6 November 2000
Dear Companion in the Lord,
The 15th International Congress of Jesuit Ecumenists was held in Kottayam, India, in August, 1999. We are now making plans for the 16th International Congress. At Kottayam, it was decided to hold the next Congress in Alexandria, Egypt, in July, 2001. The preparatory committee - Henri Boulad, Edward Farrugia, Paolo Gamberini, Dan Madigan and myself - here present the plans for the next Congress. You will receive further details later. The important thing now is to mark your calendar to leave the dates free for what should be an interesting and informative meeting of Jesuit ecumenists.
Holding the meeting in Egypt offers unique possibilities. In addition to study sessions on ecumenical themes, we will be meeting in a living Orthodox setting, where relations with Muslims are also important. The opportunity to visit the ancient Coptic desert monasteries is an experience that many of us would otherwise not have.
1. DATES: 5-10 July 2001. Arrivals on Thursday 5 July 2001. 6-9 July working days. Departures on Tuesday 10 July.
2. PLACE: Maryut Retreat House, Alexandria, Egypt.
3. THEME: The main concern will be inter-Christian ecumenical relations. Main topics: Catholic-Orthodox relations in light of Balamand agreement, justification in light of the new Lutheran-Catholic document, primacy in light of the Anglican document The Gift of Authority. Additional sessions will focus on local ecumenical and interreligious relations in Egypt.
4. LANGUAGES: the official languages will be English and French.
5. OPEN PRESENTATIONS: Several evenings will be devoted to informal presentations by participants. If you want to present a topic, please inform me so we can make room in the schedule.
6. MATERIALS: Participants will receive copies of the Balamand statement, the Catholic-Lutheran accord on justification, and the Anglican document "The Gift of Authority."
7. RETREAT: We had a good response to the offer of a retreat in Kottayam. If there are enough interested, we will offer the possibility of a retreat in Egypt following the Congress (if possible, in a Coptic monastery.) When you sign up for the Congress, mention if you are also interested in the retreat.
8. The Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem will offer a course on "Christians in the Holy Land Today" between 12-23 July 2000. The dates are coordinated so that interested Jesuits can take part in both. You will soon receive a separate mailing with information on that.
Fraternally, in the Lord,
Tom Michel, S.J.