Brazil: Ignatian Day at World Social Forum

 On Friday, 30 January, approximately 120 Jesuits, friends and lay partners of the Society of Jesus gathered together to participate in the Ignatian Day, organised by Jesuits from the Amazon Region, CPAL and the Social Justice Secretariat in Belém do Pará in conjunction with the World Social Forum.

Numerous different countries were represented with participants coming from almost thirty nations and four continents. In order to show this great variety in a tangible way, small flags from each country represented were placed in a great map of the world created out of beans and other seeds native to the Amazon region. As each participant placed their own flag on the map they were invited to introduce themselves and present the work they are engaged in. This led to an immensely interesting sharing of the multiplicity of the Apostolates and realities in which Jesuits and their partners work, from Brazil to Japan and from Sudan to India. This original and striking map accompanied the work done throughout the day, constantly evoking the universality of the mission of the Society and its concrete manifestations world wide.
The first part of the Day, following opening prayers based on texts from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, focussed on the presentation by Regional Superior Father Roberto Jaramillo SJ of the Amazon Region and the presence of Jesuits working in this area. The presentation stimulated great interest and appreciation and was followed by group work on a series of themes proposed by the organisers. Among the issues discussed were the Society's mission and reconciliation with creation as brought to light in the recent General Congregation (Decree 3, 31-36) the Amazon Region and possible response by Jesuits at local level, in CPAL and within the universal Society to face needs in this context.

Participants in the Ignatian Day had already had the opportunity to discuss these issues to a certain extent during the Fé'namazônia Pre-Forum and ideas and proposals put forward then were further broadened and elaborated on. The general indications of the discussion were to seek to promote a model of development originating in faith and the values in which we believe in respect for man and the environment. To do this, we considered it important to develop even more the capacity to work in networks and remain present and participative in the sphere of public debate and decisions.

At the end of the day's work participants discussed the contents of a message to be sent out over the next few days to the entire Society in order to share the results and indications emerging from reflections here in Brazil. Another important aspect to underline is the atmosphere of friendship and unity which developed between participants and made an even wider engagement and exchange possible in both formal and informal moments.
Source: SJ News

© Independent Catholic News 2008

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