Archive for the ‘Governance’ Category
Jesuit Father Gerald Blaszczak, who is currently Vice President for Mission and Identity at Fairfield University, has been appointed to serve as Secretary for the Service of Faith at the Jesuit Curia in Rome by Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás.
Among Fr. Blaszczak’s new responsibilities will be the promotion within Jesuit ministries of “dialogue and reflection on the relationship between faith and reason, culture and moral issues and also between the Church and society.” He will also coordinate the Secretariat for inter-religious dialogue and work with the six conferences of the Society worldwide on Ignatian spirituality and pastoral work.
Blaszczak said he was “humbled by the scope of my new job,” and that he was also excited by the possibilities. “I am eager to be involved in projects which I deem so valuable and which have been so close to my heart throughout the years of my Jesuit ministry.”
African Jesuits Gathering in Baltimore Explores Future Opportunities to Partner with American Jesuits
In May, the Jesuit Conference of the United States sponsored a gathering at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore of African Jesuits currently studying in the U.S. and Canada. The gathering was a means of solidarity, support and collaboration with the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) with its president, Jesuit Father Michael Lewis also present at the meeting.
During the meeting, the members of the U.S. Assistancy and JESAM in attendance considered strategies for the various ways the U.S. and the African provinces might have opportunities to work more closely together, such as in the arenas of potential exchange programs between the U.S. and Africa’s apostolic works, in creating partnerships between apostolates, and by identifying tertianship experiences in Africa for U.S. Jesuits.
The African Jesuits also shared with their U.S. brothers the challenges the Society of Jesus faces in Africa around educational opportunities; with ethnic and political tensions; in health care, especially for HIV/AIDs and malaria treatments; and also the environmental and ecological concerns facing the continent.
“It bodes well for the future of the Society of Jesus that there will be well trained men in various disciplines to continue and develop the work of the Jesuits in Africa and Madagascar. It goes without saying that the Jesuits of North America have been extremely generous to us in providing the wherewithal for African and Malagasy Jesuits to specialize in these many and varied subjects. The Church and the Society are very grateful for this often unsung and open-handed support for the apostolates of the Society in our continent,” said Jesuit Father Michael Lewis, president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar. “There are men studying everything from engineering, informatics, administration, to pedagogy and the like which will help the Church and the Jesuits of the future to continue offering the work we do for the people of Africa and Madagascar.”
Thirty-seven African Jesuits participated in the gathering (there are approximately 60 African Jesuits currently in the U.S. and Canada), representing seven African provinces and regions, and 16 different countries. The participants came from various places throughout the U.S. and Canada where they are studying, ministering or on sabbatical.
In addition, five people from the U.S. Assistancy participated: three from the Jesuit Conference, including Jesuit Father Tom Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference of the United States; a provincial assistant from the New York province; and a provincial assistant from the Wisconsin province.
To help Jesuits throughout the U.S. to prepare for the new translation of the Roman Missal, Jesuit Father John Baldovin, Professor of Historical & Liturgical Theology at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, was asked to give a presentation explaining the historical background of the Roman Missal, with a brief overview of the changes in this translation along with some ideas for faithful ministers of the church to engage this new translation responsibly and use it as well as possible. His video presentation, The New Roman Missal: Challenge & Opportunity, appears in five parts below.
Part Ia: History of a Translation
The Roman Missal is the book containing the prescribed prayers, chants and instructions for the celebration of Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. Published first in Latin under the title Missale Romanum, the text is then translated and is published in modern languages for use in local churches throughout the world. In this video, Fr. John Baldovin, SJ, gives a background on the history of the translations, their implications and how we got to the latest translation of the Missale Romanum soon to be implemented in United States parishes in November 2011.
Within the Society of Jesus’ governmental structure, five areas of apostolic importance have been identified and given special attention. One of these apostolic sectors is Social Justice & Ecology, which is headed up by Jesuit Father Patxi Álvarez de los Mozos. Recently appointed to his role this year, Fr. Álvarez de los Mozos explains the intertwined nature of working for social justice with a connection to ecological issues during this video interview he recently conducted with National Jesuit News during his visit from his headquarters in Rome to the United States.
On this Earth Day, Álvarez de los Mozos encourages Jesuits and their partners to work toward justice, peace and environmental care.
In a letter sent to the whole Society, Father General explained that the changes will occur in three ways; a restructuring of the secretariats at the General Curia, instituting a commission on the Society’s Mission, and creating a reflection group for continued discernment of mission.
“With the help of the General Counselors, we are restructuring the Secretariats. The structure that has been in force till now has primarily been organized according to apostolic sectors.”
The reorganization of the secretariats will break the focus on apostolic sectors and instead focus on the important dimensions of the Society’s mission, which should be present in all apostolic sectors. The General Curia will now have Secretaries for the Service of Faith, the Promotion of Justice and Collaboration with Others.
Father General explained that much of the ordinary governance such as admission to final vows and appointment of superiors will stay the same. The changes being made were in fact prompted by the 35th General Congregation and meetings with major superiors in the Society.
“The changes we are introducing concern primarily our capacity to address issues related to our mission, with the flexibility, depth and creativity required at this moment of history and the life of the Church,” wrote Fr. Nicolas.
To read the full letter from Father General, and specifics on the restructuring, visit the [Jesuit Curia]