Young Italians on a “pilgrimage” meet Father General

Sunday, at noon, in the General Curia: usually a quiet moment... Suddenly, a group of about fifty people, mostly young people in their twenties, climbed the ramp that leads to the Aula of the Congregations, the emblematic place of the Society of Jesus where the Generals have been elected for the past hundred years. They were coming for an encounter with Fr Arturo Sosa, the current Superior General, as part of a one-day pilgrimage between various Ignatian places in the “Eternal City”. The activity was repeated in the afternoon with a further fifty participants.

Within the framework of the Ignatian Year, each Province is using its creativity to organise activities that help people to enter into the experience of conversion and new direction that Saint Ignatius had from the famous battle of Pamplona, about which much has been said in recent weeks. The EUM Province (Euro-Mediterranean Province) designed this activity to reach young adults who are connected in one way or another to the Society, for example in the EYM (Eucharistic Youth Movement). They came from various Italian cities, but they travelled together - in a symbolic way - to important places in the history of the origins of the Society of Jesus: Pamplona, Loyola, Montserrat, Manresa. Accompanied and equipped with a pilgrim’s itinerary booklet, they were able to enter into the experience proposed for the Ignatian Year, that of “seeing everything new in Christ.” The pilgrimage was entitled: “From Pamplona to Rome, in the Footsteps of Ignatius.”

The stop in the Curia was particularly attractive: how many young people have the opportunity to spend an hour in dialogue with the Superior General of the Jesuits? The Superior General gave a brief introduction about his life and the importance of the Second Vatican Council in shaping his life's path, and then left the floor to his guests. It was, one might say, a practical application of the third Universal Apostolic Preference: to walk with young people by first of all listening to them. Among the topics dealt with were: the encouragement not to abandon political training in order to ensure a commitment to the service of a society that will leave no one on the margins; the importance of not isolating God from all the usual activities of one’s daily life; and also the challenge of making ourselves “bridges” between people and groups, solid bridges. Also, the importance of creating spaces of silence that allow a change of heart.

Father Sosa recommended that the young people work to break down the shadows or barriers between generations. He invited them to be “intellectually responsible” by seeking a path of true freedom and by fostering freedom for all. This will help to break through the problems of loneliness that so many young people experience. Referring to the thought of Pope Francis, Father General stressed that the future lies in the creation of communities of young lay people who are committed and happy to share what makes them come alive.

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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 media relations.

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