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Ecojesuit in Europe: Thinking new-big in an old-big continent (with video)

26 November 2019
The Ecojesuit friends in Europe gathered for a few days in May 2019 at the Campus de la Transition in Forges (Seine-et-Marne), France. Photo credit: M Alvim

The Ecojesuit friends in Europe gathered for a few days in May 2019 at the Campus de la Transition in Forges (Seine-et-Marne), France. Photo credit: M Alvim

Edmond Grace SJ

There’s a group of people in Europe who are catching the Ecojesuit bug, which means they want to think and live big, but it’s not the kind of big which was big in the past.

Old-big was about getting more for yourself – and no one else. When it comes to the selfish ways of old-big, small is truly beautiful, but new-big has a beauty all its own. It’s about big vision and about sharing our one big beautiful home.

It’s about being the European part of Ecojesuit, a global network of Jesuits and their partners in mission to understand and share in the work of caring for our common home and wherein Europe has both things to understand and to share.

The Society of Jesus, in some ways, is old-big with lots of big properties and big names. Old-big is all about boasting, but the Jesuit story, at its best, is about our one big home with no walls – new-big. The Ecojesuit bug is about care for our common home, sought in solidarity with others who are part of the Jesuit story.

Pedro’s hut with no walls in Bendum in Mindanao, Philippines.

Pedro’s hut with no walls in Bendum in Mindanao, Philippines.

On the Philippine island of Mindanao, Pedro Walpole SJ, Mr Ecojesuit himself, lives in a small hut with two floors, one roof and no walls, see for yourself. It stretches to the horizon. He, along with his friends on different continents, remind us of a big world beyond Europe.

Pedro is tasked to spread the Ecojesuit bug far and wide and Pedro is now pestering people in Europe which has left its mark in many parts of the world and there are lots of links between Europe and the rest of the world. We Europeans may not see them all, but there are those in other parts who want to help us.

Because of Pedro’s pestering, Bela, Ciara Eddy, Jacques, Margarida, and Xavier are calling out for friends in Europe in this brief video narrative.

  • Bela Kuslits is a sustainability and social policy issues expert from Budapest, Hungary.
  • Ciara Murphy is the environmental policy advocate at the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in Dublin, Ireland.
  • Eddy Bermingham SJ is the co-creator of the MA program in Theology, Ecology and Ethics with the Jesuits in Britain and delivered at the London Jesuit Centre at Mount Street since September 2019 with a University of Roehampton degree.
  • Jacques St Laurent SJ is a British Province scholastic, studying Philosophy at Centre Sèvres in Paris, France.
  • Margarida Alvim is the co-founder of Casa Velha, a family home transformed into an Ecology and Spirituality Center in Ourém, Portugal.
  • Xavier de Bénazé SJ is an agronomist and resident-member of Campus de la Transition in Forges (Seine-et-Marne), France, participating in the daily life of the place and working on the bio-regional economy with the community.
  • They are all interested in forming Ecojesuit Europe. They will be in contact, will communicate, will meet and pray and be open to the Spirit.

    2019_11_26_Reflection_Photo2This story is drawn from Jesuits in Europe news article by Edmond Grace SJ, who is the Secretary for Ecology at JESC. As further food for thought, he also shares these questions:

  • Are you part of the Jesuit story which is spilling beyond the Society of Jesus?
  • Do you want to think and live big in caring for our common home?
  • Do you want to start a conversation with others like yourself around Europe?
  • Do you believe the Holy Spirit might surprise you in this conversation?
  • If your answer to all the above questions is Yes, please contact Edmond through his email [email protected] with the subject heading ‘Think big in Europe.’ He would like to hear of how you caught the Ecojesuit bug (maximum 2,000 characters).

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