The Superior, Benoit Malvaux, pointed this out in one of his e-mails to the members of the Curia community: the period of confinement, despite its disadvantages, will undoubtedly have been favourable to the life of the community. During “normal times” many of the Jesuits of the Curia travel as part of their mission, 45 of the 50 members of the community have not left the building in almost two months. The other five were “trapped” in the country where they were at the time of the closure of the borders and were unable to return to Rome.
This intensive community time allowed many to share their gifts, their knowledge, their hobbies and to offer activities that would be called “extracurricular” if this was a school! These activities were optional, of course, offered in the evenings or on weekends, to a limited number of participants at a time, to observe social distancing.
Music had its place: Theo Overberg, treasurer of the DIR (the Interprovincial Houses of Rome), gave a clarinet concert; David Holdcroft of JRS performed a piano recital. Others took care of the liturgical music during the celebrations, especially Vernon D’Cunha, Assistant to Father General for South Asia, also Cipriano Díaz, Assistant for Southern Europe, and Pierre Bélanger, journalist in the communications team. The Secretary of the Society of Jesus, Antoine Kerhuel, drew on his collection of international films to offer screenings on Sunday afternoon. This was in addition to the tradition of Friday night films, which, during these weeks, allowed Raúl González, Administrative Director of the Historical Archives and the Peter-Hans Kolvenbach Library, to showcase the works of major Italian filmmakers.