Restricted Area: EJIF Openings
An Initiative in 1986
The initiative to organise the first meeting of European scholastics,
probably the first one in the history of Society of Jesus, was taken by
Jacques Haers, a then scholastic of the North Belgian Province. At his
invitation, 23 scholastics representing 25 European provinces gathered from
29th to 31st August 1986 in Heverlee, Belgium.
From that time onward European Jesuits in Formation (hence EJIF)
have had a similar meeting each year. The first official meeting as such was
organised in 1987 in Zenzenhof, Austria, at the initiative of Markus
Verscharen, delegate of the European Scholastics who had participated in their
first meeting in Heverelee. He got the support from the Chair of the
Conference of European Provincials at the time, Fr. Ignasi Salvat. On that
meeting, EJIF was officially born.
What is EJIF?
EJIF is a European Jesuit organisation in service of Jesuits who haven't
yet taken their last vows. Right from the beginning the aim of EJIF was to
foster feeling of unity among European Jesuits through exchange of experiences
of their religious life in their provinces. In that way it lays down the
fundaments of future collaboration of Jesuits on the European level. Three
members of Coordinating Committee, all Jesuits in formation, who are elected
to this duty each two years, administer it. EJIF is trying to encourage
Jesuits to give an answer to the omnipresent globalisation of the world by
accepting the fact of uniting. It is trying to revoke the very charismatic
face of St. Ignatius in European Jesuits of today so they can find the ways of
intercultural dialogue between Jesuit provinces. But EJIF is not primarily an
organisation. First of all EJIF is person.
Who is EJIF?
EJIF are all European Jesuits in formation, from novices to brothers and
young priests who haven't yet taken their last vows. Hence, the centre of EJIF
is not its Statute that makes its inner structure as an organisation. The
centre of EJIF is each Jesuit in formation. EJIF is, therefore, just a means
of helping young Jesuits to feel more like members of one Society of Jesus
they have entered joining a certain province.
EJIF has grown from that first meeting in Heverlee. Today it has its
Statute, its place among European Jesuit organisations, its information and
communication system by means of Web and e-mail, it has tradition of
organising Summer Meetings each year in different provinces of Europe and
about 500 Jesuits who have participated in these meetings in the past twenty
years. As long it has you, young Jesuits, it has also its future.
Coordinating Committee (CoCo):
After the 2012 summer meeting in Belgium, three new members have been appointed for the next year.
Szabolcs Fél (Hungarian province) - chairman
Artur Kania (Southern Polish Province) – logistics and communications
Antonio Bohórquez Colombo (Betica province) – treasurer
On the picture:
From the left:
Outgoing committee: Mikael Schink, Benoit Willemaers, Martin Benko;
Dermot O´Connor, John Dardis,
Incoming committee: Artur Cania, Antonio Bohórquez Colombo, Szabolcs Fél.