A relevant aspect of the proposals in the spiritual field is the participation to the Ignatian spirituality groups and movements. Connected to the Company of Jesus with which they share the spirituality and mission, there are indeed 3 lay “movements” composed by young people and children:
- the Eucharistic Youth Movement (M.E.G.)
- the Communities of Christian life (C.V.X.)
- the Missionary League Students (L.M.S.)
Below, the individual movements are summarized but more in detail.
The M.E.G. (Eucharistic Youth Movement)
The MEG by its nature is a place freely chosen by the person and contributes to bringing the path of formation that begins in the school desks to its fullest extent. As a movement, it educates the kid to become a “Eucharistic” person and to make their life a continuous thanksgiving. It combines very well personal formation (especially friendship with Jesus, learning His way of proceeding, sobriety of life), education to live authentic relationships through the community dimension, openness to the world through insertion in the national and supranational context, the gradual assumption of responsibility, openness to others, especially to the poorest.
In the MEG we try to fully involve the young person, with all their fundamental components, so that they can read reality through a triple approach: knowing, living and celebrating. Each theme, to which a dynamic is connected, is presented so that it can be known, with the acquisition and processing of the elements and information that define a thought or a set of facts and that allow us to grasp the meaning, referring mainly to to Sacred Scripture. In the moment of life, we try to make the children do direct and personal, but also community, of what they have known, through practical application and existential verification. Finally, in the moment of celebrating, what has been understood and lived is exalted and manifested with signs of celebration, in the group, in the community and in the Church.
The MEG divides its proposal into a three-year cycle which is divided into 3 guiding words: Word, Eucharist and Mission. These are accompanied by a fourth, the Community, which, while not appearing in the three-year cycle, completes and completes it. To the guiding word that marks each year, another is always associated which indicates the cut, the key to understanding with which to approach the theme: the specific attitude on which, in that year, the attention and community commitment are focused.
In Palermo, the MEG is present at the Gonzaga, and is also addressed to all the children who in any way can learn about it. Also here it is divided into its traditional 4 branches:
- Emmaus Groups (GE): proposed to the primary school kids.
- New Guys (Ragazzi Nuovi, RN): proposed to the 11-13 years old kids of the middle school.
- Community 14 (C14): proposed to the 13-18 years old kids of the high school, divided also in C14 junior (first two years) and C14 senior (second two years).
- Pre-witnesses (Pre-T): proposed to the 18-22 years old young adults who attend the last year of high school or the university.
The Gonzaga MEG Community has the grace of being accompanied by some Jesuits who are also present in the School. Furthermore, each branch has some responsible-educators who, coordinated by the contact person of the Community, act as spiritual animators in the various branches. There are many community meetings at different levels that in an informal way (Sunday Eucharist at
Gonzaga, excursions, moments of prayer, formation, celebration, service to the needy, etc.) or in a more solemn way(branch passages, Eucharistic celebration of beginning and end of the year) are held every year in order to allow children to be accompanied in the best possible way; to be able to live meaningful fraternal experiences both inside the community (Eucharistic celebrations, spiritual and formative retreats, other opportunities for formation and updating all offered by the School) and external to it, that is of mission (for some years in different ways, also with real visits, we take care of relations with the brothers of the Ucciardone, with the elders of the various communities present within our Parish of S. Michele Arcangelo, with the service field in S. Fratello (ME) with Fr Mauro Billetta OFM Cap. And the children, teenagers, parents, volunteers and operators of the Parish of S. Agnese in piazza Danisinni).
Twice a year there is also the Regional Day / MEG-Day, which allows all the young people of the MEG of Sicily and Calabria to meet, deepen the dimension of friendship, celebration and joyful celebration of faith. Again, once a year all the young people of the MEG of Italy are invited to participate in the National Convention in Frascati (RM), where we meet, celebrate and experience a privileged relationship with the Lord and with others.
L.M.S. (Missionary League Students)
The MISSIONARY LEAGUE STUDENTS (LMS) is a youth movement of Christian commitment for the development and respect of cultures. Since 2010 it has been the youth section of the CLC – Community of Christian Life, and as such is committed to promoting the participation of young people in formative and service experiences. The Palermo Community of the LMS, mostly made up of pupils and alumni of the Gonzaga Institute, already active for some years, has made a strategic choice for the next few years to intensify fund-raising and the direct involvement of volunteers in reality with which it works through twinning and summer camps: Peru, Romania, Kenya, Cuba. This decision stems from the desire to move as a united and compact group in service, favoring the exchange of lived experiences, with a view to ever deeper sharing.
Among the missionary activities of the Palermo’s LMS Community:
- Organization of fundraising events for the Missionary Camps mentioned above;
- Active participation in twinning and camps with the realities of Peru, Romania and Kenya;
- Direct support to realities active in the territory of Palermo in the field of social service and volunteering, with particular attention to the Astalli Center and the reception and assistance of migrant
Alongside these, the community lives a path of spiritual growth, which provides time for personal reflection and sharing, on a weekly basis. The issues addressed are related to the relationship with oneself, with others and with God, and to the social and human challenges of our time.
For more info: https://cvxlms.it/
C.V.X. (Community of Christian Life)
The Community of Christian Life (known in the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Jesuits as CVX-LMS after the “merger” with the Missionary Student League) was born in Rome, in the Jesuit Roman College, in 1563 by the Belgian Jesuit Fr. Jean Leunis and a young group of students from the aforementioned College with the name of the Marian Congregation. Today, after the Update of the Second Vatican Council and the choice made in 1967 by the fourth World Assembly of the
Association to give a new name and beginning, the CLC is an international association of the faithful. These are men and women, adults and young people, of all social conditions, who wish to follow Christ more closely and work with him for the construction of the Kingdom (of Heaven). The members are part of small groups, which are part of communities organized at local, regional / zonal and national levels, all together forming ONE WORLD COMMUNITY. CLC is present on all five continents, in more than sixty countries. The CLC charism and spirituality are Ignatian. Thus, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are both the specific source of our charism and the characteristic instrument of the CLC spirituality. The path of the Christian Life Community is shaped by the characteristics of Ignatian Christology: austere and simple, in solidarity with the poor and marginalized / outcast of society which integrates contemplation and action, in all things living a life of love and service to the inside the Church, always with a spirit of discernment (Cf. website of the world CLC). There is a Latin word, “magis” (which means “better”): it is the key to understanding the meaning of the Christian Life Community. It is about not being satisfied with something, but seeking the best in everything we do for the Lord.
In Palermo, the CVX meets in the premises of the Gonzaga Institute. The current assistant is Fr. Francesco Tata S.I., the coordinator is Alessandra Perricone; the delegate to the National Executive of the CVX-LMS of Palermo is Patrizia Giordano.
Among the missionary activities of the LMS in Palermo:
- Organization of fundraising events for the Missionary Camps mentioned above;
- Active participation in twinning and camps with the realities of Peru, Romania and Kenya;
- Direct support to realities active in the territory of Palermo in the field of social service and volunteering, with particular attention to the Astalli Center and the reception and assistance of migrants
For more info contact:
Alessandra Perricone (Coordinator) 3473114234, email@example.com
The Catholic School Parents Association is a Social Promotion Association, recognized by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) and by the Ministry of Education. The A.Ge.S.C. is a “tool” that the parents of the Catholic Schools have given themselves to help each other deepen their relations with the school, with the Catholic religion and with civil society. The areas of the A.Ge.S.C. are: to
facilitate and make easier the relations between parents and the school from a community perspective; create moments of aggregation, bringing families closer to school ministry; develop community initiatives, with particular reference to adults; promote a close link between the different school districts; facilitate relations with civil society for greater dialogue on issues such as school equality and greater protection of fragile pupils. For information and contacts: Giuseppe Mannino (president), cell. 3477547387; mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spiritual Exercises in Ordinary Life, according to the itinerary of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, provided in the booklet of his Spiritual Exercises. Two or three groups are formed annually, depending on the requests. Each group is made up of about 10/15 people, who want to deepen their journey of faith. So far, the turnout has been good, as has the participation. The AGEVO cards are used. Three days of retreat are organized each year. Each group is followed by two chaperones, who are: Angela Caruso, Paolino Gervasi, Patrizia Rizzuto, Lillo Barberi, Livia Tranchina and Pietro Costamante. Coordinator of the guides is Father Francesco Tata S.I.
The IGP group was born within the Gonzaga community from the inspiration of some mothers who strongly believe in the power of common prayer and wish to deepen their knowledge and friendship with the Lord. We are motivated by the profound conviction that it is easier to take this journey accompanied by the loving guide and example of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother. For this reason, the recitation of the Rosary with the contemplation of the Mysteries of the life of Christ, and the meditation of the Sunday Gospel, constitute the fulcrum of our prayer. We meet every Tuesday at 6.45 pm in the Chapel of St. Joseph. In spring, already twice, led by Fr. Eraldo Cacchione S.I., many of us went to Medjugorje for an even deeper experience of fraternal spiritual communion. To participate in our group it is enough simply, when you can and you want, to join the Tuesday prayer. It is not necessary to be “of the Gonzaga”, it is not necessary to be a “parent”. The Group remained constant in prayer even during the period of the lockdown; in recent months the prayer meetings have always been held online on Tuesdays through the Google Meet platform.
For information and contacts: Marika Alonzo (manager), cell. 3348585472; mail: email@example.com.
The Gonzaga-CEI Alumni Association was established on the initiative of young alumni of the Institute in 1945, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Gonzaga College of the Jesuit Fathers. The associative spirit that has always united and still unites the alumni members of the relative association has always been characterized by the pursuit and implementation in the context of daily life of the Ignatian-inspired teachings received during the period of schooling. Over the years, thanks to the numerous social and cultural initiatives undertaken, the Association has become an integral and active part of the Palermo community.
The Alumni Association
The Astalli Center: To meet the need for social integration of migrants, the Center also offers second reception services, starting with the teaching of the Italian language at the Gonzaga Institute on three levels and with numerous other activities that aim to to create opportunities or meeting places between the cultures present in the territory, such as language laboratory, road education, computer laboratory.
The Pedro Arrupe Institute for Political Formation: The Center for Social Studies is a Jesuit institution founded in 1986 with the aim of training men and women who, feeling the vocation to commit themselves to the common good, wish to combine ethical rigor and seriousness professional preparation. Currently, the Arrupe Institute works in the following areas: training, research, social action. In particular, it promotes the research program “Idea – Action: urban leader. Govern the cities: understanding the future, starting from the margins “, conceived to support research projects on social and human sciences that deal with social issues from a strictly theoretical / scientific point of view and at the same time able to indicate mechanisms and operational tools to promote the practical implementation of the projects themselves. Furthermore, for years the Institute has been the promoter of political training workshops for creative citizenship: from some suburbs and from the historic center of Palermo, training initiatives have been created for young people and inhabitants who have valued the sense of identity and identity among the participants. belonging to the territorial community. The Arrupe Institute has for some years started a collaboration with the Gonzaga Institute through the “legality” and “school-work alternation” projects entitled “Pilgrims on the edge of the city”; these projects promote the social integration of the most vulnerable people by creating an intergenerational exchange and an action of social solidarity. With a view to peer education, significant meeting spaces have been created for young people from the Gonzaga and intercultural centers for minors. A particularly important resource of the Institute is the “P. Angelo
Carrara sj “; with over 52,000 volumes, with the possibility of online access, it offers a qualified service to the entire scientific community of Palermo and Sicily. Among the initiatives, the Migration Observatory was born from the desire to analyze the migratory phenomenon and its specificity in the Sicilian territory. In synergy with the actors present in the local context, the Observatory carries out analysis, research, documentation and promotion activities. Over the years, the Institute has gained diversified experience in the European planning sector, conceiving and developing interventions on the territory also in collaboration with other Bodies. The members of the Arrupe Center: Nicoletta PURPURA (Director), Massimo MASSARO (Secretary General), Anna STAROPOLI (Sociologist) Dario CANGELOSI (Projects), Elio TOZZI (Researcher) Giusy TUMMINELLI (Migration Observatory Coordinator).
The “Staff” group was born from an intuition of Father Eraldo Cacchione SJ: a team of high school students who meet weekly with a Jesuit to reflect on some issues close to their age:
- student leadership: being active in the school environment;
- service in the school environment: study aid for the most vulnerable children; collaborations with professors, etc …
- social commitment: volunteering in social structures.
During the evening meetings we discuss the school climate: strengths and weaknesses, looking for ways to improve the atmosphere on the Gonzaga campus.
For more information, contact Prof. Angelica Sgarlata: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A group of high school kids meet for about an hour every Wednesday. In the spirit of open and free “sharing”, but also reserved and responsible, guided by a Jesuit father, the children are helped to reflect on themselves: on their choices, on their availability to serve, on the responsibilities undertaken … But also to read the context socio-historical in which they are inserted. A valuable aid is the use of the Examen, which supports and facilitates children in knowing themselves.
In the face of so much depth and seriousness, there is also an appetizing moment of sharing: after the meetings we meet to eat a delicious pizza together.
For more information, contact Professor Angelica Sgarlata: email@example.com.