Tuesday, 8 November 2016

On the home straight - Day 37 of GC36

One gets a sense one is on the last la in this Congregation.  Issues concerning the formula of a General and Provincial Congregation  were discussed and referred to a revision committee and to Fr. General.  A new draft of the 'renewed governance for a renewed mission' was  presented and awaits further comments.

 A wonderful informal lunch time discussion took place on the Church in the Far East.  The most profound presentation and sharing in mixed groups  took place around child safeguarding.  It was both sad and painful and hopeful all at the same time.  It is essential that the preferential option for the poor must explicitly mention children who are the most vulnerable in many contexts, cultures and places today. Our work and living  environments must guarantee always a safe place for the most powerless in our society whether one works in a  refugee camp or a school.  The faith that does justice, promoting human rights of children and the upholding of the dignity of the most vulnerable  must be the hallmark of every Jesuit work where ever in the world there are Jesuits.

There was a call that much learning cross culturally can take place by exchanging experiences, protocols, good practice and transparent principles  of child safeguarding.  It was a grace filled conversation in the mixed cross cultural small group sharing. All were resolved to learn from the sufferings of children and those who have experienced abuse in our world so that that no child can ever experience abuse in the works of the Society of Jesus.

If one watches and listens to the prayer sessions each morning which are mainstreamed from the aula you will notice the increased amount of coughing and sniffling taking place.  Colds and viruses are moving round. It is getting colder in Rome and the temperatures have dropped and it rained today and got dark early.

St Peter's Square empties at night with incoming cold and rain with fewer tourists/pilgrims in November.


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