“I hope that these two days will be a moment of consolation and encouragement for all of you”, said Franck Janin SJ, JCEP President, as he opened the gathering, desiring a “meeting which combines reflection and experience in the field.” Organised by JESC, the meeting of social apostolate delegates took place in Brussels between February 15 to 17.
The delegates worked on best practices and challenges in order to strengthen the Social Apostolate and plan a deeper renewal. On the first day, we reflected on the implementation of the Universal Apostolic Preferences, based on SJES Jubilee Congress recommendations and the feedback from the Provinces. We shared ideas and discerned about the Social Apostolate´s mission, aiming at defining our goals. “The UAPs are a gift” said Luis Arancibia, ESP delegate “and it is our mission to implement them”.
Second day, we entered the discernment from an on-the-ground perspective. At the KU Leuven, Rinald D’ Souza SJ and Nicholas Standaert SJ showcased the practical implications of bringing together Social and Intellectual Apostolates for the service of the most vulnerable. Pieter de Witte and Geertjan Zuijdwegt, academics and prison chaplains, then took us to a prison to witness the conditions of prisoners in Belgium and talk to one of the inmates. The sharp silence after the visit represented a sign of deep personal reflection and a call to hear the cry of the excluded.
Concluding the meeting, Peter Rožič SJ, (JCEP Social Coordinator) invited us “to work together to achieve a common goal of a deeper renewal by implementing the UAPs.” How? Knowing each other better, sharing best practices and developing common projects.
JESC Justice Assistant