News - Ministries

In March, the Macau Ricci Institute (MRI) devoted its MRI Seminar to the Suppression and Restoration of the Society of Jesus.  The one-day seminar focused first on the Suppression of the Society in Europe, and on the last Jesuits who survived in Beijing, China.  It presented the historical background and encouraged reflection on this from the perspective of the Jesuit Chinese Province and then from the Macau perspective.  It also addressed the question of the Restoration and its manifestation throughout the art and architecture of the new Society of Jesus in Macau and China.<
Fr General Adolfo Nicolás delivered the opening address at a recent Pontifical Gregorian University event held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Jesuit-run Sophia University in Tokyo.  A former student of Sophia in the 1960s and a former provincial of the Japanese Province, Fr Nicolás spoke on Sophia’s contribution to the mission of the Catholic Church in Asia. Fr Nicolás urged Japanese Catholics to promote religious sensitivity in their country and not to lose hope because they represent a small minority of the country's population.
“Carry your cross!” This was the challenge of Bishop Honesto Ongtioco to the 13 Jesuit deacons he ordained on September 14, 2013. The Jesuit ordinands included nine from the Philippine Province – Manases L Amanence SJ, Guillrey Anthony M Andal, SJ, Antonio M Basilio SJ, Eric Anthony S Escandor, SJ, Erik John J Gerilla SJ, Jose Emmanuel A Liwanag SJ, Ruben B Orbeta Jr SJ, Neupito J Saicon SJ, and Irmo Fracis A Valeza SJ.
The Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific has published its 2013 annual report, Jesuits in Asia Pacific 2013.   The document offers Jesuits, collaborators and friends a report by Conference President Fr Mark Raper SJ on 2012, articles on four key areas for the Conference that year - education, formation, spirituality and international works, and a brief look forward to 2013.
Jesuit Social Services (JSS) in Australia has formed an International Jesuit Prison Network (IJPN) to facilitate collaboration and support among Jesuit organisations and individuals around the world who are working in prisons or with former prisoners.  Set up late last year, the network already has the support of all the Jesuit Conferences and various Jesuit organisations including Jesuit Networking, which has offered to assist in connecting interested people.
The 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to Jesuit Refugee Service Syria (JRS Syria) for its outstanding dedication in providing emergency relief to Syrians since the war began in 2012.  According to the latest UN statistics, more than 9 million Syrians are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including 6,5 million internally displaced persons and 2,6 million refugees in neighbouring countries.
Ten Jesuits recently spent 10 days learning about liturgical music, actually composing pieces as an assignment.  They learnt about about the principles of liturgical music and musical composition, teaching music and conducting choirs.  They were asked to write songs for liturgical use, which were performed in a recital and used at the Mass at the conclusion of the workshop.
Dong Jun Kim sees his pursuit of a vocation in the Society of Jesus as a miracle, and his disability acquired in childhood as a gift from God. The 32-year-old has been deaf since childhood, but he has not allowed that obstacle to stop him from a life of service and devotion, nor to dampen his desire to become the first deaf Jesuit priest in Korea and only the second in Asia. But his path has not been easy.
Fr General Adolfo Nicolás has called for a gathering of Provincials from around the world.  The meeting will be held from January 18 to 25, 2015 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which is the world’s most populous Islamic country.  The location provides a "unique opportunity to become aware of the challenges that interfaith dialogue presents to the Society in its service to the whole Church and to mankind," said Fr Nicolás.  
Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia marked World Interfaith Harmony Week with an interfaith event at Mindol Metta Karuna on February 8. The event gathered people of different faiths who want to work together for justice, peace and a development that sustains all especially the poorest and most excluded.  During the event, participants were asked to think about what they could do for a world of justice and peace, and make a promise by choosing one of the following and placing it in the Interfaith circle.
Fr Michael Hansen SJ says he hopes the launch of his new book will help open up even more people to a model of spirituality that harkens back to Ignatius’ earliest ministry.  The First Spiritual Exercises: Four Guided Retreats, published by Ave Maria Press, was launched at Campion Retreat Centre in Melbourne on May 24.
Energised and inspired by its first experience of MAGIS in Madrid in 2011, the Korean Province is deep into preparations for MAGIS-World Youth Day (WYD) 2013 in Brazil. Fr Joseph Songyong Choe SJ shares their preparations with us.
From Australia has come a new online book, The Francis Effect: Living the Joy of the Gospel, which offers insights from Catholic leaders in the country on the challenges and inspiration needed to fully live the joy of the Gospel in varied ministries.  Jointly published by Catholic Mission and Catholic Religious Australia, The Francis Effect is an opportunity to engage with Evangelii Gaudium in an active and practical way.    
Redfern Jarjum College, a Jesuit primary school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, was officially opened on April 13, with a number of dignitaries giving the school and its students their blessing. 
Having made communication one of the Province’s priority missions, the Jesuit Vietnam Province has been sending scholastics to media outlets across the world for the Regency stage of their formation, during which they work for two or more years in a ministry. Stephen Tran Thien Kinh SJ and Anthony Nguyen Van Loi SJ are two of these Vietnamese scholastics.  They were assigned to Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia, where they hope to acquire skills in media that will prepare them for ministry in their Province.
With its sprinkling of graffiti and grey, decades-old façade, the head office of Kuangchi Program Service (KPS) looks anything but the home of a pioneer. Yet by religious broadcasting standards, this Jesuit television studio in central Taipei – now 56 years old – remains light years ahead of the pack when it comes to gaining entry to the world’s most populous nation. KPS takes a softly-softly approach with China, and it’s about to do so again.
Being a Christian involves obedience. It’s easier to obey a superior we like unless he makes the likeable somewhat difficult. Jesuits, with our special vow, think this affable Pope is easy to follow when he asks us to be revolutionaries; but, when we put “eco-” in front, is it easy? Personally, I share with Francis being a Jesuit, chemist, activist, and Facebook friend; however, he encourages me to do more: extraordinary dedication, intensive focus, and community/team cooperation. We are called to heal our wounded Earth at this time of anthropogenic climate change.
In launching its new Graduate Certificate in Leadership, Spirituality and Organisational Practice, Sentir is bringing together some of the best knowledge from around the world linking Ignatian spirituality to people’s working lives. The Dean of Sentir, Fr Michael Smith SJ, says the course is unique in bringing together the tools of organisational development and the Spiritual Exercises.