Ecological conversion in caring for our common home, thoughts from young Jesuits

Ecological conversion in caring for our common home, thoughts from young Jesuits

Four Jesuit scholastics from different parts of the world shared their reflections during the meeting of the Extended Council of Father General Arturo Sosa SJ from 3 to 7 June 2024 that focused on understanding and evaluating the commitment of the Society of Jesus to care, with others, for our common home. The meeting was also occasion to discern opportunities to adopt specific measures at the universal level.

From Brent Gordon SJ, Brother, US Central and Southern Province:

“For me, ecological conversion is a balance between, on the one hand, interior and personal conversion, and, on the other hand, communal and institutional change. Finding this balance is not easy. My primary message to Father General and his advisors is that this balance will be found within our Jesuit communities, between Jesuits of all ages and stages of life. While we are often comfortable envisioning and implementing programs and initiatives for and with others, true ecological conversion needs to begin within us as the body of the Society.”

From Gleison Pereira SJ, Regent, Brazil Province

“I am a Brazilian Jesuit collaborating with the Jesuit Service for Migrants and Refugees (Serviço Jesuíta a Migrantes e Refugiados or SJMR) in the Brazilian Amazon region during my regency. I am filled with hope as I contemplate the path we are taking as the Society of Jesus towards an ecological conversion. I believe we can make a deeper commitment by allowing the calls of our Common Home to change our consumption habits and community structures for a more sustainable lifestyle.”

From Pál Füszfás SJ, Scholastic in First Studies, Hungarian Province

“Once upon a time human beings lived in greater harmony with nature, just because they didn’t have the possibility to live in any other way. For the past few centuries, humanity has been capable of destroying nature. This has resulted in an environmental disaster. I believe, though, that with this opportunity God is teaching us to act with greater freedom. Today we are not supposed to simply accept the limits that we are facing but – out of love – we have to set some limits ourselves and respect them, just like God does.”

Boris Foka Wadem SJ, Regent, West Africa Province

“My journey of involvement with the care for our common home began before I joined the Society and the publication of Laudato Si’. However, the encyclical enabled me to integrate spirituality into my reflection and my commitment to ecology. Once in the Society, I witnessed both an unconscious collaboration with the 4th Preference and a total neglect in practice. Knowing that the Society initiated this reflection 30 years ago, I’d like to suggest to the Council members a few ways of overcoming the resistance to its implementation: ensuring strong motivations, finding the right balance between rules and vision, and providing information on the reality of the crisis.”

This article is from the story, Our Common Home – Is It Too Late?, published in Jesuits.

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