The Society of Jesus last night announced Universal Apostolic Preferences to guide the Society in terms of focus of attention and resources for the next ten years.
These Universal Apostolic Preferences for the next ten years are:
1. PROMOTING DISCERNMENT AND THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
Helping people find Jesus Christ and follow Him.
2. WALKING WITH THE EXCLUDED
Walk alongside the poor, the vulnerable, the excluded and those whom society considers worthless, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.
3. CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME
Work, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God’s Creation
4. JOURNEYING WITH YOUTH
Accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future
In his letter introducing the preferences, Jesuit Superior Father General Arturo Sosa SJ said, ‘The preferences seek to embody concretely the mission received as the Lord’s response to the cry of a wounded world; the cry of the most vulnerable, who have been displaced and marginalized; the empty rhetoric that divides and dismantles our cultures; the growing chasm between rich and poor; the cry of the young in search of hope and meaning; the cry of the earth and its peoples, who have been degraded to the point of having their very existence put at risk. The preferences seek to respond to a world in which entire generations have never heard about Jesus and his Gospel.’
The Preferences, announced in Rome last night by Father General Arturo Sosa were developed over two years, through a process of discernment in common, by Jesuits and lay partners around the world.
They were shared with Pope Francis – who – in returning them to Father General Arturo Sosa made them his mission for the Society. In doing so they direct the focus of the fourth vow that Professed Jesuits take to the universal mission of the Society through availability to the call of the Pope.
The Provincial of the Australian Jesuits, Father Brian McCoy SJ said, ‘With our strong focus here on social justice, spiritual formation and formation of youth, the preferences already align well with the work of the Society in Australia and will help inform our own Apostolic Planning over coming months.’
‘The promotion of discernment and the spiritual exercises is a particularly exciting opportunity to bring mindfulness and clarity and make decisions in our increasingly polarising and complex world’, Father McCoy said.
‘By expressly highlighting the environment and accompaniment of young people the Preferences pave the way to work collaboratively towards a better tomorrow for all.’