June 10-13: An atmosphere of prayer and discernment marked the meeting of Father General’s Extended Council (Consiglio Allargato) which gathered at the Curia of the Society. While the Council’s deliberations are private, the Society’s Secretariat published some of the topics on which the members of the Extended Council focussed on. This Council consists of the ad providentiam and Regional Assistants, the six Presidents of the Jesuit Conferences, and the heads of the Secretariats at the Curia.
After the opening Mass, presided over by Fr. Joaquín Barrero on Monday morning, the meeting began by clarifying some general objectives. The members of Father General’s Extended Council offered him advice on how to adapt, as appropriately as possible, the Universal Apostolic Preferences to the mission of the Society. The meeting provides an opportunity to discuss helpful structures and ways which strengthen the relationships between the different groups which collaborate in the work of the Society.
As is always the case with meetings of Father General’s Council, the deliberations are private. But a number of topics on the agenda were publicized. Attention was given on how to better understand and implement the Universal Apostolic Preferences. For example, the Council was to consider the most effective ways in which the Secretariats of the Society can collaborate, disseminate, and implement the Preferences more effectively. Another item centered on the delicate issue of the protection of minors and vulnerable people: how the universal Church can be helped in this? The counsellors also discussed the next “Ignatian Year”, 2021-2022. This will celebrate, in particular, the 500th anniversary of Ignatius’ conversion, after he had been wounded in combat.
The process and the “way of proceeding” of these meetings of the Extended Council have been marked, in recent years, by prayer, by spiritual conversation, and by sharing in language groups. Father General asks the advice and support of his advisors to specify more clearly the link between the Preferences, as presented, and the conversion that they imply, especially in relation to the upcoming “Ignatian year.” The question is being considered: in what way may the Universal Apostolic Preferences hold a call to conversion, both on the personal and the community levels?
Source: General Curia of the Jesuits