Brussels, November 17, 2019
Third World Day of the Poor
The SJES Jubilee Congress was a witness to the mission of Justice and Reconciliation, particularly put into action over the past 50 years. Witnessing came about very strongly and dispatched the group of over 200 participants by sharing the narratives of those who witnessed faith that pursued Justice by giving their own lives. We call them ¨Martyrs¨, even if they are not canonically recognised as such. They have made a big influence to the apostolic body of the Jesuits and the communities and individuals we are with and serve. The Jubilee Congress was also a joyful witnessing to the mission that the Society of Jesus has been entrusted by our Lord and this showed through the various and rich ways we prayed together, discerned together, shared our experiences, dreams, hurts, sufferings, hopes. Finally, we received high quality input by a number of people experienced in working for a more just world.
Regarding the effects it will have in the JESC, more specifically, I think, hope and pray that the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus in general, and the Social Apostolate, in particular, will continue to go through a ¨deeper reform¨ as called to by the Father General. I think, hope and pray that we at the JESC practice, and contribute to, the renewal of the Social Apostolate in Europe and the Near East. Particularly, as we look at the horizon of the four Universal Apostolic Preferences: Showing the way to God, Walking with the excluded and poor, Journeying with the youth and caring for our Common Home. The UAPs have now become a process-oriented foundation for both our internal action and our external service. Concretely, our desire is that we do not talk about the UAPs but act in accordance to them, as they are action-oriented guideposts. For this reason, we now offer internally and externally formation opportunities helping to implement the UAPs, as well as programmes geared at this horizon in order to reach their consolidation. We have initiated our preparation of the March 2021 Loyola Congress for the JCEP and its four main Social Apostolate networks: Social Apostolate Delegates, Social Apostolate centres, the Xavier Network and the Jesuit Refugee Service. For that Congress, by which we hope that the UAPs will already have strong initial implementation results, a number of milestones and events will be organised. More about these in our following newsletters and activities.
On this World Day of the Poor, I invite you to consider Pope Francis’ call that “The option for those who are least, those whom society discards’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 195) is a priority that Christ’s followers are called to pursue.” With this call, do enjoy our November edition of Just Talk, including Arturo Sosa SJ “on the road toward a reconciled world” and an Interview with Franck Janin SJ on the SJES Jubilee Congress.
Peter Rožič SJ
JESC Director and
Social Apostolate Coordinator
for Europe and the Near East