They are moving ever closer together, these four provinces of NW Europe (Netherlands, N.Belgium Britain and Ireland). Recent months have shown examples of this. Conall O Cuinn, at present rector of Milltown Park, is leaving in April for Harborne, Birmingham. He will be socius (ally, assistant, companion) to the Novice Master, and Superior of the small community.
Conall will be the third Irish Jesuit to lead British communities. Irishman Pat Riordan, who teaches Philosophy in Heythrop College, Lonndon, is also superior of Copleston House. Dermot O’Connor, who in his day has been musician, treasurer, teacher, superior of a community in Brussels and assistant to John Dardis, is to take over next autumn as superior in St Beuno’s, North Wales. The Director of novices (Paul Nicholson, to be succeeded by Brendan Callaghan) is British.
The Dublin-based instructors of Tertians are Dutch (Jan van de Poll) and Irish (Joe Dargan). And John Dardis, the Brussels-based President of the Conference of European Provincials, is Irish. Meanwhile in Milltown, the largest community of Irish Jesuits, the brethren are being consulted about a possible replacement for Conall. They are not voting but advising. It is Fr General who makes the appointment.