Are the Jesuits of France still able to communicate life’s joys in places where living is har? Can they convey the power and immediacy of the Gospels among the poor?
The answer is Yes, according to the French Provincial, who wrapped up the Sessions “For a Time of Justice” by underlining the current health and vigour of the social apostolate in France. 110 Jesuits, 40 lay colleagues and several Jesuit European Volunteers (JEV) met in St. Etienne for three days at the end of April. Their purpose was to explore how to generate a greater awareness of poverty, social marginalization and injustice, a more concrete engagement with these challenges, and a fuller and better way of addressing them. Four areas of activity got priority: the deteriorating social bonds in urban neighbourhoods; the upbringing and education of underprivileged youth; employment and social involvement in the face of economic insecurity; and the reception and treatment of immigrants and foreigners. Such involvements are possible thanks to the spiritual wealth of community life.
These Sessions, a time for getting to know and appreciate one another, sparked the desire in Jesuits and co-workers to go further together and find new ways of fulfilling their common mission in unity.