All collaborators in God’s mission

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, all the Presidents of the Society’s Conferences were finally able to come to Rome to consult with Father General’s as his “Extended Council”. The meeting included Father General’s Rome-based Assistants, the six Conference Presidents, and the four Secretaries (Higher Education, Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education, Service of Faith, Social Apostolate and Ecology). In all, 25 people met with Father General.

The meeting lasted five days. Father Sosa sought, in an atmosphere of discernment, how to orient the government of the Society towards greater collaboration. This dimension of the international life of the Society has grown in importance over the years, and has been emphasised by recent General Congregations.

The first day was set aside for prayer and spiritual conversation. Each member sat with the question: “Where do I stand as a collaborator in God’s mission?” The sharing was very transparent. The group members did not hesitate to talk about experiences of collaboration, some very good, others less so. Does collaboration, at times, challenge the Jesuit identity?

The following days were devoted to ways of living collaboration in different contexts, exploring, firstly, collaboration at the level of the universal Society, then within the Conferences, and finally in diverse fields of apostolic ministry.


Father General’s “Extended Council”.

• At the level of the international Society, there was a review of the experience of a Secretary for Collaboration, an initiative which failed to take off. Attention was also given to texts from the Jesuit tradition which encouraged collaboration at the universal level. The question was asked: what has facilitated collaboration in recent decades, but also what has made it difficult?

• Gratitude was expressed for the progress made in collaboration at the level of Conferences. At the same time, the participants, allowed themselves to be challenged by the magis in this regard. There is always room for greater collaboration between the Provinces within each of the Conferences. Discussion centered on collaboration between Jesuits and their lay colleagues, in the formation of young Jesuits, and between apostolic works. Each Conference had the opportunity to present its achievements and shortcomings on this topic.

• The Secretariats of the Society focused mainly on collaboration in the diverse apostolic areas. Considerations also centred on ways that may lead to greater collaboration. Time was taken to identify signs of hope that have arisen not only within the Society, but also within other entities that have lived or are living collaborative projects. The Church, in her synodal journey, has recognized the fruits that flow from a collaborative approach. This has also been the experience of other religious Congregations, and international agencies (eg, NGO’s).

Friday 3 June was the day to bring together the fruits of the week’s work. But the meeting also focused on the situation in a number of countries where the suffering, especially of the poorest, calls for prayer. One country from each Conference was identified:

• For Eastern Europe, Ukraine
• For Latin America and the Caribbean, Peru
• For South Asia, Sri Lanka
• For Africa, Ethiopia
• For Asia-Pacific, Myanmar
• For the Near East and Western Europe, Syria.

The group dispersed on the Pentecost weekend. Father General, and the members of his Enlarged Council, thanked the Lord for his presence. They prayed that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit would lead to ever greater collaboration in the service of a mission that is not ours personally, but of God himself.

Share this Post:
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.

Related Posts: