What are the greatest challenges for a young Colombian
(or any Latin American coming to Bogotá for studies) in relation to religious
life and preparation for a life in the Society?
I would point
out three challenges:
1. Perhaps the
greatest challenge is learning to live the vows - and everything religious life
implies, more generally - in an open setting, which includes: the university,
the apostolate, and social life.
2. For some who
are attending university for the first time, the studies become a great
challenge. For those who have already had this experience, the challenge is to
return to the university environment with the new perspective that being a
Jesuit religious offers them.
Colombian reality is constantly challenging us. It challenges our young Jesuits
especially in the apostolate and during the intense periods of mission (such as
the pastoral experiences in the countryside or in underprivileged areas). Such
challenges require constant discernment of our own vocation and mission. The young
Jesuits are also confronted with the reality of a multicultural city, oscillating
between the cosmopolitan and the precarious and representing all the complexity
of Latin America.
What are the joys or consolations you experience as an
animator of a Jesuit formation community, here in Colombia?
passage through the lives of young Jesuits is a very consoling experience.
Discovering new dreams, new perspectives, and new sensitivities reinvigorates
our hope for the future of the Society. I believe that young people do not want
simply to repeat what we elders have done; they feel called by the Lord to
respond, as Jesuits, to new realities and new challenges.
very happy that the paradigm of integral ecology, which the UAPs have opened up
for the Society, is much better understood and lived out by these new