The 71st Congregation of Procurators (CP 71) has concluded in the hometown of St Ignatius of Loyola. The delegates completed their eight-day Spiritual Exercises from 7 to 14 May, followed by the canonical part of the Congregation, which involved further discussions on key themes selected by Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ. A primary task of the congregation is to recommend to Father General whether a General Congregation should be convoked, and at CP 71, majority of the delegates voted “non cogenda”, indicating that a General Congregation is not necessary. The 71st Congregation of Procurators officially ended on 21 May, Ascension Sunday, with a Mass in the Basilica of the Santuario di Loyola presided by Fr General Sosa.

Several delegates from our Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) have shared their experiences as procurators of their province or relators of their region, specifically focusing on their visits to communities as part of their preparations for reporting on the state of their province, region, or mission. They also reflect on the grace they sought during the retreat.

Fr Erik John Gerilla SJ, Timor-Leste Region:

I bring consolation whenever I finish visiting the communities in Timor as part of my duties as the relator of the region. I have seen the openness of the Jesuits to be moved by the Spirit and listen to God’s voice in their day-to-day activities. The progress we have gained over the years calls for gratitude and humility to recognize that God gives, and we must use them for the good of the mission. The shadows we encountered call us to be trusting and to deepen our faith in the Lord who calls us. Life dedicated to the mission is not easy, but for those faithful to God, there is always hope for the future. I have learned that and have seen that from the Jesuits I have spoken to during my preparation for the Congregation of Procurators. I am praying earnestly that all participants will be inspired and animated by the Spirit to respond to the signs of the time, thus seeing all things new in Christ.

Fr Alvin Ng SJ, Malaysia-Singapore Region:

The community visits would have been a first for anyone who has never been a superior or provincial. It appeared daunting as the procurator or relator needs to prepare questions that will elicit good, authentic feedback from the ground. My experience turned out to be one of privileged listening as Jesuits, young and senior, in formation and fully professed, shared from the depths of their hearts what consoles and concerns them about the state of the region. True, the shadows sometimes seem to overpower the lights, but where the latter are found, dreams are shared, and a hope-filled future reimagined. These lights prove that the Ignatian magis is still alive among our men in its authenticity and creativity. The Spirit is already at work. I ask for the grace of the first week of the SpEx: magnanimity to allow God to lead, gratitude for the graces He gives, and of course, wisdom to know the difference!

Fr In-gun Kang SJ, Cambodia Mission:

Visiting communities and meeting with each Jesuit and some collaborators in the Jesuit mission in Cambodia was a grace-filled confirmation that God is leading us in God’s Mission (Missio Dei) among the people in Cambodia, through the light and dark experiences we have been going through. I ask for God’s grace to free us from all anxieties and attachments so that all procurators and relators can see God’s will more clearly. Yahweh Yireh, Immanuel!

Fr Javier Hwang SJ, Korean Province:

Visiting communities was an experience of becoming closer to my brothers in the Korean Province, listening to them in-depth, and speaking on their behalf. I have been sent to the Congregation of Procurators by my fellow Jesuits. I ask for the grace to appreciate and practice the teaching of the Lord that no messenger is greater than the one who sent him (John 13:16).

Fr Hai Tinh Nguyen SJ, Vietnamese Province:

I feel humble when I am in touch with the reality of our Jesuit brothers’ life and mission, which is also the reality of God’s work in this world. This work of God is not a one-way operation, nor is it without resistance. I experience that God has to fight against our sinful and deadly tendencies in what is going on in our life and mission. May God’s Spirit dwell in us in a special way during CP71 so that we might know how to say “Abba” to God and behave like “Adelphoi” to others.

Fr Robert Rivera SJ, Philippine Province:

Consulting Jesuit communities in preparation for CP71 was a truly inspiring experience, as it allowed me to encounter our Philippine Jesuits who are extremely concerned about our life and mission. Sharing the Philippine Province’s aspirations here in Loyola has allowed me to witness how profoundly united our Philippine Jesuit mission is with the mission of the Universal Society and the entire Church. My prayer for CP71 is that we will emerge from it with the spirit and the means to reanimate and reinvigorate the mission of the Society, both for Jesuits and our lay partners, in response to the overwhelming challenges faced by the Church and the world today.

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