Provincial assistant for Pastoral Ministries for the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces and Provincial assistant for International Ministries in the USA Northeast Province.
Gathering parish leaders by interest (communications, evangelization, Hispanic ministry, etc.) facilitated the sharing of best practices in addressing the Preferences. At the 2019 Evangelization Conference, parish leaders outlined programs inviting individuals into a relationship with Christ. One participant, a candidate for the novitiate, spoke of his own journey in walking with youth. Another example was when representatives of the Office of Ignatian Spirituality spoke to the Hispanic Ministry Conference of their program on Ignatian Spirituality in Spanish. They are making Ignatian Spirituality available to underserved communities.
When I visit parishes, I look for Ignatian spirituality and a focus on, and implementation of, the Church’s social teaching. Discerning communities, where the staff and the councils integrate prayer into their process of decision making. I also hope to see retreat offerings, days of prayer, presentations, and opportunities for spiritual direction. When I encounter a parish community whose prayer leads them to social ministry, I am delighted! I appreciate homilies that address Ignatian spirituality and social ministry, youth ministry that includes both, and when the calendars display an abundance of these programs.
Our ministries in Micronesia demonstrate remarkable adaptability in pursuing their mission. When the power goes out, or when expected materials do not arrive as promised, ministers and teachers adjust. This response to obstacles is a valuable lesson for the students. In Amman, Jordan, the Jesuit Center works predominantly with immigrants with few resources. Fr. Michael Linden, SJ, introduced a dance theater, linking movement, with song, and vocabulary. This approach enhances learning and student investment. I am inspired by this commitment of Jesuits and friends who walk with the underserved.