GESUITI noviziato
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus


A hundred times as much

19 Jun 2018

During the novitiate it often happens that you feel you are living firsthand what is recounted in the Gospels. To really adhere to the good news, to internalize it, you have to experience it. Not by chance did Jesus, to those who asked him: “where do you live?”, reply: “come and see”.

Those who embrace religious life know well that they will have to rethink their relationship with their family of origin. Opportunities to share time with close relatives and friends will be reduced down to the bone. As is natural, each of us lives this aspect of our choice as a renunciation. In the Gospel Peter gives voice to this difficulty: “Behold, we have left everything and followed you”. At this point the Lord reassures the disciples that the abandonment of the places of everyday life and of the most loved ones, will not result in a life without affections. On the contrary, they will witness the multiplication of relationships of love and friendship.

I experienced this from the first months of novitiate and did not take long to perceive Villa S. Ignazio as my home and the novitiate community as a family. Recently, during a one-month service experience at the Cottolengo in Turin, I, Nicola and Ale were hosted in the guesthouse of the structure where a community of eight university students lives. Almost immediately, the boys warmly welcomed us into the group, offering us their friendship and helping us out in every way. They offered to drive us to the Sacra di San Michele and the Basilica di Superga. They took us to some of the most beautiful places in the city. With them we watched films, played football, had profound and interesting conversations, lived hilarious situations.

It is true that there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields because of Jesus and because of the Gospel, which does not already receive, now, a hundred times as much.

We continue the journey waiting for persecutions and eternal life!

Unity in diversity

by Raul Petru Ciocani

Beginning with the phrase „unity in diversity”, with which I want to intitle this article, I would like to describe our daily life here, at „Villa San Ignazio” in Genova.

It may seem impossible that people from so different cultural backgrounds might have a common horizon. We come from six different cultures: Italians, Hungarians, Danes, Malteez, Romanians and together we have a common purpose: to know Him and to live together with the Savior. He is our common horizon, who is the center that determines the balance in our community, whose coming on earth we will celebrate soon, when it is Christmas.

The novitiate is a time when we can get to know each other, observe the values ​​that each person has received from the good Lord, put them together to form a community and at the same time get to know ourselves, working on our spiritual and cultural growth and listen to the voice of the Creator who invited each of us to that. Our day begins with the community liturgy preceded by a moment of personal prayer, but of course accompanied by others daily community prayers. Studies are not missing in our novitiate life and are one of the tools that will always be helpful in the commitments that we will then take and which are not missing from the life of a Jesuit. All these are accompanied by moments of entertainment, moments spent together as sports, movie evenings, games and one special day called „giovedì di villa” which is dedicated especially to visiting different places of the city and its surroundings, or to mountain walks or even a relaxing day on the beach when time permits. It is also worth mentioning that we are very connected with the life of people around us, especially the young people, so that each of us works in a diverse group such as MEG, SCOUTS, parish groups or others, doing an apostolate activity.

Jesus being the pole that offers the balance and whose greatness encompasses all the diversity generates the unity betwen us. With this confidence that he is in our midst, we continue to move on.


Raul P. Ciocani, novice of the first year


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