In my previous post, I expressed how GC35 helps us to think of new forms of subdivision within a conference: regions or projects involving several parts of different provinces but with a similar way to respond to their mission. We might wonder why we are talking about regions in this sense, and about interprovincial projects. There are many reasons.
Today I list just a few:
- It seems a tendency of the general context within which we are moving. Small countries from our continent are tending to group together in order to negotiate more effectively with the big countries in this globalized world. Such grouping is a means by which disputes about borders can become opportunities for cooperation and growth. It is a shrewd means of entering gradually into what is an inevitable globalization.
- The fall in Jesuit numbers raises questions for us. The fall does not necessarily mean we should shut down works and diminish our impact. Maybe the Lord is inviting us to think about mission more in ways that do not identify it exclusively in terms of a particular work or Province. Maybe the Lord is telling us to work more in collaboration with others, both non-Jesuits and Jesuits. And that implies a new focus and new structures that exploit the possibilities of communication offered us by the modern world. We used to talk about sending on mission, about sending to mission territories. Perhaps today we have to add: participating with mission territories in networks.
What are the advantages that might bring us to organize ourselves in this regional way, or to form supraprovincial projects? The first and main advantage is that of responding better to the mission received. That is the goal: a greater collaboration for the sake of the mission.
This post is part of an article originally published in Portuguese and Spanish on the CPAL report number 288, published on 30th September 2013. This is a translation from the original in Spanish by Mario Cazal (Paraguay) and Philip Endean (Paris) for The Jesuit Networking Project. The whole document can be found on this website [English] [Spanish]