David Smolira SJ

Delegates at Stonyhurst group photo
Last week saw over 90 Jesuits and 40 lay co-workers gather at Stonyhurst College for a conference entitled “Working in Partnership with the Universal Apostolic Preferences”.It is the first time that such a large number of lay partners in mission have joined the Jesuits in a collaborative discernment. Lay people included head teachers from our Jesuit schools, parish council members, and staff working in leadership roles in spirituality, finance, safeguarding, communications and social justice...
Five celebrants outside Sacred Heart Church
Yesterday evening five Jesuits celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of their ordination to the priesthood with many family and old friends.  The Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon was the location of the ordinations in 1988, celebrated by Bishop Victor Guazelli and Fr Michael Campbell-Johnson SJ, who had recently taken over as Provincial.All five Jesuits retained strong links to the Wimbledon area so it was fitting to return to the Sacred Heart Church for the celebration.  Both Adrian...
Mike O'Driscoll (L) and friends
Mike O’Driscoll from Saint Ignatius parish in north London, reflects on thirty years of soup runs for the homeless that have operated out of the parish. During that period the parishioners have seen the numbers of street homeless wax and wane across the capital. “When we started it was probably at its worst in terms of numbers,” Mike said.  Then in the 1980’s, Britain was in the grip of controversial economic reforms under Margaret Thatcher.  Numbers then steadily decreased,...
Children from St Ignatius primary school
Twenty three parishioners of St.Ignatius in Stamford Hill have just attended the first Haringey Citizens assembly, joining over 150 Christians and many other people of good will at St.Mark’s Methodist Church in Tottenham, in the shadow of the giant cranes of the Spurs stadium reconstruction. With the group were parish team members Sr. Eugenia and both Frs David: Fr Smolira, parish priest and one of the North London Citizens leadership team,  and Fr Stewart, who is also the national...
10 years of Polish Jesuits in Stamford Hill
Stamford Hill in north London is a melting pot of different cultures and religions. Since 2007 the Jesuit parish of St Ignatius has hosted a large and vibrant Polish community.  Ten years ago Polish Jesuits joining the community to help meet their pastoral needs, last weekend saw a special celebration of the ten years of ministry.  On Saturday, there was a celebration of visual arts, folk and religious, followed by two concerts. The first of these was a "showcase of talent" with...
“Have you completely lost your mind?” That was the comment made to me by my course tutor at university while I was studying for my Post-Graduate Certificate in Education when I told her that I was not going to be applying for teaching jobs, but rather entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus! I had previously completed a degree in Zoology at Manchester University and throughout those three years I had been considering a vocation to the Jesuits. The idea first came to me in the...
Groups discussions at St Beuno's
Earlier this month St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in North Wales hosted a meeting of 43 Jesuits convened to review the state of the Province six months after the Province Congregation in April, and to help prepare for the 36th General Congregation (GC36) next year in Rome. [The General Congregation is the highest authority of the International Society of Jesus and meets next year for the 36th time since the foundation of the Order, to elect a new General and to discern the future...
The Jesuits of Stamford Hill have joined other faith leaders in North London to denounce cultural and religious intolerance. Fr David Smolira SJ, the parish priest of St Ignatius Church was among the group of religious leaders from Stamford Hill’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities who came together in a display of unity, ahead of a march planned by a far-right group that is objecting to what it calls the ‘Jewification’ of the area.“The expressions of solidarity were unambiguous and came...