Jesuit-Lay Collaboration

GC 35, Decree 6  was dedicated to Collaboration at the Heart of Mission with the common aspiration of ‘apostolic companionship based on discernment and oriented towards service’. The Congregation saw itself responding to the call in GC34 to foster cooperation with the laity in mission, noting that many Jesuit works ‘depend largely on the generous, loyal and skilled collaboration of women and men of diverse religious and humanistic convictions’. The Congregation thought that collaboration in mission called us ‘to a new and often challenging renewal of our ministries’. They posed three questions:

  • What constitutes a Jesuit work, and how might it be sustained with other than Jesuits in leadership?
  • What are the necessary elements of formation needed by Jesuits and others to ensure growth in the spirit and practice of our mission?
  • What bonds might appropriately unite us as collaborators in mission who seek to serve together, with deepening affection, the mission given to the Society?

Last week, we had sessions on Jesuit-Lay Collaboration with Caecilia Vanneste, Antooon Sintobin and their son Juliaan. They came all the way from Belgium to share their valuable experiences and insights on the said topic. Caecilia is the coordinator  Ignatian Apostolic Network and she shared her experiences, challenges, and consolations in working with the Jesuits. She posed questions for reflection on formation for Jesuit lay partners and on authentic collaboration in the mission of the Society of Jesus. Her husband, Antooon edified us with his sharing on living the Christian values as Notary in Belgium. Her son, Juliaan also shared his experiences as a student in one of our Jesuit schools in Belgium and dynamics and challenges the youth are facing nowadays.

It was very enlightening session.

At night time, the family joined the community for haustus and for community game. I guess, everyone had a good time. It was fun.

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