Between superficiality and depth, how to reach today’s people?
During Father General’s interview with the Jesuit magazine choisir, in Geneva, he was presented with a dilemma facing many Jesuits. Father Sosa’s predecessor, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, stressed the importance for Jesuits to aim at depth in their lives in general: in their spiritual lives, of course, but also in their professional activities and their contacts with people. The current Superior General is moving in the same direction. When he meets Jesuits during his visits all over the world, he reminds them that the Church expects from them a quality of service that requires a profound perceptiveness. Research and discernment are ways of living that require a dimension of depth, which cannot be exercised in a context of superficiality.
Yet, the media world in which there lives a large part of the people in our day and age favours speed, flashes, striking images, short texts: all this is a bearer rather of superficiality than depth. In the age of Twitter, a two-page text requires an effort at reading that many people are apparently unwilling to make. Jesuit publications, especially spiritual, religious or even academic journals, face a great challenge. Even if they offer some or all of their content “online”, Internet media demand short texts and often more images than text.
The challenge is to offer quality texts that can reach the hearts and minds of people who live in a world that is often superficial. This is the challenge that the magazine choisir, a publication of the Jesuits of French-speaking Switzerland, seeks to meet. The Director and Deputy Director, Fr. Pierre Emonet and Mrs. Lucienne Bittar, together with a team of collaborators who bring quality content to each issue, propose a format that reaches not only an educated audience, but anyone interested in social and cultural issues. The task requires a lot of tact and adaptation. Father Emonet took advantage of Father Arturo Sosa’s visit to the offices of choisir to ask him how he viewed this Jesuit ideal of depth in today’s world. Listen to Father General’s response.
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