Jesuits are widely known for their colleges, universities and high schools. And that’s no surprise: Education has been a cornerstone of the Society of Jesus since the late 1540s, when Jesuit schools began spreading through Europe.
But Jesuit ministries extend beyond the classroom, from hospitals to refugee camps in Africa, from retreat houses to parishes in all parts of the world. Jesuits—together with their lay collaborators—are called to an amazing variety of ministries, including inter-religious dialogue in countries torn by religious violence, and the struggle for environmental justice.
Recognizing the many needs and challenges in the world today, the Jesuits seek to understand how God invites us – and so many people of good will – to share in the work of reconciliation. In preparation for the 36th General Congregation, then-Superior General Adolfo Nicolás invited the Society to enter into a process of seeking to hear “the call of the Eternal King, and to discern the three most important calls that the Lord makes to the whole Society today.” Following much discernment, the call to share God’s work of reconciliation in our broken world emerged often and powerfully. What GC 35 had identified as three dimensions of this ministry of reconciliation, namely, reconciliation with God, with one another, and with creation, assumed a new urgency. This reconciliation is always a work of justice, a justice discerned and enacted in local communities and contexts. While we speak of three forms of reconciliation, all three are, in reality, one work of God, interconnected and inseparable. (From GC36 Decree 1)
In February 2019, Father General Arturo Sosa gave to us the Universal Apostolic Preferences for the coming decade. They are:
These preferences will serve as guideposts in future apostolic planning.
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