This is the second article reflecting one of the most
important meetings of the year in the Curia, that of the Jesuit brothers of the
various Conferences who had the opportunity to meet, to pray together, to look
together at the present and the future.
In this context, the second day brought the
intervention of the Assistant to Father General for Formation - who is also in
charge of the promotion of vocations in the Society - Father Mark Ravizza.
Without attempting to report all of Mark’s thoughts, here are some key points
from his presentation. Then we share with you three other testimonies of Jesuit
brothers who participated in the session.
In the course of the formation of all Jesuits, the
Society seeks to confirm and support the call that the Jesuit in formation has
heard. What call exactly?
The starting point is clear: brothers, as well as
priests, are integrated into the Society because of a common call from the Lord
to follow him in living the evangelical radicalism of religious life. However,
as Decree 7 of the 34th General Congregation reminds us, “In some
ways the religious brother embodies religious life in its essence, and so is
able to illustrate that life with particular clarity.”
Thus, as Mark Ravizza points out, the first and most
important contribution of a brother is the
gift of himself, freely offered in the service of the Lord. Consequently,
and still according to the same decree, “through a life that is manifestly
religious, he offers a prophetic witness, in the Church and in the Society, to
the world of today.”
On this basis, we can specify the characteristics of
the formation of a brother. They are depicted in four interrelated points: 1. Formation
must be integrated into the overall activity of the body of the Society and
must contribute to the integration of the brother into religious life while
safeguarding his own identity as a brother. 2. Formation aims at excellence for
the mission, the best quality of education and spiritual formation to prepare
the brother to participate and be fully available for the mission. 3. Formation
should create community and a sense of belonging to the whole body of the
Society. 4. And finally, formation should be characterized by flexibility,
freedom and the exercise of discernment; it should therefore be adapted both to
the apostolic mission and at the same time to the unique gifts of the brother
as well as to his call to the consecrated life.
are three more testimonies from Jesuit brothers on what they found touching and
moving during this session in Rome. From France, from the United States, from