Provinces cooperate with an eye to the future as project comes to a close

Majority of the group of Jesuits on the apostolic project meeting in Clongowes with Fr General
Majority of the group of Jesuits on the apostolic project meeting in Clongowes with Fr General, bottom right

Jesuits of four provinces in North West Europe – Ireland, Flanders the Netherlands, and Britain – took time off from their current ministries this summer to participate in alternative works – known in Jesuit jargon as ‘experiments’. They used this experience as the basis for reflection on apostolic priorities for the Society of Jesus over the coming decades. It all began with some days of orientation in the conference centre of Sint-Jan Berchmans University College, Heverlee, Belgium. Today they begin their different journeys home. The website of the Jesuits in Ireland has put together some great audio and video interviews of some of the experiments that took place all over Ireland. Visit the Jesuits in Ireland website >>

Nicholas Sintobin SJ writes on his blog "Yesterday we concluded a 14-day-long meeting with roughly a hundred Jesuits from GB, IRL, NL and VL. It was two weeks together to pray and discern our apostolic priorities for the coming years. It was unique that the majority of this time was spent in small groups, spread across the four countries, each with its own ministry; retreats, conferences, pilgrimages, liturgy ... Last night we all gathered together to finish with a festive Eucharist. Our Superior General, Fr Adolfo Nicolás, gave the homily. Father General (front right in the photo) peppered his homily with quotes and anecdotes about the Pope. The joy was great and our cooperation will undoubtedly greatly increase in the coming years."

Matthew Power SJ the vocations director for the Jesuits in Britain reflects on his time in South Uist on our blog Ignatian Insight >>

Peter Randall reflects on his time in Cornwall; Frontiers and Peripheries: Five go down to Cornish Town >>

‘A venture well worth doing’
Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat, parish priest at the Farm Street Church in Mayfair travelled to Moyross, Limerick, one of the most deprived urban areas in Ireland, where he spent a week working with his counterpart, Fr Tony O’Riordain and his fellow Irish Jesuit Fr Jim Culliton along with Weggert Molenaar of the Dutch province.

‘A venture well worth doing’ was how Jim Culliton described his experience and, in a video interview on the web site below, Andrew Cameron-Mowat explains his part in sharing the compassion of Christ with ordinary parishioners.

Six Jesuits, including Brendan McManus, took part in a walking pilgrimage in County Mayo, along the ancient pilgrimage route from Knock Shrine to Croagh Patrick. His reflections on the meaning and significance of the pilgrimage can be found at the Irish Jesuits website by clicking the photo.

Facilitating guided prayer at Knock Shrine

Four others facilitated a week of guided prayer entitled ‘Meeting with God and Walking with God’ at Our Lady’s Shrine in Knock where Our Lady appeared to a group of poor country people.

Jesuits cross the sectarian divide

Another group experienced some of the fruits of peace work in Belfast over the years. They took part in cross community pastoral work in two Belfast parishes leading Ignatian missions, guided prayer and providing spiritual direction to parishioners.

Learning a lesson in Ballymun

Walter Ceyssens SJ from Belgium took part in a project in which he and other Jesuits facilitated a parish mission in Ballymun and assisting the JUST (Jesuit University Support & Training) initiative which mentors people of the area to access third level education.

‘A quiet ministry of presence’

‘A quiet ministry of presence’ is how British Jesuit, Philip Endean, described his week working as part of a five man interprovincial team which included fellow British Jesuits Keith McMillan and Michael O’Connor, Flemish Jesuit Walter Ceyssens, and Irish Jesuit Kevin O’Rourke.

At the end of the Experiments the participating Jesuits from the four provinces gathered at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare to share and reflect on their experiences. You can read Peter Randall SJ's reflection on the 5 Jesuits that went down to Cornwall - Five go down to Cornish town. Read Now >>