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Jesuits News “United in our differences”: Report from the Provincial Congregation
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“United in our differences”: Report from the Provincial Congregation

Group picture of the Jesuit fathers who took part in the first Provinciale Congregation of the Euro-Mediterranean Province

“The experience of being united in our differences is the most precious fruit we Jesuits of Albania, Italy, Malta and Romania relished during these five days of debating”. This is how the Provincial Fr. Roberto Del Riccio summarizes the experience of the first Province Congregation which brought together in Ariccia 50 Jesuits from the 4 territories between 17 and 21 August.

During the first session of the Congregation the Provincial presented a detailed De Statu of the Province, the result of visitations to the territories and meetings with the Jesuits, that marked his activity during the first six months of governance.

The second session illustrated the economic situation and patrimony of the Province, as well as the result of the three meetings planned for all Jesuits which took place through an online platform during the months of June and July 2021 on themes of “apostolic sustainability” of our communities and works. Regarding the suggestion made by the commission responsible for the choice of postulates and the debate that followed in the third session, the assembly decided to prepare recommendations to the government rather than work on the postulates, considering this method easier to gather the many ideas of the discussion in the assembly and in small work groups.

The topics chosen were: verification of the apostolic plan by comparing it with the Universal Apostolic Preferences and its implementation, the governance of the Province in line with the verification of the Statutes, vocation promotion starting from Fr. General’s letter, the formation of ours, religious and affective life in our communities, the climate crisis. These themes are a very good summary of both some urgent matters of the Province, and the topics of the postulates recommended to the Congregation by individual Jesuits.

The Provincial will soon write a letter to the whole Province to share in more detail the outcome of the Province Congregation particularly with regards to the various issues addressed.

The next Province Assembly between 26 to 28 October 2021 is also an important opportunity to involve all the Jesuits who will give their contribution on the fruit received during the five days of the Province Congregation’s work.

“Gradually, during the process of decision making, something more important than the decisions themselves emerged” Fr. Del Riccio highlights. “A profound union of spirit was experienced in the mutual acceptance of the many differences that mark the experiences of apostolic service, in the opinions, the sensitivity, and the nationality of each of us. This union in difference is a gift that we welcome with gratitude, because only through it shall we be able to help the Risen One heal the wounds of the world”.

Leonardo Angius, 36, was the youngest Jesuit present at the meeting. This Jesuit who is studying theology in Madrid recounts his experience: “these days have allowed me to enter the intricate activity and the history of many processes, and experience how the Spirit was present in the intuitions and decisions of those who were there before. It is the privileged experience of a body that journeys, alive and fragile, and seeks to listen, to understand, to allow itself to be challenged by a world and a Church that divert from ancient patterns and categories. And thus, through listening, celebrating and sharing together it seeks to understand what the next step is“.

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