The Loyola Centre of the Loyola Sanctuary has launched a Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project to accompany processes that help to heal the wounds and suffering generated by different types of violence and the violation of human rights in Spain.

The Loyola Centre will develop different types of initiatives:

  • Spaces for welcoming and meeting, dialogue and mutual listening.
  • Social and spiritual reflection.
  • Itineraries of healing, recovery and human growth.
  • Training and research regarding forgiveness and reconciliation.

The project, coordinated by Jesuit Manu Arrúe SJ, will be carried out in collaboration with other works of the Society of Jesus, the Church, the social agents and the administration.

The first activity, launched in February, is a pilot experience of Escuelas ESPERE (Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation). It is a proposal that emerged in Colombia and has already spread to 22 countries around the world -mainly in Latin America- to help people and communities that have suffered or carried out violence and human rights violations.

A group of Jesuits and lay people from Loyola travelled last year to Peru to learn first-hand about the development and results of the project in the Latinamerican country. For their part, responsibles for ESPERE from Perú have visited Loyola to help start the project in Euskadi.

At the pilot experience that has begun in February, fifteen people have participated. The objective is to start offering ESPERE schools in 2019. The ESPERE are carried out in the form of a workshop. The training starts from your own experience, your work and in small groups of three people who usually do not know each other. It is a work aimed at healing: forgiving oneself and reconciling one way or another. Participants attend the meetings once a week for approximately ten weeks. It is not a confessional experience and participation in these workshops is done in complete confidentiality.

This project of the Loyola Centre is the result of the definition of the Mission of the Society of Jesus updated by the General Congregation 36 (2016) that calls the Jesuits and lay people in collaboration to be agents of reconciliation in a fractured world.

This is a repost of an article originally published by the Jesuits in Europe website. 

More details about the project can be found (in Spanish) here.


Image: RevistaEcclesia