The Basilica of Santa María del Mar has hosted this Wednesday the Eucharist that opens the X World Congress of Jesuit Alumni, which is being held in Barcelona until next Sunday, July 17.
The celebration was attended by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, as well as the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Spain, Fr. Antonio España SJ. Along with them, various concelebrants, such as Fr. José Alberto Mesa SJ, Secretary of Education of the Society of Jesus; William Muller SJ, chaplain of WUJA; Fr. Enric Puiggròs SJ, delegate of the Apostolic Platform of Catalonia; as well as the rector of the Basilica of Santa María del Mar, Mn. Salvador Pie i Ninot.
In his homily, Fr. Antonio España SJ wanted to point out three fundamental aspects that should guide this Congress: the community, Ignatian values and looking to the future. In our world today, he has said, in which we face such complex challenges, we can be overwhelmed by silence, fear or loneliness. Given this, we must ask ourselves what we can offer others to build a new community.
He has also warned that we cannot assume that because we are former students we know Ignatian values well, since this is not always the case. Our values should direct us to be people for others, as Fr. Pedro Arrupe pointed out years ago, and conscientious, competent, compassionate and committed people, in the words of Fr. Kolvenbach.
“We are invited in this universal community to rethink our contribution based on Ignatian values for the future”, said the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Spain, and “it is important to be able to do it together, knowing that we are not alone”.
The president of the Congress, Francisco Guarner, expressed at the end of the celebration the desire to work these days of meeting in this direction, listening and sharing, being united from diversity and taking a step forward towards this future.
The Congress, organized by the World Union of Former Students (WUJA), begins its sessions this Thursday with a presentation by Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ. Throughout four days, professionals and academic experts, former students and Jesuits address through presentations, group sessions, workshops or debates some of the great challenges of today’s world, to reflect on what can be the contribution and response from the values of Jesuit education. The social divide, migration, climate change, the technological revolution, the role of women in the Church, or art and theology are some of the topics that will be discussed.
You can see the photos of this first day in this link.