November 2016

Pope Francis visits GC 36

Pope Francis joined the delegates of General Congregation 36 in the aula on October 24. There is a well-established tradition that on the occasion of a Jesuit General Congregation, the Holy Father meets with the delegates and this has happened as an audience in the rooms of the Vatican. This Jesuit Pope chose to go to the Jesuit Curia to meet his Jesuit brothers.

He was greeted upon arrival by Father General Arturo Sosa and the superior of the Jesuit Roman Curia community Fr Joaquín Barrero and led to the aula where he joined the delegates for morning prayer.

In conversation with Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ

Within 48 hours of his election as the 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Arturo Sosa SJ sat down for an extensive interview with the GC36 media team in Rome. Having received 30 questions in advance, he faced the cameras on the afternoon of Sunday, October 16.

The General Council takes shape with elections and appointments

One month into General Congregation 36, the delegates have elected four Assistants ad Providentiam – Fr Fratern Masawe, Fr Vernon D’Cunha, Fr Douglas Marcouiller and Fr John Dardis.  Fr Marcouiller was also elected as Admonitor to the Superior General.

Eleven Jesuits ordained as deacons in the Philippines

Eleven Jesuits were ordained to the Order of Deacons on October 29 in the Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.  The new deacons are Soo Young Park, Changmo Cho, Chang-hyon Lee, Kyoung-Woong Peter Park, Anthony Ochen, Leslie Joseph Bingkasan, Stephanus Advent Novianto, Harvey Mateo, Martin Licup, Felipe Yohan Jr and Roseller Atilano Jr.

The ordeal of a foreign spouse in Japan

Anastasia* is from Latin America. A few years ago, she married a Japanese man in her country and in April 2015, they took their toddler son to Japan to visit his grandparents. While they were in Japan, they took their son for a general medical check-up and found out that he had a heart problem. They went to the United States and Latin America for second and third opinions, but could not decide on the best treatment for their son.

Affirming engagements with Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines

An important area of concern for the Philippine Jesuits is the continuing poverty and marginalisation of indigenous peoples, the largest concentration of which can be found in Mindanao, southern Philippines.  The island is home to 18 indigenous tribes whose lives and cultures are threatened by pervasive military conflicts between government and rebel groups, and the degradation of their natural environment.

General Congregation 36 concludes

The 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus concluded on November 12 with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St Ignatius Church, a parish run by the Society of Jesus in Rome.

Responding to ecological challenges in Asia Pacific

Drought and flooding are the two most significant ecological challenges in Asia Pacific, according to participants in the first Reconciling with Creation Reflection Workshop.  According to the workshop report released in October, drought was foremost in the minds of the participants, named by 11 people from eight countries.  Flooding was a close second, named by 10 participants from six countries.  But these are just two of the host of ecological challeng

One foot in the air

One foot on the ground, another in the air – always on a journey to serve God.  This is an image Fr Ross Jones SJ, President of Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview in Sydney, Australia uses to show what it means for students and teachers in a Jesuit school to be contemplatives-in-action.

Directing greater energies to the poor and the peripheries

When Pope Francis visited the Philippines in January 2015, his message to the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus was clear: to go to the poor and the peripheries.  It shone a light on what then Fr General Adolfo Nicolás had asked of the whole Society when he convoked General Congregation 36 in December 2014, which was to reflect prayerfully on what more the Eternal King is calling the Jesuits to do.

Defining and refining Ignatian leadership

Like old friends catching up after some time apart, 32 Jesuits and two laypersons reconnected for the third module of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific’s Leadership Development Programme (LDP).  This module held from November 13 to 19 built on the earlier modules on understanding one’s leadership style, strategic planning and team building.

Three images from General Congregation 36

It has been almost a fortnight since General Congregation 36 finished on November 12 and three images remain with me.   

Global collaboration for global challenges

Collaboration in the Society of Jesus can be understood in different ways. Often it refers to collaboration with others, with companions, with collaborators or—in general—with those with whom the Jesuits share their responsibility in mission. But in other instances, the Jesuits speak of the necessary collaboration between their own organisations and governance structures in order to respond to global issues that cannot be addressed at the local level. In this latter case, the reference is to interprovincial cooperation (GC 31, D.48) and international collaboration (GC 33, D.1).