Posts Tagged ‘Society of Jesus’

Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás Stresses Importance of Youth Ministry

By Doris Yu

Jesuit Father Adolfo NicolásIn an exclusive five-part interview for The Jesuit Post, Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, expressed his desire for further emphasis on youth ministry, which took on special pertinence in light of his presence at MAGIS 2013 in Salvador, Brazil, where the interview took place.

After celebrating Mass and engaging with the 2,000 young pilgrims in attendance at MAGIS 2013, Fr. Nicolás spoke with Jesuit scholastic Eric Sundrup, associate editor of The Jesuit Post, discussing topics including youth ministry, inner peace and silence, vocations, social media and his interactions with Pope Francis.

Fr. Nicolás described working with the youth as a “de facto priority” and pointed to the fact that the 160 Jesuits who traveled to MAGIS 2013, a two-week Jesuit-sponsored youth immersion experience preceding World Youth Day, indicated the significance of youth ministry for the Society of Jesus.

He drew connections between working with the youth and an increase in vocations. “It is also clear that the provinces that have dedicated more resources to the youth are getting more vocations, which is an interesting point,” said Fr. Nicolás. Further elaborating on the topic, he stressed the need for vocations to the Society from those with a sense of humor and an open mind.

Fr. Nicolás called for Ignatian discernment on approaching the frontier of new media for the Society, a special point of interest for The Jesuit Post and closely linked to the topic of youth ministry. “I think that there we might have one of the biggest challenges: how to present Jesuit spirituality, which is a spirituality of reflection, of Examen, of meditation, of consultation, prayers, et cetera, to a generation that is used to instant information and instant response,” said Fr. Nicolás.

In the midst of the digital media revolution Fr. General drew attention to silence and advised the cultivation of “the chapel we carry within ourselves” at all times, in order to tap into the inner peace necessary to hear the Spirit.

On Pope Francis, Fr. Nicolás said, “I have to confess I find it very easy to communicate with him. I speak with him like I would speak with any other Jesuit, knowing that he is not going to misunderstand me. I don’t have to measure my words. I can speak totally freely.”

Concluding the interviews, Fr. Nicolás carried the conversation back to finding God in all things, especially the youth. “So in the Jesuit vision of reality there is a high esteem for God’s creation, and there is no situation, no human situation, no social situation, that is alien to us. So our challenge is … how to find God in the hearts of the young, even those who don’t come to Church, and even those who don’t even believe in Christ … This is the challenge that we carry with us, and I think that I like very much that the pope calls us to go out and find God.”

View the first video, containing links to the remainder of the interviews, below.

Jesuit Brothers Explore New Media Strategies at National Jesuit Brothers Committee Institute

National Jesuit Brothers Committee By Doris Yu

The National Jesuit Brothers Committee (NJBC) recently sponsored its 2013 institute, titled “Jesuit Spirituality and the New Media.” Held at Loyola University New Orleans, the institute featured an array of speakers and activities focusing on how Jesuits might more effectively utilize new media – including social media, email, websites and other Internet-based communications – in various ministries.

The NJBC represents U.S. Jesuit Brothers, vowed members of the Society of Jesus who share fully in the apostolic vocation, mission, work, and community life of the Society as laymen rather than as ordained priests. The institute was open to all Jesuits, and presentations covered a range of communications topics, from how the Apostleship of Prayer moved into the digital age and how Creighton University’s online ministries developed to frontiers and new media. Presenters included province communications staff members and editors from The Jesuit Post website and America magazine.

Many of the brothers expressed willingness to embrace the theme of the institute in their daily lives. “You don’t have to stop being who you are as a Jesuit. Be who you are as a Jesuit, use the media as a tool to help get out your message of who you are or the ministry you’re doing,” said Jesuit Brother Patrick Douglas.

“Something very interesting that I heard in this conference is that social media and the new media is a frontier,” said Jesuit scholastic Juan Pablo Marrufo del Toro. “And Father General asked us to go to the frontiers.”

In addition to the talks, the brothers enjoyed evening socials, a tour of Jesuit High School in New Orleans and a trip to the National WWII Museum. “I learned some things, I reconnected socially with men I know, I met some new people … it invigorates you, it reenergizes you. I came away with new knowledge and a sense of excitement and energy,” said Jesuit Brother James Siwicki.

Learn more about the National Jesuit Brothers Committee at njbc.com.

Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás’ Homily to MAGIS Pilgrims: There is Nothing Complicated About Faith

magis-mass-thumbBy Doris Yu

Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, said a Mass in Spanish, English and Portuguese for all 2,000 attendees of MAGIS 2013 on the last day of the pilgrims’ stay in Salvador, Brazil, before the delegations headed out for immersion experiences throughout the country.

The Mass, a missioning Mass for blessing the pilgrims before embarking on their service trips, was held on July 15 at Colégio Antônio Vieira, the Jesuit high school in Salvador named for the Portuguese Jesuit philosopher and writer. Fr. Nicolás advised the audience to listen to the voice of God in their hearts during the homily, which he preached in Spanish and English.

The Gospel story of the good Samaritan “contains one of the secrets our faith,” said Father General, which is that “God says to us that there is nothing complicated about the faith … faith is mostly in the heart. It is not far.”

“[Jesus] told us God is mercy and compassion. We don’t need to complicate that, we don’t need thick books of theology to prove that; we need a heart, a heart that can reach in the line of the compassion of God.”

Watch the English portions of Fr. Nicolás’ homily in the video below.

The Jesuit Post: Reporting From Rio on MAGIS and WYD

Ignatian News Network’s latest video profiles The Jesuit Post, currently on tour in various locations throughout Brazil for MAGIS 2013 and World Youth Day. Jesuits Eric Sundrup and Sam Sawyer are reporting from Rio; Brendan Busse is in Belem, Brazil, in the Amazon; Chris Schroeder is in Cascavel in Southern Brazil; Martin Ngo is in Belo Horizante; and Jason Welle is with an immersion experience group in Pontau, Rio de Janeiro. The team will reunite on July 22 for World Youth Day.

Watch the video to see the team’s comments pre-WYD:

Jesuit Superior General Tells MAGIS Pilgrims to ‘Keep Eyes, Heart Open’

MAGIS 2013 MassSALVADOR, Brazil (CNS) — Using the example of a big-hearted giraffe, the superior general of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás, told 2,000 MAGIS pilgrims: “Keep your eyes and your hearts open.”

The young people from around the world — mostly students from Jesuit universities — gathered in Salvador for MAGIS, a 10-day, pre-World Youth Day program, designed for the young people to examine their lives to see how they can do more for Christ and for others.

Before they set off for prayer and service activities in dozens of locations throughout Brazil, they attended a Mass July 15 with Fr. Nicolás.

In his homily — in both Spanish and English — Fr. Nicolás told the pilgrims about a Cambodian bishop who chose the giraffe as his diocesan symbol because it has one of the biggest hearts in the animal kingdom — it has to have a big heart to pump blood all the way up to its brain. Because it is so tall, it has “a very high point of view,” he said.

“Humanity is more than any one of us has experienced in our own countries,” the Jesuit general told the young people. Approaching the people of Brazil and their fellow pilgrims with a big heart and a broad view can change their lives.

MAGIS 2013 MassThe Gospel story of the good Samaritan “contains one of the secrets our faith,” which is that “faith is mostly in the heart. It is not far,” he said. “We don’t have to go up to heavens,” but one must listen to the voice of God in his or her heart.

Some people, he said, want to hold on to ancient traditions “which say nothing to you young people. And many young people don’t come to church and the older people say, ‘They have no faith.’ But I say, ‘Yes, they have faith. Look at their hearts. There you will find it.’”

“God says to us that there is nothing complicated about the faith, but you must listen to your heart,” he said.

Fr. Nicolás told the pilgrims about being with a group of young Jesuits in Japan. They watched a program about 50 young, non-Christian Japanese who lived and worked abroad for two years, mostly in programs similar to the Peace Corps. He said they all admitted they went out of curiosity, but were changed by their contact the poor, “people who were suffering, people who had great difficulties, and yet, they had hope, they had joy.”

MAGIS 2013 Mass“What I thought at the time was, ‘This is the kind of people I would like to join the Society of Jesus,’” he said, “people with a heart, and therefore they have a capacity to grow into Christ. They have one of the secrets of our faith — that faith is in the heart.

“Jesus is the summary of our faith. He showed in his words — which were very simple — in his preaching and his life he told us what God is. He told us God is mercy and compassion. We don’t need to complicate that, we don’t need thick books of theology to prove that; we need a heart, a heart that can reach in the line of the compassion of God.”

“The secret of secrets” in Christianity is love, “love of God that turns into love of neighbor,” he said.

“It’s not whom we love, but whether we love or not, that’s the question,” Fr. Nicolás told the students. [Catholic News Service]