Looking back to go forward

September 18, 2023 in Featured News, News

In a recent visit to Rome, Leon Ó Giolláin SJ, the Jesuit delegate for spiritual formation, attended a conference hosted by the leader of the Jesuits worldwide, Father General Arturo Sosa SJ. The aim of the conference was to explore what it means to be a Jesuit in today’s world. To help them with this, the assembled Jesuits were addressed by a number of fellow Jesuits who specialize in the Constitutions of the Society (a work by founder Saint Ignatius describing what it means to be a Jesuit) and first published in 1540.

Father Arturo Sosa SJ said he hoped that by exploring this foundational document, in particular a section known as the Formula of the Institute, they would find light cast on the challenges facing Jesuits in modern world. Challenges such as declining numbers in the Order, the loss of social status for the Order, and the impact of the sexual abuse scandals within the Jesuits and the Church in general.

Father Sosa also addressed the issue of Jesuit lay colleagues, whom he described as collaborators and saying “We don’t have collaborators, we are collaborators [with our lay colleagues]”.

In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, Leon explains what he learnt over the course of the conference.