The Ignatian Leadership Programme at Vienna.
Leadership is a buzzword nowadays and a very popular concept. Everyone seems to be aware of the need for leadership, especially after the 2008 crisis which showed such a gap in values and so many problems for our societies, for businesses, the financial sector and industry. Bad choices had been made. And, as always, it was the poorest who suffered.
The Kardinal König Haus in Vienna has been offering leadership courses to a variety of lay and religious leaders over the year. More recently the Conference of European Jesuit Provincials (CEP) decided to design an Ignatian Leadership Programme, specifically for people working in Ignatian and Jesuit ministries. We know that if we want energised and spirit filled ministries, we need good leaders.
The first module was held in Manresa in Spain where Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises and received so much spiritual insight. The focus of this module was the self-awareness of the leader, on vulnerability; limitations; strengths. Given the challenging service of leadership, he or she has to know himself or herself thoroughly before embarking on the journey of leadership. This corresponds to the first week of the Spiritual Exercises.
Module II, which was held in Vienna in early July. It focussesd on building a team. Ignatius recognised that he needed a team of Companions around him to support him and work with him. His first two teams did not last. We don’t know too clearly the reasons. His third team in Paris was well chosen; well formed; well supported and went to the ends of the earth to preach the mission. Can we build strong teams today of Jesuits and lay people? Are there special Jesuit insights that help with this?
“We were delighted to be in Vienna” said Fr. John Dardis, CEP President. “We were very well hosted by the Austrian province and by Kardinal König Haus, in particular. The welcome we received allowed us to focus on delivering a quality programme. Many thanks to Christian Marte SJ and his team at KKH, also to Sebastian Ortner SJ who helped us for the whole week.”
Module III will be in Rome, focussed on organisational issues and Module IV will be about leading at the frontiers and leading for change.
The team delivering the course included an American Jesuit expert on leadership, David McCallum SJ; Sarah Broscombe an expert in the facilitation and coaching; Philip Endean SJ, an Ignatian scholar based in Centre Sèvres in Paris, Diego Losada in charge of logistics; José de Pablo SJ, the Socius to the European President and the CEP President John Dardis SJ.