We are living in these days and weeks a historic moment on our planet and in our societies. Here in the Jesuit General Curia, we are on lockdown with our movements very restricted - an experience shared by so many others globally. Our normal travel schedule has had to be scrapped; there are five community members away who cannot get back. Quite a few meetings have been cancelled so our ecological footprint is improving. Looking out the windows of the Curia you see almost no one. People are staying indoor and, unusually for Rome, there are no tourists. Apart from some shouting across small streets and alleyways, the town is eerily quiet. Most of our lay partners and colleagues are working from home or on leave.
Amid all this fear and uncertainty, the silver lining in the cloud is a renewed sense of community. There is more time to pray together, to spend free time with each other, watching films and getting to know each other better. The meetings of the council of Fr. General resumed on 17 March when he came back from his visit to Nepal and India with almost all council members present - a rare occurrence. We thank God for social media and the chance for videoconferences that allow us keep in touch, deepen friendships and continue to do our work. It has been a real consolation to receive so many messages of concern from all over the world. We feel the support of the universal Society and our closeness to each other.
Be sure that we are praying for each of you. Together we will go through this time, changing our habits, finding points where the Lord is calling us, finding His consolation and encouragement so that we, in turn, can console each other.