A call to conversion during the Ignatian Year

Provincial Fr Quyen Vu SJ reflects on having conversations with every Jesuit throughout the year and sharing experiences, aspirations and challenges.

The Society of Jesus concluded its Ignatian Year on the 31st of July this year. During the Ignatian Year, which went from the 20th of May 2021 until the 31st of July 2022, Fr Arturo Sosa, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, invited all of us to see “everything new in Christ” and encouraged us toward a personal, communal, and institutional conversion.

As part of my role as Provincial, I need to have a conversation with every single Jesuit once a year. It is a grace-filled experience to be able to have a “heart to heart” conversation with each Jesuit. This is a sacred experience for each person to share his aspirations, dreams, and desires of being a Jesuit and a companion of Jesus.

I am deeply touched to hear not only success stories but also challenges each Jesuit may experience in his life and mission.

This year, I was able to hear one of the brothers share that he is frustrated at not being able to put his own clothes on these days due to his debilitating health. Another shared he is not able to walk to the shop and back because of his ill health. Both have come to a state of “acceptance”, which is a form of personal conversion—accepting their ill health as well as the help of other people for their daily activities.

I am blessed to be able to experience simple forms of conversion from listening to other Jesuits. I am sure you do too. These personal conversion experiences may be as simple as accepting one’s limitations: the limitation of not being able to do the things we used to do, to be able to run or walk to the shop and back on our own. Now, we must rely on other people to get through ordinary tasks such as putting on a shirt. What have been your conversion experiences? Were you able to see things anew in Christ this year? And how have they transformed you and your life lately?

Fr Quyen Vu SJ

Video by Janark Gray.

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