The visit of the tertians to Belfast involved meeting with Jesuits working in Northern Ireland and in taking some time in the city. The tours of the Shankhill and Falls Road areas are guided by people from the local communities, sometimes by former paramilitaries. Three levels of impenetrability made it difficult for some of the tertians to understand what was being presented; Irish history – always a complex subject – was not made easier by strong Belfast accents and rapid-fire English. It was interesting to see how Celtic myths had been reworked to validate history on the gables in the Shankill and how recent history, as presented along the Falls Road, moves steadily towards the realm of myth. The Titanic exhibition in the dramatic new building was fascinating in its presentation. There was some discussion of how it was able to submerge the personal suffering and loss of life by focusing instead on the context of the ship’s building in Belfast. Saturday allowed time for the journey home by direct or circuitous routes, with different groups taking in scenic and historical places.
Friday’s two sessions were collaboratively presented by David Ford and Micheál Ó Siadhail. The theologian and poet have been friends since meeting in Trinity College And have remained in close contact since. Their presentation evidenced an interplay of inspirations and demonstrated our friendship affirms, challenges and enables the expression of truth. They began by highlighting the importance of gratitude, indicating the influence of teachers and mentors and then went on to consider how friendship enriches life.
Scriptural Reasoning, talking about his engagement with this emerging discipline.
The tertians resumed life in Dublin during Easter week. There were many stories to tell as the twelve returned from the various assignments with which they had been occupied since January. Time was taken during the week to reflect on these experiences as each person described how his expectations and hopes had been realised and offered an insight into his personal reactions. The comparisons and contrasts helped the tertians to recognise how the Spiritual Exercises are lived out in diverse situations.
- Alban Massie stayed at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem and worked at the Hôpital Saint Louis.
- Andrzej Batorski spent his experiment in Rome with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Centro Astalli.
- Brendan McManus was in Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, MA, where he assisted in the directing of retreats.
- Danang Bramasti and Pavel Bačo stayed at the Jesuit community in Edinburgh and worked in the project for the homeless run by the Sisters of Mercy.
- Earl Barredo lived in Hull where he was engaged with the Apostleship of the Sea.
- Fortunatus Parwoto lived and worked in Corrymeela in County Antrim, helping with the work of the Reconciliation Centre.
- Gabriel Pigache went to Algiers where he was involved with the Ciara project.
- Jarosław Paszyński lived with the Missionaries of Charity in Spitak, Armenia, working in an orphanage and in the locality.
- Lourenço Eiró spent the time of the experiment in pastoral work in Saint Bridgid’s Parish, Belfast.
- Piaras Jackson lived at the Saint Aloysius Jesuit Community in Malta while working with Jesuit Refugee Service there.
- Róbert Gočala lived and worked at the Legion of Mary’s Morning Star Hostel in Dublin.
Every Tertian has had a range of pastoral experiences during his earlier Jesuit formation. Tertianship allows further exploration of his adaptability and aptitude for different kinds of work. This help him to test his apostolic availability, the better to know how he might offer the fullest service to the Lord.
The Tertians left Dublin during this week for their placements – “Experiments” – and are now settling in to different surroundings in Israel, Armenia, Italy, Malta, England, Scotland, Algeria, the United States and Ireland. They will work in different settings ranging from interreligious dialogue, pastoral care, directing retreats, chaplaincy, and assisting people who are sick, seeking asylum, homeless or migrants.
The map shows the places the Tertians come from (upper rows) and the places to which they have been sent (lower group of 11 locations).