President Mary Mc Aleese will address the Irish Jesuit Province Assembly on Saturday April 12, 2008 at 10.00am. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will preside at the closing Mass at 4.30 pm, in the Irish Management Institute (IMI) in Dundrum, Dublin 16.
This annual conference addressing the theme ‘Called to the Frontiers’ comes in the wake of the election by Jesuits worldwide of a new Father General, Fr Aldofo Nicolás at their 35th General Congregation, GC35, just recently finished in Rome. After the election this January over two hundred delegates spent three months helping the new General in developing the way forward for Jesuits around the world. The head of the Jesuits in Ireland, Provincial Fr John Dardis, was a delegate in Rome along with theologian Jim Corkery SJ. They and other delegates will brief the conference on Fr Nicolás and how Jesuits now understand themselves and their work in an increasingly globalised world.
“The mission of Jesuits and those who work with Jesuits is to be at the frontiers” said John Dardis, “the frontiers of faith, poverty and culture. Just as St. Francis Xavier travelled to the geographical frontiers of his day, we are called to be at the frontiers for the Church, to be ‘where the Church does not easily go’ as Pope Benedict said.”
The Society of Jesus was officially founded in 1540 by St Ignatius of Loyola and is now the biggest religious order in the world. Their Father General is sometimes humorously referred to as ‘the black Pope’. Jesuits have always been involved in pioneering education ventures and working with people on the fringes of society, promoting a ‘faith that does justice’.
12 APRIL 2008