Assistancy Coordinators: the third annual meeting

The meeting of the Assistancy Coordinators of the Social Apostolate, held in Rome from 23-28 May, has been intense and inevitably tiring, but the atmosphere during that last dinner celebrated on the placid shores of lake Bracciano, just outside Rome, was joyful and relaxed. During the week the Coordinators stressed the value and importance of this annual meeting organised by the SJS not only in steering the work in their respective assistancies, but also in strengthening collaboration. The group spirit that has developed over these past three years has been greatly appreciated. Beside reviewing and planning future work with the regards to the six challenges of the Social Apostolate, the Coordinators discussed several key issues, such as the relation between the social apostolate and formation, and the Jesuit charism with respect to the faith-justice mission, that might be presented to the meeting of Major Superiors scheduled at Loyola, November 2005. This year?s meeting, the third of its kind, benefited from the presence of several ?guests? who enriched the debate virtually every day. First among them was Father General, who had his by- now- customary talk with the Coordinators; others included the General Counsellor and Assistant to Father General for Latin America Fr Valentin Menendez SJ; the Secretary for Formation Fr Orlando Torres SJ; and the Secretary for Ignatian Spirituality Fr Edward Mercieca SJ. The group also met the regional coordinators of the Jesuit Refugee Service to explore further coordination. The last dinner was an occasion to say farewell to three Coordinators whose assignments come to a close this year: Fr Rafael Moreno (Mexico), Fr Javier Arellano (Spain) and Fr Paulo Sergio Vaillant (Brazil). To them a heartfelt thank- you and best wishes, and the hope that they will continue to contribute actively to the Social Apostolate of the Society of Jesus. [HL50501]