“The state of JCAP” at the start of 2024

Father General in Sydney, Australia - at the Assembly of the Conference of Asia Pacific

At more than 16,000 km from Rome, Father General is taking part in the Assembly of Major Superiors of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP). This is an opportunity for personal meetings with his closest Jesuit collaborators in the Conference. The JCAP is geographically very large but has the smallest number of Jesuits of the six Conferences. It stretches from north to south, from South Korea to Australia, and from west to east, from China to Papua.

The bi-annual meeting of Provincials and Regional Superiors will focus its attention, particularly this time, on examining the “life-mission” of the Society in the Conference at the end of the six years during which it was presided over by Antonio Moreno. The fruits of the Synod on synodality will be examined. A session will be devoted to getting to know the Fe y Alegría network, which is not yet present in Asia-Pacific. The restructuring of the Provinces, Regions and Missions, a project that includes aspects of facilitation and administration, is also on the agenda.

At the outset of the meeting, Fr Arturo Sosa made an eight-point address to the Major Superiors. The highlight of his address was his emphasis on being available and open to change, both within the Society and within the Church because flexibility in listening to the Spirit is a requirement of our times. The Superior General insisted on the necessary examen of the way in which the Universal Apostolic Preferencesare lived and applied. He stressed the meaning of collaboration between all – Jesuits and partners – for a common mission. More so, Father General encouraged his companions to allow the vision of a more unified apostolic body, increasingly open to collaboration, to grow among them.


Fr Antonio Moreno SJ.

This Assembly is the last to be presided over by Fr Antonio Moreno. He took office in 2017; in a few days’ time, he will hand over the reins to Fr Primitivo (June) Viray, who recently completed his term as Provincial of the Philippines.

We took the opportunity to ask Fr Tony to look back on the six years during which he has led JCAP. What will he remember most, and what picture does he portray of the evolution of Jesuit life during his term?

What you see in the Conference now is a fruit of collaboration, not of a few persons. There is greater collaboration and solidarity for the small and struggling units like Myanmar, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia. There is inclusion of Laos and Pakistan. More networks and sectors have stepped up and promoted intersectoral collaboration: migrants and refugees, basic and higher education, and reconciliation with creation. The dialogue networks (with Islam and Buddhism) have expanded their research and publication output. The Ignatian spirituality network has conducted workshops for discernment in common and spiritual conversation. Five new networks were created: Ignatian Spirituality Network, Development Officers, Safety in Ministry, Deans of Theological and Philosophical Centers, and Archivists. In regard to leadership, for the first time Father General addressed the consultors of Provinces and Regions. We also had a four-module leadership workshop for Jesuits and companions in mission. Finally, I can mention the training for educators in Ignatian pedagogy and leadership.


What can I say about the spiritual and apostolic life of the Jesuits and their lay partners in mission?In February 2020, the Major Superiors had their first eight-day retreat in Baguio City prior to fine-tuning our apostolic plan. The participants thought it was a favorable time to pray and discern where the Spirit was leading us. Shortly after that, the pandemic reset our Jesuit life-mission. In many ways, the pandemic ushered in a new era of great faith, solidarity, creativity and resilience. The Jesuit life-mission in the Conference has been enriched by various attempts to mainstreaming the appropriation and implementation of the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), even if this remains uneven across Asia Pacific. With the celebration of the Ignatian Year, our examen on the vow of poverty, the challenges and opportunities during the period of the pandemic, and the De Statu Societatis Iesu(DSS) examen, we have moved forward. I can add that, very concretely, there is a renewed interest in the situation in Myanmar, as well as for China, Laos and Pakistan.

We dared to ask Fr Moreno what is the most important thing that he learned during these past few years?

The major thing I have learnt is synodal leadership in the universal Society. It is promoting a new culture which requires getting used to prayerful discernment, collaboration, patience, confidence building. It is about a willingness to be led by the Spirit, about walking together, listening to each other, and all this while maintaining a good sense of humour. I now know better what synodality means.

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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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