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.
Timothy Kesicki – Canada and United States (JCCU)
In your service as JCCU President, what has been, up to now, your main source of “consolation” of joy?
Over the past four years as President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, my greatest consolation has been working with the provincials of our Conference and the Superior General in advancing the mission of the Society of Jesus. So much of our work is behind the scenes, but I know first-hand how important it is for the overall mission of the Society. No one enters the Jesuit Order to serve as a superior, but without good governance, there would not be a Jesuit Order. The key to successful governance is for a superior to be rooted in Christ and in prayer. No decision, whether major or minor, should be taken without reflection and prayer. When I take the time to pray and discern with the provincials of the Conference, I am deeply consoled.
In the context of your Conference, what is the main challenge (or challenges) you will be facing during the upcoming months?
An ongoing challenge of our Conference is the formation of new Provinces. This past summer the new Province of Canada was formed, and last year we formed the United States West and Midwest Provinces. These unifications take a great deal of planning and hard work. Once they begin, we trust and pray that they will help us to better do God’s will. Accompanying this ongoing process is a challenge for me, and I am pleased that we are facing it. Since a Province’s primary focus is the apostolic mission and ministry of its members, the success of a new Province is its ability to serve the Kingdom of God. We have undertaken this important process of realignment so that we may more effectively minister in the places we now serve.
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?
The election of Father General Arturo Sosa has brought new energy and wisdom to the Society. One of his first major undertakings as Superior General has been implementing the decrees of the 36th General Congregation. The Congregation called for these new Universal Apostolic Preferences which will significantly orient our future mission in the Church. The most recent meeting of Fr. General’s extended council helped us to advance this process. I am blessed to serve on this council with the five other Conference presidents from the other continents of the world. This dynamic interaction underscores for the global dimension of the Society of Jesus.