A more unified whole

The second phase of the Universal Apostolic Preferences
revolves around proclaiming change and denouncing injustice.


This month marks five years since Pope Francis gave the Society of Jesus four special orientations for mission – the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs). Introduced in 2019, they came from a process of discernment lasting almost two years, concluding with a confirmation from the Pope during a special meeting with Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ.

The Preferences introduced a horizon, a point of reference to the whole Society of Jesus. They invited all Jesuits and partners in mission to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and inspired them to take action.

Now, five years on, Fr General is asking Jesuits and partners in mission to focus on how current and future ministries can integrate the Universal Apostolic Preferences into addressing the real-world issues that they embrace.

He said last week: “What is special about these UAPs and what distinguishes them from the preceding ones is that they colour the Society’s whole apostolic direction. They point out how we are to achieve and move forward the mission of reconciliation and justice. The previous UAPs highlighted areas that were in danger of being neglected or that we wanted to give particular attention to. The emphasis in 2019 was different.”

While releasing a special video message to mark the occasion, Fr Sosa said: “It was challenging to come up with these orientations because the Society operates in so many diverse areas of the world. Argentina is not Algeria and Syria is not Spain nor is Tanzania the same as Turkey.

“But with careful listening and discernment, we learned a lot and we humbly arrived at these new Preferences. Now we are moving into another phase of the UAPs. We want to make them ever more concrete, ever more a unified whole. We want them to have an impact so that we play our part in helping to bring about God’s kingdom.”

Learn more about praying with the Preferences

Image: Ylanite Koppens, Canva

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