There are those who may think that once the General Congregation finished - more than a year ago - the Curia of Rome ceased to have an interest for the Universal Society. Nothing is further from reality. The daily life of our headquarters has taken on an interesting scope following the proposals that the Congregation left entrusted to the central government of the Jesuits.
Although the main work of the Curia in Rome is to support the Father General in his mission to lead the Society of Jesus, in this first year of government much of the work is being developed around the questions set forth by the General Congregation at the end of 2016. To do so, and under the leadership of the new General Assistant for Discernment and Planning, 10 working groups have been created that are monitoring the different topics that GC36 left for review.
The issues range from the revision of the formula of the Congregation to the study governance models for our global networks. Many of the groups focus on reviewing and evaluating ongoing processes such as the restructuring of provinces and regions, models of Provincial Conferences, pastoral and ministry policies or poverty statutes. Other groups have more innovative objectives such as seeking to promote internal solidarity within the Society or to accompany the revision of the universal apostolic preferences.
Some of the working committees are starting to bear fruit and they are already making recommendations to Father General. Other committees are analyzing issues that will take all of 2018 and even part of 2019. It is important to mention that each team is made up of Curia officers and external individuals (Jesuits or laity) with specific expertise on the subject. This mix is generating an interesting and intense dynamic of ongoing conversations, consultations and meetings - both virtual and in Rome. You just have to look at the guest list at the Curia, or the mix of people who meet in the dining room for pranzo, to imagine the promising impact that this way of proceeding is having and will continue to have at our headquarters and beyond.