September 25, 2003
On September 18 the 69th Congregation of Procurators of the Society of Jesus began its deliberations. The meeting is called by the Superior General every three years after the last General Congregation.
The Congregation is composed of 85 representatives (procurators) elected by each Province and 13 members of the central government of the Society in Rome for a total of 96 participants.
The main purpose of the Congregation is to decide whether a General Congregation should be called. Another task of the procurators is to discuss the situation of the Society in the world. The Congregation of Procurators has no legislative powers, but it can temporarily suspend decrees previously issued, until the convocation of a General Congregation. [Source: www.jesuits-europe.org]
After concelebrating the Eucharist on the morning of September 21, the Procurators turned to one of their major items of business. They voted overwhelmingly not to ask Father General to call a General Congregation. After this they resumed their discussions with Father General on some of the major issues facing the Society today.
For more information on the Congregation: http://users.online.be/~sj.eur.news/ns/proc2003/intro.htm
About 150 Gonzaga University students embarked on the 33rd annual Pilgrimage to Cataldo Mission in North Idaho in mid-September. They hiked along the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River and spent a night contemplating wilderness and their own spirituality.
The first evening was spent walking along the banks of the river and setting up camp. On the second day, students hiked to the Cataldo Mission where 19th century Jesuits lived. The building was named for Fr Joseph Cataldo SJ, the founder of Gonzaga University. The trip concluded with a Mass and prayers at Sacred Heart Mission Church, the oldest standing building in Idaho and the headquarters of the first Jesuit missionaries. [Source: Gonzaga University]
Senior representatives of Scotland's Catholic hierarchy joined the Provincial of the British Jesuits at St Aloysius' Church in Glasgow on September 7 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus in Britain.
The event marked Pope Pius VII's decision, in 1803, to allow the Jesuits of Britain to be affiliated with the Russian Province, which led the way for the full restoration of the Society in 1814.
Pope Clement XIV had suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773 in response to concerns about its influence expressed by several European Heads of State. The English Province (which included Jesuits working in Wales and Scotland) was the first to be restored, with former Jesuits retaking their vows at Stonyhurst College in May 1803. [Source: Jesuit Communication Officer, Britain]
September 2 marked 55 years since the first Latvian broadcast program at Vatican Radio was aired. The first broadcast was made and directed by Fr Pavils Becs SJ, who worked in Rome at the time. During the Soviet occupation, the Latvian Program was an important source of information for Latvian Christians about what was going on in free countries and in the Catholic Church. Fr Stanislavs Kucinskis SJ directed the program for 50 years; Sr Silvija Krivteza is now head of the program. The broadcasts can be listened "on demand" on the internet at www.radiovaticana.org/demand.htm. [Source: www.jesuits-europe.org]
In 1993 JRS Kenya opened the JRS Mikono Refugee Craft Shop. Mikono is Swahili for hands, and ten years after its inception the craft shop continues to assist refugees who have a talent for making handicrafts by providing them with an outlet to sell their crafts.
The shop aims to inspire refugees to be creative and to produce quality goods. Mikono has witnessed a significant improvement in the lives of many refugees, especially vulnerable women and widowed men with children, by allowing them to use their natural gifts and talents to earn a decent living.
The project assists refugees from eight countries who also attend seminars and workshops on topics such as business skills and management and personal development. Visit the JRS Mikono website to take a look at the handicrafts offered: http://www.jrs.net/jrs/mikono/ [Source: JRS Dispatches]
Emphasizing compassion as a tool for happiness and longevity, the Dalai Lama spent a day at the University of San Francisco giving public teachings and receiving an honorary degree on September 5.
The exiled Tibetan leader thanked the university, saying "I'm very happy to receive this degree as recognition of my practice and contribution to a better humanity."
The ceremony was part of an interfaith prayer service, with readings from different religions and the Dalai Lama's writings, a performance by USF dancers, and an academic procession of university faculty, administrators, and trustees.
In his afternoon teaching, the Dalai Lama emphasized developing sensitivity to world poverty and violence by understanding the interdependence of all beings. "People believe war is the way to protect oneself," he said. "It was true in ancient times but today we are interdependent so destruction of your enemy is destruction of yourself." [Source: University of San Francisco]
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