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Xavier Network brings Mission Offices and NGO’s together.

Right in the heart of Flanders, just outside Ghent, Drongen Abbey was the meeting place for the Xavier Network. The historic monument dating back to 1138 was founded by the Norbertine monks and bought by the Jesuits in 1836 to house the noviciate of the Belgian Province. It is now used as an Ignatian centre for spirituality and conference centre. From 10 to 12 October, it was the turn of the 12 Jesuit Mission Offices and Development NGOs from Europe, Canada and Australia forming the Xavier Network to use this centuries-old jewel for their reflection.

After the welcome by Fr. Johan Verschueren SJ, Regional superior of European Low Countries, Fr. Franck Janin SJ, the JCEP President, outlined the major challenges of our network. He highlighted its contribution to the apostolic needs of the mission of the Society of Jesus in the future and its call to work with other networks, both European and global. Fr. Janin underlined that this cooperation should not only include fundraising, but also communication, advocacy, awareness raising and other areas where the network has acquired expertise.

We then set about seeking how to maximize our cooperation in different ways: joint emergency interventions, project collaborations, shared activities as part of our advocacy and volunteer programs and a common child protection and safeguarding policy. An essential element of such meetings is the openness and trust with which we share about the situation of our organisations. It is particularly in these informal moments that we learn from and care for each other.

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