Latest news from the British Jesuits
Updated: 8 weeks 1 day ago
London artist Lucy Wood sailed 4,000 miles solo in a North African migrant boat from the southern Italian island of Lampedusa to London Docks, as a gesture of solidarity with the hundreds of refugees who risk a similar journey in search of a better life. This month, she is inviting those who shared her sense of shock at the events last September, when around 360 people died when their boat sank off the Mediterranean island, to join in a time of reflection organised in association with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has ordained nine Jesuits as deacons. In one of the first major ceremonies since being made Cardinal by Pope Francis, he presided at the Ordination Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 1 March 2014.
The Lauriston Jesuit Centre's Lenten season of talks begins in Edinburgh on Wednesday 19 March and is called The Mace Series. Its theme is Beyond the Referendum - Values for the New Scotland and the topics for the four weeks are the four values inscribed on the Mace that is in the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber.
The Catholic Church today celebrates the Feast of St John Ogilvie, Scotland's only post-Reformation Jesuit martyr, who was born in 1579, the son of a respected Calvinist family, and converted to Catholicism after receiving his education from the Benedictines and the Jesuits. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 29 and was ordained priest two years later.
Next Tuesday, 4 March, we will begin our Novena of Grace with St Francis Xavier SJ. A prayer booklet has been prepared by two alumnae of the chaplaincy at Oxford University, under Fr Simon Bishop SJ, the Director of Spirituality for the Jesuits in Britain. The prayer booklet combines the words and example of Pope Francis and those of St Francis Xavier SJ. 'They are of a kindred Spirit and are perfectly matched,' says Fr Simon. 'I hope anyone who takes part in the Novena of Grace will find the reflections, the prayers and the pictures both consoling and challenging.'
The 2014 Gonzaga Lectures at St Aloysius' College in Glasgow will provide four reflections on Pope Francis' Address to the Nuncios under the heading: Pastors Not Princes. Speakers will be drawn from religious life and academia, from politics and the hierarchy, in the lectures on Tuesday evenings through March. They will consider the impact that Pope Francis has had upon the Church and more widely since his election last March.
An Indian Jesuit hailed as an outstanding communicator is being honoured at the SIGNIS World Congress taking place in Rome this week. Fr Gaston Roberge SJ was a pioneer of media education in India; he will receive a SIGNIS Life Achievement Award, alongside Mgr Roland Abou Jaoude, the founder of the Catholic Information Centre in Lebanon. The SIGNIS Life Achievement Awards recognise SIGNIS members who have made outstanding contributions in the field of Catholic communication.
The Jesuit Institute in South Africa (a Region of the British Province) has published a book of reflections that link the season of Lent with South Africans' experience of liberation and address more broadly Pope Francis' call for the Church to actively participate in political life.
One of the first major ceremonies over which newly-created Cardinal Vincent Nichols will preside will be the ordination to the diaconate of nine Jesuits. The men come from four continents and eight different Jesuit provinces; they will be ordained deacons at Westminster Cathedral this Saturday.
As we approach the first anniversary of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the Catholic Church's first Jesuit Pope, Heythrop College has organised a conference to consider what difference Pope Francis has made in the past 12 months and what has influenced his pontificate so far.
The European elections later this year will provide the first indication of the future of the UK in Europe. The Institute for Religion and Society at Heythrop College will be providing background information and reasoned arguments in a panel discussion taking place on 12 March.
By Jo Siedlecka, Independent Catholic News
The Year of the Horse, which began on Sunday, is being celebrated in China with an exhibition of paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione, a Jesuit lay brother and painter who worked at the court of Emperor Qianlong for 51 years, and a film about his life.