Word from the SJ Press Office in Rome for 23 January:
At 09.00 sharp, the clear pure sound of Father Vlastimil Dufka’s clarinet pierced the conversation of those gathered in the Aula announcing the call to prayer. The music was an opportunity to raise the mind and heart to God before discussing the “down-to-earth” realities of our world and our lives as Jesuits.
Using a selection from the Gospel of St. Matthew (Mt 28:18 – 20) and a passage from the General Congregation 34 document entitled “Our Mission”, the prayer revolved around the Jesuits’ call to be “Servants of the Mission of Christ.” For those who believe that “Jesuits cannot sing” the hymn ‘Go to the World’ abundantly demonstrated a different and more beautiful reality.
The morning’s work consisted of dividing the Congregation into linguistic working groups to discuss the four themes arising from various sources. There are ten groups discussing mission and identity; three groups focusing on governance; three groups looking at the various aspects of obedience and five groups studying the question of collaboration with others.
By Thursday, 24 January each group is to present a written report to the Secretary of the Congregation on the fruit of their discussions. The reports will include: the important points raised; possible outline for a document and suggest a “tone” or approach to the topic.
This phase of the Congregation moves at a slower pace due to the need to identify and organize work to be completed. Within a few days the speed of progress should increase as commissions are established to study various topics and questions.