For almost two years now the Jesuits in Spain have been
planning to use the 500th anniversary of the day when Ignatius was
seriously wounded in the battle of Pamplona, as an opportunity for reflection
and even for spiritual renewal. Spain produced the first ideas for
illustrations, logos and projects under the name “Ignatius 500”, and now people
in all the Jesuit Provinces are feeling the same impulse. To discuss the
Ignatian Year, we met with José María Olaizola, Secretary for Communications of
his Province; he is also superior of a Jesuit community in Madrid and consultor
to the Provincial of Spain.
Olaizola, what importance do you attach to this project both personally and as
the one responsible for communications in the Province?
The project has tremendous possibilities in three senses.
First, it allows us to seek a hopeful and faith-filled reading of wounds, not
only in the life of Ignatius but also in Ignatian spirituality and in the basic
experience of Christians. Second, it is an opportunity to make Ignatius’
itinerary known to many people who are unaware of it and could be attracted by
his life, which is not so different from our own accelerated, uncertain lives despite
the centuries that separate us from him. Third, it can be an incentive to engage
in activities and presentations in order to renew not only our vision, but also
As far as communication is concerned, Elena
Rodríguez-Avial is coordinating all activities related to Ignatius500 and is doing a magnificent job.
This is certainly an opportunity to manifest our
creativity. What I find most interesting is that we don’t have to do everything
ourselves; we are experiencing the potential of networking for the exchange of
materials and experiences. As a result, we don’t need to multiply proposals but
can make them as universal as possible. In a way, this is the first Ignatian
centenary celebrated in a networked world. So the Ignatius500 website of the Province of Spain seems to me to be on
the right track, and I hope it will be of great use.