Jesuits & Friends 114, Spring 2023

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The constant work of God within us

The Jesuits and all of the People of God are on a journey

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Issue 114 • Spring 2023 • A faith that does justice



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for those who have died recently. May they rest in peace.

• Mrs Joan M Allan

• Prof. Michael J Apthorp

• Ms Irene Brennan

• Dr A T Bourke

• Mrs Joan Campbell

• Miss M Corrigan

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis (Photo: Shutterstock)

• Mrs Celia Cviic

• Mrs Driver

• Mr Anthony Everson

• Mrs Margaret Gaughan

• Mr Daniel Gould

• Mr Andrew Harvey

• Mrs Jacklyn McArtney

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& friends please take a copy The constant work of God within us The Jesuits and all of the People of God are on a journey Issue 114 Spring 2023 A faith that does justice On the cover:

From Fr Provincial

The Jesuit mission to England began in 1580 with the arrival of St Edmund Campion SJ. In spite of the hostile environment created by the English government, Jesuits kept crossing the Channel to tend to those who tenaciously clung to their Catholic faith. Gradually they would set up an impressive network of contacts and safe houses which allowed them to circulate and, for the most part, to evade capture. Houses were also established in mainland Europe where the formation of Jesuits could take place.

In July 1610, this rather haphazard mission was elevated to the status of a Vice-Province, giving the Major Superior rather more power to shape and direct a coherent mission. But within a couple of years, the English Jesuits were clamouring for full provincial status.

The Society understood a Province to be a stable and self-sustaining entity, and many were dubious about the chances of such a body existing under the fickle conditions of Stuart Britain. Nonetheless, Fr General Mutio Vitelleschi took a calculated risk and, on 21 January 1623, proclaimed an English Province.

The General’s hope proved well-founded. The Province went on to flourish, even under renewed persecution. It even established

a daughter Province in Maryland. When the Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773, the English Jesuits took advantage of the ongoing Jesuit structure in Russia and quickly revived itself at the start of the 1800s. The nineteenth century saw vigorous expansion, the incorporation of a Scottish mission (which originally pre-dated the English mission by decades) as well as missionary expansion in southern Africa, the Caribbean and Guyana (long-time readers of Jesuits & Friends know all about that!). Although the number of Jesuits, like share prices, goes up and down, the Province remains today a hub of vibrant apostolic life and a support to the faith of thousands of people, including many from other denominations.

04 The English Province of the Society of Jesus was established in 1623 – we look back at 400 years of history.

06 Another anniversary to celebrate: our friends reflect on ten years of Pope Francis.

09 Michael Holman SJ recalls the late Pope Benedict XVI’s encouraging words to Jesuits.

10 The lessons of history inform and inspire Jesuit Missions in its work for a more just world.

12 Philip Harrison SJ welcomes the publication of a new book filled with spiritual wisdom.

14 How did the early Jesuits tackle corruption? John Paul de Quay charts their activities in Rome.

16 Fr Provincial, Damian Howard SJ , looks to the future of the Province through the lens of its history.

17 Tom McGuinness SJ and

Vance SJ give us whistle-stop tours of historic Jesuit buildings.

18 The Jesuits in Britain are grateful for the ministry of Jesuits from other provinces: meet four of them.

20 The birthdays keep coming! JRS UK’s thirty years have been characterised by change.

22 Edward de Quay explains how the Province is actively pursuing decarbonisation.

23 Fr Dominic Allain explains what the Grief to Grace project offers to survivors of abuse.

24 Jesuit school sixth-formers have been thinking about good leadership, says Maria Neal

25 Praying with the pope: Eddy Bermingham SJ

26 Obituaries.

In this issue...
06 24 10 12
Damian Howard SJ 3
The Province remains today a hub of vibrant apostolic life and a support to the faith of thousands of people.


On 21 January 1623, the establishment of an English Province of the Society of Jesus was approved by Superior General Mutio Vitelleschi SJ. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the now British Province in 2023, a virtual timeline has been created by the British Jesuit Archives, and you can see some of the highlights here in Jesuits & Friends. Discover the remarkable history of British Jesuits from their earliest arrival in Protestant England, facing persecution and martyrdom, to their flourishing expansion, establishing schools and parishes throughout Britain in the 19th century and beyond.

Foundation of the Society of Jesus

Start of the Jesuit mission to England

1540 1580

Pope Paul III formally approved the Society of Jesus with the bull Regimini militantis Eccelesiae on 27 September 1540.

St Ignatius of Loyola SJ was the founder of the Society.

Foundation of the English Province of the Society of Jesus

On 21 January, the Jesuit Superior General Mutio Vitelleschi approved the creation of an English Province and named Richard Blount SJ as its first Provincial.

Popish Plot

Titus Oates, who had been educated by the Jesuits, spread lies against Catholics in general and the Jesuits in particular. As a result, many innocent men, including nine Jesuits, were executed, and twelve died in prison.


The mission to England was approved in 1580 by Pope Gregory XIII. The first Jesuit missioners – Edmund Campion, Ralph Emerson and their superior, Robert Persons – departed Rome for England in April 1580 and arrived clandestinely a few months later.

Martyrdoms of Campion, Briant, Garnet, Ogilvie and others

Several Jesuits who had worked tirelessly, and often in secret and in great danger, to preserve the Catholic faith lost their lives.

Suppression of the Society of Jesus

The Society of Jesus was suppressed on the orders of Pope Clement XIV on 21 July. Ex-Jesuits found work as chaplains, priests, academics, librarians, writers and poets. They also joined societies dedicated to keeping the Jesuit spirit alive.

1623 16761681
St Ignatius Loyola SJ Robert Persons
R c h a r d Blount SJ
St Edmund Campion SJ
Anti-Jesuit propaganda
161 5 4 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 JESUITS IN BRITAIN
Clement XIV 1581


Arrival of Jesuit teachers and pupils at Stonyhurst

The college that had been set up by Robert Persons SJ at St Omers in 1593 to educate the sons of English Catholics who were banned from receiving a Catholic education in England, had moved to Bruges in 1762, Liege in 1773, and finally to Stonyhurst. The first Jesuit teachers and pupils arrived at Stonyhurst in 1794 after an arduous journey.


Mission to Guyana

In March, Jesuit Fathers James Etheridge, Aloysius Emiliani and Clement Negri arrived in Georgetown in what was then British Guiana to establish a Jesuit mission there.

Mission to South Africa

The English Province of the Society of Jesus was approached in 1875 to run a Catholic school in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. The college and subsequent Jesuit missions formed the first foundations of the Zambesi Mission.


re-entering the Society

Restoration of the English Province

Letter discussing English ex-Jesuits

The English Province of the Jesuits was restored a decade earlier than most European Provinces (1814). This was partly thanks to the influence of Catherine the Great, and also because the Jesuits’ existence in Britain had never had any official sanction, so it was easier to bring the Society back into existence here.

Establishment of Mount St Mary's, St Francis Xavier, St Beuno’s, Farm Street Church

You can read about how SFX Liverpool and St Beuno's are marking the 175th anniversaries of their opening on page 17.


Establishment of Sacred Heart Edinburgh, Beaumont College, The Month magazine, St Aloysius College

Gerard Manley Hopkins entered the Society of Jesus

The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) entered the Society on 7 September. He made his final vows in 1882.


Establishment of Sacred Heart Wimbledon and Campion Hall, Oxford

Military chaplains

79 Jesuits of the British Province served as military chaplains during the First World War, five of whom were killed on active service.

College students

Establishment of Campion House, Heythrop College, Jesuit Missions, Jesuit Refugee Service, Pray

As You Go, Thinking Faith, Laudato Si' Research Institute

Over the course of a century, the Province expanded its works in social justice, spirituality and the intellectual apostolate.

To view the full timeline online, visit

Stonyhurst College
Heythrop Mount St Mary’s by Peter Knott SJ
G e r a r d Manley HopkinsSJ
Letter missioning Jesuits to British Guiana Beaumont College
Opening of Campion Hall
St Aidan’s College, Grahamstown
81 9 6 1887 1914 1918
Military Cross Medal awarded to John Murray SJ
1859 1866
1919 2019
6 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 POPE FRANCIS


Pope Francis’ papacy?

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the papacy on 13 March 2013. We asked six of our friends to tell us about their experience of the Church in its first ten years under a Jesuit pope.

Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ

Undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops

Over the course of his ten-year pontificate, it has become clear that Pope Francis has deliberately chosen to exercise his governance of the Church in a missionary key and a synodal style. In a way, the main hallmark of Francis’ papacy could be understood as missionary synodality. Francis has tried to embark all the people of God on a journey together. This path of synodality – understood as the call of God for the Church in the third millennium – has unfolded through his encyclicals and apostolic exhortations, which have paved the way for an outgoing Church capable of reaching the peripheries, promoting a culture of encounter and acting as a field hospital.

But Pope Francis has also put into practice missionary synodality through the succession of the synods of bishops and moreover through many of his meetings, travels, gestures, decisions... implementing a synodal way of being and a missionary style highlighting the need for a pastoral conversion based on listening, discernment and accompaniment. To put it in a nutshell, Pope Francis has put the Church on the move to serve a fast-changing world.

Severine Deneulin Director of International Development at the Laudato Si’ Research Institute

If I am allowed to identify three hallmarks of Francis’ papacy, these would be:

freedom of speech; returning to gospel basics; and integrating a preference for the earth into the Church’s preferential option for the poor.

Pope Francis has often emphasised parrhesia, speaking frankly with courage, without fear. As a member of an academic research institute at the University of Oxford, intellectual freedom is essential. Pope Francis asks us to let the reality of people’s experiences speak to us, challenge us. We have seen this with the Amazon Synod in October 2019: the voices of indigenous peoples are developing the Church’s social tradition.

It is not a coincidence that Pope Francis started his pontificate with his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, ‘The Joy of the Gospel’. How can the good news proclaimed by Jesus liberate the oppressed, make the lame walk, open the ears of the deaf, and bring healing to the wounded earth? This has been the central

question of Pope Francis’ papacy. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato si ’, he offers a response to that central question: by taking the path of integral ecological conversion. The Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion Hall seeks to deepen within higher education this integral ecology paradigm, and to build the intellectual foundations of a re-ordering of society, and of ourselves, towards care for the earth and for the poor.

Chair of the Jesuit Fund for Social Justice and Co-Chair of The Archbishop Romero Trust

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. We had a surfeit of doctrinal teaching – hammering away on truth. We urgently needed to emphasise Jesus Christ as the way and the life, pastorally. Pope Francis has done just that. 7 POPE FRANCIS
Julian Filochowski presents a collection of St Oscar Romero’s homilies to Pope Francis

Francis has opened the doors for a more inclusive Church; and we are ‘to go out’ and ‘to bring in’. A refreshing wind is blowing through Christian communities worldwide. This is evident to us all in Francis’ pastoral leadership, his gestures of welcome to LGBTQ+ folk, his palpable concern for those divorced and remarried, and his practical solidarity with refugees, migrants and the street homeless.

Francis lives humbly and modestly, leaving aside the trappings of power. His embrace of creation, not as a self-standing ‘green issue’, but part of a God-centred notion of the earth and nature as gift and grace, has seen him admired even on an Extinction Rebellion sticker on Blackfriars Bridge! Francis’ championing of social justice as central to our faith life, and his determined commitment to synodality, has been transformative.

All this has provoked immense joy, cheered us up no end and renewed our faith in the Church.

Austen Ivereigh

Fellow of Campion Hall, biographer of Pope Francis and collaborator with the pope on Let Us Dream: the Path to a Better Future (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

It took me a while to grasp, but over the years of following Francis I have come to see the defining trait of his papacy as spiritual direction. The Jesuits call it ‘discerning leadership’. Francis leads the Church – and humanity, because the Church does not exist for itself – like a spiritual guide accompanying someone on an Ignatian retreat. He reads the signs of the times, and asks: where, in these experiences, is God’s grace trying to break through, and what stops us seeing and receiving it? How do we need to change in order to allow the Spirit to develop us, lead us in the direction of the Kingdom?

There’s no dark pit from which Francis will not extract these spiritual prompts, because he sees God’s mercy as the real power in our lives and in our world, and God’s mercy never recoils from sin and suffering. That mercy begins by revealing the truth we need to face, allows us to

Pope Francis has put the Church on the move to serve a fast-changing world.

feel shame, and gives us space to change. From the sex abuse crisis he saw the call to a synodal conversion of the Church. From the ecological crisis he saw the need to restore our place of partnership with creation. From the wall-raising politics of populism he saw God’s dream for us of fraternity. From the pandemic he heard the call to become a people once more. In our book Let Us Dream, he quotes the poet Hölderlin: ‘Where the danger is, also grows the saving power’. Over this past decade, Francis has plugged us back into that power. The rest is up to us.

Amaya Valcarcel

International Advocacy Officer at JRS International

One of the distinctive features of Pope Francis’ papacy has been his concern for people on the peripheries who, together with the places they inhabit, ought to be at the centre of God’s project, entrusted in a particular way to the Church. Humanity understood as ‘a common family’ and the planet as ‘a common home’ call us morally towards a constant commitment to take care, defend and work for their development.

This double concern can be seen as the thread that connects the apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium and the encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti. Pope Francis calls us repeatedly to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate’ migrants and refugees, as a core common mission. Repositioning refugees and migrants at the centre – with the sick, the elderly, people with a disability – follows the logic of the building of the kingdom and is a necessary part of that project.

Thus, there should not be two categories of humanity: a privileged one, destined to govern the planet, with access to all its resources; and a deprived one, with limited access to power and resources. There is only one humanity,

which prioritises those who are more fragile and chooses leaders with a long, global view; one family who is seriously concerned about its common home and the causes of migration, and seeks a new world economy founded on justice and sharing.

Pope Francis has been able to convey his concerns to local churches and has also been able to go beyond the Catholic audience, inspiring women and men of other faiths or non-believers, who have discovered in the Christian message many shared values.

David Willey

Former BBC Rome correspondent and author of The Promise of Francis: The Man, The Pope, And The Challenge Of Change (Simon & Schuster, 2015)

There are five hallmarks which Francis has stamped on the Vatican.

First, his quick decision not to move into the huge papal penthouse apartment at the top of the apostolic palace. ‘Why, there’s room for 200 people to live here!’ He turned on his heels, and returned to his modest suite at the Santa Marta Vatican guest house.

Secondly, his refusal to jump to blanket condemnation of gays in the Church. ‘Who am I to judge?’ he pondered during one of his 35,000 feet airborne talks with accompanying journalists.

Thirdly: ‘I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.’

Fourthly, his abhorrence of gossip and his willingness to stand up in front of his cardinals and denounce clerical elitism.

Finally, his gradual remodelling of the College of Cardinals. Francis’ appointees will have a two-thirds majority at the next conclave. The college now includes a truly global selection of church leaders. The ‘universal Church’ had hitherto failed to live up to its description, with local leadership not being fairly represented at the Vatican.

8 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 POPE FRANCIS


As 2022 came to a close, we heard of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. His address to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus inspired Jesuits worldwide, especially those who heard it first-hand, including Fr Michael Holman SJ.

From January to March 2008, I was a delegate to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus. Our primary task, in addition to reflecting on many aspects of our Jesuit life and mission, was to choose a successor to Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach as superior general. On 19 January we duly elected Fr Adolfo Nicolás.

The congregation was already in its seventh week when we made our way from the General Curia building, across St Peter’s Square, to the Apostolic Palace. There, in the magnificent Sala Clementina, we were addressed by Pope Benedict.

We could not have been more encouraged by what the pope had to say, nor more sure that he had confirmed our life and mission in the Church and the world today.

He told us, firstly, that the Church relied on Jesuits to go to those ‘spiritual or physical places which others do not reach or have difficulty in reaching’. The frontiers to which the pope sent us were not only geographical but also those places where faith and culture meet – wherever, he said, quoting Pope Paul VI, ‘there is a confrontation between the burning exigences of man and the perennial message of the gospel’.


There we were to bring the full tradition of the Church and to form ‘people with a deep and sound faith, a well-grounded culture and genuine human social sensitivity’. This in turn required a Jesuit formation, personal as well as intellectual, as thorough as it ever had been. ‘Only in this way will it be possible to make the Lord’s true face known to the many for whom he is still concealed or unrecognisable’.

The pope, secondly, affirmed our commitment to the poor, in a world marked by new causes of poverty, ‘by grave financial and environmental imbalances, by globalisation processes prompted by selfishness rather than solidarity and by devastating senseless armed conflicts’. Our option for the poor, he reminded us, had its origins not in ideology but in the fact that Christ the Son of God had become human for our sakes ‘so as to enrich us with his poverty’. He especially commended our work with refugees, ‘gathering and developing’, as he put it, ‘one of Fr Arrupe’s last far-sighted intuitions’.

Finally, the pope asked us to focus our attention on the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises. It was our task to continue to make them available as a means for ‘initiation to prayer, to meditation in this secularised world where God seems to be absent’.

The Jesuits in Britain would like to pay tribute to the memory of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

As pope, he led the global Church through a delicate period, drawing on his faith and his vast theological expertise to provide spiritual sustenance and stability during turbulent times. His historic state visit to Britain in 2010 strengthened the faith of many Catholics here and cemented friendly and fruitful relations between the UK and the Holy See.

The Jesuits have a special, affective bond to the pope, expressed in a vow of obedience to him in regard to missions. We pray for him in death as in life. Pope Benedict was unfailingly generous in his understanding of our vocation of service to the Church, and for this we will always be grateful.

May he rest in peace.

The pope’s words had a profound effect on the rest of the congregation. His summons to us to go to the frontiers was especially important in our reflections on our identity, and the decree on our contemporary mission in which those frontiers were understood in terms of working to bring about reconciliation in our world, with God, with each other, and with creation. 9 POPE BENEDICT XVI
Pope Benedict visits the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (Photo: Vatican Media)

demanding justice DISCERNING TOGETHER,

preaching good news for the people I am serving?’

Our old model of supporting British Jesuits on the missions has evolved to supporting the universal mission of the Jesuits globally. This work, reaffirmed many times over the last fifty years, is also articulated by Pope Francis:

[I]t means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter. (Evangelii gaudium §188)

Drawing on examples from Jesuit history helps Jesuit Missions to shape its vision for the future, explains Paul Chitnis; and that vision is being brought to life in South Sudan, as Lucy Gillingham reports.

The first British Jesuit missioners were missionaries to this very land. Frs Edmund Campion and Robert Persons, and Ralph Emerson, a lay-brother, departed Rome for England in April 1580, and by 1 December 1581, Campion had been executed and Persons was back on the continent, never to return. It is not known what happened to Emerson.

The work of Jesuit Missions today sits on the mighty shoulders of these and many other Jesuits, as well as an immense contribution made by lay people.

It’s not clear when Jesuit Missions, as a work of the Province, first emerged. Missionary Magazine, with the subtitle, ‘In aid of English Jesuit Missions’ appeared in 1935. Jesuit Missions is first mentioned in 1962. It was led by

Fr Peter Low SJ who employed Tony Montfort, a lay man who was at Jesuit Missions for 44 years.

The last six decades have seen vast change, not all for the better. Former British colonies such as Zimbabwe and Guyana gained independence, and economic development has transformed many countries. But 700 million people worldwide live in extreme poverty. The pandemic has made this worse. Inequality is growing with the richest 10% snapping up 52% of all income while the poorest half get just 8.5%.

It is therefore no surprise that Jesuit Missions has changed. Our work has drawn in other countries beyond those with which the Province is most closely associated. We have discerned the question posed by Fr Paul Martin SJ, a British Jesuit working in Guyana: ‘In what way is the gospel that I am

This year, Jesuit Missions will refresh its brand, a visible and necessary sign of our priorities. In doing so, we choose to highlight three values which characterise our mission and reflect the example set by generations of Jesuit missionaries.

We’re passionate about promoting the integral development of the poor communities we accompany and working to change the structural causes of injustice.

We seek to be generous with our God-given gifts and talents, and to encourage others to be generous with theirs in support of our mission.

We are inspired by a hopeful vision of a just, sustainable world because of our faith and the witness of sacrifice offered by Jesuits down the centuries.

As Campion declared before his death: The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood.

( With thanks to Frs Michael Bossy SJ and Michael Barnes SJ for their assistance).

10 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 JESUIT MISSIONS
Outdoor Mass; and children in Maban using their mosquito nets to fish after the heaviest rains in forty years (Photos, all of South Sudan: Jesuit Missions)

Lucy Gillingham

In November 2022, I had the privilege of visiting South Sudan with colleagues from the Xavier Network (a group of Jesuit international development organisations). Since 2018, the Xavier Network has been working with Jesuits in East Africa to contribute to South Sudan’s development through a comprehensive programme of education and livelihood initiatives, directly helping more than 3,000 people each year.

South Sudan is the youngest country in the world, gaining independence from Sudan in 2011 after more than half a century of civil war. It is also one of the poorest, most insecure and conflictridden countries, with an estimated 9 million of the 12 million population in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. A Kenyan Jesuit missioned there since 2018 informed me that only ten years on from independence, there is a growing feeling that they would be better off reuniting with the north, despite the innumerable lives lost to the conflict and amount of aid invested.

the same age as my grandad who spends his weekends attending teacher training classes to help meet the need for qualified teachers. As one young female trainee explained to me: ‘We are here for the betterment of future children. They will not be like us, who had untrained teachers.’

The barriers to educating girls are overwhelming. South Sudan’s culture determines that the family of a bride receives a dowry in the form of cattle from the husband-to-be. If a girl has been exposed to external elements such as school, her dowry will be significantly lower, and her family are therefore much less likely to encourage her schooling. One secondary school student I spoke to had lost her mother and was living with uncles who were trying to force her into marriage rather than continue her studies. Another young woman told me how men chase girls home after school in an attempt to lure them into marriage. To tackle these

attitudes, Fr Eric, headmaster of St Peter Faber Primary School, visits parents at home to encourage them to send their daughters to school.

My visit coincided with the anniversary of Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo SJ, who was gunned down at his Jesuit residence by anonymous attackers. Four years later, within sight of his resting place, is the Victor-Luke Memorial Secondary School, supported by the Xavier Network. Its 140 students will graduate with a secondary school certificate as well as teacher training skills. Plans are underway to construct a girls’ dormitory so that female students can complete their studies without harassment.

Though there are millions of reasons to despair, the South Sudanese I met constantly reminded me that there is still hope and light. It is our commitment to ensure that they are never left alone in the dark.

Some of the most daunting challenges are in the field of education: more than seventy percent of children are out of school according to UNICEF. A lack of proper infrastructure, barring a few stone classrooms erected during the colonial period, forces the majority of students to learn in informal, corrugated iron structures, or in some cases under the shade of trees. In the north of the country in Maban, the Jesuit Refugee Service compound houses the only library in the state.

There is also a staggering need for trained teachers because only half of teachers in South Sudan have completed secondary school, let alone received any pedagogical training. At a rural outreach programme supported by the Xavier Network, I met a man 11 JESUIT MISSIONS
The Jesuit Refugee Service compound in Maban, South Sudan, houses the only library in the state. Clockwise from top left: students taking exams in multipurpose hall funded by Xavier Network; students at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Primary School; cars crossing a bridge which was destroyed by the floods (Photos, all of South Sudan: Jesuit Missions)


Rob Marsh SJ’s approach to prayer and spirituality has transformed the lives of countless people over the years. A new collection of his essays will delight anyone who follows Rob’s creative and subtle direction on the pathway to God, says Philip Harrison SJ in his review.

Rob Marsh SJ has been a leading light in the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises over the past few decades. His subtle insights have not only been a mainstay of training courses for spiritual directors, but have enlightened the lives of many others through their ministry. His latest collection of essays will be primarily of interest to those involved in spiritual accompaniment, but will also provide a useful background to someone who has made the Spiritual Exercises, or anyone with an interest in deepening his or her understanding of discernment.

One of the key features of the collection is its demonstration both of Rob’s detailed practical knowledge of the Spiritual Exercises and his thoroughly intelligent view of metaphysics. Modernity is characterised as lacking an appreciation for the personhood of God which results in individualism, scepticism and secularism. St Ignatius’s insight that reverence for God is supposed to be included in our self-awareness is a striking correction to these tendencies. Rob deftly weaves his insights about discernment together with themes such as ecology, science, virtual reality and angelic spirits, along with references to contemporary culture, to reveal how the action of God is just waiting to be discovered in the underlying fabric of our universe.

One way to cultivate this reverence for God is given in the third annotation of the Spiritual Exercises: St Ignatius invites

the person making the retreat to prepare for prayer by standing apart and considering how God looks upon him or her (SpExx §75). This exercise is the starting point for Rob’s first essay and the touchstone for the whole collection. He uses the example of the developmental inability of young children to distinguish the thoughts and feelings of others from their own as a way to describe our own resistance to letting God enter our awareness. Attending to the response that God makes to us in moments of prayer reveals the growing edge of our consciousness of God’s intimate engagement with us in every moment.

Readers will discover a contemporary and often entertaining panorama of the spiritual life.

The wisdom of the Spiritual Exercises lies not just in individual meditations such as this but in its dynamic and structure, which has informed Rob’s approach to spiritual conversation which is to be organised around the experience of prayer and a preference for the action of God. He invites spiritual directors to move beyond passive listening to distinguish the different threads of human experience so that they can discover where God is most at work. It is by becoming vulnerable enough to open one’s heart

to the spiritual movements of others that these ‘God-rich’ seams of consciousness are brought to light, thereby allowing them to become more influential on the intellect and affectivity.

The subtlety with which Rob treats discernment is the consequence of his years of practice as a retreat giver and spiritual director. He describes how fine-grained and coarse-grained seams of consciousness are revealed at different depths, how a movement towards God is often matched by a counter-movement away from God, and gives a maxim that will ring true for anyone with experience of accompaniment: ‘Stay with the movement and avoid the countermovement.’ This approach recognises how threads of what are normally called consolation and desolation are in fact interlaced in the complexity of human life, requiring careful discernment. This insight alone is extraordinarily significant for the global field of Ignatian Spirituality.

In one essay he defines the vice of sloth, or acedia, which has affected us all during the pandemic, as ‘a desire to be anywhere but here, doing anything but the one thing given to do’. A strikingly relevant cultural reference to the film

12 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 SPIRITUALITY
Rob Marsh SJ

EVENTS RELATED TO Imagination, Discernment and Spiritual Direction


Tuesday 28 March

Campion Hall


Thursday 30 March

online and in person at Ignatian Spirituality Centre, Glasgow


Saturday 13 May online londonjesuitcentre. urndyqab

American Beauty reveals a strategy for dealing with the vice that resonates with that of St Ignatius. The principal character, Lester, has a desire for beauty that leads him to sloth. However, this episode eventually allows him to sift through his emotions in order to discover what he really

desires: ‘Ignatius learned to trust attraction enough to let it be the place where God continued to create him.’ It is through our desires, even the confused and misdirected ones, that God eventually draws us to Godself, and not in spite of them as is implied dangerously by some spiritual authors.

Another essay reimagines Advent as an opportunity to discover the incarnate God in our lives through the Ignatian Examen. Yet another entertainingly imagines the eponymous demon of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters writing to his nephew about how to distract someone during Lent. Instead of encouraging him to entice his target to sin with tantalising images of chocolate, he invites him to elicit religious pride at his spiritual dryness. Angels and demons fleet in and out of Rob’s work as the medieval counterparts to Ignatius’s good and bad spirits. They serve as

symbols that point us to the constant work of God within us and the countermovement which allows it to stagnate.

For spiritual directors and those who have completed the Exercises, this book will be a treasure trove of new insights and the chance to build discernment into an integral world view. Others who are interested in discernment will discover a contemporary and often entertaining panorama of the spiritual life. Rob’s vision of the spiritual fabric of the world and our own participation in shaping it is an invitation to a reverent awareness that God is in all things and awaits us in the depths of reality.


Imagination, Discernment and Spiritual Direction by Rob Marsh SJ is published by The Way Books, March 2023, £10.00: 13

FACING our future

It’s easy to let big news stories dominate my memory of my five and half years as Provincial: the pandemic, the economic crisis, the war in Ukraine... Yet the occasion of a fourth centenary offers a different perspective. We don’t tell the Province’s story by recounting the execution of Charles I, the Great Fire of London and the ‘Glorious Revolution’, all of which figured large in the lives of the Catholics and the Jesuits of the seventeenth century. Instead, we notice the birth of a mission, its gradual evolution as a key part of Christian life in this country, and a series of ebbs and flows as the mission expands and contracts as history goes one way and then another.

Centenaries help us to concentrate not on ephemeral events but on things that endure. And as we take in that slower rhythm we notice that what looks like a seamless fabric is in fact made of many threads woven together. In this story, all Jesuits and their friends find our place, we all make our unique contribution.

What does that tell us about how the Province responds to its current challenges? Most importantly, we move forward in a spirit of gratitude and confidence in God, not fear and anxiety about an unknown future. What Jesuits offer is not ourselves but the Word and sacraments of God. God will always sustain the Church, no matter what trials she has to endure, no matter how apparently small she may be in a given region of the world. St Ignatius of

Loyola stressed that it was not human beings who had founded the Society of Jesus, but God. Only God could sustain such a body through so many centuries. That conviction is a source of encouragement and strength.

becoming familiar with Jesus, who shapes our tastes and desires, and by keeping an eye out for what God is doing in the Church and in the world around us. Right now, it looks as though the Church is being shaped afresh. Lay people are bringing their gifts to the life of the Church in new ways and taking more responsibility for its leadership. We are becoming a Church of people who listen intently and compassionately, and speak freely and boldly. We are learning painful lessons about what happens when the powerful abuse their position.

If we put our trust in God then it means we mustn’t place it where we can be tempted to: material resources, human capacities, conspicuous success and fine repute. Such things come and go. What is constant is the presence of a few hundred Jesuits and friends doing their best under changeable circumstances to serve the people of God. To some it fell to dazzle with their brilliance, to others simply to carry the flame for a while before handing it on. This is how life is in a religious order. We really are all in it together. So when we face our future, we need to make our own that freedom to serve which, to paraphrase St Ignatius at the start of his Spiritual Exercises, does not necessarily prefer success to failure, fame to ignominy, honour to dishonour...

What comes after gratitude and indifference? We seek not our own will but that of the Lord, and we find it by

There is a counter-swing in our culture too, an impulse to trample on the dignity of the poor, indigenous people, refugees, women and children. Some want us to consume our way out of our problems, trusting that economic growth will be a panacea. To many, encounter and dialogue look like weak solutions; so much better to trust in authoritarianism, the cancellation of those we disagree with and, ultimately, war. These factors make it hard to follow the path which the Lord is indicating we need to take. They mean that the faithful disciple will suffer.

Such is the challenge for our Province: to help people discover for themselves the demanding gospel of tenderness and synodality. We can only do that insofar as we are authentically women and men who live and pray that way ourselves, so there is a prior need for conversion of heart. This centenary can help us on our way by reminding us of the gentle constancy of so many Jesuits, friends and benefactors, directing our gaze away from the travails of a turbulent world to the glory of God which fills our lives.

This fourth centenary reminds us of the gentle constancy of so many Jesuits, friends and benefactors.
16 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 JESUITS IN BRITAIN
Fr Damian Howard SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, considers how the Province’s 400 years of history can help Jesuits and friends today to discern the way forward.

A DOUBLE celebration

Ken Vance SJ and Tom McGuinness SJ draw the blueprints of the historic Jesuit buildings in Liverpool and North Wales, respectively, that celebrate their 175th anniversaries this year.


The Jesuit presence in Liverpool since the second half of the seventeenth century was only interrupted by the suppression of the Society in 1773. In 1840, a group of men met in the Rose and Crown pub to discuss the establishment of a church and school staffed by the Society and dedicated to St Francis Xavier (SFX). By 1842 the college was open, and the following year building of the church began, opening in December 1848. Although it could hold over 1,500 people it was soon too small for the influx of Catholics following the Irish famine. In 1883 the Sodality Chapel was added, and there have since been many more additions to the church, described as ’the most moving repository of Victorian Catholic art in the country’.

Over the next century, the parish continued to flourish until, by the time of WWII, it was the largest Catholic parish in England with over 13,000 Catholics. At its peak, a Jesuit community of over thirty priests, brothers and scholastics served the needs of both parish and college.

Following the war, a drive to replace the slums in the area threatened the demolition of the church itself. A national campaign ensured its future and in recent years, the parish has experienced an influx of new parishioners and continues to bustle with life.

SFX is associated with such people as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Charlie Chaplin, Archbishops Thomas Roberts and Paul Gallagher, two recipients of the Victoria Cross, playwright Jimmy McGovern and many more.

In December, the church will celebrate its 175th anniversary. Sadly, by then it will no longer be served by the Society of Jesus. After Easter the parish will be transferred to Liverpool Archdiocese and hundreds of years of Jesuit presence in Liverpool will end.

According to tradition, Fr Randall Lythgoe SJ rounded Maenefa Hill on his horse and exclaimed: ‘This is where we will build our college!’ He saw a place of great beauty, which it still is today. St Beuno’s overlooks the Clwyd Valley and across to the far Welsh mountains. The stars, sun, rain and clear air provide a stunning setting, witnessed by generations of Jesuit theology students, including Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Gradually the original Joseph Hansom building of 1848 was extended to accommodate the growing number of students. However, by 1926, theology studies were relocated to Heythrop College in Oxfordshire and two new groups of Jesuits made St Beuno’s their home. Some were doing their final

formation before moving to apostolates of teaching and parish work; and older Jesuits now needing care after generous years of ministry came to rest and retire.

By the 1970s the house was becoming the internationally known spirituality centre it is today, welcoming a wide range of people for retreats to help them recognise God at work in their

lives. A programme of training also ensures that there will continue to be women and men able to offer the experience of St Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, currently a priority of the Jesuits worldwide.

The college has always had good contacts with local people and parishes. This continues as St Beuno’s supports the independent Wrexham Diocese Outreach Team to offer retreats in daily life.

A substantial phase of building work has been completed, providing a new kitchen, conference rooms and bedrooms for this vibrant centre with its team of lay women and men and a Jesuit community all committed to working together. Our hope is that many who come on retreat can recognise God in all things and become truly men and women for others.

Fr Denis Blackledge SJ speaks to Jimmy McGovern at SFX in 2018 17 PROVINCE NEWS
St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre

Friends in the LORD

Pavel Bačo SJ

Iwas born in the town of Slavičín in the Czech Republic in 1974. I joined the Jesuits of the Czech Province in 1992. Since my philosophical and theological studies in Munich, Dublin and London (Heythrop College), I have worked mainly as a chaplain or parish priest in the universities and Jesuit parishes of Olomouc, Brno and Prague for the last two decades.

In the summer of 2020 my Jesuit superior in the Czech Republic appointed me to be the novice master of the joint Czech and Slovak novitiate in Ružomberok (Slovakia). He sent me, together with our only candidate, to the Jesuit North West Europe novitiate in Birmingham so that I could have some formation alongside an experienced novice master and to offer our novice a bigger novitiate experience.

In 2021 the Czech and Slovak Jesuit superiors decided that they would keep sending their candidates to Birmingham in the future, and I became the assistant to the British novice master. For two years I lived in the same Jesuit community in Birmingham with Fr Kensy Joseph SJ. I got to know about his work in the University of Birmingham chaplaincy, while he and the British Jesuit Provincial got to know about me! This exchange resulted in my being appointed as part-time Roman Catholic chaplain to the university in autumn 2022.

Looking back over the past events and at the present opportunities and challenges in the chaplaincy, I often feel moved with gratitude for the amazing things that have happened and keep happening – blessings given by God. The words of St John Henry Newman come to mind: ‘It would be well if we were in the habit of looking at all we have as God’s gift, undeservedly given, and day by day continued to us’.

Wilin Buitrago Arias SJ

Friends in the Lord’: I have discovered this Ignatian adage to be a very powerful spiritual and pastoral tool in my life as a Jesuit. But to be really honest, I never expected to find myself in a place where this has come to life for me in such a vivid way as in the British Province. I owe a great deal to God for bringing me here as well as to my fellow Jesuits for embracing me and encouraging me to live a more selfless and genuine life.

Currently, I am finishing my DPhil in Politics at the University of Oxford. My work involves institutional development in deeply divided societies following conflict, party politics and transitions of insurgencies into political movements.

18 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 JESUITS IN BRITAIN
Four Jesuit priests who are currently living and working in the British Province tell us about how they are contributing to and finding hope in the work of the Jesuits in Britain.

This has allowed me to collaborate at Oxford as a tutor in politics in Latin America and comparative government, but also to connect with very diverse people and to take part in the apostolic presence of the Jesuits through Campion Hall. I never imagined that such an apostolic platform existed and I am convinced, because I have seen it and heard it from many, that the Jesuit presence here is indeed articulating something different and valuable to the world.

As part of the apostolic richness of the Jesuit activity in Oxford, I collaborate with Fr Frank Turner SJ as chaplain for the Spanish-speaking community. I also help in some parishes in the surrounding areas when there is an opportunity to do so.

In the spring 2022 edition of Jesuits & Friends, I read a piece about St Beuno’s hosting retreats for young people. The writer mentioned that young people who arrive curious about Ignatian Spirituality left with a desire for ‘more’, a longing for a real connection with themselves and with God. I think this is true of my encounter with the British Province at a personal level, and certainly I have seen it also to be true of Campion Hall for many visitors, researchers and friends.

Jovito D’Souza SJ

Iam a member of the Goa Jesuit Province, now working in the British Province. In 2020, just as Covid-19 caught the world off guard, I was missioned to St Anselm’s Catholic Church, Southall. With lockdowns and delays in paperwork, I finally made my way to London in April 2021, assuming the role of parish priest the following month. All of this was possible because of the good will of the two Provincials.

Life always throws a number of challenges before us and I had a choice to allow it to shape or break me. From the day I arrived in this parish until now, I have thoroughly enjoyed my pastoral ministry, and have no regrets. It is my desire to see that the four Universal Apostolic Preferences are lived out in this parish and thus, as a team of Jesuits and lay collaborators, we leave no stone unturned in this endeavour. I would also like to add that we are aiming to

implement the province proposal on carbon footprints; it will take some time, but we will make progress slowly but surely.

The way things are done in Britain is different to Goa, however, our ‘way of proceeding’ as Jesuits is always the same. Hence, I have felt welcome, supported and challenged to give more of myself in the mission and life of the community. Each one’s contribution toward the mission, whether big or small, is valued and appreciated.

Ladislav Šulík SJ

The first time I was sent to Britain from Slovakia was during the part of my formation towards priesthood called ‘regency’. I am grateful that I could do apostolic immersion in another country at such an early stage in my Jesuit life. It helped me to open up to a different way of thinking and being in another culture.

I worked in chaplaincy at Wimbledon College, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the opportunity to teach as well. Those three years gave me a very positive experience of community life and taught me to see God always within my context – not as separate to, but very much involved in, the ordinary way of living. That outlook reshaped my prayer life and made God more personal to me.

I came back in the summer of 2020 to join the team at the new London Jesuit Centre as chaplain, a role that required a lot of flexibility during the pandemic. I began teaching courses online to meet people and took on the coordination of the Ignatian Year in 2021-22. I am slowly seeking ways to engage both LJC staff and the whole staff at Mount Street, as well as course participants and guests – whether they are seeking a vocation, a spiritual home or are in need of support. These stories are often hidden and known to God only.

I am excited about this new apostolic project. I feel that I am getting an opportunity to experience the Jesuit flexibility in ever-changing times, responding to them in hope. We are working towards a future in which the Province continues to draw people to the Lord’s consoling presence. 19 JESUITS IN BRITAIN
The Jesuit presence is indeed articulating something different and valuable to the world.
From top: Pavel Bac˘o SJ; Wilin Buitrago Arias SJ; Jovito D’Souza SJ; Ladislav Šulík SJ


In the context of the 400th anniversary of the British Province, JRS UK , celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, seems like the toddler in the family of Jesuit works! The timeline of its somewhat nomadic existence, which might seem fitting for such a work, shows how it has responded to the changing political attitude towards immigration in the UK.

Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ was Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the time of the Vietnam War. He was deeply moved by the plight of those who fled Vietnam by sea, who became known as the ‘boat people’. Almost 800,000 refugees reached a port, but an estimated 200,000-400,000 failed to survive the treacherous passage, owing to overcrowded boats, storms and pirates.

Along with the rest of the world, the UK welcomed many Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. Br Bernard Elliot SJ first began supporting them at Heythrop College in Cavendish Square

in 1979, and via outreach work at Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow (which had opened as a symbol of the UK’s growing hostility to refugees in 1970, a year before a new Immigration Act determined that migrant workers coming would be subject to ‘immigration control’). The refugees Br Bernard befriended remember him as a true friend in a time of need, a man they instinctively warmed to and knew they could count on. ‘We called him “Father” even after being told that he’s not one. We called him that as a sign of respect, but also because he really was like a father to many of us’, says Bandi.

The following year, in an expression of his unwavering conviction that love for God must lead to justice and concrete acts of love for the marginalised, Fr Arrupe sent a telegram to Jesuits around the world about the refugee crisis. He suggested that the Society could deliver a spiritual and practical response, meet needs ignored by others, and enhance the quality of interventions underway.

The response to the telegram was overwhelmingly positive, with affirmations of commitment to help refugees in a structured way. And so the Jesuit Refugee Service was set up to tend to the spiritual and material needs of the 16 million refugees and asylum seekers throughout the world at the time. JRS was never meant to be just another NGO in this space, but rather a ministry to accompany and be present to refugees. So much has sprung from that vision, and whatever and wherever the project undertaken, that commitment to human and spiritual accompaniment remains.

Accordingly, the Jesuits at Campion House in Osterley, near Heathrow, began to welcome not just Vietnamese refugees, but refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Cambodia, and Tamils fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka. 1993 then saw the establishment of the first office for refugee work in the UK in Stockwell, London: JRS UK was now formally a work. Br Bernard had by this time also gathered around him a team of Jesuits and dedicated volunteers who are still central to JRS’s work.

Br Bernard was an active member of the ‘Stop Detention Action’ group at a time when the use of immigration detention was beginning to expand. New detention centres were opened near Oxford and at Gatwick, and there were further restrictive adjustments to asylum and immigration law in 1993,

20 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE
Stephen Power SJ and Bernard Elliot SJ in front of the first JRS UK office

1996 and 1999, cutting access to benefits and the labour market for people seeking asylum.

In 2000, while the JRS office moved to Campion House, ‘Detention Fast-track’ began with a striking increase in the size of the detention estate as more centres opened. This marked a real turning point – incarceration began to be used routinely for the administration of immigration control. In 1993, the UK immigration detention estate had a capacity of 250 people; in the year 2000, 475 people; by 2014, this number stood at 3,800. Deprivation of liberty, treated so seriously in other areas of law, is used with abandon in the sphere of immigration control.

JRS moved to a location near London Bridge in 2004 and then in 2011, Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, opened a new home for JRS at the Hurtado Centre in Wapping. Here began the JRS Day Centre, a space for people who had been refused asylum and were either destitute or outside the system, surviving on the edges of society. Asylum seekers who were

stuck in limbo without active legal processes, and were liable to be deported at any time, became a core clientele for JRS. Stephen Lloyd, long time JRS volunteer, said: ‘I think the assistance given to them, the friendship and accompaniment, was less about “let’s find you a fridge”, and much more about solidarity: “come and join us, come and eat, come and talk to us.”’

refugees in successful asylum claims, some of which have lasted years. In an environment in which the government announced a plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, JRS’s research and publications seek to influence both government policy and public opinion in favour of welcoming the stranger and integrating them into our midst. In this, Pope Francis has shown the way, promoting a ‘culture of encounter’.

In 2007, the then Immigration Minister Liam Byrne had spoken about wanting a ‘hostile environment’, a call amplified in 2012 by Home Secretary Theresa May: ‘The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants.’ This rhetoric of antagonism towards immigrants and ethnic minorities increased in intensity over the next decade, and 2022 saw the passing of the Nationality and Borders Act, which introduced a two-tier asylum system, meaning those who arrive in the UK via ‘irregular means’ may receive less protection and support. As there are no ‘safe and legal’ routes for the majority of asylum seekers, the recourse to dangerous Channel crossings in small boats has proliferated and become popularly identified as ‘the problem’ to solve.

Severe backlogs at the Home Office in processing asylum requests have exacerbated the situation of refugees being left in detention or legal limbo as they wait for accommodation. Thanks to the expansion of its services in 2019 to include legal support and further policy and research work, JRS has been able to support many

The history of JRS in this country shows the gradual expansion of services to meet the needs created by an increasingly hostile system. It is people who have given life to the bricks and mortar, and shaped the organisation. They number countless volunteers, refugee friends, staff – Jesuits and lay people – and the community is constantly growing. This year we will focus on our refugee-led activities, bringing refugee friends together to learn and share skills and socialise with one another, and on new projects that bring refugee friends together with their local community to support reconciliation and community cohesion. We have a range of activities planned, including art and craft sessions led by refugee friends, and a community kitchen for refugee friends to share favourite recipes and cook together. In addition, we will be helping refugee friends to access events and activities in their community. We believe that strong and supportive communities are a powerful tool to resist and protect one another from the hostile environment and some of the media narratives that seek to divide us and harm our friends, neighbours and community members.


Turn to the back cover to find out how you can help.

Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ’s telegram to all Jesuits in 1980 21 JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE
Strong and supportive communities are a powerful tool to resist narratives that seek to divide us.
A craft session for refugee friends Photo: JRS UK

THE JOURNEY TO ‘net-zero’


Our dependence on fossil fuels has changed the climate in ways that are causing suffering to most forms of life. Unquestionably, fossil fuels have also transformed the way we live and brought great benefit, but with the knowledge we now have of the damage caused, especially to the most vulnerable, the need to move to cleaner sources of energy is also unquestionable.

The Jesuits have their own part to play. I’m writing from a well-lit, heated office, with my phone and laptop plugged in. I’m in one of the many buildings that the Jesuits in Britain own or operate, all of them using energy, buying and disposing of various items, with staff and visitors travelling from different locations, and my pension pot is invested in different funds –all of these have an impact.

A rough estimate of the carbon footprint of the UK Catholic dioceses is a million tonnes a year, approximately that of Eritrea. This estimate does not even include religious orders. Several dioceses have already set ‘net-zero’ or similar carbon targets, but setting a realistic target and knowing whether we are making progress towards achieving it means understanding where we are starting from.

For the Jesuits in Britain this means gathering data from properties up and down the country, plus investment portfolios. Because of the interlinked nature of the Church and the complexity of supply chains, it can be difficult to know what you are responsible for reporting. A small team in the Province has enlisted a carbon consultancy to help crunch numbers and make sure we are monitoring the correct things.

A carbon footprint measures the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a person, organisation, product or event. There are three ‘scopes’. Scope 1 covers direct emissions, such as fuel burning on site or in transport, or gas emissions. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions, such as from energy bought rather than directly generated. Scope 3 covers all other indirect emissions up and down the supply chain as well as customer and staff travel.

Most data for scopes 1 and 2 is already available, as many of our buildings use a green energy contract that covers the Catholic dioceses in England and Wales. Scope 3 is more difficult to measure, as this includes things like

supplier lists, business and commuting travel, and investments, not all of which are systematically recorded. So not only does this require a lot of data compilation, it means putting into place new ways of reporting in order to make this process easier year on year.

Scope 3 is usually where most emissions are located. It will take a few years to get the data collection processes right, but already travel surveys have been sent out to all Jesuit works and the process of coding spending differently has begun. Some data just isn’t available yet, such as the carbon intensity of certain property investments, so assumptions will have to be made while the industry catches up.

When the data is all in and we have our carbon footprint, we can look at a ‘net-zero’ target date, and how to get there in a cost-effective manner. We can also review lifestyle issues such as transport, diet, and how we buy and dispose of things. Individually we may not feel like we are making a difference, but small efforts multiplied across the Province will have an impact, and perhaps encourage more political engagement.

Measurement does not mean action, and there is a lot that can be and has been done before we have the data. The Province divested from fossil fuel companies in 2020, and many province buildings are making energy saving improvements. Jesuit Missions has been keeping climate change on its agenda too, with a lot of activity around COP26 and 27, and engagement with Jesuit schools. The Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion Hall is also partnering with the Guardians of Creation project to help dioceses to reach their carbon targets.

The fourth Universal Apostolic Preference of the Jesuits is ‘Caring for our Common Home’. We have a way to go, but, we are making a lot of progress.

22 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 PROVINCE NEWS
de Quay outlines how the Jesuits in Britain are crunching numbers and taking action in order to care for our common home. A new electric car charging point at St Beuno’s and a heat pump at the newlyrebuilt Manresa House in Birmingham

Healing the wounds OF CLERICAL ABUSE

Fr Dominic Allain reflects on how the Grief to Grace programme aims to provide survivors of abuse with a safe environment in which they can support one another in their healing.

Grief to Grace is a Catholic ministry which aims to offer healing to survivors of abuse, especially clergy abuse. At its heart is a residential retreat programme of intense psychological and spiritual exercises. These are centred in the Word of God, with sacraments integrated. There are lay psychotherapists and volunteers, and priests experienced in spiritual direction and/or counselling who comprise the team, many of whom are survivors themselves. It is a group process, which at first may seem counterintuitive, but the group helps restore social engagement, one of the things which becomes shameful and difficult after abuse trauma. The group functions as the wounded Body of Christ: participants show compassion, support and encouragement for one another in their healing.

In 2021, Grief to Grace was given a favourable lease on a former Jesuit house in south west London. A resident community of two diocesan priests and a brother live a common life there to ensure that the ministry is grounded in intercession for victims and survivors, for a renewal in the Church. There is daily Mass, Adoration and Eucharistic reparation. The house is the privileged setting for residential retreat programmes and support groups. Survivors appreciate the comfortable, secure and confidential environment; healing only happens in spaces which are physically and spiritually safe and boundaried. Outside of retreats, we see people for counselling, and host conferences and training for the teams we are establishing elsewhere in Europe. We call the centre ‘The Garden Enclosed’. As the only centre of its

kind in England and Wales, it stands as a powerful sign that the Church is committed to concrete measures for the healing of survivors. People tell us that being welcomed into such an environment contributed to their healing because: ‘It seems like someone in the Church really does care about us.’

Not all retreatants are survivors of clerical abuse, but a significant number are. For them, the programme provides the opportunity to voice to a priest and an ecclesial community their anger, shame or sense of betrayal at what happened; to have this witnessed with compassion. The priest weeps with and for them, and can offer a heartfelt apology in the name of the Church. Anger is a stage of grief: if a retreatant starts voicing anger with the Church we don’t counter with arguments. Rather, we tell the person to go up to the priest, make eye contact and say: ‘A priest really hurt me’ or ‘a priest destroyed my faith’. This is, after all, the truth,

and the truth will set you free. This is a very different experience from telling the story of their abuse in a therapy session. Henry Thoreau said it takes two to speak the truth: one to speak and one to witness. For this reason it is essential that priests are involved in the work of healing. It’s a fact that at the point where the retreat process invites the participants really to let go and grieve, without fail it is to the priest that the clerical abuse victims turn for comfort, because this is the unresolved attachment wound of their abuse: they really did desire and invest in goodness and holiness, it’s what drew them. This was not a dangerous deception, but a genuine movement of their spirit which can be recovered and yield peace when the face of the Good Shepherd is not obscured by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As the programme invites them to enter deeply into the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, they reveal their own wounds before the crucifixion. Christ’s own suffering is superimposed over their own, and by this solidarity they enter into the hope of resurrection and a new vision of their dignity as the beloved child of God. One survivor of clerical abuse wrote simply in her final evaluation: ‘You have given me back my Jesus.’ In truth, He was always there, but perhaps, like Mary Magdalene, she could not see him through her tears.

‘The Garden Enclosed’


Leadership – or lack of it –was a dominant theme in 2022, so it was very fitting that sixth formers from Jesuit schools reflected on past, present and future leaders when they met last year. Maria Neal reports.

Heroic Leadership’ was the title of a 2022 meeting of sixth formers from British Jesuit schools, and if ever there was a time for leaders to be heroic, it is now! As we gathered at Stonyhurst College, there were headlines about poor leadership in the UK government, the banks, Europe and the energy industry. Could the leaders in our Jesuit schools be inspired and leave with a feeling of hope?

What makes a great leader? The students could not have had a more credible and proven example to guide them as they pondered that question.

Chris Lowney, a one-time Jesuit seminarian, later served as Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co on three continents and now sits as vice-chair on the board of CommonSpirit Health, one of America’s largest non-profit health systems. He led three sessions remotely, asking the students to name some leaders and their attributes, and correctly predicted that they would all leave themselves out of the conversation. ‘What about you? What do you do or have the opportunity to do in your everyday lives to lead, to influence? How are the decisions and choices you make every day pointing to the person you are?’ His skilful sessions led us to identify that if we carry the respect of others, they choose to follow and contribute.

The students were challenged to think about Jesuit education as a lens through which to view the world.

Colm Fahy from Jesuit Missions was once sitting where the students were: a former pupil of Stonyhurst, he told the students that his journey in the last seven years has been about discovering ‘what gets you up in the morning’. Justice issues around mining were the trigger to focus Colm’s energy and push him to make a difference. His story challenged the students to think about Jesuit education as a lens through which to view the world.

The opportunity to visit the Stonyhurst Collections, a vast array of artefacts, each with their own tale of a great leader who made personal sacrifices for others, was a feast for the senses. The history of the college, the suppression of Catholicism and the stories of the brave women who worked to ensure the faith continued were all expertly narrated by Dr Jan Graffius.

Fr Robbie D’Lima nSJ shared his journey from schoolboy in Pakistan to novice with the British Jesuits. He described how, by understanding yourself and your needs, you can become a better leader. By recognising your triggers, reactions, emotions and what fires your energy, you can manage change more confidently and navigate through the ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment in which we live.

‘If there’s one thing that stood out to me the most it would have to be Father Robbie’s presentation’, said one sixth former. ‘He taught that the reactive process in which one starts to lose control over one’s own thoughts and feelings can be reversed into a creative process by adopting positive habits.’

The opportunity to pray and celebrate Mass together allowed time to bring our thoughts and experiences to the Lord. Chris Lowney emphasised how it was important to find time to do this: he cited the Examen as an essential tool for the workplace.

Finally, each student paired with someone from a different school to prepare a presentation. The fruits of the conference were well encapsulated in one of the presentation themes: ‘A boss has the title, a leader has the people.’

24 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023
Maria Neal (back row, right) with delegates from the Heroic Leadership conference


Gaze of God

Eddy Bermingham SJ challenges us to consider how Pope Francis’ intentions for the coming months invite us to pray for change in our hearts, as well as ‘out there’ in the world.

Iam told that in twelve-step recovery programmes, one important step is to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and not be ashamed of yourself. This is not easily achieved. In the coming months the pope invites us in prayer to ‘gaze steadily into our mirror’, attending to specific issues we might find there. This is not a comfortable experience but it is a necessary one on the road to recovery.

I have worked in some parishes where daily Mass attendance is very high. In fact in some parishes it felt like ‘any excuse to have a Mass’. There was always one exception: whenever we set aside a special Mass to pray for the victims of abuse in the Church. This Mass was always poorly attended. I suspect my experience in these parishes is not unique. I certainly find it hard to gaze steadily in the mirror and acknowledge that I/we belong to a body of people that has caused so much pain. We shy away from the feelings of discomfort and shame that looking in a mirror in this way gives rise to. But this is precisely what the Holy Father invites us to do for the whole month of March: to gaze steadily into that mirror, recognising the hurt and damage caused in our Church. To experience the shame and discomfort, not to evoke feelings of guilt, but rather, to motivate us to caring action, holding both ourselves individually and our leadership accountable for creating a concrete response to those who have been harmed and have suffered.

In April and June, the pope invites us to continue to gaze into a mirror that may create unease and cause us to



For victims of abuse

want to avert our gaze. For example, we might not immediately see ourselves in the mirror that shows us the shooting that took place this January at St Aloysius, Euston. That was a terrible event, but one that happened ‘out there’. However, the mirror might lead us to recognise how we fail to live peacefully, how we can adopt far from non-violent means to get what we want. It’s not easy to admit these traits in ourselves and harder still to intercede with God to empower us to change.

We remain constantly in the loving gaze of our God.

But prompted by the Holy Father’s intentions for the coming months I find myself asking this question: is it possible that the normalisation of a degree of ‘abuse’, ‘violence’ and ‘torture’ in our own behaviour makes us increasingly insensitive to the abuse and violence and torture that goes on around us? I suppose there is no guarantee that if we come to understand how we violate the image of God in others, we will be moved to resist it when it takes place on a larger, systemic scale. However, maybe it’s not a bad place to start, all the time remembering that no matter how uncomfortable it is for us to maintain this steady gaze in the mirror, we remain constantly in the loving gaze of our God.

In March, as we pray for the Church, that it may offer concrete support to victims of abuse, let us also pray that we resist all forms of abusive behaviour.

We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.


For a culture of peace and non-violence

We pray for the spread of peace and non-violence, by decreasing the use of weapons by States and citizens.


For church movements and groups

We pray that church movements and groups may rediscover their mission of evangelisation each day, placing their own charisms at the service of needs in the world.


For the abolition of torture

We pray that the international community may commit in a concrete way to ensuring the abolition of torture and guarantee support to victims and their families.

In April, as we pray for a diminishment in the use of all weapons, let us also pray that we may make peace with those we need to and overcome any violent habits we may have.

In May, as we pray for ecclesial groups worldwide, let us pray especially for those groups in our own parish.

In June, as we pray for the abolition of torture, let us pray also about the ways we can ‘torture’ one another, e.g., through persistent teasing, cyber bullying, ‘sending people to Coventry’, etc. 25

Fr Robert ‘Bob’ Barrow SJ

Fr Bob Barrow SJ died on 23 November 2022 in Georgetown, Guyana. He was 93 years old, in the 68th year of religious life.

Bob was born in Upminster, Essex, on 9 December 1928. He was educated at St Ignatius College, Stamford Hill, and then took a Teachers’ Certificate at St Mary’s Training College in Strawberry Hill.

He was then called up for his National Service, and joined the Education Corps, teaching the children of the British occupying forces in Trieste for eighteen months. After being demobbed, he taught at St Ignatius, Stamford Hill, until he entered the novitiate at Harlaxton in 1954, taking his first vows there two years later.

Bob studied philosophy at Heythrop in Oxfordshire between 1956 and 1959, and theology there from 1960 to 1964, studying mathematics and physics at the University of London in the intervening year. He was ordained with his brother

Michael at Heythrop in 1963 and, after tertianship at St Beuno’s under Paul Kennedy, was sent to what was then British Guiana to teach at St Stanislaus College in Georgetown.

In 1966, he took a Master’s degree in education at Fordham University in New York. He then returned to St Stanislaus in what was by then Guyana, where he taught physics and offered student counselling until 1974, when he was made mission superior. In 1980 he became superior and parish priest of the Sacred Heart community in Georgetown, returning to the UK for

a sabbatical at Craighead Retreat House in 1985. The following year he was assigned to the Brickdam community in Georgetown, and over the next three years worked variously as psychological counsellor, spiritual director, vocations’ promotor, regional treasurer and novice-master for Guyana.

A period of sick leave in the UK followed, after which he went to Port Mourant in the Corentyne District of Guyana as superior and parish priest. 1995 saw a brief return to Brickdam, but the following year he was assigned to Spanish Town in Jamaica as assistant to the novice-master.

By 1997, he was back at the Sacred Heart in Georgetown, working on the parish staff there, and two years later became parish priest at Plaisance and regional treasurer. In 2004, he became superior of the houses in Georgetown and the East Coast. He moved to Arrupe House in Georgetown in 2010, continuing as treasurer and undertaking pastoral ministries, and praying for the Church and the Society from 2017 until his death.

Fr Malcolm Rodrigues SJ

Fr Malcolm Rodrigues died on 4 December 2022 in the Mercy Hospital in Georgetown, Guyana. He was 81 years old, in the 63rd year of religious life.

Malcolm was born in Georgetown, in what was then British Guiana, on 23 February 1941. He was educated at St Stanislaus College in Georgetown, and joined the novitiate at Roehampton in 1960. After taking first vows there he went to Heythrop in Oxfordshire for philosophy, then in 1965 moved on to Campion Hall where he took a Master’s degree in physics.

In 1969, he returned to Guyana for regency, teaching at Corentyne High School in Port Mourant, then moved to Mexico for theology studies. He was ordained deacon in Mexico City, but returned to the UK for his priestly ordination on 7 July 1973. After a fourth year of theology, he taught

physics at St Stanislaus College in Georgetown for two years, moving to teach at the University of Guyana in 1976.

In 1983, he made his tertianship in Denver, Colorado under Vince O’Flaherty. He then returned to the University of Guyana and became Dean of the faculty in 1989, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 1990. Meanwhile he had been appointed as regional superior in 1986, and after completing his term in 1992 became parish priest in Plaisance. A sabbatical followed with time spent in St Louis, Missouri, and in Campion Hall, after which he returned to Guyana University as director of an Environmental Studies Unit. From 1998, he again became regional superior, this time for three years, after which he was assigned to the Sacred Heart church in Georgetown, and took charge of formation in the region. In 2003, he moved into the interior as parish priest of the Pakaraimas and the Rupununi,

and co-ordinator of Amerindian apostolates, but the following year transferred to Port of Spain in Trinidad as parish priest of St Theresa’s.

After two years he returned to Guyana, to carry out pastoral ministry on the coast and later in the north-west district until 2018. He was at different times a regional consultor, member of the formation commission, vocations’ director, and took part in three province congregations in the UK. In 2018 he retired to Arrupe House in Georgetown to pray for the Church and the Society, and remained there until his death.

26 Jesuits & Friends Spring 2023 OBITUARIES

Fr Michael Beattie SJ

Fr Michael Beattie died on 7 January 2023, in Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Members of the Mount St Mary’s staff were with him. He had been suffering from pneumonia after a fall on 4 January. He was 86 years old, in the 69th year of religious life.

Michael was born in Lytham in Lancashire on 31 May 1936, and educated at Mount St Mary’s College in Sheffield. He joined the novitiate at Harlaxton at the age of eighteen, and made a year’s juniorate in Manresa, Roehampton immediately after taking first vows.

Between 1957 and 1960, he studied for a licentiate in philosophy at Heythrop in Oxfordshire. After a year of special studies in modern languages at Campion Hall in Oxford, he made his regency at Mount St Mary’s teaching French.

In 1964, he returned to Heythrop for theology, and was ordained in Sheffield in 1967. A fourth year of theology was followed by tertianship at St Beuno’s under Paul Kennedy.

Between 1969 and 1972 he was a member of the parish staff at Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, then moved to St George’s, Worcester as superior and parish priest. In 1975, he became rector and parish priest at the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, and next, after a sabbatical in Rome and the United States, moved to the Sacred Heart in Edinburgh as parish priest in 1983. While there, in 1986, he was appointed to the province vocations promotion team.

From 1991, he served as parish priest at Farm Street in London for seven years, becoming superior of the community in 1993. He was appointed superior and parish priest at Corpus

Br Edward ‘Ted’ Coyle SJ

Br Ted Coyle died on 21 January 2023 at the St Aloysius residence in Glasgow. He was ninety years old, in the 73rd year of religious life.

Ted was born on 30 September 1932 in Glasgow, and was educated at a number of different schools in that city. He joined the novitiate at Manresa Roehampton as a brother at the age of seventeen, moving to Harlaxton where he took first vows in 1952. He was then sent to Heythrop in Oxfordshire to work in the house, becoming refectorian two years later.

In 1961 he returned to Roehampton to make his tertianship under Fr D’Andria, and next travelled to Chishawasha Seminary in what was then Southern Rhodesia, doing domestic work. He stayed in Rhodesia for a decade, teaching RE (amongst other ministries) at Hartman House from 1963, and at St George’s College from 1967.

At the end of 1972 he returned to Britain, working as assistant minister at Wimbledon College and teaching RE at King’s College Wimbledon and then at St John’s Beaumont. After a year at Stonyhurst, he moved to the Sacred Heart Edinburgh in 1979 as sub-minister, and worked on the parish team.

Christi, Boscombe, in 1998, moving to Mount St Mary’s as director of the Apostleship of Prayer eight years later. He also worked as spiritual father there, and remained at the Mount until his death.

Three years later he returned to St John’s Beaumont to teach RE, then in 1988 he was missioned to South Africa. After an initial sabbatical there, he worked in the Yeoville parish in Johannesburg, taught RE at the Sacred Heart College in Belgravia, and later, briefly, at the school at Elandskop.

He returned to St John’s Beaumont for the academic year 1992-3, then spent three years on the parish staff at St Aloysius Glasgow. Between 1996 and 2000 he was at St Mary’s Hall at Stonyhurst, teaching RE and working in the chaplaincy and the library.

A sabbatical spent in South Africa and India followed, after which he worked for brief spells in Stamford Hill, Enfield and Mount Street.

From 2003 to 2014 he worked in Edinburgh, as minister and later in hospital chaplaincy, a ministry which he continued in Glasgow between 2014 and 2020. His final years were spent in retirement in the Glasgow community. 27 OBITUARIES

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