(Barcelona, 22 September) Father General Arturo Sosa and the President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, Fr. Franck Janin, today opened the Assembly of the Conference of European Provincials. The Conference, which brings together the three assistancies of the Society of Jesus in Europe, is being held at the San Ignacio de Sarriá Retreat House in Barcelona.
The meeting has two main themes of work. In the first place, the apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus at the global level, a work that the Society is doing to identify those themes that should mark the lines of the coming years. Secondly, the reality of Jesuit formation centres in Europe to encourage cooperation among them.
Fr Arturo Sosa and Fr. Franck Janin recalled the relevance of the process in which the Society is immersed at world level in the definition of apostolic preferences. They highlighted the work of discernment that is going to be carried out these days, starting from the work that has already been done in the last few months in the provinces, and that now the provincials are going to analyse taking into account the reality not only of Europe but also of the Society of Jesus throughout the world. This same formula is carried out in the rest of the assistancies of the world.
Fr. General Sosa emphasised the importance of the present moment, an idea that had also appeared in the prayer prior to the beginning of the Assembly, with a quotation from General Congregation 36, which cries out "now is the time" before the challenges we have to face.
The participants will dedicate three days of work to all these questions, from today until next Monday. In addition, the assembly is also an opportunity for assistancies to hold separate meetings. The meeting of Southern Europe took place on the Friday before the Assembly, while the rest of the Assistancies will meet next Wednesday. Thirty-two Jesuits, among them provincials, some representatives of the most numerous provinces, Fr. General and his assistants for Europe, are taking part in this meeting. The day before the beginning of the Assembly, yesterday Friday, the Spanish Fr. Antonio España welcomed all the participants and presented the Province.