Dermot Preston SJ

Fr Provincial (far right) with the four Head Masters and the Chair of Governors
The British Jesuit Provincial has blessed and dedicated the new Sports Facility on St Aloysius College’s Garnethill campus in Glasgow, following its officially opening by Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Gregor Townsend and Scottish Hockey Internationalist Susan McGilveray. The three-storey building will transform the health and fitness of the College’s pupils, diversify the number of sports it can provide, improve extra-curricular activities and offer year-round weather cover. It will also reduce...
Westminster Cathedral: packed for Wimbledon College's celebration, Credit: Peter Michael, Wimbledon College
On Wednesday (18 January), Wimbledon College celebrated its 125th Anniversary. In his Constitutions, St Ignatius instructed all Jesuit schools to hold a Mass annually in gratitude to the founders of the school; and the College wanted to mark this significant anniversary by gathering the whole school community together for their Founders' Day Mass."The only way that we could do this was to hold it at Westminster Cathedral," explains the school's Chaplain, James Potter...
The documents resulting from GC36 have now been published
The documents from the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (GC36) have been published. They will be issued by the Jesuits in Britain as part of a book within the next few weeks and will help to formulate the Province’s planning and priorities for the years ahead.GC36 took place in Rome between 3 October and 12 November last year. It brought together more than 200 Jesuits from around the world to elect their Superior General and to address the priorities for Jesuit life and...
Closing session of GC36
And unexpectedly, it is over.All votes are cast. All documents written. All jobs that were complete-able are complete. We suddenly find ourselves on the last day, with a last Mass this evening and tonight the goodbyes will begin.We only knew it yesterday.It is slightly unreal. I will see some of the Jesuits from the Aula next week in London; some I will never see again. We are pilgrims on the road, creating community as we travel, breaking and re-creating communities at the next cross-roads,...
Fr Provincial (right) in conversation with other delegates at GC36
I have an armed guard outside my bedroom. Two soldiers and an armoured car.At first I thought that it might be to protect the Brexit Provincial from the hordes of angry Roman Pro-Europeans, but I was assured that this was not the case and this strategy was part of a generally heightened security around Italy following the terrorist attacks in France and Germany. For the last five weeks, the Italian Army has been sitting under my first-floor window, an impressive presence, amiably restricting...
'Crimson Tide': a taut, claustrophobic thriller
The late Tony Scott was a movie director who was somewhat overshadowed by his more acclaimed Oscar-winning film-maker brother, Ridley Scott; but the corpus of Tony’s movie work, if more populist, is not slight. 'Top Gun', with Tom Cruise, was Scott’s breakthrough movie; and others ( e.g. ‘Enemy of the State’ and ‘Déjà Vu’) are certainly worth an evening of popcorn and thoughtful entertainment.My favourite Tony Scott movie is a taut, claustrophobic...
Br Stephen Power SJ (centre) and Fr Dermot Preston SJ (right) at morning prayer at GC36
As the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (GC36) continues in Rome, the 215 electors are now engaged in the business that is central to any gathering of this nature, including legislative and administrative matters.  But this is also an important opportunity for the Jesuits to renew their understanding of their Jesuit identity and mission, for today and for the years ahead.Each morning, the tone of the day of work is set by prayer, coordinated by a German Jesuit, Fr Clemens...
Pope Francis addresses GC36
After a concert at Carnegie Hall, the wonderful comic pianist, Victor Borge, had an unexpected visitor to his dressing room: a Secret Service agent for the US Vice President, who had been in the audience that night.The Secret Service man said: “The Vice President will be with you in 30 seconds, and you can ask him anything you like.”This caught Borge off-guard… ask anything at all??With such a blank agenda, Borge found that he was fixating on one question… “Mr...
British cinema poster for Moonraker, illustrated by Dan Gouzee © United Artists
Over the last year, I have been reading and enjoying the James Bond novels. It is good to get beyond the famous movie franchise and see Bond and the narratives as they were originally portrayed by the author, Ian Fleming.Fleming’s prose is wonderfully visual and crisp. As the story-line in the novels develops, Bond matures: the tightly-coiled 007 of Casino Royale is simple, harsh and unforgiving; but as his friendships grow, he becomes more complex and thoughtful towards the final...
Superior Generals Nicolas and Kolvenbach in 2008
Dear Brother in Christ,I do not know who you are.I write this on Thursday and you will be elected as Father General on Friday. Whether you are old or young, or whether I know you well, or whether we have only exchanged a smile and a few words in these last days, I will speak.Firstly, the days of murmuratio will have been gruelling for your soul: as the hours have unfolded, you will have grown aware that people have been inquiring about you and scrutinising you, and those people who know you....

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