The future of Social Justice & Ecology Mission

The Annual Meeting of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) gathered the six Conference Social Delegates, four Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) Leaders, six Advisory Committee Members, and the four coordinators of the SJES Secretariat led by Fr. General's Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj SJ. The meeting was held at the General Curia in Rome from 26 to 30 June 2023. Friendships with six new members were established, and long-standing apostolic friendships were fortified. They prayed, reflected, discussed, and discerned the way forward together.

Asked what was most moving about the 2023 SJES meeting, their foremost feelings pertained to a strong sense of shared mission and a profound willingness to work together. Their articulated sentiments included: "a shared sense of global mission; unity in the mission; strong bonds for our work; colleagues' commitment; one body for one mission; strength in working together; a friendship that renews passion; buen compañerismo; strengthened ties of fellowship; looked up to the global challenges we face, guided by the Spirit."

God's active presence moved the group. At the evaluation, they often cited the action of the Holy Spirit, and, to directly quote some of their comments: "The Spirit called us to collaborate in the mission; gratitud y reconocimiento de la presencia de Dios ne nuestros esfuerzos y desafios [gratitude and recognition of God's presence in our efforts and challenges]; some healthy tension, the Spirit calling us not to stay in the desolation; the Spirit working strongly in the group; I have to trust in the rhythm of the Spirit."


The group spent their first day together in prayer. They spent the afternoon contemplating "Heaven's Heart" images on the Universal Apostolic Preferences along Fr General's corridor. Later, they visited the Gesù church with Jesuit historian Br Wenceslao Soto providing a guided tour of the church and the rooms of St. Ignatius. Then holy mass was celebrated in the room where St. Ignatius allegedly breathed his last. The celebration of the Eucharist, reflection points, prayer, spiritual conversations, and daily examen were integral to the annual gathering.

As usual, the annual meeting was an occasion to present and reflect upon the updated reports of each Jesuit Conference's social apostolate, the four advocacy networks, and the promotion of a culture of protection in the Society. The gathering also provided the opportunity to receive Fr. Victor Assouad's updates on, and contribute to, the Women's Commission research. Conversation with the Secretary for Jesuit Higher Education, Fr Joseph Christie SJ, facilitated a discussion on possible collaboration with worldwide Jesuit institutes of higher learning. Also, there was a session on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ethical challenges for the mission of justice and reconciliation led by Dr Maria Joseph Israel SJ (CCU) and Fr. Basile Ouedraogo SJ (AOC).

One of the many fruits gathered during the assembly was a list of nine areas to consider in planning the SJES's future. It was the fruit of their conversation on the social apostolate's main concerns, opportunities, and critical topics. Interestingly, GIAN leader on the Right to Quality Education for All, Dani Villanueva SJ, shortened the list to six key areas. The body unanimously agreed to do further collaborative planning (online) in the weeks ahead.

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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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