana enabled me to taste the engagement of Jesuits in this region and I am immensely grateful to them all for their welcome and hospitality. l
FIND OUT MORE For the latest news from the Jesuits in Guyana, see facebook.com/ Jesuits-in-Guyana
Passing on the faith CATHOLICS IN the small Amerindian village of St Ignatius, Rupununi, have celebrated the opening and blessing of the new church dedicated to their patron, writes Colin Smith of the Catholic Standard. After blessing the uniquely round building, with its green “hat”, Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving and conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on 20 candidates. The celebration had started with a procession from the old church building to the new: gathering young and old, the short walk signified the passing on of the faith from one place to another and from one generation to the next. A Church Elder and a young boy released the church door by cutting a ribbon, before gently advancing into the
circular space. The building resembles an Amerindian benab (a traditional shelter made of leaves and branches and supported on a framework of poles) and is a break away from the usual rectangular and rather functional style of churches in the Rupununi. Although more difficult to construct, it is hoped that the effort will be worthwhile, creating a more prayerful ambience which gathers people around
the altar and which is inclusive and welcoming. The beautiful cross hanging above the sanctuary, carved in wood taken from the local forest, portrays a risen Christ that is Amerindian and triumphant in appearance. Below it, a heavy altar – a slice of a huge tree that had fallen in the forest – now fittingly gives glory to God. l
The new Church of St Ignatius, Rupununi. Credit: Guy Marco/Michella Abraham-Ali
YEAR OF MERCY London Mission
St Claude returns to London Jane Hellings explains why a Sacred Heart of Mercy Mission is so important for the Year of Mercy
DEVOTION TO the Sacred Heart of Jesus dates back to the 12th century. But it was not until December 1673 – when Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque said she had several apparitions and received instructions from Jesus himself – that it started to develop its present day form. A Sister of the Order of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, she had to overcome initial resistance from her community when she claimed that Jesus requested special devotion to his Heart, which was “radiant with love”, through frequent reception of Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour. At that time, Fr Claude La Colombière SJ, the Superior of the Jesuit community in Paray-le-Monial, was spiritual director to the local Visitation Convent and he offered Sr Margaret Mary guidance as to the meaning of her spiritual visions of the Sacred Heart of Christ. He went on to become a zealous apostle of the devotion. Following their canonisations (in 1929 and 1992 respectively), their remains were interred at Paray-le-Monial in France; and it is from there that they were brought to London for a Sacred Heart of Mercy Mission to mark the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The relics of St Margaret Mary Alacoque and St Claude La Colombière SJ are cared for by the Emmanuel Community – an international Catholic community recognised by the Holy See as a “Public Association of the Faithful”. Their London chapter is based at Our Lady of Victories Kensington, which collaborated with the Jesuits at Farm Street Church, St Patrick’s Soho and the Sisters of Tyburn Convent to organise the special five-day event. 12 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
Many of his English Jesuit brothers fared far worse: 48 died in prison and nine were executed. But St Claude continues to have a special connection with Farm Street parish. “The Jesuits of Farm Street have a particular connection to St Claude as a saint of this parish,” says the Superior of the Jesuit community, Fr Dominic Robinson SJ. “And we are delighted to have been part of this inspiring event to conclude this Jubilee Year of Mercy by honouring St Claude and St Margaret Mary and the devotion to the Sacred Heart, with which the Jesuits have had such a long historical association.”
St Claude La Colombière
“The mission combines the relics with missionaries to witness to the Catholic faith” St Claude was no stranger to London. “He was missioned in 1676 to the ambassadorial post of chaplain to the Duke and Duchess of York at St James’ Palace (in Farm Street parish),” explains Jan Graffius, Curator of Collections at Stonyhurst College who gave a talk after the service to welcome the relics. “His work in England was highly sensitive, not least because of the religious politics of the royal household where Catholics were held in deep suspicion.”
A long historic association During the so-called “popish plot” of 1678 (where Catholics were falsely accused of attempting to assassinate King Charles II), St Claude was accused of conspiracy and thrown into prison before being exiled back to France.
Following the death of St Claude La Colombière SJ in 1682, devotion to the Sacred Heart was fostered by the Jesuits. Successive popes have consecrated the entire human race to the Sacred Heart, and, in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed its importance in a letter to the then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ. In addition to Mass and night vigils at Farm Street, Our Lady of Victories Kensington and St Patrick’s Soho, the relics visited Wormwood Scrubs Prison, Tyburn Convent, the hospice of St John and St Elizabeth and the London Oratory School in Fulham. Processions of witness also had particular significance for the Year of Mercy, according to Anne-Sophie de Narp of the Emmanuel Community. “The Sacred Heart of Mercy Mission combines these sacred relics with an international team of missionaries to witness to the Catholic faith and renew the Catholic community in London.” l
FIND OUT MORE See tinyurl.com/zn3lf47
Refugees YEAR OF MERCY
Hospitality beyond simple accommodation Nicolette Busuttil of JRS UK on an initiative to help refugees during the Year of Mercy
Respect, kindness and friendship
A warm, generous welcome can make a real difference to asylum seekers. Credit: JRS UK
DESTITUTION IS a reality faced by many of those who seek sanctuary in the UK from persecution, war and other forms of harm. Deprived of the right to work and precluded from accessing public funds, asylum seekers end up navigating a system that is fraught with challenges, leaving them in precarious situations where they rely on charities to meet their most basic of needs. At JRS UK, we seek to promote a culture of welcome and solidarity with our destitute refugee friends. Through the ‘At Home’ hosting scheme, we match destitute asylum seekers with religious communities and parishes willing to offer short-term accommodation. As we acknowledge that the experience can seem daunting at first, we provide support every step of the way to facilitate an encounter that is profoundly fruitful for both hosts and guests.
“The encounter is profoundly fruitful for both hosts and guests” In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we acknowledge that God’s mercy is open to all and we have been called to share God’s love with every person. Addressing Jesuit Alumni in Rome, Pope Francis recalled that it is essential that we “welcome refugees into our homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm human welcome”. The Jesuit Community at Mount Street has responded to this call with open doors and open hearts. Since August 2016, they have welcomed Mourad in their midst, offering hospitality that goes beyond merely providing accommodation.
The Community Superior, Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, shares their experience: “The community has been delighted to be able to help, as we believe that hospitality and welcome, especially to those most in need, is what we are about. Mourad has been a wonderful addition to our community and it has been a great pleasure to have his company over these last few weeks. Any religious community considering this option is to be encouraged to show welcome to asylum seekers through the ‘At Home’ scheme. We know that JRS will be able to provide the necessary support to make it work. We are called to do this and believe it to be an important project.” Equally, being hosted is often a lifeline for people who have grown accustomed to being treated with suspicion and hostility. Mourad, who was living rough on the streets of London prior to being hosted at Mount Street, explains: “Being hosted has made a big difference to my life. You cannot compare life on the streets to having a roof over your head. When you are on the streets you do not eat well, you do not sleep well and as a result you cannot think well. I am so happy now because I am treated with respect and I have experienced kindness and friendship from very good people. Through them I have rediscovered my freedom and this has made all the difference!” l
FIND OUT MORE Email JRS on nicolette.busuttil @jrs.net or phone 020 7488 7310 for further information jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 13
SOUTH AFRICA Jesuit Missions
On the Frontiers: Hope in the murder capital of South Africa From catechesis to soup kitchens, private prayer to education, Rampe Hlobo SJ accompanies parishioners in Nyanga on their journeys of faith
SHORTLY AFTER I arrived at the parish of St Mary’s in Nyanga, I realised why this neighbourhood of Cape Town has been known for many years as the murder capital of South Africa. The serious problem of drugs, housebreaking, a total disregard of bylaws and traffic regulations and various other socio-economic issues make this an area where the church becomes a necessary and indispensable haven, not least for its young community members. We find ourselves making a journey in faith with the people of God and giving hope to many, especially the young. On Saturdays, we work with students from the University of Cape Town chaplaincy and some parishioners to provide tutoring classes for our secondary school pupils to complement what they have been taught at school. But the parish does not have rooms
in which effective tutoring can take place for the maximum benefit of the learners, so the garage – and sometimes the back of the church – have been turned into a multipurpose space.
“Our young people carry many aspirations and hopes for a better future” St Mary’s Parish has about ten active groups that meet regularly and the challenge for space has from time to time caused tensions among them. This is especially true during the winter months when it is cold, wet and windy and groups cannot meet under the tree or in the car park. Meetings inside the church become the next but least preferred option; but at any given time one can find about five groups meeting
here, including catechism classes, so the much needed sacred and quiet space for personal prayer which parishioners may not have at home becomes unavailable. Consequently, neither their homes nor the church can offer a place of solace where there could be a quiet and peaceful personal encounter with the Lord. The lack of facilities also presents a challenge for our vibrant St Vincent de Paul Society, which runs a weekly soup kitchen for more than 50 people, a number that increases during school holidays. Rainy winter days in particular present a problem for the beneficiaries since there is no shelter under which they can be protected when coming for their meals. Our parish is and has always been at the heart of what the Jesuits’ 35th General Congregation called “the frontiers”. Our young people carry with them many aspirations and hopes for a better future; and education is one of those essentials that many pursue. When I arrived here in Nyanga just over a year ago, I found that the parishioners had already started to collect money to build a multipurpose parish hall which will hopefully mitigate the challenge of space in the parish. Because, despite the area’s violent and impoverished history, St Mary’s continues to help them fulfil their ambitions. l
FIND OUT MORE Tutoring in the garage at St Mary’s. Credit: Rampe Hlobo SJ
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Keep up to date with what the Jesuits in South Africa are doing: visit facebook.com/SAJesuits
PRAYING WITH THE POPE
The innocence and dignity of the child David Stewart SJ reflects on the themes of Pope Francis’ prayer themes over the months ahead
The UN’s 1989 Convention requires that “every child has the right to protection from armed conflicts”. Yet still, today, at least 300,000 boys and girls under 18 are recruited and trained to kill, guns placed in their hands. This breach of their rights is evil. In his Universal Prayer Intention this December, Pope Francis appeals for an end to the “scandal of child soldiers”.
Credit: © L’Osservatore Romano
WE ARE approaching Christmas, and some of our attention is turning towards children – the Christ-child of the well-loved Nativity and Infancy stories from Luke’s Gospel and the children for whom Christmas is a special time, although not always for wholesome or sacred reasons. Every child has a holy
innocence; while every young person, and every grown-up too, has a hallowed dignity. All too often that is violated, spoiled; not least by the consumerism and covetousness that surround Christmas, and also by abuse. There are many evils in our world that wreck a child’s right to be safe, valued and loved.
We pray with the Pope this Christmas, reminded of how the Holy Family became refugees because innocent children were being slaughtered. We pray for the innocence of all children. l
FIND OUT MORE pathwaystogod.org/my-prayerlife/praying-pope is regularly updated with details of the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions.
PRAYER THEMES FOR THE MONTHS AHEAD
God, our Father, I offer you my day. I offer you my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys and sufferings in union with the Heart of Jesus, who continues to offer himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today, so that I may witness to your love. With Mary, the mother of our Lord and the Church, I pray for all Apostles of Prayer and for the prayer intentions proposed by the Holy Father this month. Amen.
DECEMBER: That the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
The topical prayer request will help mobilise prayer and action related to the urgent situation.
That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.
JANUARY 2017: That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.
Starting in 2017, the Pope will present only one prepared prayer intention for each month, rather than the present two. However, he plans to add a second prayer intention each month that relates to current events or urgent needs, like disaster relief.
FEBRUARY: That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalised, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.
VOCATIONS The novitiate
Inching closer to God Life for Jesuit novices is a time of discovery, transition and renewal, as Stephen Noon nSJ has been finding out
LIFE IN THE Birmingham novitiate can go slowly and yet, looking back, it feels as though the last 12 months have flown by. A typical week can seem relatively empty and yet, from this new vantage point a year on, I know that so much has actually been packed in. That series of contradictions, as I am beginning to understand, actually reflects this new life as a contemplative in action. The ideal, not always lived, is that we create more space in our life for God and we devote our time to things of real meaning. Over this year, I’ve enjoyed many moments of great joy alongside times of struggle, as I try to rub off some of my rough edges and fit what was sometimes the round peg of my previous life into the square hole of Jesuit living. But I am slowly getting there, propelled most powerfully by the Spiritual Exercises, which was the stand-out experience of the first year and something that has changed me and my relationship with God forever. I am more aware of God’s work in my life, in each and every day and, like the tanker that takes time to change course, I am gradually getting Christ more firmly in view as my north-star and guide. Beneath the daily beat of activity from prayer, through study, our shared housework and gardening, to sports and recreation, we inch closer to God. Slowly, extraneous layers are stripped back, barriers are broken down and we become freer to commit, through the Vows, to become companions of Jesus. I couldn’t have described it this way last year, but here, looking back and looking forward, that is the clearly discernible path. 16 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
Taking their First Vows as novices: Aurimas Šukys SJ, Richard Webster SJ, Mantas Mileris SJ, Bastiaan van Rooijen SJ. Credit: Jane Hellings
These past few weeks have been a really powerful time of transition. We have seen the former second years prepare for and take their Vows. Simultaneously, and with an unusual three-week overlap, we’ve welcomed a new group of first years with all their enthusiasm and very different personalities.
“The Spiritual Exercises changed me and my relationship with God for ever” It has been a time, also, of renewal. We’ve had a change of faces but also some change in the shape of our day. This is based, in part, on input from the novice group, following a period of prayer and reflection when we asked ourselves how well we are living novice life. And we are developing a more collaborative and practical
approach to our study periods that helps us to explore important subjects like our future vows and the ways of proceeding of the Society in a more personal and real-life way. So while we live within a framework and under obedience, that structure does provide us with flexibility and freedom to explore our vocation and to test out how well we fit in with Jesuit life. It is not a simple journey, but it is made all the easier knowing that God is there to give us the graces we need to take even difficult next steps. And it is also made easier knowing that people across the Society, friends and members, have us in their prayers. l
FIND OUT MORE The novices share their experiences of life in the novitiate at manresaamigos.wordpress.com
Daniel Berrigan SJ A TRIBUTE
A deep compassion for people Luke Hansen SJ, a student at Santa Clara University in California, reflects on the life and legacy of Daniel Berrigan SJ
THE SOCIETY of Jesus lost a giant on 30 April 2016. Daniel Berrigan, an American Jesuit who famously carried out dramatic protests against war and nuclear weapons, died in New York City at the age of 94. Dan was a priest, award-winning poet, peace activist, teacher, retreat leader and devoted pastoral minister to those living with HIV/AIDS and cancer. He wrote more than 50 books on scripture, spirituality and resistance to war. Daniel Berrigan took human suffering seriously and overcame vast geographical distance to feel deep compassion for people, especially children, who suffered from US military assaults. For him, the Vietnam War could not be passively accepted or even dispassionately debated. He knew that human lives were at stake and must be defended. Dan had little interest in conventional protests that soothed his conscience
but actually did nothing to interrupt or end the war. He and many others, including his brother Philip Berrigan, felt compelled by conscience to do more, to raise the stakes, to take greater risks, in order to draw attention to injustice and to end it.
“For Dan, war could not be passively accepted or even dispassionately debated” Thus, in 1968, Dan walked into a federal office, removed hundreds of draft files that facilitated the deployment of American men to fight an unjust war in Vietnam and, in a nearby parking lot, burned them with homemade napalm. Thus, in 1980, he walked into a nuclear weapons plant, took a household hammer to an unarmed nuclear weapon, and enacted the
vision of the prophet Isaiah to “beat swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4). Thus, even as an octogenarian, he joined the Occupy Wall Street movement, protested US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and resisted the indefinite detention and torture of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay.
Imagination beyond powerlessness Daniel Berrigan was a Jesuit for 76 years, a priest for 63 years and a faithful resister since the 1940s, when he met Dorothy Day and learned about Gospel non-violence and the connection between militarism and poverty. What did this commitment require of him? It required community for mutual support and a context for discernment. It required imagination to see beyond powerlessness and the status quo. It required prayer to be deeply rooted in God, God’s dream for the world and God’s deep love for every person. It required fearlessness in the face of opposition, misunderstanding and slander. It required freedom and courage to follow God’s call and one’s conscience in the face of serious consequences. These are gifts and graces for each of us to seek and grow in. Thank you, Dan, for showing us that a life of fidelity and conscience and taking risks for God’s kingdom are possible. l
FIND OUT MORE Dan Berrigan is arrested for civil disobedience outside the US Mission to the UN, 2006. Credit: Thomas Good NLN
See: thinkingfaith.org/articles/ daniel-berrigan-sj-goingback-poetry jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 17
PARISHES Pastoral Ministry
Challenge and change: A brief history of Jesuit parishes in Britain Would St Ignatius approve of our current pastoral strategy? Ken Vance SJ believes he would
I OFTEN WONDER how many of the thousands of people who attend Mass at the 16 churches staffed by Jesuits in Britain realise that when St Ignatius Loyola founded the Society he didn’t want his men to take on the care of parishes. He believed that Jesuits should be free of institutional ties, ready to travel throughout the world and to live wherever there is hope of greater service of God and the help of souls. To Ignatius and the early Jesuits, parish life, as they experienced it, was not for Jesuits. However, by 1850, the Jesuits in Britain were ministering in more than 50 parishes in England, Scotland and Wales. Trust the British Jesuits to adopt a creative approach to the rules.
when practice of the Catholic faith was forbidden, it had to learn to exist with a certain reverence to the smoke and mirrors school of administration,” he explains. “The Jesuit Mission was divided into administrative colleges, each named after an appropriate saint, whose fortunes waxed and waned depending of the number of men available at any one time and the vicissitudes of the local authorities in persecuting Recusants.”
The British (formerly English) Province has always been a bit of an oddity, according to historian, Maurice Whitehead. “Established at a time
As the practice of the Catholic faith became more accepted in Britain, the administrative colleges slowly disappeared, although their names
18 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
“Many Jesuit parishes were located in the poorer areas of London”
St Mary’s, Spinkhill
live on in many former Jesuit parishes: St Francis Xavier, Hereford; St Mary’s, Spinkhill; St George’s, Worcester; and so on. With the restoration of the hierarchy in 1850 and the earlier development of the parish structure, many of the religious orders found themselves running parishes, alongside the secular clergy who had kept the faith alive in Britain during Penal times.
Difficult decisions By the 34th General Congregation in 1995, there was a total of 3500 Jesuits serving on 2000 parishes worldwide, leading the then General, Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ, to ask: “Have we … been unfaithful to Ignatius? Has this new enthusiasm for parish ministry taken us astray from his original spirit?” He concluded: “No! Ignatius and his first companions liked to be with people on the streets, where life was lived in their times. Now so many Catholics will
St George’s, Worcester
Pastoral Ministry PARISHES
necessary; so they set about prioritising their needs and how they could be serviced by two Jesuits with secretarial back-up and a very lively city-centre parish. Within 12 months, they had appointed a pastoral assistant, had rationalised the numbers of weekday Masses in co-operation with three local Mass centres, and were actively looking at further ways of involving lay people in the day-to-day running of their parish: a wonderful example of “Challenge and Change”.
Jesuit parishes’ conference 2014. Credit: Ruth Morris
receive their first and last impressions of the Church from the parish.” By the late 1970s, there were more than 600 Jesuits in the British Province, so they took on the running of a variety of parishes, many of which were located in what where then some of the poorer areas of London, including Wapping, Rotherhithe, Custom House, Loughton, Newcastle Emlyn, Usk and Brixton. Sadly, however, vocations ceased to keep pace with the ageing population of the Jesuits in Britain; within 25 years, their number had fallen to 360. Yet they were still responsible for more than 40 parishes. Successive provincials had to make difficult decisions. Over a period of 18 years, various parishes were handed over to their respective dioceses, including such historic places as Clitheroe, Chipping Norton, Blackpool and Oxford. It was realised that the future health of the province lay in rationalising the numbers of centres served by the Jesuits in Britain, so Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon and Corpus Christi, Brixton were handed over to the dioceses. Both remain very active parishes. There are still several Jesuit houses in Wimbledon, so Jesuits continue to support the diocesan priest in the day-to-day running of the parish. At the same time, other parishes – such as multi-cultural Southall – were adopted.
Some years ago, a development plan divided the province into sectors, with the Pastoral Sector being the one which contained the Jesuit-led parishes – along with the Mount Street Jesuit Centre in London, the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh and various other pastoral ministries such as Jesuit Media Initiatives and projects involving young adults. Assistants to support the various sectors were appointed, so the pastoral work of the province has been given greater recognition in recent years.
Challenge and Change A Pastoral Commission consisting of eight lay people and Jesuits was formed, with the chairs of the parish councils making up the Jesuit Parishes Forum (JPF). Both of these groups now meet at least three times each year. The annual gathering of parish priests concludes with a joint meeting with the JPF; and every three years, a residential conference takes place at which ten people from each of our parishes discuss developments, undergo training and help plan for the future. The challenge for directors of pastoral works and chairs of parish councils has been to ask what actually goes on in parishes and how is it done. In Edinburgh, for instance, it was realised that there was no longer a cohort of Jesuits standing Aida-like in the wings ready to swell the volume when
Standing still is not an option for the work of the British Province, which connects with the largest number of people. The good work of rationalisation and involvement being done in such places as Edinburgh and elsewhere is spreading, with the mantra of, “more Lay with less J” being the focus for each of our parishes and a possible strapline for the 2017 Jesuit Pastoral conference. The subject of the next conference is “Evangelisation” – something very dear to the heart of St Ignatius – and it will explore three of Pope Francis’ most important documents, Laudato si’, Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia.
“The pastoral work of the province has been given greater recognition in recent years” Given the strictures attached to the staffing of parishes in the 16th century, Ignatius feared that it would anchor his men in one place and hinder their mobility. But the picture of the Church in Britain has changed dramatically over the centuries and the ways in which the Jesuits and their co-workers relate to it has had to evolve too. And that is something of which – hopefully – Ignatius would approve. l
FIND OUT MORE Read more about the parishes currently staffed by Jesuits in Britain: jesuit.org.uk/our-work jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 19
The Church in Africa: a growing and open community African cultures and theological thought have a crucial relevance for the universal Church, according to a major new publication
THE AMERICAN journalist John L. Allen Jr has called Africa “the most dynamic corner of the Christian map”. And this is evident in a new publication which is the result of three years of conversations and research on a variety of topics of concern to the Church in Africa. Inspired by the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, 60 distinguished scholars, clergy and religious – representing a spectrum of African regions and cultures – came together to develop, model and sustain a new process and method of theological reflection and study at the service of Africa and the worldwide Church. The Theological Colloquium on Church, Religion and Society in Africa (TCCRSA) took as its starting point the phenomenon called “the Francis effect”, and the present and future opportunities it offers the Church in Africa and the wider Church. Then, after offering a critique of the Church in Africa and aspects of Christian identity, theological method and ecclesial leadership, the book moves on to consider the future of Vatican III. It identifies some of the issues that should claim the attention of the Church as it scans its context and environment in order to discern the imperatives of mission in the world. The common aim of the three sections that make up the volume is to provide a critical understanding of present reality and create paths toward growth, transformation and change in the Church. Although rooted in the context of the Church in Africa, this book 20 Jesuits & Friends Winter 2016
bear to the concerns of the global ecclesial community. This is a view shared by Lisa Sowle Cahill of Boston College who describes this as a book for the global Church – perhaps especially for local churches in Europe and North America in need of a broader perspective on the impact of Vatican II and Pope Francis. “Some of African theology’s brightest lights are represented here, including eight women,” she points out. “They shake up the expectations with which ‘Westerners’ approach ecclesiology, social justice, and interreligious dialogue. Its appeal and significance reach far beyond Africans and specialists on the African Catholic Church.”
“The creation of paths toward growth, transformation and change in the Church” is intended to be much wider, encompassing developments and moments of theological pertinence in the worldwide Church, which is envisaged as a growing and open community, a concrete incarnation of a much larger reality, from which the local community is never detached. The aim of the contributors is to elicit a greater appreciation and deeper knowledge of the specific and unique issues of critical importance in the African Church, and the affinity that these issues
The Church We Want was edited by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ, the Principal at Hekima University College Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya. He believes the dynamic movements between the local and the universal proffer an important key for reading and understanding the approaches and subjects considered in this volume. “Conscious of their task to gather the conversations of the local community into a coherent whole,” he says, “the contributors offer them as part of a larger conversation happening in the world Church.” l
READ MORE The Church We Want: African Catholics Look To Vatican III, edited by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ is published by Orbis Books.
Of mercy, faith and discipleship Frances Murphy looks forward to the eagerly awaited film by Martin Scorsese about Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan
ˉ SAKO ENDO ˉ ’S NOVEL, Silence, SHU tells the story of two 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionaries in Japan in search of the truth about what happened to their much-admired teacher, who is rumoured to have apostatised. As they come face to face with the reality of Japanese Christianity, the content and strength of the faith they encounter pose challenges to their own vocations and to their understanding of discipleship. The first half of the story is told via letters that one of the pair, Fr Sebastian Rodrigues (played in the film by Andrew Garfield), writes to his Jesuit superiors. In the second half, the narration reverts to the third person, but the reader is still privy to the intimate thoughts and struggles of ‘the priest’. It is a superb novel – one of the finest of our time, according to Graham Greene. It is provocative, meditative and full of suspense all at once, and, being a story about Jesuits, there is plenty more for the Ignatian-minded reader to absorb.
Rodrigues’ thoughts are frequently steered by imaginative contemplation, as he tries to make sense of his own experiences by reflecting on the relationship between Christ and Judas, on the dynamics of Christ’s meeting with Pilate, on Christ’s every footstep on the journey to Golgotha, and more. The sense of his familiarity not only with the Scriptures but with Christ himself comes across powerfully, which makes his journey through the novel all the more agonising to follow.
“It is the face of Christ that ultimately animates the story” The priest talks lovingly and often in his letters about the face of Christ: What did the face of Christ look like? This point the Bible passes over in silence...I am always fascinated by the face of Christ just like a man fascinated by the face of his beloved.
It is easy to recognise in his words a man who has discovered the love that God has for him through Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and whose single desire is to reciprocate that love. Rodrigues has spent many an hour gazing in adoration at the face of the crucified Christ, seeking and finding consolation in the beauty of its features. And it is the face of Christ that ultimately animates the story of Silence. The film will make potent watching in the wake of a year in which Pope Francis has encouraged us to reflect on and live out God’s mercy. At one point the Japanese officials explicitly use the concept of mercy to torment and manipulate Rodrigues and his companion, Fr Garrpe. But the idea of mercy is the implicit backbone of the story. The anguish that Rodrigues feels comes from his struggle to discern how to act mercifully, and his questioning of how his merciful God can be so silent in the face of the horrors that Rodrigues witnesses. Elijah found God in ‘the sound of sheer silence’, but God’s ‘unrelenting silence’ induces terror in Rodrigues. Silence is a story about Japan, about persecution, about the challenges of evangelisation, about Christian witness... and about so much more. The back cover of my copy of the novel advertised as far back as 1996 that ‘Silence... is to be filmed by Martin Scorsese’. This is a project that has been more than 20 years in the making, and so we can hope that the passion that exudes from the novel is also brought to our cinemas lovingly this winter. l
WATCH THE FILM © Still of Andrew Garfield and Shin’ya Tsukamoto in Silence (2016)
Silence is due to be released in the UK on 6 January 2017. jesuitsandfriends.org.uk 21
MOVES AND APPOINTMENTS
On the move The autumn is traditionally a time of new appointments among Jesuits; and this year is no exception. In September, Frank Turner moved from Campion Hall, Oxford, to Mount Street in London to continue his work as Delegate for the Intellectual Apostolate. Peter Edmonds has also joined this London community from St Ignatius, Stamford Hill, while Christopher Pedley has taken over from Paul O’Reilly as Director of the Mount Street Centre in central London, though they will both remain as members of the Mount Street community and continue their primary ministries to the parish and with the homeless, respectively.
Having successfully completed his philosophy studies in Toronto, Scholastic Peter O’Sullivan has started his regency working with Adrian Porter at the Jesuit Institute; both are based at St John’s Beaumont. Another Scholastic, Kensy Joseph, has moved from Wimbledon to Manchester, where he will be continuing his theological studies in preparation for ordination. Joe Duggan (formerly of Manchester) has joined the parish team at St Francis Xavier’s in Liverpool. David Stewart has moved from Clapham to the Copleston community,
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Trinidad and Guyana
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Finally, Richard Hiruthayaraj has left St Anselm’s parish in Southall and has returned to his home province of Madurai; he has been replaced by Joseph Antonysamy (“Anto”), also from Madurai, who will be in Britain for a year of pastoral work and study in spirituality. l
New faces at Favre House in Wimbledon include Michael Kirwan and Eddy Bermingham, who has
to concentrate on his work with the Pope’s global prayer network and the “Hearts on Fire” project; he has been replaced as acting superior at Garnet House by Mike Smith. Also new to Clapham are Simon Bishop and Scholastic Joel Thompson who has moved from Wapping to study for a Master’s degree at the LSE. Having completed his studies in Heythrop, Henry Longbottom has moved from Clapham to Brussels for his regency in the Jesuit European Social Centre.
At Stamford Hill, the parish has welcomed Gerard Gallen from Mount Street and Polish Jesuit, Bogdan Lesniak, who has replaced Adam Tomaszewski – now undergoing his tertianship in Portland in the USA. Michael Ashworth is expected to leave St Ignatius at the end of the year to join the community at St Wilfrid’s in Preston. And Patrick Connors and Bernard Charles have transferred south to join the Boscombe community.
returned to the UK after more than a decade ministering in Trinidad and Guyana. Another resident at Favre House is Nicholas King who has replaced Paul Nicholson as Delegate for Formation for the Jesuits in Britain.
Obituaries Fr Robert Carty SJ At the time of his death on 16 October 2016, Fr Robert Carty SJ was the oldest Jesuit in the Province, having celebrated his 99th birthday in February and completed 82 years in religious life. Fr Carty was born in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, on 28 February 1917, and educated at St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow. He joined the novitiate at Roehampton in 1934 at the age of 17.
He studied philosophy in Heythrop, Oxfordshire, taught as a regent in Preston Catholic College during the Second World War, and then took a Master’s degree in Chemistry in Oxford. After his ordination in Glasgow in 1949, he returned to Preston to teach, and was appointed headmaster there in 1956.
and held that post until 1975. From 1976 to 1978, he was Rector and parish priest in St Aloysius’ Church, Glasgow, while taking overall responsibility for the work of the Society in Scotland.
Between 1961 and 1968, Fr Carty taught in St George’s College in what was then Salisbury, Rhodesia, becoming successively Prefect of Studies and then headmaster. Returning to England in 1968, he became headmaster in Wimbledon College as it changed from a grammar to a comprehensive school,
Fr Carty’s decade in South Africa from 1979 included a term as mission superior, before he returned to the UK in 1989 to spend a short time on the staff at St Ignatius, Stamford Hill. In 1991, he moved to Enfield as superior and the Provincial’s advisor on ageing and health. While at Copleston House in London (1997 – 2007), he directed the Spiritual Exercises, until he joined the Corpus Christi Jesuit Community in Boscombe, Dorset.
11 July 1954 and began his ministry in southern Africa.
efforts to the college and driving a Jesuit example of faithful service”.
Fr Ross started teaching at St George’s College in Harare (Salisbury) in 1955, and was a stalwart maths teacher. Over the next 50 years, he also taught cricket and, later, swimming. The current Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province described him as a very good teacher: “one who gave all his attention and
Well-known and admired by generations of Old Georgians (OGs), Fr Ross only left the College in 2007 to return to Preston in the UK. At the time of his death on 11 August 2016, he was 96-yearsold – the oldest member of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province.
Fr Hugh Ross SJ Fr Hugh Ross SJ entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1937, when Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) was a part of the English Province. Born on 16 January 1920, he was ordained to the priesthood on
PLEASE PRAY for those who have died recently. May they rest in peace.
• Miss May Connell • Mrs M Chatham • Miss J Armitage • Mr J Lynan • Mr Thomas Flynn • Sister Michaela OSC • Mr Horace Hudson • Mr Richard Somerville • Mrs Patricia Gibbens • Miss Maureen Meenan • Mrs M H Thomas • Mrs Mary Belmonte • Mrs Ursula Dowley • Mr Edward Sancaster
• Mr Peter Stables • Mrs Patricia Campbell • Mrs Ita Mulcahy • Mr D S Matthews • Mrs Veronica Gleeson • Mrs J Matthews • Mr F A P Hall • Mr S Chester • Mr Daniel O’Neill • Canon L Kelly • Fr Sean O’Connor • Sir Archibald Dunbar • Mrs Rita Keane • Mr F Faulkner
• Mr Christopher Kirkham • Fr Hugh Ross SJ • Mr Stephen Portlock • Mrs Olga Bowman • Kathleen June Kidwell • Mrs Monica Bradshaw • Sister Angela Walsh • Mrs Olga Bowman • George Drury SJ • Fr Robert Carty SJ • Fr Ray Armstrong SJ • Fr Hans Jürgen Kleist SJ
Would you like to build a fairer and more faith-filled future? The Jesuits are striving to build a future world which is fairer to the poor and disadvantaged, where schools, universities and parishes continue to nurture the faith of young people and where the Catholic voice is strong. You can be part of this future by leaving a gift in your will to the Jesuits. Martin Middlehurst, the eldest of seven brothers from Wimbledon, got to know the Jesuits as a student at St Mary’s Hall and then at Stonyhurst College. Before he died, he left a gift in his will to the Jesuits in Britain. By remembering the Jesuits in this way, Martin showed that he trusted the Jesuits to develop the faith life of future generations and build a fairer world. His spirit lives on in our work.
For more information on how to leave a gift in your will to the Jesuits please go to jesuit.org.uk/legacy or complete and return the form below and we will send you more details. Lord, you have given all to me. To you I return it. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me. St Ignatius
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A faith that does justice
With news from GC36, including the election of Fr General Arturo SJ