Tuesday 21. September 2021
#214 - April 2018

A Fellowship Programme for European Leaders

-> JESC Training offer


In the recent Rome Dialogue “(Re)thinking Europe” there was a repeated call to form future European leaders in the spirit of Christian social teaching. The Jesuit European Social Centre offers a new training opportunity as from January 2019.

For the past decade, Europe has faced several crises affecting its economy (the Euro), peoples (unemployment, migration) and even the nature of the Union (Brexit). Major challenges still lie ahead: the polarization of European democracies, populism in the public discourse, racism and xenophobia, building a European identity or the situation of migrants and refugees who will risk their lives while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. To solve these major challenges, we believe that we need better European leaders who can guide our society with political leadership and Christian principles.


To be the soul of Europe


Pope Francis calls Christians to be the soul of Europe. These words have been a source of inspiration for this Programme: we need to respond to this call to be the soul that Pope Francis asks us to be. As the new President of COMECE Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ said: “We need to team up and bridge the gaps.”


There are already several training opportunities to develop leadership and political skills; what makes this fellowship different and unique? In short, we want to offer an integral and holistic training programme to the selected fellows that will improve theoretical knowledge and offer an experience-based schema in Brussels.


The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung said: “Know all the theories, master all the techniquesbut as you touch a human soul, be just another human soul.” Being a leader means moving other souls and empathizing with them and their needs. To do so, it is important to understand first your own soul and to let it be trained in social and human skills. This Learning Service Experience offers the opportunity to learn from, and with, others while making a difference in our communities. Thus, Christian social teaching, spiritual guidance and community life will be the important ingredients of this Programme.


Method and contents of the Fellowship Programme


This fellowship is designed to attract young enthusiastic leaders willing to develop their leadership skills in the international policy and advocacy areas. In the heart of Europe, through a practical methodology and theoretical methodology, they will develop their skills living together for 9-10 months. The activities of the Fellowship Programme will consist of 6 interrelated pillars: Spirituality and Discernment; Political Experience; Education: Courses and Workshops; Community Life; A social commitment with marginalized people ; Visits to Rome and other significant places.


Participants will receive spiritual guidance and discernment training. Thanks to retreats, ongoing formation, direction, sharing groups and community life, they will enhance their self-knowledge so as to understand others in a deeper way. Another essential element is the experience of living together under one roof as a community. This experience will focus on character building, through community life and common policies, such as spiritual training, environmental vigilance and international hospitality. “Christians are not an interest group speaking in favour of religions, but European citizens committed to the construction of Europe, our common house”, said Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich.


They will be immersed in the administrative and political life of the EU institutions and meet with political leaders. As a complement to their training, they will have modules and workshops to stimulate reflection and discussion of topics on the European agenda such as migration and refugees, security and defence, environment and climate change and other burning issues.


The Magis Project will bring a true immersion in reality, a voluntary experience of living in and serving a marginalized community (in Brussels or Africa). Finally, fellows will have the opportunity to visit other sites such as the Vatican, as well as EU institutions and agencies in Brussels, Luxembourg or Strasbourg.


The first session of the Programme will start in January 2019. Interested candidates can contact apply@jesc.eu to request further information.


Iciar Villacieros



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Editors-in-Chief: Martin Maier SJ

Note: The views expressed in europeinfos are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Jesuit European Office and COMECE.