The Jesuit Conference that “covers” the African region
has a distinctive name: Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM). Even
though geography brings these two territories together, the Malagasy have their
own identity and live at a certain distance from the continent. The meeting of Major
Superiors this October is being held in Antananarivo, the capital of
Madagascar, and so will allow the Provincials of the six “mainland” Provinces (and one Region) to have contact with their Jesuit companions on “the island”.
The five days of the meeting are divided into two
distinct parts. First, there are the reflections, decisions and other matters that
can be classified as “administrative”. The JCAM Provincials share certain
responsibilities, such as the formation of young Jesuits. They also have to recommend
to Father General the names of Jesuits who can take up positions at the
continental level. They must approve an operating budget for the Conference.
Finally, they must respond to requests made to them by other Conferences or
institutions around the world.
should be noted that, although all this might seem like the agenda of any Board
of Directors, the working method is fundamentally marked by the Society’s “way
of proceeding” (our modo de proceder,
as St Ignatius put it). This implies a great deal of prayer and spiritual
conversation, i.e., listening to the Lord and the other participants before