Jesuit presence

Based on the positive experience of last year’s participation in the 4th World Social Forum in Bombay, attended by a Jesuit-led delegation of almost 2000 people, and echoing the commitment of the Social Apostolate to support social movements, the Social Sector of the Conference of Latin American Provincials (CPAL) took up the task of organising the Jesuit presence at the Forum “with the aim of making the voice and the witness of poor and marginalised peoples heard, especially those from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.” Following this decision a Jesuit Coordinating Team composed by Fr Jorge Julio Mejia SJ, Coordinator of the Social Apostolate in Latin America, Fr Paulo Sergio Vaillant SJ and Fr Domingos Chagas SJ, from Brazil, was set up. The Provincial of Brazil invited Jesuit participants and their collaborators to stay at a spirituality centre (CECREI) of the Province, very near to Porto Alegre, with the hope that the concentration of Jesuit delegates in one place will offer them a chance to share and exchange experiences, and identify the implications of this exchange in their apostolic missions. More than 150 delegates, Jesuits and their collaborators, will be part of the Jesuit delegation. As is to be expected, the majority of these comes from Brazil and other Latin American countries. The Indian and Sri Lankan delegation (almost 30) is the largest outside the delegations from Brazil and Paraguay, testifying to the great momentum that WSF 2004 still has especially among the host nations.