At the annual meeting of Social Apostolate Coordinators of the Jesuit Conferences and Assistancies, held from 23 to 28 May in Rome, the 11 Jesuits including Fr. Patxi Alvarez, the new Secretary of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) and Xavier Jeyaraj, Secretary of JESA from South Asia, discussed and discerned the apostolic challenges that the Society of Jesus is facing.
In view of the 70th Congregation of Procurators, which starts in Nairobi, Kenya, on 9 July 2012, the coordinators had collected responses through a questionnaire from the Province Coordinators of Social Apostolate. The questionnaire was on 3 major areas, namely a) apostolic challenges for the Society of Jesus today from the perspective of social apostolate; b) our possible response to those challenges and c) status of the implementation of dimensions of justice across ministries, communities and individual life today.
During one of the sessions the participants had an open interaction with Fr. General. He shared a few of his concerns especially for the Social Apostolate today. He called the secretaries ‘to strategize’ on how to bring the younger Jesuits into social apostolate. “The number in the social sector may have decreased in the recent times as in other sectors, but surely the social dimension has increased in the Society of Jesus. The question is not of numbers for me but the ‘passion’ with which we all must work. If our younger men do not that passion and are not worried about the social reality, then that is a big concern for all of us.” Fr. General also shared with the secretaries on what the frontiers are in various conferences and said that not all challenges can be frontiers. Frontiers must go hand in hand with the Ignatian process of discernment.
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