What is a Universal Apostolic Preference
“The universal apostolic preferences... have been above all the Society’s response to the needs of the Church… They have expressed and should still express in concrete terms our readiness, as a universal apostolic body, to work beneath the banner of the cross, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff. Thus, apostolic preferences create for us the tension of seeking the most universal good as the ultimate goal of the numerous apostolic activities the Society carries out...
The universal apostolic preferences, therefore, have been and are precisely what their name signifies: points of reference for the whole Society, that inspire its discernment in common and its apostolic planning at all levels of our life-mission. At the same time they are a guide for restructuring the Society’s governance and for creating working networks, both among ourselves and with others, in this same ministry of reconciliation.
We are all too well aware of the disproportion between the needs of humanity which the Church seeks to meet and the resources we have at hand. The preferences provide us guidance about how to use those resources effectively, without dispersing them, so that they serve the greater glory of God, which has been the Society’s aim since its foundation. The preferences do not establish a hierarchy of the needs of humanity or of the Church, but they do indicate the best ways for the Society to make use of the resources it has available for the service of Christ’s reconciling mission in the world.”
Letter of Fr. General Arturo Sosa, October 3, 2017