In the midst of his long Asian journey, which brought him to visit five Provinces or territories in Asia, Father General met with the Major Superiors of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) and participated in some of their work. The meeting was held on Cheung Chau, one of the many islands in the New Territories of Hong Kong, at Xavier House, the Society’s Ignatian Spirituality Centre.
Here is what the President of the Conference, Fr. Antonio Moreno, told us.
“The Major Superiors Assembly in Hong Kong included the apostolic secretaries, coordinators, delegates, consultors and consultants. They joined the Major Superiors for two and half days, that is, from 22 to 24 July. The rest of the time until 26 July was the regular gathering of the Major Superiors. Since the main theme of that gathering focused on the assimilation and implementation of the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), we felt it important to include those collaborators in the conversations because their roles are so crucial for the life and mission of JCAP. They run the apostolic networks, common works, formation programs and they give helpful input to the leadership of the Conference. In this regard, their contributions, insights and suggestions are invaluable since these people work in the field.
The presence and participation of Fr General made the assembly a particularly grace-filled event. This is his third trip in Asia Pacific. During his visits, we make it a point to invite him to the Conference assemblies whenever it is possible. He made a couple of very insightful and helpful interventions particularly in moving forward the missions entrusted to us by the Holy Father. He stressed the importance of assimilating the Preferences and not run the risk of immediately planning and implementing them. His presence itself is a great gift and simply an inspiring moment for the Conference. All of us felt encouraged and inspired by our casual conversations with him over meals and break times, as well as by his message to the Conference. Seeing him pray with us and join us in the celebration of the Eucharist made us feel one with the universal Society of Jesus.
Apart from the UAPs, we had a workshop on communications - a very crucial aspect of our life and mission. We also discussed the governance restructuring, care and protection of minors and vulnerable adults, listened and responded to reports about the Roman houses and institutions, about the Chinese Province, and tackled business matters and common concerns of the Conference. We will take forward our realizations about the UAPs to our 8-day February 2020 retreat. We felt it important to continue the process of assimilating, internalizing and appropriating the Preferences in our Asia Pacific context rather than jump into the phase of implementation. We want to take it slowly and steadily and ensure that we, including our companions in mission, are in the same boat. The keywords that were often repeated in our discernment process are: “listening and learning”, “accompaniment”, “new wineskins”, “conversions”, “humility”. In a word, it is a synodal community pursuing a pathway that, hopefully, leads to the missio Dei.”