Discerning Universal Apostolic Preferences for the next ten years and a review of key Jesuit sources were major themes of a June meeting at the Jesuit General curia. A full day was spent in a spiritual and reflective reading of the Formula of the Institute - the founding document of the Society of Jesus.
Father José de Garcia de Castro, a Spanish Jesuit and an expert in Ignatian Spirituality and in the Jesuit Constitutions, guided a series of meditations and reflections. The Consiglio then connected the concepts and experiences of Ignatius in the 16th century to contemporary times. The Formula of the Institute speaks about ministries of reconciliation as being one of the foundational themes; and indeed the word ‘reconciliation' has been a major focus of last number of General Congregations.
General Congregation 36 has asked for a revision of the Statutes on poverty. In a session entitled "Jesuit poverty yesterday and today", we looked at inspirational input from our sources - the autobiography of St. Ignatius; the Spiritual Exercises; the Constitutions and the Spiritual Diary of St Ignatius. We then moved on to explore a spirituality of poverty in contemporary times.
Throughout the week, the method of spiritual conversation was used. This involved periods of individual silent prayer after most inputs followed by small group sharing.
The meeting took place from Monday, 3 June to Friday, 8 June. It included members of the Council of the Superior General along with Presidents of the Conferences of Provincials. Also present were the heads of apostolic sectors for Higher Education, Secondary and Pre-Secondary education, Justice and Ecology and Collaboration.