Communicating in the service of the Society, everywhere

We did it! For the first time in three years, we were able to bring together the Communications Delegates from the Society’s six Conferences for a week of intensive sessions. Tiffany (CPAL), Mike (JCCU), Anastasia (JCAM), Ria (JCAP), Rafael (JCEP) and “the new guy” Vernard (JCSA) were all there. The obstacles of recent years, such as the pandemic and visa problems, were finally overcome.

The week’s objectives were numerous. Of course, it was an opportunity to find out about the recent and future communications projects of each of the Conferences, but, following a survey of Delegates, the meeting had two genuinely new facets. Firstly, it was an opportunity to look at the “photo-essay” or “photo-story” format, not only to understand what makes a photo-essay a powerful and relevant medium, but above all to actually prepare one that can be used back at each Conference.


The second new feature was to provide material for this practical exercise, including visits to sites linked in one way or another to Ignatian history in Rome. Specifically to the Church of the Gesù, the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls and the various chapels in the huge building of the General Curia.

Half a day was devoted to a visit to the Vatican Dicastery for Communications, including an hour of very interesting discussions with the Prefect Paolo Ruffini, a layman, This was followed by a comprehensive tour of the building where the dicastery’s radio, television and other media programmes are produced. All of this was done to allow Delegates who live geographically far from Rome to feel closer to the Church communicators whose central mission is to make known Pope Francis’ message and thinking. It was also clear that Vatican communications are not only concerned with the “internal” affairs of the Church, but also with the preoccupations of the men and women of the world - in particular the poor and those who suffer - by reading current events from an evangelical angle.


The Delegates were next transported to the sidereal universe... during a very informative visit to the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, where the Jesuits have been conducting all kinds of astronomical work since 1891. The excursion, thanks to the accessible but also very rich explanations of two Jesuits on the team, Richard D’Souza and Robert Macke, made it possible to understand the importance of scientific work for the Catholic Church and how Jesuits can make a specific contribution to this mission.

A final aspect of the programme worthy of mention: the Delegates were invited by Father General to enlighten him on the best ways of making known, propagating and integrating the key elements of the next important document that Fr Arturo Sosa is preparing. This is “De Statu Societatis” (The State of the Society), a text that will echo the consultations that have taken place over the past two years throughout the Provinces and Regions of the Society, and which captured the attention of the recent Congregation of Procurators held in Loyola, Spain.

For Vernard, Rafael, Ria, Anastasia, Mike and Tiffany, an unforgettable week… in the Eternal City!

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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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