Historian and archivist Brian Mac Cuarta SJ, Director ARSI, the central archives of the Jesuit orderin Rome, has confirmed that for the first time in the Society of Jesus’ four hundred and seventy five year history, Irish has been used at a General Congregation. The occasion was the opening Mass of GC36 in the magnificent Gesù church, on the evening of Sunday 2 October 2016. Two hundred and twenty delegates, together with several hundred Jesuits in Rome, and a number of friends and well-wishers, filled the church.
Before the conclusion of the Mass, there was a solemn moment of prayer in front of the casket containing relics of Jesuit saints. The presidents of the six conferences each said a prayer in a language of the region: Mike Lewis, from Africa, in Zulu; Jorge Cela, from Latin America, in Spanish; George Pattery, from South Asia, in Bengali; Mark Raper, from Asia Pacific, and Tim Kesicki, from North America, in English; John Dardis, from Europe, in Irish.
John Dardis’ prayer referred to the Lord of the harvest who calls, and prayed for a deep love of our vocation, and generosity in working for the Kingdom.
The Master of the Dominicans, Bruno Cadoré, preached in French. Jesuit brothers, delegates from the various geographical conferences of the Society, read prayers, in Marathi, Kiswahili, French, Italian, Portuguese and English.