‘Have or Are?’

July 4, 2023 in Featured News, News

“The Jesuits worldwide don’t have collaborators, they are collaborators – with their lay colleagues and co-workers all over the world.” So said Leon O’Giollain SJ, Director of Ignatian Formation and Delegate for Spirituality in the Irish Province. He was quoting Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, Father General of the Jesuit Order, whilst speaking at the launch of The Jesuit Workplace: Ethos and Practice on Friday, 30 June 2023.

The book is a formation resource for Jesuits and those who work with them in Ireland. It was first developed in 2013 at the request of Directors of Work in the province, and a decade later this revised edition has been published.

Speaking at the launch also, Provincial Shane Daly SJ said he hoped that all those involved in Jesuit ministries would find the book helpful in understanding, preserving, and promoting the Jesuit and Ignatian charism of Jesuit works. “I strongly recommended the book as an invitation to go deeper from wherever you are starting from in order to find a clear way of proceeding initially as a Jesuit work.”

He thanked Leon and the members of the Peter Kenney project who delivered the first edition of the book. “It was a lot of work and it’s an important document that will help people understand the implementation process of the apostolic mission.”

Referencing Leon’s role as a delegate for formation he said the appointment is a statement of commitment by the Province to the value of the work of the apostolates. “So please invite him in to work with you so that your apostolate can benefit from the material this book is offering,” he concluded.

Leon said the book offered questions for reflection. “How deeply involved am I in the Jesuit mission? Do I see myself as a collaborator or simply a worker?” The book, he says, offers an opportunity and a pathway “to discern my own place in the universal mission of the Society of Jesus.”

He stressed that it was intended to be a helpful resource, not a rule book, and the reader should feel free to use it creatively. “A beautiful part of the Ignatian charism is that it’s open to the world as it is” he commented, adding, “and that changes all the time.”

He then went on to briefly comment on the nine characteristics of a Jesuit workplace (see below) before concluding with the observation that this is not just a book for individuals but a resource for groups and communities of co-workers within the province.

Colleagues from Irish Jesuits International, the Jesuit Center for Faith and Justice team, the Northern Ministery, Irish Jeusit Communications, Messenger Publications and JRS, parish ministry, and Gardiner St Church, and the education and spirituality sector had all gathered together for the event.”Ní neart go cur le chéile,” (there is no strength without unity) noted Leon, before inviting those present to a BBQ lunch, gratefully attended by all.

Nine Characteristics of the Jesuit Workplace

1 Inspired by the Gospel

2 Care for the Individual

3 Openness to the Other

4 Reflectiveness

5 A Faith that Does Justice

6 Encouraging Excellence

7 A Creative Community of Work

8 Worldwide Context

9 Finding God in All Things