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s2smodern

Salamanca was not the place for fond memories for St Ignatius when he passed through here in 1527, but almost five hundred years later it has been a perfect location for the meeting of the Spirituality Delegates of the European Conference of Provincials (JCEP). The group was assisted by James Hanvey, SJ, Secretary of the Society for the Service of Faith, and Dalibor Renić, SJ, President of the JCEP. The aim of the meeting was to share the Ignatian Spirituality formation initiatives that are taking place in the different provinces of Europe.

 Starting with the Province of Spain, we had the opportunity to get to know some of the formation proposals of the spirituality centres of Manresa, with Javier Melloni SJ, Salamanca, with José de Pablo, SJ, and the Universidad Pontificia Comillas with José García de Castro, SJ. These meetings opened the dialogue to get to know what we do in other provinces such as Central Europe, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Ireland and Slovakia. And the group felt very united to the first of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society: To show the way to God through spiritual exercises and discernment. And at the same time wanting to grow in the other three preferences.

The group discussions were led by common discernment and preceded by prayer. We discovered that a different and diverse world like ours requires a return to the question of the place of Christ and Christian identity in non-believing contexts. We discover ourselves in a continuous process between "I" and "we", from “me” to “us”, between ourselves, with others and with God. A journey, or rather a pilgrimage, in which we discover ourselves vulnerable, invited to live more humbly and creatively in discernment. In the things of the Spirit, bearing fruit is not the same as being effective, because effectiveness labels actions as success or failure, whereas fruit does not depend on us but on God. Any instrumentalization of discernment would lead to the death of our spiritual life, it would put us at the centre and not God.

Looking to the future of the Group of European Spirituality Delegates, we live as a consensus, a common feeling, the desire to:

  • To continue to be united in sharing our faith and our vocation in depth.
  • To develop the mission entrusted by the provincials to promote Ignatian spirituality through spiritual exercises and discernment.
  • To serve as a bridge to communicate activities in common discernment, apostolic planning and Ignatian leadership. To bring together existing sources and create new resources for formation in our spirituality.

We wish that the Lord will confirm us in this task through the European Provincials and that we may walk more and more united in the way of the Lord.

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s2smodern