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

Personal growth

16 Jan 2021

As we all know, the personal development of an individual occurs throughout its entire life, with some moments more intense, faster and others slower. In the path of a Jesuit, we find the same pattern, but with a somewhat different order and determined by some decisions to be made.

When we talk about the path of a novice, the main decision is whether or not to make the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to follow the Lord on this path. If we think of these promises as life-long choices we can understand their seriousness. Like any other life choice, this one too requires maximum commitment and awareness given its importance and, to achieve them, a certain evolution is needed. In this sense, the journey of the novitiate offers the possibility of knowing the dimension of religious vows, which give rise to an entire journey of personal growth and maturation. This growth throughout the two years of the novitiate is marked by activities and opportune times that accompany the novice with Ignatian spirituality. The discovery and construction of human capital and its potential will then be verified and adapted to the choice made.

I find connected to these facts the affirmation of St. Ignatius which is used as the synthesis of the spiritual exercises: “For let each one think that a person will benefit himself in all spiritual things in proportion as he goes out of his self-love, will and interest” (ES 189). This emphasizes the importance of spiritual growth, closely associated with human growth, which is fundamental for the continuation of a path and for other further choices.

I feel grateful for this opportunity for such intense growth that was given to us in the novitiate. This is made possible thanks to the experienced people in accompaniment and to a project with activities and times that allow this.

2021-01-16 Raul Ciocani – second-year novice.

Once upon a time there was a Neapolitan in Milan…

by Pasquale Landolfi

It might sound like the beginning of a joke, but it is the account of my latest experiment in the novitiate. I was sent for Lent to Milan, a city that has always exercised mixed feelings. A beautiful, rich, exciting experience, in which, living in the community of Villapizzone, I verify the desires that have matured so far. The community is welcoming. I find men who make their lives as religious truly captivating, sharing their daily lives with families and young people on the road, under the banner of the Word of God.

But the most beautiful surprise was when I was told that I would be spending the Easter week in Selva di Val Gardena. It is one of the places of my heart, where I met the Jesuits for the first time and attended one of the summer courses for young people.

The mountains are still snowy, but the sun blesses the peaks with light every day. Surrounded by that atmosphere, I feel in harmony with creation. Then, what I never expected happens.

The parish of Selva is busy throughout the triduum. Young people, teens, children, families. One of the voices we hear most often these days is the gradual turning away from the faith. This is not what I experience. Easter lived in this atmosphere becomes a resurrection experience. Each celebration is accompanied by the songs of the various parish choirs. From their voices, from all over the valley, a voice rises up that increases in me confidence and hope.

A truly unexpected gift.

2021-04-24 Pasquale Landolfi – second year novice

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