News about the Society of Jesus--the Jesuits

In 2016, Fr. Arturo Sosa was elected Superior General of the Jesuits. He is from Venezuela and had worked in Rome at the headquarters of the Jesuits for several years prior to his election. One of the tasks that the General Congregation (the meeting of Jesuit Provincials and delegates from around the world that elected Fr. Sosa) gave him was to develop an Apostolic plan for the worldwide Society of Jesus for the next decade, or so.

This process, which lasted for about 18 months, and included the input of Jesuits from around the world, was concluded last month and the new Apostolic Preferences were promulgated. [I have noted the Preferences below]. Gesu, and the Jesuits in Milwaukee will be working to promote and integrate these Preferences into our apostolates. In addition to these directives, the Jesuits of this region (The USA Midwest Province, also known as the UMI Province) have ben discerning directions for our works locally. Those will be made known later this spring and will coalesce with the Universal Preferences of the order.

The Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) of the Jesuits are:

  1. To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment
  2. To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice
  3. To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future
  4. To work, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God's creation

About the process of developing these Preferences, Fr. Sosa noted, "We have lived through a process that has produced, step by step, a consensus that we believe is guided by the Holy Spirit." He also said that "The Preferences seek to unleash a process of apostolic revitalization and creativity that makes us better servants of reconciliation and justice." It is also important to note that the Preferences were presented to the Holy Father, who also confirmed them.

Gesu, in ways that are appropriate to our location and mission, is already participating in these Preferences. Last year we undertook the Parish Examen, which highlighted three areas for greater focus within our parish community: Ignatian Spirituality/Spiritual Exercises; forming missionary disciples; and collaboration with our neighbors. The hope is that these Preferences will be more deeply integrated into the discernment and direction of the parish, as well as all of the apostolates of the Society of Jesus in Milwaukee, in the UMI Province, and across the world.

We ask for your prayers, as well as your participation, in continuing this process of integrating these Preferences in all we do. And we ask Our Blessed Mother for her intercession as we undertake this work.

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