Love and service

Jesuits and companions in mission gathered for a recent 8-day retreat guided by Fr John Dardis SJ. This was followed by a workshop and a Jesuit Assembly. Australian Provincial, Fr Quyen Vu SJ, reflects on the time spent together.

 SHOWING THE WAY TO GOD 

Fr Quyen Vu SJ, Provincial, The Society of Jesus in Australia

In the last two weeks we have had some significant gatherings for our Australian Jesuit Province. First, many Jesuits and our companions in mission gathered for an 8-day retreat guided by Fr John Dardis SJ. Fr John is the Society of Jesus’s General Counsellor for Discernment and Apostolic Planning. He then joined Jesuits for a Jesuit Assembly.

It was a blessing to be able to spend time together praying through the retreat, in a spirit of solidarity, with the opportunity to share challenges and consolations through spiritual conversation. This Ignatian method of sharing and listening allows each retreatant to notice how the good and bad spirit are moving in us individually and collectively. We begin to notice in a deeper way how the Lord, Jesus is calling us.

The time to pray and share on retreat as Jesuits and companions in mission was a graced reflection of the way our Province is led collaboratively. We are blessed to have so many people in this Province who share in our mission of love and service. The time of reflection and prayer leads us to consider how we can invigorate that mission. Ignatian contemplation is for more authentic action in the world.

The Australian Jesuit Assembly at Peter Canisius House in Pymble, NSW. Photo by Janark Gray.

Jesuits had time to share the hopes and dreams that are arising through our contemplation, and how we can give practical expression to them, when we met together for our assembly. As an apostolic body of men there are many calls upon us to serve the Church across Australia and New Zealand, and indeed beyond our immediate region.

We need to be attentive to the call of the Holy Spirit and good planning is a critical way for us to ensure that we are cooperating with that Spirit, not being knocked off course by what seems pressing or the loudest voice, the most ­­urgent opportunity.

Our Province is currently seeking to articulate an apostolic plan for 2025 to 2029. We are in a process of contemplation and listening, leading to discernment and ultimately that more authentic action in our emerging context.

Please pray for us as we continue this process, and we continue to realise our current plan in action across the works of our Province.

Video by Janark Gray.