At the end of the Consiglio allargato
Father General’s Extended Council met in early September. The presidents of the Jesuit Conferences, which on a geographical basis bring together the Jesuit Provinces of the whole world, participate in this body. We asked three questions of each of the presidents; here are their testimonies.
Roberto Jaramillo – Latin America (CPAL)
In your service as CPAL President, what has been, up to now, your main source of “consolation”, of joy?
First of all, the willingness of the majority of the Jesuits of the CPAL to think of themselves part of an Apostolic Body that goes beyond provincial borders, participating in networks, interprovincial, supranational or supra-sectoral initiatives, has been very comforting. Very concretely, in 2018 there is a growing articulation of initiatives and resources from different sectors.
And secondly, it has also been very comforting to work as a team with the twelve Provincials. CPAL is not an intermediate structure between Father General and the provincials, but a way of promoting and advancing in the "co-government" of the region. In this sense, all our assemblies are an occasion to see that in spite of the urgencies which a provincial has to deal with, and which can often be overwhelming, there is a capacity to think about common responsibilities, about what we do together: be it at the interprovincial level, at the level of the Conference and of the universal Society.
In the context of your Conference, what is the main challenge (or challenges) you will be facing during the upcoming months?
During the last months of 2018, we will have two important meetings. It is the first time that all the teams involved in formation will meet: people in charge of the novitiates, the philosophates, the theologates, the directors of candidacy programmes, the instructors of Tertianship, to reflect on the challenges of the formation of Jesuits today and the proper accompaniment. That will be in October, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The second challenge is to continue - in what corresponds to us - the process of discernment of the Universal Apostolic Preferences at this year's second assembly in November. It has been a beautiful process, which has involved not only Jesuits but collaborators in general; which mobilizes much of the current apostolic energies and the future of our service.
For all this, we have some advantages because of our relative cultural and linguistic unity and because of the tradition in our Conference. I believe that the Spirit is showing confluences in the discernment of the provinces; we will see what comes out.
What will you mainly remember from your participation at Father General’s Consiglio allargato, in relationship with the process toward the definition of Universal Apostolic Preferences?
In the last two years, the presidents of the conferences have had five opportunities to participate in the extended council. It is a demanding, important, profound moment of investment of energies and also of widening our horizon. It is a great experience to be able to participate in this group of about 25 people from different parts of the universal Society, and to see the richness and apostolic vitality of the Society, as well as the possibilities we have to move forward if we make it more and more united and less "distracted." This process of encouraging discernment of universal preferences has been judiciously discerned. All of this has been comforting.