We Jesuits are friends in the Lord, and in community life, we seek to support one another through our companionship. Community life is an important dimension of our Jesuit identity as well as an integral and fundamental element of the Jesuit mission. Each Jesuit constantly desires that our own apostolic work develop, be stimulated, and helped to bear fruit, through the encouragement of our brothers. For us, the community is a privileged place of apostolic discernment.
Recent General Congregations have highlighted the importance of community as mission. Recalling the experience of the first Jesuits, for whom life and mission were rooted in a discerning community, General Congregation 36 in 2016 declared thus:
The Jesuit community is a concrete space in which we live as friends in the Lord. This life together is always at the service of mission, but because these fraternal bonds proclaim the Gospel, it is itself a mission.
This re-echoed an earlier declaration by General Congregation 35 in 2008:
Our mission is not limited to our works. Our personal and community relationship with the Lord, our relationship to one another as friends in the Lord, our solidarity with the poor and marginalised, and a life style responsible to creation are all important aspects of our lives as Jesuits. They authenticate what we proclaim and what we do in fulfilling our mission. The privileged place of this collective witness is our life in community, Thus, Jesuit community is not just for mission: it is itself mission.