Jesuits discuss state of the Society
Jesuit delegates at the Congregation of Procurators in Nairobi this week will vote on Friday 13 on whether or not to have a General Congregation. After an opening prayer and an afternoon of discussion, the delegates voted on the day and time to vote, and a majority decided that it would take place the morning of Friday the 13th. Read the Report on Day 3 here. More details from the official website.
Irish Jesuit Kevin O’Rourke SJ is one of 84 delegates attending the Congregation of Procurators in Nairobi this week, 9-16 July. Those attending have come from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the United States. And this is the first time in over 400 years that a Congregation of Procurators has taken place outside Europe.
A Congregation of Procurators is called into session by the Father General (currently Adolfo Nicolás) every four years after the end of a General Congregation. Delegates are elected by their provinces to represent them at the Congregation and Procurators will discuss the overall state of the Society, especially in its more universal dimension.
Another purpose of the Congregation of Procurators is to decide whether a General Congregation should be called. While the Procurators have no power to legislate, they can suspend decrees issued by previous General Congregations if the members think it necessary.
Congregations of Procurators have been held regularly since 1568, in response to the wishes of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, and his early successors. They wanted that Jesuits would gather at least once every three years from each province to discuss the state of the Society. Previous Congregations of Procurators have taken place in Rome, Florence and in Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius.
On Sunday the delegates visited various sites in Nairobi to explore the city’s culture and ecology, with excursions to the ‘Bomas of Kenya,’ (a panoramic view of the culture and peoples of Kenya) and the Nairobi National Park. They also went to Mass in some parishes of the city including the Jesuit run ‘Joseph the Worker’ in Kangemi and the ‘Chapel of St Paul.’