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.