We started our meeting first by listening to Father General, then by personal prayer and finally by spiritual conversation. Father General’s address focussed on three main points: the profound meaning of the Universal Apostolic Preferences (2019-2029), a “job description” of the Secretary for the service of the faith, and some questions to be addressed by this group of advisers about its way of proceeding. More precisely, we had to clarify the link between ecumenism, interreligious relations and the special call for the mission of the Society, finding ways of better working and helping the Society to embody the Universal Apostolic Preferences, and the consequences to be drawn for this group from being now integrated into the mission of the secretariat for the service of the faith.
The first part of our works was devoted to sharing experiences and thoughts with guests (Jesuits and non-Jesuits), first in small groups and then in plenary, on the general situation of the ecumenical dialogue and interreligious relations in the Society and the Church. The third day was dedicated to discussions on ecology in accordance with each Christian denomination and religion and their implications for us. Our deliberation was nourished by two presentations, one on ecology by Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, the Secretary for social justice and ecology, and the other by James Hanvey on the call for an integral ecology from the reading of the encyclical Laudato si’ of Pope Francis. The last day was mobilized by the presentation of our responses to the three questions that Father General had put to us and of some proposals to him and his Council regarding ecology. We also did some planning for the year to come."
Mpay Kemboly, SJ
Adviser to Fr. General for African Traditional Religions