Pope Francis on Monday paid a visit to the 36th Jesuit General Congregation taking place in Rome. He addressed his Jesuit brothers – who elected the new Jesuit Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, during this General Congregation – telling them that Church needs them, “As my predecessors have often told you, the Church needs you, counts on you and continues to turn to you with confidence, particularly to reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach, or find it difficult to reach” he said.
Please find below the Jesuit General Curia’s synthesis of Pope Francis’ address in English:
Rome – October 24, 2016. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, this morning visited members of General Congregation 36 at the Jesuit General Curia. Welcoming the Holy Father to the Aula of the Congregation, Father General Arturo Sosa said, “Dear Pope Francis, in the name of the Society of Jesus meeting in the GC36 I welcome you to this Aula. Thank you for coming to our house. This meeting occurs in a very important moment of the GC36. We are discerning about the issues proposed by the whole Society.”
While the Holy Father cannot participate in the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, he can request that Society consider certain matters of greater importance with regard to mission.
The Holy Father began his address by recalling messages of his predecessors to previous General Congregations. He thus started by saying, “While praying over what I would like to say, I remembered with particular affection the words of Pope Paul VI to us as we came to the end of the 32nd General Congregation: “This is the way, this is the way, Brothers and Sons. Forward, in nomine Domini. Let us walk together, free, obedient, united to each other in the love of Christ, for the greater glory of God.”
The Holy Father also referred to the message of Pope Benedict XVI to members of General Congregation 35 in 2008, saying, “As my predecessors have often told you, the Church needs you, counts on you and continues to turn to you with confidence, particularly to reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach, or find it difficult to reach.” He reminded the Jesuits that their mission is to walk together with the Pope, “free and obedient – going to the peripheries where others do not reach, under Jesus’ gaze and looking to the horizon which is the ever greater glory of God, who ceaselessly surprises us.” He noted that the vocation of a Jesuit is “to travel through the world and to live in any part of it where there is hope of greater service to God and of help of souls,”