From next Wednesday, July 13, to Sunday, July 17, the X World Congress of Jesuit Alumni will take place in Barcelona. The Congress will include the participation of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, who will deliver the opening speech.

The meeting is organized by the World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) and is hosted by the Sarrià-Sant Ignasi Alumni Association. On this occasion, it coincides with the celebration of the Ignatian Year, which commemorates the fifth centenary of the conversion of Ignacio de Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and wants to gather an in-depth debate between former students from different countries of the world, leading Jesuits in various fields, and young people as representatives of the future.

On Wednesday, July 13, the opening Eucharist will be celebrated in the Basilica of Santa María del Mar. We will have Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus; Fr. Antonio España, Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Spain; José Alberto Mesa, Secretary of Education of the Society of Jesus; William Muller, chaplain of WUJA; and Fr. Enric Puiggròs, delegate of the Plataforma Apostólica de Cataluña.

Values ​​unite us, the future moves us

Starting Thursday 14, with the motto Values ​​unite us, the future moves us, some of the great challenges facing the world: the social divide, interreligious dialogue, migration, climate change, the technological revolution, the role of women in the Church, etc.

The presentations that will provide the framework for reflection on each topic will be given by Laurent Basanese, a Jesuit specialized in Islamic studies and a member of the Vatican Department for Interreligious Dialogue; Sabrina Burgos, director of New Frontiers and Public Action in the educational network Fe y Alegría Colombia; Núria Calduch, Professor of the Old Testament at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; Albert Florensa, professor emeritus at Ramon Llull University, expert in ethics applied to the fields of science and technology; Lisa Hehenberger, director of the Center for Social Impact at ESADE; Jean-Paul Hernández, Jesuit and expert in art and theology; Chris Lowney, Ignatian leadership expert and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Common Spirit Health, the largest non-profit health system in the United States; Cristina Manzanedo, expert lawyer in migration and asylum; José Alberto Mesa, Jesuit and Secretary of Education of the Society of Jesus; Mary Evelyn Tucker, professor at Yale University, expert in religions and ecology; and Dani Villanueva, Jesuit, responsible for the area of ​​international cooperation of the Society of Jesus in Spain.

The presentations will mark the context of each theme, and later the answers will be worked on in workshops in small groups to later present the conclusions in round tables and debates.

The main venue for this event will be the Jesuïtes Sarrià-Sant Ignasi school, but the participants will also carry out different activities and transformative experiences before and after the Congress, such as the Ignatian Way, the Spiritual Exercises or a meeting in the Cueva San Ignacio de Manresa. In addition, activities of a social nature will be carried out, such as visits to organizations of the Social Sector of the Society of Jesus in Catalonia.

A global community with a shared mission

The Society of Jesus began to work in the educational field since its foundation in the 16th century, seeing the importance of education in youth and with the desire to offer comprehensive quality training. Education in the centers of the Society of Jesus is based on the reception, knowledge and accompaniment of people with the purpose that they acquire the appropriate learning to grow as competent, aware, committed and compassionate people.

The Society of Jesus in the world has a network of more than 2,300 educational centers, with more than 2 million students from religious, cultural, social and linguistic backgrounds of all kinds, on the 5 continents and in more than 70 countries.

The World Union of Former Students (WUJA), organizer of this meeting, brings together former students or students of Jesuit schools and universities from around the world, with the aim of building international relations between these people and contributing to the mission of the Society of Jesus.