For a culture of vocation promotion

Father General wants to rekindle the flame of vocation promotion in the Society of Jesus. On 12 April 2021, he wrote to all the major superiors, inviting them to engage actively in new efforts to promote vocations. The Superior General is eager that this should be one of the major themes in the Provincial Congregations planned for the end of this year and at the Procurators’ Congregation which will take place in Loyola in 2022.

More specifically, what does he have in mind? First of all, this activity cannot depend only on a few designated people, even if they are very strongly invested in their mission. The energy and commitment of all Jesuits, and also of our partners in mission, is necessary for us to be able to speak of a true “culture of vocation promotion”.

We have in our spiritual tradition, in the opinion of Father Sosa, some particularly useful instruments for this work of accompaniment: the practice of listening to the Lord’s call and the ability to discern his invitation in all kinds of circumstances. For the Jesuit vocation can take so many forms and yet be so specific. This is an opportunity to reinvent promotion of the vocation of the Jesuit brother, a witness to the consecrated life without the connection to ministerial priesthood. Particularly since the vocation of the Jesuit brother now offers many possibilities for incorporation into the apostolates according to the age of the candidates, their personal abilities and their background.

In concrete terms, Father Sosa is asking Superiors to create a plan for vocation promotion and to ensure that a full-time team is dedicated to it. The members should have enough time available for the essential part of their task, which is the assiduous personal accompaniment of the candidates. This plan should be linked to the youth ministry of the Province or Region in a creative and inventive way. This is how we might speak of a “culture of vocation promotion”.

For all Jesuits, Father General identifies two particular areas in which they can respond to his call. On the one hand, to pray, to pray again, to pray every day, individually and in community, to ensure that they are in tune with those whom the Lord may be calling to the Society. Then, to contribute to creating spaces of encounter, of welcome in the communities: to strengthen the sense of hospitality by showing a lifestyle in which each member reflects the happiness of his vocation. In the end, a young man who comes into contact with us should feel the question arise in him: “Is the way of life to which the Jesuits bear witness the life I would wish for myself?”

In short, the culture of vocation promotion and vocational discernment should emphasise our friendship in the Lord and our companionship with Jesus in view of the best possible service for the Church and the world.

Finally, so that his call to prayer may not be merely theoretical, the General proposes the text of a prayer to be recited every day. You will find it below.

Eternal Lord of all things, you chose Ignatius to gather companions into your service and to be called by your name.

You opened their hearts to the inspiration of your Holy Spirit so that they could serve your Church and bring the consolations of your healing and redemptive love to all men and women.

You called them to follow you in poverty and humility under the banner of the Cross with unwavering faith and a generous heart whatever the cost.

You have never ceased to provide for your Society and to open ever new roads in your service.

Lord, we pray that you will continue to call men to serve you in this Society. In this Ignatian year as pray “to see all things new in Christ,” grant us the grace to accompany them with the gift of discernment.

Grant us that discreet charity so that we may know how to propose this way to them not only in words, but by the integrity and joy of our lives, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our mission.

Grant us the openness and generosity to welcome them into our communities, so that they may know that you truly are in our midst, and we are your friends gathered, and ready to be sent wherever and whenever you choose to call us.

Above all, let us show in our lives and in our work that this is a sure path to you, in loving service of your Church and the world. Amen.

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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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