Justin Claravall SJ, a scholastic from the California Jesuit Province, now part of Jesuits West, spent a year as a prison chaplain with the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service Foundation as part of the Regency stage of his formation. He shares this reflection.
Fr Peter Pojol SJ has been named as the new Director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) to succeed Fr Arthur Leger SJ who has held the position since 2011. The appointment was announced by the President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, Fr Mark Raper SJ, following the endorsement of the EAPI Board of Trustees.
Rebuilding lives and rekindling hope. This is the motto of the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service Foundation Inc (PJPS) based in the New Bilibid Prisons Reservation, the national penitentiary. Like other Philippine prisons, the inmates are crammed in hot, dark and poorly ventilated cells.
The prison compound has a capacity of about 10,000 inmates, but it is housing more than 24,000. The overcrowding means the inmates have to sleep in shifts.
After more than 100 years of serving in the parish, the Jesuits will be withdrawing from St Ignatius Toowong in Brisbane at the end of this year.
The Parishes Task Force was set up more than 18 months ago to respond to the increasing difficulty of finding Jesuits to serve in all nine parishes across the country. Led by the Province Delegate for Parishes, Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM, the task force was asked to discern and develop criteria for remaining in or withdrawing from a parish, and then to make recommendations for the Provincial and Consult.
A large motor home has become a beacon of hope for the Catholic community of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, as the mobile base of Fr Richard Shortall SJ — one of two Missionaries of Mercy in Australia.
“It’s a little bit larger than what you might expect for one person,” Fr Shortall says of the motor home. “It can comfortably sleep two or three people. However, I need to carry a lot of equipment and resources with me, since most of the communities I am visiting lack these.”
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.
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.