Ecojesuit shares an English translation of Amazonía, una MISIÓN conjunta, a statement by Rafael Garrido SJ, the newly-appointed president of the Conference of Jesuit Provincials in Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL). The statement, issued on 28 April 2023, highlights CPAL’s renewed commitment and service to the Pan-Amazonian territory, recognizing the value of networking and collaboration between the Provinces, the social action centers such as the Pan-Amazonian Jesuit Service (SJPAM), and Indigenous solidarity networks of CPAL.
As part of the transition process of the change of president of CPAL, we had a fruitful meeting in Lima, where we met with the dynamic team of the Pan-Amazonian Jesuit Service (SJPAM), its outgoing president and the newly appointed president of the Conference, the five Provincials of the Pan-Amazonian territory (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela), the Regional Superior of Guyana, and the Delegate for the Amazon in Brazil.
The atmosphere of the dialogue was frank and serene, in which we shared the process that was building throughout the work developed in the Amazon region, especially the dynamics that emerged from the team transitions and re-visioning of SJPAM, and the challenges that arose during the Jesuit Pre-forum in Belem de Pará. The proposal to form a dynamic team committed to carry out the commitments made and generate a process to reconfigure SJPAM was put forward.
This dynamic team includes the following members: David Romero SJ (Brazil), Fabio Garbari SJ (Bolivia), Joicy Falcao (Brazil), José Romero (Brazil), María Eugenia Carrizo (Bolivia), Silverio Perry (Guyana), and Silvio Márquez SJ (Brazil).
The main fruits, marked by the union of spirit and the apostolic spirit, were embodied in the letter that the five provincials and the two regional superiors addressed to the entire body of the Society of Jesus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From this letter I want to highlight:
- Looking at the mission as a fundamental criterion to organize the government in responding to the challenges is key to the development of the proposal. The Amazon is a joint mission and we need to have a common horizon as we further elaborate the Pan-Amazonian apostolic plan. These are the fruits of work and reflections forged in the spirit of responding creatively and faithfully to the call in the Pan-Amazon region.
- Appointing a delegate in CPAL to animate and promote the mission, and carry out the apostolic plan, is an element that challenges us to find new ways of reorganizing and restructuring Provinces. This seeks to unite efforts and vocation in service to the Society of Jesus, the Church, and the Amazon and its peoples.
- It is important to consider the way these reflections and works are being carried out as an apostolic body through networking and collaboration. The participation of the apostolic body in the Amazon, the Provinces and Regional Superiors, the Church and broader society, push us to recognize our weaknesses and the necessary articulation of roles and capacities in carrying out this mission.
Undoubtedly, this implies great joint efforts and a shift in mindsets and positions, but, above all, it requires an open spirit to discern and walk together in all the processes that arise as Good News and Gift of God. Listening is the most highlighted value in all the dialogues, and it is a great challenge to emphasize this as a fundamental element in developing any proposal. Together with the attitude of learning, listening is the key in sustaining relevance and in building the presence and mission in the Amazon from the different learnings and experiences.
In addition, our proposal in finding new ways to organize the mission makes us seek a healthy balance between linking the Provinces and regions with the networks in CPAL. We are not seeking the formation of a new Province, rather a new way of responding to the call – to the mission entrusted to us as the apostolic body of the Society of Jesus.
I hope that Saint Ignatius continues to intercede for us so that with “courage and liberality” we continue walking together with great enthusiasm and commitment throughout this entire process.
Rafael Garrido SJ, CPAL President
28 April 2023