Thirty Years after the Passage to Heaven of Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J. - Father General Arturo Sosa shares a message on this day. See below.
Thirty years ago, on 5 February 1991, Father Arrupe’s profound desire to be with his Lord forever was fulfilled. Father Arrupe continues to be a source of inspiration for members of the Society of Jesus, for our partners in mission, for the broader Ignatian family, for religious life and for the Church.
From of his encounter with Christ, who became the center and sense of his life, Father Arrupe burned with missionary ardor set alight by the spark of the Gospel. We remember Father Arrupe as we prepare to enter into the Ignatian Year during which we, too, want "to see all things new in Christ." During this year, inspired by the profound process of conversion that began with the wounding of Ignatius of Loyola in the battle of Pamplona, we too desire to make Jesus the center and sense of our lives in such a way that we bear witness to the Gospel with renewed vigor in a world convulsed by the pandemic of the coronavirus and wounded by social inequality, by the poverty of so many, by obstacles put in the path of migrants who dream of a better life, and by the weakness of political systems with little respect for the will of the people.
We are living, without doubt, a profound cultural change. We are challenged to bring the light of the Gospel to this process of change, to help to make it more human in the style of Jesus, the model of full humanity.
The Society of Jesus is deeply committed in the cultural field through many initiatives of every sort. Remembering Father Arrupe, I want to highlight especially on this anniversary the university world and its cultural mission. In 1970, Father Arrupe, at the University of Deusto, underscored what today has become an urgent requirement for the scientific and cultural work of the university. He said: "A living university cannot draw food for thought only from simple theoretical bibliographies; it cannot become comfortable repeating, year after year, the same courses, while the society in which it lives undergoes dizzying evolution, at each step of the way facing new problems or changing earlier ways of approaching problems."
The university communities of the Gregorian University, the Biblical and Oriental Institutes in Rome, the network of Jesuit universities in the United States and Canada, Latin America, South Asia, Europe and Asia Pacific…, following the inspiration of Father Arrupe and in his memory, cannot be satisfied simply with adapting methods of teaching, research, and service to the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. The university communities are called to take up the challenge to mission that can be discerned in the signs of these times.
Sharing the missionary spirit of Father Arrupe and guided by the universal apostolic preferences, let us make this thirtieth anniversary of his passing a new opportunity to dream together of a better future. Let us renew our commitment to transform our lives through the encounter with Christ, from whom we can receive the Spirit to awaken the creativity we need to make those dreams become real.
We count on the intercession of the Servant of God Pedro Arrupe and on Our Lady of the Way to accompany us in preparing the new paths of the Lord.
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