AFRICA/KENYA - Conclusion of the Congregation of Procurators of the Society of Jesus; we need to think of Africa from a different perspective

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - The 70th Congregation of Procurators of the Society of Jesus, which for the first time in its history was held in Africa, Kenya, from July 9 to 15 (see Fides 06/07/2012) decided that it is not necessary to convene a General Congregation. During this meeting, attended by 97 Jesuits elected by the provinces of the Society of Jesus throughout the world, important issues for the Society were discussed, such as a more universal vision of the mission, the relationship with the Church, the challenge of Africa, working with employees and the need for greater coordination in the network.
According to information Fides received, the Father General urged "to deepen our pastoral responsibility in the various cultural and ecclesial contexts in which we operate", "more universality", and emphasized service to the poor, working with others and the importance of apostolic networks between the Provinces. Other issues of importance to the Jesuits were also discussed, such as discernment, spirituality and intellectual apostolate, community life and creativity in response to the challenges in the world and one’s own religious order. The current activities of government and restructuring of provincial secretariats and Jesuits were also analyzed.
During the work of the Congregation, a whole day was dedicated to reflect on Africa, considered a priority in recent years for the Society of Jesus. Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, Provincial Superior of the Province of East Africa (province that hosted the meeting), clearly signaled that Africa remains the continent most misunderstood compared to others, and pointed out four themes and two challenges to consider: "to think of Africa from a different perspective; Africa as a deeply religious continent, Africa as a carrier of many religious values, religion is a live phenomenon in Africa. The challenges are posed by religious tensions and religion in the face of underdevelopment". He concluded that " it is clear from the available data, that the center of gravity of Christianity is shifting dramatically from north to south, ie from Europe and North America, to Africa, Asia and Latin America." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 17/7/2012)

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