Dermot Preston SJ

Fr General (left) with Bruno Cadore OP
"The last time I saw the Master General of the Dominicans was in Westminster Cathedral in the early summer when he was the guest of honour at an 800th anniversary of the Dominicans in Britain. Yesterday he was before my eyes again, this time as the main celebrant at the solemn opening Mass for the Jesuit General Congregation at the Church of the Gesu in central Rome.This role might seem a little strange for a big solemn Jesuit occasion, but there is a centuries old tradition that when a...
Bishop Nicholas Hudson with Fr Preston and Fr Fletcher SJ, and Headmaster, Chris McGrath
Twelve former pupils from the Class of 1966 – including Bishop Nicholas Hudson of Westminster – joined current staff and pupils of Donhead Lodge Preparatory School in Wimbledon for the opening of a new building. They were welcomed by the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, and the Superior of the Loyola House Jesuit Community in Wimbledon, Fr Paul Fletcher SJ, at the dedication of the building to the Jesuit martyr, St Nicholas Owen.Donhead Lodge – the main feeder...
The logo of the 36th General Congregation
It was an exhortation of Pope Francis himself which inspired the logo for General Congregation 36 (GC 36). Speaking on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus on 27 September 2014, he referred to the passage from St Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus told his disciples to “Row out into the deep water” (Lk 5:4). The IHS monogram with the blue green waves, cross and flame for GC36 represent many of the challenges the Society – and the...
GC36 logo
Across the Jesuit world preparations are continuing for the 36th General Congregation (GC36) – the ultimate authority in the Society of Jesus.  GC36 will commence on 2nd October in Rome.  From the British province those attending will be Fr Provincial Dermot Preston SJ, and the Elector Fr Damian Howard SJ. Fr Damian was elected to represent the British Jesuits by a special province congregation last year.  Also travelling with them is Br Stephen Power SJ who was elected to...
Fr Dermot Preston SJ reflects on the place of the vows in the life of a Jesuit. He has worked as a Jesuit in Britain,  South Africa and Guyana and is now Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain.When I was a novice we used to recite this helpful little meditation:“Poverty – to be free, as He was freeChastity – to love generously, as He lovedObedience – to live a life of service, as He served.”As these words illustrate, the contours of the vows are not narrowly...
Statue by Kathe Kollwitz: parents in mourning
“God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,not holding people’s faults against them,and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.”2 Corinthians 5:19A century ago Europe was in the middle of one of the bloodiest wars in its history, with a line of trenches that ran from the English Channel to the border of Switzerland: that line was the ‘Western Front’ that marked out the edges of a conflict that scythed also across the northern, southern...
George C Scott as General Patton
Obscure half-forgotten films can sometimes be the source of rare gems of wisdom.One afternoon in the late 80’s, lazily watching afternoon TV instead of writing a theology essay, I became engrossed in a fine little TV movie called “The Last Days of Patton”. It was a sequel to the legendary film, “Patton” and also starred George C. Scott reprising the role of General George S. Patton which earned Scott an Oscar in the original 1970 movie.Patton was a remarkable leader of men; arrogant and half-...
crib with crocodile
It was childish, I know, but…Many moons ago I worked in an office where the construction of a small, simple crib, placed on a narrow mantle-piece, was one of the marks of the upcoming Christmas. It was a traditional scene – Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus etc… You can probably visualise the regular cast of characters.But somewhere in its journey this particular crib had become home to a small plastic crocodile. The Crocodile – a small toy – had its origins in some long-forgotten game or display,...
Dermot Preston SJ
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland held an Advent Vigil for Refugees on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at St Margaret’s Westminster.  The feast day also marks the beginning of the Year of Mercy.  Several  hundred people attended during the day for a vigil which included hymns, readings, prayers, testimonies and reflections.Fr Dermot Preston SJ, Jesuit Provincial, was one of the speakers invited to share reflections at the all- day event.  Fr Preston led a...
Dermot Preston SJ and Tim Byron SJ at the vigil at Westminster
Fourteen Jesuits and a number of co-workers joined nearly 900 people for the vigil for Syrian refugees held at Westminster Old Palace Yard on Tuesday evening to show solidarity with Syrian Refugees.  The vigil was organised by Citizens UK with whom our London parishes are affiliated.Senior faith and civic leaders led prayers and reflections.  As winter cold descends, the aim of the event was to remember the six Syrian children who froze to death last year in camps and to call on the...

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