Peace greetings from the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

You may be wondering why the Procurators and Relators have been silent for so long. We just ended an 8-day retreat yesterday. It was very inspiring with excellent inputs from three members of the General’s Curia, Claudio Paul (BRA), Mark Ravizza (UWE) and Victor Assouad (PRO). These inputs were given in turns in three languages, Spanish, English and French.

On May 6, 2023, the Procurators and Relators convened at Loyola, Spain. Following a warm welcome address by the host and director of Centro de Espiritualidad de Loyola, Fr. Ignacio Echarte, (also the immediate past Secretary of the Society), and an explanation of some logistics by the Secretary of the Society, Antoine Kerhuel, the Procurators and Relators listened intently as Fr. General delivered the De Statu Societatis, entitled, Sent to Collaborate in the Reconciliation of all things in Christ. This De Status is a spiritual meditation on the reports sent to Fr. General in advance by the Procurators and Relators. The Congregation will reflect on the report, and it will be fine-tuned for the rest of the Society later. The same De Statu will serve as the basis for spiritual conversation about whether or not we need to have a General Congregation. Fr. General’s rendition of the De Status was powerful and prompted deeper thought.

On that day, May 6, we held the opening Mass at the Basilica of St Ignatius to begin our 8-day retreat. All members of the Congregation vested, and Fr. General led the Mass. In attendance was the regular Mass attendance of the Loyola Catholic community. The highlight of the Mass was the prayer of the faithful and was said in six different languages representing a section of the delegates and their places. We filed out in silence after Mass to begin our retreat.

The retreat is done; today May 15, 2023, we commence the Statutory Sessions of CP71 with an afternoon opening session. We would appreciate your prayers as we begin this important phase of the Congregation. The feeling of many is that the retreat has given the Congregation members a good spiritual focus and there is a sense of readiness to engage the De Statu again and to undertake the Congregation’s mandate.

For those who have not yet stepped on the soil St. Ignatius walked, there is much awaiting you when you come. Inigo’s home where he recuperated after being hit by a cannonball in Pamplona, is now the Conversion Chapel, where one might pray and celebrate Mass. The Loyola homestead is surrounded by lush green fields and quiet hills. The Basilica of St Ignatius, which is now in the hands of the city government, is a stunning edifice to behold. The Jesuits are still here and run the retreat center where we are lodging now.

I will be reporting on what is going on at CP 71 from time to time throughout the next few days.

In the interim, you can catch up on pictures and other write-ups on the Society’s website, Jesuit Global, follow us at the morning prayers starting tomorrow, May 16th, and do support us with your prayers.