Thursday, April 14, 2005

Strategic Discernment.

The Jesuits of the United States are currently engaged in a process called "Strategic Discernment," about which you can learn more (a lot more, in fact) here. In a nutshell, the process is intended to help the Society of Jesus figure out how we can best serve the needs of the American Church in the 21st century. What kind of ministries should we involve ourselves in? How should we live as Jesuits? What kind of training should men in formation (guys like me, in other words) receive? How should we relate to our lay colleagues? How should our communities and provinces be organized? The Assistancy Strategies Commission of the United States Jesuit Conference is currently considering these and other questions, and to help them find answers Jesuit communities across the country are taking part in a "national conversation" about Strategic Discernment. This afternoon, the Jesuits of Nobili Hall played our role in this stage of the process by having a community meeting to discuss this document put out by the Conference. I'm not going to tell you what was said at the meeting, but the views expressed there (not to mention the Strategic Discernment process in general) have stimulated highly interesting and enriching conversations among community members about our shared future as Jesuits. The present process of Strategic Discernment could lead to major or minor changes in our Jesuit life - or, as seems most likely, a mix of both major and minor changes - which makes this an exciting time to be a Jesuit novice. Now, when (God willing) I'm an old Jesuit - "praying for the Church and Society," perhaps - I doubt that some young novice will ask me, "Where were you during the Strategic Discernment of 2005-07?" However, if I am asked that question (which, I'm sure, would bring joy to my ancient heart), I'll have an answer. AMDG.


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