Father Thomas J. Regan, SJ
One of the true highlights of the congregation occurred on Feb. 21 when Pope Benedict XVI received all the delegates in a private audience at the Vatican. The audience was held in the “Sala Clementina,” a room in which popes have received guests since 1595! The meeting was extremely warm and cordial.
In his allocution, the Holy Father invited us to “build bridges of understanding and dialogue” and to set out once again in the tracks of our Jesuit predecessors. He specifically mentioned the great missionaries Matteo Ricci and Robert de Nobili, and urged us to draw upon not only their same courage and intelligence, but also and equally their profound motivation of faith and enthusiasm to serve the Lord and his Church.In response to his letter and allocution, the congregation wrote to the Holy Father to thank him for his expressions of affection and support and to answer the issues that he raised. To mark both the beginning and the closing of the general congregation, the delegates gathered for a concelebrated Mass at the Gesù, the mother church of the society in Rome which contains the tombs of St. Ignatius, Father Pedro Arrupe and a number of other Jesuit saints and blesseds. At the final liturgy the members recited a grateful “Te Deum” in thanksgiving for the many rich blessings that the Lord has granted to the society throughout its history. We departed Rome praying that Jesuits throughout the world may respond both faithfully and generously to the congregation’s call to renew our charism and be authentically “contemplatives in action,” seeking to find God in all things!
Link to the full article in the Pilot (here)