At the CPAL Assembly, with Father General

“Reconfiguration and restructuring” were the two key words used by the new President of the Conference of Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean, Rafael Garrido, when he announced the 48th Assembly of the CPAL. It is taking place from 19 to 23 June in a Jesuit spirituality center just outside Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.

Father General’s presence is very important at this time of reflection on the preparation for a reorganization of the Society’s administrative and apostolic units in Latin America. While each current Province has the opportunity to present how its members envisage a restructuring of the Provinces, Father General can first hear what Jesuits and their partners in mission feel and understand about the proposed plans. He can also make a specific contribution, based on the evolution he foresees for the universal Society.


CPAL is not the first nor the only Conference to consider a concrete project for the reconfiguration of Provinces. In all cases, challenges emerge. They are linked, of course, to cultural differences, languages and traditions. It is up to the Major Superiors, first and foremost, to meet these challenges. They have a responsibility to show Jesuits and lay people involved in the Society’s work how the future of the mission entrusted to the Society will bear more fruit if we learn to work together.

The Assembly also provides an opportunity to address other themes. Unsurprisingly, there will be a review of ways of communicating in times of crisis. A Province like Chile had to learn quickly the rules of transparency and initiative in the midst of the turmoil that shook it between 2019 and 2022. It can now advise other Major Superiors grappling with scandalous situations, as was necessary recently in Bolivia. Thus, the meetings of the Provincials are also a way for these men to help each other in various ways.


Here again the participation of Fr Arturo Sosa, as Superior General, plays a role. The programme of a Conference Assembly, when the General is present, always includes individual, personal meetings between each of the Provincials and their Superior General. This is known as the “manifestation of conscience”, an exercise in companionship and spiritual accompaniment that every Jesuit normally undertakes each year with his Provincial. In the case of Provincials, the “manifestation” is given to the General himself.

Father Sosa also has a precise objective in mind at the moment. In all the meetings that he will be holding with groups of Jesuits since the Congregation of Procurators that took place in Loyola in May, he will be announcing the publication of the important document called “De Statu Societatis” (On the State of the Society). The General insists that this is not just another document from the General Curia, but the culmination of a process of discernment that has lasted more than two years, with a view to guiding the future of the service that the Society can render to the Church and to the men and women of our time. The De Statu does not encourage the start of another process of reflection. It rather fosters the continuation of the process already underway since the last General Congregation (2016), the proclamation of the Universal Apostolic Preferences (2019), the call to conversion in the footsteps of Ignatius during the Ignatian Year (2021-2022) and through an in-depth reflection on the vow of poverty (2022). The final version of the De Statu Societatis is due to be published in electronic format at the end of July.

Here are some photos of the 48th CPAL Assembly, held in Santandercito, Bogotá, Colombia.

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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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