Fr Petr points out that this situation does not
prevent the Jesuits of the BOH Province from proudly celebrating their 400th
anniversary. They do so with some certain humility, of course, considering the
small number of Jesuits present in only five localities. Pastoral services are
offered in parishes or at shrines in the three towns and two rural areas served
by the Jesuits. In the three urban areas, which are university towns, the main
focus is on serving young people, particularly students, from the Society’s
parishes. This work is carried out in close collaboration with the Catholic
University Movement, a lay association of Catholic students.
This primary apostolic commitment of the Jesuits is
evident in the time Father General will spend visiting parishes and university
chaplaincies. In an effort to be present to young people, Father Sosa will also
visit a secondary school in Děčin. It is a “Nativity-type” school, with a
programme especially designed to support young people from disadvantaged
backgrounds. With regard to the social apostolate, it is also worth mentioning
the warm welcome given to the Ukrainian mothers and their children who had to
flee from the Russian aggression in their country.
The formation of Czech Jesuits takes place mainly
outside the country, except for their regency (the apostolic stage between two
study programmes). In this way the young Jesuits get to know the Society of
Jesus in other countries, spending their novitiate in Great Britain and doing
their philosophy and theology studies in Poland, France, Italy, Spain or the
United States. The Province recently welcomed the ordination of four companions
to the priesthood. This strengthens its ability to accompany young people and
Finally, the socius
comments that the provincial leadership team is aware of the challenges ahead.
Above all, they are looking for effective ways to develop apostolic activity
beyond the confines of the Society’s churches or parishes. In the social and religious
context of the Czech Republic, the Jesuits want to have other types of presence
that would help them spread Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises
more widely, even if the Province does not have its own spirituality centres.
Over the next few days, you can follow Fr Arturo Sosa on his journey through the
Province of Bohemia and learn a lot about the Society’s commitments in this
part of Central Europe. Stay tuned!
[Photos by František Ingr - Člověk a víra Association]