In the European Low Countries Jesuits and lay-people are involved in DICAP (Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning.

The Ignatian Apostolic Network (IgnAN) started in 2007 with a meeting of all the directors and presidents of the apostolic works and the Jesuits who are involved in it.
Since that time we meet once or twice a year for formation, brainstorming, giving advice to the Provincial and later the Regional Superior, retreat, …
Our meetings are attended by 30 to 45 people.

In September 2019 three members of our Region participated at the formation of Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning (DICAP) in Rome, organized by the Jesuit European Conference: Marc Desmet sj (now Regional Superior), Hilde Van Linden (collaborator of the Platform of Ignatian Spirituality), Cecilia Vanneste (coordinator of the Ignatian Apostolic Netwerk, IgnAN) and Bart van Emmerik sj (now socius) was in the leading team. Four enthusiastic Dicapists is ELC, what shall we do?

And yes…We had a dream!
In Rome we experienced that the religious body (Jesuits) and the apostolic body (apostolic works and their collaborators) are not two different bodies put next to each other. They are deeply connected to each other, and actually they should consist of one apostolic body.
Should it be possible to work with our IgnAN on that topic?
Should it be possible to start a discernment in common about apostolic planning with this group?

In November 2020 we planned our IgnAN-day. We had to go online, two items were presented to the 46 participants: we gathered around the answer of the Ignatian spirituality to this coronatimes, and took a first step in the discernment in common and apostolic planning.
In the groups of sharing - How nice we have Zoom with the possibilities of breakout! – we received different reflections: from enthusiastic and looking forward to, wondering about, indifference and not seeing it.
The reaction that moved me most was: Are we an Ignatian Network or more an Ignatian Family?
Can we dream about an Ignatian Apostolic Family (IgnAF) instead of an Ignatian Apostolic Network (IgnAN)?

The four Dicapists will move on, consider all reflections we received, and look how to go on with this process.
We hope the next IgnAN-day we can gather in a normal way.
As happy as I am that Zoom exists, I feel the Spirit works better when we can meet each other and feel the family connection.
And yes, maybe this is a utopia, but hope keeps man alive, right?

Cecilia Vanneste,
Coordinator Ignatian Apostolic Network ELC