August 2016

Finding gratitude in MAGIS

The two and a half weeks of MAGIS and World Youth Day have greatly influenced my spiritual mind and my point of view of the world. When I first saw the poster for the meeting, I was in Paris, France studying as an exchange student. Thinking that it would be difficult to attend since I was not with the Korea group, I envied those who could participate in it and quickly forgot about the event.

Learning from within through Vipassana meditation

Indonesian Jesuit scholastic Advent Novianto reflects on his experience of the East Asian Theological Encounter Programme, a Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific formation programme that provides an opportunity to experience Buddhism in the context of theology in Asia.

Continuing to accompany the “stranger” in Thai prisons

For 25 years, the Jesuit prison ministry in Thailand has been accompanying foreign prisoners primarily through providing counselling and companionship. Today, the programme serves about 1,200 prisoners spread across in 10 prisons in Bangkok and other provinces, and two prison hospitals.

This year, the team encountered a number of challenges.

Rediscovered Jesuit journal sheds light on introduction of Western science into China

The personal journal of Jesuit priest and scientist Sabatino de Ursis (1575-1620), a successor of Matteo Ricci in the Ming court of China, was rediscovered recently in the royal library of Ajuda in Lisbon, Portugal.

The journal brings a new understanding of how Western science was introduced into China during the Ming dynasty, and of his treatise, “Hydromethods of the Great West”, which was published in Beijing in 1612 and sponsored by important Ming scholar-officials. The treatise includes a preface by Xu Guangqi, distinguished scientist and collaborator of Matteo Ricci.

Gathering as Magis Asia Pacific in Poland

It was a bright sunny Wednesday afternoon that saw about 160 Magis/World Youth Day delegates from Asia Pacific gather in the courtyard of Ignatianum University in Krakow.  For many, it was a happy reunion of friends met at the first Magis Asia Pacific held last Christmas and for others, an introduction to the new Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific Youth Ministry.

A new way of being a Jesuit conference

One might have thought they would be exhausted after two long days of immersion, talks and group work, but the third and final day of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) sustainability conference saw ideas coming fast and furious on how sustainability in Asia Pacific can be increased. A bright flame had been lit in the approximately 140 participants from across Asia Pacific.

Giving up plastic straws in response to Laudato si’

When the Jesuits in Cambodia gathered for the usual days of prayer, discussions and celebrations in honour of St Ignatius this year, one interesting outcome was the decision to practise a unified, symbolic action to strengthen the Jesuit witness of working for ecological conversion. Such would be a communal response to the Holy Father’s invitation towards care for our common home in Laudato si’.  So, during the meeting held from July 27 to 29, they decided that this symbolic action would take the form of giving up the use of plastic straws.

A new Jesuit priest ordained in Timor-Leste

July 30 was a day for rejoicing for the Jesuits of the Jesuit Independent Region of Timor-Leste, and not just because of the Feast of St Ignatius the next day.  That Sunday was the ordination to the priesthood of Sidelizio (Side) Ornai Pereira SJ, and every Jesuit in the country travelled to his hometown of Baucau to celebrate the first Timorese Jesuit ordination to the priesthood since 2010.  Jesuits from other parts of Asia Pacific also travelled to Timor-Leste for the ordination.

Burundian Jesuit ordained in the Jesuit Chinese Province

Ladislas Nsengiyumva SJ was ordained to the priesthood in Holy Family Catholic Church in Taipei, Taiwan. The ordination on July 30 was presided by Most Rev John B Hung Shan-Chuan, Archbishop of Taipei, with Fr John Lee Hua SJ, Provincial of the Jesuit Chinese Province concelebrating the Mass.

Fr Justin Glyn SJ ordained in Auckland

The Australian Jesuit Province recently welcomed a new priest into its ranks. Justin Glyn SJ was ordained priest in the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph in Auckland, New Zealand on August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration. He was joined by his family, and by many other Jesuits who travelled there for the occasion.

Sustainability in the youth

Small-scale farming and indigenous practices in the uplands of Asia are not very sustainable and a great majority of the youth wants out.  Given the marginalisation and oppression that still rule in many of these environments with exploitation by corporate “sustainable” logging and mining firms, armed groups, corporate agricultural practices, infrastructure and seeping globalisation, farming life is not a question of success but of survival.

Jesuit colleges and universities commit to promoting institutional collaboration on sustainability in Asia Pacific

The Jesuit focus on sustainability in Asia Pacific is gaining momentum. Just two days after the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific’s first sustainability conference, the chief executive officers of Jesuit institutions of higher learning agreed that their network would be the institutional home of JCAP’s sustainability movement. 

Eight Jesuits ordained priests in Vietnam

The Vietnam Jesuit Province has eight new Vietnamese priests.  The new Jesuit priests, who were ordained on August 25 at the Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate in Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City, are Fr Anthony Pham Ba Hoc, Fr Dominic Nguyen Quoc Kinh, Fr Joseph Nguyen Tuan Phuc, Fr Thaddeus Nguyen Van Yen, Fr Francis Xavier Nguyen Thanh Vu, Fr Anthony Tran Thanh Tan, Fr Vincent Nguyen Minh Phuc and Fr Peter Nguyen Van Tang.