November 26, 2002
In his opening speech at the 8th General Assembly of the Conference of European Provincials (CEP) recently, its President, Belgian Jesuit Mark Rotsaert, stressed the growing importance of this European structure. It gathers all Major Superiors from about thirty Jesuit provinces, vice-provinces and regions in Europe, joined by those of North Africa and the Near East. For one week they met in Vienna.
"We will of course have our disagreements on some points and questions about others but my hope is that we will be able to take some steps forward together in a spirit of fraternal unity'', Rotsaert said to the 45 participants.
The fact that the CEP now has a general assembly each year, instead of every two years, and the decision of Father General that Mark Rotsaert will continue his job as CEP President on a full-time base from September 2003 show the growing importance and influence of the CEP.
Priorities for the near future remain the formation of young Jesuits, the common concern about the movement and migration of peoples, and the Jesuit presence in European junctions as Brussels and Strasbourg. Provincial Congregations, which will be held in the next months, can be "an important moment for our provinces and also a step towards more inter- and supra-provincial collaboration in Europe." [Source: Jesuits in Europe]
The Catholic bishops in India's Hindi-speaking region say the reluctance of some Vatican officials to incorporate local cultural ethos in liturgical texts could hamper inculturation.
Liturgical books in Hindi "cannot and should not mean dry literal translations of Latin versions," Archbishop Benedict John Osta SJ of Patna said at a recent biennial meeting that involved 29 bishops from India's northern region.
During their recent meeting, the bishops discussed obstacles they face in having the Vatican approve Hindi translations of liturgical texts including the Roman Missal as well as Indian Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer). The latter was submitted for approval in 1992. [Source: Union of Catholic Asians News]
In Nepal, journalist Bharat Dutta Koirala has been awarded the Magsaysay Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of Asia. Koirala, a Hindu, is credited with exercising a great influence on the ethical formation of Nepali journalists through the Nepal Press Institute, which he founded. He credits whatever he has accomplished to the education he received at the Jesuit-run Xavier's School.
The 17th International Congree of Jesuit Ecumenists will be held from July 24 to 30, 2003, in Budapest, Hungary. The theme will be "Current Issues in Ecclesiology." Some of the proposed topics include: Reconciliation between the Churches, Lex orandi -- Lex credendi, Ecumenism and the Challenge of Modernity, the Mystery of the Church, and The Petrine Office as an Instrument for Unity. For further detail or information contact: Thomas Michel SJ, [email protected] [Source: [email protected]]
The Gonzaga University debate team is ranked No 1 in the National Debate Tournament rankings for varsity debate squads. In the two overall national polls that include junior varsity and novice, GU debaters are ranked No 3 and No 4.
"Considering the fact that we don't have any junior varsity or novice teams, we feel these [NDT varsity rankings] are more reflective of our program," said GU debate Coach Glen Frappier. [Source: Gonzaga University]
In his address to the Third Committee of the General Assembly on the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in November, Archbishop Renato Martino, head of the Holy See Permanent Observer Delegation to the United Nations, spoke on refugees and on human rights.
"The Holy See assures that currently, the Catholic Church, through a variety of agencies, most particularly the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Relief Services, and Jesuit Refugee Service, operates centers throughout the world, serving the needs of many thousands of people. All these agencies and institutions continue to 'put a human face' on the refugee and migrant, not dealing with quotas or numbers but reaching out to help people in need," Martino said. [Source: www.jesuits-europe.org]
Among the thousands of demonstrators calling for the closing of the former School of the Americas at Fort Benning in Columbus during a November 16-17 protest were students and staff from Jesuit high schools, colleges, and universities. (The School of the Americas has been renamed The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.)
About 2,000 people participated in a peace Mass in the Ignatian Family Teach-In tent, which served as a place of shared prayer, discussion, and discernment. The Teach-In was sponsored by the Companions, an organization of former Jesuits based in California.
In his homily Fr Ted Gabrielli SJ recalled a conversation with a grandmother in Guatemala about God and love. She loved all her children, she said, but especially the one who suffers the most. "Let us always remember the ones who suffer," he said.
The school trains Latin American soldiers, and graduates have been implicated in the torture and murder of tens of thousands of civilians in Central and South America, including the 1989 assassination of six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter in El Salvador.
Organizers said 11,000 participated and 96, including six nuns, had been arrested after entering the base, a trespassing violation. On November 18, 51 protesters were arraigned, with bail set at $5,000; it was the first time protesters arrested were not released on their own recognizance. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
Fr Ignatius Sandyawan Sumardi SJ has organized a 136 member Bali Humanitarian Volunteers team, which includes students from several universities as well as Indonesians of various religions, to help after the October 12 explosion that killed more than 180 people, two-thirds of them foreigners.
"We give counseling to the victims who are still in trauma and donate some logistic assistance," Fr Sumardi said. He said team members are also helping with the identification of victims and assisting the local people for whom no one else is caring.
"I also try to coordinate Indonesian and foreign volunteers in order to make our communications and cooperation go well," he said.
Fr Sumardi opened the Kuta Media Center about 500 feet from the bomb site to facilitate the volunteer work; it is also functioning as a prayer center. Because many people are still hospitalized and recovery will take time, the team plans to continue its work for one or two years, he said. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
Catholic Radio Weekly: www.usccb.org/ccc/catholicradio.htm
This is a weekly half hour online radio program that explores how the US Bishops are addressing major issues facing the country and the Church. It is the audio counterpart to the Bishops' CNS news agency, and it is also syndicated on radio stations across the US. The radio program is part of the Bishops' Catholic Communications Campaign, which also includes video reports and documentation.
Wired Magazine: www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.12/pope_astro.html
The December issued of Wired magazine focuses on science and religion. It has an article on Jesuit George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory. The full article, �The Pope�s Astrophysicist,� can be read online at the above URL.
Mission of the Holy See to the UN: www.holyseemission.org
This is the site of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. There is a regularly updated collection of the text of the Observer's Interventions. There is a good collection of media releases, as well as documentation associated with the pope's speech to the UN in 1996. The Mission is also associated with the Path to Peace Foundation, which aims to disseminate Catholic social teaching in the direction of the UN.
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