The program precedes
World Youth Day in Kraków
For Immediate Release
(Lódz, Poland, July 18,
2016) — More than 2,000 young adults
from all over the world who are involved in Jesuit ministries have gathered in
Poland for MAGIS 2016. The event, which runs from July 15 to 25, includes 1,600
pilgrims, 400 volunteers and 200 Jesuits hailing from 52 countries, including
140 Americans. Participants serve the local community, engage in intercultural
dialogue and foster personal and spiritual growth before journeying on to World
Youth Day in Kraków.
Organized by the Society of
Jesus, or the Jesuits, the program is held immediately prior to World Youth
Day, a week-long gathering that includes worship and activities culminating
with opportunities to see the pope, held every three years.
MAGIS 2016 kicked off in Lódz with a special
Mass and commissioning. Pilgrims were then sent off on “Ignatian experiments” —
activities loosely based on the life experiences of St. Ignatius of Loyola,
founder of the Jesuits. A total of 97 different experiments are taking place
across Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania from July 17 to 23.
These include walking pilgrimages, service projects, artistic expressions and
Each pilgrim’s day is similarly structured
with time for individual prayer, service, Mass, small group sharing and an
Ignatian daily examen or personal reflection on the events of the day.
Each group consists of 25 pilgrims of diverse nationalities, a leader and
a Jesuit priest.
“By going into different and little-known
situations, Ignatius teaches us how to look at God, ourselves and others in a
new way,” says Polish Jesuit Marek Firlejczyk, coordinator of the Ignatian
experiments for MAGIS 2016. The experiments are “intended to give the
participant an experience of living in community, working with others and reflecting
on these experiences to help the participants to discover themselves.”
Following the experiments, the participants
will close the program by making a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Black
Madonna, Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Czestochowa, Poland, to gather and reflect
on their experiences on July 23. Finally, they will journey on to World Youth
Day in Kraków from July 26 to 31, meeting up with a larger Catholic
international event that could number up to 3 million people — eager to
celebrate Mass with Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope.
The word magis, Latin for “more,”
references the Ignatian or Jesuit concept of learning more, doing more,
choosing more and giving more. The theme of this year’s MAGIS experience, “To
give and not count the cost” (a line from St. Ignatius’ prayer for generosity),
will ask its participants to do more and “be MAGIS.” The concept of “giving and
not counting the cost” at MAGIS was inspired by the WYD theme this year,
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy,” in light of Pope
Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy.
The MAGIS initiative took root at the 1997
World Youth Day in Paris. In 2005, in Cologne, Germany, it was named MAGIS for
the first time. The program has since been celebrated in Sydney (2008), Madrid
(2011) and Rio de Janeiro (2013).
To learn more about MAGIS, visit magis2016.org and follow the MAGIS Poland 2016 pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope over the course of the
event for more updates.
About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States
Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the
Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the
Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational,
pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that
promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges
and 80 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing
competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and
society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as
chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. In Canada and
the U.S., the Jesuits are represented by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and
the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information on
the Society of Jesus, visit www.jesuits.org.