In an article published by
the bulletin of the International Association of Jesuit Universities, Fr. David
McCallum SJ explains the goals and hopes of the “Program for Discerning
Leadership”, a service to the whole Church, based on the treasure of Ignatian
spirituality. As Executive Director of the project, he wrote:
What role can Jesuit Higher
Education play in supporting Pope Francis’ bold vision for a missionary,
outward facing Church that is not just reformed, but transformed in every
dimension? In this dream for a synodal Church, Pope Francis challenges clerical
privilege, autocratic bureaucracy, and the defensive, institutional centricity
still characteristic of much of the Church today. Rather, Pope Francis calls
the Church to conversion at the personal, communal, and structural levels and
calls forth a distinct kind of authority and leadership going forward.
is Pope Francis’ call and his request for the Society of Jesus to share the
gift of discernment that inspired the founding of the Program for
Discerning Leadership. It is a special project of the International Association
of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) in collaboration with the Office of Discernment
and Apostolic Planning at the Jesuit General Curia.
The first Program for Discerning Leadership was
sponsored by the General Curia and offered as a pilot in 2019 with 30 carefully
selected participants. The program brought together men and women from over 20
different countries around the world, including personnel from varied Vatican
Dicasteries, Superiors General of different Female and Male Orders and
Congregations and some members of the Jesuit General Council.