Two days with Father General in Guatemala

This was the 4th stop on Father General’s tour of the Central American Province. On Sunday 27 January, after a visit to a Jesuit church that is very popular because of the Guatemalan people’s devotion to the Christ of Mercy and Saint Jude, Fr. Sosa went to the Colegio Javier to meet about 40 Jesuits working in Guatemala. His message, on this occasion, can be summarized as follows: “[to feel and act] as one body, united despite the diversity of its members, its tasks and its charisms and which has the Lord as its head”. He urged them to be a body that was “constantly listening to his Word and discerning in common the signs of the times.”

The next day, the 12 works of the Society in Guatemala had the opportunity to depict their commitments. Most of these works are related to education. However, pastoral work in the parishes and churches of the Society was also depicted. The influence of all these institutions on the country is immense. They are all oriented towards the proclamation of faith that seeks justice and reconciliation in a society deeply fragmented by various forms of exclusion, racism, violence against women, corruption and impunity.

Father General, in his address, encouraged all present to “continue to work with determination in the service of the Kingdom, with an emphasis on human formation and education that enables citizens to commit themselves to the common good.” He further urged those present to foster vocations to public service, so as to make present in political action a contribution to the social order that promotes the common good.

In the homily during the Eucharist, he stressed the need for “intellectual depth in the analysis, reflection and study of social reality”. He also emphasized the need for “spiritual discernment to discover where the good Spirit acts”, that is where, like what Jesus did, there is healing, protecting and building of human life.

The last stop of the Guatemalan journey was the visit to the Puente Belice educational project. This is a special formative experience for young people from extremely vulnerable neighbourhoods in the city. It is a project that gives them the opportunity to combine education and work.

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