Jesuits worldwide meet and greet in Rome

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The gathering of Jesuits from all over the world began last weekend, blogs Fr John Guiney SJ from Rome. It is wonderful to meet so many from the diversity of cultures and continents where Jesuits work and live, from Syria to Sri Lanka, from Delhi to Dublin.

Going digital with faith at GC36

It is amazing to sit in a newly restored Aula Hall where all proceedings take place and to receive instruction on the use of tablets which enables delegates to vote, make interventions, receive translations and outlines the plan and proceedings of each day.

“Lord increase our faith.” This faith is necessary because it is about daring to aim for the improbable: constantly calling the Society to dare the audacity of the improbable and the evangelical witness to do it with the humility of those who know that, in this service where the human engages all his energy, everything depends on God.

GC36 Aula morning prayer

The leader of the Jesuits steps down

“The most moving moment of the opening morning of GC 36 was Fr. General (Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ) offering his resignation to the Congregation. After the request was granted words of appreciation were shared (and) a number of standing ovations, he took his place at the back of the Aula in his designated chair as a member of the Congregation.

It was indeed a touching moment for all present and a moment of deep gratitude for his life and service as General.”

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Fr. Adolfo Nicolás takes his seat in among the delegates 

Bringing new cultural perspectives

“The increasing demographic changes with the majority of delegates coming from the Southern Hemisphere brings new cultural perspectives in being a Jesuit today. Amidst the difference there is a unity and solidarity in companionship and mission.

“The greatest novelty’s almost all electors from these regions are born in these continents. Such a variety of backgrounds, difference of cultures, riches of work experience makes these meetings so fruitful and life giving.

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Aula Hall Prayer Session

Amazement amidst silence and prayer

“What continues to amaze one is the variety and richness of peoples’ personal and mission stories. The variety of work Jesuits do in the world from astronomy to working with tribal and marginalised groups, to working in education and spirituality, ecology and pastoral work to name but a few.

At the same time “There is a retreat like atmosphere of silence, prayer, discussion and reflection. All this is done in the light of choosing a new General in the days to come.”

Author: John K Guiney SJ, 1st to 6th October 2016