Welcome to the site of Secis

 which, with its several partners and members located in several european countries, drives and supports the duty of the pastoral of churches in Europe for international students.

It’s our pleasure to support different cultures and religions of the world.

   

affiliated countries

England/Wales (CCUR)

Belgium (Fenaca)

Netherlands (ISC)

Germany (KAAD and EKD)

Switzerland (Oeuvre St-Justin)

Autria (AAI Salzburg)

Luxemburg (LISEL)

Spain (UCP)

Portugal (SSEU)

participating countries

France

Italy

Poland

Who are we?

Download SECIS presentation document

The Service of the European Churches for International Students (SECIS)

brings together institutions that perform activities of benefit to international students (welcoming, pastoral guidance, education, running of students’ residences, scholarships/grants, assistance in reintegration). It was founded in 1999 on an initiative of the Vatican aimed at co-ordinating the various projects of the Catholic Church in this field and strengthening its presence in the international sector of European universities.

The present-day context: internationalisation and “lifelong learning”

The internationalisation of higher education is already a fact of life, especially for the industrialised countries: ca. 3.3 million international students on the world level, the majority of whom are from the countries of the South. The movement finds expression in increasing student and researcher mobility and intensification of virtual scientific networks.
At the same time, the university is undergoing a profound transformation through the introduction of the concept of “lifelong learning”. This trend calls into question the traditional values of education and even the image of man.

Opportunities and challenges presented by current trends

For the Catholic Church, which regards itself as a World Church and “Communio” at world level, the internationalisation of the universities offers both opportunities and challenges. This intensification of relations between nations is essential to the creation and development of a genuine society on the world plane, since it promotes international understanding and solidarity in the view of a more peaceful world.
This is also the reason for the Church’s preoccupations in the face of all the attempts at instrumentalization of international mobility for short-term economic and political purposes, especially where they affect the development of the poorer countries.
Similarly, the Church is very careful about ensuring that the reception accorded to students and researchers, particularly those from the countries of the South, pays due respect to their personality from the point of view of its cultural and religious integrity.

A special focus of the Church: the spiritual dimension

Where the Church is concerned, the international sector of higher education is an essential and priority area of the pastoral care which it offers in the universities. The intake of international students and researchers is an exceptional opportunity to strengthen the links between the churches, and in particular between those of the North and those of the Southern Hemisphere and Eastern Europe.
The Church’s pastoral guidance is concerned especially with the difficult phases of integration and of preparation for return (reintegration). By putting the intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the centre of its pastoral care, the Church can render a significant service to the world of science and education. In this way it imparts a spiritual dimension to relations resulting from greater student mobility and the growing internationalisation of the universities.

Board:

Chairman:
Prof. Dr. Pierre Devos SJ, Namur
(pierre.devos(at)fundp.ac(dot)be)

 

Vice-Chairmen:
F. Dr. A. Kunnekaddan, Den Haag
(ispavin(at)gmail(dot)com)

Dr. Hermann Weber, Bonn
(weber(at)kaad(dot)de)

Marco Cattaneo, Fribourg, Treasurer
(mc(at)justinus(dot)ch)

Board

  • Invitation to SECIS Encounter July 2019 

    Invitation Letter to SECIS Encounter July 2019

    B-1050 Brussel , Belgium

    Namur, 28th March 2019

     

    FIRST ANNOUCEMENT OF THE ANNUAL ENCOUNTER & GENERAL ASSEMBLY of SECIS
    Topic: “International Students as part of the European Project”
    Dear friends, dear members,
    I am happy to invite all of you to the Annual Encounter & General Assembly of SECIS 2019 which will take place in Namur from Thursday 4th July until Saturday 6th July.
    SECIS (Service of European Churches for International Students) is a network offering to those directly concerned with international students in each European country the possibility to exchange with their colleagues of others European countries good practice in the pastoral and spiritual care of international students. This is presently realized via an annual meeting in one of the members’ countries.
    The purpose of SECIS is not to interfere with the local actions but to afford a supra-national value: « acting locally, thinking internationally ». The first step is the local step. The international step is the result of exchanges starting from the local reality.

     

    Program
    Thursday 4th July
    16h Arrival of participants
    18h Welcome and presentation of the topic
    20h Dinner and discovery of Namur
    Friday 5th July
    08h30 Departure for Brussels
    10h30 - 12h30 Meeting with a member of the European Commission
    13h00 Lunch nearby
    15h00 visit of COMECE (Catholic Church in the European Union)
    17h00 Meeting and Celebration of the Eucharist at the Chapel of Europe
    19h00 Back to Namur
    21h00 Dinner
    Saturday 6th July
    9h30 until 12h00 General Assembly of SECIS (new board and future)
    12h00 Lunch and departure
    Registration on line
    To participate to the meeting, please fill up the registration form on line at
    https://jornadasconferenciaepiscopal.es/SECIS before the 14th May. On the basis of
    your payment, you will receive confirmation of your registration.
    For the members of SECIS, your subscription 2019 is intended to pay the cost of
    accommodation and meals; only the travel is therefore at your own expense.
    For the non-members, the cost of registration plus accommodation is 150 euros; the
    cost of registration plus meals solely (without accommodation) is 50 euros.
    Something very important: a photocopy of your passport or identity card is requested
    at the time of your registration because we have to provide the commission in advance
    with the list of participants to enter the buildings of the commission.
    You will receive later more information concerning your arrival in Namur and the
    program.
    Looking forward seeing you!
    Sincerely yours,
    Pierre Devos, chairman

  • Report SECIS Annual Assembly Madrid 2018 

    Report 
    SECIS
    Annual Assembly Madrid 2018

     

    SECIS Annual Encounter– 7-9 June 2018 in Madrid

     

    Delegates

    Monika Kalista (Austria), Pierre Devos(Belgium),  Roberta Canning (England and Wales),  Hermann Weber and  Matthias Haas (Germany),  Manon Mariniere (IFCU),   Sarune Daugerdaite (Lithuania), Edith Weber-Sinner (Luxembourg),  Eduardo Duque (Portugal).

    From Spain: David Sanchez Ramos, Maria Luisa Mesina, Eduardo Martin Ruano, Maitane Campos Sainz, Isabel Macarro Vera, Julia Puya Cabezas, Golda Torentera, Lucia cabiedas Perea, Raquel Pérez Sanjuan

     

    Thursday: Raquel welcomed all to Madrid and to the residence.

     

    Pierre Devos expressed our thanks to Raquel for hosting the Assembly and all her work organising our days in Madrid. He then circulated a paper about SECIS and explained SECIS and how it came into existence with the encouragement of the Office for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

     

    Roberta Canning reported on pastoral care for international students in the context of Catholic university chaplaincy and the relationship between universities and chaplaincy (Paper attached).

     

    Edith Weber-Sinner explained the ministry of LISEL and their houses for students. She described trips and intergenerational houses with community living. Edith circulated LISEL material.

     

    We celebrated Mass in the chapel.

     

    Friday:

    The group visited “Fundacion San Pablo CEU”

    This is a private university welcoming many international students. There were presentations about how they try to prepare the students, how they welcome them and try to support them through their studies. Many are studying in English; they may have little Spanish and so limited opportunity to experience Spanish culture. They acknowledged problems bringing large numbers from one country – an example is Dentistry students from Taiwan.

     

    Hermann Weber then presented on the KAAD scholarship programme and pastoral support for international students at German universities (Paper attached).

     

    The group then went to Colegio Mayor Padre Poveda. There was a presentation about how Colegio Mayor support students.  They have a programme of dvds about faith and social issues and weekly discussions; all residents volunteer in projects and can volunteer abroad. There is a programme of preparation before volunteering. Every resident has a personal tutor.

     

     Monika Kalista gave a presentation about the Afro-Asian Institut in Salzburg (Paper attached).

     

    We celebrated Mass at Colegio Mayor Padre Poveda and lunched there.

     

    Raquel had organised a walking tour, a visit to a dance festival and tapas.

     

    Saturday:

    SECIS Assembly

    Present: Pierre Devos, Hermann Weber, Edith Weber-Sinner, Raquel Pérez Sanjuan, Eduardo Duque, Sarune Daugerdaitè, Roberta Canning, Maria Luisa Mesina and Matthias Haas. 

     

    Pierre explained that the board had prepared the assembly with Raquel. He thanked her for our very productive and informative meetings.

     

    He presented the report from the 2017 assembly in Paris.

    A decision on the future of SECIS had been postponed to 2018.

     

    Hermann explained the position of SECIS on the Pastoral Care Guidelines.  There is no progress at present because of the reorganisation in Rome. Robinson has returned to Sri Lanka.

     

    The accounts were presented and approved.

     

    There was a long discussion on whether to remain an association established under Belgian Law. It was agreed more may be lost than gained by dissolution.

    Raquel knows a Belgian member of the Teresian Lay Association who lives in Brussels and may be willing to come onto the Board.

    It was agreed that Pierre, Hermann, Edith and Raquel will continue on the Board with Jean Charles Caloen as treasurer.

     

    Raquel will meet with Pierre and her contact before the next meeting of the board (1-2 February 2019).

     

    Assembly 2019

    Where: Brussels

    When: 4-6 July or 11-13 July. Pierre will explore possible meeting places

    Theme: Europe and the European Ideal

    SECIS members must be ambassadors for good Christian university pastoral care for international students.

     

     

  • SECIS 2018 MADRID 

    SECIS 2018 MADRID

    Dear all,

    After the welcome speech of Raquel who organized this meeting, I am pleased as chairman of SECIS (Service of European Churches for International Students) to briefly present to you this association.

    The origin of SECIS is rooted in the desire of some persons of different countries who were responsible for  institutions for the benefit of international students, most of them coming from Africa or South America, to work together. The idea was to share their experience and help each other in the spirit of the Catholic Church. SECIS was founded in the context of an initiative of the Vatican aimed at coordinating the various projects in this field and strengthening its presence in the international sector of European universities. It was until recently the Pontifical Council of Migrants which had in charge the sector of international students. The Council organized in Rome the first international congress on the pastoral of foreign students in September 1996.  Now, it’s a new dicastery under the direct guidance of the Pope and dealing with migrants and refugees.  The fact that SECIS belongs to the Church is expressed by the request for their members to be accepted by the bishops’ conference of their Country.

    The first meeting of SECIS took place in Bonn in July 1997 and presented a « chart of the international student ». The 14 participants were coming from 7 countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France and Great Britain.  Two years later, the legal form of an international association according to the Belgian law was adopted.  Canon Charles de Hemptinne was elected as president and Hermann Weber as vice-president. Since there, the number of participants to the annual meetings oscillated between 6 and 14.  Two meetings happened  in Germany ; 2 in Switzerland ; 3 in Austria; 4 in Belgium ; 4 in Rome ; 1 in The Netherlands, 2 in France ; 1 in Great Britain, 1 in Luxembourg and  2 in Spain, the current meeting being included. SECIS brings together institutions that perform activities of benefit to international students. It includes welcoming, pastoral guidance, education, running of dormitories, establishment of grants, assistance for reintegration in the country they come from… The aim of our meeting is to exchange and gather information on the management at the benefit of international students in various countries as well as on the way they are accompanied in their spiritual life, all of this, in a spirit of interreligious dialog and intercultural encounter.

     

    The word welcome is taken here in all its extension: from the arrival of the host-student until his or her return to the country he or she is coming from.  This implies, as you experience in various ways, a lot of material as well as human and spiritual steps, all evolving with the time. We shall deal with some of them today and tomorrow.

     

    There are in each country belonging to Occidental and Central  Europe (where you come from) homes/services dedicated to students coming from abroad. These homes/services you represent here are inspired by the fact that you are Christians.

    What is the originality or specificity of SECIS ?  We think that (today) the most important is that those who arrive in our centers (homes) feel free, happy to meet us, to exchange with us. We help them to meet the administrative as well as the personal requirements needed to carry out their studies with the objective of going back home for the development of their country. We help them to discover our identity, our way of live and to respect it as we respect them… It is through all these services that we assume our Christianity. It is through all these services that they discover who we are, what motivate us. The pastoral work doesn’t mean much out of this context.

    The majority of European Universities and High Schools are not Catholic. The majority of Faculties of sciences, applied sciences, medicine could not simply exist without a financial support from the State. So, we have to be conscious that our work is much larger than within the Catholic Universities. It’s intended for all students, Catholic or not, who are asking our support or simply want to meet us.

    My purpose was to give you a global view of who we are and what is the aim of our organization. It is not intended to do better the work already done in the Church for the pastoral care of the youth. But, in a context of young intellectuals migrating all over the world and open to the message of Christ, we think that their religious experience must be at the level of requirement of their professional experience. Otherwise, the gap between both shares the risk of desertion of their faith. It is the reason why I am convinced that the work done by all of you is essential for the future of the Church. Through a good experience abroad, students going back home shall help local Christians communities to be at the same time rooted in the home culture and open to others culture.

    I hope that this meeting, through the contribution of all participants, shall nurture, reinforce our motivation to do our job and create fruitful exchanges between us not only here in Madrid but also after this meeting.

     

    Note on the story of the pastoral care of international students in Belgium

    From August 1965 onward up to December 1998 the pastoral care for international students was organized in Belgium as a personal Vicariate unde the direct responsibility of a Bishop. It was financially sustained by « Missio-Rome ». In October 1998, the Bishop in charge of it pushed the Belgium Bishops conference to abolish the Vicariate. His idea was that the responsibility of the pastoral care for foreign students would be organized locally by each diocese. A chaplancy could be kept on national level, but without any financial support. I was the last responsible. The non-profit association « National Chaplaincy » merged with the non-profit association « Fédération Nationale des Centres d’Accueil pour étudiants étrangers » (FENACA).

     

     

  • Invitation  

    Invitation Letter to SECIS Encounter June 2018

    B-1050 Brussel , Belgium

    Namur, 28th March 2018

    Dear members, Dear friends,I am happy to invite all of you who are concerned with International Students in Europe to the Annual Encounter & General Assembly of SECIS 2018 which will take place in Madrid from Thursday 7th June at noon until Saturday 9th June p.m. The address is Casa de Espiritualidad “Santa Rafaela Maria”, Martínez Campos street, 12 – 28010 Madrid (Spain).The topic of our meeting is “How are Catholics agents concerned with Higher Education dealing with International Students?” (see program below). To materialize this topic, examples of good practices and challenges will be presented by members of SECIS working in different European countries: England/Wales, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany and Austria. Their input is intended to initiate exchanges between participants. The members of SECIS would like to share their experience with representatives of not only western countries but also countries of Central and Eastern Europe. You are therefore encouraged to spread this invitation to those you know welcoming international students in all these countries.To participate to the meeting, please fill up the registration form on line at https://jornadasconferenciaepiscopal.es/SECIS . The deadline for the registration is the 14th May. On the basis of your payment, you shall receive confirmation of your registration. For the members of SECIS, your subscription 2018 is intended to pay the cost of accommodation; only the travel is therefore at your own expense.

    Sincerely yours,

    Pierre Devos, chairman

    SECIS ANNUAL ENCOUNTER & GENERAL ASSEMBLY
    Madrid, 7th – 9th June 2018
    PROGRAM

  • SECIS ASSEMBLY PARIS 2017 

    SECIS ASSEMBLY 2017

    PARIS June 29 –July 1

    Present: Pierre Devos (Belgium), Hermann Weber (Germany), Raquel Perez Sanjuan(Spain),
    Edith Weber-Sinner (Luxembourg) and Roberta Canning (England and Wales).
    Apologies: Marco Cattaneo (Switzerland), Astrid Schmid (Austria), Eduardo Duarte (Portugal), Jean-Charles van Caloen (Belgium). There is no member for Holland as Avin Kunnekadan has not found a replacement.
    June 29
    Pierre Devos welcomed the group at the end of the afternoon and sketched the plans for the next two days.
    National reports:
    Edith Weber-Sinner presented the work of LISEL in Luxembourg and described the houses for inter-generational living.
    Roberta Canning presented the present situation for international students in England and Wales.
    In England the PREVENT counter extremism strategy has meant universities now must have “adequate pastoral and chaplaincy provision” and monitor it.
    June 30
    We were joined by Antonio Silveira from the CIEDEL (Centre International d’Etudes pour le Développement Local) in Lyon where there are 200 volunteers helping 700 students. Together we visited CISED (Centre d’Initiative et de Service des Etudiants de Saint-Denis) where Fr Christian Mellon SJ welcomed us and described the work of CISED for international students and its intercultural and interreligious dimensions. CISED has more than 60 volunteers who assist between 300 and 350 international students from the Université de Saint-Denis every year. Many of the students are Muslims. CISED offers assistance with CVs and letters of application, with writing in French and also psychological counselling and accompaniment. Julien, who is a Jesuit scholastic from Switzerland described his experience of inter-faith dialogue at CISED.
    We visited the chaplaincy, which is below the CISED Centre. The services are separate to enable CISED to be recognised by the university without breaking the rules of “ Laïcité”.
    In the afternoon there was the formal session of the SECIS Assembly.
    Pierre Devos spoke of the death of Fr Charles de Hemptinne one of the founders of SECIS and of Charles’ ministry to international students over many years.
    The minutes of the Assembly in Rome in November 2014 were approved.
    Pierre Devos circulated the statutes of SECIS and explained that he must resign as under the statutes he has to resign from the board at 75. His resignation was accepted.
    The assembly voted unanimously to alter the statutes as follows:
    Article 5.3 –the provision for retirement at 75 is to be removed.
    Article 3.4 Full members of SECIS will be proposed by the Board of Management to the General assembly and admitted by two thirds of the votes. There can be more than one full member per country. Membership fee will be no more than 200 euros but could be less.
    Pierre Devos was then re-elected as President of SECIS
    Jean-Charles van Caloen was co-opted onto the Board to serve as treasurer.
    Edith Weber-Sinner joined the Board.
    Hermann Weber will continue to serve.
    This is an important period of transition towards a different way of networking. The board will serve
    for the transition period.
    Pierre Devos presented the financial report for the year 2016 and the budget for 2017. The total of
    expenses in 2016 accounted for 909 euros and the total of incomes for 1,941 euros. At the end of
    2016, the capital of SECIS represented 50,086.46 euros.
    SECIS Assembly 2018: Raquel Perez Sanjuan invited us to visit Madrid. The aim will be to try
    to find people involved in different ministries for international students – student hostels, Catholic
    universities, funding programmes to attend and to consider membership. This will be an opportunity
    to develop partnerships. A tentative programme shall be prepared by Raquel. The dates were
    choosen: 7-8-9 June 2018.
    Guidelines in Pastoral Care for International Students: Pierre Devos explained that
    Monsignor Robinson Wijesinghe had said he would attend the assembly but was unable to come.
    He sent a message saying he hopes to convene a small group to finalise the guidelines!
    After the Board meeting in Namur in February 2017, Pierre sent our response to the project of
    Guidelines which had been presented at the Vatican Congress of December 2016 (see this Project in
    attachment):
    “Draft Response of SECIS to the proposed Guidelines on the Pastoral Care of International Students”
    The Board thinks that the guidelines proposed at the 2016 Congress are a very useful document and
    a good basis for discussion. The material is excellent and we would suggest the following structure
    to organise the valuable material in accordance with the vision of Pope Francis of the Church
    reaching out to the margins.
    Introduction: We think that in addition to the previous World Congresses on the Pastoral Care of
    Foreign Students, the work and conclusions of the Study Meeting on International Students in
    October 2014 should be referenced in paragraph 3. The study meeting provided much useful
    evidence and many concrete examples of good practice to illustrate these guidelines.
    Part 1 should state clearly that the majority of international students study in secular universities
    and so the quality of Catholic chaplaincy for students in secular universities and the human and
    financial resources given by dioceses to this ministry is of paramount importance. Catholic
    evangelisation and outreach to the poor and those on the margins belongs in the whole world
    context of international student experience.
    Part 4 and Part 5 follow logically from Part 1. Since most Catholic students do not study in catholic
    universities, the discussion of their role in Part 2 does not follow logically from Part 1.
    In Part 4, the internationalisation of learning through the internet and online learning courses
    (MOOCS) should be noted.
    Part 3 brings together statements about the Mission of the Church and the mission of the Catholic
    University. The excellent discussion of the mission of the Church would provide a good beginning to
    section 6 on the role of the Church in the life of the International Student. The role of the Catholic
    university is a good beginning to a single section on the Catholic University which we propose.
    Part 6 – We appreciate the quality and relevance of the material in parts 6 and 7. It would be helpful
    to begin by naming the diverse contexts – for example, Muslim Majority countries, traditional
    Catholic ambience, secular, “post-Christian” societies, India and the Far East. International students study in all these contexts and there are Catholic universities in most contexts. The nature of pastoral care and good practice must relate to the context.
    Part 7 – We suggest that the description of pastoral care for international students be grouped according to the actors that is:
    Catholic Chaplaincy in universities
    Catholic Universities – and here the full discussion of the mission of the Catholic University belongs
    National provision for international students.
    International networks.
    Part 9 – We think that the evidence provided in the reports from different continents at the Study Workshop of 2014 give excellent examples of good practice in diverse contexts.
    SECIS suggest some concrete examples.
    Scholarship programmes: KAAD - Creation via scholarships and an accompanying formation programme a world Church-oriented network of Catholic professionals and lay leaders.
    Interfaith and cultural dialogue: Afro-Asian Institutes in Austria enable intercultural and interreligious dialogue by bringing students from different countries together: and expression of the vision of the Second Vatican Council that we can learn from people of other faiths and cultures.
    Independent Student Hubs: Newman House in London is an example of a university chaplaincy hub which provides accommodation for 60 students, the majority international students and also a Catholic chaplaincy and community open to all Catholic students studying in London. It has regular worship and programmes for faith formation, discussion, evangelisation and social service.
    National Networks: Germany has a network of university chaplains with a coordinator. This provides opportunities to share expertise and support for best practice in university pastoral care for international students in every sector.
    July 1st
    National Reports continued:
    Hermann Weber presented his report; he described the internationalisation of German Higher Education – Germany is the third largest provider. German universities have moved from a cooperative neutrality about Christian university pastoral care to a neutralisation approach. Only about 5% of students are in touch with chaplaincy. Hermann’s report also presented the KAAD scholarship programme and their enrichment programmes.
    Pierre Devos spoke of changes for FENACA which provides hostels for international students.
    350 international students live in the hostels. They come mainly from French speaking African countries. Charles de Hemptinne had been the driving force in Fenaca. There is no longer a vicariate for international students. The state subsidy has been reduced so a new platform for all the international student hostels is being created by FENACA which shall disappear.
    Raquel Perez Sanjuan explained the university sector in Spain and the challenge to improve provision for international students. Their presence must be seen as an opportunity for all.
    We concluded by looking forward to our meeting in 2018.
    The assembly can include:
    - Learning about the Spanish situation
    - Stakeholders – universities, dioceses, donors and housing providers.
    Questions may include:
    - Catholic university and international students
    - Public university and international students
    - Housing provider and international students
    - Chaplaincy and pastoral care
    - Funders.
    - Projects where NGOs could work together.
    Many thanks to Roberta who wrote this report.
    Pierre Devos, chairman

  • Board Meeting Namur February 3/4 2017 

    Board Meeting Namur February

    Namur, 3/4 2017

     

     

    Present: Pierre Devos, Hermann Weber, Alois Kolbl, Roberta Canning

     Jean-Charles van Caloen for part of February 3.

     

    Apologies: Patrick de Rond.

     

    Membership of the Board:

     

    Patrick has been allotted different responsibilities by his Archbishop so the Luxembourg link will be Edith Weber-Sinner of LISEL.

    Alois explained that he is not the most appropriate representative for Austria and that Astrid Schmid of the Salzburg AAI is willing to attend and to join the board if needed.

    Marco Cattaneo remains the Swiss member and will maintain the website,but has resigned from the board.

    Roberta agreed to remain on the Board.

     

    Position of SECIS:

     

    Pierre has taken legal advice. SECIS is at present an association registered under Belgian law with statutes. Under the statutes board members must resign at 75 and there must be a Belgiam member of the Board.

    The lawyer advises that Pierre can continue till the General Assembly in Paris, 29 June – 1 July 2017.

    The provision in the statutes for retirement at 75 was a decision of the members and can be changed by resolution of the assembly to remove the age restriction and so permit Pierre to continue as President for the time being.

     

    After discussion the board agreed that the present structure does not fit the needs of SECIS; in reality SECIS is a loose alliance of members with a concern for international students, for scholarship and exchange programmes, sharing of experience and best practice and for being a voice for the international students’ needs to dioceses and the relevant department at the Vatican.

    There is only one full member of SECIS for each country and this is an unnecessary restriction on attendance at the annual assembly and members who can become board members.

     

    Two options were identified and will be explored.

    Option 1 – become an Association de Fait under Belgian Law. This would be a society with a treasurer.

    Option 2 – become an international network with leadership rotating to the next host of the assembly and the funds held as a restricted fund within an established organisation such as KAAD or a diocese in Belgium.

     

    The Board agreed

    Jean- Charles van Caloen was co-opted to the board.

    In June, the assembly will be asked to remove the age restriction on membership of the Board.

    Pierre can be prolonged.

    The board will recommend that SECIS vote to dissolve the present structure of SECIS and to transfer the funds to the account of the voluntary association or network. The Board will then appoint liquidators to ensure that all is completed in accordance with Belgian Law and with transparency.

     

    Jean-Charles will check whether the Belgian Bishops’ Conference can hold the funds of the new Association de Fait.

     

    Financial report: the account held 49,590.92 euros on 31 December 2016. Assembly costs were limited to Pierre’s attendance at the Congress.

     

    SECIS General Assembly: Paris 29 June – 1 July 2017-02-06

     

    The Jesuit hostel at Rue de Grenelles can accommodate the assembly.

    Pierre will confirm the booking.

     

    Topic: Religion, Culture and the Campus: managing religious and cultural conflict in the universities and bringing students of different faiths together. Pierre will seek a speaker. Those coming to the assembly will be asked to bring examples of good practice. Perhaps members could be asked for these in their country reports.

     

    Pierre will contact the existing network.

    Where it seems useful, Roberta and Alois will encourage interest when they are in Barcelona.

    The Austrian delegate will be Astrid Schmid astrid.schmid(at)aai-salzburg(dot)at

    Avin will be asked for suggestions from Netherlands.

    Is it worth asking someone from the international student house in Florence?

    Pierre will invite Robin.

     

    Guidelines for pastoral care of international students:  we agreed that these are a valuable basis for final guidelines and spent the rest of the meeting discussing our comments and suggestions which are summarised separately

  • SECIS ASSEMBLY ROME 2016 

    SECIS ASSEMBLY 2016

    Rome, 27-28 November

     

    Present: Pierre Devos, Hermann Weber, Alois Koelbl, Alvaro Moto,  Patrick de Rond, Roberta Canning.

    28 November.  Avin Kunnekkadan SVD.

    Apologies; Marco Cattaneo

     

    Pierre welcomed everyone and distributed papers. He spoke about the SECIS Assembly 2015 in London and the board meeting in Namur in February 2016.

    He reported on the Articles of Association for SECIS. It is established in Belgium under Belgian law. There are 3-5 members of the board including President, Secretary and Treasurer. In Belgian law one board member must be Belgian and all members retire when they have reached 75. Pierre recently reached 75. Marco has resigned as treasurer. Avin is seeking a successor as he is now provincial

    A discussion followed. Members asked whether there could be fewer constraints. Pierre will consult a lawyer.

    We noted that SECIS specificity is international students, scholarship programmes, pastoral care and enrichment programmes and exchanges.  CCEE is concerned about faith development for youg people.

    Barcelona CCEE Congress will bring together delegates from different sectors – young people, schools and university chaplaincy, catechesis and vocations. Patrick, Alois and Roberta will be attending and Alvaro is involved in the organisation of the Congress.

    Alois said that the Vicariate of Rome conferences for Catholic Universities had been useful.

     

    There was an extensive discussion of the SECIS role now the pontifical council is ending. We agreed that the Church still need a manual of good practice not a doctrinal text.

     

    Agreed:

    Pierre will remain president of SECIS until the 2017 assembly when he will still be 75.

    Patrick joined the board and Alois will come to the next board meeting.

    Roberta will continue on the board till the next board meeting in February 2017.

    We will consider practical guidelines for the SECIS website. They would include the secular context, use of new media and online courses.

    The board will review the situation after the Congress.

    Robinson joined us and agreed to give us the draft guidelines the following morning.

     

    Guidelines:  the board will draft a response to the guidelines when it meets in Namur.

    We agreed that the work of SECIS and international students’ provision and pastoral care will be better placed under the migrants’ section inside the new Dicastery than under the Education Dicastery with its priority of Catholic universities. This priority was reflected in the draft guidelines but most international students are in secular universities. 

     

    Pierre left a summary of our concerns:

    Expertise of SECIS in accompanying international students coming to study in Europe

    Chaplaincies must be open to all students (Catholic, non Catholic, national, international)

    First of all help International Students to feel at home.

    All institutions of Higher Education – Art, Drama, Music

    Build links with dioceses and parishes, enable them to support international students

    Bring opportunities for learning about scriptures, doctrine, social teaching, justice and peace.

    Help students prepare to return.

     

    Good practice suggestions

    Meals, particularly after Sunday Mass

    Volunteering opportunities

    Fostering integration and authenticity

    Houses with gentle accompaniment

    Living together, cooking and eating together

    Students devising programmes

    Healthy cooking lessons

    Enabling interreligious dialogue

     

    Future dates:

    Board meeting Namur 3-4 February 2017 –lunchtime to lunchtime

    NB SECIS pays travel costs for board meetings

     

    General Assembly  Paris  29 June-1 July – Pierre will explore possible meeting places.   

  • SECIS ASSEMBLY BRUSSEL 2015 

    Report annual assembly SECIS 2015

    Namur, 15 July 2015

    B-1050 Brussel , Belgium                         

                             

               

     

    Dear members of SECIS

     

     

     

    I hope you enjoy or shall enjoy the summer holidays.

    The annual meeting of SECIS took place in London at the Central London Catholic Chaplaincy, the Newman House, from June 25 to June 27.

    We were warmly received and felt at home with the staff and the students.

     

    The report of the essential part of the meeting, which has been written by Roberta Canning, national co-ordinator of Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education, is below. As you will see, it gives a very good idea of the Pastoral Care in English Universities and their varying contexts. This was our experience on the Friday.

     

    The Saturday morning was devoted to oral reports of the invited participants (Austria, Portugal and Spain) and we concluded by defining a strategy for the near future. It seems indeed essential not to lose the rich experience gathered in Rome at the end of 2014 during  the study-meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Our idea is to propose to Cardinal Veglio to set up an international committee for the redaction of the guidelines, which was the final step of this study-meeting. In the meantime, we think about writing some kind of “good practices” for the European Countries where we have our field experience. Contact with CCEE (Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae) will be made by the chairman of SECIS.

     

    My purpose here is to give you a short report of the General Assembly which took place at the beginning of the meeting, Thursday 25, after the 4pm tea and welcome.

     

    Presents: Fr Juan Jose Andres (Spain), Roberta Canning (England and Wales), Fr Pierre Devos (Belgium), Fr Eduardo Duque (Portugal), Fr Alois Kolbl (Austria), Dr Hermann Weber (Germany) and Sabine Schwartz (England and Wales).

    Apologies: Uta Andrée(Germany), Sr Nathalie Becquart (France), Marco Cattaneo (Swisterland), Elke Giacomozzi (Austria), Fr Avin Kunnekkadan (Holland), Jean-Charles van Caloen (Belgium),  Edith Weber-Sinner (Luxembourg).

     

    1- The history and purpose of SECIS was described to the invited chaplains (Portugal, Spain and Austria) and the report of the General Assembly held in Rome before the study-meeting, the 9 October 2014, was approved.

    2- The current board elected in July 2010, renewed in July 2013 will complete its term next year except Roberta Canning who joined the team at the occasion of the G.A. of October 2014. The invited chaplains from Portugal and Spain were asked to help the board in finding a representative for their countries. New efforts will be made to have a delegate from France.

    3- Financial report (see appendix)

     

     

    – The expenses for 2014 correspond to 4.620,73 euros and the income to 8.123,82 euros due mainly to the sale of shares. Our capital is made of shares (gift from the former Belgian curacy for international students) corresponding to 38.642,05 euros at the end of 2014 and 7.321,22 euros on a current account (ING – Belgium).

    -The budget for 2015 takes into account the fact that there is no more rent to be paid for an office. We now pay 100 euros the year for a mailbox located at the same address (Chaussée de Wavre, 205  Brussels  Belgium). The membership fees are intended to pay for the accommodation for the meetings of the board and of the general assembly. Donations/sponsoring are allocated to the SECIS programme EX-CHANGE 2015-2016.

    4- You will find in attachment the written country reports of England/Wales, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal and Belgium. Those of Austria and Switzerland are awaited. Marco Cattaneo shall put them on the website www.secis.info (don’t confuse this site with the old one www.secis.org which is still on the web but no more up to date).

     

    5- The next SECIS Assembly shall take place in Den Haag (The Netherlands) the 07-09 July 2016.

     

    Pierre Devos

    Chairman

     

     

     

     

     

                            SECIS ASSEMBLY 2015 LONDON 25-27 JUNE

                                            Report of Roberta Canning

     

    SECIS delegates from Western Europe met at the Central London Catholic Chaplaincy, Newman House, Gower Street, London from June 25 to June 27. They were the SECIS President, Fr Piere Devos(Belgium) Dr Hermann Weber, (Germany), Fr Alois Kolbl (Austria), Fr Juan Jose Andres (Spain), Fr Eduardo Duque (Portugal), Sabine Schwartz and Roberta Canning (England and Wales). Apologies came from Holland, Switzerland, Luxembourg and France. We stayed at Newman House which is across the road from University College London (UCL). We shared our experience of pastoral care for international students and visited two chaplaincies, the chaplaincy at Kings College, London and the Multi faith Centre at the London School of Economics (LSE).

    Four chaplains spoke to the assembly before we visited the two chaplaincies.  In England and Wales pastoral care for international students is integrated in Catholic chaplaincy to all students. From our speakers we learned that university chaplains are responsible for pastoral care for large numbers of international students, and that pastoral care includes hospitality; that welcome to a safe and friendly space,  offering opportunities for students to form Christian friendships and supporting their mental wellbeing at a potentially stressful time is as important as providing faith formation and development, and the chance to broaden and deepen a life of prayer and biblical reflection. All form part of a welcome into a community of faith centred around the Eucharist.

     

     

     

    Father Stephen Wang is Senior University Chaplain in the Archdiocese of Westminster, which includes most of Greater London north of the River Thames as well as the county of Hertfordshire. Fr Stephen coordinates a team of 12 chaplains who are attached to different universities and the constitutive parts of the University of London. He is based at Newman House, which has sixty plus bedrooms, a library, meeting rooms, dining room and a modern chapel. Students who live at the chaplaincy are all Catholic. The make up of students living at the chaplaincy is roughly one third home students, one third international students from outside Europe and one third international students from Europe, many on Erasmus exchanges. The make up of students coming to Mass and chaplaincy activities is very similar.

     

    Newman House is the hub for Catholic students from among the 300,00 studying in Greater London;  the nature of London student life and accommodation is that Sunday is a quiet day on most campuses and so chaplains do not arrange Mass on campus on a Sunday. Students attend Mass where they live, or at Westminster Cathedral or they come to Newman House, where the Sunday and daily Eucharist are at the heart of a lively community, with talks for students, opportunities for prayer, faith formation, retreats and pilgrimages. Chaplains are priests and women religious who are appointed by the archdiocese and accredited by their university or college. 

     

    Sacramental preparation for Baptism and Confirmation takes place at Newman House and is also provided by the chaplains at the different universities and colleges. The chaplains develop their own programmes with the students, which include Mass on campus, prayer and faith formation activities and a student Catholic society.  Fr Stephen provides training for the Catholic society officers. Volunteering is an important part of Catholic student activity; it includes helping at a shelter for the homeless, hearing reading in a primary school and mentoring pupils at another school. Fr Stephen has a developed an evangelisation series,   Sycamore which he has run successfully this year at Newman House and made available on the internet to colleagues across England and Wales. The idea is that students will be able to use the series with friends who are asking questions about Catholic Christianity.

     

    Rev Andrew Willson is the Senior Anglican Chaplain in the Diocese of London and university chaplain at Imperial College in Kensington. He explained that he was appointed to be chaplain for the whole institution so his role is pastoral support for all staff and students. This approach reflects the Anglican understanding that pastoral ministry is for all in the geographical area served by the minister.  He does not work with an Anglican society as such, though there is a Catholic society on campus and the Eucharist is not central to his

     

     

     

     

    ministry as the Anglican chaplain.  At Imperial College the chaplaincy is seen as a welfare provider and a key contributor to interreligious dialogue and understanding. Among other activities they have an inter faith Five-a-Side football tournament. They also held a poetry reading with poems from different Faiths. Faith groups use the chaplaincy – Catholics meet for Mass and as the Catholic society, several other Christian groups meet as do the Jewish society, Hindus and Buddhists. There is provision for Muslim prayers.

    Andrew works with many individuals, helping them to work out where they belong and helping them to find churches and faith contacts. He also leads regular Mindfulness sessions helping students and staff to be still and attentive to the present moment, using his experience of Christian meditation to foster mental wellbeing.  This is a ministry offered by Christian chaplains on many university campuses.  Andrew commented that the university is a place to meet and care for the lost and the lonely, the troubled and theseekers.

     

    Sister Mary Kenefick is based at Newman House as chaplain to the UCL Catholic Society. For several years she was Catholic Chaplain at London Metropolitan University as well and she moved to Brunel University in Uxbridge two years ago. At Brunel she is based in the Meeting House, a multi faith chaplaincy with a chaplaincy administrator and a coordinating chaplain who is Anglican. She shares an office with the Muslim chaplain.  On the campus, Mary is available for every one and goes out to meet staff and students; most of her work is with the Catholic students. Mary arranges Mass on campus and makes sure students know where the local churches are, there are retreats in Advent and Lent, midday prayer in the chaplaincy and there was a programme of guided prayer over two weeks.  There is a thriving Catholic society and Mary organises many opportunities to volunteer.  The Catholic students help at the local primary school, visit the elderly and help at a service for disabled people who live in the community. There are trips for the students and they are encouraged to attend events for students from other universities.

    UCL was founded in 1825 as a secular university which would be open to students from all Christian traditions and to others. At that time only Anglicans could graduate from Oxford and Cambridge. UCL remains very secular. Mary is chaplain to the Catholic students and their Catholic society, which organises talks and pilgrimages and retreats with her.  UCL is a leading university and the students from home and overseas tend to be intellectually very able and very motivated. 

     

    Sabine Schwartz described her ministry as Catholic Chaplain at Reading University. She works very closely with the Anglican Chaplain. They are based in a small centre on the campus and organise faith events – bible study, prayer, discussions, simple hospitality such as soup lunches. They lead retreats together. Sabine leads specifically Catholic activities as well. There is a weekly Communion service at the chaplaincy and Mass for students at the nearby

     

     

     

     

    student church on Sundays. A priest colleague has just been appointed.  Her chaplaincy is noticeable for the very close collaboration between Catholic and Anglican chaplains and her full engagement with the life of the university.

    Students with mental health problems often come to the chaplaincy and Sabine teaches meditation and relaxation to help them.

     

    In the afternoon, we visited Kings College London and met the Catholic Chaplain, Fr Joseph Evans. Kings was founded in 1829 as an Anglican University and, although it now admits students of all faiths and none, its chaplaincy remains very strongly Anglican. There is a magnificent chapel and a fine chapel choir. Fr Joe is made very welcome. He celebrates Mass in the chapel once a week, and on that day, he sees students and gives talks about the faith and is part of Catholic society activity. He is at Newman House on another day. He told us that his model of chaplaincy has changed in his time working with students. He began with a focus on sacramental provision and faith formation but has come to understand that hospitality and giving students the opportunity to build strong supportive friendships with other Catholic students is an essential part of chaplaincy as well.

    The university chaplaincy organises courses in theology and ethics for which a qualification can be gained; close to a thousand students have opted to follow the course this year and more have attended the lectures.

     

    We then visited the new multi faith chaplaincy at LSE and met the chaplain Fr Jose Sebastiao OP, an Angolan Dominican who came to live at Newman House as a student and was invited to become chaplain at LSE.  Jose told us that LSE recognised the need to provide for faith groups and for dialogue and understanding at a time of religious conflict. Close to 80% of students at LSE are international students. They include many Muslim students. Most catholic students are international students as well. He celebrates Mass in a large neutral space. There are no overt religious symbols. One wall is taken up by vibrant stained glass representing the desert as the desert/wilderness is a theme in many world faiths. Fr Jose lives at Newman House and supports the community of faith there. Students from LSE and Kings may attend Sunday Mass at Newman House (a twenty minute walk) or at a church near their accommodation. 

     

     

     

     

                                               

  • SECIS ASSEMBLY ROME 2014 

    Report

    of the board meeting of SECIS and the General assembly of 2014 In Rome


    Place : Casa TRA Noi Rome
    Date : 9-th October 2014

    Members present: Fr.Pierre Devos SJ, Fr.Charles Hemptine, Ms.Roberta Canning, Sr,Nathaliae Becquart, Dr.Hermann Weber, Mr.Jean Charles van Caloen, fr.Avin Kunnekkadan SVD, Dr,Uta Andre.


    The meeting began with a welcome by the president of SECIS fr.Pierre Devos.


    First the report of the annual board meeting of 2013 at Luxemburg was reviewed and the decisions taken was reconfirmed by the board members.

    Pierre Devos SJ will continue to be the president,  Herman Weber will continue as the vice president,  Avin Kunnekkadan SVD will continue as the secretary and Marco will continue as the treasurer  for the remaining 2 years of the period according to the statutes.

    It was given concrete expression to  the decision taken in 2013 general body meeting so as to have a woman member and Roberta Canning from England was proposed to be the woman board member for the remaining 2 years of the period according to the statutes.

    It was proposed and decided to upload the regional or country wise reports on the SECIS website.

    It was observed that there was a good and deeper dialogue with Bishop of Luxemburg. All the members appreciated his open sharing of the experience in South Korean university.

    The report was discussed fully and was unanimously passed by all the board members.


    There after a discussion followed on the financial situation of the SECIS and the accounts of the year 2013 were taken up for detailed discussion. The treasurer informed that there was a deficit of 1,000.15 euros  in 2013. It was mainly due to the rent of the Building of the “chaussée de Wavre” but it was informed that in 2014 the rent of the office will no more be there and in the place of 1440 only 100 Euro per year will be paid as there is now only a mail box in this building.

    The budget and the accounts of the year 2013 was discussed and passed by the board and there after the budget of the year 2014 was taken up for discussion and analysis.

    Jean-Charles will sent the final accounts of 2013 to Pierre so as to add to the documentation.

    Then the budget proposed for 2014-2015 was unanimously passed by the board members and the general assembly.


    The present membership of SECIS consist of the following countries

    1. Luxemburg
    2. Germany
    3. Netherlands
    4. Belgium
    5. Austria
    6. France
    7. Switzerland
    8. England


    The board members proposed to seek way and means to get more members from eastern European countries.

    In many countries the youth ministry is attached to the chaplaincy. It was pointed out that SECIS is recognized by the CCEE in Europe.


    Miscellaneous

    • Cardinal Antonio Veglio wrote to all the episcopal conferences to prepare guidelines to the international student chaplaincy work and SECIS was especially asked to participate and help in preparing the guidelines for the international student chaplaincy.
    • The  exchange programme and its advantages and disadvantages as well as its needs was discussed and the following decisions were taken.
    1. To have more cultural exposure programmes for the international students to expose them to the reality of European Union and democratic values.
    2. To give more opportunities to students to participate in conferences and seminars in SECIS membership countries.
    3. To encourage students to visit other countries for a week end stay.  SECIS can pay a maximum of 200 Euro for the stay but the travel expenses have to be paid by the student who joins the programme or by the member country.
    4. A short guidelines was proposed for the exchange programme with the following points:

      1.  The student should have some affiliation to SECIS.
      2. Student should have a keen interest to know more about European reality.
      3. The language proficiency of the student has to be considered to join the programme.
      4. The student must write a short motivation letter.
      5. The local SECIS member has to send the application to the president of SECIS for selection and approval.
      6. The President of SECIS will write to all the member countries and collect all the information and set it on the website to share the happenings and events with the member countries.
    • We discussed a possible presence of SECIS in the yearly meetings of the CCEE-coordinated European group of chaplains. The meeting  2015 will be in Poland.


    The main time of our meeting was dedicated to the country reports and their consequences for our position to the content and methodology of the “Guidelines”.

    Sr.Nathalie presented her proposed paper for the  studymeeting to the assembly and board members of SECIS for suggestion and observation. She began by making remarks on the advantages as well as disadvantages of the Erasmus and Bologna programmes  for  European students within Europe and the student mobility. She also presented the reasons for student mobility as well as current trends in Migration as seeking better opportunity in life as well as carrier and desire for good educational opportunities. She pointed out that global students have to use the social media wisely and with prudence. She also pointed out the following in ideas:

    1. Assimilation of good practices of the hosting country.
    2. Participation and engagements in local activities for a wider exposure.
    3. Integration to the local culture and active participation in the local events.
    4. Students need to be critical on the fundamentalist views and take traditionalism with a balanced view.


    A date for the board meeting for the year 2015 was proposed and it was decided to meet in Namur in February 20-21 in 2015 and the General assembly date of 2015 was proposed as June 25-27 in London and Mrs. Roberta will make the local arrangements.  The meeting ended by 5Pm.


    Secretary
    Fr.Avin kunnekkadan SVD
    Singel 104
    3112 GS Schiedam
    Netherlands

    Tel.0031612555768.

  • Annual meeting 2014 

    Annual meeting 2014

    Dear members of SECIS,
    Dear associates,

    We are coming near the annual meeting of SECIS. This year, it takes place in Rome and is combined with the study meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

    Msgr Robinson Wijesinghe, who took part in the meeting of last year in Luxemburg, passed on the message from this Council asking the active  participation of our network to the realization of “guidelines for the pastoral care of international students”. You received yesterday from the Council a proposed content of the guidelines.

    The board of SECIS, which met at the end of February 2014, focused his attention on the methodology, the objective being to carry out a structured document and not a whole of recommendations. With your help, a preparative document has been send to Rome. A copy of this document is in attachment.

    During the SECIS meeting, I suggest to bring together our reflections on “what university chaplains have to do with international students in Europe”. It should be the contribution of SECIS to the study meeting of Vatican which bring together more than 50 representatives appointed by the Episcopal Commissions on human mobility and coming from all over the world.

    From a practical point of view, you are expected to arrive in Rome on the evening of Wednesday 8 October for the SECIS meeting which shall be held the Thursday 9 October til the end of the afternoon. The study meeting of the Pontifical Council starts Friday 10 October morning.

    I ask to the members of SECIS who don’t come in Rome to send their reflexions by email to me. It should greatly help those present in Rome to prepare the SECIS contribution to the study meeting.


    Program of SECIS meeting

    08 October

     evening informal meeting (dinner outside?)


    09 October

    • 9.00 Short meeting of the board

    • 9.30 Welcome speech by the chairman
      News from represented countries

                       

    • 11.00 General Assembly
      Approbation of the annual report 2013
      Financial report and budget for 2014
      Short relationship of activities
      Discharge to administrators
      Election of a woman to the board, new members
      Program for the future

            

    • 13.00 Lunch

     

    • 15.00 Preparation of SECIS contribution to the study meeting
      Conclusions and decision for the next annual meeting

     

    I hope this meeting in Rome shall inspire each of us for our job at the service of international students.


    Best regards,
    Pierre


  • SECIS ASSEMBLY LUXEMBURG 2013 

    Report

    of the SECIS meeting 2013


    Place : 5 avenue Marie-Thérèse, L-2132 Luxemburg
    Date : 27-29 July 2013

    Members and associates present: Avin Kunnekkadan, Pierre Devos, Marco Cattaneo, Hermann Weber, Sabine Schwartz, Msgr. Robinson Wijesinghe, Jean-Charles van Caloen, Edith Weber-Sinner, Marguerite Ries

    Lisel host team: Agnès Rausch and Marian

    Intervenants: Mgr Jean-Claude Hollerich,  Michel Hakizimana and Pierre Meyers

     

    Agenda for the board meeting and general assembly 27th July 2013

    1. Opening prayer with a moment of silent meditation

    2. Report of the Board 2011,2012

    3. Evaluation and review of the SECIS exchange programme 2012

    4. Budget for the year 2012 approval and proposal of budget for the year 2013

    5. Report from different member countries and of Vatican

    6. A clarification of the FENACA and the financial gift to SECIS

    7. Proposal and election of the board members for the term 2013-2016

    8. Meeting with Archbishop Mgr.Hollerich Luxemburg.

    9. Conference session by Michel Hakizima CACEAC Charleroi

    10. Cultural  and historical walk in the city and dinner

    11. SECIS activities for 2013

    12. Website and communication

    13. Observation from MSGR.Robinson Vatican participant

    14. Letter  to Cardinal Veglio (Vatican)

    15. Next  General assembly and conference date and place

    16. Eucharistic celebration, lunch and closing


    The Board Meeting

    1. The Board meeting began at 5-00 pm with a short meditative silence and prayer.

    2. The board members shared briefly on the activities and the news from different countries. The chairman Pierre Devos informed about the letters received from other countries and his attempts to get more members to SECIS.

    3. The board discussed the exchange programme and shared the views from students. As a whole, the exchange programme was well attended by Luxemburg, Germany and Netherlands as well as in France. As difficulties concerning the offered events has been mentioned: travel expenses which students were not able to cover and dates of seminars not adapted to the rhythm of students. The board decided to continue with the exchange programme for the year 2013-2014. Two types of activities shall be considered: meeting of people and intellectual challenge.

    4. The accounts for the year 2012 were presented by the treasurer and were discussed.  The budget for 2013 was approved by the board members. The board meeting came to an end by 6-15 pm.

     

    The General Assembly

    The General assembly began at 6-15 pm. All the participants were warmly welcomed by Agnes  Rausch from Lisel and Théo from the pastoral communication center  Luxemburg.

    • The participants introduced themselves and briefly shared the situation of student chaplaincies in respective location.

    • The director of the pastoral communication center presented a short video clip to begin the session and helped the members to reflect on the reality of student mobility and communication.

    • The chairman read out the good wishes and the message letter of Reverend Joseph Kalathiparambil, secretary of the Pontifical Counsil for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and a special welcome was given to the Vatican representative Msgr.Robinson Wijesinghe.

    • The report of the general assembly of 2012 was taken up for discussion and was approved unanimously by the assembly.

    • The treasurer informed the assembly that the gift money from the former belgian national chaplaincy, i.e. 37250.00 euros, was invested in stock certificates and shall continue to pay a minimum rent (50% of the yield from the capital) to for the use of the office in Brussels until the end of the year 2014. The assets of SECIS were 40806,60 at the end of 2012. A deficit of 2427,30 euros was essentially due to the costs linked to money investment and to the nonpayment of  subscriptions. We have to find sponsors in order to equilibrate our budget because subscriptions are not able  to  afford enough money. We have also to reduce the costs of the rented office in Brussels, which is no more useful. Discharge was given to the members of the board. Then, the budget for the year 2013 was taken up for discussion and was approved by the assembly.

    • Election of the new board members was discussed. The statutes of SECIS were referred to understand the legal implications.   The present board suggested that it may be good that the present board continue with an option for the election of a new female member to the board.  Though Herman Weber and Pierre Devos were willing to have a change, they did not express any serious reason for the change and the assembly decided that the present board could continue for another term with the inclusion of a new women member to the board. Pierre Devos is asked to propose this new member to the board by the next board meeting. The decision was unanimously approved by the assembly.

    • The assembly ended at 20-00 and the participants were led to LISEL office for the delicious meal prepared by the volunteers. After the meal the participants went with the guest families.

     

    Friday 28th July 2013

    The meeting began at 9-00 with the country reports and activities and involvement of chaplaincy in the university campus.  It was observed that Europe is no more the center of the world. There are more and more students coming from Asia, Africa and China to Europe. The participants shared the experiences and at the end,  it was decided that each country representative will send a short report of the activities of the year 2012 to the chairman so as to be included in the final report and to place it on the website (see appendix)

    • At 10.00, Mgr. Archbishop Hollerich was welcomed and he shared his views on the student mobility and the importance of youth education. He shared his experience in education ministry in Japan university campus. He sees the youth shaping the future of the world destiny and stressed that the young people who come to Europe form Asia and Africa and China as well as east European countries and Latin America have to get attention of the chaplains so as to make them feel at home.

    He said that student mobility brings changes in world view due to globalization. He sees education as an important factor of socio-economic and religious reform and renewal with development and welfare.
    He informed he has opened his own residence to accommodate students who are in need.

    After a short discussion, there was coffee break from 11-00 to 11-15.

    • From 11-15, the sharing of the reports from different countries continued til lunch at LISEL at 13-00. The lunch was prepared by  volunteers from LISEL and the participants enjoyed the delicious meal with good conversation.

    • After the lunch, the conference on “My own experience in the pastoral care of students in a secularized world” began at 14-30 led by Michel Hakizimana. A detailed report of the session is in appendix. This session ended at 17-00.

    • After a tea break, the participants were lead to the city of Luxemburg by Agnes Rausch and Pierre Meyers sj, a well versed city guide, to see and experience the cultural tradition and history of Luxemburg. The walk and the explanations were an eye opener to many participants to the History of Europe and heritage of Luxemburg. The day ended with a meal with varieties of pizza with a good table conversation and discussion and the participants left to the guest houses at 21.00


    Saturday 29th 2013

    • The meeting began at 9-00 with the communication of Mgr. Robinson Wijesinghe. He shared the concerns of Vatican and conveyed the greetings of Pope Francis and of Cardinal Veglio. He said that the office in Vatican looks forward to close collaboration with SECIS to prepare a guideline of the good practices of university chaplains. They will be based on the final documents of the three congresses held in 1996/2005/2011. They should also include “standards” in view of the stronger activities of new religious movements on campus. The draft of the proposed guidelines and good practices could be discussed in Rome at the end of June 2014 or alternatively in September/October 2014. The date could be fixed along with the annual board meeting and general assembly so as to enable the participating countries to be present. We first expect a letter of the Vatican outlining the expectations of the council, particularly concerning our association.  Instead of “guidelines”, some of us proposed to develop “inspiring ideas” intended to give answers to the question of “what I have to do with international students here in Europe”. It was emphasized that this work  is the job of the Pontifical Council for the pastoral care of Migrants and Itinerant people (www.pcmigrants.org) and not of the Pontifical Council for the Education. Some members urged to combine this with a mandate to SECIS in order to have legitimation towards their national bishop’s conferences.

    • Marco gave a display of the new website www.SECIS.info .It was appreciated by all the participants and the assembly expressed a special thanks to the team work of Marco. The chairman requested all the participants to send news and activity list to the webmaster so as to include in the website from time to time.

    • It was followed by a discussion on the future activities of SECIS and the discussion ended at 11-30.

    • Being the feast day of apostles Peter and Paul, Fr. Pierre Devos presided over the thanks giving Eucharist and he gave an inspiring homily. After the Eucharist, the participants thanked team members of LISEL, especially Agnes Rausch for the good organization and facilities provided for the general assembly and hospitality. The meeting ended with a meal prepared by a student from Cameroun and the members thanked the LISEL team.


    Thanking you,

    Fr.Avin Kunnekkadan SVD, secretary of SECIS

  • Conférence de Michel Hakizimana, SECIS Juin 2013 

    Mon expérience

    dans la pastorale des étudiants dans un monde sécularisé


    Introduction

    On m’a demandé de donner mon témoignage concernant mon expérience dans la pastorale des étudiants étrangers dans un monde sécularisé. Je dois d’abord préciser que je ne suis pas prêtre même si cela ne constitue pas une limite rédhibitoire au travail de pastorale.

    Voici le plan de mon exposé.

    En premier lieu, je vais présenter mon expérience personnelle, d’abord en tant que étudiant à l’université nationale du Rwanda et ensuite en tant enseignant dans la même université. Je parlerai aussi de mon expérience en tant que étudiant ici en Belgique.

    Dans un deuxième temps, j’essayerai de présenter l’environnement socio-économique dans lequel je travaille. Il s’agit de faire ressortir les conditions de vie des étudiants dont l’influence n’est pas à négliger dans leur quête religieuse.

    Dans un troisième temps, je présenterai en détail ce que je fais depuis quelques années dans le cadre de la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers après avoir évoqué en quelques mots le travail réalisé avant moi dans le même cadre.

     

    Mon expérience personnelle en tant qu’étudiant et enseignant

    Durant mes études à l’université, que ce soit au Rwanda ou en Belgique, j’ai pu vivre de près la pastorale des étudiants en tant que sujet.

    A l’UNR, en tant qu’étudiant, j’étais membre d’un groupe de prière du renouveau charismatique ; nous avions une aumônerie qui nous aidait de temps en temps dans l’organisation de quelques activités comme les retraites, les conférences, etc. Plus tard, quand je suis devenu enseignant, je continuais à suivre de près la pastorale des étudiants. C’est de cette manière que j’ai fait partie de l’équipe chargée de mettre sur pied une paroisse universitaire sur le campus où j’enseignais. À mon départ du pays, le dossier était très avancé.

    Quand je suis arrivé à Louvain-la-Neuve en Belgique en 1992, j’ai intégré la paroisse universitaire et j’ai participé aux différentes activités proposées : récollection, souper communautaire, conférences, etc. Tout se faisait dans un cadre unique et sans distinction étudiants belges ou étudiants étrangers.

    Durant les deux dernières années que j’ai faites à Louvain-la-Neuve, j’étais intégré dans l’équipe de la paroisse faisant fonction de sacristain (kot mambré).  Ceci m’a permis de suivre de près une partie du travail de la pastorale auprès des étudiants (sans distinction) : messe, baptême, communion, funérailles, etc.

    Ces expériences vont d’une certaine manière influencer ce que je fais au niveau de la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers. Par elles, j’ai pu faire un constat qui me semble toujours d’actualité : il me semble que la plupart des gens instruits se contentent du catéchisme de base et ne cherchent pas à aller au-delà. Cette situation peut être la cause de malentendus ou alors de déceptions parce que la représentation que l’on se fait de Dieu ou de la religion est plutôt floue. Exemple : penser que quelqu’un qui va à la messe doit être un saint.

     

    L’environnement socio-économique et son impact sur la pastorale

    Est-il possible de parler de la pastorale des étudiants sans évoquer les conditions dans lesquelles ils vivent actuellement ? De nombreuses recherches en sciences humaines montrent assez clairement que le contexte dans lequel une personne humaine évolue influence son comportement (Cfr la notion d’erreur fondamentale). Pour essayer de comprendre cette personne, il faut donc bien connaître ce contexte.

    Qu’en est-il aujourd’hui au niveau du contexte pour les étudiants et stagiaires étrangers en Belgique ?

    Remarquons tout d’abord que la plupart des étudiants que nous recevons actuellement (mais ce n’est pas partout en Belgique) ne sont pas boursiers au sens classique du terme. Ils viennent souvent avec l’espoir qu’ils pourront se débrouiller par les jobs et les aides éventuelles pour faire leurs études. Dans cette situation, leur premier souci est la survie. On comprendra dès lors que certaines activités sans « intérêt financier » ne les intéressent pas.

    Mais à côté de cela, il faut aussi parler du contexte social où nous vivons : la plupart des églises sont presque vides ; certaines d’ailleurs doivent être fermées. Et pour celles qui restent, elles sont souvent fréquentées davantage par les vieux que par les jeunes. Où sont donc passés les jeunes dans les églises ? Certains étudiants me parlent de leur déception de voir qu’on ne voit pas les jeunes dans les églises alors qu’en Afrique (et probablement ailleurs dans le Sud) les églises sont pleines de jeunes. Ce point me semble mériter une attention spéciale dans la réflexion que l’on peut mener sur la pastorale des étudiants étrangers.

     

    Mon travail en lien avec la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires

    Quand j’ai commencé à travailler au CACEAC, un foyer d’accueil des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers à Charleroi, il existait encore ce qu’on appelait à l’époque un vicariat des étudiants étrangers initié en 1965 par Mgr Albert DESCAMPS. Depuis fin 99, ce vicariat n’existe plus malheureusement. Dans le cadre de ses activités, des retraites, des rencontres, des séminaires, des messes, etc. ont été organisés. Le Révérend Père Jacques DELOOZ, alors directeur du CACEAC, a été pendant longtemps le curé de la paroisse spéciale pour les étudiants étrangers de la région de Charleroi, Thuin, La Louvière, Soignies et Chimay.

    Il serait très difficile de résumer en quelques mots les réalisations de  ce vicariat qui s’est occupé de manière remarquable de la pastorale des étudiants étrangers. Avec ses différentes paroisses, le vicariat a assuré à son public-cible les mêmes services qu’une paroisse normale rend à ses usagers : baptême, mariage, messes, etc. Je signale en passant que j’ai été pendant quelques années le représentant du vicariat auprès du Conseil Interdiocésain des laïcs (Wallonie).

     

    En quoi consiste donc actuellement mon travail ?
    1) Accueil : l’un des rôles importants des foyers pour étudiants étrangers est l’accueil, avec tout ce que cela veut dire : écoute, sourire, réponse aux questions, mise à l’aise, etc. Tous ceux qui ont eu l’occasion de vivre en situation d’étranger savent certainement ce que ces paroles d’évangile veulent dire : « J’étais un étranger et vous m’avez reccueilli » (Matthieu, chapitre 25, 35). C’est à l’occasion de cet accueil que l’on peut aborder plusieurs sujets dont la religion, la pratique religieuse, etc. mais aussi répondre à certaines interrogations pour ceux qui sont en recherche : horaires des messes, possibilités de rencontre avec un prêtre, animation religieuse (chorale), etc.

    Dernièrement par exemple, un jeune est venu me demander pourquoi il ne voyait pas beaucoup de personnes à l’église. D’autres me demandent où ils peuvent assister à une messe.

    2) L’information : nous vivons dans un monde hyper informé : radio, télévision, internet et gsm. Malgré tout, le besoin d’être informé sur certaines thématiques reste. Il est rare qu’à la radio ou à la télévision on parle du programme de messe, sauf bien sûr dans les émissions ad hoc. Conformément aux recommandations données lors de la dissolution du vicariat des étudiants étrangers, j’essaye d’informer les étudiants sur les animations pastorales de la paroisse : messe, récollection, journée de prière, etc. C’est pour cette raison qu’une partie de notre tableau d’affichage au rez-de-chaussée est consacrée aux « services religieux à Charleroi ». Les étudiants peuvent y consulter en permanence les horaires des messes dans les différents lieux de culte de Charleroi.

    3) Soutien moral, financier et matériel

    Certains étudiants s’adressent aussi au CACEAC parce qu’ils traversent ou rencontrent une situation difficile. C’est le cas notamment de ceux qui sont en deuil. Un soutien moral, parfois financier ou matériel leur est donné en fonction des disponibilités du moment.

    Il arrive aussi qu’un étudiant vienne s’informer sur les possibilités d’avoir un mariage religieux. Il faut alors expliquer toutes les démarches à entreprendre, ce qui n’est pas toujours évident (se marier d’abord à la commune, accompagnement par un prêtre ou religieux, etc.). Il arrive que l’un ou l’autre ait des difficultés à suivre tout le cheminement.

    Il serait difficile de ne pas évoquer ici tous les problèmes rencontrés au niveau des demandes d’aide financière reçues presque chaque jour. Malheureusement, nous n’avons plus tellement de ressources financières. Certains étudiants connaissent des situations vraiment dramatiques : cas de grossesse, ne pas trouver du travail après les études, durcissement des conditions de travail de l’étudiant, etc.

     

    Conclusion

    Travailler dans la pastorale des étudiants étrangers n’est pas une tâche aisée, surtout lorsque l’on considère les conditions dans lesquelles ce travail s’effectue. Le grand intellectuel français André Malraux aurait dit que le 21ème siècle sera spirituel ou ne sera pas. Toute la question est de savoir s’il avait raison et quand il commencera.

    Michel Hakizimana
    Luxembourg, 28 juin 2013


  • Annual SECIS meeting invitation 

    Dear SECIS friends,

    Welcome to Luxemburg, welcome to LISEL,

    Our President, board members and myself are happy to host you during the annual SECIS meeting from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 June 2013.

    Here some concrete details how to join Luxemburg:

    - By flight the cheapest is via Frankfurt-Hahn or Brussels-Charleroi (www.ryanair.com or www.wizzair.com) and then with a FLIBCO bus you’ll reach Luxemburg-central station cf. www.flibco.com

    - Of course you can also choose our national air-company LUXAIR or come directly to Luxemburg airport, www.lux-airport.lu

    - By TGV from Paris you reach Luxemburg in a bit more than 2 hours

    - By train from Brussels or Aachen, via Liège, you can read a whole book during your travel ☺

    As the Franciscan guest house was already occupied during this period, we decided to welcome you in CLC families, Jesuit house and provincial house of Doctrine chrétienne Sisters. That’s the reason why we would appreciate early registration.

    The meeting will take place at Centre Convict, 5 avenue Marie-Thérèse in Luxemburg-Center and students will cook our meals at LISEL ☺, which is at the same address.

    On Friday evening, if you like we can walk through 1000 years of Luxemburg history in 100 minutes, so please bring good walking shoes and eventually a cane!

    If you have any questions or if you want further details, do contact our President marguerite.ries(at)education(dot)lu or myself info(at)lisel(dot)lu, tel. +352 621 358 168

    Looking forward to a fruitful meeting, I wish you a blessed “montée vers Pâques”

     

    Agnes Rausch

  • Invitation à la rencontre anuelle du SECIS 

    Chers amis de SECIS,

    Bienvenue au Luxembourg, bienvenue au LISEL,


    Notre Présidente, les membres du conseil d’administration et moi-même sont heureux de vous accueillir pour la rencontre annuelle du SECIS de jeudi 27 au samedi 29 juin 2013.

    Ici quelques détails comment arriver au Luxembourg:

    - Par avion, le moins cher est via Francfort-Hahn ou Bruxelles-Charleroi (www.ryanair.com or www.wizzair.com) et ensuite le bus FLIBCO vous amènera à la Gare de Luxembourg cf. www.flibco.com

    - Bien sûr, vous pourriez aussi arriver directement à l’aéroport de Luxembourg www.lux-airport.lu

    - Le TGV vous amènera en un peu plus de deux heures de Paris à Luxembourg.

    - Le voyage en train de Bruxelles, Namur, Aachen/via Liège ou de Delft vous permettra de lire tout un livre ☺.

    Comme la maison d’accueil des Franciscaines était déjà pleine pour la période choisie, nous avons décidé de vous accueillir en familles CVX, chez les Jésuites et dans la maison provincial des Sœurs de la Doctrine chrétienne. Pour bien l’organiser, nous vous demandons de vous inscrire le plus vite possible.

    Nos réunions auront lieu au Centre diocésain Convict, 5 avenue Marie-Thérèse au centre de Luxemburg et les étudiants prépareront nos repas au LISEL ☺, qui se trouve à la même adresse.

    Nous pouvons prévoir pour vendredi soir une promenade de 100 minutes à travers 1000 ans d’histoire du Luxembourg, veuillez apporter souliers de marche et au besoin votre canne ☺.

    Si vous avez des questions ou si vous aimerez connaître d’autres détails, n’hésitez pas à contacter notre Présidente marguerite.ries(at)education(dot)lu ou bien moi-même par info(at)lisel(dot)lu ou via téléphone +352 621 358 168.

    Dans la joie de vous accueillir en vue d’une rencontre fructueuse, je vous souhaite une montée vers Pâques proche de notre Maître et Sauveur.

    Agnès Rausch

  • Report of SECIS general assembly 2012 

    SECIS general assembly 2012

    Place: Fribourg (Suisse) Date: 28-30 June 2012   

    Members present: Pierre Devos (chairman), Marco Cattaneo (treasurer), Hermann Weber (vice-chairman),  Avin Kunnekkadan (vice-chairman, secretary) , Charles De Hemptinne (honorary chairman), Sabine Schwartz (England),  Agnès Rausch (Luxembourg), Sr.Christine Joly (France)  and Sr. Assunta Bridi (Vatican).
     Received excuses letters of inability to attend the meeting  from  Leon O Giollain (Ireland), Jean Charles  van Caloen (Belgium), Peter Wilson (England), Benoit Rivière (France),  Elke Giacomozzi (Austria),  Johann Schneider (Germany), Lucien Descoffres (France), Donal Mckeown (Northern Ireland) and Mérète Klinke (France).

    Day one 28-06-2012

    The president of Secis,  Pierre Devos,  welcomed the members to the general body meeting.   

    The  agenda points were finalized with the consent of the members present.

    A message from His eminence Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio,
      president of the pontifical council for the pastoral care of the migrants and itinerant people was read by Pierre Devos (for details see the attachment).

    The participants gave a short self-introduction.

    The SECIS report of the year 2011 was given to the members. After a brief discussion, the report was unanimously approved by the members.

    The treasurer Marco Cattaneo presented the accounts for the year 2011
    and the budget for the year 2012.The deficit was mainly due to the failure of membership payment. -The treasurer was asked to  write to all the members to  request them to pay the annual membership fee 200.00 each  to the bank account of SECIS  ING: IBAN BE08310141573913 BIC :BBRUBEBB . After a brief discussion, the budget was passed for the year 2012. Hermann Weber informed that he KAAD will contribute some money for the Ex-change program in 2013. The session ended at 20-00 hour.

    Friday 29-06-2012

    Secis presence in Europe
    -9:00,  each member was given 10 minutes to present the chaplaincy work  in his /her country and university campus.

    -After having listened to the good practice of each country and university, the members proposed that each country representative will write a short report of an A4 size on the chaplaincy work and will forward it to the secretary before the end of August 2012 so as to enrich each other with documentation of  the good practice of each country.

    -10:30 The members took a coffee break

    Evaluation of the third world congress Rome
    - 11:00 to 12:00 An evaluation was made of the 3rd world congress on the pastoral care of the international students Rome 30 Nov.to 3 December 2011. The members felt that the congress was well organized. Every one appreciated the audience with the pope and the visit to the Vatican museum and expressed a word thank you to the personnel effort of the cardinal in this realization. After having discussed the third world congress  report as well as the final recommendations of Rome,  the members decided to study the recommendations seriously for the application of the same to the context of each one university campus. Finally, it was decided that the president of SECIS will sent a letter to the cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio expressing the views of SECIS on the final recommendations. To prepare the letter to the cardinal, each country member of SECIS  is asked to send their comments or short explanation to Pierre Devos on selected points of recommendations applicable to the context of each country. A draft the letter will be prepared by Pierre Devos and will be circulated among the members to receive comments before forwarded to the cardinal.

    Conference:
    Bishop Stephen Theophilus from the Idukki India gave a detailed analysis of the inter-religious dialogue practices and the inter-church dialogue practices. The text of this conference is available by sending a message to Marco Cattaneo at justinus(at)justinus(dot)ch

    Holy mass on the fest of Peter and Paul. The bishop along with other priests concelebrated the holy mass. The Bishop gave an inspiring  homily and explained how Peter and Paul, though different in the age and missionary outlook, worked together in dialogue to bring the good news. The members wished fr.Pierre a happy Feast day. 

    Dinner and sight seeing

    18:45 We started a sightseeing  of Fribourg and by 18:30 we began a traditional meal of the local place and all present enjoyed the hospitality of St. Justinu.

     

    Saturday 30-06-201

    SECIS Things to do list for the attention of all members
    1. It was decided that the general assembly of 2013 will be in Luxemburg  from July 11-13, 2013. The proposed theme is   “Pastoral challenges in a secularist university campus”.

    2.  Pierre Devos will contact Agnes with regard to the arrangements of general assembly in 2013.

    3. The next SECIS board meeting will be on 22-23 Feb 2013. All are requested to send their suggestions for the board meeting.

    4. Each member will write an A4 size report of chaplaincy situation and the best practice in each country so as to inform and enrich each other.

    5. Each country representative will send their comments on the recommendations of the third world congress to Pierre Devos to compose a response letter to the cardinal.

    6. Each member of  SECIS will sent a report on the best practices of chaplaincy in each country before the board meeting of February 2013.

    7. It was decided that in future, if a member of the SECIS is not able to come for the meeting, he /she has to find a substitute to represent the country to SECIS general assembly meeting.

    8. Pierre Devos is requested to send the statutes of SECIS and a comprehensive account statement to all the members.

    9. Since Vatican shall write some guidelines for chaplaincies, it was decided at the request of the pontifical council for the pastoral care of the migrants and itinerant people to collect comments and best practices of each country in a two year project work. The general assembly in 2013 should take up the project to finalize it for the Vatican.

    10. The exchange program of students will start in academic year 2012-2013. Pierre Devos will collect the exchange proposals of each country and will sent this program to the SECIS members as well as put it up on the website of SECIS.

    11. The term of the present SECIS board will end in 2013 and it was decided to hold the election of the new board during the general assembly in 2013.

    12. The members decided to write an appreciation and greetings card to the newly elected and appointed auxiliary-bishop Johannes Schneider of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany).

    Communication and website matters 
    The members took a detailed look at the website under construction and proposed ideas to improve the communication system.

    The log in ID is www.secis.info

    All the members are requested to send information and a short write up of the local chaplaincy situation and the good practice to the webmaster of SECIS so that the information can be shared. All the members are encouraged to send the newsletters and special events, photos etc… to the webmaster of SECIS, Marco Cattaneo. He can be reached at justinus(at)justinus (Switzerland).

Invitation Letter to SECIS Encounter July 2019

B-1050 Brussel , Belgium

Namur, 28th March 2019

 

FIRST ANNOUCEMENT OF THE ANNUAL ENCOUNTER & GENERAL ASSEMBLY of SECIS
Topic: “International Students as part of the European Project”
Dear friends, dear members,
I am happy to invite all of you to the Annual Encounter & General Assembly of SECIS 2019 which will take place in Namur from Thursday 4th July until Saturday 6th July.
SECIS (Service of European Churches for International Students) is a network offering to those directly concerned with international students in each European country the possibility to exchange with their colleagues of others European countries good practice in the pastoral and spiritual care of international students. This is presently realized via an annual meeting in one of the members’ countries.
The purpose of SECIS is not to interfere with the local actions but to afford a supra-national value: « acting locally, thinking internationally ». The first step is the local step. The international step is the result of exchanges starting from the local reality.

 

Program
Thursday 4th July
16h Arrival of participants
18h Welcome and presentation of the topic
20h Dinner and discovery of Namur
Friday 5th July
08h30 Departure for Brussels
10h30 - 12h30 Meeting with a member of the European Commission
13h00 Lunch nearby
15h00 visit of COMECE (Catholic Church in the European Union)
17h00 Meeting and Celebration of the Eucharist at the Chapel of Europe
19h00 Back to Namur
21h00 Dinner
Saturday 6th July
9h30 until 12h00 General Assembly of SECIS (new board and future)
12h00 Lunch and departure
Registration on line
To participate to the meeting, please fill up the registration form on line at
https://jornadasconferenciaepiscopal.es/SECIS before the 14th May. On the basis of
your payment, you will receive confirmation of your registration.
For the members of SECIS, your subscription 2019 is intended to pay the cost of
accommodation and meals; only the travel is therefore at your own expense.
For the non-members, the cost of registration plus accommodation is 150 euros; the
cost of registration plus meals solely (without accommodation) is 50 euros.
Something very important: a photocopy of your passport or identity card is requested
at the time of your registration because we have to provide the commission in advance
with the list of participants to enter the buildings of the commission.
You will receive later more information concerning your arrival in Namur and the
program.
Looking forward seeing you!
Sincerely yours,
Pierre Devos, chairman

  • 2017/2018
  • Country Report Germany 2018 

    Country Report  Germany 2018

    Catholic Church Pastoral for

    International Students in Germany

    Internationalisation of the German Higher Education

    The German system of Higher/Tertiary Education with its 428

    universities/universities of applied sciences (ca. 100 private, but

    obliged to follow high standards of accreditation) has been challenged

    during the last about 20 years by processes of economisation and the

    implementation of the so called “Bologna-reform”. There is still (and

    actually growing) a certain balancing position by the governmental

    and coordinating public agencies against tendencies to shape

    the universities (traditionally following in Germany the ideals of

    Humboldt) according to an “enterprise-model” (as “Leitbild”) and to

    give a dominant role to vocational-oriented education (“Ausbildung”)

    instead of a formation of the whole personality (“Bildung”) via science

    in view of the common good of the society beyond labour-market.

     

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

  • Country report England 2018 

    Country report England 2018

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

  • Country report Austria 2018 

    Country report Austria 2018

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

  • 2015/2016
  • 2014/2015
  • SWITZERLAND ANNUAL REPORT 2014 

    CH Report 2014

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

     

  • PORTUGAL ANNUAL REPORT 2014 

    PT Report 2014

    University Pastoral

     

    Framework:

    The Pastoral of Higher Education is a service of the Catholic Church present in all the Dioceses of Portugal.

    Its intervention focus the different academies (through students, faculty and staff) located within the geographical area of each Diocese.

    In every diocese, it is generally formed by an executive team of volunteers, to which members of the respective Academic communities will freely volunteer to participate in actions that will be developed.

    The activities that the Pastoral of Higher Education, in every diocese, develops throughout the year are diverse and very different: in many of them, there are often cultural meetings, seminars, training, volunteering, youth meetings, hiking, adventure activities, gatherings, concerts, theatrical performances, multicultural festivals, poetry meetings, movie nights, retreats, reflection meetings, moments of prayer, cultural evenings, intercultural indoor soccer tournament, photo contests, etc.

    In several dioceses, it also marks its active presence in social action with the university community, supporting university students in precarious situation: delivery of food supplies, counselling and spiritual guidance. Volunteering is one of the key milestones of its activity, with the promotion of different voluntary actions of the students: the elderly, drug addicts, the mentally ill, children.

     

    In certain dioceses there are also support projects for the integration of foreigners, particularly students coming from Portuguese-speaking African countries, who face an academic requirement to which they were not used to and, in addition, they look for social integration in an entirely different society and culture. In this regard, the Pastoral seeks to guide these students in the new community where they are, thereby addressing their adaptive and relational needs.

     

    There are also, in some dioceses, the concern for meeting students who come to Portugal with the Erasmus Program, though, the Pastoral has not major projects for these students. However, it seeks to invite them and insert them in their various activities, particularly hiking, Christmas dinner, cultural debates, etc. The Pastoral wants to, thereby, reduce the pain of departure from the country, the family and their living context, providing them moments of interaction, exchange, sharing and building relational foundations that will enable them to feel more secure and confident in the purpose that brought them to Portuguese universities

     

    Objectives:

    The Pastoral has the fundamental objective of raising awareness of the Academic Community for Christian values, promoting actions leading to building rich personalities in Faith, Solidarity and Culture.

    As the University is the prime location for the development of talent and knowledge, the Pastoral seeks to channel the acquisition of information for a search for the meaning of life, of joy and ethical achievement.

    Thus, the Pastoral of Higher Education not only welcomes people in the academic life, but also stimulates a dialogue between faith, culture and science, seeking openness to new ideas and horizons.

     

    The main goals of this Pastoral can be defined as:

    §  Development of collaboration and dialogue with the Academic Community, aimed at promoting the intellectual, cultural and spiritual human being;

    §  Supporting and welcoming all Catholics and non-Catholic Christians as well as representatives of other religions and cultures within various universities, while maintaining an atmosphere of mutual respect and ecumenism;

    §  Providing to all members of the Academic Community, spaces to help them build a physical and emotional balance;

    §  Supporting voluntary projects, in several areas.

     

     

     

     

     

  • LISEL ANNUAL REPORT 2014 

    LISEL Report 2014

     

    Hello dear members of SECIS,

     

    I am really sorry that I cannot attend the meeting next week, and hope I will join in 2016!

     

    We work hard on some points and also have some small success and resultsJ):

     

    One of our projects is the inter-generational living in Luxembourg (elderley people and students). We face some problems because elderly people don’t speak English and our students are mostly English speakers (from India, China, Pakisten, Iran ...).

    Another probem is that University is rather young and we don’t have like ‚best practise’ of living together and having contacts.

    But one very big step in this direction is done by Caritas:

    Yesterday we took part in the celebration of putting the first stone of a house to be build for persons with low income and students -living together.

    Marguerite (our president), Marco Hoffmann, member of the board of Lisel representing Caritas and me participate in a group to elaborate a common project for this house, that will be finished in December 2016.

    It is the first project like that in Luxembourg and we are proud to take part in it!

     

    We started in October a new living project in  the house of sisters, who offer 5 rooms for girls. We take stagiaires to these rooms,  who cannot get a room from University because they are not registered in University of Luxembourg and also stay for a short period (running from 2 weeks up to 5 month). In total we rent 22 rooms to students

     

    University is moving to the South of Luxembourg. We met the rector and both vice-rectors to tell about Lisel and convince them that our work is most important!!!

    They promised us that we will get  a place for the student market (that can also be meeting place- we hope so!!) at the campus in Esch.

    But everything takes a lot of time and the building, where we will move in, will not be finished before 2016...

     

    Our Friday events are still really like ‚coming home’ for the students. We will submit this project to the competition organized by a bank in Luxembourg, to get a bit more money. For the moment we have 30€ per week (we have an average of 25 students every week).

     

    Week-end trips, mostly on Saturdays, are organized once a month in Luxembourg and once a month in a city close to Luxembourg. We also continue to offer it during exam time (that’s new!), because our PhD students and stagiaires are free on weekends and don’t have to study.

     

    Semester trip (February) was in Istanbul last year, Berlin this year and we will go to Rome next year!!

     

    Actually our volunteers (European Volunteers by Erasmus+) are from Bosnia and Turkey. We have one application from Russia and one partner organization in Germany for September.

     

    We also have a staff of volunteers to help for the French discussion, taking care of the student market, taking care of the houses communities....

     

    You see that we are still alive!!!!!

    and step by step I even manage daily life of Lisel!!

     

    I send thousands of good wishes to all of you and Lisel greetings.

  • ENGLAND AND WALES ANNUAL REPORT 2014 

    England and Wales Report 2014

     

    Care of International Students in England and Wales

    Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education in England and Wales

     

    ·         There is no specific agency that ministers exclusively to international students; however, these make up for a very high percentage of the overall congregation in most Higher Education chaplaincies around the country. The care of international students tends therefore to be high on the agenda of must University Chaplains.

    ·         On the whole, there are few residential chaplaincy, most of which accommodate only a handful of students. The London Catholic Chaplaincy, where our SECIS assembly is meeting the largest of these, with approximately 60 resident students. Besides this, there are also both home students and international students.

    ·         Some chaplains are welcomed by universities and are very active on campus, other work from nearby Catholic chaplaincies; some do both.

    ·         International Students face many problems of isolation and culture shock, including within the Catholic Church where liturgy and understanding of the Faith may be expressed very differently from at home. There are also a significant number who arrive with undeclared mental health problems or develop them here. Fear of loss of face or being made to leave university may this group is part of their ministry.

    ·         Most chaplaincies operate on a tight budget and provide spiritual and emotional support, simple hospitality and opportunities for growth in theological knowledge and understanding of the Faith and of the Word of God. However, many chaplains are often approached by international students in material hardship, and we try to support them either on an ad-hoc basis or by helping them to access support services in the University or in the local community.

    ·         Our Catholic community in England and Wales is made up from Catholic from across the word and our history in the last two hundred years has been as a Church constantly welcoming migrants and being enriched by their contribution, so our parishes also welcome students in their midst and the presence of young people in the parish is seen as an asset.

     

    ·         Hostility to immigration has made life more difficult for students particularly in getting and extending their visas and can make them feel unwelcome. University study in the UK is also very expensive both for home and international students, so there is great competition for part time work, much of which is low paid. The fact that many students have to work to survive has an impact on community life on campus. For Catholic students, the Sunday Mass and hospitality linked to it can be an important support.

  • BELGIUM ANNUAL REPORT 2014 

    BE Report 2014

     

    Pastoral care for international students in Belgium :  June 2015

    Le système universitaire belge comporte des universités de l’état et des universités libres qui sont elles-mêmes réparties en universités non confessionnelles et  confessionnelles (catholiques). L’enseignement supérieur non-universitaire,  qui représente comparativement le double d’effectif, est actuellement associé peu à peu à l’universitaire dans le cadre  de pôles régionaux.  Toutes les universités sont subsidiées par l’état pour ce qui concerne le corps enseignant et les étudiants. Seules les universités d’état reçoivent en outre des subsides pour la construction de bâtiments. Le coût relativement léger d’une inscription universitaire résulte du fait que, en Belgique, la taxation sur le salaire des citoyens est assez élevée par rapport à celle d’autres pays.

    Seules les universités catholiques ont structurellement une aumônerie étudiante. Cela concerne Antwerpen, Leuven, Louvain-La-Neuve, Namur, Bruxelles (St Louis). Il existe par ailleurs un réseau de maisons d’accueil d’inspiration chrétienne pour les étudiants internationaux (surtout les pays du Tiers Monde) qui se destinent à l’université et à l’enseignement supérieur non universitaire. Ces maisons (Antwerpen, Gent, Tournai, Mons, Charleroi, Bruxelles, Louvain-La-Neuve) sont regroupées dans une association appelée FENACA (FEdération NAtionale des Centres d’Accueil pour étudiants du Sud – NAtionale FEderatie van Onthaalcentra voor Studenten van het Zuiden). Cette fédération  née à partir de  l’aumônerie nationale des étudiants internationaux a son siège social à Bruxelles (205, chaussée de Wavre, 5000 Bruxelles). Actuellement, je suis le dernier aumônier et, en même temps, secrétaire de l’association.

    Les membres de la  FENACA se retrouvent régulièrement (4/5 fois par an) dans une des maisons pour un repas amical avec échange d’informations et c’est, éventuellement, l’occasion d’un conseil d’administration ou d’une assemblée générale. Les contacts sont très bons. On essaye depuis deux ans de créer une seule association réunissant la FENACA et le CNA/NKO(Comité National d’Accueil pour étudiants du sud) qui se veut pluraliste. La démarche est difficile car une méfiance demeure vis-à-vis de la FENACA d’inspiration chrétienne. Face au Gouvernement qui, en période de restriction budgétaire, touche aux plus fragiles qui coûtent et ne rapportent pas au sens économique du terme à l’Etat, on mène des actions communes pour mieux faire connaitre l’importance du travail réalisé par les maisons d’accueil. On espère aboutir en tout cas à une sorte de plateforme commune respectant les choix idéologiques des deux composantes. Cela demande du temps. Une réunion de la FENACA sur ce sujet a eu lieu ce 23 juin 2015.

    Une action collective a conduit l’an dernier à la réalisation d’une exposition itinérante du 8 au 28 mars 2014 dont le thème était : « Ma maison loin de ma maison – Où vivent les étudiants du sud en Belgique ? ».

    L’inspiration chrétienne se traduit par le fait que bon nombre d’étudiant(e)s participent aux célébrations des Paroisses sur le territoire desquelles se situent les maisons d’accueils et par le fait que celles-ci sont ouvertes aux conférences, débats etc… référant explicitement au domaine religieux.   

     

     

     

     

    Pour plus d’informations sur les activités de chacun des centres d’accueils de la FENACA, voici les adresses des sites :   www.OBSG.be        www.placet.be     www.collectifdesfemmes.be   « maison internationale de Tournai »       www.caceac.be     www.maisoninter.be     www.itbsantwerpen.be    www.maisonafricaine.be    

    Il existe également  dans la ville de Louvain-La-Neuve une maison qui dépend d’une association sans but lucratif  dénommée « Mission-Louvain-La-Neuve ». Elle constitue un pôle missionnaire inséré dans le projet de l’asbl Missio dont le siège social est à Bruxelles.  Cette maison doit son origine à l’aumônerie nationale des étudiants internationaux et a un rôle explicitement missionnaire. Une petite communauté de religieuses (à l’origine « Sœurs Blanches D’Afrique ») occupe une partie de la maison et y accueille  des étudiantes issues de l’Afrique et s’engageant à collaborer à ce projet.

     

     

    Pierre Devos sj

  • GERMANY ANNUAL REPORT 2014 

    DE Report 2014

    Catholic Church Pastoral for International Students in Germany 2015

    Internationalisation of the German Higher Education

    The German system of Higher/Tertiary Education with its 423 universities/universities of applied sciences (ca. 100 private, but obliged to follow high standards of accreditation) has been challenged during the last about 15 years by processes of economisation and the implementation of the so called “Bologna-reform”. There is still (and actually growing) a certain balancing position by the governmental and coordinating public agencies against tendencies to shape the universities (traditionally following in Germany the ideals of Humboldt) according to an “enterprise-model” (as “Leitbild”) and to give a dominant role to vocational-oriented education (“Ausbildung”) instead of a formation of the whole personality (“Bildung”) via science in view of the common good of the society beyond labour-market. The level of privatisation is relatively low in the German Higher Education-sector. All this depends also on the policy of the federal states (Bundesländer) which maintain constitutionally a dominating influence inside the German cultural federalism. At the same time the often prevailing “benchmark”-orientation towards an international standard-model of a “world class university”, mainly characterised by “excellence”, has also been put into question accompanied by a recall of the traditional (cultural) strengths of the German universities pleading in general for a “bio-diversity” of university cultures and the possibility of “Differenzerfahrung” (experience of cultural diversity) for international students. The German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) opts also for curricula which favour “global citizenship” (Weltbürgertum) in German universities.

    Meanwhile there is a large consensus that Germany showed a certain “overdose” of obedience implementing the Bologna-reforms. An inflexible, even “dogmatic” model of Bachelor-Master-PhD-Curricula had been introduced (3/2/3 years) and even internalised by the students themselves leading to high workload and pressure; after students’ protests more flexibility had been admitted. In the context of “Bologna” English as teaching-language got significant importance in German universities, mainly for internationally oriented courses (ca. 25% of “Bildungsausländer” attend curricula exclusively in English); but in this point also a counter-movement valorising German as language of science and humanities is ongoing.

    Germany is the third country worldwide in terms of the numbers of international students. The Bologna-reforms and partial English-teaching had been favourable, but the steady increase is mainly due to economic reasons (meanwhile entire abolition of regular study-fees; quota of scholarships among international students 23 %; quota of accommodation of them in hostels 37 %; relatively good chances on the temporary job-market, later-on also in certain sectors of the labour-market (the quota of those who remain after study to work is estimated by 50 %).

     

    The DAAD which claims to be the biggest public agency for international academic exchange worldwide is campaigning in direction of a number of 350.000 international students in 2020. This campaign is still balanced between the interests of the German economy (lack of high potential workers due to demographical reasons) or the universities themselves (integration of the most brilliant researchers) and the focus on exchange and capacity-building in the (developing or emerging/transforming) countries of origin of the international students which could suffer from brain drain-effects. The overall objective of a forced “internationalisation” seems nevertheless the national and European economic competition as base for the building-up of a “knowledge based economy and society”.


    “Secularism“ in German universities? – The status of Catholic university pastoral

    Following a paper of the German university pastoral accepted by our Bishops’ Conference in January 2013, the religious “neutrality” of German authorities in the Higher Education field has been increasingly interpreted in the case of Christian actors not as “cooperative neutrality” (German constitutional tradition) but as a “neutralization” of them. In general, this does not appear in an aggressive manner but happens sometimes “unconsciously” without being deliberately expressed (taboo or lack of language to deal with the subject?). So university pastoral is an “agency” among others, in competition with other religious or secular actors. Only 5 % of university students can still be integrated in the activities of our chaplaincies. However, in general it seems that the university sector as far as students are concerned is no more “secularized” than the German society as a whole. Additionally to new confessional actors on campus, there is a free floating “irrational” spirituality noticeable among the students.

    Furthermore a certain “pressure” coming from Muslim or Pentecostal actors (“Evangelikale”) is visible on the campuses which urge the authorities to give them space and representation (a solution on some campuses is the establishment of a multi-religious “House of Silence” to create a “neutral” room mostly used by Muslims for their prayers). Also a first Jewish religious community has been established (Potsdam); Muslim organisations started their own scholarship-program (“Avicenna”). In terms of “competition” it can be noticed a growing rivalry also inside the world-religions on campus, especially Islam, which tendency/denomination could represent best their religion. The general need for response of the authorities to religious demands – in the context of a necessary “integration” of migrant groups in our society – could also help to “relaunch” the attention for the traditional Christian presence on the campus. E.g. on a higher level the coordination board for scientific research (“Wissenschaftsrat”) stimulates the presence of Christian Theological Faculties and at the same time the creation of Faculties for Islamic Theology.

    Therefore we also experience, with the motto “diversity” – which includes a wider spectrum of factors like gender, culture, age etc. – a growing attention for the presence of religious actors. This goes hand in hand with an increasingly reduced Christian contribution to this tendency. The danger consists for our pastoral actors in taking a “defensive” position in view of more “secularist” university authorities on the one hand and towards a growing plurality of spiritual and confessional actors on the other hand.

     

    Despite of a well structured coordination on national level (see below) the university pastoral remains primarily under diocesan regime depending also on the priorities of the Bishop, diocesan administration and the different levels of (church tax-)income. E.g. our most “internationalised” city/capital Berlin relies on relatively weak institutional possibilities for the pastoral work with international students. Of course university pastoral became part of structural reforms due to the decrease of ecclesiastical practice and engagement of the German population and the lack of priests. So a discussion is open to link students’ chaplaincies closer to or even to bring them under the umbrella of the traditional (“territorial”) parishes (both shrinking) whatever that could mean for their specific “profile”. Target-groups would then be more generally “young-adults”. Also the diaconic presence via refugee-aid has been enlarged in the students’ chaplaincies.

    Catholic Church-Responsibilities for Students

    1. University Students in general:

    1a. National: Commission VIII of the German Bishop´s Conference,

    responsible: Auxiliary Bishop Wilfried Theising, Münster

    1b. Coordination of Dioceses: Konferenz für Hochschulpastoral / Forum Hochschule und Kirche

     

    2. International Students:

    2a. National: Commission VIII of the German Bishop´s Conference

    responsible: Auxiliary Bishop Wilfried Theising, Münster

    2b. KAAD (clearing agency) together with 1b.

     

     

    Pastoral activities and scholarships

    KAAD documented the spectrum of pastoral activities and scholarships for international students for the last time in 2010 based on 68 questionnaires from all German dioceses (www.kaad.de/publikationen/publikationsliste/) including good-practice-examples in the fields of inter-religious dialogue, various forms of counselling, Catholic hostels, international partnerships of university chaplaincies, emergency funds, scholarships etc.

    In quantitative terms the capacity of approximately 8000 rooms in Catholic student hostels, often priorily for international students, is still impressing (but decreasing due to the decision of some dioceses to close hostels). For 2013 we estimate about 5.5 Mio. Euro invested in scholarships and (shorter) emergency aid for international students in Germany on diocesan and national level, the biggest part for a strategic world-church oriented scholarship-program for lay-people (KAAD, ca. 3.2 Mio. for scholarships, see below). The amount of what German Catholic church organisations annually spent for the formation of “international” priests/theologians is much higher (in 2009 estimated 11 Mio. for university-studies and Major Seminaries), but overwhelmingly aiming to Higher Education-institutions outside Germany (Rome as preferred place, English or French speaking countries, Major Seminaries in home- or third countries). Recently a new program for mainly doctoral studies of priests and religious people started (“Albertus-Magnus-Programm”) with the objective to bring more international scholars in theology to Germany (instead of destinations outside) and to give them educational and spiritual orientation in the German ambiance in analogy to the form of close assistance which KAAD offers (2014 34 scholars of AMP). The KAAD inside the Catholic world church is a very specific German foundation as fruit of the new openness of German Catholics to world-church partnership after World War II.

     

    Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst

    The Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) is the scholarship institution of the German Catholic Church for post-graduate students and scientists from (developing) countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, as well as Eastern and South Eastern Europe (lay-people). The KAAD supports its scholars in form of scholarships and educational programs and offers spiritual and personal assistance in view of future multiplying functions students will have in their home countries. This is based on cooperation with partner committees and associations of ex-scholars in those countries and it aims at setting up (scientific) networks and at contributing to a holistic development, which includes the religious and inter-religious dimensions.

    Some figures for 2014 in short:

    -    Ties with 54 partner committees and 28 alumni associations.

    -    The educational program of KAAD in Germany and abroad contained 54 events with 1,550 participants.

    -    The main event in Germany was the Annual Convention in Bonn, attended by 277 people. It dealt with the topic “Global Health” from an intercultural point of view. The highlight among the events abroad was the conference on “Future development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)” in Jawa Barat, Indonesia.

    -    In 2014 the KAAD was able to sponsor a total of 458 fellows (previous year: 453): 240 individuals in Scholarship Program I (250), 124 in Scholarship Program II (118) and 94 in the Eastern Europe-Program (85). The Bonn Office received 12,702 first application requests (13,467).

    -    The total budget of around 4,6 million Euro came again mainly from church taxes (60,5% - Association of German Dioceses, VDD). Considerable contributions came also from the KZE (the years before from Misereor), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Renovabis. Third-party funds that derived from cooperation with universities and dioceses are not as significant in terms of quantity, they, nevertheless, form an important part of our network (3,4%).

     

    The Annual Convention 2015 focused on “Global Student? – Educational Migration as Challenge for Church and Universities” (our website shows the presented papers, mainly in German; see www.kaad.de/Publikationen).

     

     

    June 2015

    Dr. Hermann Weber/Secretary General KAAD

  • Netherland annual report 2014 

    NL Report 2014

    A short report of International student chaplaincy ( ISC) activities

    The year 2014 ISC Delft may count as a year of blessing. It seems to be a record breaking blessing year.

    A summer which started early and lasted longest than records ever showed before, the largest ever group of 22 Masters of Science leaving for their homelands which hurt but is part of the church of touch and go.

    Next on the list was Father Heinz Kuluke, Superior General of the SVD Order, visited ISC Raamstraat international student church Sunday celebration.  He is a most relaxed and wonderful person and in his homily he shared his mission efforts with the deprived of the Visayas (Philippines) where he worked with and for the children living in garbage dumps. SVD stands for Society of the Divine Word, well Father Heinz can be called a Divine Humanitarian, and surely God is super proud of him.

    Of course spring surprise family feat of Rev. Waltraut Stroh, who, as grandmother, baptized her own grandson Jan. in the international student church  True, not a real ISC Delft relation, but distant relatives are relatives too right? Rev. Stroh did call all the visiting children, witnessing the event little future engineers which bridged the gap. May grandson Jan live up to grandma’s expectation, but first things first a happy cuddly childhood.

    IHE UNESCO PHD research student Nigerian Pedi Obani was next to receive all three sacraments in one go. She was a regular Bible study sharing group member for the past two years with the ISC.  The choir accompanied Indonesian Adji in a Nigerian (Hausa) sang Lord’s Prayer, breathtaking and tear jerking for the baptized as well as her Godparents, the honorable Bishop sure missed a great celebration!

    Next was the distant wedding of Ceaser in Jakarta, Indonesia, witnessed by no less than nine ISC Delft member who joyfully conquered the eleven plus thousand miles, seven from Delft and two from Rome (former Delft). Some call it wedding; some marriage whereas I love the British term wedlock, sounds more permanent and more in connection with the vows before God. Love to think that God holds the keys to the wedlock and doesn’t hesitate to throw them if parties do not stick to their vows. Again, to feel the closeness with the newlyweds in Raamstraat, Father& Son, Senot & Adji, in the right Spirit, recited the Lord’s Prayers in Bahasa Indonesia. Indeed we are what a church, what a family, what a home (be it away from home).

    The next marvel on the list that made his way to the TUDelft Auditorium as humble Italian Diego Riste, exiting the same premises as 3-D, Distinguished Doctor Diego, second Cum Laude on ISC Delft Record, preceded only by fellow Italian Prof. Dr. Ir. Anna Dal’Acqua. He was almost embarrassed with the laudations, humble as he is and will, by nature always remain.

    Came October 19, a joint Christian water-fest. A bright day by all means to be baptized 1 named Luca, meaning light (Italian rooted again) joined by his Indonesian buddy Lukas meaning light as well. One to be blessed with baptism by Father Avin, the other bathed in blessed water by Mother (Rev) Waltraut, thus the fresh water students came in handy. It was a grand turnout, not fitting the chapel by near so we used the main church instead with some help local volunteers reshuffling chairs and manning the sound system. The celebration was a bit lengthy but inevitable in a joint affair. The Indonesian ISC sisters took care of a fine supply of catering after the service.

    In the finals of this month of great harvest remains Doctor to be Pavel Babal, who will undoubtedly successfully defend his thesis too. It seems we must learn to be patient in ISC Delft with so many Doctors watching us!  Blessings? Well, since 1981 over two thousand ISC brothers and sisters went home as Masters in their field, a good thirty made the next step on the academic ladder, PhD , Doctor. I would not dare preview on what we pray and hope to be in store for each and every one of us, let it be hope, happiness and health first and foremost and next the fighting spirit to reach what you reached for. As every year, when the splash of fresh water specialist find their way to their rooms along the Delft canals and to our beloved Raamstraat church, I sigh with satisfaction that we may build new highlights in yet another academic season.

    This year there are more than 1500 new international students have began their academic study in TU delft ,180 in ISS and 210 in IHE UNESCO Delft. The regular activities such as accompanying the students with spiritual guidance and counselling as well as weekly Monday Bible study, Global meeting point, Sunday liturgy and singing practice is going on well.

    On 15th of November will be the National interfaith conference and all the ISP members are most welcome to join this year the theme is faith and Justice .The place of the conference is ISS kortenerkade 12 beginning at 10AM on 15th November 2014.


    Avin Kunnekkadan SVD

  • 2013/2014
  • SWITZERLAND ANNUAL REPORT 2013 

    CH Report 2013

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

  • NETHERLAND ANNUAL REPORT 2013 

    NL Report 2013

     

    ISP foundation

    by the International Student Chaplaincy (ISC) Delft, Den Haag and Rotterdam

    www.iscnetherlands.nl

    At the end of the year 2012 we look back to academic year (2012/2013) and forward to the year 2014. We are glad to see that the ISC is a place in Delft where students from the TU Delft and from the UNESCO-IHE and Erasmus university meet outside their academic programme in an inviting and open atmosphere inter-religious and multicultural setting. As the internationalising is on the top agenda of many universities we have a Bachelor students, and more of Master students and a big number of PhD researchers who find their way to ISP activities. We realize a special need amongst the PhD fellows for social contact and exchange of ideas as they often work alone and live away from the families for a long time .

    Study trip to Rome and Assisi, laverna

    (see a n enlarged version of the report separately on the website ) Our biggest project last academic year was a study and exposure trip to Rome and Assisi laverana in July 2013 under the title “ spirituality of St. Franciscus a response to economic crisis and environmental crisis”. 12 participants joined this unique programme. In all 8 days we had a very rich experience Franciscan spirituality The participants were grateful for this great learning experience in Franciscan spirituality that plays an important role in the global economy and technology.

    Global Meeting Point

    Once in a month, we bring students together for an international meal cooked by participants of a specific country and a discussion about a relevant topic. The evenings are prepared by a small Steering Committee composed of Master and PhD students. We enjoyed meals from Brazil, Iran, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Kenya and the Netherlands. Eating together is an important aspect of community building. The topics had a wide range, just to give some examples: homosexuality, poverty in the Netherlands, conflict and peace, surviving the Netherlands. Eating habits around the world . We had 11 evenings for global meeting attended by 10 to 20 people.

    Interfaith Activities

    This year we held a series of evenings about forgiveness and reconciliation. This is a theme at the heart of all religions and it plays in many of the countries where the students come from (Rwanda, Kenya, Pakistan etc.). The first evening is dedicated to a general introduction and personal sharing about conflicts and reconciliation in our own lives. The second evening we watched a moving documentary:The imam and

    the pastor” about Northern Nigeria. The third evening we had a Japanese professor as speaker about the Dutch – Japanese relations. And the last evening started with a documentary about reconciliation after the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008.

    We offered a weekend training in inter-religious dialogue at Rijswijk together with Islam & Dialoog. This was a follow-up of a training programme in October 2012. Besides practical exercises and discussions, we were able to attend a prayer in a mosque and a synagogue, to visit a Hindu Temple and to join a Christian Sunday service. For many participants, it was the first time to pray with other believers and they were deeply impressed. In our chaplaincy work we see the promotion of inter-religious tolerance and understanding remains an important issue in the Netherlands and other parts of the world, and we are glad to be able to contribute a bit in that regard.

    Conferences and retreats

    In November 2012 students from Delft joined our national Interfaith Conference at the ISS in The Hague organized in cooperation with Islam & Dialog. Not only but also at the TU Delft environmental concerns and sustainability play an important role. In this conference we looked at the spiritual level of our responsibility for the future of our globe, and how the different religious traditions can give us inspiration.

    Another national 2 day-retreat attended by students of the TU was held in May in an ecumenical center in Utrecht the brand punt. With the title “Secularisation and faith in a changing modern social perspectives from a Christian view”. We especially reflected about the concept of faith and religion in university campus. The participants enjoyed being close to nature and having time off from their studies.

    Spiritual activities

    Every Sunday students of all denominations are invited for an English Ecumenical service in the Raamstraat church. Students participate actively in the service and enjoy this ‘home away from home’ as they like to say. The church community becomes for them like a family. A student choir prepares each week the songs for the Sunday.

    During festivals like Christmas, the Holy Week and Easter we have many special prayers. This year, for the first time, we held a full prayer night till the next morning in the Holy Week.

    At Pentecost, we held a combined service with the Dutch Raamstraat parish and active participation of students. In this way, we can give a valuable contribute to our Dutch host parish.

    Counseling

    The chaplains were available throughout the year for personal counseling in all kinds of life and faith issues. A lot of time is consumed in personal confidential sharing of the special issues of the students. Confession, marriage preparation course and at times Baptism preparation etc… takes a lot of time along with every Sunday liturgical celebrations. This year there were 24 students who attended our marriage preparation course. There is a growing number children in our community. We hope

    to begin some special activities for the family and children in the year 2014 programme.

    Peace meditation and hatha yoga

    The meditation and hatha yoga classes were continued on a weekly base in the Voorstraat. There is a need for relaxation, stress reducing, concentration and awareness on the physical, emotional and mental level. The course is led by Carmen Lai, member of the ISC and former promovenda from the TU.

    Bible Study Evenings Twice a month, Bible study and singing and sharing is conducted. An average of 10 to 17 students attend the Bible study. Every bible study evening begin with a meal to facilitate the community formation and close interaction among the students. At times DVD on Biblical themes are taken up and seen to discuss relevant issues of life and Scripture. In the month of October, there was a special multi language and cultural Rosary evening along with the bible study and sharing. Now being the winter months we hope to conduct the bible study in the respective students hostels to facilitate more active participation. Due to popular demand from the students, the bible study is a regular activity of every Monday as the year is the year of faith. We are happy to see even muslim students attending the open bible study sharing sessions

    Chaplaincy Committee All our activities are planned and evaluated by a Chaplaincy Committee composed by Master and PhD students from the TU and the UNESCO-IHE which meets every 2 – 3 months. In this way, the input of students is guaranteed and the activities meet their needs. Without a lot of voluntary contributions of students, we could not achieve all these activities.

    For more information and details on our activities and for contact, please visit our website www.iscnetherlands.nl

    Avin Kunnekkadan SVD ,

    Chaplain of Netherlands

  • GERMANY ANNUAL REPORT 2013 

    DE Report 2013

    SECIS: Country Report KAAD 2013

      

     

    Number of international students in Germany (WT 2011/12 and WT 2012/13)

     

     

    265‘292 / 281,076

     

     Foreign Students/Bildungsinländer1

    (WT 2011/12)

     

    72,439

     

     Foreign Students/Bildungsausländer 2

    (WT 2011/12)

     

    192,853

     

    Country of origin of the international students in Germany (WT 2011/12)

    I

    Turkey

    IV

    Poland

    II

    China

    V

    Austria

    III

    Russian Fed.

    VI

    Italy

     

     Number of national students abroad

    (2010)

     

     

    About 126,600

     

     Countries of major concentration of national students (2010)

    I

    Austria

    IV

    Switzerland

    II

    Netherlands

    V

    USA

    III

    Great Britain

    VI

    France

     

     Number of Universities in total

     

    427

     

    Number of Catholic Universities

     

     

    1 University + 5 Univ. of Applied Sciences

     

     

    „Secularism“ in German universities?

    Following a paper of the German university pastoral accepted by our Bishops’ Conference in January 2013, the religious “neutrality” of German authorities in the Higher Education field has been increasingly interpretated in the case of Christian actors not as “cooperative neutrality” (German constitutional tradition) but as a “neutralization” of them. In general, this does not appear in an aggressive manner but happens sometimes “unconsciously” without being deliberately expressed (taboo?). So university pastoral is an “agency” among others, in competition with other religious or secular actors. Only 5 % of university students can still be integrated in the activities of our chaplaincies. In general it seems however that the university sector as far as students are concerned is not more “secularized” than the German society as a whole. Additionally to new confessional actors on the campus, there is a free floating “irrational” spirituality noticeable among the students.

     

    Furthermore a certain “pressure” coming from muslim or pentecostal actors (“Evangelikale”) is visible on the campuses which urge the authorities to give them space and representation (a solution on some campuses is the establishment of a multireligious “House of Silence” to create a “neutral” room mostly used by muslims for their prayers). Also a first Jewish religious community has been established (Potsdam). This general need for response to religious demands – in the context of a necessary “integration” of migrant groups in our society – could also help to “reanimate” the attention for the traditional Christian presence on the campus. On a higher level the coordination board for scientific research f. ex. (“Wissenschafsrat”) therefore stimulates the presence of Christian Theological Faculties and at the same time the creation of Faculties for Islamic Theology.

    1 Bildungsinlaender: Students who are foreign nationals (or stateless students) and who have obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a German school or passed a Gifted Students Test (Begabtenprüfung) or an Aptitude Test (Eignungsprüfung) in Germany.

    2 Bildungsauslaender: Students who are foreign nationals (or stateless students) and who have obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a foreign school. This status also applies to foreign students who have complemented their school qualifications by attending a German Studienkolleg (preparatory course for higher education admission).

    Conclusion: we experience under the motto “diversity” a growing attention for the presence of religious actors. This goes hand in hand with an increasingly reduced Christian presence inside this tendency. The danger consists for our pastoral actors in taking a merely “defensive” position in view of more “secularist” university authorities on the one hand and towards a growing plurality of spiritual and confessional actors on the other hand.

    1. University Students:

    2. International Students:

    1a. National: Commission VIII of the German Bishop´s Conference,responsible:

    Bishop Dr. Heinrich Mussinghoff, Aix-la-Chapelle.

    2a. National: Commission VIII of the German Bishop´s Conference

    1b. Coordination of Dioceses: Konferenz für Hochschulpastoral / Forum Hochschule und Kirche

    2b. KAAD (clearing agency) together with 1b.

     

     KAAD ACTIVITIES IN 2012

    The Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) is the scholarship institution of the German Catholic Church for post-graduate students and scientists from (developing) countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, as well as Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The KAAD supports its scholars in form of scholarships and educational programs and offers spiritual and personal assistance in view of future multiplying functions students will have in their home countries. This is based on cooperation with partner committees and associations of ex-scholars in those countries and it aims at setting up (scientific) networks and at contributing to a holistic development, which includes the religious and inter-religious dimensions.

    2012 IN SHORT

    - Ties with 52 partner committees and 27 alumni associations.

    - The educational program of KAAD in Germany and abroad contained 76 events with 1,630 participants.

    - In 2012 KAAD-representatives visited a total of 14 partner countries.

    - The main event in Germany was the Annual Convention in Bonn, attended by 287 people. It dealt with the topic “Conduct of Life in a Global Society - The Timeliness of Virtues” from interdisciplinary and interreligious points of view. The KAAD was also present on many forums at the German Catholic Convention (Katholikentag) in Mannheim. Highlights among the events abroad were the international seminars in Yangon, Bogotá and Kampala.

    - In 2012 the KAAD was able to sponsor a total of 447 fellows (previous year: 445): 232 individuals in Scholarship Program I (215), 121 in Scholarship Program II (134) and 94 in the Eastern Europe-Program (96). The Bonn Office received 9,305 first application requests (5,057).

    - The total budget of around 4,6 million Euro came again mainly from church taxes (60% - Association of German Dioceses, VDD). Considerable contributions came also from Misereor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Renovabis. Third-party funds that derived from cooperation with universities and dioceses are not as significant in terms of quantity, they, nevertheless, form an important part of our work (4%). Additionally we have Miscellaneous Revenues, which consist mainly of repayments of scholarship loans. Again, our foundation “KAAD-Stiftung Peter Hünermann” was able to contribute significantly to our work.

    June 2013, Dr. Hermann Weber, Secretary-General KAAD (weber(at)kaad(dot)de)

  • BELGIUM ANNUAL REPORT 2013 

    BE Report
    2013

                       

    Durant l’année 2012, les centres d’accueil belges pour étudiants étrangers ont été mis à rude épreuve. Il existe actuellement  une dizaine de foyers agréés, et, dès lors, soutenus financièrement par le gouvernement fédéral, répartis entre Bruxelles,  région francophone et région néerlandophone. Cette aide gouvernementale ne couvre qu’une petite partie des frais en personnel (entretien, gestion…). Ainsi, le coût moyen de la nuitée dans un foyer est de 15,8 euros dont 6,6 euros sont couverts par le subside actuel du gouvernement.

    On compte aussi deux clubs mixant hébergement et activités socio-culturelles et trois clubs n’ayant que des activités  socio-culturelles, qui sont aussi soutenus financièrement par le gouvernement fédéral.

    La FENACA (Fédération Nationale des Centres d’Accueil), est un organisme, fondé le 18 avril 1963. Il représentait, à cette époque, les foyers d’inspiration chrétienne reliés au Vicariat pour les étudiants étrangers en Belgique.

    La plupart de ces foyers ont une cinquantaine d’années d’existence. Ils hébergent chaque année environ 800 étudiants universitaires (inscrits pour un master ou un doctorat). Des étudiants des hautes écoles sont aussi acceptés. Ils proviennent de nombreux pays africains, d’Amérique latine ou d’Asie. Environ 65% font un séjour d’études de 1 ou 2 ans ; 10%, des séjours plus courts et 25%, des séjours supérieurs à 2 ans. Les ressortissants d’Afrique subsaharienne sont majoritaires dans la partie francophone de la Belgique. En Flandre, par contre, on compte moins d’étudiants d’Afrique mais beaucoup plus d’étudiants d’Amérique Latine et d’Asie.

    Les missions de base de ces foyers sont: un accueil personnalisé, un hébergement adapté, une écoute et une guidance sociale tout au long du séjour, un cadre de vie communautaire et une offre d’activités sociales, culturelles et de loisirs ( C’est ici que se situent les activités religieuses).

    La relation entre ces foyers et les universités ou hautes écoles n’est pas optimale en ce sens que, lorsque l’université fait sa publicité, elle ignore quasi complètement tout le travail autre que celui qui est effectué au sein de l’université elle-même. Les universités et les hautes écoles oublient souvent de parler des foyers d’accueil des étudiants des pays du sud.                    

    La période actuelle oblige les gouvernements à réduire leurs dépenses. Dans ce contexte, le gouvernement fédéral souhaite se libérer de cette responsabilité de la coopération au développement des pays du sud et la céder aux entités fédérées. Mais les moyens financiers ne suivent pas ou difficilement. Une action commune, dépassant les clivages idéologiques et religieux,  a été mise sur pied en 2012 par tous les foyers existants afin de ne pas perdre le peu de moyens mis à leur disposition. Une victoire partielle a été obtenue actuellement en ce sens que la subvention est temporairement maintenue. L’action commune se poursuit en 2013. Elle vise à faire mieux connaître tout ce que représente le travail de ces foyers. 

  • ENGLAND AND WALES ANNUAL REPORT 2013 

    England and Wales Report 2013

     

    Conference of Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education in England and Wales

    The Care of International Students in England and Wales June 2013

    The Conference of Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education in England and Wales is a network rather than a centrally administered organisation, and its function is to support and advise Catholic Higher Education Chaplains in their ministry. This is mostly done through the organisation of a yearly conference and twice yearly regional meetings, but also through collaboration and advocacy with the Catholic Bishops Conference in England and Wales and with ecumenical partners, particularly the Churches Higher Education Liaison Group (CHELG).Our Bishop President is Bishop Peter Doyle from Northampton, and our National Coordinator (on whose behalf I am here) is Mrs Roberta Canning.

    In England and Wales there is no specific agency that ministers exclusively to international students, but overseas students are fully integrated in our university and college chaplaincies. In most Catholic chaplaincies, they make up a very high proportion of our communities. (In Reading, where I am chaplain, they would make up for 60-70 per cent of our mass attendance.) The care of international students tends therefore to be high on the agenda of most University Chaplains.

    Catholic Chaplaincies operate independently of one another within their diocesan frameworks, and their shape and size can vary widely. Some chaplains are welcomed by universities and are very active on campus, others work from nearby Catholic chaplaincies; some do both. Some chaplaincies also provide accommodation for both British and international students, (for instance in Bangor, Birmingham Brighton and Sussex, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield etc.) This can involve from just a handful of students to a maximum of about 60 in the case of Newman House and More House in London.

    Most chaplaincies operate on a tight budget and provide spiritual and emotional support, simple hospitality and opportunities for growth in theological knowledge and understanding of the Faith and of the Word of God. However, many chaplains are often approached by international students in material hardship, and we try to support them either on an ad-hoc basis or by helping them access support services in the University or in the local community.

    One particular project CCCHE has been involved in during this year is the organisation, together with CHELG, of an ecumenical study day on the Pastoral Needs of International Students, particularly those from China and from Africa. This study day was held on 8 November 2012 and the speakers were Dr John Scott speaking about Chinese students and Dr Robert Kaggwa MAfr, Catholic Chaplain at the University of Roehampton, speaking about African Students.

    Summary of the Study Day on African and Chinese Students

    There is huge diversity among international students and even with a national group like Chinese or Nigerian students there will be considerable cultural variation. They should not be seen as a problem and the student services director argued that it is good to include them in general student activities and care rather than as a separate group. A number have poor English communication skills and some find the secularism and behaviour in English society hard to understand. Some will struggle with the amount of independent study expected of them. Some will enjoy the freedom to reinvent themselves. Some will have unacknowledged mental health problems which will be intensified by coming to a strange country.

    There are 4 strategies which international students tend to adopt:

    Assimilation when the student uproots completely from their background,

    Integration but retaining contact with roots

    Traditionalism, when the student spends quite a lot of time with others from their cultural background

    Isolation when they retreat into that culture and barely engage with their new environment

     

    The healthiest strategies are integration and traditionalism and this suggests that students both need to link in to others from their own culture, and to be able to connect with the mainstream in the university and society. The role for chaplaincy here is obvious.

    China is more like a continent; students from Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong are very different from mainland Chinese but so again are students from Shanghai and Guangdong and those close to Taiwan because they can often access broadcast media from beyond the borders. Christianity can seem exciting or exotic. Some students have Christian grandparents who have suggested they seek baptism over here. Many are six to one young people - only children of only children so the focus of the hopes and expectations of six adults, so there's pressure.

    The best students stay in China, the next good go to US and the UK is third choice. Many don't want to be here, don't like it here, have lost their secure identity and status, they've been kicked out of the lest to experience a lower standard of living. Their English skills are not what they had thought and university is not what they expected. There are very varied levels of wealth among Chinese students and social pressure within the student community. They fear loss of Face.

    Chinese students may find it difficult to cope with the variety of opinion in the public sphere. Some have an anti-western "Opium War" mentality. Many have suppressed rage and disappointment but will not express it to outsiders. Since many have non-graduate parents, they can be doubly distanced from their parents. They have an undeveloped understanding of mental health issues and will find it hard to ask for help and not understand what counselling is for (or indeed what chaplains are for). Since they find it hard to ask for help, it can be better to accompany a student to make an appointment with counselling or medical services

    Robert Kaggwa led the session on African students and emphasised the variety and diversity of cultures. There are often many languages within one country; many students have financial problems, when scholarships are not adequate. Some romanticise the West before they come and are disappointed. They have to adapt from a poor country to a wealthy one, a religious culture to a secular one and a communitarian culture to individualism and independence.

    Many international students find the English superficially friendly and polite but not genuinely welcoming. Anxiety in the face of difference makes them more aware of their own culture. Aspects of home student culture - like drunkenness and skipping lectures can be a shock. However it can be liberating to experience the reality of life in England. Religious activity often intensifies as they move from practice to commitment and gain a sense of rootedness and commitment and they may seek a church that is culturally familiar. There is a tension between integration and separateness. Some may find chaplaincy worship too cold.

     

    In summary, hospitality is very important, but it needs to be genuine and sustained to convey a sense of belonging, and of welcome into a community to which they can belong, rather than see themselves as guests expected to leave! International students should be seen as an enrichment of our university and chaplaincy lives -"the other is not a problem to be solved"

  • LISEL ANNUAL REPORT 2013 

    LISEL Report 2013

     

    Luxemburg has one, 10 years old University with 6000 registered students, of whom 50% are not of Luxemburgish origin.

    LISEL welcomed last year increasing numbers of students; actually some 350 students are in its network, participating to one or more of the large variety of proposals. More and more are Master and PhD students; regarding their origin: 1/3 are Europeans (many Erasmus students), 1/3 Asians (mainly from China and India) and 1/3 Africans (majority from Cameroon and Senegal). In general Europeans stay 1- 2 semesters, Asians stay 1 -2 years and Africans stay for a longer period.

    As in Luxemburg renting houses is in general very expensive, LISEL hosts 16 students in 3 rented residences; one of these residences is linked to a social project: every resident has to volunteer for half a day per week in local associations working with homeless people. As the University does not foresee places for couples, since one year LISEL hosts also student couples and consequently babies cry in our residences.

    In addition, the Board elaborated a project to promote “intergenerational housing” for students. Actually already some families, including the Archbishop, welcome students at their homes; the aim is to have a more professional approach to enlarge numbers, to select both families, elderly people and to match with the appropriate students. The project is in its fundraising stage.

    As far as LISEL’s scholarship program is concerned, scholarships are actually granted to 3 students. Unfortunately our “personne de confiance” at the Catholic University of Central Africa is no longer working for this institution, so that unfortunately this partnership does not continue. In addition, we house 10 students for a reduced rent, so that every year some 6.000€ of the housing expenses were covered by donations.

    LISEL works now since 6 years with young European volunteers, last year coming from France and this year from Moldova and Spain. The participation of the volunteers in LISEL activities is very fruitful, even if it asks for integrating every year new young people without professional experience. 90% of the costs related to the volunteers travel and stay is covered by European Commission, through the national agency SNJ.

    For Easter a travel to China was organized, to visit 15 of the former LISEL students in Bejing, Jinan, Suzhou and Shanghai. They are eager to create a network amongst

    themselves, with the support of LISEL. Contacts to the Catholic Church of China and participation to the Easter liturgy were very much touching and a real consolation.

    With a group of students, LISEL elaborated a lobby document regarding several improvements to be made to Luxemburg legislation, regarding access to studies, access to the country, scholarships aso. Actually we lobby specifically against discrimination of students older than 27 or 30 years, regarding questions of summer jobs and health insurance costs.

    As University will move from the actual 3 campuses in Luxemburg and Walferdange to a single campus in Esch-Belval, except for law and finance, LISEL will start in autumn this year a second office in Esch, combined to a second-hand-shop for students.

    From September onwards Edith Weber-Sinner will take over the lead of LISEL from Agnes Rausch, who will withdraw at the end of October. The Board, composed of 5 members representing the Diocese, Caritas, ALUC, Jesuits and CLC, with Marguerite Ries as president, will take care and guarantee a smooth transition.

    Luxemburg, 29 June 2013

    Agnes Rausch

  • 2012/2013
  • Netherland annual report 2012 

    NL Report 2012

    Report 2012/2013

    ISP foundation

    by the International Student Chaplaincy (ISC) Delft, Den Haag and Rotterdam

    www.iscnetherlands.nl


    At the end of the year 2012 we look back to academic year (2012/2013) and forward to the year 2014. We are glad to see that the ISC is a place in Delft where students from the TU Delft and from the UNESCO-IHE and Erasmus university meet outside their academic programme  in an inviting and open atmosphere inter-religious and multicultural setting. As the internationalising is on the top agenda of many universities we have a  Bachelor students, and more of  Master students and  a big number of PhD researchers who find their way to ISP activities. We realize a special need amongst the PhD fellows for social contact and exchange of ideas as they often work alone and live away from the families for a long time.

     

    Study trip to Rome and Assisi, laverna

    (see  an enlarged version of the report separately on the website ) Our biggest project last academic year was a study and exposure trip to Rome and Assisi laverana  in July 2013  under the title “ spirituality of St. Franciscus a response to economic crisis and environmental crisis”. 12 participants joined this unique programme. In all 8 days we had a very rich experience Franciscan spirituality The participants were grateful for this great learning experience in Franciscan spirituality  that plays an important role in the global economy and technology.

     

    Global Meeting Point

    Once in a month, we bring students together for an international meal cooked by participants of a specific country and a discussion about a relevant topic. The evenings are prepared by a small Steering Committee composed of Master and PhD students. We enjoyed meals from Brazil, Iran, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Kenya and the Netherlands. Eating together is an important aspect of community building. The topics had a wide range, just to give some examples: homosexuality, poverty in the Netherlands, conflict and peace, surviving the Netherlands. Eating habits around the world . We had 11 evenings for global meeting  attended by 10 to 20 people.

     

    Interfaith Activities

    This year we held a series of evenings about forgiveness and reconciliation. This is a theme at the heart of all religions and it plays in many of the countries where the students come from (Rwanda, Kenya, Pakistan etc.). The first evening is dedicated to  a general introduction and personal sharing about conflicts and reconciliation in our own lives. The second evening we watched a moving documentary:The imam and the pastor” about Northern Nigeria. The third evening we had a Japanese professor as speaker about the Dutch – Japanese relations. And the last evening started with a documentary about reconciliation after the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008.

    We offered a weekend training in inter-religious dialogue at Rijswijk together with Islam & Dialoog. This was a follow-up of a training programme in October 2012. Besides practical exercises and discussions, we were able to attend a prayer in a mosque and a synagogue, to visit a Hindu Temple and to join a Christian Sunday service. For many participants, it was the first time to pray with other believers and they were deeply impressed. In our chaplaincy work we see the promotion of inter-religious tolerance and understanding remains an important issue in the Netherlands and other parts of the world, and we are glad to be able to contribute a bit in that regard.

     

    Conferences and retreats

    In November 2012 students from Delft joined our national Interfaith Conference at the ISS in The Hague organized in cooperation with Islam & Dialog. Not only but also at the TU Delft environmental concerns and sustainability play an important role. In this conference we looked at the spiritual level of our responsibility for the future of our globe, and how the different religious traditions can give us inspiration.

    Another national 2 day-retreat attended by students of the TU was held in May in  an ecumenical center in Utrecht the brand punt.  With the title “Secularisation and faith in a changing modern social  perspectives from a Christian view”. We especially reflected about the concept of faith and religion in university campus. The participants enjoyed being close to nature and having time off from their studies.

     

    Spiritual activities

    Every Sunday students of all denominations are invited for an English Ecumenical service in the Raamstraat church. Students participate actively in the service and enjoy this ‘home away from home’ as they like to say. The church community becomes for them like a family. A student choir prepares each week the songs for the Sunday.

    During festivals like Christmas, the Holy Week and Easter we have many special prayers. This year, for the first time, we held a full prayer night till the next morning in the Holy Week.

    At Pentecost, we held a combined service with the Dutch Raamstraat parish and active participation of students. In this way, we can give a valuable contribute to our Dutch host parish.

     

    Counseling

    The chaplains were available throughout the year for personal counseling in all kinds of life and faith issues. A lot of time is consumed in personal confidential sharing of the special issues of the students. Confession, marriage preparation course and at times Baptism preparation etc… takes a lot of time along with every Sunday liturgical celebrations. This year there were 24 students who attended our marriage preparation course. There is a growing number children in our community. We hope to begin some special activities for the family and children in the year 2014 programme.

     

    Peace meditation and hatha yoga

    The meditation and hatha yoga classes were continued on a weekly base in the Voorstraat. There is a need for relaxation, stress reducing, concentration and awareness on the physical, emotional and mental level. The course is led by Carmen Lai, member of the ISC and former promovenda from the TU.


    Bible Study Evenings Twice a month, Bible study and singing and sharing is conducted. An average of 10 to 17 students attend the Bible study. Every bible study evening begin with a meal to facilitate the community formation and close interaction among the students. At times DVD on Biblical themes are taken up and seen to discuss relevant issues of life and Scripture. In the month of October, there was a special multi language and cultural Rosary evening along with the bible study and sharing. Now being the winter months we hope to conduct the bible study in the respective students hostels to facilitate more active participation. Due to popular demand from the students, the bible study is a regular activity of every Monday as the year is the year of faith. We are happy to see even muslim students attending the open bible study sharing sessions.

     

    Chaplaincy Committee

    All our activities are planned and evaluated by a Chaplaincy Committee composed by Master and PhD students from the TU and the UNESCO-IHE which meets every 2 – 3 months. In this way, the input of students is guaranteed and the activities meet their needs. Without a lot of voluntary contributions of students, we could not achieve all these activities.

    For more information and details on our activities and for contact, please visit our website www.iscnetherlands.nl

     

    Avin Kunnekkadan SVD ,
    Chaplain of  Netherlands

  • Germany annual report 2012 

    DE report 2012

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

  • Belgium annual report 2012 

    BE report 2012

    Rapport SECIS 2012 sur la Belgique


    Durant l’année 2012, les centres d’accueil belges pour étudiants étrangers ont été mis à rude épreuve. Il existe actuellement  une dizaine de foyers agréés, et, dès lors, soutenus financièrement par le gouvernement fédéral, répartis entre Bruxelles,  région francophone et région néerlandophone. Cette aide gouvernementale ne couvre qu’une petite partie des frais en personnel (entretien, gestion…). Ainsi, le coût moyen de la nuitée dans un foyer est de 15,8 euros dont 6,6 euros sont couverts par le subside actuel du gouvernement.

    On compte aussi deux clubs mixant hébergement et activités socio-culturelles et trois clubs n’ayant que des activités  socio-culturelles, qui sont aussi soutenus financièrement par le gouvernement fédéral.

    La FENACA (Fédération Nationale des Centres d’Accueil), est un organisme, fondé le 18 avril 1963. Il représentait, à cette époque, les foyers d’inspiration chrétienne reliés au Vicariat pour les étudiants étrangers en Belgique.

    La plupart de ces foyers ont une cinquantaine d’années d’existence. Ils hébergent chaque année environ 800 étudiants universitaires (inscrits pour un master ou un doctorat). Des étudiants des hautes écoles sont aussi acceptés. Ils proviennent de nombreux pays africains, d’Amérique latine ou d’Asie. Environ 65% font un séjour d’études de 1 ou 2 ans ; 10%, des séjours plus courts et 25%, des séjours supérieurs à 2 ans. Les ressortissants d’Afrique subsaharienne sont majoritaires dans la partie francophone de la Belgique. En Flandre, par contre, on compte moins d’étudiants d’Afrique mais beaucoup plus d’étudiants d’Amérique Latine et d’Asie.

    Les missions de base de ces foyers sont: un accueil personnalisé, un hébergement adapté, une écoute et une guidance sociale tout au long du séjour, un cadre de vie communautaire et une offre d’activités sociales, culturelles et de loisirs ( C’est ici que se situent les activités religieuses).

    La relation entre ces foyers et les universités ou hautes écoles n’est pas optimale en ce sens que, lorsque l’université fait sa publicité, elle ignore quasi complètement tout le travail autre que celui qui est effectué au sein de l’université elle-même. Les universités et les hautes écoles oublient souvent de parler des foyers d’accueil des étudiants des pays du sud.

    La période actuelle oblige les gouvernements à réduire leurs dépenses. Dans ce contexte, le gouvernement fédéral souhaite se libérer de cette responsabilité de la coopération au développement des pays du sud et la céder aux entités fédérées. Mais les moyens financiers ne suivent pas ou difficilement. Une action commune, dépassant les clivages idéologiques et religieux,  a été mise sur pied en 2012 par tous les foyers existants afin de ne pas perdre le peu de moyens mis à leur disposition. Une victoire partielle a été obtenue actuellement en ce sens que la subvention est temporairement maintenue. L’action commune se poursuit en 2013. Elle vise à faire mieux connaître tout ce que représente le travail de ces foyers.

  • England and Wales annual report 2012 

    England and Wales Report 2012

    The Care of International Students in England and Wales


    June 2013

    The Conference of Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education in England and Wales is a network rather than a centrally administered organisation, and its function is to support and advise Catholic Higher Education Chaplains in their ministry. This is mostly done through the organisation of a yearly conference and twice yearly regional meetings, but also through collaboration and advocacy with the Catholic Bishops Conference in England and Wales and with ecumenical partners, particularly the Churches Higher Education Liaison Group (CHELG).Our Bishop President is Bishop Peter Doyle from Northampton, and our National Coordinator (on whose behalf I am here) is Mrs Roberta Canning.

    In England and Wales there is no specific agency that ministers exclusively to international students, but overseas students are fully integrated in our university and college chaplaincies. In most Catholic chaplaincies, they make up a very high proportion of our communities. (In Reading, where I am chaplain, they would make up for 60-70 per cent of our mass attendance.) The care of international students tends therefore to be high on the agenda of most University Chaplains.

    Catholic Chaplaincies operate independently of one another within their diocesan frameworks, and their shape and size can vary widely. Some chaplains are welcomed by universities and are very active on campus, others work from nearby Catholic chaplaincies; some do both. Some chaplaincies also provide accommodation for both British and international students, (for instance in Bangor, Birmingham Brighton and Sussex, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield etc.) This can involve from just a handful of students to a maximum of about 60 in the case of Newman House and More House in London.

    Most chaplaincies operate on a tight budget and provide spiritual and emotional support, simple hospitality and opportunities for growth in theological knowledge and understanding of the Faith and of the Word of God. However, many chaplains are often approached by international students in material hardship, and we try to support them either on an ad-hoc basis or by helping them access support services in the University or in the local community.

    One particular project CCCHE has been involved in during this year is the organisation, together with CHELG, of an ecumenical study day on the Pastoral Needs of International Students, particularly those from China and from Africa. This study day was held on 8 November 2012 and the speakers were Dr John Scott speaking about Chinese students and Dr Robert Kaggwa MAfr, Catholic Chaplain at the University of Roehampton, speaking about African Students.

     

    Summary of the Study Day on African and Chinese Students

    There is huge diversity among international students and even with a national group like Chinese or Nigerian students there will be considerable cultural variation. They should not be seen as a problem and the student services director argued that it is good to include them in general student activities and care rather than as a separate group. A number have poor English communication skills and some find the secularism and behaviour in English society hard to understand. Some will struggle with the amount of independent study expected of them.  Some will enjoy the freedom to reinvent themselves. Some will have unacknowledged mental health problems which will be intensified by coming to a strange country.

    There are 4 strategies which international students tend to adopt:
    • Assimilation when the student uproots completely from their background,

    • Integration but retaining contact with roots

    • Traditionalism, when the student spends quite a lot of time with others from their cultural background

    •Isolation when they retreat into that culture and barely engage with their new environment

    The healthiest strategies are integration and traditionalism and this suggests that students both need to link in to others from their own culture, and to be able to connect with the mainstream in the university and society. The role for chaplaincy here is obvious.

    China is more like a continent; students from Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong are very different from mainland Chinese but so again are students from Shanghai and Guangdong and those close to Taiwan because they can often access broadcast media from beyond the borders.  Christianity can seem exciting or exotic. Some students have Christian grandparents who have suggested they seek baptism over here. Many are six to one young people - only children of only children so the focus of the hopes and expectations of six adults, so there's pressure.

    The best students stay in China, the next good go to US and the UK is third choice. Many don't want to be here, don't like it here, have lost their secure identity and status, they've been kicked out of the lest to experience a lower standard of living. Their English skills are not what they had thought and university is not what they expected.  There are very varied levels of wealth among Chinese students and social pressure within the student community. They fear loss of Face.

    Chinese students may find it difficult to cope with the variety of opinion in the public sphere. Some have an anti-western "Opium War" mentality. Many have suppressed rage and disappointment but will not express it to outsiders. Since many have non-graduate parents, they can be doubly distanced from their parents. They have an undeveloped understanding of mental health issues and will find it hard to ask for help and not understand what counselling is for (or indeed what chaplains are for). Since they find it hard to ask for help, it can be better to accompany a student to make an appointment with counselling or medical services.

     

    Robert Kaggwa led the session on African students and emphasised the variety and diversity of cultures. There are often many languages within one country; many students have financial problems, when scholarships are not adequate. Some romanticise the West before they come and are disappointed. They have to adapt from a poor country to a wealthy one, a religious culture to a secular one and a communitarian culture to individualism and independence.

    Many international students find the English superficially friendly and polite but not genuinely welcoming. Anxiety in the face of difference makes them more aware of their own culture. Aspects of home student culture - like drunkenness and skipping lectures can be a shock. However it can be liberating to experience the reality of life in England.  Religious activity often intensifies as they move from practice to commitment and gain a sense of rootedness and commitment and they may seek a church that is culturally familiar. There is a tension between integration and separateness. Some may find chaplaincy worship too cold.

    In summary, hospitality is very important, but it needs to be genuine and sustained to convey a sense of belonging, and of welcome into a community to which they can belong, rather than see themselves as guests expected to leave! International students should be seen as an enrichment of our university and chaplaincy lives -"the other is not a problem to be solved".

  • Lisel annual report 2012 

    LISEL report 2012

     

    for SECIS


    Luxemburg has one, 10 years old University with 6000 registered students, of whom 50% are not of Luxemburgish origin.

    LISEL welcomed last year increasing numbers of students; actually some 350 students are in its network, participating to one or more of the large variety of proposals. More and more are Master and PhD students; regarding their origin: 1/3 are Europeans (many Erasmus students), 1/3 Asians (mainly from China and India) and 1/3 Africans (majority from Cameroon and Senegal).  In general Europeans stay 1- 2 semesters, Asians stay 1 -2 years and Africans stay for a longer period.

    As in Luxemburg renting houses is in general very expensive, LISEL hosts 16 students in 3 rented residences; one of these residences is linked to a social project: every resident has to volunteer for half a day per week in local associations working with homeless people. As the University does not foresee places for couples, since one year LISEL hosts also student couples and consequently babies cry in our residences.

    In addition, the Board elaborated a project to promote “intergenerational housing” for students. Actually already some families, including the Archbishop, welcome students at their homes; the aim is to have a more professional approach to enlarge numbers, to select both families, elderly people and to match with the appropriate students. The project is in its fundraising stage.

    As far as LISEL’s scholarship program is concerned, scholarships are actually granted to 3 students. Unfortunately our “personne de confiance” at the Catholic University of Central Africa is no longer working for this institution, so that unfortunately this partnership does not continue. In addition, we house 10 students for a reduced rent, so that every year some 6.000€ of the housing expenses were covered by donations.

    LISEL works now since 6 years with young European volunteers, last year coming from France and this year from Moldova and Spain. The participation of the volunteers in LISEL activities is very fruitful, even if it asks for integrating every year new young people without professional experience. 90% of the costs related to the volunteers travel and stay is covered by European Commission, through the national agency SNJ.

    For Easter a travel to China was organized, to visit 15 of the former LISEL students in Bejing, Jinan, Suzhou and Shanghai. They are eager to create a network amongst themselves, with the support of LISEL. Contacts to the Catholic Church of China and participation to the Easter liturgy were very much touching and a real consolation.

    With a group of students, LISEL elaborated a lobby document regarding several improvements to be made to Luxemburg legislation, regarding access to studies, access to the country, scholarships aso.  Actually we lobby specifically against discrimination of students older than 27 or 30 years, regarding questions of summer jobs and health insurance costs.

    As University will move from the actual 3 campuses in Luxemburg and Walferdange to a single campus in Esch-Belval, except for law and finance, LISEL will start in autumn this year a second office in Esch, combined to a second-hand-shop for students.

    From September onwards Edith Weber-Sinner will take over the lead of LISEL from Agnes Rausch, who will withdraw at the end of October. The Board, composed of 5 members representing the Diocese, Caritas, ALUC, Jesuits and CLC, with Marguerite Ries as president, will take care and guarantee a smooth transition.

     

    Luxemburg, 29 June 2013

     

    Agnes Rausch 

  • Switzerland annual report 2012 

    CH report 2012

     

    RAPPORT D’ACTIVITE 2012 DE L’ŒUVRE ST-JUSTIN


    2012, une année entre départs, changements et projets……….

    Je ne peux pas commencer ce billet sans me souvenirs de deux évènements pénibles qui ont marqué le quotidien de notre institution.

    Les départs presque simultanés de deux personnalités qui furent des piliers de l’Œuvre :

    Le père Bruno Fürer, décédé à l’âge de 84 ans, tôt le matin du mercredi des Cendres. Il fut de 1983 à 1997 directeur de notre institution. Son action infatigable, sa proximité avec les jeunes, sa générosité et son rayonnement spirituel ont laissé une trace profonde à St-Justin.

    Et puis le père Bruno Holtz, est parti à son tour le 29 février 2012. Il laisse le souvenir d’une personnalité très directe, appréciée pour sa franchise et son dynamisme. Il fut à la fois l’initiateur, le bâtisseur et l’organisateur de nombreux projets. Rédacteur pendant plus de 20 ans du Bulletin de St-Justin, ainsi que président l’association du foyer de Genève pendant de très nombreuses années.

    L’Œuvre St-Justin leur doit une profonde reconnaissance.

    Le fait le plus marquant a été sans aucun doute le changement de ma collaboratrice directe. En effet, Madame Denise Rhême a décidé de prendre sa retraite (bien méritée). Pour la remplacée, Madame Françoise Morvant. Vous trouverez, quelques pages plus loin, sa présentation.
    Un nouveau chef de la restauration est également arrivé en ce début d’année, Monsieur Peter Van Damme et le départ de la nouvelle comptable, Madame Katharina Krause, et l’arrivée de Madame Nicole Pasquier pour la succéder.

    Les changements de ces postes clef n’a pas été simple pour la bonne marche de l’organisation du travail, mais avec beaucoup de volonté et d’abnégation, ces nouvelles personnes sont à ce jour bien à leur place et la stabilité est revenue, j’ose espérer.

    Nous avons accueilli, à la Cité St-Justin, la fédération suisse des ostéopathes, centre de formation continue et de préparation de la nouvelle filière d’ostéopathes qui commencera en 2014.  Cette venue a permis à la Cité de terminer les transformations de deux de ses bâtiments et garantir ainsi des revenus stables et annuels. Ainsi avec la MED3, l’Ortra Santé Social, cette partie de la Cité est vraiment venu un centre unique de Santé.
    Nous avons également vécu la fin des négociations et l’accord final sur la vente du bâtiment CIUS, rue de Rome 1. Une procédure juridique est en cours envers les institutions concernées, dans le but de recevoir une indemnisation pour le non respect du contrat de bail.

    Comme le Séminaire Saint Beat à Luzern a fermé, le comité fait une offre au diocèse de Bâle pour un nouveau foyer St-Justin. Il espérait vraiment que le choix se porte sur son offre, mais voilà, le choix s’est porté sur Caritas. Il est un peu déçus, mais il pense que Luzern lui offrira prochainement une autre opportunité qu’il saura saisir. Car je suis convaincu qu’une maison dans cette région aura l’effet de redynamiser notre Œuvre surtout qu’elle regorge de donateurs déjà acquis à notre mission et avec cette implantation apportera des nouveaux donateurs potentiels.

    Le projet de Torry deviendra enfin réalité, car un accord a été signée pour la reprise de la gestion de la maison au 1er mai 2013 et un droit d’emption a faire valoir dans les cinq prochaines années.
    En ce qui concerne le projet du Valais, celui-ci n’est pas tombé à l’eau, mais je pense qu’il est sage d’attendre comme va se passer l’implantation de l’EPFL sur le site prévu. J’ai un très bon contact avec les Ursulines de Sion, d’où un projet rapide de foyer d’étudiants pourrait se mettre en place. Une affaire à suivre.
    Dans la rubrique des animations « RENCONTRES A ST-JUSTIN, un moment très intense a été le cycle de 3 conférences de Madame Rosette Poletti. Une femme étonnante qui a su donné plein de chaleur de d’humanité à ces paroles. Pour donner un ordre de grandeur, je peux estimer à quelques 700 personnes qui ont assisté à ces soirées.
    Grâce à ces « RENCONTRES A ST-JUSTIN », notre mission est toujours plus connue et je peux en mesurer les biens faits en voyant que nos quêtes dans les paroisses de Suisse romande ont augmenté de 20%.
    Je remercie également les différentes institutions de notre église diocésaine qui, en choisissant St-Justin comme partenaire pour leurs moments de réflexions, de sessions, de remise de diplômes, d’ordinations et de remerciements, donnent la place que notre institution mérite pour son rôle d’accueil, de compréhension et de respect des différences.
    Sept prêtres provenant du Madagascar, de la Chine, de l’Inde et de la Pologne, dont trois résident en dehors de la Cité St-Justin, sont chargés de l'accompagnement spirituel de nos résidants et des autres fidèles. Ils sont aidés dans leur ministère par deux religieuses du Congo et du Togo.

    Chaque dimanche, deux messes sont célébrées : une en français à 9h30 et une en espagnol à 11h00. La messe de Ste Rita est célébrée tous les jeudis à 8h00.

    Les autres jours de la semaine, une messe est dite à 7h00. L’adoration a lieu tous les premiers vendredis du mois de 17h00 à minuit. Un groupe de dames de langue espagnole se réunit une fois par mois pour un temps de prière, le premier vendredi du mois de 14h00 à 15h30. La Communauté érythréenne orthodoxe célèbre la messe chaque dimanche depuis l’aube jusqu’à 8h00.

     

    Principaux événements

    Mars 2012:

    Animée par un groupe de personnes fidèles à Saint Joseph, une messe festive a été célébrée dans notre chapelle le 19 mars, jour de la fête patronale.

    C'est avec beaucoup de chaleur et d'enthousiasme que la chorale africaine de Fribourg nous a fait l'honneur de venir animer la messe dominicale le dimanche 25 mars.

    Une fresque religieuse orthodoxe, peinte par un artiste roumain sur la façade nord de la villa Jura 11, a été inaugurée le 25 mars par le cardinal Koch et par le métropolite Hilarion.

    Le 26 mars a été célébrée la messe de trentième pour l'ancien directeur de l'Oeuvre St-Justin, le P. Bruno Fürer, et pour l'ancien rédacteur du bulletin de St-Justin, le P. Bruno Holtz.

     

    Avril 2012:

    Les 6 et 7 avril,  la Communauté vietnamienne a célébré le vendredi Saint et Pâques dans la chapelle et ensuite au restaurant.

     

    Mai 2012:

    La fête de Sainte Rita a eu lieu cette année le dimanche 20 mai. De nombreux fidèles de la sainte se sont déplacés pour prier ensemble et remercier pour les grâces reçues par son intercession.

     

    Juin 2012:

    1er juin : un très bon repas, réunissant une centaine de personnes, a suivi la messe pour fête de St-Justin, présidée par Mgr Joseph Roduit, abbé de St-Maurice.

     

    Septembre 2012:

    Une messe votive à l'Esprit Saint a été célébrée dans notre chapelle le lundi 3 septembre.

     

    Décembre 2012:

    Le 6 décembre, nous avons fêté la St-Nicolas. Après la messe présidée par Mgr Pierre Farine, la fête a eu lieu à l’extérieur, sur la terrasse du restaurant. St-Nicolas est d’abord venu, monté sur son âne, nous lire son discours. Ensuite les invités et les nombreux étudiants présents ont pu déguster sous le ciel étoilé une soupe du chalet, des marrons chauds, avec les mandarines et les cacahuètes traditionnelles.

    L’enfant de la paix 2012 nous a apporté, le 23 décembre, la flamme de la paix, allumée dans la Grotte de la nativité à Bethléem. Une célébration pour la paix a ensuite eu lieu à la chapelle.

    Une nouvelle crèche prise en Italie, avec de très beaux personnages sculptés dans le bois et peints, a été inaugurée dans notre chapelle au début de la période de l’Avent et a rappelé le vrai sens de la Nativité à toutes les personnes qui ont suivi les différentes cérémonies de Noël ou qui ont tout simplement fréquenté la chapelle durant cette période.

    Permettez-moi, en toute simplicité, de vous exprimer toute ma gratitude pour votre engagement en faveur de ce magnifique foyer qui demande que l’on s’intéresse à lui car il accueille tout au long de l’année des fruits de la Création.
    Dieu fait confiance à l’homme et la femme, car il les sait capables de continuer sa création, de poursuivre son Œuvre. Dieu sait les dons étonnants qu’il a fait, à nous, ses créatures préférées.

     

    « Un homme partant en voyage, appela ses serviteurs et leur remit
    ses biens. A l’un il donna cinq talents, à un autre deux, à un autre un, à chacun selon sa capacité……. »
    Matthieu 25, 14-30

    C’est dans cette confiance que nous mettons notre mission dans les mains de Dieu et que nous pouvons, année après année, nous réjouir de ces nouveaux talents qui naissent.

     

    «  Je suis responsable de ce que ne j’ai pas été. »  (Bernanos)

    Marco Cattaneo, directeur de l’Œuvre St-Justin

    Fribourg, le 13.06.2013

  • 2011/2012
  • Switzerland annual report 2011 

    CH report 2011

    RAPPORT DE L’ŒUVRE ST-JUSTIN «SUISSE» 2011

    «Une anée dans le changement et dans la continuité»

    Si la mission de l’Œuvre St-Justin ne change pas, les conditions pour l’assumer évoluent constamment. Il est donc nécessaire de toujours s’adapter pour faire face aux nouveaux défis.

    C’est la première année que nous devons enregistrer autant de changement dans le personnel, ce qui a pour conséquence de fragiliser dans un premier temps, la bonne marche de l’organisation mise en place et surtout beaucoup d’énergie dépensée afin que ces personnes soient le plus rapidement efficace dans leur nouvelle tâches.

    Un moment important, l’installation des reliques des ermites de la paix, que sont Bruder Klaus et St-Chabel du Liban en la chapelle de St-Justin, le 6 novembre 2011. Conséquence de cela, une aide non négligeable de la part de Bruder Klaus pour continuer notre mission par une donation importante. C’est le signe, que notre mission est bonne et utile en faveur de la dignité humaine, valeur vitale pour l’homme aujourd’hui, animée par l’Esprit Saint, force de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ.

    Un autre la signe, la nomination, par notre Saint-Père le Pape Bénédikt XVI, de notre nouvel évêque, jeune, en la personne de Mgr Charles Morerod. Un évêque dans le vent !!!

    Conséquence que l’Esprit Saint qui nous anime, un baptême d’un jeune étudiant de 23ans venant du Pérou et un groupe de 5 jeunes partis pour fêter avec d’autres jeunes à Berlin dans l’Esprit de Taizé. Quelle joie !!!!
    Toujours le moment très fort de notre année, le Pèlerinage à Cascia, où, cette année, 49 pèlerins sont partis sur les traces de St-François, Ste Claire, Ste Rita. Que de merveilleux moments de partage, d’écoutes, d’échanger et surtout de prières.

    Egalement une cérémonie pour accueillir la Flamme de la Paix, venant de et allumée dans la grotte de la Nativité de Bethléem, est venue enrichir les évènements de cette année.

    En ce qui concerne les bourses nous avons pu maintenir le même nombre que l’année passée, soit 137, ceci grâce aux dons des bienfaiteurs. La formation est la clé d’un vrai développement. Les statistiques annexées vous donneront un rapide aperçu sur les formations, les pays d’origine ainsi que les lieux d’études de ces boursiers en Suisse et à l’étranger.

    85 ans après sa fondation, notre institution perdure dans sa mission de soutenir la formation des jeunes hommes et femmes du monde entier.

    «Si quelqu’un veut être le premier, il doit être le dernier de tous et le serviteurs de tous.» (Mc 9,35)

    Etre placé au dessus des autres ne donne qu’un droit : se dévouer et servir davantage, avec comme seule motivation le service du bien commun.  Comme il serait formidable que nos responsables politiques, nos banquiers, nos chefs d’entreprises prennent conscience  de cette vérité et de cette exigence.

  • Germany annual report 2011 

    DE report 2011

    Country Report KAAD 2012

    Number of international students in Germany (Winter Term 2011/12): 263.848

    Foreign Students/Bildungsinländer* (WT 2010/11): 67.072

    Foreign Students/Bildungsausländer**  (WT 2010/11):184.960

    Country of origin of the international students in Germany (WT 2011/12):
    I. China
    II. Poland
    III. Russian Fed.
    IV. Bulgaria
    V. Turkey
    VI. Ukraine

    Number of national students abroad (2008): about 103.000

    Countries of major concentration of national students (2008):
    I. Austria
    II. Netherlands
    III. Great Britain
    IV. Switzerland
    V. USA
    VI. France

    Number of Universities in total: 418

    Number of Catholic Universities: 1 University + 5 Univ. of Applied Sciences

    Catholic Church-Responsibilities for Students

    1. University Students:
    1a. National: Commission VIII of the German Bishop´s Conference,responsible:
    Bishop Dr. Heinrich Mussinghoff, Aix-la-Chapelle.

    1b. Coordination of Dioceses: Konferenz für Hochschulpastoral / Forum Hochschule und Kirche

    2. International Students:
    2a. National: Commission VIII of the German Bishop´s Conference

    2b. KAAD (clearing agency) together with 1b., responsible:
    Auxiliary Bishop Wehrle (Freiburg)

    * Bildungsinlaender: Students who are foreign nationals (or stateless students) and who have obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a German school or passed a Gifted Students Test (Begabtenprüfung) or an Aptitude Test (Eignungsprüfung) in Germany.

    ** Bildungsauslaender: Students who are foreign nationals (or stateless students) and who have obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a foreign school. This status also applies to foreign students who have complemented their school qualifications by attending a German Studienkolleg (preparatory course for higher education admission).


    KAAD ACTIVITIES IN 2011

    The Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) is the scholarship institution of the German Catholic Church for post-graduate students and scientists from (developing) countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, as well as Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The KAAD supports its scholars in form of scholarships and educational programs and offers spiritual and personal assistance in view of future multiplying functions students will have in their home countries. This is based on cooperation with partner committees and associations of ex-scholars in those countries and it aims at setting up (scientific) networks and at contributing to a holistic development, which includes the religious and inter-religious dimensions.

    2011 IN SHORT
    - Ties with 54 partner committees and 27 alumni associations.

    - The educational program of KAAD in Germany and abroad contained 86 events with 1,661 participants.

    - In 2011, the Conference on „Protection and Management of Natural Resources in Africa – Biodiversity, the Magnificence of God’s Creation“ taking place in August in Kakamega/Kenya, was the highlight among the events abroad. The main event in Germany was the Annual Convention in Bonn, attended by 270 people. It dealt with the topic “Ambassadors of Faith: Dialogue – Testimony – Mission” from interdisciplinary and interreligious points of view.

    - In 2011 KAAD-representatives visited a total of 16 partner countries.

    - In terms of publications 2011, besides the documentation of the Annual Convention on Global Governance “Global Power and Might: Who governs the World? The Responsibility of the World Religions”, edited by KAAD Secretary General Dr. Weber, the documentation of the 2008 Conference in Addis Ababa (in cooperation with the Humboldt-Foundation) was published.

    - In 2011 the KAAD was able to sponsor a total of 445 fellows (previous year: 447): 215 individuals in Scholarship Program I (212), 134 in Scholarship Program II (144) and 96 in the Eastern Europe-Program (91). The Bonn Office received 5,057 first application requests (4,302).

    - The total budget of around 4.41 million Euro came again mainly from church taxes (58% - Association of German Dioceses, VDD). Considerable contributions came also from Misereor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Renovabis and the BMBF. Third-party funds that derived from cooperation with universities and dioceses are not as significant in terms of quantity, they, nevertheless, form an important part of our work (3%). Additionally we have Miscellaneous Revenues, which consist mainly of repayments of scholarship loans. Again, our foundation “KAAD-Stiftung Peter Hünermann” was able to contribute significantly to our work.

    June 2012, Dr. Hermann Weber, Secretary-General KAAD (weber(at)kaad(dot)de)

  • Belgium annual report 2011 

    BE report 2011

    Rapport d’activités 2011 pour la Belgique

    En Belgique, il existe, outre les aumôneries universitaires,  des foyers d’accueil et des clubs d’inspiration chrétienne pour des étudiants des « pays du sud ». Ils viennent principalement d’Afrique subsaharienne (RDC, Burundi et Rwanda), d’Asie (30%) et d’Amérique latine (très peu). Ils sont regroupés dans la FENACA (Fédération nationale des centres d’accueil pour étudiants du sud) qui a pour but de « coordonner et de soutenir les efforts réalisés par ces centres pour les étudiants du sud dans la perspective de renforcer les cadres et les structures de leurs pays ». Parallèlement à cette association, existe aussi en Belgique le CNA-NKO (Comité national d’accueil) dont le but est « d’assurer le contact et la coordination, sur une base pluraliste, des différentes personnes morales qui directement ou indirectement s’occupent de l’accueil et de l’accompagnement en Belgique des étudiants et stagiaires des pays en voie de développement ». Durant l’année 2011, des initiatives ont été prises pour au moins coordonner les actions des deux organisations face aux restrictions budgétaires envisagées par le gouvernement fédéral en période de récession économique.

    La FENACA regroupe actuellement des foyers qui se situent à Antwerpen (3 maisons  groupées dans l’association « Internationale Tehuis voor buitenlandse studenten »), Bruxelles (trois maisons : centre Amani, escale Nord-Sud et maison africaine plus l’aumônerie nationale), Charleroi (CACEAC), Gent (OBSG, Club Van Eyck, Student Welcome club et Kapelanij ), Louvain-La-Neuve (carrefour Vincent Lebbe, centre Placet, collectif des femmes, mission LLN), Mons (maison internationale), Namur (maison internationale), Tournai (maison internationale). Ces foyers, qui hébergent chaque année environ 800 étudiant(e)s vivent grâce à des subsides du gouvernement au prorata du nombre d’habitants, à des dons et à la contribution des étudiant(e)s eux-mêmes qui sont des boursiers. Les subsides du gouvernement ne couvrent que partiellement les frais de personnel et de fonctionnement des foyers et clubs. En ce qui concerne la FENACA elle-même, ses  seules ressources proviennent de la cotisation de ses membres qui est de 30 euros par an.

    Les habitants des foyers sont des étudiants universitaires  (inscrits pour un master en majorité) et des étudiants inscrits dans les Hautes Ecoles. Ils ont entre 22 et 35 ans. Une partie d’entre eux est toutefois plus âgée, notamment les étudiants inscrits pour un doctorat et ceux qui viennent pour des formations de courte durée. Environ 60% font des séjours d’étude de 1 à 2 ans, environ 25% des séjours de plus de 3 ans et le reste, des séjours de moins d’un an.

    L’aumônerie nationale, qui a créé la FENACA, en est devenue en 2011 membre au même titre que les autres membres. Le rôle de l’aumônier national est dans ce contexte de créer et maintenir un lien vivant entre les responsables de la pastorale dans ces foyers et clubs.

    L’objectif est de rencontrer et de réunir ces responsables suivant un rythme à définir en vue de se connaitre, s’entraider et constituer un interlocuteur plus fort sur les plans national et international. Ainsi, l’existence d’un aumônier rend possible le lien entre des actions locales et 1°/ la conférence épiscopale au niveau du pays, 2°/ le SECIS au niveau européen, 3°/ le conseil pontifical des migrants au niveau de la communauté chrétienne mondiale. Des démarches sont en cours auprès de la conférence épiscopale belge pour que cette aumônerie soit reconnue et soutenue. Les différents foyers ont été rencontrés par l’aumônier  au cours de l’année 2011.

    31 août 2012


    Pierre Devos sj

  • Netherlands annual report 2011 

    NL report 2011

    Intercultural  Pastoral Care of University  Students in NEB

    In the NEB province  the pioneering and frontier missionary situation in Europe is seen as an opportunity and a challenge for religious  missionary presence. Without neglecting the traditional parish work the new svd  missionaries are given choice to engage in a mission where each one can use his God given talent to promote and witness  the kingdom of God. While trying to give practical implementation to  the prophetic dialogue, the NEB province has given priority to the migrant inter-cultural and inter-religious communities.  In a rather different and unique way this is being done by Fr Avin Kunnekkadam through his ministry with the International Student Chaplaincy (ISC).  This is one of the missionary outreach programmes on university campuses. In this report he exposes  different aspects of  the intercultural and interreligious mission  on  the university campus.
     

    A home away from home

    The international student chaplaincy is present  in  the following localities: the UNESCO –IHE institute for water Education,  the Erasmus university  Rotterdam, the Technical  University Delft (TU Delft) and the International Institute of Social Studies Den Haag ( ISS). Every Sunday international students belonging to more than 45 nationalities come  together for the  Eucharistic celebration. More than the building the ministry of the chaplains and the presence of  the community spirit  creates for  the international students in Nederland a home away from home.
    These students belong to bachelor study programmes , master study programmes and PhD research  projects along with  a number of alumni students . The coffee/tea and chatting after the Eucharist is an important social event to establish and foster the  intercultural community formation . The inter-culturality is nurtured by regular activities often combined with a meal to create a sense of belonging. There is the bi-weekly Bible study, the monthly Global Meeting Point, the Interfaith Sharing Group, the yoga and meditation group which attract a lot of international students.

    Companionship on the road of life

    Students call on the chaplains for personal counseling. Being away from home in an unfamiliar surrounding can raise questions of identity and feelings of insecurity. Academic pressure can bring stress. Separation from one’s family can result in homesickness and loneliness and a sense of meaninglessness etc .In this situation the chaplain is seen as a companion to their life journey in the university campus.  I gave a marriage preparation course for 23 students  together with “Motiv”, an organization for coaching and training, and a Dutch catholic church in Delft. In 2011 couples got married and children were born in our community. Some students fell sick. In July 2012 we had two adult baptisms ,three first Holy communion and two confirmations of students.  In all these moments we accompanied the students in their happy  and  challenging moments of life. As an SVD religious missionary I am happy to be at the service of the international students.

    Inspiration for personal growth

    Besides the Sunday worship, Bible Study and individual  counseling  is given top priority in the chaplaincy ministry . We organize  retreats for students to reflect about deeper questions of life relating to faith and profession. In January 2011 we held a retreat in a youth centre in Delft with the theme “Developing mature leadership – inspiration from Dag Hammarskjöld” (former UN secretary), and in May 2011 we went to the convent of the SSPS sisters  in Maastricht for 3 days  of retreat to reflect on  the theme “How to become a faithful professional”.

    Chances to cross borders of religion, culture and nationality

    One can say that  all the ISC  activities are intercultural and often inter-religious in nature. In our church services we sing songs in many languages and read texts from different church traditions. The chaplaincy  exposes the students to other ways of life, other ways of thinking, other ways of believing .In our monthly Global Meeting Point sessions at times  we have some hot discussions about population growth/one child policy, marriage in the 21st century and female genital mutilation, Euthanasia, guy marriage and lesbianism etc .In  the Interfaith Sharing Group we talk about Muslim-Christian relationship in Egypt, faith & science, religion & technological advancement and about living with/without religion. These were good exercises in listening to other experiences and opinions and in discovering what we have in common.

    In February 2012  we held an interfaith training weekend together with Islam & Dialogue for students of different religions. We attended a prayer in a mosque and in a church, and visited a temple and  practiced the ‘Socrates dialogue method, and shared about our personal faith.
    In November 2011  ISC , together with Islam & Dialogue, organized a big national Interfaith Conference with the theme “From conflict to peace – movements for dialogue and reconciliation”. This conference at the ISS in The Hague had  more than  113 participants from 11 different universities .
    .
     The most literal ‘crossing of borders’ was the study trip to India in 2010 with the theme ”discover India”.. 15 students form 11 nationalities participated in the programme to explore spirituality, culture and religions of India. We also organized an Israel/Palestine study trip from 26 April to 6 May 2012 . 14 students from TU Delft, UNESCO-IHE, ISS and Hogeschool Leiden joined the study trip. We were able to meet local people of all sectors of the Israeli and Palestinian society. Through their personal stories we learned about the different religions in that part of the world, about the history of the country, about the ongoing conflict and about many hopeful initiatives for dialogue, trust building and justice. It was a deeply touching and unforgettable experience. The university administrative staff  are very grateful for the support of the chaplains  and their contribution to the international students . The NEB province and the Rotterdam diocese whole heartedly support  our intercultural mission of university campus ministry.

    Den Haag , July 2012
    Fr.Dr.Avin Kunnekkadan SVD ,   
    International student chaplain  
    www.iscnetherlands.nl

Country Report  Germany 2018

Catholic Church Pastoral for

International Students in Germany

Internationalisation of the German Higher Education

The German system of Higher/Tertiary Education with its 428

universities/universities of applied sciences (ca. 100 private, but

obliged to follow high standards of accreditation) has been challenged

during the last about 20 years by processes of economisation and the

implementation of the so called “Bologna-reform”. There is still (and

actually growing) a certain balancing position by the governmental

and coordinating public agencies against tendencies to shape

the universities (traditionally following in Germany the ideals of

Humboldt) according to an “enterprise-model” (as “Leitbild”) and to

give a dominant role to vocational-oriented education (“Ausbildung”)

instead of a formation of the whole personality (“Bildung”) via science

in view of the common good of the society beyond labour-market.

 

Please download the PDF file on the left.

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  • 2013
  • 2011
  • Posted 02.06.15Conférence de Michel Hakizimana SECIS

    Mon expérience dans la pastorale des étudiants dans un monde sécularisé 

    Introduction
    On m’a demandé de donner mon témoignage concernant mon expérience dans la pastorale des étudiants étrangers dans un monde sécularisé. Je dois d’abord préciser que je ne suis pas prêtre même si cela ne constitue pas une limite rédhibitoire au travail de pastorale.

    Voici le plan de mon exposé.

    En premier lieu, je vais présenter mon expérience personnelle, d’abord en tant que étudiant à l’université nationale du Rwanda et ensuite en tant enseignant dans la même université. Je parlerai aussi de mon expérience en tant que étudiant ici en Belgique.

    Dans un deuxième temps, j’essayerai de présenter l’environnement socio-économique dans lequel je travaille. Il s’agit de faire ressortir les conditions de vie des étudiants dont l’influence n’est pas à négliger dans leur quête religieuse.

    Dans un troisième temps, je présenterai en détail ce que je fais depuis quelques années dans le cadre de la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers après avoir évoqué en quelques mots le travail réalisé avant moi dans le même cadre.

    Mon expérience personnelle en tant qu’étudiant et enseignant

    Durant mes études à l’université, que ce soit au Rwanda ou en Belgique, j’ai pu vivre de près la pastorale des étudiants en tant que sujet.

    A l’UNR, en tant qu’étudiant, j’étais membre d’un groupe de prière du renouveau charismatique ; nous avions une aumônerie qui nous aidait de temps en temps dans l’organisation de quelques activités comme les retraites, les conférences, etc. Plus tard, quand je suis devenu enseignant, je continuais à suivre de près la pastorale des étudiants. C’est de cette manière que j’ai fait partie de l’équipe chargée de mettre sur pied une paroisse universitaire sur le campus où j’enseignais. À mon départ du pays, le dossier était très avancé.

    Quand je suis arrivé à Louvain-la-Neuve en Belgique en 1992, j’ai intégré la paroisse universitaire et j’ai participé aux différentes activités proposées : récollection, souper communautaire, conférences, etc. Tout se faisait dans un cadre unique et sans distinction étudiants belges ou étudiants étrangers.

    Durant les deux dernières années que j’ai faites à Louvain-la-Neuve, j’étais intégré dans l’équipe de la paroisse faisant fonction de sacristain (kot mambré).  Ceci m’a permis de suivre de près une partie du travail de la pastorale auprès des étudiants (sans distinction) : messe, baptême, communion, funérailles, etc.

    Ces expériences vont d’une certaine manière influencer ce que je fais au niveau de la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers. Par elles, j’ai pu faire un constat qui me semble toujours d’actualité : il me semble que la plupart des gens instruits se contentent du catéchisme de base et ne cherchent pas à aller au-delà. Cette situation peut être la cause de malentendus ou alors de déceptions parce que la représentation que l’on se fait de Dieu ou de la religion est plutôt floue. Exemple : penser que quelqu’un qui va à la messe doit être un saint.

    L’environnement socio-économique et son impact sur la pastorale

    Est-il possible de parler de la pastorale des étudiants sans évoquer les conditions dans lesquelles ils vivent actuellement ? De nombreuses recherches en sciences humaines montrent assez clairement que le contexte dans lequel une personne humaine évolue influence son comportement (Cfr la notion d’erreur fondamentale). Pour essayer de comprendre cette personne, il faut donc bien connaître ce contexte.

    Qu’en est-il aujourd’hui au niveau du contexte pour les étudiants et stagiaires étrangers en Belgique ?

    Remarquons tout d’abord que la plupart des étudiants que nous recevons actuellement (mais ce n’est pas partout en Belgique) ne sont pas boursiers au sens classique du terme. Ils viennent souvent avec l’espoir qu’ils pourront se débrouiller par les jobs et les aides éventuelles pour faire leurs études. Dans cette situation, leur premier souci est la survie. On comprendra dès lors que certaines activités sans « intérêt financier » ne les intéressent pas.

    Mais à côté de cela, il faut aussi parler du contexte social où nous vivons : la plupart des églises sont presque vides ; certaines d’ailleurs doivent être fermées. Et pour celles qui restent, elles sont souvent fréquentées davantage par les vieux que par les jeunes. Où sont donc passés les jeunes dans les églises ? Certains étudiants me parlent de leur déception de voir qu’on ne voit pas les jeunes dans les églises alors qu’en Afrique (et probablement ailleurs dans le Sud) les églises sont pleines de jeunes. Ce point me semble mériter une attention spéciale dans la réflexion que l’on peut mener sur la pastorale des étudiants étrangers.

    Mon travail en lien avec la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires

    Quand j’ai commencé à travailler au CACEAC, un foyer d’accueil des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers à Charleroi, il existait encore ce qu’on appelait à l’époque un vicariat des étudiants étrangers initié en 1965 par Mgr Albert DESCAMPS. Depuis fin 99, ce vicariat n’existe plus malheureusement. Dans le cadre de ses activités, des retraites, des rencontres, des séminaires, des messes, etc. ont été organisés. Le Révérend Père Jacques DELOOZ, alors directeur du CACEAC, a été pendant longtemps le curé de la paroisse spéciale pour les étudiants étrangers de la région de Charleroi, Thuin, La Louvière, Soignies et Chimay.

    Il serait très difficile de résumer en quelques mots les réalisations de  ce vicariat qui s’est occupé de manière remarquable de la pastorale des étudiants étrangers. Avec ses différentes paroisses, le vicariat a assuré à son public-cible les mêmes services qu’une paroisse normale rend à ses usagers : baptême, mariage, messes, etc. Je signale en passant que j’ai été pendant quelques années le représentant du vicariat auprès du Conseil Interdiocésain des laïcs (Wallonie).

     

    En quoi consiste donc actuellement mon travail ?

    1)      Accueil : l’un des rôles importants des foyers pour étudiants étrangers est l’accueil, avec tout ce que cela veut dire : écoute, sourire, réponse aux questions, mise à l’aise, etc. Tous ceux qui ont eu l’occasion de vivre en situation d’étranger savent certainement ce que ces paroles d’évangile veulent dire : « J’étais un étranger et vous m’avez reccueilli » (Matthieu, chapitre 25, 35). C’est à l’occasion de cet accueil que l’on peut aborder plusieurs sujets dont la religion, la pratique religieuse, etc. mais aussi répondre à certaines interrogations pour ceux qui sont en recherche : horaires des messes, possibilités de rencontre avec un prêtre, animation religieuse (chorale), etc.

    Dernièrement par exemple, un jeune est venu me demander pourquoi il ne voyait pas beaucoup de personnes à l’église. D’autres me demandent où ils peuvent assister à une messe.

    2)      L’information : nous vivons dans un monde hyper informé : radio, télévision, internet et gsm. Malgré tout, le besoin d’être informé sur certaines thématiques reste. Il est rare qu’à la radio ou à la télévision on parle du programme de messe, sauf bien sûr dans les émissions ad hoc. Conformément aux recommandations données lors de la dissolution du vicariat des étudiants étrangers, j’essaye d’informer les étudiants sur les animations pastorales de la paroisse : messe, récollection, journée de prière, etc. C’est pour cette raison qu’une partie de notre tableau d’affichage au rez-de-chaussée est consacrée aux « services religieux à Charleroi ». Les étudiants peuvent y consulter en permanence les horaires des messes dans les différents lieux de culte de Charleroi.

    3)      Soutien moral, financier et matériel

    Certains étudiants s’adressent aussi au CACEAC parce qu’ils traversent ou rencontrent une situation difficile. C’est le cas notamment de ceux qui sont en deuil. Un soutien moral, parfois financier ou matériel leur est donné en fonction des disponibilités du moment.

    Il arrive aussi qu’un étudiant vienne s’informer sur les possibilités d’avoir un mariage religieux. Il faut alors expliquer toutes les démarches à entreprendre, ce qui n’est pas toujours évident (se marier d’abord à la commune, accompagnement par un prêtre ou religieux, etc.). Il arrive que l’un ou l’autre ait des difficultés à suivre tout le cheminement.

    Il serait difficile de ne pas évoquer ici tous les problèmes rencontrés au niveau des demandes d’aide financière reçues presque chaque jour. Malheureusement, nous n’avons plus tellement de ressources financières. Certains étudiants connaissent des situations vraiment dramatiques : cas de grossesse, ne pas trouver du travail après les études, durcissement des conditions de travail de l’étudiant, etc.

     

    Conclusion

    Travailler dans la pastorale des étudiants étrangers n’est pas une tâche aisée, surtout lorsque l’on considère les conditions dans lesquelles ce travail s’effectue. Le grand intellectuel français André Malraux aurait dit que le 21ème siècle sera spirituel ou ne sera pas. Toute la question est de savoir s’il avait raison et quand il commencera.

     

    Michel Hakizimana

    Luxembourg, 28 juin 2013

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Posted 25.04.13DOCUMENTO FINALE - Italiano III Congresso Mondiale di Pastorale per gli Studenti Internazionali. Roma, 30 novembre – 3 dicembre 2011

    Docu-
    mento finale

    Tema:
    Studenti Internazionali e

     

    I. EVENTO

    Il III Congresso Mondiale della Pastorale per Studenti Internazionali, promosso e organizzato dal Pontificio Consiglio della Pastorale per i Migranti e gli Itineranti, si è svolto presso la "Casa Bonus Pastor" a Roma (Italia), dal 30 novembre al 3 dicembre 2011.

    Erano presenti 128 partecipanti: cardinali, vescovi, sacerdoti, religiose e religiosi, operatori pastorali laici e 34 studenti internazionali. Essi provenivano da 36 nazioni: 14 nazioni d’Europa, 8 d’America, 7 d’Africa, 4 dell'Asia-Pacifico e 3 nazioni del Medio Oriente. Rappresentavano Commissioni Episcopali per la Mobilità Umana e per la Pastorale Universitaria, istituti religiosi, associazioni ecclesiali e organizzazioni cattoliche internazionali.

    La presenza e i messaggi dei delegati fraterni, a nome del Patriarcato Ecumenico di Costantinopoli, della Comunione Anglicana e della Federazione Luterana Mondiale, hanno contribuito ad arricchire il Congresso.

    I partecipanti hanno avuto l'onore e la soddisfazione di essere ricevuti da Sua Santità Papa Benedetto XVI, il terzo giorno del Congresso. Il Santo Padre ha sostenuto e ulteriormente incoraggiato la pastorale degli studenti internazionali, affermando quanto essi rappresentino dei doni sia per il bene della Chiesa che dell'umanità, a motivo della diversità delle loro origini culturali, e ha ricordato le opportunità che questi giovani incontrano nel Paese ospitante per la loro crescita intellettuale, umana e spirituale.

    II. TEMA

    Il tema del congresso era "Studenti Internazionali e Incontro delle culture".

    La parola "cultura", secondo la definizione del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II, viene intesa per indicare "tutti quei mezzi con i quali l'uomo affina e sviluppa le molteplici capacità della sua anima e del suo corpo". Essa presenta "necessariamente un aspetto storico e sociale" ed "assume spesso un significato sociologico ed etnologico". Quindi si parla di "una pluralità di culture".

    Il termine "studenti internazionali" adoperato in questo contesto, abbraccia almeno due categorie di studenti migranti universitari (educazione terziaria): coloro che lasciano liberamente i loro Paesi nativi per compiere gli studi all’estero per prestigio, per realizzazione personale, oppure per esplorare nuove culture, e coloro che partono a causa di difficoltà socio-politiche interne.

    I relatori, competenti in discipline diverse, hanno contribuito con i loro interventi ad illuminare i partecipanti e ad arricchirne le conoscenze sul tema dell’incontro delle culture nel suo nesso con: il Vangelo, l'educazione, il processo d’evangelizzazione nelle scuole e nelle università, l'impatto sulla fede e sui valori della gioventù moderna, l'urgenza e le esigenze di una pastorale specifica per gli studenti internazionali e il possibile modello o i possibili modelli di dirigenza giovanile nel mondo globalizzato di oggi.

    III. CONCLUSIONI

    Noi, partecipanti a questo III Congresso Mondiale di Pastorale per gli Studenti Internazionali:

     

    A. illuminati dalla Parola di Dio notiamo che:

    1. i giovani hanno una vocazione molto speciale oggi nel mondo così come il giovane Geremia fu chiamato da Dio ad essere suo profeta alle nazioni: "Prima di formarti nel grembo materno, ti conoscevo, prima che tu uscissi alla luce, ti avevo consacrato; ti ho stabilito profeta delle nazioni" (Geremia 1,5);

    2. una volta opportunamente istruiti, essi non dovrebbero avere paura ma rettitudine, come San Paolo ricorda al suo giovane discepolo Timoteo: "Nessuno disprezzi la tua giovane età, ma sii esempio ai fedeli nelle parole, nel comportamento, nella carità, nella fede, nella purezza" (I Timoteo 4,12);

    3. devono essere pronti a divenire costruttori di ponti tra le culture e mediatori tra i popoli, come l'apostolo Andrea, che, con Filippo, funge da interprete e mediatore di un piccolo gruppo di Greci in dialogo con Gesù, loro Maestro (Giovanni 12,23-24).

     

    B. guidati dall’insegnamento del Magistero della Chiesa vediamo che:

    1. "È proprio della persona umana il non poter raggiungere un livello di vita veramente e pienamente umano se non mediante la cultura, ...";

    2. "Tutti i figli e le figlie della Chiesa devono dunque prendere coscienza della loro missione e scoprire come la forza del Vangelo può penetrare e rigenerare le mentalità e i valori dominanti che ispirano le culture come anche le opinioni e gli atteggiamenti mentali che ne derivano". (Il Vangelo è) "Parola di speranza e di salvezza per gli uomini di ogni razza e cultura, di ogni età e di ogni epoca";

    3. "La pastorale universitaria è quell'attività dell'Università che offre ai membri della comunità stessa l'occasione di coordinare lo studio accademico e le attività para-accademiche con i principi religiosi e morali, integrando così la vita con la fede";

    4. “L’incontro delle culture nel campo universitario dev’essere pertanto incoraggiato e sostenuto, avendo come fondamento i principi umani e cristiani, i valori universali, perché aiuti a far crescere una nuova generazione capace di dialogo e discernimento, impegnata a diffondere il rispetto e la collaborazione per la pace e lo sviluppo".

     

    C. avendo colto dal punto di vista umano che:

    1. la ricerca intellettuale, la sete spirituale e la passione di avventurarsi alla ricerca di un futuro migliore sono alcune delle principali caratteristiche della generazione dei giovani studenti;

    2. essere uno studente internazionale è in effetti un risultato positivo nella vita che genera soddisfazione umana e orgoglio, e offre una qualità più ampia e profonda allo sviluppo umano personale;

    3. l’incontro tra studenti universitari aiuta a scoprire ed apprezzare il tesoro nascosto l’uno nell’altro. Ciò rappresenta un fattore positivo per l'arricchimento umano, culturale e spirituale;

    4. gli studenti internazionali possono manifestare il potenziale e la capacità di diventare autentici attori e protagonisti di un mondo migliore con un’accurata formazione intellettuale, culturale e spirituale; un mondo di una nuova generazione di dialogo e discernimento, di rispetto e collaborazione, di ponti mirati agli scambi culturali e spirituali, alla pace e allo sviluppo.

     

    D. avendo compreso dal punto di vista socio-politico ed economico che:

    1. i progressi moderni della scienza e della tecnologia influenzano oggi in gran parte i comportamenti socio-politici del popolo, soprattutto della giovane generazione;

    2. i sistemi di istruzione terziaria, in concorso con tali sviluppi, sono entrati in una fase di rapide riforme, e acquisiscono maggiore importanza nei programmi nazionali, sociali ed economici, mentre promuovono, in tal modo, un mercato concorrenziale dell'economia della conoscenza;

    3. gli studenti internazionali sono diventati una realtà in rapida e complessa crescita, con un incremento che è passato da circa 1,68 milioni nel 1999 a circa 3,7 milioni nel periodo 2009/10, e che si prevede aumenterà a 7,2 milioni entro il 2025 ;

    4. la mobilità degli studenti internazionali si concentrava storicamente nella regione OCSE (Organizzazione per la Cooperazione e lo Sviluppo Economico), che comprende la maggior parte dei Paesi con antiche tradizioni cristiane. Attualmente circa il 77% degli studenti internazionali prosegue gli studi nei paesi OCSE. Risulta, comunque, che il 52% di questa mobilità studentesca proviene da Cina, India e Corea. La situazione nell’OCSE sta cambiando, a causa delle difficoltà economiche e/o dell’alto costo della vita e dei severi regolamenti di viaggio nella regione, o a motivo di incoraggianti programmi a basso costo e dei regolamenti di viaggio più permissivi altrove. Di conseguenza molti studenti vengono gradualmente attratti verso Paesi con altre tradizioni religiose e culturali, come Cina, Malesia, Singapore e India;

    5. la situazione nei Paesi ove i cristiani sono una minoranza comporta difficoltà e sfide alla pastorale per gli studenti universitari sia per la mancanza di libertà religiosa che per la carenza di cappellani e operatori pastorali preparati.

      

    IV. RACCOMANDAZIONI

    CI IMPEGNIAMO, quindi, come partecipanti al III Congresso Mondiale di Pastorale per gli Studenti Internazionali, ad intraprendere il seguente piano di azione:

    1. sollecitare tutti i vescovi e le Conferenze episcopali a dare uguale importanza, tra le priorità nei (loro) programmi pastorali diocesani e nazionali, alla pastorale universitaria e a fornire un adeguato finanziamento, così come una formazione integrale ai cappellai e operatori pastorali, accuratamente scelti, con la dovuta attenzione alla comunità multi-culturale e multi-etnica nelle università;

    2. incoraggiare maggiori investimenti nell’istruzione, attraverso le università cattoliche e gli istituti cattolici di istruzione superiore, al fine di contribuire alla formazione integrale delle mentalità, degli atteggiamenti, della morale e dei valori delle future generazioni;

    3. rafforzare e rinvigorire i programmi di formazione teologica e dottrinale per gli studenti internazionali cattolici come parte della loro formazione integrale, specialmente con lo scopo di aiutarli a vivere, con chiarezza, certezza e impegno, la loro vocazione cristiana per divenire evangelizzatori e missionari della società moderna;

    4. prestare particolare attenzione alle elevate potenzialità e capacità degli studenti internazionali per diventare promotori e protagonisti dinamici della pace e del progresso nel mondo;

    5. incoraggiare gli studenti internazionali a condividere le loro richezze con la comunità ospitante ed essere altrettanto aperti ad imparare da essa;

    6. promuovere una mentalità aperta e il rispetto reciproco nel campo del dialogo ecumenico e interreligioso in tutte le università / istituti di istruzione superiore, attraverso programmi di studio comparato delle religioni, circoli di studio culturale e relative celebrazioni (ecumeniche, interreligiose, multietniche e multiculturali);

    7. sostenere la libertà delle attività pastorali a favore degli studenti cattolici universitari/accademici nei Paesi a minoranza cristiana;

    8. migliorare la pastorale universitaria, anche ampliando adeguate strutture parrocchiali per celebrare la vita sacramentale della comunità universitaria, con particolare considerazione della diversità culturale e del suo ruolo vitale per il progresso della società odierna;

    9. creare programmi a favore dell’accoglienza iniziale e della preparazione al rientro degli studenti nei loro Paesi d’origine, tramite attività coordinate tra la Chiesa del Paese d’accoglienza e la Chiesa del Paese d’origine;

    10. favorire la solidarietà attiva verso gli studenti internazionali bisognosi, a prescindere da credo e religioni, in collaborazione con le relative agenzie e istituzioni caritative;

    11. incoraggiare la creazione di borse di studio con lo scopo di promuovere lo scambio di un maggior numero di programmi, che, da un lato, possano favorire gli studenti internationali meno privilegiati e, dall’altro, lo scambio interculturale,

    12. sviluppare una rete internet per condividere le informazioni sulle attività pastorali in diverse università del mondo, al fine di rafforzare e migliorare l'attuale ministero pastorale per gli studenti internazionali.

    Vaticano, 21 dicembre 2011

    X Antonio Maria Vegliò                                           
    Presidente    

    X Joseph Kalathiparambil
    Segretario

     


    (1) cf. La Costituzione Pastorale della Chiesa nel Mondo Contemporaneo Gaudium et spes, n. 53.
    (2) La Sacra Bibbia, Edizione Conferenza Episcopale Italiana.
    (3) Ibidem.
    (4) Ibidem.
    (5) cf. La Costituzione Pastorale della Chiesa nel Mondo Contemporaneo Gaudium et spes, n. 53.
    (6) PAPA GIOVANNI PAOLO II, Discorso ai partecipanti dell’Assemblea Generale del Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura, 1989, n. 2.
    (7) PAPA BENEDETTO XVI, Messaggio per la Giornata Mondiale dei Migranti e Rifugiati, 2008.
    (8) PAPA GIOVANNI PAOLO II, Costituzione Apostolica Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 1990, n. 38; cf. PAPA BENEDETTO XVI, Discorso ai partecipanti al primo Incontro Europeo degli Studenti Universitari, 2009.
    (9) PAPA BENEDETTO XVI, Discorso ai partecipanti del III Congresso Mondiale della Pastorale degli Studenti Internazionali, 2 Dicembre 2011.
    (10) cf. BÖHM, DAVIS, Meares and Pearce, GLOBAL STUDENT MOBILITY 2025, IDP Education Australia, September 2002, M. CAROLINA BRANDI, Migrazione e mobilità degli studenti universitari: il caso italiano nel quadro internazionale, Centro Nazionale Opere Salesiane, 2011.
    (11) cf. KEMAL GÜRÜRZ, Higher Education and International Student Movement in the Global Knowledge Economy, 2011; 2011; OCSE, Education at a Glance 2011: OECD indicators, 13 September 2011; World Education Service, International Student Mobility, Patterns and Trends, October 2007; MIKI SUGIMURA, International Student Mobility and Asian Higher Education, (Asia-Pacific Sub-regional Preparatory Conference for the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education), 24-26 September 2008, Macau, PR China.

  • Posted 25.04.13Final document - English Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

    Final Document

    People on the Move

    I. Event

    The III World Congress on the Pastoral Care of International Students, promoted and organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, was held at the “Casa Bonus Pastor” in Rome, Italy, from 30th November to 3rd December 2011.

    There were 128 participants: cardinals, bishops, priests, religious sisters and brothers, lay pastoral agents and 34 international students. They came from 36 nations: 14 in Europe, 8 in America, 7 in Africa, 4 in Asia-Pacific and 3 in the Middle East. They represented Episcopal Commissions for Human Mobility and University Pastoral Care, religious institutes, ecclesial associations and international Catholic organizations.

    The presence and messages of fraternal delegates, on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran World Federation, contributed to add importance to the Congress.

    The participants had the honour and satisfaction of being received by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the third day of the Congress. His words sustained and further encouraged the pastoral care of international students by affirming the gifts they represent due to the diversity of their cultural origin, both for the good of the Church and humanity, as well as the opportunities they meet in the host country, for their own intellectual, human and spiritual growth.

      

    II. Theme

    The theme of the event was “International Students and Meeting of Cultures”.

    The word “culture”, as defined by the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, is understood to indicate “everything whereby man develops and perfects his many bodily and spiritual qualities”. It “has necessarily a historical and social aspect” and “also often assumes a sociological and ethnological sense”. Therefore we speak of “a plurality of cultures”.[1]

    The term “international students” used in this context embraces at least 2 categories of university migrant students (tertiary education): those who freely leave their native countries to study for prestige, for personal satisfaction or else to explore new cultures, and those who leave due to internal socio-political difficulties.

    The interventions of the speakers, coming from diverse areas of competence, contributed to enlighten the participants and enhance their knowledge on the subject of meeting of cultures in relation to the Gospel, education, the process of evangelization in schools and universities, its impact on the faith and values of the modern youth, the urgency and demands of a specific pastoral care for international students and the possible model/s of young leadership in the modern globalized world.

      

    III. Conclusions

    We, the participants of this III World Congress on the Pastoral Care of International students:

      

    A. being inspired by the Word of God that:

    1. the youth have a very special vocation today in the world as young Jeremiah was called by God to be His prophet to the nations: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5);

    2. once appropriately instructed, they should not have fear but uprightness as Saint Paul advises his young disciple Timothy: “Let no one disregard you because you are young, but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12); and

    3. be ready to become bridge-builders among cultures and mediators among peoples like the Apostle Andrew, who, with Philip, serves as interpreter and mediator of a group of Greeks in dialogue with Jesus their Master (cf. John 12:20-22)

       

    B. being guided by the Magisterial Teachings of the Church that:

    1. “Man comes to a true and full humanity only through culture,…”;[2]

    2. “All the sons and daughters of the Church should (then) be aware of their mission and discover how the dynamism of the Gospel can penetrate and regenerate the dominant mentalities and values which inspire each of the cultures as well as the opinions and the attitudes which flow from them”.[3] “It (Gospel) is a word of hope and salvation for the people of all races and cultures, of all ages and eras”;[4]

    3. “Pastoral ministry is that activity of the University which offers the members of the university community an opportunity to integrate religious and moral principles with their academic study and non-academic activities, thus integrating faith with life”;[5]

    4. “The meeting of cultures in universities must, then, be encouraged and supported having human and Christian principles, the universal values, as its foundation so as to bring up a new generation capable of dialogue and discernment, committed to spreading respect and cooperation for peace and development”,[6]

       

    C. having grasped from the human point of view that:

    1. intellectual research, spiritual thirst and passion for venturing in search of a better future are some of the principal characteristics of the young student generation;

    2. being an international student is in fact a positive achievement in life and gives human satisfaction and pride, providing a wider and deeper quality to their personal human development;

    3. meeting among university students helps them discover and appreciate the treasure hidden in one another. This represents a positive factor for human, cultural and spiritual enrichment;

    4. with the proper intellectual, cultural and spiritual formation, international students can manifest the potential and capacity to become authentic actors and protagonists of a better world; a world of a new generation of dialogue and discernment, of respect and collaboration, of cultural and spiritual bridges, of peace and development, 

    D. having understood  from the socio-political and economic point of view that:

    1. modern advancements in science and technology are largely influencing and affecting the socio-political behaviours of people, especially of the young generation;

    2. in line with such developments, tertiary education systems are undergoing rapid reforms, gaining greater importance in national, social and economic programmes, thus promoting a competitive knowledge economy market;

    3. international students have become a rapidly growing and complex reality, marking an increase from about 1.68 million in 1999 to some 3.7 million in 2009/10 period, which is projected to rise to 7.2 million by 2025;[7]

    4. international student mobility has been historically concentrated in the OECD region (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), which mostly includes countries with ancient Christian traditions. Currently some 77% of international students pursue studies in OECD region countries. But 52% of this international student mobility reportedly arrive from China, India and Korea. At the same time, the situation in OECD is slowly changing, either because of economic difficulties and/or high cost of living and strict travel regulations in the region or because of encouraging low-cost programmes and easy travel regulations elsewhere. As a result many students are being gradually attracted towards countries of other religious and cultural traditions, such as China, Malaysia, Singapore and India;[8]

    5. situation in countries with a minority of Christians poses difficulties and challenges to the pastoral care of university students either due to the lack of religious freedom or due to the lack of prepared chaplains and pastoral agents.

      

    IV.  recommendations

    We commit ourselves, therefore, as participants of the III World Congress on the Pastoral Care of International Students, to undertake the following plan of action:

    1. to urge all bishops and Episcopal Conferences to give equal importance, among priorities in (their) diocesan and national pastoral programmes, to university pastoral care and to provide adequate finances as well as integral formation for chaplains and pastoral agents, fittingly chosen, with due attention to the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic community in universities;

    2. to advocate for greater investment in education, through Catholic universities and Catholic higher education institutions, in order to contribute to the integral formation of mentalities, attitudes, morals and values of future generations;

    3. to strengthen and invigorate programmes of theological and doctrinal formation for Catholic international students as part of their integral formation, especially in view of helping them live with clarity, certainty and commitment, their Christian vocation and become leading evangelizers and missionaries of the modern society;

    4. to give very special attention to the high potential and capacity of international students to become dynamic promoters and protagonists of world peace and progress;

    5. to empower international students to share their gifts with the host community and also to be open to learning from it;

    6. to promote a mentality of openness and mutual respect in the field of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue in all universities/higher education institutions, through programmes of comparative study of religions, cultural study circles and related celebrations (ecumenical, inter-religious, multiethnic and multicultural);

    7. to lobby for the freedom of pastoral activities in favour of Catholic university/higher education students in countries with a minority of Christians;

    8. to improve university pastoral care, also by expanding appropriate parochial structures for the university community to celebrate sacramental life, with particular consideration given to cultural diversity and its vital role in the development of the society today;

    9. to promote programmes of initial welcome as well as programmes preparing the students’ return to their countries of origin, facilitated by coordinated activities between the Church in the host country and the Church in the country of origin;

    10. to advocate active solidarity with international students in need, regardless of faiths and religions, in partnership with relevant charitable agencies and institutions;

    11. to encourage establishment of scholarship-organizations in order to promote more exchange-programmes, benefiting, on the one hand, less-advantaged international students and, on the other hand,  inter-cultural exchange,

    12. to develop a net-working to share information on pastoral activities in different universities around the world in order to strengthen and to further enhance the current university pastoral ministry to international students.


    [1] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et spes, 53.

    [2] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in Modern World Gaudium et spes, 53.

    [3] John Paul II, Discourse to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture (13 January 1989), 2.

    [4] Benedict XVI, Message for the 94th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (13 January 2008).

    [5] John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities Ex corde ecclesiae (15 August 1990), 38; Cf. also Benedict XVI, Address to the participants of the First European Meeting of University Students (Vatican, 11 July 2009).

    [6] Benedict XVI, Address to the participants in the III World Congress for the Pastoral Care of International Students (Vatican, 2 December 2011).

    [7] Cf. Böhm, Davis, Meares and Pearce, Global Student Mobility 2025, IDP Education Australia, September 2002; M. Carolina Brandi, Migrazione e mobilità degli studenti universitari: il caso italiano nel quadro internazionale, Centro Nazionale Opere Salesiane, 2011.

    [8] Cf. Kemal Gürürz, Higher Education and International Student Movement in the Global Knowledge Economy, 2011; OECD, Education at a Glance 2011: OECD indicators, 13 September 2011; World Education Service, International Student Mobility, Patterns and Trends, October 2007; Miki Sugimura, International Student Mobility and Asian Higher Education, (Asia-Pacific Sub-regional Preparatory Conference for the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education), 24-26 September 2008, Macau, PR China; Global Education Digest 2009, Comparing Education Statistics across the World. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

  • Posted 25.04.13Document final - Français III Congrès Mondial de la Pastorale pour les Etudiants Internationaux. Rome, 30 Novembre – 3 Décembre 2011

    Document final

    Thème:
    Étudiants Internationaux et Rencontre des Cultures

     I. EVENEMENT

    Le IIIème Congrès Mondial sur la Pastorale de Etudiants Internationaux, promu et organisé par le Conseil Pontifical de la Pastorale pour les Migrants et pour les Personnes en Déplacement, s’est tenu à la «Casa Bonus Pastor» à Rome, en Italie, du 30 novembre au 3 décembre 2011.

    128 participants étaient présents: cardinaux, évêques, prêtres, religieuses et religieux, agents pastoraux laïcs et 34 étudiants internationaux. Provenant de 36 nations: 14 en Europe, 8 en Amérique, 7 en Afrique, 4 en Asie-Pacifique et 3 au Moyen- Orient, ils représentaient les Commissions Episcopales pour la Mobilité Humaine et la Pastorale Universitaire, les instituts religieux, les associations ecclésiales et les organisations catholiques internationales.

    La présence et les messages de délégués fraternels représentant le Patriarcat Œcuménique de Constantinople, la Communion Anglicane et la Fédération Luthérienne Mondiale, ont contribué à ajouter de l’importance au Congrès.

    Les participants ont eu l’honneur et la satisfaction d’être reçus par Sa Sainteté le Pape Benoît XVI le troisième jour du Congrès. Ses paroles ont représenté un soutien et un encouragement supplémentaires pour la pastorale des étudiants internationaux, en affirmant les dons qu’ils représentent, en vertu de la diversité de leur origine culturelle, aussi bien pour le bien de l’Eglise que de l’humanité, ainsi que les opportunités qu’ils trouvent dans le pays d’accueil pour leur croissance intellectuelle, humaine et spirituelle.

      

    II. THEME

    Le thème de l’événement était «Les étudiants internationaux et la rencontre des cultures».

    Le terme de «culture», tel qu’il est défini par le Concile Œcuménique Vatican II, désigne «tout ce par quoi l’homme affine et développe les multiples capacités de son esprit et de son corps». Il comporte « nécessairement un aspect historique et social» et «prend souvent un sens sociologique et même ethnologique». On parle donc de «pluralité des cultures»(1).

    Le terme d’«étudiants internationaux» utilisé dans ce contexte inclut au moins deux catégories d’étudiants universitaires migrants (études de troisième cycle): ceux qui quittent volontairement leur pays natal pour suivre des études dans autre pays soit pour le prestige, la satisfaction personnelle ou encore pour explorer de nouvelles cultures, et ceux qui s’en vont en raison de difficultés socio-politiques internes.

    Les interventions des orateurs, compétents dans les différentes disciplines , ont contribué à éclairer les participants et à approfondir leurs connaissances sur le thème de la rencontre des cultures en relation avec l’Evangile, l’éducation, le processus d’évangélisation dans les écoles et les universités, l’impact sur la foi et les valeurs de la jeunesse moderne, l’urgence et les exigences d’une pastorale spécifique pour les étudiants internationaux et le modèle possible ou possibles de leadership des jeunes dans l’actuel monde globalisé.

      

    III. CONCLUSIONS

    Nous, participants à ce IIIème Congrès Mondial sur la pastorale des étudiants internationaux:

    A. inspirés par la Parole de Dieu selon laquelle:
    1. les jeunes ont une vocation toute particulière aujourd’hui dans le monde, comme le jeune Jérémie fut appelé par Dieu à être son prophète des nations: «Avant même de te former au ventre maternel, je t'ai connu; avant même que tu sois sorti du sein, je t'ai consacré ; comme prophète des nations, je t'ai établi» (Jérémie 1,5);(2)

    2. lorsqu’ils ont été correctement instruits, ils ne devraient pas avoir de sentiments de crainte, mais de rectitude, comme saint Paul le conseille son jeune disciple Timothée: «Que personne ne méprise ton jeune âge. Au contraire, montre-toi un modèle pour les croyants, par la parole, la conduite, la charité, la foi, la pureté» (1 Timothée 4,12);(3) et

    3. ils doivent être prêts à devenir des bâtisseurs de ponts entre les cultures et des médiateurs entre les peuples comme l’apôtre André, qui, avec Philippe, sert d’interprète et de médiateur auprès d’un petit groupe de Grecs en dialogue avec leur Maître Jésus (Cf. Jean 12, 20-22),(4)

    B. étant guidés par les enseignements du Magistère de l’Eglise selon lesquels:
    1. c’est le propre de la personne humaine de n’accéder vraiment et pleinement à l’humanité que par la culture»... ;(5)

    2. « Tous les fils et les filles de l'Eglise doivent donc prendre conscience de leur mission et découvrir comment la force de l'Evangile peut pénétrer et régénérer les mentalités et les valeurs dominantes qui inspirent chacune des cultures ainsi que les opinions et les attitudes qui en découlent».(6) (L’Evangile) c’est une Parole d’espérance et de salut pour les hommes de toute race et culture, de tout âge et de toute époque»;(7)

    3. «La pastorale universitaire est cette activité de l'Université qui offre aux membres de la communauté elle-même l'occasion de coordonner l'étude académique et les activités para-académiques avec les principes religieux et moraux, intégrant ainsi la vie à la foi»;(8)

    4. «La rencontre des cultures dans les universités devrait être encouragée et soutenue, ayant à sa base des principes humains et chrétiens et des valeurs universelles, afin de contribuer à développer une nouvelle génération, capable de dialogue et de discernement, engagée à promouvoir le respect et la collaboration en vue de la paix et du développement»;(9)

    C. ayant compris, du point de vue humain, que:
    1. la recherche intellectuelle, la soif spirituelle et la passion de partir à la recherche d’un meilleur avenir représentent certaines des principales caractéristiques de la jeune génération d’étudiants;

    2. être un étudiant international est en réalité un accomplissement positif dans la vie et apporte satisfaction humaine et fierté, en offrant un degré plus vaste et plus profond de développement humain;

    3. la rencontre entre les étudiants universitaires les aide à découvrir et à apprécier les trésors cachés les uns chez les autres. Cela représente un facteur positif d’enrichissement humain, culturel et spirituel;

    4. les étudiants internationaux peuvent manifester le potentiel et la capacité de devenir d’authentiques acteurs et protagonistes d’un monde meilleur; un monde d’une nouvelle génération de dialogue et de discernement, de respect et de collaboration, de ponts culturels et spirituels, de paix et de développement;

     

    D. ayant compris, du point de vue socio-politique et économique, que:
    1. les développements modernes de la science et de la technologie influencent largement les comportements socio-politiques des personnes, en particulier des jeunes générations;

    2. en concurrence avec ces développements, les systèmes éducatifs du troisième cycle font l’objet de réformes rapides, et prennent une importance croissante dans les programmes nationaux, sociaux et économiques, promouvant ainsi un marché fondé sur l’économie de la connaissance compétitif;

    3. les étudiants internationaux sont devenus une réalité en rapide et complexe expansion, dont le nombre a augmenté, passant de 1,68 millions environ en 1999 à quelque 3,7 millions dans la période 2009/2010, et selon les estimations, ce nombre atteindra 7,2 millions d’ici 2025;(10)

    4. la mobilité des étudiants internationaux s’est traditionnellement concentrée dans la région de l‘OCDE (Organisation pour la coopération et le développement économiques), qui inclut pour la plupart des pays d’ancienne tradition chrétienne. Actuellement, environ 77% des étudiants internationaux suivent des études dans les pays de l’OCDE. Mais d’après certaines informations, 52 % de cette mobilité des étudiants internationaux arrivent de Chine, d’Inde et de Corée. La situation dans les pays de l’OCDE est en train de changer lentement, tant en raison des difficultés économiques ou/et du coût élevé de la vie et des réglementations strictes en matière de déplacement dans la région, qu'en raison de l'avantage représenté ailleurs par les programmes à bas prix et les réglementations en matière de déplacement plus favorables dans autres régions. Par conséquent, de nombreux étudiants sont progressivement attirés vers des pays d'autres traditions culturelles et religieuses, telles que la Chine, la Malaisie, Singapour et l'Inde;(11)

    5. la situation dans les pays où les chrétiens sont une minorité implique des difficultés et des défis pour la pastorale des étudiants universitaires en raison du manque de liberté religieuse ainsi que d’aumôniers et d’agents pastoraux préparés.

      

    IV. RECOMMANDATIONS

    NOUS NOUS ENGAGEONS, donc, en tant que participants au IIIème Congrès Mondial de la Pastorale pour des étudiants internationaux, à entreprendre le programme d’action suivant :

    1. exhorter tous les évêques et les Conférences épiscopales à accorder une importance égale, parmi les priorités de leurs programmes pastoraux diocésains et nationaux, à la pastorale universitaire et à garantir les fonds appropriés ainsi que la formation intégrale d’agents pastoraux, bien choisis, avec une attention appropriée à la communauté multiethnique et multiculturelle dans les universités;

    2. encourager un plus grand investissement dans l'éducation, à travers les Universités catholiques et les institutions d'éducation supérieure, afin de contribuer à la formation intégrale des mentalités, des attitudes, des principes moraux et des valeurs des générations futures;

    3. consolider et renforcer les programmes de formation théologique et doctrinale pour les étudiants internationaux catholiques en tant que partie intégrante de leur formation, spécialement dans l’intention de les aider à vivre avec clarté, certitude et responsabilité leur vocation chrétienne de devenir évangélisateurs et missionnaires de la société moderne;

    4. apporter une attention particulière au potentiel et à la capacité élevés des étudiants internationaux de devenir des promoteurs et protagonistes dynamiques de la paix et du progrès dans le monde;

    5. former les étudiants internationaux à partager leurs dons avec la communauté d'accueil, mais aussi à être ouverts à ce qu'elle peut leur apporter;

    6. promouvoir une mentalité ouverte et de respect mutuel dans le domaine du dialogue œcuménique et interreligieux dans toutes les Universités/institutions d’enseignement supérieur, à travers des programmes d'étude comparative des religions, cercles d’étude culturels et célébrations concernés (œcuméniques, interreligieuse, multiethniques e multiculturelles);

    7. soutenir la liberté des activités pastorales en faveur des étudiants catholiques universitaires/académiques dan les pays où les chrétiens sont une minorité;

    8. améliorer la pastorale universitaire, en développant des structures paroissiales appropriées pour la communauté universitaire afin de célébrer la vie sacramentelle, avec une considération particulière pour la diversité culturelle et son rôle vital pour la croissance de la société aujourd'hui;

    9. créer des programmes d'accueil initial et de préparation au retour des étudiants dans leurs pays d’origine, à traves des activités coordonnées entre l'Eglise du pays d'accueil et celle du pays d'origine;

    10. promouvoir une solidarité active pour les étudiants internationaux dans le besoin, indépendamment de leurs croyances et religions, en collaboration avec les organismes et institutions caritatifs appropriés;

    11. encourager la création de bourses d'études dans le but de promouvoir un plus grand nombre de programmes d'échange, qui peuvent favoriser, d'une part, les étudiants internationaux moins privilégiés et, de l’autre, l'échange interculturel.

    12. développer un réseau internet pour partager les informations sur les activités pastorales dans les différentes universités dans le monde afin de renforcer l’actuel ministère pastoral universitaire pour les étudiants internationaux.

     

    (1) Cf. CONCILE ŒCUMENIQUE VATICAN II, Constitution Pastorale sur l’Eglise dans le monde dans ce temps Gaudium et spes, n. 53.

    (2) LA BIBLE DE JERUSALEM

    (3) Ibidem.

    (4) LA BIBLE DE JERUSALEM

    (5) Cf. CONCILE ŒCUMENIQUE VATICAN II, Constitution Pastorale sur l’Eglise dans le monde de ce temps Gaudium et spes, n. 53.

    (6) JEAN-PAUL II, Discours aux participants à l’assemblée générale du Conseil pontifical de la culture, 1989, n. 2.

    (7) BENOIT XVI, Message pour la Journée mondiale du migrant et du réfugié, 2008.

    (8) JEAN-PAUL II, Constitution Apostolique Ex corde ecclesiae, 1990; Cf. BENOIT XVI, Discours aux participants à la Première Rencontre Européenne des étudiants universitaires, 11 juillet 2009.

    (9) BENOIT XVI, Discours aux participants au IIIe Congrès mondial sur la pastorale des étudiants internationaux, 2 décembre 2011.

    (10) Cf. BÖHM, DAVIS, MEARES and PEARCE, GLOBAL STUDENT MOBILITY 2025, IDP Education Australia, September 2002; M. Carolina BRANDI, Migrazione e mobilità degli studenti universitari: il caso italiano nel quadro internazionale, Centro Nazionale Opere Salesiane, 2011.

    (11) Cf. Kemal GÜRÜRZ: Higher Education and International Student Movement in the Global Knowledge Economy, 2011; OECD, Education at a Glance 2011: OECD indicators, 13 September 2011; WORLD EDUCATION SERVICE, International Student Mobility, Patterns and Trends, October 2007; Miki SUGIMURA, International Student Mobility and Asian Higher Education, (Asia-Pacific Sub-regional Preparatory Conference for the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education), 24-26 September 2008, Macau, PR China; GLOBAL EDUCATION DIGEST 2009: Comparing Education Statistics across the World. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

  • Posted 25.04.13World Congress on the Pastoral Care of International Students - Participants list Rome, 30 novembre - 3 décembre 2011

    Partici-
    pants list

    Please download the PDF file on the left.

  • Posted 25.04.13Rencontre des cultures et son impact sur la foi et les valeurs de la jeune génération d’aujourd’hui Rome, 30 novembre - 3 décembre 2011

    Rencontre des cultures...

    La jeune génération d’aujourd’hui

    Comme point de départ de cette présentation, je fais le constat suivant qui vaut pour les pays occidentaux en tout cas mais se vérifie aussi partiellement partout dans le monde. La jeune génération actuelle fait l’expérience:

    - de communications plus aisées via le GSM, le PC, le Ipad et d’autres modes de contact plus immédiat;

    - de distances réduites grâce à des moyens de transport de plus en plus performants;

    - d’une hyper-information qui occupe l’esprit au détriment de la réflexion;

    - d’une meilleure connaissance des mécanismes impliqués dans le fonctionnement de notre monde y compris le corps humain, ce qui cependant ne lui est pas d’un grand secours lorsqu’elle est confrontée à la souffrance et à la mort;

    -de moins de dépendance vis-à-vis de contraintes culturelles, ce qui engendre corrélativement une perte du sens des limites. On croit pouvoir tout faire; tout semble permis.

    -paradoxalement, chez  beaucoup de jeunes, d’un sentiment de solitude qui est le résultat d’un mode de vie individualiste encouragé par une société de consommation.

    Dans ce contexte de société, la recherche de sens reste bien présente mais les chemins pour y parvenir sont souvent inadéquats. Les étudiants internationaux issus de communautés chrétiennes vivantes peuvent jouer ici un rôle très important comme «missionnaires» de la Foi.

       

    Contexte de l’Union Européenne

    L’union européenne (UE), qui fédère actuellement 27 états, n’a pas dans ses compétences (exclusives ou partagées) la formation. Elle joue cependant dans ce domaine un rôle important de coordination et d’harmonisation à partir de ce que proposent les différents pays. Le processus de Bologne en est un exemple. Dans ce cadre, elle promeut une formation de qualité et met explicitement l’accent sur le niveau des connaissances et sur l’aspect concurrentiel de l’offre en ce domaine face à une économie mondialisée. Les programmes, proposés par les différents pays bénéficiaires des fonds européens, s’adressent, outre les pays de l’UE, aux pays voisins et à 80 autres pays dans le monde.

    Jusqu’à la deuxième guerre mondiale, les migrations de personnes se faisaient essentiellement entre pays de l’Europe et depuis l’Europe vers d’autres continents. Ce n’est qu’au terme de cette guerre que l’immigration a commencé. Actuellement, elle représente environ 1 million de personnes/an. Les marchés européens sont  intéressés par la venue de cadres compétents issus des pays de l’Est et du Sud (brain drain) et aussi par une main d’œuvre non qualifiée qui fait défaut dans des pays à niveau de vie élevé. Il vaut la peine de noter que la politique menée par l’UE sur ce terrain est de la compétence de la défense et de la sécurité.

    A ce  phénomène migratoire vient s’ajouter la mobilité des jeunes en formation. Elle a lieu entre pays de l’UE mais aussi depuis  l’extérieur de l’UE vers celle-ci. Les motifs qui poussent des non-européens à venir étudier en  UE sont le niveau et la qualité de nos formations, leur diversité et aussi, dans un certain nombre de cas, l’opportunité qu’elles représentent pour s’installer, une fois diplômé, en UE. Les prérequis permettant d’accéder à une formation en UE sont globalement les suivants:

    - disposer d’une attestation d’admission dans une institution d’enseignement supérieur du pays visé;

    - fournir la preuve qu’on dispose de moyens de subsistance suffisants;

    - présenter un certificat médical attestant d’une bonne santé;

    - pour les personnes de plus de 21 ans, fournir un certificat de bonne vie et mœurs.

       

    Place des Foyers d’accueil catholiques dans ce contexte

    Le but des foyers d’accueil catholiques est d’offrir à celles et ceux qui viennent poursuivre leurs études en UE un contexte humain inspiré de l’évangile. Cela implique de - leur faciliter d’abord toutes les démarches à effectuer lorsqu’on s’établit pour une période suffisamment longue dans un pays étranger -  leur offrir des conditions matérielles et humaines leur permettant de réussir leurs études - et  les aider enfin à s’intégrer dans un contexte culturel différent du leur tout en respectant leur culture propre.

    Ces foyers catholiques existent de manière autonome ou peuvent être associés à une paroisse universitaire qui offre, elle, plus explicitement un lieu d’expression de la Foi.
    En outre, existent des associations comme le KAAD (Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst) en Allemagne, l’œuvre St Justin en Suisse,  l’Afro-Asiatisches Institut en Autriche, la FENACA-Aalmoezeniersdienst (Fédération NAtionale des Centres d’Accueil pour étudiants étrangers) en Belgique et d’autres encore qui  veillent  au sein de l’Eglise aux intérêts des étudiants internationaux.
    Plusieurs de ces associations nationales sont regroupées en une association internationale dénommée SECIS (Service of European Churches for International Students). Elle vous sera présentée au cours de ce congrès. L’intérêt d’une telle association est d’échanger régulièrement des expériences et de faciliter  l’organisation de projets internationaux au bénéfice des étudiants.

    Celui qui arrive dans un foyer d’accueil cherche un contexte de vie qui lui permettra de bien mener ses études. Sauf exception, il souhaite aussi nouer des relations, s’intégrer dans le lieu (le pays) d’accueil. Mis  à part la réalisation d’une formation doctorale qui prend plusieurs années, les séjours se limitent le plus souvent à une ou deux années de spécialisation complétant une formation de base déjà acquise. En outre,  les exigences du point de vue de « l’employeur », soit l’université ou la haute école qui offre la formation, sont importantes et requièrent donc beaucoup d’énergie, beaucoup d’investissement personnel. Le temps vécu « au foyer » est donc assez limité. A cela s’ajoute le fait qu’ un certain nombre d’étudiant arrivent déjà mariés et sont donc moins disponibles pour la vie du foyer d’accueil que s’ils étaient célibataires. Confirmant ce constat, une révision critique des programmes de mobilité de l’UE s’effectue actuellement. Parmi les points abordés, apparaissent la faible qualité de l’insertion culturelle (cultural learning) des étudiants, résultat du « short term » et le fait que  l’excellence des universités est présentée davantage sur base concurrentielle que par rapport à  leur capacité à établir des réseaux.

       

    Lien entre cultures et religions

    Le séjour à l’étranger est  l’occasion de découvrir une autre culture et pas seulement celle d’acquérir une compétence non trouvée dans le pays d’origine.

    Comme catholiques, il vaut la peine ici que nous essayons de clarifier le lien existant entre cultures et religions. Dans nos foyers,  nous accueillons  bien sûr des étudiants de religion catholique issus d’un contexte culturel différent du nôtre mais aussi des étudiants appartenant à la fois à une autre religion et à un contexte culturel différent du nôtre.

    Une religion peut se définir comme un système de croyances appelées à donner une explication (et donc du sens) à l’univers, aux phénomènes naturels et à notre existence propre. Elle invoque souvent un ou plusieurs dieux ou forces surnaturelles et implique de la part de ses adhérents des obligations. Elle se caractérise  par des aspects non empiriques et par l’existence de dogmes. Une culture se présente également comme un système de croyances, de valeurs, d’habitudes, de comportements, d’objets que les membres d’une société partagent pour gérer leur relation au monde et entre eux. La culture et la religion sont transmises de génération en génération par l’apprentissage que l’on désigne sous le terme d’éducation. Toutes deux concernent la conception que chacun a du monde dans lequel il vit. Elles lui offrent la possibilité de structurer cette réalité. Une différence essentielle est que l’une fait appel à ce qui dépasse l’homme pour structurer, donner du sens la réalité tandis que  l’autre se base essentiellement sur l’expérience humaine.

    C’est le Pape Jean Paul II qui, en 1979, dans son exhortation apostolique « Catechesi tradendae », a parlé de l’inculturation de la religion. Dit en d’autres termes, il a parlé de la pénétration, de l’enracinement de la foi chrétienne à l’intérieur même des cultures. On parle de pénétration, d’enracinement mais pas d’intégration car la démarche d’évangélisation apporte quelque chose de nouveau, une bonne nouvelle venant d’ailleurs. Un article publié dans le numéro de juillet 2010 de la revue « Etudes » fait une analyse éclairante de cette relation entre religions et cultures. En  Europe occidentale, on observe à ce propos que beaucoup de personnes se réfèrent à la tradition chrétienne comme à un fond culturel leur ayant appris le respect de l’autre, l’attention aux plus faibles, le partage équitable des biens etc…Ils ne sont plus croyants mais de culture chrétienne. A l’opposé de cette attitude, apparaissent des mouvements fondamentalistes ou évangéliques qui se distancient, se déconnectent de toute apparence culturelle. C’est la foi pure et dure ou le dogmatisme à outrance, marquant la transcendance du message divin.

      

    Comment ce rapport est-il vécu par les étudiants ?

    Pour les étudiants arrivant dans nos foyers, la quantité d’informations à assimiler, parfois exagérée au détriment de la réflexion ne laisse pas beaucoup de disponibilité pour la réflexion personnelle y compris bien sûr la réflexion sur le donné religieux. Or,  la capacité personnelle à faire des choix raisonnés est essentielle lorsque l’on passe d’une culture à une autre. Elle est essentielle non seulement pour découvrir et intégrer les éléments positifs d’une autre culture sans renier ce qu’il y a de bon dans la sienne mais aussi pour bien situer sa démarche religieuse par rapport à ces deux cultures.

    Nos foyers ont là un rôle essentiel à jouer : - notre mission est d’apprendre à connaitre celles et ceux qui arrivent, en respectant leur liberté, leurs choix  - leur apporter, comme adultes catholiques, une vision réfléchie de notre situation de croyants dans la culture qu’ils découvrent.

    Ce dialogue interculturel et religieux demande du temps, de la disponibilité et cela d’autant plus qu’il s’effectue dans une langue nouvelle, dont  l’étudiant venant de l’étranger ne maitrise pas toutes les nuances. C’est une raison pour laquelle l’insertion locale au terme d’un séjour qui se limite à une année est souvent relativement faible. Que dire alors des séjours se limitant à un quadrimestre!

    Il faut en outre ajouter à ce qui précède que, pour celle et ceux qui arrivent chez nous, il y a non seulement la rencontre de deux cultures différentes mais un passage, en partie obligé, d’une culture à l’autre. Il est impératif, dans ce contexte, qu’ils gardent une attitude ouverte sinon - soit ils se retranchent dans leur propre culture, ce qui conduit à l’isolement, - soit ils renient leur propre tradition au point de se dénaturer, de se dévaloriser,  ce qui n’est pas mieux.

      

    Projets

    Les membres de SECIS pensent que l’existence même d’un réseau  de foyers et centres, distribués dans différents pays de l’EU, pourrait contribuer efficacement à pallier à une connaissance trop limitée de la culture européenne et de sa relation avec la religion chez les étudiants qui vivent un temps dans ces foyers. Dans ce but, ils se proposent de constituer une sorte de programme d’échange inter-foyers et centres,  reprenant et organisant des propositions réalistes issues de chacun de ceux-ci. L’étudiant qui le souhaite pourrait ainsi effectuer de brefs séjours (à l’occasion par exemple de colloques, de sessions de formation,…) dans un pays ou une ville différente de son lieu d’études. L’association en assurerait, ne fut-ce que partiellement, en fonction des ressources disponibles, le financement. Ces expériences diverses seraient valorisées par un temps de réflexion à  imaginer soit localement soit par regroupements géographiques afin d’éviter les déplacements trop onéreux.

     

     

    Pierre Devos sj

Mon expérience dans la pastorale des étudiants dans un monde sécularisé 

Introduction
On m’a demandé de donner mon témoignage concernant mon expérience dans la pastorale des étudiants étrangers dans un monde sécularisé. Je dois d’abord préciser que je ne suis pas prêtre même si cela ne constitue pas une limite rédhibitoire au travail de pastorale.

Voici le plan de mon exposé.

En premier lieu, je vais présenter mon expérience personnelle, d’abord en tant que étudiant à l’université nationale du Rwanda et ensuite en tant enseignant dans la même université. Je parlerai aussi de mon expérience en tant que étudiant ici en Belgique.

Dans un deuxième temps, j’essayerai de présenter l’environnement socio-économique dans lequel je travaille. Il s’agit de faire ressortir les conditions de vie des étudiants dont l’influence n’est pas à négliger dans leur quête religieuse.

Dans un troisième temps, je présenterai en détail ce que je fais depuis quelques années dans le cadre de la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers après avoir évoqué en quelques mots le travail réalisé avant moi dans le même cadre.

Mon expérience personnelle en tant qu’étudiant et enseignant

Durant mes études à l’université, que ce soit au Rwanda ou en Belgique, j’ai pu vivre de près la pastorale des étudiants en tant que sujet.

A l’UNR, en tant qu’étudiant, j’étais membre d’un groupe de prière du renouveau charismatique ; nous avions une aumônerie qui nous aidait de temps en temps dans l’organisation de quelques activités comme les retraites, les conférences, etc. Plus tard, quand je suis devenu enseignant, je continuais à suivre de près la pastorale des étudiants. C’est de cette manière que j’ai fait partie de l’équipe chargée de mettre sur pied une paroisse universitaire sur le campus où j’enseignais. À mon départ du pays, le dossier était très avancé.

Quand je suis arrivé à Louvain-la-Neuve en Belgique en 1992, j’ai intégré la paroisse universitaire et j’ai participé aux différentes activités proposées : récollection, souper communautaire, conférences, etc. Tout se faisait dans un cadre unique et sans distinction étudiants belges ou étudiants étrangers.

Durant les deux dernières années que j’ai faites à Louvain-la-Neuve, j’étais intégré dans l’équipe de la paroisse faisant fonction de sacristain (kot mambré).  Ceci m’a permis de suivre de près une partie du travail de la pastorale auprès des étudiants (sans distinction) : messe, baptême, communion, funérailles, etc.

Ces expériences vont d’une certaine manière influencer ce que je fais au niveau de la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers. Par elles, j’ai pu faire un constat qui me semble toujours d’actualité : il me semble que la plupart des gens instruits se contentent du catéchisme de base et ne cherchent pas à aller au-delà. Cette situation peut être la cause de malentendus ou alors de déceptions parce que la représentation que l’on se fait de Dieu ou de la religion est plutôt floue. Exemple : penser que quelqu’un qui va à la messe doit être un saint.

L’environnement socio-économique et son impact sur la pastorale

Est-il possible de parler de la pastorale des étudiants sans évoquer les conditions dans lesquelles ils vivent actuellement ? De nombreuses recherches en sciences humaines montrent assez clairement que le contexte dans lequel une personne humaine évolue influence son comportement (Cfr la notion d’erreur fondamentale). Pour essayer de comprendre cette personne, il faut donc bien connaître ce contexte.

Qu’en est-il aujourd’hui au niveau du contexte pour les étudiants et stagiaires étrangers en Belgique ?

Remarquons tout d’abord que la plupart des étudiants que nous recevons actuellement (mais ce n’est pas partout en Belgique) ne sont pas boursiers au sens classique du terme. Ils viennent souvent avec l’espoir qu’ils pourront se débrouiller par les jobs et les aides éventuelles pour faire leurs études. Dans cette situation, leur premier souci est la survie. On comprendra dès lors que certaines activités sans « intérêt financier » ne les intéressent pas.

Mais à côté de cela, il faut aussi parler du contexte social où nous vivons : la plupart des églises sont presque vides ; certaines d’ailleurs doivent être fermées. Et pour celles qui restent, elles sont souvent fréquentées davantage par les vieux que par les jeunes. Où sont donc passés les jeunes dans les églises ? Certains étudiants me parlent de leur déception de voir qu’on ne voit pas les jeunes dans les églises alors qu’en Afrique (et probablement ailleurs dans le Sud) les églises sont pleines de jeunes. Ce point me semble mériter une attention spéciale dans la réflexion que l’on peut mener sur la pastorale des étudiants étrangers.

Mon travail en lien avec la pastorale des étudiants et stagiaires

Quand j’ai commencé à travailler au CACEAC, un foyer d’accueil des étudiants et stagiaires étrangers à Charleroi, il existait encore ce qu’on appelait à l’époque un vicariat des étudiants étrangers initié en 1965 par Mgr Albert DESCAMPS. Depuis fin 99, ce vicariat n’existe plus malheureusement. Dans le cadre de ses activités, des retraites, des rencontres, des séminaires, des messes, etc. ont été organisés. Le Révérend Père Jacques DELOOZ, alors directeur du CACEAC, a été pendant longtemps le curé de la paroisse spéciale pour les étudiants étrangers de la région de Charleroi, Thuin, La Louvière, Soignies et Chimay.

Il serait très difficile de résumer en quelques mots les réalisations de  ce vicariat qui s’est occupé de manière remarquable de la pastorale des étudiants étrangers. Avec ses différentes paroisses, le vicariat a assuré à son public-cible les mêmes services qu’une paroisse normale rend à ses usagers : baptême, mariage, messes, etc. Je signale en passant que j’ai été pendant quelques années le représentant du vicariat auprès du Conseil Interdiocésain des laïcs (Wallonie).

 

En quoi consiste donc actuellement mon travail ?

1)      Accueil : l’un des rôles importants des foyers pour étudiants étrangers est l’accueil, avec tout ce que cela veut dire : écoute, sourire, réponse aux questions, mise à l’aise, etc. Tous ceux qui ont eu l’occasion de vivre en situation d’étranger savent certainement ce que ces paroles d’évangile veulent dire : « J’étais un étranger et vous m’avez reccueilli » (Matthieu, chapitre 25, 35). C’est à l’occasion de cet accueil que l’on peut aborder plusieurs sujets dont la religion, la pratique religieuse, etc. mais aussi répondre à certaines interrogations pour ceux qui sont en recherche : horaires des messes, possibilités de rencontre avec un prêtre, animation religieuse (chorale), etc.

Dernièrement par exemple, un jeune est venu me demander pourquoi il ne voyait pas beaucoup de personnes à l’église. D’autres me demandent où ils peuvent assister à une messe.

2)      L’information : nous vivons dans un monde hyper informé : radio, télévision, internet et gsm. Malgré tout, le besoin d’être informé sur certaines thématiques reste. Il est rare qu’à la radio ou à la télévision on parle du programme de messe, sauf bien sûr dans les émissions ad hoc. Conformément aux recommandations données lors de la dissolution du vicariat des étudiants étrangers, j’essaye d’informer les étudiants sur les animations pastorales de la paroisse : messe, récollection, journée de prière, etc. C’est pour cette raison qu’une partie de notre tableau d’affichage au rez-de-chaussée est consacrée aux « services religieux à Charleroi ». Les étudiants peuvent y consulter en permanence les horaires des messes dans les différents lieux de culte de Charleroi.

3)      Soutien moral, financier et matériel

Certains étudiants s’adressent aussi au CACEAC parce qu’ils traversent ou rencontrent une situation difficile. C’est le cas notamment de ceux qui sont en deuil. Un soutien moral, parfois financier ou matériel leur est donné en fonction des disponibilités du moment.

Il arrive aussi qu’un étudiant vienne s’informer sur les possibilités d’avoir un mariage religieux. Il faut alors expliquer toutes les démarches à entreprendre, ce qui n’est pas toujours évident (se marier d’abord à la commune, accompagnement par un prêtre ou religieux, etc.). Il arrive que l’un ou l’autre ait des difficultés à suivre tout le cheminement.

Il serait difficile de ne pas évoquer ici tous les problèmes rencontrés au niveau des demandes d’aide financière reçues presque chaque jour. Malheureusement, nous n’avons plus tellement de ressources financières. Certains étudiants connaissent des situations vraiment dramatiques : cas de grossesse, ne pas trouver du travail après les études, durcissement des conditions de travail de l’étudiant, etc.

 

Conclusion

Travailler dans la pastorale des étudiants étrangers n’est pas une tâche aisée, surtout lorsque l’on considère les conditions dans lesquelles ce travail s’effectue. Le grand intellectuel français André Malraux aurait dit que le 21ème siècle sera spirituel ou ne sera pas. Toute la question est de savoir s’il avait raison et quand il commencera.

 

Michel Hakizimana

Luxembourg, 28 juin 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exchange programme

““SECIS Programme EX-CHANGE 2016””

 

We offer you, students of hostels, chaplaincies or centres affiliated to SECIS, the opportunity to gain a wider vision of the European reality from a socio-cultural, ecclesiastical and ecumenical point of view.

You may simply visit and meet with students of a centre or chaplaincy in one other country or you participate in seminars organized by SECIS members of one other country.

Financial support from SECIS makes this programme within everyone’pocket.

To be supported, you must: be a student, member of an affiliated SECIS center; express a true interest in the European reality and have the intention to deepen your human experience related to your formation;

master the language of the chosen programme;

write and present to your home director a short presentation (1 page) of your motivation for taking in this programme;

The local officers responsible, if he (she) agrees, will recommend the candidate to the organizer of the event with a copy to the SECIS president.

SECIS commits itself to: either paying the travel (not the stay) if you simply meet with students … or paying the registration (not the travel) for more formal stays. It’s the organizer who send the invoices, which may not exceed 200 euros, to the SECIS treasurer (mc@justinus.ch)

The stay expenses: are the joint responsibility of the student and the center to which he or she belongs.

 

Proposals for 2016

 

Netherlands

Simple visit

Information: www.iscdelft.nl

International Student Chaplaincy (ISC)

Registration: ispavin@gmail.com +31 612 555 768

International student chaplaincy

Singel 104, 3112 GS Schiedam, Netherlands

 

Germany

Simple visit

Bonn: Haus Venusberg

28. April – 1. Mai 2016

KAAD-Jahresakademie 2016

“Ich und Wir – Wir und die Anderen: Auf der Suche nach Identitäten in einer globalisierten Welt”

Europaseminar Brüssel:

Maison ND du Chant d’Oiseau

09. November – 13. November 2016

„Ist Osteuropa in die europäische Union integrierbar?“

Information: www.kaad.de

Katholischer Akademischer ausländer-Dienst (KAAD)

Registration: Ms. Dorit Raderschatt rederschatt@kaad.de +49 228 917 5812

KAAD (Katholischer Akademischer ausländer-Dienst)

Hausdorffstrasse 151 53129 Bonn Deutchland

 

Luxembourg

Simple visit

Information: www.lisel.lu

Lieu d’Initiatives et de Services des Etudiants du Luxembourg (LISEL)

Registration: info@lisel.lu +352 621 300 339

5, avenue Marie-Thérèse

L 2132 Luxembourg

 

Switzerland

Simple visit

Information: www.justinus.ch

Cité St Justin

Registration: justinus@justinus.ch +41 263 511 641 rue de Rome 3 1700 Freiburg Suisse

Romstrasse 3 1700 Friburg Schweiz

 

France

Simple visit

Information: www.cpu-lyon.com

Coup de Pouce Universitaire (CPU)

Registration: cpuniver@yahoo.fr +33 472 702 290

Rue Bonald 1 69007 Lyon France

 

Austria

Simple visit

Information: www.aai-salzburg.at

Geschäftsführer Afro-Asiatisches Institut Salzburg (AAI)

Registration: elke.giacomozzi@aai-salzburg.at +43 662 84141311

Wiener Philharmonikergasse 2 5020 Salzburg Osterrich

 

Great Britain

Simple visit

Information: Roberta Canning

National Coordinator of Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education

angliacatholic@aol.com

 

Belgium

Simple visit

Information: Pierre Devos

Service of european churches for international students (SECIS)

Registration: pierre.devos@unamur.be

Université de Namur

Rue de Bruxelles 61 5000 Namur Belgique

Charmain

Fr Pierre Devos

pierre.devos(at)fundp.ac(dot)be

Vice-charmain

M. Hermann Weber

weber(at)kaad(dot)de

Board member

Fr Avin Kunnekkadan

ispavin(at)gmail(dot)com

Treasurer

M. Jean-Charles van Caloen

fa550626@skynet.be

Board member

Raquel Pérez Sanjuán

universidades@conferenciaepiscopal.es

Board member

Edith Weber-Sinner

edith.weber-sinner@lisel.lu

Austria Ms Elke Giacomozzi elke.giacomozzi(at)aai-salzburg(dot)at

 

Belgium Pierre Devos pierre.devos(at)fundp.ac(dot)be
Jean-Charles van Caloen fa550626(at)skynet(dot)be

England/Wales

Roberta Canning

angliacatholic(at)aol(dot)com

France Jean-Louis Marmond  jlmarmond(at)laposte(dot)net
Germany M. Hermann Weber weber(at)kaad(dot)de

 

Uta Andrée

uta.andree(at)missionsakademie(dot)de

Netherlands Rev. Avin Kunnekkadan ispavin(at)gmail(dot)com

Ireland

Rev. Fr. Leon O’ Giollain sj

leon.ogiollain(at)ucd(dot)ie

Luxemburg

Edith Weber-Sinner

edith.weber-sinner@lisel.lu

Switzerland  M. Marco Cattaneo mc(at)justinus(dot)ch 
Vatican Office des Migrants
Msgr Robinson Wijesinghez office(at)migrants(dot)va
Portugal Edurado Jorge Duque

edurardoduque(at)braga.ucp(dot)pt

Spain Raquel Pérez Sanjuan universidades(at)conferenciaepiscopal(dot)es
website: www.ceuc.org
www.pcmigrants.org
www.ccee.eu
www.eurocathinfo.eu
www.youthnews.eu