Father General in Madagascar – The first steps

Faith, hope and charity in the midst of turmoil; Ignatian commitment to civil society: these are words of the Superior General that could touch the Malagasy.

Halfway through last week, Fr Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits, arrived in Madagascar, a large island in the Indian Ocean whose Jesuit Province gathers over 275 members. While one of the components of his programme is his participation in the Assembly of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM), he was first received by the Provincial of Madagascar, Fr. Fulgence Ratsimbazafy, who guided him in a visit to various apostolates and Jesuit communities.


Meeting with the Malagasy Jesuit brothers.

At the Collège Saint Michel in Antananarivo, the General was first asked to bless the community’s new residence. He also spent time with the Jesuit brothers, a group of companions with whom he feels close and to whom he always shows a warm attention during his journeys.

On Thursday 6 October, he left for the south of the country, where the Jesuits are present in parishes and in their numerous field stations. His visit included meetings in Mananjary and Fianarantsoa. In each of these towns one finds a college run by the Society.

It was at the Collège Immaculée Conception in Mananjary that all those who carry out the mission of the Society in the region, the whole Ignatian family, came together: teachers and students of the school, of course, but also other collaborators, lay people, sisters, members of the EYM (Eucharistic Youth Movement), CLC, and MCCP (Christian professionals).


Welcome of Father General in the streets of Mananjary devastated by the cyclone Batsirai.

Father Sosa’s message, which referred to the harsh reality experienced by the region during the passage of the Batsirai cyclone last February, was intended to support and nourish the faith, hope and charity that were manifested then. Father General stressed that in times of crisis, only mutual support and solidarity can overcome suffering. He praised the people of Mananjary for not losing faith and hope in the midst of the storm and its aftermath.

Looking to the future, he invited his audience to reflect on Apostolic Preferences 2 (walking with the excluded), 3 (accompanying young people) and 4 (caring for the Common Home). We can see that the Batsirai cyclone is a clear indicator of the climate changes that affect the poorest. He emphasized how education can play a role in improving living conditions, in the Ignatian spirit of the Magis.


Father General in the midst of young people in Fianarantsoa.

In Fianarantsoa, the General celebrated Mass at the Collège Saint François Xavier and laid the foundation stone for the new primary school building. During his meeting with the partners of the Society, he invited them to deepen their understanding of Ignatian spirituality. Through this it is possible to develop a common vision of the work of the Society in a region or Province. He called on them to “spiritualize” their daily lives, according to the Ignatian spirit of living faith in the world. More than that - and to give support to this effort - he insisted on the importance of promoting justice as an essential element of our identity and mission, and even not to be afraid to engage in the spheres of social and political life, “in a Jesuit way”.

More chapters from the visit to Madagascar will follow... stay tuned!

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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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