The new JCEP Network of Delegates for Spirituality had its first presential meeting in Rome, invited by the Secretary for the Service of the Faith in the General Curia, James Hanvey.
To help the group reflect on the general topic of secularization, Cardinal José Tolentino Mendonça, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, offered a deep reflection, full of very suggestive insights and new ways of looking at things, on the challenges faced by the Church and how it must respond to the new epoch in which we now live.
Father General also met the delegates. He gave a summary of the milestone developments in the life of Society since the last General Congregation and explained what is ahead, especially the Congregation of Procurators in May.
At the end of this part of the meeting, James Hanvey shared his only reading of the phenomenon of secularisation.
After these inputs, our way of seeing secularisation lost many of the negative traits we are used to associate with the concept. Yes, it is challenging, a call to live in uncertainty and precariousness, as a little flock with a discrete presence in the world. But it is not threatening, it is rather exciting, a call to let ourselves be led by the Spirit, looking to collaborate with the active God very much present in all these realities, even if in a hidden way.
There was time for an extended sharing about how each province is living the first Universal Apostolic Preference, the strengths and weaknesses of the spirituality apostolate in each context and the hopes for the promotion of Ignatian Spirituality by the Society.
Finally, the delegates planned the future of the network: next meetings and ways to go forward.
A visit to the Church of the Gesù, passionately guided by a Jesuit scholastic Michael Mohr, member of Pietre Vive (Living Stones), was a very consoling element of our days in Rome.
originally published on the JCEP newsletter