We are celebrating. It is the 50th jubilee of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, which has been called to life by former P. General Pedro Arrupe in Rome. (You can find the Jubilee press release here) More than 200 Jesuits and collaborators assembled from the 4th to the 8th of November at the Curia in the Vatican to discuss the future of social apostolate. The JESC had double representation, with the presence of JESC Director P. Peter Rožič SJ and myself on behalf of the European Leadership Programme. This double representation illustrates that education is not standing as an isolated mission anymore. The Society of Jesus advocates for a more holistic approach, hence dismissing silo thinking practices. We cannot treat like isolated cases climate change crisis and unheard voices of social injustice. Leadership is an urgent need in our present world, characterised by overlapping issues and complex challenges. The latter is a driving principle for rethinking the structure of the ELP programme.
The deep dive for the ELP Fellow has now started. Besides their daily eight hours work at European Institutions and NGOs, they are given the possibility of acquiring wider perspectives by lectures given by different fielded knowledgeable speakers. This combination is based on our strong belief that the Fellows can learn from facing challenges in their national capitals, as well as those in foreign worldwide regions.
For the past weeks, they have met the Slovenian Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, in charge of mobility and transport; Juan Diego Galaz SJ from Chile, who gave them account of his life in the Amazonas and an Austrian leading figure of a think-tank, amongst others.
The ELP Fellows have the chance to gain thorough insights into diverging professional paths and approaches to contemporary social challenges through the guest speakers. They are invited to witness how faith, values and everyday decisions are harmonized on a leader’s path. Well, most of the time.
JESC European Leadership Programme Manager
Secretary for Leadership