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.
Antonio Moreno – Asia Pacific (JCAP)
In your service as JCAP President, what has been, up to now, your main source of “consolation” of joy?
The discernment on the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) is a novelty in the Society's way of proceeding. The tool we are using is discernment in common. We are used to vertical mode of discernment, that is, one personally discerns what God is calling the person. In the discernment of UAPs which started last year, we are invited as a body to find the hand of God in regard to the apostolic challenges that the Society should address in the next ten years. This whole process is a very consoling one for me. There is a great deal of prayer, reflection and spiritual conversation as one body to search for God’s desire for the Society’s apostolic preferences following the spirit of the first companions in Venice.
In the context of your Conference, what is the main challenge (or challenges) you will be facing during the upcoming months?
In the coming months, we will be in a discerning mode as we finalize our UAPs. Some Provinces and Regions, along with the apostolic sectors and formation centers, have submitted the report on their discernment. Several other groups are completing their discernment process or about to submit their reports to the Conference. Our discernment process, as a Conference, will be held from 30 Oct to 01 November, in Tokyo. Apart from the discernment on the universal apostolic preferences, one of the main challenges we are trying to look into is the accompaniment of the small and struggling units of the Conference (Cambodia, East Timor and Myanmar) and our engagement with China. This could mean some changes in our current governance structure. Another main challenge is once the new UAPs are released, the conference will need to appropriate these and discern our own apostolic roadmap for the next few years.
What will you mainly remember from your participation to Father General’s Consiglio allargato, in relationship with the process toward the definition of Universal Apostolic Preferences?
In the last Consiglio allargato meeting, we were trying to fine-tune the discernment process of the Conference and the how the whole body will receive the new UAPs. The role of the Conferences will be very crucial in the reception, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the tasks to make the preferences real and “alive”. It dawned on me that, increasingly, the role of the Conferences is significantly important in regard to the UAPs.