Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
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https://www.ncchurches.org/tag/worship/

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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

Putting the fragments back together

by Pasquale Landolfi

“L’elogio della lentezza” (The praise of slowness) is the captivating title of a book that I always wanted to read and that exalts a lifestyle similar to the first month of the Novitiate.

The days here run slowly despite the many occupations marked by the deep chimes of silence and you have the opportunity to enjoy those little pleasures otherwise alien: a relaxed look at the Gulf of Genoa, a calm game of soccer, browsing through a book, a bit random, partly for curiosity. And the inner quiet is the absolute novelty compared to the previous life characterized by the daily doings that leave no room for breaks and reflections. However, silence is fundamental to shed light on the fragments that enrich a day: community life, apostolate, prayer, study.

In fact, before lunch and after dinner we are all called to live moments of personal re-reading in which, thanking for what we have received, we try to gather the many memories towards a single center. Each of us leaves behind important stories, affections, studies, works, habits and awareness that in the rereading assume colors and flavors absolutely new.

While I write this the words that I treasure from the end of Petrarch’s Secretum come to my mind: “I will collect the scattered fragments of the soul and I will watch diligently over myself”; so we too do a little work of reconstruction of ourselves and personally I feel much wonder in being able to bring everything back to the unity that is Jesus Christ. Living and offering daily life, even what might seem more banal or superficial, is precisely the first great challenge I am called upon to face as a novice.

Pasquale Landolfi, novice of the first year

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