Sent to serve

Every Tertian has had a range of pastoral experiences during his earlier Jesuit formation. Tertianship allows further exploration of his adaptability and aptitude for different kinds of work. This help him to test his apostolic availability, the better to know how he might offer the fullest service to the Lord.

The Tertians left Dublin during this week for their placements – “Experiments” – and are now settling in to different surroundings in Israel, Armenia, Italy, Malta, England, Scotland, Algeria, the United States and Ireland. They will work in different settings ranging from interreligious dialogue, pastoral care, directing retreats, chaplaincy, and assisting people who are sick, seeking asylum, homeless or migrants.

The map shows the places the Tertians come from (upper rows) and the places to which they have been sent (lower group of 11 locations).

Reflecting and learning

Brendan Callaghan, a Jesuit psychologist of the British province, gave a number of presentations to the group on Monday and Tuesday during which he addressed the area of affectivity through talks, discussions and case studies. Anne Codd, a Presentation Sister and Development Resource Person at the Irish Episcopal Conference, led the group to engage in some organisational and pastoral reflection on Wednesday. Finbarr Clancy of the Irish province offered models of priesthood on Friday in an analysis which delineated some developments in the understanding of the ministry of the priest.

The Tertian learns, not just through the variety of content, but also in the reflection and discussion that takes place long after the various speakers have departed. The cultural and professional diversity of the tertian group enables a range of observations to be offered. These reflections help each to consider his own practice and aspirations and to review what presumptions, teaching style, and group skills are most appropriate to him.

We were also visited this week by two US Jesuits  – Mike Harter and Charles Moutenout. Their discussions with the Tertians and instructors took place as they prepare to establish a new US Tertianship in Oregon.


The New Year gets underway

Jesuits from every province have been meeting in recent months to elect a member to attend a conference in Nairobi during summer of 2012. This will be 70th Congregation of Procurators of the Society of Jesus and will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, beginning on 9 July 2012. The Irish province meeting (‘Congregation’) took place during the past week, preceded by a one-day meeting of Jesuits with those who work with them. The theme of this Assembly was working in a time of change and was attended by Tertians were glad of the opportunity to see something of the Irish province in action.

Life in the Tertianship returned to normal on Wednesday with sessions in the morning considering the vow of obedience through presentations, recommended readings and discussion. Ignatius of Loyola expected obedience to be a characteristic of the Jesuit and his 1553 letter on the topic continues to inspire and challenge. Best understood, it respects our human maturity and Christian freedom and endeavours to apply the talents of Jesuits by engaging them in dialogue with one another and with the situation of their mission.

John Dardis, president of the European Jesuit Conference, visited on Friday, celebrating mass and spending some time with the Tertians. He described his work and listened to the experience of the European Tertianship, a work under his aegis.