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The Conference

The Society of Jesus is made up of geographical territories called "provinces".

There are approximately 80 Jesuit provinces around the world (although their number and boundaries have never been static). Each province has a superior who is simply called "the Provincial," and who, in turn, reports directly to the central Jesuit government or "curia" in Rome, headed by the Superior General. The current “Father General,” as he is often called, is Father Arturo Sosa SJ.

In the Jesuit Conference of Africa (JCAM) there are currently seven provinces, one independent region and one dependent region. There are many Jesuit communities within these provinces and regions, each one usually headed by a "superior."

These provinces and regions of JCAM are organized into a conference, to promote common goals and oversee common projects, although each has its own administrative headquarters.

 

JCAM SECRETARIAT

The JCAM Secretariat enables the Conference to carry out its mission and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. It provides liaison staffing for the provinces and regions, and the Society’s international headquarters in Rome.

One can picture how the JCAM is structured and works as ripples. The eye of that ripple effect is the waves rippling out to become the support structures and common works and common formation centres of the Society of Jesus in Africa and Madagascar. Likewise the converse is true, in this case the structures and works would be a whirlpool or vortex with movement emanating from the works towards an axis that is JCAM.

These two images inform the depiction of these structures as concentric circles with the innermost circle being JCAM supported by its Secretariat and the Jesuits Africa Social Centers Network (JASCNET) secretariat being the next concentric circle while the ideas and deliberations for collaboration and creating greater cohesion within the conference are en-fleshed in the outermost circle that has three components: the Common Formation Houses, the Common Works and Officials & Delegates of apostolic sectors in the provinces and regions.

JESAM Common Works

   

 

However, this image, of a ripple effect, does not fully capture how these structures work together and inform the decisions made on a day to day basis. For not is the movement outward but inward as well with deliberations and ideas that the Conference informed by what happens and ideas generated from the Common formation Houses, Common Works and the Officials and Delegates of apostolic sectors in the provinces and regions. The communication and coordination is therefore two way and permeates all the three layers of the works and structures.