From 27 to 30 December, 140 Jesuit companions gathered at the Spiritual Centre of Chatelard (near Lyon, France) for their first provincial assembly. It was in fact the first assembly of the newly formed EOF Province (Europe Occidentale Francophone). This year’s theme was : the Society's presence among young people in the light of the 2018 Youth Synod.

For participants, it was a good time to review their work, reflecting particularly on how it helps young people listen to God’s calling in their life and how they can make Jesuit life more appealing to them.  Throughout the two and a half days, there was also time for celebration, common creativity, relaxation and simply living as brothers in Christ. Animation was provided by the Jesuit Vocations Service (SJV).

At the end, everyone was invited to write a few words about the experience:

Strong points

  • Group creativity
  • Freedom of speech and respect for differences
  • Sharing on our vocations
  • Time for formal and informal meetings and sharing
  • The well-dosed rhythm of the session and the joy of being together.
  • The simple and joyful tone.

New or renewed convictions

  • I leave with the taste of a fraternal and joyful Society!
  • The existing momentum is full of promise.
  • Bet on the personal talents of companions!
  • An accompanying journey with young people to tame their frustrations.
  • "Young people no longer expect anything from the Church!" - taking into account this and similar statements.
  • Be there to offer spiritual guidance to young people.
  • The encouraging feeling of so much dynamism, openness and unity.
  • Vocation as a fundamental quest - answering a call, not just a job.
  • It is possible to be a passionate witness of my experience with young and old alike.
  • Work for vocations among lay people.
  • Be sent to several missions with young people (e.g. MEJ camp).