Dear Loyola Parishioners & Visitors,
In 1966, General Congregation 31 decreed: “The care of souls in a parish, in general, is no longer to be said to be contrary to the principles of the Constitutions [of the Society of Jesus] …. But because of the seriousness of the matter, it belongs to Father General to judge, all things considered, whether a
particular parish is to be accepted or given back.” The decree was brief.
In 1995, GC 34 wrote a specific decree about parish ministry noting that approximately 3200 Jesuits labored in 2000 parishes throughout the world and affirmed what was last said about parishes at GC 31. The delegates added that “under certain circumstances, [parish ministry] is an appropriate apostolate for carrying out our mission of serving the faith and promoting justice.”
GC 34 further decreed: “A parish is Jesuit if, committed to the pastoral goals and policies of the local church, it also ‘participates in the apostolic priorities of the Society [of Jesus]’ and in the mission plan of the province, according to ‘our way of proceeding.’”
In two weeks, GC 36 will convene. The Provincial has asked, is asking, all directors of Jesuit apostolates to determine appropriate ways of engaging the lay leaders of their institutions and those served by the apostolate, e.g. students, parishioners, retreatants, etc. to enter into prayer and discernment with the delegates meeting in Rome for the next 6-8 weeks. I have asked Father Roy Joseph to develop particular ways we may do this at Loyola with parishioners in general and with lay leaders in particular.
For their part, the Society and Province have developed general ways in which all may participate. These ways are explained in the letter from the Provincial which I have inserted into the weekend bulletins and placed extra copies at the Church entrances. Please take a copy home with
you so you can decide how you wish to participate and sign up appropriately. This is one way we can continue forming a “union of hearts and minds” characteristic of “our way of proceeding” in the Society. If you sign up and know of someone who does not have access to on-line materials, you may wish to print out the materials and share them with them, perhaps using them for your own prayer and discussion
The Provincial has told the Jesuits the mission priorities established at GC 36 will shape the Province’s apostolic planning over the next several years. The expectation is that they will also shape the apostolic planning of each of our apostolates through the leadership teams in place.