News - Provinces and Regions

Well-known Jesuit composer Fr Christopher Willcock SJ has written a mass to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary, 2014 to 2018 in Australia.   He has made the music for the Mass for the Fallen
Jesuit Refugee Service Australia has opened a new drop-in centre to address a lack of asylum seeker services in Western Sydney. The project is the result of a needs assessment undertaken by JRS in 2014, which found that the region is home to New South Wales’ second-largest group of asylum seekers arriving by boat and living on bridging visas.
Banteay Prieb, a Jesuit vocational training centre in Cambodia, is launching an education program for people with intellectual disabilities next month.  The program, which begins with 11 students, builds on the centre’s 23 years of experience serving people with physical disabilities as a result of war, land mines, polio and accidents.
Development officers in our Conference left their meeting in Cambodia with renewed spirits and a fresh understanding of their work. Meeting together and sharing both successes and challenges had helped them realize that they are engaged in a common effort to support the mission not only of their own Province, but that of the Society in Asia Pacific and the world.  Fr Jorge Serrano SJ, Assistant Treasurer for Development Resources in Rome, had challenged them not to focus only on raising money, but rather on winning committed partners for the common mission.  
Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, spent two weeks in Asia Pacific in January, visiting the Jesuit Chinese Province from January 13 to 16, and the Jesuit Vietnamese Province from January 17 to 25.
The decision some years ago within the Chinese Province to set up a youth ministry in Taiwan is bearing fruit.  What began with a monthly youth mass at the Magis Youth Centre in Taipei has grown into a full-blown program with workshops in Ignatian spirituality, counselling, recollections and retreats, movie nights, and exposure trips.
A short film produced by Indonesian Jesuit production house SAV Puskat has won first prize in the 5-minute video category of the SIGNIS Asia Media Awards.  “Dancing of Life” is about inter-religious dialogue in daily life as lived by the villagers of Demangan, Wedomartani and Sleman in Yogyakarta Province.  The film's central message is "Many faiths, but one mission: love each other".  
Young Jesuits are being invited to participate in a one-month programme designed to help them understand the lived reality of Islam in our world.  The Asia Pacific Theological Encounter Programme (APTEP) was developed by the Jesuits in Indonesia to help the Society of Jesus respond to the challenges of the Church in the area of interreligious dialogue, especially in Asia.  It will be held from April 20 to May 20, 2015 in Indonesia, which is home to the world's largest Muslim population. 
Irish Jesuit Brian Mac Cuarta SJ and the staff of the Roman Jesuit Archives (Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu – ARSI) are cooperating closely with the production team at Paramount Pictures to provide a key artefact for Silence, a film adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel about Catholicism in 17th century Japan, directed by Martin Scorsese (pictured here). To date the nature of the artefact has not been divulged.
Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau SJ, former provincial of the Jesuit Japan Province and former president of Sophia University, passed away at 21:55 on December 26, 2014 at the Loyola House community in Tokyo. He was 86 years old.
Two months into 2015, there are already nine new Jesuit deacons in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific – two Koreans, six Vietnamese and one Singaporean.
Resistance to the construction of a naval base at Gangjeong on Jeju Island, South Korea continues although the base is already under construction.  The Jeju Volcanic Island and  Lava Tubes are a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The most recent significant effort was the Gangjeong Peace Conference and Peace Festival organized by the Jesuit Research Centre for Advocacy and Solidarity (JAS) at the Seoguipo Catholic Parish and Gangjeong Villag
Two months into 2015, there are already nine new Jesuit deacons in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific – two Koreans, six Vietnamese and one Singaporean.
One of the things that drove Gregory Tan SJ to join the Jesuits in 2005 was a concern for the spiritual hunger he saw around him. As he ordained Gregory to the diaconate at St Carthage's Church in Melbourne on November 29, Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ said the young Jesuit was now more fully equipped to help people find sustenance in the Eucharist.
On May 31, 2014, the  Yap Catholic High School (YCHS), located on a small Micronesian island in the Western Pacific Ocean, celebrated its first graduating class. Jesuit missionaries first established a mission in Micronesia in the late seventeenth century. At the end of the World War II, the mission was placed in the hands of American Jesuits.  Now Jesuits serve in a number of ways on the islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam, Yap and Palau.
There was much delight at the recent JCAP Education meeting in two significant developments. Fr Christopher Gleeson SJ, JCAP Education Secretary and meeting chairman, shared that the group learnt a good deal from inaugural Principal, Fr Plinio, about the beginning in January of the new school in Timor-Leste, Colégio de Santo Inácio de Loiola.
At Kanyintabin village, a community nestled on the bank of the vast Pyamalaw River, Jesuit Scholastic Cyril Nay Myo Htet, better known as Phocho, sat down with a group of farmers on a hot December afternoon, a mug of sweetened instant coffee in his hand. This was the time of the year when they harvested the yields of their toil and sweat.
A multitude from the remotest edges of Myanmar converged on Yangon to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the country.  According to Fr Chinnappan Amalraj SJ, Delegate for the Jesuit Myanmar Mission, they occupied all the empty spaces in and around the churches, halls, even Hindu temples.   Fr Joseph Aik Maung SJ, who was ordained in May, led one group of the Kachins who came from the northernmost dioceses.  Fr Aik Maung is one of only three Myanmar priests in the Society of Jesus.
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), the social justice arm of the Philippine Jesuit Province marked 29 years of service to the Church and the Filipino nation recently with a week-long celebration themed “Renewing a Faith that does Justice”.  Over the years, SLB has evolved and developed programs in response to the needs of Philippine society, and the celebration from February 21 to March 1 was an opportunity to showcase current programs and introduce new ones.
There is an increasing focus on disaster preparedness in the Philippines, although this is happening at different levels. The general public is learning how to use the available technologies for monitoring hazards and to understand the language used. Many communities are also focused on evacuation strategies and on identifying safe centres that can be used in the event of a disaster.
The Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre is neither a prison nor a jail. It is the last barrier for non-Thais awaiting deportation back to their home countries, after finishing their prison sentences or paying court-imposed fines. These detainees have, for the most part, entered Thailand illegally.  How long they will be in the detention centre depends on many factors – the regulations of their country’s embassy/consulate, their travel documents, a plane ticket, and whether they are physically fit for the flight home.
In a village in Chiangmai Province sits a new church named after St Willibrord, the patron saint of Luxemburg.   Its name reflects how it came to be.  It had been built with the labour, heart and financial support of friends from Luxemburg, as well as friends from other lands, and no less than the Archbishop of Luxemburg, Jean Claude Hollerich SJ, presided at its blessing.
Scholastic Rui Muakandala SJ began his theology studies at Faculdade Jesuita de Filosofia e Teologia in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Here, he reflects on the challenges he and Sch Albino Gonçalves SJ are facing as East Timorese studying in a new country, continent, culture, and language.
Indonesian scholastic Anggun Sugiyono SJ left the recent Scholastics and Brothers Circle (SBC) meeting with a greater understanding of the universal mission and of himself.  Now doing his Regency in Micronesia, Sch Anggun shares with us his reflection on the meeting. Working as an Indonesian regent in Micronesia, I realize the importance of our universal mission as one Society of Jesus. This sense of universality became much clearer during the SBC meeting.
Two months into 2015, there are already nine new Jesuit deacons in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific – two Koreans, six Vietnamese and one Singaporean.
More than 3,000 people joined the Jesuits in Vietnam for the close of a yearlong celebration of the arrival of the first Jesuits in the country 400 years ago. The mass was held at the main Jesuit compound in Thu Duc, a suburb of Ho Chi Minh City.