This bringing together of people from different
cultures can respond to what Europe, as well as the world and the Church,
needs. It promotes the search for ways of reconciliation in conflicts, for ways
of unity without uniformity in a context where differences can be a richness
and where the common good prevails over individualism or sectarianism.
“It is vital to take into account the different
cultures of the Provinces of origin, to be able to work in the mission in the
right context and to meet the local people appropriately,” adds the Superior
General. This encourages constant listening to one another and the search for
synergy in the mission that comes from being together.
Concretely, the creation of the new ECE Province was
intended to answer the question: where and how can Jesuits and their
collaborators be present, relevant and effective today? Spirituality, education
and “social-ecological matters” were identified as three major areas. This has
led to the organisation of governance structures based on apostolic fields
rather than at regional or national levels. On the map of the new Province, one
does not see the political borders of the countries; rather, all the cities
where Jesuits are present are identified. In short, it is not four Provinces
that are coming together, but 36 communities that are linking up.
strengthen the sense of unity, a booklet for community prayer and for prayer at
the beginning of the meals has been published in all the languages of the
Province: English, French, German, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Swedish.
Hopefully, the elements of Ignatian spirituality that have been incorporated
into the planning meetings - silence, discernment, spiritual conversation,
solidarity in community decision-making - will continue to mark the spirit and ‘way
of proceeding’ of the new ECE.