The Jesuits

Drawing of Daniel Berrigan Sj
American Jesuit Daniel Berrigan died on 30 April 2016. As well as being an influential anti-war activist, he was a celebrated poet, and Emily Holman has relished having the opportunity to ponder Berrigan’s words in recent months and reflect on ‘the closeness of poetry and life’ that he communicated so creatively. In his poems we journey into and through darkness, are challenged by encounters and, above all, are guided by the hand of God. Death can be serendipitous. I hadn...
From 'The Life of St Ignatius Loyola' by Peter Paul Rubens
To educate the youth of Europe? To fight the spread of Protestantism? While many people would guess that one or both of these ambitions drove Ignatius of Loyola to found the Jesuits, he actually had something else in mind: a mission to the Muslim world. For the feast of St Ignatius, Damian Howard SJ considers how ‘Islam haunted Ignatius’s understanding of his calling’ and celebrates the fruitful work of the many Jesuits who have tried to realise Ignatius’s vision in...
Robert Southwell SJ
On 1 December, the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of a number of English Jesuit reformation martyrs, among them Saints Edmund Campion and Robert Southwell.  Southwell is perhaps best known for his poetry, to which Brian McClorry SJ offers an introduction here. How does Southwell’s poetry open up a space for Ignatian conversational prayer? Clive James once provocatively remarked that poetry is ‘any piece of writing that can’t be quoted except out of context’. If poetry drowns in...
Al-Moukhales Centre, Syria
Headlines broadcasting the latest developments in Syria are now a daily occurrence, but how well do they convey the reality of life for the Syrian people at the moment?  Earlier this summer, Frances Murphy heard Fr Ziad Hilal SJ in conversation about the ‘crisis of humanity’ through which the Syrian people are living. Fr Ziad shared his personal experience of life in Homs and described the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria. ‘The media often give a bad image...
Houses of Parliament
The ways in which British political institutions have responded to uncertainty, debate and public opinion in recent days are fascinating examples of flexibility in governance. On International Day of Democracy, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, reflects on what we learned about the dynamics of power and consultation from last week’s headlines, and on how these same dynamics work in the Society of Jesus. The second week of September 2015 was an eventful seven...
Photo of Amsterdam
A recent endeavour saw 100 Jesuits sent out in small groups on ‘experiments’ across North West Europe to engage in different aspects of the Society of Jesus’s ministry. Jim Corkery and three of his Jesuit brothers found themselves in Amsterdam, where they experienced the graces of community life in a new way and found God at work everywhere, from a Jesuit church to the red light district! This summer over 100 Jesuits, aged 65 or under, were invited to come together to...
Statue of St Ignatius
How was Ignatius of Loyola able to find God in all things? It was because he fell – and stayed – in love with God; and through the gift of the Spiritual Exercises, he helps us to do the same! Sr Jane Livesey, the General Superior of the Congregation of Jesus, celebrates the Feast of St Ignatius by thinking about how he loved Jesus and was inspired to ‘live the present with passion’, just as Pope Francis urges all those in consecrated life to do. When Pope Francis...
Peter Canisius
27 April is the Feast of Saint Peter Canisius. In 1897, Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical to mark the 300th anniversary of Canisius’s death, in which he referred to the Jesuit as, ‘after Boniface…the second apostle of Germany’[i]. What did he do to earn such a title? Peter Canisius was born in the Netherlands in 1521. Like many characters of his time, he defied his parents’ wishes in order to study theology, and he was initially strongly influenced in that...
Photo of Zayn Malik
In an eventful afternoon, One Direction lost one of their members and the BBC bid farewell to a controversial presenter.  Frances Murphy wonders whether Zayn Malik and Jeremy Clarkson would choose the way of Christ or the way of Lucifer if they engaged in Ignatius’s Meditation on the Two Standards. Entertainment news editors must feel as if Christmas came early this year – nine months early, to be precise, as two big stories broke on the Feast of the Annunciation.  On...
From ‘Portrait of Queen Elisabeth I’ by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
At the juncture at which we leave Hilary Mantel’s tale as Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies conclude, there has been a rupture in the relationship between England and Rome. But this was by no means the end of the story. Daniel Kearney takes us forward to the reign of Elizabeth I and explores the how the early Jesuits tried to preserve Catholicism in Tudor England. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood.  So the faith was planted:...

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