How can we tune in to God’s dream and collaborate with God..?

Book launch

Welcoming the Spirit – A Communal Discernment Approach to Pastoral Planning

by Dr Christina Kheng

Do the rarest gems come in orange covers? This one does. And it was quietly given to the world by Dr Christina Kheng only last week.

The book is the fruit of Dr Christina Kheng’s long experience and expertise in the field ofpastoral planning, communal discernment, and leadership accompaniment for a wide range of organizations in the Ignatian tradition as well as for dioceses, parishes, religious congregations, lay associations, and Catholic international organizations. Her book ‘Welcoming the Spirit – A Communal Discernment Approach to Pastoral Planning’ was launched midway through a global conference for apostolic planning and renewal in the Society of Jesus. It was a fitting setting for the launch of a book that talks of the centrality of the Holy Spirit in planning processes. An opportune moment and uncannily timely, as all were gathered in a room, in this case in the Aula of the Jesuits’ General Curia in Rome, eager to receive tools and knowledge that would help them go forward with hope. It was the perfect gift.


‘Welcoming the Spirit’, published in collaboration with the Office for Discernment and Apostolic Planning of the Society of Jesus, provides a practical, step-by-step guide to pastoral planning in a synodal way and includes many suggested activities and sample templates. What distinguishes this book is that it seeks to overturn conventional mindsets about planning, highlighting planning as an essentially spiritual, holistic, transformative, and communal journey of discernment, where change often happens in the very midst of the process.

Starting with a comprehensive review of the book by Sr Patricia Murray, presently Executive Secretary of the Union of International Superiors General (UISG), the event continued with an expression of deep gratitude from Fr Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, who also penned the foreword to the publication.

There is something fundamental that sets this book apart from the myriad publications that talk of planning processes, Fr Sosa said, because the others emphasize our effort. “We are trying to tune into God’s dream and to collaborate with God. That is a different enterprise. The foundation of this book is the conviction that God is at work in the world, that we are collaborators.”


“Christina’s book calls us to listen to the Spirit and she gives us ways to do that”, Fr Sosa said. “The age of famous Jesuit individualism is disappearing and it is being replaced by and age of patient listening, conversation in the Spirit, learning from each other and our mission partners and forgiving each other, but above all of listening to God; listening to the God’s Spirit, walking with His Son as He carries His cross in the world of today.”

‘Welcoming the Spirit – A Communal Discernment Approach to Pastoral Planning’ draws from the Christian faith tradition and particularly from Ignatian Spirituality, and is suitable for parishes, dioceses, religious congregations, schools, charitable institutions, ecclesial networks, and other church organizations. Additionally, its universal perspective also makes it a refreshing resource for organizations of other religious and secular backgrounds which are seeking a more fruitful, meaningful, and generative process of growth.

Dr Christina Kheng concluded. “I hope this book will help many communities to experience a journey of spiritual and apostolic renewal. It’s not just about coming up with a strategic plan or a road map for the years ahead. More fundamentally, it's about rediscovering our unique identity before God, and how that identity can be lived out more fully and creatively in the current context. It's also about building up the community through the process and fostering a synodal culture. In this regard, I've been very touched and edified by the various groups that I have accompanied, seeing how the Spirit of God always works fruitfully with those who entrust themselves to God's will.”

By Alison Vella – Communications Officer for Jesuits in Malta

Available in hard copy on Amazon

At the significant price of only $14.91 BUY

Welcoming the Spirit

A Communal Discernment Approach to Pastoral Planning

Also available as a downloadable PDF file.


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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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