Working for the Society of Jesus: to see the best face of the world

In the last three months or so, the presence of the Society of Jesus in the Spanish-speaking world through social media has been greatly strengthened thanks to the incorporation of a new member of the communications team. Mikel Muñoz Bilbao works remotely from Barcelona. Every day he monitors “Jesuit” activity around the world, especially in Spanish - and Portuguese -speaking countries, and “feeds” the Facebook (@JesuitasGlobal) and Twitter (@JesuitasGlobal) accounts of the Communications Office. His new job, his mission in fact, has transformed him. Here is his testimony.

Four months ago, I received a WhatsApp from a friend who told me about a need of the Society of Jesus. They wanted to launch social media in Spanish and needed someone to manage that. A little over a week before, I had lost my job in the tourism sector due to the pandemic. I was already suffering from three weeks of confinement and the situation looked like it was going to last, so I offered myself to the Jesuits! Through the careful and honest selection process, in which the emphasis was on values and attitudes, I already sensed that the Ignatian spirit would be present in everything that followed.

So, soon after, I started working for the General Curia of the Society of Jesus, as a sort of Community Manager of Jesuitas Global for the Spanish-speaking community. This means that I do not have a Province or a territory, an institution or a particular community that requires my attention. On the contrary, everything that each Province, territory, institution and community does is relevant when it comes to talking about the mission of the Jesuits in the world. And here comes the best part; I repeat, we had been confined for a little more than a month, the numbers were overwhelming, painful, everything looked like bad news and the general feeling was one of gloom and sadness. I, however, who had not been working for the Society for more than a week, discovered that my attitude towards the whole pandemic situation was changing.

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The Facebook (@JesuitasGlobal) and Twitter (@JesuitasGlobal) accounts of the Communications Office.

Every day I read and published news about what different groups of Jesuits were doing around the world. The situations were still painful, and there was still a need to redress the lack of resources, the abandonment suffered by many vulnerable sectors, the situation of migrants who were displaced, the failing education system, the overwhelmed health networks, and so on. But at the same time, I read and shared about actions that, from the different Jesuit institutions, were being done in each of the countries and Provinces, with each of the affected sectors.

Every day there was at least one piece of good news, a sign of dedication, of commitment, a new initiative to be with the neediest, a new tool to reach the maximum number of people. So one day, talking to a friend who was telling me how bad everything was, I found myself getting angry at the pessimism the media were dragging us into: I found myself apologizing for humankind. The difficult situation we were experiencing was an opportunity for a fantastic display of solidarity and resources to help the most forgotten.

This is not something new for the Society of Jesus. I have always had the feeling that the Jesuits are where no one else goes. But with this pandemic, and in contrast to what everyone else was experiencing, I had a kind of satisfaction, knowing that there are people capable of leaving everything, for something greater than oneself, and also greater than any particular situation.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles public relations.

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