The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ today encouraged all former students of Jesuit schools around the world to be partners in the mission of reconciliation and justice in today’s world. He has done it in the opening session of the World Congress of Former Students that is being held until next Sunday in Barcelona.

Fr. Sosa, who introduced himself as a former student of the San Ignacio de Caracas school, recalled the words of the historic speech delivered in 1973 by the then Fr. General Pedro Arrupe, when he summed up the purpose of Jesuit education as become people for others. In this line, he has claimed the impulse that Arrupe’s legacy has given to the path of educating for justice and for the construction of more fraternal societies, and has encouraged the educational institutions of the Society of Jesus “to innovate without fear and re -imagine the methods that allow the new generations to recognize and face the new challenges with an eye on the future”.

In his speech, the Superior General of the Jesuits made reference to the current context, pointing out that we find ourselves with a humanity that is wounded, exhausted, often without hope, and affected by the ecological crisis. That is why he has insisted that the commitment to justice must necessarily also be a commitment to Creation, in line with the ecological conversion that Pope Francis asks of us. And this, he said, goes beyond individual effort, since it is also a community conversion that requires constituting ourselves and recognizing ourselves in a “we” as humanity.

“There is no better way to thank the quality of the education received than to share it with others and work so that all people can access quality education”, he stated, recalling the need to work especially in favor of the most vulnerable people.

Throughout his speech, Fr. Arturo Sosa has also spoken of the shared mission between Jesuits and all the people who are part of the institutions of the Society of Jesus. “The opportunity to work with many other people has enriched our works, has promoted them and made them better,” he assured. “This collaboration is already a key dimension of our identity.” That is why he has encouraged former students to join this collaboration, welcoming the universal apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus. And he has especially asked for a greater effort to promote networking and to incorporate the youngest and especially former students, to enrich local and international associations.

Just this morning Fr. General wanted to have a meeting with about sixty young participants in the Congress. In dialogue with them, and in response to their questions, he has asked them to be active and creative, not to be afraid and to put forward proposals to find meeting and collaboration spaces.

The X World Congress of Alumni lasts until next Sunday, with talks and workshops with experts in various fields. Today, Thursday, there are sessions dedicated to ecology, migration and the role of women in the Church. The participants will also carry out various activities, such as the possibility of visiting and learning about the work of the social entities of the Society of Jesus in Catalonia.

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