FATHER GEORG SPORSCHILL SJ
Georg Sporschill was born in 1946 in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg, where he grew up in a family with nine children. After graduating from high school, he studied theology, education and psychology in Innsbruck and Paris. He then worked as a consultant for adult education in the Vorarlberg provincial government. At the age of thirty he entered the Jesuit Order and was ordained to the priesthood two years later.
As a young chaplain in Vienna-Lainz, Fr Georg Sporschill SJ founded and accompanied many youth groups. From 1980 onwards, he became involved with young people who had been released from prison, were drug addicts and homeless. He founded the Caritas youth centre and three other shelters for the homeless. He sent the “Canisibus” with soup to the homeless and opened the Viennese inner-city pub “Inigo”, which gives work and self-confidence to the long-term unemployed.
In 1991, Fr Georg Sporschill SJ went to the street children of Bucharest on behalf of his Order. What was meant to be a six-month mission became a life’s work. Together with Ruth Zenkert he founded CONCORDIA Social Projects and took in thousands of children from the streets and canals of the Romanian capital. A social centre, children’s and youth houses as well as training workshops and vocational schools were built for them.
“We go where the need is greatest”. This principle led Fr Georg Sporschill SJ to the Republic of Moldova in 2004. Here he was again committed to helping orphans and neglected young people. But old people also suffer great need here. That is why CONCORDIA established a network of soup kitchens and social centres. In 2008, Fr Georg Sporschill SJ began his work with children, young people and families in Bulgaria.
In 2012, Fr Georg Sporschill SJ founded the ELIJAH association in Transylvania, Romania, together with Ruth Zenkert. From that time on, he has devoted all his energy to this new task: to help the Roma living here, especially the children, and to enable the youth to receive an education.