Jesuit General to join Heythrop's 400th anniversary celebrations

Heythrop College's 400th anniversary celebrations reach their climax over the next few weeks, with a series of academic, liturgical and social events. Among the highlights will be a visit by the Jesuit Superior General, Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ. He will briefly attend the two-day conference in June at which scholars from Britain and overseas will explore the character and significance of the Jesuit educational tradition with respect both to the study of theology and philosophy, and to science, letters and the arts.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will be one of the principal speakers at the conference entitled For the Greater Glory of God and the More Universal Good on  19 and 20 June at the Senate House in London. Dr Williams' public lecture on Friday 20 June will reflect on the Jesuit tradition of liberal education and its continued importance today.

On the first evening of the conference (Thursday 19 June), there will be a concert of music associated with the Jesuit colleges at Liège and St Omer, performed by Cappella Fede directed by Dr Peter Leech at the Jesuit Church  of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street. This will be preceded by the Hilda Hulme Memorial Lecture, a public lecture on John Donne and Ignatian Spirituality delivered by Professor Dayton Haskin of Boston College.

The celebrations to mark the founding of the college by the Jesuits in Louvain (Belgium) in 1614 will culminate with Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols at Carmelite Church, Kensington High Street in London W8 on Saturday 21 June.

Among the social events for Heythrop's 400th anniversary will be a Summer Garden Party on 31 May  and a Black Tie Dinner for alumni at the Kensington Roof Gardens on 5 June.

"We shall continue to serve the Church by developing as a centre of ministerial training," according to Principal Fr Michael Holman SJ. "Heythrop now is essentially what it was 400 years ago,namely, a centre for the education of priests for the Catholic Church; and ... (we shall develop) by offering excellent educational opportunities for those who want to deepen their understanding of their faith and other faiths; by continuing to engage in research; and by organising conferences and seminars on topics where faith meets contemporary culture."